Sacristy signage saves on electrical bill

lights.jpgThe members, clergy, Altar Guild, and even the sexton of St. Thomas Aquinas Episcopal Church in Jackson Bend, Oklahoma, all agree that a cost-conscious measure has really done its part.

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Local Church Procession Ends in Chaos

Breaking from the newswire:

SPRINGFIELD-- Police were called to a local bakery today to disperse an unruly crowd of approximately 75 Episcopalians after a religious procession degenerated into a dispute over doughnuts and coffee.

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Citing personal health issues, bishop bans use of regular palms

Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Allegheny this morning were read a pastoral letter from their bishop, The Rt. Rev. Wilbert Smith, explaining that 2012 would be the last year that “customary green palms” could by employed for liturgical purposes. Smith has effectively banned the use of regular palms henceforth.

His letter says, in part,

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Petition drive for next ABC

There is an on-line petition started to the Crown Nominating Committee seeking to have Geraldine Granger be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by the Queen, Really.

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Making a move by bike

Tim Flores has been living car-free for a decade. So when he needs to move, does he borrow a friend's pick up? Nah. He goes by bike.

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Back to Jesus

Andrew Sullivan, writing in the Daily Beast, says that Christianity is in crisis. What he says is nothing new and neither is his prescription. But that does not mean it is not radical. His solution: stop propping up the church and go back to Jesus.

The Crisis of Our Time

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Share your views on the next ABC

Anglican Communion News Service reports on an invitation to share your views on the ministry of the next Archbishop of Canterbury:

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Congregations and loss

Alban Institute discusses the effects of loss on congregations:

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4 reasons I came back to church

Christian Piatt tells the 4 reasons he came back to church in the Huffington Post:

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Clothes and self perception

The New York Times reports on the phenomenon of "embodied cognition."

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Is God a girl?

Bettany Hughes asks "Who knows whether God is a girl?" in The Telegraph today:

Bettany Hughes, an expert in ancient history, claimed that Christianity “was originally a faith where the female of the species held sway”.

To oppose the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England is to deny the central role women played in the foundations of the faith, said Hughes.

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Bad news and good news for gays/lesbians in Africa

Box Turtle Bulletin reports on the anti-gay rhetoric and actions in Liberia while news of a new gay and lesbian publication emerges from Sudan:

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EWC on Trayvon Martin

Episcopal Women's Caucus comments on the Trayvon Martin case:

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Church's activism at work during Holy Week

A scan of the newswires shows a busy last couple of days for The Episcopal Church in the world of activism.

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Obama: Easter story sustains, strengthens

In his third "pre-Easter" breakfast held today, President Obama said the Easter story is a touchstone for strength in hard times.

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Egging them on: or, The yolk's on us

File under cracked up: nzherald reports Christian students at Auckland University are lining up to become targets:

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Diaconal association seeks larger conversation about poverty in 2013

From the Association for Episcopal Deacons comes a call for the church to spark a conversation in 2013 around issues of poverty.

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Listening period for proposed immigration policy to keep families together reports on the 60-day public-comment period that began Monday for a proposed policy that would allow illegal immigrants who are immediate family members of U.S. citizens to remain with their families longer while applying for permanent residency.

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Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis holds mandatory school assemblies on marriage

David Badash writes:

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PB criticized for postion on Israel, Palestine and divestment

Sabeel, leading organization for justice, peace and reconciliation in Palestine-Israel has posted an open letter to the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church:

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Royal Maundy with the Queen and Archbishop Sentamu

The Queen of England continued the tradition of Royal Maundy.

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Denise Levertov on Julian and Good Friday

Excerpt from On a Theme from Julian's Chapter XX by Denise Levertov:

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The Stations of the Cross for families

Children narrate the stations.

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Observing Good Friday

How are you observing Good Friday? Tell us in the comments.

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The Grand Miracle by Mary Karr

From The Grand Miracle by Mary Karr:

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Four stations, video meditations by Canon Frank Logue

From The Rev. Canon Frank Logue in the Diocese of Georgia:

Human suffering is ubiquitous. What makes Jesus' death on the cross is not what humans did to Jesus, but that God responded with love to hate and with life to death. These video Stations of the Cross use film of more recent examples of needless suffering alongside images of Christ's passion to challenge viewers to see how Jesus' death and resurrection can redeem all of the many times and ways the innocent have endured pain even to death.

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Oh Sacred Head/American Tune

From St. Matthew Passion by J. S. Bach.

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James Fenhagen died on Thursday

The Rev. Canon James C. Fenhagen died on Thursday in South Carolina. Fenhagen was known to many within the Episcopal Church because of his leadership in clergy education and parish development.

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Washing the feet of the poor

In most Maundy Thursday services the clergy wash the feet of members of their congregations. But Bishop James Mathes took to the streets on Thursday along with members of the diocese of San Diego to wash the feet of people living homeless and in need.

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"Put women back into Holy Week"

Episcopal priest, writer and "modern mystic" Cynthia Bourgeault had an epiphany last year on Palm Sunday. She noticed that nowhere in the gospel account of Passion read that day did the word "love" appear. And that Mary Magdalene remained voiceless throughout the entire reading in spite of the fact that she and other women remained with Jesus throughout his ordeal.

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Rebirth required for the CoE

There's lots to be worried about in the Church of England. Numbers are declining, those that still remain are resistant to change that might bring in newcomers and the leadership seems increasingly deaf to the voices of the grassroots. Bishop Alan Wilson in a blog earlier this week wrote that the Church of England needed to be rebooted, to rethink its place in English society.

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The restoration of all things

Many Episcopal Church congregations are in the process of starting their Easter Vigils, or have just finished them. The graphic below was used by Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis on their Facebook page to invite people to their vigil service.

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He is risen indeed!

The Lord is risen today.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

2007 resurrection icon

Why did Jesus have to die?

Mark Harris shares his sermon from the Easter Vigil. How would you answer Lily's question?

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Jesus was an Only Son

Bruce Springsteen sings, and explains one of his lesser known songs, Jesus was an Only Son.

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Anne Lamott on getting beyond bunnies

Michele Norris of National Public Radio sat down to talk about Easter with Anne Lamott.

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Episcopalians are worshiping in The Falls Church again

The steadfast folks who remained in the Episcopal Church when most of their congregation and all of their clergy voted to breakaway and take the property with them returned to The Falls Church yesterday. Matt Rhodes offers a first person account.

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What we talk about when we talk about Easter

We would like to try a little experiment this morning. We are celebrating the holiest season of the Christian year, a season we enter after seven weeks of preparation. We’d like to ask you to do three things here. 1) Describe what this experience, or some piece of this experience, has been like for you. 2) Think about how you would alter this description if you were speaking to someone who wasn’t currently attending a church, but might want to. 3) Think about under what circumstances you might feel comfortable offering such a description to such a person.

Do you feel comfortable taking it from here, or no?

Christianity in Crisis: responses to Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan's essay "Christianity in Crisis", has sparked a number of thoughtful responses, and a reply to one of the responses from Sullivan himself.

Diana Butler Bass, a friend of this blog, raised some issues at The Huffington Post that she believes Sullivan missed.

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Mr. Catolick is not fond of the Archbishop of York

It is safe to conclude that Mr. Tom Catolick does not believe that Archbishop John Sentamu would make a good Archbishop of Canterbury. We don't know much about Archbishop Sentamu. A number of the people involved in The Episcopal Church's attempts to work through its response to the Windsor Report at our General Convention in 2006 felt he inserted himself in the process in unhelpful ways. But it is difficult to say whether that says more about the man or the times.

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The wild Catholic career of the Rev. Bernard Lynch

Peter Stanford of The Independent profiles the Rev. Bernard Lynch, whose career is the Roman Catholic Church as a whistleblower, advocate for LGBT people, and, as it turns out, married gay man, would be dismissed as implausible were it proposed as fiction.

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In Nigeria, ethical questions about the renovation of a church

The Anglican Church of Nigeria has been caught up as a bit player in what might be evidence of government corruption, or might be an instance of a public spirited Italian construction firm doing its host country a good turn. (We aggregate. You decide. Or not.)

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The truth about orthodoxy

Bosco Peters writing at Liturgy points us to a fascinating lecture by Fr. John Behr, Dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in New York. Behr believes that the early church communities that were the most diverse--catholic--were what came to be known as orthodox.

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Religion and politics cannot be separated

BIshop Pierre Whalon says that it is both naive and impossible to separate religion and politics.

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Therapy, sexual orientation and picking the next ABC

Thinking Anglicans points us to an article in the Guardian about a member of the Crown Nominations Commission, psychiatrist Dr. Glynn Harrison, believes that therapy might work for clergy and others with "unwanted" same sex attraction.

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Easter in a synagogue

Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston, VA, held their Easter worship in a local synagogue this week. The congregation at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue invited their neighbors to use their worship space while Grace recovers from damage suffered during an earthquake in 2011.

WCSC-TV reports:

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Coming home again

Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today looks at the people who go back to the church of their youth. They are not converts, she calls them "reverts."


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NPR on hope and schism in Diocese of Virginia

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty sat down with both sides of the controversy and property disputes in the Diocese of Virginia. She says Virginia "is the epicenter of the Episcopal schism" and that cases like that of Heathsville typify the acrimony and pain.

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'Blue Like Jazz' and other pressures of Christian entertainment

Have you read Don Miller's Blue Like Jazz? If so, did you like it? Did you know it's been adapted into a movie project whose funding was crowd-sourced by Christians eager to see it committed to film?

I read the book after I heard The (now) Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia quote from it at a TENS conference a few years ago. Bishop Rickel, whom I then knew as Greg from Austin, talked about the quote on the first page of the book as illustrative of the Christian stewardship journey:

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Bishop Curry on immigration in North Carolina

In a place where overhauling comprehensive immigration law is a hot topic, Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina spoke in late March at a heated public-comment session on behalf of immigrants before a group of legislators of the House Select Committee on the State’s Role on Immigration Policy.

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Sermon as proposal: preaching and the self-identified 'spiritual, but not religious'

Among its many merits, an article by Adam J. Copeland in the Lent 2012 issue of Journal for Preaching contains this poignant idea of how preachers might expand their thinking in consideration of those calling themselves "spiritual, but not religious" (SBNR).

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Respectful atheists

Nicholas Kristoff, writing in the Sunday New York Times Week in Review, notices a new brand of atheist, ones who are skeptical but respect the role and achievement of religion in human culture

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Episcopal Church vs. Episcopal Church? (on budget and mission)

The Rev. Susan Brown Snook writes on the future of the Episcopal Church on her blog "A Good and Joyful Thing":

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Christianity Is Not Bad For Women

The Rt. Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, wrote this for the Huffington Post Religion blog:

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A more grown up Easter

Roger Wolsey has written an article on Elephant Journal: "A Kinder, Gentler, more Grown Up Easter."

The article, with fantastic visual illustrations, explores the challenges of triumphal Easter:

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Anglican Mainstream anti-gay ads pulled from London buses

UPDATE: Anglican Mainstream to sue Mayor of London.

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Women clergy shaping religion in US

Joshua Bolding in The Deseret News reports on the effect on churches of the growing number of women clergy:

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Humor or blasphemy?

Is a cartoon showing the resurrection by using Humpty Dumpty all together again on the third day, humor or blasphemy? The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the storm of opinion about the cartoon:

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Internet religion revolution

CBSand Google+ partner to talk about religion in the digital age.

Bob Schieffer discusses how the Internet is changing the way people worship in a Google+ Hangout with Sarah Pulliam, Bobby Gruenewald, Jason Illian, Rabbis Laura Baum and Robert Barr.

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Churches in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin

The Rev. Charlie Holt, whose church is less that two miles from the site of the shooting, gives us a behind the headlines look at how the churches in the area are coming together to build up the community in this time:

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Former ABC says Christians are being persecuted in Britain

The Guardian reports that former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey claims Christians are being persecuted and driven underground in the UK.

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Part 2 of restructuring and the church budget

The Rev. Susan Brown Snook, who proposed a quick fix for the budget in her blog on March 26, offers some long term ideas for restructuring and mission. From her blog, A Good and Joyful Thing:

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Roman Catholic bishops issue manifesto

Sara Posner of Religion Dispatches reflects on the Roman Catholic Bishops' Religious Liberty Manifesto Vowing Disobedience to "Unjust Laws."

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Your song could go global

As the Anglican Church of Canada prepares for the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, it seeks original music compositions:

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Holy Humor Batman

Will you be telling jokes on the second Sunday of Easter? Joyful Noise Newsletter tells of this tradition and gives some ideas for church services:

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Bad religion: American heresies

Ross Douhat, author of Bad Religion: How we became a nation of heretics, interviewed about his new book on NPR. The 3 main heresies of today are found in the popularity of the DaVinci Code, the preaching of Joel Osteen and the prosperity gospel, and of the narcissism of books like Eat, Pray, Love:

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Religiosity by state

Gallup has issed a new poll measuring religious activity by residents of various states:

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April 15: Jackie Robinson Day

Celebrating Jackie Robinson Day here on the Café. As you know the Episcopal Church is the official denomination of baseball and your editors at Episcopal Café are crazy for baseball. To keep up our standing we are honoring Jackie Robinson today along with other major league teams.

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Getting snuggly with your faith

Killing the Buddha reports on the offerings of Vision Bedding:

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Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic

Episcopal News Service reports Church joins Titanic remembrances:

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Who is responsible for leaks from the Crown Nominations Commission?

The Crown Nominations Commission, which will nominate Rowan Williams' successor as Archbishop of Canterbury, leaks. Strategically. And at least one leading figure thinks the leak needs to be plugged before the next archbishop is selected.

In a letter to the Guardian, Dean Jeffrey John wrote:

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A study in numerical decline

I live tweeted the presentation that Kirk Hadaway, director of research for the Episcopal Church, made to the Episcopal Church Building Fund conference, Buildings for a New Tomorrow, this morning. You can find it at!/search/%23bldgfund

Surprised by Article XII, or What can be achieved at a special convention?

Someone who knows the Constitution of the Episcopal Church better than I do called my attention to an issue that has been hiding in plain sight in the church’s debate on structural reform.

More than 15 dioceses, and one province, have put forward a resolution calling for the creation of special commission on church structure that would make a thorough review of the way in which our church operates. The commission would

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Episcopal buzzwords, and how they fail

Jesse Zink has a few thoughts on the various maxims, slogans, symbols, buzzwords and bromides that define, or, more often, fail to define the Episcopal Church, and its role in the Anglican Communion.

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Rowan Williams and the decline of religious institutions

In an essay for USA Today, Diana Butler Bass says the dilemmas that Rowan Williams faced as Archbishop of Canterbury are a sign of the times, but not in the way that most people think.

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The peculiar popularity of Thomas Kinkade

S. Brent Plate assesses the peculiar appeal of Thomas Kinkade, "the painter of light," who died earlier this month at 54.

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Susan Russell: our missing voices

In a response to a study that finds that the an overwhelming majority of religious voices in the media come from groups opposed to marriage equality or any tacit acceptance of LGBT people into the Church, Susan Russell writes that it matters that the voices of the acceptance are missing.

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No loan takers so far

UPDATE: The link to the loan fund is here. Thanks to our commenters for asking.

A year ago we reported that there was $100,000 dollars in low interest loans available for any congregation to use to revision their building usage. As of yesterday, the money is still there. Apparently no one has even applied.

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Diocese of Virginia and Truro settle

Addendum to post, concerning The Falls Church: A press release from the Diocese of Virginia

Court Declines to Rule on Stay sought by Falls Church Anglican; Will Hear Evidence April 27


The Fairfax Circuit Court heard today the Falls Church Anglican’s motion for a stay to suspend the court’s order until its appeal is decided. The court determined that it has jurisdiction over the matter, and that it could not impose a sharing arrangement on the parties. The court will hear evidence on the factors it must consider on whether to grant the stay at 2 p.m., Friday, April 27.


A press release from the Diocese of Virginia:

Joint Statement from Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia


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Who can speak for the Church?

Lionel Deimel writes of his concern that the provisional bishop of Pittsburgh, Ken Price, has signed onto a document that opposes a federal mandate regarding universal access to contraceptives.

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Cardboard cathedral for Christchurch

The Anglican diocese of Christchurch announced plans yesterday to build a temporary replacement structure for the ruined iconic cathedral. The cathedral, destroyed as a result of recent earthquakes will be replaced by a $5 million dollar (New Zealand) cardboard structure expected to last for twenty years. The new structure will seat 700 and is designed to be multi-use.

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Weakened addition: proposed budget does not add up

A statement from Ms. Diane Pollard and Bishop Stephen Lane, chairpersons of the Program Budget and Finance Committee about the 2013-2015 Budget for the Episcopal Church:

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Archbishop of Wales: 'Gospel of Jesus is good news for gay people'

From Wales Online:

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Executive Council meeting in Salt Lake City

UPDATE: report from Episcopal News Service.

Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth questioned why council could not correct the “mistakes and errors” in the version of the draft budget council forwarded to the church’s Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) in January. He asked whether council could send that group a revised version.

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Vatican to curtail nation's largest org of Catholic women religious

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has overhauled the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, many news sources are reporting.

From AP:

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What Bishops Do - compassion edition

Ali Symons briefly sketches Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, on a recent trip to the Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands.

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More Episcopal Church budget laments

Lots of reactions, none particularly good, from Episcopalians concerning the statement on the proposed budget.

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Episcopal Café: Today we celebrate our fifth anniversary

Today is the fifth anniversary of Episcopal Café. Five years ago a team of volunteers began posting news stories, commentary, spiritual reflections and artwork provided by Episcopalians from all around the country—and, to a lesser extent, the world. Today we are still at it.

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Survey published on "Religion, Values, and Politics among College-age Millennials"

Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shared their survey of college-age Millennials (Americans ages 18-24) concerning faith, values, and the 2012 election. The survey was jointly conducted by Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Some of the religious highlights:

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Duke Chapel's dean: "stretched" and "humbled" while in Durham

In reflecting Tuesday evening on his seven years as dean of Duke Chapel, Sam Wells said his own faith was strengthened during his tenure and he hoped he pushed the chapel to engage more fully with the rest of campus and surrounding community.

From DukeToday:

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A dream of holy community

The Episcopal News Services reports a three day visit to the the U.S.-Mexico border between Arizona and Sonora by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

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Wales puts the Covenant on hold.

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales has put the Anglican Covenant on hold, asking for clarity from the Anglican Consultative Council about the documents future in light of rejection by the Church of England.

Thinking Anglicans:

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The unity that comes through service

The Deseret News follows a group of Episcopalians and members of other churches as they head to Alabama to help a community after a tornado to see how service brings religions together.

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From diplomacy to the priesthood

The Rev. Anthony Hutchinson is the new rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Ashland, Oregon. Before ordination, he served as a diplomat for the US State Department.

The Mail Tribune:

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Executive Council disappointed

UPDATED: MEMO to PB&F corrected copy.

Updated. The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church has completed its last meeting before General Convention. They issued this letter today:

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Catholic laity support their nuns, but will they act to support them?

Margaret Susan Thompson, professor of history at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, New York, responds to the crackdown on American nuns by the Vatican. Writing in The Tablet, she talks about the contribution Catholic lay religious women have made to the Church's witness in the US and the support many Catholics feel for the nuns.

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Ripped reverend

The Rev. Dr. Amy Richter relates her experience as a contestant in the Wisconsin State Fair physique competition. The New York Times carries her story:

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Elections of bishops today

UPDATED: 4:30 PM EDT and at 9:30 PM EDT All elections complete. See below

Elections in the Episcopal Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Western Louisiana for bishops diocesan, bishop suffragan election in Virginia:

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News from the Church of Baseball

From The New York Times, "Baseball as a Road to God:"

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Courage founder: "Gay cure" not possible

Jeremy Marks who founded Courage in the UK to help gays and lesbians overcome homosexuality writes 'I began to think that perhaps we’d got it really wrong.' in
The Guardian:

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What makes a competent priest?

The Anglican Church of Canada is developing a set of competencies for priesthood. They will be used in the formation and evaluation of priests.

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CoE bishops, clergy, laity speak out for marriage equality

Defying the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York and those leaders who want the word "marriage" reserved for the church's sacrament, Church of England bishops, clergy and laity are speaking out for all who wish to be married.
The Telegraph reports Bishop Nicholas Holtam's statement that "church opposition to equal marriage is a 'disaster.'"

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@theologybird: What I wish Executive Council had said

The Rev. Robyn Barnes, a deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Montana, kept up an active twitter stream about last week's Executive Council meeting. You can follow her as @theologybird, and view the entire collective twitter stream by following the hashtag #ExCoun.

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Earth Day: People of faith called to be activists

Mary Frances Schjonberg writing for Episcopal News Service reports:

Participants in the Episcopal Church’s “The Intersection of Poverty and the Environment” program April 21 agreed that people of faith can and should play an important role in organizing communities to be both good neighbors and stewards of creation.

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One more take on that letter from Executive Council

The Rev. Megan Castellan, (on Twitter @revlucymeg) a college chaplain from the Diocese of Arizona, took a long look at the Executive Council's recent letter, and decided to write the council a letter in reply. Here is some of what she had to say on her blog, Red Shoes, Funny Shirt.

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The New Urbanism and the church

On this morning after Earth Day, we offer this excellent essay on the New Urbanism from Episcopal News Service, by the Rev. Jason Fout, assistant professor of Anglican theology at Bexley Hall Seminary.

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Let go of the peanuts!

You will have to read the Rev. Gay Jennings' entire sermon at the closing Eucharist of Executive Council to understand the headline on this item. Below is a passage that was especially heartening to me.

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Blue Book published

The Blue Book, information and resolutions for General Convention 2012, is now on web for downloading. Information for purchase of a printed copy or copy for e-books is also available.

For the pdf. click here.

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If the Episcopal Church leaves 815, where should it go?

Just before Holy Week, Bishop Chris Epting floated on Twitter the idea that the Episcopal Church should sell its headquarters at 815 Second Avenue in New York and move into the vacant College of Preachers complex at Washington National Cathedral. When I replied that I thought the idea was intriguing, he asked if I would float it on Episcopal Cafe.

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Archbishop of Sudan appeals for peace

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Primate of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, is appealing for peace as the Sudanese army marches into South Sudan.

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In nothing we trust

The National Journal features a compelling analysis of American's deepening sense that the major institutions that held our society together are broken. That includes the church. Under the subheading "From Guttenberg to Google", writers Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton compare a Sunday morning at a Methodist Church is Muncie, Indiana to Sunday morning at a nearby megachurch. They write:

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The whole front page

The entire front page of the Sioux City (IA) Journal was devoted yesterday to an editorial against bullying.


link fixed - thanks Susan

Paris in the springtime

We don't usually post job openings, but one of these days, the Cafe is going to start raising some money, and it occurred to us that if the new dean of the American Cathedral in Paris first learned about that opening on our site, he or she might be of a mind to be generous.

Reflections on the election in Pittsburgh

Lionel Deimel, who has been active in the new life of the Diocese of Pittsburgh relates his thoughts following the election of their next bishop. Pending consents from the other dioceses, Pittsburgh will enter into a new stage of their life.

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Will Sentamu succeed Williams?

There's a great deal of chatter in the past few days about the possibility of the John Sentamu, the present Archbishop of York, succeeding Rowan Williams as the Archbishop of Canterbury. There are opinion pieces in the English press claiming that if he doesn't, it's because of racism. And there are articles talking about leaked concerns regarding his management style.

Paul Vallely for instance writes:

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Reactionary religious voices on the rise

With the final stages of this year's presidential election starting in earnest, Clay Farris Naff sees a profound reason to be concerned in the way that religion is emerging as a wedge issue. He's written an essay in the Huffington Post that discusses the spreading rhetoric of what we calls a "reactionary rhetoric of Old Time Religion"; something that he's seeing happen in all the major faith voices in the West. Even the atheists are reacting with their own version of uncompromising rhetoric.

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FOCA wants to reduce Canterbury's role

The Anglican provinces that aligned themselves as part of the GAFCON movement, now described as FOCA (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans), are meeting in England at the moment. As part of their work, they are suggesting that the Anglican Communion be reorganized in a way that the leadership selection is done by election not by tradition.

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NC bishops oppose "Amendment One"

Three Episcopal bishops in North Carolina have released a joint letter in opposition to a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as existing only "between one man and one woman" and would effectively outlaw other forms of domestic partnership within the state.

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Diocese of Texas sees qualified momentum in same-gender blessings

From the Diocese of Texas:

Texas Bishop Announces Plan to Navigate Proposed Rite

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Is your Facebook status telling the truth about you?

An extended riff on the impact of social media in The Atlantic asks, "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?" Stephen Marche argues that no, it isn't, but it certainly isn't helping.

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Providence cathedral holds final service

Painful day in Providence, Rhode Island: the city's Cathedral of St. John saw its final service for the time-being on Sunday and will soon be shuttered.

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In Trayvon Martin case, racial divide runs through churches, too

The Orlando Sentinel reports Sanford, Florida's churches have come to see how they have been divided by race in the wake of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, and how leaders of those congregations have responded in dialogue with one another and with civic leaders as they call for healing.

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'What to expect when your church is expecting'

Presbyterian minister (PCUSA) and writer MaryAnn McKibben Dana says "Rumors of [our] demise have been greatly exaggerated" - that in fact, being in our declining years doesn't mean we can't give life to a new world.

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