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Draft agenda for the Anglican Consultative Council – ACC-17 – in Hong Kong published

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 2:05pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The seventeenth meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council – ACC-17 – begins in a month in Hong Kong. The ACC, one of four Instruments of the Anglican Communion, includes archbishops, bishops, priests, and laity from the 40 autonomous churches of the Anglican Communion. The draft agenda for the meeting has just been published. ACC members will be asked to approve the agenda as their first item of business.

Read the entire article here.

Editor’s note: The Episcopal Church’s three ACC members for this meeting are Oklahoma Bishop Edward J. Konieczny, the Rev. Michael Barlowe (the executive officer of General Convention) and Rosalie Ballentine of the Diocese of the Virgin Islands.

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Church of Canada publishes list of bishops nominated as next Primate and Archbishop

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 1:58pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has nominated five of its number for the election of a new primate and archbishop. The current Primate of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, will retire on July 16 at the end of the province’s triennial General Synod meeting, after serving as leader of the Church since 2007. His successor will be elected by deacon- priest- and lay-members of the General Synod on July 13. The new archbishop will be officially installed on July 16.

Read the entire article here.

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Se anuncian las fechas de la Convención General 2021: del 30 de junio al 9 de julio en Baltimore, Maryland

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 1:02pm

[28 de marzo de 2019] Tras una decisión del Comité Permanente Conjunto sobre Planificación y Arreglos, la Oficina de la Convención General anunció las diez fechas legislativas para la 80.ª Convención General de La Iglesia Episcopal: del 30 de junio al viernes 9 de julio de 2021.

La Convención General 2021 se llevará a cabo en el Centro de Convenciones de Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, (Diócesis Episcopal de Maryland).

Durante los próximos años, la Oficina de la Convención General proporcionará información, materiales, artículos educativos y otras características sobre la Convención General, la Diócesis Episcopal de Maryland y Baltimore, MD.

“El Comité Permanente Conjunto sobre Planificación y Arreglos y la Oficina de la Convención General ya están trabajando arduamente para planificar y mejorar nuestra reunión en Baltimore para la 80ª Convención General”, señaló el Reverendo Canónigo Dr. Michael Barlowe, director ejecutivo y presidente de comité. “Edificando sobre la base de las innovaciones exitosas en Austin, y guiado por las evaluaciones que recibimos, el Comité está entusiasmado con nuestra reunión en 2021”.

La Convención General de La Iglesia Episcopal, el órgano de gobierno bicameral de la Iglesia, se celebra cada tres años. Está compuesto por la Cámara de los Obispos, con la participación de más de 200 obispos activos y retirados, y la Cámara de los Diputados, con miembros del clero y laicos elegidos de las 109 diócesis y tres áreas regionales de la Iglesia, que cuentan con más de 800 miembros.

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con la oficina de la Convención GeneralGCoffice@episcopalchurch.org.

Los miembros del Comité Permanente Conjunto sobre Planificación y Arreglos están aquí.

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Episcopalians join with others to help neighbors on two South Dakota reservations

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 5:47pm

Members of the South Dakota National Guard help distribute water on the Pine Ridge Reservation March 25 after flooding damaged a main waterline in Oglala County that left more than 8,000 residents without water. Photo: South Dakota National Guard via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians on two South Dakota Indian reservations are helping marshal slim community resources so that their neighbors can cope with recent massive flooding.

“These are devasting floods. Some of them are equal to 100-year floods for us and it simply has to do with snow and then melt with rain and then a massive blizzard of heavy spring snow, which is very wet, as opposed to our normal [winter] drier snow. There’s just no place for the water to go on frozen ground,” the Rev. Lauren Stanley, superintending presbyter of the western portion of The Episcopal Church’s mission on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, told Episcopal News Service March 26 in a telephone interview. “We’re all trying to pull together to help each other and that’s the best part.”

The Rev. Edward Hunt, Stanley’s neighbor to the west on the Pine Ridge Reservation, told ENS March 26 that while flooding on the Pine Ridge has garnered national and international attention, “we don’t have nearly as bad a situation as she does.” The further east one goes from the Pine Ridge, “that’s where the real problems lie,” he said.

Still, Hunt and Stanley, who is reluctantly confined to her home to recuperate from Achilles tendon surgery, are coordinating aid to residents on each reservation.

The day before he talked to ENS, Hunt helped a family that attends St. Julia’s Episcopal Church in Porcupine, South Dakota, buy gas for their car and gas for their neighbors’ vehicles. He also helped the family buy food for their seven or eight neighbors. The family will “go door to door and just ration it out – that’s what they do.”

Using money from his discretionary fund, Hunt has been buying food for people and gas for their cars “so they can at least eat and take care of their communities.”

Hunt officiated at a burial service in the town of Pine Ridge just before he telephoned ENS.  “People are generally very calm. They’re not panicked. They’re sorry that this has happened to their neighbors, but there isn’t a sense of unease or desperation,” he said.

Saying “forgive my disrespect in this context,” Hunt explained that “they don’t have a whole lot to lose so they’re not really panicked about losing anything because isn’t much there.”

According to some accounts, 97% of the population lives far below the U.S. federal poverty line.

Because of that poverty, Pine Ridge always lives on the edge; just one more thing can start what Hunt called “a domino effect.”

“For example, we are probably going to be looking at an uptick in wakes and funerals in the next couple of weeks because folks are not going to be able to get to chemotherapy, to dialysis; they’re going to run out of insulin, they’re going to run out of food,” he said.

That lack of access is due to roads being covered with water or washed out and impassable. The same is true on the Rosebud Reservation.

Meanwhile, access to potable water has become a problem.

Stanley also has been organizing food for volunteers who are filling sandbags to keep the waters at bay. She said the manager of the local Buche Food, a grocery store, agreed to donate water and Gatorade when she and the Rosebud Episcopal Mission bought bread, cold cuts, cheese and chips. Stanley and another Episcopalian set up a sandwich-making assembly line at her house in Mission, South Dakota, and volunteers delivered the simple lunches to the sandbagging areas.

People are also going to need propane, which they use for heating and cooking. Helping them is “a little bit of a complicated thing and a lot of money,” especially if the floodwater damaged their tank equipment, Stanley said. The Rosebud Episcopal Mission (West) already has a program to help people who have trouble paying for propane and Stanley will use the relationship with the local supplier, Country Pride Co-op, which was recently bought CHS Inc., to help the 10 flood-stricken people she and the co-op know of so far. “That’s going to run somewhere between $1,400 and $2,400” for the gas itself and any replacement equipment.

The five-year-old program typically buys about $13,000-$14,000 worth of propane for elders and families every year, she said, in addition to the mission’s project to supply firewood to folks in need.

“And the firewood program at the moment is shut down because there’s no dry wood,” Stanley added.

She’s also trying to coordinate local volunteers who want to help. “We’ve had a lot of people with ties to the Episcopal Church who ask what they can do and I kind of try to deploy [them] and then get the word out” about what kind of help is needed where, she said.

For instance, Whitney Jones, a local rancher who also is a school social worker, has been filling and transporting sandbags on his flatbed truck. He is the grandson of Bishop Harold Jones, a Lakota man who was a bishop suffragan in South Dakota and the first American Indian to be elevated to the office of bishop by any Christian denomination.

His effort is part of a major sandbagging effort by all sorts of people on both reservations.

Stanley has been publicizing the needs of the Rosebud Reservation and the work that Episcopalians are already doing. “We’re getting a good response and that’s the power of social media as always,” she said.

Hunt said he, too, has had inquiries from Episcopalians around the church about how they can help. His first response is “do not send clothing or food or stuff like that; send a check, send it to the Diocese of South Dakota, contribute to Episcopal Relief and Development.” Or, he said, give it to the discretionary funds of priests who minister on reservations “so that we on the ground who are best able to assess the needs of the people can most effectively respond.”

In addition to real-time assessment of needs, both Hunt and Stanley said that being able to spend money locally helps the hard-hit region.

Episcopal Relief & Development said March 27 that it is helping the Diocese of South Dakota provide emergency supplies such as gas cards, groceries, and propane to those impacted by the flooding, which has exacerbated long-standing issues. “Many churches in this area have strong community relationships and connections to local businesses, allowing them to meet the needs of their neighbors rapidly by increasing the scale of existing ministries when disaster strikes,” the organization’s statement said.

“Being on a reservation and being a reservation missionary priest is crisis ministry, so we deal with crisis all the time,” Hunt said. “Yes, the flooding was bad, and the snow was bad, and the cold was bad but, to be honest, it’s bad all the time.”

He hopes people won’t send a check and then think they are done helping. “I want them to keep the people on the reservation – not only in South Dakota, but North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, wherever – in  their prayers all the time because there are crises here which do not have to do with the weather.

“That’s what I really need help with. I need some kind of support. We all do. We need not just the injection shot of relief and then, pull the needle out, we’re done. We need like a constant [prayer] presence here, which would help a great deal.”

Things could get worse before they get better, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week.

“Episcopal Relief & Development continues to be in contact with our partners, not only in South Dakota, but throughout the affected regions, as they determine the needs of their communities,” Tamara Pummer, program officer for the organization, said in the March 27 update. “The disaster is ongoing, and these supplies are just the beginning. Traditional spring flood season is still a month away, so we are preparing for whatever needs may come.”

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

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Senior ecumenical panel to discuss Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 10:08am

[Anglican Communion News Service] The five Christian denominations closely associated with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) are taking part in a private consultation and public events this week to discuss how to take the document further. The JDDJ was originally agreed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999. The significant ecumenical text has been described as resolving the doctrinal dispute at the heart of the Reformation; and has since been adopted or affirmed by the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Methodist Council and the Anglican Consultative Council.

Read the entire article here.

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Retired archbishop Martín Barahona, who survived assassination attempt, dies of cancer

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 10:06am

[Anglican Communion News Service] A former archbishop of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America – the Anglican Church in the Central America Region (IARCA), Bishop Martín Barahona, has died of cancer. He had been the Anglican bishop of El Salvador. As the country was preparing to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the assassination of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of El Salvador, Óscar Romero, in March 2010, an unidentified man shot at his car. Barahona was not injured, but his driver, Francis Martínez, was hit in the stomach and arm. Barahona died on march 23 at La Divina Providencia Hospital in San Salvador, at the age of 76. He had cancer.

Read the entire article here.

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Anglican, Episcopal advocacy for women and girls extends beyond UNCSW

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 4:38pm

Participants at the March 11 opening meeting of the 63rd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives the day before in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Photo: Evan Schneider/UN

[Episcopal News Service – New York] As interesting as the official United Nations Commission on the Status of Women events can be, often it’s the off-site events that generate more fascinating insights and discussions – if not the realization that things aren’t always as they seem.

“U.N. agencies and member states do a good job of presenting the data they’d like you to receive. … Those stats can be manipulated,” said Sam Hynes, a UNCSW delegate from South Dakota. “Things can sound good, but once you know the real story, things sound different, and that’s where our advocacy comes in.”

The 63rd session of the UNCSW met March 11-22 and focused on social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Some 9,000 women and men – including Anglicans and Episcopalians – representing all regions worldwide attended the annual event held at U.N. headquarters in midtown Manhattan, making the UNCSW one of the largest gatherings promoting women’s rights and interests in the world.

“This 63rd session of UNCSW might seem like only a two-week event, but it actually builds on the hard work and action of previous generations of Anglicans and Episcopalians striving for gender equality and empowerment for women and girls,” said Lynnaia Main, who represents The Episcopal Church at the United Nations and coordinates and leads the Episcopal delegation.

“The wisdom and training of our forerunners – including former directors of the Office of Women’s Ministries and Anglican Women’s Empowerment – is essential to the intergenerational dialogue and institutional knowledge of our participants,” she said. “The networking and knowledge sharing from year to year helps us build relationships of support to sustain us for the long haul. We really need that, since the U.N. Secretary General estimates that it will be a 217-year marathon to achieve gender equality. So, whether or not one participates formally in any given session of UNCSW, we are all able to be part of the historical dialogue and change needed to empower women and girls and aim for gender justice.”

Off-site, or side events addressed everything from building safe and empowering digital spaces for women and girls to a global perspective on sexual harassment in the workplace to closing the gender pay gap to economic empowerment to effective responses to modern-day slavery and human trafficking, including sex trafficking.

For instance, Hynes said, when sex workers were given the microphone during an off-site panel about sex work, a discussion about decriminalization led to insights concerning decreases in violence, lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases and fewer incidences of sex trafficking.

“Decriminalization of sex work and getting them [sex workers] involved can have a positive influence on [eliminating] sex trafficking,” said Hynes, who volunteered while in graduate school with a nongovernmental organization advocating for sex workers in Vietnam.

Decriminalization, she added, keeps sex work on the surface and “can decrease rates of STDs and HIV and eliminate violence,” whereas criminalization can lead to increases in violence against women.

Delegates learned that New Zealand is the only country to have totally decriminalized sex work; in Sweden, it’s the johns, or men who buy sex, who are punished, which has had the negative consequence of driving sex work underground; and in places like the Netherlands, where women sell themselves in Amsterdam’s red light district, women, especially those who come from Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Africa, can feel like men have put a price on them just as the women in the windows are priced.

Established in 1946, the UNCSW is the primary intergovernmental agency dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Although The Episcopal Church has had a presence at the UNCSW since 2000, it has sent a delegation to official UNCSW proceedings only since 2014, when it gained consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

On March 17, Anglican and Episcopal delegates gathered at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine for evensong. For a list of Episcopal delegates and staff representing Presiding Bishop Michael Curry click here, and click here for the Anglican Communion delegation. A closing Eucharist was held March 22 in The Episcopal Church’s Chapel of Christ the Lord.

The 63rd UNCSW precedes the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which laid out an agenda for women’s empowerment; it was adopted in September 1995 during the Fourth World Conference on Women.

The worldwide tilt toward conservative, nationalistic governments and the backlash to the #MeToo movement loomed large during this year’s conference, with delegates, including Episcopalians, expressing fear that a fifth world conference and a potential revision of the Beijing Declaration could chip away at some of the gains women have made over the past 25 years.

Still, there’s a long way to go, as Cynthia Wilson D’Alimonte, who represented the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe as its first-ever UNCSW delegate, learned. D’Alimonte was drawn to panels and discussions about the challenges widowed women face in the developing world where their choices and rights are still limited, marriage is sometimes forced, and property ownership laws, in some cases, still don’t apply to women.

“Their destiny is not in their hands all by decree of country and culture,” she said.

During the 63rd UNCSW, there was some debate over the definition of “family” as it was presented in the draft of the agreed conclusions, which is the final document produced by the conference.

Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the family has been described as the fundamental unit of society; however, that doesn’t always have a positive connotation.

“When very male-dominated, patriarchal societies think about the family, they think about it as a private space as opposed to a public space,” said Chiseche Mibenge, who represented the Diocese of California and who teaches human rights at Stanford University.

“And the private spaces, they swear a social worker, a police officer, a court of law will not enter into. When, in general, we talk about the right to privacy, it’s a very male-centric … do not enter my house, government, and we know that women and children can be extremely vulnerable in their homes,” she said. “When I ask my students in the classroom when is the first time you experienced gender discrimination, they say, ‘in my house.’”

For Dana Jean, a delegate from the Diocese of Dallas who directs outreach ministry for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in McKinney, Texas, the UNCSW got her thinking about how she can better engage members of her church in advocacy. Her church, a Jubilee Ministry, she said, is strong in outreach and service, but advocacy offers room for growth.

Michele Roberts, a first-time Episcopal delegate from Delaware and Washington, D.C., and a long-time fighter of environmental racism, hoped to use the language around the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals in her advocacy at the local, state and federal levels.

On the eve of the UNCSW’s close, a still-energized Hynes said she could have kept going.

“All the women who represent NGOs and their passion for advocacy … I feel like I could do it forever. It’s been invigorating in a way I’ve not felt in a while,” she said.

Even before returning home to South Dakota, Hynes already had reached out to the priest at her church in Pierre and members of the local chapter of an international women’s empowerment organization she belongs to about what actions can be taken to combat sex trafficking around big events like Sturgis, a massive annual motorcycle rally held in her state, and annual hunting seasons.

As members of the church, she’s asking the question, “What can we do?”

To that end, Hynes and others are supported by official policy.

The Episcopal Church has a long history of addressing both labor and sex trafficking; during the 79th General Convention last July in Austin, Texas, the church recommitted its support for the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

– Lynette Wilson is a reporter and managing editor of Episcopal News Service. She can be reached at lwilson@episcopalchurch.org.

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Episcopal pilgrimage focuses on West Virginia city, seen as opioid epidemic’s epicenter of recovery

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:26am

About 150 people in October attend the free weekly dinner at Trinity Episcopal Church in Huntington, West Virginia, which was hit hard in recent years by the opioid epidemic. Photo: Trinity Episcopal Church, via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Just about any way you measure the opioid epidemic in America, it’s meant bad news in recent years for Huntington, West Virginia.

An estimated 130 people a day die from opioid overdoses in the United States, reflecting a dramatic rise in addictions to prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids, like fentanyl. No state has been hit as hard as West Virginia, with the highest per capita overdose rate in the country.

And in a state filled with bleak statistics and grim stories, Huntington has been called “the epicenter of America’s opioid epidemic.” The city of about 50,000 on the Ohio River drew national headlines in 2016 for a cluster of at least 20 nonfatal overdoses in a 53-hour period, and in 2017, Huntington and its surrounding Cabell County logged 1,831 nonfatal overdoses and 183 deaths. Officials estimated about 10,000 people in the county were addicted to drugs out of a population just under 100,000.

But as several dozen people arrive in Huntington this week on a pilgrimage organized by The Episcopal Church’s Province III, they expect to find a city now credited with becoming the epicenter of recovery, thanks to partnerships between government agencies, health care organizations and church leaders, all following the lead of one prominent Episcopalian, Mayor Stephen Williams.

Williams, in a phone interview, described Huntington as a “city of solutions,” the most notable being the quick response teams on standby to respond to every overdose call. Clergy members across faiths and denominations have been trained as members of the teams, along with police, paramedics and addiction recovery counselors.

“Opioid addiction is a disease,” Williams said. “We need to first and foremost seek to save lives, transform lives.” In the process, he said, the whole community is transformed for the better.

The Opioid Response Task Force of Province III has been planning its pilgrimage to Huntington at a time when The Episcopal Church is calling on all dioceses and congregations to respond to the opioid epidemic. The 79th General Convention passed a resolution in July urging Episcopalians to partner with those in their communities on the front lines of the crisis and to help create resources for education, prevention and pastoral care.

“We have to get the church in a leadership role,” said West Virginia Bishop Mike Klusmeyer, who looked forward to joining Huntington’s three Episcopal congregations in welcoming the Province III task force’s group starting March 25.

“Huntington, West Virginia, seems to have caught the attention of many people and many organizations in what [city leaders] are doing to combat that crisis,” Klusmeyer said. One important role The Episcopal Church can play is to spread a message of compassion and hope as people suffering from addition work to rebuild their lives, “that they’re not just drug addicts, but that they’re human beings.”

More than 30 people from five states signed signed up to participate in the pilgrimage, a two-day visit that includes stops at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

The pilgrimage’s “encounters” include presentations by Williams and representatives from the West Virginia Council of Churches, the Provider Response Organization for Addiction Care & Treatment, or PROACT, and Lily’s Place, which offers medical assistance to infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome.

“I pray that we will listen and learn from God’s people doing God’s work in Huntington,” said the Rev. Dina van Klavern, a priest from Maryland who co-chairs the province’s task forces and chairs the churchwide task force on the opioid epidemic. “I pray that we will be open to learn from the compassionate community response of so many faithful folks in Huntington, and learn new ways to stand in solidarity with people who struggle with substance use, their family, friends and community members.”

St. John’s, which is hosting several of the sessions, has its own examples of community outreach. St. John’s House is the congregation’s after-school ministry to children living in a nearby low-income housing complex. It long predated the opioid epidemic, but as overdoses began occurring with greater frequency in and around the complex, the congregation found a greater sense of purpose in its work, said the Rev. Lisa Graves, rector at St. John’s.

“It’s a safe place for the children to go after school,” Graves said. About 30 to 40 children attend St. John’s House on an average weekday afternoon, receiving homework help, as well as snacks and activities.

Her congregation also supports Gabriel Project, which helps young families navigate the basics of raising children; providing parenting guidance and supplies, such as diapers and formula. St. John’s also began looking for ways to support foster parents after an incident two years ago when a despondent 12-year-old foster child broke into the church and set a fire on the altar.

“We started to look at her life and her experiences in the foster care system,” Graves said. That system has been profoundly affected by the opioid crisis, she said, and “sometimes, our best thing to do is support the ministries that others are doing.”

Trinity Episcopal Church is host to two weekly ministries that serve Huntington residents living on the margins of society, including those suffering from opioid addiction. Every Wednesday evening, volunteers serve a free dinner at the church, and more than a hundred people share fellowship over food.

And on Saturday mornings, breakfast is served in Trinity’s parking lot, which transforms into a kind of social service fair. Under tents, volunteers distribute food, shoes, toiletries, toilet paper and various other items. Once a month, Marshal Health, a local health care provider, sets up a booth to offer basic medical services for free.

These ministries are ecumenical, not solely the work of Trinity Episcopal Church. And organizers don’t see their outreach as exclusively addressing the opioid epidemic, but “we’re right in the middle of it,” said Larry Clark, Trinity’s junior warden and a driving force behind both ministries.

The Saturday breakfast, in particular, “allows us to minister to a lot of the people who are in rehab,” Clark said. It began 16 years ago as a street ministry on the riverfront organized by a couple of motorcycle clubs. “What we started doing was just giving away coffee and donuts out of the back of a pickup truck, and it just kept growing and growing and growing.”

The ministry naturally began serving more people suffering from addiction as the opioid epidemic worsened over the past decade. Clark and others in Huntington face no shortage of tragic stories.

“When you roll up your sleeves and get into the epidemic, you’re not going to succeed all the time,” Clark said. “I buried a lot of people, and some of them were friends. Some of them were lifelong friends, and it’s not a pretty picture.”

Williams, the mayor, gets credit from many corners for rallying the community to work toward a solution. In September 2014, he issued a call to prayer in a letter to all congregations in Huntington.

“I think that sort of sparked an energy, at least in the faith communities,” said Graves, the St. John’s rector. Her congregation began praying every Sunday for the addicted, the first responders and the city.

“You can’t arrest your way out of this,” Williams said.

His faith has played a big part in his response to the opioid epidemic. Faith brings hope, both for the people suffering and those who working to alleviate that suffering, and he feels called by his faith to lead on this issue.

“I know that what we’re doing is setting an example of how a community can come together,” he said.

Clark, too, said he is guided by his faith, which has taught him to serve those suffering from addiction without judging them. His motto: “To be there if and when you need us. That’s all we can do.”

And after several bleak years in Huntington, 2018 brought some good news for a change. Cabell County reported nonfatal overdoses were down by 40 percent from 2017. And while the opioid epidemic still claims too many victims, participants in The Episcopal Church pilgrimage next week also will hear plenty of success stories, of people turning their lives around.

“The ones that are success stories are really a wonderful thing to have,” Clark said. “You know what they were, and they know what they were. You were involved with them at that time, and now they are productive people. And it’s very important that we help them and support them in every way to get back into society.”

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

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The Episcopal Church in Vermont announces slate of candidates for 11th bishop diocesan

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:12am

From left to right are the Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown, the Rev. Hillary D. Raining, and The Very Rev. Hilary B. Smith. Photo: Maurice L. Harris/The Episcopal Church in Vermont

[Diocese of Vermont] The Standing Committee of The Episcopal Church in Vermont has announced a slate of three candidates for the 11th bishop of the diocese. The candidates will stand for election on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The new bishop will succeed the Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely, who is retiring from the position of bishop diocesan in September after 18 years. The candidates are (in alphabetical order):

• The Rev. Dr. Shannon MacVean-Brown, Transition Priest, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Speedway, Ind.
• The Rev. Dr. Hillary D. Raining, Rector, St. Christopher’s Church, Gladwyne, Pa.
• The Very Rev. Dr. Hilary B. Smith, Dean, Central Richmond Region, Diocese of Virginia

The Standing Committee received and approved the slate of candidates by unanimous vote in a closed-door session Saturday. The approval of the list marks the culmination of a process that began nearly 15 months ago at which time the Standing Committee appointed a Bishop Discernment & Nominating Committee to lead the process of discerning and proposing candidates for bishop.

Maggie Thompson, chair of the Bishop Discernment & Nominating Committee and member of Christ Church, Montpelier, commented, “Our committee met every other Saturday for a year. We took time to get to know each other and build trust and rapport. Collectively, we brought many skills, insights and wisdom to the process, along with buoyancy and humor. Our chaplain, the Rev. Carole Wageman, was an integral presence, always centering our work in listening for God’s call as we entered into mutual discernment with our applicants. We came to know and love these three finalists and have the utmost confidence that they represent the characteristics the people of The Episcopal Church in Vermont are seeking, as we heard in our 38 listening sessions in parishes around the state. We are grateful for the support and affirmation of the Standing Committee. The Holy Spirit has swirled among us throughout this lengthy, prayerful, and joyous process.”

The Rev. Rick Swanson, president of the Standing Committee and rector of St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church, Stowe, commended, “The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church in Vermont is deeply grateful for the ministry of the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee for their commitment to listening to the Spirit through the churches and institutions of the diocese, the candidates and nominees, and their own hearts. They have faithfully offered to the Church in Vermont three individuals who are faithful servants of Our Lord, and any one of them will lead the diocese to embrace the love of God in Jesus Christ and share God’s abundant grace throughout the state of Vermont and the world. We are blessed by their ministry and excited about the future.”

Brett Murphy, member of the Standing Committee and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Northfield, concurred adding, “The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church in Vermont is excited to present this slate of three candidates for the 11th Bishop of Vermont. We thank the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee for their exhaustive work in considering a diverse pool of applicants and their sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit to bring these excellent candidates to the Church.”

Detailed information on the individual candidates can be found on the Bishop Search website at.

Candidates for bishop may still be added to the final slate through a process of “nomination by petition,” the details of which are stated on the Bishop Search website. Nominations by petition may be filed until at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 29, 2019.

A special convention for the election of the 11th bishop of The Episcopal Church in Vermont is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Burlington. A service of ordination and consecration is scheduled for Saturday, September 28, at the Ira Allen Chapel on the campus of the University of Vermont, Burlington.

The Episcopal Church in Vermont encompasses 45 congregations across the Green Mountain State.

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La Diócesis de West Tennessee anunció el exitoso proceso de consentimiento canónico

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 1:07pm

La Diócesis Episcopal de West Tennessee recibió una notificación del Obispo Presidente y Primado Michael B. Curry y del registrador de la Convención General, el Reverendo Canónigo Michael Barlowe, de que la obispa electa Phoebe A. Roaf ha recibido la mayoría requerida de consentimientos en el proceso de consentimiento canónico detallado en Canon III.11.3.

Al dar consentimiento a su ordenación y consagración, los Comités Permanentes y los obispos con jurisdicción dan fe de que “no hay impedimento debido al cual” la obispa electa Roaf no debe ser ordenada como obispa, y que su elección se llevó a cabo de acuerdo con los cánones.

La Reverenda Phoebe A. Roaf fue elegida obispa el 17 de noviembre. El Obispo Presidente Curry oficiará en su ordenación y servicio de consagración el 4 de mayo.

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#MeToo, baptismal ministry and theological task forces begin triennial work

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:17am

Katherine Karr-Cornejo of the Diocese of Spokane helps her colleagues on the Task Force to Study Sexism in TEC & Develop Anti-Sexism Training sort through some of the work the group did earlier in the meeting. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Rosemont, Illinois] If General Convention sets the direction for the work of The Episcopal Church every three years, it is the so-called “interim bodies” that actually do that work, and five of them gathered here March 19-22 to begin their triennial efforts.

They included the Task Force to Study Sexism in TEC & Develop Anti-Sexism Training, the Task Force to Develop Model Sexual Harassment Policies, the Task Force on Theological Education Networking and the Task Force on Formation & Ministry of the Baptized. The Task Force for Communion Across Difference also met at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Coverage of its work is here.

“You’re doing a lot of work having to do with some internal matters that will strengthen us for ministry and mission beyond ourselves,” the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, House of Deputies president, told task force members via a video greeting. “You will help us all be better disciples, better able to live, as the presiding bishop says, ‘in the Way of Love,’ so that we can bring that to the entire world.”

The anti-sexism task force and the one tasked with developing model anti-sexual harassment policies are not the only ones formed by General Convention in July to address sexual harassment, abuse, sexism, inequality and discrimination in The Episcopal Church. A third, the Task Force on Women, Truth and Reconciliation met in mid-November when a number of other interim bodies gathered for their initial meetings.

During the meetings this week, the two task forces began to set the scope of their work and to determine where those efforts would overlap and where they would have specific distinctions. The task force assigned to study sexism and develop anti-sexism training materials began by discussing the theological and cultural aspects of why the church ought to do such work. The task force also outlined ways to define sexism, where and how it happens and who it effects. The group tasked with developing model anti-harassment policies also plans a training component, and the two task forces agreed to coordinate their work whenever possible.

Laura Russell, chair of the Task Force to Study Sexism in TEC & Develop Anti-Sexism Training, makes a point during one the group’s sessions in their March 19-21 meeting. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

“The biggest challenge is this is something that’s never been done before and no diocese is doing it,” Laura Russell, who chairs the Task Force to Study Sexism in TEC & Develop Anti-Sexism Training, told Episcopal News Service in an interview.

The anti-sexism task force’s early thinking about training centered on developing a set of modules that could be used in a specific order by many groups and incorporated in their routine meetings and other gatherings, rather than requiring a large group of people to come to an all-day or multi-day training.

“The idea being it’s not going to be: come together Friday afternoon, leave Saturday and be done with it and check off a box,” she said.

Northwest Texas Bishop J. Scott Mayer said he feels “the magnitude” of the work given to the task force, and the members represent a “cross section of knowledge” from across the church who can meet the challenge.

Russell said that the #MeToo movement pointed to behavior, labeled it as sexism and exposed its prevalence. General Convention’s response to the movement was aimed at showing that sexism is prevalent in the church, too.

The task force developing model anti-sexual harassment policies is considering a mix of online work, as well as training that involves “personal interaction” because “we feel this is a relationship issue,” Cookie Cantwell of the Diocese of East Carolina explained when the two task forces met together.

And, rather than have training that seems like “almost a punishment thing where you have to go,” Cantwell said the group wants “it to be something that makes us whole and healthy and that people truly will feel the desire to go and learn.”

The Rev. Tim Hodapp, of the Diocese of Connecticut, leads the other members of the Task Force on Formation & Ministry of the Baptized through a discussion. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

The Task Force on Theological Education Networking and the Task Force on Formation & Ministry of the Baptized also found places where they could work together. The Rev. Maureen-Elizabeth Hagen, chair of Theological Education Networking, said during a joint meeting of the two that the networking task force wants to be sure that it is not duplicating or contradicting the work of the formation task force.

Lisa Kimball, chair of the formation task force, agreed. “We want to maintain a dynamic and healthy alignment such that what we produce comes to the wider church [and] to General Convention in particular as a common front,” she said. “We are co-creating something that together will have a stronger impact than it would it would if we worked separately.”

The two groups may soon have “some kind of common theological statement, some kind of common rationale that captures the priority of baptismal identity and baptismal formation for all of us and honors the formation of all orders, the diversities of context and the realities of our world, our church and demographics.”

Then, Kimball said, the two groups could work out of that statement according to their own mandates from convention. She said she saw the networking task force as being charged with “bringing people out of silos” of different types and methods of theological education and “deepening the quality of those processes for people so that there’s more mutual accountability for how we’re forming people theologically for leadership.”

That work, she said, builds on the work of the formation task force “which is primarily about the call of baptismal living in people’s lives.” Their mandate calls on them to identify or develop resources “for the forming of Christian life, but not just in the church, in daily life,” she said.

Members of the Task Force on Formation & Ministry of the Baptized participate in discussion. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Dividing up the work between General Conventions

There are currently 65 interim bodies. Interim bodies are any task force, board or committee created to do specific work as requested by General Convention. Most will sunset at the next meeting of convention in 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. The types and numbers of interim bodies have fluctuated since 2015, when General Convention sought to dramatically reduce the number of long-term policymaking bodies, known as standing commissions.

In 2018, General Convention passed resolutions calling for close to 40 groups to do the work that had been done by the eliminated commissions, as well as new work for which newly created task forces were needed. Thus, the total number of interim bodies has actually increased this triennium. They are listed here. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Jennings, who appoint people to serve on all the triennial groups, combined some convention task force requests with similar or related mandates.

More than 1,200 volunteers from around The Episcopal Church applied to serve on the interim bodies, and Curry and Jennings appointed 612 people.

The Rev. Michael Barlowe told ENS the church is “blessed with the enormous talent and commitment at every level of the church, but I’m particularly grateful to theses faithful leaders who have given so much of themselves for church-wide leadership this triennium.”

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

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‘Communion Across Difference’ group continues church’s ongoing LGBTQ-inclusion conversation

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 5:24pm

The Rev. Jordan Hylden, Diocese of Dallas canon theologian, suggests that the Task Force for Communion Across Difference ought to aim to craft “a generational peace” over the church’s differences about human sexuality. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Rosemont, Illinois] The latest chapter in The Episcopal Church’s more than 50-year-old conversation about the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church began this week with the goal of seeking “a lasting path forward for mutual flourishing” of those Episcopalians who disagree about the church’s stance on same-sex marriage.

The Task Force for Communion Across Difference’s mandate, found in General Convention Resolution A227, sets that goal and asks the group to find that path while acknowledging convention’s “clear decision” that Christian marriage can be a covenant between two people of the same sex or of the opposite sex, and that the church is committed to providing access to marriage rites for all. The resolution also affirms “the indispensable place that the minority who hold to this Church’s historic teaching on marriage have in our common life, whose witness the Church needs.”

General Convention in July 2018 called for the communion task force as part of its decision to end (via Resolution B012) the church’s requirement that bishops give their permission for clergy to use the two marriage rites that the previous meeting of convention had authorized (via Resolution 2015-A054) for trial use by both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

The Rev. Susan Russell, one of the task force conveners and a priest from the Diocese of Los Angeles who has advocated for years for greater LGBTQ inclusion in The Episcopal Church, acknowledged that the members of the task force bring “two polarities” to the table. The resolution calls for the 14 members to be evenly divided between those who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman and those who hold that marriage is a covenant between two people.

Russell said she believes that A227 calls on the group to find ways not only for individuals to move forward but “to create a process and a space where we can demonstrate to the wider church and then equip our church to show to a wider world what it means to mutually flourish across difference.”

Tennessee Bishop John Bauerschmidt, one of the task force conveners, tells the members that he hopes the church can find some peace amid its differences. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Tennessee Bishop John Bauerschmidt, the task force’s other convener, told the group that he “was not tremendously involved in the church wars of the early part of this century and before,” but was instead a parish priest who “tried not to get too distracted” by the full-inclusion debate. Bauerschmidt opposes same-sex marriage and requires that priests who want to use the rites have the “pastoral support” of East Tennessee Bishop Brian Cole.

“I have observed that we have spent a lot of time – decades’ worth – fighting in The Episcopal Church around these issues of marriage and inclusion of LGBTQ people,” Bauerschmidt said during the group’s round of introduction. “I’m really interested in, at this point, what the peace looks like.”

Fred Ellis, a longtime LGBTQ advocate from Dallas, where Bishop George Sumner opposes same-sex marriage, told the task force that he once co-chaired a diocesan reconciliation group to work on the differences among Dallas Episcopalians on human sexuality.

“Out of that we learned a way in the Diocese of Dallas to talk with each other, not at each other, to talk with each other and not be angry. We have come a long way in that diocese,” he said.

“I think we can do this. I think we can find a way.”

Anna Haeffner of the Diocese of Southwest Florida told the task force that her parish, the Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota, is a “traditional, orthodox” congregation in a diocese that also has congregations “that are not orthodox.” Same-sex marriages are happening in the diocese, “but we’ve all been able to coexist,” she said.

“I’m excited when you talk about us being able to talk with each other and not at each other,” Haeffner said. “We have to stop being angry or be able to get past the anger and have a conversation and figure out how we’re going to move on because it is heartbreaking to see our brothers and sisters leave.”

The Rev. Jordan Hylden, Diocese of Dallas canon theologian and an opponent of same-sex marriage, told his colleagues that he liked the resolution’s emphasis on a lasting path forward.

“I think we’re charged with doing something that’s not just meant to last the next three years,” he said, suggesting that the task force ought to aim to craft “a generational peace” over the church’s differences about human sexuality.

Vermont Bishop Tom Ely says other issues about authority and power underlie the debate about same-sex marriage. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/ Episcopal News Service

Vermont Bishop Tom Ely, who has long advocated for honoring same-sex relationships, up to and including marriage, said that work has also required attention to “the reconciliation that is necessary for that to happen.”

Underlying the debate about same-sex marriage are other issues, he said, including the “deeper question of authority and power, especially that of bishops” and what they understand their role to be. In addition, he said, there is also the question of whether tradition is something that is static or if “we’re talking about something that is unfolding.” He cited such issues such as the theological and biblical understanding of racism or the earlier ban on remarriage after divorce.

The church’s human sexuality conversation began in the late 1960s

The Episcopal Church has been debating human sexuality issues at least since 1968, when what was then known as the Joint Commission on the Church in Human Affairs asked the General Convention to initiate a study of homosexuality.

At the commission’s recommendation, convention said in Resolution 1976-A069 that “it is the sense of this General Convention that homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.” It also called on the church (via Resolution 1976-A089) to “engage in serious study and dialogue in the area of human sexuality, (including homosexuality) as it pertains to various aspects of life, particularly living styles, employment, housing, and education.” Bishops and deputies also passed resolutions asserting that “homosexual persons” have the right to full and equal protection of the laws and calling for a study of ordination of “homosexual persons.”

Every General Convention since then has included debate on some aspect of the issue.

What is “mutual flourishing”?

Task force members this week grappled with what General Convention meant by “mutual flourishing.” Russell told Episcopal News Service that the conversations were “deep and challenging” and involved the questions of “what we [each] needed to mutually flourish, what we had to give up in order for others to mutually flourish, and what the promise was in both of those things for the church.”

During a discussion about what each person needed, Hylden seemed to echo those members of the task force who oppose the church’s stance on marriage when he said, “I need to know that the traditional view of marriage has a place, to be defined later, in the teaching and polity of this church. If it didn’t, then I really probably shouldn’t be a priest of this church.”

The Rev. Susan Russell, one of the task force conveners, speaks about the costs and benefits of mutual flourishing, while Christopher Wells listens. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Mutual flourishing, Russell said, means she has to give up the idea that everyone is going to accept that she is married to her wife. “And I have to be married to my wife,” Russell said. “As a baptized member of this church, I have to have full access to the sacrament of marriage, which I do.”

Just as she cannot discount those with whom she disagrees as anything less than beloved of God, Russell said, neither will she allow others to be blocked from full inclusion in the church because of someone else’s theology.

The Rev. Tanya Wallace, a priest in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts who is in a same-sex marriage, said for her the issue isn’t a difference of opinion; “it’s who I am.” She doesn’t want the church to become “a place where anyone has to wonder if there’s room at the table” for people like her and “for people who disagree and with whom I disagree.”

“I’m willing to labor together and I’m willing to weigh cost and benefit, as long as it’s not denying the personhood of people,” Wallace said.

The Rev. Scott Garno, a priest in the Diocese of Albany, said he opposes same-sex marriage but described his friendship with Wallace that began when they served together on a 2012 General Convention legislative committee. They see “each other as fellow Christians” who trust each other’s motives, he said.

“For those in the minority position, it feels like the polity is pushing the policy further and further to the point where it feels like there isn’t always a place in the church for this particular minority’s voice,” Garno said. Mutual flourishing for him, he said, requires that the resolution’s idea of the “indispensable place” that the minority should have in the church must be lived out, “not just individual voices but actually living out in our politics and policy.”

The members of the Task Force for Communion Across Difference spent two days in a hotel near Chicago O’Hare International Airport discussing how to help Episcopalians talk with each other about difficult issues. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

As their meeting ended on March 21, the task force members agreed that mutual flourishing within The Episcopal Church means:

  • “to grow together in mutual love, affection and trust, recognizing our differences;
  • “to honor the polity of The Episcopal Church and the authority of the General Convention;
  • “to respect the dignity of one another as we engage the challenging work of discernment and transformation, so that all members, faith communities and dioceses of The Episcopal Church may experience an equal, indispensable and unqualified place and voice in the shared Body of Christ;
  • “to speak and listen to one another and strive, wherever wounds may exist, to do all in our power to labor together toward reconciliation, walking together in the way of love so that God’s reconciling mission may flourish; and
  • “to pray without ceasing for one another and for God’s grace to guide us more deeply into loving relationships.”

“Our hope is that the work that we’ve begun here can be a model for how other communities throughout the church can likewise engage in courageous conversations across difference, finding that the commonalities are greater than the differences and finding our path forward to truly enable all members of the body to mutually flourish,” Russell told ENS.

Perhaps the work of the task force, she said, is something the church can offer “as a witness to a country and to a world that is increasingly polarized and divided.”

To that end, the task force plans to offer to the church a process for groups to have the kind of conversations that it had over two days here. And, Russell said, the committee needs to fulfill its mandate to consult Episcopalians who represent the church’s diversity as well as with other Anglicans and ecumenical partners. “The scope of our work is still evolving,” she said.

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

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Delegadas anglicanas y episcopales a la UNCSW inician la segunda semana con un officio de vísperas en San Juan el Teólogo

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 1:51pm

Delegadas episcopales a la UNCSW, Chiseche Mibenge de la Diócesis de El Camino Real, a la izquierda y Michele Roberts, de la Diócesis de Delaware, aparecen juntas el 17 de marzo durante un recorrido por la iglesia catedral de San Juan el Teólogo en Nueva York. La 63ª. conferencia anual de la Comisión de las Naciones Unidas sobre la Condición [jurídica y social] de la Mujer se celebra al presente en la sede central de las ONU. Foto de: Lynette Wilson/ENS

[Episcopal News Service] La conferencia anual de Naciones Unidas sobre la Condición de la Mujer atrae a 9.000 mujeres y hombres de todas las regiones del mundo a la sede central de la ONU en Nueva York.

“Es (la Comisión sobre la Condición de la Mujer) una de las mayores reuniones feministas del mundo”, dijo la Rda. Martha Korienek, delegada episcopal a la UNCSW, rectora interina de la iglesia episcopal de La Gracia [Grace Episcopal Church] en Hastings-on-Hudson, Nueva York.

No obstante, por impresionante que pueda ser la cifra de asistentes, es más importante, añadió ella, que los delegados representan aproximadamente a 3.700 millones de mujeres y niñas  en todo el mundo.

La 63ª. UNCSW, que sesiona del 11 al 22 de marzo, se concentra en los sistemas de protección social, el acceso  a los servicios públicos y la infraestructura sostenible para la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de mujeres y niñas.

“El garantizar la igualdad de acceso y la igualdad de género, es bueno no sólo para las mujeres y las niñas, sino para todos”, dijo Lynnaia Main, que representa a la Iglesia Episcopal en Naciones Unidas y quien coordina y dirige la delegación episcopal.

“Mientras nos preparamos para el 25º. aniversario de la Declaración de Beijing y la Plataforma para la Acción el año próximo, estamos conscientes de que ningún país ha logrado aún la igualdad de género”, dijo ella. “Hemos oído decir al secretario general de la ONU que, al ritmo actual, tomará 217 años lograrse la igualdad de género. El obispo primado Michael Curry nos recordaba en su vídeo a las delegadas a la UNCSW que Jesús creía que las mujeres y los hombres eran iguales y que honró a las mujeres con su ejemplo. Debemos seguir el ejemplo de Jesús y al mismo tiempo prepararnos para la igualdad de género”.

Para Michele Roberts, una delegada episcopal que asiste por primera vez y que ha combatido durante mucho tiempo el racismo medioambiental, el tema de acceso a los servicios públicos y la infraestructura sostenible tienen una profunda resonancia.

“Tenemos el sur global aquí mismo”, dijo Roberts, miembro de la iglesia episcopal de San Andrés y San Mateo [St. Andrew and St. Matthews Episcopal Church] en Wilmington, Delaware, y de la iglesia de la Epifanía [The Church of the Epiphany] en Washington, D.C. Significando con ello que uno no tiene que viajar a remotas aldeas en el mundo en vías de desarrollo para encontrar una infraestructura inadecuada y acceso restringido al agua potable; los servicios inadecuados existen aquí en Estados Unidos, y aquí en Nueva York, dijo ella.

Delegadas anglicanas y episcopales a la Comisión de Naciones Unidas sobre la Condición de la Mujer se reúnen en la iglesia catedral de San Juan el Teólogo en Manhattan para un recorrido dirigido por Tom Fedorek,  guía durante 35 años  de la catedral gótica  románica, antes del oficio de vísperas del 17 de marzo. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

El 17 de marzo, las delegadas anglicanas y episcopales se reunieron en la iglesia catedral de San Juan el Teólogo [St. John the Divine], primero para hacer un recorrido por la catedral gótica y románica, y luego para un oficio de vísperas y de bienvenida de parte de la catedral y del obispo de Nueva York  Andrew Dietsche y del Fondo Global de Mujeres de Nueva York.

“Hay un viejo dicho, ‘el sol nunca se pone en el imperio británico’”, dijo Dietsche, añadiendo que el sol nunca se pone en la presencia anglicana. Las mujeres anglicanas y episcopales, nuestras hermanas, han sido una pujante presencia en la UNCSW y han marcado la pauta en las vidas de mujeres y niñas en todas partes”.

Nuestra Señora de Ferguson, un icono de Mark Dukes, obra de arte relacionada específicamente con las mujeres, se destacó en el recorrido de la iglesia catedral de San Juan el Teólogo en la ciudad de Nueva York hecho por las delegadas anglicanas y episcopales a la 63ª. UNCSW. El icono muestra a María como una mujer negra con las manos en alto. Una pequeña silueta negra de Jesús con sus manos en igual posición, pero en el punto de mira de un fusil, se dibuja sobre su vientre. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

Establecido en 1946, la UNCSW es la principal agencia intergubernamental dedicada a la promoción de la igualdad de género y del empoderamiento de las mujeres. Aunque la Iglesia Episcopal ha tenido una presencia en la UNCSW desde 2000, ha enviado una delegación a los actos oficiales de la UNCSW sólo desde 2014, cuando adquirió un estatus consultivo en el Consejo Económico y Social de la ONU.

Para una lista de las delegadas episcopales y miembros del personal que representan al obispo primado Michael Curry haga clic aquí, y haga clic aquí para la delegación de la Comunión Anglicana.

Aunque a las Naciones Unidas se le considera un territorio internacional, los delegados de los países a los que EE.UU. les exige visas de ingreso deben solicitarlas. Cada año, EE.UU. niega el acceso de un significativo número de delegados; este año EE.UU. les negó visa de ingreso a la delegada anglicana de Burundi y a la delegada episcopal de Colombia. Las delegadas episcopales y anglicanas representan a mujeres de Estados Unidos, Ghana, Sudáfrica, Nueva Zelanda, las Islas Salomón y Escocia.

La Iglesia Episcopal y la Comunión Anglicana son miembros y participan en actividades de promoción social con la coalición de carácter religioso Mujeres Ecuménicas, una coalición internacional de denominaciones cristianas y de organizaciones ecuménicas reconocida ante el Consejo Económico y Social de la ONU. Estos organismos comparten una misión y visión comunes y están comprometidos con las mismas.

Tanto la Iglesia Episcopal como la Comunión Anglicana son signatarios de la declaración conjunta de Mujeres Ecuménicas, que puede encontrarse aquí.

Durante la sesión anual de dos semanas de la comisión, representantes de los estados miembros de la ONU, de organizaciones de la sociedad civil y de entidades de la ONU se reúnen en la sede central de las Naciones Unidas en Nueva York. Debaten el progreso y los fallos en la implantación de la Declaración de Beijing y la Plataforma para la Acción, el documento clave de política global sobre la igualdad de género, y la 23ª. Sesión especial de la Asamblea General celebrada en 2000 (Beijing+5), así como problemas emergentes que afectan la igualdad de género y al empoderamiento de las mujeres. Los estados miembros convienen en acciones ulteriores para acelerar el progreso y promover el goce de los derechos de las mujeres en el terreno político, económico y social. Los resultados y las recomendaciones de cada sesión se remiten al Consejo Económico y Social de la ONU para seguimiento.

En su homilía del oficio de vísperas, Mary D. Glasspool, obispa auxiliar de Nueva York, habló acerca de cómo “exige verdadera fuerza de voluntad hacer algo contario a la lógica” y se refirió a la lectura del evangelio del día, Lucas 13:31-35, donde Jesús dice refiriéndose a Herodes “Vayan y díganle a ese zorro: ‘Mira, hoy y mañana seguiré expulsando demonios y sanando a la gente, y al tercer día terminaré lo que debo hacer’. Tengo que seguir adelante hoy, mañana y pasado mañana, porque no puede ser que muera un profeta fuera de Jerusalén. ¡Jerusalén, Jerusalén, que matas a los profetas y apedreas a los que se te envían! ¡Cuántas veces  quise reunir a tus hijos , como reúne la gallina a sus pollitos debajo de sus alas, pero no quisiste!”.

-Lynette Wilson es reportera y jefa de redacción de Episcopal News Service. Pueden dirigirse a ella a lwilson@episcopalchurch.org. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

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Los obispos objetan la decisión del Arzobispo de Cantórbery de excluir a cónyuges del mismo sexo de la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 1:46pm

Muchas de las principales liturgias durante la Conferencia de Lambeth tienen lugar en la catedral de Cantórbery, sede del arzobispo de Cantórbery y a la que se considera la “Iglesia madre” de la Comunión Anglicana. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

[Episcopal News Service – Hendersonville,  Carolina del Norte] La Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal dijo sentirse “agraviada y afligida” por la decisión del arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby de excluir a los cónyuges del mismo sexo de los obispos invitados a la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020.

Los obispos dijeron que “les preocupa el uso de la exclusión como un medio de edificar la Comunión”.

Welby dice en el sitio web de la reunión de obispos de la Comunión Anglicana que ruega que “la Conferencia de Lambeth revigorice la Comunión”. El sitio web advierte que Welby ha invitado a “todos los obispos con derecho a asistir y a sus cónyuges”.

La mayoría de los miembros de la Cámara se propone asistir a Lambeth, según la declaración. Los obispos dijeron que quieren continuar entablando relaciones a través de la Comunión, “fomentando el diálogo en torno a las diversas expresiones culturales del matrimonio” y “reflejando nuestras interpretaciones del matrimonio, así como nuestro compromiso con la dignidad de todos los seres humanos, incluidos los derechos humanos de las personas LGBTQ+.”

La declaración se aprobó en una votación de viva voz. Al menos a un obispo, Dan Martins de Springfield, pudo oírsele votar en contra.

Mary Glasspool, obispa auxiliar de la Diócesis de Nueva York es en la actualidad el único obispo en servicio activo de la Iglesia Episcopal que tiene un cónyuge del mismo sexo. Ella le habló a la Cámara el 14 de marzo.

El Rdo. Thomas Brown debe ser ordenado y consagrado el 22 de junio como el próximo obispo de la Diócesis de Maine. Él está casado con el Rdo. Thomas Mousin. La diócesis eligió a Brown el 9 de febrero. Es posible que las diócesis de la Iglesia Episcopal elijan a obispos con cónyuges del mismo sexo entre ahora y el 23 de julio de 2020, día en que comienza la Conferencia de Lambeth.

El único otro obispo activo en la Comunión Anglicana a quien la decisión de Welby es sabido que se aplica es Kevin Robertson, obispo sufragáneo de la Diócesis de Toronto, quien se casó con Mohan Sharma, su pareja por casi 10 años, el 28 de diciembre de 2018.

La declaración de la Cámara de Obispos incluye una declaración del Grupo de Planificación de los Cónyuges de los Obispos que dice “unimos nuestras voces a las de aquellos en la Iglesia Episcopal que han expresado su desilusión y consternación” con la decisión de Welby. “Estamos particularmente al lado de nuestra compañera, Becki Sander, esposa de la obispa Mary Glasspool”, afirmaron.

“La comunidad de cónyuges entiende que la Comunión Anglicana no es de opinión unánime respecto al matrimonio, y que, en la vida de la Comunión, este es un asunto complejo”, dijeron. “Sin embargo, la exclusión de cónyuges del mismo género parece una reacción simplista a un problema complejo. Nos entristece que todos no sean bienvenidos a caminar, escuchar y dar testimonio con nosotros, y que todas las voces no se escuchen en esta reunión”.

Los obispos rehusaron en una votación a mano alzada con 44 a favor y 42 en contra aprobar una segunda resolución que instaba al obispo primado Michael Curry a pedirle a Welby que cambiara de opinión. Curry le dijo a la Cámara antes de la votación que él había tenido “una larga conversación” con el Arzobispo y que también había intercambiado cartas con él.

“Tengo que ser sincero con ustedes, yo no espero que él cambie, pero estoy dispuesto a decir que a esta Cámara realmente le gustaría que ello fuese reconsiderado si pudiera ser de alguna manera”, dijo Curry.

También en la reunión

David Rice, obispo de la Diócesis de San Joaquín, le habla a la Cámara el 15 de marzo, horas después de los ataques terroristas en dos mezquitas de Christchurch, Nueva Zelanda. Rice prestó servicios una vez como vicario en la Diócesis de Christchurch. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Los obispos respondieron de varias maneras a los ataques a dos mezquitas en Christchurch, Nueva Zelanda, en los cuales murieron 49 personas. La Eucaristía matutina incluyó oraciones por “las víctimas de las agresiones a tiros en Nueva Zelanda, por el descanso de sus almas y la paz para sus familias”.

David Rice, el obispo de la Diócesis de San Joaquín, al hablar en la apertura de la sesión matutina, calificó los ataques como “un acto de terrorismo sin precedentes”.

Rice fue el obispo de la Diócesis de Waiapu, en la Iglesia Anglicana de Aotearoa, Nueva Zelanda y Polinesia cuando lo llamaron a San Joaquín. Nacido y criado en Carolina del Norte, fue pastor metodista durante ocho años antes de su ordenación en la Iglesia Anglicana.

Él comenzó su sacerdocio anglicano en la Diócesis de Christchurch. Fue allí donde su hija y su hijo fueron al kindergarten y a la escuela primaria, le dijo él a la Cámara. Él y su esposa, Tracy, tienen una casa allí, a la cual se irán a vivir cuando se jubilen, dijo Rice.

“Siento, estando aquí ante ustedes – y yo debía haber pensado en esto porque estuve despierto toda la noche contactando a familiares y amigos para ver si estaban bien—que tengo que decir algo, pero encuentro que no tengo palabras”.

Él dijo que le sugirió a Ian Douglas, obispo de la Diócesis de Connecticut, que los Obispos contra la Violencia Armada se comunicaran con Peter Carrell, el obispo de Christchurch y con Richard Wallace, que dirige la Te Wai Pounamu, la diócesis maorí, “para enviarle nuestro amor como un acto de solidaridad”.

Rice mencionó la declaración de la primera ministra de Nueva Zelanda, Jacinda Ardern, quien dijo de las víctimas de los ataques, “ellos son nosotros. La persona que ha perpetrado esta violencia contra nosotros no lo es.  Ellas no tienen lugar en Nueva Zelanda”.

Rice dijo, “repitan conmigo, ‘ellos son nosotros’”. La Cámara respondió con voz potente, y Rice hizo una pausa para serenarse.

“Nuestros hermanas y hermanos inmigrantes y refugiados, repitan conmigo, ‘ellos son nosotros’”.

La Cámara respondió: “Ellos son nosotros”.

“Nuestros hermanas y hermanos palestinos, repitan conmigo, ‘ellos son nosotros’”.

La Cámara respondió: “Ellos son nosotros”.

“Aquellos que incluso extravían su camino y hacen daño, repitan conmigo, ‘ellos son nosotros’”.

La Cámara respondió: “Ellos son nosotros”.

“Amén”, dijo Rice, regresando a su mesa.

Los obispos oraron en silencio y luego fueron dirigidos en oración por la Muy Rda. Miguelina Howell, capellana de la Cámara y deana de la iglesia catedral de Cristo  [Christ Church Cathedral] en Hartford, Connecticut.

Más tarde en el día, los miembros de Obispos Contra la Violencia Armada, asistieron al oficio de oración semanal del grupo que se transmite en directo vía Facebook y que se celebró este viernes en la capilla del Centro de Conferencias y Retiro en Kanuga . La vigilia incluyó algunas palabras de Curry.

La Cámara de Obispos aprobó una resolución en que se comprometía a respaldar la Resolución D034 de la de la Convención General, que suspende durante tres años el canon (la ley eclesiástica) que le pone límite de tiempo a la iniciación de procedimientos en casos de conducta sexual impropia de clérigos contra adultos. La Iglesia no tiene ningún límite en la denuncia de conducta sexual impropia de clérigos contra niños y menores de 21 años.

La resolución afirma que los obispos “se proponen tener una enérgica respuesta pastoral en todos los asuntos concernientes a la conducta sexual impropia, independientemente de cuándo la presunta conducta impropia tuvo lugar”.

DeDe Duncan-Probe, obispa de la Diócesis de Nueva York Central, le dijo más tarde a la Cámara que el grupo que planeó la Liturgia de Escucha durante la Convención General de 2018, había reunido un conjunto de materiales para que otros episcopales los usaran para oficios semejantes.

“Es nuestra responsabilidad como obispos cerciorarnos de que todo el mundo está seguro y de responder positivamente cuando eso no sea cierto”, dijo ella.

Los obispos que han hecho la promesa de la Iglesia Episcopal de proteger y renovar la Tierra y los que en ella viven se reunieron bajo los árboles en el Centro de Conferencias y Retiro de Kanuga para grabar un vídeo por el que invitan al resto de la Iglesia a unírseles. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ ENS.

Los obispos también aprobaron “comprometerse, individual y colectivamente a vivir el Camino del Amor, prácticas para una vida centrada en Jesús, y le pedimos a todos los miembros de la Iglesia Episcopal que contemplen el unirse a nosotros en encontrar y seguir a Jesús a través del Camino del Amor”.

Pierre Whalon, obispo sufragáneo de la Convocación de Iglesias Episcopales en Europa, propuso la resolución, diciendo que surgía de explorar el Camino del Amor durante los últimos tres días.

Whalon y algunos colegas debatieron de qué manera el Camino del Amor podría convertirse de facto en una estrategia para la misión de la Iglesia si los obispos se comprometían a vivir el Camino del Amor e invitaban a otros episcopales a unírseles.

“Hemos tenido montones de cosas que surgieron que se suponía que eran programas que cambiaban la vida, y se presentaron y todo siguió igual,” dijo Whalon. “Creo que el Camino del Amor podría considerarse no obstante otro programa” si los obispos y toda la Iglesia no se comprometen con las prácticas que perfila.

Más información acerca del Camino del Amor se encuentra aquí.

Cinco obispas, que han sido ordenadas y consagradas o electas desde la Convención General de 2018, asistieron a la reunión de marzo. Son ellas Jennifer Reddall, obispa de Arizona; Carlye Hughes, obispa de Newark; Phoebe Roaf, obispa electa de Tennessee Occidental, Kimberly D. Lucas, obispa electa de Colorado y Cathy Bascom, obispa de Kansas.

La Cámara de Obispos se reunió del 12 al 15 de marzo. Diane Jardinie Bruce, obispa de la Diócesis de Los Ángeles, secretaria de la Cámara, dijo que 132 obispos habían asistido a la reunión, entre ellos tres obispos electos. Los obispos electos que han recibido los consentimientos que se exigen canónicamente para su ordenación y consagración son invitados a asistir a las reuniones. Arthur Williams, obispo sufragáneo jubilado de Ohio, fue el obispo de mayor edad presente.

Cinco de los 10 obispos que componen la “clase” de 2019 son mujeres, siendo la primera vez en la historia de la Iglesia [Episcopal] que una promoción de obispos está parejamente dividida entre mujeres y hombres. Cuatro de los 10 son personas de color, Carlye Hughes, de la Diócesis de Newark; Cristóbal León Lozano, obispo electo de la Diócesis de Ecuador Litoral (que no asistió a la reunión); Kimberly D. Lucas, obispa electa de Colorado y Phoebe Roaf, obispa electa de Tennessee Occidental.

Esta es la reunión anual del grupo en primavera. Los obispos normalmente se reúnen en primavera y en otoño en los años en que no hay Convención General. Volverán a reunirse del 17 al 20 de septiembre. Los cónyuges suelen  ser parte de la reunión de otoño.

Otra cobertura de ENS puede encontrarse aquí.

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

 

The post Los obispos objetan la decisión del Arzobispo de Cantórbery de excluir a cónyuges del mismo sexo de la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020 appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Los obispos sopesan una respuesta a la decisión de Lambeth de no invitar a cónyuges del mismo sexo a la reunión de 2010

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 4:55pm

Mary Glasspool, obispa auxiliar de la Diócesis de Nueva York, al centro, habla ante la Cámara de Obispos el 14 de marzo junto al obispo de Nueva York , Andrew Dietsche, a la derecha, y el obispo sufragáneo de Nueva York. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

[Episcopal News Service – Hendersonville, Carolina del Norte] La Cámara de Obispos dedicó tiempo el 14 de marzo, tanto en su sesión de apertura como de clausura, a considerar cómo responder a la decisión de excluir a los cónyuges del mismo sexo de la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020.

“No estamos evadiéndolo. Estamos siendo piadosos, reflexivos y estratégicos respecto a cuál ha de ser la decisión amorosa para nosotros”, dijo el obispo primado Michael Curry a Episcopal News Service luego de terminada la sesión de clausura. “Nosotros, como cámara, estamos ahora pensando y sopesando cuáles son las posibilidades creativas y las vías amorosas en que podemos dar testimonio del Camino del Amor con el que estamos comprometidos como la manera de seguir a Jesús”.

Mary Glasspool, la obispa auxiliar de la Diócesis de Nueva York se dirigió a la Cámara en sesión abierta al comienzo de la jornada, teniendo a su lado a los obispos Andrew Dietsche y Allen Shin, titular y sufragáneo respectivamente de la Diócesis de Nueva York. Ella es la única obispo en servicio activo de la Iglesia Episcopal que tiene un cónyuge del mismo sexo. Glasspool pidió el apoyo continuo de sus colegas, al tiempo que les instaba a que escuchar a sus cónyuges y que consideraran lo que significará “si no estuviéramos en la mesa para dar testimonio” del amor de Cristo que “vive y da frutos en las vidas de personas LGBT casadas”.

Antes de la clausura de la Cámara, el obispo Curry pidió a los obispos que asumieran “la visión a que Mary [Glasspool] nos ha invitado” con dos preguntas que ella acababa de plantearles: ¿Cómo continuar  siendo una “cámara hospitalaria” que reciba a nuevos obispos con cónyuges del mismo sexo? Y, ¿cuál es la manera mejor y más creativa de dar testimonio del amor y la justicia de Dios en Lambeth?

Él invocó la idea del teólogo Paul Tillich de que hay una “posibilidad creativa y salvífica en cada situación”.

Curry le pidió a los obispos que consideraran cómo emplear el concepto de Tillich de encontrar medios de “dar testimonio a la Comunión que amamos y de la que formamos parte y en nombre de nuestras hermanas y hermanos que amamos. ¿Cuáles son esas posibilidades creativas y salvíficas que reflejan el Camino del Amor, aunque sean difíciles?”

Curry sugirió que contemplaran la formación de un pequeño grupo de obispos y cónyuges para generar algunas ideas antes de la reunión de la Cámara del 17 al 20 de septiembre. Los obispos y sus cónyuges se reunirán en septiembre. Los cónyuges normalmente no asisten a la reunión de primavera.

Mary Glasspool, obispa auxiliar de la Diócesis de Nueva York, a la derecha en la fila delantera, en una foto de todas las obispas y obispas electas presentes en la reunión del 12 al 15 de marzo en el Centro de Conferencias y Retiro de Kanuga. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Glasspool fue elegida obispa sufragánea de Los Ángeles el 4 de diciembre de 2009, y fue consagrada el 15 de mayo de 2010, junto con la obispa sufragánea Diane Jardine Bruce que fue electa por la misma convención. En ese momento, ella era la 17ª. Obispa electa en la Iglesia Episcopal, y hasta el presente es la primera obispa abiertamente lesbiana de la Comunión Anglicana. Ella está casada con Becki Sander, su pareja de más de 30 años, y ha sido la obispa auxiliar de la Diócesis de Nueva York desde abril de 2016.

Glasspool le habló a los obispos por cerca de 15 minutos, recordándoles cómo “a las pocas horas” de su elección, el entonces arzobispo de Cantórbery Rowan Williams hizo una declaración que se interpretó como un llamado a los comités permanentes diocesanos de la Iglesia Episcopal y a sus obispos con jurisdicción a no dar su consentimiento a la ordenación y consagración de Glasspool (el Canon III.11.3, a partir de la página 164 aquí, exige tal consentimiento después de todas las elecciones de obispos).

Hace dos años, Williams, que se jubiló de Cantórbery en 2012, estuvo en Nueva York para la Semana Santa y fue invitado a tomar parte en el oficio tradicional de renovación de votos el Martes Santo en la iglesia catedral de San Juan el Teólogo [Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine]. Glasspool dijo que ella anhelaba encontrarse con él, y así ocurrió en medio de una atestada sacristía. Williams, según Glasspool, le dijo “obispa Mary, nosotros tuvimos un comienzo escabroso y yo lo siento. Espero que me perdonarás y que podamos comenzar de nuevo”.

“Yo tartamudee, ‘Por supuesto. Entiendo. Gracias’. Para mí, este breve intercambio fue el más sagrado de los dones, un verdadero bálsamo de Galaad”, afirmó Glasspool.

Ella también se refirió a una reunión, auspiciada por la iglesia de La Trinidad [Trinity] en Wall Street en septiembre de 2018 para darle al actual arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby la oportunidad de promover [la Conferencia de] Lambeth, durante la cual “él se desvió de su camino para saludar y entablar amistad”con la esposa de ella. Glasspool dijo que el Arzobispo y Sander tuvieron una “larga y amistosa conversación” acerca de su compartida “pasión por la obra social”. Welby, dijo Glasspool, le dio a Sander su tarjeta con su dirección electrónica personal y la invitó a mantenerse en contacto.

Luego, dijo [Glasspool], ella se quedó sorprendida por una carta de Welby del 4 de diciembre de 2018, en que le decía que Sander no estaba invitada a Lambeth. Sander estaba “conmocionada, herida y enfurecida”. Cada una de ellas habían respondido por carta a Welby y, ella dijo que había esperado que las noticias acerca de la decisión de Welby no se habrían hecho públicas hasta esta reunión de la Cámara de Obispos.

Sin embargo, el 15 de febrero, el secretario general de la Comunión Anglicana Josiah Idowu-Fearon escribió en un blog del Servicio de Noticias de la Comunión Anglicana que “sería inapropiado que cónyuges del mismo sexo fuesen invitados a la conferencia”.  Él dijo que la Comunión Anglicana define el matrimonio como “la unión de por vida de un hombre y una mujer”, tal como quedó codificado en la Resolución 1.10 de la Conferencia de Lambeth de 1998.

En medio de la publicidad que generó el blog “se hizo extraordinariamente claro que este era un problema político”que iba más allá de ella y de Sander y de las otras dos parejas afectadas, dijo Glasspool.

El Rdo. Thomas Brown debe ser ordenado y consagrado el 22 de junio como el próximo obispo de la Diócesis de Maine. Él está casado con el Rdo. Thomas Mousin. La diócesis eligió a Brown el 9 de febrero. El proceso de consentimiento está en marcha.

El único otro obispo activo en la Comunión Anglicana a quien se sabe que se aplica la decisión de Welby es Kevin Robertson, obispo sufragáneo de la Diócesis de Toronto. Él se casó con Mohan Sharma, su pareja de casi diez años, el 28 de diciembre de 2018.

Robertson le dijo a ENS recientemente que Welby le había informado en persona a principios de febrero que Sharma no sería invitado. Roberto y Sharma son los padres de dos niños.

Es posible que las diócesis de la Iglesia Episcopal elijan a obispos con cónyuges del mismo sexo de ahora al 23 de julio de 2010, fecha en que comienza la Conferencia de Lambeth.

Glasspool le pidió a sus colegas de la Cámara que consideren que “los cónyuges son personas autónomas —que no son simples extensiones de los obispos con quienes están casados” y deben poder tomar sus propias decisiones respecto a Lambeth. Glasspool dijo que ella esperaba que la Cámara de Obispos no intentaría hablar por ellos, sino más bien “escuchar sus voces, individualmente, y en cualquier grado en que puedan hablar colectivamente, como grupo”.

“En segundo lugar, yo creo realmente que es mejor estar en la mesa cuando uno está en el menú”, afirmó ella. “¿Cómo la gente llegará a ver y a conocer cómo el amor de Cristo vive y da frutos en las vidas de personas LGBT casadas si no estamos presentes para dar testimonio de ese amor?”

Mientras Glasspool comenzó a plantear su tercer punto, se le quebró la voz. “Quiero que mi propia vida esté centrada en la vida, ministerio, muerte y resurrección de Jesucristo, y me atrevo a decir que ustedes también. Resulta fácil, y a veces muy tentador, para mí al menos, apartarme de ese centro. Luego, les pido su ayuda para mantenerme centrada”, dijo ella. “Estoy plenamente consciente de que el Camino del Amor es también el Camino de la Cruz. Todos ustedes saben esto también. El aspecto sacrificial del amor de Jesús por nosotros es también el más preciado, y por eso, y por todos ustedes, estoy eternamente agradecida”.

La Cámara de Obispos está compuesta abrumadoramente de personas casadas. De 160 obispos en servicio activo, a tiempo completo o parcial en una diócesis o institución, sólo 16 son solteros, según el obispo Todd Ousley, que supervisa la Oficina de Desarrollo Pastoral de la Iglesia.

Los obispos le dieron a Glasspool una prolongada ovación de pie. Antes de comenzar la sesión de clausura, Curry le dijo a ella que “el espíritu de Dios que estuvo sobre Martin [Luther] King [Jr.] está sobre ti ahora”.

El 24 de febrero, el Consejo Ejecutivo de la Iglesia Episcopal les pidió a los obispos y sus cónyuges y a la Cámara de Obispos colectivamente “que sopesen devota y cuidadosamente su respuesta, opciones y acciones”a la luz de lo que llamó  las “circunstancias preocupantes” de la decisión de excluir a cónyuges del mismo sexo de la Conferencia de Lambeth. El Consejo aprobó por unanimidad una resolución que decía que encontraba la decisión “incompatible” con las posiciones de la Iglesia Episcopal y con múltiples declaraciones de entidades de la Comunión Anglicana que han instado a la iglesia a escuchar las experiencias de personas LGBTQ.

Un signo externo y visible de apoyo de parte de algunos obispos

Desde el comienzo de la reunión, Brian Thom, el obispo de la Diócesis de Idaho, ha llevado una foto de Glasspool y Sander en su identificación. Es una “expresión de amor” por ellas y un reconocimiento para todos los cónyuges de los obispos, dijo él a ENS.

Thom explicó que otros obispos le han preguntado acerca de la foto que cuelga debajo del distintivo con su nombre. Algunos le han pedido una [copia] para llevarla también, mientras “otros la han observado y me han dado las gracias por ello”, pero no me han pedido una copia, apuntó.

Él le dijo a ENS que él descargó la foto de la Internet y no le dijo a Glasspool de antemano lo que estaba haciendo. Casualmente, ella fue la primera persona que él se encontró cuando llevaba por primera vez su identificación. Ella respondió con un gran abrazo, contó él, y luego tomó una foto para enviársela a Sander.

“Sé cuanto contribuye mi cónyuge a mi ministerio”, dijo él refiriéndose a su esposa Ardele. “Es difícil para mí imaginar una invitación que no incluya a la pareja.

“Todos los obispos aquí dirían que, de alguna manera, ellos no podrían hacer lo que hacen sin sus cónyuges”.

Thom añadió, “la Comunión Anglicana está resolviendo su conflicto a costa de personas no responsables por el conflicto’.

Sobre la agenda de la reunión

La Cámara de Obispos sesiona del 12 al 15 de marzo en el Centro de Conferencias y Retiro de Kanuga, en las afueras de Hendersonville,  Carolina del Norte.

Esta es la reunión anual del grupo en primavera. Los obispos normalmente se reúnen en primavera y en otoño en los años en que no hay Convención General.

Los obispos concluirán su tiempo en Kanuga con una reunión de trabajo en la tarde del 15 de marzo.

Otra cobertura de ENS puede encontrarse aquí.

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

 

The post Los obispos sopesan una respuesta a la decisión de Lambeth de no invitar a cónyuges del mismo sexo a la reunión de 2010 appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

El alcance del Camino del Amor va más allá de la Iglesia Episcopal en la reunión de la Cámara de Obispos

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 4:49pm

La obispa Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio, de la Diócesis de Cuba, al centro, preside la Eucaristía el 13 de marzo en la capilla de la Transfiguración en el Centro de Conferencias y Retiro de Kanuga, en el segundo día de la reunión de la Cámara de Obispos. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

[Episcopal News Service – Hendersonville, Carolina del Norte] Dos obispos de otras iglesias, la Iglesia de Inglaterra y la Iglesia Metodista Episcopal Africana, ayudaron a la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal a expandir su visión del Camino del Amor el 13 de marzo.

Durante su reunión de cuatro días aquí, los obispos están centrando la labor de cada día en un tema acerca del Camino del Amor, tales como Participar en el Camino del Amor, Gestión de recursos para el Camino del Amor e Integración en el Camino del Amor. El tema del 13 de marzo fue Profundizar en el Camino del Amor.

La obispa Vashti Murphy McKenzie de la Iglesia Metodista Episcopal Africana,  la primera mujer que preside esa denominación, y el obispo Ric Thorpe de la Iglesia de Inglaterra, un fundador de iglesias que es ahora el obispo de Islington, se dirigieron ambos a la Cámara de Obispos.

El obispo primado Michael Curry fijó el tema de la reunión el 12 de marzo, al decir que el Camino del Amor es un retorno a las raíces del cristianismo. “No hicimos nada nuevo”, dijo. “Retornamos al cofre del tesoro”.

“La Iglesia en su mejor expresión es la que hace todo lo posible como Iglesia” y debe ser “más profética que programática”, le dijo a la Cámara de Obispos el 13 de marzo la obispa Vashti Murphy McKenzie  de la Iglesia Metodista Episcopal Africana. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

McKenzie, que ha conocido a Curry desde su época en la iglesia episcopal de Santiago Apóstol [St. James’ Episcopal Church] en Baltimore, le dijo a la Cámara que el Camino del Amor es “un mensaje que repercutirá entre la gente lastimada en un mundo muy descontento”. Ella instó a los obispos a esforzarse a incorporar el Camino del Amor a sus propias vidas “, porque, saben qué, si no lo consiguen aquí, será muy difícil para ustedes traducirlo fuera de este salón”.

Tanto la cultura como el contexto de la Iglesia han cambiado en el siglo XXI, afirmó ella, y lo que funcionó en el pasado, ahora no funciona; sin embargo, demasiadas iglesias simplemente hacen las mismas cosas viejas, tal vez con diferentes nombres, y esperan que les den diferentes resultados . La Iglesia, dijo McKenzie, tiene que ser “más profética que programática” y no debe contentarse con “presidir el desgaste”.

El atraer “siervos al canal profético” no ocurrirá si “si estamos más enamorados de la Iglesia que de Jesucristo”, afirmó. No ocurrirá mediante campañas de mercadotecnia, nuevas tecnologías, redes sociales “vuestra liturgia del evangelio hip-hop, los edificios, los programas y la exclusividad”.

“Eso sólo será posible por el poder y la presencia del Espíritu Santo”, afirmó McKenzie.

A la Iglesia debe “recordársele que la Iglesia en su mejor expresión es la que hace todo lo posible como Iglesia. Es una Iglesia que está abierta a las nuevas directrices del Espíritu Santo. Está abierta a las posibilidades del futuro. No se conforma con ser bastante buena, sino que se pregunta constantemente ‘¿es posible [hacerlo] mejor?’En ocasiones, es una Iglesia donde las prioridades bíblicas se elijen por encima de métodos y tradiciones”, apuntó.

La esencia de la fundación de iglesias consiste en hacer discípulos y enseñarles a hacer discípulos de otros, dice a la Cámara de Obispos Ric Thorpe, obispo de Islington, de la Iglesia de Inglaterra. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Thorpe, de la Iglesia de Inglaterra, les contó a los obispos la historia de su experiencia de conversión, que le llevó a ser evangelista y fundador de iglesias. Como obispo de Islington, el apoya el objetivo de la Diócesis de Londres de crear 100 nuevas comunidades de culto dentro de la diócesis para 2010.

El clero y todos los líderes de la Iglesia deben arrepentirse, diciendo “hemos perdido nuestro camino, hemos perdido nuestra pasión por el Evangelio”, dio Thorpe. Deben reconocerle a Jesús que “hemos ensayado montones de cosas y sencillamente no funcionan y necesitamos hacer algo distinto”.

Los fundadores de iglesias y los que esperan revitalizar las iglesias existentes deben honrar el pasado, pilotar el cambio en el presente y mirar al futuro, todo ello mientras les damos cabida a ideas innovadoras acerca de cómo ser la Iglesia en sus contextos. “Necesitamos alentarnos mutuamente a pensar de manera distinta” y a correr riesgos, afirmó Thorpe, “incluso si uno no sabe lo que va a ser el resultado”.

Respecto al riesgo, los evangelistas no deben aferrarse a sus tradiciones y estar dispuestos a “quemarse, no simplemente a estar cómodos”, aseveró.

La esencia de la fundación de iglesias, dijo Thorpe, consiste en hacer discípulos. Si Dios es amor y las personas son creadas a imagen de Dios, luego las personas deben amar a Dios y amar a su prójimo, en parte compartiendo la noticia de las amorosas intenciones de Dios. Los nuevos discípulos también deben ser alentados a hacer más discípulos y darles las herramientas para que lo hagan, añadió Thorpe.

Las denominaciones deben fijarse en aquellos a los que la Iglesia no llega y luego crear una estrategia acerca de cómo conectarse con esas personas. “La encarnación consiste en ir donde está la gente, en lugar de esperar a que la gente venga a uno”, afirmó.

“Es entonces cuando se logra un cambio de cultura”en una denominación, siguió diciendo Thorpe. La amplia adopción de los principios del Camino del Amor, y llegar a convertirlo en la manera en que la Iglesia funciona, añadió, podría significar un cambio importante en la cultura de la Iglesia Episcopal.

La Iglesia Episcopal necesita comprometerse verdaderamente con la evangelización, en lugar de pelearse por sexo, dinero y poder, dijo el obispo de Honduras Lloyd Allen durante su sermón el 13 de marzo en la capilla de Kanuga. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Durante una mesa redonda con McKenzie y Thorpe, Curry dijo que le preocupa el peligro de evangelistas que invitan a las personas a entablar una relación abstracta con Jesús, en lugar de una relación con el Jesús del Evangelio, cuyo ejemplo los cristianos están llamados a emular en sus vidas.

El seguir a un “Jesús abstracto”, dijo Curry, puede “confundirse fácilmente con las nociones culturales de Jesús, que no es de lo que estoy hablando”.

Curry dijo que las conversaciones acerca de la decadencia de la Iglesia a veces le producen un nudo en el estómago. Añadió que él se ha dado cuenta de que “en algún momento en mi carrera, el objetivo de mi ministerio era aumentar el número de personas en la iglesia, aumentar los dólares en la iglesia y hacer cosas que modelan el éxito en toda las otras empresas de la vida y reproducirlas en la Iglesia”.

El Obispo Primado dijo que está empeñado en hacer un “cambio interno de paradigma”.

“Creo que si alguna vez llego al punto donde el objetivo de mi ministerio sea ayudar a tantas personas como pueda a alcanzar esa verdadera relación amorosa, liberadora y vivificadora con Dios que conocemos a través de Jesucristo, si esa es mi meta, luego  realmente, la disminución de las cifras de la Iglesia no importa porque la disminución de las cifras de la Iglesia puede que no indique una disminución en el número de personas que sigue a Jesús”.

También en la agenda de la reunión

La Cámara de Obispos se reúne del 12 al 15 de marzo en el Centro de Conferencias y Retiro de Kanuga, en las afueras de Hendersonville, Carolina del Norte.

Esta es la reunión anual del grupo en primavera. Los obispos normalmente se reúnen en primavera y en otoño en los años en que no hay Convención General.

El 14 de marzo, los obispos deben debatir la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020, incluida la decisión del arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby de no invitar a la reunión a cónyuges del mismo sexo de los obispos.

[Los obispos] concluirán su tiempo en Kanuga con una reunión de trabajo en la tarde del 15 de marzo.

Otra cobertura de ENS puede encontrarse aquí.

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

 

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Resources offered to help Anglican seminarians learn about gender justice

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 3:13pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A new educational resource to help Anglican theological colleges, seminaries and training programs teach about just relationships between women and men is being developed by the International Anglican Women’s Network. An international theological working group, drawing members from across the Communion, met in Limuru, Kenya, last week, to work on the study materials, “God’s Justice: Just relationships between women and men, girls and boys.”

Read the full article here.

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Archbishop urges Southern Africans to support relief efforts in Mozambique after cyclone

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 3:11pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, has issued a statement of condolence in the wake a cyclone in Mozambique that killed hundreds, possibly more than a thousand. Thabo also has urged Anglicans in Southern Africa to donate to the Province’s Disaster Relief Fund.

Read the full article here.

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Liberians face looming deportation deadline as Episcopal leaders join calls for leniency

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 2:52pm

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians are voicing support for thousands of Liberians who face a deadline to leave the United States under a Trump administration policy change. Calls for leniency are particularly strong in Minnesota, which is said to have the largest Liberian immigrant population in the country.

The program is known as Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED, which allows certain groups that lack legal residency status to remain in the United States, typically because conditions in their home countries hinder their return. President Donald Trump chose to end that protection for about 4,000 Liberians, effective March 31, 2019, dismissing concerns about the lingering effects of Liberia’s civil war and an Ebola outbreak there.

“Because of the war, Liberia is not ready to take a large number of returnees,” said the Rev. James Wilson, priest in charge at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Wilson and several members of his congregation are from Liberia. They now are U.S. citizens and aren’t affected directly by the looming end to DED protection, but they and others in the Liberian community of Minnesota have stepped up their advocacy for a change in federal policy because of the trauma that deportations could cause other Liberian families.

“It would bring about family separation,” Wilson said, noting that some Liberians have been establishing roots in the United States for decades and now have children who are U.S. citizens. “Who are they going to stay with? Who’s going to look after them? And this is going to create a kind of community problem.”

Liberia is the only country whose nationals are allowed to remain in the United States under Deferred Enforced Departure, which is authorized at the president’s discretion. This protection is similar to the more common Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, which is an immigration status granted by the Department of Homeland Security to certain people already in the United States who are deemed unable to return to one of a designated list of home countries because of armed conflict, environmental disasters or other dangers.

Ten countries currently are on the TPS list, though the Trump administration has tried to eliminate that protection for hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, among others. Those TPS terminations are on hold while they are being contested in federal court.

Such policy changes are part of a broader attempt by the Trump administration to curtail both legal and illegal immigration, including by ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Under the Obama administration, DACA protected from deportation about 800,000 individuals, sometimes referred to as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children. Their status remains in limbo as lawsuits seek to block the Trump administration’s effort to lift protections.

“The Episcopal Church supports the Dream and Promise Act, which would offer long-term protections and a pathway to citizenship for DED recipients, TPS holders, and Dreamers,” Lacy Broemel, a policy adviser for the church’s Office of Government Relations, said in an email. The church’s Episcopal Public Policy Network issued a policy alert this week asking members to contact lawmakers and voice support for that legislation.

“The decision to terminate DED will have lasting impacts on local communities and families,” Broemel said. “DED recipients who are valued members of local communities should have an opportunity to seek permanent status rather than being forced to return to countries they may have left decades prior.”

The Episcopal Church has historical ties with the Episcopal Church of Liberia, which was a diocese of the U.S.-based church until it became part of the Anglican Province of West Africa in 1980. In 2010, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori traveled to Liberia for a weeklong visit. The Episcopal Church continues to support the Episcopal Church of Liberia financially based on a decades-old covenant between the two churches.

Liberia was in the middle of an extended period of civil war when President George H.W. Bush granted Temporary Protected Status to Liberians in 1991, and when that protection was set to expire in 1999, President Bill Clinton was the first to authorize Deferred Enforced Departure. President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama regularly renewed that protection from deportation.

A year ago, the Trump administration announced that conditions had improved enough in Liberia that DED would be phased out.

“Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance,” President Donald Trump said in a March 27, 2018, memo authorizing a one-year “wind-down” of the program. “Liberia has also concluded reconstruction from prior conflicts, which has contributed significantly to an environment that is able to handle adequately the return of its nationals.”

Wilson said members of the Liberian community in Minnesota have joined rallies in their state and in Washington, D.C, calling on Trump to reconsider and calling on Congress to pass legislation ensuring long-term protection for this group of Liberians who now face the threat of deportation.

In addition to the Dream and Promise Act, which includes protection for DED recipients, legislation known as the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act would specifically protect Liberians who have been in the United States since 2014.

Thank you to our Liberian community and to everyone who came to Congress today to fight for a fix to DED expiration. We are with you.

I will not rest until we have a solution on the president’s desk. pic.twitter.com/tRpVH9gMew

— Rep. Dean Phillips (@RepDeanPhillips) March 14, 2019

Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation have been outspoken in pressing for a solution that acknowledges the roots that Liberians have put down in their state.

“They are our extraordinary neighbors, friends, caregivers and local business owners,” Rep. Dean Reed, a Minnesota Democrat, said last month in a news release. “Minnesota is their home. Uprooting them after decades of living and working in our community would be inhumane and would cause extraordinary disruption to our local economy.”

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

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