Feed aggregator

Deadline extended for United Thank Offering special anniversary grants

ENS Headlines - Monday, July 21, 2014

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

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

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

Application deadline is August 15.   Applications available here.

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

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

 

Sin precedente el número de niños detenidos al cruzar la frontera

ENS Headlines - Monday, July 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Las iglesias acuden a la frontera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traducción de Vicente Echerri

Presiding Bishop preaches in Savannah

ENS Headlines - Monday, July 21, 2014

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

Christ Church, Savannah

20 July 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENS Headlines - Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENS Headlines - Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENS Headlines - Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archbishop writes to ecumenical partners about women bishops

ENS Headlines - Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give below these principles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In spite of such obstacles, we cannot allow ourselves to congeal the love between us which is also manifested in dialogue so “let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” with the good hope that the Lord of powers and mercy “will not let us be tested beyond our strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that we may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

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

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury

Religious leaders of Africa commit to post-2015 development

ENS Headlines - Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the faith leaders’ Position Paper here 

Read the faith leaders’ statement From Lament to Action here

WCC expresses sorrow over Malaysia Airlines disaster

ENS Headlines - Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terrie Robinson named ACO director for women in church and society

ENS Headlines - Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editor’s note

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

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

Supporting Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem’s response in Gaza

ENS Headlines - Thursday, July 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joint Nominating Committee offers second essay on presiding bishop

ENS Headlines - Thursday, July 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Roles and Functions of the Presiding Bishop Today

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

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

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

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

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

I. Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and Executive Council

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

ENS Headlines - Thursday, July 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeffrey Smith joins Christ Church Cranbrook as interim director of music

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rapidísimas

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REFRAN. No todo lo que brilla es oro.

Video explores the ministry of Laundry Love

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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

The video is here.

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

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

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

More videos

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

Marites (Tess) N. Sison named as editor of Canada’s Anglican Journal

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marites (Tess) Sison, senior staff writer, has been appointed editor of the Anglican Journal. She brings almost three decades of professional journalism to her new role. Photo: Saskia Rowley

[Anglican Journal] Marites (Tess) N. Sison has been appointed editor of the 139-year-old Anglican Journal. She moves to the editorship from her longstanding position as senior writer, taking the helm from Archdeacon Paul Feheley, who has served as interim managing editor since January 2013.

A graduate in mass communications at the University of the Philippines in Manila, Sison brings almost three decades of professional journalism to her new role. Her work includes contributions to The New York Times, the Toronto Star and CBC Radio. Since joining the editorial staff of the Anglican Journal in 2003, she has received 28 awards for writing and photography. As skilled in digital communications as she is in the printed word, Sison has also played a pivotal part in developing and managing the newspaper’s online strategies and social media platforms.

“Tess has a long and very positive history with the Journal, but that’s only a small part of what made her stand out. She also has a strong vision for the future of the paper, website and social media,” said the Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson, general secretary and interim director of communications of the Anglican Church of Canada. “And she sees the Journal as a ministry that serves the church and strengthens our sense of mission.”

In her 11 years on staff, Sison, 49, has reported news and crafted features on a wide array of topics in religion, human rights, humanitarian crises and social justice—from the tiniest local congregations to the farthest-flung reaches of the Anglican Communion. But she is perhaps best known recently for her insightful, painstaking and drill-down coverage of Canadian aboriginal issues, including the Indian residential schools tragedy and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Tess’s coverage has always been sensitive, probing and fair—especially on indigenous issues,” said Bishop Mark MacDonald, the church’s national indigenous bishop. “She has not only depicted the concerns of Indigenous peoples accurately, but she has also helped the whole church to see realities that have often been hidden in plain sight. It will be good to have her skill and art helping us see the world.”

The editors of the diocesan newspapers also expressed their approval. “This is a great step forward for the Journal and for the church to have acknowledged Tess’s talents and dedication lo these many years,” said Tim Christison, editor of The Sower in the diocese of Calgary. “Her professionalism and life experience will serve us all well as the Journal and church journalism continue to evolve. We are blessed that she is willing to take on the challenges while maintaining her high standards.”

Poised to step into her new role, Sison shared her editorial hopes for the future. “As the church goes through an epochal shift, I would like the Journal to review its mission and vision to see whether it responds to today’s needs and challenges,” she said. “As editor, I would like to see the Journal go beyond reporting on church governance issues and events and also tackle issues and questions about faith, ethics, religion, spirituality, social issues and, yes, everyday living.”

Sison also plans to strengthen the newspaper’s relationship with Church House, bishops and dioceses, diocesan newspaper editors and Anglicans across Canada. “I would like the Journal to be out there on the ground and on the road, gathering stories that offer encouragement and hope, provoke deep thought and inspire positive change and capture the challenges as well as the courage, dynamism and goodness of those who have dedicated their lives to God’s plan.”

Yet she remains aware of the need for journalistic integrity and objectivity, vowing to uphold the paper’s editorial independence and continue its role of informing and challenging readers.

Sison is also mindful of the editor’s crucial role in developing new writers. “I would like to help train the next generation of religious journalists through a mentorship program for young Anglicans and Lutherans,” she said. “I would also like to add more value to our website, and we will embark on more multimedia projects in the coming months.

Archbishop signs faith leaders’ statement opposing assisted dying bill

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

[Lambeth Palace press release] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby today joins more than 20 British faith leaders calling for Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill not to be enacted.

In a joint statement ahead of the House of Lords debate on Friday, the faith leaders said that if passed the bill would have “a serious detrimental effect on the wellbeing of individuals and on the nature and shape of our society.”

Read the statement below, which is followed the full list of signatories: 

“As leaders of faith communities, we wish to state our joint response to Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill. We do so out of deep human concern that if enacted, this bill would have a serious detrimental effect on the wellbeing of individuals and on the nature and shape of our society.

“Every human life is of intrinsic value and ought to be affirmed and cherished. This is central to our laws and our social relationships; to undermine this in any way would be a grave error. The Assisted Dying Bill would allow individuals to participate actively in ending others’ lives, in effect colluding in the judgment that they are of no further value. This is not the way forward for a compassionate and caring society.

“Vulnerable individuals must be cared for and protected even if this calls for sacrifice on the part of others. Each year many thousands of elderly and vulnerable people suffer abuse; sadly, often at the hands of their families or carers. Being perceived as a burden or as a financial drain is a terrible affliction to bear, leading in many cases to passivity, depression and self-loathing. The desire to end one’s life may, at any stage of life, be prompted by depression or external pressure; any suggestion of a presumption that such a decision is ‘rational’ does not do justice to the facts. The Assisted Dying Bill can only add to the pressures that many vulnerable, terminally ill people will feel, placing them at increased risk of distress and coercion at a time when they most require love and support.

“A key consideration is whether the Assisted Dying Bill will place more vulnerable people at risk than it seeks to help. We have seen, in recent years that even rigorous regulation and careful monitoring have not prevented the most serious lapses of trust and care in some parts of the NHS and within a number of Care Homes. It is naïve to believe that, if assisted suicide were to be legalised, proposed safeguards would not similarly be breached with the most disastrous of consequences, by their nature irrevocable.

“The bill raises the issue of what sort of society we wish to become: one in which life is to be understood primarily in terms of its usefulness and individuals evaluated in terms of their utility or one in which every person is supported, protected and cherished even if, at times, they fail to cherish themselves. While we may have come to the position of opposing this bill from different religious perspectives, we are agreed that the Assisted Dying Bill invites the prospect of an erosion of carefully tuned values and practices that are essential for the future development of a society that respects and cares for all. Better access to high-quality palliative care, greater support for carers and enhanced end of life services will be among the hallmarks of a truly compassionate society and it is to those ends that our energies ought to be harnessed.”

Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha

Mr Yousif Al-Khoei, Director Al-Khoei Foundation

Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church and Secretary of the Conference

Bishop Eric Brown, Administrative Bishop, New Testament Church of God

Mr Malcolm M Deboo, President, Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe

Rev Jonathan Edwards, Deputy Moderator Free Churches Group

Pastor John Glass, General Superintendent, Elim Pentecostal Churches

Revd David Grosch-Miller and Mr John Ellis, Moderators of the United Reformed Church General Assembly

Colonel David Hinton, Chief Secretary, The Salvation Army United Kingdom

Rev Stephen Keyworth, Faith and Society Team Leader, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Ayatollah Fazel Milani, Dean of the International Colleges of Islamic Studies

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales

His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Rev John Partington, National Leader, Assemblies of God

Mr Ramesh Pattni, Secretary General, Hindu Forum of Britain

Bishop Wilton Powell, National Overseer, Church of God of Prophecy

Maulana Shahid Raza OBE, Leicester Central Mosque, Leicester

Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Chief Sangha Nayake of Great Britain, London Buddhist Vihara

Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain

Dr Natubhai Shah, Chairman/CEO Jain Network

Lord Indarjit Singh, Director Network of Sikh Organisations (UK)

Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

El Salvador: Violence, insecurity, impunity lead to displacement

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

[Episcopal News Service – San Salvador, El Salvador] Irene’s 13-year-old daughter disappeared leaving school on Feb. 15, 2012, in a gang-controlled municipality just northwest of San Salvador. The teen’s body was found two days later; Irene learned about it from a local television station.

“I’m very afraid for my other children, that something will happen to them because of the violence,” said Irene, during an interview with ENS at the Institute for Human Rights based at the University of Central America in San Salvador.

She has two sons aged 10 and 13; one disappeared briefly and won’t talk about it.

Although Irene, not her real name, would like to see her daughter’s killers prosecuted, the state’s ongoing investigation, which involves the abduction and similar murder of four other girls, means she and her family live in constant fear of retaliation. Regardless of whether Irene pursues the investigation, explained human rights lawyer Karla Salas, the gang members associated with the killers threaten and harass her and her family. They have no protection.

“When the state is negligent in handling these cases, the people come here,” said Salas.

Two of Central America’s most violent gangs, the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18, each control and battle for territory in El Salvador, mostly in poor marginalized communities where violence, murder, rape, extortion and threats permeate residents’ everyday life, including children. It’s this reality that has in part led to the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding along the U.S.-Mexico border, where more than 44,000 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, the two other Northern Triangle countries with gang problems, have been detained crossing the border.

“The issue of unaccompanied minors is just one element of a broader immigration problem. It’s not new; it’s something that has been building over two or three years, but it’s caught fire in the media now,” said Noah Bullock, executive director of Foundation Cristosal, a human rights-based community development organization rooted in the Anglican and Episcopal churches operating in El Salvador.

“When we look at immigration in the United States we tend to look at one big block, and we understand it as people looking for jobs and a better life. But we don’t look at the people who are fleeing very serious conflicts and threats of violence, and those cases bring up protection issues,” he said.

In Colombia, decades of civil war and associated organized crime have internally displaced five million people and close to 400,000 have met refugee criteria. Gang violence and organized crime has led to the internal and external displacement of Central Americans, though in the absence of declared war and the criminal nature of the fighting, the phenomenon hasn’t formally been addressed from the perspective of human rights violations and international protection; typical asylum procedures are difficult to apply.

Unlike Colombia, where internal and external displacement have been well-documented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other nongovernment agencies, displacement is less studied in Central America.

“It’s a less visible, less documented phenomenon in El Salvador and there isn’t really a national strategy to deal with it,” said Bullock.

In fact, the UNHCR country profiles for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras combined do not list one person as being internally displaced.

Foundation Cristosal first became aware of the stories of people displaced by violence when it, along with the Anglican-Episcopal Church of El Salvador, supervised the local UNHCR refugee resettlement program.

“Last year we got more than 150 people who were Salvadorans seeking asylum outside the country, so what we see in the kids is should be seen as part of a historic pattern of displacement that has been happening for a long time,” said Bullock, in an interview with ENS in his San Salvador office.

Both internal and external displacement, Bullock added, have common causes: lack of well-being in Salvadoran communities, generalized violence and the state’s inability to safeguard people’s lives and impose rule of law by prosecuting criminal organizations.

“All those things, the inability to protect witnesses, the inability to keep safe schools and areas where children do recreation … those are areas that have been recruitment grounds for gangs and where threats are primarily made,” said Bullock. “They’re a common cause for internal and external displacement.”

UNHCR, in its 2014 report of projected global resettlement needs, estimated there would be 691,000 refugees, not factoring for the outflow of Syrian refugees. In 2012, there were 86,000 spaces available.

On World Refugee Day in June it was reported that the number of refugees worldwide has surpassed 50 million for the first time since World War II.

2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the Cartagena Declaration, which amended the 1951 and 1967 definition of what it means to be a refugee to include “persons who have fled their country because their lives, safety or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances which have seriously disturbed public order.”

The countries of Central America and Mexico adopted the protocol, which was not recognized by the United States, at a time when both Guatemala and El Salvador were fighting civil wars and when Contra rebels were fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

“In Central America there were from the end of the 1960s into the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, three pretty solid decades of war. And then the wars ended and there was not a very good resolution to some of those structural causes; then you get two decades of a social conflict that doesn’t have a name like a traditional armed conflict but produces death on the same scale,” said Bullock. “So essentially you have 50 years of low-intensity warfare going on in Central America and we really shouldn’t be surprised that we have a refugee crisis in the United States.”

“Never did we dare to use the word ‘refugee’; before they were immigrants, they were illegals … and now because they are kids we are more open to seeing the Central Americans who arrive at our borders as something else,” said Bullock. “Three weeks of a humanitarian and refugee crisis, five decades of conflict.”

In a July 10 statement addressing the crisis on the border, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged Episcopalians to contact their legislators and ask them to support an “appropriate humanitarian response to the crisis.”

Meanwhile, Foundation Cristosal is working with human rights and civil society organizations, including the University of Central America’s Institute for Human Rights, to develop a more comprehensive analysis of internal and external displacement and a proposal to address both phenomena, said Bullock.

“What we are trying to do now with our program is respond to those needs, but there are no perfect answers because the causes are so structural and deep,” he said. “You have to be able to try and help someone in an immediate humanitarian crisis, but also try to work to resolve some of the structural issues that are creating the humanitarian crisis,” he said.

In the July 13 edition of La Prensa, one of El Salvador’s top two daily newspapers, the front-page headlines went from the World Cup to the 375,000 immigration cases backlogged in U.S. courts to the double homicide of two teenagers. Inside, there was a story about a teenage girl raped by her uncle on her journey north, a story meant to dissuade similar journeys. Earlier in the week, there were stories focused on trying to dissuade families from sending their children north.

“This is one thing the White House points out,” said Bullock. “The human traffickers and the information they’re giving the families seems to motivate them to send their kids; they think they’re better of taking the risk based on the information the coyote gives them…  we want people to have another resource to get information that is a little more objective than what would be given to them by a human trafficker.”

Foundation Cristosal’s lawyers, he said, however, don’t participate in making a life-and-death decisions with people; that’s something that ultimately up to a family member. What the lawyers do is try to give the families good information so that they can make informed decisions.

“The White House is spending a million dollars in publicity to dissuade families from sending their children,” Bullock said. “But that’s just another form of propaganda; the thing people respond to is real objective advising from organizations like Cristosal.”

The University of Central America started the Institute for Human Rights in 1986 in response to the overwhelming number of human rights violations committed during El Salvador’s 12-year civil war during which 75,000 people were killed. At the time the institute adopted immigration as a focus because of the large number of people fleeing the country to escape the armed conflict, said Salas, the human rights lawyer representing Irene, in an interview in her office at the university.

Irene wakes up at 3 a.m. every morning and heads to her food stall in an informal market. By 2 p.m., she is back at home where she stays in doors. Her sons go to and from school, and nothing more. The family, including Irene’s mother, lives on $6 a day, she said.

UNHCR doesn’t operate an in-country office for asylum-seekers; Irene and her family must petition for asylum outside El Salvador. Salas said she and others are working with a Roman Catholic agency in Europe – the University of Central America is a Roman Catholic university – that has agreed to help the family with its petition, but they need to cover the transportation costs themselves.

In the meantime, the family lives in fear and continues to receive threats from gang members mockingly wanting to know how the investigation is going. Even if the state offered witness- or whistle-blower protection, it couldn’t keep her safe, said Salas.

“She’d be placed with the people who killed her daughter,” she said.

- Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service

Diocese of California to distribute more than $1.7 million

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

[Diocese of California] On Tuesday, July 15, the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, will distribute more than $1.7 million to eight Bay Area organizations. The distribution of funds will take place at the bishop’s office, 1055 Taylor Street, San Francisco, at 7 p.m.

Representatives from each of the recipient organizations will be present to receive checks, and press is invited to attend. Mary Elizabeth (Liza) Colton named these organizations in her trust. Colton died May 19, 2014. The organizations Colton named are Grace Cathedral ($275,204.86), Golden Gate Parks Conservancy ($240,804.25), Kiva Micro Funds ($189,203.34), Hospice by the Bay ($154,802.73), The Sierra Club Foundation ($189,203.34), San Francisco Botanical Gardens ($240,804.25), The Nature Conservancy ($275,204.86), and the ACLU ($154,802.74).

J. Davey Gerhard, director of development for the Diocese of California said, “Liza Colton was a great friend and supporter of the ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of California, Grace Cathedral, and social causes in the Bay Area. Shaped by her deep faith and guided by love for hercommunity, Liza’s legacy will be felt by these organizations dedicated to improving the life of individuals and to the stewardship of our public spaces and the environment.”

Marc Handley Andrus, added, “Liza continues in the great tradition of her mother, Liz Colton, and indeed her whole family, in supporting her church and her community. Liza was what our church says God loves, which is a cheerful giver. She was a tremendous amount of fun, had an incisive mind, and a generous heart. I personally miss her, but am grateful that these organizations will find their missions furthered by her significant gifts. In this way her values and spirit live on.”

The Episcopal Diocese of California serves a diverse community of faith encompassing the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 27,000 people form 80 congregations in six counties. More information about the Diocese of California can be found at www.diocal.org.