Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust: Rethinking the Episcopal Way of Death

One of the things that is interesting in watching the Episcopal Church over the years is how customs start out being progressive, then becoming normative, and finally becoming outdated. That is the case with funeral customs in the Episcopal Church, which at one time were greener than most, but today are increasingly outdated. Indeed, many today no longer… Read More »

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The Episcopal Church’s Lost Causism

Ed.: The following was written and published by Tom Ferguson aka Crusty Old Dean, for his blog located here. Reprinted with permission. With just 4 percent of Episcopalians being black, versus 13.4 percent of the US population as a whole, the church’s dismal track record on race warrants closer scrutiny. And while the church talks a good game,… Read More »

Issues With Fr. David Nix Illustrate the Perils of Equivocation

Remember Pontius Pilate? He’s often perceived as the consummate bad guy. But a close reading of scripture makes clear that, if not a good guy, he came very close to being a good guy, failing only due to his equivocation. And so it is with Fr. David Nix, the reactionary conservative Catholic priest in Colorado, whose YouTube and… Read More »

Anglican Watch Exclusive: Interview With Fr. Mark White

Ed.: We recently had the opportunity to interview Fr. Mark White, the Catholic priest who has been suspended from parish ministry due to his criticism of the church’s handling of sexual abuse. Here are our questions and his responses. We believe his thoughts are important to all who are concerned about abuse in the church, both sexual and… Read More »

Can the Episcopal Church Help Heal the Nation?

Okay, I admit. It sounds improbable. But hear me out. For several years, the Episcopal church has talked about the need for racial reconciliation. And even as it does so, we now have some saying that there needs to be reconciliation following the coup attempt at the US Capitol. But both the Episcopal church and those who urge… Read More »

Toxic Masculinity and Church

The recent coup attempt at the US Capitol raises myriad questions. Among them is the role of toxic masculinity and its implications for society, as well as its implications for the Episcopal Church. A key example is the now infamous Jacob Anthony Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, aka the Q Shaman. An avowed practitioner of shamanism and self-proclaimed clergy,… Read More »

Little-Noticed Pandemic Milestone Nears, Creates Growing Threat to In-Person Worship

Few out there have noticed, but a review of World Health Organization (WHO) data makes clear that we are nearing a grim milestone in the pandemic, one that should information churches and church schools that are conducting any in-person activities. Specifically, we are teetering very close to our first 100,000 new cases day, with January 11 reflecting 99.100… Read More »

Just When We Thought it Was Safe: Shannon Johnston Resurfaces

Did you ever have a moment of profound cognitive dissonance? Where you look around and just go, “Holy Toledo—what the heck just happened?” That was this author’s reaction when he recently learned that Shannon Johnston, former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (DioVA), has been named as a fellow to George Mason University’s (GMU’s) Center for World… Read More »

Now Hiring: Episcopal Church in (Dire) Need of Copyeditor

It’s no secret that, as employers, churches rarely attract the best and brightest. That is particularly the case for non-clergy positions, which often comprise long hours, low pay, and numerous high-ego constituencies. But this paradigm is nowhere better illustrated than the Episcopal Church’s recent ad for a copywriter and editor, reporting to staff at denominational headquarters. While I… Read More »

More on COVID-19 and In-Person Church Activities

A recurring theme here at Anglican Watch is the issue of in-person worship or participation in the life of the church, including church schools and related activities. Recent information from the CDC and studies conducted in South Korea make clear that preventing COVID-19 transmission in these settings is problematic and almost certainly unsuccessful over time. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci,… Read More »

The Elizabethan Compromise and Pluralism: Lessons for Today

Anglicanism has its roots not just in Henry VIII’s split with Rome, but also, and perhaps more importantly, in the so-called Elizabethan Compromise. As such, the Elizabethan Compromise contains within its underlying paradigm lessons for a pluralistic society, which are increasingly important for the United States in light of yesterday’s coup attempt. What on Earth is The Elizabethan… Read More »

Disaster Looms as Churches Continue In-Person Services

The data are frightening. COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing worldwide. Some states in the US, notably California, are already forced to ration health care as our health care systems teeter on the brink of collapse. We have passed the point that one American dies every minute due to COVID-19. Massive travel over the winter holidays and soaring positivity rates… Read More »

Top Ten Tips for Managing Conflict

Editor: I previously published the following in Episcopal Cafe in 2013. Conflict. Even the word itself makes us cringe a little. It has a hard, biting edge. In the back of our minds, the word conjures up unsettling images — of dentists’ drills, of that last really bad cold, of falling out of a tree as a child.… Read More »

Top Ten Predictions For the Episcopal Church in 2021

As many look eagerly to put the difficult year of 2020 behind them, so too are many looking forward to 2021. With that in mind, here are Anglican Watch’s top-ten predictions for the coming year for the Episcopal Church: Church budgets are over-optimistic due to the surging pandemic. Many churches and dioceses used budget forecasts in which income and expenses… Read More »

No More Parking Lot Conversations

Working with congregations as a bishop’s staff member involved in congregational development, one of the persistent behaviors Mary MacGregor, (the canon for evangelism and congregational development in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.), has witnessed among vestry members is their reluctance to speak up about lingering concerns in the course of their meetings. While there are many reasons for… Read More »

Epiphany: Forgotten Holy Day

Over the years, liturgical practices in the Episcopal Church have shifted. Indeed, some would say that the 1979 revisions to the Book of Common Prayer mark the ascendency of the Anglo-Catholic side of the church. But in all of this, the church has picked and chosen from its Catholic heritage, while largely ignoring practices from Orthodoxy. And falling… Read More »

Surviving Church on Corruption in the Church

Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission from The Rev. Stephen Parsons’ blog, “Surviving Church” There was an interesting story in the paper today (Sunday) discussing the impact of the programme, The Crown. Apparently there has been a survey of public opinion about attitudes of the British general public towards the Royal Family among those who have seen this series. Although, for the… Read More »

DioVA Negotiating to Sell Truro Church Property

In a move that has garnered scant attention, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, faced with plummeting revenue from its constituent parishes due to COVID-19 and the loss of more than 15 percent of its Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) over the past 10 years, has announced that it is in discussions with Truro Church to sell the property to… Read More »

Welby Earns First Annual Pandemic Pinhead Award

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recipient of numerous honors and awards, has now received an additional award: The coveted Anglican Watch Pandemic Pinhead award. The announcement comes shortly after Welby announced that he is going on sabbatical to reflect on reconciliation in the church. Anglican Watch’s award is bestowed on Welby in recognition of his announcement that Church of England… Read More »