Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tales from the crypt, Southwark edition

Some comments at Thinking Anglicans following the leak that Jeffrey John will not be the next bishop of Southwark (SUTH-urk):
Ironic if the man who was vetoed for Southwark by George Carey for declining to repudiate his writings on homosexuality should now have vetoed Jeffrey John's nomination to the same diocese. As Göran Koch-Swahne posted earlier today at another blog, "Judas only betrayed his chum once".

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 12:47am BST


We're told that when Tony Blair received the names for the Diocese of Liverpool he sent them back and asked for another list with the name of James Jones on it. David Cameron should return the Southwark nominations and keep returning them until Jeffrey John's name is there.

Posted by: junius on Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 7:13am BST

Rowan withdrew his name from Southwark after George invited him to a meeting at Lambeth - he found there his writings all laid out on a table .......

I think we can all pretty accurately guess at the sort of conversation that followed......

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 7:36am BST

Monday, June 28, 2010


Sarah Dylan Breuer on The Rt. Rev. Dr. Tom Wright:
I too am an alumna of St. Mary's Divinity College of the University of St. Andrews, and I'm not giving another dime to the university after this announcement.

Dr. Wright interviewed for a position in New Testament at St. Mary's/St. Andrews when I was a postgrad student there. He was the only candidate for the position who made much of his credentials as a true Christian as opposed (in his rhetoric frequently) to his credentials as a professor. And on the basis of the credentials he put forward as best, I recommended that he not be hired.

He treated professors at the college with respect. He answered their questions, laughed at their jokes, and made conversation with them happily.

He treated postgrad students as an annoyance, albeit one that could not be entirely ignored. He waved off their questions with a dismissive, albeit sometimes pithy, remark, and he did not engage any of us in conversation -- not even those of us on the interview committee, and not even when we tried.

He treated students training for ministry (which, at St. Mary's, were in the B.D. program) as completely invisible.

He treated university staff as if they had been rolling in manure for a week and were only there to inconvenience him.

He treated wait staff in restaurants, porters, and other working class people not affiliated with the university as radioactive -- both invisible and toxic.

I had read his work with deep and genuine appreciation for years before that, and I continue to do so to the extent that he remains true to his original scholarly foci. But I took his example as a negative cautionary tale.

I hope my own life and work are better for it. I've tried all that much harder to make my best work accessible, to work hardest on the things that the most people might read, and to treat with the most honor those who don't have the power to make me powerful but who do use their gifts to serve whoever's around.

I am very sad that St. Andrews, having rejected Dr. Wright for appointment based on his credentials before, is taking him on now -- after he's published the same three books in dozens of different forms, after he took a diocesan appointment and spent the best of his time and effort outside the diocese he vowed to serve, and after he appeared in Columbus to work against our polity while supporting at least tacitly efforts to undermine mutual recognition of orders supported by the Chicago-Lambeth quadrilateral.

Bishop Tom, I wish we could talk again. Since I'm still a lay person but now am not on a hiring committee, I doubt even more that you'd listen, despite the Windsor Report's admonition to do so. I'd still listen to you, though, if you wanted to explain how your treatment of "townies" coheres with your Christianity.
Sounds like a nice guy once he gets to know you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Church of Nigeria teaches parish property belongs to the diocese

Bishop of the Lagos West Diocese, Peter Adebiyi is embroiled in a dispute with a parish within his jurisdiction. Here's what he has to say about who owns the property:
The Bishop faulted the decision of the St Paul’s council members to quit the Lagos West Diocese. “It is not possible. By the law that established my diocese, they cannot move out of the diocese except I allow it. If I don’t allow it, there is nothing they can do; the best they can do is to leave the church. That church is entrusted unto us.

“In Anglican church, if I come to your house and you give me a piece of land at the back of your compound and I accept, thank you, build a church and you are a member of the church, from that day you have automatically lost ownership of the land. If you are aggrieved and you want your land back, you have to go to court. If the court says the land should be given back to you, so be it otherwise the land belongs to the church.

“So, the land and the church belong to the Lagos West Diocese. Nobody can even cut a tree there without our authority. If they want to leave the church, they can carry themselves and leave. They can go and build another church and give it to any diocese they want but St Paul’s Anglican Church, Mushin, belongs to Lagos West Diocese,” the Bishop maintained.
Akinola makes an appearance in the dispute:
the council on July 8, 2009 severed all kinds of relationship with the Lagos West Diocese through a resolution, which was read to the whole congregation and adopted by the church. Apparently, the die was cast and the council decided to take the matter to the outgoing Primate of All-Nigerian Anglican Communion, The Most Rev Peter Akinola, who they thought would satisfactorily resolve the matter.

But their hopes, according to the council, were dashed when the Primate set up a committee of three provincial archbishops to address the problem. The committee comprised the Archbishops of Lokoja, Enugu and Kwara. That of Kwara incidentally is Bishop Adebiyi’s first cousin.

The decision to set up the committee was ab initio greeted with mixed feelings by the council, who had expected the Primate to call a meeting where they would come face to face with Adebiyi to resolve the matter.

Besides, the committee’s composition did not go down well with the council as the members reasoned that with Adebiyi’s cousin in the committee, the outcome was predictable.
The article was published in The (Nigeria) Sun, February 14, 2010.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

From no service at the lunch counter to open arms in the home

Richmond Times Dispatch:
Fifty years ago, Elizabeth Johnson Rice was jailed for sitting where she wasn't supposed to -- the whites-only lunch counter at Thalhimers department store.

Next weekend, she'll be staying with the granddaughter of the man who had her arrested.

Rice sees the friendship she has forged with Elizabeth Thalhimer Smartt as a measure of how much has changed since Feb. 22, 1960, when she was one of 34 Virginia Union University students arrested for defying segregation in downtown Richmond.

"It's just sort of symbolic of the times we live in now," Rice said. "And it shows that things do change and people do grow."
Rice's brother, who was also arrested at Thalhimers, would later refuse to sit in the black section of Richmond traffic court. The U.S. Supreme Court in April 1963 overturned Ford T. Johnson Jr.'s contempt conviction and ordered the desegregation of all courtrooms. Two months later, the justices also overturned the trespassing convictions of Johnson, Rice and the other VUU students in the Thalhimers case.

Thalhimers already had begun a "quiet integration" process, she [Smartt] said. The store had the most liberal return policy for black customers and had integrated the employee lunchroom in the 1950s. Her grandfather, who died in 2005, was very sensitive to the issue, she said. He would tell her "we didn't choose to be born Jewish, and no one chose to be black or white." She thinks he would have integrated years earlier but for the economic clout of his white clientele, who would have forced him out of business.

Fifty years ago the Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia could not agree that it summer camps should be integrated.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Press Release from ACNA on Civil Partnerships

Ambridge, PA
February 11, 2010


(a) aware of the distress caused by recent divisions between those who wish discriminate against civil partners in the Church of England and those who do not;
(b) recognise and affirm the desire of those who form the majority in the Church of England to remain within the communion family of churches that do not discriminate;
(c) acknowledge that this aspiration, in respect both of relations with the ACNA and membership of the Gafcon, raises issues which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further; and
(d) invite the Archbishops of ACNA and Gafcon to report further to themselves in 2011.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Retreat for Clergy Spouses

Retreat for Clergy Spouses

March 19-21, 2010

Shrine Mont, Orkney Springs VA

The role of a clergy spouse is unique. You’re part of the church community, but in some ways you aren’t. It can be hard to claim and keep your own identity of being a separate person, spouse, parent perhaps, and all with a life outside of the church. And it is often hard to find a peer group for conversation, fellowship and support.

This weekend retreat is designed to provide you with just these three things:

* Conversation with other clergy spouses about your role and needs.
* Fellowship with food and fun.
* Support from worship and prayers, time to be on your own and do whatever you please, the outdoors and connecting with God.

Accommodations will be in the newly renovated Hillside Cottage at Shrine Mont. Each room has one double bed and one twin bed and a private bath. You may have a private room or choose to have a roommate. Because of the room layout of Hillside, this retreat is limited to women only.

Meals will not be available from the Shrine Mont kitchen, but great food will be provided! Together we will do simple preparations and clean up. Hillside has a beautiful great room with a gas fireplace and gorgeous view.

The retreat begins at 6 pm on Friday night, March 19 and ends at 1 pm on Sunday, March 21. The cost is $150.00/person for the weekend. This includes room, meals, program. No one-night stays, please.

To register please email me at: