Plea from South Pacific: do something about climate change

Archbishop Winston Halapua has just returned from a visit to Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu according to the The Anglican Communion News Service. While there he witnessed the effects of climate change with rising sea levels inundating the nation, poisoning the drinking water and ruining crops.

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St. Paul's suspends action against Occupy London

UPDATE: The City of London has issued an eviction notice.

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Rebooting the Anglican Communion

The Rev. Dr. Michael Poon, Asian Christianity coordinator of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia, Trinity Theological College, Singapore, writing in The Living Church reflects on the future of the Anglican Communion:

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Outsourcing social skills

The Wall Street Journal reports on how parents are seeing to their children's social skills by outsourcing.

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We could use a little mercy now...


h/t to BSnyder in comments.

Lyrics below

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Smash the idols of high finance?

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote an article in The Financial Times (UK) urging us to challenge the idols of high finance:

Time for us to challenge the idols of high finance
An article by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, published in The Financial Times newspaper

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Seminaries consider curriculum changes

Seminaries across the United States consider curriculum changes:

U.S. seminaries consider radical changes
By G. Jeffrey Macdonald in The Washington Post

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Mopping up the St. Paul's Cathedral mess

The Bishop of London and St. Paul's Cathedral try to mop up the mess:

St Paul's seeks new direction and suspends legal action
Bishop of London backs away from further confrontation, recalling that the cathedral had been a 'symbol of freedom'

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In God we trust, when politically convenient

From the Washington Post, On Faith blog...do we only trust in God when it's politically (or pastorally!?) convenient?

‘In God we trust,’ when politically convenient

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Milbank: Anglican Church blind to protest symbolism

Theologian John Milbank skewers the Church of England for its ignorance about protest symbolism of church and state and finance:

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After recount, Dioceses of Fond du Lac and Eau Claire will NOT combine

A letter from The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ed Leidel, Jr., Bishop Provisional of Eau Claire told of the surprising development:

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Bishop Gene Robinson on the 99% movement

ThinkProgress has uploaded a video of Bishop Gene Robinson speaking on how religious people might react to The 99 Percent Movement.

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The Anglican Church of Southern Africa to address climate change and eco-justice

The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, announced the appointment of the Revd Canon Rachel Mash as Environmental Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

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Splintering amongst the breakaways

We are hearing news of splintering among the various Anglican breakaway groups. The Anglican Mission in America wants to breakaway from the Church of Rwanda, and relations between the Convocation of Anglicans in North America and the Anglican Church of North America have grown chilly.

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Maori reject Anglican Covenant

Māori Anglicans in New Zealand have rejected the Anglican Covenant as out of keeping with the constitution of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, because it seeks to impose by law what should be accomplished through relationship.

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Michigan's immoral "moral exception"

In Michigan, bullying is immoral, dangerous and wrong. Except when the bully thinks God is on his side and the victim is gay.

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Thank you, Kim

Canon Susan Russell remembers what her mother taught her and wrote a thank you note to Kim Kardashian.

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Future monarch must grow up in the Church of England

Pending all the proper approvals, the next king or queen of England will be oldest child of the last monarch, regardless of gender, and she or he can have a Roman Catholic spouse or parent, too. But remember, the Archbishop of Canterbury warns, future monarchs must be brought up Church of England.

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Life at the fault-line

Giles Frasier writes in the Church Times about his experience when Occupy London camped out at the St. Paul's Cathedral.

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CoE clergy warned against holding civil union ceremonies

The government has set a date for opening the churches in England to civil unions (effectively same-sex blessings), but the Church of England has told the clergy that they may not participate.

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Archbishop Chama explains Zimbabwe church struggles

From Trinity Wall Street:

Four Anglican Archbishops, including Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, recently met with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on behalf of church members who have been prohibited from using their sanctuaries for worship. One of them, Archbishop Albert Chama, of the Province of Central Africa, visited Trinity Wall Street to explain the dispute.

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#3xCharm

Café friends and contributors Dr. Meredith Gould and Canon Dan Webster are getting married today. As people who work to empower sharing the Gospel online, it's not terribly surprising that this will be one of the most "wired" weddings many of us have ever seen.

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A year later: The attack on the Cathedral in Baghdad

A year ago a horrific attack on Iraqi Christians by a group associated with al-Qaeda killed 46 men, women and children and wounded 60 more. It was the worst attack on Christians in the region since the war began in 2003 and started an exodus of Christians from the region that has not stopped.

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State of South Carolina moves against immigrants

In a familiar bit of news lately, South Carolina becomes the latest state to decide to enact harsh laws against undocumented immigrants. The Episcopal Church has spoken out in Arizona and in Alabama and is now moving to oppose the new rules in South Carolina.

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Carmina the cathedral cat: RIP

carmina.jpgNews from the National Cathedral via Religion News Service blog about the latest sad event for the cathedral. From the cathedral email:

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Church of England diocese votes NO on the Covenant

Lesley Crawley reports that the synod of the Diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich of the Church of England has voted against the Covenant. The synod tally as of today is split 2 for - 2 against.

From the Diocesan Website:

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Hypocrisy

Paul Krugman, NY Times explores attitudes about hypocrisy and politicians:

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Is your church healthy?

The Diocese of Texas has published The Twelve Marks of Healthy Church Behavior based on work by Mary MacGregor and Reb Scarborough, 2004, edited 2011. Areas include: worship, self knowledge, invitation and incorporation, discipling, stewardship, empowerment, accountability, out reach, culture of learning, communication, conflict management, and connectedness to wider church.

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The Church of Godspell

The New York Times' Mark Oppenheimer reviews the revival of the musical, Godspell:

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The Lululemon murder and the "bystander effect"

People of a certain age--mine--will remember the story of Kitty Genovese who was stabbed to death near her New York City apartment in 1964 while 38 of her neighbors allegedly watched and did nothing. The recent "Lululemon murder" in the Washington D. C. suburb of Bethesda has once again raised the question of how bystanders (in this case two employees of an adjoining store) could hear cries for help and do nothing.

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St. Paul's releases briefly suppressed reports on bankers' attitudes

The Saint Paul's Institute has released a report on the attitudes of London's bankers on the ethical dimensions of their work. The report was briefly suppressed amidst the standoff between St. Paul's Cathedral--of which the institute is a ministry--and OccupyLondon protestors camped out in front of the cathedral.

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Bishop Robinson: OWS isn't anti-capitalist, Wall Street is

Updated: Bishop Robinson will be on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight at about 9:45 p. m., talking about Occupy Wall Street.

Bishop Gene Robinson says that the protestors occupying Wall Street aren't anti-capitalist. Rather, they are protesting the ways in which the capitalist system is corrupted by the financial industry.

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Reforming the structures of the church

If you visit the Café often, you know that the Episcopal Church is giving some thought to revising its governing structures. Since this process began, I have been on the lookout for proposals made by people who aren't riding the horse of reform down the path of "more power for me!"

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Bede Parry confesses

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has released a confession apparently written in May by Bede Parry, the former Benedictine monk and Episcopal priest who sexually abused minors while a monk. The confession was obtained by clergy abuse survivor Patrick Marker who runs a website called Behind the Pine Curtain.

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Bipartisan groups forms to push for marriage equality

USA Today has the story:

A group of high-profile Democrats and Republicans who back legalizing gay marriage are calling on advocates to shift the focus on the issue from an argument about equal rights to promoting the value of commitment.

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Bishop Robinson on Rachel Maddow: the full interview

As mentioned yesterday, Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire appeared on last night's "Rachel Maddow" show. He spoke about the Occupy movement both in New Hampshire and on Wall Street, mentioning the prophets of the Old Testament and the necessity for community.

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Episcopal school embraces iPad

Schools in Knoxville, Tenn., purchased iPads over the summer and are letting their students try to them out, Allison Rupp reports on knoxnews.com. Among such institutions: Episcopal School of Knoxville.

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English judge ties priests to bishops in sex abuse cases

Riazat Butt reports for The Guardian that a judge has found in favor of an accuser in a clerical sex-abuse scandal, noting along the way the certain "crucial features" that identified the accused with the Catholic parish he represented.

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Millennials: faith and values not key ingredients to America's story

A study by the Pew Research Center for the People & Press contends that the Millennial generation just isn't all that into religion when it comes to what makes America America.

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In Mississippi, speaking out on the Personhood Amendment as it goes to the polls

UPDATE: the ballot measure was defeated.

Mississippi voters today went to the polls to decide whether to define legal personhood as beginning with fertilization.

CNN:

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Why we don't like change

Heidi Grant Halvorson explains why we don't like change in this article in the Huffington Post. How about your church, how do you embrace (or not) change?

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The Episcopal Church enters the desert time

The former presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold believes that our church may be entering the desert time.

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Penn State and Church abuse scandals

UPDATE: Joe Paterno has been fired as head football coach at Penn State University. The University's president, Graham Spanier, has also been fired.

What are the parallels between the Penn State abuse scandal and the many church abuse scandals...?

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Catholics challenging the line on LGBT people

Catholics are challenging the church's stance on homosexuality and transgender rights. Patrick Hornbeck writes in the CNN BeliefBlog "why good Catholics are challenging church line" and Equally Blessed reports that over "90% of American Catholics support transgender rights":

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Anglican newspaper defends comparison between gays and Nazis

Strange times, indeed:

An Anglican newspaper has defended the publication of an article that compares gay rights campaigners to Nazis, saying the author has "pertinent views".
Reported by The Guardian

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Bishops who tweet

A growing number (though still a small minority) of the House of Bishops in The Episcopal Church are now on Twitter. A few have been on for some time. Is your bishop on Twitter? How does she or he use Twitter? If a BIshop tweets, does anyone listen (or retweet)?

Here are some of the bishops of The Episcopal Church who Tweet. Will yours be next?

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BBC show "Rev" a hit

Vicar Adam Smallbone, the lead character in the BBC2 show "Rev", is described as quite normal, and even a bit cool: something that real clergy strive for.

So says Tom Hollander, the actor who plays him in a recent interview in The Mirror:

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Crowd behavior: one understanding does not describe all

Last night, hundreds of Penn State students took to the streets to support Joe Paterno after he was fired over the child sex abuse scandal. The crowd turned ugly as the night went on.

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Study finds signs of awareness in 3 'Vegetative' patients

The New York Times, in an article written by Benedict Carey, reports on a study that finds signs of full consciousness in three severely brain-injured people.

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Washington's new bishop begins to make the media rounds

The first of numerous interviews with the Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, who will be consecrated as the IXth bishop of Washington on Saturday morning, aired tonight on WJLA-TV.

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Caring for Veterans

G. Jeffrey MacDonald, writing in the Huffington Post, explores some of the ways faith groups are helping the more than 1.35 million veterans adjust to civilian life after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. MacDonald writes, “With symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting an estimated one-in-six returning service members, congregations are coming face-to-face with the tolls of war. Experts say faith groups have much to offer, even when the wounds include PTSD and traumatic brain injury.”

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Bishop Magness on the ethos of service

Bishop James Magness, Bishop Suffragan, Federal Ministries of The Episcopal Church, writes in the Huffington Post about "A New Era of Serving God and Country."

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Remembering women on Veteran's Day

Over 1.8 million women have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and over 255,000 women have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. The Service Women’s Action Network shares stories of three of these here.

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Christchurch cathedral deconsecrated

Christchurch Cathedral was deconsecrated today. The structure was severely damaged by 6.3 earthquakes that struck New Zealand last February.

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Moral and ethical reflections on the Penn State scandal

As the story of the sexual abuse of children and the cover-up at Penn State unfolds, many are reflecting on what the scandal means and what we should learn from it.

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Tweeting a consecration

JimNaught, CanticleCom and perhaps some others will be tweeting from the consecration of Bishop-elect Mariann Budde at Washington National Cathedral. The service begins at 11 a. m., but we hope to start tweeting earlier. The hashtag is #BishopBudde.

Budde Consecration today at 11 AM EST

The Rev. Dr. Mariann Budde will be consecrated the Bishop of Washington DC at the newly reopened National Cathedral this morning at 11 AM. You can watch the service online at the National Cathedral's website.

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Oakland clergy commit to remaining with Occupy Oakland

Following a fatal shooting on Thursday night at the #OccupyOakland encampment, a number of Oakland area clergy have pledged to remain with the crowd and insist that it was an isolated, tragic incident.

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How Christians might learn from the First Nations people

In an article that begins by describing how doing something as simple as lighting a smudging pot could risk imprisonment for North American aboriginal people, there's a discussion about where the present relations between the First Nation people and Christian majority are today. Bishop Marc MacDonald, formerly of the Diocese of Alaska and now of the Anglican Church in Canada is featured.

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Methodist bishops will uphold ban on same-sex blessings

The bishops of the Methodist Church, in a pastoral letter published on Friday (Nov. 11) committed themselves to following church discipline and formally forbidding any clergy person to bless a same-sex relationship.

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Plate-spinning: Texas panel to entertain crosses on car tags

The thing about interest groups working with government is -- well, they're interested in stuff. Some are even interested in Jesus.

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Beckwith: legislature's job is to prevent child poverty

Bishop of Newark Mark Beckwith writes that New Jersey's incoming legislature "must fight childhood poverty":

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Encountering the text in jail

On his "Experimental Theology" blog, Richard Beck writes of the experience of reading the Bible aloud to the members of a prison Bible study - how the text is so self-sufficient, requiring neither spin nor supplementation.

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Nicholas Okoh and the women he leads

In case there was any confusion over the question of where CANA Provincial Primatial Archbishop Nicholas Okoh stands on questions of gender and morality - i.e., what makes for turpitude - the Church of Nigeria's web site currently offers reportage of an Okoh speech that'll clear it all right up.

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Assorted links: divine inspiration edition

Susan Russell annoys the religious right

You will no doubt be surprised to learn that the Rev. Canon Susan Russell has written something that has annoyed the religion right.

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The new Bishop of Washington seizes media moment

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde, the new Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, had an unusual opportunity last week. She is the first woman to serve as Washington’s diocesan bishop, and was consecrated in the newly re-opened National Cathedral, and perhaps for these reasons, the media showed intense interest in her. She was interviewed by two network news affiliates, Telemundo, a public radio talk shows and two national publications seeking her views on some of the pressing issues confronting mainline Protestants in general and Episcopalians in particular.

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Richard Rohr interviewed by Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Richard Rohr
Interview by Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

RICHARD ROHR: There’s no place where you can’t pray.

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Nuns use their shareholder status to confront corporations

Shareholder activism is the conscience of corporations according to the New York Times

... Sister Nora Nash of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. ... the slight, soft-spoken nun had a few not-so-humble suggestions for the world’s most powerful investment bank.

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Harassment and why women are angry

Lauren Ashburn, of the Daily Beast, reports on A Flood of Harassment Horror Stories After the Herman Cain Allegations:

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What would you have done at Penn State?

Scott Huler in Scientific American writes about why witnesses don't report abuse when they witness it:

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Anglican Church at Jamestown settlement discovered

An Anglican Church has been discovered at Jamestown, VA according to The New York Times. Until now it was thought that only the Puritans established a church in the early settlements:

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Trinity Wall Street can't let Occupy group into Duarte Square

UPDATE: Bishop Sisk writes:

Bishop Sisk writes in response to the Occupy Wall Street protests. This article was originally planned for the next (December) Episcopal New Yorker, but in light of last night's developments in lower Manhattan, it has been decided to publish it now electronically. (more below)

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A better Anglican Covenant

Savi Hensman reports on a better and older Anglican Covenant in Ekklesia

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Creating a culture of candor

Some lessons for the church from The Harvard Business Review on creating a culture where people can be honest for the good of the organization:

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A letter to the Trinity Wall Street community around the world

From the rector, the Rev. Dr. James Cooper, of Trinity Wall Street regarding Occupy Wall Street and Trinity's role:

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More Occupy Sacred Space

UPDATED

Reuters has posted reflections on the Interfaith Occupy Wall Street service in Zuccotti Park, written by Katherine Clark:

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Anglican Covenant: The issues behind the issue

The Rev. Tobias Haller, speaking in the Diocese of Albany, presented his thoughts on the Anglican Covenant: Anglican Disunion: The Issues Behind "the Issue."

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400 years and counting: A King James party fit for the queen

A gaggle of Church of England clergy and English monarchy gathered in Westminster Abbey, London, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the institution of the King James Bible, The Guardian's Stephen Bates reports.

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Re-structuring the church

The Diocese of Oregon meeting in Convention this past weekend adopted the following resolution supporting the work of the Standing Commission on Structure:

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BREAKING: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issues statement on Bede Parry

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issues statement

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Bishop Sean Rowe on Penn State

The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, reflects on "How can institutional interests be placed above children" in the Erie Times-News:

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"Why?" is proclamation's starting place

Bishop Scott Benhase of Georgia reflects (via Facebook) on the impact of Steve Jobs approach to innovation and how this relates to how we might communicate the gospel.

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A role model to many

The Rev. Cameron Partridge serves as a role model in his new ministry as chaplain at Boston Then a church he served hosted commemoration services that pulled in hundreds each year.

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World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

ACNS:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has released a statement in advance of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, which is on Sunday 20th November 2011.

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Prop 8 to be defended by the groups that initiated it.

The California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that conservative and evangelical groups may defend a statewide ban on gay marriage that a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional last year.

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Crystal Cathedral soon to be Catholic Cathedral

The Roman Catholic diocese of Orange in California just found a way to create an iconic cathedral center for its ministry at about 75% off. It bought the financially busted Crystal Cathedral campus created by Robert Shuller back in the heyday of his "Hour of Power" ministry.

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Birmingham and Truro vote to reject Anglican Covenant

Updated: The Diocese of Truro has also voted against adopting the Covenant.

Thinking Anglicans is reporting that the Diocese of Birmingham has become the third English diocese to vote to reject the Anglican Covenant.

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NY and Central Florida elect bishops

Two bishop elections were held today.

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18 British bishops move to oppose welfare caps

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York are among the voices of British bishops who are speaking out against a scheme to cap family welfare benefits at £500/wk that is being proposed by the coalition government.

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Canadians look to 2013 Anglican Covenant vote

Briefly noted in the Faith, Worship, and Ministry Committee section of yesterday's Council of General Synod highlights, Anglican Church of Canada:

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From Big Sky country, teens at worship

Now that it's almost Thanksgiving and we've had a few snow storms, warm up with this video produced by teens at Camp Marshall in the Episcopal Diocese of Montana this past summer.

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'Why offer anything at all?'

The New York Times has the moving story behind a musical offering that was made today at St. Bartholomew's in midtown Manhattan.

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South Carolina issues quit claim deeds to parishes

From the House of Bishops / Deputies email list server (emphasis ours), and shared with the author's permission:

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In Fort Worth, a dozen clergy to the rescue

From the YouTube channel for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth:

Twelve retired clergy came out of retirement to serve congregations that had lost their church homes in a schism. The Diocese of Fort Worth says thank you.

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HoB chaplain cites faith in backing Occupy Boston

The Rev. Stephanie Spellers, priest to The Crossing, the emergent worship congregation at St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston, and chaplain to the House of Bishops, gave the keynote address at the Diocese of Chicago's convention on Friday. Here, she speaks about why she supports OccupyBoston.

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Breaking: Ga. Supreme Court says Christ, Savannah belongs to TEC

Updated with the Diocese of Georgia's press release below the fold.

In a 6-1 decision, the Georgia Supreme Court this morning decided that Christ Episcopal Church in Savannah belonged to to the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Georgia, not a breakaway faction aligned with the Anglican Church of Uganda. (Read the opinion.)

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Online evangelism: who does it well?

A little crowdsourcing assistance if you please:

My business partner Rebecca Wilson and I have given a few workshops recently on message development and communications in which we have ventured the opinion that a church or diocese’s message ought to have a little something to do with Jesus. We’ve met only occasional resistance. (Some folks think that another organization should provide the content about Jesus, and they will link to it from some page deep within their website.) More frequently we’ve come across two sorts of responses.

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Reaching out to the "spiritual but not religious"

In the most recent entry on this blog, the Rev. Gary Hall, rector of Christ Church, Cranbrook, talks about the gap between what churchgoers find valuable in their faith communities, and what those who don't go to church might be looking for. He writes:

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Shrinking the church for Jesus

Tim Suttle has written a provocative column for the Huffington Post. He writes:

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NY's bishop-elect is a cartoonist

The Rev. Canon Andrew Dietsche, who was elected Bishop Co-Adjutor of the Diocese of New York on Saturday is a cartoonist.

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Religious lobbying a growth industry

The Pew Forum reports on lobbying by faith groups:

The number of organizations engaged in religious lobbying or religion-related advocacy in Washington, D.C., has increased roughly fivefold in the past four decades, from fewer than 40 in 1970 to more than 200 today.

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New harmonies

The Christian Century wonders about the current state of church music in Church music after the worship wars, music and identity at four congregations:

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Nigeria moves closer to criminalizing same sex unions

Warren Throckmorton reports on the progress of the anti-gay law in Nigeria:

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Godly gardening

Norman Wirzba, author of Food and Faith: a theology of eating, reflects on Godly Gardening.

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VTS chapel design approved

Virginia Theological Seminary announces acceptance of a design concept for a chapel to replace the one that burned down last year:

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Stay connected to the core

Canon Frank Logue of the Diocese of Georgia ponders how we might stay connected to the core of our ministry:

Keep Connected to the Core of Ministry
From the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, who writes at "Loose Canon"

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10 New Church Models

Writing in the Christian Century "Tribal Church" blog, Carol Merritt offers up 10 new models for church in the 21st century:

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Ugandan bishop speaks out as anti-gay bill looms

Rt Rev Christopher Ssenyonjo, a church leader who campaigns for gay rights speaks out as the Ugandan anti-gay bill looms again:

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Church Announcements

Is there any good in church announcements? The Church Marketing Sucks blog sounds off on this question:

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Post-Catholic padre

The Miami New Times catches up with Fr. Alberto Cutié:

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Institutions: what are they good for?

David Toole reflects on the purpose of institutions at Faith and Leadership blog:

David Toole: What are institutions for?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

A Litany of Thanksgiving (BCP p.836)

Let us give thanks to God for all the gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

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Jesus is just alright dot com

The Church of England has set up website listing Advent and Christmas events at the Church’s 16,000 places of worship.

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An advent oasis

The Diocese of Montreal is setting up an advent oasis in a major mall as a buy-free zone. Seminarians and young clergy will staff the storefront ministry from December 1 through Christmas Eve.

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Church of Denmark moving toward marriage equality

Same sex marriage is moving ahead in Denmark and could become a reality as early as next summer if a bill establishing marriage equality passes parliament.

The Copenhagen Post Online reports:

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Challenging gender violence

ACNS:

The Revd Terrie Robinson said today that churches across the Anglican Communion are uniquely placed to challenge and change how society thinks about gender-based violence.

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A community of communities

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, asks how religious communities can serve the well-being of the community, and reflects on power in a well-functioning society. He spoke at the Inter Faith Conversation 'Living Well Together in Britain Today', last Tuesday. Here is the talk on YouTube.

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Black Friday; maybe we should chill?

If you follow Anglican and Episcopalian blogs right now, or you have clergy Facebook friends, you're probably seeing calls for a simpler Christmas. The Advent Conspiracy is leading the charge asking people to refrain from buying too much as way of keeping Christmas. The secular media is picking up on the idea too; someone from a TV station called me last night looking for a quote decrying the latest Black Friday mayhem.

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Lego Bible removed from store because of "graphic content"

Sam's Club, responding to "numerous concerns" by parents and members has decided to pull the Lego Illustrated Bible from its store shelves. The complaints centered around the mature content that was contained in what was supposed to be a children's book.

The Christian Post reports:

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An annotated New Testament for practicing Jews

Two practicing Jews who are also New Testament scholars have published an annotated version of the New Testament that is meant to introduce Jewish readers to the texts.

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At the turn of the year, a call for somber reflection

In the Huffington Post, Dr. Cindi Love reflects on the changeover into a new Christian year. She compares what Christians are supposed to do and be in the world with how they are perceived, and she laments the difference.

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Presiding Bishop on Occupy(ing Churches)

A sermon from November 18th by The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis.

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Advent 2011: stopping in the midst of shopping

The Advent Chapel in the Diocese of Montreal writes:

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How does your congregation regard innovation?

File under Mission:

On the subject of organizational attitude, Seth Godin hits the nail on the head and then splits the nail in half with a staple gun from across the room.

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Assorted links: Advent inspiration edition

Some wonderful Advent calendars have been web-published from Trinity Wall Street ("light breaks") and Episcopal Relief and Development (which takes the narrative approach).

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Tutu, Benedict XVI among those urging action on climate change

Religious leaders are playing a central role in the potentially pivotal UN-organized global climate conference that gets underway today in Durban, South Africa. At stake is whether industrial nations will agree on how to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

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Top Marine: End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell no big deal

The Associated Press is reporting that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military is thus far causing less unrest than, say, allowing them to serve as bishops in the Anglican Communion.

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An experiment in urban church building in Seattle

The Rev. Peter Strimer, rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Seattle, writes regularly for the Vital Posts blog at ecfvp.org. Since June, he has been chronicling his parish's efforts to re-establish a mission in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood. The series, which began with this installment in June is well worth following.

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Closing churches

Kirk Hadaway's most recent analysis of the parochial reports submitted by Episcopal congregations reveals that only 28 percent of our congregations describe their financial situations as good or excellent, while the same percentage says they are having at least some financial difficulty.

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Breaking: Bishop Lawrence cleared by disciplinary board

Hat tip to Thinking Anglicans

A Statement by the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops Regarding the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina

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Goodbye to the "old Mass"

The Roman Catholic Church began using its new missal this past Sunday. Reactions range from "love it" to "hate it." From the Huffington Post:

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Gospel according to Kermit

David Zahl, College and Young Adult Minister and Licensed Lay Preacher at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville VA, believes the Muppets™ and Pixar™ movies can be vehicles for preaching the Gospel.

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When you leave - leave

The Rev. Dan Webster at Church Social Media Blog reports on a November 22 Twitter™ discussion of clergy cutting ties with people of their former cure:

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Historic landmark designation spells death for many churches

The Atlantic Cities explores the question of what can be done with historic church buildings:

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More Advent inspiration

Some more links for your Advent inspiration:

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A preacher like no other

CNN has an nice profile of preacher Fred Craddock:

A preaching 'genius' faces his toughest convert
From CNN.com

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Inviting people to church for Advent and Christmas

Who are you planning to invite to church this season? Canon Frank Logue reminds us of the importance of the invitation:

Plant Seeds with Persistent Invitations
From Frank Logue's The Loose Canon

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The usefulness of strategic planning?

Is your church a church in the midst of strategic planning, how useful is it?

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Tebow unifying religions of Christianity and Football?

Is Tim Tebow unifying the "religions" of Christianity and Football?

My Take: Is Tim Tebow performing miracles?

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The Communion & the Covenant

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has offered a letter to the Anglican Communion in which he speaks to the question of the Anglican Covenant as it relates to the Anglican Communion itself.

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Goodbye, but not farewell!

I am stepping away as the regular Wednesday "Lead" Newsblogger effective after today, but I hope to be able to return as a more regular contributor to the Daily Episcopalian, and also to spend more time and energy on writing, some new study projects, and the ongoing work and ministry of being a dad, and a parish priest.

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World AIDS Day

The Presiding Bishops of The Episcopal Church and the ELCA have released a letter in honor of World AIDS Day tomorrow, December 1:

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