[Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar press release] During the mid-afternoon of Monday, Feb. 24, two small explosive devices detonated sequentially near the main entrance to Christ Church Cathedral and the Former Slave Market in Mkunazini. The Cathedral is a First Class World Heritage Monument and the Former Slave Market an International Site of Conscience. The entire site is presently undergoing significant renovation through a generous grant from the European Union.
The Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar, owner of the site, said it “is grateful to Almighty God that no persons were injured.” There was slight damage to a nearby car and no damage to the structures or facilities whatsoever.
Working in cooperation with local authorities, security measures at the site are being enhanced to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff. The government has increased local security patrols and is thoroughly investigating the incident. The Anglican diocese said it is “thankful for this immediate response and ongoing assistance.”
“The Anglican diocese is undeterred in its mission of promoting peaceful conditions on Zanzibar and the good of all Zanzibaris. This includes an ongoing commitment to securing quality health care, education and job opportunities for all people.
“We call on all people of good will to join with us in prayer for the peace of Zanzibar and the region and committed action towards achieving a safe environment and the prosperity all Zanzibaris.”
[Anglican Communion News Service] The primate of the Episcopal Church of Brazil has blamed hydroelectric projects for major flooding that has left people isolated without access to food, water or medical supplies.
The Most Rev. Francisco de Assis da Silva, also bishop of Santa Maria diocese, wrote to supporters asking for international prayer and local help for those affected by flooding in Rondônia.
“The river Madeira rose up to 17 meters above normal,” he said. “This flood has been tagged as the [worst] flood in the last 70 years…Our Anglican community in Porto Velho (capital city) share with us information that families are isolated with no food or supplies and no possibility to be attended by doctors. There are no more routes. The water took over.”
The primate blamed the flooding, which has been declared a national emergency, on hydroelectric projects that affect the flow of the rivers.
He added that such disasters can be prevented.
Read the full letter below translated from the original Portuguese:
“Sisters and Brothers,
We share our deep concern about the serious situation of the people in Rondônia following the floods last week. The river Madeira rose up to 17m above normal.
This flood has been tagged as the biggest flood in the last 70 years. It has caused lots of damage and loss for the people. Many had nowhere else to go and the economy in the region has been severely affected.
Our Anglican community in Porto Velho (capital city) have shared with us that families are isolated with no food or supplies and no possibility to be attended by doctors. There are no more routes. The water has taken over. The families and their children are isolated because of it. Hunting and fishing are compromised. Our Anglican Mission Moriá, with 36 families, live along the bank of the Rivers Garça and Candeias and they are dangerously affected too.
I call all our Church to pray for the region and the people in that situation and, where it is possible to collect food supplies, clothes and medicines, to help the families [with these]. I make an appeal also to our international partners to support these initiatives of emergency aid via our Provincial Office and by being in contact with our local leaders in Porto Velho (Capital City of Rondonia), where we are present in two communities.
Unfortunately [such disasters] are becoming usual each day in our country. The big hydroelectrics projects are responsible for deeply damaging our rivers, causing changes to their natural pluvial flux. And we all know this is absolutely possible to prevent. Our prayers go out to our sisters and brothers in this part of the missionary district.
As the one responsible for taking care of this flock, I offer my full solidarity to the riverside people and the solidarity of all our Church!
In the love of Christ
++ Francisco de Assis da Silva
Primaz do Brasil e diocesano em Santa Maria”
[Integrity press release] Integrity is shocked and saddened by the news that President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has signed into law the draconian anti-homosexuality law that introduces long prison sentences for gays and lesbians and makes it a crime to fail to report someone you believe to be gay.
This will increase anti-gay hatred and set in place a renewed witch-hunt in which many people will be hurt. We call upon the Church of Uganda to take seriously its commitment to Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 in which Anglican Communion bishops committed themselves “to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and… to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.”
Such a commitment in a time like this will surely include providing places of sanctuary for those whose lives are threatened. Our hearts go out to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers who this morning are living in fear of betrayal by friends, family and neighbors and of long-term imprisonment. It is unfortunate that Uganda should choose this way, according to a government spokesperson, “to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation.”
Uganda’s symbolic independence is being won on the backs of one class of citizens and this will provoke fear and confusion among the very people Museveni is elected to serve. Integrity hopes that President Obama will follow up on his comment that this could complicate US relations with Uganda and will seriously consider the reduction of US aid until Uganda can show a better record of human rights.
[Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts] The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts announced today two additional candidates for election as bishop, having verified proper petitions and satisfactory background checks for both. They are:
• The Rev. Timothy E. Crellin, vicar, St. Stephen’s Church, Boston; and
• The Rev. Canon Margaret (Mally) Ewing Lloyd, canon to the ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
Crellin and Lloyd join the slate of nominees announced by the Standing Committee on Jan. 15:
• The Rev. Holly Antolini, rector, St. James’s Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts;
• The Rev. Ronald Culmer, rector, St. Clare’s Church, Pleasanton, California;
• The Rev. Alan Gates, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Cleveland, Ohio;
• The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, rector, St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia; and
• The Rev. Sam Rodman, project manager for campaign initiatives, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
More information about each of the candidates is available at the site independently maintained by the Transition Committee at www.mabishopsearch.org.
The additional candidates successfully submitted required signed petitions and application materials during a two-week petition period after announcement of the original slate. Both have cleared background checks.
All seven candidates will participate in a series of open meetings around the diocese March 14-18, giving the people of the diocese an opportunity to meet and learn more about them.
The election will take place on Saturday, April 5 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (138 Tremont Street) in Boston. All canonically resident clergy of the diocese and lay delegates (two elected from each of the diocese’s parishes and missions) vote separately as “orders”; a majority of votes on the same ballot from both the clergy and lay orders is required for election. (April 12 has been set as the date for reconvening, should the electing convention not complete its business on April 5.)
Pending consent from a majority of the Episcopal Church’s diocesan bishops and a majority of dioceses (via their Standing Committees), the consecration of the bishop-elect is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, with the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding.
The current bishop, the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, became the 15th bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts in January 1995. In preparation for retirement, he plans to resign his office at the time of the new bishop’s consecration.
The Diocese of Massachusetts, among the Episcopal Church’s oldest and largest, in terms of baptized membership, comprises 183 parishes, missions, chapels and chaplaincies in eastern Massachusetts.
Installation of David Rice as Bishop Assistant
23 February 2014
St. Paul’s, Modesto, CA
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
We’re here today to celebrate the next chapter in a very long story. The history of this diocese has roots in the first worship by Anglicans, led by Sir Francis Drake’s chaplain north of San Francisco in 1579. A group of Native Americans stood by and watched. It took 270 years before there was a settled congregation – which continues today as Trinity-St. Peter’s, San Francisco. The first missionary bishop of California, William Ingraham Kip, was elected back east in 1853, and shipwrecked en route off San Diego in January 1854. He held his first service there – in the courthouse. Never let it be said that the current era is the first to see Episcopalians in court!
Kip was offered hospitality by a wealthy rancher and community leader, Don Juan Bandini. This eminent resident was dealing with the continuing depredations of American citizens, who were stealing his livestock and plundering his ranch’s outposts. The desperadoes were white supremacists, led by one William Walker, who thought his manifest destiny was to establish English-speaking colonies in Latin America that could be added as American slave states. He started in 1853 by capturing La Paz, Baja California. By the time Kip arrived in San Diego, the Mexican government had forced him out. Charged with violating the sovereignty of a foreign nation, he was acquitted by an American jury in 8 minutes. The relationship between the United States of Mexico and the United States of America is still a hot-button issue, in spite of our deep and abiding interdependence.
Kip also found an army chaplain present, John Reynolds, who in 1853 was holding services at St. John’s, Stockton, attending the convention of Episcopalians in San Francisco, and working to develop a church in the San Diego area. Kip reports the continued lament over low attendance at services and the other attractive, alternative activities available to the population on Sundays – shopping and bars in particular. Reynolds was also engaged in a war of words in the local newspaper – his day’s equivalent of flaming blog posts. And we think our age is unique!
Fast forward 155 years. Exactly six years ago today, Canon Bob Moore and Canon Brian Cox were here in the Diocese of San Joaquin as interim pastors listening to people in deep pain and confusion. The two canons met with many groups, found widespread mistrust of The Episcopal Church and urgent need for reconciliation, and counseled training and support for that ministry of healing. Throughout their skilled work here during the interim between December 2007, when leaders voted to leave The Episcopal Churc, and the election and installation of Jerry Lamb as provisional bishop in March 2008, they helped people begin to name their reality and begin to break down the fortifications that had kept individuals and groups from learning what they shared as the body of Christ in this place. They were led by what Joshua directed his hearers to do: observe the law of Moses – i.e., love God with all you are and have and love your neighbor as yourself. The two canons were especially scrupulous about “not turning to right or left” for that kind of taking sides was a good part of what led to the split. ‘Keep this law in the forefront of your consciousness, particularly as you speak,’ says the prophet, and finally, “be strong and courageous, for God is with you, wherever you go.” That has been the prime directive around here ever since: be strong and courageous and love your neighbors. Be strong and courageous enough to enter into real dialogue with people who hold a different opinion. You will discover the image of God in them, and you can expect to grow in grace, even if it is very hard work!
Bishop Lamb was stalwart and creative in encouraging this diocese to discover the reality that Paul talks about – all the baptized are gifted for ministry, those gifts and skills differ from one person to the next, and all of them are essential to the work of the body of Christ. Perhaps the central watchword of this chapter was “grow up… into the full stature of Christ.” Don’t be misled by despots or tricksters who promise to keep you comfortably in thrall – grow up. It’s not easy, but it is the way to abundant life. Speak the truth in love, discover your part in the work of the body, meet the others and figure out how to coordinate this multi-limbed body for the work before us. Jane Onstad Lamb helped the world learn about the recent history of this community, and the hard work of truth-telling, in the book she edited, and it’s been a gift to others in similar circumstances.
Perhaps the iconic marker of this chapter of the diocese’s history was a report published in 2009 by a Commission on Equality, that challenged the entire diocese to consider the gifts and needs of all, with particular regard to women, the LGBT community, different ethnic and language groups, the disabled and hard of hearing, children and elders, the poor and people of varying educational levels, and anyone who’s been pushed to the margins. It’s offered a deeply gospel-based response to a history of prejudice and exclusion that reflects Paul’s charge to the Christians in Ephesus to ‘take your part in the body of Christ, which should function as one body, continuing to grow in love.’
The next chapter of ministry here included the installation of Bishop Talton as provisional bishop in March 2011. Rebuilding, reconnecting, and healing have continued under his leadership, with a new deanery structure and encouragement to be an inviting and welcoming presence in the wider community. That’s variously looked like blessing animals in a shelter in Atwater, raising funds and friends for Haiti, connecting with the School for Deacons in Berkeley, planting community gardens, and starting campus ministry.
This chapter has been characterized by connecting and kenosis. Connecting begins with a Trinitarian understanding of God – for being made in the image of God means we are relational beings. Kenosis is a Greek word that means emptiness, and it’s often used to talk about what God does in taking on human flesh, and the kind of self-emptying ministry Jesus exemplifies. It’s about humility, and getting out of the way so that others can use their gifts for ministry, and it flows out of an understanding that we all depend on the Body to which we are connected. Chet and April have continually prodded, lured, and cajoled the people around here to try new things, and to reach out in ways that may seem scary or new, always for the sake of the other.
This chapter of ministry has continued to build on recent ones – finding strength and courage to discover those marginalized or forgotten others around us, and looking inward to discover the gifts God has given each one of us – for the sake of reconciling and healing the world. Chet and April have modeled that kenotic work in inviting others into leadership and reminding us all that leadership is for a time and includes planning for the next chapter.
We look toward that next chapter today. Jesus’ words in the gospel about his relationship with God might be summarized, ‘look here and see what God is like, and if you can’t see clearly, look at what I do, and you’ll see what God is up to.’ This diocesan community is engaged in making those words and works evident – so that the world can see healing, reconciliation, and good news in the flesh.
You’re discovering those strengthened connections made evident in the sacrificial generosity of the bishops of Province VIII, funds given to aid this next chapter of your ministry. It may seem only like a remarkably gracious gift – and indeed it is – but it will challenge you to reflect that sacrificial generosity in your lives and the lives you touch here and around the world. How will you put that into flesh? How will you pour yourselves out in love for the broken world around you? You are calling a new bishop into this community to keep challenging and encouraging you to do just that.
The challenges that faced the first Anglicans and Episcopalians in California are still with us, beginning with the long gaps in physical presence and ministry – don’t wait 270 years for the next chapter. Use the courts to spread good news. Share community with earlier inhabitants of this land – the first peoples, both Native and Latino. Discover the gifts, stories, and insights of new and ancient inhabitants and let them teach you. Recognize that the popular press and the blogosphere are not your ultimate judges – be courageous and faithful, and keep growing up into the full stature of the Christ who poured out his life for the world.
There is good evidence that one of Kip’s spiritual descendants used to send people on their way at the end of a service with these words: get up, get out, and get lost! Get up your courage, get out there into the world, and lose yourselves in serving God’s world.
 Founded in 1849 as Trinity Church.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Walker_(filibuster) He went on to invade Nicaragua in 1855, be recognized as its legitimate government by the US, reinstitute slavery, until a Latin American coalition force routed him. The US Navy took him home under guard. He tried another coup in Honduras, which failed. Honduran authorities executed him in 1860. American adventurism is not new either.
 Hurt, Joy, and the Grace of God. 2012, Applecart Books
 Bishop Paul Moore of New York
En conjunción con el Mes de la Historia Negra, Episcopal News Service publicará artículos de fondo, durante el mes de febrero, sobre varias congregaciones episcopales afroamericanas.
Materiales informativos sobre el Mes de la Historia Negra se encuentran disponibles aquí.
[Episcopal News Service] Ishmael Bracy había venido a experimentar el 32º. Desfile y Festival de la Historia Negra en Pasadena, California, el 15 de febrero.
A lo largo de la ruta del desfile, el joven de 24 años, que reside en Pasadena, se sintió atraído por una retrospectiva fotográfica de ocho paneles que abarca nueve décadas de la vida de la iglesia episcopal de San Bernabé [St. Barnabas Episcopal Church] que se exhibía en el jardín frontal de la histórica congregación negra.
“Me siento honrado de tener acceso al legado de sus contribuciones a la comunidad, tanto espiritual como de cualquier otra índole”, dijo Bracy, refiriéndose a la exposición. “Me gustaría ver a más personas de mi edad aquí, asumiendo la historia que ha mantenido viva la esperanza durante tanto tiempo, y abrazando la iglesia y la comunidad”.
(San Bernabé es la segunda iglesia que se reseña en febrero en una serie de Episcopal News Service sobre el Mes de la Historia Negra que se centra en congregaciones históricamente afroamericanas. Estas congregaciones fueron fundadas por afroamericanos que no eran bien recibidos en las iglesias episcopales tradicionales en la época que siguió a la esclavitud y durante la segregación racial en Estados Unidos).
Mientras espectadores y partidarios se mezclaban con los vendedores, de helados, de camisetas, de banderas panafricanas —negras, rojas y verdes— y de globos, Michael Mims, de 75 años, profesor jubilado de fotografía de Pasadena City College y miembro de San Bernabé, estaba ofreciendo bienes y servicios de otra clase.
“Estoy aquí para responder preguntas, para invitar a la gente a que venga y eche un vistazo, para darles información”, dijo Mims, que calcula que él ha asistido a la iglesia desde que tenía tres años.
El panel que lleva el título de “Primeros Años” incluía fotos de su tía, Rosebud Mims, que junto con otras siete mujer afroamericanas fundaron la iglesia en 1923. Nueve años más tarde, fue oficialmente reconocida como una misión en la Diócesis of Los Ángeles.
Para la Rda. Mayra Macedo-Nolan y su hija Zion, de dos años, las fotos resultaron cautivadoras.
“He aprendido un poquito sobre la historia de San Bernabé y quiero saber más”, dijo Macedo-Nolan, pastora de la cercana iglesia de Lake Avenue en Pasadena.
“Vamos a hacer un vía crucis comunitario durante la Cuaresma, y queremos incluir a San Bernabé como la estación [de la Cruz] en que niegan a Cristo”, dijo. “Escogimos hacer eso aquí por la manera en que empezó San Bernabé —el modo en que se hicieron las cosas en el pasado fue la negación de Cristo— y también prestar atención a las formas en que aún lo hacemos hoy”.
Historia de la iglesia e historia de familia
Mims dijo que acudió a los archivos de su familia para crear la exposición fotográfica de la historia de la iglesia.
“Tengo fotos de mi tía abuela, que fue responsable de traerme a San Bernabé en 1941”, contó Mims. Se llamaba Laura Kennedy y llegó a Pasadena en los años treinta proveniente de Greenville, Carolina del Sur, para ayudar a la madre de Mims a criar a seis hijos.
Las fotografías cuentan la historia: de las primeras reuniones, en el hogar de Georgia Weatherton, en las inmediaciones de la calle Del Mar, donde unos 30 feligreses asistían los domingos por la mañana; de la dedicación del santuario en 1933; de un oficio de confirmación en 1947; del inicio de la construcción y la dedicación en 1972 del nuevo salón parroquial concebido como un centro comunitario; y de las veintenas de reuniones, recaudaciones de fondos, comidas y celebraciones.
También se incluía una instantánea de la iglesia en relación con la historia del país, la del primer vicario, Rdo. Alfred Wilkins (1933-1943), quien se hizo eco “del llamado de su país, incorporándose al Ejército como capellán”, según consta en testimonio escrito.
Lo siguieron [al frente de la congregación], el Rdo. Alfred Norman (1943-1946, 1951-1970), el Rdo. Jesse Moses (1946-1951) y el Rev. Ivor Ottley (1977-1990).
Ottley retó a la congregación “a encontrar su verdadera vocación como episcopales negros” y a comprometerse con una ética de mayordomía, autenticidad, educación, liderazgo, hermandad ecuménica, justicia social y servicio comunitario, “llegando a la comunidad más allá de los muros de la iglesia”, según contó Mims.
Los frutos de esos empeños son visibles en la actualidad, cuando los miembros se reunieron frente a la iglesia el 15 de febrero para aplaudir y vitorear a los que desfilaban, más de una docena de bandas de música escolares de la localidad, bailarines y tamborileros africanos, las fraternidades masculinas Omega Psi Phi y Kappa Alpha Psi y las femeninas Delta Sigma Theta Alpha Kappa Alpha; así como a jinetes y a organizaciones de servicio.
[Los miembros de la congregación] recibieron elogios y vítores de su propia gente que participaba en el desfile, como John Kennedy, concejal del municipio de Pasadena.
“Sí, San Bernabé está presente”, gritó Kennedy, al tiempo de saludar a los feligreses al pasar frente a la iglesia, casi al final del recorrido del desfile. “Gracias por estar aquí, San Bernabé”.
‘Acoger a la comunidad’
Al menos una parte de esa vocación ha sido la tradición de tomar parte en la vida de la comunidad, según el Rdo. John Goldingay, profesor de Antiguo Testamento en el Seminario Teológico Fuller, que ahora sirve allí como sacerdote encargado.
“Somos sólo una congregación pequeñita”, pero él y cerca de una docena de otros miembros de la iglesia suelen regularmente cocinar, servir y comer con miembros de la comunidad que no tienen hogar en el albergue de la Union Station de Pasadena, explicó.
Entre todos, sirven a unos 50 adultos sin hogar todos los viernes y es una oportunidad de enriquecer la vida de otros así como la de la congregación, dijo.
“Es una especie de lugar de transición para personas que están en camino de lograr volver al trabajo”, según Goldingay, que fue sacerdote de la Iglesia de Inglaterra durante 30 años. Él se mudó a Pasadena para enseñar y visitó con su esposa la vecina iglesia de San Bernabé, “sin saber que íbamos a ser los únicos blancos allí”, contó él.
“Pero recibimos una fantástica acogida, lo bastante para quedarnos… Al parecer me aceptan como ser humano, como sacerdote y como cristiano”.
Absoluta hospitalidad y sentido de pertenencia
Ese tipo de absoluta hospitalidad ha sido la manera que la iglesia ha encontrado de sortear los retos contemporáneos de cambios demográficos, envejecimiento poblacional y disminución de la feligresía y los recursos.
Con una asistencia dominical promedio de alrededor de 50 personas entre dos oficios, la congregación está sopesando “cómo podemos revertir esa tendencia”, dijo Goldingay.
A lo largo de los años, la tradicional población afroamericana de la congregación se ha ido ampliando cada vez más para incluir a miembros de todo el ámbito de la diáspora, entre ellos caribeños y centroamericanos, y también blancos como Goldingay.
Mark Bradshaw, de 32 años, seminarista que presta servicios en San Bernabé, está de acuerdo. “No soy negro”, dijo en una entrevista telefónica con ENS, pero agregó que él y su esposa Katie fueron acogidos con tanta calidez cuando visitaron la iglesia “que nos hicimos episcopales. Fuimos confirmados en San Bernabé y ésta ha sido todo lo que mi esposa y yo esperábamos y rogábamos encontrar en una congregación”.
Él y la congregación han emprendido varios proyectos, añadió. “Estoy en el proceso de reunirme con personas, de actualizar la página web, de dedicar tiempo durante la semana al parque Jackie Robinson que se encuentra enfrente”, apuntó.
“Y me he estado reuniendo con las personas de la congregación y hemos estado pensando en comenzar un nuevo oficio o en alterar uno de nuestros oficios que sería muy fiel a lo que somos y muy litúrgico, pero que podría también ser un oficio que respondiera mejor a las necesidades de personas más jóvenes”.
Él espera que otros recién llegados puedan experimentar la misma sensación de pertenencia que él ha encontrado. “Nunca he formado parte de un grupo de personas tan acogedoras”, afirmó.
“Hace dos años, el Padre John le pidió a la congregación que compartiera algunas de sus historias sobre el movimiento de los derechos civiles, y resultó increíble”, recordaba él. “Casi todo el mundo había marchado con el Dr. [Martin Luther] King o lo había conocido. La congregación se enorgullece mucho de su historia”.
Lo cual hizo que predicar acerca de la vida del Rdo. Martin Luther King Jr. resultara un poquito apabullante, pero era una oportunidad “de dialogar sobre cuánto hemos avanzado y de la obra del Dr. King y agradecerle a la congregación por la manera en que nos ha acogido”, dijo él.
“Es sorprendente”, añadió. “que esta congregación que comenzó porque [sus miembros] no eran bien recibidos, haya llegado a ser tan acogedora. Nunca antes había presenciado el tipo de amabilidad con que reciben a los nuevos que llegan. Es un don extraordinario”.
Mirar hacia delante a la nueva generación
Showna Edwards, de 31 años, sentada en una silla plegable frente a la iglesia, estaba atenta al desfile, y esperaba pacientemente ver cuando pasaban los miembros de la iglesia —entre ellos varios jóvenes, junto con Bradshaw, que llevaba la pancarta de San Bernabé.
“Es una sensación emocionante saber que la iglesia está participando del desfile, dar a conocer a nuestra iglesia en esta pequeña parte de Pasadena”, dijo Edwards, mientras mecía al pequeño August Bradshaw, de un año de edad, sobre sus rodillas.
“Somos una familia religiosa muy unida. Yo crecí aquí”, añadió Edwards, que ve señales de recuperación en la iglesia. Ahora, su hijo Kaden, de tres años, participa de los programas dominicales.
“Hemos vuelto a tener escuela dominical. Los jóvenes están aquí. La iglesia está creciendo. Es muy bonito ver eso, porque es un buen apoyo crecer con amigos en el ambiente familiar de una iglesia”.
Gail McKinnon y Gloria Huffman, que han sido miembros de la iglesia durante mucho tiempo, trajeron consigo a algunas de sus hermanas del capítulo de las Rosas Nubias del Nilo de la Sociedad del Sombrero Rojo: una sociedad internacional de mujeres que usan sombreros rojos y vestidos color púrpura y que se dedican a rehacer la manera en que las mujeres son vistas en la sociedad.
“San Bernabé es una familia”, convino McKinnon. “He estado aquí desde 1995. Me había alejado de la iglesia durante muchos años y me acogieron de regreso con tanta cordialidad que se convirtió en mi hogar. Nos amamos los unos a los otros. Hacemos muchísimas comidas. Me incorporé y nunca miré hacia atrás”.
La iglesia —localizada frente al parque que lleva el nombre del gran jugador de béisbol Jackie Robinson, hijo nativo del lugar, donde la multitud ya había comenzado a agolparse para comer, divertirse y disfrutar del festival— también celebraba una fiesta de puertas abiertas para la comunidad.
Para John y Tina (residentes de Pasadena que pidieron mantener sus apellidos en el anonimato), la jornada fue una oportunidad de hacer conexiones históricas y futuras para sus mellizos de cinco años Phoebe y Perry.
Ellos visitaron la retrospectiva fotográfica de Mims y luego observaron la participación de la iglesia en el desfile cuando Karla Enrequez y su hijo Matthew, junto con Mark Bradshaw, llevando la pancarta de San Bernabé, saludaban a la multitud.
“Esto es tan informativo”, dijo Tina, cantante profesional, mientras irrumpían los vítores y los aplausos en San Bernabé.
“Esto es toda una perspectiva histórica del pasado afroamericano en Pasadena… Esta es una comunidad pujante”, añadió Tina, quien prometió que regresará para visitar la iglesia.
Goldingay se mostró de acuerdo, haciendo notar un creciente interés entre muchos de los que estaban viendo el desfile que visitaron la iglesia. “El año próximo, queremos ver cómo podemos desarrollar lo que hemos hecho este año”, dijo.
En cuanto a Michael Mims, dedicó gran parte del día en contar historias de su familia y de la iglesia, relatos de su tía y de otros muchos que levantaron el estandarte para mantener la fe y la esperanza vivas en Pasadena y por transmitirle la tradición a las generaciones futuras.
“Ha sido un buen cimiento”, comentó refiriéndose a la iglesia. “Desde un punto de vista espiritual, comunitario y familiar, ha sido una gran parte de mi vida. No sé lo que habría sido de mí sin San Bernabé. He tenido muchísimos mentores”.
–LA Rda. Pat McCaughan es una corresponsal de Episcopal News Service radicada en Los Ángeles. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.
[Episcopal Network Collaborative press release] The social justice networks of the Episcopal Church were given life in the movement for civil rights, but it has always understood that civil rights without access to economic prosperity was at best a protest movement without a vision in reality. We understood that a free and democratic society included the opportunity to better ones human status through meaningful employment, which would then open the door to a better quality of life and hope for the future. The dream of home ownership, a steady and hopefully growing income, the ability to secure a quality and empowering education for self and ones children and the possibility of passing on to the next generation are all what is necessary for full participation in a democracy such as ours and part of the real dream that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of more that fifty years ago.
The reality is, however, that in 2014, we are living in an America that is increasingly becoming a nation that is divided into the haves and the have-nots. The trickle-down theory and the “rising tide lifting all boats” has not become a reality for the increasing numbers of working poor in this country. Income inequality in the United States is amongst the highest in the world. President Barack Obama referred to the widening income gap as the “defining challenge of our times”. Pope Francis called on world leaders to address the problems of the poor by “attacking the structural causes of inequality.” Many statements of the Episcopal Church General Convention have called on our legislators to address issues of poverty, unemployment and the rights of workers.
Nothing points out the income gap in this country more dramatically than the issue of providing a living wage to those who work, but cannot begin to move out of poverty. Being locked in a cycle of poverty increases job stagnation, increasing class division and social disorder. Further, globalization has resulted in an economy where disadvantaged groups engage in a race to the bottom as they compete for declining wages and benefits. Working full-time but not earning enough to move out of poverty, limits the access to those things which can improve life overall, such as health care, housing in safe neighborhoods, the ability to buy fresh and nutritious foods, the opportunity to attend an educational system that will provide the tools and resources to enter higher education and employment training programs, both of which are absolutely necessary in this present society that is no longer driven by manufacturing. The Episcopal Networks Collaborative is particularly concerned about income inequality and the raising of a living wage, because most of those impacted, those stuck in poverty although working, are people of color at least in central city areas. Poverty is directly related to the high dropout rates of youth of color and other marginalized groups, the rise in the percentages of youth impacted by hypertension, obesity and diabetes and the increase in violence and incarceration rates because of a lack of hope and any sense that life might change for the better. Child abuse rises with income inequality according to a recent study published in the journal, “Pediatrics,” March 2014. Increasingly we are witnessing class divisions within communities of color around education and income, which further isolates those who would rely on examples of success and possibilities to motivate and to give hope. The lack of good-paying jobs with benefits is not just a problem of the inner city. They impact the rural and urban poor everywhere including whole regions such as the Mississippi Delta, coastal Carolina and Appalachia. Immigrant workers are often among those who suffer the worst working conditions and lowest wages.
Those at the bottom economically are often the first to be impacted by disasters related to industrial pollution, destruction of the environment and the effects of climate change.
We believe that a practical step to meeting the crisis of income inequality in this country is to enact legislation to require a living wage for full time workers. Lifting adults out of poverty also will move thousands of children out of poverty thus impacting future generations. The plight of part time workers also needs the attention of our legislators. Part time jobs were once the province of students and others who did not seek full time work. Now many companies hire heads of households for part time, low wage jobs with no benefits. This should be a big concern for policy makers and regulators. We know that the work of those who are now making a minimum wage is very much a part of the ongoingness of our society. It is work that needs to be done and enhances the quality of life of us all. In Sirach 38:34 it is stated, “the work they do holds this world together. When they do their work, it I the same as offering prayer.” We in the Episcopal Networks Collaborative believe and pray that it is just and right that all be given the opportunities of a life that can only begin when people are able to move out of poverty. That is why we join with others across this nation who believe that empowering people through economic equality and seeking legislation that would guarantee a living wage is the next step in the struggle for justice and freedom.
The Rev. Frank Edmands
Union of Black Episcopalians
Episcopal Network for Economic Justice
Episcopal Ecological Network
Los sucesos de Venezuela siguen ocupando la primera plana de la prensa internacional. Desde hace un poco más de dos semanas grupos estudiantiles han salido a las calles para protestar por la situación de inseguridad y la política económica del país más rico de América Latina. A los primeros manifestantes se les fueron añadiendo más y más estudiantes hasta llenar el centro de Caracas. Los estudiantes también han protestado por el estilo autoritario del gobernante Nicolás Maduro puesto en la primera magistratura de la nación como última voluntad del difundo presidente Hugo Chávez, además de la masiva presencia militar cubana. Las manifestaciones han sido por lo general pacíficas aunque para el fin de la jornada seis personas han perdido sus vidas (incluyendo dos bellas reina de belleza) y cientos de ciudadanos han sido heridos. A pesar de las amenazas y los peligros inherentes a las manifestaciones, los estudiantes se han seguido reuniendo y proclamando sus aspiraciones y derechos. El sábado 22 de febrero habrá una masiva manifestación.
El régimen ha respondido estableciendo el cierre de emisoras y canales de televisión lo que ha enfurecido aún más a la ciudadanía que hasta hace una semana se mantenía en sus casas. Según observadores políticos Nicolás Maduro no ha sabido controlar la situación y en sus discursos en cadena nacional ha tildado a sus opositores como fascistas y epítetos similares. “Ha sido muy poco conciliador”, dice un corresponsal extranjero. Juan Manuel Santos, presidente de Colombia, le aconsejó a que buscara la reconciliación mediante el diálogo a lo que éste contestó: “A mí no se me pueden dar clases de democracia”. Muchos creen que Maduro no podrá continuar en el poder por más tiempo. El liderato de la oposición también ha sufrido conflictos internos. Así Enrique Capriles ha tenido que ceder su liderato a Leopoldo López, un líder político de 42 años graduado de la Universidad de Harvard, casado y padre de dos niños, que ha demostrado valor y firmeza para hacerle frente a la situación. López está preso en una cárcel militar después de entregarse a las fuerzas policíacas en un gesto patriótico.
Mientras el mundo opina y se manifiesta sobre los hechos de violencia en Venezuela, los famosos reaccionan y participan en paradas cívicas, se sacan fotos con carteles pidiendo la paz, se expresan por las redes sociales, salen en shows de televisión, de radio, la prensa escrita y digital (cerrada posteriormente). Por primera vez en la historia los famosos se comprometen políticamente de esta manera y con una única consigna piden: paz para Venezuela. Sin embargo, Gustavo Dudamel, el célebre director de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Los Ángeles, ha sido criticado por no pronunciarse en este conflicto a favor de su patria natal Venezuela.
Al cierre de esta edición de Rapidísimas el panorama nacional luce confuso y complicado al tiempo que la ciudadanía guarda una “tensa calma meditando y orando” porque vuelva la tranquilidad y no sucedan más hechos de sangre. “Es triste y desalentador” que sólo cuatro países latinoamericanos han brindado su ayuda a la patria de Bolívar. Estados Unidos se ha limitado a sugerir que las diferencias se resuelvan en la mesa de negociaciones diciendo además que “los problemas de Venezuela tienen que ser resueltos por los venezolanos”. La comunidad religiosa oficial se ha mantenido al margen de la situación y si ha hecho alguna declaración, ésta no ha sido recogida por los medios de prensa internacionales.
Venezuela no es el único país que está experimentando violencia. Las agencias internacionales informan que Nigeria está afrontando una seria lucha armada entre musulmanes y cristianos que ha producido por lo menos 95 muertos. Al tiempo que ocurrían estos sucesos se supo que dos ancianos sacerdotes salesianos fueron muertos a puñaladas en el Colegio Don Bosco de Valencia, posiblemente con la intención de robarles. “Oremos por la paz y el restablecimiento del estado de derecho en el país”, exhortó el sacerdote David Marín, de 64 años, que sólo fue herido en el asalto. Como resultados de larga lucha del pueblo de Ucrania, se logró firmar un acuerdo de paz en Kiev el 20 de febrero.
Una jueza federal de Virginia ha dictaminado que ese estado no tiene la facultad de prohibir las bodas gay entre personas del mismo sexo. Por otra parte el estado deberá reconocer los matrimonios gay celebrados en otros estados. Líderes gay celebraron que “por fin en este estado tenemos los mismos derechos que el resto de la población”.
VERDAD. La sangre de los buenos no se derrama en vano. José Martí, patriota cubano (1853-1895)
[Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta] A response to those wondering how I can welcome and affirm LGBTQ persons and recommend a book coauthored by Pastor Rick Warren.
“What were you thinking?” is a question that was put to me by a member of one of our congregations when she learned that I had recommended The Daniel Plan for reading during the season of Lent. The question and the concern it voices at my recommendation are fair. And, I am thankful for an opportunity to share my thinking on the matter.
The Daniel Plan is a book about faith, focus, fitness, friends and food, born out of Pastor Rick Warren’s repentance of being over weight and not setting a good example for his congregation. In collaboration with physicians Dr. Amen, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Oz, The Daniel Plan was born: a six week plan to live more healthy and to recognize our bodies as the divine gift they are. The problem for some of us is that Pastor Warren has been an outspoken advocate of traditional marriage and has made remarks that I and others find objectionable about gay and lesbian persons.
For some, this is an open and shut case. Their argument being, ‘I take offense with Warren’s views on the subject of human sexuality and therefore other contributions he may make about Christian discipleship should be rendered invalid.’
While I understand the temptation to make this argument, it seems to miss the mark of Christian fellowship as exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. Is it our contention that by dining at the home of a tax collector, Jesus is endorsing the man’s financial malfeasance, collusion with Rome and abuses of the poor? And do we understand Jesus’ lengthy interaction with a Samaritan woman as an endorsement of her religious
practices and promiscuity? Remember also Jacob was a liar, Moses a murderer and Peter and Paul struggled with cowardice and arrogance to say nothing of misogyny. Are they also unable to positively contribute to our faith journey? Or, is there something more we are supposed to learn about learning from one another?
By recommending The Daniel Plan I am in no way endorsing Pastor Warren’s views on human sexuality. Having read the book, there is nothing in its content that is inconsistent with our baptismal promises. I therefore am certain his invitation to thoughtfulness about health and spiritual wholeness has merit, is commendable and is useful.
Not long ago, other members of the Diocese of Atlanta were asking me “What was I thinking,” when I made provision for the blessing of monogamous life-long, same-sex relationships. Prior to that as a Rector, my congregation asked me “What was I thinking” when I hired a partnered gay white man as the organist and choir director of a historically black church.
Further back, I had to answer that question by my then bishop in New York, as I planned to bless the relationship of two of my parishioners more than a decade before it was permissible.
No doubt more people will ask that question when I produce a video encouraging teens struggling with questions of sexuality not to consider suicide because God loves them and they are welcome in the Episcopal Church.
I confess to you, I struggle with thin, single issue-based fellowship that gets passed off as Christian fellowship. On both sides of the issue. I deeply believe that human beings are too complex and valuable to write off even when their understandings are deemed deplorable. I am afraid that I have preached and taught about a God of limitless grace, love and mercy too long to banish people to a garbage pile of contempt. Or, to teach polite indifference as an acceptable substitute for Christian fellowship.
For decades in the Episcopal Church we have debated and dialogued about the full inclusion of people. And I am proud of the gains we have made. But full inclusion must mean full inclusion even of those we vehemently disagree with, even those who cannot at present celebrate our humanity or dignity, or it is a hollow sentiment. When we say in our churches on Sunday morning, “Wherever you are on your journey you are welcome here,” do we really mean “wherever you are” or something much smaller?
As an African-American, I am well practiced at embracing those who cannot fully embrace me. I have had too many experiences of being slighted based on race and the injury to dignity that that causes. So I have great empathy with those who have these same kinds of scars and who are asked to love those who hate them. But I am sure that retreating into hermetically sealed conversations and communities is not the way forward for followers of Jesus. Fellowship that has Christ as its center is more durable and life giving than single issue-based fellowship. And, I am sure that people who we differ with on issues and biblical interpretation, still have something to teach us.
By some cosmic alignment, I would have you notice that as I write this response, the gospel lesson for the Church this coming Sunday is Jesus’ mandate for us to “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:38-48
While my positions on issues in the past and no doubt in the years to come may cause some people consternation, perhaps even grief, you have my promise that, “what I am thinking about,” constantly, is Jesus’ invitation to the church to partner with Him in the work of reconciliation.
I am thankful for this opportunity to share my heart with you. I offer this response in all humility. If I have offended you, I sincerely ask for your forgiveness. If you are unable to join me on The Daniel Plan for Lent, I invite you to read The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Please always know, my intention is simply to call myself and those souls in my care to Christian maturity.
With gratitude to God for our life together,
The Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright
Tenth bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta.
From Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Who among us doesn’t want to support religious freedom? This argument seems to be the tactic of some arch-conservative lawmakers, who have convinced our Arizona legislators that it is fine to deny people basic human rights under the guise of religious freedom. Lawmakers in other states and members of both political parties have been astute enough to see what bills like this really are – a wolf in sheep’s clothing that masks discrimination under a venue of piety. Arizona, however, with its propensity for making itself into the political laughing-stock of the nation, has been duped once again. One can only pray that our Governor will, as the Arizona Republic said this morning, “get out her veto pen.”
I must admit that I wasn’t aware of the details of the State Senate’s action yesterday, but I was immediately aware of the pain that this bill has caused, not only to our own LBGT community in Arizona, but also around the country. Fortunately, Dean Troy Mendez of Trinity Cathedral has been following this issue more closely, and so I asked him to join me in writing about it today. Our E-pistle is thus a bit longer than usual, but we wanted to give you the back ground that will help you convince the Governor that true religious freedom means, as our Prayer Book so clearly states, “respecting the dignity of every human being.”
Proclaiming the Gospel of Peace, by The Very Rev. Troy Mendez
As Christians, we’re called to be peacemakers in the world. But sometimes we face unexpected challenges, and scripture helps us find our center, our peace. Paul’s letter to the Romans calls us ever closer to this peaceful center when he writes, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free…for those who walk [now] not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” And in that Spirit, Paul says, we find “life and peace.” (Romans 8:1-2a, 4, 6).
The Episcopal Church has heard this call from scripture to live into our common life with the Holy Spirit, and as recently as the 2012 General Convention in Indianapolis affirmed resolution D019, which states and reaffirms Title I, Canon 17, Section 5: “No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified by Canons.” As a former Presiding Bishop Browning said in 1986, “there will be no outcasts in this church.”
No Outcasts. Period. We are fortunate that we have collaborated, prayed, argued, and listened to scripture, tradition, and reason to discern our church’s guidance by the Holy Spirit. However, the majority leadership in the Arizona State Legislature has recently diverted attention from our state’s economy, educational systems and overall well-being, and instead has put forward two articles of legislation (SB1062/HB2153) that will most likely be sent to Governor Brewer’s office for her signature. The intent of this legislation runs contrary to not only our church’s canons, but also to Holy Scripture itself: the legislation intends to allow people to discriminate on the grounds of their religious beliefs and practices. Individuals and entities will be able to determine who in society is “religiously righteous” or not. (A more detailed description of the legislation is below.)
If we are followers of Jesus, then we must use this time as a call to recognize all the victims of this potentially harmful legislation. Who around you might be shut out from fully participating in society? How might this legislation prohibit the church from exercising ministry in the best ways we see fit? If we’re promising in the Baptismal Covenant to “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” how might this newly enacted legislation fly in the face of what we’ve promised? Where is the church’s presence of peace in all of this?
Arizona Episcopalians, now is time for us to be peacemakers. The Holy Spirit promises to lead us, if we open our hearts, into the fullest life and peace imaginable. Being a Christian means we are asked as a community to follow Jesus to proclaim Good News to the people in the state legislature who seem to be walking in darkness. How do we help them see the great light – the reconciling love and deep peace of Jesus Christ for all people?
Some details about SB1062/HB2153*
What is being proposed? Actually, several things are being proposed in this bill, including the following:
a) Enables Discrimination based on “sincerely held beliefs.” The bill expands the term “exercise of religion” to include elements of practice and tacit “observance” of the religion (i.e., enacted beliefs). A person’s “religious practice and liberty” could be used under this bill as an excuse to deny people fair housing, job opportunities, and any kind of equal protection under the law. The framework of the bill is state-sanctioned discrimination.
b) Expands the legal definition of personhood. In the current legislation, a “person” by definition becomes any and all entities, including “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, estate, trust, foundation, or other legal entity. Personal morals could therefore apply to the way commerce is conducted, theoretically denying access or services to another group, under the grounds that offering them would be religiously reprehensible.
c) Overrides any municipal non-discrimination legislation. The ordinances of local governments would be subject to the state’s legislation, thereby nullifying the will of the people of a community, including recent legislation passed in the City of Phoenix about a year ago.
Who will be hurt? In reality, the legislation is targeted towards members of the GLBT community, but women, people of color, non-Christians and anyone who falls out of favor with any religious group for any reason could theoretically be hurt. Anna Tovar, the Senate Minority Leader released a statement saying, “With the express consent of the legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves….separate and unequal under the law.” For example, if it’s against your religion for women to cut their hair, you could, as a business entity, refuse service to women who cut their hair. You could also legally hide behind your religious convictions to deny people fair housing, job opportunities, and any kind of equal protection under the law. On grounds of any religious idea or practice, this statue says other anti-discrimination laws do not apply.
How are we as Christians a catalyst for healing? At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to go out into all the world and make disciples of all nations, and Jesus promises to be with them in their ministry, to the end of the age. We call this the Great Commission – to make disciples in the name of Christ, by bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to letting the oppressed go free, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.
Jesus sends the presence of the Holy Spirit to be with us to guide us into new territory. Prayer, discernment, and commitment to community are required to proceed into this new territory. Dialogue is essential, and we cannot rest until all of God’s children are included as full-members of society. Not some. All.
We have all made a covenant in Baptism to uphold one another in our life in Christ. Now is the time to live more fully into our call, and join with all brothers and sisters who are being shut out. As Christians, we must walk with Jesus, and follow him into the midst of this situation, proclaiming peace, justice, and God’s never-failing mercy.
*Special thanks to Grant Miller for his help in compiling material for this summary.
[Anglican Communion News Service] It’s a well-known fact that since the establishment of the Anglican Church in Africa in the 1800s, the Africa churches have largely depended on outside donors for material, mission and financial support. Until recently most Africa Christians did not believe that the church could survive without the support of western donors.
The Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso is the general secretary of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), which coordinates and articulates issues affecting the church and communities on the continent.
He has been very outspoken on issues to do with the independence of the Africa church. In a special interview with ACNS he said: “Africa has realized that it has resources and so we want the Christians in Africa to now own the mission of the church.”
CAPA is a regional faith-based organization that was established in 1979 in Chilema, Malawi, by the Anglican primates of Africa. It operates in 12 Anglican provinces: Burundi, Central Africa (Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe), Congo, and the Indian Ocean (Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius); Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa (Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa Swaziland), Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa (Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Sierra Leone and Liberia), and the Diocese of Egypt.
For about 35 years, CAPA has reached out to individuals, communities and groups through her over 40 million dedicated church members in different communities in Africa. Administratively, CAPA is headed by a council that is led by a chairman, supported by other executives and other officers for the smooth running of the provinces’ activities. It also has a secretariat headed by a general secretary located in Nairobi, Kenya.
“CAPA endeavors to build the capacity of the Anglican Churches in Africa to better understand the issues of mission and development within and outside the Anglican Communion,” said Canon Grace. “We also aim to provide a forum for the Church in Africa to share experiences, consult and support each other as well as establish opportunity for collaboration, learning and joint initiatives.”
Empowering and building the capacity of churches in Africa is among CAPA’s top priorities and over the years training, networking and sharing opportunities have been availed to archbishops, clergy and laity. In October last year, CAPA facilitated for seven bishops from the provinces of Burundi, Congo and Rwanda to attend a weeklong leadership training for French speakers in Nairobi, Kenya.
The general secretary emphasized that the “re-articulation of the moral and spiritual resources of the church in the realm of human development will help bring about a new society in which the weak, the poor and the vulnerable have an equal voice and are not divided by selfish gains of tyranny or by the forces of social fragmentation such as tribalism and nepotism.”
“We’re also challenging the Provinces in Africa to mobilize the professionals which they have so that they can bring their skills to bear on the mission of the church,” said Kaiso. “It’s simply a question of challenging our professionals in the area of discipleship. How can the use the gifts that God has given them be used as resources for mission.”
He added: “In the area of natural resources, the Africa churches are endowed with untapped abundance of resources, social and moral capital to deliver development especially in the most remote parts of the continent. This is a good chance to complement the work of State actors and civil society in education, health, agriculture, rural water supply and infrastructural projects.”
“We are on a mission to effectively coordinate and provide a platform for the Anglican Church in Africa to celebrate life, consult and address challenges in the continent,” said Kaiso. “We would like to fulfill God’s promise for abundant life through fellowships, partnerships, capacity building and promotion of good governance and social development.”
CAPA as a continental fellowship of the Anglican Communion is committed to “deepening of the values of dignity and integrity, healing and social transformation and to enable the people of God to grow in the faith and live life in its fullness.”
In recent years, the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa has been a very positive force on the continent especially in the area of managing conflicts, engaging in peace building initiatives especially in the context of electoral process, which seems to be a big problem in most African countries.
The organization emphasizes self-sustainability for the church in Africa, which in so many ways than one, continues to rely on donor support to implement some if not most of its programs.
Kaiso said that CAPA looks forward to a “unified and self-sustaining Anglican Communion in Africa that it able to provide a holistic ministry to all and fulfilling God’s promise for abundant life.”
The Church in Africa can achieve a lot if it were to take note of the resources that are readily available to them. Drawing on the Gospel where Jesus feeds five thousand people from only five loaves and two fish, CAPA is developing a mapping tool to take note of what the Africa church already has.
“We hope this will help parishes and communities around Africa to look at what is there and also challenge themselves to what extent they have been faithful stewards and how can we harness what is there to get where we want to be,” said Kaiso.
The issue of empowerment takes center stage in most of CAPA’s programs. There is more emphasis towards helping the vulnerable especially with regards to gender injustices, exploitation, child trafficking and assisting displaced families and communities.
It clear that CAPA has a very ambitious program for the Anglican Church in Africa. From organizing meetings for African primates to liaise on issues affecting the continent, building capacity among development workers who address issues of poverty and economic empowerment, to bringing together various clergy and their wives through retreats meant to reflect and meditate on the importance of family life and how that can affect the health and growth of the church.
However raising finances from within the African Church has been a challenge. “We are launching a program called Africa reaching out to Africa,” reported Kaiso. “We seek to mobilize Christians across the continent to own the mission of the church. If we can get local people to commit even US$20 per year towards the mission of the church, that would much a huge difference.”
Despite the emphasis on local partners, CAPA still hopes to establish and develop lasting partnerships from both within and outside Africa and the Anglican Communion as a whole.
Kaiso, who spoke passionately about the potential of Africa, concluded: “We believe very firmly in Africa and the church here. We have a future, but this can only be unlocked if we truly realize the potential that the continent holds.”
[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Church of Australia has called for a review of the country’s asylum and refugee policies after a violent break-out at a regional processing facility on Manus Island resulted in the death of an Iranian asylum seeker.
Twenty-three-year-old Reza Barati was moved to Manus Island last August, a month after he arrived on Christmas Island. He is one of thousands of asylum seekers, mainly from the Middle East, who try to enter Australia on dangerous boat journeys from Indonesia. He was killed on Monday in an incident in which 62 other asylum seekers were injured.
Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea, holds 1,300 asylum seekers. It is one of a number of South Pacific regional processing facilities used by Australia to house refugees and asylum seekers while their claims are evaluated.
A former senior civil servant in Australia’s Attorney General’s department, Robert Cornall, has been appointed to head an inquiry into this week’s violence at the center.
“Following the tragedy on Manus Island, the implementation of government policies regarding asylum-seekers must be reviewed,” said the Rt. Rev. Philip Huggins, chair of the Anglican Church of Australia’s Migrant and Refugee Working Group. “The government has a mandate to ‘stop the boats’, elaborating policies of the previous government. However, the implementation of these policies is causing great harm and is a matter of moral distress to many Australians.”
Huggins, the area bishop of the North West Region of the Diocese of Melbourne, said: “Implementation has involved children in detention centers; off-shore ‘processing’ which is really just holding asylum-seekers in crowded, sub-standard conditions without processing towards any kind of futures; and on-shore prescriptions, which drive asylum-seekers into poverty and depression without access to education or employment.
“It is the implementation of government policy which must be reviewed. A civilized government must be able to control its refugee intake without resort to measures of intentional cruelty.
“We have previously been a generous nation towards refugees. Refugees’ contributions have, thereafter, enriched our common wealth. Our own history tells us what blessings follow when the spirit and detail of the Refugee Convention is honored. Conscience cries out for a review of current implementation measures.”
Nasasagare Guy, a member of the church’s communications team, told ACNS in an interview today: “The church here is still dealing with emergency situation. We’re responding to the needs of the victims by providing food and clothing donated by Christians in our church.”
On the night of Feb. 9, Bujumbura experienced what the locals felt were some of the “heaviest thunderstorms and rainfall in contemporary history.” More than 150 people were reported dead and hundreds were injured after the torrential rains washed whole hillsides away.
With the heavy floods, fire for cooking and keeping warm has been a problem. The Anglican Diocese of Makamba, has been distributing charcoal to those affected by the devastating floods.
“Christians world over are encouraged to assist in any way they can,” said Guy. “So far the response has been good with some people making monetary contributions and others helping out in the camps.”
He added, “The Anglican Church here is working with other churches and organizations to look at ways of coordinating aid activities so that together, we can bring substantial aid.”
Burundi Red Cross, some civil society organizations, churches and families are trying their best to supply provisions to victims. Among items urgently needed are temporary shelters, clothes and blankets, medicines, drinking water, food and cooking equipment.
The floods were so devastating with a lot killed and many others injured. Unofficial figures indicate that more than 1000 houses were washed away leaving an estimated 2,500 households affected and about 20,000 people without shelter.
[Anglican Church of Canada] More than a decade ago parishioners at North Saanich’s Holy Trinity Anglican Church began responding to challenges faced by nearby Tseycum, Tsawout, Pauquachin, and Tsartlip First Nations. In discrimination and need they saw opportunity for new relationship and a new way of being church in this Vancouver Island community. With the blessing of then-rector, Archdeacon Bob Baillie, Holy Trinity launched what would become its Companion Journeying ministry.
Today, Companion Journeying is a lively ministry drawing in many from the congregation and broader North Saanich community. It started with biannual community suppers and Christmas hampers. These communal meals continue, along with an expanding number of programs including Trinity Time — a lunchtime learning opportunity guided by First Nations participants and supported by the parish. Holy Trinity’s relationship building also includes support for the Diabetic Circle at Pauquachin First Nation and a fruit and vegetable program that facilitates healthful eating in underresourced homes. Thea Dickson, a parishioner who helped initiate Companion Journeying and continues to coordinate the ministry today, remarks, “Through these different connections, we are building trust. It’s an ongoing thing.” When asked how other parishes might start their own companion journeying ministry, Dickson replied simply, “Don’t have any preconceived ideas of where it’s going to go. Just open your heart up to God.”
Companion Journeying celebrated a community meal in late January. It was attended by well over 100 people, including Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Caleb Lawrence, Diocesan Administrator, Diocese of British Columbia, parishioners, and elders and members from Tseycum, Pauquachin, Tsawout, and Tsartlip First Nations. The evening of food and fellowship saw spirited sing-alongs, outreaching giving to the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, and the presentation of a scholarship to a First Nations youth for post-secondary studies. That evening, remarked Hiltz, “Holy Trinity was alive with a sense of good spirit and hospitality.”
Parishioners at Holy Trinity have been transformed by this journey. Along the way, they have taken Indigenous language lessons and have learned more about the distinct cultures of the four First Nations. In a spirit of reciprocity, indicative of the trust Holy Trinity has cultivated with its First Nations neighbours, they have also been invited to potlatches and funerals. Through Companion Journeying, these new relationships are now characterized in part by friendship and laughter. Reflecting on his time with the Holy Trinity community, Hiltz remarked, “What stood out for me was the fact that Holy Trinity extended the hand of fellowship, and that this space belongs not to us, but to the community. Everyone is welcome.”
[Global South Anglican press release] Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3).
1. The Global South Primates Steering Committee met at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014. We were delighted to have The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), and Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, as guests joining this important meeting in which we discussed the way ahead for the Anglican Communion and other matters. The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya, and The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, the Primate of Congo, apologized for not being able to attend.
2. We thank God for the times of fellowship, Bible study and prayer together. We also appreciated the frank discussion, open sharing, and spirit of unity among us. We are also encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emphases on renewal, mission and evangelism within the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion.
3. As we reviewed the current situation, we recognized that the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003. As a result, our Anglican Communion is currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional “instruments of unity.”
4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:
a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.
b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.
c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.
￼5. We appreciate the costly decision of the House of Bishops of the Church of England, as well as the pastoral letter and pastoral guidance of The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Archbishop of York, in regard to the decision of the Westminster Parliament for same-gender marriage. The faithfulness of the Church of England in this regard is a great encouragement to our Provinces, and indeed the rest of the Communion, especially those facing hardships and wars.
6. We stand in solidarity with The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul and the people of South Sudan and Sudan, calling for the cessation of fighting, an end to violence, and for a process for peace and reconciliation. We call upon the international community to give every help and support to those displaced as a result of fighting. We commit ourselves to pray for the people of Sudan.
7. We were encouraged to learn about the new constitution of Egypt and how the interim government is achieving the roadmap that was decided by its people on the 3 July 2013. We support the people of Egypt in their efforts to combat violence and terrorism.
8. We decided to activate the Task Forces established at the 4th Encounter of the Global South, which are: Economic Empowerment (coordinated by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala), Theological Resourcing (coordinated by Archbishop Bolly Lapok), Emerging Servant Leaders (coordinated by Archbishop Ian Ernest), and Inter-faith Relations (coordinated by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh).
9. We decided to hold the 5th Encounter of the Global South in 2015 and also organize a seminar for Global South leaders on “How Africa shaped Anglicanism”.
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[Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts] The world was watching on Feb. 11, 1989, when Barbara C. Harris was consecrated before a congregation of nearly 8,000 at Hynes Auditorium in Boston, thus becoming the worldwide Anglican Communion’s first female bishop.
The historic and, at the time, controversial nature of that event signalled for many a hoped-for sea change toward church leadership that looks more like the church’s actual membership, a majority of which is women.
Twenty five years later, however, the reality is more ripple effect than tidal wave as women are still only gradually making their way into the episcopacy; communionwide, the church is still counting its firsts.
Roughly half of the Anglican Communion’s 38 member churches, or provinces, allow women to be ordained bishops. Sarah Macneal was elected the first female diocesan bishop in Australia last November, and Ellinah Wamukoya of Swaziland, consecrated in November 2012, is Africa’s first.
New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, South India and the extra-provincial Anglican church in Cuba have also elected and consecrated women as bishops. About a dozen others have cleared the way canonically (Wales most recently) but have yet to elect and consecrate a woman.
The Church of England, the communion’s mother church, itself still does not allow for women to become bishops, but its General Synod on Feb. 11–the 25th anniversary of Barbara Harris’s consecration–approved a measure that, if accepted by a majority of its dioceses and then Parliament, could enable women to become bishops in England this year.
Closer to home, just 20 of the 239 bishops consecrated in the Episcopal Church since Barbara Harris in 1989 are women, most recently Anne Hodges-Copple, the bishop suffragan, or assisting bishop, of North Carolina, last year.
Thirteen of them are currently among the 139 active members of the church’s House of Bishops, according to numbers provided in January by the Office of the Presiding Bishop. (When retired bishops are counted, there are 19 women out of a total of 291 currently in the House of Bishops.) One, Katharine Jefferts Schori, is presiding bishop and primate of the province–another Anglican Communion first for a woman. Only three are active diocesan bishops: Mariann Budde in the Diocese of Washington (D.C.), Mary Gray-Reeves in the Diocese of El Camino Real in California and Catherine Waynick in the Diocese of Indianapolis.
“What the numbers say to us is that we haven’t broken through the unconscious assumption that bishops will be men,” said Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett in a phone interview. She is the Mary Wolfe Professor Emerita of Historical Theology at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge and a historian who has written extensively on women’s roles in the church.
“There’s a hesitancy to see this as a continuation of sexism, and an assumption that we’ve dealt with sexism in the church because women are ordained. But if women are the majority of the church and 40 percent of its ordained leadership, but only 20 of its bishops, then those are assumptions that should be rigorously and structurally challenged.”
The church’s numbers mirror those for women in corporate America. Catalyst, a nonprofit devoted to women and business, reported at the end of 2013 that, for the eighth year in a row, there was no significant change in the number of women on corporate boards (16.9 percent of board seats in 2013 compared to 16.6 percent the previous year) or in executive officer positions (14.6 percent last year versus 14.3 percent in 2012).
In the church, it’s not an issue of there not being qualified women, Thompsett said, citing women currently serving as cathedral and seminary deans and in leadership at the diocesan level. “My historical work tells me that unexamined systems perpetuate themselves, and when there is a lag like this, it takes investigation and structural support to move things forward.”
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, elected bishop suffragan in Massachusetts 11 years ago, said in an interview that what’s notable to her about the number of women in the episcopate 25 years after Barbara Harris’s consecration is not only that there are so few women serving as diocesan bishops, but also that so few women of color have been elected–out of relatively few candidates of color, male and female. She and Barbara Harris, together with Carol Gallagher, are the only three.
“To me it’s striking that the first woman elected bishop was a black woman, and we’ve stepped back from that bold path, in my opinion. Barbara Harris was no token–she was the most able and fit person for that role. Where we’re at now reflects the fact that the color line is still an operating principle in our church and in our society, and that racism and sexism walk hand in hand,” she said.
In a Feb. 10 phone interview, Bishop Barbara Harris herself conveyed ambivalence about the progress and lack thereof that the numbers convey. She took a broad view, sharing the hope that 25 years from now the Episcopal Church in general will look “more like our total society looks, with all kinds and conditions of people being actively involved.”
Now 83, she volunteers about a day a week in the offices of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in downtown Boston and keeps up an active schedule of travel and speaking engagements nationwide and abroad. Preaching the Gospel is where her ministry is focused now, she says. “I’m just grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to serve, in my lay ministry, which was active, and in all three orders of ordained ministry, as deacon, priest and bishop,” she said.
The full interview follows.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think back to your consecration service in 1989?
Well, I remember that I was overwhelmed by the crowd of people when I came into the auditorium in the procession. Then as the procession that I was in came down the aisle, the choir from St. Paul’s AME Church was singing “In That Great Getting’ Up Mornin’” and then they segued into “Ride on King Jesus, No Man’s Gonna Hinder Me.” They didn’t know exactly when I was coming in, but anyhow, that’s how it happened. That was breathtaking.
Fast forward 25 years. What do you think it’s notable to say about women in the episcopacy in 2014?
It is great to see that we have three women diocesan bishops. It would be great if there were more—and not just because they are women but because of their call to leadership. Unfortunately, 25 years later, not enough women’s names are going forward in election processes. It is good to see that there are women’s names coming up on slates of nominees and not just by petition. In the recent election for suffragan bishop in North Carolina, for example, there were four women and one man on the ballot. That’s the first time I’ve seen that happen. And of course, in Los Angeles [in 2010] there were two, both of whom were elected as bishops suffragan. That was unusual, too.
What kind of leadership does the church need right now?
I think the church needs imaginative bishops to lead dioceses, people who will think a little outside the box, who will dare to do things like Tom Shaw has done with initiatives for youth and young adults, for example, and with embarking on major fundraising initiatives to fund new and exciting ministries. A little experimentation is in order, absolutely, and a little courage, too.
You are often called a courageous person. Can you say a little more about courage in leadership?
I think you have to have the courage of your convictions and be willing to speak them, both in preaching and in your interactions with people. I have tried to make that a hallmark of my ministry, speaking the truth in love. And I think that people have come to expect that of me and have been accepting of it.
What have you been preaching about lately?
I certainly have been talking about women in lay and ordained ministry, and I continue to preach about justice issues and serving and caring for the poor and the disadvantaged. They are major themes with me. I hate that expression “What would Jesus do?” but, indeed, that is what Jesus would do. And I think that’s what we’re called to do as followers after Christ.
What do you think the church will look like 25 years from now?
I would hope that 25 years from now the church would look a lot more like our total society looks, with all kinds and conditions of people being actively involved in the life of the church. And I certainly would hope that there would be a lot of young people involved in leadership roles. I would hope that that would be true sooner than 25 years from now. And, I would hope that we might recapture some of that sense of missionary urgency, of small groups of people actively working and doing things with a sense of urgency of drawing others in. I think that’s absolutely imperative. We can’t continue to be bogged down in structures that do not allow us to be agile in ministry.
What do you most like to do at this stage in your ministry?
I think that I have been given something of a gift for preaching, and I still enjoy that aspect of ministry.
How do you go about preparing to preach?
I think about the group to whom I will be speaking and what they might need to hear.
Need to hear rather than want to hear?
Exactly. You got it. Then I try to think about what I can say that is faithful to the Gospel as I understand it, and how that aligns with what we face in our present day society. I’m a great believer that some of the Gospel is captured most effectively in poetry and song, and so I always try to think of and make reference to hymns that relate to what I’m preaching about.
You must be looking forward to hearing the St. Paul’s AME Choir again at the service honoring your anniversary.
I am. They’re going to sing a thing they sang at the consecration, which is very special to me. It’s a hymn called “Close to Thee.” I think it captures what I have hoped my life and ministry have represented, and it goes: “Thou my everlasting portion, More than friend or life to me, all along my pilgrim journey, Savior, let me walk with thee.” There is a second verse that says: “Not for ease or worldly pleasure, nor for fame my prayer shall be; gladly will I toil and suffer, only let me walk with thee.” Then the chorus: “All along this Christian journey, savior let me walk with thee.” That’s one of my real favorites.
I’m just grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to serve, in my lay ministry, which was active, and in all three orders of ordained ministry, as deacon, priest and bishop.
[World Council of Churches press release] Member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in South Sudan say “we are tired of war”, stressing the urgency to “work for peace and rebuild what has been destroyed”.
The South Sudanese churches conveyed this stance in a statement they issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 10 February, where negotiations between the South Sudanese government and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement opposition rebels are currently underway following a ceasefire deal signed on 23 January.
The conflict which broke out in December last year has cost thousands of lives in the world’s newest country, while United Nations reports say that about 723,000 people have been displaced in South Sudan and some 145,000 people have fled to nearby countries.
The South Sudanese church leaders, representing diverse denominations, underlined the need for “comprehensive peace” in their statement, asking the parties involved in negotiations to end the war, protect civilians and support humanitarian initiatives. “…[W]e are one nation, sharing one identity, rich in culture, blessed by diversity, which is to be celebrated, not resented,” stress the South Sudanese churches.
“Let us, therefore, endeavour to build our nation on a strong foundation of truth, justice, reconciliation, diversity and peace. These noble values are drawn from the Gospel and they can provide a solid national foundation for our new republic,” the statement continues.
The churches expressed their wish to “see a just and peaceful South Sudan inspired and transformed by Godly values towards holistic and equitable development for all people. To this end, we are committed and we shall not rest until we achieve it with the help of God.”
The signatories of the statement included Bishop Enock Tombe Stephen, Bishop Isaiah Majok Dau, Bishop Arkangelo Wani Lemi, Rev. Tut Kony Nyang, Rev. Peter Gai Lual, Isaac Kunguru Kenyi, Bishop Michael Taban Toro, Rev. Mark Akec Cien, Agnes Wasuk Sarafino, Gladys Dommy Mananyu and Jim Long John representing various churches and ecumenical organizations in Sudan and South Sudan.
The urgency for peace in South Sudan has been expressed by the WCC on several occasions, including in a recent Minute adopted by the WCC Central Committee. The Minute calls for “immediate cessation of hostilities”, asking “all warring parties to respect, honour and implement in good faith the cease-fire agreement”.
The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit also expressed his concerns over violence in the country in his letter to the South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardit, whom he met in April 2013.
“The people of South Sudan have suffered for several decades and are now longing for peace and justice. We pray that the situation will quickly normalize and that peace will prevail again soon,” Tveit said in a letter to Kiir following the conflict in December.
[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalian Katie Webb is spending a year as a Young Adult Service Corps volunteer, working in the provincial archives of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. As an archivist, Katie is responsible for keeping the Anglican Church’s history alive and making sure important records are safely and accurately preserved for future generations.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] World Mission Sunday is March 2 in The Episcopal Church.
Traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday after Epiphany, the purpose of World Mission Sunday is to focus on the global impact of the Baptismal Covenant’s call to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305), and to raise our awareness of the many ways in which the Episcopal Church participates in God’s mission around the world.
“The Episcopal Church works hand in hand with neighbors around the world and down the block, praying for partner congregations and dioceses, and offering relief to our brothers and sisters during times of crisis,” noted the Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer. “Episcopal missionaries around the world serve as the church’s eyes, ears, hands, and feet on the ground.”
Currently, Episcopal Church missionaries are located in many international locales, including Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Ghana, Japan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Tanzania, and many places in between.
Mission Personnel here
Global Partnerships here
For more information, contact Elizabeth Boe, Global Networking Officer, at email@example.com.
[Episcopal Relief & Development press release] A generous pledge of $500,000 in matching funds from a group of committed Episcopal Relief & Development donors led to an overwhelming response during the 2013 Matching Gift Challenge. Inspired by the agency’s mission and moved to action by the opportunity to have gifts matched dollar-for-dollar, Episcopal Relief & Development’s community of supporters contributed a total of $953,098 during the fall campaign.
“I am continually moved by the generosity of our donors, especially those whose help made the 2013 Matching Gift Challenge such a tremendous success and allowed us to leverage this significant $500,000 match,” said Joy Shigaki, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Director of Advancement. “Thank you to everyone whose support enables Episcopal Relief & Development to serve those in greatest need and transform communities in places beyond the end of the road.”
Donations to all funds – including Gifts for Life purchases – were eligible for matching, with the $500,000 match helping to sustain Episcopal Relief & Development’s work through the Global Needs Fund. Partnering with local Church bodies and affiliated agencies in close to 40 countries, Episcopal Relief & Development develops and expands community-based programs that address poverty, hunger and disease. Donations to the Global Needs Fund enable Episcopal Relief & Development to respond to urgent needs and continue these vital programs across the globe.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s integrated programs impact the lives of more than 3 million people annually. Here are some of their stories:
- Mariana in Angola started a business with a small loan from her savings group, and was able to welcome her new baby in health and comfort
- Antonio in Nicaragua learned new ways of growing crops that gave more abundant harvests while protecting the environment
- Liqin in China worked with her fellow senior citizens to clean up a local river and build a protected water supply with piping to her home
For more information on Episcopal Relief & Development’s programs, please visit www.episcopalrelief.org/what-we-do.
Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church and an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners to help rebuild after disasters and to empower local communities to find lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.