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Informal group of Anglican – Roman Catholic theologians discusses ‘new layers of unity’

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:38am

[Anglican Communion News Service] An informal but officially-sanctioned ecumenical dialogue between Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians has met to consider “the difficult question of Anglican orders.” The Malines Conversation Group was originally established in the early 1920s by Cardinal Désiré-Joseph Mercier, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Malines-Brussels; some 24 years after Pope Leo XIII declared that Anglican orders (the ordination of men and women in the Anglican Communion) were “absolutely null and utterly void.” The 1920s Malines Conversations Group envisioned the restoration of communion between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in the phrase l’Église Anglicane unie non absorbée – united, but not absorbed.

The group’s communique, along with commentary by Church of England Diocese of Europ Bishop David Hamid, is here.

Read the entire article here.

Three-fold increase in young people on Church of England ministry-discernment placements

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:31am

[Anglican Communion News Service] A record number of people are taking part in a Church of England scheme which provides a practical year in a parish to young people considering a call to ministry. The Ministry Experience Scheme is a nationwide initiative which developed from ad-hoc programs run by individual parishes and dioceses. It offers young people, aged between 18 and 30, the opportunity to spend a year working in a parish alongside a vicar in what some have dubbed “apprentice vicar” posts.

Read the entire article here.

R.I.P.: Bishop Emilio Hernández of Cuba

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 3:15pm

[Diocese of Southeast Florida] A faithful servant and devoted bishop has passed from us. Bishop Emilio Hernández of Cuba died on April 19. He served the church bravely and sacrificially during a turbulent and costly era of his country’s history. His commitment to the Gospel was indeed unwavering.

We are pleased to offer this tribute, which includes a brief biography written by the Rev. Alejandro Hernández, one of Bishop Emilio’s children and rector of Todos Los Santos, Miami.

May Bishop Emilio rest in peace and rise in glory.

Bishop Emilio Joaquín Hernández Albalate was born in the city of Morón, province of Camagüey Cuba, on Dec. 7, 1925. He was a restless lover of justice from a very young age. His mother shared that she once discovered a steak hidden in his pocket. He had planned to offer it to his Afro-Cuban friend Chorizo, who was poor.

As a teenager, he was once walking with a friend when they met a beggar on the road. His friend began to push and mock the beggar. Emilio struck his friend to stop him. When his friend asked why he had hit him, he replied, “do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.”

All that said, Bishop Emilio was not perfect, just as no one is. He never believed himself to be perfect because he knew that he would be deceiving himself and not living in the truth.

Thanks to his mentor, teacher, and pastor, the Rev. Moreno, he discovered very early in life that he was radically loved by God. Convinced of God’s unconditional love for humanity and the need to proclaim this good news, young Emilio began to feel God’s call to ordained ministry. At the time however, his parents wanted him to become a physician. Desiring to please his parents, he entered the University of Havana to study medicine. The call continued tugging at his heart until, in his third year of medical school, he left and was soon admitted to the Evangelical Seminary of Theology in Matanzas.

At the time he left medical school, he was already dating Edivia Hilaria Mesa Miranda. She was a beautiful young woman. He met her at Trinity Church in Morón. Edivia had captivated him not only by her beauty, but for her fighting spirit. The couple got married, and Edivia left everything to follow her husband to the seminary and to begin a new life in the service of God.

Emilio and his wife had three children, Mayra Sara, Leonel Emilio and Alejandro Félix Hernández. After finishing his theological studies, Emilio was sent by Bishop Alexander Hugo Blankingship to pastor a small church in Florencia, Camagüey. He would travel through the fields on horseback to visit the farmers. He baptized hundreds in that community alone.

In Florencia, the Rev. Emilio, strengthened his connection with the July 26 Movement, which he had joined while in seminary with the ideal of ending the prevailing government corruption and restoring constitutionality to the nation of Cuba.

With the triumph of the rebels, the Rev. Emilio would begin a new phase of his life. After rejecting an offer by the mayor of the city of Morón, in order to continue proclaiming the Gospel, he was sent, by Bishop José Agustín González, to the cities of Santiago de Cuba and Palma Soriano to pastor the churches and colleges of both cities.

Shortly after the family had settled in the city of Santiago de Cuba, the Rev. Emilio, outraged by the Castro brothers’ betrayal of the principles of the July 26 Movement and the surrender of the country to international communism, joined the Revolutionary Movement of the People. He was betrayed by one of the members of his group and was arrested, imprisoned and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He might have been pardoned if he had just excepted the rehabilitation plan that required him to renounce his principles, but Rev. Emilio served the entire sentence as a form of protest.

While in prison the Rev. Emilio continued to preach the Gospel. There he gathered an ecumenical fellowship that included Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and other Christians. His wife carefully passed him a Book of Common Prayer by using the BCP’s pages to wrap the food that she would deliver to him in prison on her visits.

After serving his sentence, although he would have been allowed to leave the country for the United States, he preferred to remain in Cuba and continue his pastoral ministry in the Episcopal Church.

He was soon sent to the city of Cárdenas to tend to the parishes in that city and the cities of Coliseo, Limonar and Itabo. He was later appointed by Bishop José Agustín González as archdeacon of the province of Matanzas and professor of the Evangelical Seminary of Theology.

With the announcement of the retirement of the Diocesan Bishop, the Venerable Emilio, along with the Venerable Juan Ramón de Paz and Prospero Mesa, became nominees at the synod that would elect the new bishop of the Diocese of Cuba. Venerable Emilio was elected bishop coadjutor of Cuba in 1980 and was consecrated as diocesan bishop in 1982.

The bishopric of the illustrious Emilio, which lasted a little more than a decade, was characterized by its simplicity and solidarity, and by its sensitivity to the problems and anxieties of clergy and lay people alike. His legacy also included the fruit of his substantial ecclesial work in the total renewal of the life of the Diocese.

Among his achievements:

  • The Cuban Mass sung poetically and with deeply native criolla tonalities.
  • The ordination of the first women to the diaconate and presbyterate in 1986.
  • The creation of a solid relationship named Fellowship in Mission with the Diocese of Jacksonville, Florida, which ended the isolation of the Cuban Episcopal Church.
  • The creation of the New Ministries movement and the ordination of worker-ministers who would no longer be obligated give up their secular work, in order to train as clergy for the church.
  • The revitalization of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Matanzas and the long-needed commitment to supplying new professors and students.

After his retirement, Bishop Emilio and his wife resided in Havana for a time. They would later move to the United States to be with their children, who resided in Miami, Dade County and Broward County. Bishop Emilio had been widowed a few years at the time of his death. He lived with his daughter Mayra in Coral Springs.

The Acts of the Apostles, referring to King David, says: “dFor David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died.” To paraphrase this quote, we could say: “Bishop Emilio, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died.”

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Korea agreement described as ‘beginning of a new history of reconciliation and peace’

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 12:27pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A national ecumenical body which includes the Anglican Church of Korea has welcomed the April 27 historic agreement between the leaders of North and South Korea. The Panmunjom Agreement was signed at the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit by the Republic of Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Amongst a range of peace-building initiatives, the Panmunjom Agreement includes a commitment to the denuclearization of the peninsula.

Read the entire article here.

Zambian President calls for church to ‘Christianize the nation’s politics’

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 12:23pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The president of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, has called for the church to “Christianize the nation’s politics”, as he expressed his hopes for a violence-free campaign for a parliamentary by-election next month.  Lungu made his remarks at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, at a service to mark the 40th anniversary of a companion link between the Church of England’s Diocese of Bath and Wells, and the Church of the Province of Central Africa’s five dioceses in Zambia. The by-election to return a new member of Parliament for the Chilanga Constituency is set to be held on June 5.  Lungu expressed his fear that the campaign may turn violent, despite the nation self-describing itself as a Christian country.

Read the entire article here.

River of Life pilgrimage broadens to three, shorter New England canoe trips in second year

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 4:12pm

Pilgrims launch from a dock in Essex, Connecticut, on July 9, 2017, the final day of the River of Life pilgrimage. Photo: Kairos Earth, via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] The paddle-carrying Episcopalians who created a church on the water for 40 days last summer are gearing up again to become pilgrims on the River of Life, this time with three shorter canoe and kayak trips in New England.

“The 40-day one was an enormous undertaking and something we couldn’t keep going every year,” said the Rev. Stephen Blackmer of Church of the Woods in Canterbury, New Hampshire. “We’re hoping and expecting that we’ll be continuing to do … more bite-size trips.”

When Blackmer says “bite-size,” he still envisions immersive natural experiences filled with fellowship, prayer and prayerful silence, as well as overnight stays in churches and at campgrounds. Last year’s Connecticut River pilgrimage has been shortened to nine days in July, with three segments for would-be worshipers to join and ending in western Massachusetts. The Diocese of Rhode Island also is hosting two weekend trips, one in May and the other in September.

Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely, who paddled a kayak for the final week of the 2017 River of Life pilgrimage, said the experience made clear to him how a river is like a natural cathedral, a “place where the sacred and secular intersect.”

“I was so touched by the response that people had, particularly young adults on the trip,” Knisely said, “that I immediately talked to the leaders and said, could we do something like this in Rhode Island?”

Replicating these waterborne pilgrimages always has been part of the plan for River of Life.

“It is taking that practice of prayer, silence, contemplative practice into the natural world around us and saying that we can encounter God directly there and appreciate the entry into God that happens in the natural world,” Blackmer said.

Blackmer, one of the River of Life organizers through his group Kairos Earth, hopes to produce by this fall a sort of wild pilgrimage guide to distribute to all dioceses of the Episcopal Church. The guide would help others to launch similar pilgrimages anywhere, whether on rivers or in other natural settings.

This year’s Rhode Island trips also will serve as training sessions for paddlers who are interested in learning how to recreate such pilgrimages on their own, Knisely said. Six leaders-in-training will be among the 15 paddlers on the first trip, from May 17 to 20 on the Wood River.

Knisely plans to join that trip, though he is still debating whether to take a kayak or canoe. He also is trying to convince his 24-year-old daughter to join him. The trip will include overnight stays at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Hope Valley and Christ Church in Westerly, concluding there with a Eucharist on Pentecost Sunday and Knisely preaching.

Details, including location, are still being worked out for the second Rhode Island trip, from Sept. 5 to 8. Both trips will cover 20 to 25 miles, with water passages that aren’t too strenuous.

Paddling to exhaustion would defeat the purpose. These pilgrimages are slow enough for the pilgrims to pray and silently contemplate their surroundings – the homes along the riverbank, the mist rising off the water, wildlife all around. Knisely recalls the sound of water burbling under his kayak as an eagle flew overhead during the 2017 River of Life pilgrimage.

“What struck me was the joy of being disconnected for that week, leaving behind my electronic devices and keeping the Earth’s natural rhythms,” he said. “Being more aware of where the river was carrying us than what news story had broken.”

That first-year pilgrimage was a collaboration of all Episcopal dioceses in New England, as well as the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and several conservation groups. It covered more than 400 miles, from the source of the Connecticut River near the Canadian border to Long Island Sound.

Only the trip’s guides, Mark and Lisa Kutolowski from Metanoia of Vermont, journeyed the full 40 days. About 55 paddlers joined the trip during various segments. Another 50 to 60 signed on as “pilgrims in prayer,” following along with the River of Life prayer guide. Hundreds more participated along the journey by hosting the pilgrims or attending various celebrations.

One memory of the 2017 trip sticks with Blackmer. He was with a group of about 10 canoes and kayaks in the middle of one of the segments in Connecticut when they spotted some activity on land.

“There were two people standing on the bank maybe 50 yards away just waving madly,” he said. “They had heard about it and just wanted to come out and participate in that way.”

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

R.I.P.: The Rt. Rev. A. Theodore Eastman, retired bishop of Maryland

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 3:58pm

[Diocese of Maryland] Albert Theodore Eastman, 12th bishop of Maryland, died April 26, at the age of 89. Your prayers are requested for Mrs. Sarah Eastman and their family.

Bishop Eastman was elected Bishop Coadjutor in 1982 and became Bishop Diocesan upon the retirement of Bishop David Leighton in 1986. He retired in 1994.

Prior to coming to Maryland, Bishop Eastman served as a chaplain at California’s Soledad State Prison. He lectured at the Episcopal Theological School in Boston and also served churches in Tokyo and Mexico City. In 1973 he became the rector of St. Alban’s in Washington, D.C. serving until his election in 1982. Bishop Eastman’s ministry was marked by a continuing concern for the mission and unity of the Christian Church. He served as vice chair of the Standing Commission on World Mission, chair of the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief, and chair of the Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations.

Following his retirement, Bishop Eastman served in various capacities at Washington National Cathedral and in 2003 was appointed Vicar. He was awarded honorary doctorates from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Virginia Seminary and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Bishop Eastman was born in San Mateo, California in 1928. He was graduated from Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 1950, and Virginia Seminary in 1953. He married Sarah Tice soon after and they became parents to three children.

Funeral arrangements will be announced as plans are finalized.

For your servant +Theodore, O Lord, we pray: Rest eternal grant to him and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Grant, O Lord, to all who are bereaved the spirit of faith and courage, that they may have strength to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience; not sorrowing as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of your great goodness, and in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. And this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Diocese of Missouri Bishop Wayne Smith announces plan to retire in 2020

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 3:39pm

[Diocese of Missouri] Bishop Wayne Smith released the following letter to the diocese on April 27, announcing his plans to retire in 2020 and outlining the process for electing his successor, the 11th bishop of Missouri.

Diocese of Missouri Bishop Wayne Smith

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is with a whirlwind of emotions that I write this letter, for no ministry have I loved more than serving as the Tenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. Even so, the time has come for me to set in motion a process for electing and calling the Eleventh Bishop. In a lengthy meeting yesterday, I announced this decision to the Standing Committee, who from this time forward will have complete responsibility for the process. The Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop for the Office for Pastoral Development, was present to present a framework for this season ahead. I have called for the election of my successor during the 2019 meeting of Diocesan Convention, November 15-16. The ordination of the new bishop will be sometime in the spring 2020, probably in April. My resignation will become effective on that date.

I am young and healthy, and I am not at all certain that my active ministry will come to an end with my retirement from Missouri. I am indeed open to new possibilities. It is clear to me, nonetheless, that it is time for a transition in episcopal ministry in this venue. Conversation with my wife, Debbie Smith, and our family, consultation with colleagues in this Diocese and with other bishops, and extensive pondering and praying have brought me to this point. I am at ease with the decision.

It is usual and customary for a bishop, writing this sort of letter, to claim that his or her tenure as bishop is not over, that there is still time left (in my case, two years) for the ministry to continue. This much is true, and I pledge to remain faithful in my duties in providing oversight for the Diocese of Missouri, and to take my place in the councils of the wider Church. I realize, however, that this announcement alters the trajectory of our work together, and that emotionally, spiritually, and realistically, attention turns to the next chapter in the Diocese’s life, both in its continuities and its necessary changes. I pledge to honor that shift, and support your work in making it.

I write this letter with some sadness and some relief—but most of all with deep gratitude for the privilege of serving as your bishop these past sixteen years—with a couple more yet to come.

Ever faithfully, in Christ
The Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith
Bishop of Missouri

Compass Rose Society confirm million-dollar Lambeth Conference scholarship program

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 11:33am

[Anglican Communion News Service] An international charity that supports the work of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council has announced a sponsorship program to enable bishops from poorer countries attend the Lambeth Conference in 2020. The Compass Rose Society announced that $1 million will provide scholarships to bishops requiring financial aid to attend the decennial meeting, which will take place in Canterbury, Kent, from July 24 to Aug. 3, 2020.

Read the full article here.

Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil consecrates its first female bishop

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 11:30am

[Anglican Communion News Service] The first woman to be elected as an Anglican bishop in south America has been consecrated. Bishop Marinez Bassotto will lead the Diocese of Amazon in the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil. Thousands of people from Brazil and around the world attended the service at the sports court of St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral compound in Belém do Pará.

Read the full article here.

Group of Episcopal Church bishops adds voices to Supreme Court case on Trump travel ban

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 2:49pm

[Episcopal News Service] More than 50 bishops of the Episcopal Church are among the hundreds of voices the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing as it considers the constitutionality of President Donald Trump’s travel bans.

The current and retired bishops have asked the court to rule that the ban violates the establishment clause of the Constitution, which prevents the government from establishing an official religion, acting in a way that unduly favors one religion over another or preventing people from exercising their faith.

The main question before the justices is whether any president can ban travel and immigration to the United States based on nationality if that ban contradicts the power over such immigration and travel given to Congress in Article I of the Constitution. The state of Hawaii and others asked the Supreme Court to review Trump’s ban. The court heard arguments in the case April 25 in the last scheduled hearing of its term.

Trump’s executive order suspends entry, subject to exceptions and case-by-case waivers, of certain categories of people from eight countries that do not share adequate information with the United States or that present other risk factors.

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., April 25, while the court justices consider a case regarding presidential powers as it weighs the legality of President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban targeting people from Muslim-majority countries. Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Other challengers have argued that Trump’s campaign speeches and tweets about Muslims were a clear indication that the ban was aimed at a particular religious group and not justified by security concerns. The ban sought to restrict travel from eight nations — Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea — six of which are predominantly Muslim. Chad was recently removed by the administration.

The 57 bishops told the justices in an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief that among the central tenets of the Episcopal Church is a call “to welcome and assist strangers, especially those who are poor, sick, and most in need of help, to provide a safe haven for those seeking freedom from oppression, and to uphold the dignity of every human being.

“To those ends, the Episcopal Church has long supported a robust refugee resettlement program for those fleeing their countries to escape persecution, oppression, and war,” they wrote, referring to the church’s more than 75-year-old Episcopal Migration Ministries, or EMM.

The bishops said Trump’s travel ban has “significantly undermined the efforts of religious organizations in the United States, including the Episcopal Church, to render aid to those fleeing war and oppression. For many Americans, this type of refugee-assistance work is an expression of their faith and one of the ways in which they keep their covenant with God.”

The travel bans, they wrote, “have caused and will continue to cause significant harm to these religious organizations and to the very vulnerable people that they serve” and “have debilitated and will continue to debilitate the vital mission of religious organizations, and will deprive Americans of the opportunity to practice their faith through service to others in need.”

EMM is one of nine agencies that contract with the U.S. government to resettle refugees. The other resettlement agencies are Church World Service, Ethiopian Community Development Council, HIAS (formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), International Rescue Committee, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, and World Relief.

Diocese of Olympia Bishop Greg Rickel organized the amici brief effort, following his work on two similar actions when challenges to the travel ban were being heard at the federal court of appeals level. Rickel invited the church’s bishops to sign on to the brief.

The bishops were not the only Episcopalians who have raised their voices in the case. Thomas H. Kean, who was the Republican governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990 and chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and John Danforth, a Republican senator from Missouri from 1976 to 1995 and an ambassador to the United Nations, are among a group that filed their own amicus brief. Kean and Danforth, both of whom have ties to the Episcopal Church, signed the brief with other former Republican members of Congress or lawyers who have worked in previous Republican administrations.

Kean, Danforth and a third Republican in that group argued April 22 in the New York Times that the Constitution grants Congress the power to make immigration and foreign travel laws, and “Congress cannot give any president the power to dismantle our immigration statutes.”

As the Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments in the case April 25, the Washington Post reported that some religious freedom groups had avoided taking a stand on the constitutionality of the travel bans and “are more concerned about how the court will consider the legal issues than they are with the actual outcome.” The article notes that other groups, such as the group of Episcopal Church bishops, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Muslim Justice League and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, actively oppose Trump’s executive order.

Many observers who listened to the oral arguments seemed to think that, in the words of SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe, “a majority of the court (and perhaps even a solid one) appeared ready to rule for the government and uphold the order in response to concerns about second-guessing the president on national-security issues.”

— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is interim managing editor of the Episcopal News Service.

Regional ecumenical group prays for success of Korean peace summit

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 12:16pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Christians in Asia are praying for the success of talks involving the leaders of North and South Korea. The talks are due to take place April 27 in Panmunjom, a village in the demilitarised zone between the two countries. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will become the first leader from the north to cross into the south since the end of hostilities in 1953 when he arrives in Panmunjom for talks with the South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.

Read the full article here.

Stolen heart of Saint Laurence O’Toole to be returned to Dublin cathedral

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 12:14pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A priceless relic of the patron saint of Ireland’s capital city Dublin will be returned to the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral in the city April 26, six years after it was stolen. The heart of St Laurence O’Toole – also known as Lorcán Ua Tuathail – was stolen from the cathedral’s Saint Laud Chapel in March 2012. The heart, in a wooden heart-shaped box sealed within a small iron barred cage, had been in the cathedral for 800 years. It was recovered from Dublin’s Pheonix Park after a recent breakthrough in the police investigation, state broadcaster RTE reports. It was recovered undamaged.

Read the full article here.

Ugandan bishop lauds church-backed diocesan savings and credit cooperative

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 12:12pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] In the five years since it launched, a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCOS) launched by the Diocese of Ankole has continued to grow, Bishop Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa said. Writing in the New Vision newspaper, Mwesigwa said the Ankole Diocesan Millennium SACCOS, which was launched in December 2012, now has 6,084 members, 18 staff members and branches in Mbarara, Ibanda, Rugaaga, Kabuyanda, Kinoni and Bishop Stuart University.

Read the full article here.

Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal suman sus voces al caso de la prohibición de viajes de Trump que examina el Tribunal Supremo

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 7:04am

[Episcopal News Service] Más de 50 obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal se encuentran entre centenares de voces que llegan hasta el Tribunal Supremo de EE.UU. mientras examina la constitucionalidad de las prohibiciones de viajar a este país impuestas por el presidente Donald Trump.

Los obispos, entre los cuales los hay en ejercicio y jubilados, le han advertido al alto tribunal que la prohibición viola la cláusula de la Constitución que le impide al gobierno el establecimiento de una religión oficial, al actuar de una manera que indebidamente favorezca a una religión en detrimento de otra o de prohibir a las personas el ejercicio de su fe.

La principal interrogante que enfrentan los magistrados del Supremo es si cualquier presidente puede impedir viajes e inmigración a Estados Unidos basándose en la nacionalidad y se esa prohibición contradice el poder sobre tal inmigración y viajes dada al Congreso en el Artículo I de la Constitución. El estado de Hawái y otros le han pedido al Tribunal Supremo que revise la prohibición de Trump. El tribunal oyó argumentos sobre el caso el 25 de abril en la última vista programada de este período.

El decreto de Trump suspende la entrada al país, sujeta a excepciones y dispensas en casos particulares, a ciertas categorías de personas proveniente de ocho países que no comparten adecuada información con Estados Unidos o que presentan otros factores de riesgo.

Un grupo de manifestantes se reúne frente al Tribunal Supremo de EE.UU. en Washington, D.C., el 25 de abril, mientras los magistrados del tribunal examinan un caso sobre los poderes presidenciales que sopesa la legalidad de la última prohibición de viajes del presidente Donald Trump que excluye a personas provenientes de países de mayoría musulmana. Foto de Yuri Gripas/REUTERS.

Otros  adversarios [de los decretos] han argüido que los discursos de campaña de Trump y sus mensajes en Twitter sobre los musulmanes eran un claro indicio de que la prohibición se dirige a un grupo religioso en particular y no se justifica con razones de seguridad. La prohibición busca reducir los viajes de personas provenientes de ocho naciones —Chad, Irán, Libia, Siria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela y Corea del Norte — seis de las cuales son predominantemente musulmanas. Recientemente, el gobierno quitó a Chad de la lista.

Los 57 obispos les dijeron a los magistrados en un memorial amici curiae (amigos del tribunal)  que uno de los principios centrales de la Iglesia Episcopal es un llamado “a acoger y asistir a forasteros, especialmente a los que pobres, enfermos y más necesitados de ayuda, a proporcionar un seguro asilo a todos los que buscan libertad huyendo de la opresión y a sostener la dignidad de todo ser humano.

“A esos fines, la Iglesia Episcopal ha sostenido durante mucho tiempo un sólido programa de reasentamiento de refugiados para los que huyen de sus países al objeto de escapar de la persecución, la opresión y la guerra”, escribieron ellos, refiriéndose al Ministerio Episcopal de Migración, o EMM, con más de 75 años de existencia.

Los obispos dijeron que la prohibición de viajar de Trump “socaba significativamente los esfuerzos de las organizaciones religiosas en Estados Unidos, incluida la Iglesia Episcopal, de prestarles ayuda a los que huyen de la guerra y de la opresión. Para muchos estadounidenses, este tipo de trabajo asistencial con refugiados es una expresión de su fe y uno de los medios por los que mantienen su pacto con Dios”.

Las prohibiciones de viaje, escribieron ellos, “han causado y seguirán causando un perjuicio significativo a las organizaciones religiosas y a las mismas personas vulnerables a las que sirven” y “han debilitado y seguirán debilitando la misión vital de las organizaciones religiosas, y privarán a los estadounidenses de la oportunidad de practicar su fe a través del servicio a otras [personas] necesitadas”.

El EMM es una de nueve agencias que tiene contratos con el gobierno de EE.UU. para reasentar refugiados. Las otras agencias de reasentamiento son el Servicio Mundial de Iglesias, el Consejo Etíope de Desarrollo Comunitario, la HIAS (anteriormente conocido como la Sociedad de Ayuda a Inmigrantes Hebreos), el Comité de Rescate Internacional, el Servicio Luterano de Inmigración y Refugiados, el Servicio de Migración y Refugiados de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de EE.UU. y Ayuda Mundial.

Greg Rickel, obispo de la Diócesis de Olympia, organizó el empeño del memorial de amici curiae, siguiendo su propia labor en dos decisiones semejantes cuando se presentaron impugnaciones a las prohibiciones de viaje a la altura del tribunal federal de apelaciones.

Los obispos no fueron los únicos episcopales que han alzado sus voces en el caso. Thomas H. Kean, que fue gobernador republicano de Nueva Jersey de 1982 a 1990 y presidente de la Comisión del 11 de septiembre, y John Danforth, senador republicano de Misurí de 1976 a 1995 y embajador ante las Naciones Unidas, forman parte de un grupo que también presentó su propio memorial de amicus.   Kean y Danforth, que tienen nexos con la Iglesia Episcopal, firmaron el memorial con otros republicanos ex miembros del Congreso o abogados que han trabajado con anteriores gobiernos republicanos.

Kean, Danforth y un tercer republicano en ese grupo arguyeron el 22 de abril en The New York Times que la Constitución le otorga al Congreso la potestad de hacer leyes migratorias y de viajes del extranjero y que “el Congreso no puede darle a ningún presidente el poder de desmantelar nuestros estatutos migratorios”


En tanto el Tribunal Supremo escuchaba los argumentos orales del caso el 25 de abril, el Washington Post informaba que algunos grupos defensores de la libertad religiosa habían evitado pronunciarse sobre la constitucionalidad de las prohibiciones de viaje y “están más preocupados de la manera en que el tribunal examinará los problemas legales que de los resultados efectivos”. El artículo destaca que otros grupos, tales como el de los obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal, la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de EE.UU. el Comité Judío Americano, la Liga Antidifamatoria, la Liga Musulmana de Justicia y el Consejo Musulmán de Asuntos Públicos, se oponen activamente al decreto ejecutivo de Trump.

Muchos observadores que escucharon los argumentos orales les parece creer, dicho en palabras de Amy Howe del SCOTUSblog , que “una mayoría del tribunal (y tal vez hasta una sólida mayoría ) parece dispuesta a decidir a favor del gobierno y sostener el decreto en respuesta a preocupaciones y conjeturas del Presidente en asuntos de seguridad nacional”.

— La Rda. Mary Frances Schjonberg es jefa de redacción interina de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

Pop music’s Beyoncé inspires Eucharist at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 5:22pm

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is a multiplatinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning recording artist and trendsetter. Her music, lyrics and life inspire the theme of a Eucharist at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

[Episcopal News Service] They liked it, so they created a Eucharist on it.

Sometimes controversial, often empowering, pop culture icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s music, lyrics and life have inspired faith leaders to organize an alternative church service April 25 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

At Beyoncé Mass, churchgoers can learn about the formation of the wild (or not-so wild?) idea that this celebrated singer’s lyrics can be tied to biblical messages.

It’s a Wednesday evening service created by The Vine for faith seekers and fans to sing their Beyoncé favorites and “discover how her art opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten, particularly black women,” the cathedral’s event announcement says. Launched in March 2017, The Vine is both a service and an offer of community for city folks and spiritual seekers through contemporary worship with great music on Wednesday nights, or small “Grace Groups” throughout the city, according to the website.

The idea for this Eucharist originates from the “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible” class taught by the Rev. Yolanda Norton, assistant professor of Old Testament at San Francisco Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Yolanda Norton is assistant professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary, where she teaches a class called “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible.” Photo: San Francisco Theological Seminary

Norton plans to preach at the Beyoncé Mass at Grace Cathedral’s ecumenical service. She’s a Disciples of Christ minister who teaches at the Presbyterian seminary. Her scholarly work specializes in women in scripture, liberation and people of color. Norton was in high school when Beyoncé first came on the scene as part of the Destiny’s Child singing group.

“I mentor young black women watching [Beyoncé] come into her own, which has helped them come into their own. To me, to have these conversations allows women to examine how they fit in society,” Norton told Episcopal News Service two days before the mass.

“It’s a way of saying to dominant culture, ‘We’re here.’ Nobody’s ignoring Beyoncé, and because of that, you can’t ignore black women and our contribution to the church and to society,” she continued. “This is our reality: being called the angry black woman or being called too sexual or too black. All these issues are embodied in one figure.”

But is Beyoncé Mass just another gimmicky way to make lemonade out of lemons (see Beyoncé’s 2016 Lemonade album, a product of her personal pain) to get young people more active in church? Church of almost all denominations — you know, those places where couples walk down the aisle and put a ring on it, like Beyoncé suggests her paramour should’ve done if he liked her so much, in her song “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” — have had lagging attendance for years, but Episcopal naysayers on social media worry that this kind of themed service is a form of idolatry. They also say that Beyoncé should not be held up as a Christian example.

Addressing those concerns, organizers want to emphasize that the service’s focus of worship remains on the ultimate “survivor” long before Queen Bey: the one and only OG (original gangster) and superstar, Jesus Christ. (See her “Survivor” song when she was part of Destiny’s Child.)

“You may have heard criticisms from our fundamentalist brothers and sisters that Grace Cathedral worships Beyoncé rather than our Lord Jesus,” said the Very Rev. Malcolm Clemens Young, dean of Grace Cathedral, in an April 20 message to his congregation.

“As supporters of the cathedral, you know how important it is for us to be involved in the public life of our city and the world. A longing for justice lies at the heart of our identity. We have a tradition of engaging popular culture on issues of social justice that stretches back long before our controversial Duke Ellington Jazz Service in the mid-1960s,” Young said.

Ellington aside, this service is by no means one of the first pop-themed Eucharist or Episcopal services, says the Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, who followed the Beyoncé Mass discussion on social media. His April 20 post on Twitter started: “Theme masses are all the rage!”

For example, Gunn pointed out, Episcopal and Anglican churches have hosted U2ucharist services with glow sticks and streamers across the United States since 2006 and earlier, a Dr. Seuss-charist in Canada (“That’s unfortunate,” Gunn quipped), rave dance party masses, a pirate Eucharist and a Zydeco mass on Shrove Tuesday in 2015 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego.

“St. Paul said that Jesus talked about being all things to all people, that we have to preach the gospel in the way that people can hear it,” Gunn told ENS. “If a themed Eucharist reaches more people, that’s fine. My concern is that the themed Eucharist should always be most focused on Jesus.”

Theme masses are all the rage! As for me, because I’m always keen to be au courant, I’m getting a press release ready to trumpet my shiny new BCP-charist.

— Scott Gunn ن (@scottagunn) April 20, 2018

This is the third week in The Vine’s teaching series, “Speaking Truth: The Power of Story in Community.”

A historic symbol of the #MeToo movement if there ever was one, Mary Magdalene was the theme of a previous Wednesday night service. This independent, strong disciple of Christ was wrongly depicted as a reformed prostitute in religious art and interpretations for centuries, said Sam Lundquist, a seminary student taking Norton’s class. He’s interning at The Vine and helped the cathedral partner with the seminary to translate what was used as a 25-minute seminary chapel service into an hour-long Eucharist that will include liturgical dance.

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is hosting a Beyoncé Mass as part of its The Vine series on Wednesday nights. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

“The church is in so much need of connecting people to the amazing Christian story in new and exciting ways. We’ve done that well for so many hundreds and hundreds of years, and this is no different. This is connecting people using something in culture. And this is just as spiritual as anything else,” Lundquist told ENS.

The class uses Beyoncé as a central figure for what black women face in society and in church; black motherhood and womanhood; the ways their bodies are judged or policed; and respectability politics, Norton said.

“We use her career and music to have those conversations to examine biblical text. It’s important to me as a biblical scholar and a minister to say to these students, ‘I want you to begin thinking what this means for the church, for your faith,’” she said.

Norton and Lundquist didn’t want to give away any surprises, but they did say one of the service’s central theme songs will be Beyoncé’s “Flaws and All” song. She might’ve written it for husband and rapper Jay-Z or for their children, but it easily translates to something intended for God, she said.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is the first female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with her first five studio albums, according to Biography.com. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

“She talks about being a train wreck and when I need attention, I tend to nag. I neglect you when I’m working, and you see past all that. The chorus of that is ‘I don’t know why you love me, and that’s why I love you.’ It’s an intimate conversation we can have with God,” Norton said. “God sees us, flaws and all, and loves us anyway.”

— Amy Sowder is a special correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn. She can be reached at amysowderepiscopalnews@gmail.com.

Episcopalians offer prayers, support for Florida island hit by hurricane and now wildfire

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 5:16pm

A wildfire this week burned about 100 acres, mostly forestland, on Big Pine Key, Florida, about a mile from St. Francis in the Keys Episcopal Church. Photo: Chris Todd

[Episcopal News Service] Residents of a Florida island community still recovering from last year’s Hurricane Irma were rattled this week when a wildfire broke out a short distance from the Episcopal church on the island.

The fire has burned about 100 acres on Big Pine Key, about a half-hour drive east of Key West. No injuries or fatalities have been reported in the blaze, which has mostly spared residential neighborhoods since it started early April 22. Authorities told the Miami Herald that the fire appeared to be mostly under control by midday April 25.

The fire zone was about a mile southeast of St. Francis in the Keys Episcopal Church – not dangerously close, but “enough that we were concerned, because we just got through the hurricane,” the Rev. Chris Todd, priest-in-charge, told Episcopal News Service.

Todd also leads a nearby Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation, Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church, which is hosting a group of crisis counselors on May 1 to meet with residents who want to discuss the recent disasters. Life on Big Pine Key has yet to fully return to normal, and tensions returned with the recent fire, Todd said.

“First by water and wind, now by fire. It’s like the elements are taking up arms against us,” he said.

Hurricane Irma caused widespread destruction when it swept across the Florida Keys in September. The hurricane’s 12 inches of rain and 130-mph winds hit the middle and lower Keys hard, damaging more than 10,000 homes. And while Cudjoe Key is where the storm made landfall, the impact on Big Pine Key was severe.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, left, poses for a photo with the Rev. Chris Todd during a January visit to St. Francis in the Keys Episcopal Church. Photo provided by Chris Todd

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visited the Keys in January to offer his support on behalf of the Episcopal Church. St. Francis in the Keys was one of the churches Curry visited.

Todd said the island’s Roman Catholic church likely will have to be rebuilt, while the United Methodist church was hit by severe flooding. Todd’s two churches fared better, but Irma damaged the roof of St. Francis in the Keys. Its title floor will need to be replaced because of flooding. For the first two and a half months, the congregation worshiped with the Lutherans at Lord of the Seas, which is built on stilts and sustained only damage to its gutters.

The congregation at St. Francis in the Keys grows to about 30 people at Sunday services during the winter, and services at Lord of the Seas draw up to 50 people in the same months, Todd said. They have continued to worship together but began alternating between the two churches, once conditions allowed it at St. Francis in the Keys.

Irma damaged the roof of St. Francis in the Keys Episcopal Church and flooding will require floor tiles to be replaced. Photo: Chris Todd

Todd and his wife fled the island before Irma hit, staying with family in northwestern Alabama. When they returned to their home, they found a hole in the roof and the basement flooded, which knocked out their air conditioning and other utilities. A tarp still is being used to patch the roof, but the rest of the damage has been repaired.

Others on the island weren’t so lucky.

“We know people who lost everything, or almost everything,” he said.

As for the fire, it mainly has affected forested areas of the island, Todd said, but it’s still “kind of scary, because down every dirt road somebody lives.”

The Florida Forest Service said on the first day of the fire that two homes had been destroyed. Authorities have not ordered evacuations, though there were reports of some displaced residents.

Power was cut to the island when the fire first ignited, but it has since been restored. The cause of the fire isn’t yet known. Authorities don’t think it was started by lightning or other natural causes, according to the Miami Herald.

The emergency response involves 46 firefighters and several bulldozers and fire trucks, as well as helicopters dropping water from above.

From the Rev. Chris Todd’s porch on April 22 smoke could be seen rising over the tree line where a wildfire had ignited earlier in the day. Photo: Chris Todd

The fire prompted Bishop Peter Eaton to send a message April 24 to the Diocese of Southeast Florida asking Episcopalians to pray for the community of Big Pine Key. “The fire is widespread and a real threat,” Eaton said. “It is also a further drain on an already challenged community that still has so much to do to recover from Hurricane Irma.”

Todd said he and his wife have watched the helicopters fly over their home as smoke rose on the horizon over the trees. He and others on the island are hopeful that the worst of the threat is behind them.

“The response has been amazing,” he said, “very fast.”

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

El Consejo Ejecutivo concluye su labor trienal con la mirada puesta en la Convención General

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 2:58pm

El obispo primado Michael Curry y la presidente de la Cámara de Diputados Rda. Gay Clark Jennings sirvieron como maestros de ceremonias de una cena durante la cual los miembros del Consejo Ejecutivo que continúan en sus cargos honraron el servicio de sus colegas que concluyeron sus períodos de seis años. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] Atando cabos sueltos, haciendo avanzar la misión y ministerio de la Iglesia y diciendo adiós a la mitad de sus miembros, el Consejo Ejecutivo de la Iglesia Episcopal concluyó su labor trienal el 23 de abril.

En su último acto oficial del trienio 2016-2018, el Consejo dedicó 45 minutos en sesión ejecutiva a revisar su labor durante los últimos tres años.

En una conferencia de prensa una vez terminada la reunión, el obispo primado Michael Curry dijo que el Consejo terminaba su labor “risueñamente, con una sensación de júbilo y de misión cumplida.

“Hemos logrado hacer algunas cosas. Hemos enfrentado algunos problemas difíciles. Los enfrentamos, los hemos resuelto, hemos dicho nuestras oraciones y hemos hecho algún trabajo formidablemente bien”, dijo él.

La Rda. Gay Clark Jennings, presidente de la Cámara de Diputados, dijo que el Consejo y el equipo del liderazgo ejecutivo de la Iglesia han esclarecido sus papeles y sus responsabilidades, así como sus obligaciones los unos con los otros y con la Iglesia en general.

“Ha sido una bonita trayectoria, y creo que hemos crecido inmensamente en nuestro respeto de unos por otros”, afirmó ella. “Confiamos los unos en los otros. No siempre estamos de acuerdo, pero nos parece que somos capaces de perseverar. Cuando no estamos de acuerdo o cuando tenemos un problema, mi experiencia ha sido que decimos la verdad con amor”.

La Iglesia Episcopal tiene una tradición de llamar a líderes que aportan sabiduría,  énfasis centrado en la espiritualidad y profunda experiencia, dijo el Rdo. Michael Barlowe, director ejecutivo de la Convención General y secretario del Consejo. Curry y Jennings, afirmó él, encarnan esa tradición.

Tanto Jennings como Curry dijeron que esperan regresar a Austin para la reunión de la 79ª. Convención General a principios de julio. “El Movimiento de Jesús está empezando a echar raíces”, dijo ella, añadiendo que le entusiasma descubrir qué nuevas ideas saldrán a relucir en la convención. Curry se mostró de acuerdo , diciendo que él espera que la reunión de la Convención  “será más profunda”.

El Rdo.. Jabriel Ballentine, miembro del Consejo Ejecutivo que continúa, rinde tributo a la miembro Anita George durante la cena de celebración del Consejo el 22 de abril. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

El 23 de abril, los presidentes salientes de cinco comités del Consejo presentaron sus informes finales. Algunos incluyeron exhortaciones acerca de la labor futura [de los miembros] del  Consejo como líderes de la Iglesia Episcopal. Anita George, presidente de la Comité Permanente Conjunto de Promoción Social e Interconexión del Consejo, dijo que su comité está encargado de “darle voz y de conectar a los episcopales al objeto de promover la obra de unión en la misión de Dios de justicia, paz, reconciliación y transformación”.

El logro de ese objetivo comienza con cada episcopal, dijo George, incluidos sus líderes. Durante la reunión, George dijo que los miembros de Promoción Social e Interconexión “participaron en largas deliberaciones respecto a la actual y perentoria necesidad del Consejo Ejecutivo y de la Iglesia Episcopal de profundizar el adiestramiento y el debate en torno al racismo y la reconciliación racial”.

Los miembros del comité debatieron el hecho de que “muchos ejemplos de incidentes dentro y fuera de la Iglesia nos recuerdan que la tarea dista de haberse terminado”, apuntó George.

El comité “insta a la Iglesia a exigir a todos los líderes de la Iglesia Episcopal, incluido el Consejo Ejecutivo, a participar en el adiestramiento antirracista y en profundas conversaciones sobre raza”, dijo George. “También anima a la Iglesia a participar en debates que exploren el uso y la fuerza de un lenguaje potencialmente lesivo cuando interactúe con los grupos amplios y diversos que componen nuestra amada Iglesia”.

El comité dijo que los líderes de la Iglesia deben reconocer que “incluso con las mejores intenciones podemos insultar o lastimar a otros por falta de sensibilidad o por un lenguaje inapropiado cuando nos dedicamos a las buenas obras”, dijo George.

George agregó, al tiempo de retirarse del Consejo, que se va con “grandes esperanzas y muy, muy elevadas expectativas de este organismo. Los reto, los reto a recordar los rostros de Dios que no están aquí y que dependen de ustedes para que siga habiendo un espacio para ellos y sus voces en la amada comunidad. Yo se los imploro y yo les quiero”.

Ella volvió a su asiento en medio de una ovación de pie.

El Consejo Ejecutivo lleva a cabo los programas y políticas adoptadas por la Convención General, según el Canon I.4 (1). El Consejo está compuesto de 38 miembros, 20 de los cuales (cuatro obispos, cuatro presbíteros o diáconos y 12 laicos) son elegidos por la Convención General, y 18 por los nueve sínodos provinciales (un clérigo y un laico cada uno) por períodos de seis años, además del Obispo Primado y el Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados [que son miembros ex oficio]. Además, el vicepresidente de la Cámara de Diputados, el Secretario, el Director de Operaciones, el Tesorero y Director de Finanzas tienen asiento y voz, pero no voto. Por consiguiente, 19 miembros del Consejo terminarán oficialmente su período de seis años durante la Convención General en julio próximo.

Andy Doyle, obispo de la Diócesis de Texas, le dijo a los miembros del Consejo Ejecutivo y al personal denominacional durante una recepción el 22 de abril que la diócesis espera recibir a la Convención General en Austin en el próximo mes de julio. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

A continuación algunas de las decisiones que tomó el Consejo en la última jornada de su reunión de tres días:

  • Los miembros convinieron en proporcionar ayuda económica a 13 diócesis y a una zona de misión que han dicho que necesitan ayuda para cubrir los costos de asistencia a la Convención General. Todas las entidades ya recibieron subvenciones globales del presupuesto denominacional. El obispo de Honduras, Lloyd Allen, miembro del Consejo, dijo que la asistencia [a la Convención] “es un sueño hecho realidad. Hemos llorado, hemos pedido, hemos suplicado”.
  • Aunque cada entidad recibirá $1.200, lo cual otro miembro del Consejo hizo notar que asciende aproximadamente a $150 por diputado por cada día de la convención, Allen dijo que la mayor preocupación ha sido acerca de la ayuda para cubrir el costo de la inscripción, “lo cual le ha impedido a nuestra delegación estar completa en la Convención General”.
  • Cada obispo, diputado y diputado suplente debe pagar una tarifa de inscripción de $600, además de sus gastos de alojamiento y transporte.
  • El Rdo. Nathaniel Pierce, miembro saliente del Consejo, hizo notar que el Consejo había aprobado una resolución semejante, si bien por un monto inferior, a principios de 2015 para ayudar a cubrir tales costos para la última Convención General. El Consejo debe considerar lo él llamó “los problemas sistémicos” que seguirán provocando esta financiación remedial.
  • “Yo, por mi parte, me siento avergonzado de que haya personas que tengan que pedir este dinero”, dijo él.
  • El Rdo. Jabriel Ballentine, miembro que continúa en el Consejo Ejecutivo, dijo que los beneficiarios de las subvenciones globales hacen una gran labor con ese dinero “y en consecuencia decir que debemos obligar a personas que están haciendo un gran ministerio a decidir entre usar esos limitados recursos para llevar a cabo el ministerio o reservar esos recursos a fin de venir a la mesa [la Convención General] es una falsa dicotomía”.
  • Nancy Koonce, miembro saliente del Consejo, dijo que el Comité Permanente Conjunto de Finanzas para la Misión (FFM) ha instado a sus sucesores a considerar ese dilema.
  • Barlowe estuvo de acuerdo que si bien esas entidades han sido “amables” en pedir ese dinero, “no deberíamos depender constantemente de su amabilidad”. El problema, dijo él, va a la raíz de la política de la Iglesia respecto a la amplia participación de los organismos que toman las decisiones. Agregó que el comité ejecutivo del Consejo considerará el asunto entre el fin de la próxima Convención General y el comienzo de la próxima reunión del Consejo en octubre.
  • Pragedes Coromoto Jiménez de Salazar, miembro saliente del Consejo procedente de Venezuela, en primer plano,  le dice a sus colegas que seguirá trabajando por el bien de toda la Iglesia Episcopal. La Intérprete Dinorah Padro tradujo sus palabras. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

    Los miembros oyeron que un pequeño grupo de personas que han participado en el proceso de [composición] del presupuesto trienal de la Iglesia se reunirán entre ahora y el comienzo de la Convención General para considerar cómo perfeccionar el proceso. Un objetivo, según Tess Judge, presidente saliente del FFM, sería establecer un proceso “que permita la temprana intervención del PB&F (el Comité Permanente Conjunto de Programa, Presupuesto y Finanzas), así como más tiempo para que el FFM se ocupe de otros asuntos relacionados con la situación financiera de la Iglesia”.

  • La Comisión Permanente de Gobierno, Estructura, Constitución y Cánones de la Iglesia en su informe del Libro Azul  (que empieza en la página 402 aquí) solicita un equipo de trabajo que rehaga el proceso del presupuesto. “La Iglesia está empantanada en un proceso presupuestario que no deja suficiente tiempo disponible para [procesar] el aporte de toda la Iglesia antes de la Convención General”, dijo la comisión.
  • Sin embargo, cuando el FFM se reunió el 33 de abril con el Comité Permanente conjunto de Gobierno y Administración para la Misión, los miembros estuvieron de acuerdo en que tenía más sentido abordar inmediatamente los problemas implícitos.
  • El Consejo tuvo buenas noticias acerca de la labor del Comité de Revisión de Tasaciones. El comité ha estado al habla con unas 18 diócesis que actualmente no pagan el monto total de la tasación o que anticipan que pedirán una dispensa parcial o total en 2019. “Esperamos montos significativamente más bajos que lo que se propone en el presupuesto”, dijo Judge.
  • Ese presupuestoforma la base pare que el PB&F elabore en la Convención General el presupuesto 2019-2021 que incluye una partida en que reserva $5,9 millones para tales dispensas.
  • El Consejo estableció el comité a principios de 2015 antes de la Convención General de ese verano que hace obligatorio el actual sistema voluntario de solicitud diocesana para el ciclo presupuestario 2019-2021.  La contribución diocesana anual en el presupuesto trienal se ha basado en el ingreso de la diócesis de dos años antes menos $150.000. Cualquier diócesis que no pueda o no quiera pagar el porcentaje requerido de su ingreso anual debe solicitar una dispensa parcial o total para evitar sanciones, tal como la de no tener derecho a subvenciones denominacionales.
  • Los miembros del Consejo aprobaron una norma sobre el uso de bebidas alcohólicas por parte de los empleados de la Sociedad Misionera Nacional y Extranjera (DFMS). (La DFMS es el nombre con el cual la Iglesia Episcopal está incorporada, funciona empresarialmente y lleva a cabo la misión). Basándose en la Resolución A158 de la Convención General de 2015, que exigió tales normas, el Consejo convino en la política para los empleados que establece “límites apropiados en el servicio y consumo de bebidas alcohólicas” en el trabajo, reuniones, “actividades y eventos celebratorios” de la DFMS.
  • “El excesivo consumo de alcohol puede poner en peligro la salud y seguridad de los empleados de la DFMS y de otros en su entorno y empañar la reputación de la DFMS”, dice la norma. La cual añadió que los que eligen ingerir bebidas alcohólicas en esos ambientes “se espera que se comporten respetuosa y profesionalmente, dentro de los límites legales y en conformidad con todas las normas de la DFMS”.
  • La norma incluye detalles sobre la accesibilidad y el consumo de bebidas alcohólicas.
  • La decisión del Consejo se produjo al final de una reunión durante la cual los miembros oyeron a Curry resumir los resultados y recomendaciones de la Comisión sobre Impedimento y Liderazgo.
  • Polly Getz, miembro del Consejo, y Craig Worth, director de Comunicaciones de la Diócesis de Utah, invitaron al Consejo a ayudarles con la prueba beta, un nuevo sitio web diseñado para ayudar a instruir a la Iglesia en el proceso disciplinario del clero en conformidad con el Título IV. El público se abrirá al público durante la Convención General en julio próximo. Episcopal News Service publicará un artículo acerca de la página web esta semana.

Resúmenes de todas las resoluciones aprobadas por el Consejo en esta reunión se encuentran aquí.

Algunos miembros del consejo enviaron mensajes por Twitter desde la reunión valiéndose del hashtag  #ExCoun.

La reunión del 21 al 23 de abril tuvo lugar en el hotel Wyndham Garden Austin.

— La Rda. Mary Frances Schjonberg es la jefa de redacción interina de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

Archbishop of York speaks out 25 years after racially-motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 11:59am

[Anglican Communion News Service] The British government has announced an annual memorial day in honor of a murdered teenager, Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in a racist attack near his south London home 25 years ago. Lawrence was born to Jamaican immigrants to the United Kingdom. He died at 18 of stab wounds after being attacked by a gang of white youths while he waited at a bus stop April 22, 1993. A formal independent public inquiry, led by retired High Court Judge Sir William Macpherson, was held into the police investigation and subsequent events. Archbishop Sentamu was one of three independent advisors appointed to the inquiry, which found “institutional racism” within the metropolitan police.

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Toronto Anglicans join in ‘prayer and lament’ after van attack kills 10

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 11:56am

[Anglican Communion News Service] “Tragedy has struck our city today.” These were the words of Archbishop Colin Johnson of the dioceses of Toronto and Moosonee and metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, in a statement releasedApril 23) Around 1:30 p.m. that day, in the North York area of Toronto, a white rental van drove onto the sidewalk of busy Yonge Street and accelerated.

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