Three Studies Take Stock of America and Religion
Two polls by the Barna Group and one by Publicreligion.org paint a troublesome picture of American spirituality. The annual survey
of American spirituality by the Barna Group shows that the segment of the American population that has little to no interest or contact with religion continues to grow. Forty-four percent of those surveyed by the Barna group this year fell into the post-Christian category. Another recent Barna poll
shows that concerns about religious freedom have increased over the last three years among both liberals and conservative. Ten years ago 33% of those polled were concerned about a decline in religious freedom. This year the figure rose to 41%. Liberals may be concerned about the increasing militancy by conservative Christians, The changes in law on same sex marriage may be a factor in conservative fears about religious freedom. A map
released by publicreligion.org shows the current support for same sex marriage in each state.
Bishop Bruno Fuels Fire with His Version of the St. James Newport Beach Controversy
In a column called "Moving Forward
" that appears on the Diocese of Los Angles web page and in the diocesan Newsletter, Bishop Bruno has offered his version of events in the controversy around his efforts to sell the property of St. James Newport Beach against the wishes of a viable parish. In the letter he claims that he made an offer last spring to allow the parish to continue to use the property until the sale was final and claims the the parish vicar set the lock out date of June 28. However, in a letter not available on the web, the parish refutes this claim. You can find earlier update stories here
, and here
. Supporters around the diocese are preparing resolutions for the December diocesan convention.
Church Addresses Water Problems Around the World
Severe drought in Central Tanzania has led the Anglican Church of Tanzania to raise money
to buy food in parts of the country where crops have not failed. They will use the ffod purchased both to help feed those at risk of starvation and to provide a seed bank so farmers can plant when the next rainy season begins. In the U.S. a different kind of drought, caused by soaring water costs has Detroit's poorest families doing without water because their service has been shut off for non-payment. With 10,000 Detroit people living without water on any given day, St. Peter's Episcopal Church stepped into the breach by running a water help hot-line
and making deliveries of water to families. The flooding in South Carolina has compromised water supplies in many areas. The two dioceses of the Episcopal Church (Upper South Carolina
with offices in hard-hit Columbia, and the Episcopal Church in South Carolinahttp://www.episcopalchurchsc.org/
, with offices in Charleston) have both stepped forward helping to supply water.
Women Suffragans Meet the Pope
Suffragan Bishops of the Episcopal Church met in Rome, hosted by Bishop Pierre Whalon, the suffragan bishop in charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. Among their activities was a chance to meet Pope Francis and tour the Vatican. Photos of the event
showing some of the seven women suffragans who were at the meeting have been circulating on the web. Bishop Diane Bruce, one of the suffragan bishops in Los Angeles, wrote about her reaction
to the meeting on her blog.
Rumors Circulate about Focus of January Primate's Meeting
David Virtue has published a story
claiming that the Global South Primates are going to insist that discipline of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada be the first item on the agenda, and if Presiding Bishop Curry and Archbishop Hiltz do not then leave the meeting and allow Foley Beach, the archbishop of ACNA to be seated in their stead, the Global South primates will walk out. It will be interesting to see if the Archbishop of Canterbury manages to stick to his announced agenda, (see Update story here
) or if he will give in to pressures from the Global South Archbishops. It is also not clear if all the Primates who have participated in the the Global South meetings will take this hard line.
Text of Historic Anglican-Orthodox Agreement on the Incarnation Released
The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission has published
the final agreement reached by Theologians of the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches on the nature of Christ and Christology, helping to heal a breach that began in the year 451 with the Council of Chalcedon. The 25 page documen
t includes a preface explaining the background to the agreement and ten numbered points of agreement. The document will now be submitted to the churches of the Anglican Communion and the participating churches from Orthodox traditions, including those in Egypt, Syria, and Armenia.