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Video: Presiding Bishop preaches during Union of Black Episcopalians Eucharist

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 3:27pm

[Episcopal News Service – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached at African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas during a July 25 Eucharist commemorating the 225th anniversary of the black presence in the Episcopal Church.

“The child you save today may save you tomorrow,” was Curry’s refrain during the sermon. He called on people of faith and politicians, including President Donald Trump, to ensure a safe and secure future for all children.

The service was part of the Union of Black Episcopalians’ 49th annual conference, held at a nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey, hotel. The UBE met jointly for the first time with the African Descent Lutheran Association and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton presided at the Eucharist.

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

Canadian primate praises Lutherans for interfaith relations work

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 10:43am

[Anglican Journal] In an address to the 16th  Biennial Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada held in early July in Winnipeg, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, celebrated the full-communion relationship between the two churches, and praised the Lutheran Church for providing leadership on interfaith relations.

Full article.

Longtime Anglican Communion executive officer retires

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 10:40am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Tributes have been flowing in to the Anglican Communion Office in London for Christine Codner, who has retired as executive officer after more than three decades. Christine joined in 1983 and certainly didn’t think it was going to end up being a job for life: ”I still remember at my job interview how alarmed I was when it was implied I was to stay on for the next Lambeth Conference  – which was five years later!” she said.

Full article.

Young women spend months living monastic life with Canadian nuns

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 10:23am

[Anglican Communion News Service] More than 10 months after a group of young women began living with members of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto, Candada the inaugural Companions on the Way program is drawing to a close.

The sisters officially commissioned five companions in September 2016, though three were unable to stay for the entire duration of the program. The companions joined in living the monastic lifestyle of the sisters, devoting their days to work, study, prayer and spiritual contemplation.

Full article.

Anglican primate joins Christian leaders in Jerusalem in calling for calm at holy site

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 2:55pm

[Episcopal News Service] Leaders of the Christian churches in Jerusalem, including the Anglican primate, have called for peace and reconciliation amid tensions at a shared holy site in the city, as the Israel government backs down from a standoff over stricter security measures there.

Archbishop Suheil Dawani, primate of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, joined 12 other patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem in issuing a statement last week to “express our serious concern regarding recent escalation in violent developments around Haram ash-Sharif and our grief for the loss of human life, and strongly condemn any act of violence.”

The statement also affirms the church leaders’ support for existing agreements between Israel and Jordan to jointly maintain holy sites that are revered and frequented by both Jews and Muslims.

“We renew our call that the historical status quo governing these sites be fully respected, for the sake of peace and reconciliation to the whole community, and we pray for a just and lasting peace in the whole region and all its peoples,” the statement concludes.

The site is known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount. Recent tensions have focused on access to the al-Aqsa Mosque, where on July 14, three Arab-Israeli gunmen opened fire, killing two Israeli policemen before being shot down themselves. The mosque was closed for Friday prayers for the first time in 17 years.

Before reopening the compound, Israel installed metal detectors at entrances to the mosque, a move that drew objections from Palestinians who said it limited their access to the holy site.

When Israel initially refused to remove the scanners, the protests escalated, and on July 23, a Jordanian of Palestinian descent was reported to have used a screwdriver to stab an Israeli security guard, who shot and killed the attacker along with another Jordanian.

Then on July 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after conferring by phone with King Abdullah II of Jordan, announced Israel would remove the metal detectors, The Washington Post reported. The removal began on July 25.

It remains to be seen whether the move will calm all tensions over the site. In removing the scanners, Israel is replacing them with more sophisticated surveillance cameras, which also have prompted objections from Palestinians.

The Palestinian official who oversees the al-Aqsa Mosque said the arrangement will remain unacceptable “unless everything that was added after July 14 was removed,” Al Jazeera reported.

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.

Long Island names Pat Mitchell canon for pastoral care

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 1:09pm

[Episcopal Diocese of Long Island] Bishop Larry Provenzano announced July 24 the appointment of the Rev. Patricia S. Mitchell as canon for pastoral care of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.

Mitchell will support and provide resources to clergy and lay leadership, support and supervise vocational deacons on behalf of the diocesan bishop, and provide direct pastoral support for retired clergy and their families. Additionally, she will serve as the diocesan intake officer for any Title IV allegations.

Provenzano said, “”I’m looking forward to working with Canon Mitchell. She brings a wealth of personal, professional and church organization experience to this new position among us.”

Most recently, Mitchell served as canon missioner for the Mount Vernon, New York, Episcopal Ministry. She has also served as canon for Christian formation in the Diocese of New York and was an associate rector at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan.

Mitchell, who grew up in Queens and was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Jamaica, is a graduate of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and was ordained in 2002. She is also a graduate of Columbia University with master’s degrees in psychology and clinical psychology and has worked in mental health and special education fields in university and hospital settings.

Draft order calls for Bruno to be suspended from ministry for three years

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 3:54pm

Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno spent nearly seven hours March 29 and 30 talking to the Hearing Panel considering the disciplinary action against him. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service] The hearing panel considering disciplinary action against Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno has drafted an order calling for his suspension from ordained ministry for three years because of misconduct.

The five-member panel concluded in a 4-1 decision that “the scope and severity of Bishop Bruno’s misconduct … have unjustly and unnecessarily disturbed the ministry of a mission of the Church.”

The 91-page draft order specifically rejects calls for Bruno to be deposed, or removed, from ordained ministry. It says that during the three-year suspension Bruno could not exercise any authority over “the real or personal property or temporal affairs of the Church.” A three-year suspension would take Bruno beyond his mandatory retirement date in November 2018, when he turns 72.

The draft order, which is not final, also urges the diocese to let the members of St. James the Great return to their Newport Beach, California, building.

Bruno locked out the congregation nearly two years ago after the members objected to his unsuccessful 2015 attempt to sell the St. James property to a condominium developer for $15 million in cash. The congregation has been worshipping in a meeting room at the Newport Beach City Hall. Its canonical status with the diocese is in limbo.

The attempted sale occurred less than 18 months after Bruno reopened St. James in late 2013, after recovering the property via a lawsuit prompted by a split in the congregation. Three other congregations in the diocese also split in disputes about the Episcopal Church’s full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church.

The subsequent effort to sell St. James to a developer prompted congregation members to bring misconduct allegations against Bruno, claiming he violated Episcopal Church law. A hearing on those allegations was held in March.

Bruno continued to try to sell the property even after that hearing. Those efforts, which the bishop tried to conceal, earned him a rebuke from the hearing panel in June. The panel said Bruno had to stop trying to sell the property during the disciplinary process. If he did try, or succeeded, before the panel decided the original case against him, that behavior would be “disruptive, dilatory and otherwise contrary to the integrity of this proceeding,” the panel said at the time. The same is true of his failure to give the panel the information it asked for about the accusations, the notice said. Such behavior violates the portion of canon law that governs the behavior of clerics who face disciplinary actions (Canon IV.13.9(a) page 151 here).

A few days later, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry partially restricted Bruno’s ministry, specifically his ability to sell the church property.

Bruno’s appeal of the panel’s sanctions failed.

Acknowledging its inability to assess whether St. James could have survived had it been able to stay in its building, the hearing panel says in the draft order that “there is ample evidence of its viability and promise to convince the hearing panel that St. James the Great was robbed of a reasonable chance to succeed as a sustainable community of faith.” The congregation, the order says, “is a casualty of Bishop Bruno’s misconduct.”

Calling it “a matter of justice,” the panel recommends that the diocese immediately suspend its efforts to sell the St. James property, that it restore the congregation and vicar to the church building and that it reassign St. James the Great the appropriate mission status.

The draft order says that although Canon IV.14.6 would allow the panel to act to help St. James the Great, it declines to do so. “Title IV disciplinary actions are not designed to address the complexities of the specific diocesan property issues that are before it,” the order says. “The hearing panel believes that bishops do and should have authority over mission property and that standing committee review and approval is a crucial part of the fabric and polity of the Church.”

The draft also says that the panel members believe the Diocese of Los Angeles has work to do to reach the goals of justice, healing, restitution and reconciliation upon which the Title IV disciplinary process is based. “The hearing panel is convinced that the Diocese of Los Angeles, particularly its Standing Committee with the supportive leadership of its newly ordained coadjutor, must consciously choose to take part in a process of self-examination and truth telling around these unfortunate and tragic events,” the order says.

Without that work, the panel says, those goals will not be achieved “from the outside by force of canon.”

The draft order meticulously recounts the testimony and evidence the panel reviewed. It essentially upholds the St. James complainants’ allegations that Bruno violated church canons because he:

  • failed to get the consent of the diocesan standing committee before entering into a contract to sell the property;
  • misrepresented his intention for the property to the members, the clergy and the local community at large;
  • misrepresented that St. James the Great was not a sustainable congregation;
  • misrepresented that the Rev. Cindy Evans Voorhees, St. James’ vicar, had resigned;
  • misrepresented to some St. James members that he would lease the property back to them for a number of months and that the diocese would financially aid the church; and
  • engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy by “misleading and deceiving” the clergy and people of St. James, as well as the local community, about his plans for the property and for taking possession of the property and locking out the congregation.

Diocese of Southern Virginia Bishop Herman Hollerith IV is president of the hearing panel considering the case against Bruno. The panel, appointed by the Disciplinary Board for Bishops from among its members, includes Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely, North Dakota Bishop Michael Smith, the Rev. Erik Larsen of Rhode Island and Deborah Stokes of Southern Ohio.

Smith dissented from the draft order. He said none of the parties should have taken their disputes to the secular courts, including the one with the members of the four split congregations. He cited 1 Corinthians 6:1,7-8 admonishing Christians against filing lawsuits. Smith also said that property disputes should not be adjudicated in the Episcopal Church’s disciplinary process.

And he suggested that St. James was too focused on a particular piece of property. “In this season of the Church’s life, many congregations are learning to become communities of faith outside ‘the four walls of the church building,’” he wrote.

The hearing panel did not publically release its draft order. It apparently gave the draft to the complainants and the presiding bishop for comment. Title IV.14.7 (page 153 here) calls for those parties “to be heard on the proposed terms of the order.” Comments to the hearing panel are due by July 26.

Bruno is not allowed to comment on the draft to the hearing panel. The diocese released a statement July 21 saying in part that no one from the diocese would make any public statement on the draft, “continuing their commitment to respect the integrity of the Title IV process, a priority that Bishop Bruno has upheld through the duration of the two-year proceedings.”

Neva Rae Fox, Episcopal Church public affairs officer, said the church would not comment while the Title IV process continues.

Roger Bloom, a communications consultant working for St. James, released the draft late July 21, reportedly after consulting a lawyer who told him Episcopal Church canons did not prevent its release.

Forty days after the final order is issued, the Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick, president of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops, has 20 days to sentence Bruno. He can appeal that sentence and, if he does, the sentence is not imposed while the appeal proceeds. Meanwhile, however, the draft order is clear that Curry’s partial restriction on Bruno remains in force.

Bruno turns 72, the Episcopal Church’s mandatory retirement age, in late 2018. His successor, Bishop Coadjutor John Taylor, was ordained and consecrated July 8 in Los Angeles.

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

New bishop of Llandaff Diocese enthroned in Wales

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:55pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] More than 500 people packed into Llandaff Cathedral in Wales at the weekend to welcome their new bishop at her enthronement service. Bishop June Osborne, the 72nd bishop of Llandaff, spoke of her passion for pastoral ministry within a local context, as she delivered the sermon in one of her first duties as bishop after taking her seat – or “throne” at Llandaff Cathedral.  She told the packed congregation that most of her strategies would be to “empower and strengthen the impact of the local church.”

Full article.

Cambridge Dean to lead USPG

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 5:05pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Rev. Duncan Dormor, dean of St John’s College, Cambridge, has been appointed as the next CEO (General Secretary) of USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel). He succeeds Janette O’Neill, who retires after six years in post, taking the helm of a mission agency that has played a transforming role in global Anglicanism for well over 300 years.

Full article.

Vail, Colorado, congregation hires Rebecca Cotton as youth minister

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:29am

[Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration] The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration announced this morning that Rebecca Cotton joined its staff as youth minister.

Rebecca Cotton

Cotton will craft, lead and oversee a total ministry program for the Church’s youth in middle and high school, as well as serving students beyond its own congregation. “We are blessed to have such a talented young woman join our team,” stated the Rev. Brooks Keith, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. “In her first few weeks, Rebecca has already taken the program to a higher level.”

Cotton was born and raised in Edwards and is a life-long member of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. She served as a veteran sacristan, acolyte trainer, lay eucharistic minister and Sunday School teacher at Transfiguration before her graduation from Battle Mountain High School with highest honors in 2013.  She chose Transfiguration as her career semester internship site, learning valuable lessons in professional ministry before graduating high school.

A recent graduate with honors from the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan, Cotton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in ecology and evolutionary biology with a minor in mathematics. She completed an independent research project focused on global warming to earn her honors designation. Cotton also served on a small group leadership team in her college congregation throughout her college career. She is the first scientist to serve on the church’s staff.

“I’m very thankful to have this opportunity to serve our community’s youth, both within Transfiguration and throughout the Vail Valley,” said Cotton. “Our youth program will include small groups, fun activities, mission trips, volunteer opportunities and mentorship for our youth as they move through middle and high school into adulthood. I am excited and honored to build and direct this ministry, and to have the privilege of working with the youth in this valley.”

“We are excited to re-build a premier congregational youth ministry featuring personal pastoral care, substantive spiritual formation, fun gatherings, mission and outreach activities, and transformational Christian worship for our young people,” said Keith. “Rebecca’s leadership will help us fulfill our shared mission, to know Jesus Christ and make Him known, with our youth.”

St. Mary’s Sewanee hires Andy Anderson as executive director

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:18am

[St. Mary’s Sewanee] St. Mary’s Sewanee: The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. E. Lucius “Andy” Anderson III as its fourth executive director effective in early September.  Anderson joins St. Mary’s Sewanee to continue building upon St. Mary’s Sewanee’s vision, expanding reach and facilities development that have marked its growth over the last decade.

Andy Anderson

Anderson most recently has served as the rector of the Church of the Nativity in Huntsville, Alabama, since 2003. Anderson brought stability and growth in ministries to the 1800-member parish, initially leading the parish through a long-range visioning process that resulted in master planning and a $4.2 million successful capital campaign to renovate the 1859 National Historic Landmark church and eliminate the parish’s debt to acquire adjacent property in downtown Huntsville. After physically “building the church,” Anderson spent his energy and leadership “building the church spiritually in formation, mission, and ministry,” embracing the Catechumenate for new member incorporation, RenewalWorks Spiritual Development Ministries of Forward Movement, and expanding the parish’s outreach efforts including establishing one of the South’s premier local grower’s and artisan markets, The Greene Street Market at Nativity. Nativity has a long tradition of supporting Centering Prayer, and Anderson is in the process of becoming a certified Centering Prayer workshop facilitator through contemplative outreach.

Before his tenure at Nativity, Anderson served as rector of Grace Church in Anderson, S.C., where he led the parish through extensive strategic planning and a capital campaign to renovate and expand the historic church. Anderson initially served in ordained ministry at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, Georgia, as canon educator for children, youth and family ministries, embracing and leading a vision for ministry that saw tremendous growth.

Dale Grimes, president of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s Sewanee, said, “The Board of Trustees is thrilled to welcome Andy as the new executive director of St. Mary’s Sewanee. Andy is absolutely the right person to take on these duties at this time. He brings to St. Mary’s Sewanee his extensive experience in spiritual development programming and activities, service to and leadership in the Episcopal Church, financial and administrative acumen and significant and proven fundraising ability. We are excited about the possibilities for our future with Andy as our executive director as we enter a new phase of growth in programming and campus development.”

In recent years, St. Mary’s Sewanee has accomplished a number of goals in the plans envisioned by the board. The Anna House, completed four years ago as the Center’s newest lodging facility, has been fully brought on line, providing more hospitality options for its guests by allowing accommodation of larger groups as well as simultaneous use by multiple groups. The quality and number of its programs have increased, including a new relationship with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, which has commenced a four-part program, the Soul of Leadership, at St. Mary’s Sewanee. Many other programs offered by long-time St. Mary’s Sewanee presenters have been able to make use of the Center’s new and upgraded facilities on a year-round basis.

Andy Anderson returns to the Mountain with the enthusiasm and skills to lead St. Mary’s Sewanee forward in this ongoing expansion of facilities and programs. “I first experienced St. Mary’s as a thin holy place of spiritual connection to God on an Advent Quiet Day my first year at the School of Theology in 1991. I returned to St. Mary’s many times during seminary years to know the quiet and refreshment from the beauty of holiness St. Mary’s offers,” Anderson remarks.  “After beginning a Centering Prayer practice in the late 1990s, I began attending retreats and other events at St. Mary’s. It’s a part of my spiritual DNA and has continued to enrich and enliven my life and ministry. I have been nurtured by St. Mary’s mission and its heart of prayerfulness and it will be a privilege to give back to this sacred and beautiful place that has given so much to me and to others. I am excited to continue my journey in the capacity as Executive Director and look forward to the great work of building upon what John Runkle and the fine staff and St. Mary’s Board have launched. I believe in our mission, having served with fundraising efforts to help get us where we are today. I look forward to leading the efforts to allow others to be a part of contributing to St. Mary’s mission with their time, talent, and financial resources.”

A native of Statesboro, Georgia, Anderson holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Divinity honoris causa from The School of Theology at Sewanee, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Georgia. Prior to ordination in 1994, Anderson had a successful career in corporate banking with the SunTrust Banks.  He has served the wider church and Sewanee in many capacities and looks forward to strengthening St. Mary’s connections to the wider church as well as in interfaith collaborations.  He and his wife Tippy (the former Tippen Harvey of Rome, Georgia)  have been married for almost 36 years and have two adult children, Case and Sally, who like Andy and Tippy, consider Sewanee home.

Curry, Jennings urge Texas House leader to continue opposition to Texas ‘bathroom bill’ noting General Convention planned 2018 meeting in Austin

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 2:38pm

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have written a second letter to Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus urging him to stand firm in his opposition to that state legislature’s effort to pass a “bathroom bill” during the current special session.

The Episcopal Church is scheduled to meet July 5-13, 2018, in Austin, Texas, and Jennings told the Executive Council in June that, “we are watching the situation closely with an eye to ensuring the safety and dignity of everyone traveling to General Convention next summer.”

Curry and Jennings wrote to Straus in February, thanking him or his stand against the bill. However, the letter notes that the church moved General Convention from Houston to Honolulu in 1955 because the Texas city could not offer sufficient guarantees of desegregated housing for its delegates.

“We would be deeply grieved if Senate Bill 6 presented us with the same difficult choice that church leaders faced more than 60 years ago,” Curry and Jennings wrote.

Texas Senate Bill 6 would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on what the bill calls their “biological sex” as stated on their birth certificate. The bill would also overturn local nondiscrimination ordinances in cities like Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.

The state Senate has passed the bill but the House has not acted. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called the Legislature back for the special session that began July 18 and said that he wants legislators to pass the bill.

In March, Curry and Jennings were the lead signers on an amicus brief filed by 1,800 clergy and religious leaders in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving transgender-bathroom use policies.

Jennings told council that she, Curry and others are also watching the legal challenges to Texas Senate Bill 4, which threatens law enforcement officials with stiff penalties if they fail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The bill also allows police officers to question people about their immigration status during arrests or traffic stops.

The text of the most recent letter follows.

July 19, 2017

The Honorable Joe Straus
Speaker of the House
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768

Dear Speaker Straus:

Since we wrote to you in February expressing our concern about Senate Bill 6, we have watched with gratitude as you have resisted efforts to enshrine discrimination against our transgender sisters and brothers into Texas law. We write now to urge you to remain steadfast in your opposition during the legislature’s current special session.

As the presiding officers of the Episcopal Church, we are firmly opposed to “bathroom bills” and particularly reject the idea that women and children are protected by them. As clergy who remember racist Jim Crow bathroom laws that purported to protect white people, we know the kind of hatred and fear that discriminatory laws can perpetuate.

We are especially thankful for your recent remarks acknowledging the acute emotional and spiritual damage that discrimination does to transgender people. In May, a review of more than forty studies conducted over nearly two decades found that transgender people attempt suicide 22 times more often than the general public. Your opposition to bathroom bills is one important way that you are helping to prevent tragedies in Texan families, and we are grateful for your moral courage and your leadership.

As you know, the Episcopal Church supports local, state and federal laws that prevent discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression and opposes any legislation that seeks to deny the dignity, equality, and civil rights of transgender people. Because we are currently scheduled to hold our triennial General Convention—a nine-day event that includes as many as 10,000 people—in Austin in July 2018, we are paying especially close attention to the news emerging from your special session.

We want very much to hold our convention in Texas. However, as we wrote to you in February, we must be able to ensure that all Episcopalians and visitors to our convention, including transgender people, are treated with respect, kept safe, and provided appropriate public accommodation consistent with their gender identities.

In 1955, we were forced to move a General Convention from Houston to another state because Texas laws prohibited black and white Episcopalians from being treated equally. We would not stand then for Episcopalians to be discriminated against, and we cannot countenance it now. It would be especially unfortunate if this special session of the Texas legislature presented us with the same difficult choice that church leaders faced more than sixty years ago.

We urge you to remain steadfast in your opposition to any bathroom bills introduced in the special session, and we thank you for your continued commitment to keeping Texas a welcoming state for all of God’s children.

Faithfully,

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President, House of Deputies

Jewish, Muslim and Christian students learn interfaith peace building

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:46pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Students attending a three week course at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute near Geneva have learned about communication and peace building, with the hope of serving as peacemakers in their own contexts.  Young Jewish, Muslim and Christian students attended a workshop led by Marianne Ejdersten, director of Communication at the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Full article.

Pastors, young people attend ecumenical meeting in Egypt

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:28pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Pastors and young people in Egypt have held an unprecedented meeting to exchange ideas. A spokesperson for the Diocese in Egypt said: “The day aimed for youth to speak about their honest opinion of the church and the liturgy in order to reduce the gap between the youth and the church.”

Full article.

Kanuga names new director of formation programs and resident chaplain

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:22am

This summer, Kanuga appointed the Rev. Richmond Jones as director of formation programs and resident chaplain. Richmond officially began his position in July and oversees the development of Kanuga’s youth and adult programming. In addition, he is actively serving as chaplain to Kanuga’s staff and guests.

“Richmond brings not only extensive experience but—just as importantly—deep relationships in the Kanuga community that will allow us to build our program substantively,” says Kanuga President Michael R. Sullivan. “His theological training and expertise, combined with extensive networks throughout the Episcopal Church, will help us strengthen our program across the board.”

As the director of formation programs, Richmond will focus on increasing offerings through new and revitalized programs and the development of retreats. Kanuga hopes to plan and execute new and diverse offerings that prepare and strengthen individuals for their work in the world.

“We want to offer programming for all ages—children through adult,” said Richmond. “Our goal is for attendees to know that their meaning and personal fulfillment is rooted in being beloved by God.”

Richmond has deep roots at Kanuga, having served at Kanuga’s youth conferences for more than a decade. “To be a part of Kanuga is a big honor,” says Richmond. “I am very aware that there’s a good deal of work to be done, but I am looking forward to it. It feels like coming home.”

Prior to accepting his new role at Kanuga, he served as curate of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Macon, Georgia. His prior experience includes also serving as the resident chaplain at Sewanee: The University of the South and campus missioner at Mercer University and Wesleyan College.

RIP: The Rev. Stefani S. Schatz, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of California

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 10:41am

[Diocese of California] Stefani S. Schatz grew up in Santa Barbara, California, and it was her wish that, after 14 months of struggling with cancer, she would come home to spend her last days there. On July 7, she arrived in Santa Barbara, a place she loved. She passed away on five days later on July 12.

Schatz was born in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 24, 1962, and moved with her family to Santa Barbara in 1966. She graduated from Mills College in Oakland, California, and the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She became an Episcopal priest in 2001 and had the honor to minister in Hermosa Beach, California; Manchester, United Kingdom; Reno, Nevada; San Francisco and Alameda, California.

Schatz was talented and had many gifts, and those who knew her described her with one word above all: JOY. This was evident during her ministry as an Episcopal priest. Her final calling was to be canon to the ordinary to Bishop Marc Handley Andrus in the Diocese of California. She called herself the “Mobile” canon, joyfully visiting all the parishes.

Schatz was the first woman to be canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of California. She was a tremendous advocate for women in the church, having founded the “Breaking the Episcopal Glass Ceiling” Facebook group. In Schatz’s words:

“This is a group for Ordained Episcopal Women whose goal is more women bishops! Together we will: build friendships, support vocational wonderings, share wisdom, identify complexities, listen to frustrations, and celebrate successes with generous respect, deep listening, and abundant trust — with God’s help!”

Schatz also provided special care and guidance to vicars, the priests who serve the diocesan missions. She gathered them monthly, forming a vibrant and mutually supportive community. Additionally, Stefani revised the diocesan curriculum for clergy in transition and made it responsive to current needs.

Schatz also developed the ministry of Andrus, and it was she who first encouraged him to travel to Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. “It is fair to say that the Episcopal Church would not be represented through the presiding bishop at the United Nations climate change summits if it were not for her,” said Andrus in a letter to the diocese. Now, the church has formal status at the annual meetings and will be, for the third year, taking an active role on behalf of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

Schatz is survived by her loving husband of 15 years, the Rev. Joseph F. Duggan; her mother, Iva Hillegas Schatz; father, Lawrence D. Schatz; sister, Heather S. Schatz; nephews, Oliver and Addison Chan Schatz; aunt, Melissa L. Hillegas; cousins, Hunter-Scott (Megan) Hillegas and Thatcher Hillegas; and relatives in Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania.

Family members who predeceased her are her uncle, the Rev. Lyle C. Hillegas, her aunt, Winifred Syring, her maternal grandparents in Wisconsin, and her paternal grandparents in Pennsylvania.

Services of Resurrection will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 30 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street, Santa Barbara, and Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Instead of flowers, contributions “In Memory of Stefani Schatz” may be made to St. Margaret’s Visiting Professorship of Women in Ministry at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

The address is:

CDSP
2451 Ridge Road Berkeley, CA 94709
Attn: Advancement Department.

À la clôture d’EYE17, « ceux qui font œuvre de paix » tracent leur chemin de retour

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 9:25am

Plus de 1 300 adolescents rassemblés au soleil couchant au monument commémoratif national d’Oklahoma City le 12 juillet pour une cérémonie aux chandelles. Photo : Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Edmond (Oklahoma)] Alors que le soleil commençait à se coucher le 12 juillet à Oklahoma City, les jeunes de l’Église épiscopale se sont rassemblés par diocèse pour une procession depuis la Cathédrale St. Paul à quelque centaines de mètres au sud  du Monument commémoratif national d’Oklahoma City sur North Robinson Avenue pour une cérémonie aux chandelles.

La cérémonie faisait  suite à une visite ce même jour du musée commémoratif qui retrace la chronologie depuis les trente minutes avant l’attentat à la bombe du 19 avril 1995 qui a tué 168 personnes et blessé 680 autres, jusqu’à l’exécution de Timothy McVeigh.

« La manière dont c’est présenté, vous avancez dans le temps et c’est quelque chose de stupéfiant », déclare Kiera Campbell, âgée de 16 ans, du Diocèse d’Olympia, membre du comité de planification d’EYE17 (Episcopal Youth Event 2017 – Événement pour la Jeunesse épiscopale 2017). « Il est étonnant de voir comment une ville entière s’est mobilisée et a été capable de trouver la paix en son sein ».

Mille trois cents jeunes de 109 diocèses de l’Église épiscopale ont participé au 13e  EYE qui s’est tenu du 10 au 14 juillet à l’University of Central Oklahoma d’Edmond, à une vingtaine de minutes en voiture d’Oklahoma City. Les Béatitudes et tout particulièrement Matthieu 5:9 – « Heureux ceux qui font œuvre de paix : ils seront appelés fils de Dieu » – ont inspiré le thème d’EYE17 intitulé « Voie vers la paix ». (Certains jeunes de la Province IX, des diocèses d’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes étaient absents car ils se sont vu refuser leur visa d’entrée aux États-Unis).

Les adolescents qui participaient à EYE17 à Edmond (État d’Oklahoma) se sont rendu le 12 juillet au Monument et Musée commémoratifs nationaux d’Oklahoma City. Ici, ils visitent la Galerie d’honneur où des photographies des 168 personnes, dont 19 enfants, ornent les murs. Photo : Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

La veille au soir avant la visite du musée et la cérémonie, des survivants de l’attentat à la bombe ont partagé leur expérience personnelle avec les jeunes au cours d’une séance plénière sur le campus. Au cours de la cérémonie aux chandelles, les jeunes étaient assis les jambes croisées dans l’herbe face à 168 chaises vides dont 19 plus petites pour les enfants, chacune représentant une des victimes. Entre deux piliers affichant les chiffres 9h01 et 9h03, un bassin réfléchissant mettait en lumière 9h02, la minute où a explosé le camion piégé qui a détruit le bâtiment fédéral Alfred P. Murrah.

Plus encore que l’histoire, c’était la réponse humaine et son impact inoubliable dont l’évêque d’Oklahoma Ed Konieczny souhaitait que les jeunes s’imprègnent. L’attentat à la bombe, a-t-il déclaré, a rassemblé le peuple d’Oklahoma dans un esprit d’unité, dans ce qui est devenu la « Norme en Oklahoma », norme qui continue aujourd’hui.

« Si vous venez en Oklahoma et que vous devenez un résident d’Oklahoma, [ce récit] va faire partie de qui vous êtes car à bien des égards c’est un événement charnière, non seulement pour Oklahoma City mais pour tout l’État » poursuit Ed Konieczny, qui était prêtre au Texas au moment de l’attentat à la bombe. « C’est malheureux qu’il en soit ainsi mais il a fallu cela pour donner de l’énergie et mettre en lumière la bonté des habitants d’Oklahoma City et de l’État d’Oklahoma… et cela n’a pas cessé ».

Les photos des victimes ornent la Galerie d’honneur, la dernière exposition du Monument & Musée commémoratifs nationaux d’Oklahoma City. Photo : Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

Alors même que ces jeunes n’étaient pas encore nés en 1995 – leur tranche d’âge allait de 13 à 18 ans –, ils vivent dans un monde de plus en plus violent. C’est pour cette raison qu’Ed Konieczny souhaitait co-accueillir EYE17 dans son diocèse et partager l’histoire d’Oklahoma City comme un exemple de paix et de résilience.

« L’événement est pertinent car il les aide à voir toutes les autres choses qui se passent dans notre monde et notre société et les autres actes de violence qui ont lieu, que ce soit Columbine, Virginia Tech ou la Floride. Il semble que chaque jour il se passe autre chose, parfois important, parfois mineur », explique-t-il. « J’espère que la conclusion est que nous, en tant que société, allons faire quelque chose à ce sujet. Et ils ont la capacité de le faire …  Le message ne va pas être l’attentat. Le message à retenir est un message de vie et nous allons placer notre foi là où elle doit être, nous allons lutter pour la justice et dire non, nous n’allons pas vivre de cette façon, nous allons agir différemment ».

Répondre à la violence et à la haine par l’amour était au plus profond du message de la Voie vers la paix.

« La réalité est que la haine ne fonctionne pas et que la violence ne fonctionne pas. Les êtres humains ont été créés par amour parce que je suis convaincu que Dieu est amour, que nous sommes là pour aimer et que la vie ne fonctionne que lorsque nous aimons. Et ce monument est un douloureux rappel que la haine fait souffrir et fait mal et que nous ne sommes pas faits pour cela, a déclaré l’Évêque Primat Michael Curry, sur le site commémoratif. « Nous sommes mis sur cette terre pour trouver une meilleure voie. Pour trouver la vie et l’amour pour tous et le fait de venir voir ce monument et d’être ici aujourd’hui est une occasion pour nous de nous consacrer et dédier à nouveau à la création d’un monde où règne l’amour ».

Il y a aussi eu des moments ludiques à EYE17. Le révérend Tim Schenck, à gauche, recteur de l’Église épiscopale St. John the Evangelist à Hingham (État du Massachusetts) et le révérend Scott Gunn, directeur exécutif de Forward Movement, assis tandis que Sierra Palmer du Diocèse du Kansas vote pour l’un des deux saints. Sainte Quitère a battu Saint Longinus, 72 à 28 % et fera partie du tournoi Lent Madness 2018. Le reste des saints de la grille de l’année prochaine sera annoncé en novembre. Photo : Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

Il y a un an, le comité de planification d’EYE17 qui comprend 16 jeunes est venu à Oklahoma City et a visité le musée et le monument commémoratifs pour se faire une idée de ce qu’allait être l’expérience de leurs camarades. Il est immédiatement apparu clairement que l’histoire d’Oklahoma City est quelque chose que « tout un chacun a besoin d’entendre », a déclaré Andrés Gonzalez Bonilla, âgé de 16 ans, du Diocèse d’Arizona, qui faisait partie de l’équipe qui a planifié la liturgie et la musique. La réponse de la ville à un acte de terrorisme interne est « une histoire certes tragique mais aussi belle et émouvante ».

« L’équipe de planification de la mission d’EYE a commencé il y a plus de 18 mois à imaginer ce que serait l’événement. Ils l’ont axé sur les écritures selon Matthieu et les Béatitudes », a expliqué Bronwyn Clark Skov, chargée au sein de l’Église épiscopale de la formation, de la jeunesse et des jeunes adultes, qui supervise le ministère de la jeunesse. « Nous sommes véritablement frappés par tout cet ensemble, mais aussi, en raison de ce qui se passe dans le monde, nous sommes focalisés sur « heureux ceux qui font œuvre de paix ».

L’événement triennal de la jeunesse, mandat de la Convention générale de l’église, a attiré 1 400 personnes en tout, dont 35 évêques ainsi que des accompagnateurs, des aumôniers, des bénévoles du secteur médical et d’autres secteurs. Chaque prédicateur, intervenant, exposant et séance pratique a traité le thème d’une manière ou d’une autre.

L’Évêque Primat Michael Curry a prêché et présidé le service eucharistique d’ouverture d’EYE17. Photo : Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

Michael Curry a prêché au cours du service eucharistique d’ouverture du 11 juillet puis, plus tard ce même jour, a proposé deux ateliers l’un après l’autre sur le « Mouvement de Jésus », suivis de questions-réponses. D’autres intervenants, dont la révérende Gay Clark Jennings, présidente de la Chambre des Députés, des évêques, des membres du personnel de l’Église épiscopale, des représentants d’Episcopal Relief & Development, de Forma, d’Episcopal Service Corps et d’autres ont proposé des ateliers allant de la défense des droits à la vie dans des communautés intentionnelles comme exemple de voie vers la paix, en passant par la communication non violente dans un monde violent.

« Je pense que la « Voie vers la paix » a été articulée de nombreuses manières différentes au cours de cet événement et j’ai espoir que cela a été suffisamment contagieux pour que, lorsque tous ces jeunes repartent chez eux, ils commencent à parler de leur expérience ici et de ce qu’ils y ont appris afin qu’ils se sentent le pouvoir de véritablement agir sur leur propre désir de ce qui est bon et droit et le don reçu de Dieu pour faire quelque chose, explique Bronwyn Skov.

Au cours d’une conférence de presse le 11 juillet, Trevor Mahan du Diocèse du Kansas, membre du comité de planification, a dit que les jeunes avaient intentionnellement conçu l’événement de manière à ce que les jeunes fassent connaissance avec les dirigeants de l’Église et de l’Église épiscopale au sens large, en leur offrant les moyens d’une plus grande participation à tous les niveaux.

Mme Campbell, du Diocèse d’Olympia, tout comme Trevor Mahan au sein de l’équipe de planification, en est convenue.

« Nous voulons que les gens puissent repartir chez eux et se connecter avec d’autres organisations épiscopales, a-t-elle déclaré et rapporter le message de la Voie vers la paix afin d’encourager d’autres jeunes à s’impliquer.

Ed Konieczny place un réel espoir dans les jeunes d’aujourd’hui qui sont beaucoup plus inclusifs que les générations précédentes. La composition d’EYE17, le groupe le plus diversifié qui ait jamais existé, en apporte la preuve.

« Comme je l’ai dit au cours de mon homélie lors de la cérémonie aux chandelles, les jeunes d’aujourd’hui peuvent faire une différence réelle dans le monde », a-t-il déclaré.

« Ils en sont à un stade maintenant où ils établissent la façon dont leur génération va vivre ensemble et on peut déjà voir le niveau d’acceptation, d’inclusion et de volonté de vivre dans la diversité et de respecter l’autre. Et cela n’a pas toujours été le cas pour les générations précédentes ; ici c’est nous et là c’est eux et nous gardons simplement nos distances », explique Konieczny.

EYE20 est déjà en cours de préparation avec l’aide d’une subvention du Constable Fund. l’Église épiscopale prévoit d’organiser l’événement en Amérique latine.

– Lynette Wilson est rédactrice en chef de l’Episcopal News Service.

Young Anglicans in South Africa create garden on ‘Mandela Day’

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:10am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Young people from a parish in a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, have cultivated a garden at their church as a way of remembering Nelson Mandela on what was his birthday, July 18.

Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. The tradition has developed of taking 67 minutes to do something for others on Mandela day, celebrating the 67 years that Mandela dedicated to social justice.

Full article.

Archbishop of York leading teenagers on pilgrimage to Taizé in France

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:05am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Teenagers from five schools in northern England have set off on pilgrimage with Archbishop of York John Sentamu to Taize in France.  The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions.

Full article.

Episcopal faith is common ground for Kansas lawmakers on opposite sides of political aisle

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 3:12pm

Republican Rep. Lonnie Clark, left, and Democratic Rep. Brandon Whipple are thought to be the only Episcopalians in the Kansas Legislature. Photo: Melodie Woerman/Diocese of Kansas

[Episcopal News Service] Kansas state Reps. Brandon Whipple and Lonnie Clark would seem at first glance to have little in common. Whipple is a young Kansas transplant with a growing young family, and Clark is a retiree who grew up in the state.

Their differing backgrounds extend to their politics: Whipple is a Democrat and Clark is a Republican. But the two men have a faith connection. Both are Episcopalians and are thought to be the only two in the part-time Kansas Legislature.

Each joined the Episcopal Church in recent years, and each says his religious values inform his political stances, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes overtly.

“From my standpoint, at least my philosophy on Christianity and me being a Christian, I try to treat everybody fairly whether I’m in the House of Representatives or with my neighbor,” Clark said in a phone interview with Episcopal News Service.

Clark, 73, worked as a health care administrator and a Homeland Security trainer until his retirement. He has several grown children and young grandchildren and lives in Junction City, where one of the top political issues is preserving jobs at the nearby army base, Fort Riley.

Whipple, 34, represents a district in Kansas’ largest city, Wichita, and was an adult when he adopted the state as his home on his way to earning a doctorate in leadership studies. He teaches college part time, and he and his wife have two young sons, with a third child on the way.

Clark and Whipple work on opposite sides of the aisle in a state where Republicans control the Legislature and the governorship, but they found themselves on the same side of a high-profile vote June 6, succeeding in overriding Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of the state budget. Brownback’s tax cut plan had drawn bipartisan criticism for failing to deliver robust economic growth, and Republicans joined with Democrats in rolling the cuts back. The 2017 legislative session concluded later that month.

The pair of legislators also connected over their shared Episcopal faith after they were featured in a joint profile in the Diocese of Kansas’ newsletter. Religion has become an easy conversation starter.

“I don’t know if I would have had an opportunity to get to really get to know him, but now that I have, I do feel much closer to him,” Whipple told ENS, adding that he respects Clark for speaking up for his values on the floor of the House. “When he speaks, it’s on something he truly cares about.”

Clark’s Christian values originate in the Baptist faith of his childhood. That faith carried him into adulthood, but he later converted to Roman Catholicism, partly because of the Catholic chaplains he met while he was a soldier serving in Vietnam.

After returning home from the war, his career moved him around the country, from Des Moines, Iowa, to Birmingham, Alabama. He retired in 2004 but later went to work for the Department of Homeland Security training air marshals. He eventually moved back to Kansas and retired for good.

Clark’s first marriage ended in divorce, and when he returned to Kansas, he met the woman he calls the “love of my life,” a former high school sweetheart whose first husband had died. She is a lifelong Episcopalian, and they married in an Episcopal church in 2015.

Clark, a second-term representative first elected in 2014, has been active in the Episcopal Church of the Covenant in Junction City, even serving previously as junior warden on the vestry. But he said he isn’t the kind of politician who freely invokes his Christian beliefs to make a political point, and he doesn’t see his faith as an overriding factor in his political work, “other than treating people with dignity and respect.”

He cites that belief, though, as helping him see people as more than Republicans or Democrats. “I think my faith is kind of the reason that I’m able to work across the aisle,” he said.

Whipple was first elected to the House in 2012. Now in his third two-year term, he holds a position on the Democratic leadership team, as agenda chair. He attends St. James Episcopal Church in Wichita.

“We had an adult forum about the Beatitudes, and I think that kind of sums it up politically,” Whipple said. “‘Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek.’

“When it comes to opportunities in our state we need to make sure – and I think this goes really hand in hand with the values of the Episcopal Church – we need to make sure there’s opportunity for everyone.”

Whipple grew up in New Hampshire. It wasn’t until high school that he felt drawn to a faith tradition. A friend of his had an uncle who was a Roman Catholic priest, and they attended the uncle’s church together. Whipple was baptized at age 17 and later confirmed into the Roman Catholic Church.

As a college student, he volunteered to spend a year in Kansas working with at-risk children through AmeriCorps. He fell in love with the state and decided to stay after the year was up, transferring to Wichita State University.

His wife, whom he met in Kansas, was raised Roman Catholic, and they attended a Catholic church in Wichita for a while. They ended up in the Episcopal Church partly because of politics, Whipple said.

A priest at the Catholic church that they had been attending sometimes included partisan views in his homilies, Whipple said. He was most bothered by the priest’s implication that Republicans were more authentically Christian than Democrats, a message also heard in ads by a Kansas lobbying group that claimed it represented Catholic interests, Whipple said.

“They were wrong. They were painting all the Democrats with a particular brush,” Whipple said, adding that he maintains a deep respect for the Roman Catholic tradition.

In 2015, he and his wife visited St. James and found it a welcoming new spiritual home. They also liked that, because the Episcopal Church ordained women, there would be female role models in the clergy if they were to have a daughter. (Their third child is due any day, and they have chosen not to learn of the sex until the birth.)

“Separating church politics and party politics was kind of our goal, while still being able to maintain our values,” Whipple said.

Like Clark, Whipple said he doesn’t often wear his Episcopal faith on his sleeve, though he put the church’s values front and center when he spoke out earlier this year against a proposed state moratorium on refugees.

Amid an intense parallel debate at the federal level over the Trump administration’s policies toward refugees, the Kansas moratorium bill advanced out of a House committee in March, but it stalled after concerns were raised by legislators, including Whipple.

“We as a nation are distancing from the politics of reason to the politics of fear,” Whipple said, according to an Associated Press report. Clark voted in favor of Whipple’s amendment seeking to protect the resettlement work of religious organizations, though the amendment was defeated. The bill was referred back to the committee, where it died.

Whipple told ENS the debate on the refugee moratorium was “one of the biggest clashes of my personal faith with politics.”

“I felt this bill would challenge a deeply felt religious belief, that we should be an open society to people less fortunate around the world,” he said, and he was proud to cite the statements of Kansas Bishop Dean Wolfe in support of continued refugee resettlement.

Wolfe, who left Diocese of Kansas this year to become rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, got to know both Clark and Whipple during his time in Kansas.

“One of the joys of ordained ministry is seeing your parishioners take their faith into the world.  Lonnie Clark and Brandon Whipple give sacrificially of their time and talent to serve the public as members of the Kansas legislature,” Wolfe said in an emailed statement to ENS. “I’m so glad we have faithful people like Lonnie and Brandon struggling to make decisions for the common good in an increasingly polarized political environment.”

The two lawmakers say getting to know each other as fellow Episcopalians has helped them see each other as public servants both motivated to make Kansas better despite aligning with different parties.

“I think he’s trying to do the same thing I’m trying to do,” Clark said. “We’re just taking a different path doing it.”

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.

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