Highlights for July and August

Who owns a gift to the church?

The Rev. Mark Stanley

By Solange De Santis

The May issue of Episcopal Journal contained an Episcopal News Service story about St. Paul’s Church, Baltimore, which was auctioning some extremely valuable items in order to endow a scholarship for African-American students to attend St. Paul’s Schools in Brooklandville, Md.

The story prompted reader Ed O’Brien to write, criticizing the church’s initiative. Episcopal Journal followed up the story, examining the liturgical items online at the auction house’s website, viewing the sale prices and contacting St. Paul’s co-rector, the Rev. Mark Stanley, for his perspective. The Journal also contacted O’Brien for permission to publish his letter.

The Alex Cooper auction house in Towson, Md., conducted the auction of 15 silver items, including a jewel-encrusted chalice and a silver offering plate, which brought $45,000. The auction brought St. Paul’s a total of $75,000 and the church funded the remainder of the $300,000 scholarship fund from its endowment, according to Stanley.

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Lambeth to focus on science, climate change

Some Lambeth services will be held at Canterbury Cathedral. Photo/Antony McCallum/WyrdLight.com

By Mark Michael

The relationship between faith and science and the church’s response to the environmental crisis will be “big picture” themes at next summer’s Lambeth Conference, which focuses on being “God’s Church for God’s World”.

The conference’s communications office featured the issues in a series of short films released in early June, including a special release of “How is the Church Engaging with Science in Responding to Environmental Issues” on June 5, World Environment Day.

The Anglican Communion also announced the foundation of the Anglican Communion Science Commission, a group of scientists and theologians from across its 41 provinces who will equip Anglicans “for courageous and confident spiritual leadership in issues involving science.” The commission will be formally launched at next summer’s Lambeth Conference and hopes to have its first conference shortly thereafter.

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