Consultants reinstated as full members by Archbishop of Canterbury

Two consultants of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) have been reinstated as full members at the request of the Commission’s chairman.

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Occupy Wall Street: "Expect shock and awe"

Minister Michael Ellick of Judson Memorial Church says that Occupy Wall Street is alive and well, though admittedly with a lower profile these last few months.

Lincoln Anderson reports in The Villager:

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Viral photo of Marine homecoming continues to spark reaction

What is more natural than falling into the embrace of your beloved upon returning from a tour of duty?

Friend David Lewis snapped a picture of Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan's homecoming into the arms of Dalan Wells, and the picture has gone viral around the world through Facebook and Twitter.

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Basketball tip-off rescheduled to honor Jewish Sabbath

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Robert M. Beren Hebrew Academy’s basketball team won its regional championships to advance to a semifinal game in Dallas, scheduled for Friday at 9.m. The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday evening and ends at nightfall on Saturday, and the team strictly observes it.

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Maryland bishops respond to marriage-equality bill

Two of Maryland’s three Episcopal bishops said yesterday that they will allow diocesan clergy to solemnize same-gender marriages now that marriage equality has been signed into law.

ENS:

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Christ Church Cathedral to come down

The earthquake damaged Christ Church Cathedral will be "deconstructed'' to a "safe'' level of 2-3 metres and will not be rebuilt.

The building was extensively damaged in the earthquakes that rocked New Zealand over the last 18 months, with its spire snapping in half during the fatal 6.3-magnitude quake of February 22, 2011 that devastated the city of Christchurch. Aftershocks and small quakes have caused further damage to the building.

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Final order in the Diocese of Virginia vs. CANA

Here is the text of the final order that was handed down yesterday by the Fairfax Circuit court denying reconsideration and ordering the conveyance of all real and personal property to the Diocese of Virginia by April 30, 2012.

Here is the PDF of the final order.

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Episcopal Church proposed 2013-2015 budget released

The draft proposed 2013-2015 budget adopted by Executive Council in January has now been posted on the General Convention website.

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To the religious right, the president's faith doesn't matter

How does the religious right manage to say that President Obama is anti-Christian and opposed to religion even though he talks openly about his conversion to Christianity, exhibits a strong family life and thinks out loud about the implications of faith in public policy?

Evidently, it all depends on your "world-view."

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Using our money as if God was watching

Tithing is generally understood as giving back for God's work ten percent of one's income? But what counts as income? Net income? Gross income? Do you count employee deduction to the United Way as part of one's tithe or separate? Our first impulse is write rules defining what income is.

That's what the IRS does.

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Discussing faith and belief

Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4 discusses the nature of faith and belief with Jonathan Safran Foer, Richard Holloway, Karen Armstrong and Helen Edmundson, who all live outside of their traditional faiths and in the agnostic middle ground.

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Bishop of Alaska endorses marriage equality

Mark Lattime, the Episcopal Bishop of Alaska has written publicly of his support for Prop 5, a marriage equality measure for the City of Anchorage that is to be on the April ballot.

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Covenant having a bad weekend

Last weekend three Church of England dioceses voted to affirm the Anglican Covenant. The week before three voted against. So far this week, including the vote of Sodor and Man on Thursday night, another three dioceses have voted against the Anglican Covenant.

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Restructuring by de-funding

The proposed budget to be presented to General Convention was released late this week. There are people across the church pouring over the details to see what has changed. Tom Ferguson, formerly the Ecumenical Officer for the Episcopal Church and presently the Dean of Bexley Hall Seminary points out that the changes he's seeing indicate that the debate over whether or not the church needs to restructure may be moot. The proposed budget is already doing that.

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No need for Jesus? Not so fast...

There's a bit of a dust up this week over a tweet by singer Miley Cyrus (also known to my daughter's generation as Hannah Montana)

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Love, hope, courage in the midst of tragedy...

In the aftermath of the shootings and deaths at Chardon High School The Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, many have gone beyond themselves to reach out to others:

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Covenant trails as voting nears halfway mark in C of E

Alan Perry has done us the service of gathering the results of the voting on the proposed Anglican Covenant in the Church of England. It is too early to predict the covenant's defeat, but perhaps not too early to begin wondering what will become of the document if, in fact, it is defeated in the Church of England.

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St. Luke in the Fields insprires

The Huffington Post highlights the work of the St. Luke in the Fields, an Episcopal Church in lower Manhattan that makes radical welcome the center of their ministry.

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Two English bishops wring their hands about the covenant

Tobias Haller takes issue with a recent essay by two English bishops advocating the approval of the proposed Anglican Covenant. He notes that while the covenant is often advanced as a mean of improving relationships in the Anglican Communion, nothing in the text achieves that end:

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What the House of Bishops will be up to at its next meeting

The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops will be gathering for its final meeting before the 2012 General Convention Friday March 16 through Tuesday March 20. According to a draft schedule that was posted online, here is some of what is on their agenda:

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TEC budget: Complain here, constructively, of course

It is hard to tell whether there are more complaints about the most recent proposed three-year budget for the Episcopal Church than previous budgets, or if social media simply allows those complaints to be heard more clearly. Whatever the case, the Program Budget and Finance Committee, which is charged with producing the budget that will be voted on at the General Convention, is setting up a website that will offer, among other things, an opportunity to offer one's opinion to PB&F members on the draft budget that has been prepared by Executive Council.

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Making a big bet on building a Development Office

What seems the biggest gamble in the 2013-15 budget has been largely overlooked in the initial round of commentary. On line 6, page 3 of the draft budget, the church proposes to spend $3,766,300 from the principal of its endowment for a development office. Assuming even a modest return on an investment of a sum of that size, the church would have to raise about $4 million just to break even in this triennium. I am not beyond being persuaded that this could turn out to be a good investment. But I really need someone to make the case, especially considering that the Development Office, previously known as the Mission Funding office, lost money during the last triennium, and alienated numerous bishops by showing up in their dioceses to cultivate donors unannounced.

Download the proposed budget.

The ABC wants you to support the proposed Anglican Covenant

There is no clearer sign that the proposed Anglican Covenant is in some trouble than the fact that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, feels the need to release a video in an attempt to enlist support.

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Punk drummer turns priest

Edward Guthman of the San Francisco Chronicle has the story of a former punk rock drummer who became an priest:

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St. Paul's, London, has new dean

St. Paul's Cathedral in London has a new dean - its first since Graham Knowles stepped down amidst criticism over the cathedral's response to the presence of Occupy protestors that were eventually forced off cathedral property last week.

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Guild meeting minutes from the 21st century

Plenty of churches' guilds and socieities have taken minutes of meetings in the past: so many teas, speakers, Bible studies, projects, and lists of kinds of sandwiches consumed.

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NCC groans in transition

The National Council of Churches is getting reorganized and refocused amidst painful realities.

A release concerning a recent meeting paints the picture.

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Breaking: Two adults dead at Jacksonville Episcopal High School

UPDATE: statement from school:

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Anglican Covenant talk: Crew, MacCulloch return Williams' serve

Yesterday we told you about Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and his video message to the Anglican Communion about why we need an Anglican Covenant. Today we find others with YouTube accounts and their own thoughtful responses.

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How to help in Lexington

Recent storms in Kentucky have necessitated a financial mechanism for relief aid, the Diocese of Lexington has announced.

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Getting ink for Lent

Lent, we often remind ourselves this time of year, does not exist that we may rend our souls. Pastor Chris Seay at Houston's Ecclesia has taken it a step further by commissioning tattoos for the explicit purpose of decorating the flesh for Lent - and, of course, long after.

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Coping continues in Jacksonville

The Florida Times-Union today offers continuing coverage of the aftermath of yesterday's violence at Episcopal School of Jacksonville that claimed two lives.

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Southern Cone pitches provincial split

From an item in the Anglican Communion News Service carrying today's date:

The Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America’s Synod has proposed that its Province becomes two.

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The surest reason Kirk Cameron is wrong

File under Old News: Überevangelist Kirk Cameron has at last shown us his true colors, and they aren't pretty.

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Downtown urban parishes, outreach, and the Great Recession

The Café's own Saturday blogger, The Very Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, is among Phoenix religious leaders reflecting on continuing outreach and service in a tough economy for The Downtown Devil (an Arizona State University publication).

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Assorted facts and ideas, post Super Tuesday edition

Exit polls and experts weigh in on where and how candidates' religious beliefs and affiliations impacted the vote yesterday.

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Bishop Harries on same gender marriage

In The Times, Richard Harries, former bishop of Oxford, has held forth on the so-far failed role of the Church of England in the same-sex marriage and civil partnership debate. His remarks were picked up by The Guardian.

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New dean of St Paul's Cathedral calls Church of England to embrace gay marriage

The Very Rev Dr David Ison, the new dean of St Paul's Cathedral appointed by the Queen this week, said the church should welcome gay people wanting to take on the virtues of marriage, such as faithfulness.

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Trinity Wall Street board members resign in protest

According to DNAinfo

Nearly half of the church's board of directors has resigned in the past six months in a dispute with its rector over the direction and mission of the 314-year-old Episcopal church, which became a symbol of downtown's resilience and recovery in the wake of 9/11.

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Slain educator firm believer in doing what is right

Florida Times-Union writer Mark Woods wrote an article some time ago about parents at an Episcopal School losing perspective in undermining a results from a football game. He was surprised when, in response, he received a thank you email from the Head of Scool, Dale Regan. Woods writes on Jacksonville.com:

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International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. Some stories and photos:

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Vatican and other church websites hacked

Religious websites have been the target of denial-of-service attacks or outright vandalism. Yesterday the official website for the Vatican was knocked off the air with other sites and tweet carrying messages claiming it was work of a loose-knit group known as "Anonymous."

The Catholic News Service wrote:

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Draft rite for Same-Sex Blessings and supporting documents released

The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has released excerpts from its “I Will Bless You, and You Will Be a Blessing: Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships,” report, including the text of its proposed rite of blessing.

ENS:

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How "Kony" went viral

News of The Lord's Resistance Army, its leader, Joseph Kony, and their brutal tactics, including using kidnapped children as soldiers have been around for years. This week a video and an intense social media campaign brought the story to life in a big way.

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Three things mainline denominations should do now

Jake Dell, manager of digital marketing and advertising for the Episcopal Church, thinks about thing that the mainline churches can do together right now which will deepen our reach and improve how we communicate our Gospel message.

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Lent: the app?

Today, we have seen the good and the ugly at the intersection of the interwebs and the church. Now it's time for the silly...or is it?

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Anglican Covenant gathers four more "no" votes

UPDATED (see below)

Four more diocesan synods of the Church of England have rejected the Anglican Covenant in voting today. That makes the total 17 against and 10 in favor. If 22 synods vote against the Covenant it will not be taken up by the Church of England's General Synod for adoption.

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A note for churches from their visitors

In an "Open Letter to Churches Seeking New Members" blogger Lyda from "See Lyda Run" details her and her husband Brian's expectations (and reactions) to the ways that congregations go about caring for visitors.

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Rhode Island announces bishop slate

The Diocese of Rhode Island announces its preliminary slate of nominees for election as their next bishop:

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Card-counting evangelism?

A group of young Christians from Seattle formed the nucleus of an organization that worked to raise money by winning casino games of blackjack. Using a technique called "card counting" they traveled across the country racking up millions in winnings.

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Is Britain in danger of importing our culture wars?

Can public prayer be prayed at local government meetings in England? Given the establishment status of the Church of England and its active role in Her Majesty's government you'd think the answer was an unqualified yes. But in a small community in England, a ban on public prayer at town council meetings has sparked a row over whether or not there should be limits.

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Love conquers loss of job

Love conquers even the loss of jobs according to New York Times:

For two men in St. Louis, it seemed like a romantic way to spend their 20th anniversary: a weekend in New York, with a marriage ceremony in Central Park on Friday and a Broadway show, “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert,” on Saturday.

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The proposed Covenant and the Gadarene swine

After yesterday's votes, there are now 17 dioceses voting against taking the next step towards an Anglican Covenant in the Church of England. That's seven more than those in the "for" category. How it fares in England, of course, is at least notionally important in light of Communion structures and personalities.

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CoE worried about rise of evangelicalism?

The Economist believes the Church of England is worried about evangelicalism's growth in England:

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The Anglican Covenant "following motion"

While the Church of England dioceses are voting on the question of the Anglican Covenant, there's a second resolution being in considered in just less than a quarter of the 44 dioceses. It's related to the Covenant question, but it doesn't reference the Covenant directly. It thanks the Archbishop of Canterbury for his leadership and calls on the English House of Bishops to take much more seriously their responsibility for promoting the community of the Communion.

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Debate on marriage equality simmers in Church of England

John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, continues to employ diverting rhetoric and novel arguments in his campaign against marriage equality in the United Kingdom. From Sentamu's recent statements one might conclude that he is not interested in succeeding Rowan Williams as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Having likened Prime Minister David Cameron to a dictator, for attempting to change British law through legislation, Sentamu now claims that the Church of England would have to sign off on marriage equality before it could become law.

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Report to Executive Council recommended against Development Office

The draft of the 2013-15 budget for the Episcopal Church includes an almost $3.8 million draw from the principal of the church’s endowment to fund a development office.

Drawing upon the principal of an endowment is a practice that budget makers generally frown upon, so one would like to believe that the executive team at Church Center headquarters, which has advocated this expenditure, and the Executive Council of the church, which supported it, is fairly certain that it will succeed.

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Twenty years later, an archbishop and gay priest reconcile

Twenty years ago, Archbishop Terence Finlay, then Archbishop of Toronto revoked the license of the Rev. James Ferry because Ferry had fallen in love with the man who would become his lifelong partner. Next Sunday, they will participate in a rare service of reconciliation. Love changes lives, and changes minds.

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Does Rowan Williams understand the proposed Anglican Covenant?

Canon Alan Perry continues to offer some of the more incisive and effective criticisms of the proposed Anglican Covenant. Yesterday he took his scalpel to the recent video in support of the document released by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Liberty U's reputation for discrimination jeopardizes expansion

Residents of Northfield, Massachusetts aren't so sure they want the college founded by Jerry Falwell for a neighbor. Liberty University would like to open a satellite campus on the 217 acre campus of what was once a prep school, but at least some prospective neighbors don't like what Liberty stands for.

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Tutu rips Rowan - updated

UPDATE: The Very Rev. Jeffrey John, Dean of St. Alban's, says the church is "the last refuge of prejudice" in The Telegraph today:

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Integrity focuses on transgender issues for GC 2012

IntegrityUSA announces the release of a new video featuring transgender laity and clergy of The Episcopal Church. The video will be sent to all Deputies and Bishops to prepare and educate them on the issues facing transgender persons and legislation at General Convention.

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Missouri priest investigated for child sexual abuse

The Rolla Daily News reports that an Episcopal priest, often called "the cookie monster" by children, is under investigation for sexual abuse of children.

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Roman Catholic Church seeks to silence S.N.A.P.

New York Times reports that Roman Catholic bishops are trying to cripple and silence Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):

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Yes to Communion - No to Covenant

News release from the No Anglican Covenant Coalition:

YES TO COMMUNION – NO TO COVENANT

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5 Scottish dioceses against covenant

From the blog, Not the same stream a report on the status of the covenant in the Scottish Episcopal Church:

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It's just not right

Mother Jones assesses the draconian Alabama anti-immigration law and finds "It's just not right."

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Episcopal priest to Catholics: Let's trade

Rev. Matthew Lawrence, rector of the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa, Calif., proffers a bargain to the Vatican: Roman Catholics can have disaffected Episcopalians if we can have disaffected Roman Catholics.

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Jeffrey John's interview

Thinking Anglicans offers the full text of the recent interview between Times reporter Ruth Gledhill and The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey John, dean of St. Albans.

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Archbishop of Canterbury to address RC bishops

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has been asked by Pope Benedict XVI to speak to the 2012 Synod of Bishops, which will meet at the Vatican in October.

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Lawsuit alleges mistreatment at St. John's Military School

A lawsuit filed on behalf of former attendees of St. John's Military School in Salina, Kansas, has apparently misnamed the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas as a co-defendant.

The suit, brought by parents of former students, alleges mistreatment at St. John's in the form of negligent supervision, intentional failure to supervise, intentional infliction of emotional distress or outrage, breach of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy to assault and batter.

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Server migration

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Indifference? Meh.

Barna Group religion data-compiler David Kinnamon (author of unChristian and You Lost Me) talks about a growing apathy for Christianity that he's seeing in his research: "not so much, 'You Christians are judgmental and hypocritical,' [so much as] 'So what? Why should I care?'"

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Goldman Sachs and the shaming sermon

Greg Smith, formerly of the investment securities and investment firm Goldman Sachs, left a burning sermon of resignation in the pulpit at the New York Times yesterday. Today it's still smoking.

Lamenting the culture shift at Goldman, Smith channeled his inner Jerry Maguire, writing about how...

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CoE opposes marriage equality

Writing in The Times, the Home Secretary and cabinet Minister for Equality, Theresa May, argues that marriage should be for everyone regardless of their sexuality and strongly dismisses claims by the Church of England to determine who should be able to marry:

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Diocesan support for church-wide budget varies widely

Almost 100 of the 109 dioceses in the Episcopal Church have made their pledges of support to the General Convention budget, and an interesting pattern continues.

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National Cathedral on post-earthquake comeback trail

Brett Zongker of the Associated Press has written an in-depth story about the plight of Washington National Cathedral post-earthquake. The story contains two pieces of welcome news:

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Yet another definition of what it means to be Anglican

Mark Harris calls our attention to a recent report from the Working Party on Theological Education in the Anglican Communion.

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The intense and conflicted relationship of Komen and the Catholic bishops

Reuters has read some interesting correspondence between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and U. S. Catholic bishops.

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Breaking: Rowan Williams stepping down at year's end

UPDATED: Rowan Williams will step down as Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of 2012 to become head of Magdalene College at Cambridge.

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Women of color and the current political landscape

March 16, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on WGBH's World Channel Basic Black presents a panel discussion, Women of color: left out of the "Women's Agenda?":

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ABC discusses his decision, also more reactions

UPDATED AGAIN (3:15 p.m. EDT) and AGAIN at 4:15 p.m. EDT below

UPDATED: (see below) From the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke to the Press Association following the announcement that he will step down from the office of Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of December 2012 to take up the position of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

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More comments on ABC resignation and who's next?

UPDATE: 9:15 p.m. EDT - see below
Anglicans after Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, an essay by Thomas Ferguson, dean of Bexley Hall, an Episcopal seminary in Columbus, Ohio and formerly The Episcopal Church’s ecumenical and interreligious officer:

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Anglican Covenant gathers more "no" votes

There are five dioceses of the Church of England voting on the question of the Anglican Covenant today. So far this morning two have voted and both have rejected the Covenant. Liverpool voted "no" by almost 3 to 1 margins (and both bishops voted no). St. Albans voted "no" with the laity more than two to one opposed.

We'll update this as the voting is reported.

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Bishop of Liverpool sees problems with Covenant

The Diocese of Liverpool voted strongly across all "houses" of their diocesan synod to reject the Anglican Covenant today. That degree of rejection must have been influenced by the Presidential Address of the diocesan bishop, James Jones. He sees the Covenant as a distraction to the real work of the Church.

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Coptic Pope Shenouda dies

Pope Shenouda the III of the Coptic Church died earlier today. He was the Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa of the Coptic Orthodox Church. He had recently been the focus of a great deal of international attention as Christians in Egypt were the focus of persecution during the events leading up to the Arab Spring uprising last year.

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J.K. Rowling's giving drops her from billionaires list

J.K. Rowling, creator of the 15 billion dollar Harry Potter franchise was for a time one of the wealthiest authors in the world. But she's given so much of her wealth away to charity over the past few years that she's dropped off the list that Forbes keeps of the world's richest people.

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Williams the "red tory"

When Rowan Williams was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury most of the liberal portions of the Anglican Communion were delighted. But, as we've heard repeatedly over the past couple of days, they were quickly disappointed. The problem Giles Fraser argues is not that Williams' changes his thinking, but that most people assumed he was liberal rather than a radical.

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A presidential study bible

Former US president Jimmy Carter has published a study bible filled with his personal reflections on the meaning of scripture and how it has influenced his life. Carter was noted as an active Sunday School teacher prior to his election and returned to that ministry following his retirement. He spoke frequently of his experience of being "born again" in the run up to his election. Carter is also well known for his work with Habitat for Humanity and the reconciliation and peace efforts of his Presidential library.

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Where have all the women gone?

Christian Post's (an evangelical Christian news source) blog, Eve's Voice, reviews the book, The Resignation of Eve: what if Adam's rib is no longer willing to be the church's backbone? by Jim Henderson.

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Nigeria prays for anti-gay successor to Williams

A news release from the Church of Nigeria chides Archbishop Rowan Williams for not toeing the Nigerian line on Biblical interpretation:

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Members in good standing?

The Washington Post notes that President and Mrs Obama and their daughter, Sasha, attended St. John's Episcopal Church this morning.

Hmm - baptized, attended communion 3x in the past year, given time talent or treasure to the community? Does that make them members in good standing?

Theological and political carts and horses

On the Huffington Post, Jonathan Dudley says the faith claims we say we've gotten from the Bible are often staked to the sort of thinking to which we're already predisposed.

For example, the command found in Genesis to "have dominion" has had several hermeneutical approaches in the history of readership.

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Rowan Williams interviewed

Coincidentally the Archbishop of Canterbury had on his calendar for today an interview on the occasion of an anniversary of the Fresh Expressions, an evangelism ministry of the Church of England. In addition to questions about Fresh Expressions and the place of the church today more generally, he is asked about the job of Archbishop of Canterbury, what has given him joy and how he has maintained his spiritual life.

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New York Post on the tensions at Trinity Wall Street

More on the tense relationship between the Rector of Trinity Wall Street and some current and former Vestry-members. Some members have resigned in protest over Cooper's leadership.

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There's unity and then there's unity

Giles Frasier thinks aloud about archbishops, unity and why the kind of unity that Rowan Williams sought was not the kind of unity that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion needs.

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Petition adds woman candidate for bishop of Atlanta

The Diocese of Atlanta announced that The Rev. Martha N. Macgill, rector of Memorial Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland., has been nominated by petition for tenth bishop of Atlanta. The slate announced last month included no women.

The press release says:

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Protecting a predator is not a religious right

An Arkansas judge ruled that a judicatory cannot claim a First Amendment privilege to fend off accountability for one of its' clergy in a sexual abuse lawsuit.

AP:

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Exactly when does a person die?

Death, like love, is hard to describe. We know it when we see it, but when exactly is the moment of death?

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Back live

Hi folks, it seems that our server migration issues are in hand. Nice to see you all again.

Hunger for Meaning: or, the Transcendence Games

Julie Clawson has a few thoughts about the Hunger Games trilogy whose first title in the series (of the same name) has spawned a film that's about to do boffo box office.

(Spoiler Alert, we suppose:)

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New Hampshire preserves Marriage Equality

An attempt to repeal marriage equality in New Hampshire failed on Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

It appeared to many supporters of marriage equality that the Republican-dominated legislature would be sure to pass the repeal. Most of the hope centered on Governor Lynch, who had promised to veto any repeal. The question would be whether or not the veto could be overturned.

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Should General Convention meet as a unicameral house

We don't have much by way of details yet, but scuttlebutt from the House of Bishops suggests that it may be worth discussing whether the Episcopal Church would be better served if General Convention abolished the Houses of Bishops and Deputies and met unicamerally.

What are your thoughts? I don't have a well developed opinion on this issue in the abstract, and would like to hear from people who pay attention to this sort of thing.

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World Water Day 2012

The UN's World Water Day is today, with the main event happening in Rome, including a live webcast. The home website reports:

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Cafe recap: Down, but not out...

During the time we lacked the ability to post new articles, the Cafe conversation continued on Facebook!

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The white church and Trayvon Martin

As national attention and moral outrage grows after the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, the question arises "Where is the white church?" Leaders of Florida's predominantly-white churches have issued statements calling for a thorough investigation along with the arrest and prosecution of the shooter. And local Episcopal clergy have joined in with the rallies taking place in Sanford.

Mark I. Pinsky writes at CNN.com:

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Eastern Oregon proposes Communion without Baptism resolution

The Diocese of Eastern Oregon will present a resolution to the next General Convention to change the Constitution and Canons and the Prayer Book to " invite all to Holy Communion, 'regardless of age, denomination or baptism.' :

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Possible candidates for next ABC

The Church Times puts forward a list of bishops that might be in the running for next Archbishop of Canterbury. Rowan Williams was 51 when he was appointed in 2002, and was Archbishop of Wales, and like his two predecessors, served for a decade. The list suggests candidates who are "older"--in their sixties--who might serve for a shorter period, or "younger" bishops in their fifties.

The Church Times list:

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Charlotte clergy to preach Amendment One

The leaders of Clergy for Equality, representing twelve faith traditions in North Carolina, are against a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in that state. This Sunday, 30 clergy in Charlotte will speak against it from their pulpits.

The Charlotte Observer:

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The dangers of cell phones in quiet spaces.

Willie Geist on NBC's Rock Center explores the tension between the need for quiet in theaters, concerts and in church and the ever-present cell phone. He interviews the Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones of Trinity Church, Wall Street who shares a humorous story about the phone that just won't stop ringing.

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Anglican Covenant rejected by Church of England

UPDATED and corrected: Three of six dioceses voting today have rejected the proposed covenant, three have voted in favor. The covenant has been rejected by the Church of England

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Dinner with Rowan

Years ago, before Rowan Williams became the Archbishop of Canterbury, before the time of incredible stress on the Anglican Communion, he and Jane Williams had an informal dinner with Malcolm Boyd and his partner Mark. Boyd looks back on that dinner, remembers what the future Archbishop was like, and thanks him for showing him the face of Jesus that night.

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Bishop and priest reconcile after 20 years

In 1991 the Bishop of Toronto, Terence Finlay (who later became the Archbishop of the Province of Ontario) dismissed a priest of the diocese, Jim Ferry, because Ferry was a partnered gay man. The dismissal was controversial, effectively "outing" Ferry to the community. Finlay insists that he was required to take such action by the canons of the Anglican Church of Canada at the time.

A week ago, the two men, now both retired, were publicly reconciled to each other and their history.

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Lent Madness mentioned in Sports Illustrated

Congratulations to the folks behind the Lent Madness program. This week Sports Illustrated mentions their work in an article on how brackets are going mainstream.

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Coverage of the Covenant vote

Reuters and the BBC have posted lengthy reports this evening on the votes that for all intents and purposes have scuttled the Anglican Covenant in the Church of England.

Reuters features a number of quotes from people that have figured prominently in opposition to the Covenant in England:

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The problem trap

Alban Institute warns about getting caught in the "problem trap":

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Queen of England drops in on wedding

BBC notes the Queen of England joined in on a wedding today:

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Welcoming doubters

As a followup to our popular post on Communion With Out Baptism, we offer an article from
The Los Angeles Times, on the rise of the "nones" and churches:

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Three appeals to the Supreme court

Over the last few days there have been reports from Georgia and Connecticut that three groups comprised of break-away Episcopalians or Presbyterians have appealed to the US Supreme Court to overturn decisions that have gone against the break-away groups.

Two of the groups are former Episcopalians. The Georgia based group is from Christ Church Cathedral in Savannah. Local news reports:

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GAFCON goes to England

The anti-gay contingent in the Anglican Communion will be convening in London next month. It will be interesting to see how the Church of England and the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury receive them.

The GAFCON release says that more than 200 delegates from 30 provinces will be in attendance. An extract from the media release:

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Can the Anglican Communion start afresh?

Can the Anglican Communion start afresh after Rowan Williams steps down as the Archbishop of Canterbury? The great church historian
Diarmaid MacCulloch thinks so
. On the Guardian's website he writes:

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Clergy sexual abuse: how should it be disclosed to the church?

This may be a matter that is of narrow concern, but I would like to seek the wisdom of our readers on this nonetheless. I’ve had professional reasons in recent years to make a bit of informal study of how various churches, dioceses and parishes have handled the difficult task of informing members about instances of clerical sexual abuse. There don’t seem to be any agreed upon best practices, and it seems that there should be.

I am aware of instances in which church leaders have made a full disclosure of the nature and scope of the abuse (withholding certain details so as not to become too clinical, but conveying just how serious was the nature of the abuse), apologized to the community for this breech of trust, asked other victims to come forward, and promised to keep the community apprised of future developments.

I am also aware of church leaders who have not informed their church communities of the abuse and simply let them learn about it through the mainstream media.

And, finally, I am aware of church leaders who do their damnedest to suppress as much information as possible.

Assuming that a parish, a diocese, or the folks at church center are in possession of corroborated reports of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy or a bishop, how fully and through what channels should they release this information?

I would especially like to hear from members of Episcopal Communicators on this issue, and we can be more liberal than we usually are in granting our commentors' anonymity if that makes it easier for them to tell their stories.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is going to elect a bishop!

Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette writes:

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The ACO and the politics of being a staff member

The Anglican Communion Office released a statement from Canon Kenneth Kearon, the communion’s secretary general, on Saturday shortly after the Church of England rejected the proposed Anglican Covenant claiming that eight provinces had approved the covenant, and suggesting that the verdict in England was not final—even though that church, under its own rules, cannot take up the issue again until 2015.

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The New Yorker on the impending departure of the ABC

Jane Kramer of The New Yorker offers her take on why Rowan Williams stepped down as the Archbishop of Canterbury:

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Tolerance isn't enough

British Film Institute featured Love Free or Die and an interview with Bishop Gene Robinson:

Speaking after the screening of the new film about his life and work as the first openly gay and partnered bishop in Christendom, Bishop Gene Robinson talks about the role of religious institutions in civil liberties, explains why tolerance isn't enough and gives everyone who sees the film a mission of education.

BCP and church growth?

A commenter raised the question on the Café about there relationship between The Episcopal Church's current decline and the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Was the change from Morning Prayer to a more Eucharistic centered worship a cause. Ever curious about statistics we asked Kirk Hadaway, Program Officer: Congregational Research, Evangelism & Congregational Life Center, the church's keeper and collator of all things statistical. His response (shared with permission):

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Church goers happier?

The Gallup organization reports church going is linked to having a better mood:

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Katharine Jefferts Schori: faith and culture

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori discusses contemporary issues and the church with the Huffington Post:

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Hunger Games: Losing the moral center

The Rev. Torey Lightcap, one of the Lead's news editors, reviews The Hunger Games at his blog Irreducible Minimums. He wonders if the moral lessons of the books are lost in the films:

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Bishop Alan on Communion after Covenant

Bishop Alan Wilson's blog has a few now-that-the-dust-has-cleared type thoughts on the question of how to proceed as the Anglican Communion in light of the news out of the Church of England concerning the rejection of the proposed Anglican Covenant.

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Is the Covenant really gone?

A majority of the synods of the Church of England have spoken and are agreeing not to return to the discussion of further supporting the proposed Anglican Covenant. But this doesn't make the Covenant a dead letter.

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Bishop/COO Sauls on Trayvon Martin

From The Huffington Post, here's some of how Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church, frames the subjects of race, media, and leadership in the Trayvon Martin case.

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The word 'Christian' as a too-broad brush?

In The New Republic, Timothy Noah wants to know just when it was that the word "Christian" came to be exclusive and synonymous with evangelicalism.

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Cape Town calling York: Communion through Covenant matters

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, has written to Archbishop of York John Sentamu in support of the proposed Anglican Covenant. Arguing for the Covenant as an instrument of mutual interdependence, he writes, "The Communion, and all it has the potential to be and become, under God, matters."

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Jeremy Lin goes to lunch with ESPN editor who was fired over headline

An interesting continuation of a past story: Cindy Boren of The Washington Post reports that New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin asked Anthony Federico to lunch. Federico was fired for a story on Lin that used an ethnic slur for its headline:

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"If your church can change, it can grow"

The Washington Episcopal Clergy Association is highlighting a research study by Faith Communities Today entitled FACTs on Growth: 2010.

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Virginia Episcopalians ready for a ‘new dawn’ after prolonged legal battle

The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, has a new op-ed in the Washington Post on the court case concerning Episcopal properties:

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In C of E, Anglican Covenant suffers another defeat

The London diocesan synod today voted against the Anglican Covenant. This brings to 24, a majority, the number of Church of England dioceses against; 23 22 dioceses against was sufficient to defeat the covenant and that number was reached this past weekend. The Church of England is, for now, an associate, not a constituent, member of the Anglican Communion -- if we take Rowan Williams at his word.

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First public witness for a new bishop: Marching for Trayvon

Orlando Sentinel:

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Reactions on the apparent death of the Covenant

Thinking Anglicans and The Wounded Bird have round ups of reactions to the failure of the Anglican Covenant in the Church of England, and with it, the apparent failure of the plan in the Anglican Communion as a whole.

Giles Frasier in the Church Times writes:

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Australia consecrates woman bishop, Jensen stays away

When the Rev. Genieve Blackwell is consecrated Assistant Bishop of Canberra-Goulburn by Bishop Stuart Robinson, the Archbishop of Sydney, and Metropolitan of New South Wales, Peter Jensen will stay away “for reasons of conscience,” which makes sense considering the fact that he sued to prevent women from entering the episcopate.

Goulbourne Post:

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Why did they leave? And where did they go?

In the late fall of 2011, Bishop David M. O’Connell, of Trenton, N.J., surveyed nearly 300 nonchurchgoing Catholics in his diocese asking some simple question: "Why did you leave?" and "Where did you go?"

While Episcopalians think of themselves as a logical alternative to Catholicism, a close read of what was said by these lapsed Catholics should be a sobering read for us. How much of this sounds familiar?

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How to select an Archbishop of Canterbury

This is the news release describing in detail the process of choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Manchester says "no" to Covenant

Manchester, the last Church of England diocese to vote until after Easter, has voted "no" to the Anglican Covenant. That brings the present vote total, including London's "no" vote this week, to 25 dioceses against and 15 in favor.

Thinking Anglican has the vote totals:

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The cult of "busyness"

Why did the bishops of the Church of England differ so strikingly from their clergy in their voting about the Anglican Covenant? Sam Norton, an English priest argues that it's because the Church of England's "stupid and ungodly culture" honors being busy more than it honors the work of the discernment of God's will.

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‘Stereotypes cost lives’

More churches are finding their voice and speaking out against a culture which allows people to be shot to death with little hope of finding justice. A cross-denominational group of denominations, which include the Episcopal Church as well as the traditional African-American denominations have issued a joint statement.

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Truro Church keeps on in court

The congregation of Truro Church associated with CANA has filed a notice of appeal to the State Supreme Court asking that the previous judgement by a state judge be revisited again.

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Church in a bar

Worship in a bar? It's become commonplace to hear of congregations holding meetings or bible study groups in coffee shop, but Sunday service in working bar? While the bar is still open?

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