Life, all over

This letter to the editor of The New York Times Book Review by the writer David Shield is a protest against a certain city-centric kind of writing, but it is also compelling spiritual advice.

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The subtle handiwork of Dan Martins

Michael Fitzgerald, a columnist for The Stockton Record has written about the controversial aspects of the Rev. Dan Martins' election as Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Springfield.

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Open meetings

Last weeks’ meeting of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church sparked more conversation than such meeting usually do, much of it about Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s remarks about church governance and the debate about the manner in which the church should carry its debt.

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Anti-gay outrages in Uganda continue

The invaluable folks at Box Turtle Bulletin have the latest:

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New tools for evangelism

The November issue of Vestry Papers, from the Episcopal Church Foundation is online. It focuses on technology and evangelism and includes the article "Tweet if you love Jesus" by Bishop Kirk Smith.

And while you are at the site, read this sweet, brief All Saints Day story by Richelle Thompson.

Wither traditions?

N. Graham Standish writing for the Alban Institute says:

I believe that a passion to help people experience the Holy, however it is defined, is at the root of every form of worship. Every liturgy developed by every movement at one point was designed to help people experience the Holy. Many congregations today, in all denominations, consistently ask themselves how they can connect people with an experience of God through their worship. And whenever they stop asking that question, others emerge to ask it and to provide new opportunities to encounter the Holy in a way that modifies tradition.

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Church leaders meet with President on eve of election

UPDATED: see below

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and other church leaders met with President Obama on the eve of the election.

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Mega church pastor "comes out" to help gay teens

The recent rash of suicides by gay youths who were tormented at school for their sexuality provided the impetus for Swilley’s public disclosure, the pastor told Atlanta news station WSB-TV. As a father...Think about your 16, 17-year-old killing themselves. I thought somebody needed to say something."

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Wallace and Gromit as minions of the Anti-Christ

wallace_gromit.thumbnail.jpgJonathan Bartley, in Ekklesia, notes that rants against Wallace and Gromit on UK Christmas stamps have begun to appear and the Archbishop of Canterbury has been asked to take action.

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Clergy abuse victims rally at Vatican

Victims of clergy sexual abuse gathered at the Vatican on Sunday. NPR reports on this historic gathering to show victims around the world that they are not alone. The rally asked the Pope to listen to the stories of those who suffered and act to prevent abuse in the future.

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Judge blocks Ugandan tabloid anti-gay photos

CNN reports that a Ugandan judge has "temporarily ordered a tabloid in Uganda to stop publishing lists identifying people it claims are gay after an advocacy organization filed a lawsuit."

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Day of the Dead celebrated in old and new ways

Techno and traditional celebrations of the Day of the Dead can be found across the country from Trinity Wall Street in New York City to Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Just say No Anglican Covenant

UPDATED - see below

A coalition of Anglicans have formed the "No Anglican Covenant Coalition" in order to lobby against the proposed Anglican Covenant. The Coalition believes adoption of the current proposed Covenant will:

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Jesus an Episcopalian!?

Jesus was an Episcopalian, actually, not really, but Chris Yaw has thought-provoking website based on his book by the same title. Well worth checking out.

Jesus Was an Episcopalian (And you can be one, too!)
From the Rev. Chris Yaw's "Jesus Was an Episcopalian" website

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Bishop Little on Dan Martins

Bishop Little of the Diocese of Northern Indiana wrote the following letter in response to a letter from Bishop Lamb's October 16th letter regarding the Rev. Dan Martin's nomination to be bishop of the Diocese of Springfield.

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Religion in the mid-term election

Religion News Service has an interesting news roundup on the day after the mid-term elections:

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The Anglican Covenant ignores the problem of evil?

Writing in Ekklesia Savi Hensman makes the observation that in addition to the often-stated criticisms of the Anglican Covenant, it also appears to ignore the problem of evil:

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Bishop of Lewes defends his "January 1939" equation

BBC,

The Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, says the row over the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England has meant that traditionalists are in a similar situation to that of Britain in January 1939 when the country was on the brink of war with Germany. Bishop Wallace explains his comments.

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Christ Church, Philadelphia will not pay Episcopal Assessment

Below is a statement, in full, from Christ Church, Philadelphia.
_________

Statement of Christ Church, Philadelphia to Convention of Diocese of Pennsylvania regarding Episcopal Assessment

To the members of convention in the Diocese of Pennsylvania:

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C of E holds TEC position on property ownership

It's called "burying the lede."

The other day The Telegraph interviewed the general secretary of the Church of England General Synod. Paragraphs three, four and five:

... today the Church’s most senior official, William Fittall, raised the prospect of a historic compromise.

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Martins supported by Concerned Laity of Springfield

The Lead has published several letters concerning Bishop-elect Dan Martins. Below is a letter in support from the group Concerned Laity of the Springfield Diocese.

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Opponents of Covenant equated to the BNP

If you favor women bishops or oppose the Anglican Covenant you will be labeled a fascist, a Nazi, equated to a follower of Hitler, or compared to a member of the BNP. The Bishop of Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Cameron, is latest to deploy such an equivalence.

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God and Country are in a hydraulic relation

Speaking of waves....

From the November issue of The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

It has been recently proposed that people can flexibly rely on sources of control that are both internal and external to the self to satisfy the need to believe that their world is under control (i.e., that events do not unfold randomly or haphazardly).

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Church Publishing cuts workforce 40%

Beginning December 31, 2010, Church Publishing Incorporated will reduce their workforce by 40% and close the Denver office.

An announcement Wednesday to CPI staff from Dennis Sullivan, President of the Church Pension Group, described the cuts to all CPI employees. Publishing activities will be reduced, 16 positions will be eliminated, and CPI will close its office in Denver.

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A piece of the HIV puzzle found

The Philadelphia Inquirer tells the story of how another piece of the HIV puzzle was found after the Rev. Robert Massie walked into the office of AIDS researcher Bruce Walker sixteen years ago and asked to become a human guinea pig.

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St. John the Divine's poet's corner and Sylvia Plath

The Boston Globe reports on the Poet's Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

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Southern Cone elects Zavala as Primate

The Bishop of Chile, the Rt. Rev.Hector Zavala, has been elected as the next Primate of the Province of the Southern Cone, succeeding Bishop Gregory Venables. Zavala was suspended from full membership on the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO) because the Province has allowed bishops to cross provincial boundaries to support break away churches in the Episcopal Church.

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Five hospice haiku

Steve Thomason is a Hospice physician and an Episcopal priest and keeps the blog Uncommon Ground. He shares five "Hospice Haiku."

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Religion's role in Tuesday's election

Analysts are sorting through the results of last weeks election looking for any trends that might tell us about where we're headed as an electorate. One of the first observations to emerge is that religious attacks are tending to boomerang back on the attackers. Case in point, the "Aqua-Budha" attacks on Senator-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky:

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Bishop Marshall of Bethlehem writes Dio. of PA in Convention

(Received via email)

5 November 2010
The Diocese of Pennsylvania
In Convention

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

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What do Episcopalians stand for?

Canon Scott Hayashi, to be consecrated the 11th bishop of Utah today, warned Episcopalians in the region to be careful not to fall into the trap of allowing themselves to be defined by who they are not.

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Bishop Gene Robinson announces retirement

Bishop Gene Robinson surprised many in the Diocese of New Hampshire by announcing his intention to retire approximately 2 years from now in 2013.

In the address delivered today at diocesan convention he gives his reasons:

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Does Buddhism avoid the science vs. religion debate entirely?

The Dalai Lama, as part of an interview, remarks about the ways that the conflict between the scientific and religious worldview simply isn't an issue in Buddhism the way it's perceived to be in Christianity:

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Pennsylvanians vote no confidence in Bennison

Delegates to the diocesan convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania yesterday voted 341 to 134 in favor of a resolution expressing their lack of trust in their bishop, Rt. Rev. Charles Bennison, and requesting his immediate resignation.

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West Missourians elect Field

Pending required consents, Martin Scott Field will become the eighth bishop of the Diocese of West Missouri.

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Sunday Social Hour

Facebook this week is full of "likes," and less full of comments. Some stories, however, drew a larger number of comments, including a thread evolving from Robinson's retirement announcement that included one suggestion that he retire immediately. You can't please everyone, it seems.

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Rebuilding Haiti: exercise accountability, infrastructure

Cindy Corell reports from a conference titled "Haiti - Rise up and walk" that any future success in that republic will demand new kinds of thinking. Why, Corell asks, do rebuilding efforts never seem to gain ground, and what can be done?

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Covenant debate warms in CoE

Perhaps as an object of concern, the Anglican Covenant is now slowly moving to the front burner. Lesley Fellows, who serves as Moderator of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition and the group's Convenor in the Church of England, engaged in a brief but lively debate about the proposed Covenant with the Bishop of St. Asaph, Gregory Cameron, on BBC Radio Four's "Sunday" program.

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Chicago Consultation on Gene Robinson

Here's The Rev. Dr. Bonnie Perry, rector, All Saints Episcopal Church Chicago and co-founder of the Chicago Consultation, on Bishop Gene Robinson's recent retirement announcement.

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Bishop Alan Wilson challenges Covenant supporters

Please, Covenant people, tell us what you think your pet project will achieve and how. We know it’s fallout from the Windsor process, and I’ve seen the text endlessy, but still do not understand exactly what problem it will address and how.

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My favorite music is way better than your favorite music

Hey, I have an idea: let's argue about church music!

Bruce G. Epperly and Darryl Hollinger wrote this week's offering from the Alban Institute. It begins like so:

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A single objection

There has been lively conversation here and elsewhere about the election of the Rev. Dan Martins of Northern Indiana as Bishop of Springfield. Many people whom I respect have urged the diocesan bishops and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church to consent to his election. I’ve been of very mixed mind about this from the beginning.

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Five C of E bishops decide they are Roman Catholics

One suspects that the decision of five bishops from the Church of England to become Roman Catholics is less significant than the media will have us believe, if only because these men's theological views--if not their intentions--were already well known. On the other hand, one is not English, so one can't be sure. Anybody care to weigh in on the following, which comes to us via the Associated Press?

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Commission asks help in research on rites for same-sex blessings

From the Rev. Ruth Meyers, chair of The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music:

INTRODUCTION

We are inviting members of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion to help us know what resources are or have already been used in a congregational discernment process to welcome same-gender blessings and to prepare couples for a Christian life together and for a blessing ceremony.

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A reminder regarding Dan Martins

Yesterday I wrote that a number of people whom I respect had publicly voiced their support for the Rev. Dan Martins, bishop elect of the Diocese of Springfield. I said that were I a member of Standing I could imagine voting to confirm his election except for one thing.

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Board member, editor resign from Baptist newspaper

A row continues over a threat by conservatives to strip funding from the Biblical Recorder. The Recorder is the newspaper of the North Carolina convention of the Southern Baptist Convention. As reported in the Recorder,

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ABC and the Sticky Wicket

The Archbishop of Canterbury took a break from one sticky wicket for another. ++Rowan Williams could be found in Telford launching a new ale "Sticky Wicket" instead of pressing his desire for the so-called Anglican Covenant. According to Ekklesia:

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Pulpit filled with "weary Willies"

Not from the Onion:

Sunk in their deep armchairs, 36 Anglican clergymen were told here today about the "weary Willies" of the pulpit by the Rev. D. W. Cleverley Ford, director of the Church of England's first college of preaching, which opened here today at Scargill House, the Anglican conference centre.

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Virginia property dispute grinds on

The property ownership dispute between nine CANA parishes and the Diocese of Virginia grinds on. To recap where things stand, the Virginia Supreme Court earlier this year ruled in favor of the diocese and overturned a lower court decision, returning the cases to the lower court for retrial.

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Churchgoing may be hazardous to your health

Discover Magazine notes an article from the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health PubMed.gov on particle mass during the burning of incense:

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ABC to visit Vatican

Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams will visit the Vatican on November 17th:

Rome Reports: Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will visit the Vatican
From Catholic News, Rome Reports

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Unpaving a parking lot

Des Moines Episcopal Church transforming a parking lot into a green space.

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Fighting about fighting poverty

Conservative Roman Catholics don't like the methods of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), one of the Roman Catholic Church's premier anti-poverty efforts.

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Chair of CAPA to meet with ABC before Primates Meeting

Opening remarks by Archbishop Ian Ernest, Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), reveals that he will be part of a small group of primates who will meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury before the Primates Meeting. From Ernest's remarks:

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40 years of women deputies at GC

The Diocese of Atlanta will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of women deputies to General Convention with a special presentation for Lueta E. Bailey, given by Dr. Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church’s House Deputies. Bailey was one of the first women deputies to General Convention in 1970.

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Bishop Gene Robinson on NPR

Earlier this evening, Bishop Gene Robinson was interviewed by NPR's Melissa Block about his recent announcement that he would retire in January of 2013:

First Gay Episcopal Bishop Says Death Threats 'Strengthened My Faith'

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Church musicians (heart) weddings

For any long-suffering church organists in need of a chuckle and who have not already seen the video, "The Wedding Consultation", follow this link.

ABC writes to primates about meetings

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the primates concerning the primates meeting in late January 2011 in Dublin. The letter, dated October 7, calls for subgroups of the primates to meet prior to the meeting, and also proposes changing the structure of future primates meetings. The full content of the letter has not been made public, but George Conger has this report:

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1992: C of E opens way for women priests

November 11, 1992

Church of England votes for women priests. Women fighting for the right to be Anglican priests are celebrating a narrow victory. After a five-and-a-half hour debate the General Synod - the Church of England's parliament - passed the controversial legislation by a margin of only two votes.

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Fire destroys landmark Episcopal church

The Daily Comet:

An early-morning fire destroyed St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in downtown Houma today, leaving little more than the historic building's front steps, part of the steeple and a wall standing.

There were no injuries, and the cause has not yet been determined.

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Climate change and the importance of educating girls

A pair of climate change experts have discovered two less costly carbon-reducing options to alternative fuels, carbon storage, and forest conservation. $1 million on a combination family planning and girls education results in 250,000 tons of CO2 abatement. Of the other alternatives the best was reducing slash and burn of forests where $1 million spent results in a savings of 66,667 tons of CO2. Not considered in the list are cap and trade or taxes on carbon emissions.

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France receives first group of injured Iraqi Christians

ENS:

French Minister for Immigration Eric Besson and representatives of the Association d'Entraide aux Minorités d'Orient (AEMO) on Nov. 8 received the first group of Iraqis wounded in the attack on the Syriac Cathedral in Baghdad on Oct. 31.

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Kearon "adamant" primates' meeting is on

Via twitter:

ACOffice Anglican Communion
@churchnewspaper Am afraid this story is not accurate. Communion Sec. Gen. Canon Kearon adamant: never any plans to cancel Primates' Mtg.

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Balancing the budget on the backs of the poor

The leadership of the United Kingdom has decided to deal with its economic woes by enacting a series of substantial budgetary cuts in an effort to restart its economy by slowing the government's deficit spending. The Archbishop of Canterbury is warning the nation, and specifically the Prime Minister that balancing the budget by reducing services to the needy is "not fair" and probably (to use an American expression) half-cocked.

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Living, and dying, by the culture

The Crystal Cathedral, home at one time to the "Be Happy Attitudes" has fallen into receivership. Apparently the ministry which was once such an influential voice in connecting the best of modern therapy with the teachings of New Testament, isn't speaking to people any more.

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2009 Episcopal Church statistics now online

The Office of Public Affairs of the Episcopal Church has sent notice that the 2009 parochial report statistics have been posted. "The report shows 2,175,616 baptized members of The Episcopal Church for 2009, with an Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) of 724,789."

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Begun the Christmas war has

Every year we've come to count on someone arguing that the secular world is taking Christ out of Christmas - and calling on true Christians to stand up *this* year. But this year something else is happening. Atheists are actually reaching out to Humanists by targeting Christians (and Muslims) with the hope that people will turn away from aggressive religious messages and to a more mellow sort of spirituality.

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Laity drive Finnish Lutherans to recognize same-sex marriages

A month or so ago a leader of the Christian Democratic Party in Finland created a controversy by speaking out against the possibility of the Finnish Lutheran Church allowing for gay marriages to be blessed. The result was a wave a resignations of church memberships - at its peak reaching "hundreds an hour".

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Sudan is the church's focus as vote on partition draws near

As part of the 2005 Peace agreement signed by Sudanese in the northern and southern parts of country, a binding vote on partition will be taken in early January that could split the country into two parts, its Muslim dominated north and its Christian dominated south. Many observers expect violence to breakout again no matter which way the vote goes.

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Bishop Sisk calls for co-adjutor in NY, Bishop Roscam to retire

The Diocese of New York is just finishing up its 234th Diocesan Convention. Bishop Sisk has called for the election of a bishop co-adjutor in the Fall of 2011 in preparation for his retirement (the date of which was not specified). Bishop Roskam announced that she will be retiring as of the beginning of 2012.

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Saturday Collection 11/13/2010

Episcopal congregations have been busy this week and there are a few interesting stories in particular to highlight: A new interdenominational thrift store with "treats", a cathedral recreating green-space in the downtown and a parish that now has its own eponymous brew.

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Hauerwas on being a Christian college student

Stanley Hauerwas has some advice for young college students, in particular ones that are interested in combining their Christian faith with their planned vocations. He's written an open letter to students and given wide ranging advice, some of it as a professor, some of it as a theologian, and all of it within the context of a person who takes faith seriously speaking to another who hopes to.

Here's just a taste:

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Boning up on casting out: Catholic priests learn exorcism

Roman Catholic bishops hosted an event ending yesterday that taught priests how to perform exorcisms. It's been reported that 56 bishops and 66 priests attended.

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Can attachment theory explain your relationship with the divine?

The authors of the new book God Attachment: Why You Believe, Act, and Feel the Way You Do About God think the (re)emerging field of attachment theory can help us better understand our expectations about a relationship with God.

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50 Church of England clergy to join Ordinariate

From Friday's Telegraph:

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Random links - Religiously-themed video game edition

... The September rollout of a web-based game called The Bible Online prompted some very pertinent questions (among other things, about the nature of scriptural revelation and patriarchy) from Rachel Wagner. (Warning: You lose faith points when your character sleeps. Really.)

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Man dressed like Jesus kicked out of church - again

Read below, hold your breath, and click on this video link to see whether it was an Episcopal congregation.

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'Learn what we are not': Western Louisiana hosts Covenant presentation

Cheryl H. White, canon theologian for the Diocese of Western Louisiana, gave a three-part presentation titled "Towards an Anglican Covenant" in September. The pro-Covenant presentation is now available online through the web site of St. Paul's in Shreveport.

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Further adventures in Anglican self-trivialization

We have been covering the various maneuverings ahead of the January meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

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Uruguay votes to leave Southern Cone

From Anglican Communion News Service:

One week after a proposal to allow dioceses to individually permit women's ordination to the priesthood was turned down by the Tenth Synod of the Province of the Southern Cone, the Diocese of Uruguay has voted to seek another jurisdiction with which to share its ministry.

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Will the covenant kill or cure?

The Guardian has begun a weeklong series of essays on the proposed Anglican Covenant.

The question is posed as follows:

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The IRD is not such a big deal

The American conservative movement treats the IRD like the bladder on a set of bagpipes, pumping air into it when certain notes must be hit, leaving it more or less empty the rest of the time. At the moment, it serves no real purpose,

The Diocese of New York on Saturday passed a resolution at its annual convention that

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...and rise in glory

Frank Turner, University Librarian at Yale and author of a recently published biography of John Henry Newman died suddenly last week. Turner, contributed the essay "The imagined community of the Anglican Communion" to the Cafe last September. His widow, the Rev. Ellen Tillotson, is rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington, Connecticut.

After Christendom

This week's missive from the Alban Institute is by Peter Steinke. He writes:

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BC Court rules dissidents can't keep property

The National Post reports

Dissident Anglican churches have been told by the highest court in British Columbia that they have no right to hang onto buildings and land they claimed in a long-running dispute over same-sex blessings and ordered to return the property to the Anglican Church of Canada.

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ACO reacts to Covenant criticism

The Anglican Communion Office (ACO) has issued a rebuttal today suggesting that all the worry about the covenant means people are not really reading it. This seems to indicate that the proposed Covenant is in for some heavy debate at next week's Church of England General Synod:

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What will the Anglican Covenant do to the Church?

UPDATED: See below

Modern Church has mailed the following to every General Synod member. This and other articles critical of the proposed Anglican Covenant in main stream news, web sites and blogs are the reasons behind the ACO press release admonishing people to "read" the covenant.

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The Covenant: by the numbers

The current push for an Anglican Covenant has involved over a 66% increase in travel expenditures by Anglican Communion bureaucrats. How much more will be spent on this centralizing, punitive contract before those who are paying the majority of the funds for the Anglican Communion will be in the "second tier?"

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Transgender Awareness Week

November 14-20 is Transgender Awareness Week leading up to the annual Day of Remembrance for those who have been victims of violence as transpeople.

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Illuminating York

And for your edifice illumination from York Minster

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Analyzing a defense of the covenant

Jonathan Clatworthy, writing on the "No Anglican Covenant" blog, analyzes the defense of the Anglican Covenant by Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity Faith and Order The Anglican Communion Office (ACO).

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Unemployed? How to keep the Sabbath?

How does one honor the Sabbath when you're out of work? How might we read the text, and live it out, considering that we might be reading it from a cultural or economically-biased perspective. Miguel De La Torre, writing in EthicsDaily.com asks, how we might "Honor the Sabbath when you're out of work?"

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RC Bishops choose new leader

In a surprise vote, affected by bloggers and "campaign" calls to other bishops, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops have broken with tradition as they elected a new leader. NPR reported the story this morning:

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Jericho Road plants trees today

Fullscreen%20capture%2011172010%20104728%20AM.bmp.jpgJericho Road, Episcopal Housing initiative in New Orleans is planting the trees given by Edy's Fruit Bars and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.

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ABC says women priests are not stumbling blocks

Archbishop Rowan Williams is in Rome and said today that women priests should not be a stumbling block for the building of ties between the Roman Catholic church and the Anglican Communion. One wonders if he thinks that the Roman Catholic leadership agrees with his assertion. Stay tuned.

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A deeper look into the proposed Anglican Covenant

Lionel Deimel offers A Deeper Look into the Covenant in his blog entry If it looks like a duck... and while you are there scroll over the duck. Deimel offers a point by point examination of the entire document with charts of the relationships of the various so-called Instruments of Unity and how an issue would be handled if the Covenant is passed. (see below):

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Nuestra Vision: Latino/Hispanic congregations encouraged

Episcopal Life Online reports on the Episcopal Church's commitment to Latino/Hispanic ministry:

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The gospel according to Harry Potter

Episcopal Café newsteam member, the Rev. Torey LIghtcap, is making his own news in Sioux City, IA. According to the Sioux City Journal:

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Thou shalt not use Facebook

New Jersey pastor has ordered couples in his church to delete their Facebook accounts according to CBS Philly:

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Covenant roundup

Rounding up the news and essays on the Anglican Covenant. Next week General Synod will vote on the Covenant. If it does not pass that is the end of it. If it does pass it will go to the dioceses of the Church of England and back to General Synod. General Convention, meeting in Indianapolis, IN USA, will take up the Covenant in 2012.

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Seize the Day! Christmas that is

The Rev. Dr. Gary Nicolosi, writing in the Anglican Journal, offers his ideas about Christmas as an evangelistic opportunity. Below are his suggestions:

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Primates meeting not in doubt but it may be different

Thinking Anglicans reports that the meeting will not be cancelled but that instead might be preceeded by small group meetings of "like-minded" bishops with the hope that these will set the stage for a larger meeting of all the Primates.

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Ordinariate details revealed

Roman Catholic Bishops in England announced today the details of how the so-called "Apostolic Ordinariate" will be set up to receive clergy and groups of laity who leave the Church of England.

The basic process is this:

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Uganda to revive anti-homosexuality bill soon

Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin reports that the Parliament in Uganda is getting ready to debate the bill that would make homosexuality a death-penalty offense in some circumstances.

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Sac fly in SJ, runners in scoring position. FW pleased

The Fresno Bee reports on the latest inning in the court battle between the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and the breakaway group led by former Bishop Schofield. While the justices sent the case back to trial, they also established some non-debatable "ecclesiastical facts" that must guide the decision.

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Episcopalian elected to lead World Student Christian Federation

Ekklesia reports that Christine Housel, an Episcopalian, has been elected the new General Secretary of the World Student Christian Federation, a global grouping of student groups that promotes dialogue, ecumenism, social justice and peace.

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"New" NIV retreats to "old" language

USA Today reports that the Committee on Bible Translation, which translated the New International Version of the Bible, admitted that the revision released in 2002, call "Today's New International Version," was a mistake.

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Rethinking the prosperity gospel?

With all the news and commentary this week about the Anglican Covenant or the Ordinariate, it's probably worth reminding ourselves that the bigger conflicts within Christendom have little to do with Historic Episcopate or human sexuality. It has to do with the loss of members of the Anglican churches in the third world to the preachers focusing on what is called the "Prosperity Gospel". (Details of the situation can be found here.)

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Gene Robinson regrets Rowan Williams' decisions

Gene Robinson, in an article that the Daily Mail (in a manner typical for them) headlines "Archbishop of Canterbury has been 'abducted by aliens' says bishop in battle over gay clergy" shares his regret over the path the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided to follow in an attempt to hold the Communion together.

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Pope: condoms acceptable in "certain cases"

The Sydney Morning Herald writes about a series of interviews with Pope Benedict XVI including one where he says that condom use might be acceptable 'in certain cases', notably to reduce risk of HIV infection.

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Saturday Collection 11/20/2010

This week's collection of parish news around the Episcopal Church has a congregation partnering with local business to renovate a homeless shelter, a parish celebrating three hundred years of ministry to a community and youth sleeping outside in the middle of the city in solidarity.

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Franklin elected bishop of Western New York

The Rev. Dr. R. William Franklin, senior associate priest at St. Mark's Church, Philadelphia, PA, in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania was elected the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Western New York late this afternoon on the 7th ballot according the diocese's website.

Voting and ballot totals can be found here.

Bishop-elect Franklin's biography is posted here.

Protestants misunderstand ecumenism according to new RC ecumenism leader

Much of modern ecumenical engagement among protestant denominations has focused mutual recognition and cooperation between denominations without an expectation of full merger. That's certainly the basic view of the Episcopal Church's agreement with the Lutheran and Moravian churches. But according to the newly appointed head of Ecumenism for the Roman Catholic Church, that's a mistake. We should not look for cooperation. We should insist on unity only and not settle for cooperation.

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Christ the King of what, precisely?

Watch out for the tautological landmines, but David Adams offers a painful and incisive indictment: Jesus would not have been a Christian. No way, no how.

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Checkered past for Facebook-flaming pastor

No shock here to learn that the pastor who encouraged his flock to close down their Facebook accounts on the grounds that it leads to infidelity has been seen to have had a similarly themed past in the form of a sexual relationship that took place between himself and a church assistant and sometimes included the pastor's wife.

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Authoritative text of Benedict XVI interview on contraception

From outside the bright lights and headlines, here is the broader context for Pope Benedict XVI's remarks about condoms, gleaned from the blog of Pia de Solenni, reporting from pages 117-119 of Peter Seewald's book Light of the World: The Pope, The Church, and The Signs Of The Times.

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Covenant quote-along featuring Ruth Gledhill

BBC Radio 4's "Sunday" sees Edward Stourton asking Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill about the Anglican Covenant - if it's primarily about discipline or something else. She responds,

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Sunday Social Hour

This is more of a potluck than a social hour, this week, being a bit later in the day and around dinnertime for the easterners afoot. If you noticed bad links in any of the Facebook stories this week, it had to do with our updating links as news changed over the course of the day.

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Pop culture talks to the Bible; the Bible talks back; we listen in

Here's the majority of the table of contents for The Bible in/and Popular Culture: A Creative Encounter, Philip Culbertson and Elaine M. Wainwright, editors. The book was published last month by the Society of Biblical Literature.

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Covenant central

This is the first of at least two posts regarding the Anglican Covenant today. The Church of England's General Synod takes up that misguided and dangerous document tomorrow. Here is some of what people are saying:

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The Anglican Covenant: a tool for the strong to oppress the weak

So many points have been made against the proposed Anglican Covenant, which will be voted on this week by the Church of England’s General Synod, that one risks redundancy in expressing one’s own reservations. Mine have to do primarily with how the covenant would operate if approved. It is a dangerous document which takes John Adams’ famous formulation—“a government of laws and not of men”—and stands it on its head. The covenant is a document that sets forth a system for adjudicating disputes based on criteria that are almost entirely subjective and ad hoc.

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The pope is not coming to the Tea Party

The American right endeavors from time to time to portray the sitting pope as a supporter of its agenda. The slight of hand involved goes something like this. The pope opposes abortion and gay marriage. Republicans oppose abortion and gay marriage.Therefore the pope is a Republican.

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Arson, but not targeted arson

Episcopal News Service reports that the fire which destroyed the offices of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California and an adjacent food bank was deliberately set:

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God won't let us get too hot

From Talking Points Memo:

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) is running to be the head of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has a key role in climate policy. And he created a stir a couple weeks ago after he reiterated his belief that global warming is not a problem because God has promised he wouldn't destroy the Earth again after Noah's flood.

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Queen opens General Synod

The Church of England will begin its General Synod today (Tuesday). #synod is the hashtag for Twitter for those who want to follow along. The Queen will conduct the opening session festivities. According to General Synod blog

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ABC defends Covenant, warns of consequences

The Archbishop of Canterbury's opening speech to the Church of England General Synod defends the Anglican Covenant.

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Pope: condoms can be used to prevent HIV/AIDS

AP reports that the Pope has expanded his remarks on the use of condoms to include any protection from HIV/AIDS, including married heterosexuals even though that would act as birth control also:

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Hounding homosexuals in Uganda

The Anglican Church in Uganda, awash in money donated by the American right has yet to speak out against the peresecution of LGBT Ugandans. Archbishop Henry Orombi and his allies advance what they believe is a faith rooted in Scripture. But nothing in Scripture justifies the sort of treatment described in this story from Religion Dispatches.

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Bishop who flamed the Royal Family suspended

In the past week Bishop Pete Broadbent, Willesden, has made offensive statements about the royal family and the engagement of the Prince and his fiance. According to Church Times: "The [opening of General Synod by the Queen] ... was somewhat overshadowed by a statement from the Bishop of London regarding the Bishop of Willesden:"

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African bishops to continue Indaba conversations

According to the Anglican Communion News Service African bishops from Ghanan, Kenya and South Africa are committed to continuing the Indaba project which gives them "excitement and hope for the future of the Communion." They recommend covenant relationships like those existing in partnerships between dioceses:

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Presiding Bishop's Advent Message

Advent and prayer:

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General Synod sends Covenant to dioceses for approval

Updated. The General Synod voted in favor of debating the Covenant - next step is most likely to debate in dioceses and then back to the next Synod for final vote. However, follow along with Thinking Anglicans as the process continues (and changes, perhaps).

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What were the pilgrims really like?

Nathaniel Hawthorne bears much of the responsibility (blame?) for the portrait of the early Pilgrims, but his portrait was largely unfair and inaccurate says David Hall in the New York Times.

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Covenant news roundup

The newsfeeds, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter were all buzzing with news about the vote in the Church of England's General Synod on the Anglican Covenant. Here is a Anglican Covenant News Roundup for your reading pleasure:

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Ideas from Seth Godin

Some ideas on ideas from Seth Godin:

Where do ideas come from?
From Seth Godin's blog

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Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation - October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the everwatchful providence of almighty God.

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Giving thanks in hard times

Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.—Psalm 126

When Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first national observance of Thanksgiving in 1863, our country was torn by war, threatened by foreign powers and struggling with “needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry.”

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Dean Colin Slee

A hero of progressives everywhere, unafraid to speak the truth as he saw it and a pastoral presence in the Church, the Very Revd. Colin Slee, Dean of the Southwark Cathedral, UK, has died.

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Giving thanks is good for you

From the pages of the Wall Street Journal:

In an upcoming paper in the Journal of Happiness Studies, Dr. Froh and colleagues surveyed 1,035 high-school students and found that the most grateful had more friends and higher GPAs, while the most materialistic had lower grades, higher levels of envy and less satisfaction with life. "One of the best cures for materialism is to make somebody grateful for what they have," says Dr. Froh.

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Selections from the 3rd Annual EC Thanksgiving Haiku Fest

+++

The spirit diets,
But the flesh loves a party.
More gravy, please. Thanks.

Susan Elliot
Washington, D.C.

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Wrong scientific beliefs that were held for long periods

Richard Thaler is writing a new book and sought the help of Edge contributors:

I am doing research for a new book and would hope to elicit informed responses to the following question: The flat earth and geocentric world are examples of wrong scientific beliefs that were held for long periods. Can you name your favorite example and for extra credit why it was believed to be true?

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A pie in the face for Rowan? Or an opportunity?

The General Synod sent the Covenant out to the dioceses of the Church of England to debate. This was supposed to be Rowan's last gasp but timing of the GAFCON statement --right after the vote -- was a pie in the face for him and the whole idea. It appears that the very people for whom he spent all his spiritual capital have left him holding the bag.

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A champion by any measure

A 14-year-old student at St. Michael's Episcopal School, Richmond, VA is spending his Thanksgiving in Portamao, Portugal, representing the USA in the World Roller Skating Championships.

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CHEFS serves the homeless

San Francisco loves food. There’s roughly one restaurant for every 234 San Franciscans. (In New York, the ratio is one to 440). With every type of cuisine imaginable, from Pan Asian to fine-dining vegan, it’s safe to say San Francisco is a foodie Mecca. CHEFS is a ministry of Episcopal Community Services Center that trains the homeless to work as chefs in the San Francisco area.

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Nevada's 25th interfaith thanksgiving worship

Trinity Episcopal Church in Reno, Nevada hosted the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service on November 24.

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Anglican ritual meets adolescent verve

The Washington Post reports on a wonderful mix of Anglican rite and adolescent verve that is the Whitechapel Guild, the group of change ringers at the all-girls National Cathedral School.

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More Anglican primates indicate they will not attend Dublin meeting

It appears that there are now ten primates (just about a quarter of the total number) who have indicated that they will not attend the scheduled regular meeting of the Anglican Primates (one of the "Instruments of Unity" listed in the Windsor Report).

The Church Times has the list with some new names, in particular the Primate of the Southern Cone and the Primate of Rwanda.

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16 days of activism against gender violence

This week begins the internationally observed program of activism against gender violence. The Episcopal Church Women (ECW), the Episcopal Women's Caucus (EWC) and the Anglican Women's Empowerment (AWE) are all partners in this effort.

Elizabeth Kaeton writes of the program:

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Saturday Collection 11/27/2010

This week's news from parish ministries around the Episcopal Church has rightly focused on the ways congregations are responding to community need especially during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. And there are just too many of those to mention, so on behalf of the Episcopal Café staff, consider yourselves all lauded by us.

But of course there's more going on:

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Crystal Cathedral, take two?

We've reported earlier on the financial difficulties that the Crystal Cathedral has been experiencing. What's not been reported until now is that there are actually two churches that see themselves as preserving Robert Schuller's legacy; the original church that Robert founded and a new expression that has Robert's grandson Bobby as the driving force.

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Missing the point, Advent style

Now on offer at Harrods of London, with design assistance from Porsche:

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A few Advent resources to last the season

Here are some Advent-length resources that have come into view the past few days. Add yours at the bottom of this story, or investigate what's already there and add your thoughts.

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Singing 'Hallelujah' in the mall: unlikely, yet sensible

Witnessing flash mobs has become a bit of a thing lately, hasn't it? Nonparticipants smile, nod, take photographs or video with their phones. Often they sport looks of stupefaction. They stop and watch because they feel they must, whatever the quality of talent on display.

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'Outrage, great sadness': Clergy attempt to preempt a visit from Westboro

The Rev. Deacon Lorraine Mills-Curran, attached to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Framingham, Mass., and a member of The Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, is one of 15 signers on a letter hoping to preempt activities designed to stir up hate.

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Covenant/Synod/GAFCON voting shell game continues

BBC Radio's "Sunday" program this week offered an extensive hashing-out of the Anglican Covenant by a number of individuals.

Thinking Anglicans has it:

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On display: Dürer's Adam and Eve, Babylonian mathematics

In Madrid's Prado museum, one can now see newly restored masterworks of two paintings - one of Adam, one of Eve - made by Albrecht Dürer in 1507.

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Religious people give more generously than secularists. Why?

Susan Jacoby, who counts herself a secularist, has written an incisive essay on charitable giving at Big Questions Online.

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On not hearting the Advent Conspiracy

What is the opposite of a guilty pleasure? I feel as though I should admire the Advent Conspiracy, but my appreciation is highly qualified. If you haven’t heard of the Advent Conspiracy, it is an extremely well-intentioned, not to mention net savvy attempt to get Christians to: worship fully, give more, spend less and love all. Seems as though it should be right up a lefty Christian’s alley, no?

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Bishop of Lincoln: Covenant process okay, if it never ends

Bishop John Saxbee of Lincoln said some very sensible things during the debate on the Anglican Covenant in the Church of England's General Synod, and thanks to the Rev. Lesley Fellows, we can share them with you:

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Cuba has a new bishop

The Miami Herald reports:

The Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio was installed Bishop of the Episcopal (Anglican) Church in Cuba at a ceremony Sunday at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Havana's Vedado district.

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Jesus was a shutdown corner

The Atlanta Journal Constitution
brings us our latest installment in Adventures in Bad Theology. Wide receiver Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills dropped what would have been the winning touchdown pass in his team's overtime loss on Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He blamed God.

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Harry Potter and the use/abuse of power

The release of the latest Harry Potter film has evoked reflections on power - the power of individuals and the power of story to change the world.

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De-evangelization: General Synod and the Covenant

If the just completed General Synod of the Church of England had not been so pathetic one would have to laugh. Accusations of who is being the most xenophobic flew, scaremongering by the usually thoughtful Archbishop of Canterbury, whose allies, in turn, called those who asked for a thoughtful debate outrageous names and then, just as the vote was being taken in the Synod, GAFCON lobbed a pie into the face of the Communion. The whole drama seems to be yet another plea for irrelevance and and an act of de-evangelization.

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St. Andrew's Day

Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes with scenes from Scotland.

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The UN, the Bible, the Church, 16 Days against gender violence

16_days_logo.gifPrayer for December 1, 2010 - Day
December 1, 2010 - Day 7 of the 16 Days Against Gender Violence.

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World AIDS Day message from the Archbishop of Canterbury

From the Archbishop of Canterbury website:

Archbishop's video message for World AIDS Day 2010
Tuesday 30 November 2010
In his message for 2010 World AIDS Day, the Archbishop of Canterbury celebrates the good news that can be found in examples of local responses to HIV and the impact of global action reflected in the latest statistics.

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