Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Week Ending 5/23/16
National Cathedral Chooses New DeanBishop Budde of the Diocese of Washington has announced that the Rev. Randy Hollerith, rector of a large and thriving parish in Richmond, Virginia, has been selected as the new Dean of the National Cathedral. The previous dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, had resigned last year (see update story) saying he was too close to retirement age to carry the cathedral through an extensive fundraising effort. Hollerithl has ties to the Cathedral, and has been in his Richmond parish for 16 years. The Washington Post article gives more details on Hollerith's successful parish building and fundraising.
New Zealand Anglicans Set Goals for Gender Equity in Church OfficesWhile last week's synod meeting of the Anglican in Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia deferred decisions on blessing same sex marriages, they passed a resolution setting a goal of 50% representation of women in all aspects of their church's governance, including appointed boards, and at the highest levels of liturgical leadership (i.e. bishops). The resolution was sponsored by those who had attended the UN meeting on the status of women and it passed to rounds of applause.
Same Sex Marriage in the News in Scotland and South AfricaBoth the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church put same sex marriage on the agendas of their governing body meetings this spring. The Church of Scotland passed changes that allow ministers of their denomination to take advantage of the civil marriage laws. They have not approved any changes though that would allow same sex couples to wed in the church. That however, is the question that the Scottish Episcopal Church will vote on at its synod in early June. A commission has submitted a proposal to amend the marriage canon to allow same sex marriages. It will require votes at two successive synods to go into effect. Meanwhile, Archbishop Tutu's daughter has resigned her ministerial license rather than be suspended by the church in South Africa because she married her same sex partner in the Netherlands, home of her spouse. Archbishop Tutu and his wife were present for the wedding, and the Archbishop gave a father's blessing during the service. South Africa has had legal civil marriage for same sex couples since 2006, but the church has not changed its canons. Her resignation does not affect Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth's standing as a priest in the Episcopal Church. She is canonically resident in the Diocese of Washington.
Initial Court Ruling Disappoints St. James Newport BeachThe initial court ruling on whether the restrictive covenant forbidding sale of St. James Church in Newport Beach has disappointed that congregation. The original donor of the land was sued by Bishop Bruno because they claimed that they had not removed restrictions on the church property that barred its use for anything other than a church. The trial court has ruled that the restrictions were lifted on all three parcels of land donated by the company in the 1980s. The company claimed it had only removed the restrictions on parcels being bused for parking. The company is considering appealing. For more on the dispute, you can pick up the threads at this Update post.
Bishops of Four Rebuilding Dioceses Meet with President of the House of Deputies in PittsburghOn May 10-11, Bishops from Fort Worth, South Carolina, San Joaquin and Pittsburgh met with Gay Jennings, the President of the House of Deputies, and Sally Johnson, Chancellor to Jennings. The bishops of the four dioceses have met periodically to discuss common issues and news. The meeting in Pittsburgh allowed them to also brief Jennings on what was happening in the dioceses. The Diocese of South Carolina e-news has an article on the meeting and a picture.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Week Ending 05/16/16
Virginia Bishops Are Working on Transgender Policy for Church Schools
The three bishops of the Diocese of Virginia, Diocesan bishop Shannon Johnston, Suffragan Bishop Susan Goff, and Assisting Bishop Ted Gulick have issued a statement that they are carefully working on a policy for the Church Schools of the diocese, (and for other diocesan related organizations and camps) that will address controversies that have arisen in fully including transgender students. The principles that will infuse the policy are sensitive to the needs of transgender students and parents, educators, psychologists, and others involved with the schools. There are six official Church Schools, some of which are day schools and some that take boarders. The diocese elects a single board of trustees that oversees all six schools while granting much autonomy to individual boards at each school. The six are Christchurch (Middlesex County) St. Catherine's (Richmond), St. Christopher's (Richmond), St. Margaret's (Tappahannock) Stuart Hall (Staunton), and St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School (Alexandria). Three of the schools are single sex schools. One Additional Richmond school, the Anna Julia Cooper School is considered an "related institution" for the diocese. The Cooper School is a middle school with ties to the Church Schools in Richmond. In addition the policy would affect the diocesan summer camps run at Shrine Mont. The Episcopal High School in Alexandria is independent and it is not clear if any policy developed by the diocese will apply to it.