[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The mission, ministry, and impact of Episcopal Church missionaries on a local community through the Episcopal Volunteers in Mission program are featured in a new video here.
The video about Episcopal Volunteers in Mission features two missionaries, Kyle Evans of the Diocese of Pennsylvania and Dan Tootle of the Diocese of Maryland, as they minister to the people and travel through the streets of Haiti.
“The ministry of Episcopal Volunteers in Mission is far-reaching and important,” commented the Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer. “The video illustrates the hands-on work, spiritual transformation, and positive impact of two of our missionaries in Haiti.”
Episcopal Volunteers in Mission is a program for adults 30 years and older who are interested in exploring their faith in new ways by living and serving in communities around the Anglican Communion. Currently there are 43 adult missionaries serving in 19 countries including, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Honduras, Jerusalem, Kenya, Qatar, South Africa, Taiwan, and Tanzania.
The video was produced by the Episcopal Church Office of Communication.
In addition, a different program designed for ages 21-30 is the Young Adult Service Corps, commonly known as YASC. YASC is a ministry for Episcopal young adults who are interested in exploring their faith in new ways by living and serving in communities around the Anglican Communion. Currently 24 young adults from 24 Episcopal Church dioceses are serving as missionaries in locales throughout the Anglican Communion.
For more information about the Episcopal Volunteers in Mission program or YASC, contact Copley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Episcopal Relief & Development press release] Episcopal Relief & Development is strengthening the crisis response of the Episcopal Church in South Sudan & Sudan (ECSSS) by providing financial and technical assistance to its humanitarian arm, SUDRA (the Sudanese Development and Relief Agency). Since February, SUDRA has provided food for 70,000 displaced people in the most critical areas where ECSSS is present. This includes a daily meal for 3,000 children in Awerial, cooked and served by volunteers from the local Mothers’ Union.
“I am thankful for our partnership with ECSSS, that we can actively support their mission of caring for vulnerable people and creating lasting peace in a region so deeply marked by conflict,” said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President of Programs. “Their long-term presence and history of strengthening communities has earned them trust across divisions, enabling them to act directly where few others could – both on the ground and at the highest levels.”
“I encourage all Episcopalians to be in solidarity with our partners in South Sudan, through prayer and by enabling Episcopal Relief & Development to continue supporting SUDRA’s vital work,” Nelson said.
On May 9, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori called for prayers for South Sudan and Sudan in a joint message of solidarity with the heads of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Episcopal Relief & Development’s bulletin insert can be used to raise awareness and support for those most impacted by this crisis.
Episcopal Relief & Development serves as the key liaison with ECSSS and SUDRA for a group of Anglican and Episcopal Church agencies supporting the relief and recovery efforts. Planned activities over the coming months will bring urgently needed food aid to recently displaced people in Upper Nile, Unity, Jonglei and Bahr-el-Ghazal states. Although fighting is ongoing, SUDRA will also begin the necessary work of peace-building and reconciliation by providing trauma counseling and facilitating resettlement, in collaboration with the Church’s Justice Peace & Reconciliation Commission.
Renewed clashes broke out in South Sudan just days after President Salva Kiir and ex-vice president Riek Machar signed a new peace deal on May 9. The previous agreement, signed in January, also failed to end the current civil conflict, now in its fifth month. Altogether, UN OCHA estimates that 4.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to this crisis, and 1.3 million have been displaced, either inside the nation’s borders or in neighboring countries.
ECSSS and SUDRA work with partners across faith-based, government and non-government sectors, using local resources to respond to emergent and ongoing needs. During this time of crisis, a number of Church properties are serving as makeshift camps for displaced people and distribution points for food aid and other assistance. The ECSSS network of health clinics is responding to the overwhelming need for basic care and working to minimize the potential spread of respiratory and waterborne disease in the camps. Additionally, the Church has been a stabilizing presence during periods of turmoil, helping the previous civil war come to an end in 2005 and providing material and spiritual support to migrating populations during South Sudan’s peaceful separation from Sudan.
“Moving forward, our work with SUDRA will continue to focus on strengthening communities, reducing vulnerability in times of crisis and quickening recovery after events that disrupt daily life,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Program Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development. “Programs that increase access to health care and quality education, help crops tolerate extreme weather and empower people with business skills increase quality of life in the short-term and boost resilience in the long-term.”
- For the latest updates on Episcopal Relief & Development’s work with SUDRA in response to the current crisis, visit http://www.episcopalrelief.org/southsudan
- Episcopal Relief & Development’s most recent bulletin insert for South Sudan can be downloaded from http://www.episcopalrelief.org/church-in-action/worship-resources/bulletin-inserts
- For more information on Episcopal Relief & Development’s long-term work in South Sudan, visit http://www.episcopalrelief.org/where-we-work/country/south-sudan
- To learn more about The Episcopal Church’s relationship with ECSSS and for prayer, study and advocacy resources, visit http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/praystudyact-sudan
[University of the South School of Theology press release] The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, dean of the University of the South’s School of Theology, announced May 13 the appointment of the Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga, Ph.D., as distinguished visiting professor of global Anglicanism. Tengatenga will begin officially on July 1, 2014. He will teach courses in missiology, contemporary global Anglicanism, and related subjects.
“I am honored to be appointed to this position and it is my prayer that I will be able to share my knowledge and experience of the church, what God is doing with his people worldwide and the church’s role in God’s Mission,” said Tengatenga. “It is always an honour to participate in the formation of leaders. It is an invitation to participate in the future.”
In 2013, The School of Theology adopted a strategic plan that included a goal to establish shared programs and defined partnerships across the Anglican Communion.
Commenting on this strategic initiative, the dean noted, “Dr. Tengatenga has few peers in his extensive experience in the leadership of the Anglican Communion and his understanding church’s mission throughout the world. His leadership of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and of the Anglican Consultative Council gives him a comprehensive knowledge of Anglican mission throughout the world that few can equal. Bringing this rich experience to our academic program is an enormous gift to our students, and his knowledge of the Anglican Communion will be vital to Sewanee’s deeper engagement in the life of the worldwide church.”
First as a priest, and later as bishop of Southern Malawi for 15 years, Tengatenga has been a tireless advocate for human rights, particularly for youth and women. Within the broader African context, he has contributed positively to the ongoing conversations with respect to the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the church.
Tengatenga has been involved in HIV ministry as a member of the Malawi National AIDS Commission that coordinates the national response to HIV and AIDS.
Tengatenga resigned his position as bishop of Southern Malawi in order to accept a position as the dean of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College, a position for which he was eminently qualified as to his capabilities and character. Unfortunately, due to controversy created by third parties and persons, Dartmouth withdrew its offer. (The matter between Dartmouth and Tengatenga has since been amicably resolved.) He was soon thereafter appointed as a Presidential Fellow at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.
Upon hearing news of this appointment, Dr. Ian Douglas, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, said, “Bishop James Tengatenga is one of the most significant Christian leaders in the worldwide Anglican Communion. He is passionate about and dedicated to God’s mission to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. Sewanee will find in Bishop James a caring and pastoral presence committed to forming global Christian leaders. The University of the South will be blessed to have him on the Mountain.”
Tengatenga was born in Kwekwe, in what was then Rhodesia, on April 7, 1958. In 1979 he began theological training and priestly formation at Zomba Theological College in Malawi. He continued theological training at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, where he earned a master of divinity degree and was ordained a priest in 1985. He has done graduate work at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Malawi, as well as honorary degrees from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, and The General Theological Seminary in New York City.
“The University is committed to serious scholarship and to the preparation of an educated ministry,” explains John M. McCardell Jr., vice-chancellor of the University of the South. “As part of our broader, long-range vision, we want to see students matriculating here from across the Anglican Communion. Dr. Tengatenga’s appointment underscores this global orientation as we seek to increase Sewanee’s diversity in both the college and The School of Theology.”
Sewanee: The University of the South comprises a nationally recognized College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a School of Letters, and a distinguished School of Theology (seminary and The Beecken Center) serving The Episcopal Church. Located on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee enrolls 1,550 undergraduates and approximately 170 seminarians in master’s and doctoral programs annually. Sewanee is owned by 28 Episcopal dioceses, the only university so directly related to The Episcopal Church.
[Episcopal News Service]¿Qué significa ser la Iglesia en Honduras?
Es una pregunta que el obispo Lloyd Allen y otros en la Diócesis de Honduras han empezado a hacerse ellos mismos mientras que hacen ajustes en su plan de auto-sostenibilidad del 2019 y se retiran de la dependencia de más de 150 años.
Aunque la independencia financiera y la auto-sostenibilidad pueden sonar como un concepto vigorizante para los norteamericanos, retirarse de una dependencia de un siglo y medio— necesita ser influenciada y haber encontrado el apoyo de afuera — no es fácil en Honduras, o de manera más amplia en América Latina, donde una cultura profundamente arraigada a la dependencia se remonta a la ocupación española y en la iglesia para que los anglicanos estableciesen su primer puesto fronterizo de misión colonial.
“Nos guste o no, y por más difícil que parezca, creo que es hora que la diócesis empiece a alejarse del legado de la dependencia” dijo Allen en un discurso del 2012 de la convención de la Diócesis de la Florida Central hacienda eco a palabras que había dicho el año anterior durante la reunión anual de su diócesis.
En la Florida Central, una diócesis compañera de mucho tiempo, la multitud aplaudió las palabras de Allen. Sin embargo, en Honduras, su proclamación no fue bien recibida. “Pueda que ahora no sea la persona más popular en la Diócesis de Honduras,” dijo.
Alejarse de la dependencia, Allen pronto se dio cuenta, que requeriría un cambio profundo de mentalidad, y que era algo que no se podía lograr invitando a consultores y realizando talleres.
“Estamos en camino; no sé cuánto tiempo tomara”, dijo “… nosotros estamos en camino, cueste lo que cueste. El crecimiento no es fácil”.
En el centro de ese crecimiento se encuentra una reparación complete de la relación entre la diócesis y sus misiones y sus estaciones de predicación. Como es y como ha sido siempre, el dinero fluye de la diócesis a las 124 congregaciones. El flujo debe ser revertido; cuando eso se consiga, la diócesis puede comenzar a enviar su apoyo a la Iglesia Episcopal, revirtiendo esa larga relación de dependencia.
“Eso es un cambio real en la dinámica”, dijo la Rda. Canónigo Lura Kaval, representante de desarrollo de la diócesis y una misionera nombrada de la Iglesia Episcopal que radica en San Pedro Sula.
Además de los $227.000 que la diócesis recibe de la Iglesia Episcopal, la diócesis administra siete escuelas bilingües, un centro de conferencias, un almacén y EpiscoTours, el cual realiza los arreglos de viajes e itinerarios para los equipos de la misión, todos los cuales generan una ganancia. La diócesis además ha incorporado una organización sin fines de lucro en los Estados Unidos, la Red de Conexión de Desarrollo de Honduras, para recaudar fondos.
La Iglesia de Inglaterra transfirió la jurisdicción de los puestos fronterizos de misión en América central y el Caribe a la base de la iglesia Episcopal en los Estados Unidos después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Dos décadas después en los años 1960s, la tendencia en la Comunión anglicana fue de examinar el trabajo misionero de la iglesia en un mundo post-colonial, alejándose del “trato paternalístico de los ‘distritos misioneros’ del exterior” según los documentos archivados.
La Convención General de 1964 estableció la IX Provincia “para fomentar las relaciones entre los distritos en América Latina que conduciría a la autonomía”.
Honduras es la única diócesis en Centro América que pertenece a la IX Provincia; las otras— El Salvador, Guatemala, Panamá, Costa Rica y Nicaragua — pertenecen a las iglesias anglicanas en América Central, o a IARCA sus siglas en español, una provincial de la Comunión Anglicana.
Las otras iglesias de la IX Provincia incluyen, en América del Sur, Ecuador Central, Ecuador Litoral, Colombia, y Venezuela, y en el Caribe, la Republica Dominicana y Puerto Rico.
En febrero, por recomendación del equipo de trabajo de la Segunda Marca de la Misión , un grupo convocado por el personal de la Sociedad Misionera Nacional y Extranjera, Consejo Ejecutivo de la Iglesia Episcopal estuvieron de acuerdo en un plan de 18 años para la “autosuficiencia”, para pasar a la misión de sostenibilidad y al ministerio en la IX Provincia.
Históricamente la Iglesia Episcopal ha apoyado a la iglesia de la IX Provincia mediante un programa de subvenciones en bloque, el cual proporciona a las diócesis fondos para la administración en una cantidad de $2.9 millones en el presente trienio. El presupuesto del trienio además incluye 1 millón adicional para la IX Provincia con el objetivo de “fortalecer la provincia para la misión de sostenibilidad”. Este dinero estará disponible para las diócesis para avanzar su progreso hacia la auto-sostenibilidad.
El presupuesto de la Convención General del 2009 redujo el programa de subvenciones, disminuyendo la cantidad que recibían las diócesis en un tercio; aunque este cambio abrupto fue una sorpresa, no era totalmente inesperado.
En los primeros años de su episcopado, Allen sirvió en el Comité Permanente y Conjunto de Programa, Presupuesto y Finanzas de la iglesia y” vio la escritura en la pared,” dijo.
“Vendré a casa y compartiré mis ideas y preocupaciones con el clero, y diré que necesitamos mirar hacia adelante y alejarnos de la dependencia”.
Ordenado y consagrado en el 2001, Allen contrato a un consultor de afuera para ayudar a la diócesis a crear un plan estratégico, el primero que fue presentado en el 2004 y actualizado en el 2007; el plan de autosuficiencia del 2019 para edificado en los planes anteriores.
Después del huracán Mitch, de categoría 5 donde más de 7,000 personas fallecieron y causo daños en más de $2 billones cuando impacto en Honduras a fines de octubre de 1998, billones de dólares en ayuda monetaria internacional ion llovieron y equipo de voluntarios empezaron a llegar para ayudar a reconstruir el país de Centro América.
En términos de desarrollo, el presidente del país en ese entonces, dijo que Mitch retraso a Honduras 50 años; Mitch además marco un punto de inflexión en que las pandillas juveniles en Honduras se organizaron mejor y la situación de seguridad del país comenzó a deteriorarse.
Finalmente, la cobertura de los medios de comunicación y el flujo de fondos y asistencia disminuyeron. Aun así la Iglesia Episcopal permaneció, y empezó a ser rediseñada y a crecer y el plan del 2019, “Venga y vea Honduras”, tomo forma.
Participación del Liderazgo
Un adelanto hasta marzo del 2014 y una conferencia de informe parroquial de un día realizado en la Iglesia del Espíritu Santo en Santa Rita de Copán, donde se reunieron 60 líderes de 26 de las 30 misiones y de estaciones de predicaciones en los deanarios de Copán y Maya cubrió el suroeste del país.
“Todo lo que necesitamos en la Diócesis de Honduras Dios nos lo ha dado” dijo Kaval. “Parte de esto es ayudar a que la gente vea lo que tenemos”.
El informe de la parroquia de cuatro páginas archiva datos demográficos, ganancias, gastos, clero, bautismo, confirmación e información educacional y es para la planificación de la misión. La diócesis planea utilizar la información obtenida por el informe de la parroquia y aplicar los principios de desarrollo comunitario basado en activos para ayudar a sus misiones y estaciones de predicación a poder llegar a ser auto-sostenible. Además. Las Cinco Marcas de la Misión forman una parte importante del plan de auto-sostenibilidad de la diócesis; ellos proporcionan un mapa de ruta para determinar que significa ser la iglesia en Honduras y ser base de desarrollo y mayordomía.
El plan de auto sostenibilidad del 2019, Venga y vea la nueva Honduras, empieza fortaleciendo al clero y laicado. En la primavera del 2013, la diócesis formo equipos de liderazgo de laicos proporcionándoles los objetivos de la diócesis y las Cinco Marcas de la Misión para obtener la independencia financiera y auto-sostenibilidad, con la intención de que el clero y los líderes laicos se hagan mutuamente responsables.
De la escasez a la abundancia
En un país donde el 60 por ciento de 7.9 millones de personas viven en la pobreza, Copán es el tercer departamento más pobre en el país, el cual en superficie terrestre es aproximadamente del tamaño de Kentucky. Aun así las 46 misiones en los deanatos de Copán y Maya son unas que tienen más recursos y son menos dependientes de la diócesis.
“Estos dos están adelantados en la mayordomía, y ellos están construyendo sus propias iglesias”, dijo Allen, agregando que ellos son modelo para otros deanatos. “Es muy poco lo que nosotros [la diócesis puede hacer por ellos”.
Una hora en auto hasta la montaña La Entrada, un tenedor literal en la carretera en el suroeste de Honduras que en una dirección lleva hacia las ruinas Mayan en Copán, se encuentra La Misión San José, una misión relativamente nueva de la Diócesis de Honduras, pero es una que creció el 9 de marzo cuando 11 personas fueron confirmadas y 13 fueron recibidas en la Iglesia Episcopal.
Allen predicó y presidio el servicio de ese día, el primer domingo de cuaresma, donde los feligreses tenían globos colgados pétalos de flores purpuras y blancas dispersados por el altar. Allen recientemente le pidió a la congregación, ahora oficialmente una misión, que mirase el Libro de Oración Común, los santos y las fiestas, para elegir un nombre. Ellos eligieron San José.
Misión San José es dirigida por Yolanda Portillo, una líder lacio que ha aumentado la iglesia.
“Soy una creyente firme en el ministerio de la mujer; ella ha dado un giro a la iglesia”, dijo Allen, al manejar hacia La Cedral, donde 2,500 personas viven en la comunidad y en sus alrededores, y que están empleados principalmente en la industria del café.
La iglesia ha crecido, dijo Portillo, a través de la predicación del evangelio de puerta en puerta.
Al inicio del episcopado de Allen, la diócesis tenía 87 congregaciones donde servían 22 sacerdotes, casi la mitad de ellos extranjeros. En un periodo de dos días en el 2005, él ordenó 25 diáconos. Hoy la diócesis tiene 156 misiones donde sirven 56 sacerdotes y16 diáconos, la mayoría de ellos son Hondureños. El número de episcopales ha llegado a los 65,000.
Los ejemplos de crecimiento congregacional, auto-sostenibilidad y promoción comunitaria pueden verse en toda la diócesis. Otro ejemplo es la Parroquia Manos de Dios en Danlí, una ciudad 60 millas al sudeste deTegucigalpa, la capital, cerca de la frontera con Nicaragua.
Dirigido por Victor Manuel Velasquez, Manos de Dios empezó con una iglesia en una casa en el 2000, pero con la ayuda de la agencia anglicana para el desarrollo en Honduras, o Aanglidesh como se le llamada, y su asociación con el Fondo de Desarrollo y Ayuda Episcopal, ha crecido para incluir una instalación con un centro comunitario, espacio para talleres, sala de computación y una tienda que generar ingresos vendiendo suministros para los estudiantes que asisten a una escuela técnica cercana.
Es esa clase de espíritu emprendedor que Allen dice sirve como modelo para otras congregaciones en la diócesis, una que el Rdo. Roberto Martinez Amengual, administrador de Aanglidesh, dice demuestra el poder de las asociaciones.
Manos de Dios además proporciona espacio para un programa de ahorros y de préstamos y microcréditos que sirven a las mujeres y las familias en Danlí.
“Nuestra asociación con Aanglidesh en las áreas rurales de Honduras es un buen ejemplo del enfoque basado en los activos que promovemos en todo nuestro trabajo en el mundo”, dijo Kirsten Laursen Muth, directora del fondo de Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopal para programa internacionales.
En una gira de Manos de Dios, Velasquez explicó que un préstamo de $5,000 renovable, y con la ayuda de los equipos de misión de los Estados Unidos, hizo que la construcción sea posible.
“Usted pude ver a donde fue la inversión”, dijo. “Nos convertiremos en parroquia muy pronto”.
La diócesis ya ha movido cuatro misiones a condición de parroquias: Santa María en Tegucigalpa, Santa Trinidad en La Ceiba, El Buen Samaritano en San Pedro Sula y Espíritu Santo en Tela. Trece de las 156 misiones han sido identificados como “parroquias en estado de apoyo”, es decir que estas están cerca de pagar el 50 por ciento de los gastos del clero. La mayoría de las congregaciones urbanas de las diócesis tienen escuelas, y se han dado cuenta que pueden apoyar a sus propios clérigos, dijo Allen.
“Habrán misiones en las zonas rurales que nunca se convertirán en (parroquias); tal vez dos o tres tendrán que juntarse”, dijo Allen.
Las iglesia protestantes y evangélicas están ganando en la Iglesia Católica Romana en Honduras, donde no es raro que un sacerdote católico visite una parroquia una o dos veces al año, u cuando el sacerdote llega, se le debe de pagar, dijo Allen, explicando que esto es para el crecimiento en su diócesis. Además, como se demuestra en Danlí, las misiones episcopales con frecuencia abordan necesidades sociales de la comunidad. Aun así el clero episcopal no siempre está cómodo solicitando apoyo de los feligreses.
Por ejemplo en San Bartolomé Apóstol en Siguatepeque, una ciudad pequeña en las montañas centrales en la ruta principal entre San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, la Rda. Vaike Madisson de Molina, el vicario, ha trabajado con el ministerio de salud para establecer una escuela de enfermería y completar el curso a pesar de que ella es demasiado mayor para ser licenciada; sin embargo cuando el tema de auto-sostenibilidad se aborda y se solicita apoyo de la congregación, esto se vuelve visiblemente incómodo.
Los líderes diocesanos dicen que esta forma de pensar tiene que cambiar para que las misiones puedan ser autosuficientes y contribuir dinero para el presupuesto diocesano; el clero necesita apoyar la mayordomía y empezar a solicitar apoyo a sus congregaciones.
“El clero tiene que hacer entender a la gente que ellos son la iglesia… no se trata de ir a la iglesia, se trata de ser la iglesia”, dijo Rick Harlow, el jefe del proyecto de la diócesis y un misionero nombrado por la Iglesia Episcopal.
La diócesis recientemente organizó una conferencia centrada en la mayordomía, donde el Rdo. Gary C. Hoag, co-autor de “The Sower,” presentó conceptos y talleres para ayudar a “desarrollar mayordomos fieles”.
En la misión San Fernando Rey en Omoa, donde Ana Reid, una misionera que sirve en Honduras como parte de la sociedad de Anglicanos Misioneros y emisores o SAMS, la mayordomía, edificada en la influencia evangélica local, es un componente integral para reconstruir una estación de la misión que de otro modo hubiese sido ignorada e irse a la ruina.
“En la iglesia evangélica, se enseña que se necesita que usted debe dar su10 por ciento: esto está arraigado en usted como una responsabilidad cristiana”, dijo Reid, que es de Danvers, Massachusetts. “Ellos son muy firmes en la enseñanza que cuando uno da se recibe”.
Para Reid, sin embargo, ella continuó, todo se trata de educación y entrenamiento. Para aquellos que han venido de la Iglesia Católica Romano, la práctica ha sido de poner una pequeña cantidad en los platos de la ofrenda porque históricamente el sacerdote ha sido remunerado por alguien más; a los sacerdotes no se les requería participar en la vida de la parroquia y apoyar financieramente. Ella dice que la iglesia Episcopal tampoco no ha sido firme en enseñar a diezmar.
“Es una disciplina espiritual”, ella dijo, agregando que hay cleros que ellos mismos no diezman. “Si ellos mismos no lo hacen; ellos no pueden preciarlo”.
Además de enseñar sobre mayordomía para reconstruir San Fernando Rey, Reid ha ayudado a David Dominguez, un líder laico, para que ofrezca clases de inglés en la parroquia, que también tiene la intención de administrar una sala de servicios de internet después de realizar un estudio para determinar las necesidades y el deseo para uno en la comunidad. La parroquia también tiene planes de tener una cafetería afuera para que atienda a los turistas.
“Yo no soy el sacerdote, yo no soy la persona a cargo, solo estoy aquí para ayudar”, dijo Reid, agregando que ella no está diciendo a la gente que hacer, pero que ella misma lo hace. “Yo pongo mis manos en la obra”.
En última instancia, el plan de Reid es fortalecer los líderes lacios y salirse ella misma de un trabajo.
Volver a los inicios de la Iglesia
El gobierno de Honduras reconoció oficialmente a la Iglesia Episcopal hace 150 años atrás, sin embargo la presencia Anglicana Episcopal en Honduras se remonta 400años atrás en 1639, cuando los bucaneros trajeron la Iglesia Anglicana a Roatán, la más grande isla de la bahía de Honduras, y establecieron la Iglesia Anglicana Emmanuel en el puerto Royal.
Allen envió al Rdo. Nelson Mejia y su esposa Rda. Kara Mejia, a Roatán para restablecer la presencia de la Iglesia Episcopal en las islas más grandes de la bahía de Honduras, un viaje en ferri de 90 minutos desde el continente, lo que ellos ya han hecho en una área llamada Brick Bay. Una segunda iglesia fue posible con una subvención para fundar la iglesia (church planting) y con la ayuda del ministerio de desarrollo, esta iglesia está en su primera fase de construcción.
La nueva iglesia, que se llamara Emmanuel para la iglesia que los bucaneros fundaron en el siglo 17, está prevista para Coxen Hole, una comunidad creciente de 20,000 personas. La construcción se iniciará en el lugar en agosto del 2014; antes la congregación se reunía en casas y luego alquilo un salón pequeño en la ciudad, dijo el Rdo. Nelson Mejia.
El edificio permanente será construido de hormigón con vigas reforzadas, y además del santuario, habrá un salón de la parroquia y un cuarto de costura para apoyar una microempresa.
Por ahora la iglesia está bajo un refugio temporal, de estructura de madera, una lona pesada sirve como techo; el piso es de tierra. Los baños, que se necesitan para los eventos, se encuentran a un lado, junto a un almacén donde se guardan las sillas de plástico, el podio, un teclado proyector y otros suministros para el servicio y la escuela dominical. Mejia y su familia llegan a pocos minutos antes del servicio para hacer los arreglos.
Relaciones de compañeros, equipos de misión
El plan del 2019 también invita a que participen los socios de Norte América, que están invitados para unirse a la misión, compartir experiencia profesional o apoyar a un miembro del clero mediante su Programa de asociación de Clero.
La diócesis empezó a operar viajes misioneros de corto plazo en 1992 sin ningún incidente. Pero el surgimiento d de las pandillas y los titulares internacionales que presentan a la violencia ha llevado a un 50 de disminución en el número de equipos de misión en los últimos años.
“El aumento de la violencia realmente nos ha afectado de gran manera”, dijo Allen. “Mucha gente me pregunta si los [viajes de misiones cortos] son aún seguros”. La diócesis en Honduras proporciona a los equipos de misión con guías y conductores los 7 días de la semana y las 24 horas del día, desde que llegan hasta que se van.
Larry Tate, miembro de la iglesia la Encarnación en Dallas, Texas, que a través de los años ha dirigido muchos viajes de equipo de misiones cortos, y quien estuvo en Honduras en marzo está explorando el próximo viaje de su equipo y dijo que su prioridad principal es mantener seguro a los miembros del equipo.
“Nos pondremos a la gente en peligro”, dijo, agregando que siempre está pendiente de las noticas. “Nosotros escuchamos lo que nos dice el Obispo y hacemos preguntas”.
– Lynette Wilson es una editora/reportera para Episcopal News Service.
[Episcopal News Service – Washington, D.C.] Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church, spoke during the opening of Advocacy to Challenge Domestic Poverty, a three-day gathering of 50 bishops and young adults from eight domestic dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Sponsored by the church and Bishops Working for a Just World and made possible by a Constable Fund grant, the gathering seeks to train young adults to transform unjust structures of society and to stand with and be advocates for the poor.
[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has called the Episcopal Church to prayer and action for South Sudan.
During the past five months, South Sudan has faced its greatest challenge since becoming the world’s newest nation in July 2011, when it seceded from the north in a referendum on independence following almost half a century of civil war.
A separate conflict erupted last December after South Sudan President Salva Kiir accused his sacked former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.
But even as hope emerged on May 9 when the two leaders agreed to a truce and to forming a transitional government ahead of fresh elections, fighting has continued in parts of South Sudan. The humanitarian crisis is vast and the South Sudanese are desperately in need of the world’s support. The conflict has left thousands dead and more than 1.2 million people have fled their homes.
Jefferts Schori says she would like Episcopalians “to learn more about the situation, to be in contact with their legislators, to pray, and to reach out to the Sudanese in their own neighborhoods.”
She was joined May 9 by heads of the North American Lutheran and Anglican churches in calling the church to prayer, especially as the Episcopal Church calendar commemorates the Martyrs of Sudan on May 16.
The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations provided a template for an advocacy letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, urging him to support peace and reconciliation in South Sudan.
For further information about the crisis in South Sudan and resources for prayer, study and action, visit: www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan.
[Episcopal News Service] It wasn’t until border control agents picked up Ethel Paat that she realized she was the victim of a transnational crime.
A teacher with a master’s degree and a single mother of three, Paat arrived in the United States in October 2010. She’s just one of many Filipino women scammed since 2003 by a Philippines-based labor recruitment agency on the false promise of a high-paying teaching job.
Paat and other survivors of human trafficking shared their stories May 10 with the more than 100 people gathered for the Summit on Human Trafficking: Communities Mobilizing Against Modern Day Slavery, a daylong conference held at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Elmhurst, New York.
Organized by the Asiamerica Ministries of the Episcopal Church and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, the summit brought together religious and civic leaders, elected officials and the community to create awareness and to strategize involvement in the worldwide movement against human trafficking.
Also, the summit was a first step in creating the Asia-America Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
“We need to have a network with Asia and America, Asia being a sender and America being a destination,” said the Rev. Fred Vergara, the Episcopal Church’s missioner for Asiamerica ministries and the priest-in-charge at St. James.
Beginning with a U.S.-Philippines network, the hope is that the coalition will grow to include other sending countries in Asia, including South Korea and China, added Vergara.
Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is a lower middle-income national that is home to 96.7 million people, 25 percent of them living in poverty.
High rates of poverty, unemployment and underemployment, and the confluence of natural disasters, like the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that in 2013 left 6,000 people dead and more than 500,000 people displaced in the Philippines, create exploitative conditions.
And despite the existence of anti-trafficking laws in the Philippines, lack of enforcement has not deterred trafficking, said Deserie Joy Arucan, the Gabriela Women’s Party national officer for education and training based in Quezon City, the largest city in the Philippines.
Arucan will serve as the fledgling coalition’s point person in the Philippines.
Worldwide, 21 million people, including 11.4 million women and girls, are victims of trafficking. The United States is a major destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation.
In 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2000. The act, which emphasizes protections for women and children, seeks to prevent human trafficking, protect its victims and prosecute traffickers; it was reauthorized in 2013.
Queens is the third most racially diverse county in the United States, with 22.8 percent of its population identifying as Asian-America and 27.5 percent as Latin. The borough sits at the western tip of Long Island and is the port of entry for both air and sea traffic into New York City.
Human trafficking is ubiquitous and exists wherever there’s a demand for cheap labor and sex. People who’ve been trafficked typically work in restaurants, nail salons, massage parlors, on construction sites, explained the Rev. Raynald Bonoan, rector of Holy Spirit Church in Safety Harbor, in the Diocese of Southwest Florida.
Bonoan, who’s an active member of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, gave the summit’s keynote address, “A Christian call to take action against human trafficking.” People don’t seek help, he said, because they are ashamed, they feel isolated or confused, they don’t want to bring shame on their families, they’ve become dependent on their traffickers.
And it’s not uncommon for human trafficking to go unrecognized, as Executive Council Member Lelanda Lee, who chairs council’s Joint Standing Committee on Advocacy and Networking for Mission, explained following the survivors’ panel.
Lee and her family once assisted a family from the former-Soviet state of Georgia. The man, a former Olympic fencer, was brought over by a fencing club with the promise of a job that never materialized and Lee’s family helped the Georgians obtain work permits and green cards.
“What we never understood was that they’d been trafficked,” said Lee, adding that what she’d thought was an individual case was actually part of a larger systemic problem.
For its part, the Episcopal Church’s General Convention has passed five resolutions, the first in 2000, condemning human trafficking, supporting trafficking victims and calling for churchwide public education campaigns.
One tangible thing people can do is to listen with compassion to stories of survivors, Paat and others said.
In Paat’s case, the recruitment agency looked legitimate; graduates from the Philippines’ top universities were paying up to $20,000, the amount Paat eventually paid, to come to the United States. Ignoring her mother’s pleas for her not to go and out of a desire to provide more for her parents and her children, Paat ignored her sense that something wasn’t quite right.
Then she arrived, there wasn’t a teaching job and life living under that radar began.
Rather than work as a teacher, she worked as a babysitter and was “forced to do unimaginable things,” she said in tears.
Once Paat was forced to share her story and she realized she’d been a victim of human trafficking, she was able to get assistance and learned that she may be eligible for a T visa, a special nonimmigrant visa for victims of trafficking.
“I truly admire the U.S. government because I never thought they’d be giving us this support,” said Paat, whose case has been filed and is waiting to be heard.
– Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.
[Anglican Communion News Service] The final day included presentations on Bible in the Life of the Church Project, the ecumenical dialogues of the Anglican Communion, Unity, Faith and Order issues and the Anglican Communion’s Legal Advisers Network.
Unity, Faith & Order
Director for Unity, Faith and Order, the Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan, presented her report on the Anglican Communion’s Faith and Order work, plus the ecumenical initiatives supported by her office. These included facilitating the Inter-Anglican Standing Committee (IASCUFO) and various dialogues at the global level.
A report by the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission containing tool kits for Anglican-Methodist conversations was welcomed by the Standing Committee. It will be available soon. Canon Barnett-Cowan went on to explain that the members of the dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches have been named and will meet in 2015.
Canon Barnett-Cowan noted that the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan recently adopted the Anglican Communion Covenant. (The full list of responses to the Covenant to date can be found here)
The Anglican Communion Legal Advisors Network
Canon John Rees, legal adviser to the Anglican Consultative Council, said this group of canon lawyers from across the world are considering meeting together in person in January 2015 to consider family law patterns which are changing around the world. One reason for this is to provide a “descriptive backdrop against which Churches are carrying out their mission”.
Bible in the Life of the Church project
Mr. Stephen Lyon presented a report on the Bible in the Life of the Church project. He reminded the Standing Committee of the background to the project and associated ACC resolutions, and summarized the project so far. The project had fallen into two phases and would come to an end in 2016.
The project had four goals for its second phase 2012-2016: to increase educational resources and engagement with phase 1 of the project; to encourage engagement with what Anglicans had already said about Scripture; to support Anglicans in reading the Bible together to learn with and from one another; to explore different viewpoints on questions underlying understanding of Scripture, for example, what was meant by the authority of Scripture.
Following the publication of the report at the end of phase 1 of the Project, Deep Engagement; Fresh Discovery, questions had been raised such as ‘What does the Bible say about itself?’ Mr Lyon said he would write to a number of biblical scholars and theologians around the Communion asking them to consider these questions by email in small groups, with a view to publishing the conversations.
A series of essays edited by Clare Amos, former ACO Director for Theological Affairs, had been published with the title The Bible in the Life of the Church within the series Canterbury Studies in Anglicanism.
Mr. Lyon raised then three questions for the committee to consider:
• What form or forms should the final publication take? While the Deep Engagement; Fresh Discovery report had been described as ‘excellent’ it had also been noted that it ‘is a lot to digest in a short time’.
• Where should the work of the Bible in the Life of the Church project be placed, once its project-stage ended in 2016?
• Were there other platforms through which the work of the project and especially its resources could be made available?
These questions were discussed and suggestions fed back to Mr. Lyon. It was proposed that post-2016 the work of the project should be placed within the Department for Unity, Faith and Order, or the Theological Education if funds were found to reinstate this department.
Other matters resolved by the Standing Committee on the final day of its meeting included:
• That the Secretary General and Lambeth Palace staff should further investigate the feasibility 0f a project to help (Anglican) Christians and Muslims to better understand the nature of recent and current Christian/Muslim violence and consider possible ways to respond to it.
• Official thanks were given to Alyson Barnett-Cowan for her major contribution to the life and work of the Anglican Communion. Canon Barnett-Cowan is due to retire early in 2015.
[Church of England press release] The Archbishop of Canterbury has May 12 launched a report from the Education Division of the Church of England “Valuing All God’s Children: Guidance for Church of England Schools on Challenging Homophobic Bullying.”
The report is here.
The guidance, which is being sent to all Church of England schools, provides 10 key recommendations which should be adopted by schools in combating homophobic bullying as well as sample policies for primary and secondary church schools. Published by the Church Of England Archbishop’s Council Education Division, the guidance involved consultation and involvement with a number of Church of England schools with existing good practice.
Speaking at a Church of England Secondary School, at Trinity Lewisham, the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby said that the publication of the guidance fulfilled a pledge he made last July when addressing the Church of England’s General Synod.
“Less than a year ago I set out my concerns about the terrible impact of homophobic bullying on the lives of young people and I made a public commitment to support our schools in eradicating homophobic stereotyping and bullying.
“Since then an enormous amount of work has gone into producing this guidance so that commitment can be turned into action. I am extremely grateful to all those who have worked so hard to produce it and I particularly want to thank the schools and young people who have contributed.
“Church schools begin from the belief that every child is loved by God. This guidance aims to help schools express God’s love by ensuring that they offer a safe and welcoming place for all God’s children. This is a task we are called to share and I know it is one our schools take immensely seriously. I commend this guidance as a contribution to that work.”
In his address to the Church of England’s General Synod in July 2013, the Archbishop said:
“With nearly a million children educated in our schools we not only must demonstrate a profound commitment to stamp out such stereotyping and bullying; but we must also take action. We are therefore developing a program for use in our schools, taking the best advice we can find anywhere, that specifically targets such bullying. More than that, we need also to ensure that what we do and say in this Synod, as we debate these issues, demonstrates above all the lavish love of God to all of us.”
The guidance published May 12 notes that the purpose of schools is to educate and the aim of this guidance is to protect pupils in Church of England schools from having their self-worth diminished and their ability to achieve impeded by being bullied because of their perceived/actual sexual orientation: “Church schools are places where boundaries should be strong, where any harmful words or actions are known to be unacceptable, and where there are clear strategies for recognizing bullying and dealing with it in a framework of forgiveness and restorative justice. Children and young people in Church of England schools should be able to grow freely and to be comfortable and confident within their own skins without fear or prejudice.” (paragraph 19 of guidance document)
[Episcopal News Service] South Sudan’s political rivals have struck a new peace deal to end the five-month conflict that has left thousands dead and forced some 1.5 million people to flee their homes.
Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan departed early from a London meeting of the Anglican Communion Standing Committee last week when he was summoned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to take part in the May 9 negotiations between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his sacked former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar.
It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two rivals since the conflict erupted in December after Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup d’etat. Deng led the two leaders in prayer before they signed the peace deal.
But despite the deal, fighting has continued throughout the Upper Nile and Unity states, with each side accusing the other of violating the truce.
Deng was appointed chairperson of the national reconciliation committee by Kiir in April 2013, a move that highlights the central role that the church plays in peacebuilding and helping to heal the mental wounds in South Sudan following decades of civil war with the Islamic north.
During the past five months, South Sudan has faced its greatest challenge since becoming the world’s newest nation in July 2011, when it seceded from the north in a referendum on independence.
As part of the May 9 peace agreement, both leaders have committed to forming a transitional government, the drafting of a new constitution and to new elections.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who has called the Episcopal Church to prayer and action for South Sudan, told ENS May 9 during a break from the Standing Committee meeting that she sees hope “in the presence of Daniel Deng Bul in the midst of conversations, in the midst of challenges between political leaders in his own nation.”
“He continues to walk with hope; his people continue to walk with hope; the least we can do is join them.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby visited South Sudan in late January and witnessed some of the atrocities of the conflict. In an interview with ENS also on May 9 in London, Welby relayed his visit to Bor, in Jonglei State, where he said he saw hundreds of dead bodies lining the streets and where he consecrated a mass grave.
In the midst of evil, Welby said that he saw God “in the extraordinary fact that after half a century of civil war, and the hardening that that causes, that we could stand in Bor and see people weeping with compassion because the spirit of God still moves with love in their hearts.”
Deng’s role as chair of the reconciliation effort in South Sudan and in the May 9 peace talks in Addis Ababa “speaks volumes to the centrality of the church” in society and in peacebuilding, Welby said. It’s a church, “that has mobilized against despair … and is leading the struggle against violence.”[There is a video that cannot be displayed in this feed. Visit the blog entry to see the video.]
But even as the May 9 truce brings hope, church and world leaders warn that the task of building a lasting peace and rebuilding trust in South Sudan is daunting.
The U.N. has accused both the South Sudanese government and the rebels of crimes against humanity and estimates that five million people are now in need of humanitarian aid.
“The common people are the ones who suffer always and that’s very much the case in South Sudan,” said Jefferts Schori. “The displacement of people, the people who are starving, the children who are suffering in the midst of this. It’s a humanitarian disaster of the first order. I want to call the church to prayer about this until it is resolved.”
Richard Parkins, director of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, told ENS: “As we welcome the prospect of peace, let us understand that the cessation of hostility ushers in the opportunity to do some serious peace and reconciliation work to repair the deep mistrust among warring factions that this brutal conflict has produced. We must pray that the church, as the leader in rebuilding trust and fostering healing, will have the strength and wisdom to meet this daunting challenge.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was instrumental in bringing Kiir and Machar together, said the agreement “could mark a breakthrough for the future of South Sudan. The hard journey on a long road begins now and the work must continue.”
Gabriel Tor, a member of the Sudanese diaspora living in San Jose, California, has looked back on the last five months with despair and describes the peace agreement as “just a glimmer of hope in a desperate situation of crisis.”
Tor, who worships at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in San Jose, told ENS in a telephone interview that he wonders if Kiir and Machar would be willing to step aside “and leave the government to the rest of the leaders in South Sudan for a long-lasting peace and reconciliation after the peace process has been finalized. Of course we don’t know yet, but only if the two leaders are committed to what they’ve signed, will the future [bring peace] for the South Sudanese people.”
Kiir is Dinka and Machar is of the Nuer tribe, representing the two main Sudanese ethnic groups. Although there have been some ethnic dimensions to the conflict, Tor and many fellow Sudanese, both Dinka and Nuer, share the same view that the disagreements have been primarily political rather than tribal.
Tor said that in many places in South Sudan, members of different tribes continue to live peacefully and attend the same churches. They have not been in conflict, he said, “because they realize that the issues are mostly political … But the abuse came when both men [Kiir and Machar] used their tribal names to establish their claims.”
But Tor also acknowledged that the situation is complicated, varies from region to region, and that it has been challenging for accurate information to reach all the communities of South Sudan.
Welby told ENS that although there has been an ethnic element to the conflict, “to simplify it to the degree of saying that it is a tribal conflict is insane. It’s a mixture of things … It has a very strong economic element. It’s very strongly to do with development and the allocation of resources within that development. It has a lot to do with issues of justice, of accountability, and non-impunity. And I think it has a lot to do with leadership. And there are probably a million other reasons I haven’t thought of and don’t know enough about. All I know is that when we simplify conflicts, we drive out approaches to resolution.”
The church has a presence in almost every community in South Sudan, with Episcopalians and Roman Catholics accounting for the vast majority of the population.
The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, visited Juba, South Sudan’s capital, in early May to meet with representatives of local churches.
In a recent statement, he stressed that the South Sudanese churches have “rich spiritual resources” and play “a significant role in national dialogue, affirming unity and a sense of nation-building by strengthening a process of reconciliation.”
“We will pray and work with the churches in South Sudan, while they continue addressing these struggles in their pilgrimage for justice and peace,” he added.
Long-standing partnerships with Episcopal dioceses and agencies in the U.S. have brought these issues closer to home. Churchwide advocacy and prayer has meant that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion has found tangible ways to walk alongside its Sudanese brothers and sisters.
“The Episcopal Church has been integrally involved in this issue for several years,” Jefferts Schori said. “I would like Episcopalians to learn more about the situation, to be in contact with their legislators, to pray, and to reach out to the Sudanese in their own neighborhoods.”
Jefferts Schori was joined May 9 by heads of the North American Lutheran and Anglican churches in calling the church to prayer, especially as the Episcopal Church calendar commemorates the Martyrs of Sudan on May 16.
The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations provided a template for an advocacy letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, urging him to support peace and reconciliation in South Sudan.
“Prayer at the very least changes our own hearts; it joins us to people who are in the midst of radical suffering; it’s a reminder that we are all connected, that we are all children of the same God,” Jefferts Schori said.
Asked why prayer is so important and what difference it makes, Welby said: “As we pray, our hearts and minds are shaped by the wisdom and power of the spirit of God, and as we pray we engage with God in the struggle against human evil … We must be battering at the gates of heaven in prayer; remorseless, unceasing prayer.”
For further information about the crisis in South Sudan and resources for prayer, study and action, visit: www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan.
– Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.
[There is a video that cannot be displayed in this feed. Visit the blog entry to see the video.]
[Episcopal News Service] South Sudan is facing its greatest challenge since becoming an independent nation almost three years ago.
Fighting erupted last December after South Sudan President Salva Kiir accused his sacked former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.
But even as hope emerged on May 9 when the two rivals agreed to a truce and to forming a transitional government ahead of fresh elections, the humanitarian crisis is vast and the South Sudanese are desperately in need of the world’s support.
The conflict has left thousands dead and more than 1.2 million people have fled their homes.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has called the church to prayer. But in addition to prayer, she says that the church has a duty to study and to act. To find out more, visit: www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan
– Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.
[Episcopal Public Policy Network] In response to today’s call to action and prayer for the people of Sudan and South Sudan by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and her three other counterparts, heads of the North American Lutheran and Anglican Churches, The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations provides the following template for an advocacy letter to President Obama. Members of the Episcopal Public Policy Network may GO HERE to send it to the President. (After clicking the link, you will have the option of personalizing the letter if you wish).
Dear Mr. President,
As an Episcopalian whose Church has deep ties to our fellow Episcopalians in Sudan and South Sudan, I write with grave concern for the humanitarian situation in both countries in light of recent events. Our nation has had a long and productive history of diplomatic, humanitarian, and peacemaking engagement in Sudan and South Sudan. As the severity of the situation on the ground deepens, and the potential of a significant food crisis looms, I believe it is urgent that the United States build on its tremendous moral capital and history of engagement. Specifically, I urge you to:
- Strengthen and provide greater specificity to the U.S. government’s engagement with the various parties in order to affect meaningful comprehensive peace processes in both Sudan and South Sudan. I welcome Secretary Kerry’s recent visit to Juba and the Administration’s statements of ongoing support for peace in South Sudan and Sudan. However, the lack of specificity in our nation’s responses, our wavering diplomatic presence, and the absence of meaningful accountability mechanisms all cause me grave concern. Our government should work to build a coalition of international partners that will more intensively engage in the various peace processes and create meaningful and enforceable accountability mechanisms – political, diplomatic, legal, and financial – against any party that orchestrates war crimes, obstructs humanitarian aid, or otherwise contributes to violence.
- Expand humanitarian assistance. Among the material consequences of the ongoing violence on many fronts are the threat of a significant food and hunger crisis and the widespread displacement of people from their homes and communities. The need for greater international humanitarian assistance is urgent. I urge the U.S. government to provide significantly increased financial assistance – that is, new money, not simply reprogrammed money – in response to humanitarian needs. I urge particular focus on agriculture and hunger, assistance and protection of displaced persons, and the equipping of nongovernmental organizations working directly on the ground. Humanitarian assistance cannot wait for political developments.
- Provide greater support for reconciliation efforts. It is abundantly clear that lasting peace cannot come without the parties undertaking the challenging work of reconciliation, healing, and rebuilding of societal relationships. The well-known work of the Churches of South Sudan in promoting reconciliation through efforts such as the Committee for National Healing, Peace, and Reconciliation deserve greater financial and political investment, and expansion to other areas of the ongoing conflicts. The Churches of South Sudan uniquely have both the presence and credibility to be the principal agents of peace and reconciliation; however, that potential can be realized only if the parties and the various international partners invest them with the means to carry out the task. I urge the U.S. government to work more closely with the parties and international partners in supporting this and other national-reconciliation initiatives. It is imperative that reconciliation efforts be led by people on the ground and not simply the political elites who have precipitated various dimensions of conflict in the first place.
- Support political, democratic, and military reform; and the strengthening of civil society. I urge the U.S. government to actively build international support for political and democratic reform in the two Sudans. Specifically, I urge the building of transparent and inclusive processes to review constitutional, legal, and electoral systems. In particular, the U.S. government should prioritize efforts to assist the government of South Sudan in creating a new constitution that strengthens national unity, provides greater recognition to the state’s various sectors and persons, and assures greater accountability between the government and its people. Additionally, military reform, particularly building cohesion in the context of South Sudan’s ethnic divisions in military units, offers the potential for systemic change. In all reform processes, the inclusion of voices from civil society – particularly faith groups – will be a key to the success of those initiatives.
Mr. President, your own history of concern for peace in Sudan and South Sudan, and in the wider region, is significant. Now, in a critical moment for people who have endured as much conflict as any others in the world over the past sixty years, I pray that you will position our nation at the forefront of the effort to bring a lasting season of peace with justice, healing, and reconciliation.
Send this letter to President Obama HERE
[9 de mayo de 2014] Con los informes recientes del aumento de la violencia y las muertes, la Obispa Presidente de la Iglesia Episcopal Katharine Jefferts Schori ha pedidooraciones para Sudán del Sur y Sudán.
Ella se une a los líderes de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América, la Iglesia Anglicana de Canadá, y la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Canadá en presentar Un Mensaje de Solidaridad con la Iglesia en el Sur de Sudán
A continuación el mensaje:
Un Mensaje de Solidaridad Con la Iglesia en el Sur de Sudán
De los Líderes de
Iglesia Anglicana de Canadá
Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Americá
Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Canadá
Viernes 9 de mayo de 2014
La situación en Sudán del Sur sigue siendo extremadamente difícil, y la noticia de esteen los medios de comunicación de América del Norte es mínima. La violencia ha sidofomentada y estimulada por los líderes políticos que buscan sus propios intereses.Aunque los medios de comunicación presentan el conflicto como étnico, sus raíces, como en cualquier conflicto, son variados y complicados. De cualquier modo, nunca puede haber una lógica para el sufrimiento que se ha forjado.
Nuestros socios en la Iglesia Episcopal de Sudán del Sur y Sudán han sufrido muchas pérdidas masivas. Su pueblo ha sido asesinado, violado, torturado y quemado fuera de sus hogares. Las iglesias y pueblos enteros han sido destruidos. A pesar del amplio desplazamiento, los Anglicanos/Episcopales y Luteranos continúan estando activos en los esfuerzos de ayuda y de paz mediante nuestros socios de la Iglesia Episcopal del Sur de Sudán y Sudán y la Federación Luterana Mundial.
Nosotros les instamos a que se unan en oración por el pueblo de Sudán del Sur ySudán, por obtener la paz duradera y significativa, y para la ayuda inmediata y responder a las necesidades de los miles de desplazados.
Al celebrar la fiesta de la Resurrección, le instamos a ayudar en hacer que el cuerpo resucitado de Cristo sea evidente para aquellos que trabajan en el valle de sombra de muerte.
Reverendísima Katharine Jefferts Schori
Obispa Presidente y Primada
Obispa Elizabeth Eaton
Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Americá
Reverendísimo Fred Hiltz
Iglesia Anglicana de Canadá
Obispa Susan Johnson
Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Canadá
Información de la Iglesia Episcopal de Sudan www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan
- Noticias y videos de Episcopal News Service
Inserciones al Boletín de la Iglesia http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/stw/bulletin-inserts/
Promoción y Recursos Educacionales
- Política Pública http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/public-policy
- Red Episcopal de Política Pública: http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/home
Fondo de Desarrollo & Ayuda Episcopal www.episcopalrelief.org/southsudan
[Anglican Communion News Service] Primates from countries all over the Anglican Communion have joined the worldwide outcry the abduction of more than two hundred young girls from Chibok, Nigeria.
Over the past week church leaders on five continents have added their voices to the multitude of others calling for the safe return of the girls.
Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba condemned abductions of Nigerian Schoolgirls as an ‘outrage’. He called for “all of Africa, and especially South Africa” to rise up and demand the release of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted from their school three weeks ago.
Primate of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, Francisco da Silva issued a lengthy statement condemning the “terrible act”.
“It was with a heavy heart that the Brazilian people, along with the rest of the world, learned of the kidnapping of over 200 young girls in Nigeria, at the hands of extremist group Boko Haram,” he wrote. “Many of us, especially in the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, have remembered the girls, their families, and the Nigerian people with prayers, tears, and compassion during this time.
“Nigeria, like so many countries, has of course had its trying and difficult times as a multi-religious society – but it is in times of difficulty like these that we set aside our differences, and stand together—in solidarity, in demanding peace, and most importantly, demanding the safe return of these young women. Not simply a return to their families – but their return to the lives they knew, their ability to go to school and be educated, to have a better future, and to be beautiful, active members of a future Nigerian society.”
Canadian primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz called the Anglican Church of Canada to pray for the situation in Nigeria, “The group behind the schoolgirl kidnappings, Boko Haram, and its declared intention ‘to sell them in the market’ is appalling. It is an abomination against internationally held human rights, and an absolute affront to the efforts of many nations to honour the Millennium Development Goals to empower women and young girls through a good education.
“I am asking Anglicans to offer prayers of special intent in the coming weeks with people of all faiths who are appalled by these crimes,” he added.
The Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of New Zealand called on people to pray for the release and protection of the 200 schoolgirls. Anglican Archbishops Philip Richardson and Brown Turei, and Roman Catholic Archbishop John Dew said this Sunday is an opportunity for churches across the country to pray for, and so stand with governments and churches across the globe, wanting a safe return of the young women.
Primate of the Episcopal Church the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori said in a statement that the Church was “horrified” and what was taking place. “The unfortunate truth is that girls and women are still deemed dispensable in much of the world, or at least of lesser value than members of the other sex,” said the Presiding Bishop. “The necessary response is education – of girls and boys, in equal numbers and to an equal degree, that all might take their rightful place in societies that serve all their citizens with equal respect and dignity.
Calling what happened “an atrocious and inexcusable act” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said, “My prayers and thoughts go out to the young people and their families at this upsetting time. I appeal to those who have taken these schoolgirls to release them immediately and unharmed.
“This is in a part of Nigeria I have visited and in a country whose people are close to my heart. Let your hearts be open in compassion and mercy to those who have suffered so much.”
[Anglican Communion News Service] The day started with presentations from the Mission Cluster: the Anglican Communion Office’s (ACO) Mission Department, the Anglican Alliance, the international Networks, the ACO Women’s Desk and the Anglican presence at the UN.
The Rev. John Kafwanka stressed the holistic nature of mission in the Anglican Communion and how that is reflected in the mission work at the Anglican Communion Office. He said that two projects—a review of the companion links and a diaspora project in which they will explore how Anglicans respond to the issue of migration (people movement)—will be reported on in 2015.
He highlighted the digital presence including the one-stop-shop Resource Hub www.anglicanwitness.org where Anglicans can go to get resources on discipleship, children and young people, and general evangelistic resources. He said there had been some very encouraging responses from many places around the Communion including Lesotho, Spain, and Uruguay about the new site.
He said that three priorities for his office under Anglican Witness were discipleship; children and young people; and mobilising and sharing resources. He asked the standing committee to support a focus on discipleship for a seven year period from ACC-16, which they did. He quoted Archbishop David Vunagi who once said to him: “We have no problem filling our churches with people but they need to know what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby welcomed the focus on discipleship agreeing with Archbishop Vunagi. He said, “The church-going habit can as easily be lost as gained,” which is why people needed to have a deep relationship with Jesus Christ through God’s Holy Spirit.
To encourage support of ministry among young people across the Communion he is proposing a Youth and Children award (organised by the Core Group of Anglican Witness: Evangelism and Church Growth) to highlight and encourage good practice. He called young people a “force to be reckoned with” particularly in “the advancement of God’s kingdom and transformation of society.”
[Pesiding] Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (The Episcopal Church) encouraged the award to be for work by young people rather than for young people. The Revd Kafwanka said it would be an award for work for, by and with young people. Helen Biggin (Wales) suggested that young people ought to work with the Core Group to organise the award.
The Standing Committee endorsed the development of the proposed award project
Co-director the Rev. Rachel Carnegie began the presentation by stressing that the Anglican Alliance is all about the Communion’s family of churches and agencies working on relief, development and advocacy within the context of the Marks of Mission.
The other co-director, the Rev. Andy Bowerman, said the heart of the Anglican Alliance was about was a sense of restored relationships, of listening and interdependence. He made it clear that the Alliance is not a funding agency. It is rather about connecting our work, sharing skills and building capacity across the Communion, from the grassroots up. He reminded the Standing Committee of Anglican Alliance regional facilitators based in the Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Brazil. He said the Alliance had, following regional and global consultations, adopted three global themes: youth and women’s empowerment; trafficking/slavery, migration and refugees; and climate change (including food security). In advocacy, the Alliance will focus on supporting the Communion’s voice in shaping the global post-2015 sustainable development goals.
Archbishop Daniel Deng (Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan) challenged the Alliance to play a positive role in representing majority world Churches to relief agencies to ensure contextually effective funding that supports the Church’s mission. Primate of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Samuel Azariah, asked whether the Alliance could help his Province better communicate with donor agencies. Secretary General Canon Kenneth Kearon reminded the committee of the Alliance’s Agents of Change programme that was designed to do give Member Church staff the skills and language to work with funding agencies.
Louisa Mojela (Southern Africa) said it is important for Member Churches to remember that few churches have the proper skills to respond in an emergency situation, or accountability systems which is why funding agencies generally prefer to do the work themselves. Juanildo Burity (Brazil) said it was important for any Anglican relief goods be for anyone regardless of faith or background.
[Connecticut] Bishop Ian Douglas (The Episcopal Church) asked whether the role of the Anglican Alliance should occupy “a third space” between the relief agencies of the Church and the churches doing work on the ground. Mrs Carnegie said that the Alliance does indeed have a role as a broker between these two groups, providing a platform for communication and particularly in amplifying the local church voice.
The Rev. Terrie Robinson, Anglican Communion Networks Co-ordinator and Women’s Desk Officer, presented on the international networks of the Anglican Communion.* She explained that the Networks tell the stories of grass roots experience; share news and information; (some) undertake advocacy; provide information to the Instruments of Communion; and prayer and relationship-building.
She highlighted those that were particularly demonstrating best practice. These included the Anglican Communion Environment Network which recently used digital communications channels to promote their Lenten Fast Blog. The Lenten material generated “a vast amount of conversation and debate” explained Mrs Robinson. She also highlighted the Eco Bishops initiative led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
Mrs Robinson said another ‘thriving’ network is the Family network. She paid tribute to its former Chair Ian Sparks who died this year. Mrs Robinson explained that under the new Chair Bishop David Rossdale the Network continues to promote the family as the place where each member can have status and have their God-given dignity upheld and protected. One way the Network is doing this is through promoting the Church’s role in Birth Registration.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby responded to Mrs Robinson’s report on the work of the Safe Church Network by stressing how important it was to ensure Churches are places where people are safe: “There’s no point at all talking about youth ministry if churches are not safe for children.”
The presentation led to a conversation about the future of the Networks.
In discussing the issues facing women across the Anglican Communion, Mrs Robinson said that “the churches have made some progress in strengthening the arm of women but the pace has generally been slow”. She said that “the way forward is not a battle of the sexes; it’s exactly the opposite. Women and men can equally own the journey towards gender equality.
Mrs Robinson’s information resource for the 16 Days of Activism against Violence Against Women is now accessible from 130 websites of Anglican/Episcopal dioceses, agencies, and education institutions. She showed the Standing Committee images of men and women in Anglican Communion Provinces including Rwanda, the Church of North India, England and Brazil working to address violence against women and girls and said, “We can be very proud [of what Anglicans are already doing], but not complacent. There is so much more to do to bring about the transformation we long to see.”
Anglican Communion Representation at the United Nations in Geneva
The Rev. Canon Flora Winfield gave the Standing Committee an overview of her new role as Anglican Communion Representative to the United Nations institutions in Geneva, and of the current and potential relationship between the Anglican Communion and the UN institutions. She said that her role included developing UN literacy across the Communion; enabling the voices of the Communion to be heard in the processes and institutions of the UN; and facilitating partnership working to increase the impact of the Communion’s Member Churches’ work on global and local issues.
Having visited a range of representatives of organisations and Churches based in Geneva, Canon Winfield identified several areas of synergy and potential. These included the Welcoming the Stranger document which emerged from the UNHCR Dialogue on Faith and Protection from faith leaders and was signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in November last year. She explained, “This document challenges us to work for reconciliation across difference and stand with the most marginalised.”
The other priority is birth registration. Canon Winfield said, at the local level, the Church has a unique opportunity through the ministry of baptism to promote the importance of registering a child’s birth. Engaging with the issue at the UN level means the Anglican Communion can have an impact at another level: challenging national governments to do what they can to make registration universal. She added that the Anglican Communion is already doing work on this issue in several countries, not least through the Mothers’ Union.
The final presentation of the day was from Stephen Lyon updating the Standing Committee about his visit to Zambia to talk to members of the Church of the Province of Central Africa about the pending Anglican Consultative Council meeting in 2015. He said there was a real sense of pride about the event being held in Zambia with local people saying “this will be the only time in our life time that the ACC will come to us”. There was, said Mr Lyon, a great enthusiasm and a real sense of hospitality and welcome.
*These include: the Anglican Health Network, the Anglican Indigenous Network, the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, Colleges & Universities of the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, the Anglican Communion Safe Church Network, the Anglican Refugee & Migrant Network, the International Anglican Family Network, the International Anglican Women’s Network, the International Anglican Youth Network and the Réseau Francophone de la Communion Anglicane.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] With the reports of violence and casualties, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has called for prayers for South Sudan and Sudan.
She joins with the heads of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in issuing A Message of Solidarity with the Church in South Sudan
Here is the message:
A Message of Solidarity with the Church in South Sudan
from the heads of
The Anglican Church of Canada
The Episcopal Church
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Friday, May 9, 2014
The situation in South Sudan continues to be extremely difficult, and news of it in North American media is minimal. Violence has been fomented and stirred by political leaders for their own ends. Although the mainstream media portrays the conflict as ethnic, its roots, as with any conflict, are varied and complicated. Regardless, there can never be a rationale for the suffering that has been wrought.
Our partners in South Sudan have suffered massive casualties. Their people have been murdered, raped, tortured, and burned out of their homes. Churches and entire villages have been destroyed. In spite of extensive displacement, Anglicans/Episcopalians and Lutherans continue to be active in relief and peace-making efforts through our partners in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, and the Lutheran World Federation.
We urge you to join in prayer for the people of South Sudan and Sudan, for a lasting and meaningful peace, and for immediate aid and response to the needs of the myriad of displaced persons.
As we celebrate the feast of the Resurrection, we urge you to help make the risen body of Christ evident to those who labor through the valley of the shadow of death.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Anglican Church of Canada
Bishop Susan Johnson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Episcopal Church Sudan information www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan
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Episcopal Relief & Development www.episcopalrelief.org/southsudan
[World Council of Churches press release] Church leaders from South Sudan are arriving in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, all set to take part in the start of negotiations between South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar. The negotiations aim to find solutions for the world’s newest nation, reeling from violence since last year that has left thousands dead and millions homeless.
Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak of the Episcopal Church of Sudan are mong these church leaders, as well as Peter Gai Lual Marrow of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, who was scheduled to arrive to Addis Ababa on 9 May.
These church leaders are accompanied by Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, former general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and ecumenical special envoy for South Sudan and Sudan, who will be representing the All Africa Conference of Churches. Dr Nigussu Legesse, the WCC’s programme executive for advocacy for Africa, will also be present.
The participation of church leaders in the Addis Ababa negotiations comes after the recent visit to Juba of an ecumenical delegation which urged leaders on both sides to use the negotiations as an opportunity to agree to dialogue and implement an immediate ceasefire.
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, was in Juba last week meeting with representatives of local churches. He stressed that South Sudanese churches have “rich spiritual resources to help find a way towards peace.”
“Churches in South Sudan have a significant role in national dialogue, affirming unity and a sense of nation-building by strengthening a process of reconciliation,” Tveit said. “In this process of reconciliation, youth and women must be empowered.”
“We will pray and work with the churches in South Sudan, while they continue addressing these struggles in their pilgrimage for justice and peace,” Tveit concluded.
Among other efforts by the church bodies to end conflict in South Sudan, the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) along with the South Sudan’s Islamic Council will participate in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace process.
[The Church Pension Group ] The Church Pension Group (CPG) announced today that Roger A. Sayler has joined CPG to succeed William L. Cobb, Jr., as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer on June 19, 2014. Mr. Cobb, who has so admirably served the Church and CPG with a depth of expertise, dedication and insight, is retiring after 15 faithful years of service in that capacity and will continue as an advisor.
“Roger Sayler is a recognized leader in the investment community who brings both institutional investment management experience and leadership skills,” said Mary Kate Wold, CPG’s CEO and President. “We are delighted to welcome him to the CPG team.”
Prior to joining CPG, Mr. Sayler served as Chief Operating Officer at Columbia Management Group. Before that, he spent 20 years at J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., where, as Managing Director, he headed such areas as Structured Equity Portfolio Management and Mutual Funds and served as global head of derivatives.
“Roger and I worked closely together for many years at J.P. Morgan,” said Mr. Cobb, “and we share a common investment philosophy.”
Agraduate of Dartmouth College, Mr. Sayler received his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His not-for-profit experience includes serving as trustee and chair of the Investment Committee of Portico Benefit Services (previously, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Board of Pensions). “I am honored to play a role in CPG’s important mission of service to those who serve The Episcopal Church,” he said.
Mr. Sayler is only the second Chief Investment Officer in CPG’s history. Mr. Cobb, its first, began working on the Church Pension Fund investment portfolio in 1981 while at J.P. Morgan, and joined CPG as the company’s first Chief Investment Officer when he retired as Vice Chairman of J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc. in 1999. Under Mr. Cobb’s leadership, the Church Pension Fund built a strong investment team that now includes 28 professionals, opened an office in Hong Kong in 2009, and expanded the diversification of investment programs globally.
“Bill’s contribution to the financial strength of The Church Pension Fund is immeasurable,” said Ms. Wold, “and we thank him for his long and faithful service as our first Chief Investment Officer.”
[Church of the Redeemer -- Sarasota, Florida] The Rev. Charleston David Wilson has joined the Church of the Redeemer, as a new Priest Associate with the parish. Fr. Wilson will be assisting Redeemer’s Rector, The Very Rev. Fredrick A. Robinson, in the areas of Evangelism and Outreach.
“Fr. Fred is a nationally — and internationally — recognized and proven leader in the Anglican Communion,” said Fr. Wilson. “To be able to sit at his feet and learn from him is a great blessing.”
Fr. Wilson was ordained at Redeemer in December, 2014. He earned a degree in Religion from Samford University and a Master of Divinity from Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin, where he also served as the Associate Dean of Institutional Advancement.
A member of the Board of Directors for SOMA, an international Anglican missionary organization, Fr. Wilson is also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Anglican Digest. He and his wife, Malacy, have two children: 5-year-old Robert Augustus and 3-year-old Mary Camille.