The Holy Land Is Expecting More Pilgrim Visits Than Ever

No, havoc is not being wreaked in the Holy Land. Yes, you can come on pilgrimage. The Custody of the Holy Land is not ignoring the wave of violence that is taking place around the country. However, it calls pilgrims to try to understand what is truly happening in this Land.

The country remains safe and the pilgrimage paths have been unaffected by the current clashes…

More here.


Episcopalians Continue Bleeding…

… 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.

Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Churches Reach Historic Agreements


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.

Dutch Reformed Church – NG Kerk – in South Africa Votes in Favour of Gay Unions

And homosexual Ministers are no longer required to remain celibate. I saw the news in Die Burger today. px

NG Kerk sê finaal ja: Gay mense is welkom:

Met amper geen besoekers in die besoekersgalery het die NG Kerk gay mense volledig in die kerk – as gelykes – verwelkom.

Die afgevaardigdes het Vrydag in Pretoria met 114 stemme die gewysigde voorstel ingestem. 63 stemme was daarteen.

Gay predikante hoef nie meer selibaat te wees nie en kan in ‘n burgerlike verbintenis wees.

Die selibaatheidsklousule wat in die besluit van 2007 ingeskryf is, is heeltemal verwyder.

Die besluit bevestig weer dat ‘n huwelik tussen een man en een vrou is.

Dit is egter nou amptelik dat “burgerlike verbintenisse van persone van dieselfde geslag wat gekenmerk word deur liefde en trou” bevestig kan word deur predikante wat “hul weg oopsien” om dit te doen.

Die algemene sinode het reeds Donderdag in ‘n toetsstem die voorstel van dr. André Bartlett, wat die raamwerk van die finale besluit is, aanvaar….

More here.

Church Cross Saves Woman And Grandson Caught In Flood

“I said, ‘dear Lord are you taking me home right now?’ “

The Huff Po has this story:

You don’t need to have religious faith to appreciate what a church cross did for Clara Gantt and her grandson on Sunday, October 4, in the South Carolina floods — according to them,  it was a life-saver.

Gantt and Travis Catchings clung to that cross for hours in raging waters before rescuers could do their job, WISTV reported…

There is more with a video here.

Anglican priest(ess) Wears a Hijab

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.