ECUSA Diocese Elects First Indigenous Woman (Carol J. Gallagher) Bishop

Article excerpt

New York

(ENS)--The Episcopal diocese of Southern Virginia has elected the first female bishop in its history--and the first indigenous woman bishop anywhere in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Carol J. Gallagher was elected suffragan bishop to assist Bishop David C. Bane, Jr.

Her primary duties will be to provide pastoral care for clergy families and to work with small congregations. Bishop-elect Gallagher, 45, is a member of the Cherokee Nation.

She has been an Episcopal priest for 11 years and is currently rector of St. Anne's Church in Middletown, Del., where she has served since 1996.

She has been active in the Episcopal church at the national level, serving on the Episcopal Council of Indian Ministries and on the church's anti-racism committee.

Ms. Gallagher is married and the mother of three daughters. She is a candidate for a Ph.D. in urban affairs and public policy at the University of Delaware.

She received her undergraduate degree at Antioch College in Baltimore and her Master of Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.

Yoga classes banned

Warsaw

(ENI)--Concerned about yoga's links to eastern philosophy, churches in Slovakia have welcomed a government decision to shelve the introduction of yoga classes for children at state schools.

Slovakia's education minister suspended the plans after discussions with leaders of the country's Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches.

Government sources said at least 400 teachers had been trained by the Yoga in Daily Life Society to introduce the Hatha Yoga system on a voluntary basis at gym sessions in primary and secondary schools starting in September.

But church leaders believed that the plans threatened Christian culture. Yoga, which combines Hindu mystic and ascetic disciplines, teaches liberation of the self and union with the "supreme spirit," but is better known in Europe and the United States for its breathing and meditation exercises.

The Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference issued a pastoral letter describing yoga as "a path to total atheism" and saying that Slovak Christians did not need to "search for some dubious substitute faith. …