Episcopal Church

Tripp Hudgins 7-14-2012

The most amazing thing happened this week.

Maybe you missed it.

The Episcopal Church held their General Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. They gathered. They prayed. They sang. I'm told there were a few sermons, too! And you know they offered the Eucharist. They can't do anything without someone bringing bread, wine, and a blessing. God love 'em.

This week they voted, too. They held up in their bicameral way of doing things and worked out some key issues. Among the issues at hand were whether or not to sell their offices in New York City and to find ways of investing their income in the future of the denomination. They did both. If you followed them on Twitter (Many did. #GC77 trended right up there!), then you know that there was hope and joy in their rooms. This is not why they made the news, of course. They made the news when they voted to formally allow for same-sex blessings within their communion.

Colin Mathewson 3-30-2012
Palm Cross on Bible, Cheryl Casey/Shutterstock.com

Palm Cross on Bible, Cheryl Casey/Shutterstock.com

The Bible is steeped in drama.  Consider Jesus’ bold reading of Isaiah in the synagogue (Lk. 4:18-19), or Solomon’s liturgy climaxing in the LORD’s glory filling the temple (1 Ki. 8).  Paul may have directed a performance of Jesus’ death: “It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified!” (Gal. 3:1c). Dramatic structure serves to sharpen our focus and draws us into narrative as imagined and experienced co-conspirators.

 
Within the Episcopal Church’s liturgical corpus no service may be more deeply involving than that of Palm Sunday.  To begin, the congregation gathers outside the church.  Palm fronds are distributed.  Then the priest reads the opening prayer: “Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality.”  But perhaps “upon the contemplation on” ought to be replaced with “by our participation in.”  We’ll soon see why.
Daniel Burke 3-04-2012
Altar image by ruskpp/Shutterstock.com.

Altar image by ruskpp/Shutterstock.com.

A Virginia judge has ordered seven congregations that broke from the Episcopal Church to return all property to the local diocese — from valuable land to sacred chalices — by April 30.

The Diocese of Virginia had wanted the properties returned by March 30, a week before Easter. But Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows agreed to give the breakaway congregations more time.

In a closely watched case that reached the Virginia Supreme Court, Bellows ruled in January that congregations had the right to leave the Diocese of Virginia, but not to take church property with them.

Piet Levy 2-22-2012
People on the Street. Photo by Jon Candy/Wylio. (http://www.wylio.com/credits/Fl

People on the Street. Photo by Jon Candy/Wylio. (http://www.wylio.com/credits/Flickr/5204148454)

Five years ago, the Rev. Teresa K.M. Danieley had an epiphany of sorts. If people can grab breakfast on the go or pay a bill from their cell phone, she thought, why shouldn't they be able to get their ashes in a flash?

That's why, on Ash Wednesday 2007, Danieley planted herself in full priestly regalia at a busy intersection in St. Louis, smudging the sign of the cross on the foreheads of bicyclists, drivers and bus passengers.

This year, at least 49 Episcopal parishes across 12 states will offer ashes to passersby at train stations, bus stops and college campuses on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22) as Danieley's "Ashes to Go" concept spreads nationwide.

the Web Editors 11-14-2011

U.S. Bishops Should Focus On Economy, On Deficit Reduction; The Public Has Spoken: Tax Hikes On Rich, No Cuts To Medicare; My Foreign Aid Budget Starts At Zero; John McCain 'Very Disappointed' By GOP Candidates' Endorsement Of Waterboarding; Keystone XL: Despite Delay, Oil's Grip Remains Strong; Latino Evangelicals Challenge Alabama Brethren On Immigration; Mariann Budde, Diocese Of Washington’s Next Top Bishop, Has Plans For Reviving The Episcopal Church.  

Cathleen Falsani 9-27-2011
September 18 was National Back to Church Sunday. It's OK. I missed it, too.
Lauren F. Winner 9-01-2011

The Dream is Freedom: Pauli Murray and American Democratic Faith, by Sarah Azaransky.

[Editors' note: South Sudan is preparing for its independence referendum on January 9 -- an event whose occurrence is threatened by North Sudan's intransigence and by logistica
[Editor's Note: Voter registration has now started for South Sudan's January 9 referendum on independence -- an event whose occurrence is threatened by North S
I was privileged the last few days to be in Phoenix, Arizona.

Last week, The Washington Post's On Faith site devoted their weekly Q&A to the debate over social justice which they titled, "Wallis vs.

Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2009

This summer, the largest Lutheran and Episcopalian denominations in the U.S. voted for more complete inclusion of gay and lesbian ministers within their churches.

Becky Garrison 7-21-2009
Lost in the buzz over the U.S. Episcopal Church's decision to bless same sex unions was a missional moment.
Cathleen Falsani 1-21-2009

Sunday afternoon, I sat in front of the TV with a box of tissues and watched every second of the "We Are One" concert at the Lincoln Memorial live on HBO.

Cathleen Falsani 1-16-2009
The first openly gay Episcopal bishop.

The first female president of the Disciples of Christ.

Diana Butler Bass 12-01-2008

Honest preaching in difficult days.

Joanne O'Neill 7-01-2007

I had just returned from a mission trip organized by the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana's Office of Disaster Response when I read Jim Wallis' column for the April 2007 issue, "All Hands on Deck."

At the request of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, a group of U.S.

Rose Marie Berger 8-01-2006

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., released a report in May that revealed how a small group of wealthy funders are influencing the denomination’s debates on homosexuality in the churc

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