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Anglicans welcome International Women’s Day campaign theme of gender balance

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 1:56pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The International Anglican Women’s Network Steering Group has issued a statement in advance of International Women’s Day on March 8, welcoming its theme of gender balance.

“Gender balance is essential for all communities to thrive,” the statement says. “The Anglican Communion is no exception.” The subtitle for this year’s celebration is #BalanceforBetter, and it has been designed to promote gender balance across all of life, including boardrooms, government, media, employment, wealth distribution and sports coverage.

Read the full article here.

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Police recover skull of ‘The Crusader’ stolen from Dublin church

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 1:53pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The police service in the Republic of Ireland has recovered the mummified head of The Crusader, which had been stolen from the crypt of a Dublin church last month. The head, along with another skull, were taken from the crypt of St Michan’s Church in Dublin over the weekend of Feb. 23 to 25. This week a police spokesperson said that “the items were recovered as a result of information that came into the possession of the investigating [police].”

Read the full article here.

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Tributes paid following death of former Archbishop of York John Habgood

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 1:50pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of York John Sentamu has led tributes to one of his predecessors, Lord John Habgood, who died March 6. He was 91. The scientist and theologian – he attained a double first in natural sciences at Cambridge University – was serving as bishop of Durham when he was appointed archbishop of York in 1983. He held the post until his retirement in 1995 and was appointed to the House of Lords as a Crossbench (independent) Peer in his own right. He had previously been a member as bishop of Durham and archbishop of York.

Read the full article here.

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Home sought for buffalo hide symbolizing church’s commitment to indigenous ministries

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 1:46pm

[Episcopal News Service] The buffalo hide once on display at the Episcopal Church Center in New York is an imposing artifact, expansive enough to encompass native culture, artistic symbolism, bonds of faith, 400 years of American history and a decade-old connection between a presiding bishop and a Hawaiian Episcopal leader.

The hide also is in need of a new home, displaced by construction to accommodate a new tenant in part of the Episcopal Church Center.

“The concern is that it not end up in a place where it would [be] forgotten,” said the Rev. Brad Hauff, The Episcopal Church’s missioner for indigenous ministries. He’s “pursuing a number of possibilities” for relocating the painted buffalo hide.

That search for a new home comes as Episcopalians mourn the January death of the Rev. Malcolm Chun, the native Hawaiian who offered the hide as a gift to then-Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in 2008, when Chun was secretary general of the Anglican Indigenous Network. Chun, whose funeral was Feb. 23, saw the hide as a symbol of the early English settlers’ colonial-era commitment to bringing Christianity to America’s native tribes, the Rev. Robert Two Bulls Jr. told Episcopal News Service.

“Malcolm … was really just a big supporter of the Jamestown Covenant,” said Two Bulls, who serves the Episcopal Church in Minnesota as missioner for the Department of Indian Work and who also was the artist who painted the buffalo hide at Chun’s request.

This buffalo hide was painted by the Rev. Two Bulls Jr. to replicate the design of Powhatan’s Mantel, a 400-year-old relic made from deer skins and shell beadwork. Photo: Geoffrey Smith

Chun’s vision was to replicate Powhatan’s Mantle, said to have belonged to the chief who first welcomed the Jamestown settlers in 1607 in what today is Virginia. “I think this was his way of still keeping that connection alive,” Two Bulls said.

The first Jamestown Covenant was a double-edged sword. For more than two centuries, America’s native peoples suffered a prolonged genocide at the hands of British colonists and their descendants, who saw the American Indians as “savages.” But those colonists also brought with them a mandate from King James I to preach the Christian Gospel to all they encountered in this “new world.”

“Thus the Anglican commitment to preach and plant the true word of God among the American Indians was firmly established with the first permanent English settlement in America,” Owanah Anderson wrote in her 1988 book “Jamestown Commitment.” Anderson, who served as the church’s missioner for Native American and indigenous ministries, noted the most prominent early convert was Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahantas, who was baptized while “being held hostage aboard an English ship at anchor in the James river.”

The church’s commitment was renewed nearly 400 years later with the signing of the New Jamestown Covenant in 1997, launching The Episcopal Church on a Decade of Remembrance, Recognition and Reconciliation. Jefferts Schori participated in a 2007 procession and Eucharist at the Jamestown historic site marking the start of a second decade affirming the covenant.

The original Powhatan’s Mantle is on display at the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in England. Although it once was thought to be a cloak, it more likely was a wall hanging, according to the museum.

It was made from four deer hides sewn together and decorated with white shell beadwork depicting a human figure flanked by two animals, likely a deer and a mountain lion or wolf. The more than 30 beaded circles may represent settlements and tribes, the museum says. Powhatan may have given it as a gift for King James I, according to one theory. It later ended up in possession of the 17th century Englishman whose collection became the founding collection of the museum.

One of Tradescant's most famous additions to the founding collection was Powhatan's Mantle http://t.co/yM43ZJXvPk pic.twitter.com/nB0u6gkKBd

— Ashmolean Museum (@AshmoleanMuseum) August 4, 2015

Here is a close-up of the shell beading on our #ObjectoftheMonth, Powhatan's Mantle, on display in our new Ashmolean Story gallery. Once thought to have been a cloak, it is now considered more likely that it was a wall hanging https://t.co/1mGhmqJ6KX pic.twitter.com/62Jcsr2bJm

— Ashmolean Museum (@AshmoleanMuseum) June 6, 2018

Clearly, the buffalo hide at the Episcopal Church Center is not Powhatan’s Mantle, but that was Chun’s inspiration when preparing this gift for Jefferts Schori.

Chun, born in 1954 in Honolulu, was an indigenous studies scholar with degrees from colleges in Hawaii, New Zealand and Canada, and he wrote several books and articles about native Hawaiian culture, beliefs and practices. One of his projects was “Na ‘Euanelio Hemolele,” described by the Diocese of Hawaii as “a lectionary-size book containing the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in the Hawaiian-language, complete with diacritical marks.”

He was ordained a deacon in 2011 and a priest in 2012, but his involvement in the church’s indigenous ministries predated his ordination and included service on the Council on Indigenous Ministry, the Indigenous Theological Training Institute Board and the Anglican Indigenous Network.

Chun died unexpectedly on Jan. 20, 2019, at age 64. His funeral was held the following month at Cathedral of St. Andrew, where he had been named an honorary canon in 2018.

“I counted Malcolm as a friend and a teacher,” Hawaii Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick said in a message to his diocese. “His service to the Cathedral, to the Diocese, to the Church, and to me will be warmly remembered.”

Two Bulls, a Lakota originally from Red Shirt, South Dakota, was serving in the Diocese of Los Angeles more than a decade ago when he first met Chun, likely on one of Chun’s trips to Southern California on behalf of the Anglican Indigenous Network.

The Rev. Malcolm Chun, seen in a Diocese of Hawaii video about the church’s history in Hawaii, was secretary general of the Anglican Indigenous Network when he gave the buffalo hide to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in 2008.

“He was just a great guy once you got to know him,” said Two Bulls, who recalled talking to Chun by phone a week before he died. “We were making plans to do some other work,” Two Bulls said, including producing a new issue of the Indigenous Theological Training Journal.

Their partnership on the buffalo hide began when Chun acquired it from a “purveyor of such products” and asked Two Bulls to paint it, using Powhatan’s Mantle as his model. Two Bulls conducted some research on the original, including by contacting the museum. While aiming to stay true to the spirit of the original, he “took a little bit of artistic liberty,” such as his addition of color and placing a cross on the chest of the person depicted at the center of the hide.

The hide, stretched out and tethered to the edges of a wooden frame, was presented to Jefferts Schori at a time when she, as presiding bishop, had been in discussion with Chun and others with the Anglican Indigenous Network about maintaining the church’s commitment to indigenous ministry, according to an Anglican Communion News Service article from 2008.

Jefferts Schori, in an email to ENS, praised Two Bulls’ art as “always striking,” and she recalled his buffalo hide painting as “a powerful piece.”

“It would be a gift to many if it were more widely seen,” she said. “I hope it doesn’t get lost.”

A hardware store is moving into the space where the hide previously was on display at the Episcopal Church Center. Episcopal Church’s Chief Operating Officer Geoffrey Smith asked Hauff to look into finding an appropriate new home for it, and Hauff said the search continues.

Two Bulls noted the piece is rather large, which could limit Hauff’s options, but he suggested a diocese like Oklahoma that has a vibrant indigenous ministry – or Virginia, given the history of Powhatan’s Mantle.

“It is a teaching tool, so having it in a place where it can be viewed easily/widely would be first and foremost the main criteria for finding a place to house it,” Two Bulls told Hauff recently by email. “I am pretty sure that this would be what Malcolm would want.”

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.

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Episcopal churches spared in deadly Alabama tornadoes; diocese responds to aftermath

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 4:24pm

Jed Roberts stands March 5 on the remains of his sister’s trailer home, destroyed by tornado, in Beauregard, Alabama. Photo: Reuters

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians in Alabama have begun responding to the aftermath of devastating tornadoes that cut a swath of destruction through the state’s midsection over the weekend, leaving at least 23 dead, including four children.

Tornadoes also were reported in parts of Georgia and the Florida Panhandle, though the worst of the damage was centered about an hour east of Montgomery, Alabama, in Lee County, where three Episcopal churches are located: St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Smiths Station, Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Opelika and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn.

A statement released by the Diocese of Alabama on March 4 reports a tornado passed within a mile of St. Stephen’s but the church doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage. The Rev. Larry Williams, priest-in-charge, and the Rev. Deacon Judy Quick are working with local agencies to assess the needs in the area and determine how the congregation can assist with relief efforts.

The Diocese of Alabama Disaster Relief Fund has made an initial contribution to those efforts at St. Stephen’s, and the diocese is receiving assistance and guidance from Episcopal Relief & Development. Donations to the diocese can be made online by selecting “Disaster Relief” in the dropdown list.

“As we have learned from past events, it will take days or weeks for us to learn the full impact of these storms, and we will provide information about needs and response as we learn more,” Bishop Kee Sloan said in the diocese’s statement.

“We are thankful that the people of St. Stephen’s Smiths Station are safe and that the church there is able to respond to the needs of their neighbors,” Sloan said. “I ask folks to keep the community of Lee County in their prayers, especially those affected by these storms, those that are grieving the loss of a loved one or grieving the loss of their home. Please also pray for the first responders and all those that will take part in the work of recovery.”

Episcopal News Service tried contacting the three Episcopal churches in the region by phone and email but was not able to reach any church leaders for this story.

The “monster tornado” on March 3 that caused the most damage was a mile wide and traveled more than 26 miles, according to the National Weather Service’s initial estimates. With a wind speed of 170 mph, the EF-4 storm leveled homes, downed trees and power lines and left Beauregard, Alabama, a community of about 10,000 residents, looking like a “war zone.”

BREAKING: Preliminary EF-4 Tornado Damage has been found along County Road 39 just east of Cave Mill Road in southwestern Lee County. Winds have been estimated at 170mph. Single family homes were completely destroyed. Photos are from those survey locations. #alwx pic.twitter.com/euYNfSDY11

— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) March 4, 2019

About 90 people were reported injured, and Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said at a news conference March 4 that the death toll from the storm could rise as emergency crews search for people still missing. It was the deadliest tornado in the United States since 2013, when 25 people died in Oklahoma, and the Alabama death toll tops the total tornado fatalities from all of 2018.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham confirmed three additional tornadoes touched down on March 3 in the region with lesser wind speeds and no reported fatalities.

On March 5, a group from Lee-Scott Academy in Auburn gathered in the morning outside the Christian school to pray after learning that a student, fourth-grader Taylor Thornton, was among those killed by the more powerful tornado, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

Episcopal Relief & Development released a statement March 5 pledging continued support for the diocese and its congregations.

“Disasters have three phases: rescue, relief and recovery,” said Katie Mears, senior director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s U.S. Disaster Program. “Right now, the disaster response is moving from the initial rescue phase, where first responders such as police and fire department are focusing on saving lives, into the relief phase. In the coming weeks and months, we will work with the Diocese of Alabama to provide relief and help communities recover.”

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.

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Church of England national investment bodies strengthen ethical engagement with companies

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 1:24pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The national investment bodies of the Church of England have announced a series of success stories with its stakeholder engagement. The Church Commissioners, the Church of England Pensions Board and the Central Board of Finance Church of England Funds are independent bodies that, between them, control investment assets of some £13 billion GBP.

They are increasingly working with other investors to push for company boards to adopt ethical standards. Last month, the global mining company BHP announced it was supporting calls, including the church-led coalition of investors, for a global independent public classification system for tailings dams after the Vale dam in Brazil collapsed and killed about 300 people.

Read the full article here.

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Anglican university in Burundi holds its first graduation ceremony

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 1:21pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Bujumbura Christian University in Burundi is celebrating after 13 students obtained bachelor’s degrees in theology – the first students from the university to graduate. The 13 students – 12 men and one woman – received their degrees in a ceremony attended by all of the bishops in the Anglican Church of Burundi, as well as representatives from the country’s Ministry of Education and other dignitaries, guests and family members.

Read the full article here.

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Archbishop of Canterbury celebrates 25 years of women’s ordination in Church of England

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 4:34pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A service has been held in the chapel of Lambeth Palace – the official London residence of the archbishops of Canterbury – to celebrate 25 years of the ordination of women in the Church of England. Then-Bishop of Bristol Barry Rogerson ordained 32 women in Bristol Cathedral on March 12, 1994 in the first of many ordinations that year. A message from Rogerson was read to the more than 80 female priests who were invited to the March 1 service.

Read the entire article here.

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Church of England launches authorized Persian (Farsi) translation of Holy Communion liturgy

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 4:30pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Almost 500 people – many of Iranian descent – packed into Wakefield Cathedral on March 2 for a “Persian Celebration Service.” The event marked the launch of an officially authorized translation of the Holy Communion Service. Bishop of Loughborough Guli Francis-Dehqani led the service. He arrived in the United Kingdom in 1980 at the age of 14 following the murder of her brother, Bahram, and the attempted murder of her father, the then- Bishop of Iran, Hassan Dehqani-Tafti.

Read the entire article here.

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Diocese of Michigan chooses four women as nominees for bishop

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 2:27pm

[Episcopal News Service] The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Michigan announces a preliminary slate of candidates who will stand for election as the 11th bishop of Michigan.

The candidates are:

Information about the candidates, including each candidate’s photo, autobiographical sketch, resume and answers to the five essay questions asked by the Search and Nomination Committee can be found here.

The Standing Committee also announced the opening of a petition process by which nominees may be added to the preliminary slate of candidates. As explained in the material that can be found here, the petition process is akin to the prior practice of having “nominations from the floor” with two major differences: 1) there is time for a background check of petition candidates; and 2) there is time for petition candidates to become known to the diocese through the required published information and participation in the walkabouts. The deadline for nominations by petitions is 5 p.m. March 18.

The final slate of candidates will be announced by the Standing Committee after the close of the petition process. Members of the diocese will have the opportunity to become acquainted with all candidates on the final slate of candidates during the walkabouts to be held May 17-19. The special convention will be held on June 1. The ordination and consecration of the new bishop will be held Feb. 8, 2020.

The priest elected will succeed Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr., who in January 2018 announced his plans to retire at the end of 2019.

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Trinity Church Wall Street acquires Church Divinity School of the Pacific

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 1:06pm

Church Divinity School of the Pacific’s Berkeley, California, campus fills an entire block and is a mix of buildings from two centuries. Photo: CDSP

[Episcopal News Service] Church Divinity School of the Pacific, or CDSP, and Trinity Church Wall Street announced March 4 that the New York parish has acquired the Berkeley, California-based seminary.

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, CDSP president and dean, told Episcopal News Service in an interview that the deal will put the school on a solid financial footing and position it for growth. CDSP and its assets now belong to Trinity, he said, and the value of those assets “will be a fund, among other resources they have, that supports the program at the school and operation.

“It’ll be starting point of the kinds of funds we need to, say, augment faculty or to provide scholarship funding for students,” he said. “This becomes part of their assets that are poured back into the mission of the school.”

Trinity sees CDSP as part of its strategy “to present and offer the curriculum that will bring new leaders into the world that can gather communities and resource them in a way that we have not been able to do currently,” the Rev. William Lupfer, Trinity’s rector, told ENS in an interview.

Ultimately, Trinity and CDSP hope to add more faculty and an expanded curriculum will train clergy and laity for a changing church, especially in the areas of leadership development, formation and community organizing. Making theological education more affordable is also a goal, church and seminary officials say. Both organizations hope to expand their current relationships across the Anglican Communion.

“It’s going to strengthen and enhance our programing,” the Rev. Ruth Meyers, the school’s academic dean, told ENS. “Trinity has this history of not only doing work in leadership development but [building] relations around the Anglican Communion, and I think that’s really going to enhance the work we’re doing at CDSP.”

The Rev. William Lupfer, Trinity Church Wall Street’s rector, left, and the Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, Church Divinity School of the Pacific president and dean, announced the acquisition to CDSP students,. faculty and staff on March. 4. Photo: Canticle Communications

Trinity Wall Street also includes the church in Lower Manhattan, nearby St. Paul’s Chapel and the Trinity Retreat Center in West Cornwall, Connecticut, as well as partnerships that involve housing for the elderly, the homeless and people with disabilities, among others. The parish also has a $6 billion portfolio that includes major real estate holdings, primarily in New York where it is both a developer and a landlord.

The church’s vestry is now the seminary’s governing body. “But our vestry will not manage CDSP,” Lupfer said. “We will have staff members supporting the folks who are currently managing CDSP.”

The Association of Theological Schools, the accrediting agency for all Episcopal Church-tied seminaries, has agreed to continue to accredit CDSP under the new governance structure. That means CDSP can continue to grant degrees. “CDSP is not going away,” Meyers said.

Lupfer, Richardson and others involved in the discussions, which went on for close to 18 months and led to the agreement, told ENS that Trinity and CDSP expect to maintain the seminary’s current management, faculty and staff at the school for the near future. The current curriculum also will be maintained in the near term, they said.

Lupfer and Richardson announced the agreement March 4 in CDSP’s chapel to students, faculty and staff. That gathering began two days of meetings and question-and-answer sessions with Lupfer, Richardson, faculty and CDSP and Trinity senior staff.

Quoting the spiritual that says, “I got a home up in that kingdom, ain’t that good news,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in an emailed statement that the agreement “is not simply a matter of institutional rearrangement.”

“That would be news. But this is more than news. This is good news in the biblical meaning of that phrase. For this is about a creative relationship that will enable the seminary to train and form leaders for a church daring to be more than merely an institution,” Curry said. “This is about forming leaders for a Jesus movement committed to living, proclaiming and witnessing to his way and message of unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial liberating love. That movement changed lives and the world in the first century, and it can do it again in the 21st century. This new relationship helps to form leaders for that. And that is truly good news!”

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, also praised the agreement.

“I’ve just returned from serving as St. Margaret’s Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry at CDSP, where I met students and faculty with the fresh energy and ideas we need in the 21st century church,” she said in a statement emailed to ENS. “This new alliance between CDSP and Trinity Church Wall Street is a visionary and innovative way to pair that energy with resources and partnerships that span the globe, all in the service of the gospel. Our church needs just the kind of leaders that this partnership will provide.”

The campus of Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, is just north of the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: Church Divinity School of the Pacific

CDSP, founded in 1893, is one of 10 seminaries with ties to The Episcopal Church. It is not the first of those schools to change their ways of being in order to survive the economic challenges facing all small graduate schools, and seminaries in particular. In 2012, Bexley Seabury Seminary was formed through a federation of two Episcopal seminaries, Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.

In 2017, Episcopal Divinity School announced it would be closing its Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus and entering an affiliation agreement with Union Theological Seminary in New York. The new entity is called Episcopal Divinity School at Union. Earlier this year, EDS at Union said it had begun a long-term lease for its remaining Cambridge property with The Church in Cambridge. The move was the latest in a process that began in March 2008 when the seminary sought to secure its financial future by entering a partnership with Lesley University, in which Lesley bought seven of the 13 buildings EDS owned on its eight-acre campus.

Request of advice led to agreement

Trinity and CDSP did not set out to strike an acquisition deal. “It started by accident, frankly,” Richardson said. He and then-trustees chair Don White had turned to Trinity for advice when the school was considering how it might capitalize on its parking lot, one of the few nominally empty spaces in the neighborhood just north of the University of California, Berkeley.

“We seemed to have started at an inspirational moment,” Richardson said. “They knew we weren’t there to get into their pocketbook. We just really had some things we needed to do and knew they had the expertise.”

Richardson said the seminary would base any potential development on the goals of adding value to the neighborhood, providing income for the school and driving mission.

“It’s got to meet all three, or it’s not serving the school’s long-term history and needs,” he said he told Lupfer and others.

The rector replied that he and Trinity take an even broader, more holistic approach to such questions. The conversation eventually left the parking lot behind as its scope widened.

Trinity, Lupfer said, has always looked at land “as an economic opportunity that needs to be activated” for broader, missional uses. Thus, the parking lot conversation evolved into a recognition that Trinity has cash and CDSP has “all this intellectual power and it’s aligned in the ways in which we are interested in,” Lupfer said, including leadership development, formation and community organizing.

The Church Divinity School of the Pacific campus sits on what is known as Holy Hill, which has views of San Franciso Bay. Photo: Google Maps

The “inspirational” part of the agreement was striking to CDSP alumnus and trustee, the Rev. Brendan Barnicle. A stock analyst and investment banker who had seen “lots of deals over the years” before he went to seminary, Barnicle said that as he watched “the dialogue and the way this was being done, maybe not surprisingly, I’d never seen  a deal where the Holy Spirit was so apparent because there was so much new and creative about this.”

Barnicle, of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon, added that “if we expect parishioners to think about how they steward their resources then we, as the church, need to be a model, and I think that is what CDSP is doing by entering into this relationship.”

The faculty soon became part of the conversations about a possible deal. “This is different from some of the other seminary drama that we have had in the last few years in that the faculty are really on board,” Meyers said.

A member of the faculty sat on the CDPS board and joined in the deliberations. Input from those representatives has been “welcomed and well received by other member of the board,” Meyers said. The faculty had been “listened to and attended to” during the conversations and negotiations, she added.

Kathleen Moore, a CDSP senior whom the student body elected as ombudsperson for this academic year, told ENS she was “pretty excited when I heard about it and I am still pretty excited.” Moore represented students’ interests on the Board of Trustees and elsewhere, and she said she told her trustee colleagues that the deal is an instance of CDSP “putting into practice what it teaches and preaches” about adaptive change.

Barnicle acknowledged, “it’s risky to make a change like this and to potentially give up some of the control and authority and what not; yet as we think about the church going forward, being willing to take those kinds of risks are some of the things I think that we called to do.”

Moore said she has learned at CDSP “to look at those unknowns with an open mind, an excited mind and we have a scriptural basis for this kind of thing to go forward not knowing exactly what’s going to happen but having trust.”

The details of the new arrangement will be worked out, Richardson said, “as we stumble over ourselves and learn from our mistakes and then pick up a start again.

“I think the church knows as whole that we need innovation in theological education and in the church, period. Innovation, when it’s true, is often disruptive. All of that will be part of the story moving forward.”

Lupfer agreed. “Being iterative and being open to the future and to learning together and experimenting is a critical part of today’s world,” he said. “We would not want to be with someone who had the illusion of certainty of the future.”

Trinity Church Wall Street is in the midst of a two-year rejuvenation project, the first in decades. The updates are intended to enhance the overall worship experience, make spaces accessible and welcoming, upgrade technology and infrastructure and address deferred maintenance. Photo: Trinity Church Wall Street via Facebook

One of those unknowns is how alumni and other donors will react to the news. Will they think they no longer have to give because of Trinity’s wealth? “What we hope is that people will see this as a strengthening of the seminary and still be able to give to the focused programming of CDSP,” Meyers said, explaining that focus might also apply to scholarship fund and faculty chair endowments. “There’s still going to be continuing need. We are one tiny part of the Trinity budget.”

The agreement also represents a significant change in each organization’s culture. Combine one to the oldest institutions in The Episcopal Church with a seminary to the West created to serve the West and there will be “amazing contrasts,” Richardson said, including a big staff at Trinity and a “small, scrappy school that has a fraction of that.” Yet, both Richardson and Lupfer said their institutions are geared toward the missional work of the church in the world.

And, Lupfer said, Trinity is not aiming to compete with the other Episcopal Church-connected seminaries.

“We see this as additive for everyone,” Lupfer said, who spoke to ENS right after meeting with the dean of another seminary and assuring him of Trinity’s ongoing contributions to that school’s capital campaign and annual fund drive.

“If there’s any bulking up at CDSP, which of course we would expect, that would probably happen with international students or students who would not go to a residential seminary without financial aid,” he said. “We don’t see ourselves competing for students with other the other seminaries. And we see ourselves cooperating with the other seminaries around curriculum areas that we’re interested in.”

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is the Episcopal News Service’s senior editor and reporter.

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Cathleen Bascom is consecrated as 10th bishop of Kansas

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 12:34pm

[Diocese of Kansas] The Rt. Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom was ordained and consecrated as the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas on March 2 at Grace Cathedral in Topeka in a service marked with history, as she became the first woman bishop in the diocese’s 160-year history. The 1,112th bishop of the Episcopal Church, she also was the first diocesan bishop ever to be elected from a slate of candidates who all were women.

Kansas Bishop Cathleen Chittenden Bascom at her consecration March 2. Photo: Thad Allton

Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry led the service as chief consecrator. The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, was the preacher. Bascom most recently had served for 17 years in Iowa.

The service also included her seating in the cathedra, or bishop’s chair, that is symbolic of the bishop’s office.

Music included bagpipers, a folk band and a choir made up of singers from eight churches in the diocese and surrounding areas.

The consecration service can be viewed on the diocesan YouTube channel.

Bascom was elected 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas on Oct. 19, 2018, on the second ballot. Prior to the election she was assistant professor of religion at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, and also served as supply priest and team coach at Trinity, Emmetsburg. Before that she had served as dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Des Moines, Iowa, for 13 years.

Her election was a homecoming of sorts for Bascom, having served eight years in the diocese, leading campus ministry at Kansas State University in Manhattan from 1993 to 2001.

She received a Master of Divinity degree from Seabury-Western Seminary in 1990. She also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, a Master of Arts degree in Modern Literature from Exeter University in England, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and environment from Iowa State University.

She is married to Tim Bascom, a writer and professor. They have two sons, Conrad, 25, and Luke, 21.

The ninth bishop of the diocese, the Rt. Rev. Dean E. Wolfe, resigned in January 2017 to become rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York. Since then, the Council of Trustees, acting in its capacity as the Standing Committee, has been the diocese’s Ecclesiastical Authority. The Rt. Rev. Michael Milliken, now retired as Western Kansas diocesan bishop, served as assisting bishop in the Diocese of Kansas for most of the time between diocesan bishops there.

The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas has more than 10,000 baptized members in 44 congregations. The diocese covers the eastern 40 percent of the state of Kansas, extending as far west as Abilene and Wichita. It also includes the cities of Topeka, Lawrence and Manhattan and the entire Kansas City metropolitan area on the Kansas side of the state line.

The post Cathleen Bascom is consecrated as 10th bishop of Kansas appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

South Dakota announces two-person bishop slate

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:16am

[Episcopal News Service] The Diocese of South Dakota announced on March 4 that two priests have been nominated to become the diocese’s 11th bishop.

They are:

Their biographies and personal statements are available on the Diocese of South Dakota website here.

Severe weather across the state last week delayed a planned announcement of the slate until March 4 and also delayed the opening of the window for petition candidates. Petitioners now have until 5 p.m. March 8. Information about that process is here.

An opportunity to meet the candidates is scheduled for the week of April 1-5. The electing convention will be held in Pierre, South Dakota, on May 4. The consecration and ordination of the new bishop is set for Nov. 2.

The person elected will succeed Bishop John Tarrrant, who announced in October 2017 that he would retire in 2019. Tarrant has been diocesan bishop since February 2010.

The post South Dakota announces two-person bishop slate appeared first on Episcopal News Service.