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Fellowships announced for poverty alleviation, environment

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Samuel McDonald, Episcopal Church Director of Mission and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, has announced the recipients of the one-year and two-year Justice and Advocacy Fellowships for social justice and advocacy work for The Episcopal Church.

The Justice and Advocacy Fellowships for Domestic Poverty and Environmental Stewardship, new initiatives of The Episcopal Church, will provide financial support for service, professional development and education to those who are engaged in poverty alleviation and environmental stewardship.

Focusing on the Anglican Marks of Mission Mark 4 and Mark 5, the 2014 Justice and Advocacy Fellowships are sponsored by the Episcopal Church Office of Justice and Advocacy Ministries.

The Domestic Poverty Fellowships
The Domestic Poverty Fellowships are one-year each at $24,000 and call for addressing domestic poverty in communities.

The Rev. Susan Heath of South Carolina and the Rev. Sarah Monroe of Washington were awarded the Domestic Poverty Fellowships.

Heath is sponsored by the Diocese of Upper South Carolina.  She wrote in her application: “South Carolina is plagued by generational domestic poverty.  Our public education system suffers in many parts of the state. My fellowship application theme is to address these ills by bringing the combined voices and action of Episcopal congregations along with other churches in the conversation.”

Monroe is sponsored by the Episcopal Network Collaboration (Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, Episcopal Ecological Network and Union of Black Episcopalians). She wrote in her application: “My focus will be on poverty in rural and working class communities, using Aberdeen, WA as a case study. I will focus specifically on rural homelessness, as it intersects with a post-industrial economy, indigenous struggle, high poverty rates and immigration.”

The Environmental Stewardship Fellowship
The Environmental Stewardship Fellowships are two-years each at $48,000 (over two years) and will provide leadership on key environmental issues in affected domestic communities.

Cynthia Coe of Tennessee and Sarah Nolan of California were awarded the Environmental Stewardship Fellowships

Coe is sponsored by the DuBose Conference Center, an Episcopal facility owned by the three Episcopal dioceses located in Tennessee.  She wrote in her application: “This fellowship will introduce environmental education to young people through summer camp activities. Leader training workshops will also be offered to share this program with other camps, schools and parishes.”

Nolan is sponsored by The Beecken Center at the School of Theology at Sewanee. She wrote in her application: “Through the intentional growth of an organizational eco-system, the Farm, Faith and Food initiative will provide nourishment through building relationships, disseminating resources and sharing stories rooted in agricultural and food based ministries of all shapes and sizes.”

The Justice and Advocacy Fellowships
A total of 33 applications were received.  The applications were reviewed by a seven-person committee of laity and clergy from throughout the Church who then made the granting recommendations.“We are pleased that the recipients of the Justice and Advocacy Fellowships for Domestic Poverty and Environmental Stewardship are well-versed in their areas and will focus on their mission and ministry,” explained the Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Domestic Poverty Missioner.

For more information contact Stevenson at Mstevenson@episcopalchurch.org or Jayce Hafner, Episcopal Church Domestic Policy Analyst, at jhafner@episcopalchurch.org.

 

Grace Cathedral dean to become Stanford’s dean for religious life

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Stanford University Press release] The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, has been named dean for religious life at Stanford University, Provost John Etchemendy announced today. Shaw will also be joining the faculty in Stanford’s Department of Religious Studies.

Shaw, a historian and theologian who is at present also a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, has served as dean of the Episcopal Grace Cathedral since 2010. She previously taught at the University of Oxford.

Shaw, 51, will succeed the Rev. William “Scotty” McLennan Jr., who is stepping down after 14 years. She will assume her position as Stanford’s spiritual leader this fall.

At Stanford, Shaw will provide spiritual, religious and ethical leadership to the university community, serve as minister of Memorial Church and also teach undergraduates and graduate students as a professor of religious studies.

“We are lucky to have found in Jane Shaw both a charismatic leader and an accomplished academic to lead our Office for Religious Life,” said Etchemendy. “Dean Shaw is equally committed to the educational mission of the university and the ecumenical mission of Memorial Church.”

“I am delighted to be joining Stanford as dean for religious life,” Shaw said. “The opportunity to serve at this extraordinary university is a great privilege. It will be my pleasure to work with so many wonderful colleagues and students to relate religious and ethical questions to the cutting-edge work being done at Stanford University, and to provide spiritual leadership for this exceptional academic community. I am also thrilled to be joining the excellent Religious Studies Department as a professor.”

At Grace Cathedral, Shaw has been responsible for overseeing its mission, vision and spiritual life, and has provided leadership to the extended community of an iconic house of prayer known locally, nationally and internationally. The inclusive Grace Cathedral congregation is known for welcoming pilgrims, seekers and believers; embracing innovation; fostering open-minded conversation; and putting beliefs into action.

During her time as dean of Grace Cathedral, Shaw has overseen growth in all areas of the cathedral community’s life, not least in its artistic, cultural and educational events, which have tripled over the past four years. She founded a resident artist program, and also developed educational programming that related questions of values and ethics to the issues of the day, such as the environment and technology.

“Jane Shaw will bring her vision, broad experience and deep commitment to service to the Office for Religious Life,” said William Damon, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford and co-chair of the search committee for the position. “The Stanford community will be enhanced by her spiritual leadership.”

Shaw joined Grace Cathedral from the University of Oxford, where she taught history and theology for 16 years and was Dean of Divinity and Fellow of New College. A historian of modern religion, she is the author ofMiracles in Enlightenment England (Yale, 2006); Octavia, Daughter of God: The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers (Yale, 2011), which won the San Francisco Book Festival History Prize; and A Practical Christianity: Meditations for the Season of Lent (Morehouse, 2012).

Shaw has given several lectures at Stanford on topics including the role of the modern cathedral and reasons behind the 20th-century flight from institutional religion. In 2009, Shaw delivered the Palm Sunday sermon in Memorial Church. While at Stanford this spring, on a short sabbatical leave from Grace Cathedral, she has been researching the moral imagination, a project she is working on with actress, playwright and Grace Cathedral trustee Anna Deavere Smith. Shaw is also working on a book on spirituality and mysticism in the early 20th century.

Shaw was educated as an undergraduate at Oxford; she holds an MDiv from Harvard and a PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been awarded honorary doctorates by Colgate University and Episcopal Divinity School.

National Council of Churches opposes Israeli invasion of Gaza

Monday, July 21, 2014

[National Council of Churches USA press release] The President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA expressed deep disappointment and sadness Friday over the invasion of Gaza by Israeli Defense Forces.

The Israeli government said it is “hitting Hamas hard” following the Palestinian faction’s refusal to accept a peace plan brokered by Egypt.

NCC President and General Secretary Jim Winkler said, “The overwhelming military superiority possessed by Israel, exhibited by days of air strikes against Gaza and the consequent deaths of hundreds of Palestinians and the wounding of thousands more, guarantees the besieged and impoverished people who live there will suffer much more.”

Nearly 300 persons have been killed in Gaza during recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas, and 1800 persons have been injured.

“The deaths of 18 members of one Palestinian family, and of four little boys playing on the beach, as a result of Israeli attacks are just a few of the heartbreaking results of the conflict,” Winkler said.

“Just as we express opposition to Israel’s invasion, so too do we oppose the firing of thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel,” Winkler said. “We grieve at the news of the death of an Israeli as a result of a rocket attack.”

“One thing is certain,” Winkler said. “Israel’s invasion of Gaza will not bring a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine nor will rocket fire from Gaza bring peace. The long cycle of violence must be broken. It appears neither side possesses the courage, faith, or imagination necessary to alter the dynamics of the situation in a positive direction. Too many Palestinians and Israelis are held captive by the self-defeating notion that violence must be met by violence to bring about a secure future. I will continue to pray that God’s word is heeded in the land we consider holy, and that God’s peace will ultimately prevail.”

The current round of fighting between Hamas and Israel was triggered by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, allegedly by Palestinians, and the kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian youth, allegedly by Israelis.

The National Council of Churches supports a viable two-state solution, which takes into account the right to self-determination of, and security for, both Israelis and Palestinians; an end to Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian land, and resolution of issues such as refugees, the Separation Barrier, checkpoints settlements, water resources, and the status of a shared Jerusalem.

See more here

El Salvador: violencia, inseguridad e impunidad conducen al desplazamiento

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Episcopal News Service – San Salvador, El Salvador] La hija de 13 años de Irene desapareció al salir de la escuela el 15 de febrero de 2012, en una municipalidad del noroeste de San Salvador controlada por las pandillas. El cadáver de la niña lo encontraron dos días después; Irene se enteró por un noticiero de la televisión local.

“Estoy muy atemorizada por mis otros hijos, que algo les pueda ocurrir debido a la violencia”, dijo Irene, durante una entrevista con ENS en el Instituto de Derechos Humanos que tiene su sede en la Universidad Centroamericana en San Salvador.

Ella tiene dos hijos de 10 y 13 años; uno desapareció brevemente y no habla del tema.

Aunque Irene —éste no es su verdadero nombre— le gustaría ver procesados a los asesinos de su hija, la investigación que lleva a cabo el Estado, la cual incluye el secuestro y el asesinato semejante de otras cuatro niñas, significa que ella y su familia viven en constante temor de represalias. Independientemente de si prosigue la investigación, explica Karla Salas, abogada de derechos humanos, los miembros de la pandilla asociados con los asesinos la amenazan y la hostigan a ella y a su familia. No cuentan con ninguna protección.

“Cuando el Estado se muestra negligente en el manejo de estos casos, la gente acude aquí”, agregó Salas.

Dos de las pandillas más violentas de Centroamérica, la Mara Salvatrucha y Barrio 18, controlan y batallan por territorio en El Salvador, sobre todo en comunidades pobres y marginales donde la violencia, el asesinato, la violación, la extorsión y las amenazas permean la vida diaria de los vecinos, incluidos los niños. Es esta realidad la que en parte ha conducido a la crisis humanitaria que actualmente tiene lugar a lo largo de la frontera de EE.UU. y México, donde más de 44.000 menores no acompañados de El Salvador, Honduras y Guatemala —los otros dos países del Triángulo Norte [de América Central] con problemas de pandillerismo— han sido detenidos en el cruce de la frontera.

“El problema de los menores no acompañados es sólo un elemento de un problema de inmigración más amplio. No es nuevo, es algo que se ha estado desarrollando a lo largo de dos o tres años, pero ahora es que ha cobrado notoriedad en la prensa”, dijo Noah Bullock, director ejecutivo de la Fundación Cristosal, una organización para el desarrollo comunitario basada en los derechos humanos que se arraiga en las iglesias anglicana y episcopal que funcionan en El Salvador.

“Cuando miramos a la inmigración en Estados Unidos tendemos a verlo como un gran bloque, y lo entendemos como [el fenómeno] de personas que buscan trabajo y una vida mejor. Pero no nos fijamos en las personas que escapan de conflictos muy serios y de amenazas de violencia, y esos casos sacan a relucir problemas de protección”, afirmó.

En Colombia, décadas de guerra civil y de violencia asociada con el crimen organizado han desplazado internamente a cinco millones de personas y cerca de 400.000 responden a los criterios para el reconocimiento de la condición de refugiado. La violencia de las pandillas y el crimen organizado han conducido al desplazamiento interno y externo de centroamericanos, aunque debido a la falta de una guerra declarada y de la naturaleza criminal del conflicto, el fenómeno no ha sido formalmente abordado desde la perspectiva de las violaciones de los derechos humanos y de la protección internacional, y los tradicionales procedimientos de asilo resultan difíciles de aplicar.

A diferencia de Colombia, donde el desplazamiento interno y externo ha sido bien documentado por el Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados y otros organismos no gubernamentales, el desplazamiento se estudia menos en Centroamérica.

“Es un fenómeno menos visible, menos documentado en El Salvador, no existe realmente una estrategia nacional para abordarlo”, dijo Bullock.

En efecto, los perfiles nacionales del ACNUR para El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras juntos no incluyen ni un solo desplazado interno.

La Fundación Cristosal cobró consciencia por primera vez de las personas desplazadas por la violencia cuando, junto con la Iglesia Anglicana-Episcopal de El Salvador, supervisó el programa de reasentamiento de refugiados del ACNUR.

“El año pasado conseguimos más de 150 personas que eran salvadoreños y que buscaban asilo fuera del país, de manera que lo que vemos en los niños debería de verse como parte de un patrón histórico de desplazamiento que ha estado sucediendo durante mucho tiempo”, dijo Bullock en una entrevista con ENS en su oficina de San Salvador.

Tanto el desplazamiento interno como externo, añadió Bullock, tienen causas comunes: falta de bienestar en las comunidades salvadoreñas, violencia generalizada e incapacidad del Estado de salvaguardar las vidas de las personas e imponer el imperio de la ley mediante el procesamiento de las organizaciones delictivas.

“Todas esas cosas, la incapacidad de proteger a los testigos, la incapacidad de mantener escuelas y zonas seguras donde los niños tienen su esparcimiento… esas son áreas que han sido terreno de reclutamiento de las pandillas y donde fundamentalmente se hacen las amenazas”, explicó Bullock. “Son una causa común del desplazamiento interno y externo”.

El ACNUR, en su informe sobre las necesidades de reasentamiento previstas para 2014 a nivel global, calculaba que habría 691.000 refugiados, sin tomar en cuenta el flujo de refugiados de Siria. En 2012, hubo 86.000 espacios disponibles.

En el Día Mundial de los Refugiados en junio se informó que el número de refugiados en todo el mundo había sobrepasado los 50 millones por primera vez desde la primera guerra mundial.

En 2014 se cumple el 30º. aniversario de la Declaración de Cartagena, la cual enmendaba la definición de 1951 y la de 1967 de lo que significa ser un refugiado para incluir a “personas que han huido de su país porque sus vidas, su seguridad o su libertad han sido amenazadas por la violencia generalizada, la agresión extranjera, los conflictos internos, la violación masiva de los derechos humanos u otras circunstancias que hayan perturbado seriamente el orden público”.

Los países de América Central y México adoptaron el protocolo, que no fue reconocido por Estados Unidos, en un momento en que tanto Guatemala como El Salvador estaban librando guerras civiles y cuando los rebeldes contras luchaban contra el gobierno sandinista en Nicaragua.

“En Centroamérica hubo desde fines de los años 60, y a través de los 70, los 80 y los 90 sus buenas tres décadas ininterrumpidas de guerra. Y luego las guerras terminaron y no hubo una resolución muy efectiva de algunas de esas causas estructurales; después hay otras dos décadas de conflicto social que no tienen un nombre como un conflicto armado tradicional, pero que producen muertes en la misma escala”, añadió Bullock. “De manera que, esencialmente, en Centroamérica ha habido 50 años de guerra de baja intensidad y en verdad no deberíamos de sorprendernos que tengamos una crisis de refugiados en Estados Unidos”.

“Nunca nos atrevimos a usar la palabra ‘refugiado’; antes eran inmigrantes, eran ilegales… y ahora porque son niños estamos más dispuestos a ver a los centroamericanos que llegan a nuestras fronteras como algo más”, dijo Bullock. “Tres semanas de crisis humanitaria y de refugiados, cinco décadas de conflicto”.

En una declaración del 10 de julio en que abordaba la crisis de la frontera, la obispa primada Katharine Jefferts Schori instó a los episcopales a dirigirse a sus legisladores y pedirles que apoyaran una “respuesta humanitaria adecuada a la crisis”.

Entre tanto, la Fundación Cristosal trabaja con organizaciones de derechos humanos y la sociedad civil, entre ellos el Instituto de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Centroamericana, para formular un análisis más abarcador del desplazamiento interno y externo, así como una propuesta que aborde ambos fenómenos, según Bullock.

“Lo que estamos tratando de hacer ahora con nuestro programa es responder a esas necesidades, pero no hay respuestas perfectas porque las causas son muy estructurales y profundas”, apuntó. “Tienes que ser capaz de intentarlo y ayudar a alguien en una crisis humanitaria inmediata, pero también tratar de empeñarte en resolver algunos de los problemas estructurales que están creando las crisis humanitarias”, afirmó.

En la edición del 13 de julio de La prensa, uno de los dos principales diarios de El Salvador, los titulares de primera página iban desde la Copa Mundial a los 375.000 casos de inmigración bloqueados en los tribunales de EE.UU., así como el homicidio de dos adolescentes. En el cuerpo del periódico había una noticia sobre una muchacha violada por su tío en su viaje al norte, un artículo que se proponía la disuasión de emprender viajes semejantes. A principios de semana, había artículos centrados en tratar de disuadir a las familias de que enviaran a sus hijos al norte.

“Esto es algo que la Casa Blanca señala”, dijo Bullock. “Los tratantes de personas y la información que les dan a las familias parecen motivarlas a enviar a sus hijos; creen que les va mejor corriendo el riesgo en base a la información que el coyote les da…  queremos que las personas cuenten con otros medios de obtener información que sea un poco más objetiva que las que le daría un tratante de personas”.

Los abogados de la Fundación Cristosal, explicó él, no intervienen, sin embargo, en la toma de decisiones de vida o muerte con las personas; eso es algo que en último término le compete a un miembro de la familia. Lo que hacen los abogados es tratar de darles a las familias una buena información, de manera que puedan tomar decisiones con conocimiento de causa.

“La Casa Blanca gasta un millón de dólares en publicidad para disuadir a las familias de enviar a sus hijos”, añadió Bullock. “Pero eso no es más que otra forma de propaganda; a lo que las personas responden es al auténtico consejo objetivo de organizaciones como Cristosal”.

La Universidad Centroamericana fundó el Instituto de Derechos Humanos en 1986 en respuesta al número abrumador de violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos durante la guerra civil de 12 años en El Salvador, en la cual asesinaron a 75,000 personas. En ese tiempo el instituto hizo hincapié en la inmigración debido al gran número de personas que huían del país para escapar del conflicto armado, dijo Salas, el abogado de derechos humanos que representa a Irene, en una entrevista en su oficina de la universidad.

Irene se despierta a las 3:00 A.M. todas las mañanas y se dirige a su puesto de venta de comida. Para las 2:00 P.M. ya está de vuelta a su casa de donde no vuelve a salir. Sus hijos van a la escuela y vuelven, y nada más. La familia, incluida la madre de Irene, vive con $6 diarios, dijo ella.

El ACNUR no cuenta con una oficina dentro del país para los que buscan asilo. Irene y su familia deben hacer su petición de asilo fuera de El Salvador. Salas dijo que ella y otros trabajan con una agencia catolicorromana en Europa —la Universidad Centroamericana es católica— que ha convenido en ayudar a la familia con su petición, pero ellos deben cubrir por sí mismos los gastos de viaje.

En el ínterin, la familia vive con miedo y sigue recibiendo amenazas de los miembros de la pandilla que indagan con sorna cómo marcha la investigación. Incluso si el Estado le ofreciera protección a testigos o confidentes, no podría garantizar su seguridad, dijo Salas.

“La pondrían con la misma gente que mató a su hija”, recalcó ella.

- Lynette Wilson es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service

Traducción de Vicente Echerri

 

Deadline extended for United Thank Offering special anniversary grants

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The deadline has been extended to August 15 for The Episcopal Church United Thank Offering special “seed money” grants of $12,500 to one bishop in each of the Church’s nine provinces, and to the Presiding Bishop, for a total of $125,000.

Part of the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the United Thank Offering, these one-time special anniversary grants are intended to be used for a project in each province that will reflect the fourth Anglican Mark of Mission: To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind to pursue peace and reconciliation.

The project must be completed by May 1, 2015.  The grants that are selected will be showcased at 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, UT in June/July 2015.

Application deadline is August 15.   Applications available here.

For more information contact the Rev. Heather Melton, United Thank Offering coordinator, hmelton@episcopalchurch.org.

Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally.

 

Sin precedente el número de niños detenidos al cruzar la frontera

Monday, July 21, 2014

Inmigrantes de Centroamérica llegan al centro local de refugiados en McAllen. Uno de ellos lleva información de donde viven varios de sus parientes en Estados Unidos. Foto de Trish Motheral.

[Episcopal News Service] Dieciséis muchachos con edades de entre 14 y 17 años se reunieron el 6 de julio en torno a un mapa de América en el que fijaron notas adhesivas con sus nombres de pila junto a sus países de origen. La mayoría de las notas fueron a dar a Guatemala, seguida por Honduras.

Entonces, la Rda. Susan Copley les pidió a los adolescentes que pusieran las notas junto al lugar al que se dirigían. Algunos dijeron que se quedarían con parientes en Nueva York; otros se dirigían a Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland y California.

Un mes antes, el 5 de enero, Copley y algunos voluntarios de su iglesia comenzaron a visitar a los menores no acompañados en Abbott House, una agencia de servicios regional de carácter comunitario que tiene su sede central en Irvington, Nueva York, un pequeño pueblo del valle del río Hudson, justo al sur de Tarrytown, donde Copley es el rector de la iglesia de Cristo y la misión de San Marcos [Christ Church and San Marcos Mission].

Además de llevar a cabo visitas semanales, donde juegan deportes con los chicos y celebran una eucaristía abreviada en español, los miembros de la iglesia oran por los niños y se movilizan para apoyarlos. En una tarde, sus congregaciones de habla inglesa y española recaudaron $1.000 para comprar zapatos para los niños, algunos de los cuales llegaron descalzos a Abbott House.

No se trata sólo de proporcionarles a los niños “un contacto positivo con las personas que se ocupan de ellos”, invitando a diferentes miembros de la iglesia de Cristo y de la comunidad de San Marcos, lo cual contribuye a contrapesar algo de la negatividad que acompaña sus relatos, dijo Copley.

Desde principios de junio, las cifras récord de menores de edad no acompañados que han cruzado la frontera suroccidental [de Estados Unidos] fundamentalmente de Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador— y la crisis humanitaria que se les asocia ha estado en las noticias, en las cuales los políticos han estado sorteándose la culpa, y los que protestan haciendo titulares.

Con excepción de los menores no acompañados provenientes de México y Canadá, que pueden ser devueltos inmediatamente a sus países de origen conforme a la ley de inmigración de EE.UU. de 2008, los menores que llegan solos deben ser detenidos por las autoridades estadounidenses y sujetos a una vista de deportación, que puede tomar años. Un menor no acompañado es por definición una persona menor de 18 años de edad que está separada de ambos padres y no se encuentra al cuidado de un tutor ni de ningún otro adulto.

Para ajustarse al influjo de menores inmigrantes, el gobierno ha improvisado albergues en bases militares y ha contratado hogares de tránsito, como Abbott House, donde los menores pueden ser atendidos antes de entregárselos a un pariente, con quién estarían hasta el momento de la vista de inmigración.

Abbott House les brinda a los menores que llegan solos cama y comida, asesoría de caso, consejería individual, servicios médicos y educativos, recreación y actividades de esparcimiento, aculturación, servicios legales, transporte y acceso a servicios religiosos antes de ubicarlos con familiares o en acogida temporal, según un comunicado de prensa del 4 de junio.

Las iglesias acuden a la frontera

En un llamado del pasado 3 de julio a la Diócesis de Texas Occidental, el obispo Gary Lillibridge describió las necesidades humanitarias de su diócesis, particularmente en las poblaciones fronterizas de McAllen y Laredo.

La iglesia episcopal de San Juan [St. John’s Episcopal Church] en McAllen, con la colaboración de Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopales, se ha incorporado a una campaña mayor, la Comunidad de Fe de McAllen para la Recuperación de Desastres, un grupo de agencias eclesiásticas y gubernamentales que se han asociado para responder a crisis, mediante la ayuda  con comidas y lavado de ropa para individuos y familias albergados en la iglesia católica del Sagrado Corazón [Sacred Heart Catholic Church] o en tiendas levantadas en su entorno.

San Juan comenzó preparando mochilas con artículos de higiene personal, tales como jabones, champús y acondicionadores tamaño de viaje, un peine, un cepillo de dientes y otros artículos, así como paquetes de suplementos nutritivos, tales como galletitas de mantequilla de maní y barras de cereal.

“Organizamos ‘grupos de embalaje’ en la iglesia todos los domingos y miércoles y juntamos tantos paquetes como podemos, y embalamos esos paquetes según se necesitan”, dijo la Rda. Nancy Springer, auxiliar del rector en San Juan.

Empeños semejantes están teniendo lugar en Laredo, donde los feligreses de la iglesia de Cristo [Christ Church] preparan mochilas que también contienen artículos de higiene personal y nutricionales, para entregárselos a los niños y sus familiares que acuden a su ciudad.

Y en Arizona, donde se dijo que mujeres y niños se bajaban en las estaciones de autobuses de Tucson y Phoenix, la Iglesia también se ha sumado a los empeños interreligiosos.

Sin embargo, la crisis en el triángulo norte de América Central no sólo concierne a los niños, sino a los adultos y a las familias también. En las últimas semanas, decenas de miles de mujeres con niños y otros núcleos  familiares que huyen de la violencia en Guatemala, El Salvador y Honduras han llegado a Texas y Arizona, según explica una reciente actualización de la defensa de la inmigración  de la Red Episcopal de Política Pública: “Cuando las mujeres y los niños huyen de sus hogares en estas cifras ello indica una crisis humanitaria, no una amenaza a la seguridad”, dijo Katie Conway, analista de inmigración y refugiados de la Iglesia Episcopal. “Los episcopales a través del país han respondido a la crisis con compasión y amoroso servicio y llamamos al Presidente y al Congreso a hacer lo mismo. Creemos que Estados Unidos es capaz de hacerle frente a este desafío sin comprometer nuestros valores o nuestra seguridad, y sin darles la espalda a madres e hijos vulnerables que buscan paz y protección”.

(El 25 de junio, Conway y Alexander Baumgarten, director de la Oficina de Relaciones Gubernamentales de la Iglesia Episcopal con sede en Washington, D.C. presentó un testimonio ante el Congreso respecto a la crisis en nombre de la Iglesia.

En marzo, el Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), expresó su preocupación por el creciente número de niños que cruzaban la frontera “empujados por la violencia, la inseguridad y el abuso en sus comunidades y en sus hogares” y pidió a los organismos gubernamentales “que tomaran medidas para mantener a los menores de edad a salvo de abusos de derechos humanos, violencia y delitos, y para garantizarles su acceso al asilo y a otras formas de protección internacional”.

El ACNUR fundamenta su preocupación y su llamado a la acción en un informe de 120 páginas titulado Niños en fuga, que se basa en entrevistas con más de 400 menores no acompañados provenientes de Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras y México que se encuentran bajo detención federal. El informe indica que muchos de los niños creían que corrían peligro en sus países de origen y que serían seleccionados por las autoridades que evaluarían sus necesidades de protección internacional sobre la marcha.

El informe dice también que muchos de los jóvenes entrevistados eran parte de movimientos de una  “migración mixta”, que incluye tanto a individuos necesitados de protección internacional como a migrantes en busca de trabajo.

“Es de suma importancia advertir que la vasta mayoría de estos niños pueden ser en verdad solicitantes de asilo”, dijo Deb Stein, director del Ministerio Episcopal de Migración. “Hablar de deportarlos a las mismas circunstancias terribles de las que huyeron por seguridad sin la oportunidad de buscar protección es ignorar sus derechos conforme a la Convención de los Refugiados de la ONU de 1951, de la cual EE.UU. es signatario. Esto se pierde en la acalorada retórica de deportarlos simplemente porque entraron ilegalmente al país, cuando en efecto no es ilegal solicitar asilo”.

A partir de octubre de 2011, el gobierno de EE.UU. comenzó a advertir un aumento dramático del número de menores no acompañados provenientes de El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras, el cual para el año fiscal 2013 había aumentado de 4.059 a 21.573. Para el 15 de junio de 2014, el número había llegado a 51.279 para este año fiscal. Desde 2009, el ACNUR ha registrado un aumento en las solicitudes de asilo [de personas] provenientes de esos mismos tres países. El

Ministerio Episcopal de Migración,  el Ministerio de Justicia y Defensa Social de la Iglesia Episcopal Episcopal y Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopales están trabajando juntos para conectar a los episcopales interesados en crear o compartir información, recursos y ayuda mutua para la promoción y el ministerio de la inmigración.

– Lynette Wilson es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service. Laura Shaver, encargada de comunicaciones de la Diócesis de Texas Occidental, colaboró con esta información.

Traducción de Vicente Echerri

Presiding Bishop preaches in Savannah

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached the following sermon July 20 at Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia. 

Christ Church, Savannah

20 July 2014

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

It is very good to be with you again – and to be here with you!  It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since we gathered at St. Michael and All Angels.  Your journey has been a long one, and in addition to grief and some despair at the beginning, it’s brought growth, maturation, and a deepened sense of interconnection with this community, this Church, and the world.  Thank you for demonstrating what it is to be disciples and missionaries – that it means getting out there on the road as friends of Jesus, who, as Wisdom puts it, know that the righteous are kind and filled with hope.

Hope underlies Jesus’ story about weeds in the wheat field.  No, he says, you can’t run out there and start pulling the weeds before harvest time, because you’re likely to pull up some of the wheat as well.  The kind of weeds he’s talking about look a whole lot like wheat.  So the farmer is stuck with the reality that if you want to harvest everything there is to harvest, you have to wait – it’s won’t increase your yield to try to weed the field before everything is ripe.

A friend and former staff member came to see me last week.  Now he works with re-entry programs for parolees, particularly focused on young men under age 25.  New York State releases something like 2500 prisoners every month, and nearly a quarter of them are youth and young adults between 16 and 25.  The brains of kids that age aren’t fully developed yet, but in too many places we lock them up for minor crimes – and more serious ones.  We also lock up a whole lot of mentally ill folks rather than provide effective treatment.  That’s an awful lot of wheat being confused with weeds.

Religious institutions often react in the same way – and Christ Church certainly knows something about that.  There is a strain in human behavior that wants to be absolutely clear about who’s in and who’s out, and we usually only want to let in people who agree with us.  Too often we try to exclude people who make us uncomfortable or fearful – enemies, opponents, and those people, anyone who just doesn’t fit our idea of a proper human being.  Jesus sits down to dinner with all sorts of others – public sinners, enemies of the state, and social reprobates.  They’re all welcome at his table, because he sees wheat, not weed.  He sees beloved child of God, someone who reflects divine creativity, and a potential friend.  He has hope for continued growth.  And that growth often comes in surprising ways – as some of you learned in exile.

What does it take to hope that a person might become more than we see at first encounter, or even before we meet somebody as an individual?  What does it take to expect that God is still at work in another, that more is possible than we might believe?   Do we expect that God is at work in us, expanding our vision and capacity for discernment?  That hope and expectation is what prayer is most fundamentally about.  Prayer starts in that yearning to recognize and experience the divine MORE – for ourselves, friends, family.  Loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength can expand that prayer to include our enemies and the difficult people around us.  Pray that God will do more than we can ask or imagine, in us and our neighbors.  We need that kind of prayer in abundance – for the divisiveness in Congress, the stalemate in Israel and Gaza that is killing and terrifying so many, for the bitterness that remains in some who left this Church and some who remained, and for the strand in each of us that simply doesn’t want to engage someone who has hurt or threatened us.

God’s actually been working that kind of hope-filled newness around here for a long time.  Christ Church was the site of the baptism of the first black person in Savannah – in 1750.  Someone saw wheat in her, and the priest in this place concurred.  There is still work to do, for not all the residents of Savannah are greeted and encouraged as joyously as we are meeting one another here this morning.

One of your ancestors, Juliet Gordon Low, saw wheat everywhere she looked, in rafts of little girls and not so little ones, at a time when girls and women were rarely accorded equal access to anything.  There are signs of expansiveness on that score as well – even the Church of England is moving into a new place!

The ability to suspend judgment, and wait for the ultimate harvest, can be cultivated.  It might even look like turning the soil in our own hearts, uncovering what is fertile and breaking up the manure so it can do its job, instead of plucking up still-growing plants.  That kind of garden-tending certainly has something to do with keeping the field well watered, and life-giving showers of grace and roots that reach down deep into the fount of life.

There’s something about this parable that evokes very current ecological sensibilities.  It’s really insisting that the health of one part of the system depends on all the others.  If you pluck out the part you don’t like or want, the rest is going to suffer.  The developed world is beginning to learn that our profligate use of antibiotics is making a lot of us sick and overweight, because we’re killing off good bacteria as well as dangerous ones.  The good bugs keep us healthy, make vitamins for us, and help us digest our food.  The weedy bacteria become more dangerous when they’re not balanced by others.

An emerging movement called One Health has begun to respond to diseases that have moved from their usual hosts in bats or pigs or primates into human beings – like HIV, Ebola, and influenza.  Human beings have little resistance because we didn’t evolve with these microbes.  They have in some sense been plucked out of their usual field and planted in new and unfamiliar human ones.

The realization that the health of the whole community depends on the health of each part, growing in its own way and context, isn’t just a scientific revelation; it’s an ancient teaching in our own faith tradition.  Human flourishing depends on the other creatures – the plants and animals who provide our food, clothing, and shelter, recycle our waste and clean the water we drink.  We are increasingly being challenged to understand that how we judge the other parts of our environment affects our own ability to live and to do so abundantly:  is this weed or wheat? useful or waste? resource or dumping ground?

Loving God, and discovering the reign of God among us, has something to do with loving our neighbors, both human and non-human creatures, both those we recognize as human and those we have doubts about, both those we see as holy and those we’re sure are not.  The very current tragedies around us – the Christians, Yazidis, and minority Muslims being pushed out of Iraq; the move to reject child refugees from Central America, the war between Abraham’s children in the Middle East – these are all attempts to weed the garden.  It makes God weep, it makes God heartsick.

Creation is an intricate web of life, more complex, awesome, finely balanced, and exquisitely beautiful than any human being can possibly envision.  So is the human community.  The dream of God, the heaven on earth we pray for so earnestly needs all those parts, working together to build up the whole.  Who are we to decide who’s fit for that dream and who isn’t?  Let them and us grow some more – the harvest isn’t due yet.  Give us hearts and eyes to discover God’s beauty in those we ignore or despise.  Our salvation, our healing and wholeness, is bound up with theirs.

Tend the seeds of your own heart, water them with tears of lament and showers of grace.  Cultivate an interest in a person or group who seems like a weed.  This community of faith can teach the world about good gardening.  We have tasted the bread of life – help the world hope for bread, and not weeds.

Will Mebane to serve St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buffalo, as interim dean

Friday, July 18, 2014

[St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral press release] The Rev. Will Mebane will assume interim leadership of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral on July 1. Mebane comes to Buffalo from Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio, where he has served as Canon since 2011.

Mebane entered ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church after an eclectic career in media.  After receiving his B.A. degree in Radio,Television and Motion Pictures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he held positions with several radio and television stations, including WKBW-Channel 7 here in Buffalo in from 1977 to 1980.

Mebane’s heart was always drawn to social justice. And he is a founding board member and served as vice president of AMISTAD America, Inc. It was this thirst for social justice that originally led the teenaged Mebane to the Episcopal Church.  He had wrestled since childhood with a call to ordained ministry and entered a formal discernment process just short of his 50th birthday. He was accepted into Yale Divinity School and earned his Master of Divinity along with an award for excellence in preaching. He received a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale at that same time. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2010.

At Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland he shared in serving as a pastor, prophet and priest to the more than 900 individuals that gather there. He worked with clergy, staff and laity on neighborhood ministry, congregational life and social justice programs. He served as chaplain to the Wilma Ruth Combs Union of Black Episcopalians Chapter in Northern Ohio and served on the Strategy Leadership Team of Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC). He was also an active diocesan leader.

Recently, Mebane was appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, to The Episcopal Church’s new Task Force on the Study of Marriage.

Mebane and his wife Paulette (aka “Ronnie”), a registered and master’s prepared nurse affiliated with University Hospitals Case Medical Center, have parented two sons during their 40+ years of marriage.

Mebane’s first Sunday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral will be Sunday, July 6th. Summer Eucharist Hours are 8:00 am in the Richmond Chapel, and 9:00 am in Cathedral Park. All are welcome.

Mebane’s full bio may be read at http://www.stpaulscathedral.org/article/2/welcome/

Hester Mathes named curate, Church of the Holy Communion, Memphis

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Rev. Hester Mathes with Bishop Don E. Johnson of West Tennessee.

For six years as a student at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Hester Shipp Mathes attended morning chapel in the sanctuary of Church of the Holy Communion. Twenty-two years later, she has returned to that sanctuary, now as an ordained deacon and the new curate of Church of the Holy Communion. Mathes’ ordination as deacon, which took place June 28 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, is the last major step before being ordained to the priesthood.

The Reverend Hester Mathes joins the Reverend Sandy Webb, who became priest in charge of Holy Communion one year ago, and the Reverend Randy McCloy, deacon. “Hester brings to her ministry a wealth of experience as an educator and church professional, and will learn here the craft of priesthood,” says Webb. “I am very grateful to Bishop Don E. Johnson for appointing Hester to serve at Holy Communion, and to the vestry for creating a position in which someone as talented as Hester can come to learn.”

This is Mathes’ second homecoming to Memphis. After graduating from the College of William & Mary, studying music, art and psychology, she returned to serve as youth coordinator at Calvary Episcopal, the parish in which she grew up, and to teach at St. George’s Independent School.

“Teaching in itself was a ministry,” says Mathes, but the “little voice” of a call to priesthood had started making itself known during her college years. She returned to Virginia in 2011 for graduate school, this time at Virginia Theological Seminary, and graduated this spring.

Mathes’ work at Church of the Holy Communion will focus on young adult ministry and sharing in sacramental, preaching and teaching responsibilities. Assuming that all of the canonical consents are received, Mathes will be ordained as a priest this winter.
Mathes and her husband Andy, who has recently opened the Tennessee office of Farr, Miller & Washington Investment Counsel (based in Washington, D.C.), have two children: Neeley, 11, and Zander, nine.

‘Education as Hope’: Anglican universities conference convenes in Seoul

Friday, July 18, 2014

Delegates attending the CUAC conference visit the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula.

[Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion press release] On Sunday July 5th, seventy delegates from five continents, representing forty-seven member schools of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC), gathered on the square outside a chapel in Seoul, Korea to convene CUAC’s 8th International Triennial Conference, “Education as Hope: Working Towards Transformation in Our Common World.” Hosted by Sungkonghoe University (SKHU) during its own centennial anniversary, the conference drew on the heritage of Korean culture as well as the peninsula’s specific context of separation and reconciliation as frameworks for exploring the programmatic theme. The tone was set as a group of SKHU student musicians in the Pungmul Kilnori tradition led the delegates in a parade of free dancing into the Chapel of the Epiphany, where the ensuing liturgy incorporated traditional Korean music and dance.

SKHU President the Rev. Dr. Jeong-ku Lee presided and preached at the opening Eucharist, which began with delegates representing the seven CUAC regional chapters bearing candles to the table behind the altar. Dr. Lee proclaimed that, “If the Anglican spirit is like Peter, CUAC is like Paul with the Anglican spirit and its vision for education is being spread worldwide through CUAC.” He continued, “If the Anglican educational institutes that God planted become like blind people in this world, our common world and its education will fall into a ditch….CUAC is a plant that God planted. May this CUAC international conference be another wonderful experience of our being a rainbow spectrum in diversity.”

The Rev. Dr. Jeremy Law, Dean of Chapel of Canterbury Christ Church University, who led the development of the conference theme, connected “Education as Hope” to the theology of the German theologian Jürgen Moltmann. In his seminal Theology of Hope, Moltmann insists that Christian hope is not limited to a future that emerges from the possibilities of the world, but reaches out to that resurrection future which arrives from the possibilities of God; this is hope for nothing less than a new creation. This hope, Law suggests, underwrites the open-ended enquiry that lies at the heart of genuine education. He thus called for education that “resists the stabilization of things, that provokes the question of meaning that makes the familiar strange, and so keeps the world open to that ultimate future God promises to bring.”

The delegates spent a day on “Reading the Korean Context” that included an overview from the Rev. Dr. Jaejoung Lee, South Korea’s former minister of unification, and a visit to the Demilitarized Zone that defines the division of the Korean peninsula.

The Triennial’s two keynote speakers addressed issues of Anglican identity and mission from different perspectives. The Rev. Dr. Sathinathan Clarke, professor of theology and culture at Wesley Theological Seminary, in Washington, DC, called for “a shift from post-colonial Anglicanism to TransAnglican cosmopolitanism.” Speaking to delegates representing a plurality of schools where Christians are in the minority, Clarke cited Namsoon Kang’s proposal to “move from politics of single identity to the politics of multiple solidarities across various identities without abandoning one’s personal attachments and commitments to the group one finds significant.” Such a posture allows colleges and universities to offer hospitality to other faiths, as well as to those who have none, while remaining Christian in character. “TransAnglican cosmopolitan Communion,” to Clarke, “is grounded in God’s grace, sieved through the preferential compassion of Jesus Christ, and nurtured by the cosmo-centric restoration of the Holy Spirit.”

Keynoter Dr. Jenny Te Paa Daniel, a public theologian and former dean at St. John’s Theological College in Auckland, New Zealand, related how the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke to her situation as a young Maori student: “I said to my children, ‘I’m going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don’t ever want you to forget that there are millions of God’s children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don’t want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.’”  She challenged delegates to reframe Anglican education, by having “the capacity and will to transform the way things are, by reaching out to include disadvantaged individuals not only in our schools, but by preparing them to make it to top levels of leadership.” “What I want for my grandchildren,” she concluded, “is for them to be transfigured, changed into something beautiful.”

Other conference speakers included Dr. John McCardell, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, who led off the conference addressing Personal Transformation as “Development of Character,” noting, “Character is balancing liberty with restraint from within;” Dr. Elaine Graham, research professor at the University of Chester in the UK, who took on Social Transformation in her paper “Apologetics without Apology,” focusing on the dilemma of navigating between religious resurgences in societies over against the new place of secularization; Dr. Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University in the UK, who looked at Social Transformation through the lens of church history, describing “Christianity as the most globalized phenomenon in the world, surpassing democracy and capitalism;”and Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa, President of Cuttington University in Liberia spoke to Personal Transformation from his experience in Liberia of “Education from Ex-Combatants to Students.”

CUAC’s General Secretary, The Rev. Canon James G. Callaway, D.D., challenged the delegates that “as liberal arts recognizes the importance of learning a second language in starting one’s critical thinking about his or her mother tongue, [their] task was to begin to speak Sungkonghoe as they learn about its situation and context, to understand their own institutions better.”

The delegates at the Triennial elected members to the Board of Voting Trustees for the next three years. Prof. Robert Derrenbacker, Vice-Chancellor of Thorneloe University in Sudbury, Canada was elected chair; The Rev. Dr. Renta Nishihara, Vice President of Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan, Vice Chair; The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Guen Seok Yang of Sungkonghoe University in Seoul, Korea, Treasurer; and Prof. Alexander Jesudasan, principal and secretary of Madras Christian College in Chennai, India, as Secretary. At the closing banquet Canon Callaway cited the words of greeting of the Mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, who told delegates that “Sungkonghoe’s witness in human rights and human development was the same as his,” and that of the Mayor of the City of Guro, Lee Sung, who noted that “the mission I have for this city has been shared by Sungkonghoe University.” Callaway then told President Jeong-ku Lee that because CUAC shared the solidarity of the mayors that Sungkonghoe’s witness in their hundred years lived out CUAC’s vision as well. He then presented Lee a commendatory Centenary certificate signed by CUAC’s Patron the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The Triennial concluded on Friday July 11th, and was followed by a two-day Chaplains’ Conference facilitated by Dr. Law. The next Triennial will be held in Chennai, India in early January 2017, hosted by Madras Christian College.

CUAC is a world-wide association of over 130 institutions of higher education that were founded by and retain ties to a branch of the Anglican Communion. With institutions on five continents, CUAC promotes cross-cultural contacts for the exchange of ideas and the joint development of educational programs among member institutions. As a network of the Anglican Communion, CUAC leverages its global presence to help the faculty and students of its member institutions become better citizens of an increasingly-diverse world. For more information, visit www.cuac.org.

Archbishop writes to ecumenical partners about women bishops

Friday, July 18, 2014

[Lambeth Palace] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has written to ecumenical partners about the General Synod’s decision to allow women to become bishops, emphasizing that churches “need each other.”

An ENS article about the Church of England’s decision to enable women to serve as bishops is available here.

The text of Welby’s letter, which is being posted to partner churches, follows.

This comes to you with warm Christian greetings and the wish to communicate personally to you the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate.

This is an occasion of deep rejoicing for many, especially for many of the women clergy in the Church of England. They feel that this decision affirms their place and ministry in the life of the Church. For others in the Church of England, the decision may be a source of disappointment and concern.

As the Synod moved towards the decision many were struck by the spirit of the debate: frankness, passion and, I am glad to say, a good deal of Christian charity.  It all indicated an intention and sincere assurance to hold all of us together in one Church. There appeared a determination that the genuinely held differences on the issue of the ordination of women to the episcopate should not become a dividing factor in the Church of England, and there was care and expressions of love for those troubled by the outcome.

The Bishops have sought to build trust across the Church. The five principles outlined by them in their declaration form part of the package approved. Principles 3 and 4 are ecumenically relevant.

I give below these principles:

1.  Now that legislation has been passed to enable women to become bishops the Church of England is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender, and holds that those whom it has duly ordained and appointed to office are the true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy and thus deserve due respect and canonical obedience;                          

2.  Anyone who ministers within the Church of England must be prepared to acknowledge that the Church of England has reached a clear decision on the matter;

3.  Since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;

 4. Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures; and

5.  Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England. 

The Church of England continues in its quest to make our unity more visible with those with whom we are in communion, and to seek greater unity with those with whom we are not yet in communion. Some of our Sister Churches in communion will share the joy of those in the Church of England, who welcome the development of having women in the episcopate. But we are also aware that our other ecumenical partners may find this a further difficulty on the journey towards full communion. There is, however, much that unites us, and I pray that the bonds of friendship will continue to be strengthened and that our understanding of each other’s traditions will grow.

Finally, it is clear to me that whilst our theological dialogue will face new challenges, there is nonetheless so much troubling our world today that our common witness to the Gospel is of more importance than ever. There is conflict in many regions of our world, acute poverty, unemployment and an influx of oppressed people driven away from their own countries and seeking refuge elsewhere. We need each other, as we, as churches empowered by the Holy Spirit, rise to the challenge and proclaim the good news of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and strive for closer fellowship and greater unity. I do recognise that there are issues that raise difficulties, but I do also take courage from the words communicated to one of my predecessors by a significant Orthodox brother which have become dear to me:

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” (1 Cor. 10:13).

It is therefore in this spirit that I greet you and ask for your prayers for our ministry in the Church of England.

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury

Religious leaders of Africa commit to post-2015 development

Friday, July 18, 2014

CAPA General Secretary Grace Kaiso said the widest cooperation was necessary for success. Photo: CAPA

[Anglican Communion News Service] Hundreds of faith leaders from across Africa recently met in Uganda’s capital for a three-day summit on sustainable development and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

More than 200 religious leaders gathered in Kampala between June 30 and July 2 for the Africa Faith Leaders’ Summit with its theme of Enhancing Faith Communities’ Engagement on the post 2015 Development Agenda in the Context of the Rising Africa.

During the conference the leaders, from a wide variety of religious traditions, considered ways to work together to ensure post-2015 goals were implemented.

They made a host of commitments, including doing more to promote peace and reconciliation in countries and communities currently facing violence; to promote interfaith dialogue and co-operation as a means of eradicating religious radicalization; to ensure women, children, youth, people with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS are included in finding solutions to Africa’s development challenges; and to promote the resourcefulness of Africa as opposed to its poverty and misery.

Canon Grace Kaiso, general secretary of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) who attended the event, said, “The shaping of our common future must not be left to a few but must involve people at all levels.

“Our expectation of support from partners worldwide should not stop us as Africans from bearing our responsibility to turn life on the Continent around by being responsible and accountable stewards of the enormous resources God the Creator has endowed us with.

“CAPA, like many others at the meeting, is committed to the unlocking of the potential of  the continent for the thriving of the human family.”

The summit was organized under the auspices of the African Interfaith Initiative on Post-2015 Development Agenda, a coalition of faith communities and their leaders across Africa with technical support from the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) and other development partners.

Participants included representatives of the African Council of Religious Leaders, Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar; All Africa Council of Churches; Organization of African Instituted Churches; Hindu Council of Africa; Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa; Union of Muslim Councils of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa; the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i; the Association of the Evangelicals of Africa; Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa; and Arigatou International, Nairobi.

The Post-2015 Development Agenda will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that will expire in 2015. Of the eight goals, it is believed that only three will be fully met by 2015, hence the need for a successive agenda to build on the achievements made to date.

Read the faith leaders’ Position Paper here 

Read the faith leaders’ statement From Lament to Action here

WCC expresses sorrow over Malaysia Airlines disaster

Friday, July 18, 2014

[World Council of Churches press release] The World Council of Churches (WCC) today expressed sympathy and sorrow to family, friends and colleagues who mourn the deaths of nearly 300 passengers and crew on board Malaysia Airlines flight 17 when it crashed in eastern Ukraine on 17 July en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Particular mention was made of the estimated one-third of the victims who were travelling to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, due to begin on Sunday 20 July.

“This is a profound tragedy that shocks and worries all of us; but especially for those who have lost their loved ones including our neighbours and partners at the World Health Organization (WHO) here in Geneva who lost over 100 staff in the crash,” the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said.

“The thoughts and prayers of the world community are with you. It is our sincere hope for the eventual healing of your minds and spirits.”

“This tragedy taking place in a highly sensitive location and situation that remains poised on the brink of terrible violence, reminds us of the fragility and sacredness of life and the need for peace in this region,” he added. “Our sympathy also goes to the people of Malaysia who are now experiencing a second airline tragedy within a few months.”

Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, the WCC associate general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia, said, “The WCC is mourning the deaths of a reported 100 UN AIDS and WHO staff and their family members.”

“I knew personally and worked with some of the people who died in this crash,” Phiri said. “It is in this context that the WCC is seriously affected by these deaths.  It is painful to realize that the deaths will have a negative impact on progress that was being made in the area of HIV and AIDS research at a global level. My own relatives whose lives depend on new discoveries in HIV and AIDS research will be affected by the deaths of these people.”

Since 27 May 1974 a “Memorandum of Understanding” has been in place between the WCC (and its former Christian Medical Commission) and the WHO enabling a working relationship by “joint involvement in common endeavors on a very practical level.”

The WCC, through the CMC, became the first Non-State Faith-Based-Organization (FBO) through which churches’ health workers could have a voice and a platform for advocacy on health policies at the annual WHO Assembly and the Executive Board.

The CMC was instrumental in WHO’s Primary Health Care Approach. Equally important, WHO was instrumental in the WCC’s ecumenical response to the AIDS crisis since 1986.

The cause of the Malaysia Airlines disaster is currently under investigation. Charges and counter-charges have been levelled by opposing sides in the on-going conflict within Ukraine.

Phiri observed, “This is a clear demonstration that any war in any part of the world affects us all.”

Tveit said that, “All efforts should be made and it should be a goal of everyone that civil aviation does not again become a target in situations of conflict”.

Terrie Robinson named ACO director for women in church and society

Friday, July 18, 2014

[Anglican Communion Office press release] The Rev. Terrie Robinson, formerly networks coordinator and women’s desk officer at the Anglican Communion Office, has been named its director for women in church and society.

Mrs Robinson1 has moved into the new role following a decision by the Standing Committee2 that more needs to be done to support Communion-wide efforts to promote equal, influential and safe participation of women in the life and decision-making of the churches of the Anglican Communion and society.

Speaking about the change of role, Mrs Robinson said, “I’m very excited at the prospect of being able to spend more time working with women and men in the Anglican Communion to promote the full inclusion of women’s gifts, voices and concerns in the life, mission and structures of the Anglican Communion and beyond.

The Rev. Terrie Robinson (left) with Africa’s first female bishop the Rt Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya.

“There are already so many Anglicans committed to this, who bring every gift imaginable to the task. It will be a blessing to support them and to contribute everything I can to making sure that women are given voice and space wherever they are.

“In many ways, my engagement with the Anglican Communion’s Networks will continue. They provide a vital mechanism for Anglicans who want to share their stories and resources, and who want to join in advocacy and pray for each other with greater knowledge and understanding.

“I know how important several of the Networks will be to my own ministry as it unfolds. All the Networks will continue to receive the support they need from the Anglican Communion Office to make sure their activities continue to inform decision-making and action at the international level.”

The Anglican Communion Office has also recruited Stephanie Taylor to be Information and Records Manager.

Mrs Taylor, who come to the ACO from The National Autistic Society where she was Content Manager – Information, Advice and Advocacy.

Mrs Taylor said, “I am a passionate believer in the power of information and the difference that dynamically, well-managed, accessible information can make to the lives of individuals, and the effectiveness of organisations. Effective knowledge sharing builds connections and makes things happen, and in a Communion serving 165 countries that’s vital.”

Editor’s note

1 As there are a variety of ways to refer to clergy across the Anglican Communion, ACNS uses the standard practice of the Church of England which considers ‘The Reverend’ to be an adjective. We therefore refer to priests as ‘The Revd’ once and subsequently use titles: Mr, Mrs, Miss, Bp., Dr. Canon, etc, as appropriate.

2 The Standing Committee comprises members elected by the Anglican Consultative Council and of the Primates’ Standing Committee. See http://aco.org/communion/index.cfm

Supporting Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem’s response in Gaza

Thursday, July 17, 2014

[Episcopal Relief & Development press release]Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem’s Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City with funding for food and fuel as it responds to urgent needs during the current crisis.

Despite structural damage to the hospital from the impact of Israeli airstrikes, Al-Ahli staff have maintained round-the-clock presence and care for those who have been wounded. Further adding to the strain are shortages in medical supplies and fuel for electrical generators. The hospital’s food supplies are stretched as they provide for patients, their families, hospital staff and those from the community seeking aid.

“We are helping our partner in Jerusalem care for those most vulnerable, particularly the injured and women and children affected by the airstrikes in Gaza,” said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President for Programs.  “Our assistance will help the hospital provide life-saving treatment and compassionate aid, and our prayers are with them as they carry out their work in very difficult conditions.”

The Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, Bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem, noted in correspondence with Episcopal Relief & Development that Al-Ahli provides care to the community regardless of faith or ability to pay, including psychosocial support for patients and families severely traumatized by the violence.

“Civilians exposed to heavy bombing have been killed, injured, traumatized, in some cases left homeless and without food,” Dawani stated.  “A few children have lost their entire families.”

As of July 16, according to UN OCHA, 1,585 Palestinians, including 717 women and children, have been injured since the airstrikes began on July 7, 2014.  In addition, 214 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 164 civilians, of whom 44 were children and 29 women.

Since the escalation in violence, one Israeli has died from shrapnel wounds sustained while visiting Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border, and the Magen David Adom Israel reports it has treated six others who were seriously or moderately injured by shrapnel and fires caused by direct rocket strikes.

“God weeps at this war between his children,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told Episcopal News Service on July 15.  “We weep as we watch the destruction, and we should be storming heaven with prayers for peace.”

Episcopal Relief & Development’s long-standing partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has provided support for Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza and St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus, in addition to emergency assistance during periods of increased conflict.

Al-Ahli is an 80-bed hospital in Gaza City, one of the Gaza Strip’s three main population centers.  With a total area of 139 square miles and a population of over 1.8 million people, Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that there are 30 hospitals in Gaza, with some operated by the Palestinian government and others by local and international faith groups and non-governmental organizations. UN OCHA reported in 2010 that more than half of Gaza’s hospitals (15 out of then 27) had suffered damage during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-09.

“Please continue to pray for our partners in the Holy Land and the communities they serve, and for all those who are affected by the conflict,” said Episcopal Relief & Development’s Abagail Nelson.

Donations to the Middle East Fund will sustain Episcopal Relief & Development’s partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and ensure continued support for the Church’s presence and life-giving work in the Holy Land.

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of The Episcopal Church and an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency works with Church and ecumenical partners to fight poverty, hunger and disease.

Joint Nominating Committee offers second essay on presiding bishop

Thursday, July 17, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has issued the following information.

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) continues its work to prepare The Episcopal Church for the election of the 27th Presiding Bishop at General Convention next summer.  The Committee publishes the second of three essays designed to begin a discussion about the election which will take place in the summer of 2015. 

The second essay outlines the current roles, functions, and responsibilities of the Presiding Bishop.  This first essay described the basic time-line and steps of the nominating and election process.  The third essay will discuss how the constitutional/canonical role of the office has changed and evolved from being the senior bishop by consecration who presiding over meetings of the House of Bishops to the complex multifaceted position it is today.

It is the hope of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop that all members of General Convention and all Episcopalians will take the time to read these brief essays to learn the importance of what we will do next summer.  Should you have any questions or comments about these essays or the work of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop please contact pbnominatingcommittee@gmail.com.

The JNCPB is comprised of a lay member, a priest or deacon, and a bishop elected from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church, plus two youth representatives, appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. The General Convention Deputies and bishops serve a three-year term to conclude at the close of General Convention 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah).

Election of the Presiding Bishop in 2015:  Essay #2
July 2014

The Roles and Functions of the Presiding Bishop Today

The goal of this second education piece of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop is to provide The Episcopal Church, and potential candidates with information on the vast responsibilities of the complex and multifaceted position that the Presiding Bishop holds today.

The most familiar description of the roles and functions of the Presiding Bishop can be found in Canon I.2.4 of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church (pp. 28-29):

(a)  The Presiding Bishop shall be the Chief Pastor and Primate of the Church, and shall:
(1)  Be charged with responsibility for leadership in initiating and developing the policy and strategy in the Church and speaking for the Church as to the policies, strategies and programs authorized by the General Convention;
(2)  Speak God’s words to the Church and to the world, as the representative of this Church and its episcopate in its corporate capacity;
(3)  In the event of an Episcopal vacancy within a Diocese, consult with the Ecclesiastical Authority to ensure that adequate interim Episcopal Services are provided;
(4)  Take order for the consecrations of Bishops, when duly elected; and, from time to time, assemble the Bishops of this Church to meet, either as the House of Bishops or a Council of Bishops, and set the time and place of such meetings;
(5)  Preside over meetings of the House of Bishops; and, when the two Houses of the General Convention meet in Joint Session, have the right of presiding over such Session, of calling for such Joint Session, of recommending legislation to either House, and, upon due notification, of appearing before and addressing the House of Deputies; and whenever addressing the General Convention upon the state of the Church, it shall be incumbent upon both Houses thereof to consider and act upon any recommendations contained in such address;
(6)  Visit every Diocese of this Church for the purpose of: (1) Holding pastoral consultations with the Bishop or Bishops thereof and, with their advice, with the Lay and Clerical leaders of the jurisdiction; (ii) Preaching the Word; and (iii) Celebrating the Holy Eucharist.

(b)  The Presiding Bishop shall report annually to the Church, and may, from time to time, issue Pastoral Letters.

Canon I.2.4(c) goes on to provide  that there are many other roles and responsibilities prescribed throughout the Canons of and “to be enabled better to perform such duties and responsibilities, the Presiding Bishop may appoint, to positions established by the Executive Council of General Convention, officers, responsible to the Presiding Bishop, who may delegate such authority as shall seem appropriate.”  These other canonical duties may be grouped into five other categories.

I. Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and Executive Council

The Presiding Bishop is ex officio President of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society which carries on all of the corporate matters of the Episcopal Church.  In addition to being ex officio Chair and President of the Executive Council, as Chair and President the Presiding Bishop is the chief executive officer of Executive Council “and as such the Chair and President shall have ultimate responsibility for the oversight of the work of the Executive Council in the implementation of the ministry and mission of the Church as may be committed to the Executive Council by the General Convention.” (Canon I.4.3(a).  It follows that as chief executive officer the Presiding Bishop is in charge of all the Executive Council staff and has authority as well to oversee the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer of the Church.

II. The Presiding Bishop exercises the right of making many appointments including:
• Appoints all the members of the House of Bishops legislative committees
• Appoints bishop members of Joint Committees and Joint Standing Committees of General Convention
• Appoints bishops to the Board of the Archives of The Episcopal Church
• May appoint up to four members of the General Board of Examining Chaplains

III. The Presiding Bishop has responsibility for congregations:
• In foreign lands
• In the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
• In Navajoland

IV.  The Presiding Bishop has special roles at the time of vacancies in missionary dioceses and the election of missionary bishops, and in the event of a vacancy in the office of bishop assigned jurisdiction in an Area Mission

V.  The Presiding Bishop has the highest dispensing power for vows of members of religious orders of The Episcopal Church

VI.  The Presiding Bishop exercises authority in disciplinary and dissolution proceedings against bishops including
• Responsibilities in the proceedings for the dissolution of the relationship between a bishop and a diocese
• Substantial responsibilities in the discipline of bishops including appointing the Intake Officer, serving on the Reference Panel, issuing Pastoral Directions, Administrative Leaves and restrictions on ministry to bishops, and negotiating  agreements for discipline with bishops

VII. The Presiding Bishop participates in the governance of the Church with the President of the House of Deputies:
• Both serve ex officio on the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements that plans General Convention, the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance, and the Joint Standing Committee on Nominations
• Both serve ex officio on all Standing Commissions
• Together with the President of the House of Deputies, the Presiding Bishop does the following:
- Appoints the Executive Officer of the General Convention
- Appoints all members of Executive Council Committees
-  May change the date and the length of General Convention
-  Nominates the Chief Financial Officer of the Executive Council
-  Nominates members of the Joint Audit Committee
-  May set the House of initial action for each Resolution of the General Convention
- May authorize variations and adjustments to, or substitutions for, or alterations in, any portion of liturgical texts under trial use, which do not change the substance of a rite.

Each Presiding Bishop brings her/his particular gifts to bear to shape and organize these myriad responsibilities of this office.  Yet as the Shared Governance document of 2012 reminds us, at the core “the roles of Chief Pastor, Primate, Leader, and Spokesperson are the integral keys to this ministry.”

 

Janet Pullen, Cynthia Weldon-Lassiter elected to NAES governing board

Thursday, July 17, 2014

[National Association of Episcopal Schools press release] The Governing Board of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) is pleased to announce the election of Janet S. Pullen, Ed.D., Head of School at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, Bradenton, Florida, and Cynthia Weldon-Lassiter, Ed.D., Head of School at St. Andrew’s School, Richmond, Virginia, to three- year terms on the board that began July 1, 2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome to the Governing Board leaders of such distinction and commitment to Episcopal schools and education,” said Doreen S. Oleson, Ed.D., NAES Governing Board President and Head of School at St. Mark’s Episcopal School, Altadena, California. “I look forward to working with Jan and Cyndy over the next three years as we continue to expand the reach of our mission and ministry,” said the Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, D.D., NAES Executive Director.

About Janet S. Pullen, Ed.D.
Jan Pullen is in her 12th year as Head of School and in her 27th year as an administrator at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School. She arrived at Saint Stephen’s in 1988 as the Lower School Director when the school’s K-12 enrollment was 222 students. During her tenure at Saint Stephen’s, the school has been completely rebuilt on the one-campus, 36-acre site and has grown into a school of approximately 700 students in PreK-12, including the United States U-17 Men’s National Soccer team. Jan spent six years as the Associate Head of School and led the Intermediate School (grades 4-6) and the Middle School (grades 7-8) before becoming Head of School.

Dr. Pullen holds degrees from Manatee Junior College (A.A.), Florida State University (B.S.) and National Louis University (M.Ed.). In May 2013, she graduated with a doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Pullen is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Global Outreach-Tanzania, the University of
South Florida Bradenton-Sarasota Community Council, and the Board of Directors of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. She leads accreditation teams for the Florida Council of Independent Schools and continues to make conference presentations for a variety of education organizations. In the community, she is a sustainer member of the Junior League of Manatee County and the Service Club of Manatee County.

About Cynthia Weldon-Lassiter, Ed.D.
Cyndy Weldon-Lassiter is the seventh Head of School at St. Andrew’s School, which was founded by Grace Arents in 1894. This independent elementary school provides quality, progressive education to children from families with limited financial resources through a full scholarship for every child. The school currently serves 94 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, all from low-income families.

Dr. Weldon-Lassiter became Head of School in July 2010, bringing nearly two decades of experience as a teacher, researcher and leader in curriculum and faculty development. Prior to her current position, she was an educator in the Chesterfield County Public School system, as well as The Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. Following that, she taught in a K-12 setting at an independent school in Montclair, New Jersey, while attending her doctoral program.

Dr. Weldon-Lassiter is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received degrees in psychology and education. She earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University after completing research focused on homeless families with young children.

About the National Association of Episcopal Schools
The National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) is an independently incorporated, voluntary membership organization that supports, serves, and advocates for the vital work and ministry of those who serve nearly 1,200 Episcopal schools, early childhood education programs, and school establishment efforts throughout the Episcopal Church. Chartered in 1965, with historic roots dating to the 1930s, NAES is the only pre-collegiate educational association that is both national in scope and Episcopal in character. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014- 2015, NAES advances Episcopal education and strengthens Episcopal schools through essential services, resources, conferences, and networking opportunities on Episcopal school identity, leadership, and governance, and on the spiritual and professional development of school leaders. For additional information, call (800) 334-7626, ext. 6134, or (212) 716-6134; or email info@episcopalschools.org; or visit www.episcopalschools.org

Jeffrey Smith joins Christ Church Cranbrook as interim director of music

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

[Christ Church Cranbrook] Christ Church Cranbrook, an Episcopal church, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jeffrey Smith as Interim Director of Music. Dr. Smith comes to Christ Church Cranbrook (CCC) with an impressive international reputation among church musicians and is recognized as one of the leading Anglican musicians in the world.

Since 2009, Jeffrey Smith has served on the organ and church music faculty of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Based in London, he has served as organist to its oldest parish church, St Bartholomew-the-Great. He was previously Canon Director of Music at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where he conducted its Choir of Men and Boys in an extensive liturgical program, devised tours and recordings, and directed a weekly concert series. Smith was Music Director at Saint Paul’s Parish, K Street, in Washington D.C. from 1992 to 2004.

Before his time in Washington, D.C., Jeffrey Smith was the organist-choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Kentucky.

In addition to his doctoral degree from Yale University, Smith holds degrees and diplomas from Northwestern University, the Royal College of Music, and Royal College of Organists. He won highest honors in receiving the Fellowship of the American Guild of Organists and was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music in 2004. The Archbishop of Canterbury presented him with an Honorary Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians in 2011.

Jeffrey studied under such notable musicians as Thomas Murray, Gerre Hancock, Wolfgang Rübsam, John Birch, David Willcocks, and Philippe Lefebvre, organist of Notre Dame de Paris.

As a commentator on church music, Dr. Smith has been heard on both NPR and BBC Radio. His choral and organ disks on the Pro Organo label have been critically praised. He is also active as a guest choral conductor, workshop leader, and recitalist.

Dr. Smith will plan and oversee all music ministries of the parish during the active recruitment of a permanent director. He will work with other parish musicians in recruiting, maintaining, and conducting the adult choir, give oversight to C3, the Cranbrook Ringers, children’s choirs, and other ensembles at scheduled worship services and other performances. He will also be working with members of the parish to establish a program of chorister training and liturgical singing, along the lines of Royal School of Church Music model and/or school-affiliated models.

Dr. Smith grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and currently lives with his family in London, U.K., where his wife works as a journalist and his son is a chorister at Westminster Abbey. His ministry at Christ Church Cranbrook will begin on August 1 and continue until June 30, 2015.

Smith replaces John Repulski, a well-known musician throughout the region. Repulski has accepted an exciting opportunity in a joint position as Director of Music/Music Missioner at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

Rapidísimas

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

El 14 de julio la Iglesia de Inglaterra (Anglicana) hizo historia al aprobar la consagración de mujeres al episcopado después de una lucha que duró más de 30 años. La moción fue aprobada por el Sínodo General el grupo directivo de la iglesia formado por tres cámaras con representantes de obispos, sacerdotes y laicos de las diócesis de la iglesia. La votación fue la siguiente: 351 votos a favor, 72 en contra y 10 abstenciones. La moción ahora tendrá que pasar al Parlamento para su discusión que la remitirá a la reina Isabel II para su firma. La Iglesia de Inglaterra es la denominación más numerosa de Inglaterra y forma parte de la Comunión Anglicana, presente en 160 países.

Con diversos actos la comunidad cubana del exilio rindió tributo el 13 de julio a las víctimas del hundimiento del Remolcador “13 de Marzo” en el que perecieron hace 20 años 37 personas en su mayoría niños y mujeres. El grupo quería escapar de Cuba y fue atacado con fuertes chorros de agua de otra embarcación que hundió el remolcador. Liderado por el activista José Raúl Sánchez una flotilla de embarcaciones llegó hasta el límite de las aguas jurisdiccionales y lanzó cientos de luces y cohetes de fuegos artificiales que fueron vistos desde La Habana. El hundimiento del remolcador es uno de los actos más crueles del régimen de La Habana, dijo Sánchez. Hasta el momento no se ha enjuiciado a nadie.

El conflicto armado en la Faja de Gaza entre Israel y Palestina ha ido en aumento y ya se cuentan 195 víctimas palestinas. Por el momento no se vislumbra un cese al fuego.  Cientos de familias de Gaza han tenido que abandonar sus hogares para protegerse de la artillería israelí. Todo empezó cuando hace varias semanas tres jóvenes judíos fueron muertos por miembros de Hamás. Organizaciones internacionales han tratado de mediar sin resultado alguno. Hay temor de que el conflicto se convierta en una guerra civil.

Después de la terminación de la Copa Mundial en la que Alemania resultó ganadora en una reñida justa con Argentina, cientos de manifestantes realizaron actos de violencia callejera alrededor del Obelisco, monumento emblemático central de la ciudad de Buenos Aires. La policía hizo varios arrestos. Algo similar ha ocurrido en Brasil.

Observadores políticos afirman que Brasil tiene a la vista una seria crisis económica por los enormes gastos que se realizaron como preparación para los juegos. Citan, por ejemplo, el enorme estadio que se fabricó en Manaus una ciudad bastante pequeña que nunca podrá llenar el estadio. Manaus está situada en la confluencia de los ríos Negro y Solimoes en la parte norte de Brasil.

Kenneth Johnson, un pastor evangélico de 67 años fue baleado el 10 de julio en una pequeña tienda en Liberty City una sección de Miami donde residen muchas familias afro-americanas. El móvil del asesinato realizado por dos jóvenes de la comunidad fue para robarle una cadena que prendía de su cuello y que ellos no sabían que era falsa. Johnson era pastor de la iglesia Power Faith and Deliverance y era muy querido y respetado en la comunidad.

La situación de cientos de niños sin sus padres que han llegado hasta la frontera sur de Estados Unidos sigue sin resolverse. El gobierno norte-americano ha dicho que los niños serán repatriados pero mientras tanto necesitan alimentación, ropas y cuidado médico. Los niños y muchas de las madres que los acompañan proceden de Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador y han llegado hasta aquí en el techo de un tren de carga apodado “La Bestia” donde abundan el peligro y los abusos de todas clases. Esta situación ha sido catalogada como una “crisis humanitaria”, la más seria en muchos años. El grito de auxilio ha llegado hasta Roma donde el papa Francisco ha enviado al cardenal Pietro Parolín, secretario de Estado del Vaticano, para que trate de ayudar en la crisis.“Estos niños deben ser bienvenidos y protegidos”, dijo el papa Francisco. Katharine Jefferts Schori, obispa presidenta de la Iglesia Episcopal, ha pedido que el gobierno de Estados Unidos que actúe con justicia y generosidad ante tanto sufrimiento humano.

Durante la era de Hitler en Alemania se buscó a una niña que fuera bonita y “completamente blanca” con el fin de exaltar la raza aria. La foto de la niña fue publicada en la portada de una revista de circulación nacional. Ahora mediante pruebas científicas se ha determinado que la niña era judía y su nombre es Hessy Taft, que logró salvarse de los campos de concentración, vive en los Estados Unidos y tiene 80 años.

REFRAN. No todo lo que brilla es oro.

Video explores the ministry of Laundry Love

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The ministry of Laundry Love, and the many lives the program impacts, are explored in a new video from the Episcopal Church Office of Communication.

The video is here.

Based in Venice Beach, CA (Diocese of Los Angeles), Laundry Love is a ministry through which the members of the Episcopal Community of Thad’s Place demonstrate that “people are the new program” at a Laundromat in nearby Santa Monica.

Laundry Love “is a way to make a love-spreading difference in our community,” the Rev. Jimmy Bartz  of Thad’s Place continued. “It’s the modern day footwashing.”

“Laundry Love is about developing connection and relationship,” explained Mike Collins, Episcopal Church Manager of Multimedia.  “It’s a simple way to encourage communion between the poor and the people of Thad’s.”

More videos

Additional videos featuring the Episcopal Church’s ministry and mission are here and include: Thad’s in Santa Monica CA (Diocese of Los Angeles); St John’s Tower Church, St Lois, MO (Diocese of MO); Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA (Diocese of Pennsylvania); Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix AZ (Diocese of Arizona); St Paul & the Redeemer, Chicago, IL (Diocese of Chicago); St. Jude Wantagh, NY (Diocese of Long Island); and St. Martin’s in the Desert, Pahrump, NV (Diocese of Nevada):