El periódico Church Times de Londres informó que el arzobispo de la provincia del Delta en Nigeria, Ignatius Kattey, ha sido devuelto por sus captores después de dos semanas en cautiverio. Su salud es buena y no hubo que pagar el rescate que pedían, dijo el periódico.
Por primera vez en décadas la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos Romanos de Cuba ha pedido al gobierno cubano que la isla tenga “un nuevo orden político”. Con palabras bien escogidas la declaración pide que gobierno haga actualización de “reformas políticas democráticas”. El presidente de la Conferencia el arzobispo de Santiago de Cuba, Dionisio García Ibáñez, dice que “debe haber derecho a la diversidad de pensamientos“. Añade que “Cuba es la nación de todos los cubanos con sus diferencias y aspiraciones”.
En una conferencia sobre la religión en Cuba, el historiador Marcos Antonio Ramos dijo que en Cuba hay budistas, hindúes, musulmanes, en pequeñas cantidades en distintas poblaciones de la isla, y por supuesto, conocemos que “hay todo tipo de grupos sincréticos”. Observadores locales afirman que “hay más personas relacionadas con el sincretismo religioso afrocubano que con cualquier otra religiosidad”. La conferencia fue pronunciada en el Salón Bacardí de la Universidad de Miami.
Un nuevo libro, The Westminster Standards del profesor y teólogo presbiteriano Morton Smith ha sido publicado recientemente. El libro es una colección de declaraciones doctrinales con el fin de hacerlas más asequibles a laicos y clérigos. “Vivimos en un mundo donde la gente está más interesada en cosas triviales que en los fundamentos de nuestra fe”, dijo el autor, añadiendo que el libro intenta hacer más fácil la compresión de las declaraciones históricas de fe a través de los tiempos.
El vocero del Vaticano Federico Lombardi, ha negado que la Santa Sede quiera proteger indebidamente al arzobispo Józef Wesolowski, nuncio apostólico en la República Dominicana, acusado de abuso sexual. Relevarlo de su cargo y llamarlo a Roma antes que las autoridades dominicanas emitan su informe, significa “cuán serio se han tomado las cosas”, dijo Lombardi.
La situación de los inmigrantes haitianos en la República Dominicana es motivo de preocupación para las iglesias. En una reciente reunión en Santo Domingo se dijo que existe “una creciente intolerancia y cierto sentimiento de hostilidad hacia los inmigrantes haitianos” aún cuando ambas naciones comparten historias similares y una misma isla, La Española. El obispo episcopal Julio César Holguín dijo que aunque la situación es difícil, hay que apreciar con gratitud la contribución de los inmigrantes haitianos.
Un informe que circula en internet dice que la situación de Venezuela es incierta y no muy prometedora. Cita por ejemplo la escasez progresiva de alimentos, la creciente inseguridad ciudadana, la inflación galopante, la ineficiencia administrativa constante, los apagones frecuentes y la creciente impopularidad de los gobernantes.
El santuario mariano de Lourdes, celebra el 150 aniversario de su famosa procesión nocturna, que en honor de la Virgen se celebra desde 1863 a la luz de las velas. Lourdes es una ciudad y comuna francesa situada en la región de Mediodía-Pirineos, a una altitud de 400 metros sobre el nivel del mar. Se convierte, a partir del siglo XIX, en importante centro religioso católico romano de peregrinación, donde tuvieron lugar las visiones experimentadas por la niña Bernadette Soubirous. Se cuentan por miles las personas que han sido sanadas de alguna dolencia.
El huracán y la tormenta que azotan a 29 de los 32 estados de México nunca habían sido vistos. El gobierno calcula que hay más de un millón de personas afectadas. Por lo menos 87 personas han perdido sus vidas. En el balneario de Acapulco en la costa del Pacífico hay miles de turistas esperando ser evacuados. “México necesita ayuda internacional”, dicen los expertos.
Aunque ha habido leves mejorías la economía de Estados Unidos no acaba de despegar. La Oficina Nacional del Censo informa que unos 46.5 millones de estadounidenses viven en la pobreza. La última disminución significativa en la tasa de la pobreza se produjo en el 2006. El gobierno federal considera que una familia de cuatro personas que tenga un ingreso inferior a $23,492, está en la pobreza.
Un estudio realizado por el Seminario Hartford, Connecticut, revela que debido a la crisis económica por la que pasa Estados Unidos más y más iglesias funcionarán sin un pastor a tiempo completo que recibe un salario y otros beneficios. La vacante será llenada por los miembros de la iglesia o un clérigo a tiempo parcial. En la actualidad sólo el 2 por ciento de las iglesias de tradición protestante tiene un ministro a tiempo parcial, la mayoría sin recibir remuneración monetaria.
REFRÁN. No hay mal que por bien no venga.
[Episcopal Youth Event press release] Today [Sept, 19] we are launching a virtual audition process for our Episcopal Youth Event 2014 house band and other musicians and vocalists.
The Liturgy and Music Committee of the EYE 2014 Mission Planning Team has articulated a desire for a house band to take the stage in leading worship and congregational singing.
The band needs to comprehend the magnitude of leading music for a LARGE group of people in worship and demonstrate capacity to do so. Versatility in musical styles and origins is needed to appeal to the broad cultural and musical tastes of the Episcopal Church. And the band needs to have strong leadership skills in teaching music so that all participants can feel a part of the worship.
The team is also looking for groups and individuals who plan to come to EYE and might offer their musical talents to the event by performing during one of the worship services for the prelude, offertory, or postlude, or perhaps a workshop about musical leadership, innovation, or style.
The online application is here. In addition, the team is asking for a YouTube or Vimeo link to a live performance video and an optional teaching video demonstrating the band’s style and capacity for engaging an audience.
The EYE budget will cover travel, lodging, and meals for the house band, plus a modest stipend that will be negotiated depending upon the number of band members. Individuals and groups interested in a smaller role will work with the Youth Ministries office on budgets and possible stipends.
Questions about logistics and stipends should be directed to Bronwyn Clark Skov in the Youth Ministries office at email@example.com or 646-242-1421.
The deadline for the application process is October 9.
[Anglican Communion News Service] A bishop from Sudan has appealed for emergency action for the people affected by the war in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains.
Bishop of the Diocese of Kadugli, the Rt. Rev. Andudu Adam Elnail, said people, especially those from the villages of Kao Nyaro and Warne, are facing starvation and death due to the humanitarian crises in the South Kordofan State of Sudan.
“Those who have managed to escape are now living under trees and getting soaked by the rains. They have no tents, no food, no safe drinking water, and no medicine,” he said. “Some organizations in the area have given them a little sorghum, which was not enough for all the people and some have already died.”
Recently, the governor of Sudan’s South Kordofan state, Adam Al-Faki, described the ongoing war in his state as “intricate” because “it involves family members on both sides” and acknowledged that it would not stop without the spread of education.
It is estimated that about 50,000 have been displaced since the war broke out in April this year and are in need of food assistance. The latest reports reaching the bishop from Malakal, an area bordering Nuba Mountains and South Sudan, suggest that the humanitarian situation is reaching “catastrophic levels.”
“People are still on the way walking from the Nuba Mountains to cross the boarder of South Sudan, which is a long distance with no food, causing the deaths of 20-25 people every day,” he said.
“We are calling for support so that we can meet these people. We sent $17,000 three weeks ago, but it is not enough.”
The bishop has since appealed to Christians all over the world to pray for the people of Nuba Mountains so that peace can prevail between the people and the government. He also called for prayer for himself and his term as they travel around their diocese.
Fighting in the region continues, with the Sudanese Armed Forces and rebels making contradictory claims over who is winning the battles. But whether one end is winning or losing, it’s the people on the ground, especially women and children who continue to bear the brunt of the war.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The committee organizing the Episcopal Church special event,Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal gathering to challenge the epidemic of violence, has issued a call for workshop proposals.
Bishops, clergy and laity from throughout the Episcopal Church are invited to gatherApril 9 – 11, 2014 to explore one of the major issues in today’s society – violence in all its forms. Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal gathering to challenge the epidemic of violence will be held at the Reed Center and Sheraton in Oklahoma City, OK (Diocese of Oklahoma).
Deadline to submit workshop proposals is October 18.
From the Committee:
A Call for Workshop Proposals: Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace 2014
At Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence, Episcopalians will come together to renew their commitment to the Gospel call to make peace in a world of violence. Through deep conversation, prayer, and skill-building the event will empower our Church to address violence and reclaim our role in society as workers for nonviolence and peace.
As Episcopalians, we are called to ‘seek and serve Christ in all persons’ and to ‘respect the dignity of every human being.’ It is this foundation that guides our efforts to nourish and deepen our relationships in God’s unending mission. We all have our own unique identity and this gathering will engage all of God’s children from different parts of God’s world, recognizing and respecting the diversity of identity present in our Church and in the world.
Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace is focused around four pillars: advocacy, education, liturgy, and pastoral care. These four areas are key avenues that our Church can use to address the culture of violence within and outside of the Church and will be woven throughout all aspects of the event including plenary time, workshops, small group conversations, and worship.
The organizing committee for Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence, to be held in Oklahoma City, OK, April 9-11, 2014, invites proposals for workshops related to addressing violence in all its forms. Preference will be given to proposals that have a particular focus on education, advocacy, pastoral care, or worship & liturgy. The workshops will be an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes long.
All proposals should be submitted via the online form found here: Please follow the instructions on the form. Submissions should include a description of the proposed session and should specify 2-3 takeaways for participants attending the session. These takeaways can include learning goals for the sessions or actual resources for participant use.
To be considered, submissions must be made via the online form by October 18. Proposals will be reviewed by the committee and notifications will be sent electronically by November 15.
The program committee will read all proposals submitted via the form on or before the October 18 deadline. The committee is particularly interested in workshops that are related to the following topics:
• Systemic/root causes of violence
• Suicide/mental health
• Hate crimes
• Gang violence
• Race and Violence
• Gun violence
• Domestic violence/Gender-based violence
The topics listed above are only suggestions. The committee will consider all proposals relating to our culture of violence, root causes of violence, violence in all its forms, and Christian response/opposition to violence.
Please refer any questions to Mary Getz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Episcopal Peace Fellowship press release] The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) thanks Starbucks Coffee for changing company policy and now asks customers not to bring weapons inside their coffee houses.
“Nineteen months ago on Valentine’s Day 2012, we launched a nation-wide boycott of Starbucks due to its gun-friendly policy of allowing any weapon to be taken inside … We rejoice in Starbucks’ change of heart. Thank you,” said the Rev. Allison Liles, EPF executive director. “Thanks as well to the National Gun Victims Action Council who first invited EPF to join the Starbucks Boycott,” she said.
“We also mourn the needless death of 13 more innocents in our nation’s capital Navy Yard slaughter Sept 16. Sensible gun regulations must be passed in our US Congress and every state legislature this fall. That is the goal of our ongoing ‘Make a Noise’ against gun violence events taking place in several parishes and schools during September.
The EPF gun violence webpage – http://epfnational.org/what-about-guns – details aspects of the Pray, Study & Act initiative and includes a stunning sermon on the Newtown Slaughter at the top of the Study section. Please write Rev. Liles to get started with your event at email@example.com
Link to The Guardian’s article on Starbucks No Weapon Zone – http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/sep/18/starbucks-no-more-guns-stores
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship has championed peace, nonviolence and social justice issues since its founding on Armistice Day 1939. Read more about EPF – http://epfnational.org
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) announces a change in leadership with the resignation of Bishop Tom Shaw as co-chair and the election of Bishop Ed Konieczny to that post.
Recently JNCPB Co-chair Sally Johnson of the Diocese of Minnesota contacted the 29-member committee, noting, “It is with sadness that I read an email from Tom Shaw on Wednesday resigning as Co-Chair of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop as a result of his need to focus on his continued treatment.” Bishop Shaw, of the Diocese of Massachusetts, was diagnosed with a brain tumor last spring and has been receiving treatment following surgery in May. He will remain on the committee.
Following the protocol of other Episcopal Church Commissions, Committees, Agencies and Boards (CCABs), the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of the General Convention, contacted committee members with the invitation to submit nominations for a new co-chair.
On Tuesday, September 17, Bishop Konieczny, of the Diocese of Oklahoma, was elected to serve as co-chair. He joins co-chair Johnson, and committee secretary, the Rev. Ruth Lawson Kirk of the Diocese of Virginia, on the executive leadership team of the committee.
Following his election, Bishop Konieczny thanked the committee for its support noting that he would continue to seek Bishop Shaw’s counsel as he moves into the role of co-chair. In an e-mail to the committee, Bishop Konieczny wrote, “We have a strong committee, doing great work, and this change in leadership should not be disruptive. I look forward to working with all of you and completing our task in providing the church with the best possible nominees as our next Presiding Bishop.”
The JNCPB is comprised of a lay member, a clergy person, and a bishop elected from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church, plus two youth representatives, appointed by the President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Jennings. The General Convention Deputies and bishops serve a three-year term to conclude with the election of the next Presiding Bishop at General Convention 2015 in Salt Lake City.
Following the election of the 27th Presiding Bishop in July 2015, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori’s nine-year term as Presiding Bishop concludes November 1, according to the canons.
The committee released a survey inviting broad-based feedback on the desired qualities and gifts of the next Presiding Bishop. The survey is available here and remains open through September 30.
The JNCB members are listed here.
On Twitter: @ PB27Nominations or #JNCPB
[Episcopal Diocese of Colorado] Devastating floods up and down Colorado’s Front Range have impacted several communities and Episcopal churches. As those churches – none of which suffered catastrophic damage – dry out, they are making contact with parishioners, and will be working to help in their communities in days to come.
The staff in the [Diocese of Colorado] Office of the Bishop has been contacting clergy in affected areas, and has determined they are all safe and accounted for, although some of them have experienced some personal property damage and loss. Clergy and other leaders continue to get in touch with their parishioners to determine their safety and immediate needs. In some places this has been much more difficult than in others. Based on initial assessments, while many church buildings have had some flooding damage, none has catastrophic damage.
Several churches have already begun to reach out to those least likely have personal resources to deal with the disaster. St. Aidan’s in Boulder has already been working through their existing partnership with Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow to provide overnight shelter for the homeless in these adverse conditions. The St. Aidan’s community is also reaching out through their Canterbury ministry to University of Colorado students who suffered losses.
At St. Stephen’s in Longmont, according to the Rev. Marc Genty who lives near there, Missouri Avenue that runs in front the church became the Missouri River for a time. Foot bridges and other community structures were wiped out, but the church, which sits on a little rise, is fine. The St. Stephen’s community is reaching out to parishioners who have suffered significant property losses and finding the best way to help them.
In Estes Park, one of the communities most hard hit by the flooding, many of the major roads have washed out, making travel in and out of the town extremely difficult. Rocky Mountain National Park has been closed to visitors, and summer residents have been asked to leave. Crossroads Ministry, a Jubilee Ministry that serves that area, will be administering some of the flood relief. Deacon Pat Washburn reports that St. Bartholomew’s basement has flooded, and they “have a lake instead of a parking lot.”
Common Cathedral in Longmont is a worshipping community that meets in a public park, and is a mix of area residents and those are homeless. Genty is the convener of that community, and was concerned from the outset about the flood’s impact on its members, many of whom camp along the banks of the St. Vrain River, one of the many waterways that came far over its banks.
As the Common Cathedral community gathered on Friday to worship, Genty could not join them because he could not leave his neighborhood because of the flood waters which isolated several parts of Longmont. The Rev. Andrew Cooley, who also lives in Longmont, could get there, and presided over a gathering of 25 – 30 people. On his Facebook page, he reported that the group – some of whom knew they had lost their homes, shared “stories of loss, anxiety, and wonderful stories of angels and acts of mercy and kindness offered.” Genty continues to be concerned about Common Cathedral’s members, and knows of at least one couple who had recently gotten in to permanent housing, who lost everything in flood.
The Office of the Bishop is working closely with Episcopal Relief & Development to identify needs and provide financial support in coming days and weeks. The Office of the Bishop is also accepting donations payable to “The Diocese of Colorado” marked “Flood Relief.” These funds will be used for immediate needs—food, clothing, temporary shelter and medical care, and will be used along with emergency funding from Episcopal Relief & Development for these short term needs and longer term recovery needs as those are identified in the days ahead.
The Office of the Bishop has posted links to resources from Episcopal Relief & Development for helping following a disaster on their website here.
[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba on Sept. 18 called on South Africans to join him in Pretoria to form a human chain and pledge to honor the values of Nelson Mandela. He made the call as part of his commitment to reflect and act on these. The archbishop believes that all South Africans should celebrate these values, which are part of their heritage, especially in preparation for Heritage Day this Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Freedom Park in Pretoria has taken responsibility to organize the human chain from 12 midday till 1307 (67 minutes) on Friday as part of the symbolic effort to create a space for all South Africans, especially young South Africans, to understand the enormous legacy set by Tata Madiba.
The Archbishop will be joined by representatives of universities and religious leaders across faiths. They will join hands together then read out a pledge at 1230, committing each one to furthering the dream and values of Madiba, for which so many fought and died.
Freedom Park CEO, Fana Jiyane, says the chain will stretch from Freedom Park, through Bosman Station, Paul Kruger up to Church Square. “I call upon all participants to wear South African colors and bring along South African flags”, said Mr Jiyane. He urged “join the chain nearest to you along these streets in Pretoria.”
On Mandela Day 18 July 2013, the Archbishop successfully led a similar human chain in Cape Town, organized along Klipfontein Road, that linked Gugulethu to Rondebosch – a stretch that runs through four previously divided communities under the Apartheid regime (black, colored, Indian and white). “The success of this event has moved me to extend this call nationally”, said the Archbishop. The Pretoria event on Friday will demonstrate to the whole country one way in which we as South Africans can celebrate our heritage by holding hands and making a joint commitment.
“It is my hope that when our beloved Madiba has a peaceful end, civil society will organize these human chains in every community and city, across the country, and stand proud as a Nation to honor and reflect on this extraordinary leader in this fitting way.”
For further inquiries for the press conference, contact:
The Office of the Archbishop of Cape Town:
Ms Ruschka Jaffer +27 (0)729640811 (office hours)
For details of the Human Chain:
Ruschka Jaffer (Anglican Church) +27 (0)72 964 0811
Rev Godfrey Walton/Wendy Kelderman (Anglican Church)
Tel: +27 (0)21 763 1339/1320
Tembeka Ngcebetsha (Freedom Park) +27 (0)12 336 4000
[Episcopal Diocese of Texas] As part of an initiative that began in the Church of England, congregations across the Diocese of Texas took a step out of their comfort zones on Sunday, Sept. 15, and invited friends, family and even strangers to church with them. The result was hundreds of visitors either returning to church or experiencing an Episcopal service for the first time.
To kick off the initiative, the Diocese of Texas invited Michael Harvey to be the keynote speaker for the Diocesan Warden’s and Vestry Conferences as well as private meetings with clergy. Harvey is one of the founders of the Back to Church Sunday movement that has spread from the United Kingdom to Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France and Holland. Harvey authored the book, Unlocking the Growth, and gives seminars around the world about how to plant the seeds of growth in a church community.
In the United States, “Back to Church Sunday” was already trademarked by another organization, so the Diocese of Texas chose “Invitation Sunday” as the theme, building off Harvey’s teaching that invitation is the most important aspect of growth. The Diocese of Texas promoted the events and created designs for postcards and fliers that individual churches could customize with their information. Harvey’s video with the LOGOS Project was also circulated to the congregations.
After all the preparations and newfound focus on invitation, organizers weren’t sure what to expect, but the results were remarkable, especially for some of the smaller churches.
St. James’, Taylor, a church with a normal attendance of around 30, reported 11 visitors on Invitation Sunday. Organizers ordered customized postcards and distributed them throughout the neighborhood and through the mail. They held a rummage sale and handed out invitations to all who came, and just before the event, they put an ad in the local newspaper. Additionally, church members extended personal invites to others. The excitement for the event overflowed into other projects, including repainting the parish hall and landscaping the gardens.
“We are energized,” said St. James’ pastoral leader Terry Pierce, a student of the Iona School for Ministry. “The most important message was, ‘We don’t grow the church; all we have to do is plant the seeds!’ It freed us from the negative messages around invitation/welcome – that we’re not doing enough or doing it right.”
In the small town of Liberty, the Rev. Ted Smith and deacon Glenda Hardin of St. Stephen’s worked with the local ministerial alliance to promote going back to church across all denominations. Together, they purchased yard signs, a newspaper ad and even radio advertising. The local radio station also interviewed Smith about the event on the Friday and Saturday prior to Invitation Sunday, and the newspaper ran a front-page story featuring interviews with Smith and Hardin.
On Sunday, around a dozen visitors arrived at the church, a big number for a church an average of 70 folks. The congregation made a special effort to accommodate their expected guests. They held a breakfast and a luncheon, picked hymns that crossed denominational lines, and for the first time in recent memory, they printed a service booklet to help visitors navigate the service. St. Stephen’s newcomer ministry team greeted guests and reported the information back to Smith to follow up with them in a card. Additionally, the church plans to take out another newspaper ad to notify the community of an instructed Eucharist on September 29.
“I’m hoping we get some return people that weren’t familiar with an Episcopal service, and want to learn why we do what we do,” Smith said. “I’m hopeful. For our size community, this is a success. Our congregation and vestry are tickled to death, and we hope to keep it going.”
After months of preparation, St. Catherine of Sienna, Missouri City, formerly launched their invitation campaign on August 11. Though church members recently completed their journey from mission to parish status, the Rev. Mike Besson pushed them further to consider inviting their friends.
“When I preached the sermon on August 11 to tell everyone what we were going to do, I sat down on a stool at the end and said, ‘Look, the idea of an Episcopal church being full of invited guests is an oxymoron.’ But that resonated with them. I told them we have an opportunity to do something that’s unusual and different, something that maybe another congregation would ask how we did it,” Besson explained. “When this congregation hears a challenge like that, they are all over it.”
After several weeks of passing out customized business cards and postcards, and continuously pounding the message of invitation, St. Catherine’s welcomed 60 visitors to a church, which averages 200 people a week.
“When I asked the invited visitors to raise their hand during the sermon, there was an audible gasp [from the rest of the congregation],” Besson said. But he cautioned that success isn’t just about numbers. Besson stressed the importance of framing the message about invitation. “We were very careful not to use the word evangelism or talk about growing the church. We don’t even say that any more. We just ask people to think about why they are here, and why it is important to them. Then think about someone else that this might be important to as well and send them a card.”
[Diocese of Los Angeles] The Rev. Canon Cyprian William Fields, whose priesthood included ministries in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey and New Orleans, died on Sept. 12. He was 89.
Requiem Eucharist is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, at St. Philip’s Church, 2800 Stanford Avenue, Los Angeles. Bishop Chester Talton, bishop of San Joaquin and former bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles, will preach the homily, and Bishop J. Jon Bruno will preside. A gathering with music will begin at 2:30 p.m.
Fields’ ministry in the Diocese of Los Angeles most recently included pastoral work at St. Philip’s, Advent, St. Mary in Palms, and Christ the Good Shepherd parishes, starting in the mid-1990s. In 2004 he was named an honorary canon of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul. In earlier years in Los Angeles, he was a member first of St. Philip’s and later St. John’s.
Before returning to Los Angeles, Fields served as rector of St. Luke’s Church, New Orleans (1993-95); assistant at St. Timothy’s, Washington D.C. (1990-93) while serving the Bishop of Washington as assistant for social ministries; associate at St. Philip’s, New York City, and associate chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital (1986-88); vicar of St. Agnes and St. Paul’s, Orange, New Jersey (1980-86); rector of All Souls, New York City (1978-80) and priest-in-charge of St. Andrew’s, New York City (1976-77) following his ordination to the priesthood in 1976 by the Bishop of Jamaica. Cyprian also served as rector of Christ Church, Port Antonio, Jamaica.
Fields was a member of the Order of the Holy Cross, serving for a time as assistant superior, in the 1970s. Under the auspices of the Order he held the positions of associate dean of students at UC Santa Barbara, and as the chancellor’s assistant for affirmative action at Washington University in St. Louis.
Cyprian Fields was born Aug. 28, 1924, in San Antonio, Texas. He was a graduate of Southern University at Baton Rouge, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. He held a licentiate in theology from the University of the West Indies’ United Theological College.
He is remembered for his pastoral gifts, wise counsel, advocacy for justice, and sense of humor.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Applications are currently being accepted for the Constable Fund Grants for the 2013-2014 cycle.
The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the Episcopal Church General Convention/Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).
Anne Watkins, an Executive Council member from the Diocese of Connecticut and chair of the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, noted recent Constable Grants have ranged from $5,000 to $200,000
Applications can be submitted by: (1) a programmatic office of the DFMS, (2) one of the General Convention CCABs, (committee commission agency or board) or (3) one of the Provinces of the Episcopal Church.
Specific guidelines, suggestions, application form and timetable are available here.
Deadline for applications is November 15. Please note: November 15 marks an earlier deadline than for the previous cycle to allow for distribution of funding sooner in the calendar year.
Grants will be reviewed in January and recommendations forwarded to the Executive Council for action at its February 2014 meeting. Recipients will be notified at the close of that meeting.
Named for Miss Constable
The Constable Grants were named for Miss Mary Louise Constable, who was a visionary philanthropist. Watkins pointed out, “Hers is an example of faithful witness and generosity in response to an obviously mature and deep understanding of herself as both a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a steward of the blessings bestowed upon her by God.”
In 1935, in the midst of economic catastrophe known as the Great Depression, Miss Constable made a monetary gift to the Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund. Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951.
Watkins further explained, “Stipulations for use of the fund were also visionary and generous, recognizing in and trusting those who came after her to comply with her wishes while allowing them flexibility in order to carry the mission of God through God’s Church forward into new eras.”
The language of Miss Constable’s will states that the fund exists “in perpetuity … to apply the net income for the purposes of the Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society’s budget.”
“It is the desire of the Executive Council Constable Fund Review Committee that Miss Constable’s example of stewardship, generosity, flexibility, and creativity be values that continue to be honored,” Watkins concluded.
Se aceptan ahora las solicitudes para las subvenciones del fondo Constable de la Iglesia Episcopal
Fondos destinados para las iniciativas de la misión
[18 de septiembre de 2013] Se aceptan ahora las solicitudes para las subvenciones de fondo Constable para el ciclo de 2013-2014.
El fondo Constable proporciona subvenciones para financiar iniciativas de la misión que no estaban previstos en el presupuesto de la Convención General de la Iglesia Episcopal /Sociedad Misionera Nacional y Extranjera (DFMS).
Anne Watkins, miembro del Consejo Ejecutivo de la diócesis de Connecticut y presidenta del Comité de Revisión de Subvenciones de Fondos Constable, destacó que las recientes donaciones Constable son desde $ 5,000 a $ 200,000
Las solicitudes pueden ser presentadas por: (1) una oficina programática de la DFMS, (2) uno de los CCAB de la Convención General, (comité comisión agencia o junta) o (3) una de las provincias de la Iglesia Episcopal.
Las pautas específicas, sugerencias, formulario de solicitud y el calendario están disponibles aquí
Fecha límite para las solicitudes es el 15 de noviembre. Nota: El 15 de noviembre marca una fecha plazo anterior al ciclo previo para que de esta manera se permita la distribución de la financiación de manera más rápida en el año calendario.
Las subvenciones serán revisadas en enero y las recomendaciones serán enviadas al Consejo Ejecutivo para que tomen una medida en su reunión de febrero de 2014. Los beneficiarios serán notificados cuando esta reunión concluya.
Para obtener más información comuníquese con Watkins en firstname.lastname@example.org, o Sam McDonald, Director Adjunto de Operaciones y Director de la Misión, email@example.com.
Nombrado con el nombre de la Señorita Constable
Las subvenciones Constable tienen ese nombre porque fue nombrado por la señorita Mary Louise Constable, que fue una filántropa visionaria. Watkins señaló: “El ejemplo de ella es un testimonio fiel y de generosidad en respuesta al obvio y maduro conocimiento profundo de sí misma tanto como un discípulo de Jesucristo y como mayordoma de las bendiciones otorgadas a ella por Dios”.
En 1935, en medio de la catástrofe económica conocida como la Gran Depresión, la señorita Constable hizo un regalo monetario a la Iglesia Episcopal para establecer el Fondo Constable. Su deseo e intención de añadir periódicamente al fondo durante su vida fue realizado y culminado con un último regalo muy generoso a la hora de su muerte en 1951.
Watkins explica además: “Las estipulaciones para el uso del fondo eran además visionario y generoso, reconociendo y confiando en los que vinieron después de ella para cumplir con sus deseos, mientras que se permitía la flexibilidad para realizar la misión de Dios a través de la Iglesia de Dios para avanzar a nuevas eras”.
El lenguaje del testamento de la señorita Constable afirma que existe el fondo “en perpetuidad… para aplicar el ingreso neto para los fines de la Sociedad, de preferencia por el trabajo en la educación religiosa no previsto en el presupuesto de la Sociedad”.
“Es el deseo de la Comisión Ejecutiva del Comité de Revisión de la Subvención de Fondos Constable que el ejemplo de mayordomía, generosidad, flexibilidad y creatividad de la señorita Constable, sean valores que continúen siendo honrados”, concluyó Watkins.
[The Episcopal Church in South Carolina press release] The Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has asked the U.S. District Court to reconsider the recent decision to dismiss a federal lawsuit against Mark Lawrence.
Attorneys for the Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg filed a Motion for Reconsideration on September 16 in U.S. District Court in Charleston, along with a Memorandum of Law and other documents supporting the motion. It asks Judge C. Weston Houck to give further consideration to specific facts and legal principles and apply them in reconsidering his August 23 ruling to abstain from and dismiss the case.
The federal lawsuit, vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, was filed in March, seeking to keep Bishop Lawrence from representing himself as the bishop of the diocese and asking the court to find that only Bishop vonRosenberg, as The Episcopal Church’s recognized bishop, should control the name and marks of the diocese.
A separate case in South Carolina Circuit Court is currently proceeding with written discovery. That lawsuit was originally filed in January by former church leaders and some 34 parishes in eastern South Carolina who say they have “disassociated” from The Episcopal Church. It seeks control of the name, seal and properties of the diocese under state law that governs nonprofit corporations. The group continues to call itself “The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina,” and recognizes Mark Lawrence as its bishop.
In other legal matters, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has filed a separate legal action asking the federal court to rule that its liability insurance policy provides coverage for the state lawsuit.
Attorneys for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina contacted the Church Insurance Company of Vermont in writing in August. The company denied coverage, prompting the legal action to clarify the matter, according to Thomas S. Tisdale, Jr., Chancellor of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. The case also has been assigned to Judge Houck.
[Anglican Communion News Service] Anyone who has attended an Anglican church event in Africa will have encountered members of the Mothers’ Union (MU). A casual glance might lead you to believe they are merely colorfully clad women there to add flare to the church’s worship, but you would be mistaken.
The Mothers’ Union in Africa is a force to be reckoned with, particularly when it comes to social justice. This Anglican organization has around 1.3 million members in countries right across the continent, and when these women speak, they are heard.
Year after year, MU members speak out against a range of issues which continue to blight societies in Africa today. Child abuse, human trafficking, corruption, poverty, healthcare — little is out of bounds for the women in blue.
They also run various initiatives including literacy and development projects, parenting programs and microfinance initiatives. They campaign to end violence against women and the trafficking of women and children. All these activities are aimed at attaining their vision of a world where “God’s love is shown through loving, respectful, and flourishing relationships”.
In Nigeria, the MU recently took center stage when the President of Mothers’ Union and wife of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Nkasiobi Okoh categorically stated publicly that Anglican women would not support the legislation allowing girls to be married underage.
This at a time when fierce debates raged in the country about an issue that some sectors of society strongly supported. Instead of staying quiet, the MU stood on one of their major objectives of “promoting conditions in society favorable to stable family life and the protection of children.”
In Mozambique, the MU in the Diocese of Niassa, with the help of other church members, helped build a massive brick church where none had existed before. It was impressive to see women, who are generally considered the weaker sex by many in this country, doing ‘man’s work’: helping prepare the building for flooring, ferrying bricks and even roofing sheets.
Instead of sitting back and relaxing, the MU decided to join hands with other members of church to bring to fruition, the church’s long time dream of a big brick church building to act as a coordinating center for other smaller churches within the diocese.
The MU is an integral part of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia, which is part of the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa. In Gambella, one of the most troubled regions in the country, the MU provides literacy programs and other practical help to local communities. Just recently, the Mothers’ Union there announced that it would provide theological and practical survival and life skills to women across 70 villages in the region.
In Zambia, the Anglican Church, and the MU in particular, has received international acclaim for being strong advocates against gender-based violence. The statistics on gender-based violence in Zambia are shocking: international charity CARE estimates that at least 47 percent of women in Zambia have experienced physical violence with at least one in every five women having experienced sexual violence.
Former Mother’s Union President for the Diocese of Lusaka, Dr Fridah Sakala Kazembe, recently urged all women to “adhere to the objectives of the Mother’s Union in order to create safe havens for women and children in our families.” She emphasized that strictly following the MU objectives would reduce the occurrence of broken families and consequently would increase safety for families.
In Botswana, the MU recently built houses and donated them to the less privileged in their country. They also run an Orphan Day Care Centre supporting 60 orphaned children between the ages of two and six. About 150 children have since graduated from the center and are now in formal education. These children return to the center each week for a progress check, a meal and help with their school work.
The Mothers’ Union worldwide believes prayer should undergird its work. Each year, MU organizes a Wave of Prayer with each diocese given a set day to pray for other dioceses, and within each diocese each branch is given a specific time to pray. This gives a sense of unity in prayer for one another as the wave of prayer moves from branch to branch and from diocese to diocese. Perhaps this is why MU in Africa continues to have such a huge impact on society.
It is said youth are the ‘backbone’ of the Church in Africa. Nevertheless, the Mothers’ Union with its numbers and networks, its seemingly relentless energy, the pride with which they don their colorful uniforms and the aggressive way they strike at poverty and injustice, gives substance to Archbishop Rowan Williams’ comments at a World Conference of Church meeting in Brazil:
“When I’ve said, in the past year or so, that the Mothers’ Union is the fifth Instrument of Unity in the Anglican Communion, I’m not joking. I think it is the most powerful lay movement in the Anglican World; it is one which does far more for education and development than any other agency in the Anglican Communion and, more than any other agency, it builds relationships at grass roots level between ordinary believers working for change. If that isn’t an Instrument of unity, I don’t know what is.”
[Diocese of Virginia] Folks from across the Episcopal Church gathered in Alexandria, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 12, to discuss how to “jump start” their ministries. Sponsored by the Episcopal Church Building Fund, the Church of the Resurrection in Alexandria and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Jump Start was a one-day event aimed at church leaders who were ready to face their fears about decline in church attendance, decline in finances and the future of their congregations.
“We’re exploring how we serve God through the Church in the world today,” said the Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, bishop suffragan of Virginia, in her opening remarks to the crowd of 80. “Many people today in our churches are experiencing fear and loss and pain as the Church changes, as society changes, as we worry about our church buildings,” said Goff.
Participants spent time in conversation, sharing creative ideas of how their own congregations use facilities in unique ways, from free clinics to providing parking space for a local high school. Julia Groom, president of ECBF, challenged those gathered to take risks. “I believe that God is doing a new thing in our Church,” said Groom, who offered suggestions on how to identify that movement in our own congregations. Most notably, perhaps, was her suggestion for churches to ask themselves, “How are we being relevant to our communities today?”
Members of Church of the Resurrection offered their own story about how they partnered with ECBF to ask themselves that very question. The congregation has struggled with financial stress and the problems that accompany an aging building. With ECBF, they’ve explored new models of how to move forward – including the possibility of developing affordable housing on their property, as a dual ministry and income stream.
Sally O’Brien, vice president of ECBF, outlined a process of recasting of building assets, offered through the ECBF organization. It’s a one-year program aimed at helping a congregation develop financial self-sustainability; create relevancy in the community; sell or reallocate assets; and inspire new ways to be a thriving church.
Many of ECBF’s recommendations center on community involvement, and include inviting local leaders and nonprofits to visit your congregation and brainstorm ideas and solutions. “By having a stronger, more vibrant relationship with the community, a natural connection will happen,” said O’Brien.
ECBF will offer a symposium, Buildings for a New Tomorrow, in April 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. And meanwhile, the congregations present at the Jump Start will continue to reexamine what the future holds for them. “The Church is being called to act in different and new ways in order to continue being Christ’s body in the world,” said Goff. “We’ll step out of boxes today, prescribed by the four walls of our church buildings, and we’ll joyfully, faithfully and hopefully step together into all of the possibilities that God has prepared for us as God’s Church in our midst in the 21st century.”
Learn more in a short Jump Start video.
– Emily Cherry is the communications director for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
Trinity St. Paul’s, New Rochelle, New York
15 September 2013
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
What a remarkable milestone! 325 years of faithful worship in this community, with a vibrant and diverse congregation committed to serving the people around you, and those who continue to come here through a very narrow gate. The history of Christian community here has a great deal to do with narrow gates.
Most children in the United States learn about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. That is only one part of the history of religious intolerance, which is probably as old as human history. Jews were persecuted by Egyptians and Romans, early Christians by Jews and Romans, Muslims and Jews by Christians, and Christians and Jews by Muslims. Beginning around 1100 the Crusades tried to reclaim Jerusalem for Christians and the wars lasted for centuries. A religious war against Jews and Muslims began in Spain around 1200. Conflict between Eastern and Western Christians mounted. By the late 15th century, religious wars between Christians pervaded Europe. Moravians are the modern-day descendants of the first of these protest movements. The Protestant Reformation really began to heat up in the early 16th century when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door in 1517, and then Henry VIII rejected papal political authority in England in 1533-34.
Explorers came to the Americas in the 1500s, often with commercial motives, and soon led others to attempt to establish enduring settlements. Religious persecution also began almost immediately, as indigenous peoples were slaughtered and enslaved with religious (papal) warrant because they were “heathens” and “infidels.” Religious support became important almost as soon as colonizing began. Indeed, the first Anglican service in the Americas was held by Sir Francis Drake’s chaplain near San Francisco in 1579. The shore party was attended and observed by Native Americans.
The fallout of religious protest and reformation in the Old World was war, though there were some attempts at toleration. Henry IV of France made accommodation for non-Roman Catholics in France through the Edict of Nantes in 1598. Many governments persecuted the dissenters and reformers, and discrimination, torture, and violent death were common. What we’re seeing today in Afghanistan and the Middle East is not new human behavior, although religion is still often a cover for other objectives.
Opportunities for migration to these shores proved highly attractive to religious refugees fleeing oppression in Europe and Britain. Huguenots (French Protestants) and Walloons (French-speaking Belgian Protestants) came here from the Netherlands in 1624 with the Dutch founders of Nieuw Amsterdam. This congregation has connections with the first Église Française Réformée, Saint Esprit, founded in Manhattan in the 1620s. English-speaking Protestants settled north of here in the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies about the same time.
After Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1688, more Huguenots came from the city of La Rochelle and formed La Nouvelle (New) Rochelle. The refugees had sent an advance man to find land. Thomas Pell had acquired his land from the Siwanoy Indians in 1654, apparently paying for it with Jamaican rum. The Dutch objected, and Pell settled the matter by invading New Amsterdam in 1664 and forcing the governor, Peter Stuyvesant, to surrender. Pell’s nephew inherited, and made some 6100 acres available to the Huguenot refugees. Huguenots continued to come to New Rochelle until at least 1760.
Thomas Pell’s encounter with Governor Stuyvesant had an important effect on other migrants to these shores. Stuyvesant was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, and a highly exclusivist one. He forbade public Lutheran worship, tried to keep migrating Brazilian Jews from entering and get other Jews to leave, on the premise that providing religious liberty to some would only encourage Roman Catholics to settle here as well. He arrested and exiled a Baptist preacher and publicly tortured a Quaker one. English citizens living in Flushing in 1657 finally answered his edicts with a letter that is seen a precursor to the Bill of Rights’ assurance of freedom of religion. It contains these remarkable words:
The law of love, peace and liberty in the states extending to Jews, Turks and Egyptians, as they are considered sonnes of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe love, peace and liberty, extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemns hatred, war and bondage.
It goes on to remind the governor that we are meant to see the image of God in our neighbors, and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. He promptly arrested them.
All those religious migrants to these shores came through a narrow gate of fidelity to particular theological understandings. Their beliefs set them apart from the theocracies which governed their homelands, and they departed, looking for greater liberty. They came looking for the peace of Jerusalem, and quietness in the shadow of its gates. Some of them were far more tolerant than others, understanding that the road they had traveled was narrow and hard, and should lead to a more open and welcoming space for others as well as themselves.
The congregation here in New Rochelle was founded in 1688 as an independent French Protestant Reformed church. The second priest who came here to serve in 1695 had been ordained in England, which was fairly common as Huguenots and others found shelter there during persecutions in Europe. There is a chapel in Canterbury Cathedral where Walloons and Huguenots have worshiped since 1550.
Soon after that priest came here in 1695, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel began to offer some financial support, as it did for many Church of England congregations in the English colonies. Whether it was spiritual or financial support or the connections with Pell, this congregation joined the Church of England in 1709. At that time New Rochelle had 261 residents, of whom 55 were slaves. The first slaves were brought to this region by the Dutch East India Company in 1626, and British and other settlers continued the slave trade. The rum that Pell bought his land with was part of the triangle trade between Africa, the Americas (both the Caribbean and New England), and Europe. The labor of imported African slaves produced sugar, cotton, and tobacco; processed goods, including rum, from here went to Europe and to Africa.
The third priest who served this congregation, by now called Trinity, came here in 1724 and started the first school in New Rochelle. Among his pupils were John Jay and Washington Irving. Jay later served as President of the Continental Congress and Governor of New York. He was a strong abolitionist, and finally succeeded in ending slavery in New York with an act of 1799 that eventually emancipated all the slaves in the state. He was an Episcopalian, and while remarkably clear about the duties of Christians, “Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not provoke war” – he also argued that Roman Catholics should not be permitted to hold public office.
The impact of that first school here in New Rochelle resounded far beyond these shores. John Jay (with Alexander Hamilton) and others also helped to found the African Free School in New York City in 1787. Among its many graduates were Dr. James McCune Smith, the first African-American physician, the first to operate a pharmacy, founding member of the NY Statistics Society and the National Council of Colored People. Alexander Crummell was also a student of that school – an Episcopal priest and saint of this church whom we celebrated last week, the first black graduate of Queen’s College, Cambridge, missionary in Liberia, and founder of the American Negro Academy, a society of scholars of science and the liberal arts.
The ministry of this congregation has rippled through the world over more than three centuries, bringing healing of body, mind, and soul to multitudes and preaching peace to those who are far off and those who are near. It has helped to open the gate to religious refugees, slaves, the oppressed, and the deprived.
The narrow gate Jesus offers is not the narrow-mindedness of religious zealots. It is the narrow gate of judgment – judgment that leads to self-restraint and love of God and neighbor. That gate opens into a gracious and generous field of peace, with room for all God’s children. The judgment gate that is the cross unites heaven and earth, and leads to abundant life for all who hunger and thirst and live in want. It opens onto a holy city where death and mourning and crying and pain will be no more – a city of peace, with justice for every son of Adam and daughter of Eve. May the people of Trinity St. Paul’s – and their neighbors – keep on building that city of God’s dream. Enter these gates in righteousness, leave tyranny outside the walls, and live in peace. Open the gates, O Jerusalem, and rejoice!
[Anglican Communion News Service] Samuel Enosa Peni, bishop of the Diocese of Nzara in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, is the deputy chairman of an interfaith group of religious leaders from South Sudan, Uganda, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The group, led by the Catholic archbishop of Kinsangani in the DRC, is working to end the violence caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
For Peni, the threat posed by the LRA is real. When he became bishop in 2010, thirty-three of his parishes—a quarter of the total—were closed after people fled their rural villages because of violence caused by the LRA. The LRA came into existence in the late 1980s as part of a civil war in northern Uganda, but has since transformed into a rebel army with a reputation for particular brutality.
Shortly after Peni moved to Nzara from nearby Yambio to become bishop, the LRA killed two families in a village close to Nzara. Peni remembers hearing the news in his new home. With the diocesan secretary, he decided to go to where the bodies were being kept, and where many people had begun to gather. As he got out of the car, he remembers, “I could hear people whispering, ‘Oh, he is the new bishop.’ The secretary motioned the people to stop wailing and listen. Then I had to give a message of encouragement, of comfort. I had to cry with them.” Since that time, he has had success in encouraging people to return to their villages and resume their lives of subsistence agriculture. This, in turn, lessens their dependence on international assistance.
In recent years, the combined pressure of the Ugandan military and a recent deployment of American armed forces has pushed the LRA out of South Sudan and into CAR. It is the regional nature of the threat that brought religious leaders together. Peni recalls that they were driven by a single question: “Why don’t we meet and find a way in which all of us as a regional body can speak to our governments and speak to the international community to find a way in which this can be solved?” A coup in CAR in 2013 has caused widespread instability, leading to fears that the LRA may regroup there.
In the fall of 2012, Peni and other leaders were in Washington, D.C. for meetings on Capitol Hill and at the State Department and Pentagon to press for continued American involvement in the region. Peni has a similar trip planned this autumn to lobby European Union officials in Brussels. Repeated peace talks with the LRA have not produced a solution. Peni and other religious leaders support continued military action to maintain pressure on the LRA’s leaders. If the military forces leave, Peni says, “they are going to give [the LRA] room, like has happened in the past, to continue to reorganize [itself] and continue to do the atrocities.”
The international advocacy work is matched by a community-level healing program in the diocese. Peni and other trained facilitators lead trauma healing programs in communities that have been affected by the violence. Participants are encouraged to share their experience of suffering as a way to deal with the emotional legacy of the violence. “We are not a big organization to offer things like relief aid to them,” Peni says. “We can’t do that. But we can do the spiritual counseling.” The ultimate goal, he says, is to reach a point in which people in the diocese can forgive the LRA and begin to move past the experience of trauma to a more productive future.
A particular focus of the workshops is women, who have been especially affected by the violence. Peni says that it can be a challenge, at first: “Sometimes even women don’t bring out all the things that they experienced with the LRA in the bush—the way they were kidnapped, the way they were treated, the way they were abused, all those things.” But female facilitators bring together women from different communities to share stories of their suffering: “When they share this and get to meet, they say, ‘Oh, I am not the only one who has gone through this. So and so from a different part of the county has gone through the same thing. If they have gone through it and they are surviving, then we can move on.’”
Peni notes that, aside from the church, civil society organizations are weak in South Sudan. He supports the government’s effort for peace, but says the church must be involved as well: “When there is no peace, that means we can’t have Christians in the church, that means we can’t have prayers going on.” For the church to be involved in peace efforts—at both the international and local levels—is simply what it means to be the church: “The role of the church is to advocate for a peaceful environment, a peaceful community. Where there is hatred, where there is fighting, our role as the church is to go there and make peace.”
Jesse Zink is the author of Backpacking Through the Anglican Communion: A Search for Unity.
[Washington National Cathedral press release] Washington National Cathedral is offering prayers throughout the day in response to the shootings reported at the Washington Navy Yard this morning. The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the cathedral, has released the following statement.
“All of us at Washington National Cathedral heard the news of this morning’s shootings at the Washington Navy Yard with a mixture of shock and sadness. We mourn for those who have died, and we continue to grieve the persistence of gun violence in our nation,” said Hall. “The cathedral will hold the victims, first responders, and the Navy community in prayer, while also making the Cathedral’s space and its ministries available today to all who seek consolation and refuge from this loss.”
Choral Evensong at 5:30 p.m. is open to all. Cathedral clergy intend to offer special prayers for the victims and first responders.
[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Communion has given thanks to God for the safe release of the Church of Nigeria’s second most senior cleric, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey.
Provincial Dean Kattey and his wife were kidnapped more than a week ago by armed men near their residence in the southern city of Port Harcourt. Mrs Kattey was later abandoned by the kidnappers. Kattey is the archbishop of Niger Delta Province and the bishop of Niger Delta North.
Statements of concern and prayers were issued around the Anglican Communion, not least from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who has visited Nigeria many times.
According to police spokesperson Angela Agabe, Kattey was released by his captors at around 6.30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, behind a filling station at Eleme in Rivers State.
One news report stated that the Ven. Israel Omosioni, archdeacon of Eleme Archdeaconary, told Nigerian journalists that the archbishop was looking “hale and hearty” despite his ordeal.
Omosoni also revealed that his kidnappers had even given him N200 to to pay for his transport home.
From the moment the news broke on Saturday, members of the Anglican Communion expressed thanks and relief for the archbishop’s safe return.
A statement on the archbishop of Canterbury’s website said he “gave thanks” following the release of the Nigerian archbishop.
Bishop of Cameroon Dibo Elango wrote, “His Grace… is back home. We thank God Almighty. All Glory to the Lord, in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.”
Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese in Europe, the Rt. Rev. David Hamid, said, “We give thanks for his freedom and return to his wife, family and church community.”
Expression of thanks to God that the cleric had been returned safely also appeared on a range of social media sites from Anglicans and Episcopalians in countries including Canada, the U.S., England and across the African continent.
[Lambeth Palace press release] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has welcomed the appointment of a new leadership to the Anglican Alliance, the body which brings together Anglican churches and agencies to support development, relief and advocacy work.
The Most Rev. Albert Chama, archbishop of Central Africa and Chair of the Anglican Alliance, announced the appointment of the Rev. Rachel Carnegie, currently the archbishop of Canterbury’s international development secretary, and the Rev. Andrew Bowerman as the alliance’s new joint executive directors. Archbishop Justin said he was “delighted” about the new appointments, saying they would give “firm foundations” for the alliance’s mission around the Angican Communion, and also support his own ministry. The new directors, both internationally recognised development professionals, will share the role of strengthening the alliance’s work on development, relief and advocacy across the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Justin said: “I am delighted about this really creative appointment, and wish Rachel and Andy every blessing in this key role, which I am keen to support. I should also like to pay tribute to Sally Keeble, the first Director of the Anglican Alliance, for all that she has done to get this initiative off the ground, With these firm foundations, I believe that the Alliance will continue to make a valuable contribution to the life and mission of the Communion, including my own ministry.”
Chama said the appointments mark the start of “a new and exciting stage” of the Alliance’s development as it responds to global challenges of poverty “in our fast-changing world”. He added: “It is a key mission of our church to respond to people in need and transform unjust structures, witnessing to the love of God.”Revd Rachel Carnegie has over 20 years experience in international development, particularly in Africa and South Asia, with faith-based and international humanitarian organizations, including Tearfund, Save the Children and Unicef.
Bowerman, mission rector at Wareham Team Ministry in Dorset, has long experience in poverty, advocacy and disability and HIV and Aids in the UK and internationally. Founded after a recommendation at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the Alliance now has regional offices in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America, and the Caribbean.
In a joint statement they promised to “nurture collaboration as the Alliance draws people together to imagine and help create a just and sustainable world where humanity flourishes.”
Founded after a recommendation at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the Alliance now has regional offices in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America, and the Caribbean.
[Episcopal Public Policy Network] Following the defeat of the House of Representatives farm bill last June, House leadership divided the agriculture and nutrition titles of the farm bill into two separate pieces of legislation for another vote. The agriculture titles passed, and the House is now preparing to vote on the nutrition provision, titled the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act. This bill will specify funding levels for America’s largest anti-hunger program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Your voice is needed now more than ever. The House nutrition bill authorizes a $40 billion dollar cut to SNAP, an unprecedented cut that would significantly reduce eligibility for low-income families in the United States to access nutritional support. These cuts would exacerbate the effects of an across-the-board benefit reduction for all SNAP participants -including 22 million children -set to begin November 1st when a temporary provision of the 2009 Recovery Act expires.
A $40 billion cut to SNAP could rob six million Americans of vital food assistance, pulling the safety net out from beneath struggling families. Seventy-six percent of SNAP recipients are children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, and the reduction will be particularly painful to these individuals who are most in need of SNAP. Such a drastic cut will also require churches and charities to nearly double their food aid for the next ten years to compensate for the loss in SNAP funding.
As Episcopalians, we advocate for the poor, and support government programs that create a viable safety net for these vulnerable populations. The United States’ largest anti-hunger program, SNAP draws a circle of protection around impoverished communities, granting hungry families both the food and the hope that they need to survive. Now is not the time to diminish this crucial program that lifts Americans out of poverty.