Scottish bishops offer controversial guidance on same-sex marriage
On December 31, 2014, same-sex marriage will become legal in Scotland via the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014
. The College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) earlier this month issued a four-page “Guidance for Clergy and Lay Readers in the light of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014
.” The document points out that canons of the SEC have not been changed and, pending discussion and change, neither same-sex marriages nor registration of religious civil partnerships may be performed by SEC clergy or in SEC buildings. “Guidance” further states that clergy, lay readers, and those seeking ordination should not enter same-sex marriages. This provision is largely responsible for a protest by a substantial number of SEC clergy and lay readers, who sent a letter to the bishops
expressing their dismay over the bishops’s missive.
Gurindji priest appointed assistant bishop for Adelaide
The Rev. Chris McLeod has been appointed an assistant bishop for the Diocese of Adelaide and will be consecrated in 2015. McLeod comes from the Gurindji people
, one of the groups of indigenous people in Australia. According to a story from the diocese, McLeod “will be responsible for developing and overseeing ministry among Aboriginal people,” described as “an important step by the Anglican Church on the walk to reconciliation.” Details can be found on the Diocese of Adelaide Web site
Md. suffragan on administrative leave after fatal traffic accident
Bishop Suffragan of Maryland Heather Elizabeth Cook was placed on administrative leave by Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton after Cook’s car struck and killed a bicyclist December 27, 2014. Cook left the scene of the accident but returned 20 minutes later. As of this writing, no charges have been brought against Cook, but she faced drug and drinking and driving charges in 2010. The Episcopal Café story
includes links to press accounts.
Connecticut moves diocesan headquarters to former ball bearing factory
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut has moved its offices from a century-old Hartford mansion to the top floor of a former ball bearing factory in Meriden, about 20 miles away. Bishop of Connecticut Ian Douglas described Meriden as a “broken down mill town.” The diocese has lost both people and churches in recent years, and the new headquarters has made good use of architectural materials salvaged from closed churches. The Hartford Courant
described the move and the new diocesan offices.
Eastern Michigan diocese forgives debt of independent church
The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan
has forgiven a $93,000 debt owed by the independent Christ Image Community Church
in Saginaw. The debt represents a balloon payment due in 2015 on a $125,000 sale of the property of the closed Calvary Memorial Episcopal Church. Worshipers at Christ Image Community Church are largely African-American, a demographic not well served by the Episcopal Diocese. According to the MLive.com story
about the debt forgiveness, Bishop of Eastern Michigan Todd Ousley “wants to see Saginaw flourish through a relationship with God, regardless of religious denomination.”
Episcopal Café reviews 2014
Episcopal Café has published a review
of the major stories it covered in 2014. Many of these stories were also covered by Pittsburgh Update.