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China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America
Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976
By Tom Phillips, Liushi, Zhejiang province
April 19, 2014
It is said to be China's biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.
The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a "miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church".
The £8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China's breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.
"It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence," beamed Jin Hongxin, a 40-year-old visitor who was admiring the golden cross above Liushi's altar in the lead up to Holy Week.
FT. WORTH: TEC Suffers Third Loss in Texas Supreme Court
By Jack Iker
Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth
April 18, 2014
First came the ruling against TEC in the direct appeal we brought to the Texas Supreme Court, issued on August 30. Second came the denial of TEC’s request for the court to rehear (or reconsider) that ruling. And now comes their third loss, on April 17. The high court has denied TEC’s motion to recall the mandate it sent to the trial court, which would have “stayed the proceedings” (stopped the legal process in Texas) while they try to get a review of our case from the U.S Supreme Court. Apparently the state Justices agreed with our attorneys that it is highly unlikely the U.S. Supreme Court will review the case at this stage. Nonetheless, TEC has until June 19 to seek review at the national level.
Historic Anglican, Pentecostal consultation "a flying start"
Nine Anglicans and eight Pentecostals gathered for two days of dialogue, prayer and worship
April 10, 2014
An historic consultation took place between Anglicans and Pentecostals earlier this week at High Leigh in Hertfordshire.
Initiated by the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity, it took forward resolutions passed at successive Lambeth Conferences, and bore out Archbishop Justin Welby’s recent call for greater interaction between the two traditions.
Nine Anglicans and eight Pentecostals gathered for two days of dialogue, prayer and worship to explore their similarities and differences, and to chart a way forward for enhanced partnership in mission.
Papers were presented on the roots and development of Anglicanism and Pentecostalism in England and worldwide, on Christian initiation, on worship, ministry and spiritual gifts, and on the nature and mission of the Church.
A report of the consultation will be made available shortly on the websites of the Church of England and participating Pentecostal churches and networks.
STOCKTON, CA: John’s parish awarded to San Joaquin diocese
By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore
Record Staff Writer
April 12, 2014
A property rights battle over the historic St. John's Parish has ended years after a schism erupted within The Episcopal Church when part of the congregation opposed the church's acceptance of gay pastors.
Superior Court Judge Roger Ross on April 4 awarded the parish in downtown Stockton to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
The group that had broken away from the diocese - most of them with a history of multiple past generations in The Episcopal Church - and became aligned with the more conservative Anglican Church of North America was ordered out of the building in the ruling.
While Episcopalians saw the lawsuit as reclamation of a church that belonged to the diocese, the newly formed Anglicans held attachments to the building, where they felt rooted.
Some of them traced family membership back to great-great-grandparents. Some have the remains of loved ones stored in the building and their own resting spot next to family members already paid for.
"They're obviously not happy about the decision," the Rev. Kris Rudell said. "They're grieving, because it's been such a big part of their lives and their families' lives."
Obama Selects First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop to Lead Easter Prayer
by Andrew Kirell
April 14th, 2014
President Obama pulled a surprise move Monday at the White House’s Easter Prayer Breakfast when he selected Gene Robinson to lead the closing prayer.
Robinson is famously known as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop.
Robinson, 66, became diocesan bishop of New Hampshire in March 2004. He retired in January 2013 and is currently a senior fellow at the progressive Center for American Progress.
A tweet from Robinson, who was in attendance: "POTUS "preaches" at the Easter prayer breakfast. Then, out of the blue, asks ME to close with prayer. OMG!"
First gay clergyman to wed plunges Church into crisis: Archbishop under pressure to sack canon who flouted ban on same sex marriage
Canon Jeremy Pemberton married Laurence Cunnington under new laws
New laws allowing same-sex marriages pushed through by PM last month
Now Canon Pemberton from Nottinghamshire faces disciplinary action
By JONATHAN PETRE
April 12, 2014
A senior Church of England clergyman yesterday became the first to enter into a gay marriage – in direct defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby – plunging the Church into a fresh crisis.
Canon Jeremy Pemberton tied the knot with Laurence Cunnington under new laws allowing same-sex marriages pushed through by David Cameron in the face of bitter opposition from backbench MPs and the Church.
But Canon Pemberton, 58, now faces disciplinary action from the Church and could be expelled from his work as a priest because the House of Bishops has barred clergy from entering such unions, saying they undermine its traditional teaching that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Canon Jeremy Pemberton tied the knot with Laurence Cunnington, a move that may well cause his removal from the church.
NEW ZEALAND: Anglicans propose separate church for gays
By JO MOIR
April 5, 2014
The Anglican Church could disintegrate as a result of differences over the blessing and ordination of gays, according to one of the options it is considering.
Ten options are being considered by a church commission to deal with the differing views over same-sex relationships - of which one would see the end of the church as it currently exists.
The commission, chaired by former governor-general Sir Anand Satyanand, was set up two years ago to "listen, read, discuss, and provide a description of possible options for a way forward".
South Carolina Supreme Court Takes Jurisdiction over TEC appeals
Justices’ decision likely prevents TEC from using legal maneuvers to drag out proceedings, drain local funds
CHARLESTON, SC, April 7, 2014 – The South Carolina Supreme Court has intervened in a lawsuit and granted the Diocese of South Carolina Motion to Transfer jurisdiction from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. This may effectively prevent The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), from using serial appeals to further delay a trial to prevent the two groups from seizing Diocese of South Carolina property.
The Supreme Court decision comes days after TEC and TECSC filed new appeals apparently aimed at delaying the discovery process in advance of the trial that is scheduled to start on July 7. While the Supreme Court ruling does not prevent the denomination from filing appeals, it eliminates the time-consuming step of first going to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
NIGERIA: Assassins storm Anglican church in Ijebu-Ode, kill high chief
By Omotola Filani
April 7, 2014
An Ijebu chief, Chief Tola Okuneye was shot dead during a church service in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State, by suspected assassins on Sunday.
Dailypost gathered that the chief was shot dead by ten armed men who stormed St. John African Church, Oke Sopen around 11am while service was ongoing.
A member of the congregation who witnessed the attack said “The service was on when we noticed that some boys numbering about ten armed to teeth entered the church and headed straight to where Chief Okuneye was sitting and shot him on the head. It was the time our preacher was about to mount the pulpit. It was about 11.00a.m.”
We will bring you more details as it unfolds.
Alan Gates of Ohio elected bishop of Diocese of Massachusetts
The people of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts have elected an Ohio parish priest to be their next bishop
Diocese of Massachusetts News
April 7, 2014
At the special electing convention held on Saturday, April 5, clergy and lay delegates elected the Rev. Alan M. Gates, the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, to succeed the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE as the 16th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. The electing convention took place at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston.
In order to be elected, a candidate needed to receive a simple majority of votes from both clergy and lay delegates, voting separately as “orders,” on the same balloting round. Gates secured election on the fourth ballot, receiving 157 clergy votes and 188 lay votes, with 145 and 164 needed, respectively, for election.
There was a delay in the proceedings after the third ballot had been cast because an error was discovered in the first ballot’s lay vote tally. Once the corrected results for ballot one were posted, ballots two and three were then deemed invalid. Fourth ballot results and the election were announced at 3:40 p.m.
LONDON, ENGLAND: Anglican leader warns of Africa gay marriage backlash
April 4, 2014
Justin Welby, the leader of the world's Anglicans, warned Friday that if the Church of England accepted gay marriage, it could prove "catastrophic" for Christians in Africa.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion's mother church, warned that doing so could potentially lead to massacres of Christians.
Gay marriage became legal in England and Wales on March 29, with the first couples tying the knot after the stroke of midnight.
Religious organisations can opt in. However, the Church of England, the state church, is barred from performing same-sex marriages to provide it with an additional layer of legal protection.
Anglican Bishop to Gay Clergy: Come Out
Church of England Bishop Alan Wilson wants gay clergy to come out
Reportedly there are 13 gay bishops in the Church of England
By Michael O'Loughlin
April 4, 2014
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in the U.K., one Church of England bishop has some advice for gay clergy: come out.
Bishop Alan Wilson said he believes "there are 13 gay bishops in the Church of England," according to a story from Religion News Service.
The Church of England will not perform same-sex weddings, per the compromise struck with lawmakers to pass marriage equality there.
According to RNS, Wilson, who is married to a woman, is relying on comments made by Rev. Colin Coward, the head of Changing Attitude, a pro-LGBT organization in the U.K. Coward wrote, “I would confidently name 13 bishops (in the Church of England) as being gay, meaning 10 percent of bishops in England are gay. How any of the 13 live with themselves, their inner world of truth, I can’t imagine.”
Bishop Nazir-Ali Renowned Lecturer and Preacher Coming to the US in May
By David W. Virtue
April 1, 2014
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the 106th Bishop of Rochester for 15 years, until he stepped down in September 2009, will visit the U.S. to speak on Reformational Anglicanism and Christian Mission at the CANA East synod to be held May 1-3, 2014, at Christ Church on the Mainline, hosted by Wayne United Methodist Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Nazir-Ali will also be speaking on the topic of Taking Religion Seriously - Muslims, Christians, Jews and World Order at the Merion Tribute House for the John Jay Institute on April 30th at 7:00 PM. See here for details:
You can register here:
Former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has spoken of his fears for the global climate
Dr Rowan Williams warns winter floods which devastated parts of UK is sign fears linked to global warming are coming true
Dr Williams blamed lifestyle of Western countries for climate change
UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to release report
Expected to warn of catastrophic consequences to food supplies, livelihoods, health and security across the world
By TARA BRADY
March 30, 2014
Former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has spoken of his fears for the global climate, saying the winter flooding was a portent of what is to come in the future.
He has blamed the lifestyle of Western countries for climate change, which he said is 'pushing the environment towards crisis'.
He said the floods in Britain and similar weather-related catastrophes around the world are the clearest indications yet that predictions of 'accelerated warming of the Earth' caused by the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels... 'are coming true'.
His comments come as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares to release a major report that is expected to warn of catastrophic consequences to food supplies, livelihoods, health and security across the world if climate change is allowed to continue unchecked.
Church of England will embrace gay marriage, says Archbishop Welby despite bitter divisions within clergy
Gay marriage becomes legal from tomorrow
Thousands of ceremonies have been planned across country
Last month, bishops attempted to ban clergy from marrying same-sex partners, provoking a backlash among Christian supporters of change
Globally, Anglican Church remains deeply split on the issue
By Daily Mail Reporter
March 27, 2014
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