The time has come to disestablish the Church of England. As a deeply partisan Prayer Book Anglican – a churchmanship naturally inclined to support the cause of antidisestablishmentarianism – I say that rather grudgingly. But it pains me to admit the established church and mother church of Anglicanism is no longer fit for purpose.
Atheists, militant secularists and those of non-Christian faiths have long supported my newly-held position, yet they often do so for other reasons, namely declining church attendance. They might claim that the Anglican expression of Christianity has little creditability as a state church if, practically speaking, nobody goes to services on a regular basis. And they might have a point. Other denominations could also make a credible claim as the national church, given that the Roman Catholic church draws more on a Sunday than the Church of England.
From Christianity Today- Though the Anglican Church in Canada last week failed to amend its canon to sanction same-sex marriages, in the wake of the narrow vote, dioceses have opted to continue with them anyway.
The amendment, first passed in 2016, required a two-thirds majority vote among lay delegates, clergy, and bishops at two triennial general synods in a row. While it met the threshold among lay and clergy (80.9% and 73.2%) during this year’s synod, the bishops’ vote last Friday fell just short of two-thirds (62.2%).
On Monday, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of Canada, read a statement to the delegation saying the bishops “are not of one mind” on the issue, but that “we are walking together in a way which leaves room for individual dioceses and jurisdictions of our church to proceed with same-sex marriage,” according to Anglican Planet.
The worship space at Calvary Episcopal Cathedral is being repaired and refurbished for the first time since 1946. The refurbish is part of the cathedral's 130th anniversary celebration.
he cathedral at about 13th Street and Main Avenue in Sioux Falls was built back in 1887. This was after John Astor the 3rd donated $27,000 to have it built to honor his late wife. While the building has held up all these years, Father Ward Simpson said it was beginning to show its age.
"This was a chance for us as a congregation with the energy we've got currently, to step up, bring some more current artwork into the space, tie in to some more local imagery," Father Simpson said. "I love the imagery we've come up with, tying in local plants and the Niobrara Cross, which is important to us as Episcopalians in South Dakota, and we've come up with a whole package that I think is really wonderful."
From Kansas- Peter Munson speaks softly and carries a big stick.
The 61-year-old Episcopal priest hiked into Dodge City on Friday, marking a halfway point on a 3,676-mile journey across the United States to raise money for four charities close to his heart. Munson said his momentum is fueled by a call from God.
Locals can meet him Sunday at St. Cornelius Episcopal Church, 200 W. Spruce St., for 10 a.m.
services, where he will talk the talk about being faithful, helping children and pursuing dreams. There he will also invite anyone to walk the walk with him.
In Munson’s dream, he raises $1 for children with every bend of the knee — 6 million steps in total — that will take him from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
This is now a full-time job for Munson, who has walked eight hours a day, six days a week since March.
The Church Pension Group (CPG) of the Episcopal Church reported that its investment portfolio increased 1.5% to $13.5 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, from $13.3 billion the previous year. Despite the modest gain for the year, the Church reported that the fund has outperformed both its investment goals and benchmark performance over the past three, five, and 10 years.
The Church reported that the portfolio returned 8.7%, 7.0%, and 10.2% over the past three, five, and 10 years, respectively. This is compared with its investment targets of 6.7%, 6.0%, and 6.3% over the same time periods, and the benchmark performance of 7.9%, 7.0%, and 9.5%, respectively.
The asset allocation of the investment portfolio is 28.6% in global equities, 26.4% in global bonds, 17.1% in private equity, 15.8% in specialized strategies, 9.2% in real estate, 2.7% in private specialty strategies, and 0.2% in cash.
From Canada- The Anglican Church’s recent apology for doing “spiritual harm” to Indigenous Peoples is a beginning, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett said Wednesday, but victims of sexual abuse at the hands of one priest in the 1970s and ’80s continue to wait for an apology for physical harm they endured from a “man of the cloth.”
In an interview, Bennett said several survivors have been clear they want an apology from the church for the legacy of Ralph Rowe, a former priest and Boy Scout leader who abused children during the two decades he spent travelling among remote First Nations communities in northern Ontario.
Bennett and her husband Peter O’Brian –himself a victim of childhood sexual abuse — have spent years trying to raise awareness about the impacts of Rowe’s abuse, its long-lived impacts and in some cases, deadly consequences.
The bishop of Diocese of Niagara says she isn't surprised the Anglican Church of Canada voted against recognizing same-sex marriage.
Susan Bell says the result of the vote is a "realistic portrayal of where the Anglican Church of Canada is right now."
This past week, national church leaders met for the Anglican church of Canada's triennial general meeting. There they voted against an amendment to its canon law that would recognize same-sex marriage.
But while falling short of a national amendment, the outcome of the meeting also allows each diocese to make its own determination. And, Bell says, the Niagara diocese will continue with its policy of recognizing same-sex marriage.
The overall vote on the canon law amendment came just short of succeeding.
From Guideposts- For several weeks prior to the scheduled lift-off of Apollo 11 back in July, 1969, the pastor of our church, Dean Woodruff, and I had been struggling to find the right symbol for the first lunar landing.
We wanted to express our feeling that what man was doing in this mission transcended electronics and computers and rockets.
Dean often speaks at our church, Webster Presbyterian, just outside of Houston, about the many meanings of the communion service.
"One of the principal symbols," Dean says, "is that God reveals Himself in the common elements of everyday life." Traditionally, these elements are bread and wine–common foods in Bible days and typical products of man’s labor.
One day while I was at Cape Kennedy working with the sophisticated tools of the space effort, it occurred to me that these tools were the typical elements of life today.
A few days before Christmas last year, I was invited to a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the persecution of Christians around the world. Around the table were the archbishop of Canterbury, a Catholic bishop representing the cardinal archbishop of Westminster, the Coptic archbishop, survivors of persecution from countries such as Pakistan and Iraq, and the chief executives of three religious freedom advocacy organizations.
The day after Christmas — St. Stephen’s Day, when we remember the world’s first Christian martyr — the foreign secretary announced that he was commissioning Anglican Bishop Philip Mounstephen of Truro to lead a review of British foreign policy towards the persecution of Christians. Hunt emphasized that he was concerned that Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office was not responding adequately to the scale of persecution of Christians around the world. While it is vital to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for everyone, and to remember that in many parts of the world Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, adherents of other faiths, and people of no faith face severe persecution in many countries, Christians may be the most persecuted religious group in the world, numerically and in terms of the range of sources of persecution. Hunt expressed concern that political correctness had led to a weak response to this global challenge and he wanted this to change.
From The Tablet- A “dramatic decline” in Christian belief and practice, along with a “substantial increase in atheism”, are recorded in the latest findings on religion from the British Social Attitudes survey.
“Over time, there has been a dramatic decline in the proportion of people who identify with Christianity along with a substantial increase in those with no religious affiliation, and a steady increase in those belonging to non-Christian faiths,” the report says.
The percentage identifying as Church of England or Anglican fell from 40 in 1983 through 22 per cent in 2008 to 12 per cent last year. Catholicism, however, fared better, with equivalent percentages falling from 10 to just 9 and then 7 per cent last year. One increase over the period was among non-denominational Christians, up from 3 per cent in 1983 to 10 per cent in 1998 and 13 per cent last year – a higher proportion of the population than Anglicans.