Movie Theater Chains Refuse Church of England Ad
The Church of England is launching a new web site and campaign dedicated to prayer. It had planned on releasing a 60 minute ad featuring various groups saying the Lord's Prayer to lead off the campaign. The ad was to air in theaters on the opening night of the new Star Wars film. Despite clearances from all of the public rating boards and early conversations with the theater chains, the two larges chains, with 80% of the theaters in England refused to run the ad since it was contrary to a policy excluding all religious ads. Church spokesmen were "bewildered"
and then angry, threatening a lawsuit. The result is a major discussion on free speech, freedom of religion, and the role of religion in a secular, multi-cultural society. For a fuller discussion of the issues, read the pieces in the Guardian
and the Daily Mail.
Both have links to the ad and web site, which are worth exploring.
Court Orders Former Bishop Kunonga to Pay Compensation to Zimbabwe Anglicans
The former bishop of Harare in Zimbabwe has been ordered
by that country's high court to compensate the Anglican Church for assets Bishop Kunonga sold at below market prices after losing a court battle over ownership of the property of the diocese. The former bishop must pay the church the full value plus interest ($430,000) from the date of the sale in 2007. He had sold stocks below value and pocketed the money before the courts could rule that the assets did not belong to his break-away group but rather the Anglican Church. The Pittsburgh Update carried stories on havoc Kunonga caused in the diocese here,
. The original court decision is found here
Episcopal Church in South Carolina Designates a Cathedral
The annual convention of the rebuilding diocese in South Carolina took a major step forward at its convention last weekend by designating Grace Episcopal Church
in Charleston as its cathedral. Grace has been hosting the diocesan offices and is the largest parish in the diocese. Grace replaces the Church of St. Luke and St. Paul as the Cathedral since the St. Luke and St Paul has chosen to participate in the breakaway diocese. Another step forward for the diocese came with the admission of St. Mark's in Port Royal as a parish. Founded 13 years ago, the congregation struggled to be recognized before the split because it was too firmly committed to remaining in the Episcopal Church. The Nov. 14 posting of the blog scepiscopalians.com
has the St. Mark's story. More on the parish's founding can be found in the parish profile
May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving and the Update will be back next week in the new church year.