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Robert Skirving ordained as bishop of East Carolina

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Robert S. Skirving offers a blessing following his ordination as the 8th bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. Photo: Richard Schori

[Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina] The ordination and consecration of the Rev. Robert S. Skirving as the 8th bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina capped off a celebratory weekend of festivities, bringing people from all over North America to Greenville, North Carolina.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori served as the chief consecrator. The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel (East Carolina, Resigned), the Rt. Rev. Peter J. Lee (East Carolina, Provisional), the Rt. Rev. Julio Holguin (Dominican Republic), the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley (Eastern Michigan), and the Rt. Rev. Graham Rights (Bishop of Moravian Unity) were the co-consecrators.

Several bishops lay their hands on Robert Skirving as he consecrated as the 8th bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. Photo: Richard Schori

The dioceses of East Carolina and the Dominican Republic have shared a companion relationship since 2010. Skirving, through his previous parish of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland, Michigan, led many groups to the Dominican Republic.

Skirving says he hopes to strengthen the ties between the Episcopal Church and the Moravian Church in Eastern North Carolina. The two traditions are in full communion with each other. The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry (North Carolina) preached, telling the 1,200 worshipers that God’s mission for humanity is to tell people how loved they are.

The ordination and consecration took place at the Rock Springs Center. Clergy of the diocese had the opportunity to meet with the presiding bishop during a luncheon on Friday. She facilitated conversation about effective ministries throughout the church, including the Farmworker Ministry, a joint ministry with the dioceses of East Carolina and North Carolina.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori meets with campus ministers in North Carolina. Photo: Emily Gowdy Canady

Later in the afternoon, students and campus ministers from Episcopal Lutheran Campus Ministries at East Carolina University, Episcopal Lutheran Ministries at UNC-Pembroke, and Episcopal Campus Ministries at UNC-Wilmington had the opportunity to gather for coffee and conversation with the presiding bishop at St. Timothy’s, Greenville. The conversation included LGBT inclusion and each campus’ outreach efforts: ELCM at ECU sponsoring a partner program with the Muslim Student group, ELM at UNCP working with a Native American Literacy Project in their local Community, and ECM at UNCW working at the Farmworker Festival earlier in the fall. The students were deeply engaged by the presiding bishop, and she encouraged them to continue in their strong work of reaching out.

There was no day of rest for the new bishop. He preached and presided at three services at Christ Church, New Bern, on Sunday, Nov. 9. He performed three baptisms, 12 confirmations, four receptions, and seven reaffirmations.

Skirving was elected bishop on May 17 in a special convention. He was serving as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland, Michigan, when he was elected. Prior to arriving at St. John’s in 2005, Skirving served as rector of Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario, Canada. His work in Canada provided him experience working in churches of varying sizes, from small, rural congregations to large, program-sized parishes in suburban and urban areas.

He has served on the House of Deputies State of the Church Committee and represented the Diocese of Eastern Michigan on the Province V Executive Board. He was a deputy to General Convention in 2012 and has served his diocese as dean and chair of its Commission on Ministry.

He was awarded a BA from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada in 1982. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Huron University College in London, Ontario in 1986. He has completed additional course work towards advanced degrees in religious studies and congregational development at the University of Windsor, University of Notre Dame and Seabury Institute.

He and his wife Sandy have two grown children. When he can, he enjoys reading biography and historical fiction. He has also begun to learn Latin American Spanish to help in the missional partnership with the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic.

The Diocese of East Carolina is composed of nearly 70 parishes in 32 counties and covers the area from I-95 to the coast and from Southport up to Gatesville. The diocese is home to several major military bases, a large Hispanic community, and small congregations. The diocesan office is located in Kinston.

Prior Anders Litzell to oversee new community at Lambeth Palace

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Swedish Anglican priest the Rev. Anders Litzell will pioneer the Archbishop of Canterbury’s new community for young Christians at Lambeth Palace. Photo: Lambeth Palace

[Lambeth Palace press release] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has appointed the Rev. Anders Litzell as prior of the Community of St. Anselm, a radical new Christian community at Lambeth Palace.

Litzell, 34, is an Anglican priest from Sweden, who has experience of the Pentecostal and Lutheran traditions as well as three provinces of the Anglican Communion. He will pioneer the Community, which launches in September 2015, and direct its worship and work. He will work as prior under the auspices of the archbishop, who will be Abbot of the Community. Litzell will take up the role on Jan. 5, 2015.

The Community will initially consist of 16 people living at Lambeth Palace full-time, and up to 40 people, who live and work in London, joining as non-residential members. The archbishop hopes that the Community will be definitive in shaping future leaders to serve the common good in a variety of fields, as they immerse themselves in a challenging year of rigorous formation through prayer, study, practical service and community life.

Litzell was ordained in the Church of England in 2012. He is currently serving at St George’s, Holborn, in the Diocese of London, where his ministry focuses on students and adults in their 20s and 30s. At the same time he is pursuing a doctorate which focuses on the relevance of St. Benedict for contemporary leadership. He trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, U.K., including a sojourn at St. Agnes, Diocese of Natal in South Africa.

Litzell grew up in the Swedish Pentecostal Church. During his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College, Illinois, he discovered ‘high church’ Anglicanism through St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn – where his journey to ordination began. Back in Sweden he served in the Lutheran church, Sollentuna Parish in Stockholm, while directing the Alpha Sweden office, before moving to London to work with Alpha International.

Welby said: “My vision for the Community of St. Anselm is that it be both ancient and postmodern: that young adults be steeped in the rich monastic traditions of the likes of Benedict, Francis and Ignatius, while discovering their striking relevance for the transformation of self and society today. I am delighted at the appointment of Anders Litzell who will help to work this out at Lambeth Palace.”

The archbishop’s chaplain, the Rev. Jo Wells, who has pioneered the setting up of the Community, said: “Anders brings an experience and hunger for spiritual formation which is both wide and deep – crossing a variety of continents and traditions. He brings much energy and imagination to the work, a work in which he will participate even as he leads.”

Litzell said: “I am hugely excited about taking on this role and, through God’s grace, turning Archbishop Justin’s vision for the community into reality. We pray that the Community will be identified by prayer, by learning, by love of each other and of the poor – all with one intention above all others: to become more like Jesus.”

Further information is available here.

SA Archbishop calls on youth for help with Communion eco-strategy

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Archbishop Thabo has long been leading the way in raising awareness of the impact of climate change.
Photo: The Anglican Church of Southern Africa

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglican youth worldwide have been called on to help determine the Anglican Communion’s strategy to protect the environment.

Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, has issued an invitation to young Anglicans and Episcopalians worldwide to use social media to let the eco-bishops know what they think should be in a Communion-wide strategic plan to address global climate change.

“I write to you today in order to strengthen our Christian witness in a difficult time and, by doing so, mobilizing the entire Anglican Communion around the urgent matter of global climate change,” wrote Makgoba, who is the chair of the Anglican Communion Environment Network.

“I have invited a few bishops from around the Anglican Communion to meet with me in South Africa in February 2015. These bishops have already begun conversations together involving an exchange of ideas and concerns, and information about the responses we have already made in relation to climate change, and those we hope to make.

“Wherever we live in the communion, each of us already feels the impact of climate change in our home provinces and dioceses – rising sea levels, stronger storms in some areas, longer droughts in others, shortages of food and clean water, waves of refugees.

“This could lead to social and political upheaval in many countries. Unless more direct and faithful action, in addition to the reduction of greenhouse gases, is taken soon, the consequences for the church and all of humanity will be even more profound.

“Our goal will be to develop a Communion-wide strategic plan that meets the challenges ahead and builds ‘confidence in God’s future’ for present and future generations.”

Calling on future leaders
The archbishop stressed that he needed to hear from Anglican youth worldwide because it was they who would soon be the leaders of the church and “nations in which we we minister in these important matters.”

“What do you want to say to a group of eco-bishops? I ask you to post a selfie or record a video on your smartphone or mobile device. Speak in English, French, Spanish or other language. If you are on Facebook visit our Anglican eco-bishops community page.”

Makgoba invited visitors to the social media platform to post comments, pictures and short videos there and see what others had posted also.

Further information about the Anglican Communion Environment Network is available here.

Anglicans need ‘deeper understanding of Islam’

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglicans need a deeper understanding of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations so they can better pray and respond to interfaith situations.

Chair of the Anglican Network for Inter Faith Concerns (NIFCON) and Archbishop of Dublin the Most Rev. Michael Jackson made the comments in a letter to primates and provincial secretaries of the Anglican Communion.

Writing to promote the latest NIFCON Christian Muslim Digest he said, “As the events in Syria and Iraq, and in other countries where Muslims are in a majority, impact upon increasingly wider areas, we are reminded that within all of the provinces of the Anglican Communion we need to have a deeper knowledge of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations so that we can reach a better understanding of the issues and how they might impact upon us and other Anglicans, and will be able to pray more effectively.”

Andrew Sharp has spent the past few months, on behalf of NIFCON, monitoring worldwide news coverage of Christian-Muslim affairs and has subsequently compiled the Christian Muslim Digest.

The present issue looks at the activities of Islamic State and the responses to these from other Muslims. It also features the story of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy, acquitted, and granted asylum in the United States.

It can be read online or downloaded as a pdf, and is accessible at http://nifcon.anglicancommunion.org/digest/docs/digest22.cfm. To be put on the circulation for future editions email nifcon@anglicancommunion.org

Kisare named legislative representative for international affairs

ENS Headlines - Monday, November 10, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Bishop Stacy F. Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church, has announced that Patricia O. Kisare has been named Legislative Representative for International Affairs for both The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

“We welcome Patricia to this position and also rejoice in our deepening partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” Bishop Sauls stated.  “Both will further God’s mission in the world.”

As Legislative Representative for International Affairs, Kisare will serve jointly on the staffs of both The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations and the ELCA Washington Office, and will be responsible for the federal legislative and policy advocacy of both churches on U.S. foreign policy and international issues, representing the shared positions of the churches to Congress and the Administration; conducting legislative research and analysis; producing legislative correspondence and communications; and building and leading advocacy coalitions.

“With the appointment of Patricia Kisare to jointly serve the advocacy offices of the Missionary Society of The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we are continuing with an important ecumenical milestone in the life of full communion between the two churches,” noted Alexander D. Baumgarten, Episcopal Church Director of Justice and Advocacy Ministries. “Patricia is the second professional to hold this post, and our joint decision to continue in this manner is a testament to the gifts we believe each Church has received from the other in expanding and strengthening our witness in Washington.”

“Not only is the ELCA delighted that Patricia Kisare brings to the position an experience and expertise that will undoubtedly contribute to our ministry of advocacy, but her appointment further demonstrates the shared commitment both denominations have for living out our full-communion partnership in ever more concrete ways,” said Stacy Martin, Director of Advocacy for the ELCA. “Patricia’s presence helps to ensure that the mainline Christian voice is one that strives for further coordination and, as such, greater impact.”

Kisare’s position within the Missionary Society is as a member of the churchwide Justice and Advocacy Ministries staff.  She is based in Washington, DC.

She boasts important experience in the legislative field. Most recently served as the Legislative Associate for International Affairs for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Washington, DC. Previously she was a Research Assistant for the U.N International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.

She holds a Master of International Affairs from The Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Millersville University, Millersville, PA

Kisare began her new position in October. She can be reached at pkisare@episcopalchurch.org.

New research document available: Episcopal Congregations Overview

ENS Headlines - Friday, November 7, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Based on data received from a comprehensive survey of churches, the Episcopal Congregations Overview featuring updated facts and figures about congregations, programs and practices in the Episcopal Church have been posted here.

This information, available for downloading at no fee, can provide important and needed data to congregational efforts for growth, stewardship, fundraising, recruitment etc. Copies are being sent to all participating congregations and dioceses.

The research was compiled by Dr Kirk Hadaway, Episcopal Church Congregational Research Officer, khadaway@episcopalchurch.org.

Topics included in the Episcopal Congregations Overview include: Parishes and their Settings; Worship; Members; Recruitment and Evangelism; Programs Practices and ministries; Conflict; Leadership; and Congregational Identity.

Available documents
Along with Survey Reports: Episcopal Congregations Overview: 2014, other documents available include:
Domestic Fast Facts: 2013
Domestic Fast Facts Trends: 2009-2013
Statistical Totals for the Episcopal Church by Province: 2012-2013
Statistical Totals for the Episcopal Church by Province and Diocese: 2012-2013
Membership and Attendance Totals for the Episcopal Church: 2013

Additional information is located on the Episcopal Church Research page here.

 

Video: Missionary in Romania embraces social, ecumenical role

ENS Headlines - Friday, November 7, 2014

[Episcopal News Service, Huși, Romania] The Rev. Dorothee Hahn is well into her third year as an Episcopal Church missionary in Romania. The former lawyer from Germany is committed to supporting struggling families and otherwise walking alongside the rural community in Huși, near Iași.

A priest in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, Hahn’s missionary work began through a partnership between the Romanian Orthodox Church and her former parish in Munich, Church of the Ascension.

Ordained in 2005, being an Episcopal priest is an important part of Hahn’s identity, so she’s rarely seen in anything but her clerical attire. Most people in the Romanian Orthodox Church respect that identity, understanding that she is there to serve in partnership and common mission and not to evangelize or proselytize.

Hahn’s ministry in Romania is multifaceted. At the cathedral in Huși, she sings in the choir. She also steps in from time to time as the official photographer for important events in the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Huși. In Hârșova and Vaslui, she offers weekly classes, teaching German to local children, knowing that languages will only serve to broaden their opportunities in life.

Every week or two, the Rev. Dorothee Hahn visits Cosmin and his family near Huși, Romania. Cosmin suffered an undiagnosed illness when he was about 18 months old and has been disabled every since. Photo: Matthew Davies

Following the fall of communism in 1989, the levels of poverty in Romania exploded, particularly in rural communities. While the country has seen some economic improvements since it joined the European Union in 2007, most people still struggle to make ends meet.

Given those economic hardships, Hahn’s work out in the community is deeply valued.

The Rev. Margaret Rose, the Episcopal Church’s ecumenical officer, visited Hahn in September to learn more about her ministry and the unique Episcopal-Orthodox partnership.

Through her ecumenical work, Hahn is “helping the church to come together in a way that is, in my mind, deeper than doctrine,” says Rose. “It is in the practice of the love of Jesus.”

Partnership and common mission are at the very heart of this ecumenical story. And for Hahn, all of her skills are being applied in this context. It’s a shining example of the Episcopal Church’s missionary program. It’s about sharing God’s gifts and walking together in mission.

Hahn is one of 47 appointed Episcopal Church adult missionaries serving throughout the world.

Further information about the Episcopal Church’s missionary program is available here or by contacting the Rev. David Copley, mission personnel officer, at dcopley@episcopalchurch.org.

– Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Pakistan Christian couple burned in kiln over debt, not blasphemy

ENS Headlines - Friday, November 7, 2014

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Church of Pakistan has said a Christian couple beaten and burned in a brick kiln was revenge for unpaid bills, not because they had damaged a Qur’an.

A member of the united church, that comprises several Christian denominations including Anglicans, yesterday sent a message to supporters to clarify media reports about the murders.

The statement, from Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, clarified that the crime was motivated by revenge after a disagreement over a debt rather than any blasphemy against Islam on the part of these young parents.

“By this time you might have heard through media about the brutal killing of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan (close to Raiwind) on the pretext of desecration of Holy Quran. This family lived close to Clarkabad, which is a Christian village about 25 km from the city of Raiwind. Today I, along with Bishop Samuel Azariah and some other colleagues, visited the family for condolence and to investigate the real facts. So here are our findings:

“On Tuesday, November 04, 2014 at 06:00 a.m. (01:00 a.m. GMT) a mob of 1500-1600 people, from the Muslim Religious Community of nearby villages, gathered near the village of Clarkabad. This mob was gathered on the pretext that a Christian couple belonging to the said village and working as brick kiln workers had allegedly desecrated the pages of Holy Qur’an by burning them in the brick kiln furnace.

“The couple, Shehzad and Shamaa [Bibi], were pulled out of their house. Family of the victims called the police through emergency number, on which five policemen from the local police atation arrived and tried to pull away Shehzad and Shamma from the clutches of the crowd. Their efforts went in vain as they were overwhelmed by the mob which snatched away the victims.

“After that, the mob gathered around the brick kiln where Shehzad and Shamaa used to work and where the alleged desecration took place. They tore away the clothes of Shehzad and Shamaa, and paraded them naked around the brick kiln twice before attacking them and beating them to near death. At the time of this happening Shamaa was four months pregnant.

“After thoroughly beating both the victims, they threw them in the furnace of the brick kiln and burned them alive. When the family of the victims went to claim the dead bodies, all they found were few bones.

“The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Holy Qur’an.

“The role of police is of total negligence since all this went on for quite a while and this place is about 25 minute drive from Lahore; while the local media only shared this news as a Christian couple being burned by an angry mob without sharing the pretext of the misuse of religious fervor. As for local Government they only played their role to make sure this story does not reaches the masses and becomes big.”

Sharoon also shared links to videos in which the brother of the deceased couple, Iqbal, and their cousin, Javed Shahbaz, sharing the details of the ordeal.

Rapidísimas

ENS Headlines - Friday, November 7, 2014

El martes 4 de noviembre se celebraron en Estados Unidos las elecciones para elegir senadores, representantes y gobernadores. Como en otras ocasiones la asistencia a las urnas fue moderada. Los republicanos que tienen ideas más conservadoras que los demócratas controlan las dos cámaras. Según observadores la situación se hará más difícil para el presidente Barack Obama que pertenece al partido demócrata.  Muchos ciudadanos estarán contentos que haya terminado esta jornada que debido a la propaganda por todos los medios de comunicación, tenía ensordecida al resto de la población. A diferencia de elecciones anteriores la religión no fue un factor decisivo en la justa electoral. Saira Blair, una bonita joven de 18 años se ha convertido en la legisladora más joven de Estados Unidos. Es republicana y ha obtenido un curul en la Cámara de Delegados del estado de Virginia Occidental. La resolución autorizando el uso de la marihuana con fines médicos o recreativos, no pasó en la Florida.

La joven Brittany Maynard que sufría de un cáncer cerebral incurable y planeó su muerte con anticipación ha generado polémica en círculos evangélicos y católicos romanos. Una encuesta realizada antes de su muerte reveló que el 78 por ciento de los encuestados dijo que no le parecía “una buena idea” y que ellos mismos no se someterían al mismo proceso. La respuesta más frecuente entre los creyentes fue que “Dios da la vida y que nadie tiene derecho a acabar con ella”. El director de la Academia Pontificia para la Vida, Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, calificó el acto de “irreprensible” y añadió que “la dignidad no es poner fin a la propia vida”.

La Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia dijo que estaba preocupada por la vulneración de los derechos humanos de la población por parte de organizaciones al margen de la ley, especialmente en la costa del Pacífico. En un informe público se hizo referencia a las bandas criminales de “Los Urabeños” y el clan del narcotráfico “Los Usuga” que están activas en 168 municipios de los 27 departamentos del país.

La universidad jesuita Creighton de Omaha, Nebraska, está en medio de una controversia por haber decidido reconocer los derechos de los compañeros o compañeras de los matrimonios gay que trabajan en la universidad, aún cuando el estado no lo ha aprobado. En el país hay 21 otras universidades jesuitas que proveen beneficios a los matrimonios del mismo sexo que se hayan casado legalmente según las leyes del estado.

David Hope, anterior arzobispo anglicano de York en Inglaterra, ha renunciado a su cargo de obispo auxiliar honorario por no haber denunciado a la policía que uno de sus clérigos abusaba de menores en una escuela de la iglesia. Hope ha pedido excusas por du falta pero aún así tendrá que someterse a la justicia. Denunciar delitos de pedofilia es parte del código civil y eclesiástico en Inglaterra.

La Iglesia Anglicana de la República Democrática del Congo ha recibido buena prensa por ayudar al pueblo pigmeo del Congo donde se estima que unos

600 mil personas viven en medio de la selva bajo condiciones primitivas sin auxilio del gobierno o de ninguna otra fuente. Un visitante al hogar de los pigmeos quedó muy impresionado con el carácter jovial y amistoso de este grupo étnico y también por el número de cada núcleo familiar. El visitante también pudo saber que muchos de los hombres vivían en esclavitud y que habían sido maltratados por el gobierno.

En México sigue la violencia. El más reciente hecho lo constituye el arresto del ex alcalde de Iguala, José Luis Abarca, y su esposa, María de los Ángeles Pineda, en  una casa de Iztapalapa tras un operativo de la Policía Federal. Las autoridades federales no cesan de buscar a los 43 estudiantes que desaparecieron hace más de un mes. Los jóvenes se preparaban para ser maestros.

En la fraternidad judía de la Universidad de Emory en Atlanta desconocidos pintaron esvásticas en sus paredes al día siguiente de la celebración de Yom Kippur, una de las más principales fiestas judías. Las esvásticas son símbolos del gobierno nazi que exterminó a millones de judíos. El Yom Kippur o Día del Arrepentimiento es el día más santo del año judío. La fraternidad judía en Emory fue fundada en 1920.

VERDAD. La jerarquía en la iglesia más que un honor es un servicio. Papa Francisco

Applications now accepted online for Young Adult Service Corps

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church offers untold opportunities for young adults to live, work and pray with brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion through the Young Adult Service Corps. Commonly known as YASC, applications for 2015-16 are now being accepted for the Young Adult Service Corps from young adults between the ages of 21-30.

“YASC provides an opportunity for young adults to explore their faith in a new capacity and to live out the Baptismal Covenant by seeking and serving Christ in all persons,” noted the Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer. “Applicants must have a high degree of maturity and possess a faith commitment and the willingness to be a humble guest, and the ability to be an authentic companion.”

The application is available online here.

Where are the YASC?
Current YASC members can be found throughout the Anglican Communion. They are working in administration, agriculture, development, education, and technology. They are serving Brazil, Burundi, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain and Uruguay.

Read their thoughts and reflections on their blogs here.

Among the possible placements for 2015-16 are Brazil, Burundi, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Uruguay and Zambia.

For more information contact Elizabeth Boe, Global Networking Officer, at eboe@episcopalchurch.org.

On the trail of souls

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

Maryland Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton leads pilgrims to the Hasselbach cemetery at the Claggett Center, Buckeystown, Md., where a marker dedicated to the slaves who were buried there was later dedicated. Photo credit: Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

[Diocese of Maryland] The Episcopal Churches of Maryland commemorated the 150th anniversary of the official abolishment of chattel slavery in Maryland on All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1 with the Trail of Souls: Truth and Reconciliation Pilgrimage. This day-long journey visited five Maryland sites with strong ties to both slavery and the Episcopal Church. But this was just the beginning.

An online pilgrimage of 23 churches and diocesan sites found at trailofsouls.org is a virtual tour and living legacy that is destined to grow in scope and participation. The Trail of Souls offers a chance to visit the Episcopal Churches of Maryland and witness them in a new light – looking at the legacy of slavery and the impact it still bears witness to today. As more churches discover and write their history they will be added to the web portal.

It was estimated that more than 500 people took part in the pilgrimage, including those who attended planned programs at each of the sites. More than 200 pilgrims traveled the Trail of Souls on All Saints’ Day.

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, said in his letter welcoming pilgrims on the journey, “we journey together both to remember a painful period in our history and to envision a future free of racism and injustice.”

After a brief service commissioning the pilgrims, two tour buses and a caravan of cars and small vans departed from the Diocesan Center/Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore, and then proceeded to three historic parishes: All Hallows’ Church, Davidsonville; All Saints’ Church, Sunderland; Grace Church, Silver Spring (Episcopal Diocese of Washington); ending at the Claggett Center and Hasselbach Family Cemetery, Buckeystown, Md.

Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton participated in this Day of Repentance and Reconciliation along with Bishop Suffragan Heather Elizabeth Cook, and Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Diocese of Washington.

“The feeling that the Spirit entered into this in ways none of us could have expected — with powerful Truth-telling at our sister parishes and at one moment symbolized in the unforgettable vision of the Bishop with his crozier in his flowing red and white robes with the little band of pilgrims following him up the hill to the gravesite … all caught in a shaft of sunlight with the beautiful russet, gold, and gray tones of the hills in the background.  God’s beauty surrounded us,” said Pamela Charshee, a member of the Research and Pilgrimage Working Group for Trail of Souls.

In 2006 General Convention resolution A-123 explicitly acknowledged and regretted the Episcopal Church’s support of the inhuman system of chattel slavery and Bible abuse that was used to justify a sin that dehumanized a people created in the image of God. All dioceses were urged to research ties to the institution of chattel slavery and its impact on congregations then and now. In 2007 this resolution led to the 223rd annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland apologizing “for the Anglican Church in Colonial Maryland and of the Episcopal Church in the state of Maryland for their role in the slavery of African Americans and in the subsequent racial injustice,” via resolution 2007-5.

“We have continued to explore ways in which we can honor the past in ways that restore the dignity of nameless souls who toiled as persons perceived as less than human. Their free labor instituted a way of life that still haunts us in the 21st century. [The Trail of Souls] pilgrimage reconciles us with a painful past, yet we are able to thank God for changes that have occurred as we work for an even brighter tomorrow,” said the Rev. Dr. Angela Shepherd, canon for mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Learn more about the Trail of Souls. View photos from the Nov. 1 pilgrimage.

Read about the second stop on the tour, All Hallows’ Church, Davidsonville, in this Capital Gazette article.

Nominee added to Southeast Florida bishop slate

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Canon Martin W. Zlatic, rector of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Boynton Beach, Florida, has been added to the slate of nominees to stand for election as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.

The final number of nominees now stands at six after the diocesan Standing Committee announced five nominees on Oct. 14 and following a two-week petition period that led to Zlatic’s nomination.

The other nominees are:

Detailed information about each nominee can be found here.

A bishop coadjutor is elected to replace the diocesan bishop upon retirement. The Rt. Rev. Leopold Frade, the incumbent diocesan bishop since 2000, will retire in January 2016. The election will be held in January 2015.

The Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida includes 76 congregations, with approximately 38,000 parishioners, from Key West north to Jensen Beach and west to Clewiston.

General Seminary board of trustees, dean and faculty reach agreement

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

The following is a Nov. 5 statement announcing an agreement reached between the board of trustees, dean and faculty of General Theological Seminary . Previous coverage is available here.

The Board of Trustees, Dean, and Faculty of The General Theological Seminary jointly announce that they have today (Nov. 5) reached an agreement regarding the immediate issues which have led to heated debates within and without the walls of the nation’s oldest Episcopal seminary. The resolution involves an ongoing process of reconciliation, a reinstatement of all of the returning faculty members on a provisional basis, and a re-affirmation of the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and the Dean. Spokespersons for all involved stated that they supported the resolution and looked forward to implementing together the mission of GTS to educate and form leaders for the changing church in a changing world, as it has successfully done for almost 200 years.

Texas Bishop C. Andrew Doyle to lead Compass Rose Society

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Compass Rose Society press release] The board of directors of the Compass Rose Society, an international charitable organization that provides financial support to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council, has elected the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, the ninth bishop of Texas, as president of the Society succeeding the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson.

Commenting on his new role, Doyle said: “I am honored to lead the Compass Rose Society. We are excited about our plans to continue to fund mission, ministry, and communications in the global Anglican Communion. We are grateful for the work of immediate past-president Rev. Canon John Peterson who has given so much to the Society and to the Communion. And, we look forward, as a Society, to developing partnerships and collaborations that build a spiritually healthy, reconciled, and growing Anglican Communion.”

Peterson said, “I am delighted that Bishop Doyle has accepted the role of president of the Society. Under his leadership, our future is bright.”

Doyle was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Texas on May 24, 2008 and was consecrated on November 22, 2008 at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston. He was seated as the ninth bishop of Texas on June 7, 2009 at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston.

Born in 1966 in Carbondale, Illinois, and raised in Houston, Bishop Doyle served five years as canon to the ordinary prior to his election. Bishop Doyle holds a bachelor of fine arts from the University of North Texas and served at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin before receiving an M. Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon in 1995 and priest the following year. He served at Christ Church, Temple, St. Francis, College Station, and as canon to the ordinary for Bishop Wimberly.

Bishop Doyle is the author of “Unabashedly Episcopalian: Proclaiming the Good News of the Episcopal Church,” published in 2012 by Morehouse Publishing.

The Society also elected three new directors to four-year terms:

  • The Rev. Canon Michele V. Hagans, associate rector Grace Episcopal Church, Silver Spring, MD
  • Charles M. Royce, chief executive, Royce & Associates, LLC and president of the Royce Funds, Greenwich, CT
  • Tse Sik Hung David, managing director, Hop Yuen (Holdings) Ltd., Hong Kong, SAR

The Compass Rose Society, with more than 300 members worldwide, was founded in 1997. It takes its name from the symbol of the Anglican Communion. Membership information is available at the Society’s Web site www.compassrosesociety.org.

Since its founding, The Compass Rose Society has donated more than $8 million to support the mission of the Anglican Communion. In 2013, the Society’s contributions included gifts to the Anglican Consultative Council; the Diocese of South Africa; the Diocese of Cape Coast, Ghana; St. George’s College, Jerusalem; the Diocese of Jerusalem; the Diocese of Malawi; and the International Anglican Women’s Network.

Melanesian Brotherhood novice murdered

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Anglican Communion News Service] A novice in the Anglican Church of Melanesia’s Melanesian Brotherhood has been killed and another badly beaten in a street attack in the Solomon Islands last week.

Novice Jackson Lodo and another novice were walking to Tabalia from the capital Honiara when they were the victims of an unprovoked attacked on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jackson was killed and his companion, a third year novice, was violently assaulted but managed to escape. Radio New Zealand International reported that the survivor is currently in hospital.

The police have mounted a full investigation into the attack, which is said to have left the Melanesian Brotherhood in shock but eager that the attack not to lead to further violence.

The funeral for Jackson was held on Nov. 1 and both the Head Brother Matthias Tovotasi, and primate of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia Archbishop Philip Richardson have asked people to pray for the victims, the religious community and the victims’ families.

The Melanesian Brotherhood is an Anglican religious community based primarily on the Solomon Islands, but which is expanding into other parts of the world. It was founded in in 1900 by a Ini Kopuria, a Solomon Islander on the Island of Guadalcanal.

Learn more about the Melanesian Brotherhood here.

Archbishop preaches at service for journalists killed in war zones

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Lambeth Palace] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby preached Nov. 5 at a special service for fallen journalists held at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London – the first time an archbishop of Canterbury has preached at the annual service.

In this clip the Archbishop says foreign correspondents are “the ones who witness the full horror of what is going on and dare to speak it.” The full sermon will be available to watch shortly on Lambeth Palace YouTube

Read the text of the sermon below.

Isaiah 21: 6-12

Thank you very much for the invitation to be here today. It is an honour to be invited here, it’s a privilege to be here for such an important occasion.

We live in a world at the moment in which in many areas it feels as though the darkness is falling ever more severely on whole swathes and regions of the world, and in which the light of news very often seems to go out. Whole areas where there is fighting that is forgotten because there is simply so much of it. Whole areas which depend only on the likes of James Foley and Steven Sotloff to show some light on what is happening.

The front-line reporter is the one who sees first-hand what is going on. They are the look-outs, who stand on the watchtower, day after day and all night long, in the watches of the night. “Watchman, how goes the night?”, as Isaiah described it from two and a half thousand years ago. They are the ones who witness the full horror of what is going on and dare to speak it. The rest of us are one step, or many steps, removed – both from the adrenalin and from the agony. We rely on the reports. And the nature of the reports has become more and more immediate, of that we can be thankful.

I remember as a child being shown a letter from an ancestor who had been in the Charge of the Light Brigade, and wrote to his mother that evening to reassure her that he was alive and unhurt and to describe the battle. In those days things were heard by word of mouth, by propaganda. It was the bush telegraph, famously unreliable, exceptionally partial and profoundly delayed.

Last week I was in Ghana, the 36th of 37 visits to provinces of the Anglican Communion – my wife Caroline and I promised to visit all 37 by the end of 2014. The province of West Africa covers not only Ghana but also Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. A few days before we went I read an extraordinary (and I may say sadly unremarked) report in The Times on Ebola in Freetown and around Sierra Leone. It bore adequate comparison, as a piece of writing, to the description of the plague by Defoe in his journal of the plague year, or Pepys. It was as horrifying as Camus’ La Peste. Last night there was another report on the BBC from Sierra Leone, again extraordinarily vivid, bringing into our own rooms the greatest public health crisis which the world has faced for many years, a plague of extraordinary proportions

And the carefully measured tones in which the reporter in The Times set out what he did, or last night on the television, had the colour in it because of the brilliance of the reporting. Last Friday I sat and listened to the chief of staff of the UN team fighting Ebola, and because of the reporting I was able to sense much more profoundly what he was saying, and to see the urgency of it.

Those reporters are as much at risk as anyone in a war zone. They were careful not to get too close, I hope. But they were run the risk of many things, not only of contracting Ebola (probably a fairly low risk), but the much higher one of the psychological trauma with which they will live for years afterwards. And that is true of those who have been in war zones.

Some years ago, about six weeks after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I was in Baghdad to reopen the Anglican church there. It was, as they say, an interesting trip. We were there the inside of a week. But while I was there I bumped into a well-known reporter from a television company. They were there for months at a time, living hard, working incessantly – very long hours – and constantly at risk. Last January we were in the South Sudan in a town destroyed by war, surrounded by bodies, burying them in mass graves. As we left, reporters were arriving. They were going the opposite way. They are the ones who come to mind when we read of Isaiah’s watchmen: ‘What of the night?’

Such reporting now is a far remove from the bush telegraph: precisely because the people who do it are not safely removed from the agony. The reality of disaster, of war and suffering, is brought to us in a completely fresh way. It may still occasionally lack accuracy – that is an inevitable part of being human – but what it lacks in one area is more than compensated for by immediacy. And immediacy means risk.

We are here today because of the moments when that risk turns into a reality. I started with looking at how we communicate, because how we communicate is driven by the communicators themselves. The reality of a world in which the horrors of the Ethiopian famine – that extraordinary report of many years ago now, reported by Michael Buerk – or of the Ebola this week and last, are conveyed extraordinarily powerfully in a new way. But the power of the communication demands that the communicator puts themselves in the place where they are a witness. Witnessing is profoundly costly.

So it is right and essential that in this darkening world we give thanks for those who witness, who light the lamp of truth where it is being snuffed out by so many. Not only by savage evil, by those who sell arms and convey lies; but by those who are indifferent and forgetful. It is right and essential that we give thanks for those who unlock the covers of the wells of compassion that can become available in this wonderful country of ours. Who challenge the complacency in which some people suggest we can live in our own country as though the rest of the world did not matter, and, if we are sufficiently inward-looking, that the rest of the world will not affect us.

It is right that the value of our common humanity is brought home to us by those who go to places that everyone else is leaving. We are not naïve; my experience of a few different areas of fighting and meeting war correspondents leads me to suggest, controversially, that it’s just a little bit possible that they are not all entirely saintly at every minute of the day. But there is an old saying in the Church, ex operandi operandum. Or to put it another way, the fact that the priest is all messed up does not mess up the sacrament.

Even where there are all sorts of personal things that one can say about those who go and report wars and conflicts, whether wars against disease or poverty, or the old-fashioned type where people kill each other deliberately and horribly; whichever it is, whatever they are like, what they do – and sometimes are hurt deeply mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or even killed doing – what they do remains of extraordinary value, a God-given calling to inspire others to serve our common humanity.

To witness is to tell the truth. And the more horrific the circumstances, the more needful, the more precious, the more costly is the truth. But we believe, as Jesus put it, the truth is not cheap. As he said, the truth sets us free.

The words of the anthem that follow borrow two prayers from my 13th-century predecessor Edmund, who was exiled and died in Pontigny for his truth telling. Perhaps in our hearts as we listen to them we may echo their words as our prayer, committing ourselves and those whom we have loved and lost for their truth-telling into God’s hands.

Amen.

Episcopal Church Foundation board elects 3 new directors

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

[Episcopal Church Foundation press release] The Episcopal Church Foundation’s (ECF) board of directors unanimously voted to elect three new members: Angela M. Daniel, Columbia, South Carolina; Susan M. Love, Pacific Palisades, California; and Margaret P. McLarty, Jackson, Mississippi.

“We’re delighted to welcome these new members to the ECF Board,” remarked Donald V. Romanik, ECF president.  “They bring a wealth of experience, faith, and commitment to ECF’s ministries.  We look forward to their wisdom and insight as ECF continues to respond to the needs of Episcopal faith communities.”

Angela M. Daniel
Daniel worships at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Colombia, South Carolina, where she serves as coordinator of Lay Eucharistic Ministry, and formerly served on the vestry as well as numerous other committees.  She is also currently president of Province IV of the Episcopal Church, and has served as deputy to General Convention since 2003. Daniel holds a Master’s in English and is a professional fundraiser and owner and president of Stewards, LLC.  She is married to James M. Daniel, III and has two sons, Andrew and Patrick.

Susan M. Love, M.D., MBA
Love is chief visionary officer of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation in Santa Monica, California, and clinical professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a nationally known breast cancer surgeon, author of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, and one of the “founding mothers” of the breast cancer advocacy movement. Love is a member of St. Matthews, Pacific Palisades, California, where she is engaged in parish activities including the Altar Guild, usher, reader, LEM, Emmaus Group, and Foyer Group. Love is married to Dr. Helen Cooksey and they have one daughter, Katie.

Margaret P. McLarty
McLarty is a member of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Jackson, Mississippi, where she serves as co-chair of the cathedral’s successful capital campaign. She has also served on the vestry, as well as several cathedral and diocesan committees. She has been actively engaged with organizations throughout the Episcopal Church, including Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Ridgeland, Mississippi, and University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. McLarty is senior vice president – investments, assistant branch manager and certified financial planner for Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Ridgeland, Mississippi. McLarty was married to the late William A. McLarty and has two sons, Andrew and Nathan.

In addition, the ECF board also elected two new advisors to the board, Danielle Kozlowski, Alexandria, VA and David Wasik (retiring director), Richmond, Virginia.

ECF’s board of directors will next meet in New York November 6-8, 2014.

Rapidísimas

ENS Headlines - Thursday, November 6, 2014

El martes 4 de noviembre se celebraron en Estados Unidos las elecciones para elegir senadores, representantes y gobernadores. Como en otras ocasiones la asistencia a las urnas fue moderada. Los republicanos que tienen ideas más conservadoras que los demócratas controlan las dos cámaras. Según observadores la situación se hará más difícil para el presidente Barack Obama que pertenece al partido demócrata.  Muchos ciudadanos estarán contentos que haya terminado esta jornada que debido a la propaganda por todos los medios de comunicación, tenía ensordecida al resto de la población. A diferencia de elecciones anteriores la religión no fue un factor decisivo en la justa electoral. Saira Blair, una bonita joven de 18 años se ha convertido en la legisladora más joven de Estados Unidos. Es republicana y ha obtenido un curul en la Cámara de Delegados del estado de Virginia Occidental. La resolución autorizando el uso de la marihuana con fines médicos o recreativos, no pasó en la Florida.

La joven Brittany Maynard que sufría de un cáncer cerebral incurable y planeó su muerte con anticipación ha generado polémica en círculos evangélicos y católicos romanos. Una encuesta realizada antes de su muerte reveló que el 78 por ciento de los encuestados dijo que no le parecía “una buena idea” y que ellos mismos no se someterían al mismo proceso. La respuesta más frecuente entre los creyentes fue que “Dios da la vida y que nadie tiene derecho a acabar con ella”. El director de la Academia Pontificia para la Vida, Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, calificó el acto de “irreprensible” y añadió que “la dignidad no es poner fin a la propia vida”.

La Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia dijo que estaba preocupada por la vulneración de los derechos humanos de la población por parte de organizaciones al margen de la ley, especialmente en la costa del Pacífico. En un informe público se hizo referencia a las bandas criminales de “Los Urabeños” y el clan del narcotráfico “Los Usuga” que están activas en 168 municipios de los 27 departamentos del país.

La universidad jesuita Creighton de Omaha, Nebraska, está en medio de una controversia por haber decidido reconocer los derechos de los compañeros o compañeras de los matrimonios gay que trabajan en la universidad, aún cuando el estado no lo ha aprobado. En el país hay 21 otras universidades jesuitas que proveen beneficios a los matrimonios del mismo sexo que se hayan casado legalmente según las leyes del estado.

David Hope, anterior arzobispo anglicano de York en Inglaterra, ha renunciado a su cargo de obispo auxiliar honorario por no haber denunciado a la policía que uno de sus clérigos abusaba de menores en una escuela de la iglesia. Hope ha pedido excusas por du falta pero aún así tendrá que someterse a la justicia. Denunciar delitos de pedofilia es parte del código civil y eclesiástico en Inglaterra.

La Iglesia Anglicana de la República Democrática del Congo ha recibido buena prensa por ayudar al pueblo pigmeo del Congo donde se estima que unos

600 mil personas viven en medio de la selva bajo condiciones primitivas sin auxilio del gobierno o de ninguna otra fuente. Un visitante al hogar de los pigmeos quedó muy impresionado con el carácter jovial y amistoso de este grupo étnico y también por el número de cada núcleo familiar. El visitante también pudo saber que muchos de los hombres vivían en esclavitud y que habían sido maltratados por el gobierno.

En México sigue la violencia. El más reciente hecho lo constituye el arresto del ex alcalde de Iguala, José Luis Abarca, y su esposa, María de los Ángeles Pineda, en  una casa de Iztapalapa tras un operativo de la Policía Federal. Las autoridades federales no cesan de buscar a los 43 estudiantes que desaparecieron hace más de un mes. Los jóvenes se preparaban para ser maestros.

En la fraternidad judía de la Universidad de Emory en Atlanta desconocidos pintaron esvásticas en sus paredes al día siguiente de la celebración de Yom Kippur, una de las más principales fiestas judías. Las esvásticas son símbolos del gobierno nazi que exterminó a millones de judíos. El Yom Kippur o Día del Arrepentimiento es el día más santo del año judío. La fraternidad judía en Emory fue fundada en 1920.

VERDAD. La jerarquía en la iglesia más que un honor es un servicio. Papa Francisco

A Historical Journey: 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

[Episcopal Relief & Development] I’m excited to introduce Episcopal Relief & Development’s virtual timeline, featuring key moments in our 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World.

Our team has been hard at work — scouring the archives, checking dates and discovering new details about our growth into a global relief and development agency, partnering with 3 million people in almost 40 countries every year.

As a history buff, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this process — learning interesting facts about the evolution of this organization. For instance, you will experience the early days of the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief, as a program of The Episcopal Church, providing assistance to refugees fleeing Europe during World War II. You can trace the organization’s initial expansion towards sustainable development starting in the 1973 with the recommendations made in the Warnecke Report—eventually leading us to shift our focus and begin multi-year, integrated development programs in 2003.

Wherever the world was hurting, we were there through our Church and ecumenical partners. Because of the ongoing generosity of Episcopalians and other friends, we were able to provide faithful support, compassion and hope.

I encourage you to take the time to browse our virtual timeline. I look forward to hearing your memories about the past as well as your reflections on our future.

Enjoy this historical journey and let’s celebrate our shared accomplishments as we focus on the next 75 years!

Click here to view the virtual timeline.

– Rob Radtke is president of Episcopal Relief & Development. 

Download the 2014 Episcopal Church Christmas card

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Congregations, dioceses and individuals can download a printable PDF of the 2014 Episcopal Church Christmas card at no fee here.

The design of the card features artist Joan Covell’s depiction of the nativity scene.  Covell’s art was the top vote-getter in the recent contest to select the art image.

Learn more about Covell here.

For information contact Ana Arias, aarias@episcopalchurch.org, or Barry Merer,bmerer@episcopalchurch.org.