Week Ending 1/23/17
Episcopalians Involved in Inauguration Weekend EventsWhile on inauguration day the Episcopal Church had some involvement (a private service that used St. John's as its site and a National Cathedral choir singing as part of the prelude to the inauguration ), on Saturday the Church was more visible. The inauguration events ended with a service at the National Cathedral. Last week the Update carried a story on the controversy surrounding this event. The event was a very multi-faith service in which Bishop Mariann Budde, the cathedral dean, a representative for the Presiding Bishop, and cathedral vergers all participated. A full description is found here. Meanwhile, the capitol was flooded with over a half million participants in the Women's March and additional millions attended "sister" marches in cities and towns throughout the U.S. and world wide. Marchers in several did so as Episcopal groups. There is an Episcopal News Story about some of the participants.
Wales Joins Provinces with Women as BishopsWales has now joined the list of Anglican Communion provinces with women as bishops. The Rt. Reverend Joanna Penberthy was consecrated as the 129th Bishop of St. David's in a service conducted in both Welsh and English on January 21. (The Update carried news of her election in November.) Communion-wide, the U.S. led the way with the consecration of the Right Rev. Barbara Harris in 1986. Women also have been consecrated as bishops in England, Ireland, Scotland, Southern Africa, South India, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The extra-provincial church in Cuba also has a woman as bishop.
Dakota Pipeline Construction Back OnDonald Trump has signed an executive memorandum directing the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up their environmental review of oil pipeline construction near the Standing Rock reservation so that the pipeline can be finished. A core of water protectors have remained at camps at the protest site despite strong pressure and threats by law enforcement to remove them. The Episcopal Church has supported the protectors and the local Episcopal Congregation remains involved. The most recent previous Update story is here.
Archbishop of Canterbury Calls October Meeting for PrimatesIn an attempt to end some of the continuing warfare among Anglican Provinces over issues related to theology and LGBTQ inclusion, Archbishop Justin Welby has called a meeting of Anglican Primates only for October 2017. The letter was sent in November, but has now been made public. The last gathering of Primates was held in January 2016, and resulted in a request that the Episcopal Church stand down from leadership offices in the Communion and committee that dealt with ecumenical relations. The ACNA Archbishop was an observer at that meeting. The invitation for this coming October is for Communion Primates only. Thus speculation about American "TEC Bishops" being invited is off-base. The only TEC bishop eligible to go is Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Some news stories have confused what Welby calls the "special" meeting of last January with an official primates meeting. The meeting called for October seems to be a regular meeting,
Continuing Debate on Same-Sex MarriageThe Episcopal Cafe on-line magazine carried a story on speculation that the Church of England bishops are about to drop questions to LGBT clergy that required them to maintain a celibate lifestyle. This would result in a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" situation for same-sex partnered clergy in England. Meanwhile in Australia, Dr. Muriel Porter, a Melbourne journalist and Anglican who has served more than 30 years in the Australian Church's General Synod, has filed documents with the Australian Senate committee looking at same-sex marriage saying that most Aussie Anglicans have no problem with same sex-marriage. Her filing counters the one submitted by a priest from the Anglican Diocese of Sydney (the one Australian Diocese participating officially in GAFCON). Update carried a report on an earlier stage of the Australian Church's response to discussion in the senate.
Finally, the editor apologizes for late publication this week of the Update, but participation in the Women's March in Washington, threw off my work schedule.