Episcopal News Service
[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Patrick Ward has withdrawn his name from the slate of nominees who will stand for election as bishop suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
Ward, interim rector of Christ Church in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, was nominated by petition on Oct. 27.
His name was added to the slate of five nominees announced on Oct. 7.
- The Rev. Kim L. Coleman, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia;
- The Rev. Canon Susan C. Harriss, rector, Christ’s Church, Rye, New York;
- The Rev. Kathleen L. Liles, rector, Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church, New York, New York;
- The Rev. Allen K. Shin, rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Huntington, Long Island, New York; and
- The Rev. Mauricio J. Wilson, rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oakland, California.
The election is scheduled to take place on Dec. 7.
The bishop suffragan will succeed the Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, who retired in 2011 after serving the diocese for 15 years.
[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan and Bishop of Derby Alastair Redfern have written to the U.K. Government to press their political Australian counterparts to ensure that a priority for the G20 in Brisbane next year will be ending the scandal of 1 billion people going hungry every day.
Morgan and Redfern, who is the Church of England’s spokesperson on international development, have written to Prime Minister David Cameron on behalf of the Anglican Alliance, which brings together development, relief and advocacy across the Anglican Communion.
Food security is a priority for the Anglican Alliance which supported the work of Anglicans in responding to the famine in the Horn of Africa in 2011, and to the food crises facing communities in Asia and the Pacific.
In their letter, the two leaders said that progress had been made at the 2013 G20 Summit, with the St. Petersburg Development Outlook giving priority to food security, with a focus especially on smallholder and family farmers, and the empowerment of women, who are the majority of small scale farmers.
“We in the Anglican Church, which is present in many of the world’s poorest countries, have as a key part of our mission to overcome poverty and injustice, a commitment to ensure that no-one has to go hungry in a world of such plenty. We see it as a priority that the world’s 20 richest nations should do everything in our power to overcome the hunger that still affects so many of our fellow human beings,” they said.
The Australian Government takes over the presidency of the G20 next month from the Russians. It has not yet announced its priorities for the year.
The Anglican Alliance is a charitable company and part of the world-wide Anglican Communion with 88 million members in over 160 countries, including a major presence in 13 of the G20 countries. About half of all Anglicans are in Africa, including in some of the poorest countries where hunger and poverty are major problems.
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Sarah Lawton, a lay deputy from the Diocese of California, was awarded the House of Deputies medal in October. The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, presented the medal to Lawton during the Diocese of California’s convention at Grace Cathedral.
In presenting the award to Lawton, who is a longtime social justice advocate, three-time deputy and the chair of the Standing Commission on Social Justice and Public Policy, Jennings said, “I think that we are called to raise our voices for those who have no voice and to work for Gospel justice in the world now more than ever. The imperative to proclaim generous Christianity is greater now than it has ever been in my lifetime.”
Jennings praised Lawton as an example for Episcopalians, saying, “Sarah’s passion for building relationships that break down barriers and create change in the world is grounded in simple, profound Christian love.”
Lawton, a second-generation deputy who served in 2006, 2009 and 2012, was elected at the California Diocese Convention to serve again in 2015. She lives in San Francisco with her family and is development coordinator for the University of California Berkeley’s Labor Center.
In a recent interview for the House of Deputies website, Lawton said that Episcopalians need to take the long view when working for justice. “We stand on the shoulders of Anglicans like William Wilberforce and Frances Perkins,” she said. “There’s no way we finish the work in our generation. We do our part.”
She cited legislation passed by General Convention as among the best ways to put faith into action. “We listen to each other and learn from each other, and I think General Convention resolutions incorporate the voices we hear and the minority opinions,” Lawton said.
Speaking of her experience as secretary of the National and International Concerns legislative committee in 2012, she added: “I learned a lot about how important the process is from my fellow deputy Russ Randle, who chaired the committee. It takes work and time for deputies to meet. It couldn’t just be done by a committee in New York. As large and unwieldy as the House of Deputies can be, there’s something that would be lost if we didn’t have it.”
Jennings, who was elected at the 77th General Convention in 2012, established the medal in October of that year to honor clergy and laypeople who have given distinguished service to the House of Deputies and the Episcopal Church.
The triennial General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church and includes the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. The next General Convention will be held in June 2015 in Salt Lake City.
[Episcopal News Service] Diocese of Mississippi Bishop Duncan Gray III made the following remarks to the end of the Nov. 15-16 “Fifty Years Later: The State of Racism in America,” held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Jackson, Mississippi.
Fifty Years Later: Racism in America – Closing Address
Diocese of Mississippi Bishop Duncan Gray III
It has been given to me, at the conclusion of this remarkable gathering, the task of sending us out – in hope. So, with apologies to those it may offend, I’m going to make this very personal.
More than a few folks have wondered, some out loud in my presence, about the appropriateness of a conversation on racism being hosted by the Episcopal Church in Mississippi.
I think I understand. Fifty years ago this summer, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and, among other things, said:
“…I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice…”
Well, the wolf has not yet laid down with the lamb; nor have the leopard and goat and calf and lion made lasting peace as Isaiah once imagined; nor has this state been transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
And yet, I am hopeful.
I am hopeful precisely because I am a child and native son of this conflicted, heroic, tragic and often violent state. It is for me, as William Faulkner once wrote, “my little postage stamp of native soil,” and, he added, its stories are inexhaustible.”
And within its stories lies its hope. I have seen so much of its worst and, yet, I am still so very hopeful because I know so many stories.
I am hopeful because three weeks ago we broke ground here in Jackson for the first publicly funded State and Civil Rights museums. Listen to that again – a publicly funded, state sponsored, taxpayer supported Civil Rights Museum located in Jackson, Mississippi.
Speaker after speaker, from the most conservative to the most liberal had the same message: We must tell the whole story of our people, even the parts of the story that we wish had never happened. One said it this way:
“We must tell the story of the brave pioneers who settled this land, but we must also tell the stories of those who came here against their will. And we must tell the stories of those whose land they took.”
I am hopeful that an honest look at our past and a willingness to listen to stories – of individuals and communities – that we had never known or wanted to know, will move us in important ways toward healing, maybe even reconciliation.
If “even Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression,” fifty years ago can do this, why can’t others?
I am hopeful because I see a new light being shown on the tragic and violent stories of Emmitt Till, Medgar Evers, Vernon Dahmer, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and so many others. This new light is witness to a willingness to come face to face with the horrors of our past and with the human heart’s capacity for evil – in this or any other state.
But in turning and facing that devil we are robbing him of his power.
We cannot hide from our past in Mississippi, but by telling the story we have found a new way forward. And we are also learning that the human heart also has an infinite capacity for “love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice” – again Mr. Faulkner’s words.
If Mississippi can do this, why can’t others?
I am hopeful because thirty-eight years after the Voting Rights Act was passed by Congress, Mississippi now has the largest number of African-American elected officials of any state in the Union.
If Mississippi can do this, why can’t others?
I am hopeful because the Episcopal Church in this state has dared to look deep within its history and learn how we have benefited, even to this day, from the institution of slavery. I am hopeful because we will remember Freedom Summer 1964 and the courage and idealism of thousands of young people who came to our state with a summer camp next year that will explore their work and ask what their courage and sacrifice means for young people today.
If Mississippi can do this, why can’t others?
I am hopeful because institutions like Mission Mississippi and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation have rooted their transformational work in the telling and listening of stories.
If Mississippi can do this, why can’t others?
I am hopeful, because as I unpack the layers of racism deeply embedded in my own soul (often taking the form of very personal racial profiling), I have thousands of fellow travelers across this state who are doing that same very painful, very scary, but very life-giving work.
“The human heart in conflict with itself,” said Mr. Faulkner, “is the only story worth writing about.”
We need to write and tell stories that speak of the extraordinarily painful truth of the human heart in conflict with itself.
I am hopeful because we are learning – very slowly, but learning nonetheless – that each of us interprets reality through a set of lens that are shaped and formed by our own unique life experiences. Pure objectivity is an illusion.
We are all indelibly shaped by our history – as individuals and as a people.
I need to know what the world looks like to you through your set of lens in order to understand you. And you need to see what my world looks like to understand me. We need to tell our stories.
I am hopeful because I see a willingness to explore those new worlds in the lives of others. It’s just beginning, but it is there.
And I am hopeful because you are here. Some of you have traveled a great distance. You have dared to make this journey to continue this difficult conversation about our common life and our collective soul. Thank you so very much.
You have dared to push aside that temptation to despair that is in the very air that we breathe these days.
And I am hopeful because I see in this gathering and in so many other ways the mysterious, often hidden providential hand of God. In 1963, not an easy time for this state or the Episcopal Church in this state, one of my predecessors in this office (who happened to be my grandfather) spoke to the diocesan convention about God’s presence in that challenging moment:
“These times were made for us,” he said, “and we were made for these times.”
I am hopeful because fifty years later, those words are addressed to us anew: “These times were made for us and we were made for these times.”
For fourteen years, I have sent the people of this church into the world with a blessing I borrowed from another of my predecessors (my father). I send you out now with those same words:
“Go forth into the world in peace.
Be strong and of good courage.
Hold fast to that which is good.
Render to no one evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted.
Support the weak.
Help the afflicted.
Honor all persons.
Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit,
and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be among you and remain with you now and forever. Amen.”
A webcast of the Nov. 15 session, which included a keynote address by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and two panel discussions, is available for on-demand viewing here. A discussion guide (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/sites/default/files/facilitator_guide.pdf) developed for the forum is available. The Nov. 16 workshops and plenary sessions from Fifty Years Later: The State of Racism In America will be available online shortly.
[Forward Movement press release] Forward Movement is pleased to announce the release of From the Holly Jolly to the Holy: Reclaiming the Sacred During Advent and Christmas by Jim Rosenthal.
The holiness of Advent and Christmas often gets lost in the busyness of the season. This year, explore Advent and Christmas through the lens of St. Nicholas and scripture, and find the holy in the midst of the secular traditions. Each day during Advent, From the Holly Jolly to the Holy will help you to reclaim this time as sacred and joy-filled.
“St. Nicholas’s story can help unleash within us that holy virtue of bringing new life and new hope to people who come our way,” Rosenthal explains. “As we anticipate the joy of Advent and journey through Christmas and Epiphany, we have a chance to recapture the holy and reclaim traditions, all to give glory to the blessed Christ Child.”
The Rev. Canon Dr. Jim Rosenthal is the president of the UK/USA St. Nicholas Society. He is retired and now lives in a village called St Nicholas at Wade, Kent, near Canterbury, where he also serves as the parish priest of St. Nicholas Church. Originally from Chicago, Rosenthal served as communications officer of the Anglican Communion for 19 years and has visited more than 70 countries. He co-authored St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas, published by Thomas Nelson USA. He dons the robes of Bishop Nicholas in many locations every year but his favorite is the annual celebration in Canterbury, walking alongside the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
“Jim Rosenthal has spent his ministry sharing the Good News across the globe, from his years in the Diocese of Chicago to nearly 20 years as communications officer for the Anglican Communion,” reflected Richelle Thompson, Managing Editor at Forward Movement. “In his new book, From the Holly Jolly to the Holy, Jim shares his other passion: the goodwill and generous spirit of Saint Nicholas of Myra. Jim invites the readers to experience Advent and Christmas through the lens of Saint Nicholas the holy, not the Santa Claus the jolly. It’s a book that brings us back to the heart of this sacred time and helps recapture the divine delight of the season.”
“Seeing this book in print,” Rosenthal enthused, “gives me hope that some may see in its pages a way forward in reclaiming the holy and at the same time learning to enjoy the heritage we have in dear old St. Nicholas, who shows us the way to wait for a child to be born who just happens to be the Prince of Peace.”
To order copies of From the Holly Jolly to the Holy: Reclaiming the Sacred During Advent and Christmas, click here or call 1-800-543-1813.
Forward Movement works to nurture discipleship and encourage evangelism by providing print and digital resources to all who wish to deepen their spiritual engagement. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio since its inception in 1935, Forward Movement is widely known for Forward Day by Day. Forward Movement is a ministry of The Episcopal Church.
[Anglican Church of Canada press release] This Christmas season, take some time out from stress with “In days to come,” a series of Advent devotional podcasts available soon from the Anglican Church of Canada.
General Synod’s partner this year is St. Benedict’s Table, an arts-centred Anglican community in downtown Winnipeg.
“Our Lent and Advent podcast series have not only provided the church with excellent material for seasonal reflection, but they’ve given us a unique opportunity to highlight some ministries within the Anglican Church of Canada,” says the Rev. Jesse Dymond, General Synod’s online community coordinator.
“We’ve been able to partner with religious communities, respected leaders, and creative congregations like St. Benedict’s Table. The content just keeps getting better.”
“In days to come” consists of six five-minute episodes. Each features a member of the St. Benedict’s community reflecting on the season through biblical themes, music, and personal stories.
The Rev. Jamie Howison is an Anglican priest and a founder of Saint Benedict’s table.
“Listeners are going to be given five minutes to step back from the busy-ness, the social demands, and the pressures of getting ready for the secular Christmas,” he says.
“And in these five minutes they’re going to be invited—through music and word—to consider some other matters … matters that are so important in the life of faith that giving them consideration will actually make the Christmas feast even better.”
The podcasts cover topics such as Jesus’ teachings of grace and judgment, Advent customs, the challenge of waiting on God’s promises, and whether Advent and Christmas are only brief and shallow “gloss-overs” for our sometimes difficult lives.
This is St. Benedict’s second foray into producing Advent resources. The first was a book of daily devotional readings for last year’s season, also called “In days to come…” It was that experience – as well the wealth of talent in their community and ease of access to a recording studio – that led Howison to accept when St. Benedict’s Table was asked to produce the 2013 Advent podcast series.
St. Benedict’s Table also has a tradition of in-house podcasting — covering sermons, special events, and speakers. When an opportunity to produce Advent podcasts for national church came around it seemed like a natural fit.
“We have really emphasized Advent over the years in our community, and these podcasts are built on that,” says Howison.
“Advent is an extraordinarily important counter-practice to the madness of Christmas shopping season. It provides a unique opportunity for people in the church to say ‘we don’t have to buy into all the over-eating, over-spending, over-drinking for an entire month, and stress. We actually have a different story to tell here. And then the feast begins.’”
Contributors to the podcast series include Howison, musician and songwriter Steve Bell, English poet and priest Malcolm Guite, and co-winner of the 2011 Marks of Mission song contest Jaylene Johnson. Recording was done at Bell’s independent Christian music studio, Signpost Music in Winnipeg.
“When I first met with the guys at Signpost music and asked them to partner with us to produce these podcasts, they were pretty excited and were immediately talking about ‘radio reality,’” says Howison. “They wanted them to sound very good.”
The result is a series of podcasts that would be right at home on professional radio, and that the creators are proud to share with the national church.
“We were delighted to do it, and it was good to have so many different contributors. I think we all felt very good about how the podcasts turned out. We saw it as a great opportunity to share.”
[The Humane Society of the United States press release] During the holidays, giving to those in need, whether it is an extra can of food, a coat, or a new toy, is a wonderful thing. It is also a time to remember the pets who need help.
Sixty-eight percent of American households have pets, and while there aren’t exact estimates as to how many of these households are below the poverty line, it stands to reason that the need is substantial. We love our pets, and for good reason. They not only provide companionship, they bring joy, humor and love into our lives. They teach children about responsibility and appreciation for all God’s creatures. Pets can provide a special comfort for people living in-need, the elderly, or the sick-and-shut-in and lighten what may otherwise be heavy burdens.
Food banks across the country receive countless requests for pet food and supplies throughout the year. Often, instead of relinquishing a pet, some low-income pet owners will cut back on their own food to share what little they have with their beloved companions. The Humane Society of the United States launched the Fill the Bowl project to provide opportunities for members of faith communities to collaborate with food banks to provide donations pet food and supplies.
In most cases, access to food and basic care is often all it takes to keep low-income families and their pets together. Access to free pet food can make the difference in a family’s ability to keep a pet or give them up to face an uncertain future.
“There’s no measure to the blessings animals bring to our lives,” says the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. “And it’s especially heartwarming when you hear tales of those with so little doing with even less in order to provide for their animals. Those folk are better stewards than even they know, as it’s long been a part of some of the medieval legends about Christmas that it was the animals who attended Christ’s birth that night in the manger when no one else was there. Remembering the animals’ hospitality by extending our own to them is a wonderful way to honor the important roles animals play in our lives.”
We are approaching the season of giving, when communities across the country collect toys, clothes and food for needy families. Yet, despite the reality that many of these families have pets, very few donation drives include pet food.
The holiday season reminds us of the people who are less fortunate. Let us continue to expand our circle of compassion to include the animals and the people who love them. Add an extra bag of pet food to your food bank donation this year or start your own pet food collection in your church community through The Fill the Bowl Project. Reach out to your local animal shelter and offer a partnership for the holidays. Ask if they need a pet food collection, dog and cat toys, or blankets for the homeless animals in their care.
Providing sustenance for pets is more than a can or bag of food – it’s an acknowledgement of the important role that pets have in our lives, and a symbol of community support for every member of the family.
This new daily devotional app is suitable for all ages and features the artwork of renowned cartoonist, Jay Sidebotham. Scripture readings and the Sermon on the Mount bring the anticipation of Advent to life.
Email the daily messages to friends and family, or post to your favorite social media feeds. A handy built-in journaling feature allows you to collect your thoughts throughout the season of Advent.
It’s Advent! is compatible with all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS 7.0 or greater.
[Episcopal Diocese of Newark press release] The Episcopal Diocese of Newark will offer daily meditations during the season of Advent, beginning Sunday, December 1.
Each day you will receive a scripture reading, a reflection on that reading and a short prayer (except on Sundays when you will receive the Gospel lesson and a prayer).
The word “Advent” means “coming,” yet Advent is often a challenge as we are bombarded by sales, parties and a myriad of other distractions. Please consider taking time to slow down, wait, pray and reflect on the hope and possibilities that Jesus offers us. We hope that these daily emails will help you to prepare your hearts and minds for the coming of Jesus.
[Episcopal Diocese of Maryland] The Diocesan Resource Center has a variety of resources and ideas for use in Advent. Please phone or email email@example.com. You can also search for resources via our online catalog. 410-467-1399.
Multi-Media Advent Calendar
Access the Diocese of Maryland’s Advent calendar in multiple ways this season. Beginning Dec. 1 daily Advent meditations will be available on the diocesan website for your computer or smartphone, on the WBAL-AM radio online broadcast, and through Facebook and Twitter. A Pinterest application is also planned.
Ads on WBAL’s website encourage clicking through to the diocesan website to find a church this holiday season and to make a donation to Episcopal Relief & Development’s domestic or global missions.
Please share these resources with your congregation, friends and family. May you have a Blessed Advent.
Advent at the Claggett Center
The Heavens Declare Retreat
A 24-hour retreat to explore the earth and sky, open the books of nature and poetry, and deepen our connection to the universe as a part of God’s creation. Talks by Dr. Alex Storrs, professor of Astrophysics, Towson University; Dr. Robert Kachur, professor of English, McDaniel College; and the Rev. Dr. Ann Boyd, rector, St. John’s Parish, Hagerstown, and professor of Biology, Hood College. Register online.
For Claggett Programs:
Visit for flyers, registration. http://www.claggettcenter.org/programs.php
Contact Donna Kerner for information: firstname.lastname@example.org
[Episcopal Relief & Development] A wave of revitalization has swept over Grace Episcopal Church in Whitestone, NY. The economic downturn of 2008 had hit congregations across the country, and Grace was no exception, but a new rector sparked a movement to get the church growing again.
Danielle Barrios and her husband, Jim, have been at the forefront of these efforts. Jim recently took on the role as the congregation’s first youth group leader, organizing an excursion to the 9/11 memorial in New York City’s Financial District and visits to local churches. Danielle’s passion has been renewing Grace’s focus on global outreach, and as church membership has grown, so has the potential for creative action.
“I felt it was a good time to jump into the driver’s seat and get something going for Episcopal Relief & Development,” she said.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s Power of Partnerships and Friends of Episcopal Relief & Development web features appear on a rotating monthly basis. To learn more about the organization’s work worldwide, visit www.episcopalrelief.org.
[Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island] An exciting hurdle has been crossed by the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island’s Jonathan Daniels House (JDH) project, which aims to open a service-oriented intentional community for young adults. After three years of planning and preparing, last week JDH received official membership into the Episcopal Service Corps, a national network of more than 25 Episcopal young adult service programs across the United States.
As an Episcopal Service Corps community, Jonathan Daniels House will draw upon a diverse group of young adults from across the country, and plans to welcome four young adults in August of 2014. Participants will live together, work in service agencies embedded in local communities, and engage in vocational and spiritual discernment for a period of 10 months. They receive a modest stipend and are supported by a program director and mentors.
“We recognize that young people’s lives are formed by their experience in young adulthood – and that the service they provide will change them as well as those around them, said Bishop Nicholas Knisely of the Diocese of Rhode Island. “They will bring energy, vision and ideas to us and new hope to the people they serve.”
The next step forward for the JDH task force will be to hire a program director whose major work this spring will be to make arrangements with prospective service agencies, acquire housing, and prepare to welcome the first class of JDH participants. The JDH Task Force believes the support of the Episcopal Service Corps to be crucial as we work through these last tasks.
The community is named after Jonathan Daniels, a martyr of the Civil Rights movement who engaged in ministry in Episcopal churches in South Providence. As a seminarian in the 1960s, Jonathan Daniels traveled south to help register African Americans to vote in Selma, Alabama. On that trip, Daniels was shot and killed while pushing a teenage girl out of harm’s way.
The mission of Jonathan Daniels House is to honor Daniels by continuing the work of service, justice and reconciliation for which he lived and died. In the footsteps of Jonathan Daniels, participants will work with those in the margins for whom justice and access to basic human services is often difficult to achieve.
Penick Village 50th Anniversary
20 November 2013
Feast of Edmund of Anglia, 870
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
We’re celebrating 50 years of this remarkable community on the feast of an English king and martyr who died in the year 870. The two do have something to do with one another. Not only does this community continue to grow in the communion of saints who’ve shared life here for the last 50 years, but also with the saints from a much longer trajectory in our collective history.
Edmund was born in East Anglia around 841, and became king at the age of 15. Can you envision one of your grandchildren ruling a nation, even a small one? Yet people can rise to the challenge when nurtured and called to it from an early age, especially when they’ve been well mentored. Edmund presided over a reasonably prosperous and peaceful season in East Anglia until the Viking raids started up again in 870. Two Danish kings brought their forces into Britain and moved south toward Edmund’s lands killing, pillaging, and burning the villages and monasteries in their path. They sent messengers to Edmund, promising to spare him and even share their loot if he would become their vassal and repudiate his Christian religion. He declined, they captured him, tied him to a tree, beat him and shot him full of arrows – as the tale says, ‘until he looked like a hedgehog’ – and then cut him down and offered the deal again. He refused and they cut off his head. He was all of 29. His friends and subjects went looking for his body and eventually committed it to the ground in a Benedictine abbey, later called Bury St. Edmunds. There are some 60 English churches dedicated to him, in remembrance of his martyrdom and his fidelity to the idea of a home for his people, both English and Christian.
Edmund’s story has been told in a variety of ways, for the Viking destruction completely erased any contemporary documentary evidence of his rule. One commentator notes that Edmund didn’t give much evidence of being “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Edmund supposedly consulted his bishops about the deal that was being offered, and they urged him to accept it, apparently believing that keeping his head, rather than losing it, offered far more possibility to negotiate a more creative outcome.
Another tells a richer and more mythic version of the story. Years before Edmund’s encounter with the invading Danish king, a young Danish prince had gone hawking in a boat and was lost at sea. He washed up on the coast of England and was taken to Edmund, who learned of the young man’s skill and made him his chief falconer. But the man whom he replaced as falconer lured him into the woods and murdered him. The prince’s dog kept turning up at the castle to be fed and then going back to the woods, but it took quite a while before someone followed him and found the body. The deposed falconer was found guilty and set adrift in the same boat the young prince had come in – without oars or sail or food. As one might expect in a good epic, he in turn washed ashore on the Danish coast and was taken to the court, where he told the king that Edmund had ordered the prince’s murder. Thus Ingvar’s furious investment in doing away with Edmund and his god.
It’s a great legend, and it gets even better with echoes of the prince’s death in the story of Edmund’s. After Edmund is executed, his loyal subjects find his body and the severed head – with the aid of a wolf, crying “here, here, here.” There’s a very old mural in a church at Padbury, Buckinghamshire that shows a wolf carrying Edmund’s head.
It makes one wonder what elaborate stories will be told in future about the founders and residents of Penick Village! Yet there are some deeply significant and serious issues here. Edmund evidently did give an account of the hope that was in him, whether or not some have judged it foolish. He acted out of integrity. He loved the people of his kingdom, and he loved the enemy who washed up on his shore near death. He may have been naïve to promote the young prince and thereby demote a man prone to raging jealousy. He clearly was not a terribly effective or elegant politician. And the witness of his life is remembered as holy and life-giving for his people. He was the patron saint of England through most of the Middle Ages.
We remember saints as witnesses, examples of holy living. They are never perfect imitations of godliness – they’re very human in rich and complex ways, with feet of clay and checkered histories, even legendary ones. Each one opens a window onto what it means to offer evidence of the hope that is within us, as Peter puts it. And each encounter with one of these witnesses invites us to ask that question of ourselves. What’s my witness? What’s yours? Most of us aren’t going to be tied to trees and shot with arrows, but what does it mean for us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves?
I’ve been intrigued and deeply moved by the stories I’ve heard about the witness in Charlotte called “Moral Mondays.” It has been a bold and faith-full witness about loving all our neighbors as ourselves, and caring for the least of these. Those who have gone to the capitol and challenged the state assembly may seem foolish in the world’s eyes, but they understand their cause as a holy one. I’m not certain that those who’ve worked to remove voting rights or social safety nets ought to be compared to marauding Vikings, but there are some parallels to be seen in laying waste to flourishing communities and educational opportunities, and removing hope from what had been growing stability in poor families.
Those monasteries the Vikings looted and laid waste were the social and spiritual support systems for the poor, the migrant laborers, orphans, and widows of their day. They also provided the only educational opportunities. Edmund gave his life insisting that God is larger than the destroying impulses of this world. Penick Village is a latter day echo of a medieval monastery – it’s a religious foundation for the care and nurture of human beings in the closing years of their lives. And it claims to be a hostel for human beings, uniquely created as beloved children of God.
The need for hostels and homes for all God’s children is an ancient one, and it’s a growing need around here. On Monday, the Fayette Observer reported about the homeless population in Moore County, noting that many don’t recognize the need because they assume this is a wealthy community. How are the people of this Village connected to the people of the larger village called Moore County, or North Carolina? I’ve been hearing about some here who are focused on that larger village, working and volunteering and giving witness to those connections. Some are probably mentoring potential Edmunds, youngsters who could become strong leaders for a more peaceable community. I know there are Edmunds here in this village, asking “Who needs a home around here?” and working to ensure they have one. What witness do we offer with our very lives, what hope for greater and more abundant life?
 Sam Portaro, The Brighest and the Best.
 Stars in a Dark World, 705-707
[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) has issued a reminder to submit feedback through a survey about the new resources for blessing same-sex relationships.
The survey is located here.
In 2012, the General Convention passed Resolution A049 commending “Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be A Blessing” for study and use in congregation and dioceses, and approved the liturgical resource “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” for provisional use.
SCLM reports that, since about 50 days ago, 339 people have taken the survey in English and three people in Spanish. Of those, 67% were clergy, 33% were lay.
Of the people providing feedback about preparing a couple, 50% were clergy and 12% were members of a couple who were blessed.
On feedback about the liturgy, 55.3% were clergy, 15.5% members of the congregation, and 16.8% a member of the couple.
Regarding the educational/discussion material, 27.7% used the material, while those who did not use it said it was either because they had already done congregational education (57.9%) or that they used other resources (31.3%).
Of those who said they did not use any of the SCLM’s material, 61.8% said it was because no one came forward asking for a blessing.
The most responses came from the Dioceses of California, East Tennessee and New York.
The survey will remain open through December 31.
- To contact SCLM: email@example.com
- SCLM blog
- Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music: http://generalconvention.org/ccab/mandate/2
- Liturgical Resources I is available, in print and ebook form, from Church Publishing, Inc.
La situación de Venezuela sigue igual o peor. Observadores dicen que no ven que el oficialismo haga algún gesto de conciliación, todo lo contrario cada día toma decisiones que enfurecen a la oposición y a los ciudadanos comunes. Los esfuerzos anti-constitucionales del mandatario Nicolás Maduro de asegurarse poderes totales mediante “ley habilitante” lo convierte en dictador al estar en sus manos todos los poderes del estado. Los obispos católicos romanos advirtieron del peligro de mayores hechos de violencia que pueden costar vidas y traer mayores dolores a la población. ”Rechazamos la usura, la corrupción y la especulación” dicen en un comunicado.
En Cuba se anunció la jubilación del cardenal arzobispo de La Habana, Jaime Ortega que ha llegado a la edad de retiro. Como todo el que ejerce un cargo de responsabilidad pública, Ortega ha sido severamente criticado aunque le atribuyen aciertos como la liberación de 125 presos políticos. En círculos eclesiásticos abundan las “predicciones” sobre quién será el próximo arzobispo de La Habana.
La Primera Iglesia Metodista de la calle Corrientes en el centro de Buenos Aires ha sido atacada por desconocidos que destrozaron parte de sus instalaciones como muebles y el altar, informó el obispo de Argentina Frank de Nully Brown. Esta iglesia construida en 1843 y reconstruida en 1874 fue el primer templo metodista en América del Sur.
El congresista demócrata Luis Gutiérrez de Chicago se perfila como el líder latino más importante del país, según una encuesta del periódico digital Huffington Post. Gutiérrez, de origen puertorriqueño, ha luchado por la legislación para regularizar la situación de millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en Estados Unidos. En otra encuesta sobre la posibilidad de llegar a ser presidente, Gutiérrez obtuvo el doble de los votos comparado con el senador cubano-americano Marco Rubio.
Según un estudio realizado por las Naciones Unidas, América Latina “es la región más violenta del mundo” con serias consecuencias en lo social y económico. Entre el año 2000 y el 2010 la tasa de homicidios alcanzó un crecimiento de 11 por ciento lo que se traduce en más de un millón de muertos. Delitos como el hurto se han triplicado en el mismo período. ¡Señor, ten piedad!
Julio César Holguín, obispo de la Iglesia Episcopal Dominicana, está tratando de reunir un grupo de “notables” para hacerle frente a la decisión del Tribunal Constitucional de la República que ha aprobado una ley que le quitó la ciudadanía dominicana a los miles de haitianos que viven y trabajan en el país desde 1929.
Agnes Abuom, abogada líder de la Iglesia Anglicana de Kenia, ha sido electa por unanimidad moderadora del comité central del Consejo Mundial de Iglesias en su reciente reunión celebrada en Corea del Sur. Abuom es la primera mujer y la primera africana en ocupar esta posición en los 65 años de vida del Consejo. Sus áreas de interés son justicia económica, paz y reconciliación.
Rafael García, popular sacerdote encargado de la Iglesia del Espíritu Santo en una sección de Miami conocida como la Pequeña Habana, será instalado como párroco de la misma iglesia el 14 de diciembre por el obispo Leopoldo Frade. García se convierte así en el décimo párroco desde que esta iglesia fue instituida hace 75 años. García y su esposa, Anaysa, ambos cubanos, tienen un niño pequeño Anthony.
La revista italiana Panorama asegura que la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional espió las comunicaciones del Vaticano, incluso en la residencia donde se hospedaban los cardenales durante el cónclave papal. La nota citando a WikiLeaks dijo que aparentemente el papa Francisco también habría sido objeto de vigilancia por Estados Unidos desde el 2005 cuando era arzobispo de Buenos Aires.
La Asamblea Nacional de Ecuador, órgano legislativo de la nación, mantiene un debate que busca despenalizar el aborto por violación. La propuesta fue introducida por Paola Pabón, integrante del partido de gobierno, hecho que fue calificado como una “traición” por parte del presidente Rafael Correa que ha dicho que renunciará a la presidencia si se aprueba la ley del aborto.
El Manual de Diagnóstico y Estadística de los Trastornos Mentales define la pedofilia como “una orientación o preferencia sexual desprovista de consumación”, mientras que el “desorden pedófilo” se define como “una compulsión caracterizada en personas que usan así su sexualidad”. La preferencia de los pedófilos es por menores de 13 años.
Recientemente, el Parlamento del Reino Unido consideró quitar la referencia al Holocausto del plan de estudios de las escuelas porque “ofende” a la población musulmana que asegura que el Holocausto nunca ocurrió.
PARA PENSAR: Conoceréis la verdad y la verdad os hará libres. San Juan 8:32
[Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island] At its monthly “Feed a Friend” dinner on Nov. 19, St. Augustine’s Church in Kingston fed 80 people, at least 40 of whom were current University of Rhode Island students. St. Augustine’s is located on the URI campus and started the “Feed a Friend Dinners” last Shrove Tuesday when parishioners volunteered to cook students their favorite home cooked meal if they brought a friend. The first dinner had 5 students.For St. Augustine’s the jump in numbers is a great success. Over the past year they’ve made it their mission to better reach out to the college students around the church, to provide for their needs both spiritually and physically.
Early on they recognized that two major issues for the students are hunger during breaks (read how they’ve tackled hunger here) and homesickness.
At last night’s dinner there was even a prospective URI student or two in attendance. Some of those who were visiting the campus that day had been sent to the dinner by the University’s LGBTQ group. According to Deacon Jan Grinnell one student even said that he now really wants to come to URI. Knowing there is a loving, supportive Episcopal community on campus seems to have made a big impression.
It isn’t just the students whose spirits are lifted by this ministry. The whole congregation is feeling the joy of sharing and caring.
Carol Miro, the parishioner who coordinated this last dinner, said in an e-mail to Grinnell: “So many contributed in so many ways and the energy in the room was palpable. Students and others are telling us how much they feel unconditional love at St. A’s. We are acting on our mission!”
This was the last “Feed a Friend” for 2013, since the students are moving toward exams and winter break. St. Augustine’s says that the next one will be January 28, and that the students have voted the meal to be “Soup and Stew.”
[Episcopal Diocese of Easton press release] On Nov. 19, Bishop James Shand announced his intention to retire, effective July 1, 2014. He shared the news with diocesan clergy that morning at their monthly clericus meeting, and with Diocesan Council that evening. The Standing Committee had been informed on October 17.
Bishop Shand has served as diocesan bishop since Jan. 25, 2003. Most of his ordained ministry has been in the Diocese of Easton, having served as rector of St. Mary Anne’s, North East, from 1975 to 1989 and as rector of Christ Church, Kent Island, from 1989 to 2003.
Here is the text of his letter:
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
On October 17 at a meeting of the Standing Committee, I submitted my resignation as the Tenth Bishop of Easton, effective July 1, 2014. All six members of the committee were present, as was the Rt. Rev. Clayton F. Matthews, from the House of Bishops Office for Pastoral Development.
In announcing my resignation, I am not calling for the election of the Eleventh Bishop of Easton. Instead, I am suggesting that we call for the election of a Provisional Bishop who might serve for a yet-to-be determined period of time – a year, eighteen months, two years. Now, you may ask, why?
It is my belief, and the belief of the Standing Committee, that the Diocese of Easton would benefit from a period of discernment, questioning, and self-study before moving into the lengthy process of a search. This could be a chance for us to re-examine the office of Bishop as well as the question I frequently hear, “What exactly is a diocese?” Having a period of time under a Provisional Bishop would allow us the opportunity to catch our breath and examine these questions and not be hurried into making a decision. In the midst of a changing Church, we do not have to be locked into doing things the same old way; perhaps new times require new and creative approaches.
The Standing Committee has canonical responsibility for the pastoral oversight of the diocese. Diocesan Council is responsible for the programmatic and fiscal aspects of diocesan life. These two groups are working together to begin the process and will continue to do so as we move forward.
To make a beginning, at our Diocesan Convention on Saturday, February 22, the Rev. Rob Voyle of the Clergy Leadership Institute will lead us through an Appreciative Inquiry conversation about our life as a diocesan community of congregations, looking at our blessings and our hopes and dreams for the future. Everyone in our diocese is encouraged to participate, as well as the clergy and delegates who already will be in attendance.
Lynne and I have been pondering the timing of this decision for some time, seeking through prayer the appropriate time to begin a new chapter in our lives. It has been a tremendous privilege and an honor to serve as your Bishop, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have been a colleague in ministry for all these years. Thank you for your encouragement, support and love.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. James J. Shand,
Tenth Bishop of Easton
The grant will allow Episcopal Relief & Development, in collaboration with its Ghanaian partner, the Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization (ADDRO), to pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Testing a Financing Solution & Technical Assistance Package to increase Women Smallholder Farmers’ Labor Productivity through Ownership of Donkeys with Ploughs.”
“It is a tremendous honor for Episcopal Relief & Development to receive the Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Gates Foundation,” said Rob Radtke, the agency’s president, in a press release from Episcopal Relief & Development. “Innovations such as the donkey plough can increase farming efficiency, allowing women to increase their harvests and devote the time they save to other endeavors such as building skills and marketing produce. Empowering women economically helps bring all members of a community into fuller participation in the creation of a brighter future for their families.”
Radtke told ENS that, for ADDRO, the grant is a “huge feather in their cap.”
Receiving the grant, Radtke said, “shows that we’re always trying to be innovative and creative in coming up with solutions to intractable problems.”
To receive funding, Episcopal Relief & Development and other Grand Challenges Explorations winners in this most recent round of grants awards demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas (Round 11 here) that included agriculture development, development of the next-generation condom and neglected tropical diseases, the press release said.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s project will promote an innovative, labor-saving strategy for women smallholder farmers – the donkey plough, according to the release. Most women farmers in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to oxen for farming and are consigned to grueling and time-consuming labor using hand tools, according to the press release. Women’s access has been limited by cost, cultural taboos and the difficulty of managing oxen due to their large size. In the 1990s, a plough was developed for use by a single donkey, which would be more affordable and practical for women, and would save 18 or more days of labor per hectare of land versus using a hand hoe alone. The donkey plough has not been widely popularized to date, however, and cost is a major obstacle.
Episcopal Relief & Development and ADDRO will provide women smallholder farmers the opportunity to acquire the necessary equipment, as well as improved seeds and fertilizer, through affordable credit. The project will test two credit options through a revolving loan fund designed to be financially sustainable, and participants also will receive skills training in donkey care, farm business management and agricultural techniques. The loans will cover the cost of a donkey, a plough and a cart, enabling the owners to earn extra income and repay their loans more quickly by renting the donkey set to others for farming and transporting goods.
The organization’s programs with ADDRO in Ghana help farmers feed their families through improved agricultural techniques, empower women through micro-finance services and train health volunteers to protect their communities from malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. That sort of “integrated development,” Radtke said, is typical of the sort of work Episcopal Relief & Development tries to support whenever possible.
Grand Challenges Explorations funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in solving persistent global health and development challenges, according to the press release. Episcopal Relief & Development’s project is one of 81 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 grants awarded Nov. 20 by the foundation.
Grand Challenges Explorations is a $100 million initiative that was launched in 2008. More than over 850 people in more than 50 countries have received grants. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.
Episcopal Relief & Development is one of two faith-based organizations receiving grants in this round. The other is the Mennonite Economic Development Associates, which proposed another pilot project involving women farmers in Ghana. The challenge both agencies took on is here.
The grant, Radtke noted, is “a real vote of confidence in faith-based organizations.”
Active in approximately 40 countries, Episcopal Relief & Development works with church and ecumenical partners to mobilize local resources toward alleviating hunger, promoting health, creating economic opportunities and responding to disasters, the release said.
[Episcopal News Service – Jackson, Misisipí] A juzgar por el informe de las tres rondas de discusiones en pequeños grupos, los participantes del foro “Cincuenta años después: el estado del racismo en Estados Unidos”, que tuvo lugar los días 15 y 16 de noviembre, se marcharon con esperanzas y una renovada dedicación.
Navita Cummings James, presidente del Comité sobre Antirracismo del Consejo Ejecutivo, y el Rdo. Angel Ifill, misionero del ministerio de los negros de la Iglesia, moderaron la discusión final de la reunión en la cual se les pidió a los participantes que consideraran las tres cosas fundamentales que habían aprendido o que habían reforzado durante la reunión, cómo promoverían personalmente la restauración y la comprensión racial y, luego, cómo se ocuparían de combatir el racismo institucional.
El portavoz de uno de los grupos dijo que sus miembros habían convenido en que “la universalidad del dolor” se había visto reforzada por las conversaciones de los últimos dos días. “Debemos ser pacientes con los que no asistirían a un foro como éste”, dio uno de los participantes, al reportar sobre lo que su pequeño grupo había aprendido.
Desde el punto de vista de promover la comprensión y la reconciliación racial, otro de los participantes dijo que su grupo había estado de acuerdo en que sería importante “trazar su propia narrativa o su propia trayectoria de experiencias raciales [porque] va a ayudarte a llegar a otras personas si tienes clara tu propia historia”.
Más de un participante sugirió que las conversaciones que comenzaron durante la reunión deberían continuar, dicho en las palabras de uno de ellos “ya sea en nuestras iglesias individuales, en la cámara de comercio o en cualesquiera otras agrupaciones de las que podamos formar parte”.
Uno de los participantes más jóvenes hizo notar que debido a la reunión “aun para alguien de nuestro grupo que ha estado en el movimiento durante mucho tiempo, hay una renovada esperanza”.
En sus palabras de clausura, Duncan Gray III, obispo de la Diócesis de Misisipí, hizo notar que “más de unas pocas personas se han preguntado—algunos en alta voz en mi presencia— de lo apropiado de que la Iglesia Episcopal en Misisipí auspicie un diálogo sobre el racismo”.
Diciendo que él entendía esas dudas, Gray recordó que Martin Luther King Jr. dijo durante su famoso discurso “Yo tengo un sueño”, hace 50 años: “Sueño que un día incluso el estado de Misisipí, sofocado por el calor de la injusticia, sofocado por el calor de la opresión, se transformará en un oasis de libertad y de justicia”.
Gray dijo que él “tendría que reconocer que el lobo aún no se ha echado junto al cordero” en este estado.
“No hemos sido transformados en un oasis de libertad y justicia 50 años después, y no obstante, me siento esperanzado porque precisamente soy hijo y natural de este estado conflictivo, heroico, trágico y con frecuencia violento”, señaló.
“Me ilusiona creer que una mirada honesta a nuestro pasado y la disposición a escuchar relatos de individuos y de comunidades que nunca conocimos o quisimos conocer nos conducirán por rutas esenciales a la enmienda e incluso tal vez a la reconciliación”.
El obispo dijo que se sentía ilusionado porque “mientras desentraño las capas de racismo profundamente arraigadas en mi alma —que con frecuencia asumen la forma de caracterizaciones raciales muy personales, a veces inconscientes, dentro de mí— tengo millares de compañeros de viaje a lo largo y ancho de este estado, algunos de los cuales están aquí, que llevan a cabo ese mismo quehacer en extremo doloroso, aterrador y vivificante”.
Gray desafió al resto de la Iglesia y al país [al decir] “si hasta Misisipí, un estado sofocado por la injusticia y la opresión hace 50 años puede hacer esto, ¿por qué no pueden otros?”.
Las sesiones plenarias, los talleres y los debates del 16 de noviembre constituyeron la segunda de las dos jornadas de trabajo dedicadas a examinar el estado del racismo en EE.UU., cuánto ha progresado el país y su población, y a tomar en consideración lo que aún queda por hacer.
Durante uno de los seis talleres simultáneos de esa mañana, el Rdo. James T. Kodera, profesor de religión de Wellesley College y rector de la iglesia episcopal de San Lucas [St. Luke’s Episcopal Church] en Hudson, Massachusetts, presentó una “narrativa histórica de las dificultades sufridas por los asiáticos en Estados Unidos y por los asioamericanos”. Durante la discusión que siguió con los que asistieron al taller, él sugirió que “debe haber múltiples historias. Tenemos que rechazar cualquier noción de historia establecida, de historia oficial, porque toda historia es selectiva y tiene un propósito”.
“Tienen que escribir juntos nuevas historias”, dijo Kodera, natural de Japón y primer asioamericano en ser ordenado en la Diócesis de Massachusetts. “Creo que es nuestra obligación tener el valor de escribir una historia alternativa de manera que podamos adoptar múltiples historias” a fin de poder asomarnos a un panorama más completo del país.
La transmisión vía Internet del 15 de noviembre, que incluyó un discurso de apertura de la obispa primada Katharine Jefferts Schori y dos paneles de discusión, se puede obtener a solicitud aquí. También se puede obtener una guía para la discusión creada para este foro.
Una bibliografía y otros recursos relacionados con el tema pueden encontrarse aquí.
– La Rda. Mary Frances Schjonberg es redactora y reportera de Episcopal News Service. Traducido por Vicente Echerri.