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Updated: 1 hour 59 min ago

RIP: Former Diocese of Georgia Bishop Harry Woolston Shipps

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 2:19pm

[Diocese of Georgia] The Diocese of Georgia mourns the death of the Rt. Rev. Harry Woolston Shipps, the eighth bishop of Georgia (1983-1994). He died the morning of Nov. 17 with his beloved wife, Louise, by his side. A Requiem Eucharist for Shipps will be held at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Savannah, Georgia, on Nov. 22  at 11 a.m.

The Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase, the 10th bishop of Georgia, said of Shipps: “He was a man of great character and purpose, always ready to listen and offer good counsel. He was enormously helpful to me as one who had sat in the chair I now occupy. I could always count on him to give me perspective and needed humor on the Office of Bishop. He was a great leader of this diocese because he loved God’s people so much. He was quite simply and humbly, a disciple of Jesus.”

Born on Jan. 28, 1926, in Bordentown, New Jersey,  Shipps attended Bordentown High School, Bordentown Military Institute, and the New York State Maritime Academy. On Jan. 9, 1946, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Maritime Service. He sailed on a troop ship, then with Grace Line Steamship Company, until called to active duty in the Navy during the Korean War. He was assigned to a Naval facility in Savannah, then to shipboard duty in the North Atlantic. He married the former Louise Huntington in 1953.

Following his discharge from active duty, he attended the School of Theology, University of the South, as a postulant sponsored by the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Savannah. Ordained a deacon in 1958 and a priest in January 1959 by Bishop Albert Rhett Stuart, he was first assigned by Stuart as vicar of St. Mark’s Church in Albany. Later, he served parishes in Savannah and Augusta. Prior to his election as bishop, he served the diocese as diocesan secretary, editor of the diocesan newspaper, member of Diocesan Council, president of the Standing Committee, and as a deputy to three General Conventions. He was rector of St. Alban’s, Augusta and the dean of the Augusta Convocation when he was elected bishop coadjutor on Sept. 15, 1983, and consecrated on Jan. 6, 1984. He became the diocesan bishop in 1985 upon the retirement of Bishop Paul Reeves.

Initially opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood, primarily on the grounds that it would impair ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church, Shipps early in his episcopate instituted a listening process to hear the diverse diocesan positions on the ordination of women, which the Episcopal Church permitted after its 1976 General Convention. Marking a change in his previous position, he initiated a process leading to women’s ordination in the diocese. Susan Harrison of Savannah was ordained to the diaconate in September 1985. Sonia Sullivan of Valdosta was later accepted as a postulant for the priesthood and ordained.

Shipps and fellow ecumenist, the Most Rev. Raymond W. Lessard, Roman Catholic bishop of Savannah, held several joint clergy conferences with noted speakers from both churches. This led to a covenant between the two dioceses calling for a number of mutual ministries and responsibilities.

During Shipps’ tenure as diocesan bishop, the Diocese of Georgia made headlines when a former Assembly of God minister, Stan White, led his entire congregation to join the Episcopal Church becoming the congregation of Christ the King in Valdosta.

Under Shipps’ leadership, a capital campaign raised $1.1 million. These funds enabled the diocese through matching fund grants to double the number of lodge rooms at Honey Creek Conference Center, build church buildings for Atonement, Augusta; Holy Cross, Thomson; Trinity, Statesboro; St. Elizabeth’s, Richmond Hill; and Grace, Sandersville. Land was also purchased in Effingham County and Columbia County.

In 1994 the diocese reported 17,197 baptized persons. Shipps’ reported in his convention address that year that the diocese had the second highest average Sunday attendance (relative to its baptized membership) of all the dioceses in the U.S. and that its stewardship average per household was also second highest in the Church.

After his retirement as bishop of Georgia in 1995, Shipps served as assistant bishop of the Diocese of Dallas for four years.

He and Louise, a gifted icon writer, artist, and teacher, have four children: Ruth Shipps, Susan Anderson (Daniel), Rebecca Eidson (Gary), and David Shipps (Sydney); seven grandchildren: Carol Lewis; Katie Lucas (Jordan), Spencer McGuire, Kristin Campbell (Richard), Joshua Anderson (Cami), Hunter Eidson, Abigail Shipps and David Shipps Jr.; and three great-grandchildren: Lucas Campbell, Riley Campbell and Oliver Lucas.

Gifts in memory of Shipps should be made out to the Diocese of Georgia.

Online Advent calendar created by the world

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 10:19am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Christians across the world are being invited to celebrate the season of Advent through an interactive, multilingual online calendar. The website goes live on Advent Sunday (Nov. 27) in nine languages including, for the first time, Arabic. It allows people around the globe to create together an advent calendar with images shared by their mobile phones.

Advent, which runs from Sunday, Nov. 27 to Christmas Eve, is the season when Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is traditionally marked with the putting up of an Advent calendar to count down the days. The calendars have daily windows which are opened to reveal images, small chocolates or other gifts.

AdventWord is a new twist on this old theme: it invites people to sign up to receive a daily meditation. Recipients are invited to submit a photograph in response on their social media account with the hashtag #AdventWord. The photographs are pulled together in real time to create a living Advent calendar.

The initiative is jointly run by the U.S.-based Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE), a religious order of men in Cambridge, Massachusetts; with the Lady Doak College, a women’s college in south India; and the Anglican Communion Office.

AdventWord is a wonderfully innovative way to engage people in prayer all over the world,” the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said. “I am so encouraged to see such a creative use of social media to bring the community of Christ together.

“The Bible calls on us to bring prayers and petitions to God. I urge Anglicans everywhere to sign up and get involved in what will be an extraordinary, powerful and global wave of prayer.”

Brother Jim Woodrum, one of the SSJE monks, commented: “When I was a kid I loved opening the windows in the Advent calendar. Each window contained a message that pointed to the great mystery of Christmas. And now, to my delight, you can actually log on to and pull back the windows for your own Advent calendar.

“And what’s more, you can add your own photos and experience the joy of praying with others from around the globe throughout the season of Advent.”

The AdventWord initiative was first launched in 2013. Since then it has been improved so that the daily reflection is now sent at 5am in the morning in each recipient’s home time zone. Last year it became multi-lingual with versions available in English, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil and American Sign Language. This year, thanks to St George’s Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem, it will also be available in Arabic.

Churches damaged by New Zealand earthquake

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 10:11am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Two people have been killed and many more injured following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the New Zealand town of Kaikoura this week. Almost 2,000 after-shocks have been felt since the main quake, which struck at two minutes past midnight on Nov. 14 NZDT. Several church buildings have been affected. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 landslides since Monday is combining with heavy rain to worsen the effects of the initial quake.

The Anglican Taonga website reports that the church bell tower at Waiau, in the Diocese of Christchurch, has sheared off from the body of the church. And in Wellington, St. Paul’s Cathedral was evacuated over fears that a nearby building may collapse. The cathedral itself survived intact; but its pipe organ has been severely damaged with pipework thrown over the choir area.

Full article.

Nashotah House announces $3.5 million legacy gift

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 9:46am

[Nashotah House Theological Seminary press release] Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin has received a $3.5 million commitment from the Order of St. Benedict Servants of Christ as a gift to carry on the Order’s legacy. The endowed fund will be used to support the St. Benedict Servants of Christ Professorship in Ascetical Theology and Monastic Studies and an annual international conference on religious life and Anglicanism also named for the Order.

The Order was founded in 1968 by the Very Rev. Dom Cornelis deRijk, OSB, a priest and Benedictine monk, with the Rev. Canon Lewis Long in Phoenix, Arizona. The Priory of the Servants of Christ is a Benedictine community guided by the balance of prayer, study, and work. DeRijk, the head of the order, received his Master of Divinity degree from Nashotah House in 1976. He died unexpectedly on Sept. 24 of this year.

As membership in the Order diminished, it became clear to deRijk that the Order needed to leave a legacy in a way that would appropriately recognize and carry on the Benedictine values that were at its core.

Originally conceived for monks, Benedictine spirituality underwrites The Book of Common Prayer and permeates the Anglican way of spiritual growth. As a monastic spirituality, it is concerned for community and the cultivation of charity. An embodied spirituality, the Benedictine way fastens spiritual life to the outward disciplines proven to foster inward growth.

“The Benedictine way of spirituality is a cornerstone of the Nashotah House ethos. As we practice the Benedictine disciplines of work, study, and prayer together the members of our community grow in faith, hope, and a love beyond words,” said the Very Rev. Steven A. Peay, dean and president of Nashotah House.

“This generous gift-investment will honor the Order’s legacy of service, keeping it alive in-perpetuity. It will insure that, for generations to come, House seminarians will benefit from their exposure to the great Church leaders and mentors who will occupy the Professorship and present at the annual international conference,” according to Peay.

“We are very humbled and proud that the Servants of Christ and their place in Church history will be permanently tied to Nashotah House and our mission.”

Founded in 1842, Nashotah House Theological Seminary is a recognized seminary for the Episcopal Church. Its mission is to educate the highest quality of leaders both ordained and lay, for the mission of the Church.

Animan a clérigos negros a recobrar a Jesús y su movimiento

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 7:57am

[Episcopal News Service – Houston, Texas] Clérigos negros de todo el ámbito de la Iglesia Episcopal y de algunas partes de la Comunión Anglicana dedican más de cuatro días en esta ciudad a explorar como recobrar la participación de la Iglesia Episcopal en el Movimiento de Jesús.

La Conferencia Internacional de Clérigos Negros, que sesiona bajo el lema: “El Movimiento de Jesús: aceptando nuestro llamado” está haciéndolo así mediante presentaciones plenarias, entre ellas el discurso de apertura del 16 de noviembre del obispos primado Michael Curry; conversaciones estilo indaba y reuniones de grupos afines.

En su discurso de apertura que tituló “El Movimiento de Jesús: aceptando el llamado”, Curry le dijo en repetidas ocasiones a los participantes que el Movimiento de Jesús no es una “invención de Michael Curry”, que tendrá una vida útil limitada.

“Es un solmene llamado a recobrar nuestros orígenes más profundos —las más profundas raíces de quienes somos— y por consiguiente saber cómo orientarse en un tiempo de profunda desorientación”, afirmó. “Asumimos una perspectiva distante y vamos al fondo de la cuestión”.

El Movimiento de Jesús, dijo Curry, tiene que ver con la evangelización y la reconciliación, y más.

“Es la obra de redimir esta creación. Es la obra de ayudar a que la justicia corra como impetuoso arroyo” [Am. 5:24], dijo. “Este Movimiento de Jesús —siguiendo la palabra de Jesús— liberará este mundo; nos liberará a todos. Yo no estoy inventando nada, está en la Biblia. Y para que la Iglesia Episcopal recobre eso hemos de recobrar quienes somos. Eso, amigos míos, constituye un punto de inflexión.”

Pero él agregó que la técnica fundamental del movimiento es sencilla y él mismo es la prueba fehaciente. “Estoy aquí porque alguien me mostró a Jesús”, dijo Curry, contando la historia de cómo llegó a entender a Jesús de forma diferente durante sus años universitarios cuando la sobredosis de un amigo hizo recordar cómo la fe de su abuela lo había sostenido en medio de la tristeza y de la pérdida.

El Rdo. Benjamin Twinamaani, rector de la iglesia episcopal de La Gracia [Grace Episcopal Church] una parroquia de 23 años en Tampa, Florida, se mostró de acuerdo respecto a la manera de encontrar a Jesús. Él se encontró con Jesús a través de un grupo cristiano de estudiantes de secundaria en su Uganda natal.

Twinamaani, cuyo nombre significa “juntos tenemos fuerza”, dijo en una entrevista con Episcopal News Service que en Uganda ”la evangelización se da por descontada”, y es principalmente tarea de los laicos. El papel del clérigo es el de entrenador. “Uno prepara a la gente y ellos salen y lo hacen”, dijo.

En [la iglesia de] La Gracia, los laicos, que dirigen la evangelización, trabajan dentro de su propio segmento demográfico de la comunidad, pero atienden también lo que pasa fuera de su grupo. Por ejemplo, el grupo de las Mujeres Episcopales decidió por su propia iniciativa comenzar a alimentar a personas indigentes del barrio. “Yo no les dije que lo hicieran”, apuntó.

De hecho, dijo Twinamaani, los clérigos pueden intervenir a veces y convertirse en un obstáculo. La Iglesia Episcopal es una institución muy clerical, afirmó, “pero yo he visto la otra parte donde los laicos conducen la iglesia y es mucho más dinámica”.

Durante muchos años, los anglicanos ugandeses equiparon a sus evangelistas con materiales creados por la Iglesia Episcopal en la Década de la Evangelización de los años 90. Twinamaani aún usa algunos de los conceptos que aprendió de esos materiales y cree que la Iglesia Episcopal debe reconsiderar su uso.

Twinamaani dijo que las personas tienen que darse cuenta también de que, como dijera Curry a [los participantes en] la conferencia, trabajar por el Movimiento de Jesús significa estar en ello para un largo recorrido y no esperar que las cosas cambien de la noche a la mañana. Él citó otros empeños tales como Cursillo que trabajó lentamente, pero duró mucho.

El Rdo. Lewis Powell, diácono de la Diócesis de California Norte, lee el evangelio el 16 de noviembre durante la eucaristía de apertura de la Conferencia Internacional de Clérigos Negros en la iglesia catedral de Cristo en el centro de Houston, Texas. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Y, para el Rdo. Lewis Powell, diácono de la Diócesis de California Norte, prepararse para el largo recorrido consiste en crear relaciones porque, señaló, es así como el Movimiento de Jesús debe comenzar. “Uno tiene que entablar una relación con alguien a fin de servirle”, dijo en una entrevista a ENS.

Pawell dijo que él concibe su ministerio diaconal como la persona que arregla los baches en la carretera que conecta la Iglesia con el mundo “tratando de hacer la vida más amable” y fomentando relaciones a lo largo del camino.

“Una vez que la relación se ha establecido, podemos avanzar para arreglar juntos otro bache”, añadió Powell, que sirve como misionero del ministerio indígena para California Norte.

Durante su visita a los protectores del agua en la reserva de la nación sioux de Roca Enhiesta, Powell contó que había aprendido que las personas deben estar relacionadas con el pasado y con el futuro, así como estar en relaciones pacíficas con las demás personas en el presente.

El resto de la conferencia
La conferencia se extiende del 16 al 19 de noviembre en el Hotel Magnolia del centro de Houston,

La sesión del 17 de noviembre, cuyo tema es “El Movimiento de Jesús: abrazando la Palabra, se centró en los modelos de ministerio de las Iniciativas de Nuevas Visiones para la renovación y la vitalidad congregacionales, el mutuo ministerio de clérigos y laicos y el liderazgo del clero. Las sesiones del 18 de noviembre se centrarán en “El Movimiento de Jesús: más allá de las conversaciones sobre raza, violencia, arrepentimiento y reconciliación”.

Durante el banquete de esa noche, se le rendirá tributo a los obispos negros de la Iglesia. A [cada uno de] los que se encuentren presentes se le dará la copia enmarcada, de 43 X 27 cm., de un cartel recién revisado de los obispos negros y un libro que la acompaña. Ambas cosas se les enviarán por correo a los obispos [negros] que no estén en Houston. La conferencia también rendirá tributo al ministerio de la Rda. Angela Ifill, que se jubila este mes como misionera de la Iglesia Episcopal para la oficina del ministerio de los negros, un puesto que ella ha tenido desde 2000.

Curry elogió la labor de Ifill durante su discurso de apertura el 16 de noviembre, diciendo que ella ha servido “fiel y noblemente, y bien”.

El 19 de noviembre, los participantes finalizarán y compartirán sus planes de acción para seguir adelante. La conferencia se propone emitir una declaración dirigida a toda la Iglesia.

Además de sacerdotes y diáconos de toda la Iglesia Episcopal, los participantes en la conferencia provenían de otras partes de la Comunión Anglicana, tales como la Provincia del Caribe de habla inglesa [West Indies] y la Iglesia de Inglaterra, así como clérigos sudaneses.

Un encuentro previo a la conferencia el 15 de noviembre incluyó reuniones de grupos afines, tales como seminaristas, clérigos ordenados hace cinco años o menos, diáconos, clérigos jubilados, personal del liderazgo diocesano, equipos de Nuevas Visiones y clérigos que atienden congregaciones multiculturales o blancas, o ambas.

Información anterior de ENS sobre la conferencia puede encontrarse aquí.

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

Archbishop of Canterbury to teach free, online Advent course

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 6:13am

[ChurchNext press release] This Advent, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is inviting the world to get more out of the Bible at the start of the Christian year, Nov. 27, 2016.

Register here.

Archbishop Justin Welby, author, teacher, and spiritual head of 80 million Anglicans worldwide, wants everyone to draw closer to God through the Bible by joining his free online class, “Getting More Out of the Bible with Justin Welby.” The course, which is rich with resources and inspiration, will be offered for free to all for the duration of the Advent season, Nov. 27 through Dec. 24.

“We are living in divisive and complex times where honing abilities to live peaceful, wholehearted lives is increasingly difficult,” according to a press release from ChurchNext, which is hosting the course. “The Bible regularly proves to be the inspiration behind lives of kindness, authenticity, and reconciliation.”

“A key message of the Bible is transformation,” says Welby, “And now more than ever our lives, communities, and society will all benefit from the re-discovery of the Bible as a source of transformation.”

In this course, students will learn how to get more out of the Bible through the archbishop’s inspiring words and a wealth of Bible resources to help make Bible reading more insightful, practical, and transformative.

The class includes a series of video lectures, quizzes, and discussions. No special software is required. It will take an average learner about 45 minutes to complete.

Registration is free and open to all.

Click here for more information and to register. Resources for congregational use, including downloadable posters, bulletin inserts and a Launch Guide, can be found here.

This course is made possible by the generous support of the Office of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Bible in the Life of the Church initiative, and ChurchNext.

ChurchNext creates online Christian learning experiences that shape disciples. Along with its partners, ChurchNext is devoted to helping people grow in their Christian faith, improve their lives, and better the world.

Video: Presiding Bishop preaches at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 4:57am

[Episcopal News Service – Houston, Texas] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached Nov. 16 during the opening Eucharist for the International Black Clergy Conference.

The Eucharist took place at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston. The church, which is the oldest congregation in Houston still worshipping on its original site, was filled for the service with members of the Diocese of Texas. Texas Bishop Andrew Doyle presided.

The conference runs until Nov. 19. Previous ENS coverage of the conference is here.

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

Black clergy encouraged to reclaim Jesus and his movement

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 4:54am

[Episcopal News Service – Houston, Texas] Black clergy from across the Episcopal Church and parts of the Anglican Communion are spending more than four days here exploring how to reclaim the Episcopal Church’s membership in the Jesus Movement.

The International Black Clergy Conference, titled “The Jesus Movement: Embracing Our Call,” is doing so through plenary presentations, including a Nov. 16 keynote address by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry; indaba-style conversations and affinity group meetings.

In his keynote address, titled “The Jesus Movement: Embracing the Call,” Curry repeatedly told participants that the Jesus Movement is not a “Michael Curry concoction” that will have a limited shelf life.

“It is a solemn call to reclaim our deepest origins – the deepest roots of who we are – and to thereby know how to be oriented in a time of profound disorientation,” he said. “We’re taking the long perspective and we’re going deep.”

The Jesus Movement, Curry said, is about evangelism and reconciliation, and more.

“It’s the work of redeeming this creation. It’s the work of helping justice to roll down like a mighty stream,” he said. “This Jesus Movement – following the word of Jesus – will set this world free; set us all free. I didn’t make that up; it’s in the Bible. And, for the Episcopal Church to reclaim that is to reclaim who we are. That, my friends, is a game changer.”

But, he said, the basic technique of the movement is simple and he is living proof. “I’m here because somebody showed me Jesus,” Curry said, telling the story of how he came to understand Jesus anew during college when a friend’s overdose caused him to recall how his grandmother faith had sustained her through grief and loss.

The Rev. Benjamin Twinamaani, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, a 23-year-old parish in Tampa, Florida, would agree about being shown Jesus. He met Jesus through a Christian group of high school students in his native Uganda.

Twinamaani, whose name means “together we have strength,” said in an interview with Episcopal News Service that in Uganda “evangelism is a given” and it is mainly lay-led. The role of clergy is that of trainer. “You equip the people and they go out and do it,” he said.

At Grace, lay people who work within their own demographic segment of the community but who look outside of their group, as well, lead evangelism. For instance, the Episcopal Church Women group decided on its own to start feeding homeless people in the neighborhood. “I didn’t tell them to,” he said.

In fact, Twinamaani said, clergy can get in the way sometimes and be a bottleneck. The Episcopal Church is a very clerical institution, he said, but “I have seen the other side where lay people drive the church and it’s much more vibrant.”

For many years Ugandan Anglicans equipped their evangelists with materials created by the Episcopal Church during the 1990s Decade of Evangelism. Twinamaani still uses some of the concepts he learned from those materials and he thinks the Episcopal Church ought to revive their use.

Twinamaani said people also have to realize that, as Curry told the conference, working for the Jesus Movement means being in it for the long haul and not expecting things to change overnight. He cited other efforts such as Cursillo that work slowly but last long.

And, for the Rev. Lewis Powell, a deacon in the Diocese of Northern California, getting ready for the long haul is about building relationships because, he said, that is how the Jesus Movement must begin. “You have to enter into a relationship in order to serve someone,” he told ENS in an interview.

The Rev. Lewis Powell, a deacon in the Diocese of Northern California, reads the gospel Nov. 16 during the International Black Clergy Conference’s opening Eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston, Texas. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Powell said he thinks of his diaconal ministry as being the person who fills in the potholes along the path that runs back and forth between the church and the world, “trying to make life smoother” and fostering relationships along the way.

“Once that relationship has been established, we can move on to fill another pothole together,” said Powell, who serves as the indigenous ministries missioner for Northern California.

During his visits with the water protectors on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Powell said he learned that people must be in relationship with the past and the future, as well as to be in peaceful relationships with people in the present.


The rest of the conference

The conference runs Nov. 16-19 at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Houston,

The Nov. 17 session, whose theme is “The Jesus Movement: Embracing the Word, will center on the New Visions movement models of ministry for congregational renewal and vitality, clergy/lay mutual ministry and clergy leadership. The Nov. 18 sessions focused on “The Jesus Movement: Beyond conversations on race, violence, repentance and reconciliation.”

During that evening’s banquet the church’s black bishops will be honored. Those present will be given 11×17 framed copies of a newly revised black bishops poster, and an accompanying book. Those items will be mailed to bishops not in Houston. The conference will also pay tribute to the ministry the Rev. Angela Ifill, who retires this month as Episcopal Church missioner for the office of black ministries, a position she has held since 2000.

Curry praised Ifill’s work during his Nov. 16 keynote address, saying that she has served “faithfully, nobly and well.”

On Nov. 19, participants will finalize and share their action plans for going forward. The conference plans to issue a statement to the wider church.

In addition to priests and deacons from across the Episcopal Church, conference participants came from elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, including the Province of the West Indies and the Church of England, as well as Sudanese clergy.

A pre-conference gathering on Nov. 15 included meetings of affinity groups such as seminarians, clergy ordained five years or less; deacons; retired clergy; diocesan leadership staff; New Visions teams; and clergy serving in multicultural and/or white congregations.

Previous ENS coverage of the conference is here.

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

Video: Presiding Bishop on embracing the call of the Jesus Movement

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 10:49pm

[Episcopal News Service – Houston, Texas] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry told the International Black Clergy Conference Nov. 16 that the Jesus Movement is not a “Michael Curry concoction” that will have a limited shelf life.

“It is a solemn call to reclaim our deepest origins – the deepest roots of who we are – and thereby know how to be oriented in a time of profound disorientation,” he said in his keynote address that was titled “The Jesus Movement: Embracing Our Call.”

Previous ENS coverage of the conference is here.

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

La construcción del Oleoducto de las Dakotas sigue suspendida

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 4:39pm

Robin Denney, estudiante del Seminario Teológico de Virginia, participó el 15 de noviembre, entre otras miles de personas, en una manifestación de solidaridad, pacífica y legal en Washington, D.C., desde la Oficina del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército hasta la Casa Blanca. Numerosas manifestaciones contra el Oleoducto para el Acceso a las Dakotas tuvieron lugar a través del país. Foto tomada de Facebook.

[Episcopal News Service] El 15 de noviembre, los manifestantes se fueron a las calles para pedirle al presidente Obama que detuviera la construcción del polémico Oleoducto para el Acceso a las Dakotas. El mismo día, Energy Transfer Partners [la compañía que lo construye] presentó una demanda legal en la que pide la intervención de un tribunal federal para terminar el proyecto del oleoducto.

[La protesta, bajo el nombre de] #NoDAPL Day of Action tuvo lugar un día después de que el gobierno federal dijera que la aprobación final para una autorización que permitiría que continúe la construcción del [llamado] Oleoducto para el Acceso a las Dakotas se mantiene suspendida y pendiente de análisis y conversaciones ulteriores respecto al potencial impacto negativo del proyecto en la calidad del agua y del perjuicio a sitios tribales sagrados cercanos a la reserva de la nación sioux de Roca Enhiesta [Standing Rock] en Dakota del Norte.

En un comunicado que apareció el 14 de noviembre en la página web del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de EE.UU., se decía que había concluido la revisión comenzada el 9 de septiembre, cuando se pidió que se suspendiera la construcción del oleoducto de 1886 kilómetros de longitud y 76,2 cm. de diámetro que ha de transportar 570.000 galones de petróleo al día desde los yacimientos petrolíferos de Bakken en el noroeste de Dakota del Norte —pasando por Dakota del Sur y Iowa— hasta Illinois, desde donde sería enviado a las refinerías.

“El Ejército ha determinado que debate y análisis adicionales están garantizados a la luz de la historia de los despojos de tierras de la Gran Nación de los Sioux, la importancia del lago Oahe para la tribu, nuestra relación de gobierno a gobierno y el estatuto que rige el servicio en la propiedad gubernamental”, dijo el Ejército en su comunicado.

En septiembre, funcionarios federales suspendieron la construcción del oleoducto en tierras que bordean el lago Oahe, o debajo del mismo, pertenecientes al Cuerpo de Ingenieros, la agencia federal responsable de otorgar autorizaciones en tierras y vías de agua públicas.

La decisión de ayer, “refuerza ese lenguaje anterior y suena como que intentan trabajar con el consejo tribal y su presidente para encontrar un modo de decir que ahora estamos satisfechos con el proyecto y sus salvaguardas… [y] dar una mayor garantía de que nada catastrófico podría suceder”, dijo el Rdo. John Floberg, sacerdote supervisor de las iglesias episcopales del lado de Dakota del Norte de Roca Enhiesta, en una entrevista con Episcopal News Service.

En una declaración, el presidente tribal de los sioux de Roca Enhiesta, Dave Archambault II , dijo que la decisión está por debajo de lo que él esperaba, pero indicaba que Obama estaba escuchando.

“Nos sentimos alentados y sabemos que la oración y la manifestación pacíficas en Roca Enhiesta han sacado vigorosamente a la luz la injusta narrativa sufrida por las naciones nativoamericanas a través del país”, dijo Archambault. “No respondieron a todas nuestras oraciones, pero esta vez las escucharon”.

Durante meses, nativos y no nativos “protectores del agua”, que se oponen al oleoducto, han estado acampados en tierras federales cerca del sitio donde se proponen construir el oleoducto. El 3 de noviembre, más de 500 personas, clérigos y laicos en representación de 20 tradiciones religiosas viajaron para manifestarse en pacífica, devota solidaridad y testimonio con los sioux de Roca Enhiesta y sus aliados.

Los sioux de Roca Enhiesta arguyen que el oleoducto atravesaría tierras sujetas a tratados, profanaría zonas sagradas y pondría en peligro el agua potable para 8.000 miembros que viven en las casi 930.000 hectáreas de la reserva de la tribu, situada justo al sur de donde el oleoducto cruzaría por debajo del río Misurí y del lago Oahe. El lago es la fuente de agua potable de la reserva. Los sitios sagrados caen fuera de las fronteras de la reserva, pero la tribu sostiene que formaron parte de un tratado territorial de 1851.

Luego del requerimiento del gobierno federal de suspender la construcción en septiembre, Energy Partners, la compañía constructora del oleoducto con sede en Texas, compró tierras privadas cerca de la ruta propuesta y continúa la construcción del oleoducto. Algunos dicen que las tierras compradas pertenecen a la nación sioux.

– Lynette Wilson es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

West Virginia interfaith allies rally in favor of Syrian refugees, resettlement

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 4:28pm

Hundreds of people gathered for an interfaith rally in support of Syrian refugees and refugee resettlement in Charleston, West Virginia, on Nov. 15. Photo: Victor Urecki/Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] An interfaith coalition of Christians, Muslims and Jews rallied in peaceful, prayerful solidarity in support of welcoming Syrian refugees and refugee resettlement in Charleston, West Virginia, on Nov. 15.

“We believe [in], and we also want to encourage, the sense of welcome,” said West Virginia Assistant Bishop Mark Van Koevering, who attended the rally in Charleston. “It’s part of our Christian response to provide hospitality to the stranger. And the evidence suggests [that] where immigrants come into a community, it’s a win-win – they bring in skills and invigorate the dream about what America could be.

“We’ve all come from somewhere, and it’s important to distinguish between an immigrant and a refugee. These are people being forced from their homes and in dire straits.”

Hundreds of supporters joined the rally, which also attracted a dozen opponents, said Van Koevering, who recognized the opponents’ concerns about safety and the availability of resources to address other “big issues” in the state.

Refugee resettlement “is not an either/or,” however, he said. Floods killed more than 20 people and displaced more than a thousand in the state earlier this year, drug abuse is an epidemic problem, and the state has an aging population; problems the interfaith community also is trying to address.

Some of the speakers at the rally, including Rabbi Victor Urecki, of B’nai Jacob Synagogue, were refugees themselves.

“The rabbi gave his own story of being a child carried over from Europe and how much that dream of the U.S. has meant and the importance of keeping up that tradition of being a place of welcome,” said Van Koevering.

For more than a year, West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry has been working with Episcopal Migration Ministries to become a resettlement affiliate, with the Diocese of West Virginia as its fiduciary. In October 2015, a panel discussion on the current refugee crisis at St. John’s Episcopal Church was attended by 150 people and led to the formation of West Virginia Interfaith Ministry.

The Interfaith Refugee Ministry includes clergy and lay member volunteers from St. George Orthodox Cathedral, the local Islamic Association, Catholic Charities, which currently resettles refugees in Charleston, St. John’s Episcopal Church and others. Since the ministry’s inception, volunteers have met with state political leaders to advocate refugee resettlement in Charleston. (Click here for 10 facts about the U.S. refugee resettlement program; and here where three myths about the program are dispelled.)

“The efforts and skills that we have seen from the grass-roots volunteers at West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry as they work to welcome refugees into their community are truly remarkable,” said the Rev. Mark Stevenson, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries. “Episcopal Migration Ministries considers it a gift to our ministry to be partnering with them to bring the victims of persecution to safety. They are demonstrating the welcoming nature of West Virginia to the country, and to the world.”

Just as West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry is trying to get off the ground, the very existence of the U.S.- resettlement program hangs in the balance. President-elect Donald J. Trump and others in the Republican Party have indicated that refugees are no longer welcome, particularly Syrians and other refugees who come from countries beset by terrorist activity.

In West Virginia, the all-volunteer interfaith ministry has been working to build community unity in the wake of last week’s presidential election and a contentious election season.

“There has been some ugliness in the election and a lot of our members and volunteers are taking a strong stand for unity, tolerance and inclusiveness and love for one’s neighbor,” said Lynn Clarke, West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry’s volunteer president.

Episcopal Migration Ministries submitted West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry’s application to become a resettlement affiliate to the U.S. State Department in October.

Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of nine agencies – more than half of them faith-based – that work in partnership with the State Department to welcome and resettle refugees. Its staff works with 30 resettlement affiliates in 26 dioceses and 22 states, providing direct assistance to recent arrivals. It also offers ways for congregations to engage in refugee resettlement in their communities and encourages Episcopalians to join the Episcopal Public Policy Network and advocate for policies that protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. Click here for the EPPN’s post-election resources for refugee and immigration advocacy.

Of the 21.3 million refugees in the world today, 1 percent might be resettled. In 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 1.19 million refugees will need to be resettled. A disproportionate number of refugees, 53 percent, are fleeing Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria, where more than four years of civil war has led to the death of more than 250,000 people and the displacement of 11 million.

“The interfaith efforts to welcome refugees to Charleston, West Virginia, is just one example of how communities across the United States are actively and vocally engaged in the work of resettlement,” said Lacy Broemel, the Episcopal Church’s refugee and immigration policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. “Communities have seen how refugees benefit their neighborhoods, schools, and local economy and are speaking out to share those experiences. Especially in the light of the global refugee crisis, the Episcopal Church is committed to continuing to welcome refugees and continuing our nation’s longstanding tradition of refugee resettlement under the next administration.”

The majority of Syrians continue to live in nearby Jordan, but many have been welcomed to Europe. The Obama administration pledged to welcome at least 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States in fiscal year 2016, which ended Sept. 30. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that five Syrian refugees were resettled to West Virginia.

If the current numbers hold, next year up to 110,000 refugees could be resettled to the United States.

— Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Nordic faith communities expand faith-based gender justice network

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 3:21pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] An international network of faith-based organizations committed to working together to fight for gender justice is continuing to expand. When it launched in July last year, Side-by-Side involved 17 churches and Christian organizations, including the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Alliance. Since then a number of regional consultations have taken place in Latin America and the Caribbean, east Africa and southern Africa, and the number of member organizations now total 35. That could increase this week as a regional seminar and conference takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Full article.

Millions face starvation as famine hits southern Africa

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 3:18pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The people of Madagascar, Malawi and Zimbabwe are facing the risk of death as erratic weather, drought and crop failures have resulted in chronic food shortages. Hundreds of people have already died from malnutrition and that figure is set to rise substantially. One young person being confirmed in the Diocese of Toliara in Madagascar collapsed in the arms of Bishop Tod McGregor as a result of dehydration.

The Anglican mission agency USPG has launched an emergency appeal to support Anglican churches in the region.

Full article.

EPPN: Post-election resources for refugee and immigration advocacy

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 9:07am

Dear advocates,

This week, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wrote to the Church, reminding us that, “As a Church, seeking to follow the way of Jesus, who taught us, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ (Mt. 22:39) and to ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’ (Mt. 7:12), we maintain our longstanding commitment to support and welcome refugees and immigrants, and to stand with those who live in our midst without documentation.”

In this spirit, we recommit ourselves to strive for justice and peace for all people. Refugees and immigrants are woven into the fabric of our nation, and indeed, our Church is comprised of people of all backgrounds – including refugees and immigrants. As the body of Christ, we must speak out boldly for the dignity of every human being. I write you today offering resources for action to support our refugee and immigrant neighbors:

1. Express your support for refugee resettlement to your members of Congress

2. Download and share Know Your Rights resources and post-election information on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

3. Host a Refugees Welcome event in your congregation

4. Report Hate

As people of faith, we must not sit idly by. Instead, we will take action together. Please reach out with any questions or comments.

In peace,

Lacy Broemel, Refugee & Immigration Policy Analyst,

Black clergy discuss church’s role in reconciling society

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 7:17am

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry takes questions during a Nov. 15 open mic session during the evening prior to the start of the Nov. 16-19 Episcopal Church International Black Clergy Conference in Houston, Texas. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Houston, Texas] How to be the church in the world as it is today was the focus of a wide-ranging Nov. 15 discussion between Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other participants in the Episcopal Church’s International Black Clergy Conference.

Curry acknowledged that the church and society face many challenges but, he said, the church has a role to play, beginning with concrete actions that show the world its dedication to reconciliation.

In response to a question about how the church should approach the issue of reparations to Native Americans, African-Americans and Japanese Americans, Curry described a path for how the church might help U.S. society address its collective past.

That path is about “trying to move in a direction where the work that leads to reconciliation is linked to repentance and that repentance is linked to genuine actions that both, on the one hand, acknowledge the past and then seek to do something to remedy it.”

The Rev. John Carlton Hayden of Washington, D.C., recalls a moment when both he and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry were young priests. Hayden spoke during a Nov. 15 open mic session during the evening prior to the start of the Nov. 16-19 Episcopal Church International Black Clergy Conference in Houston, Texas. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Curry suggested that the church can help to lead the way toward “creating a new future” beyond what he called the painful part of America’s history. Some dioceses have been addressing their past and are taking the challenge seriously, he said, adding that ignoring the hurts of the past only means the pain will rise up in other ways.

For example, he said, “part of the culture is ramping up to create a bad history for Latino Americans.”

“We have to stop that,” he said. “We’ve got to name it and then show a way forward. We’re in an environment now where that’s going to be all the more important.”

When the Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart, assistant rector at Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. asked Curry how to stop it, he asked, “what do you think?”

“I don’t think we have anything to lose by speaking the truth of what is,” she replied. “We’re going to be damned if we do and damned if we don’t” so Episcopalians, who are in a good place to start this work, need to “take the cross and follow it wherever we need to go.”

The Rev. Ronald Spann, assisting priest at Christ Church in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, said that the church ought to find its allies who will join in the work needed to “pull us out of the toxicity” that comes with divisions.

“We have a fresh opportunity to pick up where Martin Luther King left off,” he said.

The Rev. Kimberly Lucas, rector of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., said she recently told her congregation that the Episcopal Church spent too much time patting itself on the back about its progressive nature while “ignoring the demons that were stirring in our midst.”

The Rev. Paula Clark, canon for clergy development and multicultural ministries in the Diocese of Washington, speaks about the response to a Nov. 12-13 incident of vandalism at Church of Our Saviour in Silver Spring, Maryland. She made her remarks during an evening discussion prior to the start of the Nov. 16-19 Episcopal Church International Black Clergy Conference in Houston, Texas. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

“I challenged them to figure out ways in which we might stop disparaging our rural brothers and sisters, that we might stop disparaging our less-educated brothers and sisters,” she said.

Instead, she challenged parishioners to “figure out ways to be Jesus for them” and “support our white brothers and sisters of goodwill in doing the work that only they can do” and reflect how society strives to preserve “the division between those who are white and suffering and everybody else of color – to keep those people on opposite sides of everything, so much so that those people would vote against their own interests.”

Curry urged the participants to remember a basic principle of community organizing that stresses building one-on-one relationships out of which will emerge an agenda for what common issues and concerns need to be addressed.

“It may be that some of the most radical stuff that we can do in this cultural context is to create the context for real relationships between people who are profoundly different,” he said, noting that sociologists say America is becoming more and more “balkanized, fragmented and segregated.”

“The truth is American society – the democratic experiment – actually depends on us building networks of real human relationships with people who are unlike us, and that is a real challenge,” he said.

Curry cautioned that while some people might think evangelism has nothing to do with the things that the group spent just over an hour talking about, it in fact has everything to do with it because “evangelism is not about getting more people like us to be us.” Evangelism is, instead, about helping the church to create and shape a loving and profoundly diverse community of God as a witness to the world, he said, and then helping the world look like that, too.

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

In Paris, Bishop Whalon welcomes Shiite delegation to cathedral

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 6:46am

Photo: Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

[Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe] Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe on Nov. 11 welcomed Sayyed Jawad al-Shahrastani, official representative of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al- Husseini Al-Sistani, leader of Shi’a Muslims throughout the world, to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris.

Sayyed Shahrastani was in France on a tour arranged by the Paris branch of the Al-Khoei Foundation, founded in honor of one of Ayatollah Sistani’s most revered predecessors. The Al-Khoei Foundation promotes an Islam of peace and tolerance, as does Ayatollah Sistani.

Whalon also invited Bishop Michel Dubost, interreligious officer for the [Roman Catholic] Bishops’ Conference of France, and Pastor François Clavairoly, president of the Protestant Federation of France. The new Ambassador of Iraq, His Excellency Haidar Nasir, was also in attendance, as well as a delegation from the Al-Khoei Foundation.

The visit built on foundations laid by Whalon as an early promoter and participant of the Christian-Muslim summits. During the first summit, he met and befriended Ayatollah Ahmad Iravani, head of the Shi’a delegation. This led to a friendship with the leader of the Al-Khoei Foundation in Paris, Sheikh Ismael Al Khalik. Most recently, Whalon facilitated an invitation for Shi’a and Sunni imams from Paris to attend the funeral of the murdered Roman Catholic priest, Father Jacques Hamel, as guests of the Archdiocese of Rouen on Aug. 2, along with himself as the Episcopal (Anglican) Bishop in Europe.

The conversation with Shahrastani concerned issues of Christian-Muslim relations in the Middle East and Europe. In the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, the Muslim attendees expressed hope that it would not have adverse effects on American Muslims. Whalon replied that the Episcopal Church would do all in its power to prevent persecution of Muslims in America. He also reminded the group that he had asked the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe to pray for Ayatollah Sistani, as he has undertaken the difficult and dangerous task of working for peace between Christians and Muslims, and indeed, among Muslims themselves.

As the meeting ended, Shahrastani invited both Clavairoly and Whalon to Iran. Whalon replied that he had already accepted the invitation of the Chaldean Archbishop of Teheran, Ramzi Garmou, to visit Iran once again in January, but both men agreed they would try to go together and accept the hospitality of Shahrastani as well. A possible visit to the holy cities of Qom and Najaf was also discussed.

After the meeting, members of the Al-Khoei Foundation offered a meal to Whalon and his guests. Finally, they shared their Iranian and Afghan delicacies with the women of the cathedral, who were setting up their annual Christmas bazaar.

VTS honors Archbishop Paul Kwong with Dean’s Cross Award

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 5:51am

Archbishop Paul Kwong, center, is the second and current archbishop and primate of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui and was elected April 15 to chair the Anglican Consultative Council. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Virginia Theological Seminary press release] The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), and the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, vice president of Institutional Advancement at VTS, presented the Most Rev. Paul Kwong the Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership in Church and Society Award on Nov. 13, during a trip to Hong Kong.

As a native of Hong Kong, Kwong’s faith has been built on both Western and Chinese roots, and his education deepened and enriched that dual heritage: he was educated at Lingnan College in Hong Kong, received an M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 1982, and a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, England in 2008. He has also received several Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships from overseas and local Academic Institutions. Kwong has had very rich and diverse pastoral experiences, including planting two new missions after serving as curate for four years at Holy Trinity Church (Cathedral) and as vicar of St. Matthias Church for 10 years. He was chaplain to St. John’s Cathedral with special responsibility for the Mandarin speaking congregation. He served as an assistant to Archbishop Peter Kwong before being appointed as the provincial Secretary General.

Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China in 1997 and a year later the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui became the newest autonomous member church of the Anglican Communion. In January 2007, Kwong became bishop of the Diocese of Hong Kong Island, and a few weeks later was elected as the Church’s second archbishop, bringing his pastoral skill and wisdom to the oversight of a network of parishes and missions in three dioceses and one missionary district, more than 140 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and a vast network of social service programs.

“Virginia Theological Seminary is excited about deepening the connections between the Seminary and this vitally important province in the Anglican Communion,” Markham said. “Archbishop Kwong is a compassionate pastor, a wise administrator, a prophetic voice, and a strong advocate for reconciliation and mutual respect.”

Established in 2008, the Dean’s Cross Award recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” Selected annually by VTS’ dean in consultation with the chair of the Board of Trustees, the honorees receive a handmade silver cross, modeled after the seminary chapel cross, and a certificate.

On Jan. 6, 2017, Kwong will be recognized alongside other distinguished servant leaders during the service of Festival of Lights at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Vandalisme à l’encontre d’églises épiscopales du Maryland et de l’Indiana : un discours de haine

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 4:43am

Des vandales se sont servis d’un marqueur noir pour écrire « Trump Nation Whites Only » [Nation Trump réservée aux blancs] au dos d’une bannière annonçant la messe hebdomadaire en espagnol à la Church of Our Saviour à Silver Spring (Maryland). Les propos haineux ont été découverts tôt le matin du 13 novembre. Photo : Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Les épiscopaliens d’Indiana et du Maryland ont découvert dimanche matin des messages de haine gribouillés dans leurs églises. Mais plutôt que de se désespérer, ils y ont répondu par un message d’amour et de bienvenue.

« Je me suis tout d’abord sentie découragée à la vue des inscriptions sur le mur mais ma deuxième réaction a été que c’est parce que nous faisons quelque chose de bien », déclare la révérende Kelsey Hutto, prêtre chargée de St. David’s Episcopal Church située à Bean Blossom (État d’Indiana), une petite communauté de moins de 3 000 habitants à 80 km environ au sud d’Indianapolis.

« Pour reprendre la déclaration de l’Évêque Primat Curry que “parfois faire ce qui est bien n’est pas toujours apprécié”, c’est ce qui nous arrive, nous en sommes fiers et nous sommes convaincus que répondre à la haine avec amour est ce qu’il faut faire en tant que chrétiens ».

Le 13 novembre, en arrivant à St. David, l’organiste de l’église a découvert les inscriptions « Heil Trump » « Église pédé » et une svastika, peintes en noir sur les murs extérieurs de l’église en briques grises.

Au départ, la congrégation – qui est très active au sein de la communauté à travers ses programmes de service et d’entraide – a été extrêmement navrée de ce vandalisme, explique la révérende Kelsey Hutto, le 14 novembre lorsqu’elle est interviewée par Episcopal News Service

« Mais à mesure que le service religieux se déroulait et que la journée avançait, la blessure s’est transformée, non pas en vengeance… mais en conviction qu’il fallait réagir dans l’amour », poursuit-elle.

L’évêque d’Indianapolis Catherine Waynick, dans un message publié sur le site Web du diocèse, déclare que, même s’il est « profondément inquiétant d’être la cible d’un tel vitriol, c’est également une occasion d’être très clairs, avec nous-mêmes et avec le monde autour de nous, sur le fait que nous prenons au sérieux le commandement de notre Seigneur de nous aimer les uns les autres avec le même amour dont Dieu comble chaque personne – sans exception ».

« Notre cœur et notre porte restent ouverts à tous, alors que nous prions pour avoir la sagesse et le courage de rester les fidèles disciples de Jésus ».

Depuis l’élection de Donald J. Trump le 8 novembre, on constate à travers les États-Unis une augmentation des délits motivés par la haine, des graffitis anti-sémites, homophobes et racistes faisant référence aux propositions de politique et au discours de la campagne du président élu. Dans certains cas, les supporteurs de Trump ont modifié son slogan de campagne «Make America Great Again» [Rendons sa grandeur à l’Amérique] en «Make America White Again» [Rendons sa blancheur à l’Amérique].

Le révérend Robert Harvey, recteur de la Church of Our Saviour, a pour la première fois remarqué l’inscription « Trump Nation Whites Only » [Nation Trump réservée aux blancs] inscrite sur un mur du jardin commémoratif de la paroisse, en se rendant à l’église située dans le quartier de Hillendale à Silver Spring (État du Maryland) pour l’Éucharistie de 8 heures du matin. Une fois à l’intérieur, en allant vérifier s’il y avait du courrier, il a vu que la bannière de toile annonçant la messe hebdomadaire en espagnol avait été lacérée et vandalisée, portant le même message.

Le révérend Harvey a tout d’abord appelé la police puis a envoyé un courriel à l’évêque du diocèse de Washington Mariann Budde, qui a appelé le révérend Harvey en lui disant qu’elle serait là, à 13 heures pour la messe en espagnol. La plupart du temps le dimanche, une centaine de personnes assistent à la messe en espagnol à la Church of Our Savior, mais une fois la nouvelle du vandalisme diffusée sur les médias sociaux et dans la communauté, entre 250 et 300 personnes sont venues à la messe pour manifester leur soutien à l’église.

« Un discours de haine a couvert la présence de l’église et nous sommes ici pour dire que nous sommes fermes dans notre rejet d’une telle violence. Nous sommes une nation d’immigrés et de gens de toutes cultures et confessions et cette violence n’a pas sa place dans notre pays », déclare Mariann Budde, dans une conférence de presse tenue le 13 novembre à l’extérieur de l’église à la sortie de la messe de 13 heures. « Et je fais appel particulièrement au président élu et à ceux qui ont voté pour lui de se dissocier des actes de violence et de haine qui sont perpétrés en son nom ».

« Nous sommes convaincus que la majorité des américains veulent une nation de paix et d’unité pour tout l’ensemble de notre peuple glorieux et nous ne voulons pas que nos amis de couleur, nos immigrés et les autres qui se sentent vulnérables, imaginent que c’est cela que nous sommes en tant que nation », poursuit Mariann Budde. « Nous sommes un pays meilleur que cela et nous vaincrons la haine à travers l’amour, la paix et la justice ».

Article complet en anglais.

Suivre la voie de Jésus : déclaration de l’Évêque Primat Michael Curry

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 4:31am

[Episcopal News Service] Michael B. Curry, Évêque Primat de l’Église épiscopale a publié la déclaration suivante :

La semaine dernière, j’ai partagé ce qui je l’espère était un message de réconciliation postélectorale à l’attention de notre église, en rappelant que « nous vivons tous ensemble en tant que concitoyens américains ». Aujourd’hui je tiens à rappeler que lors des moments de transition, lors des moments de tension, il est important de réaffirmer notre identité et nos valeurs fondamentales en tant que disciples de Jésus dans la tradition épiscopale anglicane.

Jésus a déclaré, dans la langue des prophètes hébraïques, que la « maison [de Dieu] sera appelée maison de prière pour toutes les nations » (Marc 11:17). Il a invité et a souhaité la bienvenue à tous ceux qui voulaient le suivre en disant « venez à moi, vous tous qui peinez sous le poids du fardeau » (Matthieu 11:28).

Nous pouvons donc affirmer et sommes convaincus que « l’Église épiscopale vous accueille » – vous tous, n’est pas simplement un slogan pour l’église mais le reflet de ce que nous croyons que Jésus nous enseigne et qui est au cœur du mouvement qu’il a commencé au premier siècle. L’Église épiscopale nous accueille tous. Nous tous !

En tant que branche épiscopale du Mouvement de Jésus aujourd’hui, nous les épiscopaliens y sommes engagés car notre Livre de prière nous enseigne à honorer l’engagement que nous avons pris et les promesses que nous avons faites pour le saint baptême : de proclamer par la parole et par l’exemple la Bonne Nouvelle de Dieu dans le Christ, de rechercher et de servir le Christ dans toute personne, d’aimer notre prochain comme nous-mêmes, de lutter pour la justice et la paix entre tous les peuples et de respecter la dignité de tout être humain.

En tant que chrétiens, nous croyons que tous les êtres humains sont créés à l’image de Dieu et sont égaux devant Dieu – ceux qui se réjouissent tout comme ceux qui sont dans la douleur. En tant qu’église, en cherchant à suivre la voie de Jésus qui nous a enseigné « tu aimeras ton prochain comme toi-même » (Matthieu 22:39) et « tout ce que vous voulez que les hommes fassent pour vous, faites-le vous-mêmes pour eux » (Matthieu 7:12), nous tenons notre engagement de longue date de soutenir et d’accueillir les réfugiés et les immigrés, et d’être solidaires avec ceux qui vivent parmi nous sans papiers. Nous réaffirmons qu’à l’instar de toute personne, les LGBT ont pleinement droit aux droits civiques et à la protection au regard de la loi. Nous réaffirmons et renouvelons les principes d’inclusion et de protection des droits civiques pour toutes les personnes handicapées. Nous nous engageons à respecter l’honneur et la dignité des femmes et dénonçons la violence sexuelle ou sexiste. Nous exprimons notre solidarité et honorons les peuples autochtones du monde. Nous affirmons le droit à la liberté d’expression religieuse et à la présence dynamique de différentes communautés religieuses, en particulier nos sœurs et frères musulmans. Nous reconnaissons notre responsabilité dans la gestion de la création et de tout ce que Dieu a remis entre nos mains. Nous le faisons parce que Dieu est le Créateur. Nous sommes tous enfants de Dieu, créés égaux à l’image de Dieu. Et si nous sommes les enfants de Dieu, nous sommes tous frères et sœurs.

« L’Église épiscopale vous accueille » n’est pas simplement un slogan, c’est ce que nous cherchons à être et le témoignage de que nous cherchons à faire, en suivant la voie de Jésus.

Michael B. Curry
Évêque Président et Primat
de l’Église épiscopale

Letter to President-elect Trump from the Diocese of Pennsylvania

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 4:19am

[Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania]

Dear President Elect Trump,

We are the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. We value our commonwealth’s heritage as the birthplace of the United States of America founded on the principles of equality and justice for all. As our new President Elect, we want you to know that we are now praying and will continue to pray for you. We will pray for you in our liturgy, churches and homes. We are the Bishop, Clergy, and Laity of the Diocese. We are Republicans, Democrats, Independents and other “political” parties. We comprise a cross section of America; we are a variety of political beliefs and opinions. We are those who voted for you and those who did not. Although we are diverse, we share in an unshakable common faith in the transformative and life-giving power of Jesus Christ.

As you are a professed follower of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we believe you have empathy in your heart and want the best for our nation and the people of the United States. Thus, we ask that you affirmatively and unequivocally condemn any instance of hate, violence, intimidation, harassment, aggression against any of our brothers and sisters with whom we share this country. We are asking that this be done through a public pronouncement.

President Elect Trump, we want you to publicly condemn violence, acts of hate or aggression against women, minorities, the poor, disabled, veterans, the unemployed, immigrants, those of different religions and beliefs, those who are gay, transgender, or the working poor. While the words of division used during this campaign caused deep angst and pain, we believe in redemption and goodness. Thus, we seek your voice. This is not policy pronouncement nor a political statement. It is a covenant with the people of our nation.

We are Christians that recite a baptismal covenant to pray, resist evil, repent and return to the Lord. We proclaim by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ and seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves. We strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. As our President, we ask you do the same.

As followers of Jesus Christ in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, we will pray for you. We will pray that God will bless you, protect you, and give you wisdom, patience, discernment, health, and love. We will pray for each member of your family. We will pray for your cabinet and your administration. We also need your voice. Stand against hate and discrimination.

This is who we are as Americans of whom you are the President-Elect. Each day we will pray for you; and if the declaration we have hopefully asked of you has not been made, we will continue to pray for you and for our country. However, we will seek the voices of our brothers and sisters of all races, religions, and belief to join us in this request. We will pray daily and write to you daily until hatred or hate-filled violence no longer exists.

President-Elect Trump the time is now and while we pray, we await your voice.

The Rt. Revd. Daniel G. P. Gutierrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

The Rev. Canon Shawn Wamsley
Deborah Stambaugh
James Stambaugh
The Rev. Deacon Karen Kamaskis
Fr. Ian Montgomery
Suzanne Gutierrez
The Rev. Timothy Safford
The Rev. Michael Ruk
The Rev. Jon Clodfelter
The Rev. Mariclair Partee
The Rev. Samuel Murangi
The Rev. Michael Rau
The Rev. Dean Judith Sullivan
The Rev. Deacon Phil Geliebter
The Rev. Kirk Berlenbach
The Rev. Anne Thatcher
The Rev. Frank Allen
The Rev. Dr. Martini Shaw
Patricia Smith
Aaron Skrypski
The Rev. Catherine D. Kerr
The Rev. Deacon Ken McCaslin
The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining
The Rev. Maryjo Melberger
The Rev. Deacon Pat Rubenstein
Eric Rabe
Norm McCausland

The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutierrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania