Church

Anglican vs. Episcopalian Legal Fight May Be Nearing an End

In a Fresno courtroom Monday, Anglican Bishop John-David Schofield’s presence loomed large in the long, legal battle between the U.S. Episcopal Church and the breakaway Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

Schofield, who died in October, is a key witness in a Fresno County Superior Court civil trial that will determine who owns dozens of pieces of property — the Anglican diocese or the national Episcopal Church?

The bishop gave his videotaped deposition in late 2011, long after he led 40 of 47 parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin away from the national Episcopal Church to form the Anglican Diocese of the San Joaquin.

Rest here.

 

Church

Breakaway Presbyterian Churches Pass 100 Mark

File:ECO Logo.jpg

A conservative Presbyterian breakaway network of churches founded as an alternative to the more liberal Presbyterian Church (USA) has passed the 100-membership mark, the Christian Post website reports today (January 14, 2014).

Founded just two years ago, the Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO) of Presbyterians passed the milestone late last year and continues to add more congregations this month.

In an announcement recently sent out to supporters, ECO hailed the passing of the 100-church mark as a “milestone.”

Church officials said they recently added four more churches to the network and added, “Welcome to these new ECO churches. We praise God for His Faithfulness and look forward to growing together in 2014!”

Source

Wikipedia has more on ECO here.

 

Religion

Who Is a Jew?

Competing answers to an increasingly pressing question.

Who is a Jew? This question is becoming ever more pressing for Jews around the world. It looks like a religious issue, but is bound up with history, Israeli politics and the rhythms of the diaspora. Addressing it means deciding whether assimilation is a mortal threat, as many Jews think, or a phenomenon to be accommodated. The struggle over the answer will shape Israel’s society, its relations with Jews elsewhere, and the size and complexion of the global Jewish community.

For Orthodox Jews like Rabbi Tubul, the solution is simple and ancient: you are a Jew if your mother is Jewish, or if your conversion to Judaism accorded with the Halacha, Jewish religious law. Gentiles might be surprised that for Jews by birth this traditional test makes no reference to faith or behaviour. Jews may be atheist (many are: apostasy is a venerable Jewish tradition) and still Jews. Joel Roth, a Conservative rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, likens this nativist criterion to that for American citizenship: Americans retain it regardless of their views on democracy or the constitution. Some strict rabbis even think that a child is not Jewish if born to a devout mother but from a donated gentile egg…

 

The Economist has more.

 

Culture

The British Museum Celebrates 255 Years With Record Visitor Numbers

More than 6.7m visits in 2013, including busiest month ever in July, surpasses previous record of 5.9m in 2008.

The Guardian:

Visitors walk through the Great Court inside the British Museum in London

In 1759, around 75 people a day would trickle to the newly opened British Museum to see the array of remarkable exhibits, everything from the skull of a rhinoceros hornbill and a Dürer watercolour to a model of the church built on the site of the crucifixion.

Last year visitors flocked to the museum and on its busiest day there were 33,848 people, the museum said on Tuesday as it announced record annual visitor numbers.

In 2013 there were 6,701,036 visits, beating the previous record of 5.9m in 2008 and up 20% on 2012. The busiest day of the year was Friday 16 August – it was raining – and the busiest month ever was July, with 747,936 visits.

The figures were announced on the eve of what will be the 255th anniversary of the British Museum opening to the public.

Neil MacGregor, director of the museum, said he was delighted that so many people visited in 2013. “Displays onsite, loans and touring exhibitions nationally and internationally, big-screen viewings and online access mean this is truly a dynamic collection that belongs to and is used by a global citizenship.”

A spokeswoman for the museum said 2013 had seen a particularly well-received programme of one-off exhibitions. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum was seen by more than 471,000 people, achieving its original visitor target of 250,000 in the first half of its six-month run…

Rest here.