Episcopal leaders push to abolish death penalty across the country

first_img Youth Minister Lorton, VA By Sharon SheridanPosted Jun 13, 2012 Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Joe Parrish says: Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Hopkinsville, KY Dudley Sharp says: June 14, 2012 at 9:49 am Very odd the EC is against the death penalty.God/Jesus: ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother must certainly be put to death.’ Matthew 15:4This is a New Testament command, which references several of the same commands from God, in the same circumstance, from the OT.Jesus: Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Jesus) replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23: 39-43It is not the nature of our deaths, but the state of salvation at the time of death which is most important. This was the perfect opportunity for Jesus to say something contrary to support for execution.Jesus: “So Pilate said to (Jesus), “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered (him), “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above.” John 19:10-11The power to execute comes directly from God.Jesus: “You have heard the ancients were told, ˜YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER” and “Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court”. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, “Raca”, shall be guilty before the supreme court and whoever shall say, “You fool”, shall be guilty enough to go into fiery hell.” Matthew 5:17-22.Fiery hell is a considerable more severe sanction than any earthly death.The Holy Spirit, God, through the power and justice of the Holy Spirit, executed both Ananias and his wife, Saphira. Their crime? Lying to the Holy Spirit – to God – through Peter. Acts 5:1-11.No trial, no appeals, just death on the spot.God: “You shall not accept indemnity in place of the life of a murderer who deserves the death penalty; he must be put to death.” Numbers 35:31 (NAB) full context http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/numbers/numbers35.htmFor murder, there is no mitigation from a death sentence. June 14, 2012 at 12:34 am What about all the victims of the horrendous acts of violence? I work in victim services for a state Dept of Justice. If church members and clergy read the accounts of some of the crimes committed against the innocent, they may change their opinion of the death penalty. Who in the Church will speak out for the victims?I do not support the Church engaging in political activity as an institution. The First Amendment allows me the freedom from government’s intrusion on my religious liberties. I’d rather not have the Episcopal Church as an institution that I freely choose to be a part of, make political statements on my behalf. I believe in the tenets of the Church, tradition, The Bible and reason. I understand the Church taking the moral high ground based on tradition and scripture, but find the reasoning behind the political activity questionable. Rafiki Bakari says: June 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm Now if we could only get our beloved President to do away with his KILL LIST, and set a national moral standard. God bless The President and all these United State- let’s let everyone live even if they don’t deserve to live for the crimes they have committed. That’s ALL of US !!!!Pax and $$$,RPM+ June 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm As a prison reform advocate in Florida for more than 25 years, I am profoundly grateful to all who have pressed for the repeal of the death penalty. We must continue. Please consider, however, the hopelessness of true “life without parole,” particularly for youthful offenders whose immaturity and impulsiveness has put them into a terrible situation. Look at the “life” sentences meted out in other civilized countries such as Israel, England, and Holland, where crime rates are lower than they are in the U.S. These sentences are generally the length of a generation – 20 to 30 years. The emphasis on all but a few irreparable cases is on rehabilitation. We must strive for restorative justice, not just locking the door and throwing away the key. The Rev. Canon Richard P. McDonnell, D.Min. says: Submit a Job Listing Christopher Johnson says: Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Albany, NY Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA July 24, 2014 at 12:26 am It is good to see the Episcopal Church advocate for abolition of the death penalty. I am impressed with the leadership the Church takes on important public policy issues — this being a key one. I wish the Roman Catholic Church would step up more on this and other issues as well.Remember that Christ was executed in a horrific way. He did so to save us. We should not forget Christ’s despair of the Cross as he cried out Father why have you forsaken me… that dark, terrible moment. We can seek peace in the understanding of the suffering and his love for us.We don’t need to repeat torture and death. This cannot bring back victims of violent crimes – an eye for an eye. We have the new covenant — love God and love thy neighbor. We have a just God. True Justice comes in God’s love and grace and accountability. It is good that the Church evolves away from things that likely do not please God — such as the torture, even of a criminal. No need to be stuck in the middle ages. And, what of innocents who are wrongly convicted and put to death. What is that justice or the morality in Gods eyes. We must pray for the victims and we must pray for those who committed the crimes. Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ June 14, 2012 at 10:29 am I agree and am glad the Episcopal Church is working to end the death penalty, another issue that is as or more important is that all Churches should work to end taking a precious innocent baby’s life through abortion! The Very Rev. Kevin Carroll says: Rector Pittsburgh, PA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI June 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm I am grateful for the comments above referencing the death penalty handed down to so many of our unborn children. They are the modern Holy Innocents. June 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm I am pleased with the efforts of many in the USA and the State of Ohio where I live in Cleveland. If not for the grace of GOD I may have been a victim of the Ohio’s electric chair. In 1975 I was charged with the crime of Aggravated Murder With Specializations. I was found guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter in January of 1976. I am innocent of the crime. I witness a suicide. Here it is 2012, I served time for Voluntary Manslaughter, three years. Since my release, 33 years ago, life has been difficult with the Aggravated Murder charge still on my record. I am being punished for life for a crime I did not do. I came very close to being convicted of Aggravated Murder and thus the electric chair. I am a black man, I was 23 years of age when convicted, and I was a Vietnam veteran which did not help my case during the 1970’s. I strongly support the efforts to end death penalty. There are far too many black men becoming innocent victims to the death penalty. June 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm Good for all of these church leaders who are fighting against the death penalty. As I testified before two committees of the New York State Legislature a couple of years ago “one mistake is one mistake too many, especially if you are the mistake” and “in addition to theological reasons against the death penalty, it is better stewardship to impose life without parole.” These thoughts seemed to have reached several of our legislators. Jack Dudley Sharp says: Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Comments (16) The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Belleville, IL Kathleen Murff Whiting says: Curate Diocese of Nebraska Comments are closed. Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Shreveport, LA Featured Events Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Episcopal leaders push to abolish death penalty across the country Rector Knoxville, TN June 16, 2012 at 7:46 am Eternal charity should be a bit more important.Romano Amerio, a faithful Catholic Vatican insider, scholar, professor at the Academy of Lugano, consultant to the Preparatory Commission of Vatican II, and a peritus (expert theologian) at the Council.“The most irreligious aspect of this argument against capital punishment is that it denies its expiatory value which, from a religious point of view, is of the highest importance because it can include a final consent to give up the greatest of all worldly goods. This fits exactly with St. Thomas’s opinion that as well as canceling out any debt that the criminal owes to civil society, capital punishment can cancel all punishment due in the life to come. His thought is . . . Summa, ‘Even death inflicted as a punishment for crimes takes away the whole punishment due for those crimes in the next life, or a least part of that punishment, according to the quantities of guilt, resignation and contrition; but a natural death does not.’ The moral importance of wanting to make expiation also explains the indefatigable efforts of the Confraternity of St. John the Baptist Beheaded, the members of which used to accompany men to their deaths, all the while suggesting, begging and providing help to get them to repent and accept their deaths, so ensuring that they would die in the grace of God, as the saying went.”Some opposing capital punishment ” . . . go on to assert that a life should not be ended because that would remove the possibility of making expiation, is to ignore the great truth that capital punishment is itself expiatory. In a humanistic religion expiation would of course be primarily the converting of a man to other men. On that view, time is needed to effect a reformation, and the time available should not be shortened. In God’s religion, on the other hand, expiation is primarily a recognition of the divine majesty and lordship, which can be and should be recognized at every moment, in accordance with the principle of the concentration of one’s moral life.”Some death penalty opponents “deny the expiatory value of death; death which has the highest expiatory value possible among natural things, precisely because life is the highest good among the relative goods of this world; and it is by consenting to sacrifice that life, that the fullest expiation can be made. And again, the expiation that the innocent Christ made for the sins of mankind was itself effected through his being condemned to death.”“Amerio on capital punishment “, Chapter XXVI, 187. The death penalty, from the book Iota Unum, May 25, 2007 ,http://www.domid.blogspot.com/2007/05/amerio-on-capital-punishment.html Submit an Event Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC center_img Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Kevin Roberts says: June 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm God bless those who speak for those who truly have no voice and are truly innocent – the unborn. Charitable as the opposition to the death penalty may be, I do not see how it squares with the rabid support this denomination shows for abortion. Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Director of Music Morristown, NJ Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Thomas Andrew says: This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rob Nelson says: Featured Jobs & Calls Jack M McKelvey says: An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Press Release June 14, 2012 at 10:33 am I believe that it is right and good that the church speaks out against capital punishment. Yet, if we do not include other issues, such as abortion, war, assisted suicide, and violent crime in the same conversation it lacks moral integrity. How we treat human life from the inception of person-hood through death needs to be an all-inclusive conversation. If we cherry pick a politically correct issue out of the breadth and death of God’s imperative that we respect human life we abrogate our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human being. New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books The Rev. Matthew Tucker says: Press Release Service Jennifer Myers says: June 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm The execution abolition movement seems to be gaining steam. We will need to get many other denominations to help. The Roman Catholic Church has played a key role so far in several states, but we have helped. It is very good to see Episcopalians take this issue on more vigorously! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis June 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm I would be much more impressed by all this if these bishops and anyone else opposed to the death penalty showed the same care and solicitude for the lives of the unborn. Because if this country completely does away with the death penalty, those of us who claim to be Christians will still have an American holocaust to account for. Rector Washington, DC TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector Bath, NC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Smithfield, NC Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Dudley Sharp says: Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Advocacy Peace & Justice June 14, 2012 at 10:04 am Ms. Myers:You imply that being against the death penalty is pursuing the moral high ground.The foundation of support for the death penalty is justice, the same foundation as for all criminal sanctions.The pursuit of justice may be the greatest of all human endeavors.Note that the EC first opposed the death penalty in 1958 and the official Church of England originated in the 1500’s, with Henry VIII’s direction to separate from the Catholic papacy, not in small part because of the Pope’s refusal to aprove of Henry VIII’s divorce request.The EC supported executions for about 400 years, before voicing its recent opposition, which is largely the result of liberal, secular influence, in opposition to the 400 years of biblical and theological based death penalty support, as well as the total 2000 years of support from the Catholic Church An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Dudley Sharp says: June 16, 2012 at 7:56 am Rev. Carrol:I am more familiar with Catholic teaching on these topics, within which abortion and assisted suicides are moral evils and both war and the death penalty may be justified on moral grounds.It is not a matter of cherry picking, but of properly finding that there are different moral foundations for different types of killing.It would be morally irresponsible to say that there is no moral difference between the killing involved in the rape and murder of children and the killing involved in the execution of that rapist/murderer.“Killing Equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents”http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/02/01/murder-and-execution–very-distinct-moral-differences–new-mexico.aspx Rector Martinsville, VA Tags Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Collierville, TN Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Tampa, FL Connecticut Bishops Ian T. Douglas, Laura J. Ahrens and James E. Curry during an April 3 public witness in Hartford, Conn., marking the Stations of the Cross and protesting the state’s death penalty. The Diocese of Connecticut organized the public witness attended by some 200 people. Connecticut has since abolished the death penalty. Photo/Marc Yves Regis[Episcopal News Service] When Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill in April making Connecticut the fifth state in five years to abolish the death penalty, Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut Bishop Suffragan James Curry’s attendance at the ceremony testified to the influence of Episcopal leaders on ending capital punishment in the state.Curry and other members of the diocese had worked with the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty since the 2005 execution of serial killer Michael Ross, the first prisoner put to death in New England in 45 years.Abolishing the death penalty became “a very, very contentious issue” in Connecticut after two recently released prisoners invaded a home and “brutally murdered” two girls and their mother in 2007, he said.“In the midst of that, it was very hard to have a conversation in this state about not demanding the death penalty for such horrific crimes,” Curry said. “It was also a time in the church where we started to shift the conversation from that this is punishment to [that] the death penalty is really about the kind of statement we want to make about what we want our society to be.”The Episcopal Church officially has opposed the death penalty for more than half a century, and its advocacy is gaining traction as momentum builds across the country to end capital punishment. Bishops and other church leaders are writing letters, joining coalitions, testifying before legislators and publicly demonstrating their opposition to the death penalty.Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have ended capital punishment. In total, 3,189 people remain on death row in the United States, including some in Connecticut and New Mexico, which repealed the penalty without making it retroactive, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.The Episcopal Church first passed a resolution opposing the death penalty in 1958, said Alexander Baumgarten, Episcopal Church director of government relations. “It’s been reaffirmed in multiple conventions since then, so our position as a church has been clear for a long time.“I think the fact that we’ve seen a recent pattern of bishops and other leaders in the church in the dioceses of the United States raising the profile of our advocacy is a reflection of the climate in which public opinion in the United States seems to be moving against the death penalty for the first time in a number of years.”A 2011 Gallup poll showed about one in three Americans opposing the death penalty, a 19 percent drop in support for capital punishment over 17 years and down from an all-time high of 80 percent supporting it in 1994. Baumgarten attributes the trend to an understanding of “the inherent flaws in the application of the death penalty.”Repeated studies, for example, have documented that capital punishment does not deter crime, he said. The death penalty also carries inherent racial and socio-economic biases and the chance of killing innocent people, he said.According to the Death Penalty Information Center:Studies indicate the chance of being sentenced to death is much higher when murder victims are white, and a 1998 study reported a pattern of race-of-victim or race-of-defendant discrimination or both in 96 percent of states where race and the death penalty had been reviewed.More than 130 people have been released from death row since 1973 with evidence of their innocence, with an average of five people exonerated annually from 2000 to 2011.“As people start to understand the complexities of how the penalty is applied in practice,” Baumgarten said, “I think we start to see people who on its face might not be opposed to the death penalty now start to say: As a matter of applied justice in this country, this doesn’t really work.”While the Episcopal Church has an official stance against the death penalty, this primarily is a state issue, and church abolition efforts have originated mostly at the local level, noted Baumgarten, who works in the church’s Washington, D.C., office.“It’s not something that I think has been driven by central structures of the Episcopal Church or central governing entities of the Episcopal Church,” he said. “Bishops and congregations and leaders in the dioceses have looked at the church’s historic stance on this and applied it to the … context that’s evolving around them.”Cooperative effortsIn Connecticut, the diocese worked with the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty on legislative efforts that fell short more than once before the governor signed the April 25 bill abolishing the death penalty in the state. Then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a bill in 2009. A 2011 abolition bill failed by two votes in the state Senate.The 2012 bill ended the death penalty, but not for those previously convicted – including the two men sentenced to death for the high-profile 2007 murders.“It’s a flaw in the bill,” Curry said. “I think that’s going to be a legal battle.”During the push for the successful abolition legislation, the Connecticut network helped organize conversations in churches around the death penalty, he said. “We started organizing letter-writing campaigns to state representatives and senators. We made ourselves available for conversation. We were lobbying at the legislative office building.”The diocese also partnered with the church’s Washington, D.C., office, sending alerts through a Connecticut public policy network.The diocese’s public witness included inviting clergy to renew their vows during Holy Week this year while participating in a Stations of the Cross service that meditated on issues of justice in society and particularly on abolishing the death penalty. Between 175 and 200 people participated, mostly Episcopal priests but also some clergy from other denominations, Curry said. “We had one rabbi join us … It speaks to the power of this issue and the power of the coalition, because the very language of our Stations of the Cross was unsettling to him.”While they walked in prayer, the last senator needed to pass the abolition bill held a press conference saying she had changed her mind after opposing similar legislation last year, Curry said. The church made a difference in the bill’s passage, he said, from the letter writing to the image of three Episcopal bishops and numerous clergy in their cassocks processing through the state capital.“For me, the other reality is that the church learned that we have the possibility to affect public discourse by staying true to who we are and by creating alliances with other groups like the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, and that’s a learning that were going to keep as we’re looking into social justice,” said Curry. ” We need to always keep looking beyond ourselves, outside of ourselves for other voices that we can ally with.”In the Diocese of Montana, Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart Jr. belongs to the Montana Abolition Coalition, an umbrella group of religious and other organizations seeking to end the state’s death penalty. He has written editorials and letters to legislators opposing the death penalty and testified before a state Senate committee.“It’s difficult in some ways because, in doing this, you have to speak to people with a broad range of ethical and religious backgrounds,” he said. “It’s easiest for me simply to speak as a Christian.”He raises issues such as whether the death penalty is justice or vengeance; how accurately it can be applied; whether it deters crime; and whether it serves the common good. He views the death penalty as “morally corrosive to a society,” he said.“I think we have to say that there is no question from the Scriptures that the state has – the traditional phrase is ‘the power of the sword’ — to do this, but is it in this day and age really a Christian witness to say let’s kill people? I don’t think it is.”Like Curry, he believes the church’s witness makes a difference.“I believe there is power in being a bishop and speaking on behalf of the church. I know I get listened to more carefully because of that,” he said, adding, “The other side is, I think that for some people it is easier to dismiss me: Well, what would you expect a soft-headed Christian to say?”The Montana legislature meets for 90 days every two years, and death penalty abolition is an issue every session, he said. “It nearly got through last time.”“Every time it comes up … the idea of the death penalty seems to have less power and appeal to it, and it will come up again this time when the legislature meets in January 2013,” he predicted.Episcopal leaders advocate against the death penalty in other states as well.As president of the Ecumenical Leaders Group of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council, Diocese of Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton most recently led a march to Maryland’s State House following an early-morning Ash Wednesday service at St. Anne’s Episcopal Parish in Annapolis, said Sharon Tillman, diocesan spokesperson. The Feb. 22 event culminated in a press conference and discussions with religious leaders and legislators.In 2008, at an anti-death-penalty rally in Annapolis, Sutton said, “There is no room for state-sponsored killing and state-sponsored revenge. To kill and to revenge for the killing of another person contributes to a cycle of killing. … Love is doing what is right precisely when it is hard. Jesus taught his disciples to go beyond an ‘eye for an eye’ and ‘a tooth for a tooth,’ for that would inevitably lead to what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others would call an ‘eyeless and a toothless society.’ Instead, he taught us to love even the unlovely and stop the cycle of violence.”In the Diocese of Los Angeles, Bishop J. Jon Bruno and Bishops Suffragan Mary Douglas Glasspool and Diane Jardine Bruce endorsed the SAFE California Act, which will replace the state’s death penalty with a sentence of life in prison without chance of parole as the maximum punishment for murder.Helping to recruit signers in the successful petition drive to get the initiative on California’s November 2012 ballot were the diocesan Program Group on Peace and Justice Ministries, the diocesan PRISM Restorative Justice Ministries and All Saints Church, Pasadena, and St. Michael and All Angels Church, Studio City, among other congregations, said Robert Williams, diocesan canon for community relations.Diocese of California Bishop Mark Andrus also has supported abolition efforts.In the Diocese of Ohio, the Rev. Will Mebane, canon for Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, testified in February before the Senate Judiciary Committee to support a bill to abolish the death penalty.In Kansas, Episcopal and other bishops have participated in letter-writing campaigns and other efforts encouraging abolition of the death penalty.Theology of justice workSuch efforts are consistent with the church’s mission, Baumgarten said.“If we look at the catechism in the prayer book,” he said, “it tells us that the church lives out its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the gospel and promotes justice, peace and love.”“As Episcopalians, as Anglicans, we would understand the promotion of just structures in society and peace in God’s kingdom on earth as something that is central to the mission of the church, not a distraction from the mission of the church,” he said. “We would be remiss if we did not look at what our faith says about justice and peace and then work for it in the world around us.”Curry agreed.“Our biblical witness is about transforming the world, and it’s not about hoarding the good news of God’s redemptive love,” he said. “I think that we have to be out in the world and that one of the primary reasons for church community is to equip every single Christian to take that faith out in their own lives. So I have great respect for legislators who are living out their faith or social workers or organizers. It’s almost counterintuitive that clergy would feel they can’t do that.”Church polity allows Episcopalians to shape the church’s stance on public-policy issues, Baumgarten noted. “One of the important things about the Episcopal Church’s system of governance is that there really is a straight line from the congregational level to the General Convention level. … Everybody has the ability to participate in the church’s discernment of where it stands on particular issues.”This doesn’t mean that every Episcopalian must agree with every stance the church takes, as Brookhart noted.“I think our church has the sense that we don’t expect everyone to agree with the official so-called positions,” he said, adding that there’s no “punitive side” for disagreeing with General Convention resolutions on public-policy issues.“On the other hand,” he added, “I think it’s important to say that there are some issues that are important enough that the church needs to make a witness about it, even if a substantial minority of its members don’t agree.”And that witness doesn’t remain at the institutional level.Advocacy is part of the mission of every person of faith including Episcopalians, Baumgarten said. “It’s not uniquely the role or responsibility of churchwide structures or bishops or church leaders.”“That comes from our understanding of baptism,” he said. “That comes from our understanding of the commands of Jesus. That comes from our understanding of mission and Anglican theology. And so our [Washington, D.C.] office exists for the purpose of equipping Episcopalians to engage in the ministry of advocacy in their own contexts.“In one sense, we provide a representative face of the church in Washington on an ongoing basis,” he said. “But in the most important sense, the heart of our work, the heart of our ministry as an office, is to equip Episcopalians around the country for their own ministry of advocacy.”— Sharon Sheridan is an ENS correspondent. Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MIlast_img read more

Church in Navajoland confronts ministry challenges

first_img Curate Diocese of Nebraska By Lynette WilsonPosted Jan 23, 2013 Comments (1) Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector Tampa, FL Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Indigenous Ministries, Submit a Job Listing January 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm When I taught in Fort Defiance, AZ I was a member of Good Shepherd Mission. Even though the Navajoland Area Mission is an impoverished part of God’s kingdom, they work to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of its members and those in the communities they serve; they exemplify what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I pray that people will step forward with financial support for the Navajoland Area Mission so they can continue and expand their ministries. Rector Albany, NY Rector Pittsburgh, PA Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Youth Minister Lorton, VA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC A Navajo rendition of the ascension hangs above the altar at St. Michael’s Church in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico. In addition to Mary, Jesus and St. Michael, it includes a hogan, or traditional Navajo dwelling, the church and and oil derrick. ENS Photo/Lynette Wilson[Episcopal News Service] Every third Sunday, Deacon Paula Henson travels 200 miles round trip from Fort Defiance, Arizona, to St. Joseph’s House Church in Many Farms, where she slowly is building a congregation that last November received four new baptized members.An Anglo priest established the house church some 50 years ago, but, more recently, firmly planting a church in Many Farms has taken on a greater sense of urgency for Henson because the matriarch of the local family has been ill.“It’s time to step it up and be there for her daughters and the little ones” so they can carry on a church there, she said. The plan, she added, is to clear out the matriarch’s hogan, or traditional Navajo dwelling, and create a sacred worship space.It’s a fitting gesture in a matriarchal society, where family connection means everything, people introduce themselves by clan name, and Episcopalians can trace their church affiliation back, in some cases, to great-great-grandmothers. “The bulk of the church is family and extended family,” said Navajoland Bishop David Bailey in a November interview with ENS in New Mexico.In the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, between 4,500 and 5,000 Navajo would have identified themselves as Episcopalians. Today, Navajo Episcopalians number between 900 and 1,200.In 1978, the Episcopal Church carved out parts of the dioceses of Rio Grande, Arizona and Utah within and surrounding the 27,000-square-mile Navajo reservation in an area the size of West Virginia to create the Navajoland Area Mission. It was an effort toward unification of language, culture and families.Unfortunately, when the Episcopal Church designated the mission, it didn’t provide the necessary resources to build it up, said Bailey in a July letter to church leaders.“Changing times and several internal challenges have contributed to an inability of the larger church to meet the needs or enable the success of the mission,” he wrote. “No substantive efforts were undertaken reflective of a long-term commitment to create, implement and build a sound foundation for the future of the church in Navajoland.”That’s all changing. Since Bailey became bishop in 2010, the area mission has invested $190,000 in buildings and maintenance costs because, as with many small dioceses that have deferred maintenance costs, they didn’t have places to gather and worship. He also has identified and empowered Navajo clergy and laity. See related story.‘Living off borrowed money’At 72, Bailey is “retired” and was appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to serve as the bishop in Navajoland. His focus, he said, is more administrative than pastoral.“I’m building the foundation,” he said. “I am cognizant of my age, and whoever does follow me will have something to build up.”The Episcopal Church’s 2013-15 budget approved by approved by General Convention in July 2012 designated $333,333 annually for Navajoland, leaving the church almost $300,000 short of its $600,000 annual budget.“We are living off borrowed money,” said Bailey. “We are scrambling to raise dollars.”To bridge the budget gap, he said, Navajoland is implementing new programs, addressing building-maintenance concerns, providing training for clergy and laity and developing new revenue opportunities.The church owns 150 acres of land in the church’s three regions covering New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, that can be developed, said Bailey.At Fort Defiance in Arizona, where the church already manages rental properties, the plan is to build an recreational vehicle park. At St. Mary in the Moonlight, located near the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Utah, a highly popular tourist destination, the goal is to build a retreat center. In addition to a hostel at St. Christopher’s Mission, also in Utah, an agriculture/aquaculture project is in development. And in Farmington, New Mexico, where the church has its administrative offices, it would like to build low-income housing for single mothers on 40 acres of what once was a sand and gravel pit.“We’re not going to generate $600,000, but maybe $200,000,” said Bailey.Building partnershipsBuilding up supportive partnerships across the Episcopal Church also is essential to Navajoland’s development. Bailey said he believed that, if the people knew more about the church in Navajoland, they’d want be part of it.“We’re not looking for a handout, we’re looking for a hand up. I know that’s a worn-out statement, but that’s what we are looking for,” he said. “It used to be that people would come out and do their thing. Let’s be clear about what we need and what we want to partner with you to do.”One milestone for Navajoland is a renewed companion relationship with the Diocese of the Rio Grande and its recently elected Bishop Michael Vono.“This is significant because we were out of relationship for 25 years,” said Bailey. “The two previous bishops of Rio Grande wanted nothing to do with indigenous beliefs.”Not all partners have been church partners. For instance, Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance partnered with Texas A&M University’s veterinary school to spay and neuter dogs and cats. And in Bluff, St. Christopher’s Mission partnered with Venture Utah, a nonprofit coalition focused on youth, to run a summer horse-therapy clinic. The mission also is partnering with Utah State University to set up an extension-learning center, which will include video-conferencing capabilities.Even with the center in its early development, the community is looking at it as an anchor for many other youth and family services in vocational and academic training, and perhaps to boost St. Christopher’s agricultural project, which consists of six acres devoted to community farming, said the Rev. Red Stevens, who serves St. Christopher’s and is the ministry developer and missioner for the Utah region.“We’re looking forward to seeing that as a focus for our continuing services to our own community and our wider client-service area, which reaches roughly from St. Christopher 25 miles north and south and 10 miles east and west,” Stevens said. “We have a large area of sparsely populated homes and family compounds, and this will provide a place where people can get educational resources, recreational resources and family-strengthening resources.”St. Christopher’s Mission in Bluff, Utah, is the oldest, continuous mainstream Christian outpost in operating in the heart of Mormon country. ENS Photo/Lynette WilsonSt. Christopher’s Mission is the oldest, continuous mainstream Christian outpost in Bluff, in the heart of Mormon country; the next nearest Christian mission is in Round Rock, some 60 miles away. St. Christopher’s serves between 350 and 400 clients, providing water, food and clothing.St. Christopher’s owes some of its successes to Episcopal Church partnerships, including All Saints in Beverly Hills, California, Annunciation in Lewisville, Texas, St. John’s in Kingston, New York, and others.“We’d still exist, but they provide a richness that we need, moral and financial support, and it goes way beyond us,” Stevens said. “When they do vacation Bible school, kids come from all over.”Being in communityThe Navajoland Area Mission has three major congregations in New Mexico and Utah and two major congregations and two house churches in Arizona, where most of the Navajo reservation is located. By offering programs and services for dealing with inter-generational trauma – the long-lasting effects of suffering, violence and abuse, particularly in reference to the historical sufferings of indigenous people, which can lead to violence and substance abuse – the church hopes to raise its profile and attract new members.The area’s social challenges “take on their own spiritual characteristic because people are so interconnected; it becomes everyone’s problem,” said Stevens.Deacon Cornelia Eaton and her mother, Alice Mason, a longtime lay minister who served St. Michael’s in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico. Many of the Episcopalians in Navajoland can trace their church membership back generations. ENS Photo/Lynette WilsonCornelia Eaton, a postulant and Bailey’s assistant in Farmington, agreed. While each ministry is unique, all struggle with the same challenges of poverty, substance abuse and domestic violence, she said.Between 125,000 and 150,000 Navajo live on the reservation. Many work in extractive industries, such as oil, uranium and petroleum, but it’s estimated that half of the population is unemployed and 50 percent lives in extreme poverty. Most parishioners either don’t have vehicles or are too old to drive.Asked what they need, the first response clergy and lay ministers give is “reliable vehicles” and the second is gasoline. “The main problem is isolation and gas prices,” said Stevens. “It is 30 miles round trip to church. Everything is so far away from anything else. We travel so much.”The sign at St. John the Baptizer in Montezuma Creek, Utah. ENS Photo/Lynette WilsonIt was her travels past St. John the Baptizer in Montezuma Creek, Utah, that brought lay pastor, Lily Henderson, there.“I used to drive up and down this road and the church was shut down, and I prayed about it and I left my job,” said Henderson, who worked for years in early-childhood development before taking over at St. John the Baptizer.Henderson faces many challenges. She hauls water from St. Christopher’s Mission, some 12 miles up the road, because the water on the St. John’s property is contaminated. The floors are curling in the sacristy. And the old parish hall must be demolished because it’s unsafe for children.Like others, she said one of her biggest concerns is transportation and high gas prices. The children she serves mostly have difficult home lives, coming from alcoholic, single-parent, low-income families. She does, however, have a van to use to get supplies and to pick up children for Sunday school, she said.“They really enjoy coming over to have something to eat. This is a safe place to be, to have someone to be with, to talk to them, to know that we care about them,” said Henderson.LaCinda Hardy-Constant, a postulant and community organizer serving Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, leads a partnership between the congregation and the community that began about a year ago.“We started to identify needs and assets that exist in the community,” she told ENS. “One of the main issues is gang violence and youth.”Five gangs have become a “constant menace” to the community, and talks with the community revealed that the elderly population lives in fear, said Hardy-Constant, who also serves on the Executive Council Committee on Indigenous Ministry. “Once the sun goes down, they are not going outside.”In response, Good Shepherd instituted a neighborhood watch program and is working to provide volunteer opportunities for young people.Elders often express concern that the children are not getting enough spiritual direction, Hardy-Constant said. Without that, they ask, how will they follow their journey?“The church is for the kids to give them a direction as they grow up,” she said. “That inspiration is what at child will keep forever.”This is something Hardy-Constant and others who’ve grown up in the Episcopal Church in Navajoland know. Like many other children, she was “born and raised” at Good Shepherd.“We talk about Good Shepherd and how it was the heart of Navajoland,” she said. “When you are raised in the church, you see different levels of strength and weakness. We’ve come a long way in Navajoland. We are slow like a turtle.”It was the Rev. Davis Givens, an Anglo priest, who some 50 years ago started driving his Model T the long distance from Fort Defiance out to the house church in Many Farms, who founded the ministry, which Henson has chosen to rebuild.“It means a lot [to the family] that Paula still goes out there,” said Hardy, who told the story of Givens driving his Model T across Navajoland.Deacon Catherine Plummer also drives long distances to serve her parish. She lives in Bluff and serves part time at St. Mary of the Moonlight in Oljato, an hour’s drive southwest. The arrangement can be difficult for her and the people she serves.She typically drives out on Friday to give her members the Sunday lessons, so they can come prepared; she visits shut-ins, offering morning prayer and consecrated bread and wine. On Saturdays she tries to catch the people she missed on Friday.Plummer is a fourth-generation Episcopalian. Her great-great-grandmother on her mother’s side was an Episcopalian, and she is the widow of Bishop Steven Plummer. She is looking forward to being ordained a priest and moving out to Oljato. It’s important, she said, that the parishes have ordained leaders.“They don’t feel like they have anybody out there,” she said.— Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.  Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Director of Music Morristown, NJ Submit a Press Release Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Press Release Service Comments are closed. This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Collierville, TN An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Bath, NC Navajoland Rector Washington, DC Rector Shreveport, LA Featured Events AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Smithfield, NC Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit an Event Listing The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Featured Jobs & Calls Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Church in Navajoland confronts ministry challenges Rector Belleville, IL Rector Hopkinsville, KY Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Martinsville, VA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC John D. Andrews says: Tags Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Associate Rector Columbus, GA Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET last_img read more

Central PA: Presiding Bishop celebrates 30 years of Jubilee Ministry

first_img Rector Martinsville, VA September 14, 2013 at 1:25 am As a Jubilee Center Coordinator (St. Matthew/San Mateo, Auburn, WA) in the Diocese of Olympia and as assisting DJO I am so heartened to see this recognition of the Jubilee tradition of local Jubilee Center ministries – in our case we serve immigrant communities, focusing on grass roots community organizing for immigration reform, worker justice and economic development. In addition we work with survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. I am certain each Jubilee Center has it’s unique community story. If anyone happens to be in Auburn, Washington on a Wednesday afternoon please stop by for our community Zumba night! An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Comments are closed. Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Parishioner Tony Hatfield shares vegetables with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori during her visit to St. Mark’s on Sept. 7. Photo: Diocese of Central Pennsylvania[Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori visited St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 7 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Jubilee Ministry Center. She met with the Jubilee Officers in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania and reviewed the varieties of ministries that have emerged.She also honored the Rt. Rev. Charlie McNutt, retired bishop of the diocese, and the Rev. Canon Peter Greenfield, who was priest at St. Mark’s when former Presiding Bishop John Allin recognized the parish as the first Jubilee Center. “What started as a spark has grown into a flame that has spread across the church,” she observed.Jefferts Schori affirmed the importance of their outreach ministries in very different kinds of communities.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Central Pennsylvania Bishop Nathan Baxter bless the people of St.Mark’s, Lewistown, and clergy of the diocese during a service of celebration for 30 years of Jubilee Ministry. Photo: Diocese of Central Pennsylvania“Our Jubilee Centers serve communities as small as Renovo and as large as Lancaster and Harrisburg,” said Central Pennsylvania Bishop Nathan Baxter. “In every case they ask how the people of God can serve this community.” Each Jubilee Center represents a unique response to the needs of their community.“We see these centers as deep expressions of what Jesus proclaimed,” Jefferts Schori noted. Such ministries foster ecumenical partnerships and invite creative leadership. “Jubilee ministry means getting out of ourselves and inviting new people into community with us,” she added. “The church has been revitalized because we focus on common mission and turn away from minor differences.”[A copy of the presiding bishop’s sermon is available here.]With more than 600 Jubilee Centers in the United States, the Episcopal Church continues to foster new ways to respond to domestic poverty and the challenges of environmental sustainability.On Sunday, Sept. 8, Jefferts Schori visited St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in State College to celebrate a liturgy that was created by a dedicated team of young adults.Sophia Reeder, a young adult from the Williamsport area and student at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, spoke to the gathering. “We are all familiar with the balancing act we do between school, social life, sleep, exercise, etc, etc… There’s a lot of intentional planning that goes into that.““But what about our relationship with God? Do we plan time for prayers? Do we take time to give thanks for our blessings? Do we take time to listen to God, not just to talk at him?  Are we honest in our relationships with him, or do we treat God like a heavenly ATM, prayers in, blessings out!“The Eucharist was the closing of a day-long Vocare event that hosted 33 young adults from the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Submit a Press Release By Linda ArguedasPosted Sep 10, 2013 Dianne Aid, TSSF says: Tags Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Featured Events Rector Knoxville, TN Stewart David Wigdor says: Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Central PA: Presiding Bishop celebrates 30 years of Jubilee Ministry An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET September 11, 2013 at 8:37 am I really liked the paragraph about “we treat God like a heavenly ATM, prayers in, blessings out!” I have never thought about it that way before. I will certainly pass this on to others. Thanks for sharing this with us. Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Comments (3) Press Release Service Rector Albany, NY Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ center_img Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Submit an Event Listing Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Pittsburgh, PA Director of Music Morristown, NJ The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Tampa, FL Course Director Jerusalem, Israel TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest September 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm I don’t know if you will allow this but I just received a copyright on a book I wrote on America revealing the Blessings of Liberty from the Vision of our Lord. The Truth is always beautiful because the Truth is a Person. Someday if my Guru Maharaj ji allows me; I hope to prove America is a Land to welcome Jesus Christ to our hearts and our Law. Right now there is litigation over ownership of church buildings and lands divided over what it means to worship our Lord in Holiness the truest Beauty. But to that issue I say rejoice for you are seeking the Truth within Law to reveal itself. Church and State meet when Law is broken or when Law is fulfilled. Both can come before a Supreme Court.Whereas man’s justice meets the infraction; Love of God is Constitution fulfilled. This is where I am from. I will not tell the name of the book here just to let you know it is short, sweet and a great revelation. Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Bath, NC Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Belleville, IL Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Collierville, TN Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Curate Diocese of Nebraska Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Smithfield, NC Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Submit a Job Listing Rector Shreveport, LA New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Featured Jobs & Calls Karen Birr says: In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 last_img read more

CETALC fosters theological education in Latin America, Caribbean

first_imgCETALC fosters theological education in Latin America, Caribbean Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Luisa Salguero, an Episcopalian, from El Salvador, Beauvais Mervilus, a Roman Catholic from Haiti, Tanya Welcome, a Methodist from Honduras, Michel Monterroza, an Episcopalian, also from El Salvador, attend the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana, an ecumenical seminary in San Jose, Costa Rica. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service[Episcopal News Service] Luisa Salguero grew up in the Episcopal Church in El Salvador. Her late father, Vicente Alfredo Salguero, worked for the church and a plaque bearing his name hangs outside the chapel at the church’s office in San Salvador.As a teenager, Salguero spent some time away from the church, she said during an August interview in San Jose, Costa Rica, and upon high school graduation she studied law at the University of Central America and later went to work for a multinational computer technology company for six years.Salguero, 32, said her work as a lawyer left her feeling empty, and she began spending more time at church.“I felt like I had a hole I was filling in,” she said. “I spent all my free time at the church and enjoyed it and discovered that that was what I really wanted to do. I loved what I was doing.”Today, Salguero is one of two Salvadoran women studying full time at the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana, a regional ecumenical seminary program in San Jose, Costa Rica.El Salvador Bishop Martín Barahona and the church’s ministry board approved Salguero and Michel Monterroza, 28, for the university’s residential program.“They wanted us to get all the skills; it’s going to be tough to be a woman [priest] in El Salvador,” she said.Salguero’s and Monterroza’s studies are made possible with help from grants for the Commission for Theological Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CETALC).Recently, CETALC awarded 26 grants in six categories plus $299,443 in administrative funding to support the educational, theological and formational needs of the church in Latin America and the Caribbean.The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council approved funds during its Oct. 15-17 meeting in Chicago, Illinois, according to a press release.Executive Council established the Trust Fund for Theological Education for Latin America and the Caribbean in 1976 following the closure of the Episcopal Seminary of the Caribbean; with the funds from the sale of the property set aside to provide support for the theological education programs of the dioceses that used the seminary. The seminary was located in Puerto Rico.The six categories of CETALC grants are: diocesan programs; provincial and regional programs; continued theological education; research and production in the theological field; graduate studies scholarships; and the Bishop Leonardo Romero scholarship. (Named for the late bishop of Northern Mexico, the scholarship allows recipients to study at St. George’s College in Jerusalem).For a list of the grants awarded by diocese, province and type, click here.In addition to individual diocesan grants, Province 9 – which includes the dioceses of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Central Ecuador and Ecuador Litoral – received $285,000, including funds to assist in establishing a regional seminary in the Dominican Republic.Province 9 has lacked a “solid regional center” for theological education since the closure of the seminary in Puerto Rico, said Bishop Wilfrido Ramos-Orench, who serves as the Episcopal Church’s global partnerships officer for Province 9.“Priestly formation processes have taken place at the local level with a very few exceptions,” said Ramos-Orench in an e-mail to ENS, adding that there is an “urgent” need to create a provincial seminary.To meet the theological education and formation needs of seminarians in Province 9, the Provincial Council recently endorsed a grant proposal to establish a regional seminary in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The proposal was presented to CETALC and approved during its August meeting in Panama City, Panama.The Diocese of the Dominican Republic has an existing seminary, including staff and a library, located next to the Cathedral Church of the Epiphany in Santo Domingo, which it established some years ago with the Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic, as a center for the formation of clergy and laity, said Ramos-Orench.Since its inception, he added, the seminary has served other dioceses and churches, including Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Cuba, and most recently a student from the Diocese of Washington.Students may also receive theological education locally, through the Anglican Center for Higher Theological Studies, or CAETS.CAETS exists to serve students, clergy and laity, who either cannot afford to study at a residential seminary, or have family and work obligations that require them to stay home, said the Rev. Glenda McQueen, the Episcopal Church’s global partnerships officer for Latin America and the Caribbean.CATES also offers a two-week residential program, where students spend time at regional centers for theological education or seminaries.— Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.  Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Latin America, Rector Pittsburgh, PA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Jobs & Calls New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Bath, NC Submit an Event Listing Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Submit a Press Release The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Tags Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Submit a Job Listing Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Hopkinsville, KY Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Knoxville, TN Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Press Release Service This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Collierville, TN Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Belleville, IL Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Curate Diocese of Nebraska By Lynette WilsonPosted Oct 22, 2013 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Theological Education Rector Albany, NY Associate Rector Columbus, GA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Featured Events Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Tampa, FL The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DClast_img read more

Brooklyn church art exhibit features fresh take on Stations of…

first_img An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud: Crossing continents and cultures with the most beautiful instrument you’ve never heard Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 Featured Events An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA February 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm All of the images are available at the following website: http://www.tablarasagallery.com/html/stations.html Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Bath, NC Submit an Event Listing Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books February 21, 2015 at 9:40 am Not sure what a Jew, an Agnostic or a Buddhist could bring to this……..? Anybody that denies Jesus’s divinity just doesn’t get it. [The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew] To mark the season of Lent, The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew has invited 14 Brooklyn artists to contribute innovative works for a “stations of the cross” exhibit.The tradition of walking the 14 stations of the cross, which portray the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, is an ancient Christian practice, but this exhibit “brings a new level of artistic expression to the experience,” according to a press release from the parish, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.The stations will be open for viewing and meditation at St. Luke and St. Matthew at 520 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, until April 16. The exhibit will embark on a five-city tour in July.An image gallery of the artwork is available here.“This project resurrects a connection between the church as patron of the arts and the artists as instruments of bringing the litany to the lay population,” said Anders Knuttson, the exhibit’s curator. The participating artists represent broad ethnic and religious backgrounds including Buddhists, Roman Catholics, Jews, and agnostics. Each artist was given free reign to create his or her individual interpretation of a selected moment of Jesus’ last journey.The art reflects an array of styles including traditional illustrative depiction, found object assemblage, non-objective abstraction, and color–field interpretations. The participating artists are Pamella Allen, Audrey Anastasi, Joseph Anastasi, C. Bangs, Willie Mae Brown, Anders Knutsson, Franz Lanspersky, Sylvia Maier, Otto Neals, Donovan Nelson, Anne Peabody, Danny Simmons, Andrea Spiros, and Lawrence Terry.The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 347-515-4044. This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Collierville, TN Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Shreveport, LA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Martinsville, VA February 26, 2015 at 9:27 pm I hope you will show all the stations. We can’t all get to Brooklyn. Comments are closed. Maureen Barnhart says: Richard McClellan says: Tags Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Greg Masztal says: Director of Music Morristown, NJ March 2, 2015 at 10:30 pm Thank you from Portland, OR Rector Tampa, FL Course Director Jerusalem, Israel In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Press Release Service February 21, 2015 at 12:05 am This is very exciting. I really love the rebirth of art in the church as a form of expression, worship, understanding and evangelism. I have just come home from our little church’s bilingual Via Crucis. Last year I redid the cover and end page of the bulletin for the service with a monoprint ( very abstracted image ) which is then repeated on the end page with a pencil over drawing which reveals the abstracted image to be a lamb. No one seemed to notice at all except for one child. I think we fall into habits which can be comforting but which can also keep us from seeing things anew. Perhaps wedding the habits of this lenten practice with new art work created by artists both familiar and unfamiliar with the Stations practice may help the worshippers see the road to the cross from new even unpredictable perspectives. Will the artwork be viewable online? Inspiring…. Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Featured Jobs & Calls February 25, 2015 at 11:50 am Dear GregI am the program manager for this exciting project. The intent is for our fundraising to team to raise the funds to purchase all 14 station and, with the help of the Bishop, install this permanent in a church in the US (location tbd). Then, Lent 2016 would start with a new group of 14 artists with 14 new interpretations of the stations. We will be posting information about each artists and individuals could reach out to individuals to discuss their work. We are also going to be videoing each artist as they discuss their process when creating their own work – each artist meditated on their station as they were creating their work. We are following up this installation with the same artists creating a work based on the “Resurrection”. Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Doris Schultz says: Lent Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit a Job Listing Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Greta Mesics says: Rector Belleville, IL February 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm This is one of the most beautiful, touching, and non-traditional artistic Stations of the Cross I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing!!! I would love to know if pieces are available after the exhibit!!! The link to the ENS article has been posted to our FaceBook page to share with our community. Thanks again! Rector Albany, NY Curate Diocese of Nebraska Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Smithfield, NC TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Youth Minister Lorton, VA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Brooklyn church art exhibit features fresh take on Stations of the Cross Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Washington, DC Comments (7) Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Submit a Press Release AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Doris Schultz says: Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Posted Feb 20, 2015 Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Hopkinsville, KY Anne L. Reath says: Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Knoxville, TN Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GAlast_img read more

Pilgrims study refugees, resettlement process in Rwanda, Kenya

first_img Rector Shreveport, LA Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Smithfield, NC Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Submit a Job Listing Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Refugees Migration & Resettlement Advocacy Peace & Justice, Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Comments (3) Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET October 8, 2016 at 1:57 am I was born and grew up here in gihembe refugees camp, and luckily I was chosen to came to united states with my family. we always thank God and the government as well Associate Rector Columbus, GA TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Episcopal Migration Ministries, Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Submit an Event Listing Featured Events Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 December 23, 2016 at 2:38 am I am Congolese refugee from nyabiheke refugerd camp in Rwanda we are hopeless in returning to our homeland bécause of prolonged political conflicts in eastern Drc we spent out of 11 year in country of asylum but all refugees are prefer to get 3rd country instead Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Pilgrims study refugees, resettlement process in Rwanda, Kenya Rector Collierville, TN Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Washington, DC Press Release Service mugabo theo says: Rector Knoxville, TN Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Africa, Director of Music Morristown, NJ November 7, 2016 at 7:57 am now ; in which city are you tuyishime, claude says: The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud: Crossing continents and cultures with the most beautiful instrument you’ve never heard Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Comments are closed. Rector Tampa, FL By Lynette Wilson Posted Apr 8, 2015 Tags Rector Martinsville, VA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Featured Jobs & Calls Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Bath, NC The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Gihembe Refugee Camp is home to 14,500 Congolese refugees who’ve sought shelter in Rwanda. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENS[Episcopal News Service] A little more than an hour’s drive outside Rwanda’s capital Kigali, 14,500 Congolese refugees live atop and along a hillside in red mud huts safely nestled in the country’s interior, far from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province from which most of them fled armed conflict and violence in the mid-1990s.Gihembe Refugee Camp was established in 1997 after armed militias massacred Congolese refugees receiving shelter in a refugee camp in northwest Rwanda. Many residents have spent nearly two decades in Gihembe, one of five refugee camps in Rwanda serving 74,000 refugees, more than half younger than 18.Since 1998, more than 5.5 million people have died in Congo from fighting, disease and malnutrition; 2.5 million people have been internally displaced; and some 500,000 have fled the country’s lengthy conflict, with the vast majority living in refugee camps in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions. Congolese refugees form the sixth-largest refugee population in the world and 18 percent of the total refugee population in Africa.Of the more than 500,000 Congolese refugees in the region, an estimated 160,000 are eligible for resettlement, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).Given the numbers, the protracted nature of the conflict and no sign of peace, in recent years UNHCR and its partners prioritized the resettlement of Congolese refugees. The goal is to resettle 50,000 people by 2017 – with 80 percent destined to come to the United States.Paul Kenya, a resettlement officer for UNHCR in Rwanda, Deborah Stein, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries, and #ShareTheJourney pilgrims listen as Dr. Pascal Kalinda Murego talks about the health of refugees and the health services provided in Gihembe camp. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSIn early March, eight Episcopalians participated in a #ShareTheJourney pilgrimage, led by the Episcopal Church, to Africa’s Great Lakes region and visited Gihembe to learn about the plight of Congolese refugees and the United States Refugee Admissions Program.“The purpose,” said Deborah Stein, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries, was “to show The Episcopal Church, through the lens of Congolese refugees bound for resettlement, how resettlement works from the beginning to arrival in the U.S.”It was also an opportunity to inspire the pilgrims to become advocates for refugees, added Stein.The March 2-13 pilgrimage included stops in Kenya and Rwanda, where, besides visiting the camp, the pilgrims met with representatives and resettlement officers working for UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, Church World Service’s Africa Resettlement Support Center and other overseas refugee-service providers and resettlement partners.Through Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Episcopal Church partners with 30 resettlement affiliates in 26 dioceses nationwide. It is one of nine agencies – six of them faith-based – working in partnership with the U.S. Department of State to welcome and resettle refugees to the United States.The Episcopal Church’s involvement in refugee resettlement dates back at least to World War II, when churches sponsored refugees who fled Nazi oppression. Beginning with the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief (now Episcopal Relief & Development) and later partnering with Church World Service, the Episcopal Church established Episcopal Migration Ministries in 1988.Primary school students study in a classroom in Gihembe camp. More than half of the camp’s 14,500 residents are under the age of 18. Photo: Wendy Johnson/EMMA refugee is someone who has fled his or her country of nationality because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” based on race, religion, ethnicity or political or social affiliation. It is an internationally recognized and legally protected status.The United States formalized its refugee-resettlement program with the Refugee Act of 1980 in response to the increased numbers of refugees fleeing communism in Southeast Asia. Until then, churches sponsored refugees’ visas; but by the mid-1970s, that process was insufficient to meet the need, explained Stein.Today, there are 15.5 million refugees worldwide. UNHCR’s mandate is to provide international protection for refugees.UNHCR’s primary focus is on repatriation, or safe return home, followed by citizenship or legal residency in the host country. The third option is resettlement to one of the 20-plus countries worldwide that accepts refugees. Globally, less than 1 percent of refugees receive resettlement, with 75 percent destined for the United States.“The success of resettlement programs depends on partnership and coordination. We must have resettlement countries willing to receive refugees,” said Paul Kenya, a resettlement officer working for UNHCR in Rwanda, in an interview with Episcopal News Service in Kigali. “You must also have partners to work with UNHCR to identify refugees and help in the processing of interviewing, coordinating medical examinations and travel logistics. Even the government of Rwanda helps us in verifying refugee status and giving exit visas to leave the country.”Through surveys, most Congolese refugees say they are unwilling to return to their home country because of the conflict there and because they cannot regain their land if they return, he said.“Resettlement, then, becomes the only viable solution for most of these refugees,” said Kenya, adding that last year, 2,000 Congolese refugees were resettled to the United States from camps in Rwanda. We hope to continue the partnership coming up with another multi-year strategy to cover the next three or four years, with an average of at least 3,000 refugees each year.”A mother and child pose for a photo in Gihembe camp. The majority of the camp’s households are headed by single women. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSOnce identified for resettlement, either by UNHCR, a host government, or another partner, a refugee or refugee family’s case is forwarded to the Church World Service’s Africa Resettlement Support Center, which covers 49 sub-Saharan countries and helps the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to process refugees for possible admission to the United States.Families are processed as a case, with five members being the average family size. Many Congolese refugee families are headed by women, the majority of them survivors of trauma and sexual- and gender-based violence.As the pilgrims learned through meetings with senior staff members at the resettlement support center’s Nairobi headquarters, the process, which includes extensive background checks, takes an average two years and is subject to delay by any change in the family, such as a marriage or a birth. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, makes the final determination on cases bound for the United States.“We prepare the best case for referral so that they can make it through the process,” said Miro Marinovich, the support center’s director.Residents of Gihembe camp congregate around the water tap to fill their jugs. Water shortages are common in the camp. Photo: Wendy Johnson/EMMThe refugees have lived with food and water shortages, limited opportunities for education and work, Marinovich added. “We want to ensure that that never happens to them again.”Of the 74,000 refugees in Rwanda, 99 percent are Congolese, and the majority are women and children. UNHCR began working with resettlement countries on a multi-year strategy to resettle Congolese refugees in 2012, identifying 10,000 refugees in camps in Rwanda for resettlement.Once a case is approved for resettlement, the pace picks up considerably. The International Organization for Migration, or IOM, which handles medical examinations and travel, kicks into gear, transporting the refugees to a regional transport center, where they’ll stay for two weeks pending final medical and security checks. During that time, cultural orientation classes begin.When the pilgrims visited a transit center in Nairobi, children played outside on plastic playground equipment while adults in the classroom learned about finances and budgeting. Besides rooms devoted to life in Canada, Australia and the United States (which has two rooms), a model kitchen and bathroom acquaint refugees with modern amenities.A scale to weigh departing passengers’ luggage sits under a metal awning, plastic chairs off to the side. An airplane seat familiarizes refugees with air travel. A travel wardrobe – for men a tracksuit and sneakers, for women more traditional clothing – is available for those in need of travel attire.Connecting with overseas resettlement partners gave the pilgrims a better understanding of the process and allowed Episcopal Migration Ministries’ staff to share information about what happens to refugees when they arrive in the United States.“Most often the people who are involved in the processing on the overseas-side have no idea what is happening once a refugee gets on a plane and comes to the United States,” Stein said. “So, as much as we were able to learn from our colleagues at UNHCR, IOM and the refugee-resettlement support center, we were also able to share information with them about what happens to refugees when they get to the United States.”Paul Kenya, a resettlement officer working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Rwanda, and Jessica Benson of the Diocese of Idaho, talk with students in an ESL class in Gihembe camp. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSDuring a town hall meeting at Gihembe camp, refugees, many of them frustrated by years of living in the camp, were desperate for information about their individual cases and what could be done to move them along. Despite being told that the pilgrims couldn’t answer questions about the process, but rather offer them information on life in the United States, they saw an opportunity to ask about their individual cases.The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s second-largest country geographically and fourth-largest by population, with more than 80 million people. In terms of natural resources, including copper, silver, gold, diamonds, uranium and other minerals, it’s one of the richest countries in the world.As neighbors, Congo and Rwanda long have been connected, and at times at war.In the 1870s, King Leopold II of Belgium carved out a section of Central African rainforest and made it his private colony, calling it the “Congo Free State.” In reality, it wasn’t “free.” Leopold created a forced labor camp to harvest wild rubber. Killings and atrocities were committed on a massive scale. In 1908, in response to protests over such violence, Congo fell under the Belgian state.In the late 1930s, the Belgians recruited tens of thousands of Rwandans to work their cattle ranches and plantations in North Kivu. Unrest in Rwanda following its independence from Belgium in 1962 drove another 100,000 Rwandans over the border into Congo. In 1971, the Congolese government granted citizenship to all Rwandans who’d been in the country since 1960; that citizenship later was revoked.During Rwanda’s civil war in the early 1990s and the 1994 genocide, during which an estimated 800,000 to 1 million people were massacred within 100 days, Rwandans continued to flee into neighboring countries, including Congo. Congolese refugees fled violence in eastern Congo in waves, beginning in 1995, with the most recent wave starting in 2012.About a tenth the size of the Congo, Rwanda is about the size of Massachusetts. With a population of 11.7 million, it is the most densely populated country in Africa. Rwandans continue to be displaced in Uganda, Tanzania and the Congo more than 20 years after the genocide.#ShareTheJourney pilgrims laid flowers during a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. An estimated 800,000 to 1 million people were killed during the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. Photo: Wendy Johnson/EMM“Rwanda is expecting over 100,000 Rwandans to return – so there really is no prospect for integration for the [Congolese] refugees, and resettlement becomes the only option for them,” said Kenya.Resettlement is one way the international community can help alleviate the burden from countries in the region that host refugees.Before the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the United States resettled roughly 80,000 refugees annually, and upwards of 120,000 at the height of Southeast Asian resettlement in the early 1980s. After 9/11, the number decreased to 32,000. More than a decade later, the 2015 quota is set at 70,000.The resettlement figure is important, say officials, because it sends a message of willingness to other resettlement countries, and it alleviates a fraction of the host country’s burden.Unlike the torture and killing in Darfur, Sudan and South Sudan, and the large numbers of Somalis fleeing terrorism in Somalia, Congo’s brutal conflict hasn’t received the same level of attention.There are 2.7 million refugees and asylum seekers across East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region. Ethiopia and Kenya host the majority of people fleeing violence and political instability in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea and Congo. Somalis make up the largest refugee group in the region, numbering more than 970,000 registered refugees.Two new camps opened in Rwanda in 2012, the last time the conflict in eastern Congo escalated. Even without a steady flow of refugees, the camps have a 3 percent annual population growth as babies are born in the camp.“The Rwanda government is overburdened with the refugees, yet it is still opening its borders,” Kenya said. “In the last two years, the camp population has doubled, so resettlement provides hope for the refugees, it provides a tool to share responsibility with the countries, and it gives UNHCR a durable solution.“We ask resettlement countries to increase their spaces because the situation on the ground shows the resettlement needs are there.”Unlike other regional countries that host refugees – Ethiopia and Kenya being the largest – Rwanda doesn’t have a forced-encampment policy, explained Kenya. UNHCR has started a program alternative to camps, integrating its education and health services with the Rwandan government.“If the refugees ever go back to the [Democratic Republic of Congo] or there’s another solution, then at least they build their skills and their lives are almost managed at a normal level,” said Kenya. “But with the DRC situation, we don’t see the possibility of return.”— Lynette Wilson is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. Rector Belleville, IL Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Albany, NY Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Hopkinsville, KY nkundumukiza theoneste says: Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Submit a Press Release Immigration, Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Pittsburgh, PA Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Anglican Communion, New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York last_img read more

Anglican shelter for child victims of human trafficking to open…

first_img New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Posted Aug 3, 2017 This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Submit an Event Listing Tags Rector Belleville, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Human Trafficking Children, Advocacy Peace & Justice, Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Press Release Service Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Albany, NY Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Submit a Press Release Rector Tampa, FL Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Featured Events Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Martinsville, VA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Hopkinsville, KY Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Associate Rector Columbus, GA Anglican shelter for child victims of human trafficking to open in 2018 in Ghana Africa, Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Knoxville, TN Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET [Anglican Communion News Service] A new Anglican-run community shelter to provide a home for trafficked children is on course to open next year in Accra, Ghana. Bishop of Accra Daniel Mensah Torto told journalists this week that the Hope Community would resettle and educate trafficked children who had been rescued. The refuge, funded by the Diocese of Accra in partnership with the U.S. embassy to Ghana, is part of a five-year anti-trafficking program.Full article. Anglican Communion, Rector Bath, NC Submit a Job Listing Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Curate Diocese of Nebraska Director of Music Morristown, NJ TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Pittsburgh, PA The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Shreveport, LA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Washington, DC Rector Collierville, TN Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Smithfield, NC Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY last_img read more

Thomas James Brown ordained and consecrated as bishop of Maine

first_img Rector Belleville, IL House of Bishops Bishop Consecrations, Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Tags Submit an Event Listing Rector Shreveport, LA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Posted Jun 24, 2019 Rector Washington, DC An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Smithfield, NC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Bath, NC Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Submit a Job Listing New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Hopkinsville, KY Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Martinsville, VA Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Director of Music Morristown, NJ Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector Collierville, TN Rector Albany, NY Newly ordained and consecrated Bishop of Maine Thomas J. Brown, center, poses with his two most-previous predecessors, the Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, left, and the Rt. Rev. Steve Lane. Photo: Episcopal Diocese of Maine[Episcopal Diocese of Maine] The Rt. Rev. Thomas James Brown was ordained and consecrated the tenth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine on June 22 in a ceremony witnessed by more than 900 people at St. Luke’s Cathedral in Portland.Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was the chief consecrator, along with six other bishops from across the church, as well as Jim Hazelwood, bishop of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.In all, 27 Episcopal bishops, and more than 100 clergy from Maine, participated in the two-hour service. Bishops from eight of the denomination’s nine geographical provinces were on hand to celebrate the new ministry. Each of the six diocesan bishops from Province I, which includes Maine, were in attendance.“The Episcopal Church in New England offers a closeness that is partly about geography and partly about culture that the church outside of New England doesn’t always have,” Brown said. “I am especially grateful to be welcomed by loving and wise bishops in New England.”The first woman ordained a bishop, and who is also an African American, retired Diocese of Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Barbara C. Harris, was on hand to witness another first. Brown is the first openly gay, married man to be elected to the office of bishop in Maine. Retired Diocese of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, The Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, participated as well. The new bishop says he “stands on the shoulders of many other LGBTQ priests,” and stated, “what the church in Maine is doing today is also every bit about them.”Brown is the chair of the Church Pension Fund Board of Trustees, which provides retirement, health, life insurance and related benefits for Episcopal Church clergy and lay employees. Bishops in The Episcopal Church often serve the wider church in many different ways. Brown said that he is excited to continue the tradition of service and leadership that both of his immediate predecessors offered the church. In fact, he commented, it is those leadership opportunities that “remind me that it’s all about serving others.”The family of Brown and his husband, Tom Mousin, arrived in Maine from all over the country to witness the joyful occasion. The couple’s 15 year-old nephew, Andachew Mousin, served as an acolyte in the service. Seminary classmates, mentors, former parishioners from Massachusetts and Vermont joined hundreds of people from Maine congregations at St. Luke’s Cathedral to witness their son, brother, uncle, friend and priest as the laying on of hands by the bishops continued the tradition of apostolic succession.The guest preacher was the Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad, the Joe R. Engle Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a friend of the bishop’s family. She is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.Lundblad spoke of the many small congregations in Maine and how the Holy Spirit is not geographically limited. She mentioned how some parishes may be one of the primary social service agencies in a town or village.Lundblad also said some people feel “it’s not safe to advocate for poor people if it means raising taxes. Not safe to challenge the racism that shapes our nation and some of our churches. Not safe to stand with those seeking asylum at our southern borders. Not safe to care for creation more than we care for profits.” Lundblad challenged the witnesses to this new ministry in Maine to “follow the Spirit to the State House as well as into the sanctuary.”The new bishop is both humbled and excited to be asked to serve a Maine-wide denomination that has proudly proclaimed the good news of Christ since 1820. Looking forward, as the church plans to celebrate 200 years of service next year, there will be the opportunity to honor the past, but more importantly, to plan for the future. A future that this church of ours is “open to all.”Brown, originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, relishes the idea of serving in Maine, including the many parts that might feel a lot like home. Before his election, Brown trained at parishes in Menlo Park, California; Traverse City, Michigan; and San Francisco, California. Brown reflected, “These chapters of my life – from college until ordination – stand out for their significance in my growing relationship with Jesus Christ, a joyous journey that continues day-by-day.” The priests from both California churches, and his sponsoring priest from Michigan, were in attendance at the service, along with scores of other cherished friends and mentors.In 2000, Brown was called to be the rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Brattleboro, Vermont, and most recently, the parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts.The service was live streamed and parishes all across Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont hosted watch parties to celebrate with their priest and friend.Brown traveled to Waterville on June 23 to celebrate the Eucharist with the people of St. Mark’s. Maine’s eighth bishop, the Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, was the guest preacher at St. Luke’s Cathedral while Curry preached at an ecumenical service at the Temple in Ocean Park.The Episcopal Diocese of Maine is made up of more than 10,000 people in 59 churches and ministries across Maine.Click here for Brown’s bio and related information. Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Submit a Press Release Featured Events Rector Tampa, FL Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Pittsburgh, PA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Youth Minister Lorton, VA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Thomas James Brown ordained and consecrated as bishop of Maine The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Press Release Service Rector Knoxville, TN Bishop Elections, Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Curate Diocese of Nebraska Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Associate Rector Columbus, GAlast_img read more

Poulson Reed consecrated as bishop coadjutor of Oklahoma

first_img Bishop Poulson Reed poses for a photo with his family after his consecration as bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Oklahoma. Photo: Diocese of Oklahoma[Diocese of Oklahoma] The Rt. Rev. Poulson Reed was ordained and consecrated as bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Oklahoma on May 30 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City.The Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield, president of Province VII and bishop of Arkansas, served as the chief consecrator. He was joined by the Rt. Rev. Edward J. Konieczny, fifth bishop of Oklahoma; the Rt. Rev. Peter Eaton, bishop of Southeast Florida; the Rt. Rev. Josè McLoughlin, bishop of Western North Carolina, and the Rt. Rev. Michael K. Girlinghouse, bishop of Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.Although the in-person service was limited to those who had specific roles, in keeping with safety guidelines, the service was livestreamed through the diocesan YouTube channel. The livestream itself is archived on the diocesan YouTube page and pictures are archived on the diocesan Facebook page.As Reed looks forward to his new role in the Diocese of Oklahoma he reflects: “I am grateful beyond words to follow in the faithful footsteps of Bishop Ed and his wife, Debbie, who have given so much of themselves to this ministry. I look forward to serving side by side with the lay people and clergy here in Oklahoma to bring the love of Jesus to our hurting world.”Previously, Reed was the rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix, Arizona, since 2009, and on the clergy staff at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver, Colorado, from 2002 to 2009. He and his wife, Megan, have three boys. Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Washington, DC Associate Rector Columbus, GA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Bishop Consecrations, AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis People House of Bishops, Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Martinsville, VA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Bath, NC Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Knoxville, TN Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Albany, NY Submit a Job Listing Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector Collierville, TN Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Tags Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Course Director Jerusalem, Israel An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Curate Diocese of Nebraska Posted Jun 10, 2020 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Hopkinsville, KY Featured Events Rector Belleville, IL Rector Tampa, FL TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Director of Music Morristown, NJ Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Shreveport, LA Press Release Service Rector Smithfield, NC Submit an Event Listing Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Submit a Press Release Featured Jobs & Calls Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Pittsburgh, PA Poulson Reed consecrated as bishop coadjutor of Oklahomalast_img read more

Churches in the nation’s capital seek to balance welcome and…

first_img Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Belleville, IL Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Artist Mohammed Gafar chose to feature the symbol of a dove for his mural. Photo: Rachel Jones/Faith & LeadershipA security assessment to identify vulnerabilities is the right place to start the process, said Mike McCarty, the CEO of Safe Hiring Solutions, an Indiana-based company with a program geared toward ministries.How do people come and go from the building, who has access, and when? How are children checked in and out of youth programs? Is the congregation prepared for medical emergencies? With so much religious life online during the pandemic, is the congregation cybersecure?Answers to those questions help congregations focus their efforts, and that kind of forethought allows faith communities to put measures in place that address risks while honoring their culture, he said.In many cases, including at McCarty’s own nondenominational church, congregations create lay-led security teams.“Being prepared doesn’t have to look militant. A lot of times, it’s just being educated and having the right team,” McCarty said. “A lot of it is more sweat equity than expensive solutions.”Other churches also grapple with security concernsAt Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, several blocks north of St. John’s, hospitality and security have never been mutually exclusive, said the Rev. William H. Lamar IV. As a predominantly Black congregation in America, Metropolitan has always been mindful of who gathers near its 135-year-old building; that’s ingrained in the congregation’s DNA, he said.When members of the far-right Proud Boys descended on Washington for pro-Trump rallies in early December, they stole and destroyed the church’s Black Lives Matter sign — but never gained access to the building, Lamar said.“We’ve been schooled to pay attention, because there is a constant threat,” he said. “We’ve got to be vigilant. … We open our hearts. But we’re not going to be sitting ducks.”To that end, Metropolitan AME partnered with a security firm in a way that Lamar describes as more of a relational undertaking than a contractual one. Blowout Security’s owner, Leon Russell, was already a longtime friend of many in the congregation, and as head of security at his own Washington church, historic 19th Street Baptist, he understood the balance between securing the premises and preserving its feel as a house of worship.Russell’s security team worships alongside Metropolitan AME’s congregants. Team members escort seniors to their cars and are on a first-name basis with worshippers, who have been known to bake them cookies, Russell said. They are vigilant, often armed, and treated as family, he said.“What we’re trying to do here is set everyone at ease,” said Russell, a Vietnam veteran. “I don’t want uniforms in there and for it to look like it’s a fortress. It’s a sanctuary. It’s where we pray.”McCarty recommends that congregations seek guidance from their insurance companies to establish safety protocols. And both men noted that it’s important to communicate regularly to the congregation that safety planning is happening, without broadcasting the specifics — for obvious security reasons.About three blocks east of St. John’s, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church is known for its protestor hospitality. But it, too, has had to balance that hospitality with safety.In June, members of the church’s session, its governing body, met daily via Zoom to discuss how they could safely support demonstrators amid the pandemic, serve as a resource for neighboring congregations of color, and continue to host the popular Downtown Day Services Center, which provides resources including food and medical care and shower and laundry facilities for the city’s homeless and vulnerable populations.“We’ve been in the thick of it,” said the Rev. Dr. Heather Shortlidge, the church’s transitional pastor, who recalled helicopters skimming over the church’s steeple and “roving packs of law enforcement, some of them un-uniformed and unbadged” at the height of the protests.The session wrestled with who should be allowed inside the church during the unrest and ultimately decided that only unarmed individuals could enter, Shortlidge said. That meant law enforcement could not come inside, an issue that remains “unsettled” for the congregation, she said.“That’s been really sticky for us. You want to say, ‘Everybody is welcome,’ but we also felt we needed to start to have boundaries,” she said.“Radical hospitality is not ‘anything goes,’ which is hard for a bleeding-heart liberal congregation to swallow. But it’s not radical hospitality if people aren’t safe.”‘You cannot waste a crisis’First United Methodist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, adopted a similar stance in August 2017, serving as a respite for activists countering the Unite the Right rally and a home base for street medics and trauma counselors, said the Rev. Phil Woodson, the associate pastor.Two years earlier, after a white supremacist shot and killed nine worshippers inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, clergy in Charlottesville had begun organizing. They created the interfaith Charlottesville Clergy Collective, which began meeting regularly, learning how to engage in nonviolent resistance and work together to keep people safe amid confrontation.“You cannot waste a crisis. You must grow in these times of trial. Otherwise, you’re spiritually dead,” Woodson said.“For as much evil and horror as went on that day, the goodness that came out of it is that relationships have thrived among people in the community. I don’t see any future where these Nazis show back up to Charlottesville. But if they did, I’d like to think the people in this place know what to do and how to do it,” he said.At St. John’s, Fisher is celebrating new relationships, too. In partnering with the DowntownDC BID to complete the church’s security assessment, the congregation was introduced to the broad range of services the organization offers.Before the protests — and the fencing — several homeless people used to sleep on the church’s porch at night, which wasn’t a problem for St. John’s but “probably wasn’t best practice,” Fisher said.In retrospect, he said, those folks might have been better served if the church had connected them with the Downtown Day Services Center, which is managed by DowntownDC BID, at nearby New York Avenue Presbyterian — something they intend to do from now on.The DowntownDC BID also helped link the church with the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute, a nonprofit that serves as an incubator for local artists and a support for underserved communities. The murals created by P.A.I.N.T.S. — which stands for Providing Artists with Inspiration in Non-Traditional Settings — are catalysts for conversation, founder John Chisholm said.Indeed, as the artists toiled in the hot sun outside the church in early September, among the most beautiful of spectacles were the dialogues sparked between the artists and congregants, activists and passersby, he said.In “normal times,” said Fisher, when roughly 400 worshippers would gather in the sanctuary each Sunday, the light streaming through the stained-glass windows would wash over them, bathing them in a swirl of color “like a blessing.”In such a time as this, he said, the murals project love and light outward, a sign of God’s promise of better things to come and the church’s pledge to be part of that. The Smithsonian has expressed an interest in displaying the murals once the stained-glass windows are uncovered, Chisholm said.“What the paintings do is cause people to look up and find hope. Because if you’re not looking up, you’re going to be looking down. Despite the barriers, our hearts were never this at any moment,” Fisher said, gesturing to the fences. “Our disposition didn’t change just because the architecture changed.”This story was originally published by Faith & Leadership and is republished here with permission. An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Shreveport, LA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Artist Shawn Perkins created two murals, including this serene pastel Madonna, during the painting day at St. John’s. Photo: Rachel Jones/Faith & LeadershipHaving barricades around the church has been heartbreaking, Fisher said. But it has also forced the congregation to build bridges where they hadn’t previously existed, an effort Fisher called a “heart-opening experience.”What relationships does your organization have that are better than fences?“Relationships are better security than fences, and we now have deeper and more meaningful relationships than a year ago,” Fisher said. “Those bless us and help us be a better church serving the community.”‘You’ve been vulnerable for so long’A steady presence at 16th and H Streets NW for more than 200 years, St. John’s is within sight of the White House. In retrospect, said longtime member Chase Rynd, its location may have given the congregation “a misplaced sense of security,” what with FBI headquarters a few blocks away and Secret Service personnel right across the street.It wasn’t as if the church had never thought about safety planning, said Rynd, who is also the retired executive director of the National Building Museum. About a year and a half before the fire, renovations to the church’s parish house reconfigured the entrance so visitors would encounter a greeter at a reception desk rather than an empty hallway, and a new elevator was installed that required security badges, said Rynd, who chaired that effort.The project also added a 21st-century fire protection system, including fire doors that have been credited with limiting damage from the 2020 incident. Federal officials continue to investigate the fire.A security assessment subsequently underwritten by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District concluded that St. John’s had gotten lucky, Rynd said. The DowntownDC BID is one of 11 special taxing districts in the city that support economic development and social services.“[The assessment] basically said, ‘You guys have skirted through history with an enormous amount of luck or protection from God or whatever, because you’ve been vulnerable for so long,’” Rynd said.A surreal momentOn June 1, the day after the fire, clergy, parishioners and volunteers from throughout the region gathered on the patio of St. John’s to offer first aid, snacks and water to protestors.Levi Robinson paints a Scripture passage to accompany his sprawling image of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the centerpiece of the murals. Photo: Rachel Jones/Faith & LeadershipIn an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum that evening, Fisher was expressing continued support for those rallying for justice when he learned that police were using tear gas and rubber bullets to clear people gathered around the church so then-President Donald Trump could stage a now widely criticized photo op.“We seek to be a space for grace in this city,” Fisher was saying on camera as the surreal moment played out. “We strive to make it so that the space, when you walk in the door, whatever background you may be, you feel that it’s a place where you can breathe, where you can experience the Spirit.”The next morning, federal officials began fencing off Lafayette Park across the street, barring access to one of the country’s most storied protest sites and essentially pressing demonstrators up against the walls of St. John’s. Protestors set up camp on the church’s tiny property, next door to the newly established Black Lives Matter Plaza, raising concerns about sanitation, staff access and fire safety, Fisher said.Church officials planned to sit down with protestors to address some of those concerns, he said, but before that could happen, police forcefully cleared everyone from the property, arresting those who resisted and tossing their tents, bicycles, laptops and other belongings into a pickup truck.“It was a really tough thing to have happen around our church,” Fisher said. “The church hadn’t asked for that.”St. John’s has been encircled by a fence ever since. No one likes it, but Rynd acknowledged that it has bought some time to come up with a better, more long-term plan.“The fence just broadcasts such a poor message, but we didn’t sort of put up barricades and hide,” Rynd said. “We took this as a message that we need to be really attentive and seize this as an opportunity. In the end, the church is going to be better for it, in terms of the look of it and the way we use it.”Rynd is now part of a small task force, which includes a combat veteran and several church members with State Department security training, charged with prioritizing the recommendations made in the church’s security assessment.To ensure that any physical changes to the church’s property are in keeping with both its aesthetic and its ethos, Rynd reached out to landscape architect Laurie Olin, whose firm had designed subtle yet effective post-9/11 security improvements for the Washington Monument, keeping the experience of visitors in mind. Olin agreed to create a master plan for the church “for almost nothing,” Rynd said.In addition to physical improvements, the task force is looking at policies governing who has access to St. John’s and whether staff and volunteers might benefit from more training on how to spot potential security issues while engaging with visitors.“This is a really important piece of, ‘How do we both address the security of the building and still have our arms wide open and welcome people?’” Rynd said. Youth Minister Lorton, VA Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate Diocese of Nebraska AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis The artists of Washington, D.C’.s, P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute spent Sept. 5, 2020, creating vivid, social justice-themed images on the plywood-covered stained glass windows at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House. Photo: Rachel Jones/Faith & LeadershipEditor’s note: P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute founder John Chisholm, who is quoted in this article, died unexpectedly before publication.[Faith & Leadership] A war-weary Abraham Lincoln sought solace in one of its weathered pews, and Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed for guidance inside its domed sanctuary. In fact, every sitting president since James Madison has attended at least one service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, earning the Greek Revival-style house of worship its nickname: “the Church of the Presidents.”Since its opening in 1816, St. John’s has also amassed a long tradition of community engagement and equal rights advocacy, something the Rev. Robert Fisher wanted to emphasize when he became rector in June 2019.The Rev. Robert Fisher and John Chisholm stand in front of a painting of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Photo: Rachel Jones/Faith & LeadershipSo he asked his congregation: How can we let our neighbors know that St. John’s is as much a sanctuary for them as for any president?It’s safe to say that barricades and boarded-up windows were not the look they were going for.Unfortunately, that’s been the reality for St. John’s since June 2020, after someone set a fire in the church’s basement amid protests over the murder of George Floyd. Even then, the church pledged to serve as a safe space for protestors, hosting prayer vigils and providing water, food and hand sanitizer to the thousands who filled the streets in support of racial justice.But several weeks later, after acts of graffiti and a growing encampment on church grounds, St. John’s reluctantly agreed to the district’s plans to erect 8-foot fencing around the property.Although the church’s history, location and recent events make it unique, churches in cities across the country struggle with the same issues: how to make the physical space both secure and welcoming. Associate Rector Columbus, GA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Churches in the nation’s capital seek to balance welcome and security New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Collierville, TN Rector Smithfield, NC TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Church leaders reluctantly agreed to security measures such as fencing around the church property. Photo: iStock/miralex“All of us — the bishop, the wardens, me — hated the idea of a fence and reluctantly said OK because we felt it was the responsible thing. The buildings are a ministry, and we didn’t want to see that building go away. It’s important to me that it lives to serve future generations,” Fisher said. “But it was an extremely uncomfortable thing.”Since then, Fisher and his congregation have done their best to get out from behind that fence, reaching out to neighborhood activists with offers of support and solidifying relationships with organizations that can help them better serve their community.That includes a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that recruited local artists of color to paint images of healing and hope on the plywood that conceals the church’s stained-glass windows.Eight months after the barriers went up — Fisher still comes and goes through a padlocked gate — the stunning works created by artists affiliated with the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute are like a salve on an open wound. This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Submit an Event Listing Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Albany, NY Featured Events Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR center_img Rector Bath, NC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Director of Music Morristown, NJ Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Tampa, FL Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Job Listing The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Knoxville, TN Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Press Release Service By Edie GrossPosted Feb 25, 2021 The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Featured Jobs & Calls Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Submit a Press Release Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CAlast_img read more