Bomb attack on church in Egypt leaves 17 dead

Following a New Year's Eve service at a Coptic Church in Alexandria Egypt an bomb (apparently a car bomb) exploded outside the church. Latest reports list 21 people as killed in the attack.

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Resolutions for 2011?

Kathleen Parker lists her resolutions for the coming year, but instead of listing ones specifically for 2011, she lists her timeless ones. She calls it a sort of "Eat, Pray, Love 2.0".

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Haiti, almost a year after

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and the location of the largest Episcopal diocese was devastated by an earthquake on Jan 12, 2010. For the past year resources and mission workers have been involved in helping the people who live there recover their lives.

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Some archbishops' Christmas sermons

Here, on the Second Sunday of Christmas, are excerpts from three Christmas sermons.

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'King's Speech' and the 'radical loneliness' of the stutterer

Charles McNulty is an LA Times theater critic, as well as a stutterer who has been to see "The King's Speech" (trailer, reviews, and IMDB record). He confesses:

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Sunday Social Hour

This week for Social Hour, we're wondering what you're wishing for, and you'd like to see more of (or less of) in the coming year. And from Facebook, we got...

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'Being' in the wild

American Public Media's 'Being' goes into the uncharted with wilderness chaplain and author Kate Braestrup:

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Just what kind of animal is this Anglican Communion?

So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

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Cutié's new book is critical of Catholic Church

The Miami Herald reports:

In a controversial book being released Tuesday, Roman Catholic-turned-Episcopal priest Alberto Cutié lashes out against his former church, calling it "misogynistic," ‘‘disconnected'' and an "institution that continues to promote old ideas."

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Class decides whether professor will donate a kidney

From National Public Radio:

Most college students write papers and read academic journals as class assignments. But how often does 5 percent of a final grade depend on deciding the fate of the professor's internal organs?

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Assorted updates from abroad

New developments in three stories we have been following:

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A visual poem from Radiolab

Andrew Sulllivan named this wonderful video from Radiolab and NPR as his "mental health break" of the year. What makes is so beautiful and so haunting?

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In Orthodox churches, Christmas means pierogies

This story isn't especially newsworthy, but you can't pass up an opportunity to use the word pierogies in a headline.

Analyzing religion in America, 2010 edition

We've seen a veritable cornucopia of "top 10 lists" over the past weeks (including ours here on the Café). But there's not been much analysis of what the lists tell us about religion in America. There's been even less discussion of what we can learn by looking at which group puts which story in the top 10.

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The ethical issues surrounding the Mississippi sisters

Two sisters, convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life imprisonment are at the center of controversy now that Governor Haley Barbour decided to suspend their sentence contingent on one sister giving the other sister a kidney in transplant.

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Springfield, Western Kansas consent processes successful

The Office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has notified two dioceses that their respective bishops-elect have received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process. Those informed:

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The time to change the way Vestries work has come

This month's Vestry Papers has been posted online. If you're not familiar with the Vestry Papers, and you have any role in the leadership of a parish or mission, you should be. They've been around for years and have provided a huge resource for vestry members who are learning about their ministry within the congregation.

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The GOE is dead; Long live the GOE?

This being the first full week of the new year, Episcopal Church senior seminarians are hunkering down to take the GOEs. Don't know what this means? Well, the GOEs are the General Ordination Exams which have been administered each year since 1972 by the by the General Board of Examining Chaplains to those who are in the ordination process for the priesthood.

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Is 12th Night tonight or tomorrow?

Ever been confused about when we should celebrate 12th Night, and how to count the 12 days of Christmas? Maggie Dawn reflects on this question today, the 12th Day of Christmas.

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Seven resolutions for clergy

Ron Crawford offers up his advice for New Year's Resolutions for Ministers. What are yours?

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ABC on 400 years of the King James Version

What are you doing to celebrate the King James Version's 400th birthday? The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams reflected on this event in his New Year's Message:

Planting trees in NO to honor Katrina worker

In memory of Katrina aid worker, friends and family of Matt Sloan are planting trees in New Orleans:

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Fr. Cutié writes book, and raises eyebrows

Padre Alberto Cutié releases a book and reflects on the Roman Catholic church, falling in love, and his own journey of faith.

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John Paul II to be beatified in 2011?

The late Pope John Paul II to move one step closer to becoming a saint, according to a story in the National Catholic Reporter. John Paul II will likely be beatified in late 2011, paving the way towards recognition as a saint sometime soon.

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Anger at God is common ...

... even among atheists.

In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers. A separate study also found this pattern among bereaved individuals. This phenomenon is something Exline [lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University psychologist] and colleagues will explore more in future research, which is open to more participants.

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What makes for a great seminary president?

In a search for a seminary president? It's a turbulent time for theological seminaries and many of them are in the search process for new leadership. A new study says look past the resume:

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Most commented posts by month

Last week we gave you the most viewed posts of the year 2010 on the Cafe.

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And he shall reign

The Hallelujah Chorus via Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat 5th Grade – Quinhagak, Alaska

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The Christmas rush

Cindi Scoppe in The State:

On the third day of Christmas, I awoke to the sound of a “Morning Edition” host ridiculing the grocery stores that were still — still — playing Christmas music.

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House `radicalization’ hearings worry U.S. Muslims

Rep. Peter King, the new GOP chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, plans to hold hearings on what he calls radicalization in the Muslim community. RNS has a report:

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Episcopalians overrepresented in Congress

According to a Pew Forum survey, Anglicans/Episcopalians are the most overrepresented denomination in the 112th Congress: They hold 7.7% of the seats yet are 1.5% of the adult population. No other Christian denomination is close in terms of over representation although Presbyterians are also heavily over represented.

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NIgerian bishop pleads with boycotting Primates

Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon is the Bishop of Kaduna, in the Church of Nigeria has written to the Primates of the Anglican Communion urging them to attend the Primates Meeting, which will be held in Dublin from January 25th through the 31st.

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Army walks into a spiritual minefield

The Army is under fire for attempting to promote and assess the emotional and psychological resilience of soldiers who experience repeated traumas and extended deployments. Their goal is to deal with sky-rocketing rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. They have run into trouble in trying to assess and describe the "spiritual" aspects of emotional resilience.

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Bishop Lee on the roots of strife in Sudan

Bishop Jeffrey Lee of Chicago says that the roots of the strife in Sudan are political, not religious.

Writing in the Chicago Tribune, he says:

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Longtime Truro cleric fired

The Washington Post reports on the sad news that the Rev. Marshall Brown, a longtime associate rector at Truro Church, and part of the clergy team that led the parish out of the Episcopal Church and into CANA, was sacked and that Brown is being investigated for habitually viewing pornographic material on his office computer.

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Egyptian Muslim leaders asked Muslims to go to church

Updated. In the aftermath of recent attacks by militant Muslim groups against Coptic Churches in Egypt, Egyptian Muslim clerics and intellectuals have called on ordinary Muslims to stand outside Christian Churches during their Christmas celebrations both as an act of solidarity and to function as "human shields" against further violence.

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Retired Episcopal priest indicted on child sex abuse charges

Sad news from Maryland earlier this week

"The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland issued a statement Wednesday saying the Rev. Donald Belcher, who now lives in Yaak, Montana, had been indicted by a Maryland grand jury on child sexual abuse charges.

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Episcopalians praying for their friends in Sudan

People across the United States are holding the citizens of Sudan in prayer this weekend. For many Episcopalians, the vote on partition tomorrow isn't just a news story, it's a matter of personal concern because of their friendship with many Sudanese.

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Seamen's Church Institute featured

The Seamen's Church Institute is one of oldest and most storied para-church ministries in the Episcopal Church. If you've ever done ministry in port city, you're probably familiar with the American church's version of the Mission to Seafarers (the U.K. ministry).

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Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Shot By Gunman

Update - A spokesperson has denied she has died and says she was shot in the head at close range and is in surgery.

A grim day for America.

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Interfaith group stands up to protect the desert.

Members of the newly formed interfaith group in California called Desert Stewardship Project have taken on a mission to protect the most fragile ecosystem in their state.

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Responding to Tucson shooting with a prophetic voice

Diana Butler Bass has written her first blog since the death of her mother last year. Butler Bass, an Arizona native, is challenging those of us who preach to go beyond the simple bromides that are the common fare shared the morning after a national tragedy.

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Religious Leaders who tweet

Between Facebook, Twitter, Flikr, and others, religious leaders are trying to find how to use social media to share their message and to engage with their communities.

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No more intolerance, or lots more?

Considering yesterday's events in Tuscon, Matt Bai writes:

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Sunday Social Hour

This week on Facebook, we asked if you have any end-of-holiday or Epiphany traditions of note. Several responses were around the wise men.

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In Church of England's reference of Anglican Covenant, questions abound

Following on voting from General Synod in November, the Church of England this past week referred the proposed Anglican Covenant to its Diocesan Synods.

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Why she's not going to church anymore

A victim of abuse who was mistreated within a religious setting as a young adult, Elizabeth Esther fesses up: she's tried church as an adult, and the healing just isn't there.

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Just one more 'best of' list

A list recapping anything from 2010 may seem so outré on January 9th, but ... last one, we promise, and a goodie. Baylor English prof and Episcopal lay preacher Greg Garrett has abstracted seven popular-culture properties from 2010 that made a real difference in the world of publicly lived theology.

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Preaching toward Tuscon and observing silence

Updated: President Obama has asked the nation "to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives."

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The end of American exceptionalism?

The editors of The Christian Century have written perceptively about American exceptionalism:

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A special relationship: TEC and the Episcopal Church of Sudan

If you visit the Cafe often, you will have noticed that the Episcopal Church is deeply involved in working toward a peaceful conclusion to the referendum now underway in Sudan. The most recent manifestation of this relationship comes from the Diocese of Chicago, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

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The morality of income inequality

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman writes:

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Gun control, and why it won't happen

Bishop John Bryson Chane has written an op-ed for the On Faith section of The Washington Post's web site imploring our national leaders to get serious about public safety and begin restricting access to fire arms:

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Gay marriage: inevitable, logical and right

Stephanie Coontz, writing in the Washington Post suggests that opponents of gay marriage should calm down a bit. Their fears for the institution will not be realized.

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Flooding in Australia

Pray for safety of those in the path of the flooding in Australia. The Courier Mail reports:

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Penciling in the Holy Spirit?

Sarah Drummond writing for Alban Institute wonders if planning can leave room for the Spirit:

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Theology and sexual abuse

Mary Condren, writes in the Irish Times on how theology can support sexual abuse.

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Dallas cathedral meets the challenge of change

From The Dallas Morning News:

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Sins absolved with iPhone app

Religion Dispatches reports on a new iPhone app offers absolution of sins:

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What can we learn from tragedy?

Jon Stewart on learning from tragedy:

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PB pledges continued help for Haiti

Haiti Earthquake 1 year later: The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, pledges continued support and care for those affected by the Haitian Earthquake one year ago:

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Alabama Episcopal Church continues to serve in Haiti

Haiti Earthquake 1 year later: On the 1 year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the work of rebuilding continues. The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama sent six medical mission teams to Haiti during 2010 along with relief funds and supplies. The effort is part of Alabama's five year relationship with the Diocese of Haiti:

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Bishops reflect on Haiti - One year later

Bishops of The Episcopal Church offer pastoral letters this week as Haiti marks one year since the devastating earthquake there:

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Keeping Sudan in our prayers

Friends and allies of those in Sudan are keeping a close watch on the Sudanese independence vote this week; and keeping them in prayer as well:

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Responding to the flooding in Queensland

In response to the flooding in Queensland, Australia, Friday will be a world day of prayer for those affected by this disaster.

From Twitter.com

Friday will be a world day of prayer for Queensland please join us all over the globe! #worldprayerforqueensland

Haiti: Is recovery possible?

Haiti Earthquake 1 year later: This article in the AnglicanJournal.com points out the continuing struggles for recovery, and the vast challenges ahead as the nation of Haiti works to rebuild and care for its people.

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Obama speaks at Tucson Memorial Service

President Obama spoke on Wednesday night in Tucson. "Together we thrive; Tucson and America."

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Floods in Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka devastating

A flood bulletin from the Diocese of Brisbane, Australia:

ABC News has reported: Premier Anna Bligh says Queensland is facing a reconstruction effort of post-war proportions as the state battles possibly the worst natural disaster in the country's history.

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Former flying bishop fools once, twice, more?

The former flying bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, confirms he was engaged in arrangements with Rome while on the Church of England payroll.

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The young choral voice meets science

Science can now tell what it is about the voices of young choiristers that gives us goosebumps. It can tell us how they produce the sound, and how it could be artificially recreated. As to why our brains respond to that sound, that's an emotional driver that's yet to be identified reports the BBC:

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Two gay heroes thwart assassination attempts

LA Times:

Oliver Sipple was in a crowd outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco more than 35 years ago, on Sept. 22, 1975, as President Gerald Ford was leaving the hotel.

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Letter to Canterbury

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition explains its position in this letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, asks him to reconsider his support of the Covenant, and invites him into dialogue. To date, no answer has been received.

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Fort Worth hearings today

The Diocese of Fort Worth goes to court today presenting several motions for summary judgment on several important points.

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Archbishop Aspinall on the Queensland floods

The Most Rev’d Dr Phillip Aspinall, Primate of Australia, has written to the bishops about the floods sweeping the northeastern Australian state of Queensland.

Today is a day of prayer for the victims of that flooding.

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Should gays and lesbians debate scripture?

Religion Dispatches has a dialogue on whether it is possible for LGBT believers to debate other believers, particularly those who cite the seven "clobber" verses of the Bible, about scripture.

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Sudanese Episcopalians rejoice as referendum closes

People throughout southern Sudan have been "shedding tears and shouting for joy" this week as polls opened to voters in the historic Jan. 9-15 referendum that will determine a likely future of independence for the African nation.

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Nigerian bishops on the struggle
for the soul of their nation

The Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) have issued a pastoral letter addressing the state of Nigeria economy, corruption, religious and sectarian violence, and the neglected state of the nation's infrastructure and educational services.

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Religious Freedom Day

The President of the United States has proclaimed January 16, Religious Freedom Day:

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Fatal flaws in ABC's approach to reconciliation?

Savitri Hensman, writing in The Guardian, says that the Archbishop of Canterbury's approach to reconciliation fails because of a flawed approach.

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Why don't men go to church?

In the Church of England, the Diocese of Oxford wants to deal in a substantive way the decline in the percentage of men who attend church.

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Last Supper in Lint

Yes, Lint not Lent! NPR reports on a woman who created a picture of the Last Supper from dryer lint.

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Icon

Icon rocks on:

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Calls for help in Brisbane

An Anglican and Australian nonprofit has detailed the sort of assistance it thinks would be helpful in the aftermath of epic flooding in Brisbane.

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Ordinations of former bishops yet one more distraction

An unsigned editorial running in The Guardian's Observer says the Anglican bishops who were ordained yesterday as Catholic priests simply demonstrate a "Catholic church fixated on stealing a march on Anglicanism.... as if the Reformation was a recent score to be settled."

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Sunday Social Hour: Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

On Facebook this week, we asked about how people are honoring Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, whether in services or otherwise.

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Urging her to stay, Dr. King inspired 'what should be seen'

It's an unlikely story about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - unlikely only because it has to do with his interactions with mainstream media personalities. Nevertheless, it includes a wink and a nudge of his brio.

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Taking Loughner seriously

At Truthout, Steve Striffler writes that while accused Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner may have acted out of a jumble of motivations drawn from odd (or even seemingly contradictory) resources, that doesn't mean he's alone - and therefore his amalgam philosophy should be taken at least as seriously as the action it might have spurred.

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Seeing the light: Gabrielle Giffords and the season of Epiphany

Riffing on President Obama's "Gabby opened her eyes" made in reference to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Diana Butler Bass says one of the great themes of Epiphany is found in many religions. It is also, she says, one of the areas we're struggling as a country to understand.

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How would Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last Sunday sermon play today?

Martin Luther King gave his last Sunday sermon at Washington National Cathedral on March 31, 1968. Some of that sermon is reproduced below, but we urge you to read it all. Read it all and ask yourself how a man who says the kinds of things that Dr. King said would fare in the era of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

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Ancient Christian radicalism: Martin Luther King, Jr. on poverty

Albert Raboteau reminds us:

Martin Luther King Day memorials tend to celebrate King the Civil Rights leader, stressing his activism on behalf of interracial equality and reconciliation. We slight his emphasis on the link between racism and poverty and so neglect King the advocate of the poor.

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Of margins and the proposed Covenant

Peter Owen at Thinking Anglicans has this small bit of good news amidst a larger report about the next General Synod of the Church of England, which meets next month:

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Helping Brazilian Anglicans in the wake of devastating floods

Our friends in the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil write with word of how you can help them recover from recent devastating flooding:

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"A life dedicated to love"

Bishop Marc Andrus writes of recent events in Tunisia, the legacy of Martin Luther King, and the kind of love that launches movements:

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Anderson names first recipient of Medallion for Exemplary Service

On a night when it seems all but certain that southern Sudan will soon become an independent country comes this news via press release:

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The Very Right Reverend: Dean and Bishop?

The Rt. Rev. Michael Smith has proposed that he might become the Dean of the Cathedral in Fargo while remaining Bishop of North Dakota. The Bishop of Western Kansas was elected in August 2010 and remained rector of a Western Kansas church.

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Supreme Court rejects appeal of DC marriage equality law

BREAKING:
AP reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from opponents of same-sex marriage who want to overturn the District of Columbia's gay marriage law.

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Vatican warned Irish bishops not to report abuse

A 1997 letter "documents the Vatican's rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland's first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits" reports AP: <

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Giving lavishly

The Rev. Mary Koppel, writing at Dirty Sexy Ministry blog, asks "Do we know how to give lavishly?"

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Maintaining your web presence

Anglicans Online laments the loss of websites of congregations, churches, dioceses, and whole Provinces. AO also notes that links to Provinces and even the Anglican Communion are no longer working due to changes.

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New language for baptismal rites requested

Thinking Anglicans reports on the papers and resolutons to be presented at General Synod of the Church of England in February. One that is drawing attention is a report GS 1816A:

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Parenting by gays more common in South

Census Bureau demographers say new data shows that Jacksonville, Fla., is home to one of the biggest populations of gay parents in the country:

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Gen Y reject parents' style in homes; churches?

Gen Y doesn't want their parents' homes...do they want their great-grandparents' churches?

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Vatican letter a smoking gun?

Is the Vatican letter to the church in Ireland a smoking gun, or not? How shall we interpret the news from yesterday from AP that the Vatican wrote a letter to the church in Ireland?

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San Joaquin to elect next provisional bishop

Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin to Elect Next Provisional Bishop at Special Convention, from a press release from the Diocese of San Joaquin:

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Intra-Faith dialogue is hard

Paul Raushenbush reminds us that not only is Inter-Faith dialogue hard, but also Intra-Faith dialogue is hard, and perhaps harder:

Christian Civility: The Test of Intra-Faith Relations
In The Huffington Post

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Rosa Parks enshrined at National Cathedral

Rosa Parks is being enshrined in stone at the National Cathedral:

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Resistance to centralizing authority is Anglican

Over at No Anglican Covenant there's a new blog post by Ronald Stevenson, QC, the former Chancellor of the Anglican Church of Canada, entitled "Some History of Resistance to Centralizing Authority in the Anglican Communion." A sample:

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Hiltz: boycott "anything but exemplary"

The Archbishop of the Church of Canada, Fred Hiltz, lets us in on some of what the primates meeting in Dublin next week will be about.

The Anglican Journal:

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Conflating mental illness with evil

I'm filing this in our Theology category. If the Tucson shootings were evil, who is the sinner?

Melinda Henneberger, editor-in-chief of PoliticsDaily.com, calls out those who conflate mental illness with evil.

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Assorted links

1. Missing mandate from Rome.

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Russians celebrate orthodox Epiphany

Many Russians celebrated the close of orthodox Epiphany with a traditional swim in icy water:

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+Parsley celebrates Feast of St. Aelred of Rievaulx

A welcome development:

Over 100 Integrity members and friends from throughout the state of Alabama and beyond participated in Integrity Alabama's annual celebration of the Feast of St. Aelred of Rievaulx on Saturday, January 15th.The event took place at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Birmingham, AL (an Integrity Proud Parish Partner).

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GAFCON complains

The Global South Primates are blaming the Archbishop of Canterbury for their boycott of the Primates Meeting next week. They are claiming that the agenda is not transparent enough and that there won't be enough useful dialogue to make it worthwhile to spend all that money to fly to Dublin.

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PB writes to Obama

The Presiding Bishop wrote to President Obama on January 16th urging him to revive stalled middle east peace process and to not veto an upcoming UN resolution on Israeli settlements in occupied territory.

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Stories of the moral state of the union

A new poll says that three out of four Americans grade the country’s moral climate at a “C” or below. Meanwhile, Fox Sports has rejected an ad saying that "Jesus hates Obama" and another poll says that Alabamans did not like what their governor said about non-Christians not being "his brother or sister" even if they don't necessarily disagree with him.

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Theocracy not so bad to Roberta Green Ahmanson

Julie Ingersoll of Religion Dispatches looks at a recent interview in Christianity Today of Roberta Green Ahmanson, wife of Howard. Ingersoll says that most reporters do not understand the depth and importance of the theology behind Ahmanson's support of religious right causes, including his support of the undermining of the Episcopal Church over the last decade, and so miss the impact on our culture and politics.

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Breaking: Episcopal diocese of Fort Worth wins summary judgement

UPDATE: Local coverage of the ruling in Fort Worth is here.

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Diocese of Virginia and same-sex blessings

UPDATED: Resolution R-2a was passed this afternoon:

Blessings of Same-Gender Unions Adopted as amended,

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Christians in northern Sudan flock south

Reuters reports that many Christians who live in northern Sudan are flocking south in anticipation of independence there, but are also driven by fears that the north could become an Islamic state governed by Shariah law.

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Sunni scholars break off dialogue with Vatican

Reuters reports that the highest authority of Sunni Islam, the Islamic University of al-Azhar in Cairo, has frozen all dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church over what it called Pope Benedict’s repeated insults towards Islam.

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Week of Christian Unity as observed in Geneva

Christians the world over are in the midst of the annual week of prayer and intention for the whole of the Church. This year's focus is on the Church in the Middle East, with particular attention on Jerusalem.

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Situation in Pakistan becomes even more worrisome

A few ago the Governor of a Pakistani province was killed by a Pakistani muslim because he claimed the Governor had committed blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed. The assassin has become a national hero. And the already tense situation in Pakistan, especially for Christians has become even more worrisome.

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Central Gulf Coast receives member into church via Skype

Steve Bates, rector of Holy Nativity in Panama City, Florida, relates recent events at his parish involving a person who wished to be received into the church but was stationed overseas:

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She's good at this

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori sat for an interview with the Houston Chronicle during a recent visit to Texas. As usual, she acquits herself--and represents our church--well.

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In advance of Dublin, settling into positions and saying prayers

We mentioned on Friday that GAFCON Primates had complained about the construction of the agenda for the upcoming primates' meeting in Dublin, January 25-30: they said they'd not been properly consulted, that "there was hardly any timely and intentional prior consultation and collegial engagement of all concerned."

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Sunday Social Hour: Open thread, Facebook discussions

For Sunday Social Hour this week, we left the question open to what folks wanted to talk about. Our readers commend you read Derek Olsen's Communion Without Baptism on the Daily Episcopalian. The series has generated a lot of comments and you can read them here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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The Ordinariate and the spiritual desert

Jonathan Wynne-Jones' Telegraph article today has received the headline "Pope's offer was an 'insensitive takeover bid', say senior Anglicans." Even as we know that often the headline writer, copy-editor, and author of a story can be separated by cubicles or even continents, we offer the caution that the case may have been slightly overstated.

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Sacrilegious? Or just nacho cheesy?

This advertisement, in which a church reverses its declining membership and solves its budget problems by offering communion-goers Doritos and Pepsi Max, was yanked from the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest.

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The Primates are meeting in Dublin this week

Updated at bottom with a statement from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

The Primates are meeting in Dublin this week. We are going to do our best not to gin up anxiety, or endow the event with a significance it does not possess. We will let you know who shows up, and who doesn't, and what kind of news they make, if any. But we are going to try to avoid contributing to the atmosphere of crisis in which those trying to split the Anglican Communion thrive.

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Names, please

In reporting on a boycott that he helped organize, Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstrain makes a claim that I hope he can substantiate. It is dropped in a clause in the following sentence, and underlined, just so you don't miss it:

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The pope is more or less okay with Facebook

The web is atremor with news that Pope Benedict XVI has expressed qualified appreciation of social networks. The Associated Press leads its story this way:

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Family values

This is the kind of thing that happens when gays and lesbians are allowed to adopt children.

Some things we know for sure — a little boy dealt a seemingly impossible hand, the two gay men who decided to give him a home and a life, the unlikely spell cast by the only horse in Montclair.

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Will Congressional hearings fan flames of Islamaphobia?

William Wan of The Washington Post writes:

They called it a summit to teach Muslims how to fight prejudice and fear. But all day long, fear was inescapable in the fluorescent-lit meeting hall of the Long Island mosque.

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Worship for the wiggly

The Hour Online captures a new trend in the Diocese of Connecticut:

A small turnout did not dampen the spirits for the debut of "Worship for the Wiggly" on Sunday afternoon at the Episcopal Church of Christ the Healer on Brookdale Road.

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Spiritual but not religious?

Alban Institute takes up the question of being spiritual but not religious. Rather than bemoan the trend of people to leave the institutional church, Larry Peters sees it as an opportunity:

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Clergy and abstinence

The Rev. Lesley Fellows who writes at Lesley's Blog reflects on the dilemma of single clergy as raised by the Rev. Astrid Storm at Salon. Fellows writes her experience:

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Abp Anis: Primates should rule

Kendall Harmon's web site Titus 1:9 carries the transcript of Archbishop Mouneer Anis' talk at Mere Anglicanism Conference in the Diocese of South Carolina.

Some excerpts:

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Primates arrive in Dublin

Most of the Primates (heads of Provincial Churches) of the Anglican Communion have arrived in Dublin, Ireland for their meeting. Seven are not attending because the Primate of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori is attending. From Anglican Communion News Service:

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Churches respond to domestic violence: webinar

Growing Safe and Healthy Congregations and Families in the Church is a webinar series designed to increase the capacity to effectively respond to and prevent domestic and sexual violence and abuse in the life of our churches and communities.

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Alberto Cutié to have talk show on FOX

The New York Magazine reports that Episcopal priest, the Rev. Aberto Cutié, also known as 'Padre Beto', will return to television this summer.

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Court ruling may bring healing

Writing in the TimesRecordNews, Matt Ledesma offers comment that the property ruling in Ft. Worth, Texas could begin to heal the church divide and bring reconciliation:

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Rectory becomes transitional housing

Former rectory in Lebanon, PA, Diocese of Bethlehem, refitted for outreach and community service:

My Father's House brings new hope to Lebanon County
From Episcopal News Service

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Study of women clergy released

Church Pension Group releases study on the last 3+ decades of female priests, deacons and bishops:

Called to Serve Study
From CPG Press Release

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Dublin: Days 1&2

The Anglican Communion Office has released this report on the opening days of the primates' meeting in Dublin.

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IRD revises forecast for the Communion

The Institute for Religion & Democracy has lowered its expectations:

This strife within the third largest family of Christian churches worldwide will not conclude in decisive schism. Instead, liberal and conservative Anglicans will continue to realize a de-facto separation over time.

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Faith and medicine

The Washington Post's OnFaith blog has offered the question, "When faith and healing collide?" and have a variety of responses. What is your take?

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Ugandan LGBT advocate murdered

Updated

Box Turtle Bulletin:

We have learned that Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato Kisulle was murdered today at his home in Kampala. Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has confirmed that the David’s body was identified at a hospital.

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Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Press Release from the Church of Ireland
__________

The Most Revd Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori To Preach In Christ Church Cathedral
Diocesan News
Added on 27/01/2011

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The best of British journalism?

We generally hesitate to call attention to misinformation from those waving their arms for attention, particularly a journalist, but sometimes it's necessary to call BS.

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Parish, family present predominant barriers to female clergy

We called attention yesterday to the release of Called to Serve: A Study of Clergy Careers, Clergy Wellness, and Clergy Women produced by The Executive Council’s Committee on the Status of Women, The Church Pension Fund’s Office of Research, The Episcopal Church Center’s Office of Women’s Ministry and CREDO Institute, Inc.

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Updated: Clinton, Obama condemn slaying of Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato

Update: From The White House

Statement by the President on the Killing of David Kato

I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

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Dublin: Day 3 - What is a primate, and why do they meet?

ACNS has issued its second briefing from the ACO on the Dublin meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion. They discussed the similarities and differences of the primatial role across the 39 provinces of the communion. The ABC reviewed the history of the meeting of the primates.

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Marketing church to the great I am

The Salt Lake Tribune senses a trend.

"I'm a Mormon."

"Meet a Scientologist."

"I am Episcopalian."

(I am) "inspired by Mohammed."

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Church of Ireland group urges confronting Ugandan homophobia

The Irish Times:

The Church of Ireland Changing Attitude group has called on the Taoiseach [Prime Minister] and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, and international Anglican primates meeting in Dublin “to confront the problem of homophobia in Uganda”.

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ABC statement on David Kato's murder

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is currently in Dublin for the Primates' meeting, has made the following statement regarding the murder of the gay human rights activist David Kato Kisulle in Uganda:

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David Kato: Person

An editorial in Uganda's biggest daily newspaper, The Daily Monitorought to be unremarkable but stands out because it calls for protecting the rights of LGBT people in a nation whose leadership refuses to recognize that gay people are humans beings. An unpublished op-ed by David Kato shows that he was a person with a voice and a story.

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PB statement on David Kato's murder

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has released a statement from Dublin on the death of human rights activist David Kato saying “His murder deprives his people of a significant and effective voice.”

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori’s statement:

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A breath of fresh air

Theo Hobson, writing in the Guardian, says that he was just about to give up on organized religion because "all major forms of church were full of illiberal assumptions."

But when he explored other forms of church he found that most forms of alternative, post-modern were "run by the dastardly C of E!" After meeting some Christians who stayed away from Church he found that they were "too laidback to do anything, beyond meeting up for a chat."

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Anti-gay outburst marks Kato's funeral

UPDATED: see below

The BBC and Reuters are reporting that the funeral for David Kato in Nakawala, Uganda, turned chaotic after the local Anglican priest began to berate gay people and refused to bury Kato's body.

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More Kato links

More news and commentary coming out of the death of David Kato and his funeral today.

The Chicago Consultation issued this statement today from its co-convener, the Rev. Lowell Grisham:

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Assorted links

More religion miscellany:

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Primates discussing the nature of the Anglican Communion

This morning brings news that the most recent conversations among the Primates meeting in Dublin concern the question of whether there is an Anglican Church or are we "a communion of churches"? There's much more to the answer of that question than mere linguistic style.

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We are not to worship the Bible

Do we worship God or the words about God? Is the Bible the Word of God, or is that Jesus? Christians have been working out their faith between those bounds throughout the history of the Church. Matt Idom in an essay does a neat job of framing the issue, talking about how believers and non-believers often end up talking to each other at cross purposes when it comes to thinking through the role of the biblical witness in the life of the Church.

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Does the culture of the poor explain their poverty?

You don't have to agree with everything Stephen Steinberg writes to find plenty to engage with:

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Evil II

Mark Ralls writes that Christians surrender the vocabulary of evil at our peril:

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John Howe to retire as Bishop of Central Florida

During his annual address to Diocesan Convention this weekend, Bishop John W. Howe announced that he would be ending his time as bishop of Central Florida in 2012 and called for the election of a coadjutor.

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Primates today: What is the role of our meeting; best response to gender-based violence?

The Primates meeting in Dublin focused on the role of the Primates meeting, described in the Windsor Report and the Anglican Covenant as one of the Instruments of Unity; and on the issue of gender based violence and how the Anglican churches should best respond.

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Rewriting the past, and other impossibilities

In a written response to news of the murder of gay Ugandan activist David Kato, Scott Lively has issued a soggy volley in his defense. It's a weird and maddening attempt to set himself free from what he did in Kampala, which was to essentially pour gasoline all over an already incendiary matter and then hand the Ugandan people a lit match.

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Watch Kato's funeral

The Anglican Church of Uganda sent a lay reader to lead the Friday funeral of slain gay rights activist David Kato. He proceeded to launch into an anti-gay tirade. David's friends objected, and the service was concluded by ex-communicated Bishop Christopher Senyonjo.

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Prayers for Nelson Mandela

AP's Jenny Gross writes that South Africans have been in prayer for former president Nelson Mandela since he was released from hospital care earlier this week.

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In Dublin, Presiding Bishop's mitre stays on

In Dublin for the meeting of primates, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached at Christ Church Cathedral Sunday.

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In a coda for Kato, Primates conclude meeting

On their final day together, attendees to the Primates' Meeting in Dublin issued a number of statements - including one pertaining to the death of gay Ugandan activist David Kato - and wrapped up their remaining business.

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Sunday Social Hour: Candlemas vs. the Groundhog

Lent comes late this year, but it's not too early to start thinking about spring. In posting a Social Hour question about Groundhog Day, we had a reader point out that we can't really reflect on it without observing that it's also Candlemas; the two are inextricably intertwined:

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Covenant adopted in West Indies, Myanmar

From ACO:

The Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies has announced that his Province has adopted the Anglican Communion Covenant. It is the third to do so officially, the others being the Anglican Church of Mexico and The Church of the Province of Myanmar.

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Wyverns and dolphins and gargling raccoons - oh my!

The Bay Citizen has profiled the grotesques at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral:

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Chicago Consultation on Primates' condemnation of anti-gay violence

The Chicago Consultation issued this statement today from its co-convener, the Rev. Lowell Grisham:

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PB reflects, Primates expound: video from the Primates meeting

In this two minute clip, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says the Primates Meeting in Dublin was "wonderful" and "filled with grace." She said the Primates have arrived at a clear sense of how they will work together, and that she hopes the primates who boycotted this meeting will "come back to the table."

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The primates explain why the primates meet

The Primates have agreed on the reasons they meet. Here are the reasons:

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"Stealing" a better education

Elon James White at This Week in Blackness offers his take on an ethically complex, racially charged situation in Akron, Ohio.

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Leadership or authority?

Writing for the Alban Institute, Dan Hotchkiss says:

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Why Egypt's revolution differs from Iran's

At Religion Dispatches, Haroon Moghul offers four reasons why Egypt's revolution is not "Islamic." Here is #1:

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