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Temas Actualizados e Informe del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Estudio del Matrimonio

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[22 de septiembre de 2014] El Grupo de Trabajo sobre el estudio del matrimonio de la Iglesia Episcopal ha emitido el siguiente informe:

Informe de la Labor del Grupo de Trabajo sobre el Matrimonio
22 de septiembre de 2014

El Grupo de Trabajo sobre el Estudio del Matrimonio continúa la labor de identificar y explorar las dimensiones bíblicas, teológicas, históricas, litúrgicas y canónicas del matrimonio – según fue encargado por la Resolución A050 de la Convención General del 2012 indicada aquí.

“Estamos profundamente satisfechos por la respuesta a nuestro trabajo hasta ahora”, dijo el presidente del Grupo de Trabajo Rdo. Brian C. Taylor, y presidente de la Diócesis de Río Grande. “Querido Amado– un recurso para el estudio y debate sobre el matrimonio – se ha distribuido en inglés y español, y su continuo uso a lo largo de la iglesia está mejorando nuestro proceso de consulta de toda la iglesia. El compromiso a través de los medios sociales en nuestras páginas de Facebook y YouTube ha ampliado aún más este proceso. Recomendamos encarecidamente a los que aún no han participado de estos recursos hacerlo antes de la Convención General, para así estar mejor preparados como iglesia para discutir estos asuntos en la ciudad de Salt Lake”.

Los miembros del Grupo de Trabajo también participaron en junio en una consulta patrocinada por la Comisión Permanente de Liturgia y Música (SCLM) sobre el matrimonio entre parejas del mismo sexo en Kansas City. Este evento brindó la oportunidad de consultar con los episcopales, socios ecuménicos, y los de la Comunión Anglicana en asuntos relacionados con el matrimonio en general, y el matrimonio entre parejas del mismo sexo en particular.

El obispo Thomas C. Ely de Vermont, quien se desempeña en el Grupo de Trabajo sobre el Estudio del matrimonio, así como la SCLM, dijo que esta reunión ofrece “mucho para poder tomar de nuevo nuestro trabajo, basado en la conversación con las personas que viven esta realidad en el área, y escuchan los desafíos pastorales que  el clero local enfrenta”.

En cuanto a la consulta de SCLM, Taylor dijo que, “Parte de nuestra responsabilidad es tener en cuenta los desafíos y las oportunidades de las normas sociales cambiantes alrededor de matrimonio. Así que fue muy útil para nuestro grupo reunirse para escuchar profundamente, a medida que continuamos examinando la cuestión principal que da forma a nuestro trabajo: ‘¿Qué es lo que nuestra iglesia podría decirle al mundo de hoy acerca de qué es lo que hace que un matrimonio sea santo y particularmente cristiano? ‘”

Taylor continuó: “La sección de explicación de nuestra propia resolución A050 permite plantea esta misma pregunta en una variedad de formas, y enmarca tanto la reunión SCLM de junio, así como gran parte de nuestro trabajo durante el trienio,” es decir,
    Dado que la Comisión Permanente de Liturgia y Música ha desarrollado recursos litúrgicos para la bendición de uniones entre personas del mismo sexo, enfrentó preguntas repetidas sobre el matrimonio. ¿Qué hace que un matrimonio sea cristiano? ¿Cuál es la relación entre la bendición de la iglesia de una relación, ya sea de género diferente o del mismo sexo, y una unión “matrimonio” o de lo contrario, creado por la ley civil? Es la bendición de una relación del mismo sexo equivalente al matrimonio de una pareja de diferente sexo, y si es así, ¿debe esta liturgia llamarse “matrimonio”? Debido a  que la iglesia entiende que el matrimonio afecta a muchos de sus miembros, que la Comisión considera que es importante participar en una conversación de toda la iglesia Nacional sobre nuestra teología del matrimonio.

En la labor en tres grupos de estudio, los miembros del Grupo de Trabajo se centran ahora en la finalización de su informe para presentarlo a la 78a Convención General. El informe incluirá:
• Teología y ensayos bíblicos sobre el matrimonio
• artículos sobre la historia del matrimonio y el rito del matrimonio
• un vistazo a nuestros cánones de matrimonio del pasado y los actuales, y las preguntas que se plantean
• un informe sobre las consultas, conversaciones y la investigación sobre las tendencias y las normas actuales
• una respuesta a lo que le encargo a la Resolución A050 de que el grupo de trabajo “aborde la necesidad pastoral de que los sacerdotes puedan oficiar un matrimonio civil de una pareja del mismo sexo”, y
• el paquete sobre Querido Amado.

EL grupo de trabajo también está considerando activamente las resoluciones que pueden derivarse del contenido de sus informes y/o de la Resolución 2012-A050 misma.

Taylor habló por el grupo de trabajo al decir, “Todos nuestros miembros están agradecidos y honrados de ser parte de la consideración de matrimonio nuestra iglesia de, una obra que se basa en la historia, el ministerio, la lucha y la experiencia de vida de tantos otros a través de los años que han llevado hasta este día”.

Comentarios, preguntas y preocupaciones pueden ser dirigidas al grupo de trabajo a Taylor, bctaylor@me.com, or Joan Geiszler-Ludlum, vice-chair, at jcgl@ec.rr.com.

El paquete sobre “Querido Amado” se encuentra aquí
https://extranet.generalconvention.org/staff/files/download/10613

El PowerPoint de recursos de “Mantener Conversaciones” se encuentra aquí
https://extranet.generalconvention.org/staff/files/download/10446

Obtenga acceso a la página pública de la web completa para el Grupo de Trabajo A050 sobre el Matrimonio de la Convención General aquí.  http://www.generalconvention.org/a050 .

LA traducción en español de “Querido Amado” se encuentra aquí https://extranet.generalconvention.org/staff/files/download/10798

Obtenga acceso a la página pública de la web completa para el Grupo de Trabajo A050 sobre el Matrimonio  aquí, incluyendo su membresía.

Grupo de Trabajo en página de  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A050taskforce

Grupo de Trabajo en YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHbLobftcghgmWgJW72qnwA/playlists

La Resolución completa A050 está disponible aquí. http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions?by=number&id=a050

House of Bishops Fall 2014 meeting statements

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church met in the Diocese of Taiwan from September 17 to September 23. The following are statements concerning the meeting.

The theme for the fall meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is Expanding the Apostolic Imagination.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:
This meeting has offered abundant opportunities to expand our vision of what is possible as we engage God’s mission.  Our chaplain the Rev. Simón Bautista reminded us this morning that we are all bound for home, that we’re meant to travel light – and that “home” is the Reign of God.  Our chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Spellers challenged us yesterday to take the journey to unexpected places and communities. The bishops of this Church will return to their dioceses with renewed energy and increased willingness to risk more for the gospel and travel a bit lighter.  We have built new relationships with our partners in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and with our brother and sisters in Taiwan.  We’ve discovered new readings of the old, old stories and new theological perspectives rooted in different parts of God’s creation. With hearts and minds expanded, we know ourselves part of a body larger and with deeper bonds than we imagined. And we give thanks for knowing what it is to be received as Christ himself. The hospitality of the Diocese of Taiwan has been full measure, pressed down, and overflowing.  May God continue to richly bless this part of The Episcopal Church.

Bishop Dean E. Wolfe of Kansas, vice president of HOB and co-chair of the HOB Planning Committee:
The 2014 meeting of the House of Bishops has been an extraordinary and historic gathering.

The first meeting of the House of Bishops in Asia, this meeting has turned our attention to the vibrant ministries of The Episcopal Church taking place in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. The Bishop of Pakistan, Samuel Azariah, challenged us with reports of Christian persecution in the Middle East and the heroic witness being made by Christians in that region. We have been inspired by visits from the Primates of this region and their forthright descriptions of their context for ministry.  We have been encouraged by our visits to the faithful congregations of Taipei, motivated by fresh models for theological education, and touched by the overwhelming generosity and hospitality exhibited by our hosts.

All of us who have congregants from Asia have gained a deeper understanding of the context from which our brothers and sisters have come and a greater appreciation for the Christian witness along the Pacific Rim.  We traveled a very long way and at no small expense to come to Taiwan to reinforce a principal which is dear to us; that every diocese is an essential member of our family of faith and no diocese is too small or too far away. We are present here as an outward and visible sign of our commitment to our brothers and sisters in Asia and we have been richly blessed by our time together during this meeting in Taiwan.

Bishop Todd Ousley of Eastern Michigan, co-chair of the HOB Planning Committee:
This gathering of the House of Bishops in the Diocese of Taiwan has been the perfect crucible for engaging our theme, “Expanding our Apostolic Imagination.” Removed from the familiarity and comfort of our own dioceses and cultures, we have been challenged by stories of Christian witness not only in Taiwan but also in other Asian contexts such as Hong Kong, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. My own imagination continues to expand as I consider the vision of the future shape of the Church as shared by Archbishop Nathaniel Uematsu of Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Anglican Church in Japan): the Church as a Community of the People of God who are gathered, nourished, and sent to proclaim peace and reconciliation, grounded in repentance.  I leave this meeting reminded that to be an apostle, one who is sent, and to invite others to be people sent to proclaim God’s message of peace and reconciliation, we must not rush headlong into action with programs and events.  Rather, we must begin with self-examination and spiritual acts of repentance that ground our message and lend it integrity.  Only then will our message of peace and reconciliation be received as the Good News that it indeed is.

We are immensely grateful for Bishop Lai and the gracious hospitality of the people of the Diocese of Taiwan for their tireless efforts to provide this experience and space for creative reflection.  On behalf of the Planning Committee and the entire House of Bishops, we give thanks for Lori Ionnitiu of the General Convention Office who has coordinated all onsite arrangements.  Finally, the  Rev. Canon Charles Robertson and Ednice Baerga of the Presiding Bishop’s staff have once again worked tirelessly behind the scenes to afford us this opportunity to expand our apostolic imaginations.

Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Los Angeles, assistant secretary of HOB:
There were 112 bishops and many spouses in attendance at the meeting, with the Bishop Bob G. Jones, retired from the Diocese of Wyoming, being the senior bishop present. This has been an extremely worthwhile and valuable trip as a member of The Episcopal Church and especially Province VIII.  With the growing Asian community in the United States, especially on the West Coast including my home diocese of Los Angeles, having firsthand knowledge and witness of the context and content of ministry and mission, we are able to more directly address our mutual needs.  I am grateful to Bishop Lai and his clergy and laity and the people of the Diocese of Taiwan for their radical hospitality and their ability to do mission and ministry in the name of Jesus Christ in diverse locations. We have much to learn and share

Bishop David Lai of Taiwan, host of the HOB meeting:
Dreams come true not just for me, but also for all the bishops and their spouses – everyone of us. I believe the trip may have taken a long time – 16 hours – to get here, but the things we experienced are full of experiences to remember, to share and to learn about and to tell their church members. The memories will remain longer than 16 hours. All praise the Lord.

Los obispos exploran los retos del ministerio en Asia

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

[Episcopal News Service – Taipéi, Taiwán] Miembros de la Cámara de Obispos han comenzado a informarse del contexto teológico y de las dificultades de misión a que se enfrentan las iglesias episcopales y anglicanas en Asia.

Su exploración ya había comenzado con una profunda experiencia de lo que el obispo de Kansas, Dean Wolfe, describió como “tanta hospitalidad, tanta cordialidad, tanto regocijo en el espíritu” por parte de los episcopales taiwaneses que son los anfitriones de la reunión que se está celebrando aquí del 17 al 23 de septiembre.

“Llevaré eso de regreso a mi Diócesis de Kansas y le recordaré a mi gente la conexión que tenemos con la Diócesis de Taiwán”, dijo Wolfe, que es vicepresidente de la Cámara y que sirvió como maestro de ceremonias para las sesiones del 19 de septiembre.

Wolfe hizo notar que algunos de los miembros de la Iglesia Episcopal han cuestionado el porqué los obispos incurrían en el gasto de reunirse en Taiwán. “Nunca contemplamos en no ir a la parroquia más distante porque nos queda demasiado lejos”, o es demasiado pequeña, dijo.

El obispo de Taiwán, David Jung-Hsin Lai le explica a la Cámara de Obispos el 19 de septiembre cómo funciona su diócesis en un país donde el cristianismo es una minoría y donde muchas prácticas espirituales tradicionales deben ser respetadas. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

Por tanto, debido a que los obispos aceptaron la invitación del obispo de Taiwán David Jung-Hsin Lai de reunirse aquí, dijo Wolfe provocando un aplauso, habían encontrado que “la Diócesis de Taiwán forma parte importante de esta familia como cualquier diócesis de la Iglesia Episcopal”.

Luego de haberse distribuido el 18 de septiembre para visitar tres congregaciones de la Diócesis de Taiwán, así como la Universidad de San Juan, que es también de la diócesis, los obispos se congregaron de nuevo el 19 para informarse más acerca de la Iglesia Episcopal Taiwanesa así como de la obra anglicana en Hong Kong y Pakistán.

Los episcopales taiwaneses “partieron de cero” y ahora tienen 20 iglesias, entre ellas siete parroquias, dijo Lai. Reconoció que el ministerio de esta diócesis se dirige de manera diferente que la mayoría de las otras diócesis de la Iglesia Episcopal debido al contexto cultural de Taiwán. Los taiwaneses con frecuencia practican una combinación de budismo, taoísmo y confucianismo. La mayoría de los tradicionales lugares de culto de la isla combinan las tres tradiciones.

Las iglesias episcopales en Taiwán deben funcionar dentro de ese contexto, agregó. Por ejemplo, usan un Libro de Oración Común en mandarín (que llevó 15 años traducir) y también tienen un libro de liturgias suplementarias que incluye costumbres tradicionales, tales como el culto a los antepasados, en un contexto cristiano.

Y la diócesis alienta activamente la formación cristiana y el compartir la fe con otros. La diócesis también ayuda a los miembros a discernir su ministerio, y luego apoya activamente ese ministerio, a menudo monetariamente, dijo el obispo.

Las familias con frecuencia excluyen a los miembros que se convierten al cristianismo, dijo Lai, ya que ven la conversión como una traición. Sin embargo, el obispo insta a sus miembros a manifestar su fe cristiana en sus vidas diarias para contrarrestar la noción común en Taiwán de que todas las religiones son lo mismo y sólo “nos enseñan a ser una buena persona”.

“Siempre les recuerdo a los miembros de nuestra Iglesia: ‘no se queden callados cuando oigan decir eso. Si guardan silencio significa que están de acuerdo con esa idea. Pero no traten de discutir con ellos. Necesitan cimentar una buena relación’. De manera que siempre los aliento a compartir su creencia —su fe— con los demás para que sepan que el Dios que adoramos es muy diferente del dios que ellos adoran como un ídolo en su culto, en su familia, en el templo o en cualquier otra parte”.

Lai dijo que los miembros de su diócesis son alentados no sólo a creer y confiar en Dios, sino también a “hacer algo por su fe” de manera que otros, incluidos los miembros de la familia, vean a la persona conversa así como otros la han de ver [y puedan decirle]:“que diferente, que estupenda, que alegre eres, eres cristiana, eres una persona con una vida totalmente nueva”.

Un resumen de la historia de la Diócesis de Taiwán, que celebra su 60º. Aniversario este año, puede encontrarse en este artículo.

El Rdo. Peter Koon, secretario provincial de la Iglesia Anglicana en Hong Kong [Hong Kong heng Kung Hui] pidió las oraciones de los obispos en tanto esa provincia se enfrenta con la posibilidad de una agitación pública tan próximamente como en octubre debido a la convocatoria de Ocupar el Centro con Amor y Paz, un movimiento que hará campaña por el sufragio universal.

Hong Kong pasó de ser una colonia británica a la soberanía china en 1997 y las leyes que gobiernan ese territorio dicen que debe alcanzar un sistema de sufragio universal para elegir a su presidente en las elecciones de 2017. Algunos en Hong Kong temen que la legislatura nacional y el gobierno de la ciudad insistirán en un plan, para nominar a ese primer magistrado, que excluya a los candidatos inaceptables para Beijing.

El reto, dijo Koon, es cómo las iglesias anglicanas en Hong Kong van a encontrar medios de responder pastoral y teológicamente a congregaciones que están divididas sobre este asunto.

“Oren pues por la catedral porque estamos en el punto candente”, afirmó Koon.

Gareth Jones, rector del Colegio de Teología Sheng Kung Hui Ming Hua de Hong Kong, le explica a la Cámara de Obispos el 19 de septiembre cómo el seminario prepara a sus estudiantes a afianzarse en la identidad y la teología anglicanas. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

Entre tanto, Gareth Jones, rector del Colegio de Teología Ming Hua, bosquejó el empeño del seminario de cambiar la educación teológica.

Muchos seminaristas en la Comunión Anglicana, dijo, tienen “una tendencia hacia una educación teológica genérica con un poquito de anglicanismo atornillado al final”. En lugar de fomentar lo que él llamó la “confusión teológica” que tal modelo muestra o causa, Ming Hua ha pasado a un modelo que está más arraigado en la identidad anglicana desde el principio y que enfatiza la idea del compañerismo con Dios, dijo Jones.

El modelo también se basa en la interpretación de que las crisis de fe pueden verse a través de las crisis en los huertos del Edén y de Getsemaní y los seminaristas aprenden “a estar en el lugar de Adán y Eva y a estar en el lugar de Jesús en esos huertos”.

La reciente cobertura de ENS sobre el ministerio de la Iglesia Anglicana en Hong Kong se encuentra aquí y aquí.

La Iglesia de Pakistán (Unida) aspira a una estrecha relación con la Iglesia Episcopal le dice su moderador, el obispo Samuel Azariah, a la Cámara de Obispos el 19 de septiembre. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

El obispo Samuel Azariah, moderador de la Iglesia de Pakistán (Unida), le contó a los obispos acerca de la vida de su Iglesia en un país donde los cristianos son un 1,5 por ciento de los 189 millones de pakistaníes.

Dijo que Pakistán se encuentra “en continuas disputas religiosas” dentro de sí mismo, y con la India y Afganistán.

“El mal uso y el abuso de la religión no sólo ha afectado nuestra economía y nuestras relaciones, sino que también ha introducido la fase de la militancia religiosa” y especialmente la que busca la propagación del islam. “Esa es la realidad del contexto en que vivimos y que muy pronto va a golpearlos a ustedes, mis hermanos y hermanas, incluso en Estados Unidos”.

Azariah añadió esta advertencia: “No estoy diciendo que debamos combatir al islam; lo que digo es que debemos reconocer esa realidad” y prepararnos para ella y aprender sobre el islam y esforzarnos en mejorar las relaciones interreligiosas y procurar siempre la reconciliación.

“El islam será la religión dominante en sus diócesis tarde o temprano, de manera que tendrán que negociar con él”, le dijo a los obispos. “Tendrán grandes poblaciones de musulmanes alrededor de ustedes en las zonas a las que tendrán que pastorear, ¿y cómo lo harán?

En su contexto, Azariah dijo que él rechaza las ideas de amar a los enemigos, diciendo que él prefiere abogar por el amor al prójimo de un modo que aspire a “reconocer, a respetar en humildad y con paciencia la otredad de que mi prójimo es portador”.

Entre tanto, Azariah hizo un llamado a profundizar las relaciones entre su Iglesia y las otras [iglesias] de la Comunión Anglicana, especialmente en lo que respecta a asociación y desarrollo educativos.

“Queremos estar en relación, no en una relación de dependencia. No queremos ser un proyecto de ninguna Iglesia, sino entablar una relación de igualdad de hermanos y hermanas y discípulos de Jesucristo”, afirmó.

También en la agenda de los obispos
El tema de la reunión de la Cámara de Obispos en Taiwán es “expandir la imaginación apostólica” y la Cámara también debe escuchar a los obispos y a otras personas de la Iglesia Anglicana en Japón, Las Filipinas y Corea como parte de esa exploración. Sin embargo, la proximidad de la tormenta tropical Fung-Wong puede interrumpir el viaje de algunas de esas personas, les advirtieron a los obispos.

Los obispos, sus cónyuges, compañeros y otras personas que asisten a la reunión pasarán el 20 de septiembre visitando varios lugares de la isla. El domingo 21 de septiembre, asistirán bien a la iglesia del Buen Pastor [Good Sheperd] y la catedral de San Juan [St. John’s] en Taipéi, o a la iglesia del Adviento [Advent Church] en Tam Sui. Regresarán a Taipéi al final de la tarde para una sesión destinada a procesar sus experiencias.

La noche del 21 incluirá también una conversación a puertas cerradas en que sólo participarán la Obispa Primada y los obispos.

Mientras se encuentren en Taipéi, los obispos también tienen en su programa el recibir informes de la labor del Equipo de Trabajo para ‘Reinventar’ la Iglesia Episcopal, el cual publicó recientemente una carta a la Iglesia en que bosquejaban las recomendaciones sobre cambios estructurales que harán en la reunión de la Convención General en 2015. Los obispos que son miembros del Equipo de Trabajo sobre el Estudio del Matrimonio A050 y el Comité Conjunto de Nominaciones para la Elección del Obispo Primado también discutirán la labor de esos grupos hasta la fecha. La información de este último tendrá lugar en una sesión a puertas cerradas, conforme al programa de la reunión.

Los obispos también se proponen una sesión estilo ‘consistorio municipal’ con la Obispa Primada y una sesión formal de trabajo el 23 de septiembre.

Después de concluida la reunión, algunos de los obispos se dirigirán a Japón, Hong Kong, Las Filipinas o Corea para continuar informándose de la misión y el ministerio de la Iglesia Anglicana.

La reunión tiene lugar en el Grand Hotel de Taipéi. Algunos obispos están enviando mensajes a través de sus blogs acerca de la reunión y de su visita a Taiwán, entre ellos:

Otros están enviando mensajes de Twitter a través del código #HOBFall14. Esos mensajes pueden leerse aquí.

– La Rda. Mary Frances Schjonberg es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

Asociados de la Iglesia sembraron semillas de esperanza y paz para el futuro del Sudán

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

Refugiados sudsudaneses en el campamento de Kakuma, en Kenia, cargan agua para sus familias.

[Episcopal News Service] Michael Puot Rambang espera que los juegos de fútbol y baloncesto ayudarán a promover la paz y la reconciliación entre una generación de futuros líderes sudaneses.

“Estaba en Juba cuando estalló el conflicto [el 15 de diciembre de 2013]”, dijo Rambang, de 26 años, a Episcopal News Service (ENS) recientemente desde Nairobi, Kenia. “Casi me matan. A 25 de mis vecinos los mataron”.

Él se escapó al Campamento de Refugiados de Kakuma en el norte de Kenia, sólo para descubrir que la violencia seguía imperando allí también. “Todo el mundo estaba enojado. Quieren imponerse a empujones No es bueno que las personas vivan de esta manera. Tuvo que ocurrírseme algo para unir a la juventud. Fue entonces cuando se me ocurrió la idea de Jóvenes de Sudán del Sur por la Paz y la Reconciliación (SSYPR).”

La iniciativa se propone reunir a diversas comunidades de jóvenes sudaneses en el campamento para una serie de torneos deportivos a la par que capacitación en temas de paz y reconciliación, amén de otras actividades. Sembrar un espíritu de cooperación también ayudará a mejorar las condiciones generales del campamento, según John Maleck Kur, que también participó en organizar los esfuerzos de la SSYPR.

“Ayudaremos a crear un ambiente por medio del cual podemos ver donde podemos reconciliarlos y asesorarlos, debido a las dramáticas cosas de que han sido testigos, desde que la guerra estalló en Juba y en otras partes”, dijo Kur a ENS.

“Debemos enseñarles de manera que podamos enviar un equipo a ir y enseñarles a hablar de paz entre las personas, y lo extenderemos lentamente a las zonas afectadas por la guerra”, añadió Kur.

Sudán del Sur surgió como la nación más reciente del mundo en 2011, con Juba como su ciudad capital. La guerra estalló en diciembre de 2013 después de un conflicto político entre el presidente, Salva Kiir, y su ex vice, Riek Machar, el cual ha desplazado a más de un millón de personas. Kiir es de la tribu kinka y el líder rebelde Machr es núer, que representan los dos principales grupos étnicos sudaneses. Muchas personas huyeron al Campamento de Refugiados Kakuma, que se estableció en 1992 durante la guerra civil sudanesa que duró décadas. Se calcula que unas 180.000 personas provenientes del Sudán, de Sudán del Sur y de otros países africanos residen en el campamento.

Kur, un ex “niño perdido” que ahora estudia paz y transformación de conflicto en la Universidad de Daystar en Nairobi, dijo que las condiciones del campamento son difíciles. La enfermedad, el analfabetismo y el hambre están generalizadas, afirmó. (Los Niños y Niñas Perdidos del Sudán se mudaron a Estados Unidos como parte de un programa de reasentamiento a principio de la década anterior).

“Tenemos una comunidad diversa en Sudán del Sur y en Campo Kakuma, [hay] jóvenes en ambas partes y lo único que puedes hacer es hablarles de paz a través del fútbol. Jugarán por divertirse y por un objetivo”, siguió diciendo Kur. “Cuando se esfuercen por alcanzar ese objetivo, comenzarán a conversar, a darse cuenta de su propia dignidad y a hacer amistades entre sí”.

El obispo John Gattek Wallam, de la zona de Bentiú de la Diócesis de Malakal y asesor de SSYPR , dijo que el plan incluye a estudiantes universitarios que prestan servicios como capacitadores de los jóvenes del campamento. La iniciativa es trabajar en asociación con otras organizaciones afines, bajo la tutela del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, en busca de paz y reconciliación, afirmó.

“Los jóvenes son los hijos de las partes en pugna [y provienen de diferentes tribus]. Ambas partes podrán reunirse y aprender de paz y reconciliación”, dijo Wallam a ENS recientemente desde Kenia.

Los juegos “serán una válvula de escape para los jóvenes, [una oportunidad] de participar en actividades de consolidación de la paz. Organizaremos un programa para ellos, y un concierto que también congregará a los jóvenes y también les transmitirá mensajes bíblicos de reconciliación”, dijo Wallam. Él integró un equipo de negociaciones que ha conseguido el respaldo de las Naciones Unidas y del jefe del campamento de la Policía de Kenia para establecer la Iniciativa de Paz de Kakuma y los juegos de Deportes para la Paz.

Una tentativa para conseguir la sede de los juegos está sujeta aún a obtener fondos y auspicios que garanticen el proyecto, según dijo el Rdo. Jerry Drino de Esperanza con Sudán del Sur, una agencia de educación y colaboración comunitaria con sede en San José [California].

“Todo este esfuerzo parte desde cero”, dijo Drino. Al frente del cual se encuentran las comunidades de fe, organizaciones como Amigos Americanos de la Iglesia Episcopal del Sudán (AFRECS) y Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopales, que se empeñan en aliviar las privaciones en Sudán, añadió él.

Existen bolsones de esperanza en medio de la continua crisis del Sudán, dijo Drino, quien instó a los episcopales de toda la Iglesia a apoyar la organización de incipientes empeños a favor de la paz.

“La buena noticia es que ya hay juegos esporádicos con equipos de tribus mezcladas que están jugando en Kakuma y que la Unión de Madres y las Mujeres Presbiterianas están pasando por encima de las fronteras tribales a fin de reunirse para orar. Los SSYPR les darán un mayor incentivo para proseguir y expandir esta labor”.

El obispo Andudu Elnail de Kadugli y miembros sudsudaneses de la Unión de Madres participan en un culto en Campo Kakuma en Kenia.

Colorado: Visita en octubre para ofrecer capacitación en atención médica y pastoral
Un equipo de atención médica y pastoral de la Diócesis de Colorado, que busca aliviar las condiciones del campamento de refugiados y de apoyar los empeños del obispo sudanés Adam Elnail de la Diócesis de Kadugli, está planeando un viaje del 28 de octubre al 9 de noviembre al Campamento de Refugiados de Kakuma, según informó Anita Sanborn, presidente de la Fundación Episcopal de Colorado.

Los miembros del equipo se concentrarán en problemas sanitarios y ofrecerán capacitación en atención pastoral, derechos humanos, liderazgo y actividades para consolidar la paz, explicó ella.

El equipo pretendía, en un principio, visitar el campamento de refugiados de Yida, en Sudán del Sur, en enero de este año, dijo Sanborn. Pero el viaje, financiado por la Ofrenda Unida de Gracias (UTO) y Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopales, así como por algunas donaciones privadas, se cambió para Campo Kakuma después del estallido de la guerra en diciembre.

El equipo se concentrará en recién nacidos y salud materna, higiene básica y atención sanitaria, identificación de los síntomas de trauma y cuidado personal (de la salud) para clérigos y líderes laicos.

“Habrá un segmento sobre derechos humanos, enseñando de qué trata la Declaración de los Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, de manera que las personas entiendan en este momento de exilio cuáles son realmente sus derechos así como infundirles la esperanza de que no necesitan estar fuera de su país para siempre, sino prepararse para el momento en que puedan regresar”, añadió Sanborn.

Sanborn definió a Elnail como un obispo sin diócesis. Los esfuerzos de ENS de ponerse en contacto con él resultaron infructuosos.

Elnail estuvo en Estados Unidos para someterse a un tratamiento médico en 2012 cuando las fuerzas del gobierno sudanés entraron en Kadugli, asaltaron su oficina, destruyeron algunos equipos y confiscaron otros, dijo Sanborn. Él comenzó sus labores de promoción social y en 2013 le concedieron asilo en EE.UU. Había organizado una oficina en Juba para proporcionarles una base de operaciones a los millares de personas de Nuba que huían hacia el sur.

Sanborn también instó a los episcopales de toda la Iglesia a continuar apoyando al pueblo sudanés, aunque la atención de los medios de prensa se haya desviado hacia otra parte.

“Cuando la fatiga de la compasión parece tan generalizada, mi esperanza sería que nosotros, en la Iglesia Episcopal, siguiéramos amparando a los refugiados sudaneses que han venido hasta aquí”, dijo Sanborn, refiriéndose a las comunidades sudaneses a través de Estados Unidos.

“Hay tantas manera en que la gente puede participar”, añadió. “No siempre tiene que significar ir al Sudán. Es importante estar consciente e informarse de lo que está pasando, si la gente sólo diera ese paso. Y recordar que la oración siempre es necesaria”.

– La Rda Pat McCaughan es corresponsal de Episcopal News Service.

La Iglesia Episcopal en Estados Unidos tiene una asociación de larga data con la Iglesia Episcopal del Sudán y de Sudán del Sur, a través de las relaciones de diócesis compañeras, los programas de Ayuda y Desarrollo Episcopales y la labor de promoción social de la Oficina de Relaciones Gubernamentales.

Las actuales relaciones de compañerismo incluyen a Albany (Nueva York) con la Provincia de Sudán, Bethlehem (Pensilvania) con Kajo Keji, Chicago con Renk, Indianápolis con Bor, Misurí con Lui, Rhode Island con Ezo, Virginia Sudoccidental con la Provincia de Sudán y Virginia con la Provincia de Sudán.

También existen asociaciones a través de varias redes tales como los Amigos Americanos de la Iglesia Episcopal del Sudán y Esperanza con Sudán del Sur.

– Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

Be prophets, agents of reconciliation, Asian archbishops say

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

[Episcopal News Service – Taipei, Taiwan] God is calling the church in Asia to be an agent of reconciliation and a prophetic witness, three Asian Anglican archbishops told the House of Bishops, and they said the church across the world also must respond to the same call.

Seoul Archbishop Paul Kim, who is also the primate of the Anglican Church in Korea, tells the Episcopal Church House of Bishops Sept. 22 that “reconciliation should be the core message of the church not just on the Korean peninsula but in the world.” The Rev. Aidan Koh, of St. James in the City in Los Angeles, translated for Kim. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

“Reconciliation should be the core message of the church not just on the Korean peninsula but in the world,” said Seoul Archbishop Paul Kim, primate of the Anglican Church of Korea.

Kim, Archbishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Church in Japan) and Episcopal Church in the Philippines Prime Bishop Edward Malecdan all spoke to the house Sept. 22, describing the theological context and mission challenges of their provinces. Each spoke of how paying attention to the poor in their countries has strengthened the faith and witness of their churches.

The threat of war across the world has led to increased nationalism and militarization, in northeast Asia and elsewhere, which has at times lead to threats against those who “proclaim Christ’s gospel message of reconciliation and peace [and they are] treated as traitors in the nations to which they belong,” Kim said through translator the Rev. Aidan Koh of St. James in the City in Los Angeles.

Even within churches there can be differences of opinions about how to work for reconciliation, Kim said. Rather than being able to use those disagreements to find “new creative possibilities,” discord can develop and such discord can easily make Christ’s gospel of reconciliation “a laughing stock.”

Kim said it is time to unite the worldwide church “as a prophetic witness to reconciliation” against the violence of domination.

“We as Anglicans are chosen by God to be the servants and witnesses of forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said.

Archbishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, the primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Church in Japan), says the Japanese church is trying to be an agent of reconciliation in that country. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Both Kim and Uematsu of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai spoke of the reconciliation that has happened between their two churches. Uematsu said that Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910 was the start of a militaristic period in his country’s history that only ended with its defeat in World War II. The church did not protest as Japan began to occupy and colonize other Asian countries, he said.

It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the church began to look critically at its past and its role in the nation’s history. “We especially felt called to repent and seek reconciliation and a deeper engagement with our neighbors” who had suffered under Japanese occupation and colonization, Uematsu said.

In 1996, the church’s General Synod pass a Statement of War Responsibility in which the NSKK “confessed to God as a church” and apologized to God and to its neighbors. Since then, Uematsu said, the statement has been the basis of NSKK’s sense that it is called to serve the marginalized in Japanese society.

The NSKK has sought reconciliation and “restoration under our bond in the same Lord” with Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and other countries that suffered from wartime Japanese occupation.

“We are especially blessed by our fellow Anglicans in the Anglican Church in Korea who opened their hearts to our people even before Japan had come to terms with and apologized for its role in the colonization of the Korean peninsula,” Uematsu said. Nearly 30 years ago the Koreans “opened the door” to exchanges between the two provinces at all levels, he noted.

The Most Rev. Edward P. Malecdan, prime bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, describes for the House of Bishops how his church worked to become self-supporting and how it tries to be a prophetic witness in the country. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Meanwhile, Philippines Prime Bishop Malecdan told how Islamic unrest in Mindanao and a continuing communist insurgency means there is a “never-ending absence of peace in some parts of the country.” And the church is aware of the lack of peace elsewhere in the word. For instance, it will soon host a forum at its St. Andrew’s Seminary chapel on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“In other words, the doors of ECP churches and other institutions are open for peacemaking gatherings,” he said.

The biblical mandate to give voice to the voiceless at both the local and global level, Malecdan said, “is about contributing positively to the establishment of just peace and the commitment to social action for the transformation of unjust society and structures.”

“We are only a minority church often neglected and overlooked by bigger sister provinces in the Anglican Communion, but for the ECP we are aware that what we are doing is like a little drop of water in the vast Pacific ocean and the turbulent China Sea,” he said, adding that that “little drop” is better than being “part of the problems by our silence and inaction.”

Three examples that Malecdan gave seemed to be much more than little drops. One involved buying land and reselling it to landless people whose makeshift homes were swept away by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

Another example concerned three kidnapped young people who were killed and buried in a shallow grave beneath concrete and dirt. Their people were afraid to go and exhume the bodies for fear they would be killed, but they were “emboldened” when Northern Luzon Bishop Renato Abibico and two priests came to the graves and began digging.

Thirdly, Malecdan said, the ECP’s relationship with the Church of the Province of Myanmar as that country transitions to democracy is a way for each church to learn from the other.

“Our relationship and concern for one another is a clear testimony to a conflict-laden world,” the prime bishop said.

Malecdan also outlined how the ECP became a self-supporting province after making a “heart-rending decision” to stop receiving money from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church.

The church was receiving a subsidy from the Episcopal Church that was due to end in 2007. The ECP decided in mid-2004 to ask that it be stopped. Because the money was already budgeted, Malecdan said, the Episcopal Church decided to continue sending the payments while the ECP decided to stop using the subsidy as operating revenue. It put the money into an endowment with the aim of becoming self-sufficient.

The church built many churches after that decision, had budget surpluses and saw both lay and ordained vocations increase, according to the prime bishop.

“We have dug deeper into what we have – all our assets as a church – and started maximizing them for doing mission,” Malecdan said. “And we realized that even a struggling church can have something to share with others.”

Also on Sept. 22, the bishops received briefings on the work of the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, which recently released a letter to the church outlining the recommendations on structural change it will make to the 2015 meeting of General Convention. Bishop members of the A050 Task Force on the Study of Marriage and the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop discussed the work of those groups to date. While only the latter session had been scheduled to be closed, it was announced during the morning session on Sept. 22 that all three of those briefings would be for bishops only.

Shortly after the afternoon private session ended, the marriage task force released a report to the church on its work.

The bishops plan a town hall-style session with the presiding bishop and a formal business session on Sept. 23, the final day of the meeting.

After the meeting ends a number of bishops are heading to Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines or Korea to continue learning about mission and ministry of the Anglican Church in those contexts.

The meeting is taking place at the Grand Hotel in Taipei. Some bishops are blogging from the meeting about their visit to Taiwan, including

Others are tweeting during the meeting using #HOBFall14. Those tweets can be read here.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Task Force on Study of Marriage issues update and report

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage has issued the following report:

Report of work from the Task Force on the Study of Marriage

September 22, 2014

The Task Force on the Study of Marriage is continuing the work of identifying and exploring the biblical, theological, historical, liturgical, and canonical dimensions of marriage – as charged by 2012 General Convention Resolution A050 here http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions?by=number&id=a050

“We are deeply gratified by the response to our work so far,” said task force Chair the Rev. Brian C. Taylor, chair, Diocese of the Rio Grande. “Dearly Beloved – a resource for study and discussion about marriage – has been distributed in both English and Spanish, and its continuing use throughout the church is enhancing our process of church-wide consultation. Engagement through social media on our Facebook and YouTube pages has further extended that process. We strongly encourage those who haven’t yet participated with these resources to do so prior to General Convention, so we’re better prepared as a church to discuss these matters in Salt Lake City.”

Members of the task force also participated in a consultation sponsored by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) on same-sex marriage in Kansas City in June. This event provided an opportunity to consult with Episcopalians, ecumenical partners, and those from the wider Anglican Communion on issues regarding marriage in general, and same-sex marriage in particular.

Bishop Thomas C. Ely of Vermont, who serves on the Task Force on the Study of Marriage as well as the SCLM, said this gathering offered “much to be able to take back into our work, based on conversation with people living this reality on the ground, and hearing the pastoral challenges local clergy are facing.”

Regarding the SCLM consultation, Taylor said, “Part of our charge is to consider the challenges and opportunities of the changing societal norms around marriage. So it was helpful to our task to come together for deep listening, as we continue to consider the primary question that shapes our work: ‘What might our church want to say to the world today about what it is that makes a marriage holy and particularly Christian?’”

Taylor continued, “The Explanation section of our enabling resolution A050 itself raises this same question in a variety of ways, and framed both the June SCLM gathering as well as much of our work over the triennium,” i.e.

As the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music developed liturgical resources for blessing same-gender relationships, it faced repeated questions about marriage. What makes a marriage Christian? What is the relationship between the Church’s blessing of a relationship, whether different-gender or same-gender, and a union, “marriage” or otherwise, created by civil law? Is the blessing of a same-gender relationship equivalent to the marriage of a different-gender couple, and if so, should this liturgy be called “marriage”? Because the Church’s understanding of marriage affects so many of its members, the Commission believes it is important to engage in a Churchwide conversation about our theology of marriage.

Working in three study groups, Task Force members are now focused on finalizing their report for presentation to the 78th General Convention. The report will include:

  • Theological and biblical essays on marriage
  • articles on the history of marriage and marriage rites
  • a look at our marriage canons past and present, and questions that they raise
  • a report on consultations, conversations, and research on current trends and norms
  • a response to the Resolution A050’s charge that the task force “address the pastoral need for priests to officiate at a civil marriage of a same- sex couple,” and
  • the toolkit Dearly Beloved.

The task force is also actively considering resolutions that may flow from the content of their reports and/or from Resolution 2012-A050 itself.

Taylor spoke for the Task Force in saying, “All of our members are grateful and honored to be a part of our church’s consideration of marriage, a work that builds upon the history, ministry, struggle, and life experience of so many others through the years that have led up to this day.”

Comments, questions, and concerns may be addressed to the task force through Taylor, bctaylor@me.com, or Joan Geiszler-Ludlum, vice-chair, at jcgl@ec.rr.com.

The Tool-Kit “Dearly Beloved”  here.

The PowerPoint for the “Carry-On Conversations” resource here.

Access the complete public website for General Convention’s A050 Task Force on Marriage here.

The Spanish translation for “Dearly Beloved” is here.

Access the complete public website for General Convention’s A050 Task Force on Marriage here, including its membership.

Task Force Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/A050taskforce

Task Force YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHbLobftcghgmWgJW72qnwA/playlists

Resolution A050 is available in full here.

House of Bishops Daily Account for Monday, Sept. 22

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church is meeting in the Diocese of Taiwan from September 17 to September 23.  The following is an account of the activities for Monday, September 22.

http://www.episcopaltaiwan.org

The theme for the fall meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is Expanding the Apostolic Imagination.

The day began with Eucharist, celebrated by Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester http://www.episcopalrochester.org/ .  Preacher was HOB Chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Spellers of Long Island.   http://www.dioceselongisland.org/

The emcee for the day was Bishop Paul Lambert of Dallas. http://edod.org/

Three presentations were offered during the morning session. The first was Theological Context and Mission Challenges in Japan was presented by Archbishop Nathaniel Uematsu of Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Anglican Church in Japan). http://www.nippon.anglican.org/

The second was Theological Context and Mission Challenges in Korea presented by Archbishop Paul Kim of the Anglican Church in Korea. http://www.skh.or.kr/

The morning session concluded with Theological Context and Mission Challenges in the Philippines presented by the Most Rev. Edward Malecdan, Prime Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines http://www.anglicancommunion.org/tour/province.cfm?ID=P2

The afternoon private session featured three important updates, reports and discussion:

The Taskforce for Re-Imagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) http://reimaginetec.org/ , presented by Bishop Sean Rowe of Northwest Pennsylvania/Bethlehem http://dionwpa.org/  https://www.diobeth.org/

Task Force On the Study of Marriage http://www.generalconvention.org/ccab/roster?id=476 , presented by Bishop Tom Ely of Vermont http://www.diovermont.org/

Joint Committee for the Nomination of the Presiding Bishop http://www.generalconvention.org/ccab/roster/387 , presented by Bishop Edward Konieczny of Oklahoma http://www.episcopaloklahoma.org/

Media Briefers for Monday, September 22

Bishop Edward Konieczny of Oklahoma http://www.episcopaloklahoma.org/

Bishop Mark Beckwith of Newark http://www.dioceseofnewark.org/

Follow the bishops on Twitter #HOBFall14

Interfaith declaration on climate change

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

Participants in Interfaith Summit on Climate Change in New York.

[World Council of Churches press release] As hundreds of thousands of people flooded through the streets of New York City on 21 September in a march for action on climate change, 30 faith leaders representing nine religions signed their names to a statement calling for concrete actions to curb carbon emissions.

The document was the centerpiece of an interfaith conference jointly hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC), a body that includes 345 churches representing about 560 million Christians worldwide, and Religions for Peace, an interfaith coalition with members in more than 70 countries. Signatories hailed from 21 countries on six continents.

“When in January I listened to the general secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, calling the world’s heads of state for a summit on climate change, I thought we also have to get together as leaders of faith communities to offer our contributions,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fkyse Tveit, the WCC general secretary. Large changes require “deep and strong conviction” which, he said, can be found in the “beliefs, rituals, symbols, sacred texts and prayers of faith [that] give meaning and direction for a large portion of the world’s population.”

The statement, titled Climate, Faith and Hope: Faith Traditions Together for a Common Future will be presented to the deputy-secretary general of the UN, Jan Eliasson, in advance of the UN climate summit that is set to begin on 23 September.

It calls on “all States to work constructively towards a far-reaching global climate agreement in Paris in 2015” which will be “ambitious enough to keep temperature from rising well below 2° Celsius; fair enough to distribute the burden in an equitable way; and legally binding enough to guarantee that effective national climate policies to curb emissions are well funded and fully implemented.”

As faith leaders who together represent a huge swathe of the world’s religious adherents, “if we change, everything changes. So we have to commit ourselves,” said Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, founder of the Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values in The Hague, the Netherlands. “The march is visible. What we are doing here is visible. The march and the signed documents together make an impression,” he said.

“Although there is always the emphasis on the beyond, on the eternal life, we are extremely eager for earthly life for people,” said Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. “Climate is a central issue for human life. So we have to try as a church to ensure the best possible conditions.”

For some of the signatories, climate change is threatening the very countries they call home. The nation of Tuvalu sits on a small collection of reef islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Salt water has entered the underground water table on which the people rely, and scientists suggest the islands will eventually be subsumed as sea levels continue to rise.

“For my church, this means life, because our very existence is challenged. And anything that challenges the livelihood and the life and life continuity of a people is a mission from God to us as believers to fight against it,” said Rev. Tafue Lusama, general secretary of the Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu (EKT).

Yet, he said, he didn’t want Tuvalu to become “a symbol of defeat” for other low-lying countries that may eventually face the same fate. “If we can stand our ground and tell the world they should do something and act on it now, even if Tuvalu goes down, we can save the others,” Lusama said.

In the face of the crisis affecting the world, it is imperative for people of faith to speak out in hope, becoming a moral voice that speaks “to our deepest convictions and commitments as human beings,” said the WCC general secretary. “I say it is immoral not to speak of hope in this time.”

“I see a lot of hope, even just these three days,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, who spoke to the gathering during a morning session. “There’s the public mobilization that we’re seeing today, corporate mobilization that we’re going to see, and the political mobilization. It is a very encouraging sign that people are standing up to be counted. Yet it is not enough. We have to build on that to get to the final solution.”

“We cannot despair, said Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies in Abu Dhabi and co-moderator of Religions for Peace. “This hope is our address. This is where we live.”

WCC news release written by Connie Wardle, senior writer and online editor at the Presbyterian Record, Canada.

Statement from the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change 2014

To save the earth, all must change their ways, says Ecumenical Patriarch (WCC news release of 19 September 2014)

Website of the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2013 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 140 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway.

To save the earth, all must change their ways, says Ecumenical Patriarch

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

“If we are to respond to the ecological crisis in a responsible and substantial way, we must move beyond mere talk to practical action,” said Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in an official message to the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change to be held this week in New York City.

Sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the Religions for Peace, the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change will take place from 21 to 22 September, before the United Nations Climate Summit called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Speaking on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, a founding member of the WCC, Patriarch Bartholomew said that “each believer and each leader, each field and each discipline, each institution and each individual must be touched by the call to change our greedy ways and destructive habits” for the sake of climate justice.

In his message for the summit, the Ecumenical Patriarch stressed that “unless we change the way we live; we cannot hope to avoid ecological damage. This means that – instead of solely depending on governments and experts for answers – each of us must become accountable for our slightest gesture and act in order to reverse the path that we are on, which will of course also include prevailing upon governments and leaders for the creation and application of collective policy and practice.”

Reflecting on possible outcomes of the summit, Bartholomew said that if the “final statement of this summit is to prove informative and influential, it must be translated more than simply for the purpose of signing by the religious dignitaries; it must prove transformative of people’s lives”.

The Interfaith Summit on Climate Change is part of a global effort to mobilize people and communities on the issue of climate change. A large number of religious leaders will gather for the summit. It is felt that the involvement of indigenous peoples and youth will be vital.

In attendance will be leaders from various spiritual traditions such as the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Brahma Kumaris, Indigenous and multi-spiritual.

Read full text of the message by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Website of the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2013 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 140 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway.

Anglican XI beat Vatican in historic cricket match

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

[Lambeth Palace press release] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby congratulates both sides after historic match to raise awareness of Anglican-Roman Catholic efforts to wipe out modern slavery.

Watch video here.

Church of England cricketers beat a Vatican team yesterday in a historic match in support of a joint initiative to wipe out modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, congratulated both sides and presented the trophy to winning captain Stephen Gray after the match, played in the shadow of Canterbury Cathedral at Kent County Cricket Ground.

The Archbishop of Canterbury with the triumphant Anglican XI at Kent County Cricket Ground, 19 September 2014.

The match was organized to raise awareness and funds for the Global Freedom Network, a joint initiative between religious leaders including Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury which is committed to eliminating modern slavery and human trafficking across the world.

The St Peter’s XI scored 106 from their 20 overs against the Anglican XI, who went on to win by six wickets with five balls to spare.

View tweets and photos from the match

Read more about the Global Freedom Network

Video – Pakistan’s Christians: Persecuted yet steadfast in faith

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

[Episcopal News Service] One year ago today (on Sept. 22, 2013) two suicide bombers targeted All Saints Anglican Church in Peshawar at the end of a Sunday worship service, killing 127 people and injuring 170. Many of the victims were women and children. Bishop Samuel Azariah of the Diocese of Raiwind, moderator of the Church of Pakistan, spoke with Episcopal News Service shortly after that tragic day, saying that despite years of intense persecution from religious extremists, the Christian population in Pakistan is resilient and growing in numbers. “Nothing will dampen our spirits. Bombing, murder, burning, shooting will not dampen our spirits and our commitment to Jesus Christ,” he says.

This video was first published on Nov. 19, 2013.

Azariah briefed the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops on Sept. 19 about the life of his church in a country where Christians account for 1.5 percent of the 189 million Pakistanis.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has issued a statement on this first anniversary of the suicide bombings at All Saints Church, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Canterbury statement on anniversary of Peshawar church bombings

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

[Lambeth Palace press release] Archbishop Justin Welby has issued a statement on the first anniversary of the suicide bombings at All Saints Church, Peshawar, Pakistan, on 22 September 2013 in which more than 100 Christians were killed.

Archbishop Justin Welby said:

“As we approach the first anniversary of the horrific suicide bombings at All Saints Church, Peshawar – which made martyrs of more than 100 Christians and wounded many more –  firstly our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were bereaved and injured in these terrible attacks. As we have done, so must we continue to pray fervently for Jesus Christ to comfort all those whose lives were changed forever by these evil acts. Meanwhile we must continue to pray and call for justice, and for the peace of Pakistan and the protection of Christ’s people there.

“In May I visited Pakistan’s Anglican community – who number 800,000 in a population of 180 million – and I was appalled to hear and see evidence of the hatred, violence and persecution they face. As I sat among them, I heard the searing anguish in their cry for the right to worship in freedom and safety. But I was also moved and inspired by their steadfastness and courage, which is grounded in deep and unshakable faith in Jesus Christ.

“In the days following the bombings, Christians in Peshawar spoke of forgiveness for their attackers even as they cried out for justice and protection. With one year passed, we should reflect again in awe on this profound witness to Christ by our brothers and sisters in their darkest moment of suffering.

“As we reflect on the Peshawar martyrs, and their families, and all those injured in those shocking attacks, we do so knowing with deep concern that the often deadly persecution of Christians and other minorities has further escalated in many places, especially Iraq and Syria. We look back knowing that our prayers are needed with fresh urgency, as we cry them out to a God who shares deeply in the pain, anxiety, suffering and despair of all those persecuted for their beliefs.

“So today as we hold the people of Pakistan in our hearts, we must pray fervently to the God of peace and justice: asking in His name that those who suffer persecution will know relief; that those who do harm will know justice; and that all people – both our friends or our enemies – will know God’s peace and love in Jesus Christ.”

Canon Stephanie Spellers preaches at House of Bishops meeting

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, chaplain to the House of Bishops, preached Sept. 22 at the House of Bishops meeting in Taipei, Taiwan.

“Rolling with Jesus”

Matthew 9: 9-13: As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’

Some Thursday night, when you’re feeling brave and have half an hour to kill, I hope you check out this new TV show: “Black Jesus.” The language is for mature audiences only, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. But if you keep listening, I promise you it’s worth the effort. These brothers are saying something important about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For starters: Instead of Capernaum, this modern-day Jesus lives in Compton. From Episode 1, he’s rolling with his homies (translation: he’s moving about, doing life – that’s “rolling” – with the young men and women who follow him – his “homies”). Are you with me? Amen.

You can find him in Compton at their apartment building, smokin’, drinkin’ and chillin’. He walks about the hood, prays and talks with his Father, teaches and preaches in the people’s language, urges his neighbors to trust God, share and forgive one another. He even rallies them to plant a community garden in the projects, just so they can grow their own cucumbers, tomatoes and “herbal remedies.”

The show just launched about a month ago, and already you know there are Christian groups are crying foul. “Jesus isn’t a young black man. Jesus doesn’t hang out drinking in the hood. Jesus does not cuss. That show is blasphemy!”

With all due respect, I hope the show survives. Because it may be crass and it may be crude, but it’s a remarkable vehicle for sharing gospel truth. What’s blasphemous about Jesus gathering this young posse, entering their homes, being humble, being truthful, welcoming them into union and transformed life with God their Father? That’s not blasphemy. It’s a scandal: the scandalous, incarnational way that Jesus rolls. And if we follow him, I think it’s how we’re supposed to roll, too.

It’s certainly the Jesus that we see in today’s gospel. He’s moving through town and calls on Matthew, the tax collector. Yes, that Matthew, the one who sells out his fellow Jews by gathering their money on behalf of Rome, and skims the cream off the top for himself. That Matthew, the one who can’t even go into the temple because he’s been deemed that unclean.

This is the one Jesus seeks. And not just to say, “I heal you. Now go on your way.” No, his call is, “Mathew – yes you. Follow me.” As soon Matthew says yes, Jesus flips and turns and follows him, enters his house, drinks and chills with his crew of tax collectors and unsavory characters, listening to their stories of life on the margins, painting a new picture of life in union with God.

But again the Pharisees were having none of it. “What kind of Messiah does this? Why doesn’t he gather his followers at the temple, school them in the sacrifices and rites required of the faithful, teach them the right direction to swing the censer and light the candles? Why isn’t he seeking good, upstanding Jews to form his starting team?”

Jesus had to break it down for them: “That’s not how I roll. Learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” What does that mean? Well, when I sacrifice, whether in ritual or in personal life, I make an offering. I take something from in here and I put it out there. It costs me, but ultimately, it’s external. And when it’s done, the scales are even.

Mercy takes you in a whole other direction. Mercy takes something – or someone – out there, and it lets them in here. Mercy draws near, even though every rule says no. And with mercy, the scales will never be even. Mercy knows that the point isn’t just getting it right, it’s getting together.

This is how Jesus rolls, and his greatest desire is that we would follow him in the way of love and mercy. Go to Capernaum or Compton or the mall or the dog park or wherever your edge may be. Hang with the people. Let them host you. Let them teach you. Share the good news of God’s love and mercy with each other. And then create some kingdom life together.

It may not be intuitive or comfortable for a lot of us in the pews and pulpits of The Episcopal Church. But I think that a lot of you know what I’m talking about – I’ve heard your stories and I’ve seen you in action.

Ask +Scott Benhase about the new CPE program in Georgia. Instead of only sending seminarians into hospitals, he’s sending them into neighborhoods. They go out there, receive hospitality, share faith, listen deep. Then they come back for disciplined reflection on what they saw and what they felt, and plan to do it again. Because that’s how Jesus rolls, and they’ve got to follow.

Ask +Dorsey McConnell why he’s walking around the hotel lobby toting a video camera and tripod through the hotel lobby. He’s traveling the world – Taipei to the Philippines, Uganda to Pittsburgh – sitting with groups and inviting them to talk about a Bible passage. In each place, he dwells close, listens deep. The finished video will gather all these voices so we can sit and learn and discover Christ at each others’ feet. That’s how Jesus rolls, and we can follow.

Are any of you hosting Mission Enterprise Zones or New Church Starts? I hope that you will give them cover, give them love, because they’re on a risky mission. Entering communities, walking around, listening and loving, learning and teaching. Then they call people together to discern what God wants to do here, in his place, right now. They stir the juicy pot of venerable Anglican traditions together with local wisdom and dreams that have never been dreamt before, and birth a fresh expression of Christian community. That’s how Jesus rolls, and God bless them, they are following.

Some of you sponsor global missionaries and many of you are ministering in non-US contexts. I know you know how to follow Jesus! If the main mark of global mission in the past was domination and erasure, today it is companionship and mutual transformation. You’ve had to get humble and receive from the other. You’ve had to share traditions and experiences of God in both directions. You’ve had to imagine and reimagine what kingdom life looks like at your place. I wish we could carry that flexible, faithful missionary/missional practice back to the United States. It’s how Jesus rolls, and we need to roll that way, too.

And finally, just look around this room, at each other, at yourselves, here in Taipei. Have there ever been this many Episcopal leaders gathered in Asia, with this many colors, languages and genders? Here you are, not sitting on high, doling out favors, but open, curious, receiving, listening, discovering new shapes for kingdom life here and sharing about new shapes of kingdom life in the many places we all call home.

If anybody asks you why you had to come this far, pay this much, stay this long, you tell them it’s part of how we follow Jesus. We show up at the edges and margins, vulnerable and humble and so far from home that the only option is to receive hospitality. We dwell and hang with others and ask the kingdom breaks in.

You may find yourself drinking and chilling in Compton. Just follow. You may find yourself in a Buddhist temple, surprised by the Holy Spirit. Just follow. The critics may cry blasphemy and demand that you get yourself back in line. Don’t stop following. Just keep following Jesus, because he’s heading to the kingdom. Amen!

Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Diane Bruce preaches in Taiwan

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Diane Bruce preached Sept. 21 at Church of the Advent in Taiwan, where the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops in meeting Sept. 17-23.

Proper 20A 2014 — Church of the Advent, Taiwan

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit — Amen.

以聖父,聖子,聖靈的名—阿們。

I bring you greetings from the people of the Diocese of Los Angeles — it is a great honor to be with you this morning, preaching here at the Church of the Advent.

我向大家帶來洛杉磯教區弟兄姐妹們的問候– 我非常榮幸今天早上能來到降臨堂,和你們在一起崇拜,並為大家證道。

Today’s readings are all about economics. Not just any kind of economics, though. Today’s readings are about a special kind of economics — God’s economics.

今天的經文是關於經濟學的。不過不是某種普通的經濟學,而是一種特殊的經濟學– 就是上帝的經濟學。

Starting with the reading from Exodus, God provides enough food for a grumbling crowd. Remember, the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day.” Do you remember what happens in the verses that follow this one? When the people try to gather more than they need, the food spoils.

從【出埃及記】的經文說起,上帝供應足夠的食物給怨聲載道的百姓們。記得,上帝對摩西說,“我要將糧食從天降給你們,百姓可以出去,每天收每天的分。”大家記得在這段經文之後發生了什麼事嗎?當人們試圖積攢超過他們所需的,食物就壞了。

Enough. God provided enough for the Israelites. God provides enough for us. But how does this work?

足夠多。上帝以前對以色列人的供應足夠多。上帝現在對我們的供應也足夠多。但是,這是如何做到的呢?

I think a clue comes in the Gospel lesson today.

在今天的福音書裡可以找到一條線索。

I must admit, before I talk about today’s gospel, that whenever we come to this parable in the cycle of readings …. the parable of the vineyard owner, I can’t help but smile. It’s not our economics, is it?

在討論今天的福音書之前,我必須承認一件事,那就是每次循環讀經讀到這段經文的時候。 。 。也就是葡萄園主的比喻這一段,我都忍不住會笑起來。因為這肯定不是我們概念中的經濟學。

I remember the first time I heard it – I mean really heard it. I was a manager with a staff of about 75 people working under me. I thought to myself….wait a minute…this isn’t fair! The workers that came last should receive less money than the workers that started early in the morning and toiled all day in the vineyard. How is that fair?

我記得當時的想法是。 。 。這在我工作的銀行里是絕對行不通的。之後我就想到,我用的是銀行經理的思考方式,而不是基督徒更不是耶穌基督的思考方式。這段經文深深地震撼了我,直到現在,我每次聽到這段經文時,依然同樣感到震撼,只是原因不盡相同。

For you see, in God’s economy, no matter when we start to work or what kind of work we do, we are to be cared for the same as anyone else. Everyone is entitled to have enough.

因為在上帝的經濟學中,不管我們是何時開始為祂做工或是為祂做什麼樣的工,祂對我們的看顧是一視同仁的。每個人都會得到足夠多的供應。

That’s really hard for people to understand, because, for us as human beings, it doesn’t make common sense, but it does make God-sense.

這種做法很難讓人理解,因為不符合人的常識。然而,這卻符合神的常識。

Friends in Christ, Jesus died so that we all might have life, and have it abundantly. And living with a sense of abundance in our lives we have a responsibility to live abundantly.

主內的朋友們,耶穌基督為我們而死,好使我們得著生命,且是豐盛的生命。如果我們在自己的人生中有這種豐盛的感覺,就有責任活出這種豐盛來。

How do we live our lives with a sense of abundance? I think the key is again in the readings today: Everything we have, everything we are, everything we do is a gift from God, and it is a gift that is meant to be shared.

我們如何能在人生中活出這種豐盛的感覺呢?我認為關鍵還是在我們今天的經文裡:我們擁有的一切,我們所做的一切,還有我們的身份地位,都來自於上帝的恩賜,我們理當與人分享這份恩賜。

Let me repeat that: Everything we have, everything we are, everything we do is a gift from God, and it is a gift that is meant to be shared.

我再說一遍:我們擁有的一切,我們所做的一切,還有我們的身份地位,都來自於上帝的恩賜,我們理當與人分享這份恩賜。

It means trusting that we will have ENOUGH — it may not be a lot, but it will be enough. That’s God’s promise.

這意味著我們相信我們會有足夠多 — 也許不是非常多,但會是足夠多。這是上帝的應許。

God gave God’s first fruits — Jesus, God’s Son — the greatest gift we could ever be given. We are called to give from our first fruits — not the leftovers or the dregs from the bottom — but our best.

上帝賜給我們他初熟的果子– 他的聖子耶穌基督–這是我們能夠得到的最好的禮物。上帝也呼召我們給出我們初熟的果子– 不是挑剩下的,也不是盤底的碎渣– 而是我們最好的。

I learned this at a very early age, for you see, I grew up with a mother who understood what living with a sense of abundance meant. My mother was just like the vineyard owner — loving equally, treating people equally no matter when they came into her life, who they were or what they did.

我在很小的時候就學習了這門功課,因為撫養我長大的母親就懂得什麼是活出豐盛的生命。我母親就像那位葡萄園主任– 在她生命中遇到的人,不管是何時出現,是什麼身份,或是做什麼工作,她都一視同仁的對待他們,愛他們。

She always gave our best to our guests as they came, and she always shared whatever she had — including her time, talent, and treasure. She modeled God’s economics. My most vivid memory among all of the small kindnesses, the sharing out of our abundance was the way she showed kindness to the men who picked up our trash each week.

每當有客人來訪,我母親總是拿出她最好的來招待他們,總是分享她自己擁有的一切– 包括她的時間,才能,和金錢。她為上帝的經濟學做了最好的示範。在所有細小的善意之舉中,也就是把我們的豐盛分享出去的事情上,最讓我記憶猶新的, 就是她向每週為我們收垃圾的工人顯示慈愛的方式。

If the pickup was in the morning in the winter, she’d offer the men cups of hot coffee. If it was in the afternoon, mugs of hot chocolate. In the summer, it was ice water or lemonade in the morning, and in the afternoon lemonade, and on occasions if they were at the end of the route on a hot summer’s day, she offered them ice cold beer.

如果他們來收垃圾的時間是在冬天,早上她會為他們提供熱咖啡,下午則是熱巧克力。在夏天,她會為他們準備冰水和檸檬茶。要是碰巧那天異常炎熱,而我們家又是他們工作的最後一站的話,她會請他們喝冰鎮的啤酒。

The men would take a break when my mother brought out the drinks, and they would talk.

當母親把飲料端出去後,那些工人會稍稍休息一下,並和她說說話。

My mother understood that their work was hard and sweaty — it was before the days of, at least where I live, the man in the truck with the automatic grippers that pick up your trash.

我母親明白這些工人做的是汗流浹背的辛苦工作– 這是很早以前,至少是在我生活的那個地方,那時還沒有那種用自動機械裝置來清空垃圾箱的大卡車。

Some of the men working on the garbage truck couldn’t read or write. They brought any documents they were asked to sign to my mother to look at for them. She always did, and she often saved them money or stopped them from entering into a deal that was questionable.

那些在垃圾車上的工人很多不會閱讀也不會寫字。他們會把任何需要簽字的文件都帶來請母親幫忙看。她總是有求必應,並因此幫他們減少了財務上的損失, 或是及時的避免他們捲入有疑問的交易。

The men gave to my mother out of their first fruits as well — coming by to help her move heavy objects, or picking up extra trash for her without extra charge. Both my mother and the garbage men experienced God’s economy — and God’s love and grace.

同樣的,那些工人也給予了母親他們初熟的果子– 過來幫忙搬重的東西,或是收取多出來的垃圾而不額外收費。我的母親和這些垃圾工人一起體驗了上帝的經濟學– 就是祂的慈愛和恩典。

Friends in Christ, growing up we never had a lot of things in our lives, but we always had enough. We lived with a sense of abundance and never feared that we would run out of what we needed. My mother taught us to trust that we would always have what we needed as long as we were as generous to others as God had always and is always generous to us. We always did. And I still always do.

主內的朋友們,在我們成長的過程中也許並沒有擁有太多,但我們一直都有足夠多。我們在豐盛中生活,不必害怕供不應求。我的母親教會我們相信,只要像上帝慷慨對待我們那樣慷慨對待其他人,我們所需要的永遠都會得到供應。我以前相信這個道理,如今依然相信這個道理。

May today’s readings bring you into a deeper relationship with the one who loves you so much, he sent his Son for you. And may you always remember that everything you have, everything you are, everything you do is a gift from God, and it is a gift that is meant to be shared.

願今天的經文能讓大家與這位深愛你們,甚至將祂的聖子賜給你們的上帝之間的關係更加深厚。也願大家時刻記得,我們​​擁有的一切,我們所做的一切,還有我們的身份地位,都來自於上帝的恩賜,我們理當與人分享這份恩賜。願今天的經文能讓大家與這位深愛你們,甚至將祂的聖子賜給你們的上帝之間的關係更加深厚。也願大家時刻記得,我們​​擁有的一切,我們所做的一切,還有我們的身份地位,都來自於上帝的恩賜,我們理當與人分享這份恩賜。

Presiding Bishop’s sermon at St. John’s Cathedral, Taiwan

ENS Headlines - Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Rev. David Chee translates as Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preaches Sept. 21 at the Episcopal Church of St. John’s Cathedral in Taipei. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church is conducting its fall meeting in the Diocese of Taiwan September 17 – September 23.  On Sunday, September 21, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached at St. John’s Cathedral, Taipei, Taiwan. The following is the sermon presented by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.

21 September 2014
St. John’s Cathedral, Taipei, Taiwan
House of Bishops

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

How do we decide that something is unfair? Is it different than being unjust?

When I was a child, we had family rules about sharing. If there was one piece of cake to divide between two kids, one cut the cake and the other got to choose the first piece. That was fair. If we had company for dinner, the children were reminded that guests were served first, and we weren’t supposed to ask for seconds until they had had all they wanted. That was called hospitality. But when we looked around and began to notice that some people never seemed to get anything, then we started to talk about injustice.

Fairness involves judgments about whether people get a similar portion of whatever goods are at hand; justice is about whether people get what they deserve.

The Rev. Ching-yi Tsai, deacon at the Episcopal Church of St. John’s Cathedral in Taipei, elevates the gospel book Sept. 21 during Eucharist attended by members of the House of Bishops. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Jonah is royally ticked off because he thinks the Ninevites aren’t getting what they deserve –they’re not being punished for their evil ways. God has given mercy rather than their just deserts. When Jonah leaves the city to sulk, he enjoys the pure mercy of shade under a bush. But when the bush withers, he gets mad, because he thinks he deserved its shade. “Just kill me,” he says, “I can’t stand this – it’s not fair!” And God reminds him that the 120,000 Ninevites are worth a whole lot more than this blasted plant. Mercy trumps justice, especially Jonah’s understanding of justice.

Paul is sitting in a similar place as he writes to Philippi, but he has a very different reaction. He is poised between life and death, but he’s not nearly so anxious about the outcome. Living or dead, he is with Christ, but if he’s going to live, he decides he will use his life fruitfully, as a witness to good news. Paul is not bound up in the fairness question. He has a deep confidence in God’s abounding mercy, whether he lives or dies, whether he suffers or flourishes.

The vineyard owner hires workers and treats them equally, whether they work all day or only an hour. He sees that as justice – giving each one the necessary wage, to all their daily bread, “whatever is right.” But the ones who have worked all day long feel slighted – “those latecomers got more than they deserved!”

What is justice? And what do we do when we discover that others believe that ultimate justice is a lot bigger or a lot smaller than our view of it?

Capital punishment is the human dilemma where this comes up most urgently. Is it just? Nation after nation has abolished the death penalty in recent years. It’s been ended in most nations where The Episcopal Church is present, starting with Venezuela in 1863. Ecuador and Colombia eliminated it more than 100 years ago. Honduras in 1956. Curaçao was the latest, in 2010. Only the United States and Taiwan continue to execute people. In the last three years, the United States has executed about 40 people a year, and 30 thus far in 2014, including Lisa Coleman, a black woman, last Wednesday. [1] Taiwan executed five people in April of this year, after putting five or six to death in each of the last three years. [2]

The good news is that many people are raising questions of justice about the death penalty – about the adequacy of defense, the reliability of prosecution evidence and tactics, as well as the capacity to carry out an execution without causing undue pain and suffering. All of that, however, stands in opposition to the position of this Church since 1958 – that capital punishment is fundamentally wrong, a violation of the intrinsic worth of every human being, of the divine image each one bears. Yet the reality is that all Episcopalians live in societies where there is disagreement over what justice looks like.

Taiwan Bishop David Jung-Hsin Lai presides during Eucharist, assisted by the Rev. Elizabeth Wei of the Episcopal Church of St. John’s Cathedral in Taipei. They are surrounded by, left to right, Rochester Bishop Prince Singh, Connecticut Bishop Suffragan Laura Ahrens, Diocese of West Virginia Bishop William Klusmeyer, Western New York Bishop William Franklin, West Tennessee Bishop Donald Johnson, Oklahoma Bishop Edward Konieczny, Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely and North Carolina Bishop Suffragan Anne Hodges-Copple. The bishops distributed communion. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Jonah apparently expected something like the death penalty for Nineveh – that it would be annihilated like the city of Sodom. That’s an all too common reaction to apparent injustice – well we’ll just destroy the wrong-doer, we’ll kill the enemy. Yet God’s mercy is greater than retributive human justice. Jesus challenged us to love our enemies. Bishop Azariah told us on Friday that he focuses on loving his neighbors – all of them – for he apparently does not want to define anyone as enemy.

There is great power when we can shift from demanding justice as punishment for wrongdoing to giving thanks for the grace of God’s presence – God’s presence with us and in our neighbors. It’s a shift from defensiveness to open-hearted vulnerability that ends by producing compassion, mercy, and godly justice.

We visitors in Taiwan have seen that kind of mercy here in this diocese. Over and over, we have discovered abundant compassion rather than minimalist understandings of fairness. When a church many years ago from South Carolina  helped St. James Taichung to build a church, that congregation in Taichung responded with profligate compassion by helping to build 12 churches in the Philippines. The chaplain at St. John’s University does not just offer occasional pizza for a few Episcopal students – he provides 20 meal plans to students for the whole academic year. The parish kindergartens here and across the diocese don’t just serve parishioners – they reach out to all children from the neighborhoods, of all creeds and none, to see that they get what they need and deserve. The people of this diocese are reaching out to the elderly, the imprisoned, the handicapped, and the lonely, bringing life and dignity and abundant mercy.

Diocese of Rochester Bishop Prince Singh holds the chalice as a boy intincts during Eucharist Sept. 21 at the Episcopal Church of St. John’s Cathedral in Taipei. Photo:Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

True and godly and eternal justice makes more of self, it enlarges hearts and creates more life and greater abundance. The pinched kind of self-centered justice that Jonah and the vineyard workers were looking for chooses death rather than life, and misses that expansiveness. When we know that we are held in the palm of God’s hand, whether we have suffering or joy, we discover that we can choose that deeper sort of justice, and choose it for all our neighbors.

May we remember God’s mercy on the Ninevites. May we remember Jesus’ telling the criminal dying next to him that they’d be together in paradise that very day. We will find our daily bread of life in the mercy we offer our neighbors.

[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/execution-list-2014

[2] http://www.deathpenalty.org/article.php?id=736  After an effective moratorium from 2005-2009.

House of Bishops Daily Account for the weekend of September 20-21

ENS Headlines - Sunday, September 21, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church is meeting in the Diocese of Taiwan from September 17 to September 23.  The following is an account of the activities for Saturday and Sunday, September 20 and 21.

The theme for the fall meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is Expanding the Apostolic Imagination.

On Saturday, the bishops and spouses enjoyed the hospitality of the Diocese of Taiwan by visiting various religious, secular, historical, government, scientific and other key locations throughout the island.

On Sunday, the bishops and spouses attended local churches to worship and learn of the church’s mission and ministry.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached at St. John’s Cathedral, Taipei.

Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Diocese of Los Angeles preached at Advent Church, Tam Sui.

Bishop Richard Chang, retired, preached at Church of the Good Shepherd, Taipei http://www.goodshepherd.com.tw/english/

Following the morning’s worship services, the bishops and spouses met in a joint session to share their insights and inquiries about their conference experiences thus far, led by Marla Hanley of the Diocese of Oregon.

The day’s business concluded with the customary Fireside Chat of the bishops.

Media Briefers for Saturday and Sunday, September 20 and 21

Bishop Eugene Sutton of Maryland

Bishop James Waggoner of Spokane

 

 

Follow the bishops on Twitter  #HOBFall14

La Cámara de Obispos comienza histórica reunión en Taiwán

ENS Headlines - Saturday, September 20, 2014

Los obispos que asisten a la reunión de la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal en Taipéi, Taiwán, posan el 17 de septiembre para una foto en grupo frente al histórico Grand Hotel, sitio de la reunión. Había 36° C. en el momento de la sesión fotográfica, lo cual teniendo en cuenta una humedad del 50%, se sentía como 42° C. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

[Episcopal News Service – Taipéi, Taiwán] En un año histórico para la Diócesis de Taiwán de la Iglesia Episcopal, la Cámara de Obispos ha venido a esta ciudad a “enterarse del verdor de diferentes prados”, en palabras de la obispa primada Katharine Jefferts Schori.

El tema de la reunión de Taiwán, del 17 al 23 de septiembre, es “expandir la imaginación apostólica” y los obispos explorarán la misión y el ministerio de la Diócesis de Taiwán. Además, los obispos y otras personas de la Iglesia Anglicana en Hong Kong, Japón, Pakistán, Las Filipinas y Corea discutirán con la Cámara el contexto teológico y las dificultades misioneras que enfrentan sus provincias.

Después que la reunión termine, varios obispos se dirigirán a Japón, Hong Kong, Las Filipinas y Corea [del Sur] para continuar informándose acerca de la misión y el ministerio de las iglesias anglicanas en eso países.

La Diócesis de Taiwán celebra su 60º. Aniversario este año. Los obispos estuvieron de acuerdo en reunirse aquí a invitación del obispo de Taiwán, David Jung-Hsin Lai.

David Jung-Hsin Lai, el obispo de la Diócesis de Taiwán, dice que trabajó durante ocho años para lograr que una reunión de la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal se celebrará en su diócesis. La reunión comenzó el 17 de septiembre y se extenderá hasta el día 23. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

Durante la sesión de apertura de la Cámara el 17 de septiembre, Lai agradeció a los obispos, muchos de los cuales habían viajado hasta 24 horas para llegar a Taipéi, por hacer el esfuerzo de venir, diciendo que su sueño de seis años, de que la Cámara de Obispos viniera a reunirse en esta diócesis, al fin se había cumplido.

“Han venido aquí a compartir, a informarse, a fortalecer vuestra sabiduría y conocimiento”, dijo.

Toda la diócesis ha orado a las 9 P.M. todos los días durante 40 días por el éxito de la reunión de la Cámara de Obispos, según dijo Lai.

Él reconoció que muchos de los obispos se sentían cansados bajo los efectos del cambio de horario después del viaje y les dijo, bromeando, que ahora saben cómo él se ha sentido en todas las reuniones de la Cámara de Obispos desde su elección en 2000.

Jefferts Schori había dicho durante una conferencia de prensa al final de la última reunión de la Cámara de Obispos en marzo, que la invitación de Lai “parecía como una notable oportunidad para los obispos de esta Iglesia de aprender algo sobre el contexto asiático en el cual la Iglesia tiene relaciones, y también de qué otras partes de la Iglesia Episcopal están recibiendo cada vez más migrantes”.

El presidente taiwanés Ma Ying-jeou le da la bienvenida a su país a la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal durante una recepción en el Grand Hotel de Taipéi. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

El presidente taiwanés, Ma Ying-jeou, le dijo a una recepción en la noche del 17 de septiembre (hora local) que la tradición china marca el tiempo en períodos de 60 años y, por consiguiente, la Diócesis de Taiwán ha concluido un ciclo y está emprendiendo uno nuevo “que vaticina un futuro ilimitado”.

“De manera que la Iglesia Episcopal no podría haber escogido un mejor año para celebrar una [reunión de la] Cámara de Obispos en Taiwán”, afirmó. “Su elección muestra la importancia que le dan a sus congregaciones de aquí y a mi país. Por esto, me siento agradecido”.

Ma dijo que quería expresar personalmente su “más profundo respeto y gratitud” por la manera en que la Iglesia Episcopal ha “predicado activamente el evangelio” a través del servicio a sus comunidades, tanto en Taiwán como a través del mundo.

El presidente taiwanés bosquejó luego sus esfuerzos por convertir a su país en una nación de paz y conocida por proporcionar ayuda humanitaria internacional en lugar de recibirla, basándose en el llamado bíblico a amar al prójimo como a uno mismo.

La eucaristía de apertura de la Cámara de Obispos al comienzo del día conmemoró la fiesta de Hildegardo de Bingen. Jefferts Schori resaltó en su sermón que Hildegardo usaba el concepto de viriditas y su sentido de la fecundidad de la tierra y del alma para enseñarle a la gente acerca del “fuego abrasador de la creatividad en el corazón de Dios”. La Obispa Primada comparó viriditas con el llamado de Jesús a la vida abundante.

¿Dónde —le preguntó ella a los obispos— encuentran viriditas y qué fermento creativo los compromete y los transforma?”

“Esta Iglesia Episcopal está en el penoso esfuerzo del fermento creativo, anhelosa de encontrar una nueva congruencia que descubra una luz emergente en un nuevo suelo y un renovado crecimiento en las siembras de años anteriores”, dijo ella. “Nuestra reunión aquí ofrecerá oportunidades de enterarse del verdor en diferentes prados y, Dios mediante, transformarnos para descubrir la abundancia y la posibilidad en otros [terrenos] más familiares”.

La obispa primada Katharine Jefferts Schori dirige una oración el 17 de septiembre durante una recepción al final del día de apertura de la reunión de la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal en Taipéi. El presidente taiwanés, Ma Ying-jeou, al centro, habló a los reunidos en la recepción. El obispo David Jung-Hsin Lai, a la derecha, y la Diócesis de Taiwán son los anfitriones de la reunión que se extiende del 17 al 23 de septiembre. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

Historias de las iglesias Anglicana y Episcopal en Taiwán

El anglicanismo ha estado en la isla de Taiwán desde al menos 1895, después que la isla fuera cedida al imperio japonés, luego de la primera guerra sino-nipona.

Desde entonces hasta 1945, cuando Japón fue derrotado en la segunda guerra mundial, la Iglesia Anglicana de Japón (Nippon Sei Ko Kai) construyó iglesias en Taiwán y celebró oficios para sus ciudadanos japoneses. Japón era parte de la Diócesis de Osaka de la NSKK. El gobierno nacionalista confiscó la mayoría de esos edificios después de que los japoneses se fueron y se los dieron a otra denominación.

Capellanes de la Iglesia Episcopal vinieron a servir al personal militar estadounidense que estaba destacado aquí después de la rendición japonesa. Mientras la Iglesia Episcopal crecía, cayó bajo la jurisdicción del Obispo de Honolulu (más tarde Diócesis de Hawái). La Iglesia también asumió el cuidado pastoral de los miembros de la anterior Iglesia Anglicana China, que vinieron a Taiwán de la China continental en 1949 cuando los nacionalistas chinos emigraron luego de que el Partido Comunista Chino derrotó al Ejército Nacional.

De 1954 a 1960, la Iglesia Episcopal de Taiwán estuvo bajo la supervisión del obispo de Honolulu Harry S. Kennedy como parte del cuidado pastoral de las Fuerzas Armadas Estadounidenses en el Pacífico.

Kennedy siguió siendo el obispo encargado y el obispo sufragáneo de Honolulu, Charles P Gilson, se convirtió en obispo residente en Taiwán en 1961 cuando la isla se convirtió en una diócesis misionera después de que la NSKK entregara el ministerio aquí a la Iglesia Episcopal.

En 1988, la diócesis logró su pleno estatus diocesano. Los episcopales en Taiwán renovaron sus conexiones anglicanas con el Japón en 2005 cuando la diócesis entré en una relación de compañerismo con la Diócesis de Osaka de la NSKK.

La Diócesis de Taiwán existe en un país de 23,34 millones de habitantes, menos de 5 por ciento de los cuales se definen como cristianos, según la revista diocesana Friendship. La diócesis tiene una historia de “inculturación e integración graduales”, pasando de ser parte de los anglicanos de la China continental y del personal militar estadounidense a una con más miembros taiwaneses.

La diócesis ha aumentado el número de sus miembros en el decenio que concluyó en 2012 (el último año para el que se disponen de cifras aquí). La diócesis tenía 1.176 miembros ese año, en comparación a 975 en el año 2002, según este informe, y la revista Friendship dice que ahora atiende aproximadamente a 2.000 miembros. La asistencia dominical promedio en 2012, a lo largo de las 16 congregaciones de la diócesis, fue de 687.

La diócesis incluye también la Universidad de San Juan [St. John’s University] con una matrícula de poco más de 6.000 estudiantes, ocho kindergártenes parroquiales y varios centros de atención comunitaria.

La Iglesia Episcopal cuenta con comunidades religiosas en 17 países, incluidos Estados Unidos, Micronesia (Guam y Saipán), Taiwán, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Haití, República Dominicana, Islas Vírgenes (tanto estadounidenses como británicas), Puerto Rico y, a través de la Convocación de Iglesias Episcopales en Europa, Bélgica, Francia, Alemania, Italia, Suiza y Austria.

También en la agenda de los obispos

El 18 de septiembre, los obispos se repartirán entre la iglesia del Buen Pastor [Church of the Good Shepherd] en Taipéi, Santiago Apóstol [St. James] en Taichung, las iglesias de La Trinidad y San Esteban [Trinity & St. Stephen’s] en Keelung y la Universidad de San Juan [St. John’s University] en Tam Sui. El domingo 21, los obispos y sus cónyuges, compañeros y otros presentes en la reunión asistirán al culto en la iglesia del Buen Pastor y en la catedral de San Juan [St. John’s Cathedral] en Taipéi, o en la iglesia del Adviento [Advent Church] en Tam Sui. Regresarán a Taipéi al final de la tarde para participar en una sesión destinada a procesar sus experiencias.

La noche del 21 de septiembre también incluirá una “discusión” a puertas cerradas, es decir, sólo para la Obispa Primada y los obispos.

Mientras estén en Taipéi, los obispos también contemplan en su programa el recibir información de la labor del Equipo de Trabajo para ‘Reinventar’ la Iglesia Episcopal, el cual dio a conocer recientemente una carta a la Iglesia en que bosquejaba los cambios estructurales que recomendaba a la reunión de la Convención General en 2015. Los obispos miembros del Equipo de Trabajo sobre el Estudio del Matrimonio A050 y El Comité de Nominaciones Conjunto para la Elección del Obispo Primado también discutirán la labor de estos grupos hasta la fecha. El informe de este último tendrá lugar en una sesión a puertas cerradas, según el programa de la reunión.

Los obispos también se proponen una sesión estilo “consistorio municipal” con la Obispa Primada y una sesión formal de trabajo el 23 de septiembre.

La reunión tiene lugar en el Grand Hotel de Taipéi. Algunos obispos están enviando mensajes a través de sus blogs desde la reunión acerca de su visita a Taiwán. Otros están enviando mensajes a través de Twitter valiéndose del código siguiente #HOBFall14. Estos mensajes pueden leerse aquí.

– La Rda. Mary Frances Schjonberg es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

California announces new solar program

ENS Headlines - Friday, September 19, 2014

[Diocese of California press release] The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of California has announced a new diocesan-sponsored program to enable all churches in the Diocese of California to obtain solar panels at no upfront cost to the individual churches. The goal is to eventually have 100% of the churches in the diocese move toward being good stewards of our earth by switching their energy use from fossil fuel generated energy to renewable solar energy.

All rectors and vicars in the diocese have now received information on this new program, and are being encouraged to request a free estimate of the savings in energy costs to be realized by each congregation under this program. The diocesan program is being offered in conjunction with American Solar, a local solar panel company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The benefits to each church are twofold: (1) switching the church’s use of electricity away from fossil fuel generated power, and (2) reducing the cost of the church’s monthly energy bills.  There is no initial cost to the church under this program, which is based on the use of a “power purchase agreement”, whereby a third party owns the solar panels, and the church simply purchases the energy produced by the panels from the third party at a price lower than that charged by their local utility company.

The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, canon for environmental ministry, supports this program enthusiastically, and is encouraging all of our congregations to understand the benefits of moving towards the use of renewable energy at our churches and in our communities. There are currently nine churches in the diocese that have previously installed solar panels, and are realizing cost savings for their congregations.

A pastoral message on climate change

ENS Headlines - Friday, September 19, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The following Pastoral Message on Climate Change has been issued by Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori with the heads for the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the  Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

A Pastoral Message on Climate Change

from the heads of

Anglican Church of Canada
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

September 19, 2014

We are united as Christian leaders in our concern for the well-being of our neighbors and of God’s good creation that provides life and livelihood for all God’s creatures. Daily we see and hear the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Glaciers are disappearing, the polar ice cap is melting, and sea levels are rising. Incidents of pollution created dead zones in seas and the ocean and toxic algae growth in water supplies are occurring with greater frequency. Most disturbingly, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate. At the same time we also witness in too many instances how the earth’s natural beauty, a sign of God’s wonderful creativity, has been defiled by pollutants and waste.

Many have reacted to these changes with grief and anger. In their outrage some have understandably focused on the neglect and carelessness, both in private industry and in government regulation, that have contributed to these changes. However, an honest accounting requires a recognition that we all participate both as consumers and investors in economies that make intensive and insistent demands for energy. In addition, as citizens we have chosen to support or acquiesce in policies that shift the burdens of climate change to communities that are most vulnerable to its effects. People who are already challenged by poverty and by dislocation resulting from civil war or famine have limited resources for adapting to climate change’s effects.

While an accounting of climate change that has credibility and integrity must include our own repentance, we find our hope in the promise of God’s own faithfulness to the creation and humankind and in the liberation that comes from God’s promise.

God, who made the creation and made it good, has not abandoned it. Daily the Spirit continues to renew the face of the earth. All who care for the earth and work for the restoration of its vitality can be confident that they are not pursuing a lost cause. We serve in concert with God’s own creative and renewing power.

Moreover, we need not surrender to political ideologies and other modern mythologies that would divide us into partisan factions — deserving and undeserving, powerless victims and godless oppressors. In Christ we have the promise of a life where God has reconciled the human community. In Christ God sets us free from the captivity of blaming and shaming. God liberates us for shared endeavors where we find each other at our best.

While the challenge may seem daunting, the Spirit’s abundant gifts for service empower us to find common cause with people who exercise countless insights and skills, embodied in hundreds of occupations and trades. We have good reason to hope in all the ways God’s grace is at work among us. We can commend ourselves to the work before us with confidence in God’s mercy.

Opportunities to act imaginatively and courageously abound in all our individual callings. The Holy Spirit’s work in us leads us as faithful consumers and investors in a global economy to make responsible choices to reduce energy use, carbon emissions, and the wasteful consumption of water and other natural resources. As citizens, we have voices to use in educating children about the climate and in shaping public and corporate policies that affect the environment. The Spirit has also given us our voices to contribute our witness to public discussion of just and responsible use of natural resources.

We also have the resources and responsibility to act together for the common good, especially for those most vulnerable to the effect of climate change in the spirit of the seventh Millennium Development Goal, “to ensure environmental stability”. World leaders will meet this month in New York for a Climate Summit, and in December in Lima, Peru, to discuss global cooperation on climate change. Working under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), participants in the UNFCCC’s negotiations hope for an agreement in 2015 that will move toward reduction of carbon emissions, development of low carbon technologies, and assistance to populations most vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate.

We encourage you to take the initiative to engage decision-makers in this godly work in all arenas of public life — in government and business, in schools and civic organizations, in social media and also in our church life.

We are not powerless to act and we are not alone. “We have the power of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling Spirit of Christ to give us hope and courage.”i

The present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as faithful individuals and churches in solidarity with God’s good creation.

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

Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Primate
Anglican Church of Canada 

Bishop Susan Johnson
National Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Coming soon, TREC churchwide meeting Oct. 2

ENS Headlines - Friday, September 19, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church (TREC) will convene a churchwide meeting on October 2 at 7:30 pm Eastern time (6:30 pmCentral/5:30 pm Mountain/4:30 pm Pacific/3:30 pm Alaska/1:30 pm Hawaii).

The meeting will be webcast live from Washington National Cathedral. Although the meeting will be open to the entire church, TREC encourages attendance from each diocese: a bishop, a lay deputy, a clerical deputy, and one person under the age of 35.

In a statement about the event, TREC members said: “We are extraordinarily grateful for the amount of feedback we have received about our recent letter to the church outlining some of our thinking and developing proposals.  Members of TREC have been carefully reading the many e-mails, blogs, and conversations across social media that have emerged in response to the letter. We are hopeful that this vigorous conversation that has already begun will be of great value to the church as it prepares to take up the issue of re-structuring and re-imaginging at General Convention next year, and that the Holy Spirit will continue to work through this collective discernment to set us on the most faithful path forward. We look forward to continuing that conversation on October 2, and we will be carefully considering all of the feedback we’ve received as we meetOctober 3 and 4 to begin preparing our final report and specific recommendations to the 78th General Convention.”

There is no fee to attend in person or to watch the live webcast.  However, registration for in-person attendance is requested; register here. Registration is not required but is encouraged for viewing the webcast.

The purpose of the meeting is “to receive responses to the proposed recommendations to be brought forward to the 78th General Convention.”

The planned format will be short concise presentations followed by substantive question and comment periods. Questions, concerns and comments will be taken from the live audience in addition to email and twitter.  Questions can be emailed herereimaginetec@gmail.com or on Twitter here @ReimagineTEC.

TREC’s final report to General Convention is due by November 30 for the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in July 2015.

For more info, questions or comments, contact TREC members atreimaginetec@gmail.com