Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Week Ending 04/17/17
Arrest Made in Arson at Huntington Episcopal ChurchOn Monday evening after Easter, the altar at St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntington, West Virginia was set on fire. The church lost prayer books and hymnals, has a smoke-damaged sanctuary and lost altar cloths, a rug and possible the altar itself from fire. While insurance will cover the damage, the parish had to reschedule activities. Local papers reported that within twenty-four hours, the police had arrested a twelve-year-old girl for setting the fire. The church is asking for prayers for the young girl.
Los Angeles Diocese Continues to Speak Out For ImmigrantsAt least four prominent Episcopal clergy were among the 35 protesters arrested on Maundy Thursday for blocking the entrance at a Los Angeles area ICE detention center. Around 300 protesters participated in the interfaith day of action. Clergy arrested included The Rev. Mike Kinman of All Saints Episcopal, Pasadena; Rev. Joanne Leslie, diocesan archdeacon; the Rev. Francisco Garcia, rector of Holy Faith Episcopal in Inglewood; and the Rev. Canon Jaime-Edwards Acton, rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Hollywood. Garcia and Acton are the co-facilitators of Episcopal Sacred Resistance which is the diocesan sanctuary task force. That task force was a co-sponsor of the march. The diocese, which voted at its last convention to become a sanctuary diocese, is providing churches with information and mobilizing them for sanctuary action. For example, the Rev. Greg Kimura, of St. Andrew's Episcopal in Ojai regularly visits day-labor sites passing out cards with information on immigrant's rights and his phone number so immigrants can call if immigration authorities come to their homes or work places. He will send a support team to help them assert their rights.
Scottish Episcopal Church Report on Same Sex Marriage LeakedWhile not happy that the findings of the latest Theological Forum on human sexuality were leaked before publication of all documents being prepared for the General Assembly in June, church officials decided to release the whole report rather than have rumors circulating. The report suggests that the church is trying to find a way to allow theological diversity. It also recommends a report to be prepared for the 2018 General Assembly on the legal implications of clergy performing. same-sex marriages. The whole report is here and the official press release for the Scottish Church is here. Pittsburgh Update reported last year on the vote take at the Assembly which supported moving forward with same sex marriage.
Arkansas Diocese Announces Prayer Vigil for Inmates Scheduled to DieAlthough the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn Arkansas State Supreme Court stays of execution on three of the 8 prisoners Arkansas planned on executing in a 10 day period, the state is going forward with plans to execute the other five, with two scheduled for Thursday, April 20. The Episcopal Diocese has announced a prayer vigil on the 20th whether the executions go forward or not. After the service, some of those attending will go to the Governor's Mansion to keep a candlelight vigil there. Services are also planned for April 24 and 27, when the rest of the executions are scheduled.
Los Angeles Paper Comments on Bishop Bruno HearingThe Pilot, a Los Angeles Times paper has published a reflective piece on the recent three-day church court hearing held on the complaint filed by members of St. James the Great in Newport Beach against Bishop Bruno for the manner in which he dispossessed the parish in order to sell their property. The story reflects on the manner in which the hearing panel conducted the proceedings.
Uganda Refugee Camp Now the Home for South Sudan DioceseFive days after Emmanuel Murye Modi was consecrated and installed as the Bishop of Kajo-Keji in the South Sudan, the whole region became refugees from the civil war raging in that country. Within 10 days 98% of the population had fled. The diocese now is a diocese in exile functioning in a refugee camp in Uganda. Over 290,000 Sudanese refugees are in Uganda camps, and tents and food are in very short supply. The new bishop is mobilizing church resources to help with humanitarian aid, schools, and clinics, and to start worshiping groups in the camps. Right now they lack basic church supplies and are holding services under the trees.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Week Ending 04/10/2017
Cathedrals in the NewsThe Church of England is buzzing about the precarious financial and physical states of a number of their historic cathedrals. Trying to maintain cathedrals build 700 or 800 years ago presents numerous challenges. There is now a commission looking into matters at several of the historic sites. Meanwhile in New Zealand information has been released that sheds light on our most recent update on the struggle surrounding what to do with the Anglican cathedral in Christ Church, New Zealand which was destroyed in a major earthquake in 2011.
Crown Tries Again to Get a Bishop for SheffieldThe uproar around the appointment of Bishop Philip North as the new diocesan bishop of Sheffield in England led to his declining the appointment. Now the crown has announced its new choice, and this time there is no major protest. The new nominee, the Rev. Dr. Pete Wilcox, is currently the dean of the Cathedral in Liverpool and is an evangelical who supports women's ordination. He has promised to respect the traditionalist parishes in his new diocese. The most recent previous Update story is here.
Bishops Entangled with the CourtsNews continues around three different legal struggles for Bishops around the Anglican Communion.
Heather Cook, the former suffragan bishop of Maryland is about to have her first parole hearing. Cook pled guilty to felony charges filed after she killed a bicyclist while driving drunk and then left the scene and has been serving her sentence in prison. Update's most recent coverage of Cook is here. The legal struggles continue between the current Archbishop of Tanzania and the bishop of Dar es Salom (and former Archbishop of Tanzania). Bishop Mokiwa has been ordered to appear before a civil authority's investigation committee looking into fraud charges. He has filed a countering civil suit and is trying to get a meeting of the Tanzanian House of Bishops called to look into the way the current Archbishop has handled the matter. The Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa has now weighed in with a statement asking the current and former Archbishops to find a way to settle the issue outside the courts. The most recent Update coverage is here.