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Diocesan Digest - July 20

[Episcopal News Service] 
  • CALIFORNIA: Andrus to be invested as California bishop
  • CENTRAL NEW YORK: Diocese sues Syracuse church
  • CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA: Annual Convention due to elect bishop
  • COLORADO: Loaves and Fishes Sunday aims at hunger
  • DALLAS: Via Media 'disturbed' by 'realignment' plan
  • SAN DIEGO: Congregation votes to align with Uganda province
  • WASHINGTON: Georgetown rector keeps in touch from Iraq

CALIFORNIA: Andrus to be invested as California bishop

[SOURCE: Diocese of California]

Two days of activities will celebrate the recognition and investiture of the Right Rev. Marc Handley Andrus as the eighth bishop of California.

The investiture begins at 11 a.m. on July 22, the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. To accommodate those who cannot attend, Grace Cathedral will provide a live video webcast of the event at An archive of the webcast will be available for viewing after the event.

Bishop Michael Bruce Curry of North Carolina will preach, and Bishop Harry B. Bainbridge III of Idaho will preside at the liturgy representing the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Outgoing Bishop William E. Swing will present Andrus with the diocesan crosier.

An original anthem has been commissioned, and liturgical dancer Carla DeSola has choreographed a dance for the occasion.

The next morning (Sunday, July 23) Andrus and his wife, Sheila, will serve breakfast to residents of The Sanctuary, a program of Episcopal Community Services, which provides shelter, hot meals, housing, and social services to 200 homeless individuals each night. The bishop will also lead worship at the shelter.

Andrus and his family will then attend morning service with the predominantly Filipino congregation of Holy Child & St. Martin's, Daly City, is served by Rev. Bayani Rico, its second vicar. In 2005, the sanctuary was severely damaged by a fire and construction and repairs are near completion.

In the afternoon, "Sunday in the Parc with Marc" in Oakland's Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline Park will give an opportunity to gather with Andrus, his family and friends and the youth and young adults of the Diocese of California to celebrate their creativity and to honor all creation.

The San Francisco-based diocese encompasses some 30,000 members in 80 congregations.

CENTRAL NEW YORK: Diocese sues Syacuse church

[SOURCE: Syracuse Post Standard]

The Diocese of Central New York filed a lawsuit July 19 against St. Andrew's Church in Syracuse, asking state Supreme Court Justice Edward Carni to grant the diocese a restraining order against the parish so that it cannot sell the parish's real estate.

Lawyers for the diocese and the parish will be in court again July 20.

The disagreement between the diocese and the parish has been brewing for a long time, Raymond Dague, a St. Andrew's parishioner and lawyer who represents the congregation, told the Syracuse Post Standard.

Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams and the St. Andrew's parish disagree on the acceptance of gays in the Episcopal Church.

In February, Dague said, the parish, which has about 175 members, filed an amendment to its certificate of incorporation and requested that ecclesiastic oversight shift from Adams to Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, head of Anglican Church in Rwanda and of Anglican Mission in America.

The lawyer for the diocese, Jonathan Fellows, said the diocese, not the parish, owns the real estate. Therefore, he said, the parish should not be able to transfer ownership of the property.

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA: Annual Convention due to elect bishop

[SOURCE: Diocese of Central Pennsylvania]

The 136th annual Central Pennsylvania diocesan convention, July 21-22 at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, is set to elect a successor to Bishop Michael Creighton.

The nominees are:

  • The Rev. Stephen T. Ayres, 51, vicar, Old North Church, Boston, Massachusetts;
  • The Rev. Dr. Nathan D. Baxter, 57, rector, St. James' Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania;
  • The Rev. Catherine A. Munz, 52, rector, St. Brendan's Church, Franklin Park, Pennsylvania;
  • The Rev. Dr. Gary Nicolosi, 55, rector, St. Peter's Church, Morristown, New Jersey; and
  • The Rev. Canon Mark Scheneman, 57, rector, St. John's Church, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Creighton, 65, has been bishop since January 1996 and will retire later this year.

Bishop Robert Ihloff of Maryland and President of Province III will be the convention chaplain and preacher.

The election is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on July 22.

COLORADO: Loaves and Fishes Sunday aims at hunger

[SOURCE: Diocese of Colorado]

For the 14th year, Colorado congregations will reach out to their neighbors in need July 23 through the annual Loaves and Fishes Sunday ingathering. This event collects nonperishable food items for food banks around the state, and helps replenish their shelves at a time of year when their supplies typically dwindle.

The diocese's website has a number of fact sheets and other hunger-related resources.

DALLAS: Via Media 'disturbed' by 'realignment' plan

[SOURCE: Diocese of Dallas, Via Media Dallas] Via Media Dallas, a group of lay and clerical Episcopalians in the Diocese of Dallas, says it is "deeply disturbed" by a call by  diocese's Standing Committee July 3 asking Bishop James M. Stanton to pursue "an appropriate realignment" or, if it becomes necessary, an "ordered and mutually respectful separation of congregations and dioceses" from the Episcopal Church.
"The Standing Committee has no canonical authority to speak for the Diocese nor is it authorized to act for the Diocese in this matter," the Via Media steering committee writes in an open letter to Stanton posted on its website. "As you have acknowledged, only the Convention of this Diocese can act on the 'recommendations' of the Standing Committee and only the General Convention of the Episcopal Church can dissolve this Diocese."

In a July 3 statement posted on the diocesan website, the Standing Committee asked Stanton "to appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury for a direct primatial relationship with him for the purpose of mission, pastoral support, and accountability."

It asked Stanton "in concert with all who support the Windsor process to lead the diocese in vigilantly pursuing . . . an appropriate realignment or, if it becomes necessary, an 'ordered and mutually respectful separation' of congregations and dioceses who desire to 'opt-in' to the Anglican Covenant, proposed by the Windsor Report and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, as distinct from those portions of the Episcopal Church which do not desire to do so."

However, the statement says that the Standing Committee believes that "the lengthy timetable for the realization of such a covenant might well make it ineffectual."

Dallas became the seventh diocese in which a bishop or Standing Committee is seeking a relationship with a primate other than the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, citing 2003 and 2006 General Convention actions. The other dioceses are Central Florida (Orlando-based), Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Springfield (Illinois), San Joaquin (California), and South Carolina.

In no case has a diocesan convention yet ratified these actions.

The Episcopal Church has a total of 110 dioceses and a convocation of churches based in Europe.

SAN DIEGO: Congregation votes to align with Uganda province

[SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune] A Fallbrook, California, congregation announced July 18 that it is aligning with the Anglican Province of Uganda.

Rick Crossley, a congregational leader, told the Union-Tribune newspaper that 85 percent to 90 percent of the congregation agreed with the decision.

He said the move was cemented by last month's General Convention, when deputies voted to advise dioceses to "exercise restraint" when it comes to consent to the election of bishops "whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church."
San Diego Bishop James Mathes is on vacation, but a spokesman told the Union-Tribune that Mathes sent a letter July 18 to diocesan clergy expressing his dismay. Mathes also announced that St. John's rector, the Rev. Donald Kroeger, has been suspended as a priest in good standing in the diocese.

Mathes wrote that he went to see Kroeger on July 17 and the priest denied reports that a secession vote was planned. Kroeger acknowledged July 18 to the newspaper that he misled the bishop.

"I did not feel free to tell him anything so that he could interrupt the free ability of the members of this church to discuss and decide," he said.

WASHINGTON: Georgetown rector keeps in touch from Iraq 

[SOURCE: Diocese of Washington]

The Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, rector of Christ Church, Georgetown, took leave from his parish in January to serve as an Army chaplain with the 372nd Military Police Battalion in Iraq. Kenworthy, who holds the rank of major, ministers to members from all branches of the service. He is expected to return from Iraq in August. He sends regular dispatches to his congregation. In one, he contrasts the sounds of war with the sounds of the Eucharist, which he celebrates "every Saturday evening at 1730 and every Sunday afternoon at 1300."

The Eucharist's sounds, he writes, "bring comfort and strength with an immediacy and intimacy that is almost overwhelming when expressed and heard here. They have the power to make any place on God's good earth become home. And they do so here right in Baghdad, amid the struggle of and with these good people who dearly want to take their land and destiny back into their own hands; who want a peace that offers freedom and security; who want everything you and I want for ourselves and our loved ones, but must now struggle and endure to attain.

"Yet these sacred sounds and words also speak of another home, another time, and another peace and hope that is grounded in our faith and God. It is a deep and abiding sense that this struggle, too, will one day pass. That in truth all things will pass, God will judge, and fill all things with his light and love, giving us all the peace and justice and security that the world can never give, and given for all eternity."

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