Saturday, June 20, 2009
I was also able to return to church last Sunday for the first time in a good while. That was especially healing for my heart and soul. To lose myself in worship of my most courteous Lord was indeed refreshing and renewing. To be surrounded by my church family was superb, and to see my priest and hear her saying the Eucharistic prayer once again simply sent my spirit soaring with elation. Singing the hymns and the fraction anthem, the Venite, chanting the psalm, all of it...inexpressible joy.
This Sunday I will be going with the LEM after the 10 am service to take communion to a home bound parishioner out in the hills outside of Ashland. The home bound parishioners are ones I have never met until I resumed being a Lay Eucharistic Minister I & II recently, and before the Great Knee Incident. Some of these dear hearts have not much time left on this side of the veil but they are ready for the other side nonetheless. These are the Prayer Warriors of old, staunch allies of God, part of the Greatest Generation. Solid and nearly indestructible. They remind us of where we are all headed, and its really ok.
As far as Church News, I haven't heard a whole lot since I last reported about the change in the statement of the IAmEpiscopal.org site. Funny how things fall silent all of a sudden. I need to dig around on the other reliable Episcopal blogs to find out the skinny on what is going on with that if anything. And when I find something to share, I will post it here with links to them directly.
We do need to be praying in preparation for General Convention 2009 coming up in a few weeks and for those who will participating and voting on various resolutions. I know my priest will be one of those delegates from the Diocese of Oregon, as she was in years before. Thank goodness for the one clear-headed person I know will be there making prayerful and deliberate decisions on how she will vote and what she will say if called upon.
We also need to be praying about and watching the tense situation in Iran. The people had their voice snuffed out in the so-called election, and now they want it back. Pray for those who seek freedom and religious freedom from the current theocracy and tyranny of the current president and master-mind of this hijacked election process. Democracy my a**. The corrupt holders of the government wouldn't know democracy if it hit them in the face. Just as George Bush tried to create and almost succeeded in creating a theocracy here in America, the people spoke for freedom, their rights and for change. And we got it. Anything is better than what was happening in this country and to its people. We cannot stand idly by and see it happen to another country and another people longing to be free from oppression. So pray, talk about it, encourage those there by sending or commenting on Twitter and on the blogs by Iranians there and in the USA. If you are participating in Twitter, just input #Iranelection in the search box and "hear" what is going on "live feed".
I have plans for returning library books today. I also will check out the Big Bookstore since I haven't been there in months. Its something to do and gets me out walking around, good for rehab of the ol' knee. I may start trimming the laurel hedge this afternoon, a little anyway. One must start somewhere or my front outdoor room will be swallowed by it!
I bid you all a good week and may the Lord bless you in all you encounter and attempt!
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Facing criticism for withholding information, Episcopal Church removes ‘transparent’ governance pledge from website
Facing criticism for withholding information from its 2.3 million members, the Episcopal Church has quietly removed from its new IAmEpiscopalian.org website assurances that the church is committed to openness and transparency in government.
For months, the site had proclaimed on its home page: “Our controversies and conversations have been public. Our governance is transparent. You are free to see our imperfections…” See the original message:
Welcome to I am Episcopalian, launched this Ash Wednesday 2009, the beginning of Lent.
The Episcopal Church is a big, colorful, vibrant church. We hope you will see that in the wide spectrum of its members represented here on this site.
In our Church you may touch ancient traditions and experience intelligent inquiry. It is an expansive Church, a loving Church, with strong ties to our roots as a nation. We are a thoughtful, inquiring, freedom-loving and welcoming body, and we thrive not only in the U.S., but also throughout Latin America, Asia and Europe.
We invite you to see and hear the very personal reasons we choose to be Episcopalians. Our controversies and conversations have been public. Our governance is transparent. You are free to see our imperfections, as well as share our joy in that which unites us - our openness, honesty and faith.
But sometime this week, after the church was repeatedly criticized for concealing key governance decisions from the people in the pews, the “transparency” and “openness” message disappeared.
Compare this to the statement above:
The Episcopal Church welcomes you.
You will hear this recurring theme in the videos by clicking on them above. We welcome you not only in the U.S., but also in parts of Latin America, Asia and Europe.
In the Episcopal Church, we may all serve as preachers, teachers, or worship leaders. Both men and women are welcomed into ordained ministry. Each and everyone of the baptized may experience God's grace at the altar, and the knowledge that God loves you and forgives is always present.
The best way to experience how the Episcopal Church welcomes you is to visit. To find a church, please click "continue" below to the main website. To share a personal story of why you are an Episcopalian, follow the directions for uploading your video here.
Definitely missing from this revision is "Our governance is transparent".
Meanwhile, Episcopalians who support full-inclusion for gays and lesbians are calling on the church to release the names of a secret committee which is studying the theology of same-sex relationships. They say the secrecy is an insult and contradicts the church’s commitment to “transparent governance.”
Again I thank MadPriest at "Of Course I Could Be Wrong" in the UK for alerting us to this story as brought to us by Frank Lockwood at "Bible Belt Blogger" in Arkansas.
This news, disturbing and sudden, in my opinion does not bode well for TEC especially in light of our upcoming General Convention in July. Praying is needed, my brothers and sisters...
Friday, June 05, 2009
Search Committee Update
June 5, 2009
-The Rev. Sara Fischer, search committee communications sub-chair
The Search Committee invites your prayers during the coming weeks as we embark on the next level of discernment in our process. We have identified eight semi-finalists for nomination as our Tenth Bishop of Oregon. So that all sixteen members of the Search Committee can interview each of these eight semi-finalists in depth, we have invited them, in two groups of four, to gather with us for several days in a retreat setting. We will complete these two intensive interview sessions in late June, and then enter the work of discernment and reference-checking. Our final act as the Search Committee will be to present, in August, no more than four names to the Standing Committee. Please pray for the Search Committee and for each of the semi-finalists who are themselves in a process of discerning God's call.
For more information, see http://diocese- regon.org/bishopsearch or contact Paul Barthelemy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Cramer (email@example.com), Search Committee Co-chairs.
Submitted by Deirdre Steinberg, Diocesan Communications Director
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Bishops' Theology Committee chair declines to release names of same-gender study group
Advocacy groups call decision 'insult' that goes against church's transparent governance
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[Episcopal News Service] A group formed by Episcopal Church bishops to study the theology of same-gender relationships has begun its work, but the chair of the committee that appointed the panel refuses at least for now to identify its members, a decision that critics say is insulting and lacking in transparency.
"It has always been the committee's intention to publish the names of the panel when the work has reached the appropriate stage," Diocese of Alabama Bishop Henry Parsley, chair of the House of Bishops Theology Committee, said in a statement June 3. "We believe that for a season the work can best be accomplished by allowing the panel to work in confidence. This supports the full collegiality and academic freedom of the theologians and provides the space they need for the deep dialogue and reflection that is taking place among them."
Full story: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_108986_ENG_HTM.htm
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
A huge Hat Tip to Ann Fontaine+, priest in Lander Wyoming and regular contributor to The Episcopal Cafe. Read Ann+'s article at The Lead at the Episcopal Cafe for more information...
CHICAGO CONSULTATION CALLS FOR HOUSE OF BISHOPS THEOLOGY COMMITTEE TO RELEASE NAMES OF SCHOLARS STUDYING SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS
CHICAGO, June 2, 2009—Ruth Meyers, professor of liturgics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and General Convention deputy from the Diocese of Chicago, released this statement today in her role as co-convener of the Chicago Consultation:
The report of the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops, included on page 51 of the Blue Book for the 76th General Convention, states that the committee has been asked by the House of Bishops to undertake a theological study of same-sex relationships in the life of the church. According to the report, the Theology Committee has appointed “a diverse and balanced panel of theologians” that has already begun its work.
Monday, June 01, 2009
There has been a lot going on in the Anglican Communion, here at home and abroad. In my attempt to stay caught up, I offer the following leads of some of the more noteworthy reports. Granted it is the Episcopal News Service, and granted, there are readers who do not give the ENS much credence but you know, its news. Does any media outlet really tell it like it is? So here is the information on "local" [stateside] stories and items from overseas.
I only wish to help those who don't have the resources or who are unaware of where to find the latest news, and help them stay afoot, if you will, on what the WWAC is up to, or not. So I humbly offer the following with links to the complete stories included.
COLORADO: Former Episcopal priest indicted on 20 felony charges Armstrong allegedly siphoned $392,000 from church funds
By Pat McCaughan
[Episcopal News Service] A former Episcopal priest surrendered to authorities May 22 after a grand jury issued a 20-count felony indictment alleging he stole $392,000 from Grace and St. Stephen's Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado before breaking from it and joining the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America.
If convicted, the Rev. Donald Armstrong, 60, now rector of St. George's Anglican Church in Colorado Springs, could spend the rest of his life in prison. Each charge carries a four-to-12 year possible prison sentence, with potential fines amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was released after posting $20,000 bail, according to authorities.
CALIFORNIA: Bishop: "a sad day" for Central California diocese
By Pat McCaughan
[Episcopal News Service] Bishop Jerry Lamb of San Joaquin has sent final deposition notices to 61 priests and deacons who disaffiliated from the Central California Valley diocese and The Episcopal Church.
Lamb described the actions as "heartbreaking," on May 26, after finishing the last of the letters, which were to be mailed out to clergy who, along with former Bishop John-David Schofield, realigned themselves with the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
SCOTLAND: Tutu gets standing ovation from Church of Scotland after addressing gay issue
[Ecumenical News International] During an address to the Church of Scotland) General Assembly in Edinburgh, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that homosexuals have a place in the church.
Episcopal Relief and Development sends emergency aid to Pakistan
[Episcopal Relief and Development] The ongoing fighting between Pakistan's military and the Taliban rebels has caused massive chaos, violence and displacement in the country. According to USAID, more than two million citizens have been forced out of their homes since the fighting intensified in early May. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) continues to increase at an alarming rate.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, claims that the current displacement crisis in Pakistan is the most significant and fastest growing since the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.
EASTERN OREGON: Rivera appointed provisional bishop
[Episcopal News Service] Bishop Edna Bavi "Nedi" Rivera was elected provisional bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon (http://www.episdioeo.org/ ) by unanimous vote during a special convention May 23. Twenty-seven clergy and 67 lay delegates representing 21 of the 22 parishes in eastern Oregon were certified to vote.
Full Story: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81803_108353_ENG_HTM.htm
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FORT WORTH: Bishop asks clergy to verify decision to leave
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth provisional Bishop Edwin F. Gulick Jr. has asked 72 members of the diocesan clergy to meet with him to verify their decision to leave the Episcopal Church with former bishop Jack Iker.
Church Divinity School of the Pacific lays off staff, restructures seminary
[Episcopal News Service] Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) announced May 29 the layoff of five of its 17 full-time staff members as a part of a comprehensive restructuring of the Episcopal Church-affiliated seminary in Berkeley, California.
The restructuring is a response to mounting financial pressures and changes in the educational needs of the Episcopal Church, according to a CDSP news release.