Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Anglican

Former Historic Episcopal Parish Goes on Chopping Block

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Sad to read over at Virtue Online:

VOL sent an email to the bishop and asked him if he would consider selling it back to its original owners. We never got an answer. Based on past history and what the former Presiding Bishop ordered her bishops to do, Episcopal bishops have not been allowed to sell church buildings back to any Anglican congregation. Jefferts Schori has instead preferred to sell them to future saloon owners (her favorite) or for mosques…

More here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 3, 2015 at 18:15

Episcopalians Continue Bleeding…

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… Attendance at alarming rate:

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is leaving office this month after a tumultuous nine years in office that saw significant conflict and numerical decline in the oldline church.

Statistics released this week by the denomination’s Office of Diocesan and Congregational Ministries indicate that Jefferts Schori is leaving her successor, Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry, with decline that is steepening rather than tapering off.

The church’s domestic U.S. membership dropped 2.7 percent from a reported 1,866,758 members in 2013 to 1,817,004 in 2014, a loss of 49,794 persons. Attendance took an even steeper hit, with the average number of Sunday worshipers dropping from 623,691 in 2013 to 600,411 in 2014, a decline of 23,280 persons in the pews, down 3.7 percent.

Virtue Online has more here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 10, 2015 at 16:10

Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Churches Reach Historic Agreements

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A new publication containing the Agreed Statement on Christology of the Anglican–Oriental Orthodox International Commission 2014 was launched during Vespers in St Asaph Cathedral by the Co–Chairs of the commission, the Rt Revd Gregory K Cameron Bishop of St Asaph, and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta, in the presence of the Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell, former Co–Chair of the Commission and co–signatory to the Statement.

The Commission completed its work on the Procession of the Holy Spirit, agreeing on the omission of the Filioque clause that had been appended to the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed in the Latin Western tradition. The Co–Chairs signed an Agreed Statement on the procession of the Holy Spirit, which is Part A of our ongoing work on our theological understanding of the Holy Spirit. A detailed discussion of the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church followed, including a discussion of the four marks of the Church, namely: oneness, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity. The Commission has designated a drafting group which prepared a preliminary draft and will continue to work on Part B of our theological understanding of the Holy Spirit.

The Commission discussed the present situation of Christians in the Middle East and heard reports on the difficulties facing Churches, particularly in Syria and Iraq. There was a consideration of the most practical ways in which the Anglican Communion in its various countries could respond effectively to the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe.

Read it all here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 10, 2015 at 16:01

Anglican priest(ess) Wears a Hijab

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Via Anglican Samizdat:

Rev. Cheryl Toth from the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle wore a hijab for a day to “see what it’s like” and because she is unhappy that hostility towards women who wear a hijab, niqab or burka is increasing. And, of course, “to contribute to the conversation” – it wouldn’t be Anglican without that.

She didn’t go for the full cover-up of a burka, presumably because in a burka, no one would have any idea that she was a lady Anglican priest declaring “look at me, aren’t I progressive”, rather than an actual Muslim. That wouldn’t have been much of a publicity stunt.

Here she is:

Rest here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 8, 2015 at 10:38

Bishop(ess) Proposes Church Remove all Christian Symbols… to Create Space for Muslims

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In Sweden.

Calling Muslim guests to the church “angels“, the Bishop later took to her official blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do any less would make one “stingy towards people of other faiths”.

The bishop insisted this wasn’t an issue, after all airports and hospitals already had multi-faith prayer rooms, and converting the dockyard church would only bring it up to speed. Regardless, the announcement has aroused protest.

Father Patrik Pettersson, one of the priests in her diocese and active in the same parish as the Seaman’s mission church has hit back in a blog of his own, complaining there is no way you could equate a consecrated church with a prayer room, remarking “I should have thought a bishop would be able to tell the difference”.

How novel. Oh, by the way, the Bishopess is also the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. I wouldn’t bet on Muslim being as reciprocating…

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 5, 2015 at 21:00

Why The Anglican Communion Is Already Divorced

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RNS has the article.

Archbishop Justin Welby with Archbishop Eliud Wabukala during Welby's recent visit to Nairobi. RNS photo by Fredrick Nzwili

Is the Anglican Communion about to split over different views of sexual ethics?

You might think so after reading headlines about the archbishop of Canterbury’s proposal to “loosen” the structures of the Communion — a way of retaining his relationship to the liberal wing of the Western churches as well as the traditional Anglicans of the Global South.

But to interpret the archbishop’s recent announcement as a split over sexuality is to miss the bigger picture. First, the impending dissolution of Anglicanism as it currently exists institutionally is over much more than sex. Second, the divorce has already taken place, just not formally…

Read on here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 23, 2015 at 16:32

Anglican Bishop David Russell Dies

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Bishop David Russell, was an anti-apartheid activist and the retired Anglican bishop of Grahamstown.

Here’s the state broadcaster, the SABC.

Tributes are pouring in for the late former Anglican Bishop of Grahamstown, Reverend David Russel.

Russel died at the age of 75 in Cape Town following a long battle with cancer.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, has described Russel as an outstanding stalwart, who exposed the inequities of forced removals in the Eastern Cape and Cape Town.

Tutu says Russell was a great trainer of Bishops and that all his students later became heads of diocese.

Russel leaves behind his wife Dorothea and two sons, Thabo and Sipho.

The Mail & Guardian has more.

Anti-apartheid campaigner and retired bishop David Russell has died of cancer aged 75. He fought against forced removals and for same-sex marriage…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 19, 2014 at 20:52


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