Lawyer launches immigration clinic at Illinois church

A priest in our parish recently helped a political refugee from Equatorial Guinea navigate the arduous road to U.S. citizenship, so I was inspired by this story of an attorney who is launching an immigration clinic at an Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill. From the Chicago Tribune:

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NC names nominees for Bishop Suffragan post

The Diocese of North Carolina has announced a notably young and predominately female slate of nominees to stand for election as Bishop Suffragan:

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The saints are funnier than you might think

I love All Saints Day. I find "I sing a song of the saints of God" all day long (and I mean to be one too!) I recommend Fr. James Martin's "My Life with the Saints," a memoir that weaves stories of his relationship to certain saints in a wonderful accessible way. Martin (my favorite Jesuit) has an essay on Huffington Post today extolling the humorous side of certain saints. He writes:

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Bishop V. Matthews on Covenant: 'just plain wrong'

Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St. Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland, comments on a speech on the Anglican Covenant made by The Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in which ...

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Providing companionship during death, and after

As we pray on the Feast of All Saints for our loved ones who are gone, here is an inspiring story about efforts in Los Angeles and Chattanooga to provide companionship to the dying and to honor those who have died alone. From Episcopal News Service:

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Climate change topic at Anglican Consultative Council #15

The Anglican Consultative Council, meeting in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, heard from many about climate change according to Anglican Communion News Service:

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Sutton on marriage equality, dream act and other ballot measures

Bishop Eugene Sutton of Maryland has written a pastoral letter on several ballot measures in front of voters in his state this coming Tuesday. While reminding Maryland Episcopalians should vote their consciences, he makes the case for marriage equality (Question 6) and the DREAM Act (Question 4). He explains why he opposes expanded gambling (Question 7).

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Last minute religious hype as election nears...

...While we note with appreciation Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton's pastoral letter for its clarity and balance, not to mention his respect for the consciences of the voter. It is a stark contrast to the ways that religion is manipulated for political ends.

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Why should the UK get all the fun?

The Archbishop of The Church of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, has called for the selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury to be more international and for the post to be term-limited.

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Warning: Time Change Ahead

We present the following public service announcement.

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An offering for the Feast of All Souls

A musical offering and prayer by The Very Reverend G. Thomas Luck, Dean and Rector, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, Syracuse, New York called "Silent Souls."

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Presiding Bishop and President of House of Deputies on Hurricane Sandy

The Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings issued a joint statement on Hurricane Sandy and aftermath:

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Wendell Berry given Green Cross award

Episcopal News Service reports that the Bishop of California, Marc Andrus has given the inaugural Green Cross award to Wendell Berry:

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Helping children cope

Episcopal Relief and Development offers ideas for working with children during and after disasters:

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ACC 15 acclaims Bible project

The Anglican Consultative Council, meeting in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand praises the Bible project:

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Grace Church in Nyack NY provides space to synagogue

Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack NY open their doors to Congregation Sons of Israel and Temple Beth Torah whom were displaced because of no power caused by Superstorm Sandy.

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Justice, poverty and Sandy

Omid Safi asks some hard questions at Religion News Service:

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Mini-GAFCON to be held in Nigeria

Mini-GAFCON will be held in Nigeria this week according to All Africa news. Discussions against same sex marriage are the primary agenda:

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New pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians chosen

Bishop Tawadros has been chosen as the new pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians, becoming leader of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East.

His name was selected from a glass bowl by a blindfolded boy at a ceremony in Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral. Three candidates had been shortlisted.

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Sister Simone Campbell on the invisible 46.2 million

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK and leader of “Nuns on the Bus," tour has written an op-ed for the On Faith section of The Washington Post's website. She says:

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Williams' final address to ACC focuses on future of "authority"

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams has given his final presidential address as Archbishop of Canterbury to the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council drawing to a close in Auckland, New Zealand. Mary Frances Schjonberg and the Anglican Communion New Service have filed reports. The ACNS report includes an audio file of the address.

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Climate science skeptics for Jesus

In a column in the Guardian, Katherine Steward explores the reasoning that leads so many on the Religious Right to deny that human activity plays a role in global warming. She writes:

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Looking at the swing states through the lens of religion

Mark Silk, director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College breaks down the influence of religious voting blocks in 12 swing states. Three of note:

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The saints we celebrate today are lamps along the way

The Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs has released Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's sermon at Waikato Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Hamilton, New Zealand. She said in part: “The saints we celebrate today are lamps along the way – the lights of every generation who let us see that living presence in our midst.

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Water bill owed by Church of the Holy Sepulchre

(AP) A clergyman from the church built on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified said Friday that its bank account has been frozen as the result of a long-standing dispute with an Israeli water company.

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#ACC15 considers Instruments of Communion

The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC15) reports on their discussions of the so-called Instruments of Communion. There seems to be some significant shifts from earlier ideas about these 4 places were the Anglican Communion comes together.

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Bookies suspect Welby is next ABC

BREAKING:
Ruth Gledhill at The Times is reporting that the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby may be on the verge of being selected as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Continuing Indaba: new instrument of communion?

The Anglican Communion News Service reports that there was enthusiastic support for the Continuing Indaba process. A resolution securing the future of the process passed after some discussion of even stronger language:

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What if the Senate and House sat at round tables?

Just Out News in Portland OR carries a reflection by the Rt. Rev. Michael Hanley, bishop of Oregon:

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Churches respond to #Sandy

Episcopal News Service reports on the many churches that are responding to needs from Hurricane Sandy devastation in their communities:

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President Obama re-elected

President Obama spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in Chicago after the long election night. Some highlights from the reuters transcript:

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More election news and reactions

Before yesterday, popular votes on Marriage Equality had always failed. Current states with Marriage Equality needed either the courts or legislators to intercede on behalf of a minority group.

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Telegraph confirms what bookies suspected: it's Welby

Jonathan Wynne Jones and John Bingham report in the Telegraph:


Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, has accepted the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

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What historically white denominations can learn from the Republican party

Bruce Reyes-Chow begins with race when looking at the election results:

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Soul Repair Center to help veterans recover from moral injuries

Rita Nakashima Brock, a theologian, and Herman Keizer Jr., a former military chaplain, are co-directors of the Soul Repair Center of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. The center is scheduled to open Nov. 12

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Cokesbury to close its brick and mortar retail outlets

The United Methodist Publishing House announced it would begin closing its 38 full-line stores and 19 seminary bookstores, in order to sell books exclusively through its Web site, Cokesbury.com, its Cokesbury Call Center, at conferences and meetings, and through church events.

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Just who is Justin Portal Welby?

"The man expected to be named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, turned his back on a successful career in the oil industry to train as an Anglican priest," writes Mick Ord of the BBC:

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Suspicious bets raise questions over ABC selection process

"There are fresh demands to reform the system of appointing Archbishops after suspicious bets were placed on the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury," the Independent reports today:

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New religious diversity on Capitol Hill

Hawaii is sending the U.S. House of Representatives its first Hindu member, and the U.S. Senate its first Buddhist. Huffington Post reports:

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Does Catholic support for Obama weaken bishops' position?

Does the fact that Barack Obama won the Catholic vote nationwide (albeit narrowly) weaken the position of Catholic bishops that the contraception mandate within Obamacare represents a violation of their members' religious freedom? Mark Movsesian, director of the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s University, writes:

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It's Official

The Right Rev. Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, will be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. Here is the official announcement, a statement by our own Presiding Bishop and the first official remarks by Bishop Welby.

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Reaction to Welby announcement

Here is a round-up of some the reports and reactions to the appointment of Bishop Justin Welby to to be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.

The New York Times:

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Welby's observations about the Episcopal Church

When Archbishop-designate Justin Welby visited the House of Bishops, he spoke about what he observed about the Episcopal Church.

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A convicted bishop in the room

When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meet in Baltimore next week (Nov. 12-15), they will talk about how to cope with the re-election of a president against whom many bishops actively campaigned against, but will they notice the, ahem, elephant in the room?

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Kristallnact remembered

Trinity Episcopal Church, Easton, PA remembers Kristallnact:

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AWE Pilots the First Indaba For Women

Anglican Women's Empower will pilots the first Indaba for women just ahead of the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York in 2013.

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#Sandy changes football game to recovery effort

Traditionally this weekend is the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) vs. General Theological Seminary (GTS) flag football game. This year’s game was to be held at General, located in lower Manhattan, which was under blackout conditions following Superstorm Sandy. Because of Sandy, the game has been cancelled. VTS students will be making the trip anyway, as a mission trip.

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+Welby: roundup of news around the world

The BBC has a good round up of stories about the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, the newly chosen Archbishop of Canterbury:

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Eau Claire elects Jay Lambert as next bishop

The Diocese of Eau Claire has elected the Rev. W. Jay Lambert as its next bishop. Information on the bishop elect is here.

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+Welby negotiated with rebels in Nigeria at gunpoint

The Daily Mail recounts the experiences of the newly selected Archbishop of Canterbury as he negotiated with various groups in Nigeria:

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Veterans Day salute to women in military

The Episcopal Church Bishop for Federal Ministries, the Rt. Rev. Jay Magness salutes women in the military on this Veteran's Day:

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Social media helps ancient artifact find a home

From St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Glendale, California

1500 year-old Byzantine “Healing Cross” Comes to Glendale, CA Church

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Karen King: serious Bible study began in the Episcopal Church

The Boston Globe interviews Professor Karen King about her life and the discovery of the "Jesus wife" fragment.

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Canterbury: See of Twitter

Ekklesia notes that the newly seleted Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby uses Twitter and other social media and will be the first tweeting ABC:

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Bishop-elect Knisely meets the press

The Providence Journal has spoken with local blogger made good, the soon-to-be Rt. Rev. Nicholas Knisely, formerly of this establishment, and we are happy to report that he's handled himself well. For instance:

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The latest from the Diocese of South Carolina

The Episcopal Church and former members of the Diocese of South Carolina now affiliated with a breakaway movement led by Mark Lawrence are each attempting to explain their views on the church's polity to the general public, which is never an easy job.

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Point of personal privilege: A plug for Speaking Faithfully, our editor's new book

CokesburyCover.jpg

My business partner Rebecca Wilson and I have written a book that we hope will persuade the church to bring the techniques and insights of mass communications to bear on the challenge of evangelism. We believe that evangelism is the principal challenge facing the church, but that the church has demonstrated little capacity or commitment in confronting it.

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Uganda's anti-gay legislation rears its head yet again

The indefatigable Warren Throckmorton, whose reporting on the anti-gay legislation that has been in and out of consideration by the Ugandan parliament, suggests that it may once again be time for concern. He writes:

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+Welby needs a new twitter handle

If his handlers at Lambeth Castle allow him to go on tweeting, @Bishopofdurham is going need a new handle. (In his first news conference Justin Welby wondered openly whether if he would be permitted to go on tweeting.)

Do the readers of Episcopal Cafe have some helpful suggestions?

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Irresistible headline syndrome

Sorry, but when you come across this headline, you can't pass the story by.

Retired priest, 80, bit 81-year-old fellow clergyman's ear off in fight over parking space

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Introducing: The Theology Jukebox

Giving something a try tonight. Below is a video of Tom Waits signing his song Come On Up to the House (lyrics). I heard it last week at the Bluegrass Mass at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland. I don't know what I make of the theology of the song, but I love the line: Come down off the cross, we can use the wood. And it isn't every songwriter who can gracefully work a quote from Thomas Hobbes into his work.

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Diocese of Upper South Carolina pleads for resolution between TEC and South Carolina

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina has sent resolution to the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and to Bishop Mark Lawrence pleading for conversation and to back off from the current course of action in the Diocese of South Carolina.

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Tweet me in St Louis: Episcopal CCABs joint meeting

The Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards (CCABs) are meeting in St Louis today to learn how to be a member of one of these groups. These are the people who keep the church on track between General Conventions. Twitter is carrying a live and lively sense of their time together. Follow them at #CCAB.

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New Hampshire honors +Gene Robinson

UPDATED: Huffington Post carries "And Here's To You Bishop Robinson"
As the Rt Rev. Gene Robinson retires the Diocese of New Hampshire will honor him with a gift to the Chaplaincy at the New Hampshire Prison for Women where he often ministered.

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Quilt auction for winter fuel

Bonnie Anderson, former President of the House of Deputies, is sponsoring an auction of a star quilt made by to raise funds to buy fuel for the Cheyenne River Episcopal Mission:

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Testament of Mary: fierce heroine

Irish writer Colm Toibin writes of a very different Mary, mother of Jesus, than most pious versions of the meek and mild virgin. From NPR interview

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"What's infidelity": answering children's questions

Bonnie Rochman writes in Time on what to say to asking kids concerning high profile affairs like Gen. David Petraeus:

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Roman Catholic bishops endorse sainthood for Dorothy Day

Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazetter writes that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops unanimously endorsed Dorothy Day for sainthood. The conversation on Day, who founded the Catholic Worker movement, was highlighted by personal testimony from bishops who met and worked with her:

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Faithful citizenship: it's all about love

Excerpted from Greg Garrett's article in Huffington Post on citizenship lessons from the election:

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Occupy Sandy

Janet Upadhye, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer, writes on those aiding the relief effort:

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Tweet up and catch the spirit

Tuesday evening marked a new era in the Episcopal Church as many attending the joint meeting of Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards (aka CCAB) in St. Louis. Episcopal Café editor Jim Naughton and his co-author Rebecca Wilson and others led a Tweet Up. Those present in the room and those attending remotely (including 3-4 bishops) found a high level of energy and engagement in social media and getting the word out about the Episcopal Church. Read the Twitter feed (from bottom to top) below and catch the spirit.

Tonight (Wednesday) there will be an #undergroundeucharist. Check #CCAB in Twitter to follow the meeting. Today many shared discussions from the meetings. Great way to find out the work of our representatives and Deputies.

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'Big Rich Texas' maven offers baptism tips

The third season of the Style Network's reality show "Big Rich Texas" launched last month, and lest we assume that the country club set doesn't have a spiritual side, Leslie, one of the show's stars, offers tips for a stylish baptism in this video (and she's not joking):

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Priest charged with smuggling drugs into jail

A 70-year-old Episcopal priest in Maine has been arrested and charged with smuggling illegal prescription drugs to prisoners during jail visits. According to the local sheriff's department, the priest who has been serving as interim pastor at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Augusta, has admitted to the charges against him. The Bangor Daily News reports from Wiscasset, Maine:

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Teen denied Catholic confirmation over FB post on gay marriage

Popular Catholic writer James Martin, SJ, posts a link on his Facebook page today to a story about a teenager in Minnesota who was denied confirmation for expressing support on his Facebook page for same-sex marriage. (To his credit, Fr. Martin describes this as "deeply disturbing," leading me to wonder what sanctions he might face eventually for his own Facebook activity.) From Inforum of Fargo and Moorhead:

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Bishop urges both sides in SC to 'step back from the brink'

Bishop Dan Martins of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, blogs today about the situation in the fractured Diocese of South Carolina, asking both sides to "step back from the brink." (He has received a response from the Presiding Bishop that no one in her office has in fact made any declarations of vacancy regarding the Diocese.) To the Diocese of South Carolina, meeting in convention this Saturday, he writes:

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Presiding Bishop issues pastoral letter to South Carolina

The Presiding Bishop the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued a letter regarding the Diocese of South Carolina:

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A couple of Davids cut from the same cloth?

What parallels do you see, if any, between King David and scandal-plagued war hero David Petraeus? David Baker of Religious News Service writes:

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Bishop of Georgia authorizes a rite for same sex blessings

Updated at bottom with Rev. Susan Russell's response

Bishop Scott Benhase has released a pastoral letter and a rite for blessing same sex relationships. He writes:

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Next PB nomination committee announces Facebook and Twitter links

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop in the interest of better communication about the process and progress of nominations for the election of a new Presiding Bishop has opened a
Facebook page and a Twitter account. You can "like" the Facebook page to receive messages from the Committee and follow them on Twitter. Their hashtag is #JNCPB.

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A preview of General Synod

The General Synod of the Church of England meets November 19-21 and they are expected to take up the measure allowing for the ordination of women to the Episcopate and other issues.

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Solidarity letter from the Diocese of Ft Worth to South Carolina

Received from the Diocese of Fort Worth via email:

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, the Standing Committee, and the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth stand in prayer and solidarity with the Episcopalians of the Diocese of South Carolina as they move through a time of challenge and confusion. We applaud the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori for her pastoral letter reaching out to them.

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When bad art happens to good religion

Lori Erikson asks if there is any good in bad religious art.

ENS

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Secular Christians

Friends of Jake blog discusses the ideas in a new book called "Faitheist" that argues for non-believers and people of faith to work together. Quoting from Patheos, FOJ writes:

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Twitter catalyzes a connection to the #CCABs

The Rev. Robyn Barnes (@theologybird) of Montana is among those most responsible for the growing appreciation of Twitter among the leadership of the Episcopal Church. On her blog, she informs us of one helpful outcome from the use of twitter at the organizational meeting of the Commissions, Committees, Agencies and Boards of the church that concluded on Thursday in St. Louis.

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Hip, hip hooray & let the church say Amen!

Nicholas Knisely, one of the original newsbloggers at Episcopal Cafe, is now officially the Bishop of Rhode Island.

Follow it on Twitter! #newbishopri and here.

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South Carolina votes to leave Episcopal Church

The Diocese of South Carolina held a special convention today to vote to affirm the Bishop and Standing Committee's resolution to leave the Episcopal Church. Episcopal News Service reports:

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Council of Churches expresses deep concern over violence in Gaza/Israel

Episcopal News Service reports on the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches statement on the violence in Gaza and Israel:

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The religious composition of Congress

Pew Forum reports on the religious composition of the 113th Congress:

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What good are Standing Commissions?

The Rev Susan Snook asks some good questions about the need for Standing Committees of General Convention:

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First woman in Africa consecrated bishop

The Most Rev. Thabo Makoba welcomes first woman to be consecrated bishop in Southern Africa.

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Anglican Church of Zimbabwe prevails in court

The Anglican Communion News Service reports a welcome and surprising development:

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Church of England on eve of decisive vote on women as bishops

The Church of England may well vote tomorrow on controversial legislation that would finally permit women to be ordained as bishops, although not in precisely the same way that men are bishops, because the authority of male bishops has not been shaped to placate those who do not believe that men should be bishops in the first place.

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Restoring America to a way it never was

Canon Dan Webster of the Diocese of Maryland has written an essay on the passing of the "Mormon Moment" and the theology of a "restored" America for the On Faith section of the website of The Washington Post.
It is called "Election 2012: Mormon moment, or last gasp coalition," and says, in part:It is called "Election 2012: Mormon moment, or last gasp coalition," and says, in part:

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Digital Bishop

This is the sermon that Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona preached on Sunday at the consecration of Nick Knisely, former Cafe newsblogger, as Bishop of Rhode Island.

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Theology Juke Box: Babel by Mumford and Sons

Tonight's feature on the Theology Juke Box is the title cut from the album Babel (lyrics) by Mumford and Sons.

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Keeping calm and carrying on in the Diocese of South Carolina

Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service has the story of the Episcopalians who now constitute the Diocese of South Carolina.

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Church of England live blog women as bishops debate

The Guardian's Paul Owen is live blogging the debate and vote on whether or not the Church of England will ordain women to the episcopate and you can listen to the livestream from the Synod here or follow on Twitter #synod

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Church of England votes NO on women as bishops

The Church of England General Synod has voted No on the ordination of women as bishops.

Failed in House of Laity.

Voting results are: House of Bishops 44 for, 3 against 2 abstentions. House of Clergy 148 for, 45 against 0 abstentions. House of Laity 132 for, 74 against 0 abstentions

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Reactions: Church of England's House of Laity drops the ball

UPDATED: see below

The Church of England's General Synod defeated legislation that would have allowed women to become bishops. We will be rounding up reaction in this item.

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Is schism a sin?

The Rev. Greg Syler surveys the situation in the Diocese of South Carolina, and suggests that schism is, to put it bluntly, a sin. He writes:

This is about the Christian faith as it’s been received and practiced in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church – and not the ways in which it’s been twisted and perverted by those who talk more often about catholic faith and orthodox theology.

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Finding the divine fingerprints on the social media keyboard

The Rev. Megan Castellan (@revlucymeg) said something smart at the tweetup that Gay Jennings (@gaycjen) facilitated thanks to the initiative of T. J. Freeman (@unbuntuwanderer) at the recent meeting of the Commissions, Committees, Agencies and Boards of the Episcopal Church (@iamepiscopalian) in St. Louis. I (@JimNaught) asked her to write it up, and she was nice enough to do so.

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Present and future Archbishop of Canterbury's react to failed vote

From The Archbishop of Canterbury's Home page:

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The Prayer of an Unconventional Family

Anne Lamott's shared prayers of thanks in The New York Times series Draft:

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Cease-fire in Gaza

Word of a cease-fire has been reached concerning the Gaza conflict.

CNN reports:

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I will bless you, and you will be a blessing

The liturgy for blessing same-sex relationships that was approved for provisional use at the discretion of diocesan bishops by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church is now online.

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Community as an antidote to Thanksgiving loneliness

Today, we're launching what will probably become a new tradition at our church, a parish Thanksgiving Day potluck. We're cooking turkey and ham in our church kitchen, and those who wish to celebrate the holiday in the parish hall are bringing their favorite side dishes to share. When I suggested a few weeks ago that we try this, I thought maybe a dozen or so folks would show up. I was amazed when nearly 100 people RSVP'd. These are not poverty-stricken folks who can't afford a meal. Most of them are simply without family or intimate friends nearby and now, they can be with their parish family this Thanksgiving Day.

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Grateful to be an Episcopalian

Ellen Painter Dollar writes eloquently this week about how grateful she is to be an Episcopalian. She loves the Book of Common Prayer, the sacraments, rich opportunities for learning and service and "the big tent" this church provides. At Patheos.com, she writes:

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Exploring Justin Welby's Jewish roots

The next Archbishop of Canterbury roots are discussed in the Jewish Chronicle, where the editors express the hope that this background will help improve relations between the Church of England and the Jewish community in the UK.

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Making sense of the Synod vote

The conventional wisdom a week ago was that the General Synod would authorize the ordination of women to the episcopate. Maybe not a slam dunk but after 42 of 44 diocesan synods said "yes," it seemed like a sure thing. Since the vote failed by a mere six vote in the lay order, the implications are still being sorted out.

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Uruguay cannot change provinces

The Anglican Consultative Council turned down a bid by the Diocese of Uruguay to switch from the province of the Southern Cone to the province of Brasil. The dioceses elected candidate for Bishop was turned down by the province and the diocese wants to ordain women to the priesthood, which the Southern Cone does not allow.

Brasil is the northern neighbor to Uruguay.

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Following the Superstorm Sandy money

Immediate and long-term disaster response is complicated. We learned this after Hurricane Katrina and we are learning it again after Superstorm Sandy. Episcopal Relief and Development was cited in an article describing where all that money--governmental, insurance and donated--goes, and says ERD and the Dioceses of New Jersey and Newark are doing a good job.


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Parliament pushes back on CoE bishop decision

UPDATE: see below
Frank Field, a member of Parliament in the UK has tabled a bill to make it illegal to discriminate against women in the Church of England:

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On not being dead

A New York Times essay by Bill Hayes - on being fully alive and alert:

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Far from the tree

Minnesota Public Radio interview with Andrew Solomon on his new book Far from the Tree which explores disability and identity:

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Through the kitchen door

Will Scott wonders if it is easier to come to church through the kitchen? From the Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices:

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Holiday survival guide

The Rev. Victoria Weinstein, aka Peace Bang offers a guide for church leaders during Advent and Christmas.

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When I am ordained I shall wear purple

A lament for the Church of England's actions by Mia Smith:

When I am ordained, I shall wear purple
with killer heels and bright red lipstick
And I shall go round preaching from the Bible

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Failure of the "common good"

Believing in the common good put the Church of England into a mess over women bishops according to Linda Woodhead at Modern Church:

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Maria Evans off for South Sudan

Maria L. Evans, a frequent contributor to Speaking to the Soul and Daily Episcopalian, is part of a six-member delegation from the Diocese of Missouri visiting the Diocese of Lui in South Sudan this week. Please keep them all in your prayers.

Has vote on women as bishops precipitated a constitutional crisis?

Newspapers in England are full of stories about whether the Church of England faces a possible constitutional crisis resulting from General Synod's failure to pass legislation last week that would have permitted women to become bishops.

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Marriage Equality and the Supreme Court

Daniel Politi of Slate asks whether marriage equality advocates should root for the Supreme Court to take a marriage equality case. He writes:

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What does the church have to offer on Black Friday?

On Black Friday I came across a tweet from Rev. David L. Hansen (@rev_david), a Lutheran pastor--and social media kingpin--in rural Texas noting that people who actually benefit from the deeply discounted prices offered by retailers on the day after Thanksgiving were "caught in the crossfire" of criticism emanating from those who find the 24-hour orgy of shopping crassly commercial.

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Clause by clause analysis of Uganda's anti-gay legislation

Jim Burroway has done the world an invaluable service in providing a clause-by-clause analysis of the notorious anti-gay legislation which is currently before Uganda's Parliament. He writes:

There has been considerable confusion over what would happen if the bill were to become law. Most of the attention has focused on the bill’s death penalty provision, but even if it were removed, the bill’s other eighteen clauses would still represent a barbaric regression for Uganda’s human rights record.

Among the bill's more pernicious provisions is one that defines homosexual activity so broadly that mere touching becomes a criminal act. Burroway writes:

All of which means that someone can “commit homosexuality” even if they are fully clothed and there is no actual skin-to-skin contact. The sole proof required is that the “touching” took place with the perceived “intention” of committing the act of homosexuality. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But just to make sure we’re clear that the bill intends to cast an extraordinarily wider net, go back to the definition of ”sexual act” in Clause 1: an act that “does not necessarily culminate in intercourse.”

You can see where this is going, can’t you? With the bar for conviction thus lowered, anyone can be falsely accused of being gay — one can easily imagine rival politicians, business owners and pastors falling prey to such accusations – and it will become virtually impossible for them to prove their innocence.


Ending violence against women and children

The Rt. Rev. Thabo Makobi, Archbishop of Capetown, South Africa led a march of over a 1000 people to begin "16 Days of Activism" for no violence against women and children according to Episcopal News Service:

Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba on Nov. 25 led one thousand people in a Procession of Witness to kick-start South Africa’s 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children.
Through joining the act of public witness — from Keizersgracht Square to St. Georges Cathedral, Cape Town — Makgoba underlined his backing for the annual, government-supported campaign.

The international theme for 2012 is From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women. Makgoba is firmly committed to increasing awareness of abuse and to developing effective support for victims and survivors of abuse, according to a press release from HOPE Africa, the social development department of the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town.


You can participate in the US by calling for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Download fact sheets here.

China's visionary bishop has died at 97

The Rt. Rev. K.H.Ting, China's visionary bishop has died at age 97 according to Episcopal News Service:

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Shame-filled Advent?

J. Mary Luti, retired seminary professor and United Church of Christ pastor writing at her blog, Sicut Loutus Est on the current trend of religious leaders shaming people for their excitement about Christmas during Advent:

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God and the Bible in the news

New York Times essayist Yoram Hazony offers the idea of An Imperfect God:

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Post-mortem on women as bishops in Church of England

The Guardian does a post-mortem on the vote to allow women to become bishops:

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One in five voters a "none"

Katherine Stewart writes in Religious Dispatches:

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Honors for t​he Rev. Dr. Canon Ha​rold T. Lewis​

The Rev. Dr. Canon Harold T. Lewis, who recently retired as rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, PA, was awarded the House of Deputies medal on Sunday Nov. 5th.

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UN committee calls for ban on female genital mutilation

The Guardian carries the AP story on the landmark resolution:

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Archbishops' Council to restart process for women as bishops ASAP

Church Times reports the Archbishops' Council statement from their meeting following the General Synod no vote on women as bishops:

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A few ways in which the church cultivates irrelevance

Here’s something that worries me:

Every weekend kids all over the country get out on fields and courts and chase up and down and do something that makes them feel incandescently alive, and the response of much of the church is to worry not about whether these kids are having a formative experience, but whether holding youth sports on Sundays is cutting into our market share.

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Presiding Bishop at the SSW 60th Anniversary Lectures

The Seminary of the Southwest 60th Anniversary Lectures was held on its campus in Austin, TX . Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori gave two lectures at the event, in addition to preaching at the Eucharist.

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Faith in values: nearing the tipping point on climate change?

Sally Steenland, Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, asks if we are nearing the tipping point on climate change.

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'Africa for Norway' mocks international aid tactics

A group of South African students and an aid agency in Norway have created a video that's gone viral, gently poking fun at stereotypes about international aid efforts. "Africa for Norway" is funny, but, according to its creators' Web site, they mean to make a serious point.

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Rationale of supporters who voted against women bishops in CofE

According to a letter published today in the Times of London, 12 supporters of women bishops voted against allowing them to serve in the Church of England. This was enough to make a difference in the outcome. Subscribers to the Times may read the letter, signed by eight of those supporters, here. Thinking Anglicans provides these details:

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Atlanta bishop backs personhood amendment

The Right Rev. Robert Wright, the new Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, has expressed support for the "personhood" amendment to the Georgia constitution, which would define life under state law as beginning at the moment of conception.

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Dorothy Day: 'Don't Call Me a Saint'

In honor of the anniversary of the death in 1980 of Dorothy Day, I'm posting this video clip promoting an intriguing documentary about her life:

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Local atheist joins battle against Jesus status on ski slope

A court case over a decades-old Jesus statue at Big Mountain ski resort in Montana will continue, thanks to a local atheist who has joined the fight. (As a former Montanan, I have skied past this Jesus a few times myself, and don't find the sculpture at all inspiring as religious art. However, it is a quirky and somewhat endearing part of the landscape, IMHO.) Associated Press reports:

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As American as apple pie

Separation runs deep in the American soul. Since President Obama won re-election, more than 750,000 Americans have petitioned the White House website to let their respective states secede, from Alaska to Iowa to Maryland and Vermont. Those leading the charge are framing it, observers say, in terms that suggest a deep-seated religious impulse for purity-through-separation is flaring up once again.

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Resolving the deadlock on women bishops

Bishops in the Church of England are planning on "restarting" the process towards ordaining women to the episcopate with new legislation that can be passed next July.

The Church Times has this report (h/t Thinking Anglicans):

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Archbishop Williams on World AIDS Day

The Archbishop of Canterbury has recorded a video message for World AIDS Day (1st December 2012) in which he highlights that ‘nearly 2 million women, every year, die as a result of this condition’, a fact which underlines that the ‘HIV/AIDS challenge is about women’s empowerment and women’s liberty.’

ACNS reports here.

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Gender equality and people of faith

Global Agenda, the magazine of the International Herald Tribune, invited nine contributors to explore the question: "What does Gender Equality mean?"

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Let us welcome the newly baptized

GTS News describes the baptism of Amelia Wall at General's Community Eucharist and how the liturgy demonstrated creative ways of offering the sacrament of baptism.

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