Church of England Approves Having Women Bishops

Church of England Approves Having Women Bishops

General Synod of the Church of England voted yesterday to allow women to become bishops within the Church of England (CoE). This vote comes 18 months after a similar measure failed to get the 2/3 majority in the House of Laity. Apparently the pro-lady-bishop camp went to work and changed some folks view points – granted it helps having an Archbishop in support of the measure. It should be noted that the CoE has allowed women priests for about 20 years now. Ladies just couldn’t be bishops, which has always struck me as odd and inconsistent. At least now they are on track to have this changed. oh, by the way, below is the vote tally for those who are interested. As you can see, not everyone in the CoE liked the idea…which means that it is going to be interesting in the C0E for a while (i.e. are the ‘no’ votes going to stay in the C0E or leave?). House of Bishops: Yes 37 No 2 Abstentions 1 House of Clergy: Yes 162 No 25 Abstentions 4 House of Laity: Yes 152  No 45 Abstentions 5 It should be noted that this vote doesn’t mean that there will be a lady bishop tomorrow. The measure still has to go through the Legislative Committee of General Synod, then the Ecclesiastical Committee of the Houses of Parliament before returning to the General Synod this coming November. If everything goes smoothly, which it is believed will happen, then the issue will go into force this...
N.T. Wright on Women Bishops, “Progress”, and the Bible

N.T. Wright on Women Bishops, “Progress”, and the Bible

In the wake of the Church of England’s vote not to allow women bishops, N.T. Wright recently wrote a great article pointing out that the issue is about what the Bible says and not about any ideas of progress. After all, as Wright points out, what did ‘progress’ brings us? “’Progress’ gave us modern medicine, liberal democracy, the internet. It also gave us the guillotine, the Gulag and the gas chambers. Western intelligentsia assumed in the 1920s that “history” was moving away from the muddle and mess of democracy towards the brave new world of Russian communism. Many in 1930s Germany regarded Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his friends as on the wrong side of history. The strong point of postmodernity is that the big stories have let us down. And the biggest of all was the modernist myth of ‘progress’.” So what is the real issue? It is the lie that to people who believe in the Bible will oppose women’s ordination. Folks normally point to 1 Timothy chapter two, which is the worse place to start as the Greek words used in that passage occur nowhere else and are very hard to translate… No, the place to start talking about this issue (well, really ANY issue in following Jesus), as Wright beautifully points out, is with the announcement that Jesus has been raised from the dead: “And Jesus entrusted that task, first of all, not to Peter, James, or John, but to Mary Magdalene. Part of the point of the new creation launched at Easter was the transformation of roles and vocations: from Jews-only to worldwide, from monoglot to...
No Women Bishops For The Church of England

No Women Bishops For The Church of England

Today marks the end of a 12-year debate within the Church of England on whether or not to open up the bishopry to the female gender. Sadly, while the motion to allow female bishops past in both the House of Bishops (97%) and the House of Clergy  (64%), it failed in the House of Laity by six votes…. Current church law states that this issue can be brought back for another vote in the “same form” during the present general synod’s term – meaning that the issue is now off the table until after 2015 (unless the top six leaders in the church decided to allow an exception, which would be a rare move). It should be noted that women have been allowed to serve as priests within the Church of England since 1994 (there are even some female bishops currently serving within the larger Anglican Communion). The main debate with female bishops is what to do with those parishes who do believe that a women should be in leadership. Should those parishes be allowed to ‘shift’ leaders and have a male bishops? If so, what does that mean to the historical boundaries and geographical areas of the bishopry?  As you can imagine, this is a very heated topic that I doubt will go away… Interestingly enough, the Vineyard had to make a similar choice in the not so distant past. Being an family of independent churches (i.e. each local church ordains and chooses their own pastors), we had some church with women pastors – who, naturally, wanted to be included in the national conversation on the direction of...
Introducing The New Archbishop of Canterbury

Introducing The New Archbishop of Canterbury

It has been a busy past couple of weeks for the global Church – first there was the election of a new Coptic Orthodox Pope and now there is naming of Rowan Williams’ successor as the Archbishop of Canterbury. While Protestants in the USA may not think much of these two events, they are actually very, very, very HUGE events as they affect the lives of millions Jesus followers around the world. Take the Archbishop of Canterbury, for example, whoever sits in that chair affects the direction of the entire Anglican Communion, which has around 85 million members worldwide. The Coptic Orthodox Church is a tad smaller at 18 million members – bring the total number of people affected by the two leadership changes to 103 million believers. That, my friends, is a lot of people! But, alas, we have digressed from the main focus of this post which was to introduce you all to the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Justin Welby. Currently Justin Welby is the bishop of Durham, having succeeded Bishop N.T. Wright in that position last year. Which brings up the interesting point that Webly has only been a bishop in the Anglican Church for a year – hardly the resume one would expect for the new Archbishop… However, it must be pointed out that Welby has quite the track record that more than over shadows this lack of experience. For example, he has worked as an arbitrator during religious conflicts around the world with the Coventry Centre for Reconciliation and he has 11 years of experience as an oil executive, which shows that he...
The Barefooted Elected Bishop of Wellington

The Barefooted Elected Bishop of Wellington

This past Sunday Reverend Justin Duckworth was officially elected as the Anglican Bishop of Wellington (New Zealand’s capital city). What makes this appointment so amazing is that Justin is known for his pioneering work at the Ngatiawa contemporary monastery as well as with Urban Vision, a ministry that focuses on the “margins of mainstream society, and doing justice in the midst of urban poverty.” In a lot of ways, this appointment is a statement to the world that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is serious about following Jesus and loving those on the margins. In fact as I was listening to Justin to the below interview, I was getting excited and pumped as this guy just oozes the compassion and mercy of Jesus coupled with the life giving power of the Word of God.  I cannot wait to hear what King Jesus does in Wellington and the surrounding area! (FYI – here’s another great video about Justin and this work at Ngatiawa by a local news station. This one actually shows the monastery and what they are doing while the above video is simply an interview.) May the Lord of Lords guide Rev. Justin on his next adventure in loving people and sharing the Good News of Jesus. Blessings and...