Woman bishop leads the way

Margot Kaessmann is a woman who has had more than her fair share of firsts. In 1999, she was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover – the first woman to hold this office. In 2007, she became the first ever bishop in Germany to get divorced. On 28 October 2009, she was elected to lead the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland – the Evangelical Church in Germany – thus becoming the first woman presiding bishop of that church. On 20 February 2010, she became the first German woman bishop to drive her Volkswagen Phaeton through a red light in central Hanover on a Saturday night whilst ‘completely unfit to drive’ – owing to her being three times over the legal limit. And on 24 February 2010, she became the first German woman presiding bishop to resign, after only 120 days in office.

Our Godde
(and confusion) reigns

Meanwhile, over in the land of the free, Roman Catholic Womenpriests (sic) goes from strength to strength, with the consecration (sic) of its 11th bishop. Sixtyseven-year-old Merlene Olivia Doko will apparently serve as ‘a spiritual adviser’ to the 22 female priests and priests-intraining for RCWP’s Western region – which spans Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California,

Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Reportedly, as many as 40 people attended her consecration, at which everyone present, including her four-year-old grandson, took part in the laying on of hands, which must have been, er, incredibly, er, moving. What her husband of 45 years, Slavo, thinks about it all is not reported, but presumably he’s just glad she’s not an Evangelical Lutheran. A quick visit to to check up on the 22 female priests to whom ‘Bishop’ Doko will minister reveals that one of them is a man called Rod. What can it mean? Meanwhile, in another RCWP region, another female priest (this one more prosaically called Mary) writes that she was ‘called to serve Godde (sic) at an early age’. Further comment would be superfluous.

New Age in Chelmsford

Time was when St Andrew’s, Leytonstone was the sort of church to which a Forward in Faith member might go, for, as recently as 2001, a member of SSC was Priest in Charge. Fast forward to 2010 and what do we find, now that all those fusty old resolutions have been rescinded?

Seeds of Life at St Andrew’s Church is the second phase of a creative project, The Tree of Life, working with community groups and local artists to celebrate life in Leytonstone in the run up to Easter. As part of this we are organising a programme of drop-in sessions and recitals by local artists, craftspeople and musicians in St Andrew’s community café, Cafe Refresh. Called Passion at the Café the programme will feature a musical recital by Latin American harpist and poet, Ricardo Curbelo; a felt-making workshop with Leytonstone craftswoman, Lizzie Houghton; a drawing workshop with Mark Lewis, environmental art with Wendy le Ber and a Salsa dancing taster session with Jane Kendrick, as well as mandala making. Other Seeds of Life events at St Andrew’s this spring include the St

Andrew’s Youth Group producing a decorative collage in partnership with local artist Peter Webb, and the church’s Lent group making Christian mandalas.

For the benefit of 30Days readers unfamiliar with mandalas, thankfully Wikipedia comes to the rescue:

A mandala is a concentric diagram having spiritual and ritual significance in both Buddhism and Hinduism… it has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective.

The next Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, who has told his diocese-to-be that ‘We must set our sights on the glory of God and on his son Jesus Christ’, looks like having his work cut out! Watch this space.

CofE speaks out

30DAYs is grateful to The Daily Mirror for this gem: If you have clickety clicked and don’t mind wearing a bingo firm’s logo on your wedding dress then your big day could be free.

OnlineBingoClub.co.uk is looking to sponsor a marriage and is offering £5,000. In return the bride will have the company logo on her dress, with the couple required to pose for publicity shots. They will also have to agree to the logo appearing on all invitations, table settings and menus. Company spokesman Rob Hutchison said ‘We’re hoping to give one lucky bride the wedding she’s always dreamed of. Having the logo on her dress and wedding invites is a small price to pay.’ But the Church of England condemned the idea and said, ‘It might not be the best way to start a permanent relationship.’

How are the mighty fallen?

Seen somewhere near Oxford Circus:

The Annual General Meeting of All Saints Club is on Palm Sunday, 28 March 2010, after Evensong in the Bar.