Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thurs Nov. 2nd: late morning / early afternoon

Lambeth Conference preparations continue as the St Augustine’s Seminar approaches

November 2nd, 2006 posted by kendall at 2:23 pm

The St Augustine’s Seminar, to be held next week in London, has as its task the fine-tuning of the programme of the Lambeth Conference 2008. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said, in a recent pastoral letter, ‘the St Augustine’s Seminar, in a new format, will be digesting what emerges from the process and working towards a full programme. The Lambeth Conference 2008 should reflect the discernment of the wider Communion, and it is essential that your agenda should be addressed, in a way that is fruitful for everyone. The proposed focus on theological formation and development is a way of trying to encourage you to explore what are your own most important needs, as individual bishops and as churches, not to impose a plan from outside.’

The first session of the seminar is to begin on the 5th of November where they will be some thirty participants from various parts of the Anglican Communion including Africa, India, Mauritius, Australia, Pakistan, South America, New Zealand, Canada, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, USA and the UK. Staff from Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office will also be present. From the Anglican Communion office at St Andrew’s House, London, preparatory work has begun by the Lambeth Conference Manager Ms Sue Parks and her new assistant Mr David Craig. Members of the Lambeth Conference Design Group and members from Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC) will also attend, as will Bishop Thabo Makgoba from the Design Group and Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary of the Lambeth Conference who are both the co – chairs for the seminar.

Sue Parks, the Lambeth Conference 2008 Manager said that participants may want to address one specific question from their own experience by asking, ‘in which areas of Episcopal ministry do you discern bishops in your Province, and more generally, require additional training/formation? How best might such deficits be addressed?’

The formal seminar begins on Monday where participants are to meet in Westminster. Sessions will also be hosted by the Archbishop at Lambeth Palace, where, on Friday evening he and Mrs Williams host a dinner marking the conclusion of the seminar. Also present will be members of the Lambeth Spouses’ Conference Planning Group, who will be meeting the following week at Lambeth and in Canterbury.

That is where the official story ends. But interestingly, some of the most interesting information is in the background material included for editors:


The Archbishop indicated that the emphasis would be on training, ‘for really effective, truthful and prayerful mission.’ He ruled out (for the time being) reopening of the resolution 1.10 on human sexuality from the previous Lambeth Conference, but emphasised the ‘listening process’ whereby diverse views and experiences of human sexuality are being collected and collated in accordance with that resolution, and said it ‘will be important to allow time for this to be presented and reflected upon in 2008.’

Archbishop Williams suggested that the traditional plenary sessions and resolutions would be reduced, where it would be less likely to be doing work in the traditional four large ‘interest groups.’ Instead the Archbishop says, ‘We shall be looking at a bigger number of more focused groups, some of which may bring bishops and spouses together.’

The Archbishop is encouraging TEAC to work closely with the planning groups for Lambeth to see how not only the agenda but also the style of the meeting might maximise the opportunities for training and development. Especially because the Archbishop hopes the main focus of Lambeth 2008 will be upon; ‘equipping the people of God’, a theme that has emerged strongly from the work of the Lambeth Conference Design Group.

Archbishop Rowan says this is ‘very much in step with the work of the Primates’ working party on theological education. Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC) has been working hard on identifying training needs at every level and also at shaping a definition of ‘the Anglican Way’, the distinctive characteristics of Anglican theology and ministry.’

Source: ACNS here.

Archbishop to meet leaders seeking split from liberal Church

November 2nd, 2006 posted by admin at 1:16 pm

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:17am GMT 02/11/2006

Conservative Anglican leaders are to flesh out plans for a formal split in the worldwide Church at a confidential meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, later this month.

A group of conservative archbishops, including the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, will meet Dr Williams at Lambeth Palace to discuss the creation of a parallel body for conservatives in America.

The development follows a summit of 20 “Global South” leaders in Africa last month, which opted for “a separate ecclesiastical structure” to accommodate opponents of the pro-gay leadership of the American Church.

Seven dioceses and scores of parishes in the Episcopal Church, the American branch of Anglicanism, have rejected their liberal leadership and have asked to be “adopted” by a sympathetic archbishop from abroad.

Under the Global South proposals, American conservatives would switch their allegiances from their Presiding Bishop-Elect, the Rt Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori, to a leader from the Global South.

Dr Williams is thought to sympathise with their proposals because he is losing patience with the liberal Americans, who brought Anglicanism to the brink of schism by consecrating its first actively gay bishop in 2003.

But he is also struggling to avert an unprecedented split that could trigger an acrimonious civil war within the Church of England, pitting bishop against bishop and parish against parish.

Dr Williams said recently that his “nightmare” was that the worldwide Church would quickly disintegrate into rival groups, each demanding a share of the Church’s wealth in costly court actions.

Read it All

Roundup of Today’s Episcopal / Anglican Headlines and Stories

November 2nd, 2006 posted by admin at 12:39 pm

We elves are having a tough time keeping up with all the news that’s out there today. And we don’t want to overload the server by posting 20 different stories at once. But we have a very quickly growing “queue” of news stories. For now, until we can post some of them as individual entries, here are some of the headlines and stories that are out there.

I. Stories about Katharine Jefferts Schori
In addition to the stories we have already posted today, there are these additional stories, all of which contain some quotes or details we’d not seen in other stories.

Woman bishop ready for top Episcopal post (Christian Century)

Challenges await 1st female Episcopal leader (Miami Herald)

Episcopalians to Consecrate Female Bishop (Washington Times)

Schori among ‘Glamour Women of the Year’ along with Hollywood stars (, also Entertainment Tonight, Fashion Wire Daily — we elves feel like we’re in the twilight zone posting links from such sources)


II. International Anglican News

Archbishop to meet leaders seeking split from liberal Church (Telegraph)

New Zealand Anglicans Divide over Gay Ordination (Anglican Mainstream)

Lambeth Conference preparations continue as the St. Augustine’s Seminar approaches (ACNS)

A gift from TEC to the church in New Zealand (Anglican Mainstream)

Bangor Cathedral bans Carey as a “divisive force” (Anglican Mainstream. See also Andrew Carey’s blog)

Khatami Meets UK Archbishop (IRNA)


III. Episcopal Church and Same-Sex Unions / Marriages

Aspen Clergy Discuss Civil Unions (Aspen Times)

One NJ Same-sex Case Plaintiff is an Episcopal Priest (Montclair Times, NJ)


Kendall or we elves will get many of these headlines posted as individual stories later. But for now, just trying to stay on top of the news.

UPDATE: Wondering why we bothered to create this post. Binky’s on the ball and beat us to it. Wow. How DOES he do it? This elf needs a nap after just looking at all the links ;-)

Evangelical Support for War Slipping

November 2nd, 2006 posted by kendall at 11:14 am

Evangelical support for the war in Iraq has slipped sharply in the last month, according to a recent survey.

A study released last Thursday by the Pew Research Center for The People & the Press found roughly six in 10 white evangelical Republicans (58 percent) now feel it was the right decision to use force in Iraq. That figure, taken from polling in early to mid-October, compares to 71 percent in early September.

Further, white evangelicals are growing more open to the idea of establishing a timetable for removing troops from Iraq–46 percent now believe it is a good idea, compared to 32 percent in September.

Forty-eight percent of white Republican evangelicals now believe the war is going well, down from 61 percent in September. Barely half (51 percent) believe the war has helped fight terrorism, a 10-point drop from September.

White evangelical Protestants have become the most sought-after voters in the Republican Party. An Oct. 18 Pew study found white evangelicals are still more supportive of Republican candidates than any other religious group.

But that support is also eroding. Fifty-seven percent said they will vote Republican, a double-digit decline from the 68 percent who favored Republicans before the 2002 congressional elections and seven points below the 64 percent of evangelicals who said they intended to vote for the GOP in September.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission said exit polls showed that 84 percent of Southern Baptists voted for President Bush in 2004, and he doesn’t think the war has significantly changed the picture.

“I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Iraq yet,” Land said. “I still think Iraq is one of the more noble things we’ve done. We went there to try to restore freedom and to bring freedom to the Middle East.”

Read it all.

AP Interview: First female leader of Episcopalians a risk-taker

November 2nd, 2006 posted by admin at 11:08 am

By Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer | November 2, 2006

NEW YORK –Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori thought the odds she would be elected to lead The Episcopal Church were “ridiculous” — absolutely against her.

“I was a woman, fairly young, I hadn’t been a bishop all that long, and I was serving a diocese that’s not part of the Eastern establishment,” the 52-year-old Jefferts Schori said.

Then came the surprise — she won anyway, in balloting at the Episcopal General Convention this June. On Saturday, Jefferts Schori will be installed as presiding bishop at the Washington National Cathedral, becoming the first woman priest to lead a national church in the nearly 500-year-old Anglican Communion.

“The Bible is full of stories of the younger son being called and the outsider being called,” by God to serve, Jefferts Schori said in an interview this week with The Associated Press. “I think courage is a central characteristic of leadership. If you’re not willing to go into dangerous places, you have no business doing this work.”

The perils for anyone leading The Episcopal Church right now are considerable.

The 2.3 million-member denomination is at the center of a worldwide Anglican feud over how to interpret what the Bible says about sexuality and other issues. Jefferts Schori unapologetically supports ordaining gays and allowing blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples. In 2003, she voted to confirm New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. The uproar over his consecration is threatening to split the Anglican family, of which The Episcopal Church is the American branch.

“I’m clear about this role involving the entire breadth of The Episcopal Church,” Jefferts Schori said. “But at some level, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to disguise what my own theological understanding is. I’m someone who believes transparency is incredibly important. It’s part of integrity.”

Read it all.


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