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Search committee for Episcopal Church missioner for black ministry offers update

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 2:19pm

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The search committee for the Episcopal Church missioner for black ministry has provided the following update on its work:

Update on the search for the new Missioner for Black Ministry

The work of the search committee to find the new missioner for black ministry within the Episcopal Church has begun. Our goal is to reimagine this ministry to better serve the community given the complexities of its current status and its future possibilities. Most important is to choose an adaptive leader to fulfill this role.

A high-level timeline of our work over the next few months is as follows: the job description will be posted to the church and applications will be received between June 1 – July 15; the search committee will review applications between July 15 – 31, conduct interviews in August, and will recommend at least two finalists to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry by Sept. 1.

Canon Annette Buchanan of the Diocese of New Jersey and Bishop Wendell Gibbs of Michigan will serve as co-chairs of the committee.

Members of the search committee are:

  • The Rev. Jabriel Ballantine, Central Florida
  • The Rev. Debra Q. Bennett, Ohio
  • Lou Glosson, San Diego
  • The Rev. Canon Anthony Guillén, Episcopal Church’s Director of Ethnic Ministries
  • The Rev. Deacon April Alford-Harkey, Connecticut
  • Imani Jackson, Texas
  • Diane B. Pollard, New York
  • The Rev. Canon Dr. Angela Shepherd, facilitator, Maryland
  • The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism Reconciliation and Creation
  • The Rev. Dr. Sandye Wilson, Newark
  • The Rev. Charles Wynder, Jr., Episcopal Church  Missioner for Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement

Please keep the search committee in your prayers.

For questions or comments contact Angeline Cabanban at acabanban@episcopalchurch.org.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Diocese of West Texas notified of successful canonical consent process

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 12:26pm

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and Registrar of General Convention, the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, have notified the Diocese of West Texas that Bishop Suffragan-Elect Jennifer Brooke-Davidson has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process.

The Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson was elected on Feb.25.  Her ordination and consecration service is slated for July 29; Curry will officiate.

In Canon III.11.4 (b), Standing Committees, in consenting to the ordination and consecration, attest they are “fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.”

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Gene Robinson named to two Chautauqua Institution posts

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:07am

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson is the former bishop diocesan of New Hampshire.

[Chautauqua Institution press release] In anticipation of the departure of Director of Religion the Rev. Robert Franklin at the conclusion of the 2017 Chautauqua Institution season, President Michael E. Hill has announced plans to reorganize the Department of Religion with an eye toward shaping a national dialogue on faith in society.

Retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, formerly of the Diocese of New Hampshire, will assume the new role of vice president and senior pastor of the Chautauqua Institution effective Sept. 1.  Robinson will provide executive leadership for the Department of Religion and will chair a new volunteer advisory group, the President’s Advisory Council on Faith in Society.

Currently a fellow at the Center for American Progress,  Robinson is an internationally recognized interfaith leader. He is among the inaugural group of 13 senior fellows at Auburn Seminary, the first leadership development and research institute in the country to launch a fellowship program to cultivate the skills of multi-faith leaders working for justice. Also an outspoken advocate for the rights of marginalized populations,  Robinson is recognized for his groundbreaking work with the LGBT community, youth communities and those suffering from abuse and addiction.

Longtime Associate Director of Religion Maureen Rovegno will be promoted to the role of director of religion, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department and serving as a key programmatic partner to  Robinson.

Robinson is no stranger to Chautauqua, having served as a popular and thought-provoking speaker/lecturer and as chaplain of the week during the 2011 season.

“Religion is at the center of many of today’s most pressing issues and most difficult challenges,” Robinson said. “Yet in our increasingly polarized society, there are fewer safe places to have meaningful conversation about those challenges. Chautauqua and its Department of Religion have been, and will continue to be, a place where those conversations can happen, where all viewpoints are heard, and where every human being is honored and valued. Through the curated conversations from a religious perspective, our goal is no less than to heal the world.”

Read the full release here.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Episcopal Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary agree on collaboration

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 3:08pm

[Episcopal Divinity School] Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) and Union Theological Seminary announced May 19 that they have signed an agreement that will allow EDS to continue as an Episcopal seminary through a collaboration with Union at its campus in New York City beginning in the fall of 2018.

“We had three goals when we began to plan this news phase in EDS’s life,” said the Rev.  Gary Hall, chair of the EDS board. “We wanted to continue providing Episcopal theological education within an accredited, degree-granting program, deepen our historic commitment to gospel-centered justice, and provide financial strength and stability for EDS’s future. Today, I am delighted to say that we have achieved all three.”

“This is an historic moment,” said the Rev. Serene Jones, president of the Union faculty and Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy at Union. “We are honored that EDS has chosen to partner with us and are certain that the stewardship of our deepest commitments will be fulfilled in the years ahead.”

The Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas will be the first dean of EDS at Union. Photo: Washington National Cathedral

EDS appointed the Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, Susan D. Morgan Professor of Religion at Goucher College in Maryland and canon theologian at Washington National Cathedral, as the first dean of EDS at Union. Douglas will also join the Union faculty as a professor. She is the author of many articles and five books, including “Stand Your Ground:  Black Bodies and the Justice of God,” which was written in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin.

“Kelly Brown Douglas is one of the most distinguished religious thinkers, teachers, ministers, and activists in the nation,” Jones said. “We are confident that Union’s longstanding commitment to both the Gospel and social justice will be strengthened and enhanced under her leadership.”

Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1983, Douglas holds a master’s degree in theology and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union. Her academic work focuses on womanist theology, sexuality and the black church, and she is a sought-after speaker and author on issues of racial justice and theology.

“Kelly is an Episcopal Church leader and an eminent scholar—and she is a daughter of Union,” Hall said. “Working together, EDS and Union aim to advance the causes of social justice and theology in the world and Kelly is the ideal leader for this new venture.”

“I am excited for the challenge,” Douglas said. “What I am really happy about for the wider EDS community is that this isn’t the typical bad news of a small seminary closing. This is the news that this place believed enough in its mission that it went out and found a way to carry that mission forward in a viable fashion, and found a way for the mission to grow. EDS is going to continue. The EDS community has found the platform to do that, and they have found in UTS an institution that shares their mission. I feel privileged to be a part of this next chapter in EDS’ life.”

Beginning in 2018, students who enroll in the EDS program at Union will earn graduate degrees from Union and also fulfill requirements for ordination in the Episcopal Church. In addition to Douglas, EDS will hire a professor of Anglican studies to join the four Episcopal priests currently on Union’s faculty.

“I look forward to the amazing possibilities that will be brought forth through this affiliation,” said Union’s Board Chair Wolcott B. Dunham Jr. “Our work together will surely expand the ways we serve the church and the world.” A lifelong Episcopalian, Dunham is also senior warden of St. James’ Episcopal Church in the City of New York and a former trustee of the Episcopal Diocese of New York

EDS plans to purchase a floor in a new building being constructed at Union that will house offices, residential space for the dean, and other facilities. The EDS campus in Cambridge will be sold after operations there cease in July, and the proceeds will be added to the school’s endowment, currently valued at $53 million.

The EDS board has voted to cap spending at four percent of its endowment once expenses associated with the move to Union are paid. “We are in this for the long haul,” said Bonnie Anderson, vice chair of the EDS board.  “Enshrining our commitment to sensible, sustainable spending in our affiliation agreement was important to us.”

EDS alums will enjoy the same library and campus privileges accorded to Union alums. The EDS library and archives will be reviewed by representatives from both schools and Union will accept items that do not duplicate its own holdings. The Burke Library at Union, part of Columbia University’s library system and one of the largest theological libraries in North America, with holdings of more than 700,000 items.

The initial term of the EDS-Union affiliation agreement is eleven years, and both schools have the option to agree to extensions beyond that time. EDS will remain its own legal entity with its own board of trustees.

The two seminaries began negotiations in February after Union was chosen from among nine potential candidates that expressed interest in an alliance with EDS. The EDS board, spurred by financial challenges that were depleting the school’s endowment, voted in 2016 to cease granting degrees in May 2017 and to explore options for EDS’s future.

EDS has adopted a generous severance plan for its faculty and staff. All students who did not complete their degrees this month are being “taught out” at other seminaries with EDS’s financial support so as to avoid additional costs.

About Union Theological Seminary
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is a seminary and a graduate school of theology established in 1836 by founders “deeply impressed by the claims of the world upon the church.” Union prepares women and men for committed lives of service to the church, academy and society. A Union education develops practices of mind and body that foster intellectual and academic excellence, social justice, and compassionate wisdom. Grounded in the Christian tradition and responsive to the needs of God’s creation, Union’s graduates make a difference wherever they serve.

Union believes that a new interreligious spirituality of radical openness and love is the world’s best hope for peace, justice, and the care of God’s creation. Empowered by groundbreaking inquiry aligned with practical realism and a bias for action, Union is charting a profound new course for enduring social change. Union’s graduates stand out wherever they serve, practicing their vocations with courage and perseverance, and speaking clearly and acting boldly on behalf of social justice in all of its forms.

About Episcopal Divinity School

Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts was formed in 1974 by the merger of Philadelphia Divinity School (1857) and Episcopal Theological School (1867). For more than 40 years, EDS has offered a bold and expansive vision of inclusion and social justice in the service of preparing students to lead faith communities.

In July 2016, the EDS Board of Trustees voted to cease granting degrees in May 2017 and to explore options for EDS’s future that would carry on the seminary’s historic mission, continue accredited degree-granting theological education, and provide financial strength and stability for EDS’s future. More information is available here.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

RIP: Katherine Elizabeth (Betty) Davis Gilmore

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 11:59am

[Diocese Northwest Texas] It is with profound sadness that the Diocese of Northwest Texas shares news of the death of a great friend and an outstanding icon of lay servanthood. Katherine Elizabeth (Betty) Davis Gilmore, of Midland, Texas, died peacefully on the afternoon of May 9, 2017.

Betty had recently been diagnosed with a serious illness, and was sent to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for further diagnostics and possibly treatment. She was transferred back to Midland recently to be with her family, and died at home, surrounded by her loved ones.

She leaves behind her husband of 60 years, Willis (Bill), and four children: Kathy Shannon of Midland; Karen Anderson and husband, Steve, of Fort Collins, Colorado; Trey Gilmore and his wife, Susan, of Houston, Texas; and Laurence Gilmore of Denver, Colorado. She was the grandmother of eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Betty was born September 3, 1933, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her childhood years were spent in New Orleans, Louisiana, while attending Louise S. McGhee School.  She enjoyed her summers at Camp Waldemar where her daughters and granddaughters continued the tradition. She later attended and graduated from The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas.  She studied English Literature at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1955. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority in which she remained actively involved for many years.

If you were “friends” with Betty on the web, you may have encountered her personal profile on LinkedIn, which listed her role, her “job,” as an “Independent Non-Profit Organization Management Professional,” a description that was quite apropos. She used that knowledge and experience to be civically active in Midland, where she served on the Board of Manor Park, a local retirement facility, and was a charter member of the Midland Symphony Guild, where she formulated the organization’s bylaws with fellow Guild charter member, Harriet Herd. She and Mrs. Herd continued to create bylaws for various organizations throughout the community.  Betty participated actively in Junior League, Friends of the Library, and the Samaritan Counseling Center.

For numerous decades, Betty served the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas, and the Episcopal Church, in almost every capacity in which a layperson could serve. The executive secretary emeritus for the diocese, Carolyn Hearn, recently spoke lovingly of Betty, by reflecting, “Betty was the greatest mentor I’ve ever had. She took me under her wing when I was hired as the executive secretary, and kept me there for 37 years.” Betty’s grace and knowledge were exceptional. She lit up every room she entered with her gracious smile and cheerful personality. She was, indeed, a great Southern lady and an outstanding servant leader, setting an example for what lay leadership could be. The April 2017 diocesan newsletter, The Adventure…on the go, stated, “She has always answered the call of service to the diocese willingly and happily. Her beautiful white hair and equally sparkling smile can’t compare to her gracious personality.”

In her decades of service for the diocese, Betty served as parliamentarian for the annual diocesan convention for many years, as well as serving as the chair of the Constitution and Canons Committee, during which she oversaw the complete re-write of the diocesan Constitution and Canons. Betty also served on the Standing Committee, the committee in charge of ecclesiastical oversight for the diocese; the Commission on Ministry, which assists the diocese with screening and approval of candidates for the priesthood and diaconate; as well as serving as the diocesan ECW president. She was a lifelong Episcopalian and active member of St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church, in Midland, serving on the vestry, as well as serving as a lay Eucharistic minister, a lector, and through assisting with the planning and execution for the construction of the new church building on the Loop. Additionally, she served for numerous years on the Province VII Council, as the Secretary of Province VII of The Episcopal Church.

On a church-wide level, Betty served the Episcopal Church for years through her service to General Convention as the chair of dispatch of business, as well as serving as a General Convention deputy representing the diocese. Betty was also the chair of the Committee for Restructure of the Church, from 1994-1997. Prior to the 1994 General Convention, Betty was asked to write an article for The Living Church, a publication of the Living Church Foundation, as a service for the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.  The article was entitled, “The Big Picture from Many Angles,” which discussed a possible new direction for the Episcopal Church at the Indianapolis General Convention. In her service to the Church, Betty developed relationships with Episcopal Church presiding bishops, diocesan bishops, and many, many other people who respected her tremendously.

As a result of her long years of service and leadership, Betty was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in humane letters in 1999, from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. The citation that accompanied Gilmore’s honorary degree remarked, “Highly organized, skillful facilitator and keen yet gracious parliamentarian, you have been the epitome of lay ministry in all levels of the Episcopal Church for decades. You have left your mark not only on your parish, St. Nicholas’, Midland, and the Diocese of Northwest Texas, but also Province VII and the national church.” Again, in 2006, Betty was honored by being named the Diocese of Northwest Texas Honored Woman at the national Episcopal Church Women’s (ECW) Triennial meeting, which ran concurrently with the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, in Columbus, Ohio. She was identified by the National Episcopal Churchwomen’s Board, with other women throughout the Episcopal Church, as “modeling the Christian life.” The October 2006 diocesan newsletter reported, “She walks in the ways of God in the church and the community. She uses her God-given gifts in all she is and in all she does. Betty has graciously and faithfully served her parish, diocese, province and the national church in ways too numerous to mention here.” It goes without saying that her presence, wisdom, and grace will be greatly missed, but her untiring service to her family, friends, church and community will continue as an inspiration to all who knew her.

A memorial service was held May 17 at St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church in Midland.

Online condolences may be offered here.The Gilmore family suggests memorial gifts may be sent to:

The Gilmore family’s suggested memorial gifts are listed here.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Two Iranian Christians face court hearing

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 11:15am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Two Iranian Christians arrested at a Christmas celebration in 2014 have been summoned to a court hearing this Sunday. Victor Bet Tamraz was seized at his home along with Amin Nader Afshar. They were subsequently released on bail, but Amin Nader Afshar was then re-arrested last August during a picnic along with four others, including Tamraz’s son.

Full article.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

World Council of Churches delegation arrives in Zimbabwe for ecumenical visit

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 11:13am

[Anglican Communion News Service] The World Council of Churches general secretary, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, has arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe, leading a delegation of church leaders from Europe, Africa and North America. The two-day trip is an ecumenical solidarity visit to manifest Christian churches’ support for the people of Zimbabwe.

Full article.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Declaración conjunta del Obispo Presidente Episcopal y de la Obispa Presidenta de ELCA: Para un momento como éste: llamado a la oración, el ayuno y la defensoría

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 4:02pm

[18 de mayo de 2017] Michael Curry, Obispo Presidente de la Iglesia Episcopal, y Elizabeth Eaton, Obispa Presidenta de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América (ELCA), emitieron una declaración conjunta pidiendo oración, ayuno y actividades de defensoría.

La declaración “Para un momento como éste: llamado a la oración, el ayuno y la defensoría”, hace un llamado al ayuno el 21 de cada mes hasta diciembre de 2018, momento en el que concluirá el 115º Congreso.

Se estableció el 21 de cada mes porque, para ese tiempo, ya se ha utilizado 90% de los beneficios del programa SNAP (antes llamados cupones para alimentos), por lo que la última semana del mes es la semana del hambre en Estados Unidos.

El ayuno se pondrá en marcha con un grupo de dirigentes nacionales y locales que ayunarán durante tres días, del 21 al 23 de mayo. Estos líderes incluyen al Obispo Presidente Curry, la Obispa Presidenta Eaton y a miembros de la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal.

#ForSuchATime

Video Mensajes
AQUÍ encontrará un video del Obispo Presidente Curry. Al final encontrará una transcripción del video.

AQUÍ encontrará un video de la Obispa Presidenta Eaton.

Declaración conjunta
AQUÍ encontrará la declaración conjunta del Obispo Presidente Curry y de la Obispa Presidenta Eaton:

“Para un momento como este”
Llamado conjunto a la oración, el ayuno y la defensoría

Nos unimos, en nuestro papel de líderes de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América y de la Iglesia Episcopal, para oponernos a los profundos recortes que se están haciendo en programas que son vitales para la gente que tiene hambre y que vive en pobreza. Hacemos este llamado en anticipación del 21 de mayo, “Día Global de Oración para Acabar con la Hambruna”. Resaltamos la importancia de la asistencia extranjera y alivio humanitario como miembros del Consejo Mundial de Iglesias.

Pero también queremos hacer un llamado a la oración, el ayuno y la defensa no solamente el 21 de mayo sino que a lo largo del 115º Congreso. En la invitación Bread for the World (Pan para el Mundo), nos aliamos con socios ecuménicos y nos comprometimos a dirigir a nuestras congregaciones y ministerios hacia el ayuno, la oración y la defensoría, reconociendo la necesidad de que nuestros corazones, cuerpos y comunidades se involucren en el combate contra la pobreza. El llamado a la oración expresa:

“Ayunamos para fortalecer nuestra defensoría, en solidaridad con las familias que padecen de hambre. Ayunamos para solidarizarnos con los vecinos que están hambrientos, que han sido desplazados y que son vulnerables a los conflictos y al cambio climático. Ayunamos por los inmigrantes que están tratando de crear un mejor futuro para sus familias y que ahora corren el riesgo de la deportación. Ayunamos en solidaridad con las familias en el programa SNAP, quienes con frecuencia se quedan sin comida en la última semana de cada mes”.

A nivel local, estadounidenses en todo el país están viviendo en pobreza, y muchos programas financiados por el Gobierno les permiten cuidar y alimentar a sus familias. En el extranjero, debemos saber que la asistencia externa y la ayuda humanitaria brindan auxilio a las regiones que padecen hambruna e inseguridad alimentaria, incluido Sudán del Sur, Somalia, Yemen y la cuenca del lago Chad. Combatiremos todas aquellas propuestas que busquen eliminar o retirar el financiamiento de programas con una utilidad comprobada en la lucha contra la pobreza, en este país y en el exterior.

La historia de Ester nos alienta en nuestro camino de ayuno, oración y defensoría. Ester, quien era judía, era la esposa del rey persa. Cuando se planeó matar a todos los judíos en el Imperio, Mordechai, primo de Ester, le suplicó que fuese ante el rey y usara su voz para abogar por ellos, aunque esto pusiera su vida en peligro. Le pidió no callar, ya que había sido elegida “para un momento como éste”. Ester le pidió a la gente que ayunara y orara con ella durante tres días para fortalecer su alegato ante el rey, lo que permitió salvar las vidas de su pueblo.

La intención de Dios es el florecimiento de todas las personas y estamos llamados a participar en su propósito amoroso, apoyando a nuestro prójimo que sufre de hambre y de pobreza. Con el ayuno ecuménico Círculo de Protección de 2011, cuyo objetivo era fortalecer a la comunidad religiosa que se oponía a los recortes en programas vitales para la lucha contra la pobreza, también pudimos estar preparándonos “para un momento como éste”. Nos comprometemos e invitamos a nuestros miembros a que cada mes hagan un día de ayuno para fortalecer nuestros esfuerzos a fin de convencer a los miembros del Congreso a que protejan los programas enfocados en la pobreza.

Reverendísimo Michael B. Curry, Obispo Presidente y Primado de la Iglesia Episcopal
Reverenda Elizabeth A. Eaton, Obispa Presidenta de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América

Video mensaje del Obispo Presidente Curry
A continuación, la transcripción del video del mensaje del Obispo Presidente Curry:

Michael Curry, Obispo Presidente de la Iglesia Episcopal

“A partir del 21 de mayo, ayunamos, rezamos y amamos para abogar por nuestros hijos.”

Hay un libro maravilloso que se publicó hace unos años titulado “Comer, Rezar, Amar”.Quiero invitarlos a que ayunen, oren y amen, abogando por aquéllos que no tienen a nadie que lo haga por ellos.

El 21 de mayo me uniré a Elizabeth Eaton, Obispa Presidenta de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América, y a muchos de nuestros amigos ecuménicos, en un ayuno de un día que se repetirá el 21 de cada mes y se mantendrá hasta el final del año 2018, cuando el 115º período de sesiones del Congreso llegue a su fin.

Éste es el motivo de este ayuno: esa fecha, alrededor del día 21 de cada mes, es un momento muy difícil para las personas que viven de la asistencia pública y que ya han recibido la ayuda de ese mes. Así que ayunaremos y oraremos para que nuestro gobierno y nuestros líderes encuentren la manera de hacer lo que es justo, bueno y compasivo, en el mejor espíritu americano.

Pero no sólo ayunaremos y oraremos. Les pedimos que se unan a nosotros para abogar de diversas maneras por los pobres, por aquéllos que necesitan asistencia pública para los niños, que son los principales beneficiarios de la mayoría de las formas de asistencia que ofrece nuestro gobierno. Les pedimos que se unan a otros cristianos y a otras personas de buena voluntad para ayudar a que nuestro gobierno refleje lo mejor del espíritu americano, alimentando al hambriento, cuidando a nuestros hijos y asegurándonos que todos tengan oportunidades de vida y libertad, no sólo en nuestro país, sino en nuestro mundo.

Hay una historia en la Biblia, en el Libro de Ester en las Escrituras Hebreas. Es la historia del pueblo de Dios que tuvo que pasar por momentos difíciles. Había una mujer llamada Ester que se levantó y aceptó el reto, incluso poniéndose en riesgo ella misma. Un reto para salvar a su pueblo que estaba en peligro. En un momento dado, cuando estaba tratando de decidir si debía o no debía asumir ese trabajo para salvar a su pueblo, alguien llamado Mardoqueo le envió un mensaje: “Tal vez, Ester, has venido al reino para un momento como éste”.

Tal vez somos Ester. Tal vez nosotros en la Iglesia Episcopal, tal vez nosotros en la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América, tal vez nosotros que somos cristianos y personas de fe y buena voluntad hemos venido al reino para un momento como éste, para ayudar a que en nuestro país ningún niño se vaya a dormir con hambre.

Comer, Orar, Amar es un libro maravilloso, pero quiero invitarles a partir del 21 de mayo a ayunar, rezar y amar a fin de abogar por nuestros niños.

Dios te ama, Dios te bendiga y te mantenga la fe.

Michael B. Curry, Obispo Presidente y Primado
La Iglesia Episcopal

Recursos
Information about “For Such A Time As This” here

The Episcopal Public Policy Network. here

ELCA Advocacy Network here

Bread for the World here

WCC Global Day of Prayer to End Famine resources here

#ForSuchATime

Categories: Episcopal Church News

El espíritu de oración de la Iglesia Episcopal contribuye a la campaña de ‘Venga tu Reino’

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 3:48pm

[Episcopal News Service] Antes de que la Iglesia fuera la Iglesia, los primeros seguidores de Jesús se enfrentaron a un momento de incertidumbre. Él había ascendido al cielo, luego de prometer que enviaría al Espíritu Santo “dentro de no muchos días”. Sin embargo, la prometida investidura para ser sus testigos no se había materializado. En consecuencia, Hechos 1:14 dice que ellos “perseveraban unánimes en oración”.

Se dice que oraron durante 11 días hasta que las lenguas de fuego de Pentecostés descendieron sobre ellos y el Espíritu Santo les dio el poder de predicar el evangelio, contando la historia de cómo el reino de Dios se les había acercado en la persona de Jesús. Su testimonio empezó a atraer a otros que se comprometieron a seguir a Jesús y juntos formaron la Iglesia naciente.

En la Iglesia de hoy, estos 11 días que llegan después de Pascua, en el momento en que la primavera da paso al verano, no llaman mucho la atención. Sin embargo, por segundo año consecutivo, la campaña Venga tu Reinoiniciada por el arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby, se propone reenfocar a los cristianos de todo el mundo en el ejemplo de los primeros discípulos. Él quiere que las personas conozcan “lo que significa seguir a Cristo y a qué sorprendente trayectoria eso puede llevarlas”, explicó Emma Buchan, líder del proyecto de evangelización del Palacio de Lambeth.

Venga tu Reino invita a los individuos, familias y congregaciones a orar — entre el Día de la Ascensión (25 de Mayo) y el Domingo de Pentecostés (4 de junio)— que sus amigos, familiares y vecinos vengan a conocer a Jesucristo. La campaña sugiere que los participantes mantengan a cinco personas específicas en sus oraciones durante los 11 días. Además, se les invita a dar a conocer sus oraciones compartiendo una breve plegaria cada uno de los 11 días a través de las redes sociales (véanse los detalles al final. El lema es “Rézalo —Retrátalo — Publícalo”.

El tema de cada día es tomado del catecismo de la Iglesia Episcopal que aparece en el Libro de Oración Común. La sección de Oración y Culto del catecismo (página 748 aquí) menciona los principales tipos de oración como adoración, alabanza, acción de gracias, penitencia, oblación, intercesión y petición. Los organizadores añadieron una oración a Jesús así como oraciones de celebración, de silencio y porque venga tu reino. Modificaron algo el lenguaje, convirtiendo la oblación en “ofrenda”, la intercesión en “oración por [alguien o algo]” y la petición se convirtió en “ayuda”.

“Se nos pidió que sugiriéramos una estrategia para implicar a clérigos de todo el mundo y también para determinar un modo de garantizar que el componente de la oración en que se les pide a las personas que participen sea substancial y profundo”, dijo Jamie Coats, director de los Amigos de la Sociedad de San Juan Evangelista a Episcopal News Service.

Los hermanos de la SSJE habían colaborado con la Oficina de la Comunión Anglicana para ofrecer Palabra de Adviento y esa oficina les pidió discutieran con el Palacio de Lambeth “ideas que pudieran ayudar a las personas a orar juntas alrededor del mundo”

A la cabeza de su lista de sugerencias estaban las oraciones de Venga tu Reino que siguen el patrón del catecismo  y que los hermanos elaboraron a petición de la entonces obispa primada Katharine Jefferts Schori para la Oración de los Fieles en la reunión de la Convención General de 2015.

Definiendo al catecismo episcopal como hermoso y poético, así como bien formulado, Coats dijo que la opción es un “reconocimiento de la obra extraordinariamente bella que se plasmó en el catecismo”.

“Ha sido estupendo trabajar con el Palacio de Lambeth y verles extenderse y colaborar con personas de todo el mundo”, dijo Coats. Añadió que gran parte del trabajo se ha hecho adaptando el lenguaje de la Iglesia a audiencias más amplias y diversas extendidas por muchas zonas horarias.

“Estamos realmente encantados de trabajar con la Iglesia Episcopal y en verdad nos encanta unirnos con iglesias de todo el mundo en este tiempo de oración”, dijo Buchan a ENS.

“A nosotros nos parece una gran cosa tener un tema para cada día”, subrayó Buchan refiriéndose al enfoque diario basado en el catecismo. Sencillamente darle a la gente una oportunidad de congregarse para orar de muchas maneras, y considerar lo que Dios podría estar llamándoles a hacer, a orar por los que aman”, así como por todas las otras cosas de sus vidas.

Todo el trabajo se basa en la esperanza de que la gente se acerque más a Jesús, afirmó ella.

Esa esperanza se ajusta perfectamente a la misión de la SSJE. “Como miembros de una comunidad monástica, estamos comprometidos a ayudar a que las personas aprendan a orar en sus vidas”, dijo James Koester, superior de la SSJE.

“Creemos que esto es lo que Jesús hizo cuando enseñó a sus discípulos la oración que conocemos como el Padre Nuestro. Durante los 11 días de Venga tu Reino, es nuestra esperanza que todo el que participe profundice su amistad con Jesús y llegue a saber que todos los aspectos de su vida son materia de oración.

En su vídeo inicial de las meditaciones diarias de Venga tu Reino, el obispo primado Michael Curry dice que la oración lo cambia todo. Foto de ENS.

La meditación del obispo primado Michael Curry en “AJesús” [#ToJesus] da inicio a las 11 jornadas el 25 de Mayo. Más de 100.000 personas se comprometieron a orar en la primera ronda de Venga tu Reino en 2016, según Buchan, a quien contrataron para planificar ese empeño. Ese año el objetivo era de 5.000 participantes. Buchan definió el resultado como “una obra sorprendente del Espíritu Santo”.

Coats dijo que los 11 días tienen la intención de “darles a probar a las personas diferentes maneras de orar” y de pensar cómo podrían usar los materiales de Venga tu Reino, los cuales son esencialmente intemporales, en otros momentos del año también.

Los detalles de cómo hacerlo

Comprométete a orar [Pledge2Pray]

Acceso a los materiales e información

Una amplia gama de materiales e información para ayudar a participar en Venga tu Reino se encuentran disponibles aquí. Por ejemplo, un diario de oración para que jóvenes y adultos registren pensamientos, oraciones e ideas a lo largo de los 11 días puede descargarse aquí. Una guía del coordinador para personas que quieren seguir Venga tu Reino en un grupo puede encontrarse aquí.

Ora en persona

A través de Inglaterra, tendrán lugar eventos de oración de todas formas y tamaños, entre ellos salones de oración continua, días de oración, caminatas de oración y vigilias de oración que durarán la mitad de la noche. Catedrales, iglesias y otros espacios de la Iglesia de Inglaterra serán sedes de “Eventos modelos” que reunirán a personas para adorar y pedir ser investidos del Espíritu Santo para dar un testimonio eficaz.

Si bien la mayoría de tales eventos tendrán lugar en Inglaterra, hay una lista breve pero creciente de eventos que tendrán lugar en EE.UU.

La Iglesia de Inglaterra está supliendo ejemplares a bajo costo (aproximadamente a $1 cada uno) de “La Vida: un relato de la vida de Jesucristo según Lucas [The Life: An Account of the Life of Jesus Christ According to Luke] para ser repartidos en los eventos relacionados con Venga tu Reino.

Mensajes de vídeo

El líder de la oración de cada día ofrece un vídeo que lo presenta a él o ella rezando una oración de su propia cosecha basada en el tema del día. El programa es:

  • Mayo 25 #ToJesus [A Jesús]: Rvdmo. Michael Curry, obispo presidente y primado de la Iglesia Episcopal
  • Mayo 26 #Praise [Alabanza]: Su Eminencia Christoph Cardenal Schonborn, arzobispo de Viena
  • Mayo 27 #Thanks [Gracias]: Rvdmo. Paul Kwong, arzobispo de Hong Kong
  • Mayo 28 #Sorry [Penitencia]: Ven. Liz Adekunle, arcediana de Hackney, Londres
  • Mayo 29 #Offer [Ofrenda]: Rvdma. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, obispa de Cuba
  • Mayo 30 #PrayFor [Oración por alguien]: Rvdmo. Fred Hiltz, arzobispo y primado de la Iglesia Anglicana del Canadá
  • Mayo 31 #Help [Ayuda] Rvdmo. John Sentamu, arzobispo de York y primado de Inglaterra
  • Junio 1 #Adore [Adoración]: Rdo. Roger Walton, presidente de la Conferencia Metodista Británica
  • Junio 2 #Celebrate [Celebración]: Su Excelencia Obispo Angaelos, obispo general de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Copta en el Reino Unido.
  • Junio 3 #Silence [Silencio]: Hno. Keith Nelson, Sociedad de San Juan Evangelista
  • Junio 4 #ThyKingdomCome [Venga tu Reino]: Rvdmo. Y Excmo. Justin Welby, arzobispo de Cantórbery y primado de Toda Inglaterra.

– La Rda Mary Frances Schjonberg es redactora sénior y reportera de Episcopal News Service.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Episcopal Church’s sense of prayer aids ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ campaign

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 1:01pm

[Episcopal News Service] Before the church was the church, the first followers of Jesus faced an uncertain time. He had ascended into heaven, after pledging to send the Holy Spirit “not many days from now.” However, the promised empowerment to be his witnesses had not materialized. So, Act 1:14 says, they prayed, constantly.

It is said they prayed for 11 days until Pentecost’s tongues of fire descended on them and the Holy Spirit gave them the power to spread the gospel, telling the story of how the kingdom of God had come near them in the person of Jesus. Their witness began drawing in others who committed to following Jesus and together they formed a nascent church.

Today in the church, these 11 days do not get much attention, coming as they do after Easter as spring eases into summer. However, for the second year, Thy Kingdom Come, a campaign initiated by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, seeks to refocus Christians worldwide around the world on the early disciples’ example. He wants people to know “what it means to follow Christ and what an amazing journey that takes you on,” explained Emma Buchan, project leader of Lambeth Palace’s evangelism task group project.

Thy Kingdom Come invites individuals, families and congregations to pray between Ascension Day (May 25) and Pentecost (June 4) that their friends, families and neighbors come to know Jesus Christ. The campaign suggests that participants keep five specific people in their prayers during the 11 days. Moreover, they are invited to make their prayers known by sharing a short prayer on each of the 11 days through social media (details below). The motto is “Pray it – Picture it – Post it.”

Each day’s theme comes from the catechism in the Episcopal Church’s version of the Book of Common Prayer. The catechism’s prayer and worship section (page 856 here) lists the principal kinds of prayer as adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession and petition. The organizers added a prayer to Jesus as well as prayers of celebration, silence and for thy kingdom come. They modified some of the language, with penitence becoming “sorry,” oblation becoming “offer,” intercession becoming “pray for” and petition becoming “help.”

“We were asked to suggest a strategy for involving clergy around the world and also to figure out a way of making sure that the prayer component in which people are asked to participate is of substance and depth,” Jamie Coats, director of the Friends of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist told Episcopal News Service.

The SSJE brothers have worked with the Anglican Communion Office to offer Advent Word and that office asked them to discuss with Lambeth Palace “ideas that could help people pray around the world together.”

High on their list of suggestions was that Thy Kingdom Come’s prayers follow the catechism pattern that the brothers developed at the request of then-Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori for the Prayers of the People at the 2015 meeting of General Convention.

Calling the Episcopal catechism beautiful and poetic as well as very well-articulated, Coats said the choice is a “recognition of the extraordinarily beautiful work that went into the catechism.”

“It’s been wonderful to work with Lambeth Palace and see them reaching out and working with people around the world,” Coats said. He added that much of that work has been around adapting church language to broader, diverse audiences spread over many time zones.

“We’re really delighted to be working with the Episcopal Church and we’re really delighted to be joining together with churches around the world in this time of praying,” Buchan told ENS.

“They just seemed to us to be a good thing to have a theme for each day,” Buchan said of the catechism-based daily focus. “Just to give people an opportunity to come in many ways to prayer, and to consider what God might be calling them to do, to pray for those they love,” as well are for all of the other things in their lives.

All of the work is anchored in the hope that people will come closer Jesus, she said.

That hope fits perfectly with SSJE’s mission. “As members of a monastic community, we brothers are committed to helping people learn to pray their lives,” said James Koester, SSJE’s superior. “We believe that this is what Jesus did when he taught the disciples the prayer we now know as the Lord’s Prayer. During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is our hope that everyone who participates will deepen their friendship with Jesus and come to know that every aspect of their life is the stuff of prayer.”

In his lead-off video for Thy Kingdom Come’s daily meditations, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says prayer changes everything. Photo: Episcopal News Service

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s meditation on #ToJesus leads off the 11 days on May 25.

More than 100,000 people committed to prayer during Thy Kingdom Come’s first round in 2016, according to Buchan, who was hired to plan the 2016 effort. That year the goal was 5,000 participants. Buchan called that outcome “an amazing work of the Holy Spirit.”

Coats said the 11 days are meant to “give people a taste of the different ways to pray” and think about how they might use the Thy Kingdom come materials, which are essentially timeless, at other times of the year as well.

The how-to details

Pledge2Pray

Access resources and information

A wide range of resources and information to aid participation in Thy Kingdom Come are available here. For instance, a prayer journal for young people and adults to record thoughts, prayers and ideas throughout the 11 days can be downloaded here. A facilitator’s guide for people who want to follow Thy Kingdom Come in a group is available here.

Pray in person

Across England, prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place, including 24/7 prayer rooms, prayer days, prayer walks and half nights of prayer. Church of England cathedrals, churches and other venues will host “Beacon Events,” gathering people to worship and pray for to be empowered of the Holy Spirit for effective witness.

While the majority of such events will happen in England, there is a short but growing list of U.S.-based events.

The Church of England is supplying low-cost copies (about $1 each) of “The Life: An Account of the Life of Jesus Christ According to Luke” () to be given away at Thy Kingdom Come-related events.

Video messages

Each day’s prayer leader offers a video featuring him or her praying a prayer of his or her own design based on that day’s theme. The schedule is:

  • May 25 #ToJesus: The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate, the Episcopal Church
  • May 26 #Praise: His Eminence Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna
  • May 27 #Thanks: The Most Rev. Paul Kwong, archbishop of Hong Kong
  • May 28 #Sorry: The Ven. Liz Adekunle, archdeacon of Hackney, London
  • May 29 #Offer: The Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, bishop of Cuba
  • May 30 #PrayFor: The Most. Rev. Fred Hiltz, archbishop and primate, the Anglican Church of Canada
  • May 31 #Help: The Most Rev. John Sentamu, archbishop of York and primate of England
  • June 1 #Adore: The Rev. Roger Walton, president, British Methodist Conference
  • June 2 #Celebrate: His Grace Bishop Angaelos, general bishop, the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom
  • June 3 #Silence: Br. Keith Nelson, the Society of St. John the Evangelist
  • June 4 #ThyKingdomCome: The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of All England

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is senior editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Episcopal, ELCA presiding bishops issue joint statement calling for prayer, fasting for hunger awareness

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 12:51pm

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have issued a joint statement calling for prayer, fasting and advocacy.

The statement, For Such a Time as This: A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy, calls for fasting on the 21st of each month through December 2018, at which time the 115th Congress will conclude. 

The 21st of each month is targeted because by that time each month, 90% of SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits have been used, thereby causing the last week of the month as the hungry week in America.

 The fast will launch with a group of national and local leaders doing a three-day fast together May 21-23. These leaders include Presiding Bishop Curry, Presiding Bishop Eaton, and leadership throughout the Episcopal Church.

Video messages

A video by Presiding Bishop Curry is here.  A transcript of the video can be found below.

A video by Presiding Bishop Eaton is here.

Joint statement

The joint statement of Presiding Bishop Curry and Presiding Bishop Eaton follows:

 “For Such a Time As This”: Joint Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy

We are coming together as leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church to oppose deep cuts to programs that are vital to hungry people struggling with poverty. We make this call in anticipation of the May 21 Global Day of Prayer to End Famine. We highlight the importance of foreign assistance and humanitarian relief as members of the World Council of Churches.

We also make a call to pray, fast, and advocate not just on May 21, but throughout the 115th Congress. At the invitation of Bread for the World, we join with ecumenical partners and pledge to lead our congregations and ministries in fasting, prayer and advocacy, recognizing the need to engage our hearts, bodies, and communities together to combat poverty. As the call to prayer articulates,

“We fast to fortify our advocacy in solidarity with families who are struggling with hunger. We fast to be in solidarity with neighbors who suffer famine, who have been displaced, and who are vulnerable to conflict and climate change. We fast with immigrants who are trying to make a better future for their families and now face the risk of deportation. We fast in solidarity with families on SNAP, who often run out of food by the last week of the month.”

Domestically, Americans throughout the country are struggling with poverty, and many government-funded programs allow them to care for and feed their families. As we look overseas, we must acknowledge that foreign assistance and humanitarian relief can help to address regions confronting famine and food insecurity, including South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Lake Chad Basin. We will challenge proposals to eliminate or defund proven anti-poverty programs, at home and abroad.

The story of Esther provides encouragement for our fasting, prayer and advocacy. Esther, a Jew, was the wife of the Persian king. When plans were made to slaughter all the Jews in the empire, Esther’s cousin Mordechai pleaded with her to go to the king and use her voice to advocate for them, even though this might place her life in danger. He urged her not to remain silent, as she may have been sent “for such a time as this.” Esther asked people to fast and pray with her for three days to fortify her advocacy before the king, resulting in saving the lives of her people.

God’s intention is the flourishing of all people and we are called to participate in God’s loving purpose by standing with our neighbor who struggle with poverty and hunger. Following the Circle of Protection ecumenical fast in 2011 to fortify the faith community in opposing cuts to vital anti-poverty programs, we may have also have been prepared “for such a time as this”. We commit ourselves to and invite our members to one day of fasting every month to undergird our efforts to convince our members of Congress to protect poverty-focused programs. 

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, the Episcopal Church

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

When does the fast begin? An opening three-day fast begins on Sunday, May 21. We will continue by fasting on the 21st day of each month through the close of the 115th Congress at the end of 2018. We fast on the 21st of the month because that is the day when 90% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits run out for families.

How do we fast? We are calling for prayer, fasting, and advocacy. Fasting is an effort to clear our bodies, our hearts, and our minds from the distractions around us so that we may be more present to God. Fasting from food is one option that many will choose. But we invite people to take on other disciplines of self-denial, such as fasting from technology, or particular habits, which will help them rely more fully on God.

 These days of fasting should also be days of advocacy to oppose cuts to public programs that help hungry people living in poverty. Individuals or congregations who participate in the fast will receive updates, prayer and advocacy action opportunities by signing up for either the Episcopal Public Policy Network or ELCA Advocacy.

Prayer accompanies and undergirds the disciplines of fasting and advocacy. It roots our actions in our total reliance on God’s loving grace and mercy. Turning to God in prayer shapes our advocacy and informs our fasting, grounding our actions in God’s call to love and serve our neighbor.

Presiding Bishop Curry’s video message

The transcript of Presiding Bishop Curry’s video message follows:

There is a wonderful book that was published some years ago titled “Eat, Pray, Love.” I want to invite you to fast, pray, and love by advocating for those who have no one to advocate for them. 

On May 21, I am going to join with Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and many of our ecumenical friends, in fasting for the day, and beginning a fast on the 21st of every month, continuing until the end of the year 2018, when the 115th Congressional session comes to an end. 

Here is the reason for that fast: That time of the month, around the 21st of every month, is a very difficult time for people who are on public assistance and have received their assistance earlier in the month. So we will fast and pray, to pray that our government and our leaders will find a way to do what is just and kind and compassionate in the best of the American spirit.

But we will not only fast and pray. We are asking you to join with us in advocating in a variety of ways for the poor, for those who need public assistance for children who are the primary beneficiaries of most of the forms of assistance that our government provides. We are asking you to join with other Christians and other people of goodwill to help our government reflect the best of the American spirit by feeding the hungry, caring for our children, and making sure that everyone has the opportunities for life and liberty not only in our country, but in our world. 

There is a story in the Bible, in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is the story of the people of God who found themselves in some tough times, and there was a woman named Esther who rose up and accepted the challenge at some risk to herself. A challenge to save her people when they were in jeopardy. At a moment of decision when she was trying to decide whether or not she should enter into the work to save her people, someone named Mordecai sent her a word, and said, “Perhaps Esther, you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” 

Maybe we are Esther. Perhaps we in the Episcopal Church, perhaps we in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, perhaps we who are Christians and people of faith and goodwill have come to the kingdom for such a time as this, to help our country make sure that no child goes to bed hungry. 

“Eat, Pray, Love” is a wonderful book, but I want to invite you beginning on May 21 to fast, to pray, and to love by advocating for our children.

God love you, God bless you, and you keep the faith. 

Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry, The Episcopal Church

Resources

Information about “For Such A Time As This”

The Episcopal Public Policy Network

ELCA Advocacy Network

Bread for the World

WCC Global Day of Prayer to End Famine resources

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Suheil Dawani elected primate of Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:01am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Suheil Dawani of the Diocese of Jerusalem has been elected as the next primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. He succeeds Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, who has held the post since 2007.

Full article.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

New Diocese of Texas curriculum empowers kindergarten to 7th graders

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 9:46am

[Diocese of Texas press release] New programs to help children and youth keep themselves safe have recently been released, the Rev. Canon Carol Petty, canon for wellness & pastoral care/safe church minister for the Diocese of Texas has announced.A new curriculum for K-4

A new curriculum for K-4th grade and 5th -7th grade, “I KNOW! Myself. My Boundaries. My Responses,” is online here and available at no charge as an empowering program for children and youth, their ministry leaders, teachers and parents. A Spanish version will be available in 2018.

In 2003, the Episcopal Church directed each diocese to develop and adopt policies for the protection of children and youth from abuse. By the end of that year, the Diocese of Texas had helped Church Pension Group develop some of the first Safeguarding God’s Children materials and has, in the last 14 years, trained tens of thousands of people in the prevention of sexual abuse to children and youth. The I KNOW! curriculum is an extension of this work that will give children the tools they need to help protect themselves. There is also a program called Safeguarding God’s People for adults.

“The question of how we help children keep themselves safe kept coming to my attention so I spoke to parishes and schools about creating safe and healthy environments,” said Petty. “I gathered a team of passionate and gifted folks to create a curriculum and I’m very pleased with the results.  I know this will be a gift from the diocese to ministry leaders, teachers, parents and the children they love and serve.”

“Our prayer is that young people will recognize their inherent personal worth and feel empowered to protect themselves in uncomfortable situations,” she said.

I KNOW! materials can be adapted to any context, and include a facilitator’s guide, short videos and worksheets.  Students learn that they are valuable and beloved children of God, the importance of boundaries and they discuss and role-play potential responses to uncomfortable situations.

“We expect that I KNOW! will be used broadly in various settings across the Diocese and the wider church,” said Bishop Andy Doyle. “There’s nothing else like it out there, and we are certain it will strengthen students’ confidence when responding to situations that may be uncomfortable.”

The I KNOW! team includes volunteers Morgan Stokes, Middle School Chaplain at St Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin; Ashley Brandon, Lower School Chaplain at St. Andrews Episcopal School, Austin; Amanda Wischkaemper, Children’s Ministry Director at St. David’s Austin;  Sam Hensley, Director of Music and Mission at Good Shepherd on the Hill, Austin; Cheryl Rosier, PhD, LPC; Suzette Puckett, Founder/Director of Summer Performing Arts, Austin; and Gavin Tatro of Carve Editorial, Austin. Students at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin and Summer Performing Arts students appeared in the videos and photographs.

Contact Petty with any questions at cpetty@epicenter.org.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Full communion proposal of Episcopal Church-United Methodist:

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 2:05pm

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church – United Methodist Dialogue group have prepared A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church – A Proposal for Full Communion, the result of dialogue for a formal full-communion relationship.

In a recent letter, Bishop Frank Brookhart of Montana, Episcopal Church co-chair of the committee, with Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, the United Methodist Church, Ohio West Episcopal Area, offered, “The relationships formed over these years of dialogue, and the recognition that there are presently no theological impediments to unity, paved the way for this current draft proposal.” The entire letter is available here.

A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church – A Proposal for Full Communion, is located here.

In the coming months, opportunities for feedback, regional gatherings, and discussions will be slated.

Additional related information, including historical documents, is available here.

The work of the Episcopal-United Methodist Dialogue is enabled by two General Convention resolutions: 2015-A107 and 2006-A055.

For more information contact the Rev. Margaret Rose, Episcopal Church Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations at mrose@episcopalchurch.org.

Members of the Episcopal-United Methodist Dialogue
Episcopal
Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart
Bishop David Rice
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson
The Rev. Dr. Deirdre Good
The Rev. Jordan M. Haynie Ware
The Rev. Margaret R. Rose – Staff

United Methodist
Bishop Gregory Palmer
Reverend Patricia Farris
Reverend Dr. James Howell
Reverend Dr. Pamela Lightsey
Bishop Michael Watson
Reverend Dr. Robert J. Williams
Kyle Tau, PhD, MTS – staff

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Young Anglicans go into training to help Pacific communities adapt to climate change

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 1:55pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Sixteen young leaders from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have started two weeks of training in the South Pacific island of Tonga to help their communities adapt to climate change. The course will aim to improve their resilience in the face of the disasters, such as cyclones and flooding, that climate change brings.

Full article.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Presiding Bishop to speak at Church Divinity School of the Pacific commencement

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 1:38pm

[Church Divinity School of the Pacific] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will give the address at CDSP’s 123rd Commencement on May 19 at 10:30 a.m. PDT at the Chapel of the Great Commission at Pacific School of Religion. The event is open to the public and will be broadcast live online at www.cdsp.edu.

He will also preside at the baccalaureate Eucharist at 5:45 p.m. on May 18 at CDSP’s All Saints’ Chapel.

“Our leaders need to know how to help a community of people—a church—to both listen to the ways of faith and share faith,” Curry said in an interview for the upcoming issues of Crossings, CDSP’s magazine. “They need to know how to organize a community to be a community that is genuinely and authentically evangelical in the best sense of that word, in the biblical sense, a community of good news.”

In the interview, Curry said community organizing training had taught him, “how to provide leadership in a variety of settings, but particularly in a church.”

The Very Rev. Mark Richardson, CDSP’s dean and president, said Curry’s visit comes at a propitious time. “The presence of Presiding Bishop Curry among us at this most important time of year of commencement is a great honor. We will be uplifted by his passion and wisdom as we also share with him the steps CDSP is taking to form leaders for the church’s future.

“Our revised curriculum focuses on mission, discipleship and evangelism, and we now require a course in community organizing that equips students with skills in building relationships within congregations, and for leading congregations into the neighborhood.

“It is particularly fortunate that during the presiding bishop’s visit, he will demonstrate the power of the church’s leadership in the civic sphere by participating in the Diocese of California’s conference Eco-Justice: Safeguarding Climate, Food and Water.”

At the commencement, CDSP will award the Master of Divinity degree to seven candidates, including the first graduate from its low-residency program, and will also grant degrees or certificates to 13 students who have completed one of the following courses of study: the Doctor of Ministry, the Certificate of Anglican Studies, the Certificate of Theological Studies, the Certificate of Advanced Ministry Studies, and the Master of Arts degree in cooperation with the Graduate Theological Union.

The seminary will also grant honorary degrees to Curry; the Rt. Rev. Martín Barahona, retired bishop of El Salvador, who has been a staunch advocate for human rights in his country and survived a 2013 assassination attempt; and the Rev. Dr. Jae-Jeong Lee, superintendent of education in Gyeonggi province, South Korea, a lifelong advocate for higher education, human rights, democracy and the reunification of the Korean peninsula. 

Church Divinity School of the Pacific, a seminary of the Episcopal Church and a member of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, educates students in an ecumenical and interreligious context to develop leaders who can proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world through traditional and emerging ministries.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Episcopalians, Methodists propose full-communion agreement

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:01am

The Episcopal Church-United Methodist Dialogue Committee met in April in Charlotte, North Carolina.

[Episcopal News Service] A group of Episcopalians and Methodists has released its proposal for full communion between the two denominations.

Full implementation of the proposal will take at least three years. The Episcopal Church General Convention and the United Methodist Church General Conference must approve the agreement, which culminates 15 years of exploration and more than 50 years of formal dialogue between the two churches. General Convention next meets in July 2018 in Austin, Texas. The General Conference’s next meeting is in 2020.

The 10-page proposal, titled “A Gift to the World, Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness,” says it “is an effort to bring our churches into closer partnership in the mission and witness to the love of God and thus labor together for the healing of divisions among Christians and for the well-being of all.”

Montana Bishop Frank Brookhart, Episcopal co-chair of the dialogue, and Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, United Methodist co-chair, wrote in a recent letter that “the relationship formed over these years of dialogue, and the recognition that there are no theological impediments to unity, pave the way for this current draft proposal.”

In the coming months, there will be opportunities for feedback, regional gatherings and discussions on the proposal, according to a May 17 press release.

“We encourage you to reach across denominational lines to establish new relationships and deepen existing relationships by shared study of these materials and mutual prayer for the unity our churches,” Brookhart and Palmer wrote. “We believe that this proposal represents a significant witness of unity and reconciliation in an increasingly divided world and pray that you will join us in carrying this work.”

Additional related information, including historical documents, is available here.

The Episcopal Church defines “full communion” to mean “a relation between distinct churches in which each recognizes the other as a catholic and apostolic church holding the essentials of the Christian faith.” The churches “become interdependent while remaining autonomous,” the church has said.

The Episcopal Church-United Methodist Dialogue Committee, which developed the proposed agreement, says the two denominations are not seeking a merger but that they are “grounded in sufficient agreement in the essentials of Christian faith and order” to allow for the interchangeability of ordained ministries, among other aspects of the proposed agreement.

“We are blessed in that neither of our churches, or their predecessor bodies, have officially condemned one another, nor have they formally called into question the faith, the ministerial orders, or the sacraments of the other church,” the group said.

The Episcopal-Methodist proposal also benefited from the fact that Anglicans across the Communion and Methodists elsewhere in the world have an on-going dialogue, the group said. The dialogue launched a report in 2015, “Into All the World: Being and Becoming Apostolic Churches”, describing its progress. The launch highlighted a then-new new relationship of full communion between Irish Anglican and Methodists churches, and the historic concrete steps towards an inter-changeable ministry.

The Episcopal-United Methodist full-communion proposal acknowledges that the United Methodist Church “is one of several expressions of Methodism” and notes that both denominations have been in dialogue with the historically African American Methodist churches for nearly 40 years. They have also worked with African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), African Methodist Episcopal Church Zion, (AME Zion) and Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) in various ecumenical groups.

The Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church have taken some interim steps toward full communion in recent years. In 2006, they entered into Interim Eucharistic Sharing, a step that allowed for clergy of the two churches to share in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper under certain guidelines.  In 2010, the dialogue group issued a summary of its theological work called “A Theological Foundation for Full Communion between The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church”.

The proposal for full communion outlines agreements on the understanding of each order of ministry. The ministries of lay people, deacons Episcopal priests and United Methodist elders or presbyters (elder is the English translation of presbyter) would all be seen as interchangeable yet governed by the “standards and polity of each church.”

Both churches have somewhat similar understandings of bishops, according to the proposal.

“We affirm the ministry of bishops in The United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church to be adaptations of the historic episcopate to the needs and concerns of the post-[American] Revolutionary missional context,” the dialogue says in the proposal. “We recognize the ministries of our bishops as fully valid and authentic.”

The Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church would pledge that future consecrations of bishops would include participation and laying on of hands by at least three bishops drawn from each other’s church and from the full-communion partners they hold in common, the Moravian Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Episcopal Church currently is in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, India; Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht; the Philippine Independent Church; the Church of Sweden and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church. It is also engaged in formal bilateral talks with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Roman Catholic Church via the U.S. Conference of Bishops.

More information about the Episcopal Church’s dialogue with the United Methodist Church is here.

The work of the Episcopal-United Methodist Dialogue is enabled by two General Convention resolutions: 2015-A107 and 2006-A055.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is senior editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

 

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Diocese of North Carolina notified of successful canonical consent process

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 4:40pm

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry and Registrar of General Convention, the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, have notified the Diocese of North Carolina that Bishop-Elect Samuel Rodman has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process.

The Rev. Samuel Rodman was elected bishop on March 4. His ordination and consecration service is slated for July 15; Presiding Bishop Curry will officiate.

In Canon III.11.4 (b), Standing Committees, in consenting to the ordination and consecration, attest they are “fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.”

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Canadian bishops block consecration of diocesan bishop over his views

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 1:37pm

The Rev. Jake Worley, elected bishop of Caledonia April 22, will not be consecrated after a decision by the provincial house of bishops that he holds “views contrary to the Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada.” Photo: Anglican Journal

[Anglican Journal] The Rev. Jake Worley, elected bishop of the Diocese of Caledonia April 22, will not be consecrated, after a ruling by the House of Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon.

“As the Provincial House has registered its objection, the Rev. Worley will not be consecrated bishop in the Diocese of Caledonia in the Anglican Church of Canada,” reads a statement released May 15 by the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada. The statement specifies that, according to the canons of the province, the decision is final. The diocese will now proceed to hold another synod to elect another bishop, it adds.

Last month’s election was held to find a successor for Bishop William Anderson, who announced in late 2015 his plans to retire.

The house’s decision has to do with Worley’s views on his involvement with the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), a collection of theologically conservative churches that was originally a mission of the Anglican Province of Rwanda.

In 2007, Worley, who was born and raised in the U.S., planted a church in Las Cruces, New Mexico, as a missionary for the Anglican Province of Rwanda. (At some point after Worley left, that church joined the Anglican Church in North America, another grouping of conservative Anglican churches.)

The bishops began to discuss Worley’s views after a review of his service for AMiA, which, according to the statement, he performed “under license from the Province of Rwanda in the geographical jurisdiction of the Episcopal Church without permission of the Episcopal Church.”

“After many open and prayerful conversations, the majority of the House concluded that within the past five years the Rev. Worley has held—and continues to hold—views contrary to the Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada,” Archbishop John Privett, metropolitan of the province, is quoted as saying.

According to the canons of the diocese, the House of Bishops can object to the election of a bishop if “he or she teaches or holds or has within five years previously taught or held anything contrary to the Doctrine or Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada.”

“The view he held and holds is that it is acceptable and permissible for a priest of one church of the Anglican Communion to exercise priestly ministry in the geographical jurisdiction of a second church of the Anglican Communion without the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authority of that second church,” Privett continues.

The bishops made their decision, according to the statement, after they “reviewed the Rev. Worley’s past actions, what he has written directly to the House, and what he said when meeting with the Provincial House of Bishops.”

The bishops, the statement says, met several times after Worley’s election last month, to “review the materials before them” and meet with Worley.

The statement concludes with a request by the House of Bishops for prayers, “especially for the Worley family, for the Diocese of Caledonia and all those who worship and minister there.”

Neither Privett nor Worley was immediately available for comment as of press time.

Categories: Episcopal Church News

Bishop’s arrest in Philippines is condemned

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 2:17pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) has condemned the arrest and detention of Bishop Carlos Morales of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church) last week. Bishop Morales was arrested with his wife, driver and a companion at a checkpoint in the village of Gango in Ozamis City in the Philippines.

Full article.

Categories: Episcopal Church News