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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Apr/May/Jun 2019

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28 June 2019: Archbishop Makgoba urges GAFCON bishops to attend Lambeth
Episcopal Café reports on a recent article in the Church Times that is behind a paywall so you probably can't read it: Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town urges everyone, including the GAFCON-aligned bishops who have previously said they will not attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, to attend.

28 June 2019: Leonard Dawea elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports the election of Leonard Dawea, currently Bishop of Temotu, as the next Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia. He will replace the recently-retired Archbishop George Takeli

28 June 2019: 1000 bishops and their spouses book for the Lambeth Conference
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us more than one thousand bishops and their spouses have so far registered to take part in the Lambeth Conference 2020. We grieve for the spouses who were dis-invited.

28 June 2019: Church of England’s first black female bishop
The Guardian (London) reports the appointment of Rose Hudson-Wilkin, chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, as the new Bishop of Dover. The article quotes her: 'Hudson-Wilkin has urged the C of E to appoint more black and minority ethnic clergy and officials. In 2015 she said: "The church has to wake up. In the same way it has agonised over women, and has eventually seen that it's right for women to be in leadership within the church, it needs to put the same amount of work when it comes to minority ethnic people … It has got to right this wrong."' Because Dover is a suffragan see in the Diocese of Canterbury, its bishop has more power and influence than other suffragans.

27 June 2019: Peter Ball, Anglican bishop jailed for sex abuse, dies at 87
It should surprise no one who has been paying attention that the first major report of the death of Peter Ball should be in the New York Times rather than in a UK publication. The former Anglican bishop and protégé of Britain’s royal family was convicted of sexually abusing 16 boys and young men over 15 years. He died on 21 June at age 87.

23 June 2019: ICPC arrests impersonators of Anglican primate, Rev Okoh
The Daily Trust (Abuja) reports the arrests of 6 people for impersonating several Nigerian clergyman, including Archbishop Okoh. The 6 members of a cybercrime syndicate syndicate have been accused by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) of using fake Facebook accounts to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

21 June 2019: Let the world hear our unity at Lambeth, signatories argue
The Church Times (UK) reports on a letter signed by ten bishops from the USA and around Africa calling on 'Anglican bishops, who have been invited to attend the Lambeth Conference to "lay aside old recriminations" and to see the Communion as "not primarily a problem but rather a remarkable, though fragile, gift — a sign of the Church catholic"'. Signatories include the Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa, the Most Revd Daniel Sarfo, and the Primate of Burundi, the Most Revd Martin Nyaboho, and the Bishop of Dallas, Texas, Dr George R. Sumner.

21 June 2019: South Sudan clerics denounce stigmatization of survivors of conflict related sexual violence
The Anglican Communion News Service tells of a statement issued by the Sudan Council of Churches on the importance of caring for survivors of sexual violence, and eliminating the shame many suffer. This is of particular importance as over 95% of women and girls were reportedly raped during the conflict in South Sudan, and rates of sexual violence remain high in the region.

20 June 2019: A New Way to Do Church
The Religion News Service describes St Stephen's, an inner city church in Philadelphia (USA) that has forgone Sunday service in exchange for weekday hospitality ministry of outreach, welcome, and worship.

14 June 2019: New bishop for Southeastern Mexico, elected from Canada
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a Mexican-born priest in the Anglican Church of Canada has been elected as the coadjutor bishop of Southeast Mexico, where very few of the congregations speak Spanish. Julio Martin, who has been a clergyman in the Anglican Church of Canada for the past 10 years, says he is looking forward to returning to take up the new role. This report is well worth reading.

14 June 2019: Two Michigan dioceses to share bishop
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the US dioceses of Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan are close to finalizing an agreement in which they would share a bishop and pool other resources.

13 June 2019: US Episcopal news reporter gets a medal from the House of Deputies
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd Mary Frances Schjonberg, its long-time senior editor and reporter, was awarded the House of Deputies medal on June 10 by the Revd Gay Clark Jennings, president of the US Episcopal Church's House of Deputies. Through the years a vast number of ENS articles have carried her byline, but of course this one does not. AO congratulates Mary Frances Schjonberg for her excellent work, and the House of Deputies for its good sense in honouring her. Her scheduled retirement on 1 July will leave a big empty space in the world of Episcopal and Anglican journalism.

13 June 2019: Former Anglican Primate elected Governor General of the Solomon Islands
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Bishop David Vunagi, the former Archbishop of Melanesia, has been elected to serve as the next Governor General of the Solomon Islands. The report includes an explanation of what a Governor General is.

13 June 2019: Anglican clergy claim Bishop of Chelmsford told them to leave C of E
Christian Today (London) reports on a claim by more than 30 evangelical clergy in the Diocese of Chelmsford they were told by their bishop that if they didn't agree with his diocese's approach to sexuality they could quit the Church of England.

12 June 2019: Church lead thefts in Thames Valley an 'epidemic'
ITV (London) reports the theft of lead from church roofs is dramatically increasing in the Thames Valley. We find ourselves thinking that if it became difficult to sell stolen lead anonymously, there wouldn't be so much of it stolen.

11 June 2019: An Episcopal church looks to the heavens for its electricity
St Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt Lebanon, Pennsylvania has a three-storey building that is used seven days a week. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a picture of the bishop and rector on the rooftop, blessing its 51 solar panels with holy water, during a 'moving off the grid' ceremony. The church believes that reducing its carbon footprint is part of its stewardship of creation, and its environmental sustainability task force is dreaming about what will be next.

11 June 2019: Price of churchyard burial plots in Tasmania to increase 20 fold
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a video segment with Bishop of Tasmania Richard Condie, reveals that the price of a burial plot in a parish in that diocese is set to rise from AUD$500 to AUD$10k. The Advocate (Burnie, Tasmania) reports Tasmania's state treasurer has opened an investigation to find the justification for this increase.

7 June 2019: Green health: how gardens make you sane
Prisoners at the Isle of Sheppey who had problems with stress and anger calmed down when they were gardening. This was one of the many stories about the therapeutic effects of gardening, told at a conference at Lambeth Palace on the health benefits of green spaces, particularly within a parish or a chaplaincy. The Church Times, whose Green Health awards inspired the gathering, reports on some of the novel ways that churches have used their green spaces to bring healing, and offers a resource for using church spaces.

6 June 2019: Australia Supreme Court halts action against bishop accused of allowing child sexual abuse
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports 'Disciplinary action against former Anglican Bishop Philip Newell halted', explaining 'The Anglican Church in Tasmania has been ordered by the Supreme Court to stop its proceedings against the Bishop.'

6 June 2019: A parish hall for the community, not just the parish
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the intriguing construction of a new parish hall at St Peter in Lakewood, Ohio, USA. The rector says 'The building is designed to invite people in.' They are encouraging the whole community to use the building and suggest uses for it. 'Rather than limiting the new building to church-related usage and income-generating space rentals, St. Peter is inviting its neighbours to approach the building with their own ideas and on their own terms.'

6 June 2019: US National Cathedral to rebuild and repurpose College for Preachers
The US Episcopal News Service reports the announcement by Washington National Cathedral its plans to renovate a building that once housed its College for Preachers and reopen it as a hub of faith programming and spiritual formation.

1 June 2019: Westminster Abbey stops Ethiopian priests visiting holy tablet
Leaders of Westminster Abbey have been accused of gross cultural insensitivity over their denial of a request by Ethiopian Orthodox clergy to pray next to a tablet that was looted from their country in 1868, according to The Guardian. This is following controversy in 2010 about the possible returning of the item to Ethiopia that year. This week, an email exchange between Samuel Berhanu, a deacon in the Ethiopian church in London and Duncan Jeffery, head of Abbey communications has made it clear that the Dean has 'no plans to change [current] arrangements.' In Ethiopian Orthodoxy, these tablets are kept in a sacred area where only clergy may see them.

1 June 2019: New Archbishop for West Indies, new bishops in US Dioceses
The Bishop of Jamaica, Howard Gregory, was elected to serve as Archbishop of the West Indies. Howard received more votes than the other candidate, Bishop of Belize Phillip Wright, during the 40th Synod of the province in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He succeeds Archbishop John Holder, who retired as Bishop of Barbados in February 2018. He is the first Jamaican-born bishop to hold this position, though not the first bishop of Jamaica to do so. The Diocese of El Camino Real (California) has elected the Revd Lucinda Ashby as its 4th bishop, and the Diocese of Michigan has elected the Revd Bonnie Perry as its 11th bishop. Both dioceses are part of the US Episcopal Church.

1 June 2019: Funeral of Rachel Held Evans
The Religion News Service reports on the funeral held in Tennessee for beloved writer Rachel Held Evans.

31 May 2019: Criminals impersonate Anglican Communion Secretary General in gift card fraud
The Anglican Communion office is making the public aware of a scam to defraud recipients by impersonating the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, via a fraudulent email account. At least one recipient is £200 out of pocket. 'The Anglican Communion’s Director for Communications, Gavin Drake, said: 'Staff at the Anglican Communion Office will never ask people to order gift cards on their behalf. We are aware that this type of forged identify fraud is very common. People should be vigilant when receiving such requests.' More details are available. We note that this scam is common worldwide, with many other targets.

29 May 2019: First woman bishop makes history in Philippine Independent Church
The Revd Emelyn Dacuycuy has become the first woman bishop in the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) according to the Episcopal News Service. The group has been in full communion with the US Episcopal Church since 1961.

24 May 2019: Anglican Communion Sunday
The Anglican Communion News Service has explained that 26 May 2019 is to be celebrated as Anglican Communion Sunday. Absent their announcement, we don't think we would have noticed.

24 May 2019: New director for the Anglican Centre in Rome
The Church Times (London) reports the appointment of the Bishop of Mauritius, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, as the new director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

21 May 2019: Church of England General Synod agenda for July
Thinking Anglicans reports on the just-released agenda for July's Church of England General Synod.

18 May 2019: New bishop for Vermont
The Diocese of Vermont has announced the election of the Revd Dr Shannon MacVean-Brown, currently Interim Rector at St Thomas in Franklin, Indiana, as its 11th bishop. All of the candidates in the election were women.

16 May 2019: Christian college in Pakistan wins legal battle for independence from political interference
Edwardes College is owned by the diocese of Peshawar, and is one of the oldest Christian institutions in the province. For many years the government has threatened to take it over, and the governor set up a rival board. After a High Court judgment in favour of the church last year, the government fought the judgment and continued to attempt to influence college management. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Moderator took legal action to protect the college against a takeover, and that a court has again ruled in favour of the Church of Pakistan.

16 May 2019: ABC suspends Bishop of Lincoln over safeguarding fail
The Telegraph (London) reports on the suspension by the Archbishop of Canterbury of Christopher Lowson, Bishop of Lincoln, for his failure to investigate abuse allegations in that diocese. This issue is nuanced, and you ought not form an opinion just from reading headlines.

15 May 2019: Yukon elects its archdeacon as coadjutor bishop
Canada's Anglican Journal reports the election of the Ven Lesley Wheeler-Dame as coadjutor, to succeed Bishop Larry Robertson upon his retirement. She is currently a parish priest and Archdeacon of the Yukon.

13 May 2019: Diocese of Egypt partners with British university to open new archive research centre
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the opening of a new research centre in Cairo as part of a newly renovated archive facility for the Episcopal Diocese of Egypt. The Cairo Research Centre was created by the Diocese of Egypt in collaboration with the UK's University of Leicester.

10 May 2019: Splinter Anglican Communion group announces alternative meeting just before Lambeth 2020
The US Episcopal News Service reports on an announcement by the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) that it will call a meeting of Anglican Communion bishops for June 8-14, 2020, in Kigali, Rwanda, just weeks before the Lambeth gathering. In 2008, its inaugural year, GAFCON staged a similar pre-Lambeth meeting in Jerusalem. When GAFCON was formed in 2008, its founders said 'moral compromise, doctrinal error and the collapse of biblical witness in parts of the Anglican Communion' had reached a critical level.

9 May 2019: IICSA publishes report on Chichester and Peter Ball
Thinking Anglicans (UK) reports on the recent release by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) of its report on the recent Chichester diocese and Peter Ball investigations.

8 May 2019: C of E abuse survivors dismayed as 'seal of confessional' upheld
The Guardian (London) reports survivors of sexual abuse by priests have expressed dismay that the Church of England is set to uphold the confidentiality of confession against the urging of the archbishop of York. It then reported on the Pope's new requirement that all Roman Catholic priests and nuns will be required to report abuse and cover-ups by superiors.

4 May 2019: ABC apologizes for his decision on same-sex spouses
The Church Times (London), reporting on the wrap-up of the Anglican Consultative Council, noted (among many other things) that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby more or less apologized for his controversial decision not to invite same-sex bishops' spouses to the upcoming Lambeth 2020 Conference. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that because of this apology, the factions warring over sexuality actually reached an agreement. The US Episcopal News Service published this note about why that might have happened.

4 May 2019: Rachel Held Evans, Voice of the Wandering Evangelical, Dies at 37
According to the New York Times, American best-selling author Rachel Held Evans, a former evangelical who challenged literalist Christianity, later becoming an Episcopalian as an adult died on 4 May from a reaction following treatment for influenza and an infection.

2 May 2019: Q&A with ABC
During the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Hong Kong, Archbishop Justin Welby responded to questions for over an hour. The Episcopal News Service reports on his candid responses to questions about President Trump, being part of an established church, the legacy of colonialism, Brexit, and his personal discipline of prayer. 

2 May 2019: Episcopal Church (USA) to move forward towards full communion with United Methodist Church
Following a meeting of The Episcopal Church – United Methodist Dialogue Committee in Austin, Texas (USA), the Episcopal New Service reports members agreed to send a resolution for full communion to be considered by the Council of Bishops.

30 April 2019: Ex-bishop Heather Cook to be released next month after serving half her prison sentence for bicyclist's death
The Baltimore Sun (USA) reports on the annoucement of the release from prison of former Bishop Heather Cook later this month. She was sentenced after fleeing the scene after hitting and killing a cyclist while driving drunk.

28 April 2019: ACNA offended by Lambeth observer invitation
Episcopal Café (USA) reports that Foley Beach, Archbishop of the ACNA, was offended by the invitation to be an observer at the upcoming 2020 Lambeth Conference. He believes that ACNA is part of the Anglican Communion, which does not share that belief.

27 April 2019: ABC says British law forbids ACC debate of his same-sex spouse decision
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Anglican Consultative Council, chartered under British law, is not by its own constitution permitted to hold a formal discussion of the ABC's controversial decision not to invite same-sex spouses to the Lambeth Conference. The ACC meets every three years, and is meeting now in Hong Kong. Some sessions of that meeting are being livestreamed and recorded on YouTube.

26 April 2019: ACC asks for a louder voice in running Anglican Communion
The Church Times (London) reports that various members of the ACC have told that newspaper they believe the ACC should have more say in the running of the Communion. The ACC once had more authority, but since the beginning of global Primates' Meetings, that has diminished. The Church Times points out 'The ACC is the only instrument of governance that includes ordinary clergy and laity, and it is thus potentially more gender-representative than the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meeting, since women are still rare in the global Anglican episcopate.'

25 April 2019: Anglican Church of Kenya to reject donations from dubious politicians
La Croix International (Paris) tells us that the ACK will no longer allow itself to be used to sanitize money stolen from public coffers. This in turn caused Kenya's deputy president to announce that the government will resume contributions to Anglican projects.

21 April 2019: Easter messages
Thinking Anglicans has, as usual, gathered Easter messages from around the Anglican Communion. We find this message from Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, particularly welcome. The Anglican Communion News Service has also gathered some Easter messages.

21 April 2019: Church bombings and burnings
The coordinated bombings of three Roman Catholic churches in Sri Lanka made international headlines. The burning of a small old wooden church last week in Roseneath, Ontario did not.

13 April 2019: ABC insists barring gay bishops' spouses was necessary
The Episcopal Café (US) reports on an interview by The Times (London) with the Archbishop of Canterbury about his decision to exclude the spouses of gay bishops from the 2020 Lambeth Conference. The story itself is behind a paywall, but Christian Today has a summary of the interview that is available without paying. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that more than 500 bishops have already registered for the conference.

12 April 2019: US parish church pays off medical debt for 3,617 families
During its centennial, Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Springfield, USA made some important property repairs, and then committed that any remaining money raised would be used outside its walls. The  Journal Gazette-Times Courier (Mattoon, Illinois) reports that the church then purchased $4 million in local medical debt in order to forgive it. Letters were sent to 3,617 financially strapped families informing them that their debt had been paid, and credit agencies were notified, so their credit ratings could improve. The church achieved this at a cost of $15,000, and calculate that was a 26,000 percent return on their investment.

9 April 2019: ABC launches Housing Commission for UK
The Church of England has announced the creation, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, of a Commission on Housing, Church, and Community, to address the housing crisis in that country. Academics, housing experts and theologians will meet over an 18-month period to explore how the C of E can build on its own work in housing and contribute to the UK national debate on policy

9 April 2019: Pope approves updates to Anglican Ordinariate
The Vatican News reports that Pope Francis has approved the updates to Anglicanorum coetibus that were drafted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

9 April 2019: ACNS editor to become Director of Communications for Anglican Communion itself
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that its editor, Gavin Drake, will be the next director of communications for the Anglican Communion. We at Anglicans Online have followed Mr Drake's writing for years, and wish him congratulations on his new position.

6 April 2019: New bishops for Ecuador Litoral and Europe
ENS reports that Cristóbal León Lozano has been consecrated the bishop of Ecuador Litoral by the Most Revd Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church (USA). Mark Edington was also consecrated bishop for the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe by the same. The convocation's website lists the order of service and events.

6 April 2019: New bishop consecrated for Canberra/Goulburn
The Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of New South Wales, the Most Revd Dr Glenn Davies, has consecrated Mark Short as the bishop of Canberra/Goulburn, according to the Goulburn Post. The service featured a notable first: an Aboriginal leader, the Revd Neville Naden, the indigenous ministry officer for the Bush Church Aid Society, gave the sermon.

5 April 2019: First female Canon in Diocese of Egypt to be installed in All Saints Cathedral, Cairo
The bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, the Rt Revd Mouneer Anis, will license Mrs Alexandra Wakid as the first female canon in the diocese this coming Friday, 12 April, according to ACNS. She is being honored as a lay canon for her many years of work, including her most recent appointment for the past ten years to the as the bishop's consult for international relations.

5 April 2019: Cancel nuclear deterrent service, Abbey urged
The Church Times reports on protests against a service at Westminster Abbey to be held in thanksgiving for fifty years of nuclear deterrance by the United Kingdom's submarine service. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, along with twenty Anglican clergy, have issued a statement stating that the service sends a 'wrong message'. They also note, per their own statement, that the General Synod has passed a 2018 motion calling for the elimination of these weapons.

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