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Bishop apologizes for Franklin Graham mission to Iceland: The Church of England Newspaper, August 16, 2013 August 22, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Iceland.
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Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir of Iceland

The Bishop of Iceland the Rt. Rev. Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, has apologized to the island’s gay community for the participation of the Church of Iceland in next month’s Festival of Hope meeting in Reykjavík due to the presence of U.S. evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham.

Anna Pála Sverrisdóttir, chair of Samtökin 78, an Icelandic gay activist organization told the news website Ruv.is she was angered by the state Lutheran church’s participation in the Christian rally as Graham opposes gay marriage.

Bishop Sigurðardóttir told Ruv.is she was rethinking her promise to preach at the festival, but added that it might be an opportunity to offer a contrary view to balance Graham’s. The bishop said the Icelandic church had dropped its moral and theological objections to homosexual conduct in 2010 and now was a whole hearted supporter of gay rights.

Gay activists have sought to disrupt the Festival in protest to Graham’s presence. A social media campaign was launched to encourage gay activists to book tickets for the event and then not show up. One activist claimed he had reserved 500 free tickets for the Festival, censoring Graham by preventing those who wanted to hear him preach from the Gospel from attending.

All of the tickets for the festival have been reserved, its website reports. But Festival director Ragnar Gunnarsson told reporters the meeting was not an anti-gay marriage rally but a call to evangelism. He said the Festival organizers were reviewing their options.

Approximately 90 per cent of the country’s population belong to the Þjóðkirkjan, the state Lutheran Church — a partner of the Church of England under the Porvoo Agreement.. However, a 2011 Gallup Poll found Iceland to be one of the world’s most irreligious nations, with 60 per cent of the population saying religion was unimportant in their daily lives.

Episcopal bishops campaign against gay marriage ban: The Church of England Newspaper, May 6, 2012 p7. May 14, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Marriage, Politics, The Episcopal Church.
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A proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage has divided North Carolina’s three Episcopal bishops from other church leaders in the state.

Last week Bishops Michael Curry, Clifton Daniel and Porter Taylor released an open letter opposing Amendment 1, which will be put to the voters on May 8.

Their stance puts them at odds with a coalition of conservative church groups and the Vote For Marriage NC coalition.  North Carolina law forbids gay marriage, but adding that ban to the state constitution would make it much harder for a court to force the change.

In their letter, the bishops wrote they opposed Amendment 1 “because the love of God and the way of love that has been revealed in Jesus of Nazareth compels us to do so.”

“We oppose Amendment 1 because every time we baptize someone in the Episcopal Church, the entire congregation vows to ‘strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.’ We oppose Amendment 1 because it is unjust and it does not respect the dignity of every human being in the state of North Carolina. If passed, it will harm not only law-abiding gay and lesbian citizens but other men, women and innocent children in our state,” the three bishops form the church’s liberal wing said.

The Rev. Franklin Graham has recorded a message supporting a proposed amendment to North Carolina’s constitution that would make traditional marriage the only recognized domestic legal union in the state.

North Carolina resident Franklin Graham, the head of Samaritan’s Purse based in Boone released an audio message of support for Amendment 1 on 27 April 2012, urging voters to “take a stand on God’s definition of marriage.” Pollsters predict the ballot initiative will likely be endorsed by a majority of voters.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.