30Days readers will no doubt remember the case of Bill Melnyk, a priest of The Episcopal Church (proprietor: Mrs K.J. Schori) who was also a druid called Oak-Wyse; as well as perhaps the case of Ann Holmes Redding, who was, she claimed, both an Episcopal priest and a Muslim. Melnyk renounced his ordination vows to form the Llynhydd Grove of the Druid Order of the Yew (whatever that's supposed to be), whilst Redding was inhibited for twelve months (to give her time to think things over) by the Bishop of Rhode Island. Only now does it become apparent just how wrong Melnyk and Redding got things in their ecumenical experimentation. If only they had chosen Buddhism... for work, where he will no doubt be given short shrift until he gets his life in order and embraces Candomble as well.
Great news from the diocese of Northern Michigan in The Episcopal Church (proprietor: Mrs K.J. Schori), where the Revd Kevin Thew Forrester has just been elected bishop. A very popular choice, it would seem, seeing as how he was elected on the first ballot and received 88% of the delegate votes and 91% of the congregational votes.
It would be churlish to draw attention to the fact that he was the only candidate, so we won't mention it. Come his consecration later this year, he will thus become the first bishop of The Episcopal Church who has also received Buddhist lay ordination. Apparently, Forrester 'walks the path of Christianity and Zen Buddhism together'. Honestly. You really couldn't make it up, could you?
Fr Peter Kennedy, until recently parish priest of St Mary's, South Brisbane, is not, as far as 30Days knows, a Pagan, a Muslim or a Buddhist. But it didn't prevent him being fired recently by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane for no other reasons but (i) allowing women to preach, (ii) blessing gay couples, (iii) denying the Virgin birth and (iv) claiming the Catholic Church is 'dysfunctional'.
Presumably, Kennedy will fetch up at Mrs Schori's office any day now, looking
Tragic news reaches us from The Episcopal Church, where the credit crunch has reportedly forced presiding bishop Mrs K.J. Schori to lay staff off, so as to be able devote even more of TEC's millions to suing congregations and dioceses in order to 'liberate' their property. Luckily, things haven't yet got too bad at 815 Second Avenue, for attorney Mary E. Kostel has recently been appointed 'special counsel to the Presiding Bishop for property litigation and discipline'.
Good to see someone's got their priorities right and that KJS isn't allowing the welfare of those who work for her to obscure the real agenda. Some unkind commentators have suggested that Kos-tel's salary will be in excess of S300.000 - a bargain indeed in these parlous times, if it's really that little!
The recent AGM of our old friends GRAS - the Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod - was attended by no less than 20 members. The only surprising thing about this extraordinary statistic is the fact that that GRAS actually has that many members!
Church Union branches out?
Talking of GRAS, an episcopal correspondent wonders whether the Church Union website has a snake in it. Apparently, the link (from various websites) to the Catholic Societies provides a further link to the Church Union; only it doesn't. What comes up every time is the Avie-more Trade Show. Could it really be that GRAS has really become skilled in the black arts? Watch this space.
Talking of Angels, how pleasing to read of the decision to erect a counterpart to the Angel of the North, in the shape of a
giant white horse, which has been chosen as a new £2m art commission for south east England dubbed the Angel of the South!
The design, by former Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger, was selected from a three-strong shortlist as part of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project. His design comprises a horse standing on all four hooves at 33 times life-size - as high as Nelson's Column at about 164 feet. A giant equestrian statue of Bishop Andrew is what the South of England needs.
And the rest...
News that the nave of Malmesbury Abbey was to be turned into a skateboard park (using 80 bales of straw and 100 sheets of 8 x 4 plywood) for the duration of the schools half term last month sent us scurrying to the internet to find out who the brains behind this rivet-ingly go-ahead initiative might be. Step forward the Revd Neill Archer, whose autobiography on the parish website tells you everything you could possibly want to know about him:
Neill is 47 and has been the Vicar here in Malmesbury since April 2004. Before that he was a minister in Forster Tuncurry, N.S.W. Australia. Before that he was a curate in Derbyshire. Before that he was an international opera singer for nearly 20 years, singing at the Royal Opera House, Sydney Opera House etc. He has never had a proper job in his life. He is married to Marilyn, an Australian, who is the singing teacher at Malmesbury School, and they have three teenage daughters Sally, Rosie and Grace. His main ministries at the Abbey are running the basketball team with Pete, shifting chairs with Henry, and overseeing lots of things. Neill takes two days off a week (Friday and Saturday) and recently gave a seminar at New Wine on 'Rest'. On what day of the week blushing brides can get married in Malmesbury Abbey is not clear, but evidently the day of choice for most young ladies is not on offer!
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