[Anglican Communion News Service] About 2000 Christians from Southern Africa and beyond are in Johannesburg for one of the continent’s most popular Christian gatherings: Anglicans Ablaze.
Day one was characterized by lively praise and worship songs led by Bishop Martin Breytenbach of the Diocese of St. Mark the Evangelist (Limpopo Province of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa), backed by an energetic “blazing band.”
The bishop told attendees: “People are spiritually thirsty and desperate for a living God” and he encouraged participants to be “engaged and meet God despite the different styles of praise and worship” at the conference.
The Anglican-run conference, with the theme Hope is Rising, runs from July 2-5, and will address various topics ranging from re-imagining mission, the environment, social justice, discipleship and leadership, among many others. Speakers have been drawn from various backgrounds, denominations and countries mostly from Africa.
Hope, an anchor for the soul
‘Hope’ was a common thread to many of the presentations throughout the first day. “Christian hope is not wishful thinking,” one speaker said, “but our confident expectation in Christ.”
In his charge, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), drew extensively from Scripture and various theologians on the meaning and the need for hope in the church.
“Hope is the belief that we’re called and invited to be ready to respond to the love of God,” he said. “Anglicans should be witnesses with a difference, and nothing, not even death shall separate us from the love of God.”
Makgoba addressed many other issues within the church and the country. He spoke of “the need to care for the environment” and the current efforts to organize local clean-up campaigns and even lobby government for an eco-conference. He also bemoaned the disparities that exist between the rich and the poor, the employers and the employees.
Theological education also took center stage in his charge. The archbishop has been outspoken on the need for improved education in the country and the way it could impact the nation in general and the church in particular. He said: “Theological education of parishioners is important in addressing the many challenges the church faces today.
“Theological education is a must for Southern Africa and equips us to embody and proclaim the message of God’s redemptive hope. Education boosts the levels of trust among Christians,” he said. “Unfortunately distrust is taking over in South Africa due to lack of transparency in the nation and therefore, the church needs to act to bring about a renaissance of trust.”
Steve Maina is a charismatic Anglican priest who heads up CMS in New Zealand. He gave a rousing speech on “re-imaging mission” in 21st century Africa. He said, “As Anglicans we sometimes get caught up in the debates and forget what our core essence is. The Kingdom of God is not only about the seed or weed, but the whole story.”
He added, “It’s about the small seed becoming the big tree and therefore Anglicans should not despise small beginnings. Breakthroughs don’t always happen at the center but at the fringes.” He encouraged Christians not to be scared to be in “obscure places because that’s where the renewal and expansion of the church is happening.”
“It’s time for Africa to evangelize the world,” he proclaimed. There is need for quality and depth in churches and discipleship. Boundaries should be broken to re-imagine mission and share the gospel of Christ.”
However he explained that African Anglicans need a plan to successfully evangelize the world. He explained the various opportunities that the church can take advantage of in order to effectively evangelize.
“Children present a wonderful opportunity for sharing the Gospel with others,” he said. He wondered why the African church had ignored Christians in diaspora. “Those should be commissioned and prayed for,” he said.
He explained that this missionary model is not capital intensive since the people are already out there and hence the church does not need to spend to take them there.
A different form of worship
Nancy Nyagi is a social development leader from Kenya. She addressed young Anglicans in a special workshop on social development. She said: “Social justice is a different form of worship. Let justice roll in our countries.”
She related social justice to the teaching in the Gospel of Matthew. “We need to care enough for our neighbors as Jesus taught us,” she said. “We need to build relationships and break bondages of injustice.”
Nyagi emphasized that the church needs to break the bonds of injustice and set people free. “The church should break the bondages of dehumanizing poverty and let justice roll while doing away with oppression,” she said.
In conclusion, she warned: “However, giving aid only is like trying to be God and trying to fix everything in the world without understanding the source of the problems.”
The Anglicans Ablaze conference has been organized by Growing the Church, the province’s growth institute. It is a follow up to a similar conference held in 2012 which saw the participation of about 1,400 Christians. This year, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, will be the keynote speaker.
[There is a video that cannot be displayed in this feed. Visit the blog entry to see the video.]
[Episcopal News Service] Morenike Oyebode, president of the youth group at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Hempstead, New York, attended the annual Union of Black Episcopalians conference to participate in the worship services, but also she was looking for ways to get more young people involved in the church.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has issued the following information.
The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) is continuing its work to prepare The Episcopal Church for the election of the 27th Presiding Bishop at General Convention in 2015.
Between now and August 1, the JNCPB will publish three short educational essays.
This first essay describes the basic timeline and steps for the nominating and election process. (The first essay is presented below.) The second essay will outline the current roles, functions, and responsibilities of the Presiding Bishop. The third essay will discuss how the office of Presiding Bishop has changed and evolved from being the senior bishop by consecration who presides over meetings of the House of Bishops to the complex multifaceted position it is today.
It is the hope of the JNCPB that all members of General Convention and all Episcopalians will take the time to read these brief essays to learn the importance of what we will do next summer at General Convention. Should you have any questions or comments about these essays or the work of the JNCPB please contact email@example.com.
The JNCPB is comprised of a lay member, a priest or deacon, and a bishop from each of the nine provinces of The Episcopal Church elected by the House of Deputies and House of Bishops respectively, plus two youth representatives, appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. The members serve a three-year term that concludes with the close of 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah).
Election of the Presiding Bishop in 2015: Essay #1
Over the course of the next weeks of the summer the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop will share three short educational pieces with the Church. This first essay describes the basic time-line and steps of the nominating and election process. The second essay will outline the current roles, functions, and responsibilities of the Presiding Bishop. The third essay will discuss how the role of the office has changed and evolved from being the senior bishop by consecration presiding over meetings of the House of Bishops to the complex multifaceted position it is today.
1. The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop
At the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the House of Deputies elected one clerical and one lay member from each Province as a member of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB). The House of Bishops also elected one bishop from each Province as a member of the Committee. The JNCPB includes two youth representatives, ages 16-21, appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. All of these members serve a three-year term that concludes with the close of the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah).
Since November 2012 the JNCPB has been meeting as a whole, and in sub-groups to prepare for the selection of nominees for Presiding Bishop. In 2013 the JNCPB crafted and circulated a church wide survey which invited broad-based feedback on the desired qualities and gifts of the next Presiding Bishop. The JNCPB received more than 5,200 responses and the data collected offers the JNCPB an overview and understanding of the wishes of the Church which the JNCPB will utilize as it prepares a Profile and Call for Candidates. The JNCPB has also issued further updates to the Church on its timeline.
2. Review of the Nomination and Election Processes
The Nomination Process
• The Profile and Call for Candidates for Presiding Bishop will be issued around August 1, 2014. At that time the JNCPB will provide specific information for those wishing to submit names of Bishops for consideration.
• The Committee will receive names of candidates from October 1 through October 31, 2014.
• In the months following the identification of candidates, the JNCPB will do the work of discerning which candidates to nominate for Presiding Bishop.
• The JNCPB will announce its nominees in early May 2015.
• For two weeks after the May announcement of the JNCPB’s nominees, any deputy to the 78th General Convention or bishop may indicate their intent to nominate other bishops from the floor at the 2015 General Convention in accordance with a process that the JNCPB will announce. In the spring of 2015 the JNCPB will provide further information on the process by which bishops and deputies can nominate additional bishops.
• The identity of the additional nominees will be made available to the Church in early June 2015.
The Election Process
• On the day before the first legislative day of General Convention, the JNCPB will present both its nominees and those of other bishops and deputies to a joint meeting of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. At that meeting the JNCPB will facilitate conversation and questions and answers with the nominees.
• Early in General Convention there will be a Joint Session of both Houses at which the names of the nominees of the JNCPB and any others by bishops or deputies will be officially entered into nomination.
• On the day following that Joint Session, the House of Bishops will elect one of the nominated bishops to be Presiding Bishop by a vote of a majority of all bishops, excluding retired bishops not present.
• After election by the House of Bishops, a report of the result of the election, including the number of votes cast for each nominee on each ballot, will be made to the House of Deputies. The deputies will then vote to confirm or not to confirm the bishops’ choice of Presiding Bishop.
• The term of office of the Presiding Bishop will be nine years, beginning on November 1, 2015.
[Episcopal News Service] Sometimes life takes you down a path that surprises, even shocks you. I’ve always believed that we are all “wilderness people,” members of the community making its way to Canaan from Egypt. Up the mountains, down the valleys and all about for forty years, when the journey could have taken a week — well I’m exaggerating. But that’s been what life has been like for me, anyway, praying to discern God’s will and following God in the clouds by day and fire by night, placing my trust that I’ll get to that place where I’m meant to be at some time, some point in my life. Or at the least, like Moses, I’ll have a view of that place from afar.
I grew up in a Jewish family. My mother’s parents kept a kosher home, and my grandfather would go to synagogue on Saturdays and return, touching the television, which was still warm from my grandmother having it on as she watched it, waiting for his return. “Faye,” he would say, “I know you’ve been watching!” But my parents were more reform, culturally Jewish. My father ‘s family was extraordinarily poor, and my father’s father came from Warsaw, leaving behind his cousins, many of them.
But growing up I only knew our immediate family of origin; a small, dysfunctional one. Only the immediate family, because conflict embraced our family and the cousins that were there, somewhere, I never got to know.
One Christmas eve when I was in the fifth grade I went to a Roman Catholic mass with my friend, also named Donna. I felt at home. I wanted to join her as she went on the confession line but she said I couldn’t. Something stirred my heart but I couldn’t name it at the time. The feeling didn’t leave me, and when I asked my mother to convert later on in high school she sent me off on a Jewish Teen Tour of Israel, where I was mesmerized by the Christian holy sites. Sometime along the way, as I started visiting various church services, in grace I found the Episcopal Church and it found me. I was baptized in 1982. Even then I remember sending away to the General Theological Seminary for catalogs every year, I never did much with them other than to read through them and dream about attending GTS one day. It took years in my wilderness journey, but I graduated with my M. Div. in 2000, was ordained deacon, then priest.
I didn’t think much about my blood relatives over the years. But one day a few years ago, really as a lark, I put my family tree up on www.geni.com. I listed myself, my partner (now wife) Lisa, and our two dogs. I put down my mother, father and brother, and even my half-brother that I really never knew. And that was that.
Then one day I received an email from a ‘cousin David’ telling me that we were related, that our family had many cousins, and could he merge my little family tree into his? He lived out in Los Angeles. He served on the board of directors of the Holocaust Museum there.
I learned from my cousin David that the family story of our being from Poland with our name shortened was just that, a story. We were German, our name was always Dambrot and we were probably bakers [Dam= hard, Brot = bread]. Aha! My carbohydrate addiction had its roots in my DNA! More than that, the Dambrot family was a small one, and we had cousins who perished in the Holocaust.
I remember once many years ago my mother telling me that she had heard that my father’s family had received letters from family in Europe in the 1930s asking for help getting out of the Europe after that the Nazis had taken over. And that my father’s family ignored the letters. My mother doesn’t remember that now. But as I grew up, no one ever spoke about cousins in Europe, or the Holocaust.
Did we not know?
Did we not want to know?
I became fascinated with finding out more about my roots. I went to the Yad VaShem database and there it was, 32 Dambrots listed by name; some were part of the Paris deportations to Auschwitz, others perished in the Lodz ghetto or perhaps the Chelmno gas chambers or Auschwitz, depending upon how long they survived.
It was as if I smelled the burning bush and turned to enter the sacred space where God resided in my family history. I had a burning desire to make a pilgrimage to these sites, to smell the air and feel the ground beneath which were buried the ashes and bones of my blood, and all those who died in the first and hopefully last plan of industrial extermination of a people. It was as strong a call to journey as any I have ever had.
And so, the week after Easter this past April, I joined a March of the Living group and, among 11,000 others from around the world, we descended on Poland to visit concentration camps, mass gravesites and ghetto remnants. March of the Living gathers groups to visit Poland during the week of Holocaust Memorial Day. In my group were many children of survivors, and two who survived as children, one by hiding with her sister under sacks of potatos in a convent in Belgium, one born in a cave in Greece. Some of our group of 25 just felt called to be there. We were all on a pilgrimage together, for different reasons but as one.
How grateful I am to have had the blessing of this journey to honor my blood relatives, to pray where they perished, and where so many others died. To learn more about them, and about the history of this most terrible moment in the narrative of human history. And how blessed to realize that resurrection life abounds, in those who survived to build families, in the hearts of those who did what they could to save innocent men, women and children, and in the knowledge that the heart carries within it that seed of evil that has only to be watered to grow.
And for me, a life made fuller by knowing my family history, witnessing to its murder, and telling its story. I blogged my way through the journey at http://ddambrot.wordpress.com/. I hope some of what I have written has import for you should you read through it. For me, my life has forever changed. Thanks be to God.
– The Rev. Canon Donna Lise Dambrot is president and executive director of Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida and canon for social outreach for the Diocese of Southeast Florida.
La situación venezolana parece tomar un nuevo rumbo. El presidente Nicolás Maduro ha arremetido contra miembros de su propio partido por críticas recibidas. Según despachos de prensa Maduro considera cualquier crítica como “una traición a la patria”. Entre los críticos se encuentran algunos miembros de alta graduación de las Fuerzas Armadas.
Informes de organizaciones internacionales aseguran que la corrupción es el peor mal de los países latinoamericanos, que detiene el desarrollo económico y mina la confianza de la ciudadanía en sus líderes políticos. Ahora la corrupción ha llegado hasta la Madre Patria: la infanta Cristina y su esposo Iñaki Urdangarín están siendo procesados por presuntos “delitos fiscales y blanqueo de capitales”. Cristina es hermana del nuevo rey de España Felipe VI.
La televisión española informó de dos casos de “delitos de odio”, ocurridos recientemente, uno en el metro de Barcelona en la que un joven ruso atacó a otra persona sin mediar palabra sólo porque le parecía extranjero. El otro caso ocurrió en una playa nudista en la que una pareja de ancianos gay fue insultada y golpeada. Ambos casos fueron reportados a las autoridades.
La Iglesia Presbiteriana de Estados Unidos cambió su definición del matrimonio para que en lugar de éste “es un pacto en el que un hombre y una mujer son llamados a vivir juntos su vida”, ahora diga en su lugar que éste “involucra un compromiso único entre dos personas tradicionalmente entre un hombre y una mujer”. La enmienda requiere el voto afirmativo de los 172 presbiterios y llevaría un año el proceso de votación.
La Corte Europea de Derechos Humanos ha decidido mantener la decisión de Francia de prohibir a las mujeres musulmanas el uso del niqab el velo que cubre todo el rostro. En Francia hay cerca de cinco millones de musulmanes de los cuales 20000 son mujeres. La medida traerá serias consecuencias, dicen los expertos.
El arzobispo polaco Jozef Wesololowki que ha sido nuncio (embajador) del Vaticano en la República Dominicana, ha sido despojado de sus órdenes eclesiásticas por delitos de abuso sexual. El ex clérigo de 65 años fue encontrado culpable por la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe y ahora tendrá que someterse a la justicia civil. En Santo Domingo muchas personas piden que sea traído a la República Dominicana para que sirva el tiempo de su condena.
Una buena noticia. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, la joven sudanesa que ha sido condenada a recibir latigazos por “adulterio” y morir en la horca por “apostasía” por haberse casado con un cristiano. Meriam ha salido de la cárcel de Omdurman al ser declarada inocente por un tribunal de apelaciones. Dio las gracias a Amnistía Internacional por su defensa y todos los que la apoyaron alrededor del mundo. Ahora está en su casa con su esposo y sus dos hijos. Sudán es un país situado en África Oriental cuya capital es Yuba.
Il Messaggero, periódico local de Roma ha publicado una entrevista con el papa Francisco en la que afirma que algunas personas lo consideran marxista por criticar el capitalismo y pedir reformas radicales. El pontífice dice en la entrevista que es una injusticia que haya tantos pobres en el mundo mientras otros tienen mucho más de lo que necesitan. Añade que “la preocupación por los pobres es el tema central del evangelio de Cristo” y cita muchos pasajes bíblicos que hablan de los pobres, los necesitados y los enfermos.
En Buenos Aires ha fallecido Arnoldo Canclini distinguido historiador y pastor bautista a la edad de 88 años. Participó en innumerables organizaciones eclesiásticas y escribió varias obras en las que se destacan Hasta lo último de la tierra y Cristianismo y existencialismo.
Jamie Coots, pastor pentecostal de Kentucky de 42 años de edad, falleció recientemente víctima de la mordida de una serpiente cascabel durante un servicio religioso en su iglesia. La congregación lo animaba a hacer la prueba de fe que aparece en la Biblia en la que dijo “que creía literalmente”. Una cosa es tener fe y otra ser fanático. ¡Qué pena!
PENSANIENTO. La vida la da Dios y por eso hay que cuidarla.
[There is a video that cannot be displayed in this feed. Visit the blog entry to see the video.]
[Episcopal News Service] Lorraine C. Miller, former interim president and CEO of the NAACP, delivered the keynote address June 30 during the 46th Annual Conference of the Union of Black Episcopalians. More then 250 people are attending the multigenerational conference June 29 – July 3 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
[Episcopal News Service – Atlantic City, New Jersey] It’s a “family reunion” like no other: 250 adults, young and older, are gathered at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino for 46th annual meeting and conference of the Union of Black Episcopalians, a confederation of more than 35 chapters and groups in the U.S. and the Caribbean, with members in Canada, Africa and Latin America.
The conference brings together African American Episcopalians and those from the African and Caribbean diaspora for five days of worship, workshops, addresses and fellowship.
“Some of our constituents belong to historically black churches, others come from multicultural churches, and others come from the Midwest and the West where there are fewer black Episcopalians, so this is one place where they come together,” said Annette L. Buchanan, UBE national president, and a member of St. Augustine’s Church in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
“Not only is it intergenerational, but it is across the African diaspora; we understand that we are one community and that we can learn from each other.”
True to the conference’s theme “Renewing our Commitment to the Work and Ministry of Social Justice” the June 29 to July 3 assembly includes workshops such as “Eliminating Racism and Renewing Our Commitment to Each Other, to Church and to Community” and “Awake, Arise: Blueprint For A Vibrant Congregation.”
“We like to talk a good story about being open and welcoming places … but were not always so good about inviting people in and having a place for people who are different than we are,” said the Rev. Canon Sandye Wilson, rector of St. Andrew and Holy Communion Episcopal Church in South Orange, New Jersey, in a sermon delivered during the June 29 opening Eucharist.
“And the reality is that we’ve got some internal work do so that we can do the work of the Gospel.”
Wilson referred to the song “God Has Work for Us to Do”:
“Till all the jails are empty and all the bellies filled;
Till no one hurts or steals or lies, and no more blood is spilled;
God has work for us to do, God has work for us to do…”
“So my friends, if there is anything I would say to you tonight as we begin to recommit ourselves to social justice is that God has work for us to do,” said Wilson, adding that it’s first the hard work of “looking in the mirror and recognizing that we’ve been created in the image of God.”
“The beauty of the body of Christ gathered as the church is that there is space for all parts of the body to thrive and when those parts are working together, some amazing things happen,” she said.
The design of the multigenerational conference includes:
- time to socialize and network
- ways to facilitate sharing at home diocese and churches
- a focus on lifting up young adult and youth leadership.
“We wanted to make sure that those who paved the way, our seniors, that they are here and we honor them, … and they serve as role models to the middle tier and youth and young adults,” said Buchanan. “We have young people who because they have been to the conferences strive to become … clergy and leaders within the church because they … have been given leadership roles as well.”
UBE traces its history back to Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest. For more than 200 years, the black leadership has led the fight against racism in the Episcopal Church and UBE continues to work collaboratively as an advocate for social and economic justice.
Recommitting to social justice serves as a reminder for members not to “rest on their laurels in terms of whatever gains we’ve made,” said Buchanan. The theme also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the advent of the civil rights movement, and the parallel struggle for rights in church.
“The struggle is still ahead,” said Buchanan.
In regard to the church, one thing UBE is concerned about is the vitality of its more than 330 historically black congregations, a large percentage of which, Buchanan said, “are not healthy.”
It was something the Rev. Canon Edward Rodman, the John Seeley Stone professor of pastoral theology and urban ministry at Episcopal Divinity School, pointed out during his workshop “Black Folk and the History of the Episcopal Church: A 21st Century Perspective”: Churches that are not self-sufficient and that don’t pay their diocesan assessment lose their voice.
In her June 30 keynote address, Lorraine C. Miller, who recently finished a seven-month term as interim president and CEO of the NAACP, talked about social justice and how churches can work together and with other nongovernment organizations to initiate change in their communities.
“The cause of social justice is needed more than ever,” said Miller, who prior to serving the NAACP was the 35th clerk to the U.S. House of Representatives, the third woman and first African American to serve in the position.
Miller outlined three issues to consider as UBE evaluates its social justice engagement strategy: the need for greater civic participation, particularly to address the assault in recent years on voter rights; the scourge of HIV and AIDS that disproportionately affects the African American population in the United States; and community efforts to engage minority men between the ages of 18 and 25, a group that is disproportionately unemployed and overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
Miller remembered a song she sang in church as a child growing up in Fort Worth, Texas – “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” – and how its meaning wasn’t clear to her until later in life.
“I had no real idea of what that meant until I became an adult … it means I may not individually be able to change the world but I can certainly make a difference in my sphere of influence, in my home and my neighborhood, I can make a difference, so what we do with HIV/AIDS, we do with young men, we do with voter participation it’s up to us, we are, you are the leaders,” said Miller.
“You are sitting in this room because you are a leader and God has given you the wisdom and power to know what to do.”
What today is the UBE was founded on Feb. 8, 1968, at St. Philip’s Church in New York by 17 black priests as the Union of Black Clergy and Laity. Its goal was to remove racism from the church and society and to stimulate the growth of black membership; another of UBE’s concerns, said Buchanan, is being intentional about raising up leaders and clergy leadership “in our churches, identifying young people who have that gift and helping them to discern that.”
The Rev. Canon Nan Peete, who is retired but serves as priest-in-charge of Church of Our Savior in Washington, D.C., echoed Buchanan: “UBE has always prided itself on including and welcoming young people. … They have a stake in the future if they have a stake in the present. It’s up to the elders to let them know they have value now and in the future.”
The conference’s focus on social justice from an historical perspective and how it affects youth and young adults today is one way to prepare new leaders, said Alexizendria “Zena” Link, UBE’s national youth adviser.
As a member of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Hempstead, New York, and president of the church’s youth group, Morenike Oyebode, 16, attended the conference to participate in the worship services, but also she was looking for ways to get more young people involved in the church.
“Here at the conference we are learning to become one and work together as kids and become part of the church because many times outside the church kids don’t really know how to be involved,” she said. “I want to find new ways to keep the youth involved in our church because many times we don’t have youth in our church. Our youth are like 15 kids and that’s it, so I would like to bring more people to our church.”
The outcome of the conference for those who’ve been around a while, Buchanan said, is “a personal recommitment to the work of racial and social justice in their own vineyard locally.”
“You’re in the vineyard, you’re working hard, and then you are like, ‘Why am I doing this? I’m not seeing any progress,’ but you come back together with the preaching with the music, the workshops, and it kind of recharges you, like when you are at the end of the service and sent out again into the world to the work, that’s what this is, the sending out. “
– Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.
[Washington National Cathedral press release] Washington National Cathedral and We Serve, Inc., today announced their new partnership to honor those who serve. Together, We Serve and National Cathedral will give veterans a voice by bringing attention to the programs and people working to heal veterans in body, mind, and spirit. The first component of the partnership is the We Serve Awards, which will recognize non-profit organizations helping our nation’s veterans. Nominations for the awards open today, July 1, and awards will be announced at a program at the Cathedral in November.
“We Serve is very excited to be working with the National Cathedral,” said Matthew Beaghley, President/Co-Founder of We Serve, Inc., and Navy veteran. “Currently, we have no national-scale event dedicated to the service of veterans on Veterans Day. We hope that our partnership will help shine a light on the small- and large-scale nonprofits across America doing the best work to heal veterans.”
“This Cathedral has long served as a central place for honoring and commemorating those who have selflessly fought for freedom and protected our country,” said Cathedral Dean Gary Hall. “Outreach to veterans is a top priority for the Cathedral through programs that seek to recognize and pay tribute to them. Our collaboration with We Serve provides yet another way to show our commitment to those who have served our nation.”
The goal of this partnership is to bring attention to the often-overlooked element of spirit in the healing of veterans. Beginning July 1, We Serve, Inc., will conduct a campaign series of nominations and voting, allowing only veterans, active-duty military, and their families to nominate and vote for the veteran organizations (501c3 charity) they believe have been the most helpful to them. To nominate a veteran organization for a We Serve Award™, visit www.2014weserveawards.org
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Submissions are invited for original artwork that will be used for the 2014 Episcopal Church Christmas card.
The original artwork should express a local understanding of God’s incarnation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
“The deep significance of God’s presence among us in human flesh can only be understood in particular human contexts,” noted Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. “We are not generic human beings, and because each human being is unique, we can’t make sense of this reality in a generic human image of the divine. This is an invitation to share your understanding with the wider Church, so that all of us might have our own local image expanded and deepened. Do you see Jesus born in a stable, a cave, or under mid-winter stars? What did his earthly parents look like? What kind of plants fed the animals that gathered round? What did the celebration of their human herders look like? From what foreign cultures did the wise ones (Magi) come to learn and pay their respects? We all want to see Jesus – show us the birth of God in human flesh.”
Deadline for submitting original artwork is August 15. Voting will occurSeptember 1 to September 15 with the winner announced on October 1.
A printable PDF of the card with the winning artwork will be made available online to all congregations. The greeting inside the card will appear in English, Spanish, French, Creole and Navajo.
• Images must be no larger than 256mb for submission. Final Hi-Res images should be available upon determination of winner.
• Images may be submitted here.
For information on the Christmas Card Image Contest, contact Neva Rae Fox firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Office of Finance has issued a mid-year updated report on diocesan commitments.
N. Kurt Barnes, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, announced that all Episcopal dioceses located in the United States and nearly every non-United States diocese have committed to the 2014 budget of The Episcopal Church.
He indicated that
• 42 dioceses have committed to the full 19% asking level adopted by General Convention 2012.
• 39 dioceses are contributing between 10% and 19%.
• Commitments have been received from every diocese except one.
“The commitments from the dioceses for 2014 total $26.8 million,” Barnes said. “The revised budget assumed $25.8 million. We are especially thankful for those dioceses that are able to make commitments at the full 19% asking level established by a vote of the General Convention, and we appreciate those dioceses that are striving to increase their commitments each year.”
A complete list of diocesan commitments appears here.
The 2014 revised budget adopted by Executive Council is here.
Barnes also noted that trust funds, income from which accounts for 25% of the annual budget, continued their exceptional performance. “Annual returns after all fees and expenses were 15.2%, 16.5% and 7.2% for the one-, five- and 10-years ending March 31, 2014 – ranking within the top quartile of all foundations with assets over $50 million,” he said. “We invite any Episcopal entity to co-invest with the DFMS.”
Additional information appears here.
Episcopal Church Finance Office
[Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby arrives in Zambia today for a week of visits to fellow primates in the Anglican provinces of Central and Southern Africa.
The visits, which form part of Archbishop Justin’s commitment to visit every primate in the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office, will focus on spending time with church leaders and communities and seeing the work of Anglican churches in their local context. He will be accompanied throughout the visits by his wife, Caroline.
Today the Archbishop arrives in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, where he will spend two days as a guest of the Archbishop of Central Africa and Bishop of Northern Zambia, Albert Chama. This evening he will address Anglicans in Lusaka at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Tomorrow Archbishop Justin will travel with Archbishop Albert to Central Zambia, where he will be meet local Christians and preach at Kitwe’s St Michael and All Angels Anglican Cathedral.
On Wednesday the Archbishop will travel to South Africa, where he will be staying with the Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba.
During three days in the country Archbishop Justin will visit Alexandra township outside Johannesburg, where Nelson Mandela lived in 1941. The Archbishop will address the congregation St Michael and All Angels Church, before performing the Walk of Witness to the Mandela First residence in Johannesburg. He will also address the Anglican Ablaze conference in Brynston, and meet with a local Anglican youth group.
For the final leg of the visit, on Friday the Archbishop will travel to Mauritius to stay with the Primate of the Indian Ocean, Archbishop Ian Ernest.
The Archbishop will visit a new Anglican-run hostel for people with mental health issues, the first of its kind in the country. He will also attend 160th anniversary celebrations at St James’ Anglican Cathedral, where he will preach in French at a service to be attended by the President, the Prime Minister, and members of the Chemin Neuf community.
The primatial electors met at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide on June 28, a day before the start of the General Synod.
The post of primate is a ceremonial role, without significant constitutional authority.
After several rounds of voting, there was strong support for both Freier and Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies.
In the final ballot, Freier gained the requisite majority among bishops, clergy and laity.
He succeeds the Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, who has been primate since 2005.
After the vote, Davies said “The Anglican Church of Australia is united by a common constitution and a common cause to proclaim Christ. I congratulate Archbishop Freier and look forward to working with him as we bring the good news of Jesus to the nation.”
Freier believes that sustaining a national presence and strengthening the church’s contribution to rural communities are among the most important challenges facing the Anglican Church of Australia.
“I look forward to the opportunity of working with the church around the country. The church across its parishes, schools and service agencies makes a powerful contribution to Australian society,” Freier said.
Freier, 59, has been Archbishop of Melbourne since December 2006.
29 June 2014
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Last weekend I participated in a memorial pilgrimage for St. Alban. He died about 1800 years ago, as the first martyr in England. The Romans were hunting down Christians and had heard that Alban was sheltering a priest, who had taught him about Jesus but hadn’t yet baptized him. When the guards came to his home, Alban traded clothes with the priest, and was taken captive instead. In a trial a lot like Jesus’, Alban’s captors demanded that he renounce this God he now worshiped by sacrificing to the Roman gods. He refused, and they put him to death.
It’s made me hear the story of Abraham and Isaac with new ears. Abraham is asked to give the one thing he most values in the world – his son, the heir he’s been promised, a child of his own flesh, rather than the slave or the son of a concubine whom he’d thought would be his heir. He is being asked for flesh of his own flesh, as a sign of his faithfulness. Yet when the time comes God stays his hand, and an animal is provided instead of the boy. At some point in the history of our ancestors in the faith, they learned that it was far more righteous to offer yourself as a sacrifice, rather than somebody else. In the ancient world, and in some parts of the world today, children are considered expendable – they can be used by adults for their own purposes. Abraham’s story tells of the discovery of deeper truth – the lives of others are not ours to spend.
We have only our own lives to give.
Jesus’ offering of his own life is told in parallel with this ancient story of Isaac. Abraham rides his own donkey to the mountain of sacrifice; Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem, going toward the mountain where he will die. The wood of his sacrifice – the cross – is laid on him to carry. The instruments of death for Isaac are fire and knife; for Jesus it is the rule of oppressors, with death meted out by guards and soldiers and craven authorities. Two young men stand at a distance to watch – Abraham’s servants in the first case, Peter and John in the second. God the father provides a lamb for each sacrifice. Abraham learns that God will provide. As he hangs from the cross, Jesus cries out his sense of abandonment, and at the last offers up his spirit. In resurrection the world discovers that God will always provide new life.
The sun dance has kinship with this sacrifice, as the offering of self becomes healing for the people. Wood is gathered, a sacred fire kindled, and sacrifice is made by the dancers. Like Jesus’, this is an offering of self, rather than the offering of another. It is an outward and visible reminder of our connection to creator and creation. The ties that bind dancer to the pole link him or her to the creator, as each revolves around the sun. The dance of offered life in overtly Christian contexts binds us to the son, as we live in conscious, committed relationship to the Lord of the Dance. The “choir” in both traditions stands by, ready to watch, pray and sing, and care for all the dancers equally. They/we offer solidarity and demonstrate their connection to those who offer themselves for the sake of greater life.
The prince of peace made that sacrifice once, on behalf of all creation. We continue that offering in each day and moment by continuing to dance in connection with all that is. The bonds that bind us are ones of love and decision. The heat that surrounds our offering comes from passionate love for creator and creatures, and some of the heat comes from the world’s resistance. We may find that passion for the abundant life of the world in snowstorms or schoolrooms, councils or courtrooms. That passion is a gift for what the collect calls “unity of spirit.”
Unity of spirit is usually the biggest human challenge. We want to see ourselves, or our kind or clan or tribe or nation – or color, gender, or particular way of understanding – as the best or most “right” in the world. We forget that each of us is part of the whole, and that it’s only when we’re connected that we become a living and functional part of the whole. Sacrifice and offering take us toward that wholeness, and the most central part of offering a sacrifice is realizing that something besides your own self is also holy and worthy of honor.
This gathering is a holy reminder of the wholeness of the Sioux peoples, particularly in the face of relentless heat and pressure from outside this body. The witness of this gathering is a sacramental reminder of our wholeness in the body of Christ, and in the body of God’s entire creation. The whole of The Episcopal Church gives thanks for this offering – and so do the people I’ve told about the convocation in recent weeks – Moravians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, members of the Church of England. Your offering of healing and wholeness is a vital contribution, for there will not be justice, wholeness, and peace here or anywhere until there is everywhere.
Daily encounters invite us to the sacrifice and offering of setting aside the need to be first, or right, or the center of things. They come to us all. Occasionally big and public life-committing opportunities come to us as they did for Jesus. The Santee warriors condemned to death in 1862 are a remarkable example, both those who died slower deaths in prison and the 38 who were executed. Those who went to the gallows singing God’s praises became a sacrificial and public witness to the oneness of us all. There are other well-known examples, like the lifelong work of Vine DeLoria, both father and son (and grandfather, the Rev. Philip DeLoria). There are countless others who offer their lives to raise grandchildren or care for teenagers or build bridges between God’s people. Terry Star offered his life as such a bridge.
The willingness to keep offering ourselves, in small ways and large, and in every encounter, is what sacrifice is most centrally about. It’s like saying, ‘I welcome you because I see the image of the creator in you, even if it’s unfamiliar. I trust that you will show me some aspect of God and the holy that I’ve not seen before, and that in that encounter we will find a greater vision of the wholeness God intends for all.’ It can be as great a challenge to make an offering when we’re surprised or threatened by a stranger as it is to walk to the cross or the gallows. Yet we are formed for sacrificial living by the small and daily acts the gospel speaks of: giving a cup of water to a frightened child or an exhausted dancer. We are formed as offering by sheltering a drunk or challenging an unjust sentence. We are formed by those ongoing daily decisions to love, so that the whole of our life becomes an offering, a making-holy, and a making whole, of all that is.
This is the way of setting right the creation, the way of justice and righteousness and peace. When we begin to be formed in that way, we find ourselves willing to give all we are and all we have for the sake of the whole.
Where will you offer yourself for the love of God and all our relatives?
 Many and great, O God, are your works… http://www.godsongs.net/2012/08/many-and-great-wakantanka-taku-nitawa.html It’s in the 1982 Hymnal
[Anglican Communion News Service] An Anglican diocese in South Sudan has sourced and distributed bicycles to local farmers to improve their coordination and help increase productivity to ensure food sustainability in the area.
Christian Action for Relief and Development (CARD), the development wing of Wau diocese in the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan (ECS), sourced the 38 new bicycles and distributed them to various farming groups in different locations of the diocese.
The Rev. Peter Angui Akook is the diocesan development officer and acting administrative secretary in Wau diocese. In an interview with ACNS, he said, “We decided to embark on the bicycles project so that our lead farmers are able to make follow ups with their fellow farmers and also help them take their produce to market. We have since distributed the bicycles to the lead farmers. We called their top leaders to come to the office to collect the bicycles on behalf of the group and emphasized that the bicycles belong to the groups.”
The bicycles were purchased at a total cost of about 23,000 South Sudanese Pounds (US$7000) with funding from a European Union project. “The bicycles will also allow easy movement when attending workshops to keep farmers updated on good agricultural techniques and practices,” said Akook.
He added: “The leaders were given instructions on how these bicycles should be handled and used so that they are used correctly with minimal wear. It is important to understand that many of these farmers will not have had a bicycle before so this instruction is very necessary.”
The development coordinator said that the procurement of the bicycles from East African countries took a long period of time to ensure that they were best suited to local needs and easy to maintain in good condition.
“Our bigger plans are to extend food security projects to the other counties of Western Bahr el Ghazal state and Warrap State’s six counties. The other plan is to open up health centers in the two States. We aim to provide social services especially basic needs to our people.”
Food security is one of the biggest challenges, which the country faces since the conflict erupted in December last year. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) fear that the “consequences of the conflict threaten to reverse the country’s progress towards food security, and are likely to impact even parts of South Sudan not directly affected by fighting.”
[Episcopal Peace Fellowship press release] The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) urges President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to refrain from any military involvement in the religious civil war developing in Iraq.
“Over two decades of war in Iraq has provided ample evidence war as a means to leverage influence in the area is a morally bankrupt policy to peace,” said the Rev. Allison Liles, EPF executive director.
“The cost of almost 4,500 U.S. military deaths, thousands of wounded and maimed veterans and $1 trillion of national wealth that surely could have been more productively spent – in addition to the hundreds of thousands Iraqi deaths and those of other involved nations – as well as those whose lives have been tragically traumatized and disrupted is sufficient to say enough,” said Rev. Liles.
“The political situation in Iraq is quickly deteriorating into a civil war between two Muslim factions. The insurgents are moving towards Baghdad in a vicious lightning campaign that has sadly seen early mass defections from Iraqi army. The recognized government of Iraq is calling for American lethal involvement to stem the potential overthrow of its current regime. It is clear that the conduct of the Al-Maliki government is a significant part of the problem,” she said.
In response to the call for help, President Obama has sent a force up to 300 American military advisors to be embedded with Iraqi troops to assist them to repel the insurgents. U.S. airstrikes may be forthcoming.
“Iraq is a sovereign nation that must solve its own internal political affairs without the intervention of any outside entity. To reengage the U.S. military in any capacity is foolhardy. While recognizing the danger to human rights and respectful and peaceful civic dialogue embedded in a fundamentalist Sharia-imposed governing structure, war is not the answer to real peace. Further military action could have long term negative effects on America’s already frayed relationships with other Middle Eastern countries,” said Rev. Liles.
“We hope and pray Secretary of State John Kerry who has been increasingly in Iraq can negotiate a peaceful settlement to the war. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power should urge the UN Security Council to garner multi-national help in securing a negotiated settlement as well,” said Rev. Liles.
[24 de junio de 2014] El grupo de trabajo de la Iglesia Episcopal sobre el Estudio del Matrimonio ha publicado Querido Amado, recursos para conversación y debate.
El siguiente es un informe del Grupo de Trabajo sobre el Estudio del Matrimonio.
Querido Amado: Un paquete con pautas para el estudio y debate sobre el Matrimonio
Nos complace ofrecer a la Iglesia Episcopal un recurso para el estudio y debate sobre el matrimonio. Ha llegado su hora. Ya que este tema es de importancia histórica y de significado intemporal para la iglesia; las prácticas de matrimonio están experimentando un cambio social en nuestros días; y nuestra iglesia, a través de la resolución A050 en la Convención General del 2012, solicitó que desarrollemos herramientas para el debate sobre este tema.
Entramos en esta conversación – como siempre lo hacemos cuando discernimos el camino a seguir – al considerar esas tres fuentes de autoridad anglicana sobre el tema: la escritura, la tradición (incluyendo la teología, liturgia, derecho canónico, e historia), y la razón (incluyendo nuestra experiencia humana).
Nuestro equipo de trabajo está formado por 12 personas designadas: obispos, teólogos, educadores y pastores. A medida que el grupo de trabajo se encarga de la provisión de recursos para esta reflexión, nosotros hemos explorado profundamente el matrimonio a través del lente de las Escrituras, la tradición y la razón. Hemos estudiado y hemos consultado ampliamente.
Si bien no vamos a completar este trabajo hasta que hagamos nuestro informe a la Convención General del 2015, estamos en condiciones, en este momento, de compartir con la iglesia un poco de nuestros esfuerzos hasta la fecha. Y lo más importante, estamos dispuestos a invitar a la iglesia en el debate a nivel local.
Nuestra esperanza es que muchos aprovechen de este momento de nuestra historia para ser parte de discernir el camino a seguir. En nuestros días, ¿qué nos llama Dios a comprender, a decir, y tal vez hacer en lo que respecta al matrimonio?
Sólo podemos responder a esta pregunta si más de 12 personas participan. Obtener una amplia participación ayudará a los diputados y obispos – representantes de todos nosotros – en la Convención General del 2015, cuando ellos reciban nuestro informe y consideren las posibles respuestas al llamado de nuestra iglesia para profundizar esta conversación.
El recurso puede ser utilizado en una variedad de escenarios, y consta de tres formatos diferentes, que pueden utilizarse de forma independiente el uno del otro: un evento de 90-minutos (que se puede dividir en tres sesiones de 35-minutos); una variedad de foros de 45 minutos; y un extenso artículo de un grupo de estudio. Todos los tres formatos cubren la teología, la historia, la escritura, las tendencias actuales, y más, con las pautas para la presentación y preguntas para el debate en grupo.
El paquete “Querido Amado” se encuentra aquí
El PowerPoint para el recurso de “Continuar Conversaciones” se encuentra aquí
Obtenga acceso aquí a la página web completa para el Grupo de Trabajo sobre el matrimonio de la Convención General A050 http://www.generalconvention.org/a050 .
Grupo de Trabajo de la Iglesia Episcopal en el Estudio del Matrimonio está autorizado por la Resolución A050 de la Convención General del 2012.
La Resolución A050 completa está disponible aquí. http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions?by=number&id=a050
Página de Grupo de Trabajo en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A050taskforce
Grupo de Trabajo en YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHbLobftcghgmWgJW72qnwA/playlists
[[23 de junio de 2014] La Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias de la Iglesia Episcopal proporcionando subvenciones “fondos iniciativos” especiales de $ 12.500 a un obispo en cada una de las nueve provincias de la Iglesia y a la Obispa Presidente, por un total de $ 125.000.
Parte de la celebración del 125 aniversario de la Ofrenda Unida de Gracias, son estas extraordinarias subvenciones especiales por el aniversario que están destinadas a ser utilizadas para un proyecto en cada provincia que reflejará la Cuarta Marca de la Misión Anglicana: Procurar la transformación de las estructuras sociales injustas; retar todo tipo de violencia y buscar la paz y reconciliación.
Este proyecto debe ser completado el 1 de mayo de 2015. Las subvenciones que se seleccionan se expondrán en la 78 ª Convención General en Salt Lake City, UT en Junio / julio del 2015.
Las solicitudes están disponibles ahora; la fecha límite para inscribirse es el 1 de agosto Las solicitudes están disponibles aquí www.episcopalchurch.org/uto
Para obtener más información comuníquese con la Rda. Heather Melton, coordinadora de la Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias, email@example.com.
Conocido mundialmente como UTO, las subvenciones de la Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias son otorgadas para proyectos que aborden las necesidades humanas y ayuden a aliviar la pobreza, tanto a nivel nacional como internacional.
[Adapted from an Oxford University press release] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was among five prominent figures from the worlds of science, the arts and religion to receive honorary degrees from the University of Oxford on June 25.
Jefferts Schori, who received the Degree of Doctor of Divinity, said: “[Oxford] is a place where the life of the mind is honored, where creative thought and connection-making is the primary task of the human being: critical thinking, creative and artistic and beautiful thinking is a way of searching for truth.”
The degrees were awarded at Encaenia, the University’s annual honorary degree ceremony. Lord Christopher Patten, chancellor of the University of Oxford, handed the honorands their degrees in the Sheldonian Theatre before lunch was held in The Codrington Library at All Souls College.
Sir Anish Kapoor, one of Britain’s foremost sculptors, and Robert Silvers, founding editor of the New York Review of Books, received Degrees of Doctor of Letters.
Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987 for his pioneering studies on the chemical basis of molecular recognition, received the Degree of Doctor of Science.
Sir Harrison Birtwistle, a leading British composer, received the Degree of Doctor of Music.
Kapoor said: ‘It’s a wonderful thing. I’m thrilled. Oxford is one of the great universities, and I’m thrilled to be part of it. My daughter’s at university here, so that makes it a doubly wonderful thing. [She couldn't attend the ceremony because] she has exams, alas!
‘‘[Oxford] is a wonder. It somehow remains properly alive, because it has such a big student body. Education in great spaces – what more could one ask for?’
Lehn said: ‘When you’re an academic, university is the place in which knowledge and education is being gained and transferred. Among those places, there are some very special ones. Oxford is among those very special ones. So it’s a great pleasure and an honor to be here today.’
[Episcopal News Service] While in church this Sunday, get out your smart phone.
Facebook a selfie, live-tweet a prayer, blog an idea, video the hymn-singing, Instagram photos, Pinterest fun images, Foursquare a location — and use #Episcopal — so “Social Media Sunday” goes viral.
Social Media Sunday is an invitation to Episcopalians to share faith in the digital universe, according to Carolyn Clement and Laura Catalano, church social media administrators, who came up with the idea.
“It’s a way of saying this is what’s going on in my church. We’re just interested in making connections on Sunday,” according to Catalano, 35, who volunteers at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
“It’s just to get people and families comfortable with social media and to talk about the ways you can use it,” Catalano told ENS during a telephone interview from her suburban St. Louis home. “If everyone uses #Episcopal, we’ll be able to find each other and see each other” on the various social media sites, she added.
“People can take a selfie, or a picture of stained glass in their church or something fun going on and post them on Facebook, or Twitter. It’s a neat way to get an idea of what’s happening across the church.”
Clement said the idea “has gotten a lot of buzz. People from Alaska to Florida and California to everyplace in between as well as Canadians are saying they’ll be posting on Facebook or Instagram that day.”
Even the date is significant, because June 29 is typically the day the church commemorates the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, “great apostles and evangelists so we thought it was an appropriate time to evangelize in this way.”
Barry Merer, Episcopal Church manager of web and social media, applauded the effort.
“It’s about people engaging with their church,” Merer told ENS on June 25. “I’m excited that members of churches are finding new ways to engage with their faith. It’s a great idea because church happens at the grass roots, so … let it happen.”
Clement said she first held a Social Media Sunday at Trinity Church in Tariffville, Connecticut, last year.
She offered instructions to the congregation at the start of the service.
“People were tweeting, taking pictures that day, posting them on Facebook and overall, it was a great experience,” she recalled. “Not only did they share images and comments and thoughts from our church that morning with the thousands of aggregate followers and friends and contacts they had on social media, they also found each other.”
Afterwards, “we invited people to bring their devices and we did a help desk, answering their questions about getting set up, how to use and understand social media a little better, helping families learn more about how to keep kids safe online.”
Catalano and Clement met on #Chsocm (pronounced ch-sock-em), a weekly ecumenical Twitter chat on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST about church social media. Catalano liked Clement’s idea of a Social Media Sunday and organized a similar event at St. Timothy’s.
Citing their own digital friendship, they hope to create similar connections and relationships throughout the church. “Laura and I are friends from social media but we’ve never met in real life,” Clement said. “But even though we haven’t met in person, I feel like digital life is real life.
“We bounce ideas off each other a lot,” she added. “We both volunteer; we both manage social media for our churches. We both rose organically in our parishes to do this work. It’s something we were independently called to, as a personal mission, to do social media, evangelism or social media mission, you might want to call it.
“And we just wanted to invite the whole Episcopal Church to have a Social Media Sunday to connect with each other, to share something about church, about faith, and so we said, why not?”
They began tweeting about it and inviting followers, created a Facebook event and “found every Episcopal national organization we could and posted on their Facebook walls and invited them.”
Besides being a fun day, Social Media Sunday “hopefully, will give us some kind of information about how many Episcopalians are out there, actively using social media to share their faith. It’ll be interesting to see,” Clement said.
Meanwhile, she added: “We just want to see #episcopal go viral on June 29.”
–The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.