As we all celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, the Diocese of San Joaquin was celebrating Christmas for the first time since 2007
in the diocesan Cathedral. Their facebook page had two series of pictures, one taken of the building just before the servic
e, and one during the service
. Meanwhile in Melbourne Australia, people were happy to be celebrating Christmas in an intact cathedral. Police had announced the arrest
of 5 self-radicalized terrorists who had been planning to blow up the Cathedral on Christmas. Because of ISIS threats to that and other Anglican Churches, there was heightened security at many places. In England despite fears that York Minister bells would not ring out at Christmas, a group of Yorkshire ringers volunteered to step in
as the Cathedral continues to be at odds with its former bell-ringers. (See update story here
.) Meanwhile Church of England parsons scurried from parish to parish trying to cover Christmas services
despite a shortage of clergy for rural parishes. The shortage is forcing the Church of England to do things that have long been the practice in the Americas, such as giving more power to vestries, renting out church buildings, and using lay-led services.
Latest Appointment to Special Task Force Brings Controversy
One of the things that the January 2015 primates gathering requested
was a special task Force to try to heal the divide among Anglican Communion Churches. The Archbishop of Canterbury has filled a vacancy created by the stepping down of a bishop from India by appointing the Dean of the Cathedral
in Alexandria, Egypt. The Task Force membership has created controversy because Welby did not allow GAFCON to dictate its membership. The latest appointment has led to criticism by the Bishop of Egypt
(who is also the primate of Egypt and the Middle East), Mouneer Anis, a strong supporter of GAFCON.
National Cathedral to Host Post-Inaugural Service for Trump
The National Cathedral is hosting a prayer service
on January 21 for the newly sworn-in president. Planning of the ecumenical service is still under way. They have done this for each inauguration since FDR in 1933. The decision has led to criticism
, however, by those who feel he embodies the opposite of Christian values. Episcopal Churches seem to figure prominently in Trump's recent plans. He attended Christmas Eve services
at the Episcopal Church in Palm Beach near his estate; and is also planning to attend service at St. John's Episcopal Church
, as have other presidents, on the morning of the inauguration.