What's the buzz at Lambeth Palace? (a spoof)

MrCatolick has a new youtube video spoofing the "goings on" at Lambeth Palace:

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What "rapture" theology tells us about ourselves

What might the recent hullabaloo about the May 21st "Rapture Theology" might tell us about ourselves:

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David Bentley Hart wins Michael Ramsey Prize

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, awarded the 2011 Michael Ramsey prize to 'Atheist Delusions' by David Bentley Hart. "The Michael Ramsey Prize is intended for theological writing which, by freshness and originality, somehow changes the theological landscape, and also serves the needs of the Church."

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Congrats to Scott Gunn

The Rev. Scott Gunn was named executive director of Forward Movement Publications. Gongrats, Scott!!

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Presidential Proclamation on LGBT Month

The President has presented a Presidential Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Month. Read an excerpt from the press release below:

Presidential Proclamation--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

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Another week, another sex abuse case in the CoE

A week ago we ran an item, Abuse spotlight turns to the CoE.

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National Cathedral receives Park Service grant

Press Release - National Cathedral
WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 31, 2011

National Cathedral Receives “Save America’s Treasures” Grant

Washington, D.C.—Washington National Cathedral has received a $700,000 grant from the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service,

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Persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe continues

Just this Sunday the New York Times was bringing its readers up to speed on the treatment of Anglicans in Zimbabwe.

Today USPG has specifics of the very latest in this on-going saga in a letter from The Rt. Rev. Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare:

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TEC bishop election process explained to UK readers

How do the C of E and TEC methods of selecting/electing compare?

Earlier in the week readers of The Times of London Article of Faith were treated to a Jim Naughton guest post giving part of the answer. As promised it is now available over at the Cafe's Daily Episcopalian blog.

Tutu: God is not Christian

Archbishop Tutu's new book is excerpted by Huffington Post. Here's an excerpt of the excerpt of God is Not Christian and Other Provocations:

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Is Kenya on the verge of a Gene Robinson moment?

Headlined, Kenya is on the verge of a 'Gene Robinson' moment, The Guardian op-ed by
Peter Anaminyi draws attention to the news that the prime minister of Kenya has nominated a pro-gay rights chief justice and deputy justice.

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Church plants that no longer bear fruit

Is one person's "stability-protecting, past-perpetuating institution" another's "inertia that is preserving our Gospel proclamation"?

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Thursday's links

From a member of the Church of England: If Nigeria et al had concentrated all their efforts on ousting Canada rather than the US would we treat those nice cuddly Canadian Anglicans the same way we’ve treated those nasty brash arrogant Amerikan Anglicans?

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ARCIC III: Undampened? A lot of hot air? Or impotent?

Question of the week at Church Times: Has the Ordinariate inflicted "ecumenical damage"? Follow the link to vote.

What should we make of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission Phase III?

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CofE and women bishops: not "if" but "when" and "how"

Thinking Anglicans has posted links to a series of articles from the Church Times, which have now peeked out from behind the paywall, called "Women Bishops: A Church Times Guide."

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Meeting real life

Scott Benhase, Bishop of Georgia, writes in Call and Response about churches and says that instead of grieving our loss of cultural influence, congregations can be places where real life is met and lived.

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Enshrining gay exclusion in CoE

The Bishops of Church of England "are seeking to enshrine gay exclusion" says the Revd. Dr. Giles Fraser writing in the Church Times and Colin Coward notes in The Guardian that there are currently at least 13 gay bishops in the CoE.

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About the churchwide health plan coming in 2013

The Episcopal Church Foundation's Vital Practices blog has a post about the denomination wide health plan that was authorized by General Convention in 2009 and is set to go into effect in 2013.

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First woman ordained to priesthood in the Middle East

The Rev. Catherine Dawkins will be ordained to the priesthood St. Christopher's Cathedral, Manama, Bahrain. Although not the first woman to serve in the Middle East, Dawkins will be the first woman ordained in the Middle East.

Gulf Weekly writes:

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UK organist has got talent

Jean Martyn, a 59 year old parish church organist at St Mary and St Chad, Brewood rocked the house on ITV's Britain's Got Talent.

The Church of England Newspaper writes:

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Fed flag fans fight

The Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond Virginia is flying a rainbow flag in observance of LGBT Pride Month as a symbol of their commitment to "the values of acceptance and inclusion". A Virginia legislator is calling for its removal arguing, in part, that it supports an act which he says is still a felony in Virginia.

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Congratulations Deputy Byron Rushing

On Monday morning, The Honorable Byron Rushing, state legislator in Massachusetts, will be receiving the "Mass History Commendation" award for his work as a historian of slavery. Many of us know Byron, an active Episcopal lay person through his long tenure as a deputy to General Convention.

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Barker elected bishop of Nebraska

The Rev. J. Scott Barker, Rector of Christ Church, Warwick, NY was elected the 11th Bishop of Nebraska today on the second ballot in a special election convention held at St. Mark's Pro-Cathedral in Hastings.

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Technology and Christian practice

It's been argued by people this week that we're moving rapidly into the realm of the cyborgs and androids, living lives that can't be managed except by using technology. From always connected pocket computers, to a global web of relations, to robotic limbs and eyes, the future is breaking upon us.

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Why do Evangelicals reject climate change?

Why is it so hard to find allies among the largest protestant religious bodies in the US to take action on global climate change? Almost every world-wide religious body agrees that something needs to be done, and soon. But American Evangelicals don't agree and their lack of political support means that American continues to spin its wheels on this issue.

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'... that God loved them precisely as they were'

Why is it that when we talk about clergy ethics, we tend to think about the kinds of behaviors in which clergy should *not* be involved, rather than the kinds of moral stands they should take?

From the Jesus in Love Blog:

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To tweet or not to tweet?

We at the Café are occasionally hard-headed about these things, and now wish to raise the specter of an unpleasant question again.

Yesterday we had yet another no-tweeting episcopal election in The Episcopal Church, and though we've heard the explanations for why dioceses wish to implement such policies, they still fail to make sense - at least to me.

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The dean will have the large, please

Ah yes, ye olde friendly wager. The Diocese of New Westminster reports:

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AIDS at 30

Today is the 30th anniversary of the first reported case of AIDS. Some resources for marking the day:

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'Feed my sheep,' then get arrested

Members of a group calling itself Orlando Food Not Bombs were recently arrested for feeding the hungry, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

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Adventures with Bishop Yellow Belly

Bishop Yellow Belly runs into Miss Young Person. Testiness ensues.

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Bad theology leads to bad art

Writing for the blog of the Image journal, Tony Woodlief says:

I’m convinced that bad art derives, like bad literary theory, from bad theology. To know God falsely is to write and paint and sculpt and cook and dance Him falsely. Perhaps it’s not poor artistic skill that yields bad Christian art, in other words, but poor Christianity.

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What business is your congregation in?

Unitarian minister Andy Pakula writes that once upon a time there was something know as the ice harvesting business. Then came refrigeration, and those who saw there business as carving up frozen ponds floundered, while those who saw their business as providing ice to homes and businesses prospered. Seeking a lesson for the contemporary church he asks:

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Worship, rubrics and common life

Bosco Peters proposes a new award: the face-palm Jesus. While we all might want to propose categories which would qualify for the prize, he talks specifically about liturgical practice.

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Diocese of Washington church to join Roman Catholic ordinariate

After a lengthy period of discernment and consultation with The Episcopal Church, including the Presiding Bishop, and the Roman Catholic Church, the parish of St. Luke’s, Bladensburg, Maryland, has decided to seek entry into the Roman Catholic Church. The Episcopal Diocese of Washington (DC) released the following statement on June 6:

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Pentecost: Put on your red dress baby

Christ Church, Episcopal, Winnetka, Illinois encourages everyone to wear red for Pentecost with a catchy ad on their web site.

Elizabeth Johnson responds to Committee on Doctrine

From Commonweal Magazine:

NCR has obtained a copy of Johnson’s 38-page reply to the USCCB Committee on Doctrine, whose statement [.pdf] on her Quest for the Living God claimed the book “contaminates the traditional Catholic understanding of God” and “completely undermines the gospel.”

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Immigration in US news roundup

Roundup of news about immigration and faith:

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San Joaquin authorizes blessing of sacred unions

Received via email from the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin:

The Rt. Rev. Chester Talton, Bishop of San Joaquin, has authorized, "blessings of same gender civil marriages, domestic partnerships, and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterized by `fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God.' "

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Hijab: to wear or not to wear

Nadia Elawady writing at the blog Inner Workings of My Mind has a secret. She wanted to find out what life was like without the hijab, her Muslim headscarf:

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Archbishop of York discharged from hospital

Press release

Archbishop Discharged from Hospital

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Change in small congregations

Change can be tough, and especially in small congregations. The Church Marketing Sucks blog has some helpful thoughts on change in small churches:

Tips for Implementing Change in Small Churches
From Church Marketing Sucks blog

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Virginia church property trial phase ends

The Secretary of the Diocese of Virginia, Mr. Henry Burt, has posted a letter discussing the end of the trial phase seeking to return the seven remaining properties occupied by the CANA congregations to the mission of the Episcopal Church:

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Tom Ehrich on the Grand Rapids LipDub

Tom Ehrich reflects on the viral video of Grand Rapids,

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Change ringing in Georgia

The tradition of change ringing continues in Marietta, Georgia:

St. James’ Episcopal Church has a nice ring to it: Marietta resident helps to continue historic tradition
The Marietta Daily Journal

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Changing times & congregational conflict quiz

The Faith and Leadership blog from Duke Divinity School is offering a quiz to test your knowledge of issues and trends related to congregational change:

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Lowell named Episcopal Church fundraiser

Elizabeth Lowell named fundraiser for the Episcopal Church:

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Episcopalians respond to Arizona fires

Arizona is on fire. Fires in the southeastern and eastern parts of the state, and as of last night in the north very near Flagstaff, are spreading almost unchecked. The largest, the Wallow fire is not contained and is rapidly spreading because of the dry windy conditions. Episcopalians around the state are organizing a response in concert with other church organizations.

From an news report on The Diocese of Arizona's website:

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The ABC attacks "Big Society"

The news sites in Britain and the church blogs are lighting up with the news of the Archbishop of Canterbury's newest essay in which he attacks the cuts being made to the social welfare nets in England.

As the Economist puts it:

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Scotland and Canada publish Covenant resources

The Anglican Church in Canada and the Scottish Episcopal Church have both posted resources for members of their Anglican provinces as they work through their decision making process regarding the Anglican Covenant.

From the Anglican Journal (in Canada)

Mennonite college backs away from national anthem ban

Given all the other news right now not many people have been following the story this week that Goshen College, a small historically Mennonite college decided to ban the playing of the US national anthem because it was "too violent".

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Mobile powered advocacy

At General Convention in 2006 the Episcopal Church adopted the Millennium Development Goals as the primary lens through which our corporate mission work would be seen. Over the past five years dioceses and parishes have worked to raise the level of awareness of this program not just within the Episcopal Church, but in the larger American society too. The truth is that even if every single church entity gave .7% of its budget for MDG work, it would still pale in comparison to what we could do as a nation if we decided to act in concert.

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Continued reaction to Archbishops editorial

Updated. The press and the bloggers in the UK are still reacting over the Archbishop of Canterbury's turn as guest-editor at the New Statesman.

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Disagreeing and remaining faithful

A new poll released yesterday by the Public Religion Research Institute says that the majority of American church-goers disagree with their tradition's teachings on abortion and homosexuality and yet remain faithful to their churches.

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A pilgrimage of repentance

The Greenbelt festival, the Student Christian Movement, Changing Attitude and Inclusive Church are among the groups in the UK have endorsed a pilgrimage of repentance for homophobia to take place this summer.

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Interfaith worship generates hate mail

A New Jersey priest gets hate mail for having an interfaith worship service with Muslims in his church.

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A celebration of faith shared

Christian clergy at churches across the country will host readings from the Qur’an and other sacred religious texts as they welcome their Muslim and Jewish colleagues on Sunday, June 26, 2011 for Faith Shared.

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Bishop Scruton to retire in 2012

On Friday Bishop Gordon Scruton announced his intention to retire as the bishop of Western Massachusetts in 2012. Bishop Scruton has served 15 years in the diocese, having been elected in 1996.

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The scene in Joplin MO

Volunteer workers have been making their way to the devastated region around Joplin Missouri for weeks. One volunteer worker, who blogs under the name of "Kirkepiscatoid" describes what her morning was like at a relief center just outside of the most damaged area of the city:

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Scottish Synod wraps up

The Episcopal Church of Scotland has been meeting in general synod these past three days. Most of their work would be familiar to anyone who's attended a General Convention meeting: passing of budgets, statements of concern on various topics and decisions about the nuts and bolts of national church life. But one topic discussed is of particular interest to Episcopalians on this side of the pond, their coming decision about the Anglican Covenant.

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UCC minister turns Episcopal camp around

Camp Mokuleia just completed a million dollar renovation that is going guarantee its ministry as part of the Diocese of Hawaii for long time to come. To do this, the Diocese used its ecumenical connections to find the right person for the job.

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Studying church decline via evolution

David Sloan Wilson started studying the varieties of human living environments by trying to understand why some city neighborhoods are "good" and some are "bad". He quickly determined that good or bad have nothing to do economic status, at least not directly. Some neighborhoods are just, as he calls it, "prosocial" and some aren't. The ones that are have people who look after each other and are "good" places to live. The ones that don't, aren't.

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Maori momentum growing against Anglican Covenant

Report by the Rev. Bosco Peters in New Zealand:

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God to Alabama: not like

Fred Clark, writing at The Slactivist, finds it "beyond ironic to obscene" that the state who spent the most time trying to have the 10 Commandments in the state courthouse has just passed the most oppressive laws against caring for the stranger in their midst:

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Beauty queen terror

Cathy Grossman in USAToday reports on the fears of beauty pageant contestants:

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Palin visits Old North Church and gets confused

The Boston Herald carries the story about the Vicar of the Old North Church, the Rev. Stephen Ayres, and Sarah Palin's visit and resulting confusion about Paul Revere and his role in the Revolution.

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King James Version: history and politics

Trinity Wall Street has been offering a study of the King James Version of the Bible. They have made two of the presentations from the classes available on the internet.

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More women ordained as Roman Catholic priests

UPDATE: Buddhist women ordained as monks. See below.
NPR reports on the growing numbers of women serving as priests in Roman Catholicism:

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Vicki Black moves on; changes ahead for Soul blog

Seven years ago, I asked Deacon Vicki Black, former managing editor at Cowley, and as sweet-souled a person as you are likely to meet, whether she would be interested in helping me beef up the content of the Diocese of Washington’s web site by providing a daily meditation excerpted from the vast library of Christian spirituality that she seemed to carry around in her head.

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The phony sharia threat

Writing for USA Today, Amy Sullivan explains what sharia is, how it is used in U. S. courts, and why it is not the threat that every one of the top Republican presidential candidates claims it to be:

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South Sudan in jeopardy as north stages attacks

From Ecumenical News Service via ENS:

Escalating violence against civilians in Sudan's disputed South Kordofan State is leading to a major humanitarian catastrophe with an estimated 300,000 people besieged, cut off from relief aid, and unable to escape fighting, according to a number of aid agencies and witnesses in the region.

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Marriage equality gains momentum in New York

The New York Times reports:

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Episcopal cooties

Janette O'Neill, the new General Secretary of USPG: Anglicans in World Mission, was commissioned last week at a ceremony at Lambeth Palace. Before her appointment, O'Neill, worked for 10 years for Episcopal Relief and Development, primarily in Africa.

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What matters?

Peter Singer, writing at Project Syndicate, asks "Does Anything Matter?"

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ABC speaks out on Sudan

The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) has issued the Archbishop of Canterbury's statement on South Kordofan, Sudan:

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Long Island bishop supports marriage equality

From the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island

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When sermons take on lives of their own

Michael R. Duncan, on Faith Lab, reflects on preaching and how what is heard is not always what is said. Also how what is written by the preacher often ends up having little relationship to what is preached.

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Judge rejects bid to toss marriage equality ruling

UPDATE: see below
From Reuters:

A judge's same-sex relationship is no reason to toss out his ruling backing same-sex matrimony, another federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

The decision by Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware backed the prior ruling overturning California's gay marriage ban.

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Flag and faith: flags in sanctuary

Vanessas Gonzalez Kraft, writing at Busted Halo, raises the issue of flags in churches

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Leaping Lesbians in Lambeth Palace

Mary-Benson-aged-73-003.jpg

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The Episcopal Church welcomes...

Rivertowns Patch reports on a gay couple who found the Episcopal Church after being kicked out of their Roman Catholic Church and how they are making a difference for gay and lesbian youth:

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The other side of the Catholic church

Former Roman Catholic priest, Matthew Fox, offers this perspective the current state of affairs in the in the Roman Catholic Church:

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Southern Baptists elect black pastor to #2 positon

Southern Baptists elect Fred Luter Jr., the head pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, to the number two position in their denomination:

Southern Baptists elect black pastor to No. 2 post
From YahooNews

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Millenials & home ownership (...& the church)

It's an old old practice to try to predict the future. And in the church, of course, we also would like to know what the future holds.

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Words communicate

Well, of course they do. But when was the last time you've put the words we use in our churches through the filter to see how folks may be hearing them? Read on.

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Executive Council hears report on Diocese of Quincy

On the opening day of a three-day meeting the Executive Council received a report on the Diocese of Quincy.

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Gomez-advised group obsesses over homosexuality

Anglican Mainstream, contrary to its moniker, is a blog that comes from the right side of the spectrum. Funny enough for a blog, it does not allow comments. And its content is virtually entirely reposts of the original content of others.

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Diocese of Haiti instituting business practices

ENS:

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is developing the administrative procedures that it will use as it begins to rebuild, according to a report given to the church's Executive Council.... The Rev. Joseph Constant, the Rev. Rosemari Sullivan and Margareth Crosnier de Ballaistre each told the council June 15 that a protocol document spelling out procurement and disbursement policies as well as channels of communication is in the process of being finalized. An architect will soon be hired to coordinate and draft a request for proposals for the design and project management of a new Holy Trinity Cathedral.

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The Anglican Scotist dies

We note with sadness the death of Todd Bates, who blogged under the moniker Anglican Scotist. Further information is available here.

A clergy perspective on marriage equality

The Rev. Winnie Varghese, Priest in Charge, St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, has a blog post today in Huffington Post on the subject of marriage equality.

I am writing to make only one point. State recognition of same sex marriage is about freedom, an all-American value, more libertarian than liberal. It is about removing a state imposed barrier in the construction of family.

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Clergy, steal some sheep

From the HBR Daily Stat:

Financial incentives have a significant impact on ministers' efforts and their levels of service to parishioners, according to a study ... that looked at more than 2,000 Methodist pastors in Oklahoma.

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Anglican Journal: Dissidents may want to "think again"

The top court in Canada has ruled that dissidents in Vancouver don't own the property they've occupied since they left the Anglican Church of Canada. That should give pause to dissidents elsewhere in Canada.

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Churches speak out on Alabama immigration law

Alabama churches continue to line up against Alabama's draconian anti-immigration law.

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RCC progress report on US Ordinariate

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington reported to a gathering of Roman Catholic Bishops this week on the progress towards establishing an Anglican ordinariate in the US, saying that they expect about 100 clergy and 2,000 laypeople could be among the first to move from an Episcopal or Anglican-related churches into the Roman Catholic Church.

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UN Council adopts equal rights resolution for Gays

The United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted an historic resolution that seeks to give gays and lesbians rights equal to those enjoyed by heterosexuals.

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Bishop of Oregon to march in Portland Gay Pride Parade

OregonLive.com reports:

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Hiltz writes to Ingram about Westminster decision

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Fred J. Hiltz, writes to Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster about the recent Supreme Court of Canada judgement.

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Covenant subcommittee declines to release key report

ENS reports (towards the bottom of this story) that the sub-committee formulating the Executive Council's response to the proposed Anglican Covenant is refusing to release a report on whether the covenant would require changes to the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons.

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Canadians issue Covenant report

The Anglican Church of Canada Governance Working Group has issued its report Legal and Constitutional Issues Presented to the Canadian Church by the Proposed Anglican Covenant. The report comes on the same day the Episcopal News Service reported that a key TEC document on the Covenant would not be issued for now for fear it would be misunderstood.

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Budde elected bishop of Washington (DC)

The Rev. Dr. Mariann Edgar Budde has been elected bishop for the Diocese of Washington DC on the second ballot pending consents from the Bishops and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church. Budde was selected by the clergy on the first ballot.

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NY religious leaders: opponents of marriage bill speak falsely

While the leadership of the Catholic church and others rail against the New York same-sex marriage bill, other religious leaders say "there are some among us who are using religion as a smokescreen to hide their intolerance, choosing to misstate the plain language of the bill and falsely claiming that it fails to protect religious practice.". Among those is Bishop Prince Singh of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.

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Christ has no online presence but yours

Meredith Gould, writing at Loyola Press DREConnect, reflects on the hesitation that many in the church still feel towards social media.

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Bishop of Kadugli, Sudan fears genocide

Anglican Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail of Kadugli, Sudan was in Denver receiving medical treatment in early June and has been interviewed by Religious Dispatches:

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Struggling with Parkinsons, priest fights back

Freelance radio reporter Jesse Hardman has lovingly profiled his father, The Rev. Bob Hardman, whose Parkinsons has been debilitating, yet unable so far to stifle his will.

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Archbishops of Canterbury and politics

The Church Time reports on a study which shows that the three most recent Archbishops of Canterbury have been “con­sist­ently controversial political figures.”

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Grappling with patriarchal language: Father's Day edition

A good Trinity Sunday to you, and happy Father's Day from Episcopal Café.

In the Huffington Post, Brian D. "Generous Orthodoxy" McLaren says referring to God as Father, or using "father" language at any rate, is of course shaped by one's relationship with one's own father.

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Diocese of Central New York joins Anglican Covenant conversation

A note left on the Facebook page for the Diocese of Central New York offers thoughts from the Deputation to the 77th General Convention:

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Garden plots as mission beds

A Grand Rapids, Michigan, congregation, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, figures as a major player in the involvement of mission with local Bhutanese refugees. By setting up a garden space, Holy Cross has created a space in which refugees with limited or nonexistent English can come and work.

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Lowell Grisham will be new blogger at Speaking to the Soul

Along about 9:30 a. m. today, the Rev. Lowell Grisham, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Ark., will take over as the primary blogger for our Speaking to the Soul blog, succeeding Vicki K. Black.

We are delighted to have him. On most days, Lowell will write a reflection on the lectionary readings for the day. His work will be supplemented several times a week by that of one or two other bloggers, but we aren't ready to make that announcement yet. We will keep you posted.

Release the Constitution and Canons report on the covenant

On Friday night, Episcopal News Service reported that the sub-committee of Executive Council charged with formulating that body’s response to the proposed Anglican Covenant had received a report from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, advising the subcommittee on whether adoption of the covenant would require changes in our church’s constitution and canons.

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The hypocrisy of Archbishop Dolan

Maureen Dowd checks in on the old hyperventilator and doesn't care for what she sees:

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Grace

The Very Rev. Sam Candler, dean of St. Philip's Cathedral in Atlanta was not elected Bishop of Washington on Saturday. Here is the gracious way he informed the people of his congregation.

Good bye, Big Man

The Jungleland solo.

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Teens not seeking alternative religious paths

Martin Marty writes:

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World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day. The United Nations calls the world to care for those displaced by war, poverty, famine, persecution, and violence:

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Roman Catholic marriage rate plummets

Our Sunday Visitor reports:

The number of marriages celebrated in the Church has fallen from 415,487 in 1972 to 168,400 in 2010 — a decrease of nearly 60 percent — while the U.S. Catholic population has increased by almost 17 million. To put this another way, this is a shift from 8.6 marriages per 1,000 U.S. Catholics in 1972 to 2.6 marriages per 1,000 Catholics in 2010.

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The other troubling parts of the Covenant

In opposing the proposed Anglican Covenant, many are saying the only troubling part is Section 4. Many of us find the whole document built on a very shaky theology and not Anglican at all. Rather it reflects many conservative, evangelical stances and use of scripture, quoting from here and there in the Bible with no consistency or systematic thinking. Jonathon Clatworthy, of the Modern Church takes on the Introduction as an example:

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Ethics and the prairie vole

Christopher Shea writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education reviews Patricia S. Churchland's new book, Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality (Princeton University Press)

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Unpersuasive arguments against releasing the report on the covenant

We have not yet succeeded in getting Executive Council to release the report it received more than four months ago from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons regarding the Anglican Covenant. And we are still open to receiving it directly at jim@episcopalcafe.com.

The arguments we have heard against releasing the report go something like this:

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There is no I in individual. No, wait...

Writing for the Alban Institute, John Wimberly tackles a couple of vexing issues, including how to evaluate the success of ministries, rather than the individuals active in such ministries:

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Alabama churches plan march against new Immigration law

Leaders of most of the major church groups in Alabama have united in opposition to the new Arizona inspired anti-immigration laws passed recently. While most of the denominational officials have issued statements, there's word today that some, including the Episcopal diocese have decided to take their message to the streets this weekend.

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Did you really go to church this week?

“Did you really go to church this week? Behind the poll data”
From a Christian Century article from May 6th, 1998 by Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler, p. 475

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Methodist pastor found guilty of marrying lesbians and gays

Methodist pastor, the Rev. Amy DeLong, has been convicted of marrying same sex partners according to the Huffington Post:

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What the Bible really says about slavery

The debate over what the Bible says about slavery is a matter of more than academic interest to proponents of LGBT equality. If the Bible is "wrong" on slavery, that is, if it seems to permit it, then aren't we free to believe that it is "wrong" on the morality of same-sex relationships (assuming that the texts of terror do speak uniformly against such relationships--which is a whole 'nother debate.)

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Southern Baptists: let immigrants become legal

The Courier-Journal reports that the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Arizona adopted a resolution adopted a resolution calling for "governing authorities" to secure the U.S. border but also to provide a "a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country."

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Release the report: it's fair play

Yesterday I explained why I think Executive Council is violating the spirit, if not the letter, of our canons in refusing to release the report it received from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons regarding the Anglican Covenant. Today, I’d like to argue the matter on practical grounds.

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1/3 of U.S. giving goes to religious groups

Giving to charity has increased though it is still behind the level of giving before the recession according to a report in Reuters. More than 1/3 of giving is to religious groups:

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Hating: Ethically

Keith Kahn-Harris, writing at Comment is free in The Guardian, discusses How to hate ethically.

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GAFCON in England

A number of evangelical bishops and clerics in the Church of England have established the Anglican Mission in England "dedicated to the conversion of England and biblical church planting" with the encouragement of the GAFCON primates. They even have a trio of Kenya-ordained English priests to serve "ready to serve the wider Anglican communion" in England.

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ACNA enjoys being observed

The Church of England sent an observer to the Anglican Church in North America gathering in Long Beach, California this week, and their leader is very pleased but others are perplexed. Last year the General Synod of the Church of England rejected a motion to recognize ACNA, so what was the purpose this visit?

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Nevada priest resigns amid sexual abuse lawsuit

The Kansas City Star reports that a former Benedictine monk and Catholic priest who is now an Episcopal priest has resigned his position and has begun the process of renouncing his orders after admitting to committing sexual abuse against boys while serving as music director at a Roman Catholic monastery.

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NY Senate passes amendment on marriage equality bill

36-26 for amendment on marriage equality bill in New York state to make sure that religious groups do not have to do marriages. Stay tuned.

Marriage Equality bill passes in NY State

UPDATE: Statement from the Rt. Rev. Prince Singh, bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, NY

33-29 - the bill for marriage equality passes NY Senate having already passed Assembly it becomes New York state law. It will take effect in 30 days.

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Breaking: Executive Council releases the covenant report

From the Office of Public Affairs"

The Executive Council D020 Task Force, a subcommittee of the Executive Council, has released the report from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons.

In a statement also released by the D020 Task Force:

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Cuomo signs same-sex marriage bill into law

Late last night New York's new governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill allowing legal same-sex marriage in the state passed hours earlier all into law. Governor Cuomo had made the passage of such legislation one of the key pieces of his campaign platform.

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PB at EYE

At Episcopal Youth Event, presiding bishop leads call to mission: 'Get connected and heal the world!'

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The rich should care for the poor

There's an editorial in the New York Times today that decries what the editorial board sees as a growing consensus that solution to this nation's economic woes involves cutting programs that are intended to help lift the poor into the middle class:

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The Communion looks like a "pineapple"

Jesse Zink, an Episcopalian seminarian at Yale Divinity School is journaling his summer travels in sub-saharan Africa on his blog "Mission Minded". Jesse is a former YASC missionary and is traveling around the Anglican Church in Nigeria this summer. He gives the background to his trip in this post on his blog.

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Objects of concentration in an era of distraction

Johann Hari describes a new phenomenon. Does it sound familiar to you?

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Survivors of clergy abuse say Parry resignation is not enough

The Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has issued a press statement calling for more action by the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada and others to be more proactive in searching for victims of Episcopal priest and admitted child abuser, Bede Parry:

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Weighing the costs of Covenant adoption

Mark Harris, PRELUDIUM blogger and member of the Executive Council D020 Task Force, considers the possible outcomes of The Episcopal Church's eventual response(s) to the proposed Anglican Covenant.

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'Abrahamic' event shares texts, prayers, music

UPDATED: The 'Faith Shared' event is a big one, with many locations. Learn more about the event itself, with more information about site events at Washington National Cathedral and All Saints, Pasadena.

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Former National Cathedral staffer to hold Lexington deanship

Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Kentucky, has announced the selection of former Washington National Cathedral staff member Rev. Canon Carol L. Wade as its next dean.

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More push-back from Episcopalians against Alabama's unjust immigration law

The Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, AKA "Arizona with a Twist," was recently signed by Gov. Robert Bentley. Its reach is extensive. For example,

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Is American evangelicalism's influence waning?

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life surveyed "2,196 evangelical leaders from 166 countries and territories" - the attendance list for the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization in October 2010. Some of the results:

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Anglican-Lutheran panel meets. Episcopalian included.

The third Anglican–Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) held its sixth and final meeting in the holy city Jerusalem between 18 and 25 June 2011, under the leadership of the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, and of the Reverend Dr Thomas Nyiwé, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon.

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Nigerian diocese isn't getting the help it needs

Jesse Zink continues to file thought-provoking dispatches on his travels in Africa. What he's found in Yola, Nigeria infuriated him.

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Are pastors "experts"?

Writing for the Alban Institute, Landon Whitsitt asks some provocative questions: to what extent are clergy "experts" at running a parish, and why don't search processes focus much on a candidate's administrative skills?

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Participating more fully in the Digital Reformation

Writing for Religion Dispatches, Elizabeth Drescher, author of Tweet if you Heart Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation endeavors to tease out the relevance of recent survey data on social media for religious organizations:

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The O'Malley model?

Mark Silk suggests that Roman Catholic bishops stop talking smack about marriage equality. After noting that the bishops and their allies were outmaneuvered in New York, he writes:

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Couples

The Syracuse Post-Standard interviewed local couples who are planning to get married under New York's new marriage equality legislation. One couple was coming back for seconds.

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Citing harassment from within ranks, gay Australian priest calls it quits

Rev. Ali Wurm, an openly gay priest who served St. Bede's in the city of Adelaide in southern Australia, recently gave up her post as Priest-In-Charge, acknowledging what seems to be a general failure of acceptance of her life - not just from some church members, but also among fellow clergy, if not within the fuller hierarchy of her diocese.

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Further taxation for the wealthy or merely sharing the burden?

Rev. Dr. Mariann Budde, rector of St. John's in Minneapolis and bishop-elect to the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, shares the following thoughts on her church's blog under the heading "Shared Sacrifice."

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Nashotah House names next dean/president

The Living Church reports The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., a former bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, has been chosen to serve as the next dean and president of Nashotah House Theological Seminary.

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Picking up the pieces after things fall apart

CNN's Todd Leopold has filed a nice piece on something you might not think much about unless it happened to you: what if you were responsible for accidentally taking another human life? How would you ever move on, or ever get whole again?

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Common Security Clubs faithfully address economic uncertainty

Common Security Clubs (aka Resilience Circles) are a church-based way of addressing the spiritual problem many have - namely, that it's often harder to receive than it is to give, Energy Bulletin's Sarah Byrnes says.

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The wired culture goes to Sunday School

Jason Byasee, writing for Union Theological Seminary's New Media Project, tells of a recent experience teaching Sunday School, when one of the attendees whipped out his mobile device and started texting.

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Pope tweets

Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet today, apparently using the iPad Twitter app to do so. He used the occasion to both praise Jesus and announce the Vatican's rockin' new web site:

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Okoh wants Nigeria out of UN

From PANA, the Panafrican News Agency: Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Communion Church in Nigeria, suggests Nigeria should withdraw from the United Nations over matters of homosexuality.

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Episcopal youth, empowered for mission

At the Episcopal Youth Event, young Episcopalians are empowered for mission!

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C. S. Lewis defends same sex marriage

Mark Silk draws us to this passage in Mere Christianity that shows C. S. Lewis would oppose state prohibition of same sex marriage:

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Wild Goose Festival draws progressives

Chasing the "wild goose" with other progressive Christians in rural North Carolina:

Progressive Christians flock to Wild Goose festival
From the Associated Baptist Press

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Diocesan school in Juba, Sudan, attacked


After armed robbery Sudanese head appeals: "Help us build a wall around our school"
From Anglican Communion News Service

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The British are coming

A favorite C of E blogger of ours is coming to these shores. Author, musician and theologian, Maggi Dawn reports

It’s just been announced across the water that I am to be the Dean of Marquand Chapel and Associate Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School. ...

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Not the Archbishop of Canterbury

One man in Kent is tired of being confused with Rowan and has written The Guardian to complain. KentOnline takes it from there.

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Bishop Little on Ayn Rand's influence in his life

The Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little II, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana, reflects on Ayn Rand's influence in his life beginning in his teen years.

It is interesting throughout.

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Diocese of Pittsburgh restarts parishes

via email

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2011

EPISCOPAL DIOCESE TO RESTART THREE PARISHES ACROSS WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
Services Planned for Penn Hills, Northern Cambria, and Cranberry Area Churches

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Disciplinary Board for Bishops formed

The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs

Disciplinary Board for Bishops formed in compliance with Episcopal Church Title IV

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The Church waits for answer from Presiding Bishop

Questions remain unanswered surrounding the Presiding Bishop's knowledge of the sexual-abuse history of a Catholic priest she made an Episcopal priest while bishop of Nevada. Her office refers questions to the Diocese of Nevada. The Bishop of Nevada has issued this statement:

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Christians issue evangelism code of conduct

Reuters:

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