News for Week Ending 9/20/2010
Australian church to study covenant for three yearsThe Anglican Church of Australia, meeting in its General Synod in Melbourne, has passed a resolution asking all its dioceses to debate the Anglican covenant draft and report back by December 2012, so the covenant can be considered by the General Synod in 2013. The original resolution was amended to say that the church “received,” rather than “welcomed” the proposed covenant. Details can be read here.
Dublin to host January primates meetingAnglican Communion News Service has announced that the next meeting of the Anglican primates will be held in Dublin, Ireland, January 25–31, 2011. A story from Episcopal News Service provides additional information.
Although the Primates Meeting was originally established to provide an opportunity for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation” among the chief episcopal leaders of Anglican churches, it is now spoken of as an “Instrument of Communion” and has increasingly sought to yield power within the Anglican Communion. The most recent meeting of the primates was held in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2009.
Lesbian pastors welcomed in ELCA serviceIn accordance with the decision taken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) last summer—see Pittsburgh Update story here—three partnered lesbian Lutheran ministers with a combined 60 years of clerical experience were welcomed as official Lutheran pastors in a September 18, 2010, service in St. Paul, Minnesota. The ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted “to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships” last August 21. The Rev. Anita Hill, the Rev. Phyllis Zillhart, and the Rev. Ruth Frost were welcomed in a ceremony in which apologies for past discrimination were made on behalf of the church. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the story here. Video is available from CNN here.
Bishops meeting in PhoenixAs noted here last week, Episcopal Church bishops are meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, concluding their fall gathering September 21, 2010. The bishops have discussed many topics, particularly immigration, but little of serious news value has emerged to date. Nonetheless, Episcopal News Service has been issuing daily summaries, and some final words are expected from the bishops before the meetings conclude on the 21st. Summaries can be found here, here, and here. Sermons preached September 19 by various bishops, including the Presiding Bishop, can be found here.
Episcopal blogger elected Springfield bishopEpiscopal News Service reported September 18, 2010, that the Rev. Daniel H. Martins has been elected the next diocesan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. Martins is well known to Internet-savvy Episcopalians through his blog, “Confessions of a Carioca”—he was born in Brazil—and through his contributions, as a General Convention deputy, to the House of Bishops and Deputies e-mail list.
Assuming that Martins receives the necessary consents from standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction, he will succeed the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith as Bishop of Springfield. Under Beckwith, who was vice president of the American Anglican Council and associated with other dissident “orthodox” groups, there was considerable anxiety about the status of the Springfield diocese, even though Beckwith asserted his intention to remain in The Episcopal Church. Martins, a conservative who attended seminary at Nashotah House, will, many hope, be a less controversial bishop. His many public statements may make collecting the needed consents more difficult than usual, however. For example, at least one blog has already questioned his opposition to the 2009 General Convention’s Resolution C056.