[ChurchNext press release] More than 1,200 people in 18 countries have registered for “The Big Class: How to be a Crazy Christian with Bishop Michael Curry”, a free course being offered online by ChurchNext TV. The 45-minute class will be available beginning on January 26 at 9 a. m. and registration remains open.
“I am thrilled by this terrific response,” said the Rev. Chris Yaw, founder of ChurchNext, which offers a robust array of online courses to congregational subscribers and interested individuals. “We have wonderful teachers in every corner of our church, and online, video-based presentations are an excellent way of making the richness of their offerings available to all.”
Yaw, rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield, Michigan, has also prepared a guide to using The Big Class in congregations.
To enhance the experience of those who take the course online, moderators, including Bishop Curry, who leads the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, and others, will be online to interact with participants on weekday evenings January 26-31. Participants in the class can type questions to which the moderators will respond online.
“I am looking forward to interacting with people, answering their questions and exploring the ways they want to grow deeper in their faith,” said the Rev. Roger Ferlo, president of the Bexley Seabury Theological Seminary Federation, who will moderate the discussion on Tuesday evening. “I believe that there will be lively give and take in our virtual classroom.”
Bexley Seabury is one of ChurchNext’s four partners in The Big Class. The others are Church Publishing Incorporated, the Diocese of North Carolina and Forward Movement.
The moderating schedule is Bishop Curry, Monday 6-9 p. m.; the Rev. Ferlo, Tuesday, 7-9 p. m.; Bishop Curry, Wednesday 7-9 p. m.; the Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, Thursday, 7-9 p. m. and Sharon Ely Pearson, Christian formation specialist with Church Publishing Incorporated, Friday, 7-9 p. m. All times are Eastern Standard.
The class in based on Bishop Curry’s book Crazy Christians, which is published by Church Publishing.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] In a creative step to maximize resources of mission, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada will cooperate in their efforts to foster missional relationships in Africa.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Isaac Kawuki Mukasa of the Diocese of Toronto, who works as the Global Relations Officer for Africa in the Anglican Church of Canada, will also become the African Relations Officer for The Episcopal Church.
“I had been blessed by the ministry of Canon Mukasa as part of Canadian and African Bishops in Dialogue and an observer of his considerable gifts and his deep understanding of African and North American cultures,” commented Bishop Stacy F. Sauls, Episcopal Church Chief Operating Officer. “I have no doubt that he will help us be the good and faithful partners that we want to be with our sister Anglican churches in Africa.”
Canadian and African Bishops in Dialogue receives financial support from The Episcopal Church, and on occasion has included bishops from The Episcopal Church. It has held meetings in London, Dar es Salaam, Toronto, and Capetown, and will meet again this year in Coventry.
“Our church welcomes this opportunity to share the benefits of Canon Kawuki Mukasa’s experience as a bridge-builder between African and North American Anglicans,” said Archdeacon Michael Thompson, General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada. “We are delighted that his wisdom and insight can serve the wider church.” Bishop Sauls added, “This cooperation builds on the efforts of the leadership of both churches to build relationships here in North America.”
Mukasa will provide advice and counsel about the Anglican Communion provinces and churches in Africa. He will serve in an ambassadorial role on behalf of The Episcopal Church in addition to continuing his work in the Canadian Church. He will work to promote and strengthen relationships with Anglican partners across sub-Saharan Africa.
Mukasa was ordained in the Church of Uganda in 1984. He served in Uganda and Zimbabwe before settling in Canada with his family. He has served as a parish priest and college professor and has worked at the General Synod office of the Anglican Church of Canada since 2008, in the Faith, Worship and Ministry Department. Mukasa holds a B.A. (Makerere University), M.Div. (Nairobi School of Theology), M.A. (University of Zimbabwe) and Ph.D. (St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto).
In the Episcopal Church, Mukasa will work closely with the Rev. Ranjit K. Mathews, Officer for Global Relations and Networking. Mukasa and Mathews will work jointly to promote The Episcopal Church’s mission engagement in Africa, with a focus on global partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa. They have already traveled to Africa promoting relationships and mission, both separately and together.
Additionally, Mathews is responsible for promoting new partnerships and supporting existing partnerships in Africa. He also provides pastoral support and acts as a liaison to partner dioceses and provinces to develop new mission opportunities. As a Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) alumnus, Mathews supports this program with a specific focus on YASC placements in Africa.
Mukasa’s office is located at the Anglican Church of Canada offices in Toronto. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Mathews can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Louisiana
Service of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation
18 January 2014
Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
The only international museum devoted to slavery is in Liverpool, England. Long before the Titanic, Liverpool was the site of ship manufacturing and trade in slaves and the products of their labors. By the 1740s it was the leading British slaving port, and remained so until Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807. Liverpool’s merchant ships transported more than a million slaves to the Americas. That museum includes exhibits about the trade between Liverpool and New Orleans – some eleven voyages in the 1840s that returned cotton and other products of slave labor to England. During the Civil War, an entire fleet of blockade runners was built there for the Confederacy. Although most Brits don’t know much about their part in the slave trade, they’re beginning to learn.
The Diocese of Liverpool is part of a threeway “Partnership of Hope,” together with the Diocese of Virginia and the Anglican Church in Ghana. It’s a counterpoint to the triangle trade that sent ships from Liverpool to Africa, loaded them with slaves bound for Virginia, and returned their cotton, sugar, and tobacco products to Liverpool. That diocesan partnership has been working at racial healing, justice, and reconciliation for nearly 15 years.
There are triangles like this all over. The history and people of Haiti and Louisiana are interlinked by the history of slavery on this continent and on the island of Hispaniola. The French colony of Saint-Domingue produced fabulous wealth through the labor of nearly a million slaves imported from Africa. Roughly a third of the Atlantic slave trade in the 1780s supplied that colony with labor for the sugar, indigo, and tobacco industries. The world’s first successful slave revolt, led by Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, resulted in the nation of Haiti. France quickly cut its colonial losses in this hemisphere by selling the Louisiana territory to the United States. Louisiana’s Creole culture has a good deal of Haitian blood and influence, as a result of migration after the Haitian revolution. And in spite of the deep desire to distinguish Louisiana Creole from Haitian Creole, they have common roots – ils sont tous Créoles, et ici vous n’êtes pas des gens oubliés. [they are all Creole, and the Creoles here are not a ‘forgotten people.’]
Two centuries later Haiti’s poverty and governmental dysfunction have much to do with the heavy reparations paid to France after independence – reputedly for the loss of planters’ property during the revolution. This nation, Haiti, and France continue to be interlinked by the history of slavery and the slave trade. Most Americans are unaware of the reality that many Haitians, descendants of slaves, fought in the American Revolution to help liberate others living under colonial oppression.
One more chain of connection. In 1939 the ship St. Louis, with more than 900 German Jewish refugee passengers, first tried to land its human cargo in Cuba, then in the United States and in Canada. It was turned away from all shores, although some 22 non-Jewish passengers were permitted to disembark in Havana. The vessel returned to Europe, and the passengers went to Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK. Some 250 died in Auschwitz and Sobibor, worked to death as slaves or executed as subhuman.
Those chains connect us all: West Africa, Haiti and Havana, North America, England and Europe – we are all connected, and have been for centuries.
The human urge to expel, enslave, and exterminate the other is as old as Cain and Abel, as old as Canaanite and Israelite, as old as Joseph and his brothers. We are all connected by that sin – and we are all connected by our common yearning to live free.
When Joseph’s brothers come looking for help, he notes that in spite of their evil intentions toward him, God has used their actions for good. It is hard to claim that about the aftermath of slavery, yet we must note that whenever individuals on opposite sides of the dividing wall between slave and master began to see the other as human being, created in the image of God, the seeds of justice were planted. That recognition led some to work for an end to the evil institution, some to ask questions about its morality and relation to biblical values, and some to think about the responsibilities of all human beings who want to love God and neighbor. That awareness is the beginning of a plea to create a new heart in me, to have mercy on me, as one who can’t ever live completely clean and sinless. The very ability to ask why things are the way they are is the beginning of justice. The arc of the moral universe may be long, but that is the direction it bends, even when the bending seems frozen in time.
The anniversaries we’re noting – Civil War, Civil Rights Act, Thirteenth Amendment – remind us that the arc toward justice continues to bend. Each act of remembrance raises awareness of human dignity all around us. It shouldn’t take a number on the calendar to prod us, but God will nevertheless use the opportunity. The images are increasingly before us: the White House butler who served eight presidents, each of whom largely missed the race issue right in front of him; today’s slaves in brothels and mines and factories; the man abducted from a supposedly free Northern state into twelve years of slavery in the American South; the wretched – and widening – income inequality in this nation. Like the situation in Haiti, much of our growing poverty is the result of slavery and its distortions of human relationships. When some human beings are seen as having less value, it leads to the degradation of others. The end result is the dehumanization of all, everywhere on the socio-economic-ethnic spectrum.
We are all connected – by sin, by justice, and by the hope we hold for a healed and reconciled world.
The particular challenge of Episcopalians here and across the Church is to acknowledge our complicity in the institution of slavery – that the Church here in Louisiana began and continued as a wealthy, white proclaimer of a gospel of obedience and loyalty to a system of domination. Lay leaders and clergy here participated energetically – as slaveowners and planters, and as militant and military defenders of oppression. One of my predecessors, Philander Chase, was the first priest here, and acted as chaplain to the system here and later served as the sixth presiding bishop of this church. My husband and daughter are his blood relatives. Leonidas Polk was bishop here and a general in the army that sought to uphold this system. I do believe he’s the only bishop ever sent to meet Jesus by cannonball.
Yet we continue to be a people of hope – that bond we have as beloved children of God is deeper and more powerful than death. When Joseph claims that God has made him a father to Pharaoh, he is naming that reality. We know the same reality, as Martin Luther King became redeeming father to “the man,” and Nelson Mandela to his captors. The underdog can always choose how to engage the threat – it may not remove it, but ultimately our hope says it can change the interaction and the system.
The fellows sentenced to die alongside Jesus engage him in ways that are evident all around us – one tries to peg himself a bit higher by dissing Jesus and the other one tries to reach across the breach between them. Which face do we show when we meet the dividing wall – the face of hauteur or of humility? Do we play alpha dog or underdog? A demonstration of vulnerability – the humility of connection – can dissipate the threat, and even the other’s violent need to be top dog. Americans began to demand change when they saw the dogs and firehouses of Birmingham.
Those violent encounters and dividing walls are everywhere – and they’re physical and psychological and spiritual: the Korean peninsula, Central Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Congress, on school boards and in vestry meetings. Creative engagement comes in deciding to see the reflection of friend Jesus in the other, and act on that awareness.
That’s what John Newton saw as amazing grace. That’s what Toussaint Louverture insisted about himself and the slaves and former slaves around him. Are we willing to look for our common humanity in someone labeled other, “not me,” or “not my kind”?
That is fundamentally the kind of turning around we call repentance. Continuing to hold the other and myself in the same mirror is the beginning of reconciliation. Building societies and systems that prevent and remove hierarchies of value in regard to persons is the work of justice.
We claim that in baptism there is neither Jew nor Greek, black nor white, slave nor free, for we are one in Christ. Whenever that vision prevails, Jesus’ words to his vulnerable neighbor are confirmed: today you will be with me in paradise. Here, today we are in paradise. May it grow and expand and take root everywhere – we are its messengers, together with everyone to whom we are willing to be related and connected.
Go from here with the balm of Gilead – the healing that comes of truth-telling and true-seeing and right-acting. Gilead means “the hill of testimony,” and its roots mean “joy forever.” Go tell it on the mountain, that we are all sisters and brothers, beloved children of God, and that our own healing depends on the healing of all. Today we are in paradise – may it be joy forever! Let justice roll down like waters and an everflowing stream. Around here, I think Jesus would say, Laissez les bon temps rouler!
 The lessons for this service were Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 51:1-13; Hebrews 4:12-16; Luke 23:32-43
 Required for secondary students since 2008 http://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/aug/26/slavery.schools
 The Butler
 Twelve Years a Slave
 Gil = joy (or a round stone); ad = eternal
The Rev. Robert Shearer will retire as priest-in-charge of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Englewood, New Jersey, on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Shearer came to St. Paul’s in the summer of 2009. During his time at St. Paul’s, the church has seen growth in membership and in outreach programs. St. Paul’s has expanded its outreach to the community through the founding of a new choir school as well as other feeding programs, including a Thanksgiving Dinner for the entire community. In addition, the church will soon be on the register of historic places just in time for its 150th anniversary in 2015.
Shearer was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1960. After graduation from General Seminary in New York and ordination in Dallas, he served in a variety of positions in the Episcopal Church: rector, interim rector, assistant rector, curate, seminary teaching fellow. He’s also explored the business world as a consultant, reorganizing a diocesan staff, revitalizing a statewide annual fund appeal for social services. He has served as interim rector at a number of New Jersey parishes, including Christ Church in New Brunswick and St Peter’s in Morristown.
[IASCUFO] The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity provides a wonderful starting point for renewing ecumenical discussion about what it means to be part of the Church of God today.
Last year, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches published The Church: Towards a Common Vision. This convergence text, the product of 20 years of careful study and dialogue among representatives of the vast majority of the world’s churches, has now been offered to member churches of the WCC for study and comment.
ACC-15 commended The Church: Towards a Common Vision to the churches of the Anglican Communion, including those that are not members of the WCC, for study.
The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO) has now produced a short study guide to the text. It hopes that this will help stimulate discussion about The Church (the text) – and about the Church (as we seek to follow Christ together) – among Anglicans and between Anglicans and their ecumenical partners.
The text of the study guide is available here as a pdf. It is designed to be printed on A4 paper and folded to make an A5 booklet.
The text of The Church: Towards a Common Vision can be downloaded from the website of the WCC here.
[Episcopal News Service] Para los misioneros del Cuerpo de Servicio de Jóvenes Adultos (YASC, por su sigla en inglés) de la Iglesia Episcopal que sirven a través de la Comunión Anglicana, la ayuda es simplemente una llamada telefónica, un mensaje electrónico, un mensaje de texto o una conferencia a través de Skype.
“Hacemos grandes esfuerzos para estar localizables y disponibles las 24 horas de los 7 días de la semana para todos nuestros misioneros”, dijo el Rdo. David Copley, funcionario encargado del personal de la misión y de asociaciones globales.
En fecha más reciente, el 20 de diciembre, a raíz de que estallara la violencia en Sudán del Sur, Copley ayudó a la evacuación de Ed Eastman y Noah Hillerbrand, dos misioneros que estaban prestando servicios en la Diócesis de Renk, en la Iglesia Episcopal del Sudán y de Sudán del Sur.
“Luego de que comenzó el conflicto se decidió que debíamos evacuar inmediatamente, ya que el único vuelo disponible de Medair era al día siguiente, y luego no había más vuelos”, dijo Eastman en un correo electrónico a ENS desde Tanzania. “David Copley se puso en contacto conmigo por teléfono y me informó de esto. Eran las 11 P.M. de su hora y él estaba tomando todas las disposiciones desde su casa debido a la urgencia de la situación [gracias, David]”.
El conflicto estalló en Juba, la capital de la nación, el 15 de diciembre, luego de una disputa política. Renk se encuentra en el nordeste de Sudán del Sur, en el estado del Alto Nilo, cerca de la frontera con Sudán, y aunque se mantuvo tranquilo en los primeros días y semanas de la ola de violencia, el conflicto ya se ha extendido a la región del Alto Nilo.
La embajada de EE.UU. en Sudán del Sur comenzó a evacuar al personal en diciembre y posteriormente lo redujo a principios de enero, cuando también instó a todos los ciudadanos estadounidenses a abandonar el país.
El Departamento de Misión de la Iglesia Episcopal no dirige una organización de ayuda de emergencia y desarrollo y no envía misioneros a zonas de guerra. Dicho eso, ha habido casos en que los misioneros han sido evacuados de países luego de desastres naturales o de otro tipo, agitaciones políticas y conflictos armados.
“No enviamos personas a zonas inseguras, normalmente, pero la realidad es que uno no puede garantizar ningún lugar como perfectamente seguro”, dijo Copley.
Luego del devastador terremoto de magnitud 7 del 12 de enero de 2010, cuyo epicentro estaba a 16 kilómetros de Puerto Príncipe [la capital de] Haití, los misioneros Mallory Holding y Jude Harmon, del Cuerpo de Servicio de Jóvenes Adultos, abandonaron el país. Steven Hart, misionero del YASC, prestaba servicio en el Instituto Rural Asiático en 2011 después del desastre nuclear de Fukushima.
Cuando estallaron las protestas en la plaza de Tahrir durante la revolución egipcia de 2011 contra el ex presidente Hosni Mubarak, el Rdo. Paul Gorden-Chandler, misionero, fungía como rector en la iglesia de San Juan el Bautista en El Cairo.
La Iglesia Episcopal tiene 60 misioneros adultos y del Cuerpo de Servicio de Jóvenes Adultos que prestan servicio en más de 20 países a través de la Comunión Anglicana, desde Haití hasta Brasil, pasando por Hong Kong, Sudáfrica y las Filipinas, en naciones en desarrollo y desarrolladas.
Además de atención pastoral, evaluaciones regulares, apoyo logístico y de otra clase que brinda el Departamento de Misión, los misioneros tienen cobertura de salud y seguro de evacuación.
Los misioneros, ordenados y laicos, algunos de ellos profesionales con años de experiencia y otros recién graduados universitarios, desempeñan una variedad de papeles, tales como sacerdotes, maestros, médicos, enfermeras, diseñadores de comunicaciones electrónicas, administradores, contadores, granjeros, soldadores y músicos.
Algunas veces habrá quien diga, “no puedo ser misionero porque no soy médico”, dijo Copley, encargado del personal de la misión y de asociaciones globales, añadiendo que parte de su trabajo es facilitar el discernimiento. “Todo el mundo tiene dones.
“A veces se trata tan sólo de convencer a alguien de que un ministerio de presencia es tan importante como un talento técnico”.
Servir como misionero adulto o joven adulto de la Iglesia Episcopal sirve no sólo para robustecer los ministerios y programas locales, sino también para conectar a los episcopales con los 85 millones de miembros de la Comunión Anglicana esparcidos por el mundo, para reforzar los vínculos comunes. La Iglesia envía misioneros para servir y ayudar en programas que responden a las prioridades estratégicas de una provincia o una diócesis, y para fortalecer las relaciones de compañerismo, nuevas o ya existentes.
Por ejemplo, el difunto Michael Tedrick, misionero de la Diócesis de California, sirvió en la Diócesis Anglicana de Curitiba, en Brasil, facilitando la relación de compañerismo entre las diócesis, añadió Elizabeth Boe, funcionaria de la Iglesia para la red global.
Antes de situar a un misionero, el personal del Departamento de Misión de la Iglesia lleva a cabo una amplia evaluación del lugar, incluida la seguridad y protección; la existencia de instalaciones adecuadas y de una labor con sentido; y, especialmente en el caso de jóvenes adultos, [comprueba] la presencia de un mentor, dijo Copley.
La Iglesia Episcopal puede enviar misioneros “prácticamente a cualquier parte; dicho eso, elegimos sitios donde contamos con una estrategia de salida”, afirmó Copley, añadiendo que incluso aunque los grupos de misión visitan regularmente la República del Congo, no es en la actualidad un país al que la Iglesia enviaría misioneros.
La Diócesis de Renk, dada su situación aislada, no es un sitio donde la Iglesia suele enviar misioneros tampoco, agregó Copley, pero Eastman y Hillerbrand habían planeado ir allí de todos modos, de manera que el Departamento de Misión “adoptó” los misioneros.
Eastman, miembro de la iglesia de Sagrada Familia [Church of the Holy Family] en Chapel Hill, Carolina del Norte, llegó a Renk el 10 de diciembre y se proponía comenzar la construcción de una cerca para una granja de 10 hectáreas perteneciente a la diócesis, que es parte de la Iglesia Episcopal del Sudán y Sudán del Sur.
“Los materiales se compraron en Juba y se pusieron en una barcaza para Renk justo antes de que estallara el conflicto”, explicó Eastman, añadiendo que la granja es de vital importancia para proporcionar alimentos para los estudiantes y el personal del Colegio Teológico de Renk, así como ingresos para la diócesis.
“Esperábamos que el conflicto se controlara y que pudiéramos regresar, pero en lugar de eso se ha tornado mucho, mucho peor”, dijo Eastman, que planeaba regresar a Estados Unidos esta semana. “El obispo Joseph [Atem] me ha invitado a que regrese a Sudán del Sur cuando se alcance la paz. Esto puede que no sea en el futuro próximo”.
– Lynette Wilson es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerr
[Diocese of Bethlehem press release] The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, a group of elected clergy and lay leaders, announced today that the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, is the nominee for provisional bishop of Bethlehem. The convention at which the diocese’s clergy and lay representatives will vote on Bishop Rowe’s nomination is set for March 1.
The Diocese of Bethlehem comprises fourteen counties in northeastern Pennsylvania, including the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Hazleton, Reading, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre.
Rowe would continue as bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania under the proposed arrangement, which would continue for three years. “The Standing Committee chose Bishop Sean as our nominee for provisional bishop because of his stable, forward-thinking leadership in Northwestern Pennsylvania,” said the Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns, president of the Standing Committee in Bethlehem and rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton. “He has a strong track record of building relationships with clergy and lay leaders and proven skill at resolving conflict directly and effectively. We’re pleased that the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania has so readily agreed to undertake this innovative arrangement with us.”
“I am honored to be nominated as provisional bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem,” said Rowe. “Across the Episcopal Church, dioceses are seeking innovative ways to pursue 21st century mission and ministry. I am pleased to have this opportunity to help transform the church by fostering collaboration and developing new models for mission that will strengthen the witness of the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the work of God’s people in our communities.”
The Diocese of Bethlehem’s previous bishop, the Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall, retired on December 31 after a terminal sabbatical. On January 1, the Standing Committee announced its plan to call a provisional bishop for a three-year term. “We believe that calling a provisional bishop is the best way for the Diocese of Bethlehem to undertake a healthy, productive period of reflection and discernment about the mission to which God is calling us,” said Gerns. “We’re delighted that Bishop Sean’s skills and proximity make this new arrangement possible.”
If elected, Rowe will take up his new duties immediately and by August 2014 spend half of his time in each diocese. He, his wife, Carly, and their one-year-old daughter, Lauren, will have a home in both suburban Erie and in Bethlehem.
Rowe was ordained bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania, which comprises thirty-three congregations in thirteen counties, in 2007. He is known for developing transformational leadership and is a Ph.D. candidate in organizational learning and leadership at Gannon University. He is a 2000 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and a 1997 graduate of Grove City College. He serves as parliamentarian for the House of Bishops, chair of the Episcopal Church Building Fund, and member of the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, the Council of Advice to the President of the House of Deputies and the General Board of Examining Chaplains.
The March 1 electing convention will take place at 10 am at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, 321 Wyandotte Street in Bethlehem. Clergy of the diocese and lay leaders from each congregation will vote on the nomination of Rowe as provisional bishop.
La Iglesia le envía un memorando al presidente y al Congreso de EE.UU. sobre la crisis de Sudán del Sur
[Episcopal News Service] Un memorando enviado el 10 de enero por la Oficina de Relaciones Gubernamentales de la Iglesia Episcopal con sede en Washington, D.C. al gobierno de Obama y a los miembros del Congreso de EE.UU. resume la crisis actual de Sudán del Sur y hace recomendaciones en las que instan al gobierno y a la comunidad internacional a asociarse con los líderes cívicos y religiosos de Sudán del Sur para frenar la oleada de violencia y construir la paz.
El memorando de seis páginas, basado en los relatos de primera mano de líderes de la Iglesia sobre el terreno en Sudán del Sur y sus asociados episcopales y anglicanos en todo el mundo, expresan la interpretación que hace la Iglesia de la crisis actual que ha envuelto a la nación más joven del mundo. El memorando aborda específicamente cuatro áreas: representación pública del conflicto y responsabilidad; asistencia exterior; protección de los derechos humanos y prevención de atrocidades masivas; y construcción de un futuro de paz.
“Los episcopales en Estados Unidos y en todo el mundo han mantenido largas y estrechas relaciones con los episcopales de Sudán del Sur”, dijo Alexander Baumgarten, director de relaciones internacionales de la Iglesia Episcopal. “Como resultado, tenemos una responsabilidad de compartir las singulares y apremiantes perspectivas de los asociados en Sudán del Sur que desempeñan un papel de pacificadores en medio de [un clima de] agitación y violencia extraordinarias”.
Entre otras cosas, advierte el memorando “si bien las tensiones étnicas son reales y reflejan los frutos de décadas de agitación y conflicto, no son la fuerza motriz fundamental de la violencia actual” y afirma que la representación que hacen los medios de prensa y, en cierta medida, el gobierno de EE.UU., de la violencia un [conflicto] entre grupos tribales y étnicos es “engañoso” “simplista” y “podía acarrear funestas consecuencias”.
Advierte también que la nación centroafricana podría estar al borde de la guerra civil, y que EE.UU. y los demás [actores internacionales] tienen la responsabilidad de prevenir las atrocidades masivas y las violaciones de los derechos humanos. Haga un clic aquí para leer el texto completo del memorando al Presidente y al Congreso.
Se calcula que la cifra de muertes había llegado a 10.000 personas para el 9 de enero. Unas 200.000 personas se han visto desplazadas internamente dentro de Sudán del Sur y decenas de miles de refugiados han cruzados las fronteras hacia los países vecinos.
El conflicto estalló en Juba, la capital de la nación, el pasado 15 de diciembre, luego de una disputa política entre el presidente Salva Kiir y su ex vice, Riek Machar. En las semanas transcurridas desde entonces, este conflicto se ha extendido a siete estados y ha creado una crisis humanitaria en la novísima nación.
“Nuestros informes más recientes indican que la violencia sigue extendiéndose y que la urgente necesidad de alimentos, medicinas y albergue podría continuar durante meses. La situación refleja la pavorosa época anterior al Acuerdo Global de Paz del Sudán en 2005, en la cual una guerra civil interminable costó la vida de millones de personas y desarraigó a millones más de sus hogares”, dice la introducción del memorando.
Baumgarten hizo notar que los episcopales y anglicanos de todo el mundo con lazos misioneros con Sudán y Sudán del Sur han estado celebrando llamadas de conferencias en las semanas transcurridas desde que estalló la violencia a mediados de diciembre, y que el personal de su oficina ha estado compartiendo información vital, en la medida en que la reciben, con funcionarios del gobierno de EE.UU. que están coordinando la respuesta humanitaria y pacificadora.
“Este es un ejemplo de un área en la cual el activismo de los episcopales puede significar un diferencia sustancial”, dijo Baumgarten. “No hay ninguna institución cívica en Sudán del Sur con una impronta mayor que la Iglesia, y nuestra experiencia es que los funcionarios del gobierno en Estados Unidos y en cualquier parte están bastante dispuestos a escuchar a los asociados de la Iglesia en el terreno.
La Iglesia Episcopal de Sudán del Sur y el Sudán, con 2 millones de miembros, tiene 31 diócesis, 26 de ellas en Sudán del Sur, donde es una de las organizaciones no gubernamentales más grande de la nación y donde ha desempeñado un papel en la reconciliación luego de la guerra civil de dos décadas que se libró en gran medida entre el norte árabe y musulmán y los rebeldes del sur animista y cristiano, conflicto que dejó 2 millones de muertos y, según algunos cálculos, 7 millones de desplazados. Sudán del Sur obtuvo su independencia del norte el 9 de julio de 2011.
Las partes beligerantes del Sudán firmaron el Acuerdo Global de Paz en 2005.
El memorando señala que “Los líderes del nuevo Estado no emprendieron vigorosamente la tarea de abordar los desafíos [que conlleva] desarrollar una nación unificada y sanar las pasadas divisiones”… Y esa unificación y esa restauración son centrales a los empeños de pacificación.
(En mayo de 2013, el presidente de Sudán del Sur nombró al arzobispo Daniel Deng Bul para presidir el comité de reconciliación nacional, el cual planeó una campaña nacional de cuatro o cinco años que tenía por objeto alcanzar y fomentar la paz y la reconciliación).
El memorando encomia al gobierno de Obama por su promesa del 3 de diciembre de [contribuir] con $50 millones adicionales de ayuda humanitaria, pero insta a hacer un “examen” de su estrategia de ayuda y de la del Congreso. El 9 de enero, los informes noticiosos sugerían que Sudán del Sur corría el riesgo de perder cientos de millones de dólares en ayuda de EE.UU. si el gobierno y las fuerzas rebeldes no le ponían fin a la violencia.
Entre tanto, episcopales y anglicanos a través de la Comunión Anglicana, incluidos Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopales y el Fondo de Ayuda y Desarrollo Mundial de los Primados, en colaboración con asociados locales en Sudán del Sur, han comenzado a responder a la crisis.
“La Iglesia Episcopal, junto con sus asociados episcopales y anglicanos del mundo, ha organizado su propia respuesta de sostén económico, acompañamiento material y oración por el pueblo de Sudán del Sur. Creemos firmemente que la Iglesia Episcopal de Sudán del Sur y otros grupos religiosos allí se cuentan entre los actores potenciales más fructíferos en conducir y facilitar la paz, la asistencia humanitaria y la recuperación”, dice el memorando.
El permanente apoyo de la Iglesia Episcopal al Sudán se manifiesta a través de sus asociaciones y de sus relaciones de diócesis compañeras, de los programas sostenidos por Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopales y de la labor de promoción de la Oficina de Relaciones Gubernamentales, la cual se afinca en las resoluciones de la Convención General.
Dos misioneros de la Iglesia Episcopal que estuvieron sirviendo en Sudán del Sur, Ed Eastman y Noah Hillerbrand, dedicados a la tarea de seguridad de alimentos, fueron evacuados de Renk a Nairobi, Kenia, el 20 de diciembre.
- Lynette Wilson es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.
[Diocese of Atlanta] Atlanta’s Bishop Rob Wright took a page out of history Wednesday and spent Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday with city sanitation workers.
“Dr. King spent his last hours on earth advocating for garbage workers, and it only seems right that I mark his birthday by spending it with those in similar circumstances,” Bishop Wright said at the 7 a.m. roll call.
After speaking to and praying with workers, Wright joined a sanitation truck crew for several hours on busy downtown streets. He emptied garbage cans, rode on the bumper of a truck as it went between stops, and learned how to work the truck’s compactor.
Wright is marking his tenure with events on the streets working with the poor and forgotten. Prior to his bishop ordination and consecration in October 2012 he washed and massaged people’s feet at the foot-health clinic operated by the diocese’s ministry to Atlanta’s homeless.
Wright’s commitment to engage with people about their everyday needs can be traced back to years he spent as a Howard University student working for the Children’s Defense Fund and the city of Washington, D.C.’s community centers.
“Church and religion aren’t just a Sunday thing; Jesus lived and worked every day among people whose lives were hard and who needed the presence of someone who cared about them,” Wright said at the workers’ pre-dawn gathering where three sanitation workers shared their life stories.
One of them, E. Nelson Williams, talked about an exhibit he developed and titled “Image Is” on the contributions of black Americans. Williams called on his colleagues to identify their own black heroes as a way of honoring Dr. King.
“The continued advancement of humanity is inevitably linked to our predecessors, who by example serve as inspirational reminders to persevere … for a brighter future,” Williams said.
Last fall Wright announced a plan increasing community-based ministries and refocusing the diocese’s permanent diaconate on the needs of the poor and other people living on the margins of society.
“The work of a deacon on behalf of the church in the world is too important to conflate with other tasks,” he said. “There is a ‘harvest’ in the world, Jesus has said. The permanent diaconate, for our church, is the eyewitness and herald of this harvest.”
Currently the diocese, which consists of 109 worshiping communities in middle and north Georgia, supports ministries providing health care, food, workplace training and assistance to those dealing with abuse and mental illness.
– Don Plummer is communications consultant for the Diocese of Atlanta and is a member of St. Teresa’s Episcopal Church, Acworth, Georgia.
[Episcopal News Service] For Episcopal Church adult and Young Adult Service Corps missionaries serving throughout the Anglican Communion, help is simply a phone call, an e-mail, text message or Skype conference away.
“We do make great efforts to be on call and available 24/7 for all our missionaries,” said the Rev. David Copley, mission personnel and global partnerships officer.
Most recently, on Dec. 20 in the wake of the outbreak of violence in South Sudan, Copley assisted in the evacuation of Ed Eastman and Noah Hillerbrand, two missionaries who were serving in the Diocese of Renk in the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan.
“After the fighting started it was decided we needed to evacuate immediately, as the one available Medair flight was only available the next day, then no more flights,” said Eastman in an e-mail to ENS from Tanzania. “David Copley got in touch with me by phone and informed me of this. It was 11 p.m. his time and he was making the arrangements from his home because of the emergency situation [thank you, David].”
Fighting erupted in Juba, the nation’s capital, on Dec. 15 following a political dispute. Renk is in northeastern South Sudan in Upper Nile State near the border of Sudan, and though it remained quiet in the first days and weeks of violence, the fighting has spread to the upper Nile region.
The U.S. Embassy in South Sudan began evacuating staff in December and further reduced its staff in early January, when it also urged all U.S. citizens to leave the country.
The Episcopal Church’s Mission Department doesn’t operate an emergency relief and development organization and doesn’t send missionaries to active war zones. That said, there have been cases where missionaries have been evacuated from countries following natural and other disasters, political and social unrest and armed conflict.
“We don’t sent people into insecure areas, normally, but the reality is you can’t guarantee any place as perfectly safe,” Copley said.
Following the Jan. 12, 2010, devastating magnitude-7 earthquake whose epicenter was 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Young Adult Service Corps missionaries Mallory Holding and Jude Harmon, left the country. Steven Hart, a YASC missionary serving at the Asian Rural Institute in 2011 after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
When protests erupted in Tahrir Square during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution against former President Hosni Mubarak, the Rev. Paul Gorden-Chandler, a missionary, was serving as rector of St. John the Baptist Church in Cairo.
The Episcopal Church has 60 adult and Young Adult Service Corps missionaries serving in more than 20 countries throughout the Anglican Communion, from Haiti to Brazil to Hong Kong to South Africa to the Philippines, in developing and developed nations.
In addition to pastoral care, regular check-ins, logistical and other support provided by the Mission Department, missionaries receive health coverage and evacuation insurance.
Missionaries, ordained and lay, some professionals with years of experience, and others having recently graduated college, serve in a variety of roles, priests, teachers, doctors, nurses, web designers, administrators, accountants, farmers, welders, musicians.
Often times, people will say “I can’t be a missionary because I’m not a doctor,” said Copley, officer for mission personnel and global partnerships, adding that part of his job is to facilitate discernment. “Everyone has gifts.
“Sometimes is just convincing people that a ministry of presence is as important as a technical skill.”
Serving as an adult or Young Adult Missionary of the Episcopal Church serves not only to strengthen local ministries and programs, but also connects Episcopalians to the large, 85 million-member Anglican Communion, reinforcing common bonds. The church sends missionaries to serve and assist in programs that fit with the strategic priorities of a province or diocese, and those that strengthen new or existing companion relationships.
For instance, the late Michael Tedrick, a missionary from the Diocese of California, served in the Anglican Diocese of Curitiba in Brazil facilitating the companion diocese relationship, added Elizabeth Boe, the church’s officer for global networking.
Before deploying a missionary, the church’s Mission Department staff conducts a broad assessment of the placement, including safety and security; the availability of adequate accommodations; the existence of meaningful work; and especially in the case of young adults, the presence of a mentor, said Copley.
The Episcopal Church can send missionaries, “just about anywhere, that said, we do look at places where we have an exit strategy,” said Copley, adding that even though mission groups regularly visit the Republic of the Congo, it’s not currently a country to which the church would send missionaries.
The Diocese of Renk, given its isolated location, isn’t a spot where the church typically sends missionaries either, said Copley, but Eastman and Hillerbrand both had planned to go anyway so the Mission Department “adopted” the missionaries.
Eastman, a member of Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, arrived in Renk on Dec. 10 and planned to begin spearheading construction of a fence on a 25-acre farm belonging to the diocese, which is part of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan.
“The materials were purchased in Juba and put on a barge to Renk just before the fighting erupted,” said Eastman, adding that the farm is critical in providing food for students and staff of Renk Theological College and income for the diocese.
“We were hoping the fighting would get under control and we could go back, instead it has gotten much, much worse,” said Eastman, who’d planned to return to the U.S. this week. “I have been invited back to South Sudan by Bishop Joseph [Atem] when peace occurs. This may not be in the near future.”
– Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service.
[The Society of Saint John the Evangelist press release] For Lent 2014 the Brothers of The Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) have developed an easy-to-use video series and accompanying workbook “Love Life: Living the Gospel of Love.” The daily series runs from Ash Wednesday, March 5th, to Palm Sunday. Subscribers will be emailed each morning with a mobile-friendly video and evocative question. The daily email subscription is free, as are all the supporting materials which are available to download for free. A printed version can be purchased through www.SSJE.org/lovelife.
“Love Life: Living the Gospel of Love” is an offering from the Brothers of SSJE that delves deeply into the gospel that shapes their community life. The Brothers believe that spending time praying and pondering with the Gospel of John can help us all to live more abundantly: the life of love to which we are called. John’s message of love can unlock our own hearts and transform the communities where we belong.
This series is designed so that everyone in a community can participate. Churches can offer “Love Life” for groups that meet in person and for people who prefer to access the series electronically, via a smart phone or computer.
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the Anglican Church of Canada will be featuring Love Life during Lent. “When I learned about “Love Life,” it was a natural decision to coordinate our Lenten issue of the diocesan magazine, Diolog, with a similar focus. We are promoting the 5-week program and videos to our membership and churches as well. Our Christian Formation team is also very excited about the program, which can be very personal or approached from a group standpoint. I have found that collaboration with SSJE allows us to expand what my small staff can provide with quality programming while modeling what being part of a broader Church is all about,” said Carol E. Barnwell, Communication Director of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas
The series begins on March 5th with three short videos introducing John as the Gospel of Love and explaining their intentions and hopes for the series. After the introductory videos, the series explores five themes, which the Brothers find in John’s Gospel and in their lives: Revelation, Invitation, Participation, Collaboration and Vocation. Each Sunday there will be a video reflecting on the theme for that week, which will then be explored in five short daily videos (M-F) and in the worksheet that accompanies them. Each video ends with a thought-provoking question to be pondered over the course of the day, then answered on the worksheet or at www.SSJE.org/lovelife. On Saturday there will be a catch-up video with that week’s videos replayed together.
Noruega ha prohibido a Arabia Saudita financiar mezquitas mientras no permitan construir iglesias en su país. Jonas Gahr Stor, ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, ha dicho que se rechazarán las donaciones millonarias de Arabia Saudita y varios empresarios musulmanes para financiar la construcción de mezquitas en Noruega. Añadió que “sería ridículo aceptar las fuentes de financiación de un país donde no hay libertad religiosa”.
En Argentina han conmemorado el Día de las Mujeres Migrantes en memoria de Marcelina Meneses, una mujer indígena que fue arrojada de un tren en movimiento “por ser boliviana” el 10 de enero de 2001. Hasta el momento sus asesinos viven en la impunidad. Pero hay casos mucho más extremos.
Venezuela vivía una crisis de seguridad en la década de los 90s que se ha incrementado desde 1998. El gobierno afirma que sólo hay 39 muertes por cada 100 mil habitantes mientras el Observatorio de Violencia, una entidad privada, dice que son 79 los homicidios. De cualquier modo se habla de 11 mil a 25 mil venezolanos muertos por la violencia cada año. Las recientes muertes de Mónica Spear y su esposo Henry Berry han llenado de luto a la sociedad venezolana. ¿Hasta cuándo, Señor?
Tres cosas le han sucedido a la Iglesia Episcopal del Espíritu Santo en Miami que los llena de alegría. Primero su sacerdote encargado, Rafael García, ha sido instalado como rector de la congregación cargo que le otorga más poder y responsabilidades; segundo Salvador Arce, un joven cubano graduado de una escuela de canto coral en La Habana ha fijado residencia en Miami y ha comenzado a ensayar con el coro actual de la iglesia; y tercero la celebración de los primeros 100 años de vida de Ángeles (“Angelita”) Rial que ha dedicado su vida a servir en la iglesia. Nacida en Guantánamo, canta en el coro y está dispuesta a realizar cualquier tarea. No usa bastón, nunca se ha enfermado y cuando se le preguntó si se había casado dijo con una sonrisa: “Tuve mis pretendientes pero ninguno valía la pena”. La fiesta terminó con un espléndido almuerzo a los acordes de música de mariachis.
En Moscú se ha revelado que Mijail Kalashnikov, inventor del fusil AK47 y fallecido recientemente, había escrito a Cirilo, patriarca de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa confesándole que “el dolor en mi alma es insoportable por las muertes causadas por mi invención”. Añadió que el fusil fue inventado para defender a la Patria pero se ha usado con fines perversos.
“¡Dichosa prensa!” Dijo el presidente de Francia, François Hollande por haber revelado sus amoríos con Valerie Trierweiler, una bella actriz francesa que trabaja en la oficina del presidente. Después de este gran cintillo periodístico la prensa de París no hace otra cosa que hablar del tema. Muchos opinan que Hollande tendrá que rendir cuentas ante las autoridades judiciales.
En Chile las críticas han llovido desde que se supo que Ricardo Ezzati, arzobispo de Santiago, es uno de los 19 cardenales recientemente nombrados por el papa Francisco. Víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes acusan al arzobispo de encubridor. Un caso en cuestión es el de Fernando Karadima, pastor de una importante iglesia en Santiago. Los países latinoamericanos que tienen nuevos cardenales son Chile, Brasil, Haití y Nicaragua.
En una sorprendente decisión el gobierno de Cuba ha permitido que 15 jóvenes cubanos activistas o hijos de disidentes puedan gozar de becas otorgadas por Miami Dade College en la ciudad que tiene mayor número de exilados. Los nuevos estudiantes tomarán clases de inglés, computación, administración de negocios y estudios sociales por seis meses antes de regresar a Cuba. La prensa radial y escrita ha dado la bienvenida a los “novatos cubanos”.
DUDOSA DEFINICIÓN: Proclamo en voz alta la libertad de pensamiento y muera el que no piense como yo. Voltaire (1694-1778) Filósofo y escritor francés.
[Diocese of Massachusetts press release] The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts announced Jan. 15 its slate of nominees for election as bishop. They are:
- The Rev. Holly Antolini, 61, rector, St. James’s Church, Cambridge, Mass.;
- The Rev. Ronald Culmer, 49, rector, St. Clare’s Church, Pleasanton, Calif.;
- The Rev. Alan Gates, 55, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio;
- The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, 54, rector, St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia, Penn.; and
- The Rev. Sam Rodman, 54, project manager for campaign initiatives, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
More information about each of the nominees is available at http://mabishopsearch.org/candidates_for_bishop.
A petition process for submitting additional names opens with and will close on Jan. 31. Complete information about the petition process and the petition form are available at http://mabishopsearch.org/petition_process.
The slate is the result of a seven-month discernment process conducted by a Discernment Committee comprising lay and clergy members from across the diocese and reporting to the diocesan Standing Committee. With the announcement of the slate, a Transition Committee, also comprising lay and clergy members from across the diocese, implements the next stages of the election process, also reporting to the Standing Committee.
The nominees will participate in a series of open meetings around the diocese March 14-19, giving the people of the diocese an opportunity to meet and learn more about the nominees. Details will be announced.
The election will take place on Saturday, April 5 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. All canonically resident clergy of the diocese and lay delegates (two elected from each of the diocese’s parishes and missions) vote separately as “orders”; a majority of votes on the same ballot from both the clergy and lay orders is required for election.
Pending consent from a majority of the Episcopal Church’s diocesan bishops and a majority of dioceses (via their Standing Committees), the consecration of the bishop-elect is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, with the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding.
The current bishop, the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, became the 15th bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts in January 1995. In preparation for retirement, he plans to resign his office at the time of the new bishop’s consecration in September.
The Diocese of Massachusetts, among the Episcopal Church’s oldest and largest, in terms of baptized membership, comprises 183 parishes, missions, chapels and chaplaincies in eastern Massachusetts.
[Religion News Service -- Canterbury, England] Canterbury Cathedral, mother church of the 85 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, will have its first girls’ choir perform since it was rebuilt nearly 1,000 years ago.
On Jan. 25, worshippers will hear the voices of 16 girls between the ages of 12 and 16 at a historic Evensong service, which will include the music of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Until now, only male voices have been heard at the cathedral’s services.
Twenty years ago, Salisbury Cathedral was the first English cathedral to allow girls to sing in choirs at services. That set the ball rolling. There are now 765 girls in cathedral choirs across England, compared with 1,008 boys.
The cathedral is world-famous for its magnificent boys’ choir, which has made many recordings and toured most of Europe and parts of the Commonwealth.
“I am delighted to hear that the mother church of the Anglican Communion is finally following suit,” said Armstrong.
The formation of the girls’ choir at Canterbury comes as fewer boys show much interest in singing in church choirs.
“What we need is a film that does for choral singing what ‘Billy Elliot’ did for ballet,” wrote Alan Titchmarsh, a former choirboy, in The Daily Telegraph.
Some Church of England traditionalists insist choirs in cathedrals should be all male.
The website of the Campaign for the Traditional Cathedral Choir insists it is not anti-girl but adds “ … cathedrals [that] use girls should take the opportunity of creating their own style. Their own tradition separate from the historic all-male.”
The CTCC was formed in January 1996 in response to the decline of the robed, all-male choir and the declining number of boy choristers nationwide. Its aim is to champion the ancient tradition of the all-male choir.
In medieval days, all-girl choirs flourished in convents. Italian composers Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Claudio Monteverdi wrote for them. But those choirs never sang with men at church services, and CTCC would like to keep it that way.
“At Winchester Cathedral, girls and boys sing together at Easter and Christmas,” said Armstrong. “We haven’t received any complaints yet.”
[Mission to Seafarers] The Mission to Seafarers has announced a ‘Strategic Reorganisation’ which is designed to refocus charitable activity on the global ‘regionalisation’ of maritime welfare service provision for seafarers. It will also realise substantial savings and increased efficiency.
A number of the Mission’s global regions already operate independently, within a context of strong mutual support, common purpose and shared identity. As from April 2014 The Mission to Seafarers in Africa, The Middle East and East Asia will become new regions, and further regionalisation will follow. Changes will also take place in the UK and near-Europe.
The Revd Andrew Wright, the Secretary General, commented: “This process of regionalisation has many benefits; ensuring closer support for local teams, tapping into regional energies, engaging regions more actively in policy-making and encouraging a greater sense of local responsibility in relation both to funding and to service delivery.”
The strategy also gives renewed focus to the Mission’s “Global Review” process which is currently looking carefully at the level of Mission resource allocated to individual ports.
Andrew Wright said: “There have been significant changes in shipping patterns and it is vital that we ensure that Mission activity in ports is in proportion to shipping operations. We are committed to carrying out the necessary analysis and to following through on the implications. The Mission has a commitment to developing chaplaincy teams in new or growing ports, especially where there is evidence that there is no alternative welfare provision. A number of ports are currently under active exploration.”
The new strategy also contains a strong financial element. Executive Director, Martin Sandford said: “Our Trustees felt it was essential to reduce our costs and ensure that we set ourselves on a realistic path to a balanced budget within an acceptable time frame – this strategy will do that.”
Robert Woods, Chairman of the Trustees, said: “The Mission has seen many changes in its 158 year history. We are absolutely confident that the new strategy will take us forward in our ability to deliver a strong, flexible, modern and focused welfare and support service to the seafarers to whom all of us within The Mission to Seafarers remain absolutely dedicated.”
Notes to Editors
The Mission to Seafarers
Founded in 1856, and entirely funded by voluntary donations, today’s Mission to Seafarers is a registered charity that offers emergency assistance, practical support, and a friendly welcome to crews visiting over 260 ports around the world in 71 countries.
Whether caring for victims of piracy or providing a lifeline to those stranded in foreign ports, we are there for the globe’s 1.3 million merchant seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs.
The Mission to Seafarers’ Patron is Her Majesty The Queen and our President is Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
To find out how we help those facing shipwreck, abandonment, loneliness and danger, visit our website: www.missiontoseafarers.org
[Diocese of Fort Worth press release] Five years after reorganizing the diocese in the wake of the departure of the former bishop and other leaders, the people and clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth have a chance to share what they’ve learned with the wider church.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, and the Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, will join in the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the reorganization of the diocese on Feb. 8 at University Christian Church in Fort Worth.
“Reimagining Our Church” will begin at 9:30 am and end with Eucharist at 3 pm. Teens and young adults especially are invited to participate.
Registration is $25.00 and includes lunch. Participants should register by Feb. 3.
On Feb. 7, 2009, the Special Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth began and ended in joyous worship. Delegates, called to order by Jefferts Schori, elected the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick, Jr. to be the provisional bishop, and set to work. More than 450 people were present. Many more watched via live streaming as the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth reorganized and began a new adventure.
In the years since then, the bishops, people, and clergy of the diocese have perforce been experimenting, rebuilding, and reimagining new ways to be church.
On Feb. 8 participants will share the fruit of those five years of experience as they take part in the church-wide Engagement Process of the Task Force to Reimagine The Episcopal Church (TREC). The task force was established by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 2012 and charged with engaging the whole church in discussions about reimagining The Episcopal Church.
Sign in will begin at 9:30 am. Lunch will be from 12-1:30, during which the presiding bishop will meet with diocesan youth. Other participants will be invited to gather at tables with various topics for discussion.
Following lunch, there will be a panel discussion aimed at connecting the reimagining ideas from the morning session with the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
The gathering will close with Eucharist at 3 pm. The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., bishop of Fort Worth, will celebrate and the presiding bishop will preach.
On Feb. 9, Jefferts Schori will celebrate and preach at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church and Jennings will celebrate and preach at St. Luke’s in the Meadow Episcopal Church.
Christ the King Anglican/Episcopal Church of Frankfurt announces the arrival of Fr. John Perris as its new rector. Fr. Perris will celebrate his first service of Holy Eucharist at Christ the King on February 2 at its regular Sunday service at 11am. All are welcome.
Christ the King Anglican/Episcopal Church has served the needs of English-speaking Christians in Frankfurt since 1957. It belongs to the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. Currently CtK has about 150 regular parishioners who attend Sunday services.
[Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury affirmed his commitment to the reconciliation of Eastern and Western churches during a meeting with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew yesterday.
The Most Revd Justin Welby was meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew during a two-day visit to Istanbul.
During their meeting Archbishop Justin said that Patriarch Bartholomew had been “an example of peace and reconciliation, politically, with the natural world, and in your historic visit to the installation of His Holiness Pope Francis I.
“Such reconciliation [is] very dear to my heart and is one of my key priorities. It is the call of Christ that all may be one so that the world may see. I will therefore be taking back with me the warmth of your hospitality and also, after our discussions today and tomorrow, a renewed and refreshed focus for greater unity and closer fellowship. We want to carry the cross of our divisions, but be filled with the hope and joy that comes from the grace and the love of Jesus.”
Archbishop Justin traveled to Istanbul on Monday at the invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who, as Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church.
His visit included an official reception in the Chamber of the Throne, a discussion with the Synodical Committee for Inter-Christian Affairs, and a visit to the Holy Theological School of Halki.
Archbishop Justin told Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew it would be a privilege to welcome him to London in 2015.
Photos of the visit can be downloaded at the link below. Credit: Mr Nikolaos Maginas
Common statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury and His-All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew:
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Grace the Most Revd and Rt Honorable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury met at the Phanar, Istanbul from 13th-14th January, 2014, for their first meeting since the Most Revd Justin Welby was enthroned as the Archbishop of Canterbury about one year ago. The meeting took place in an atmosphere of friendship and warmth. Both leaders agreed to focus on the continuation of close relations, the importance of the ongoing theological dialogue, and the commitment of the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Church to greater cooperation for a common witness in an increasingly secular and pluralistic world, particularly in Europe. They expressed concern for the injustice in many parts of the world and prayed especially for the poor, the oppressed, and those caught in war, for peace and justice in the entire world, particularly in the Middle East, but also in other parts of the globe, and for ourselves to be sustained by the help and joy of Jesus Christ. They further agreed to explore avenues for raising greater awareness on environmental issues as well as upholding Christian values of human dignity and religious rights.
Welcome by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to His Grace Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (Phanar, 13 January 2014)
Your Grace Archbishop Justin, Beloved Brother in Christ:
‘Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!’
It gives us the greatest joy to welcome Your Grace as the honoured guest of the Ecumenical Throne, on this your first pilgrimage to the Patriarchate. We hope that Your Grace will be very happy during your time in Constantinople, and that your visit will strengthen the bond of mutual love that exists between our two Churches, the Orthodox and the Anglican.
The friendship between our Churches is not new, but has deep roots in past history. As long ago as the early 17th century Cyril Lukaris, Patriarch first of Alexandria and then of Constantinople, had many contacts with the English Church and State. As a token of his esteem, he sent to King James I the Codex Alexandrinus, one of the three most ancient manuscripts of the Greek Bible, which is now one of the greatest treasures at the British Library in London. Personal contacts between our two communions have been promoted more recently by the Eastern Church Association, founded in 1864 – now known as the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association – and by the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, founded in 1928. These two societies have fostered countless ecumenical friendships; and without such ecumenical friendships, on the direct and personal level, we cannot hope to build a firm foundation for Christian unity.
Since 1973, as Your Grace will be well aware, there has been an official dialogue, world-wide in scope, between our two ecclesial families. The International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue has so far produced three weighty reports: the Moscow Agreed Statement (1976), the Dublin Agreed Statement (1984), and most recently the very detailed Cyprus Agreed Statement (2006), entitled ‘The Church of the Triune God’. The International Commission is now preparing a fourth agreed statement on the Christian understanding of the human person. This will consider, among other topics, the Christian teaching on marriage, and also our human responsibility for the environment, a matter to which we personally, throughout our time as Patriarch, have always attached particular importance. We are fully confident that, under the inspiration of Your Grace, our Anglican-Orthodox dialogue will continue to flourish and to make positive progress.
In its formal title, this dialogue is entitled ‘theological’. But it is of course essential that our theology should always be a living theology. Doctrinal discussion must never be separated from a practical interest in social and philanthropic issues. At this present moment, as Anglicans and Orthodox, we share in particular a joint concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East, who are confronting increasing problems and, in many places, are undergoing a veritable persecution.
In the past, the rapprochement between our two Churches has been greatly assisted by the exchange of students, and we trust that this will continue. Our Theological School at Halki used to offer scholarships to Anglicans, and when it is reopened – as will happen in the near future (so it may be hoped) – we shall certainly wish to revive this tradition. These exchange students have frequently gone on to become leaders in their respective Churches, and their early inter-Church experience has enabled them to further the cause of Christian unity in highly constructive ways.
Dear Archbishop Justin: during the course of the visit of Your Grace we shall have the opportunity to speak further about these and other subjects. It is a great joy to us that, so soon after your elevation to Canterbury, Your Grace has found it possible to visit the sacred centre of Orthodoxy, the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Indeed Your Grace is more than welcome: please feel entirely at home. From our encounter during these two days, may great benefit come to our Churches. In that spirit we conclude with words from the Divine Liturgy, proclaimed immediately before the recitation of the Creed: ‘Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess the Trinity one in essence and undivided.’
Archbishop of Canterbury’s response to welcome message by the Ecumenical Patriarch:
Your All-Holiness, Beloved Brother in Christ,
I thank you most warmly for your welcome and greetings and at the outset bring the greetings from the Anglican Communion and the Church of England. I realise that this is an initial and very short visit, but it is a vital opportunity so soon after my enthronement for us to be able to share and be strengthened through this more personal visit. Your All Holiness has once mentioned that in a world “becoming smaller and smaller distance-wise, the need for personal communication has become imperative.” I see my short visit in that light. To be with you in this holy and historic place is indeed a great privilege. The warmth of your welcome adds to my deep sense of privilege at meeting you.
This city has left its mark in a diversity of ways upon Christianity as a whole. It was from this city that manuscripts of the Bible in the original languages were received in the West. This city (also renowned as the New Rome) is your seat as the Ecumenical Patriarch, and we continue to benefit from the insight of what the secular and Christian leadership through this link has taught the world church about the relationship between Christianity and the application of worldly power over the years. Your history is more and more important in the increasing confrontations of the world in which religion is used as a pretext for violence that in reality comes from greed and the pride of human beings.
You have demonstrated over the centuries the martyrdom to which we are called in scripture, the call to witness in word and life, a call more important than life itself. The cost of that martyrdom is seen in so many places today. Closest to here we remember and seek the mercy of Christ and intercession of the Blessed Mother on Syria, especially for His Eminence Metropolitan Yohanna Ibrahim of Aleppo of the Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch, and His Eminence Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi of Aleppo and Alexandrette of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, for whom we pray daily. You yourself have been an example of peace and reconciliation, politically, with the natural world and in your historic visit for the installation of His Holiness Pope Francis I.
Istanbul is at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. It is the place where two great faiths meet. Its significance for trade is enormous and continues to remind us of Turkey’s importance as an industrial and commercial nation. Commerce and trade may be objects of greed, but may in the Grace of God open the way to dialogue between nations.
Your All Holiness, my distinguished predecessors, Archbishop Robert Runcie in 1982, Archbishop George Carey in 1992 and Archbishop Rowan Williams in 2003 all visited this holy place and have been blessed by the encounter and engagement. As Archbishop Rowan has emphasised during his last visit, our roots go back to the Christian missions of the days of Constantine. He furthermore expressed a particular concern for Eastern and Western traditions of the Church to be reconciled.
Such reconciliation is also very dear to my heart and is one of my key priorities. It is the call of Christ that all may be one so that the world may see. I will therefore be taking back with me the warmth of your hospitality and also, after our discussions today and tomorrow, a renewed and refreshed focus for greater unity and closer fellowship. We want to carry the cross of our divisions, but be filled with the hope and joy that comes from the grace and the love of Jesus.
This can be further developed through the ongoing conversations in the International Commission for Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue and through the more informal talks that happen. I can assure you that I will provide the necessary encouragement for our ecumenical journey together.
During the last years we have seen the world changing in a diversity of ways. We have had an economic crisis through a banking system which had lost its way, seeking its own good at the expense of nations and their peoples. There is conflict in many regions of the world, acute poverty, unemployment and an influx of oppressed people driven away from their own countries and seeking refuge elsewhere. In Southern Europe terrible suffering has seized the people, most especially the poor for whom we weep and cry to God. The churches are rising to the challenge, empowered by the Holy Spirit and filled with his compassion. Hence in standing with the poor in love, we may work together. How can we strengthen and help each other bear one another’s burdens?
Your Holiness, I am aware that you are known as the ‘Green Patriarch’. We are grateful for your energy and efforts to raise awareness for preserving and protecting our environment. You have been the leading voice expressing concerns and have initiated a number of seminars and dialogues, also in co-sponsorship with His Royal Highness Prince Philip, to mobilise spiritual and moral forces to achieve harmony between humanity and nature. This third millennium has made us realise that environmental issues require our day to day attention. We are witnesses to global calamities. The Christian Orthodox theological understanding points us all to our natural environment as part of Creation and characterised by sacredness. This is a responsibility for all of us and your contributions will enable us to speak out more intentionally on environmental issues at an individual, national and international level. Abuse and destruction of the environment denies the grace of God. Economic crises tempt governments and people to look to the short term and forget the needs of the generation to come.
Finally, it is clear to me that our theological dialogues today do face new challenges and I do recognise that there are also some issues that raise difficulties, but I take courage from your words to one of my predecessors:
In spite of such obstacles, we cannot allow ourselves to congeal the love between us which is also manifested in dialogue so “let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” with the good hope that the Lord of powers and mercy “will not let us be tested beyond our strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that we may be able to endure it” (1Cor. 10:13).
Your All Holiness, this is a vital visit for me and it would be my privilege to be able to welcome you in 2015 to London. I look forward to the remaining time with you and the Patriarchate. There is much that unites us and as we continue to strengthen the bonds of friendship our understanding of each other’s traditions will grow. It is therefore in this spirit that I greet you and ask for your prayers for our ministry.
[Episcopal News Service] Sara Lowery from the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama is spending one year as a Young Adult Service Corps volunteer working with Hong Kong’s Mission for Migrant Workers. The mission helps some of the 300,000 domestic workers who sometimes encounter abuse or exploitation in their workplace. It operates an open-door policy for women in need, runs two shelters and offers a variety of services such as case management and legal assistance. Lowery’s ministry there is a partnership between the Episcopal Church and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.
[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa has expressed its gratitude to the many Christians in Egypt and around the world for their monetary and material support towards helping the “poorest of the poor.”
This was contained in a report compiled to account for the first disbursement of the more than US$80,000 raised following a Special Appeal for Egypt to help the poor as well as to help build capacity for young adults in Egypt.
“I would like to thank you so much for all your support during last year,” said Bishop Mouneer Anis, who launched the appeal. “With your support, we were able to help many people, especially during the hard times which Egypt is going through.”
The last few months have been traumatic for Egyptians after they witnessed much bloodshed and vandalism on their streets. Last year saw the destruction of churches and government buildings.
Anglican, Roman Catholic and Coptic churches, as well as Christian schools, were burned down during the attacks in August last year. Despite efforts to restore peace, there is still a lack of security on the streets and the economy continues to decline.
The money raised was used mainly for food packages for disadvantaged Egyptian and Sudanese families, school fees and supplies for orphans and vulnerable children as well as for medical assistance.
A seven-year old Egyptian boy, Magdy, said he was grateful for the school bag he was given. “Yesterday I had a dream that I had a bag. It is the same bag that I was given at church. I asked my dad for a bag for school and he told me God will send it.”
Khawaja Muhammad, a Muslim from Sudan who is now living in Egypt said, “My husband is in Sudan. We have a family of four and I thank God that the Church is interested in helping us.”
She added: “I was always so preoccupied on what I would do and how I would provide for my family [thanks to the help received] I had the first joyous morning in a long time.”
The Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa serves all people regardless of religion or race, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized, through educational, medical, and community development ministries.