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Rapidísimas

ENS Headlines - Friday, November 7, 2014

El martes 4 de noviembre se celebraron en Estados Unidos las elecciones para elegir senadores, representantes y gobernadores. Como en otras ocasiones la asistencia a las urnas fue moderada. Los republicanos que tienen ideas más conservadoras que los demócratas controlan las dos cámaras. Según observadores la situación se hará más difícil para el presidente Barack Obama que pertenece al partido demócrata.  Muchos ciudadanos estarán contentos que haya terminado esta jornada que debido a la propaganda por todos los medios de comunicación, tenía ensordecida al resto de la población. A diferencia de elecciones anteriores la religión no fue un factor decisivo en la justa electoral. Saira Blair, una bonita joven de 18 años se ha convertido en la legisladora más joven de Estados Unidos. Es republicana y ha obtenido un curul en la Cámara de Delegados del estado de Virginia Occidental. La resolución autorizando el uso de la marihuana con fines médicos o recreativos, no pasó en la Florida.

La joven Brittany Maynard que sufría de un cáncer cerebral incurable y planeó su muerte con anticipación ha generado polémica en círculos evangélicos y católicos romanos. Una encuesta realizada antes de su muerte reveló que el 78 por ciento de los encuestados dijo que no le parecía “una buena idea” y que ellos mismos no se someterían al mismo proceso. La respuesta más frecuente entre los creyentes fue que “Dios da la vida y que nadie tiene derecho a acabar con ella”. El director de la Academia Pontificia para la Vida, Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, calificó el acto de “irreprensible” y añadió que “la dignidad no es poner fin a la propia vida”.

La Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia dijo que estaba preocupada por la vulneración de los derechos humanos de la población por parte de organizaciones al margen de la ley, especialmente en la costa del Pacífico. En un informe público se hizo referencia a las bandas criminales de “Los Urabeños” y el clan del narcotráfico “Los Usuga” que están activas en 168 municipios de los 27 departamentos del país.

La universidad jesuita Creighton de Omaha, Nebraska, está en medio de una controversia por haber decidido reconocer los derechos de los compañeros o compañeras de los matrimonios gay que trabajan en la universidad, aún cuando el estado no lo ha aprobado. En el país hay 21 otras universidades jesuitas que proveen beneficios a los matrimonios del mismo sexo que se hayan casado legalmente según las leyes del estado.

David Hope, anterior arzobispo anglicano de York en Inglaterra, ha renunciado a su cargo de obispo auxiliar honorario por no haber denunciado a la policía que uno de sus clérigos abusaba de menores en una escuela de la iglesia. Hope ha pedido excusas por du falta pero aún así tendrá que someterse a la justicia. Denunciar delitos de pedofilia es parte del código civil y eclesiástico en Inglaterra.

La Iglesia Anglicana de la República Democrática del Congo ha recibido buena prensa por ayudar al pueblo pigmeo del Congo donde se estima que unos

600 mil personas viven en medio de la selva bajo condiciones primitivas sin auxilio del gobierno o de ninguna otra fuente. Un visitante al hogar de los pigmeos quedó muy impresionado con el carácter jovial y amistoso de este grupo étnico y también por el número de cada núcleo familiar. El visitante también pudo saber que muchos de los hombres vivían en esclavitud y que habían sido maltratados por el gobierno.

En México sigue la violencia. El más reciente hecho lo constituye el arresto del ex alcalde de Iguala, José Luis Abarca, y su esposa, María de los Ángeles Pineda, en  una casa de Iztapalapa tras un operativo de la Policía Federal. Las autoridades federales no cesan de buscar a los 43 estudiantes que desaparecieron hace más de un mes. Los jóvenes se preparaban para ser maestros.

En la fraternidad judía de la Universidad de Emory en Atlanta desconocidos pintaron esvásticas en sus paredes al día siguiente de la celebración de Yom Kippur, una de las más principales fiestas judías. Las esvásticas son símbolos del gobierno nazi que exterminó a millones de judíos. El Yom Kippur o Día del Arrepentimiento es el día más santo del año judío. La fraternidad judía en Emory fue fundada en 1920.

VERDAD. La jerarquía en la iglesia más que un honor es un servicio. Papa Francisco

Applications now accepted online for Young Adult Service Corps

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church offers untold opportunities for young adults to live, work and pray with brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion through the Young Adult Service Corps. Commonly known as YASC, applications for 2015-16 are now being accepted for the Young Adult Service Corps from young adults between the ages of 21-30.

“YASC provides an opportunity for young adults to explore their faith in a new capacity and to live out the Baptismal Covenant by seeking and serving Christ in all persons,” noted the Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer. “Applicants must have a high degree of maturity and possess a faith commitment and the willingness to be a humble guest, and the ability to be an authentic companion.”

The application is available online here.

Where are the YASC?
Current YASC members can be found throughout the Anglican Communion. They are working in administration, agriculture, development, education, and technology. They are serving Brazil, Burundi, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain and Uruguay.

Read their thoughts and reflections on their blogs here.

Among the possible placements for 2015-16 are Brazil, Burundi, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Uruguay and Zambia.

For more information contact Elizabeth Boe, Global Networking Officer, at eboe@episcopalchurch.org.

On the trail of souls

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

Maryland Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton leads pilgrims to the Hasselbach cemetery at the Claggett Center, Buckeystown, Md., where a marker dedicated to the slaves who were buried there was later dedicated. Photo credit: Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

[Diocese of Maryland] The Episcopal Churches of Maryland commemorated the 150th anniversary of the official abolishment of chattel slavery in Maryland on All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1 with the Trail of Souls: Truth and Reconciliation Pilgrimage. This day-long journey visited five Maryland sites with strong ties to both slavery and the Episcopal Church. But this was just the beginning.

An online pilgrimage of 23 churches and diocesan sites found at trailofsouls.org is a virtual tour and living legacy that is destined to grow in scope and participation. The Trail of Souls offers a chance to visit the Episcopal Churches of Maryland and witness them in a new light – looking at the legacy of slavery and the impact it still bears witness to today. As more churches discover and write their history they will be added to the web portal.

It was estimated that more than 500 people took part in the pilgrimage, including those who attended planned programs at each of the sites. More than 200 pilgrims traveled the Trail of Souls on All Saints’ Day.

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, said in his letter welcoming pilgrims on the journey, “we journey together both to remember a painful period in our history and to envision a future free of racism and injustice.”

After a brief service commissioning the pilgrims, two tour buses and a caravan of cars and small vans departed from the Diocesan Center/Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore, and then proceeded to three historic parishes: All Hallows’ Church, Davidsonville; All Saints’ Church, Sunderland; Grace Church, Silver Spring (Episcopal Diocese of Washington); ending at the Claggett Center and Hasselbach Family Cemetery, Buckeystown, Md.

Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton participated in this Day of Repentance and Reconciliation along with Bishop Suffragan Heather Elizabeth Cook, and Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Diocese of Washington.

“The feeling that the Spirit entered into this in ways none of us could have expected — with powerful Truth-telling at our sister parishes and at one moment symbolized in the unforgettable vision of the Bishop with his crozier in his flowing red and white robes with the little band of pilgrims following him up the hill to the gravesite … all caught in a shaft of sunlight with the beautiful russet, gold, and gray tones of the hills in the background.  God’s beauty surrounded us,” said Pamela Charshee, a member of the Research and Pilgrimage Working Group for Trail of Souls.

In 2006 General Convention resolution A-123 explicitly acknowledged and regretted the Episcopal Church’s support of the inhuman system of chattel slavery and Bible abuse that was used to justify a sin that dehumanized a people created in the image of God. All dioceses were urged to research ties to the institution of chattel slavery and its impact on congregations then and now. In 2007 this resolution led to the 223rd annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland apologizing “for the Anglican Church in Colonial Maryland and of the Episcopal Church in the state of Maryland for their role in the slavery of African Americans and in the subsequent racial injustice,” via resolution 2007-5.

“We have continued to explore ways in which we can honor the past in ways that restore the dignity of nameless souls who toiled as persons perceived as less than human. Their free labor instituted a way of life that still haunts us in the 21st century. [The Trail of Souls] pilgrimage reconciles us with a painful past, yet we are able to thank God for changes that have occurred as we work for an even brighter tomorrow,” said the Rev. Dr. Angela Shepherd, canon for mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Learn more about the Trail of Souls. View photos from the Nov. 1 pilgrimage.

Read about the second stop on the tour, All Hallows’ Church, Davidsonville, in this Capital Gazette article.

Nominee added to Southeast Florida bishop slate

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Canon Martin W. Zlatic, rector of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Boynton Beach, Florida, has been added to the slate of nominees to stand for election as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.

The final number of nominees now stands at six after the diocesan Standing Committee announced five nominees on Oct. 14 and following a two-week petition period that led to Zlatic’s nomination.

The other nominees are:

Detailed information about each nominee can be found here.

A bishop coadjutor is elected to replace the diocesan bishop upon retirement. The Rt. Rev. Leopold Frade, the incumbent diocesan bishop since 2000, will retire in January 2016. The election will be held in January 2015.

The Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida includes 76 congregations, with approximately 38,000 parishioners, from Key West north to Jensen Beach and west to Clewiston.

General Seminary board of trustees, dean and faculty reach agreement

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

The following is a Nov. 5 statement announcing an agreement reached between the board of trustees, dean and faculty of General Theological Seminary . Previous coverage is available here.

The Board of Trustees, Dean, and Faculty of The General Theological Seminary jointly announce that they have today (Nov. 5) reached an agreement regarding the immediate issues which have led to heated debates within and without the walls of the nation’s oldest Episcopal seminary. The resolution involves an ongoing process of reconciliation, a reinstatement of all of the returning faculty members on a provisional basis, and a re-affirmation of the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and the Dean. Spokespersons for all involved stated that they supported the resolution and looked forward to implementing together the mission of GTS to educate and form leaders for the changing church in a changing world, as it has successfully done for almost 200 years.

Texas Bishop C. Andrew Doyle to lead Compass Rose Society

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Compass Rose Society press release] The board of directors of the Compass Rose Society, an international charitable organization that provides financial support to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council, has elected the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, the ninth bishop of Texas, as president of the Society succeeding the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson.

Commenting on his new role, Doyle said: “I am honored to lead the Compass Rose Society. We are excited about our plans to continue to fund mission, ministry, and communications in the global Anglican Communion. We are grateful for the work of immediate past-president Rev. Canon John Peterson who has given so much to the Society and to the Communion. And, we look forward, as a Society, to developing partnerships and collaborations that build a spiritually healthy, reconciled, and growing Anglican Communion.”

Peterson said, “I am delighted that Bishop Doyle has accepted the role of president of the Society. Under his leadership, our future is bright.”

Doyle was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Texas on May 24, 2008 and was consecrated on November 22, 2008 at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston. He was seated as the ninth bishop of Texas on June 7, 2009 at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston.

Born in 1966 in Carbondale, Illinois, and raised in Houston, Bishop Doyle served five years as canon to the ordinary prior to his election. Bishop Doyle holds a bachelor of fine arts from the University of North Texas and served at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin before receiving an M. Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon in 1995 and priest the following year. He served at Christ Church, Temple, St. Francis, College Station, and as canon to the ordinary for Bishop Wimberly.

Bishop Doyle is the author of “Unabashedly Episcopalian: Proclaiming the Good News of the Episcopal Church,” published in 2012 by Morehouse Publishing.

The Society also elected three new directors to four-year terms:

  • The Rev. Canon Michele V. Hagans, associate rector Grace Episcopal Church, Silver Spring, MD
  • Charles M. Royce, chief executive, Royce & Associates, LLC and president of the Royce Funds, Greenwich, CT
  • Tse Sik Hung David, managing director, Hop Yuen (Holdings) Ltd., Hong Kong, SAR

The Compass Rose Society, with more than 300 members worldwide, was founded in 1997. It takes its name from the symbol of the Anglican Communion. Membership information is available at the Society’s Web site www.compassrosesociety.org.

Since its founding, The Compass Rose Society has donated more than $8 million to support the mission of the Anglican Communion. In 2013, the Society’s contributions included gifts to the Anglican Consultative Council; the Diocese of South Africa; the Diocese of Cape Coast, Ghana; St. George’s College, Jerusalem; the Diocese of Jerusalem; the Diocese of Malawi; and the International Anglican Women’s Network.

Melanesian Brotherhood novice murdered

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Anglican Communion News Service] A novice in the Anglican Church of Melanesia’s Melanesian Brotherhood has been killed and another badly beaten in a street attack in the Solomon Islands last week.

Novice Jackson Lodo and another novice were walking to Tabalia from the capital Honiara when they were the victims of an unprovoked attacked on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jackson was killed and his companion, a third year novice, was violently assaulted but managed to escape. Radio New Zealand International reported that the survivor is currently in hospital.

The police have mounted a full investigation into the attack, which is said to have left the Melanesian Brotherhood in shock but eager that the attack not to lead to further violence.

The funeral for Jackson was held on Nov. 1 and both the Head Brother Matthias Tovotasi, and primate of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia Archbishop Philip Richardson have asked people to pray for the victims, the religious community and the victims’ families.

The Melanesian Brotherhood is an Anglican religious community based primarily on the Solomon Islands, but which is expanding into other parts of the world. It was founded in in 1900 by a Ini Kopuria, a Solomon Islander on the Island of Guadalcanal.

Learn more about the Melanesian Brotherhood here.

Archbishop preaches at service for journalists killed in war zones

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Lambeth Palace] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby preached Nov. 5 at a special service for fallen journalists held at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London – the first time an archbishop of Canterbury has preached at the annual service.

In this clip the Archbishop says foreign correspondents are “the ones who witness the full horror of what is going on and dare to speak it.” The full sermon will be available to watch shortly on Lambeth Palace YouTube

Read the text of the sermon below.

Isaiah 21: 6-12

Thank you very much for the invitation to be here today. It is an honour to be invited here, it’s a privilege to be here for such an important occasion.

We live in a world at the moment in which in many areas it feels as though the darkness is falling ever more severely on whole swathes and regions of the world, and in which the light of news very often seems to go out. Whole areas where there is fighting that is forgotten because there is simply so much of it. Whole areas which depend only on the likes of James Foley and Steven Sotloff to show some light on what is happening.

The front-line reporter is the one who sees first-hand what is going on. They are the look-outs, who stand on the watchtower, day after day and all night long, in the watches of the night. “Watchman, how goes the night?”, as Isaiah described it from two and a half thousand years ago. They are the ones who witness the full horror of what is going on and dare to speak it. The rest of us are one step, or many steps, removed – both from the adrenalin and from the agony. We rely on the reports. And the nature of the reports has become more and more immediate, of that we can be thankful.

I remember as a child being shown a letter from an ancestor who had been in the Charge of the Light Brigade, and wrote to his mother that evening to reassure her that he was alive and unhurt and to describe the battle. In those days things were heard by word of mouth, by propaganda. It was the bush telegraph, famously unreliable, exceptionally partial and profoundly delayed.

Last week I was in Ghana, the 36th of 37 visits to provinces of the Anglican Communion – my wife Caroline and I promised to visit all 37 by the end of 2014. The province of West Africa covers not only Ghana but also Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. A few days before we went I read an extraordinary (and I may say sadly unremarked) report in The Times on Ebola in Freetown and around Sierra Leone. It bore adequate comparison, as a piece of writing, to the description of the plague by Defoe in his journal of the plague year, or Pepys. It was as horrifying as Camus’ La Peste. Last night there was another report on the BBC from Sierra Leone, again extraordinarily vivid, bringing into our own rooms the greatest public health crisis which the world has faced for many years, a plague of extraordinary proportions

And the carefully measured tones in which the reporter in The Times set out what he did, or last night on the television, had the colour in it because of the brilliance of the reporting. Last Friday I sat and listened to the chief of staff of the UN team fighting Ebola, and because of the reporting I was able to sense much more profoundly what he was saying, and to see the urgency of it.

Those reporters are as much at risk as anyone in a war zone. They were careful not to get too close, I hope. But they were run the risk of many things, not only of contracting Ebola (probably a fairly low risk), but the much higher one of the psychological trauma with which they will live for years afterwards. And that is true of those who have been in war zones.

Some years ago, about six weeks after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I was in Baghdad to reopen the Anglican church there. It was, as they say, an interesting trip. We were there the inside of a week. But while I was there I bumped into a well-known reporter from a television company. They were there for months at a time, living hard, working incessantly – very long hours – and constantly at risk. Last January we were in the South Sudan in a town destroyed by war, surrounded by bodies, burying them in mass graves. As we left, reporters were arriving. They were going the opposite way. They are the ones who come to mind when we read of Isaiah’s watchmen: ‘What of the night?’

Such reporting now is a far remove from the bush telegraph: precisely because the people who do it are not safely removed from the agony. The reality of disaster, of war and suffering, is brought to us in a completely fresh way. It may still occasionally lack accuracy – that is an inevitable part of being human – but what it lacks in one area is more than compensated for by immediacy. And immediacy means risk.

We are here today because of the moments when that risk turns into a reality. I started with looking at how we communicate, because how we communicate is driven by the communicators themselves. The reality of a world in which the horrors of the Ethiopian famine – that extraordinary report of many years ago now, reported by Michael Buerk – or of the Ebola this week and last, are conveyed extraordinarily powerfully in a new way. But the power of the communication demands that the communicator puts themselves in the place where they are a witness. Witnessing is profoundly costly.

So it is right and essential that in this darkening world we give thanks for those who witness, who light the lamp of truth where it is being snuffed out by so many. Not only by savage evil, by those who sell arms and convey lies; but by those who are indifferent and forgetful. It is right and essential that we give thanks for those who unlock the covers of the wells of compassion that can become available in this wonderful country of ours. Who challenge the complacency in which some people suggest we can live in our own country as though the rest of the world did not matter, and, if we are sufficiently inward-looking, that the rest of the world will not affect us.

It is right that the value of our common humanity is brought home to us by those who go to places that everyone else is leaving. We are not naïve; my experience of a few different areas of fighting and meeting war correspondents leads me to suggest, controversially, that it’s just a little bit possible that they are not all entirely saintly at every minute of the day. But there is an old saying in the Church, ex operandi operandum. Or to put it another way, the fact that the priest is all messed up does not mess up the sacrament.

Even where there are all sorts of personal things that one can say about those who go and report wars and conflicts, whether wars against disease or poverty, or the old-fashioned type where people kill each other deliberately and horribly; whichever it is, whatever they are like, what they do – and sometimes are hurt deeply mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or even killed doing – what they do remains of extraordinary value, a God-given calling to inspire others to serve our common humanity.

To witness is to tell the truth. And the more horrific the circumstances, the more needful, the more precious, the more costly is the truth. But we believe, as Jesus put it, the truth is not cheap. As he said, the truth sets us free.

The words of the anthem that follow borrow two prayers from my 13th-century predecessor Edmund, who was exiled and died in Pontigny for his truth telling. Perhaps in our hearts as we listen to them we may echo their words as our prayer, committing ourselves and those whom we have loved and lost for their truth-telling into God’s hands.

Amen.

Episcopal Church Foundation board elects 3 new directors

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Episcopal Church Foundation press release] The Episcopal Church Foundation’s (ECF) board of directors unanimously voted to elect three new members: Angela M. Daniel, Columbia, South Carolina; Susan M. Love, Pacific Palisades, California; and Margaret P. McLarty, Jackson, Mississippi.

“We’re delighted to welcome these new members to the ECF Board,” remarked Donald V. Romanik, ECF president.  “They bring a wealth of experience, faith, and commitment to ECF’s ministries.  We look forward to their wisdom and insight as ECF continues to respond to the needs of Episcopal faith communities.”

Angela M. Daniel
Daniel worships at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Colombia, South Carolina, where she serves as coordinator of Lay Eucharistic Ministry, and formerly served on the vestry as well as numerous other committees.  She is also currently president of Province IV of the Episcopal Church, and has served as deputy to General Convention since 2003. Daniel holds a Master’s in English and is a professional fundraiser and owner and president of Stewards, LLC.  She is married to James M. Daniel, III and has two sons, Andrew and Patrick.

Susan M. Love, M.D., MBA
Love is chief visionary officer of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation in Santa Monica, California, and clinical professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a nationally known breast cancer surgeon, author of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, and one of the “founding mothers” of the breast cancer advocacy movement. Love is a member of St. Matthews, Pacific Palisades, California, where she is engaged in parish activities including the Altar Guild, usher, reader, LEM, Emmaus Group, and Foyer Group. Love is married to Dr. Helen Cooksey and they have one daughter, Katie.

Margaret P. McLarty
McLarty is a member of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Jackson, Mississippi, where she serves as co-chair of the cathedral’s successful capital campaign. She has also served on the vestry, as well as several cathedral and diocesan committees. She has been actively engaged with organizations throughout the Episcopal Church, including Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Ridgeland, Mississippi, and University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. McLarty is senior vice president – investments, assistant branch manager and certified financial planner for Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Ridgeland, Mississippi. McLarty was married to the late William A. McLarty and has two sons, Andrew and Nathan.

In addition, the ECF board also elected two new advisors to the board, Danielle Kozlowski, Alexandria, VA and David Wasik (retiring director), Richmond, Virginia.

ECF’s board of directors will next meet in New York November 6-8, 2014.

Rapidísimas

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

El martes 4 de noviembre se celebraron en Estados Unidos las elecciones para elegir senadores, representantes y gobernadores. Como en otras ocasiones la asistencia a las urnas fue moderada. Los republicanos que tienen ideas más conservadoras que los demócratas controlan las dos cámaras. Según observadores la situación se hará más difícil para el presidente Barack Obama que pertenece al partido demócrata.  Muchos ciudadanos estarán contentos que haya terminado esta jornada que debido a la propaganda por todos los medios de comunicación, tenía ensordecida al resto de la población. A diferencia de elecciones anteriores la religión no fue un factor decisivo en la justa electoral. Saira Blair, una bonita joven de 18 años se ha convertido en la legisladora más joven de Estados Unidos. Es republicana y ha obtenido un curul en la Cámara de Delegados del estado de Virginia Occidental. La resolución autorizando el uso de la marihuana con fines médicos o recreativos, no pasó en la Florida.

La joven Brittany Maynard que sufría de un cáncer cerebral incurable y planeó su muerte con anticipación ha generado polémica en círculos evangélicos y católicos romanos. Una encuesta realizada antes de su muerte reveló que el 78 por ciento de los encuestados dijo que no le parecía “una buena idea” y que ellos mismos no se someterían al mismo proceso. La respuesta más frecuente entre los creyentes fue que “Dios da la vida y que nadie tiene derecho a acabar con ella”. El director de la Academia Pontificia para la Vida, Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, calificó el acto de “irreprensible” y añadió que “la dignidad no es poner fin a la propia vida”.

La Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia dijo que estaba preocupada por la vulneración de los derechos humanos de la población por parte de organizaciones al margen de la ley, especialmente en la costa del Pacífico. En un informe público se hizo referencia a las bandas criminales de “Los Urabeños” y el clan del narcotráfico “Los Usuga” que están activas en 168 municipios de los 27 departamentos del país.

La universidad jesuita Creighton de Omaha, Nebraska, está en medio de una controversia por haber decidido reconocer los derechos de los compañeros o compañeras de los matrimonios gay que trabajan en la universidad, aún cuando el estado no lo ha aprobado. En el país hay 21 otras universidades jesuitas que proveen beneficios a los matrimonios del mismo sexo que se hayan casado legalmente según las leyes del estado.

David Hope, anterior arzobispo anglicano de York en Inglaterra, ha renunciado a su cargo de obispo auxiliar honorario por no haber denunciado a la policía que uno de sus clérigos abusaba de menores en una escuela de la iglesia. Hope ha pedido excusas por du falta pero aún así tendrá que someterse a la justicia. Denunciar delitos de pedofilia es parte del código civil y eclesiástico en Inglaterra.

La Iglesia Anglicana de la República Democrática del Congo ha recibido buena prensa por ayudar al pueblo pigmeo del Congo donde se estima que unos

600 mil personas viven en medio de la selva bajo condiciones primitivas sin auxilio del gobierno o de ninguna otra fuente. Un visitante al hogar de los pigmeos quedó muy impresionado con el carácter jovial y amistoso de este grupo étnico y también por el número de cada núcleo familiar. El visitante también pudo saber que muchos de los hombres vivían en esclavitud y que habían sido maltratados por el gobierno.

En México sigue la violencia. El más reciente hecho lo constituye el arresto del ex alcalde de Iguala, José Luis Abarca, y su esposa, María de los Ángeles Pineda, en  una casa de Iztapalapa tras un operativo de la Policía Federal. Las autoridades federales no cesan de buscar a los 43 estudiantes que desaparecieron hace más de un mes. Los jóvenes se preparaban para ser maestros.

En la fraternidad judía de la Universidad de Emory en Atlanta desconocidos pintaron esvásticas en sus paredes al día siguiente de la celebración de Yom Kippur, una de las más principales fiestas judías. Las esvásticas son símbolos del gobierno nazi que exterminó a millones de judíos. El Yom Kippur o Día del Arrepentimiento es el día más santo del año judío. La fraternidad judía en Emory fue fundada en 1920.

VERDAD. La jerarquía en la iglesia más que un honor es un servicio. Papa Francisco

A Historical Journey: 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

[Episcopal Relief & Development] I’m excited to introduce Episcopal Relief & Development’s virtual timeline, featuring key moments in our 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World.

Our team has been hard at work — scouring the archives, checking dates and discovering new details about our growth into a global relief and development agency, partnering with 3 million people in almost 40 countries every year.

As a history buff, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this process — learning interesting facts about the evolution of this organization. For instance, you will experience the early days of the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief, as a program of The Episcopal Church, providing assistance to refugees fleeing Europe during World War II. You can trace the organization’s initial expansion towards sustainable development starting in the 1973 with the recommendations made in the Warnecke Report—eventually leading us to shift our focus and begin multi-year, integrated development programs in 2003.

Wherever the world was hurting, we were there through our Church and ecumenical partners. Because of the ongoing generosity of Episcopalians and other friends, we were able to provide faithful support, compassion and hope.

I encourage you to take the time to browse our virtual timeline. I look forward to hearing your memories about the past as well as your reflections on our future.

Enjoy this historical journey and let’s celebrate our shared accomplishments as we focus on the next 75 years!

Click here to view the virtual timeline.

– Rob Radtke is president of Episcopal Relief & Development. 

Download the 2014 Episcopal Church Christmas card

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Congregations, dioceses and individuals can download a printable PDF of the 2014 Episcopal Church Christmas card at no fee here.

The design of the card features artist Joan Covell’s depiction of the nativity scene.  Covell’s art was the top vote-getter in the recent contest to select the art image.

Learn more about Covell here.

For information contact Ana Arias, aarias@episcopalchurch.org, or Barry Merer,bmerer@episcopalchurch.org.

Maryland: New community church emerges in Canton

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Rev. Jim Hamilton, pastoral missioner for Church on the Square, Canton, celebrates Eucharist on All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, at the opening service of the new church plant in Baltimore. The joint-venture between the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and the ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod is the first of its kind on the East Coast. Photo: Dan Webster

[Diocese of Maryland press release] On Saturday, Nov. 1, at 4 p.m., the new community Church on the Square held its first service at historic 1025 S. Potomac Street, on Canton’s O’Donnell Square in Baltimore, Md.

After months of renovation, the leaders of Church on the Square launched a worshiping community. The church startup, a joint venture between the Episcopal and Lutheran denominations, is only the second of its kind (the first being Church of the Apostles in Seattle, Wash.)

Church on the Square, formed through collaboration of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and the ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod, might just be a vanguard example of the future of mainline denominational worship. Serving the up-and-coming community of Canton, Church on the Square seeks to be a different kind of church. Neither denominational nor non-denominational, the leaders claim a multi-denominational community in which individuals are supported by their sponsoring entities.

Pastoral Missioner the Rev. James Hamilton recalls, “In my interview for this position, I asked both bishops—Lutheran and Episcopalian—which denomination this church should be. They said ‘neither.’ It was their expressed desire that the community not use language that could limit anyone who might like to participate.”

The church maintains that all traditions are welcome, and community members will not be asked to give up their heritage affiliations to be members at Church on the Square.

This change in perspective is connected to nationwide declines in mainline church attendance. With regard to its Lutheran and Episcopalian founders, both historic mainline denominations lost their footholds in Canton and had been struggling to establish healthy, self-sufficient communities.

Canton’s Episcopal presence, Holy Evangelist, closed its doors in 1996, owing to, among other things, an economic downturn in the neighborhood. Messiah English Lutheran Church was close to a similar fate when the Rev. Lee Hudson and the church council made the proactive choice to gift their space and remaining assets to a very different sort of church community, with the hope that a church more attuned to the changing demography of Canton would fare better.

“Our dream is to make this church building open to all,” says John Deason, development missioner for Church on the Square. “It is a space in service of the community of Canton and Southeast Baltimore.”

Saturday services will be progressive and contemporary. The website, churchonthesquarebaltimore.org, notes that “it will not be rare to have worship songs move from re-imagined hymns to top 40 pop to indie folk without any apology.”

Veteran church musician John Repulski took the position of arts missioner because of the deep creativity he could bring to worship.

“I love all styles of music,” says Repulski, “and have often thought that traditional church worship, while majestic, would benefit from variety.”

“Church is filled with people whose musical tastes are widely varied,” adds Deason. “Why should they check that diversity at the door?”

Though some neighborhood partnerships and programs have already begun—including art classes, running groups, yoga and others—many more will be added. The leadership emphasizes that these programs are not ancillary to the church’s mission, but simply different ways for Canton residents to be fully part of the burgeoning community.

“I find spirituality in fitness and meditation, in time spent with my friends and in listening to local music—not only at a church service,” remarks Emily Brown, a Canton resident and partner in the church plant.

“These programs aren’t a bait and switch,” assures Hamilton. “We seek to serve Canton through the generosity of Jesus, not to attract with flash in hopes of building a traditional pledging member base.

The Church on the Square hopes to add various children’s programming, partnerships with the nearly open Enoch Pratt Library branch (which is behind the church building), and continued collaboration with the Canton Community Association, to name a few initiatives on the wish list.

“We are trying to listen to our neighbors and serve them as best we can,” says Hamilton. “It might take some time, but we plan on being an anchor for a new, growing Canton.”

 An open, creative refuge, respectful of all beliefs, the Church on the Square seeks to build community in service of the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore. Through addressing wellness and environmental issues; nurturing arts and culture; enriching our common life together through faith, spirituality and doubt, the Church on the Square seeks to be an inclusive home for you with Christ at its core. Please visit www.churchonthesquarebaltimore.org for more information.

 Learn more about the neighborhood of Canton.

Input invited for 2016-2018 triennium preliminary draft budget

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ENS Editor’s Note: The Episcopal Church’s Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) began its preliminary work on the draft 2016-2018 triennium budget when it met Oct. 27-29 in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. ENS coverage of that meeting is available here. That proposed draft budget had been finalized in the days prior to the PB&F meeting by Executive Council’s Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission, which has been working on the draft for more than a year. ENS coverage of the Executive Council meeting is available here.

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopalians across the church are invited to review and comment on the preliminary draft 2016-2018 triennium budget as it is prepared for approval by the Episcopal Church Executive Council in January 2015. From there, Executive Council will present the draft budget to Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance (PB&F) in February, which will then prepare a final budget for approval at General Convention next summer.

The preliminary draft budget is available here.

“In creating this preliminary draft of the budget for 2016-18, the Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission (FFM) has asked for and received input from leaders all over the church, in a variety of ministry areas,” explained the Rev. Susan Brown Snook of the Diocese of Arizona, a member of Executive Council, and a member of FFM.  “We have worked in collaboration with CCABs (commissions, committees, agencies, and boards), with Executive Council, with staff, and with members of the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance (PB&F).”

Snook continued, “We are releasing this preliminary draft budget three months early because we would like to give people all over the church the opportunity to give us input and feedback. We will review their comments carefully and update our budget proposal in January, before releasing a final draft to PB&F in January.”

On the web page, a narrative provides overview information about the document. The preliminary draft budget document and a place to provide comments are prominently displayed on the website.

Executive Council member Bishop Mark Hollingsworth of Ohio, who chairs FFM, added, “This preliminary draft of the 2016-2018 triennium budget is the product of a two-year process of very intentional listening. Through structured conversations and surveys that began in the fall of 2012, FFM has endeavored to hear the hopes and concerns of the wider church from staff, CCABs, Executive Council colleagues, and others. In an effort to provide Program, Budget, and Finance Committee with the most beneficial base possible to begin their work at General Convention, we have had representatives of PB&F at each of our meetings throughout the current triennium.”

He concluded, “The listening process continues now with the release of this preliminary draft, and we look forward to receiving many thoughtful reflections and responses to it in advance of our January meeting.”

“We believe that this proposal is both realistic and visionary, and we have worked to make sure it incorporates the hopes and visions of others,” Snook added. “We hope that our work will provide a solid foundation for PB&F to build on as they create the final budget proposal for General Convention in 2015.”

The Episcopal Church 78th General Convention will be held June 25 – July 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT (Episcopal Diocese of Utah).

Se aceptan ahora solicitudes para subvenciones 2015 de la Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[3 de noviembre de 2014] Se aceptan ahora las solicitudes para las subvenciones 2015 de la Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias. Los formularios de solicitud están disponibles aquí.

El enfoque para las subvenciones 2015 de la Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias es la Cuarta Marca de la Misión Anglicana: Transformar las estructuras injustas de la sociedad, desafiar a la violencia de cualquier tipo y buscar la paz y la reconciliación.

Las reglas generales para solicitar estas subvenciones están aquí.

Avisos Importantes
La Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias aceptará;
• una solicitud de subvención por cada diócesis dentro de la Iglesia Episcopal;
• se puede presentar una solicitud adicional para una subvención compañera de una diócesis de la Iglesia Episcopal. Esta relación se puede formar con una diócesis con la ayuda de la Iglesia Episcopal o con una diócesis de la Comunión Anglicana. El obispo patrocinador con jurisdicción será responsable de la contabilidad de la subvención.

Para obtener más información sobre estas pautas, comuníquese con la Rda. Heather Melton, coordinadora de la Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias,hmelton@episcopalchurch.org

Opposing gun violence, Seattle Episcopalians join in faith march

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral] Members of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle joined with more than 30 other Washington faith communities in a “March to the Ballot” on Oct. 19 in support of Washington State Initiative 594 (I-594). This initiative is one of two gun-related measures on the ballot for Washington voters this fall. I-594 closes the so-called “gun show loophole.” If passed this measure would apply the currently used criminal and public safety background checks required of licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.

The march began at Temple De Hirsch Sinai and made stops at St. James Cathedral (Roman Catholic) and Plymouth Congregational Church for interfaith prayer, song and community. The march ended at the King County Administration Building in downtown Seattle, the site of a ballot drop box. Because Washington State votes by mail-in ballot, marchers were able to cast their ballots in a collective and highly visible vote in favor of Initiative 594.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray also joined the marchers. Earlier this summer following the shootings at Seattle Pacific University, Murray had remarked that Initiative 594 was a “small step toward a more rational conversation about gun violence.”

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, who serves as the dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral and rector of the Parish of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, spoke during the march. “We join here today bearing the wounds of loss, each in our own ways,” he said. “It is a lamentable fact that no family in this country is untouched by gun violence. It seems no child is immune from the terror anymore. We can do better.

“As Washingtonians, we have the opportunity to lead the nation, to set the example, with I-594 and with our efforts to save lives. We stand here today in solidarity with all who bear the wounds of senseless gun violence, with the majority of people in this state who say ‘enough’. It is time.

“As people of faith, we are compelled by a divine narrative that inexorably draws us to healing and wholeness. This initiative and our support for it is a part of that journey of faith.

“Today, we make a symbolic journey together as a sign of the commitment that we collectively say, we demand better for our state, for our communities.”

I-594 was endorsed this summer by the Saint Mark’s vestry after a careful listening process and vote. This process was designed to answer requests to take a position on current controversial topics. The first step was reception of the request by the dean and wardens and a decision for or against sending this request into the process. The second step was the listening event attended by parish and vestry members: a facilitated and structured session open to the parish. A speaker representing each side of the topic was listened to respectfully and a comment and question period followed.

The listening session for I-594 was held on July 20, when Phil Watson from Washington Gun Rights and Zach Carstensen from the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility spoke to members of the Saint Mark’s community.

Just over a week after the listening session, the vestry voted unanimously in favor of endorsement of the request. On July 29, on action by its vestry, Saint Mark’s Cathedral Parish voted unanimously to endorse I-594. The cathedral joined other faith and business communities at the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, “a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations working together to forge commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence.”

A second bill on the ballot, I-591, would “prohibit government agencies from confiscating guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required.”

– Liz Sloat is communications director for Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral.

Canon Richard Morrison elected as board chair at CDSP

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Church Divinity School of the Pacific press release] The Board of Trustees of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific elected the Rev. Canon Richard N. Morrison, canon for ecumenical and community relations in the Diocese of Arizona, as its new chair at a meeting last month.

Morrison, a lawyer whose practice focuses on water and environmental law, succeeds Carol Anne Brown, who led the board since May 2013.

“Richard is a bi-vocational priest, a lawyer, a teacher and an environmentalist,” said the Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, president and dean of CDSP. “His life and ministry exemplify one of the primary lessons we teach our students: that Christian leaders must be prepared to work toward the reign of God both within the church and the wider community.

“CDSP has been blessed by a succession of excellent board chairs. I give thanks for Carol Anne Brown, whose leadership just ended, and look forward to working closely with Richard.”

Morrison chairs the board of the Morrison Institute of Public Policy at Arizona State University, where he teaches water resources management. He has also served on the boards of the Claremont School of Theology and the former Seabury-Western Seminary.

“I think our current board is the best board I have ever worked with,” Morrison said. “I am very excited by the broad range of competencies this board presents and our ability to inform management and staff about creative options coming from the world of finance and law and other fields.”

Morrison, who has a master of arts degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a juris doctor from the University of Houston, said he is particularly eager to help CDSP develop its new low-residency programs that offer the master of divinity and the certificate in Anglican studies.

“It’s a pivotal time for distance learning, and while all schools are working hard to accommodate trends in the marketplace that are going to require more reliance on distance learning, one of the reasons I am so glad to be serving at CDSP today is that Mark Richardson has done a good job of preparing his faculty for the more flexible and innovative styles of teaching that this is going to require,” he said.

Morrison began his ordained ministry as a vocational deacon in 1997, working with refugees eligible to apply for asylum. “I represented them before the immigration courts as their pro bono lawyer and arranged for housing and clothing as necessary,” he says.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 and has served as rector of Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Flagstaff, interim rector at St. Matthew’s in Chandler and as an assisting priest at Church of the Epiphany in Tempe.

A decorated Navy pilot, Morrison is a trustee of the Farm Foundation in Chicago and writes and speaks on ethics and environmental sustainability.

Anglicans gather for anti-trafficking, slavery consultation

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Anglican Alliance] Anglicans from across the Communion will be gathering in Rome, Italy, Nov. 3-7 to discuss their churches’ work in ending human trafficking and modern slavery.  The consultation is being convened by the Anglican Alliance and hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, Archbishop David Moxon.

The purpose of the consultation is to learn about the work of churches around the Anglican Communion in tackling modern slavery and human trafficking. The group will reflect on the most effective approaches and agree on recommendations for a Communion-wide response. These will focus on the prevention of trafficking and slavery, protection and support for survivors, prosecution of perpetrators, and policy and advocacy work with governments and the private sector.

The issue of human slavery is a growing global crisis, with recent estimates of nearly 30 million people oppressed in slavery in almost every part of the world. The issue has been raised in every regional consultation held by the Anglican Alliance, and so has now been identified as a global priority.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope have jointly committed to tackle human slavery, giving their blessing to the ecumenical and interfaith initiative, the Global Freedom Network, launched in Rome in March 2014.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby sent a message of welcome to the participants: “This week you have gathered to consider how our Anglican Communion can be more effective in working together and collaborating with other faith communities and secular partners to end modern slavery. It is a huge and daunting challenge – but it is a task that we must face. Evil will thrive if humanity stands by and does nothing while the most vulnerable suffer at the hands of traffickers and slavers.”

The consultation will reflect on the current work by churches in the Communion against trafficking and slavery, while also learning about other faith-based and secular approaches – including the work of the Global Freedom Network, Caritas Internationalis, the Salvation Army, and the Walk Free Foundation. This will include analysis of work in prevention, protection of survivors, prosecution of perpetrators, policy work to strengthen legislation and make recommendations on collaborating more effectively in partnership.

To deepen the spiritual foundations of the work, the participants will also spend a day in prayer and reflection in the ancient town of Assisi, considering the ministry of St. Francis with the most vulnerable and oppressed of his time.

The Rev. Rachel Carnegie, co-executive director of the Anglican Alliance, said: “It is truly shocking and heartbreaking to hear the accounts of men, women and children who have been trafficked and enslaved. There are many important initiatives in different parts of the Anglican Communion. This consultation will enable us to learn together from our experiences and to shape a stronger collective response to end this crime against humanity.”

Churches, individuals and communities worldwide are invited to join a one-hour global webinar held on Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. GMT, which will share outcomes from the consultation and discuss the way forward for shared learning and collaboration across the Anglican Communion.

Iraq airstrikes not a solution, says Syrian priest

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Squeezing ISIS’ source of funds is a better solution than airstrikes, the Rev. Nadim Nassar tells a gathering at St. John’s (Stone) Church. He also says”religious reconciliation” is necessary to rebuild trust in Syria and Iraq. Photo: Beatrice Paez

[Anglican Journal] The U.S.-led airstrike campaign is hardly a plausible solution to quelling the encroaching and horrific reign of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, says the Rev. Nadim Nassar, the lone Syrian Anglican minister and director of the London, England-based, Christian charity, Awareness Foundation.

“It can’t be the solution because it only adds to the casualties and destruction to the region,” said Nassar, who spoke at a gathering Oct. 28 at St. John’s (Stone) Church in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. “The only solution is to dry out external resources that it relies on and all the veins that are feeding it.”

Military response merely provides a distraction, he said, ­­ a “show that they are doing something” —while the situation worsens daily as more than a million dollars a day is pumped into the operations of the Islamic State (known as ISIS or ISIL), a radical group of insurgents in Iraq and Syria and an offshoot of the Islamist militant organization al-Qaeda.

The alternative, said Nassar, is to pinpoint the source of its funding rather than to raise arms.

“When Western countries decided to arm Syrian opposition, they gave a signal that we do not want the war to stop,” said Nassar, adding that ISIS is counting on the war to rage on and spread to other parts of the region.

Nassar made a stop in Saint John as part of his visit to Canada, where he spoke about the hardships of imperiled religious minorities and the eroding bonds that once kept Christians and Muslims alike secure.

Nassar, who grew up in Lattakia, Syria, spoke of a time when both Christians and Muslims celebrated festivals together, worked, lived, studied and fought side by side. He lived through the seven-year civil war in Lebanon, from 1981 to 1988, and said he has faced death many times.

Today, he said, through its targeted persecution of Christians and other religious minorities, ISIS is determined to make it impossible for different sectarian groups to coexist peacefully.

Pinned on Nassar’s lapel was a tiny letter “n” in Arabic (“n” for Nazarite), symbolic of the marked life led by today’s Christians living in Iraq or Syria—the Nazarite pin has been used by ISIS, and at times former neighbors, to single out Christian minorities living amongst Muslims and destroy their homes.

“Some Muslims betrayed their neighbors and told ISIS where [their] Christian neighbors were,” he said. “Other Muslims protected them and hid them in their homes.”

ISIS’ violent attacks have raised the visibility of Christian communities in the Middle East, but he said that people sometimes neglect to recognize that the region is the birthplace of the Christian faith — and not a Western export — as extremists, and at times the West, would like to perceive.

And while the threat against Christians is mounting, he said it’s important that they not be seen as victims.

“It’s so painful when people look at me and see only a poor victim…Suddenly, we’re visible, but we’re victims,” he said. “We do not see ourselves as victims; we see ourselves as part of the tragedy of the Middle East.”

Nassar appealed to Canadians to put pressure on their government to come up with a political solution—one that involves religious reconciliation to rebuild trust—that deals with the war in Syria.

For more than three years, the Syrian war has displaced over three million Syrians from their country, with about a third of those fleeing to neighboring Lebanon—making up almost a quarter of Lebanon’s population.

A solution to the crisis in Syria, he said, is “rarely” spoken about, whether in the U.S., Canada or Europe, despite the fact that countries worldwide are not insulated from the consequences as ISIS solidifies its presence in the region.

“Proof of this can be found in the many thousands of people leaving their work, schools, families and universities to fight with ISIS,” he said.

He added that as long as ISIS’ destabilizing hold remains unchecked, “it will always export terror and bloodshed to the rest of the world.” He added, “We have the responsibility to create a counterforce that’s equal in power…”

Nassar said he is hoping to mobilize Christians far and wide (with a trip to Hong Kong planned as well) to push for much-needed engagement and dialogue among Abrahamic faiths and political and religious leaders.

– Beatrice Paez is a multimedia journalist whose reporting spans international development issues, politics and arts and culture. 

Supreme Court declines to review Fort Worth case at this time

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth press release] On Nov. 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed by the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth on June 19, 2014. The case will thus proceed to retrial on remand in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, in Fort Worth, with the Honorable John P. Chupp presiding. The 141st District Court likely will hear summary judgment motions in early 2015, with the losing parties likely to appeal that decision to the state appellate courts and then back to the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional issues.

The case arises from the decision almost five years ago of the former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and some diocesan and parish leaders to sever ties with The Episcopal Church and claim the name and property of the Episcopal diocese for their new church. The loyal Episcopalians of Tarrant County reorganized the diocese early in 2009, filled the vacant church offices with Episcopalians, and continued the ministry of the Church in the diocese. The Episcopalian officials filed suit in 2009 seeking to regain the historic names and property of the diocese accumulated by the Church since 1838 across 24 counties of North Texas.

In January 2011, the trial court rightly returned the name and property of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to the Episcopalians recognized by The Episcopal Church as the continuing Episcopal Diocese. In 2013, the Texas Supreme Court reviewed the case and decided to change the law governing church disputes in Texas. The Texas Supreme Court ordered the trial court to hear the case again under the new doctrine.

In June 2014, the loyal Episcopalians asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling, in part to consider the question of whether a state can change the rules for church property after the dispute has erupted, a question left open by the U.S. Supreme Court since 1979. At the same time, the loyal Episcopalians and breakaway defendants have been preparing their summary judgment motions for the trial court under Texas’s new doctrine.

Because the case was remanded in August 2013 by the Texas Supreme Court for further proceedings, that decision was “interlocutory” or non-final, which the U.S. Supreme Court rarely accepts for review. Thus, while the Episcopal Parties are disappointed not to have the faster resolution the U.S. Supreme Court could have offered, they look forward to filing their summary judgment papers and showing why the breakaway faction’s decades of commitments are enforceable under basic neutral principles of Texas law.

Denial of review of an interlocutory order does not set precedent on the issues raised, and the Episcopal Parties may still raise the legal issues from the interlocutory petition in the event the case is later appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Right Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., reminds the Episcopalians in the diocese that, while this order and the consequent additional delay is disappointing, it does not change the mission and ministry of the many Episcopalians who continue to constitute the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. “We continue the exciting work to be The Episcopal Church in this part of Texas and to be the local witnesses and prophetic voices of the Church as North Texans continue to search for spiritual wholeness.”

The diocese is preparing for the 32nd annual meeting of its Convention November 14-15 at Jack Daniel’s Club at Globe Life Park in Arlington, and for the triennial General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June 2015.