Indianapolis Elects a New Bishop
On the second ballot the diocesan convention
in Indianapolis elected the Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows as their next bishop. Assuming she receives approval of a majority of diocesan bishops and Standing Committees, she will be consecrated in April. It is the first time
in The Episcopal Church that one woman will follow another as diocesan bishop. While women of color have been elected as suffragan bishops in the TEC, she is also the first to be elected a diocesan bishop. There have been eight elections
for diocesan bishops in 2016. Women were elected in three. The year has also been a good one for racial and ethnic diversity. Including Indianapolis, five of the eight elections resulted in a person with Afro-American, Hispanic, or Asian ancestry being elected. Baskerville-Burroughs has been serving as Director of networking for the Diocese of Chicago and in that role has been working with churches on partnerships and connections for revitalization and restructuring. She serves as faculty in the spirituality track of the CREDO program for Episcopal clergy, and has a strong background in family faith formation, college and youth ministries.
Bishop Bruno Heads to Trial in March
On October 26 the Hearing Panel under Title IV met to rule on motions submitted by both sides in the procedings against Bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles. A formal complaint for conduct unbecoming a bishop was filed by parishioners and supporters after Bishop Bruno locked the members out of St. James the Great in Newport Beach. A sale of the property to developers fell through. The panel ruled against
Bruno's motion to dismiss all charges, but also denied the request of the parishioners who wanted Bruno ordered to let them back in the building. The Church Attorney appointed to represent the Episcopal Church supported the parishioners motion, but the panel was not sure it had the authority to issue such an order. The trial is scheduled for March 28-30
, 2017. You can begin looking at previous Update coverage of this controversy here
Clergy to Gather in Support of Standing Rock
The Rev. John Floberg, priest at St. James Parish in Canonball, ND issued a call for clergy to come to Standing Rock and witness on November 2-3 with those trying to stop the Dakota Pipeline which threatens the water and sacred grounds of the Sioux reservation (and all living downstream on the Missouri River). So far he has
360 clergy from 16 faith traditions, including 10 different Christian ones. For the last week the "water protecters" have faced increased violence from the militarized law enforcement groups breaking up their camps and responding to non-violent protests. The Episcopal Church has been supporting the protests with the full support of the diocese, Presiding Bishop and Executive Council. The Update has covered this with a number of stories. The most recent is here
Cleveland Episcopalians Organize Early Voting March
Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland helped organize and served
as the beginning point for a march on Sunday of several hundred people that ended with them voting early at the Board of Election Office. The march was both a demonstration in favor of exercising rights as a citizen and a protest. Early voting in Ohio must be done in person, and the state has limited the number of access points. There is exactly one for the entire Cuyahoga County, which includes the city of Cleveland and many suburbs.
Courts Enforce Ruling Against Egyptian Anglicans
The Diocese of Egypt got as rude shock last week when Egyptian courts began enforcing
a decision that they were really part of a local presbyterian denomination. Courts ruled last spring that the the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt was not an independent denomination or a foreign church, but part of the Evangelical Church Association, which is presbyterian. Archbishop Mouneer Anis, who is both the primate for the Anglican Province of which the Diocese of Egypt is a part, and Bishop of Egypt, has asked for prayers from the Anglican Communion as the diocese returns to court to fight the ruling. Last week the courts required the ECA to sign off on a request for a visa for one of the people working for the diocese. A hearing was to be held on November 1, but the court adjourned
and rescheduled the hearing for December 13. The ECA wants the ruling to stand because it would give them access to all the property of the Diocese.