Pain, hope and schisms in the long Anglican wars

Anglicans seem to be hopeful about their flocks in the United States, even if the warring factions in their Communion keep moving further and further apart. That was a common theme in two upbeat recent sermons preached by leaders in the progressive and orthodox Anglican bodies now competing in the marketplace of American religion. In the first sermon, Father Cameron Partridge became the first openly transgender priest to preach at Washington National Cathedral. The June 22 liturgy was part … [Read more...]

A wry case for using beer in evangelism

While he knows that millions of teetotalling Christians disagree, Father William Miller believes he can make a theological case for the moderate consumption of beer through a simple use of evangelistic math. "Beer is the universal beverage. If you want to sit down and have a friendly, personal conversation with about 90 percent of the people in this world then that is probably going to take place over a beer, that is if you want them to open up and level with you," said Miller, who is -- … [Read more...]

Ann B. Davis was much, much more than ‘Alice’

Soon after its birth, the MTV network tried to branch out with "Remote Control," a hipper than hip game show. Contestants were quizzed on media trivia including a category called, "Alive or dead?" The goal was to guess the current status of pop-culture icons. One day in 1988 the name "Ann B. Davis" popped up on the screen. Hitting the buzzer, a contestant shouted, "Dead!" With a classic double take, Davis shouted, "I am not!" at the den television in the 26-room redstone house she … [Read more...]

British rabbi stands to defend America’s first freedom

When Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks arrived in America recently representatives of the United States government did not greet him with a demand that Great Britain's former chief rabbi remove his yarmulke while in public. That's a good thing. But there are places -- France leaps to mind -- where this would not be the case. In fact, religious liberty is under siege in many corners of Europe, said Sacks, a member of the House of Lords. "In Britain we have seen a worker banned from wearing a small … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis: Still too popular after 50 years

Even though it has been 50 years since his death, the faithful at Headington Parish Church in Oxford, England, are constantly reminded of the loyal, but rather quiet, parishioner who always occupied the same short pew hidden by a sanctuary pillar. Going to church was never easy for C.S. Lewis, even before he became one of the world's most famous Christian writers, noted the Rev. Angela Tilby, in a recent service in memory of the Oxford don's death on Nov. 22, 1963 -- the same day as the death … [Read more...]

The Anglican wars roll on (and Holy Communion for dogs)

The German Shepherd's name was Trapper and he came to St. Peter's Anglican Church with his owner, a newcomer at the historic Toronto parish. At the end of the Mass, Trapper went forward with everyone else for Holy Communion. That's when the vicar, in what she later described as a welcoming gesture, served the dog some of the consecrated bread that Anglicans believe has -- in a mysterious manner -- become the body of Jesus Christ. So one parishioner complained to the bishop and, in a flash, … [Read more...]

Wink, wink pulpit wars

The political endorsement was clear, although the words were carefully chosen. New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop clearly wanted to inspire his supporters, even his own priests, to back Sen. Barack Obama. Still, he stressed that his endorsement was personal, not corporate. ''I will not be speaking about the campaign from the pulpit or at any church function,'' the bishop told reporters, in a 2007 conference call that drew low-key, calm news … [Read more...]


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