Feed aggregator

Olympia: Redmond church’s Food Bank Farm sets new harvest record

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Two of the youngest volunteers load the bins with acorn squash during harvest at the Church of the Holy Cross, Redmond, Food Bank Farm in the Snohomish River Valley in western Washington. Photo: Dede Moore

[Episcopal Diocese of Olympia] The Food Bank Farm, a ministry of Church of the Holy Cross in Redmond, Washington, will set records this year, topping the 98,000 lbs harvested in 2013. This year’s harvest includes some carrots, beets, and potatoes, but mostly acorn squash – rows and rows of acorn squash. “The estimate for 2014 is 130,000 pounds from eight acres,” said Ed Allen, one of the dozen volunteers from the Diocese of Olympia‘s Church of the Holy Cross who was present to check in and shepherd the harvesters. “We estimate that at over 600,000 servings.”

The Food Bank Farm was started by the Rev. “Farmer” Jim Eichner and Church of the Holy Cross in 2011 with 12 volunteers, on land in the Snohomish river valley leased from Chinook Farms; land owned by Eric Fritch from St. John’s Church in Snohomish. They harvested 3,750 lbs the first year. This year’s acorn squash harvest will be distributed through Food Lifeline to many of its 350 food pantry partners around western Washington.

United Way of King County “Day of Caring” volunteers harvest acorn squash at the Church of the Holy Cross, Redmond, Food Bank Farm in the Snohomish River Valley in western Washington. Photo: Dede Moore

Several hundred volunteers through United Way of King County’s “Day of Caring” arrived at the Food Bank Farm in two shifts on Friday, Sept. 19 – volunteers from AT&T, National Frozen Foods and Allstate. Members of the women’s softball team from Bellevue College, AmeriCorps volunteers from WithinReach, and Nurses Squashing Hunger, Nordstroms, Trilogy International, and Microsoft, were also represented.

Church of the Holy Cross and Eichner provide the leadership. Chinook Farms provides the tractor (and driver) to move and collect the large bins that hold 800 lbs each. Bob’s Corn and Pumpkin Farm across the road provides the port-a-potties and 75 wheelbarrows.

In addition to today’s acorn squash harvest, members of Holy Cross have been harvesting throughout the season in small quantities and delivering the produce to a local food bank in Maltby. “You really feel like you’re doing something,” said Bonnie Allen, who, with her husband, has been helping out for the past two years.

Dede Moore is Canon for Operations/Communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia.

New UN document enables churches to do more for indigenous rights

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The WCC Indigenous People’s representatives in New York for the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

[World Council of Churches press release] Scattered throughout the recent history of Indigenous Peoples are national treaties, declarations and laws that languish in obscurity or are brushed aside and ignored.

Adding insult to injury, when many national and local churches attempt to speak out about the denial of rights of Indigenous Peoples they are told by governments that the church has no place in politics, effectively being seen but not heard.

Yet a new “outcome document” of the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples is about to turn that perspective on its head. The world’s governments are now inviting churches and other civil society groups to be seen and heard when it comes to advocating for Indigenous Peoples’ human rights.

For ecumenical representatives of indigenous faith communities who attended the UN conference, held in New York on 22 and 23 September, and other side events, the six-page outcome document is significantly lends motivation and teeth to a movement that has sought to secure the rights of Indigenous People’s around the world.

The document was agreed upon by all UN member states on Monday, 22 September, and reinforces the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), effectively turning a page where governments are concerned.

“Through the document, the nations of the world state that the well-being of Indigenous Peoples is essential to the well-being of the planet,” Bishop Mark MacDonald of the Anglican Church of Canada said. MacDonald is the first National Indigenous Anglican Bishop of Canada.

MacDonald also said that the governments agreed to a partnership with Indigenous Peoples, and the document requires the church and other members of civil society to enter into that partnership and advocate for the commitments of the document.

The document, which is essentially the governments of the world speaking to themselves, civil society and others, and to Indigenous Peoples, covers a wide swath of concerns, including ensuring  basic human rights;  consulting and cooperating with Indigenous Peoples when crucial economic decisions are made in their communities; providing improved access to education, health and work; empowerment of youth; addressing social needs; free and informed consent; and the development of national “action plans” inclusive of the needs of Indigenous Peoples.

Churches and Indigenous Peoples
“The church has a special responsibility both in light of its fundamental mission as a body but also its historic relationship with Indigenous Peoples,” MacDonald said.

“This is not only an affirmation of the declaration adopted in 2007, but it is a new commitment of the member states that they will now take intentional and systematic action,” Rev. Tore Johnsen, general secretary of the Sami Church Council in Norway, said. “At least in words they are committing themselves.”

For Johnsen and his colleagues, when the states say in the document that they encourage civil society to advocate, that means the churches need “to take an active role in promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

“For the churches that also means taking an active role in holding the nation states accountable,” Johnsen said.

At the same time, he admits, “this can easily be cosmetic,” referring to one potential outcome of the document. But that need not be the case. “The church has a strong moral voice,” he said.

May Vargas of the Philippines, and a member of the ecumenical team, welcomed encouragement by the state for the church and other groups to be engaged. In her context, where there has been significant violence inflicted upon indigenous populations because of land resources, the church becomes a “sanctuary for the poor and the oppressed,” as some of the churches are doing there.

Both Vargas and Johnsen saw a clear role for the church to play in the situation of extractive industries, such as mining of minerals, oil and gas, and the situation of violence against Indigenous women and children.

In such direct and real situations, the group stated, with the support of churches and willingness of the governments to follow through, implementation of the document could have a positive impact.

“It is also important to say that this resonates very much with the World Council of Churches, which has in many instances lifted up the issue of indigenous rights,” Johnsen said. He suggested that the document opens the door for the WCC to pay “specific attention to Indigenous Peoples’ rights.”

WCC minute on Indigenous Peoples

UN Outcome Document from the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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

Sean profetas y agentes de la reconciliación, dicen los arzobispos de Asia

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

[Episcopal News Service – Taipéi, Taiwán] Dios está llamando a la Iglesia en Asia a ser un agente de la reconciliación y un testigo profético, dijeron tres arzobispos anglicanos a la Cámara de Obispos, y afirmaron que la Iglesia a través del mundo debe responder al mismo llamado.

Paul Kim, arzobispo de Seúl, quien también es primado de la Iglesia Anglicana de Corea, dice a la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal el 22 de septiembre que “la reconciliación debería ser el mensaje de la Iglesia no sólo en la península de Corea, sino en el mundo”. El Rdo. Aidan Koh, de la iglesia de Santiago Apóstol [ST. James] en Los Ángeles, fue el intérprete de Kim. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

“La reconciliación debe ser el mensaje fundamental de la Iglesia, no sólo en la península de Corea, sino en el mundo”, dijo el arzobispo de Seúl Paul Kim, primado de la Iglesia Anglicana de Corea.

Kim, el arzobispo Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, primado de la Iglesia Anglicana en el Japón [Nippon Sei Ko Kai] y Edward Malecdan, obispo primado de la Iglesia Episcopal en Filipinas [Episcopal Church in the Philippines] le hablaron a la Cámara el 22 de septiembre, describiendo el contexto teológico y los desafíos que enfrenta la misión en sus provincias. Cada uno de ellos habló de cómo prestarle atención a los pobres en sus países ha fortalecido la fe y el testimonio de sus iglesias.

La amenaza de la guerra a través del mundo ha llevado a aumentar el nacionalismo y la militarización, en el nordeste de Asia y en todas partes, lo cual ha dado lugar a amenazas contra los que “proclaman el mensaje de reconciliación y paz del evangelio de Cristo [los cuales son] tratados como traidores en las naciones a las que pertenecen”, dijo Kim a través del Rdo. Aidan Koh, de la iglesia de Santiago Apóstol [St. James] en la ciudad de Los Ángeles, que le sirvió de intérprete.

Aun dentro de las iglesias puede haber diferencias de opiniones respecto a cómo obrar en pro de la reconciliación, afirmó Kim. En lugar de poder usar esos desacuerdos para encontrar “nuevas posibilidades creativas”, puede desarrollarse la discordia y esa discordia fácilmente puede hacer del evangelio de reconciliación de Cristo “un hazmerreír”.

Kim dijo que era hora de que la Iglesia de todo el mundo se una “como testigo profético de la reconciliación” contra la violencia de la dominación.

“Nosotros como anglicanos somos elegidos por Dios para ser siervos y testigos del perdón y la reconciliación”, dijo.

El arzobispo Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, primado de la Iglesia Anglicana en el Japón (Nippon Sei Ko Kai), dice que la Iglesia japonesa trata de ser un agente de la reconciliación en ese país. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

Tanto Kim como Uematsu de la Iglesia Anglicana en el Japón (Nippon Sei Ko Kai), hablaron de la reconciliación que ha tenido lugar entre sus dos iglesias. Uematsu dijo que la anexión de Corea por Japón en 1910 fue el comienzo de un período militarista en la historia de su país que sólo terminó con su derrota en la segunda guerra mundial. La Iglesia no protestó mientras Japón comenzó a ocupar y colonizar otras naciones asiáticas, afirmó.

No fue hasta fines de la década del 90 [del pasado siglo] que la Iglesia comenzó a mirar críticamente su propio pasado y su papel en la historia de la nación. “Nos sentimos especialmente llamados a arrepentirnos y a buscar la reconciliación y un compromiso más profundo con nuestros vecinos” que habían sufrido bajo la ocupación y la colonización japonesa, recalcó Uematsu.

En 1996, el Sínodo General de la Iglesia aprobó una Declaración de Responsabilidad de Guerra en la cual la NSKK “le confesó a Dios como Iglesia” y le pidió perdón a sus vecinos. Desde entonces, dijo Uematsu, esa declaración ha sido la base del sentir de la NSKK, la cual es llamada a servir a los marginados en la sociedad japonesa.

La NSKK ha buscado la reconciliación y “la restauración bajo nuestro vínculo con el mismo Señor” con Taiwán, Las Filipinas, Papúa Nueva Guinea y otros países que padecieron la ocupación japonesa durante la guerra.

“Somos particularmente afortunados por nuestros hermanos de la Iglesia Anglicana en Corea que abrieron sus corazones a nuestro pueblo aun antes de que Japón hubiera aceptado su papel en la colonización de la península de Corea y hubiera pedido perdón por ello”, dijo Uematsu. Hace casi 30 años los coreanos “abrieron la puerta” a los intercambios entre las dos provincias en todos los niveles, puntualizó.

El Rvdmo. Edward P. Malecdan, obispo primado de la Iglesia Episcopal en Filipinas, describe a la Cámara de Obispos cómo su Iglesia se esforzó por alcanzar el autosostén y como intenta ser un testigo profético en el país. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg para ENS.

Por su parte, el obispo Malecdan, primado de Las Filipinas, dijo que la agitación islámica en Mindanao y una continua insurgencia comunista significan que existe una “interminable ausencia de paz en algunas partes del país”. Y la Iglesia está consciente de la falta de paz en otras partes del mundo. Por ejemplo, pronto se celebrará un foto en la capilla de su seminario de San Andrés sobre el conflicto israelí-palestino.

“En otras palabras, las puertas de las iglesias y otras instituciones de la IEF están abiertas a las reuniones en pro de la pacificación”, subrayó.

El mandato bíblico de prestarle voz a los que no la tienen, tanto en el nivel local como en el mundial, dijo Malecdan, “trata de contribuir positivamente al establecimiento de una paz justa y de comprometerse con la acción social para la transformación de la sociedad y las estructuras injustas”.

“Nosotros somos sólo una Iglesia minoritaria con frecuencia descuidada e ignorada por provincias hermanas más grandes de la Comunión Anglicana, y somos conscientes de que lo que hacemos es como una gotita de agua en el vasto océano Pacífico y en el turbulento mar de la China”, dijo, añadiendo que era mejor ser esa “gotita” que ser “parte de los problemas por nuestro silencio e inacción”.

Tres ejemplos que Malecdan dio parecieron ser mucho más que gotitas. Uno conllevó la compra de terrenos para revendérselos a personas sin tierras cuyas casas improvisadas fueron barridas por el súper tifón Haiyán en noviembre de 2013.

Otro ejemplo se refirió a tres jóvenes secuestrados que fueron asesinados y enterrados en una tumba superficial debajo de concreto y tierra. Su familia tenía miedo de ir a exhumarlos porque temían que los mataran, pero se “llenaron de valor” cuando el obispo de Luzón, Renato Abibico, y dos sacerdotes fueron hasta las tumbas y comenzaron a cavar.

En tercer lugar, dijo Malecdan, la relación de la IEF con la Iglesia de la Provincia de Myanmar, mientras ese país hace su transición a la democracia es una manera de que ambas iglesias aprendan la una de la otra.

“Nuestra relación e interés mutuo es un claro testimonio para un mundo lleno de conflictos, dijo el primado.

Malecdan también resumió cómo la IEF se convirtió en una provincia autodependiente después de tomar la “dolorosa decisión” de dejar de recibir dinero de la Iglesia Episcopal en los Estados Unidos.

La Iglesia estaba recibiendo un subsidio de la Iglesia Episcopal que debía terminar en 2007. La IEF decidió a mediados de 2004 solicitar que se suspendiera. Puesto que el dinero ya estaba incluido en el presupuesto, explicó Malecdan, la Iglesia Episcopal siguió enviando los pagos en tanto la IEF decidió dejar de usar los subsidios como ingreso operativo: puso el dinero en un seguro de capital al objeto de lograr la autosuficiencia.

La Iglesia levantó muchos templos después de tomar esa decisión, alcanzó un superávit presupuestario y vio aumentar las vocaciones tanto clericales como laicas, según el obispo primado.

“Hemos extraído profundamente de lo que tenemos —todos nuestros recursos como Iglesia— y hemos empezado a maximizarlos para hacer nuestra misión”, dijo Malecdan. “Y nos dimos cuenta de que incluso una Iglesia en apuros puede tener algo que compartir con otros”.

También el 22 de septiembre, los obispos recibieron informes del Equipo de Trabajo para Reinventar la Iglesia Episcopal, que publicó recientemente una carta dirigida a la Iglesia en la que bosquejaba las recomendaciones de un cambio estructural que harán en la reunión de la Convención General de 2015. Los obispos miembros del Equipo de Trabajo A050 sobre el Estudio acerca del Matrimonio y el Comité Conjunto de Nominaciones para la Elección del Obispo Primado expusieron las tareas que habían llevado a cabo hasta la fecha. Aunque estaba en el programa que sólo la última sesión sería a puertas cerradas, se anunció durante la sesión de la mañana del 22 de septiembre que esos tres informes serían solamente para los obispos.

Poco después que terminó la sesión privada de la tarde, el equipo de trabajo sobre el matrimonio publicó un informe para la Iglesia sobre su labor.

Los obispos planean una sesión estilo ‘consistorio’ con la Obispa Primada y una sesión de trabajo formal el 23 de septiembre, el último día de la reunión.

Después de terminada la reunión, varios obispos viajarán a Japón, las Filipinas o Corea para continuar informándose acerca de la misión y el ministerio de la Iglesia Anglicana en esos contextos.

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

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

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

Sarah Eagle Heart named among ‘Native American 40 Under 40′

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[Episcopal News Service] Sarah Eagle Heart, missioner for indigenous ministries for the Episcopal Church since 2009, has been named one of 40 emerging American Indian leaders by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). The award recognizes 40 emerging American Indian leaders from across Indian Country who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in business and/or in their community.

Eagle Heart holds an MBA in global management from the University of Phoenix, San Diego. She is enrolled as a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and was raised on the reservation.

The NCAIED awards will be presented Oct. 8 at the 39th Annual Indian Progress in Business (INPRO) Awards Gala in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

House of Deputies president expresses gratitude for presiding bishop

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church, offered the following statement on Sept. 23.

This morning, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced that she will not stand for re-election in 2015. Her gracious letter demonstrates the dignity and spiritual clarity with which she has led our beloved Episcopal Church for the past eight years and that I have been privileged to witness in our work together during this triennium.

Since 2006, when she became the first woman to hold her office, Bishop Katharine has traveled to every corner of the church to galvanize laypeople and clergy, testify to the power of generous Christianity, and advocate for exploring the wonders of God through scientific understanding. Both at home and abroad, she has inspired people to care for the poor, remember the outcast, and heal the world.

During some difficult years in the Anglican Communion, Bishop Katharine helped navigate the politics that resulted from our faithful, if not always straightforward, path toward the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians. Her strong leadership and commitment to justice have allowed her to guide our church through anxious times and bring us closer to the reign of God.

I am grateful to have Bishop Katharine as a colleague and friend, and I am glad that we will enjoy another year of working together. May God bless her as she continues to lead our church and discern her future ministry.

–The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president, House of Deputies

Heal the earth, fight against climate change

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Service featuring multi-faith spiritual expressions invoked prayers and actions for climate justice in New York. © WCC/Melissa Engle Hess

[World Council of Churches press release] Two phoenix sculptures hung suspended from the ceiling, their bodies dotted with lights and their tail feathers unfurling above the heads of the faith leaders and adherents who gathered in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for an interfaith service on 21 September in New York.

The service concluded a day marked by calls for action on climate change. At an interfaith summit, hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Religions for Peace, faith leaders from 21 countries signed a statement urging the world’s political and economic leaders to work toward an agreement to curb global carbon emissions and to support those who are most vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate. And in the streets of New York, hundreds of thousands of people marched in a collective call for action on climate change.

Their voices echoing in the cathedral, leaders, elders and activists from many faiths including indigenous, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu religious confessions spoke from their own perspectives and faith traditions. They called for humanity to come together, to heal the planet Earth and fight against the common enemy of climate change, and for each person to make a commitment—symbolized by pieces of stone left by each person on a central table—to do something specific to address the ways they contribute to climate change. Many of the speakers called for hope.

“I was told by my elders to show this gathering there is hope for mankind,” said Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, an Eskimo-Kalaallit elder from Greenland. But hope, he said, can come only from “melting the heart of ice in man. Now is the time for change.”

“This is our moment. This is our time,” shouted Rev. Dr Gerald Durley, pastor emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, to a chorus of cheers and a standing ovation. “We will not be silent. We will speak boldly and we will not stand down.”

“We have a duty to be watchful, not just by opening our eyes but by opening our hearts,” said former US vice-president and Nobel peace laureate Al Gore. “It is time to be wakeful and to be alert. That is my pledge. To be wakeful, to be alert and to call on others to do the same.”

The service ended beneath the wings of fabric birds which floated through the air on the ends of wooden sticks, as the gathering sang a South African hymn. It was an appropriate choice for the end of a climate march: Siyahamba or We Are Marching in the Light of God.

*Connie Wardle is a senior writer and online editor at the Presbyterian Record, Canada.

Interfaith declaration on climate change (WCC news release of 22 September 2014)

Website of the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation

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

World’s largest climate action march: Episcopalians protest for change

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don Robinson, a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Northampton, Massachusetts, and a trustee of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, lifts his hands during a moment of silence at the People’s Climate March Sept. 21, in New York, two days before the United Nations’ Climate Summit commenced. Photo: Amy Sowder

[Episcopal News Service] Don Robinson’s right hand gripped a leaf of curly kale, pointing it toward the sky as he lifted his eyes in silent prayer.

Robinson, from the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, stood among more than 200 Episcopalians and Anglicans from as far as Alabama, Oregon and South Africa, all squeezing into their designated patch of 58th Street in Midtown, Manhattan.

He stood for the human right to save Earth and all of its living things from the snowballing effects of climate change. “We have a responsibility as stewards of God’s creation,” Robinson said.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, more than 310,000 people of all faiths and none joined the People’s Climate March, the largest demonstration for climate action in history, while a series of religious events included a multifaith evening service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.

Episcopalians from across the nation and a few other countries joined the interfaith-themed section of the People’s Climate March in New York Sept. 21, holding protest signs, carrying banners, singing, praying and chanting. Photo: Amy Sowder

The 2.2-mile march snaked from 93rd Street and Central Park West to Columbus Circle down through Times Square to 34th Street. Near the back, the Episcopal contingent held signs such as “There is no Planet B,” “For Christ’s Sake, Tax Carbon” and “I’m marching for wildlife (That means humans too).”

The march was endorsed by more than 1,200 organizations, including the nation’s largest environmental organizations, labor unions, faith-based and social justice groups.

It’s a movement spurring action much wider than New York, or even the U.S. More than 2,800 solidarity events unfolded in 166 countries, with demonstrations spanning from Sydney, Australia and Budapest, Hungary to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The global initiative was planned two days before the United Nations Climate Summit, convened by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, kicked off Sept. 23 at the U.N. headquarters in Manhattan. The summit delayed the opening of the general debate by one day, to Wednesday, during the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly, which extends from Sept. 16 to Oct. 1. Ban, who also participated in the march, invited leaders from government, finance, business and civil society to galvanize at the summit and bring bold action-oriented announcements that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in Paris in 2015.

Besides Ban, some of the most well-known march participants were former Vice President Al Gore, musical legend Sting, and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the Episcopal and Lutheran churches together issued a pastoral message on climate change Sept. 19.

Climate change is “going to affect the poorest among us first,” said Brother Bernard Delcourt from The Order of the Holy Cross, an Anglican Benedictine monastery in West Park, New York. “People who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods in developing countries are already being hit.”

Lella Lowe, a member of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Mobile, Alabama, scheduled her vacation to attend the march. She helped form the Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition to prevent Mobile from turning into a major transportation hub for tar sands oil.

“You either have a movement with money or a movement with people, and when you don’t have the money, you have to motivate the people,” Lowe said. “It’s time to see our world as interconnected and that everything we do affects others. It’s critical, and there’s a lot of denial.”

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner was set to share her story at the U.N. Climate Summit’s opening ceremony on Sept. 23. Two days earlier, the young mother from the Marshall Islands stood onstage among several activists at a pre-march press conference to tell the crowd how her home is in danger of disappearing due to rising seas caused by global warming. Her island is two feet above sea level.

“We need to act now. We cannot wait. We only have one land to call home. We need you,” Jetnil-Kijiner said.

The People’s Climate March in New York led by indigenous and frontline communities from across the globe to highlight the disproportionate impact of climate change – from communities hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy to those living near coal-fired power plants and oil refineries to people living in island nations already faced with evacuating their homes. Photo: Amy Sowder

During the march, people and groups with political, religious and other differences united around a common theme. Interfaith groups joined with scientists for “The Debate is Over” section. Other crowds included labor unions; environmental justice; renewable energy; food and water justice; anti-corporate campaigns; and indigenous communities.

In the interfaith section, Episcopalians marched with Jews, Baptists, Mennonites, agnostics, Quakers, ethical humanists, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Hare Krishnas.

An inflatable mosque floated near a wooden replica of Noah’s Ark. Earth balloons bobbed over the sea of people.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologists announced last week that this summer was the hottest on record globally.

“Despite the U.N.’s efforts, member states have not done what needs to be done – not even close – and carbon levels are increasing, not decreasing. It’s not only more worrisome than ever, it’s morally wrong,” said the Rev. Canon Jeff Golliher of St. John’s Church in Ellenville, New York, and chairman of the executive group of the Episcopal Diocese of New York’s Committee on the Environment.

Most of the problem, he said, is created by the energy policies in the world’s three biggest economies with large population growth: the U.S., China and India.

Those countries need to figure out how to create more clean energy rather than burning fossil fuels, Golliher said, because creating energy requires a lot of water, “and we’re seeing water shortages.”

“We may be creating solutions that benefit the wealthy more than the poor,” said Golliher, who attended the Stockholm International Water Institute’s annual conference Aug. 31 to Sept. 5. “The moral issue is not whether climate change is real – most of the population knows this by now. It’s what kind of debate we’re having to create an economy based on human rights and sustainability for everyone to thrive.”

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences released research in 2013 showing abrupt climate changes are already underway, while other potential threats are not as imminent. Warmer Arctic temperatures have caused a rapid decline in sea ice in the last decade. Rising sea levels threaten coastal regions and islands.

Academy scientists report that another abrupt change is underway: increased extinction pressure on plant and animal species due to the current pace of climate change, a warming event expected to increase over the next 30 to 80 years. The number of frost-free days, length and timing of growing seasons and the frequency and intensity of extreme events are examples of changes happening so rapidly that some species can neither move nor adapt fast enough. Combined with other sources of habitat loss, degradation and over-exploitation, the problem is even worse, according to the report.

Then there are the increasing periods of drought in western U.S., northern Iran and Africa. “The thing scientists are worried about most is the unpredictability. Because that’s unmanageable,” Golliher said.

“The carbon is just one issue. It’s the indicator. It has to do with power, equality and justice. What kind of world do we want to live in?” Golliher asked.

While initial estimates of the People’s Climate March in New York at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, calculated the crowd to be about 310,000, by 5 p.m. so many others streamed in that the final participation count neared 400,000 people. Photo: Amy Sowder

While legions swarmed the streets of Manhattan to send a message to members of the U.N., 30 faith leaders representing nine religious traditions signed their names to a statement calling for concrete actions to curb carbon emissions. The interfaith conference was co-hosted by the World Council of Churches, which includes 345 churches representing about 560 million Christians worldwide, and Religions for Peace, an interfaith coalition with members in more than 70 countries. Signatories hailed from 21 countries on six continents.

The march was particularly focused on highlighting the intersection between people’s needs and climate change, including housing, employment and education, said Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of Uprose, which helped lead the community response to Hurricane Sandy after it hit New York in October 2012.

“I think there is a fear of working with people from different communities,” Yeampierre said.

“Regardless of what your field is, your passion, everyone is affected by climate change,” she added, acknowledging that the disenfranchised and the country’s top 1 percent are taking action, and doing it publicly.

Significant and far-reaching change all comes down to money and fossil fuel corporations make a lot of it, said Stanley Sturgill, a retired underground coal miner from Kentucky,

“But if we don’t do something, we won’t be able to breathe or have water. We’re fighting over gas and oil, but soon we’ll be fighting over water. Once you lose water, that’s it.”

The Rockefeller family, heirs to the Standard Oil Co. fortune, will divest their foundation’s fossil fuel investments and put them into renewable energy sources, according to an announcement timed in conjunction with the People’s Climate March and the U.N. Climate Summit.

Robinson, as he marched with his fellow Episcopalians and interfaith activists, said the Diocese of Western Massachusetts decided in early September to shift about 20 percent of its $60 million of investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

“We took a vote after a long, hard debate. It reflects the bishop’s commitment,” Robinson said.

He traveled to the march on the “Episcopalians on a Journey of Hope” bus filled with more than 55 people from the Episcopal Church’s Province 1 dioceses of New England. Organized by the Rev. Stephanie Johnson, the province’s environmental stewardship minister, the bus picked up students from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

“I think this march can make a difference,” Johnson said. “I’ve been working in the environment field for over 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Marching near Robinson and Johnson, Anne Rowthorn, member of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme, Connecticut, nodded in agreement.

“The No. 1 pro-life issue is the life of our planet,” Rowthorn said. “It’s the No. 1 issue of our time.

“We need to put our feet to the pavement to let our leaders know they have disappointed us. This is a message to those leaders meeting this week.”

Presiding Bishop announces she will not stand for reelection

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The following message is from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:

To all the people of God in The Episcopal Church:

It is a great joy and privilege to serve as your Presiding Bishop.  I have been blessed to be able to meet and build relationships with people around the globe – in every diocese in this Church, most of the provinces of the Anglican Communion, our full communion partners (ELCA, Moravian Church, Old Catholics of the Union of Utrecht), as well as civic leaders and leaders of other denominations and faith traditions.  That relational work is fundamental to the reconciliation we seek in Christ.  As bridges are built, more and more people can begin to cross the divides between us, and God’s dream begins to take flesh in a more just and peaceful world.

Together, we have navigated a season of extraordinary change in recent years.  Our Christian values have been challenged and we are becoming clearer and more confident about the faith we share.  Today we are far more cognizant of the diversity of this multinational and multicultural Church, and the great blessing of the diverse peoples and cultures we represent.  Our life as a Church is enriched by the many gifts God has given us in people and contexts around the world.  Together we are striving to live out the Five Marks of Mission, we are exploring new and creative ways of engaging the societies around us with the good news of God in Christ, and we are increasingly willing to spend ourselves and the resources God has given us for the healing of the world.  We are more attuned to voices crying in the wilderness, those living at the margins of human communities, and those without a voice, including this fragile earth, our island home.  Together, we are moving into God’s future with courage, boldness, and the humility of knowing there is always more to learn.  For all that hope-filled movement, I give thanks in abundance.

I have spent many months in discernment about how I am being called to serve God’s people and God’s creation in this season.  I have resisted the assumption by some that presiding bishops can only be elected to serve one term, knowing the depth of relational work and learning that is involved in this ministry.  There is a tradeoff between the learning curve and the ability to lead more effectively as a result of developed relationships both within and beyond this Church.  At the same time, I recognize that standing for election as Presiding Bishop carries the implicit expectation that one is ready to serve a full term.  I do not at present believe I should serve and lead in this ministry for another nine years.

I believe I can best serve this Church by opening the door for other bishops to more freely discern their own vocation to this ministry.  I also believe that I can offer this Church stronger and clearer leadership in the coming year as we move toward that election and a whole-hearted engagement with necessary structural reforms.  I will continue to engage us in becoming a more fully diverse Church, spreading the gospel among all sorts and conditions of people, and wholeheartedly devoted to God’s vision of a healed and restored Creation.

I will continue in discernment about the ministry I may be called to in the coming years, but my present focus is and will remain on being the vigorous and faithful leader I believe I am called to be.  God has called us all to be instruments of shalom, and we have miles to go before we live in that world of justice and peace.  We are marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God.  Siyahamba!

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

ENS Editors’ Note:

There are no terms limits on the service of a presiding bishop. Jefferts Schori, who turned 60 earlier this year, could have served an additional nine years, had she been nominated and elected.

A presiding bishop is subject to the church’s mandatory clergy retirement age of 72. According to Canon 1.2.2, if a presiding bishop will turn 72 before the end of the nine-year term, then he or she must resign at the General Convention nearest to that birthday.

Presiding bishops serve a nine-year term. The General Convention in 1994 reduced the term from 12 years (via Resolution A130). Twenty-fifth Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, Jefferts Schori’s predecessor, was the first to serve a nine year term.

Jefferts Schori was elected in 2006 by the House of Bishops during a meeting of General Convention in Columbus, Ohio, and her election was confirmed by the House of Deputies on the same day. She was invested as the 26th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church on Nov. 4, 2006.

Nominations for the 27th presiding bishop are due to the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop by Sept. 30. The election will take place during the 78th meeting of General Convention June 25-July 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City. The current draft of the convention schedule shows the election taking place on June 27.

More information about the election process is here.

House of Bishops leaving Taiwan with ‘hearts and minds expanded’

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The House of Bishops and Spouses Choir rehearses prior to Eucharist Sept. 23 on the closing day of the house’s meeting in Taipei. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Taipei, Taiwan] Members of the House of Bishops are leaving their meeting here with an expanded view of ministry of the Episcopal and Anglican churches in Asia.

“This meeting has offered abundant opportunities to expand our vision of what is possible as we engage God’s mission,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in a written statement released at the conclusion of the Sept. 17-23 meeting, the first gathering of the house in Asia.

“We have built new relationships with our partners in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and with our brother and sisters in Taiwan,” she said. “We’ve discovered new readings of the old, old stories and new theological perspectives rooted in different parts of God’s creation. With hearts and minds expanded, we know ourselves part of a body larger and with deeper bonds than we imagined.”

Jefferts Schori called the hospitality of the host Diocese of Taiwan “full measure, pressed down, and overflowing.”

“May God continue to richly bless this part of The Episcopal Church,” she said.

Shortly after the close of the Taipei meeting, Jefferts Schori released a statement saying she had decided not to stand for election to a second term as presiding bishop.

Diocese of Kansas Bishop Dean Wolfe, vice president of the House of Bishops, said in his statement that “all of us who have congregants from Asia have gained a deeper understanding of the context from which our brothers and sisters have come and a greater appreciation for the Christian witness along the Pacific Rim.”

Wolfe also addressed the issue of the reason for traveling to Taiwan. “We traveled a very long way and at no small expense to come to Taiwan to reinforce a principal which is dear to us; that every diocese is an essential member of our family of faith and no diocese is too small or too far away,” he said.

Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce, assistant secretary of the house, echoed that sentiment saying that “with the growing Asian community in the United States, especially on the West Coast including my home diocese of Los Angeles, having firsthand knowledge and witness of the context and content of ministry and mission, we are able to more directly address our mutual needs.”

And Bishop Todd Ousley of Eastern Michigan, co-chair of the house’s planning committee, evoked Archbishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu’s description the day before of how the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Church in Japan) has pledged itself to work for peace and reconciliation, grounded in repentance.

“I leave this meeting reminded that to be an apostle, one who is sent, and to invite others to be people sent to proclaim God’s message of peace and reconciliation, we must not rush headlong into action with programs and events,” Ousley said. “Rather, we must begin with self-examination and spiritual acts of repentance that ground our message and lend it integrity. Only then will our message of peace and reconciliation be received as the Good News that it indeed is.”

The complete texts of the bishops’ four statements are here.

Taiwan Bishop David Jung-Hsin Lai presides at the closing Eucharist Sept. 23 at the House of Bishops’ meeting in Taipei. The Rev. Stephanie Spellers and the Rev. Simon Bautisa Betances, chaplains to the bishops, assisted at Eucharist. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Also on the concluding day
During a business meeting on Sept. 23, the final day of the seven-day gathering, the bishops asked Jefferts Schori to consult with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby “and seek ways that the communion could be agents of peace” in the rapidly changing situation involving Islamic militancy and its threats to Christians and others. Jefferts Schori said that she would be talking to Welby in a few weeks and would pass along the house’s concern.

Later in the business-meeting portion of the session, Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Provisional Clifton Daniel moved that the House of Bishops “express its thanks to our presiding bishop, for her witness, her life and her ministry as our presiding bishop and wish her Godspeed as her tenure in this position continues.”

“Is there a discussion?” Jefferts Schori asked, to laughter. “This is awkward.”

Vice President Wolfe stepped in to say: “All those in favor, signify by saying …” only to be interrupted by applause as the bishops rose to their feet.

Before the business meeting, the house met town hall-style during which individual bishops updated their colleagues on ongoing issues in their lives and dioceses. Among the comments made were:

  • Introducing himself as “the bishop of Ferguson,” Diocese of Missouri Bishop Wayne Smith told the house that the Aug. 9 racially charged fatal shooting of Michael Brown and the community upheaval in its aftermath had deep roots.“St. Louis city and county are a mess but we have been a long time getting to this place,” he said, explaining that when French Creole settlers came to what is now St. Louis 250 years ago they brought with them about 30 slaves.

    From that beginning, he said, “the dominant culture has been trying to rob African-Americans of their personhood and the dominant culture has prevailed, the dominant culture has won.”

    Smith reminded that Dred Scott, whom the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1857 was neither free nor a citizen, is buried three miles from Ferguson.

    “The means of robbing people of African descent, of their citizenship still exist and it is practiced very well in St. Louis city and county,” Smith said. “It’s called the criminal justice system now.”

    While there is a very high bar for that system to arrest and convict a white man such as himself of a felony offense, Smith said that bar is set very low for African-Americans in the St. Louis area. “And once that happens, you are no one,” Smith said. “The oppression continues.”

    He told the bishops that comments about Brown’s character, positive or negative, are not useful.

    “What’s important for people who look like me,” said Smith, “is to encounter the rage of the community in that aftermath and to be quiet. We have a great deal to learn from that rage – not the violence, but the rage. The rage is there; there’s a reason for that rage, 250 years’ worth.”

    Smith said he is proud of Episcopalians both lay and clergy in the diocese and beyond who respond to this “wound to our corporate life.”

  • Diocese of Newark Bishop Mark Beckwith reported that he has spoken often to Liberian Archbishop Jonathan Hart about the Ebola epidemic that is devastating his country.“The economy that was on a very slender thread to begin with has cratered because of this,” Beckwith said, noting that all schools are closed, including the diocese’s Cuttington University which has Liberia’s largest nursing school. A number of Cuttington graduates have died during the outbreak, he said. [ENS story here.]

    “The churches are open and they are offering worship with safety precautions they have not experienced before,” Beckwith said.

    During the country’s 20-year civil war people knew who the enemy was, Hart had told Beckwith. With Ebola, “the enemy” is not so obvious, Beckwith said, and “people are accusing folks in villages and towns of being carriers of the disease so social unrest is rampant.”

    The epidemic is “beyond what any individual diocese can do” in terms of material aid, Beckwith said.

    “The problem is so massive and our prayers are really what he is asking for most,” Beckwith concluded.

  • Haiti Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin told the house that his country is still trying to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake.“Some efforts have been made but not enough to give the Haitian people a real hope,” he said. “Political fighting, lack of infrastructure of all kinds, problems of education, health care, communications, electricity, unemployment, et cetera.”

    “However, the Haitian people always believe in a better future and it is what gives them joy even though they are suffering,” he said.

    In terms of the diocese, “we have always said that the earthquake has not destroyed the church but our buildings. Our community of faith is there, love and determination are there,” Duracin said, adding that all the diocesan churches and institutions are operating “even though the challenges are still there.”

    With the help of the wider Episcopal Church, the diocese has built new churches and rebuilt others since the quake, especially outside of Port-au-Prince.

    Fundraising for the cathedral rebuilding effort is moving forward but more money is needed, the said.

  • In response to a question from Rochester Bishop Prince Singh about budgeting for the next Lambeth Conference and speculation about when and if the gathering will be held, Jefferts Schori told the bishops that the conference will probably not happen in 2018, which would have fit the conference’s traditional 10-year cycle. No planning or fundraising has taken place for a 2018 meeting, she said.Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby “has been very clear that he is not going to call a Lambeth [Conference] until he is reasonably certain that the vast majority of bishops would attend. It needs to be preceded by a primates meeting at which a vast majority of primates are present,” she said. “As he continues his visits around the communion to those primates it’s unlikely that he will call such a meeting at all until at least a year from now or probably 18 months from now. Therefore I think we are looking at 2019, more likely 2020, before a Lambeth Conference.”

    Whenever the next Lambeth Conference occurs “it will have a rather different format,” she predicted. For intstance, it is likely that spouses will not attend “simply because of scale issues and regional contextual issues. Bishops’ spouses fill very different roles in different parts of the communion and the feedback from the last one was that it did not serve the spouses particularly well,” Jefferts Schori explained.

On Sept. 24, a number of bishops head to Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines or Korea to continue learning about the mission and ministry of the Anglican Church in those contexts.

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

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

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

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

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House of Bishops Fall 2014 meeting statements

ENS Headlines - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Los obispos exploran los retos del ministerio en Asia

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

Be prophets, agents of reconciliation, Asian archbishops say

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Task Force on Study of Marriage issues update and report

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

September 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Tool-Kit “Dearly Beloved”  here.

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

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

The Spanish translation for “Dearly Beloved” is here.

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

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

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

Resolution A050 is available in full here.

House of Bishops Daily Account for Monday, Sept. 22

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

http://www.episcopaltaiwan.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Briefers for Monday, September 22

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

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

Follow the bishops on Twitter #HOBFall14

Interfaith declaration on climate change

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

Participants in Interfaith Summit on Climate Change in New York.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Statement from the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change 2014

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

Website of the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation

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

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

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read full text of the message by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Website of the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation

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

Anglican XI beat Vatican in historic cricket match

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

Watch video here.

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

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

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

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

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

View tweets and photos from the match

Read more about the Global Freedom Network

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

ENS Headlines - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

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

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