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East Tennessee bishop calls new canon to the ordinary

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:38pm

[Diocese of East Tennessee] The Rev. Michelle Warriner Bolt has been named as the Canon to the Ordinary for the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee by the Right. Rev. Brian L. Cole. Bolt will begin her new work on September 1. The Rev. Canon Michael Spear-Jones has briefly served as Interim Canon, following the departure of the Rev. Canon Pat Grace this past June. Bolt will oversee Transition Ministry, Congregational Development, serve as secretary of the church’s annual convention, and assist Cole in additional oversight of the Church.

“Michelle knows and loves our communities,” Bishop Cole said. “Along with knowledge and love, she brings heart and head to the work of being church in the 21st century. I know her to be both a team player and a proactive leader. As a Church, we are moving into a new season where our focus will be on Reconciling All Things in Christ. That vision of reconciliation, grounded in the first chapter of Colossians, will guide our work in a time when our world, and our Church, is hungry for truth and reconciliation. Michelle is equipped to join in and help lead such work,” he said.

Bolt said, “When Bishop Sanders laid his hands on my head to confirm me as an Episcopalian over 20 years ago, I had no idea where my journey would take me, but I knew that I loved God and I loved East Tennessee.

“Over the years, it became clear that I was called to be a priest working with the people of East Tennessee to identify what God is up to here. In the past few weeks, as I have reflected on the news of the day, it is clear that the world hungers to know and feel God’s reconciling, healing presence, and as the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee, we are poised to uncover and share this Good News as it blossoms throughout our region.”

She said, “Just about one year ago, we gathered to elect a bishop, and I have been delighted to see the Holy Spirit at work among us since that day in Bishop Cole’s daily, faithful relationship-building. I am excited to work as a part of this team, confronting the future’s challenges with clear eyes and hopeful hearts.”

Bolt graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts College Scholars degree before going on to Harvard Divinity School and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary for her masters degrees, M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and M.Div. from Seabury Western Theological Seminary. After serving churches in Illinois and California, she returned to East Tennessee to serve as chaplain at Tyson House Episcopal/Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and later priest associate at St. John’s Cathedral. Her passion is “for connecting individuals and families to the deep spiritual rhythms and practices of our tradition in a way that is both authentic and fresh.” She lives with her husband Patrick and four sons in Knoxville.

The Episcopal Church in East Tennessee is comprised of 51 Episcopal churches and worshiping communities in 33 counties in Tennessee and one county in North Georgia nestled in the valley between the Cumberland Plateau and the Appalachian Mountains. The area covers approximately 14,350 square miles, with a total population of about 2.5 million. The Rt. Rev. Brian L. Cole is the fifth bishop of East Tennessee.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry resting after surgery

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 8:28pm

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is resting comfortably following surgery on Tuesday, July 31.  According to the presiding bishop’s family and his medical team, the surgery went well, as had been expected. Bishop Curry is resting, and a full recovery continues to be anticipated.

On July 25 Curry shared news that he had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would be having surgery to remove the prostate gland.

Curry and his family are touched by the outpouring of prayers and well wishes. In their thankfulness, they ask for privacy during his recovery.

Further information will continue to be released by the presiding bishop’s office, as needed.

Arsonists destroy altar of Anglican church in Barbados, but building saved

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 2:56pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Arsonists have destroyed the altar, two kneeling stools and a prayer book in an attack on a church in Barbados on July 29, but the island’s firefighters prevented the blaze causing significant damage to the rest of the church.

Read the full article here.

Former bishop suffragan convicted of automobile manslaughter applies for work-release program

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 2:51pm

[Episcopal News Service] Heather Cook, formerly Episcopal Diocese of Maryland bishop suffragan, has asked the Maryland prison system to release her for a daytime work program.

Her request is being reviewed and, if approved, Cook could begin the unspecified work within a few weeks, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Cook is serving a seven-year prison sentence for fatally striking a bicyclist on Dec. 27, 2014, while texting and driving drunk, and then leaving the scene.

The Maryland Parole Commission denied her May 2017 request for parole after a hearing at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup, where Cook, 61, has been serving her sentence since October 2015. In May of this year, she was denied her request to serve the rest of her sentence on home detention.

Cook pleaded guilty in September 2015 to automobile manslaughter and three other criminal charges for causing the car-bicycle accident in suburban Baltimore that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo, a 41-year-old software engineer at Johns Hopkins Hospital who also built custom bike frames. He was married and the father of two young children.

The charges included driving while having nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in her blood system, texting while driving and then leaving the scene of the accident. Cook originally faced 13 charges relating to the fatal accident.

Alisa Rock, a sister of Palermo’s wife, emailed The Sun to say his family opposes Cook’s latest application.

Under Maryland law, Cook was eligible for parole after serving a quarter of her sentence. She reached that date in July 2017. The Sun reported that Cook has been earning10 days off her sentence each month by working in the prison sew shop for Maryland Correctional Enterprises, an arm of the department that hires people while they are incarcerated. She would continue to earn those days on a work-release program.

Cook’s current release date is in late August of next year, according to a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Lettre de l’Évêque Primat concernant sa prochaine intervention chirurgicale Prières bienvenues

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 12:07pm

Le 25 juillet 2018

Chers amis dans le Christ,

Il y a quelques mois, lors de mon examen médical annuel, on m’a diagnostiqué un cancer de la prostate. Après divers tests, consultations et conversations avec mon épouse et mes filles, j’ai décidé d’un traitement par intervention chirurgicale. Ce mardi 31 juillet, je subirai une opération d’ablation de la prostate.

Je suis heureux de pouvoir dire que le pronostic s’avère très bon et tout à fait positif. J’ai parlé avec plusieurs personnes qui ont vécu cette même épreuve et qui m’ont offert à la fois encouragement et conseils utiles. Je resterai à l’hôpital au moins une journée puis rentrerai chez moi pour convalescence.

On m’a dit qu’il est raisonnable de prévoir 4 à 6 semaines. J’ai l’intention de reprendre mes fonctions début septembre et ne prévois pas de changements significatifs dans mes engagements.

J’ai grâce à Dieu la chance d’avoir une famille merveilleuse, une équipe médicale de premier ordre, un personnel exceptionnel, de chers collègues et amis, une vocation à laquelle je consacre ma vie et, surtout, un Dieu bon, formidable et aimant entre les mains duquel nous demeurons toujours. Alors, dites une prière et sachez que j’ai hâte de revenir à mon poste en septembre.

Que Dieu vous bénisse et gardez la foi.


Monseigneur Michael B. Curry
Évêque Primat de
l’Église épiscopale



Des informations complémentaires seront publiées par le Bureau de l’Évêque Primat dès qu’elles seront disponibles.

Carta del Obispo Primado con motivo de su próxima cirugía Acogemos sus plegarias

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 12:05pm

25 de julio de 2018

Estimados amigos en Cristo:

Hace unos meses, en el transcurso de mi examen médico anual, fui diagnosticado con cáncer de la próstata. Después de un sinnúmero de exámenes, consultas y conversaciones con mi esposa e hijas he decidido seguir un ciclo de tratamiento que incluye una intervención quirúrgica. El próximo 31 de julio me someteré a una cirugía para extirpar la próstata.

Me complace decirles que el pronóstico es alentador y bastante positivo. He hablado con otras personas que han pasado por esto quienes me han dado ánimo y consejos útiles. Estaré internado en el hospital por lo menos durante un día y luego estaré en casa durante el proceso de recuperación.

Me han dicho que puedo contar con un período razonable de ausencia de cuatro a seis semanas. Planeo reanudar mis obligaciones a principios de septiembre y no espero ningún cambio importante en mi calendario de compromisos.

Me siento muy bendecido por tener una familia maravillosa, un equipo médico de primera, un gran equipo de trabajo, colegas y amigos queridos, y una vocación a la que he entregado mi vida, pero sobre todo un Dios bueno, grandioso y amoroso en cuyas manos estamos siempre. Por tanto, hagan una oración. Y sepan que espero con ansias poder regresar a mi puesto en septiembre.

Que Dios los bendiga y que guarden la fe.

+ Michael

Reverendísimo Michael B. Curry
Obispo Presidente y Primado
Iglesia Episcopal

La oficina del Obispo Presidente publicará más información a medida que esté disponible.

Watch a time-lapse video of how Episcopal Relief & Development let convention ‘color our world’

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 11:51am

[Episcopal News Service] The action of General Convention can feel frenetic in a parliamentary sort of way and, when the Episcopal Church met in Austin earlier this month, Episcopal Relief & Development offered an antidote.

The organization’s booth, which was front and center in the Exhibit Hall, featured four life-sized coloring opportunities.

Illustrator and designer Portia Monberg converted some of Episcopal Relief & Development’s most iconic images to help tell the story of the organization’s three key strategic priorities: women, children and climate.

The two 8-by-8 panels and two 8-b-16 ones were blank canvases in the General Convention Exhibit Hall on July 3. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

The two 8-by-8 panels and two 8-by-16 ones were blank canvases on July 3, ready for participants to color.

Donna Field, wife of Diocese of West Missouri Bishop Martin Field, colors at the Episcopal Relief & Development booth in the Exhibit Hall on July 3 while Field watches. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

By the time the Exhibit Hour folded its tents mid-afternoon on July 11 (two days before the end of convention), the panels were a riot of color.

By the hall’s last day on July 11, the panels still had some coloring spaces left. Allie Haney of Lubbock, Texas, joined some last-minute artists. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Some areas of the panels were colored precisely and complimented other more child-like spaces.

“Honestly, General Convention is long, and we felt that a booth that changed and evolved day-by-day with the ‘creative’ help of attendees would be more interesting and interactive,” said Sean McConnell, senior director for engagement. “Many people also wanted to learn more about what they were coloring, so the images gave us an opportunity to talk in depth about our partnerships and integrated programs.”

And we’re done! Thank you everyone at #GC79 for helping @EpiscopalRelief #ColorOurWorld ! pic.twitter.com/aQYmYk9YWd

— RobRadtke (@RobRadtke) July 11, 2018

And, the panels live on. The Rev. Anthony Guillen, the Episcopal Church’s missioner for Latino/Hispanic ministries, helped arrange to have Episcopal Relief & Development donate the coloring book panels to the Sunday schools at two Austin churches: St. James Church and San Francisco de Assis.

For those who wanted to continue their coloring elsewhere, Episcopal Relief & Development handed out coloring books and colored pencils. The booth panel illustrations are included in the “Color Our World” book, which can be downloaded here.

Episcopal Relief & Development also offered convention participants the opportunity to contribute to its climate-resilience programs to help offset the carbon footprint of the average attendee. Staff member were available to discuss the organization’s key program priorities and help people learn about the Episcopal Asset Map.

Visitors to the organization’s loication in the Exhibit Hall could pick up giveaways and sample fairly-traded coffee and chocolate via Episcopal Relief & Development’s partnership with Equal Exchange. The organization offered post-TEConversations discussions related to its worldwide work. The three TEConversations were joint sessions of bishops and deputies that featured presentations on evangelism, racial reconciliation and care of creation.

More information about Episcopal Relief & Development’s work on at the 79th General Convention is here.

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

Ten years after Kowloon church was planted, construction begins on permanent chapel

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 1:56pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of a church plant in Kowloon coincided with the ground-breaking ceremony for its first permanent building. The Church of Shalom in Shamshuipo, Kowloon, has been meeting in the hall of St. Andrew’s Primary School for the past 10 years; but now a permanent chapel is being built.

Read the full article here.

Christians in public life in Wales and Australia discuss connection between faith and work

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 1:54pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglican politicians in Wales and the former Australian Reserve Bank governor have been explaining the role of faith in public life. The ruling Labour Party’s Ann Jones, the deputy presiding officer of the National Assembly for Wales; and opposition conservative member of the assembly, Darren Millar, made their comments in the Diocese of St Asaph’s magazine, Teulu Asaph. While in Australia, the former Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens, a Baptist, told an audience as he collected the Faith & Work award for 2018 how he had been “scarred” by ridicule of his faith.

Read the full article here.

Union of Black Episcopalians at 50

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 1:36pm

The Rev. Stephanie Spellers (left) with Indianapolis Bishop Jennifer Baskerville Burrows and the Rev. Keith Yamamoto, were among more than 300 laity and clergy who attended UBE’s 50th anniversary celebration July 23-27 in Nassau, Bahamas. Spellers, the presiding bishop’s canon for evangelism and reconciliation, challenged the gathering to step out and proclaim the Gospel we already know. Photo: Pat McCaughan/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Nassau, Bahamas] The Union of Black Episcopalians wrapped up a 50th anniversary celebratory conference here July 27, reviewing and renewing the organization’s historic commitment to justice for all, embracing the Jesus Movement’s way of love, and affirming its calls to youth and to ministry to the most vulnerable.

About 300 youth, young adults, laity and clergy from across the Americas and the United Kingdom enjoyed Nassau’s warm island hospitality and climate, and opportunities for daily Morning Prayer and bible study. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s opening sermon July 23 at Christ Church Cathedral sparked spirited, standing room only nightly worship with gospel choirs, jazz music and dance ministries in local congregations.

Provocative presenters and panelists considered UBE’s role and continuing relevance in a post-Christian, increasingly racially and ethnically divided and politically charged world. Discussions included: the complexities of multiculturalism, becoming the beloved community, the Jesus Movement, environmental justice, current clergy trends and youth leadership.

UBE National President Annette Buchanan renewed the organization’s mission to support African-American seminarians like Shawn Evelyn, left, from the Diocese of Los Angeles, who attends the Virginia Theological Seminary. Photo: Pat McCaughan/Episcopal News Service

UBE National President Annette Buchanan proclaimed the organization “the largest advocacy group in the Episcopal Church.” And she announced the addition of new chapters expanding collaborative advocacy initiative and offering ongoing support of Black youth, seminarians, congregations, clergy and institutions.

UBE alum Aaron Ferguson, now an Atlanta financial consultant, told banquet attendees on July 26 that the organization’s mentoring and support transformed his life. It afforded him opportunities to travel, to create lasting friendships, acquire college scholarships, and garner appointments to such church bodies as the Standing Commission on National Concerns at age 19.

“We hear the board meeting, the business meeting, we talk about all those things. (But) UBE has a spirit about itself that affected my life tremendously,” he said. “I promise you, there’s some young people here whose lives will be changed in ways you can’t imagine, with the wonderful way UBE operates, to create this inner sanctum of peace, safety and security for young black people in the church.”

UBE: ‘made for such a time as this’

No stranger to turbulent times, UBE emerged in 1968, the same year Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and the Kerner Commission concluded the nation’s 1967 riots and civil unrest were sparked by its steady move toward two societies: one black, one white; separate and unequal.

The Rev. Gail Fisher Stewart, an associate pastor at Calvary Church in Washington, D.C., and a conference co-dean, said that knowledge made the anniversary celebration “both exciting but also bittersweet, because we are looking at the very same conditions in our society then and now.”

The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, a conference presenter, agreed.

“We’ve come a long, long way during these 50 years yet … the very violence that took Martin Luther King’s life remains a prevalent and pervasive reality in our land, in our nation today,” she told the gathering via Skype from New York City.

“That assassin’s bullet is a manifestation of the very same violence that is the legacy of slavery, the very same violence that is white supremacy … that is ‘make America great again,’” she said, amid applause.

African-Americans continue to disproportionately experience extreme poverty; institutionalized racism; and a lack of decent housing, jobs, educational and recreational opportunities. Such lack contributes to pervasive violence – both self-inflicted and often at the hands of law enforcement authorities – and makes eventual incarceration more likely, contributing to what Douglas called “a poverty to prison to death pipeline.”

U.S. poverty rates hover at 22 percent for blacks and 19 percent for Latinos, more than double the 8.8 percent for their white counterparts. African-Americans number 13.2 percent of the U.S. population, but are 5.1 times more likely than whites to be incarcerated; constituting almost 40 percent of the prison population, she said.

But Douglas and the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the presiding bishop’s canon for evangelism and reconciliation, described the presiding bishop’s initiatives as a way for the black church to strengthen its characteristic faith and to help others thrive despite the current climate.

Curry’s Jesus Movement calls us to a rule of life, a way of life, back to “the center of black faith … to discover what compelled slaves to continue to fight for justice against all odds and never succumb to the enslaving conditions of death that were around them,” Douglas said.

That faith was born of struggle and challenge yet when slaves sang spirituals such as “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord,”they were affirming Jesus’ presence with them in their suffering and pain. That, not only was he there with them, but they were present to him as well. “They were living in this crucified reality” from which they drew strength to survive, she said.

That song represents both a call and a challenge to the black church’s present reality, she added. “What does it mean to be there with Jesus, not at the foot of the cross, but on the cross? What does that mean to be with the crucified classes of people in our own time?”

Douglas said it means it isn’t about fighting to be at the center of the inside (of institutions), but rather to be accountable to and in solidarity with those who are on “the underside of the outside.” To be in solidarity with the most vulnerable today, such as transgendered teenagers, who have the nation’s highest suicide rate, or with asylum-seeking immigrant parents separated from their children.

Spellers told the gathering that on May 19, Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding “proclaimed the Gospel and the world responded with a resounding Amen! Now, black Episcopalians have to step out of the shadows and outside of our churches and proclaim it too, proclaim the Gospel we know. Proclaim the love and saving power of the God we know in Christ so that the world can know him and love him too.”

May 19 was the day “Christians woke up and said, that’s not the church I left when I was 13. I’m coming back. It was the day that atheists began to tweet, ‘if that’s Christian, sign me up.’”

Within a week of the royal wedding, a newly created Facebook page, Episcopal Evangelists, had 2,000 followers, she said. A Saturday Night Live skit, featuring Keenan Thompson as Curry, offered great one-liners that the presiding bishop loved, like: “they gave me five minutes but the good Lord multiplied it to a cool 15.”

After Curry preached, people not only discussed his sermon, she said, they were “debating the power of love. The word Episcopal was the most searched term on Google that Saturday. People were so curious about what is this church and what kind of Jesus does this guy know about.”

The presiding bishop woke the world up about the Episcopal Church. But, “at times such as these … when white supremacy has gained not just a toehold, but is sleeping in the White House … when our nation scoffs at the poor and the refugee and the widow and children and everybody Jesus loved most,” the world needs Christians to wake up too.

“The world needs Episcopalians whose lives depend on the God we know in Jesus Christ and, if there is anyone in this church who has needed this faith to survive, who has wrested the faith from the hand of the colonizer and the hand of the master, surely it is black Episcopalians,” Spellers told the gathering.

UBE is celebrating not just a half-century but 400 years of black Anglicans on this continent, she added, with “the ups and downs, the trials and triumphs that have brought us to this moment … the question now is, do we know what time it is?”

Multiculturalism and becoming the beloved community

Massachusetts Suffragan Bishop Gayle Harris was the first woman to celebrate Eucharist at the Holy Cross Church in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Pat McCaughan/Episcopal News Service

Panel discussions focused on changing circumstances affecting many already-vulnerable black churches, such as diminishing opportunities for full-time traditional clergy employment; and, how to welcome those with different cultural identities, including youth, who have largely left the church.

Elliston Rahming, author and Bahamian ambassador to the United States, told the gathering that, while the United States prides itself on being “a melting pot” for all cultural identities, the percentage of foreign-born people in the general population has remained static the past 156 years.

“In 1860, foreign-born citizens within the U.S. represented about 13.2 percent of the population. In 2016, there were 43 million foreign-born citizens within the United States, representing about 13.5 percent,” he said.

Quoting a 2013 Christianity Today article, by Ed Stetzel he added: “The church is called upon to be an instrument in the world showing and sharing the love of Jesus. The church is also to be a sign pointing to the Kingdom of God and acting as a credible witness of God’s power. People are supposed to look at the church and say that’s what the Kingdom of God ought to look like.”

Yet, to paraphrase Martin Luther King: “Sunday morning at 11 a.m. is still the most segregated hour in the U.S.,” he said.

Heidi Kim, the church’s missioner for racial reconciliation, and the Rev. Chuck Wynder, missioner for social justice and advocacy engagement, presented “Becoming the Beloved Community,” a reconciling initiative to help “repair the breach”.

Kim and Wynder, who have organized justice pilgrimages as a way to healing and transformation, called the resource creative, adaptable and different.

“Previously we thought we’d just make everybody do anti-racism training and then we’d all be trained and everything would be fine, but that didn’t work,” Kim said.

The Rev. Sandye Wilson said facilitating authentic relationships at the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and Holy Communion in South Orange, New Jersey, where she is rector, requires “deep prayer, with deep respect for the traditions of all the people who are there, with an opportunity for people to learn from one another.”

“My challenge to us is to recognize that the kind of hospitality we have to offer folks is very different from years ago when American blacks sat on one side of the aisle in churches and folks from the Caribbean sat on other. Just because we look alike doesn’t mean our experiences have been similar. And our hermeneutic of life is determined by our lived experiences.”

In another workshop discussion, the Rev. Anne Mallonee, executive vice president and chief ecclesiastical officer for the Church Pension Group, said the traditional model of the full-time priest is in decline because of dwindling membership, aging congregations, static pledge and plate income, accompanied by rising costs—trends that had prompted some UBE youth delegates to question the church’s goal of raising up leadership if congregations are unable to fairly compensate them.

Strategic Outreach: ‘a seat at the table’

UBE added three new chapters — Haiti, Alabama and Central Gulf Coast — to its current 35, collaborated with the Consultation and Deputies of Color to help ensure representation on church elected bodies, and pass supportive legislation at the 79th General Convention, affording members “a seat at the table,” according to Buchanan in her address to the July 26 business meeting.

UBE also supported the Episcopal Church’s appointment of the Rev. Ron Byrd as missioner for the office of black ministries, she said. Byrd, who had been slated to speak at the gathering, was called away because of a family illness.

UBE Youth participants planned and led a July 25 worship service at Holy Cross Church In Nassau,
Bahamas. Photo: Pat McCaughan/Episcopal News Service

Youth representatives Julia Jones and Cameron Scott reported that a dozen youth attended the conference, from Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Michigan and Georgia. They participated in a local service project along with their Bahamian counterparts, Jones said.

They also led July 25 evening worship, a jazz mass at Holy Cross Anglican Church, “the highlight of our conference,” according to Jones. “We definitely felt the Holy Spirit moving.”

And while a panel of youth representatives called for change, telling the gathering they are frustrated at their lack of voice, power and role in church leadership, Jones said: “We know we are the future and we are proud to live up to that challenge.”

UBE’s continued support of the historically Black St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, was acknowledged by their respective presidents, who reported increased enrollment and fundraising efforts, expanded curricula and retention rates.

Buchanan said UBE’s priorities remain to foster the vitality of black churches, and to support laity and clergy. The organization is planning to offer mentoring programs for both and has already sought to strengthen its ties with diocesan clergy in New Jersey, Newark, New York, Long Island and Maryland.

Additionally, the organization provided financial and material aid to Hurricane Irma victims in both the United States and the British Virgin Islands. The organization is hoping to recruit clergy for three-to-four week stays in the Virgin Islands to offer much-needed rest to overwhelmed clergy, she said.

The next annual meeting is planned for late July 2019 in Los Angeles, she said.

Honorees at the organization’s July 27 banquet included:

Diane Porter, with the Marie Hopkins award for outstanding contributions to the social mission of the church;

Austin, Texas, City Councilwoman Ora Houston, with the Dr. Verna Dozier Award for service-oriented work;

Dr. John F. Robertson, a founding UBE member, received a special community award for physical and mental health initiatives and “for ensuring UBE stays a healthy community,” Buchanan said.

The Rev. Donald G. Kerr, assistant curate, St. Barnabas Parish in Nassau, for facilitating the organization’s first gathering outside the United States;

Panama Bishop Julio Murray, who in August will be consecrated primate of the Church in Central America, received the 2018 Presidential Award for steadfast support of youth and UBE.

He called the award “a surprise. You do what you do because God has given us talents and gifts and we need to share,” he told the gathering.

“The Union has played a very important part in my life,” Murray said, adding that the organization gives voice to brothers and sisters across the diaspora and raises up youth leaders. “We need to keep connected. While we are together, we are so strong. We are called to be a union. We need each other; we need to take care of each other.

“Union of Black Episcopalians, don’t stop only at change. We need to continue to work for transformation,” he said.

“If you stop at change, it will go back to be what it used to and some of that is going on now. So we need to move and work together for transformation so that it will never be what it used to, but it will be part, as (the presiding bishop) Michael (Curry) would say, part of the dream God has for all of us.”

–The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.

Presiding Bishop to have surgery for prostate cancer

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 3:40pm

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced July 25 that he will soon undergo surgery for prostate cancer.

Dear Friends in Christ,

A few months ago, through my annual physical, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After a variety of tests, consultations, and conversations with my wife and daughters, I decided on a surgical treatment course. On this coming Tuesday, July 31st, I will have surgery to remove the prostate gland.

I am happy to say that the prognosis looks very good and quite positive. I have spoken with several others who have gone through this, and who have offered both encouragement and helpful advice. I will be in the hospital for at least a day, then at home to recuperate.

I’ve been told that 4-6 weeks is a reasonable time to anticipate. I plan to resume my duties in early September and I do not anticipate any significant changes in my commitments.

I am very blessed with a wonderful family, a first-rate medical team, a great staff, dear colleagues and friends, a calling to which I have given my life, and above all a good, great and loving God in whose hands we always remain. So, do say a prayer. And know that I look forward to being back at my post in September.

God bless you, and keep the faith,


The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church


Provincial fact-finding group looking into claims of episcopal election fraud in Diocese of Haiti

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 5:58pm

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has taken the next step in a never-before-used canonical process contesting the election of the Very Rev. Kerwin Delicat as bishop coadjutor for the Diocese of Haiti.

Curry on July 17 officially asked the Province II Court of Review to convene as a fact-finding commission and prepare a report on allegations of what a group of Haitian Episcopalians called an “electoral coup d’état.” The group represents more than 20 percent of the clergy and lay electors of the June 2 convention that chose Delicat, dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The 16 priests and 26 lay people say that Bishop Diocesan Jean Zaché Duracin and his supporters:

  • Violated a covenant that was agreed to just more than a year ago by Curry, Duracin, Haiti Bishop Suffragan Ogé Beauvoir and the diocesan Standing Committee to “address and resolve many of the issues of conflict that have been burdening the diocese.”
  • Manipulated ordinations to influence the election results.
  • Developed an illegitimate slate of candidates by eliminating those who did not support the bishop.
  • Violated election canons and the diocese’s bylaws governing elections.
  • Planned and implemented obstacles to voting that amounted to fraud.

The electors also object to what they say is Delicat’s moral and ethical character. They claim that a different candidate had been expelled from the election process because he had “beaten, tortured and humiliated” a lay woman who was pregnant with his child and pressured to have an abortion. They allege that Delicat and another priest witnessed the abuse, did not stop it and did not denounce it.

The text of the eight-page “contestation” is here.

“We live in a country where the level of corruption and the corruption index are among the highest in the world. However, the church and her ministers must be above all suspicion,” the group writes in its contestation. “We should have been the salt of Haitian society. Unfortunately, the fraudulent election of June 2, 2018 only takes our church away from its mission in a society ruined by corruption and impunity.”

Duracin is retiring after serving as bishop since 1994. The ordination and consecration is set for Jan. 5, 2019.

The Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, bishop for pastoral development in Curry’s office, told the House of Bishops about the contestation on July 9 during a legislative session at General Convention. He noted that the June 2 election came after the convention failed to elect a bishop after five ballots on May 17. His remarks are here at the 1-hour- and-18-minute mark.

How the contestation process works

The group exercised a canonical provision that allows at least 10 percent of the electors to file a written objection to a bishop election within 10 days after the vote (Title III.11.8.a and b beginning on page 110 here). The group filed four days after the June 2 election.

The canon requires the contestation be filed with the secretary of the diocesan convention who then has 10 days to inform the bishop diocesan, the chancellor and diocesan standing committee and the presiding bishop. Curry was then required to request an investigation by the court of review of the province in which the diocese is located. Haiti is a member of Province II.

The court of review has 30 days from July 17 to complete its work and give the presiding bishop a report. Curry then has 15 days to send that report to the bishop diocesan, the chancellor, diocesan standing committee and the secretary of the convention. The secretary must send a copy of the report to each of the delegates who filed the objection.

The standing committee must include the report in the materials it sends to the church’s other diocesan standing committees as part of its request that they consent to the election. The presiding bishop does the same as part of his request for consent from bishops exercising jurisdiction. A major of each group must consent to the election.

The provision has never been invoked since it was added to the Title III canons on ministry in 1994 (via Resolution A024), according Ousley. In fact, objections to bishop elections in the Episcopal Church are rare, he said. The last time protest came in the 19th century, according to Ousley.

In two more recent instances, concerns were raised by bishops and standing committees during the consent process. Those concerns led to the church failing to consent to the Rev. Mark Lawrence’s first election in the Diocese of South Carolina in 2007 and the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester’s 2009 election in the Diocese of Northern Michigan. Lawrence was reelected later in 2007, received the consent of the church and left the Episcopal Church in late 2012. Thew Forrester did not stand again for election and the diocese chose the Rev. Rayford Ray in late 2010.

Canons make clear participants’ roles

While the election contestation process has not been used since its inception, Ousley said it is clear what must happen and what roles are assigned. First, in the governance and polity of the Episcopal Church, bishop elections are diocesan-run processes. The rest of the church only gets involved after the election by way of the process that requires all other diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction to consent to the vote.

Those requests are typically accompanied by a photo and biography of the bishop-elect, certifications of his or her medical and psychological fitness and proof that he or she meets the age and prior ordination requirements. Since Lawrence’s first failed election, the bishop elected is also asked to answer a set of questions about theology and commitment to remain in the Episcopal Church.

Ousley told Episcopal News Service during a July 24 interview that various people expressed concerns about the Haiti election during the search and nomination phases. Those concerns came to him, the presiding bishop and to a variety of bishops, clergy and laity across the church.

“We needed to take note of it, be aware of internal conflict and turmoil in Haiti, but it remained a Haitian matter to resolve,” Ousley said. “What we have with the contestation is a feeling on the part of those that signed the letter, and those they might represent, that they were dissatisfied with the process and inattention to their concerns prior to the election and even during the electing convention itself.”

Including the report of the provincial fact-finding effort with the consent requests is “an opportunity for the church as a whole to have additional information to help it in its discernment about whether to give consent or not, he added.

The bishops with jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees are not so much asked to determine if the allegations are true or if the provincial fact-finding report is right or wrong, Ousley said. Instead, they will be asked to consent to the results of the electing convention or to decide that the best way forward is to not consent.

Ousley said it is also clear that the presiding bishop’s role at this point is prepare himself to be the chief consecrator of a bishop-elect by being satisfied that the consent process has been properly executed. In the case of Delicat’s election, this process also includes the fact-finding effort and the resulting report.

“The presiding bishop doesn’t have an opinion about whether there should be consent or whether consent should be withheld,” Ousley said. His task is to follow the canons and provide the church will all the information it needs to decide the consent question, he added.

Lastly, Ousley said, it is clear that while the provincial court of review is given a role in the contestation process, the canons say the role is that of an information-gathering body charged with producing a report on the allegations, not acting as a court. Normally, the court of review function’s within the church’s clergy discipline canons.

“They’re not going to make a judgment about guilty or not guilty. They’re not necessarily going to come down on one side or another,” he said.

Instead, its report will be a compilation of the information the members were able to get. “It’s not the court’s responsibility to decide for the church or to tip the process one way or another,” he said. The group might say that certain allegations are true or not. “But more than likely, it is going have a number of things that will say ‘on the one hand but on the other,’” he said.

“It’s difficult to determine truth when in fact there are a variety of truths that are likely to be revealed,” Ousley said. “For those who are waiting for the report in hopes that the report will make the decision for them, they’re going have a very long wait.”

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

Union of Black Episcopalians at 50: ‘Glory of the Past, Hope for the Future’

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 2:34pm

[Episcopal News Service — Nassau, Bahamas] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry electrified hundreds of worshippers who chanted ‘Love Lifted Me’ along with him at Christ Church Cathedral here in Nassau during the July 24 opening Eucharist of the 50th annual meeting of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

More than 800 Bahamian and U.S. laity, clergy, dignitaries and officials responded passionately as Curry invoked the hymn, a favorite of his grandmother: “I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more, but the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

“Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, love lifted me!”

Curry’s sermon, laced with frequent call-and-response, spontaneous laughter and sustained applause, echoed his familiar ‘Love is the way, the only way, there is no other way’ mantra, as he challenged worshippers to embrace Christ’s ministry of reconciliation.

UBE President Annette Buchanan also invoked the rich spiritual heritage of black Episcopalians. She reminded the congregation that although the organization is observing its 50th annual conference, its precursors date to the pre-Civil War era.

“African-Americans were in the Episcopal Church prior to the civil war,” Buchanan told the gathering during the service. “We were the largest number of congregants in the church because we were slaves and Episcopalians.”

The earliest known national organization among black Episcopalians was the Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting the Extension of the Church Among Colored People, founded by the Rt. Rev. James Theodore Holly of St. Luke’s Church, New Haven, who is considered the first African-American bishop in the Episcopal Church.

That organization began in1865, with four clergy and seven congregations, according to the Rev. J. Carlton Hayden, in an article on the UBE website. Holly later served as bishop of Haiti.

Post-Civil War, many former slaves left the Episcopal Church, Buchanan said. “But those of us who are here decided we were going to make this church what it said it was going to be—a place where all are welcome and where there will be justice for all.”

Buchanan said more than 300 youth and adult, laity and clergy registered for the July 24-27 conference, themed “Glory of the Past, Hope for the Future” at the Meliá Nassau Beach Resort. “Those of us who are here are descendants of those folks, who said we are not going anywhere,” she said. “We are going to make this church a better place.”

The Rt. Rev. Laish Zane Boyd, Sr., bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and celebrant at the three-hour service, welcomed Curry and UBE conference participants.

“UBE is 50 years old and has chosen to hold its annual conference for the first time outside the U.S. and, we approve,” Boyd said amid laughter and applause.

The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart distributes communion to New Jersey Bishop William “Chip” Stokes during the three-hour opening worship service on July 24 at the 50th annual meeting at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau. A former police officer, she serves as the assisting pastor at Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. Photo: Lynn Collins

Bahamian officials in attendance included: Governor General Margaret Pindling; Deputy Prime Minister K. Peter Turnquest and Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar. Bishops in attendance included: Archbishop Julio Murray of Central America; New Jersey Bishop Chip Stokes; Indianapolis Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows; Massachusetts Suffragan Bishop Gayle Harris; Bishop Suffragan for Armed Services and Federal Ministries Carl Wright; and former Anglican Bishop of the West Indies Drexel Gomez.

During the service, the Very Rev. Patrick L. Adderley, cathedral dean, said the congregation’s first building was erected between 1670 and 1684. Spaniards destroyed it in 1684, and also a subsequent building, in 1703. The current, Gothic style building is made of locally cut quarry limestone rocks, held together by their size and weight of gravity rather than cement, he said.

It opened in 1841 and was named a cathedral by Queen Victoria in 1861. At the same time, she designated Nassau a city, “so there is a close and abiding relationship between the cathedral and the city,” he said.

The Bahamas, a British crown colony since 1718, became an independent commonwealth in 1973 and celebrates July 10 as its Independence Day.

The prime minister, the rock star and the power of love

Curry quoted both four-term British Prime Minister William Gladstone (1868-1894) and rock guitarist and singer Jimi Hendrix as saying, “when the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace.”

It helped illuminate further Curry’s message of love and reconciliation, and 2 Corinthians 5, the text he chose for his sermon. In it, St. Paul describes believers as new creations and because Christ died for all, there is a new creation and believers have been given a ministry of reconciliation.

This way of love, the love of Christ “is so powerful, so profound, so awesome that it can turn the world upside down, which is actually right side up,” Curry told the gathering.

It can also change the way people relate to one another, personally, interpersonally, communally, politically and economically. “Love is surely the way. Turn to your neighbor and say love is the way.”

He drew laughter and applause with: “I attended a wedding a few months ago,” referring to his preaching at the royal wedding of British Prince Harry and U.S. actress Meghan Markle, a sermon that propelled him into the international spotlight.

After the wedding, he joined Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at a rally attended by about a thousand youth. There, he said, young people told him: “We really want to believe you. We want to believe that love can change us and can change this world but it’s hard to believe that. Do you really believe what you say? Is love really the way?”

Invoking the names of those who organized and mobilized love, such as South Africans Nelson Mandela, Steven Biko and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Mahatma Gandhi; U.S. civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King Jr., and “if you don’t believe them, ask Moses. And if you don’t believe him, ask Jesus,” he said, amid applause, adding: “love can lift you up.”

Jesus was crucified by “religious folk” not by atheists, he said. “I’ve been a priest almost 40 years,” he added, amid laughter, “and let me tell you something, ain’t no atheist put grey hairs on my head.”

Rather, Jesus was killed by “an unholy alliance of religion, economic power and political power … self-interest and selfishness.”

He drew raucous applause and laughter saying, “Pontius Pilate should have listened to his wife. Pilate’s wife told him I’ve been having a dream about this man and you need to leave that brother alone.”

Instead, Pilate ended up “a footnote appended to the Nicene Creed.” He and others thought the crucifixion finished him, but “Jesus was very wise to understand that in the kingdom there is radical equality,” Curry said. “In Christ there is no male or female, no Jew or Greek, all are one in Christ.”

As Mary Magdalene and other women went to the tomb early Sunday morning, to do what love required, to anoint Jesus and give him a proper burial, they discovered the risen Christ, he said.

Again, the congregation responded enthusiastically and passionately to: “If Jesus had not had women disciples and apostles and followers, we still might not know he rose from the dead.”

Curry continued by saying that self-centeredness “thinking that the self is the center of the universe and the world and it’s all about me and you are on the periphery, when that selfishness, self-centeredness takes control, you have a world bent on destruction … the most destructive force in the universe. It can destroy families, communities, churches, nations and, if left unfettered, will destroy creation itself.”

“But love is the antidote. Love is the cure. Love is the balm in Gilead that overcomes and conquers sinful selfishness.”

Challenging the gathering to embrace Christ’s ministry of love, of reconciliation, he said: “What would UBE look like if love was the way? What would the Episcopal Church look like if love was the way? What would the Anglican Communion look like if love was the way?

And, drawing sustained applause, laughter and shouts: “What would the White House look like, if love was the way?”

Sobering, he recalled the July 8 prayer service that Episcopalians led outside the T. Don Hutto Residential Detention Center near Austin, Texas, during the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. The center, a former medium security prison, has housed female immigrants and asylum seekers since 2009.

“And we stood there and bore witness,” while some in the group approached the center as close as police would allow and held up signs saying, ‘God loves you. We’re here for you’.

“And they shouted to the women, ‘God loves you. God loves you’. Most of the women inside spoke only Spanish. But the Holy Spirit did some translating, because they understood what they were saying.

“And, inside, the women had towels and they were waving their towels in the windows

And were shouting, ‘we love you, we love you, we love you’. Now, that day we did not break down the walls. But let me tell you something it took seven times going around the city of Jericho until those walls came tumbling down,” he said.

“And love will keep going around those walls, until the walls keep come tumbling down, until the detention center comes tumbling down, until walls of injustice come tumbling down. Love does not quit. Love does not give up. Love will get up … love lifted me. Love lifted me, when nothing else could help.

“You can count on, you can bank on, you can commit your life to the way of Jesus, cause his love will never fail.”

The Diocese of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands encompasses some 50,000 Anglicans.

The UBE conference continues through July 27 and features President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and other guest preachers and celebrants, as well as a diverse range of workshops.

–The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.

Church leaders unite behind vision for ‘one people, one nation, and one South Sudan’

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 11:14am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Church leaders in South Sudan, including  Anglican Primate and Archbishop Justin Badi Arama, have issued a joint statement calling on political leaders in the war-torn country to pursue peace. After a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, the heads of churches in the membership of the South Sudan Council of Churches issued a joint statement lamenting the violence and suffering of the nation’s people. “We as the shepherds of the people of South Sudan continue to mourn and grieve for our country,” they say. “Our hearts pain for the suffering, tired, hungry flock and for our leaders with all their fears, anger and trauma as they struggle both across our nation, the region and the world.”

Read the entire article here.

Bishop steers marriage registration bill through parliamentary process

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 11:11am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Church of England Bishop of St Albans Alan Smith has become the first bishop in 20 years to steer draft legislation through the entire legislative process in the House of Lords, the upper house of Britain’s Parliament. At present, marriage registers include the name of the bride and groom’s fathers. If the Registration of Marriage Bill becomes law it will allow the parties’ mothers to be named as well. The bill also provides for the creation of electronic marriage registers in place of hand-written registers, which often lead to mistakes when details are added to electronic databases for searching.

“This injustice dates to 1837 when children were viewed as a father’s property and little consideration was given to women,” Smith said.

Read the entire article here.

Colorado chooses three to stand for bishop election

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 11:06am

[Episcopal News Service] The Diocese of Colorado Standing Committee has nominated three priests for election as the 11th bishop of Colorado.

The election will take place Oct. 27 during the diocese’s 131st Annual Convention.

The slate includes:

The Rev. Kimberly (Kym) Lucas, rector, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.;

The Rev. Canon Michael Pipkin, missioner for missional management, Diocese of Minnesota; and

The Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, canon to the ordinary, Diocese of Colorado.

Information about each of the nominees is available here.

The July 23 announcement began a period for additional nominations by petition.

The next bishop of Colorado will succeed the Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill who announced late last year that he would retire in the spring of 2019. He was ordained a priest in the diocese in 1982 and became the 10th diocesan bishop in October 2003

After the bishop-elect receives the canonically required consent of a majority of the Episcopal Church’s diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will ordain and consecrate the new bishop May 18, 2019.

Conclusion de la Convention générale

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 11:57am

[Episcopal News Service] En réponse à l’appel de l’Évêque Primat Michael Curry de « suivre la voie de Jésus », les députés et les évêques, réunis du 5 au 13 juillet à la 79ème Convention générale de l’Église épiscopale à Austin (État du Texas), ont donné suite à un nombre record de résolutions sur des questions clés comme l’immigration, la révision du livre de prière, Israël-Palestine et la réadmission de l’Église épiscopale de Cuba en tant que diocèse. La Convention a également adopté un budget de 134 millions de dollars qui reflète les priorités de l’Évêque Primat pour les trois prochaines années, à savoir l’évangélisation, la réconciliation raciale et le respect de la création. Pendant ce temps, le processus législatif était supervisé par des observateurs ailés, l’un d’entre eux ayant décidé d’être présent sur les médias sociaux en contribuant à la convention un flux ininterrompu de moments plumifères au milieu des débats passionnés et souvent intenses sur les questions clés concernant l’église.

À l’extérieur des chambres législatives, divers événements ont rassemblé les évêques, les députés et les visiteurs pour faire connaissance, socialiser, prier, célébrer et défendre les droits, une fois avec des témoignages publics contre la violence armée et une autre à l’extérieur d’un centre de détention pour condamner les mesures prises par le gouvernement des États-Unis dans son application des politiques d’immigration. Un service de réveil au Palmer Events Center d’Austin le 7 juillet a attiré une foule de plus de 2 500 personnes qui ont écouté le sermon entraînant de l’Évêque Primat Michael Curry sur le thème « Dieu est amour et source de vie ».

Dans son sermon d’ouverture le 5 juillet, Mgr Curry a mis au défi chaque épiscopalien d’adopter la « Voie de l’amour : pratiques pour une vie axée sur Jésus » comme moyen d’aider l’église à entrer dans une nouvelle ère de croissance spirituelle.


Adoption d’un budget de 134 millions de dollars
La Convention a adopté un budget de 133,8 millions de dollars pour 2019-2021 qui reflète les priorités de l’évêque primat, à savoir l’évangélisation, la réconciliation et la justice raciales, et le respect de la création. Les priorités sont désignées comme les « trois piliers » de la branche épiscopale du Mouvement de Jésus.

Continue également à se développer ce qui est, comme l’a déclaré à la séance conjointe l’Évêque du Maine Stephen Lane, vice-président du Comité conjoint Programme Budget et Finance, « le fondement de notre ministère permanent en tant qu’église et de notre engagement envers autrui tant au sein qu’au delà de notre église ». Cela comprend en outre le maintien de l’« engagement continu envers la gouvernance conciliaire et les services juridiques, financiers et autres du Church Center [les bureaux confessionnels de New York] ».

La couverture ENS complète du processus budgétaire est disponible ici.


Plein accès aux rites de mariage à usage expérimental
La Convention a adopté le 13 juillet la Résolution B012 pour donner à tous les épiscopaliens la possibilité d’être mariés par leur prêtre dans leur église locale.

La résolution B012 avait été transmise par la Chambre des Députés à la Chambre des Évêques puis retour à la Chambre des députés jusqu’à son approbation.

Le 9 juillet, les députés ont approuvé à une écrasante majorité la version amendée de la résolution et la Chambre des Évêques a ajouté un amendement technique deux jours plus tard, amendement qui ne modifie pas l’objectif de la B012 qui est de donner plein accès aux deux rites de mariage à usage expérimental pour les couples de même sexe et de sexe opposé approuvés par la Convention générale de 2015 (par le biais de la Résolution A054).

La résolution B012 prévoit de :

  • Donner aux recteurs ou au clergé chargés d’une congrégation la possibilité de donner accès aux rites de mariage à usage expérimental pour les couples de même sexe et de sexe opposé. La résolution A054 de 2015 et la version d’origine de la résolution B012 disaient que le clergé ne pouvait utiliser les rites que sous la direction de son évêque.
  • Exiger que, si un évêque « a une position théologique qui n’accepte pas le mariage des couples de même sexe », il puisse inviter un autre évêque, si nécessaire, pour apporter le « soutien pastoral » à tout couple souhaitant utiliser les rites ainsi qu’au membre du clergé et à la congrégation impliqués. En tout cas, il doit être demandé à un évêque extérieur d’accepter les demandes de remariage si l’un ou l’autre des membres du couple est divorcé et ceci afin de satisfaire l’exigence canonique qui s’applique aux couples de sexe opposé.
  • Poursuivre l’utilisation à l’essai des rites jusqu’à l’achèvement de la prochaine révision exhaustive du Livre de la prière commune.

La couverture ENS complète de l’égalité en matière de mariage est disponible ici.


Nouveau plan de révision liturgique et du livre de prière
La Convention a adopté un plan pour la révision liturgique et du livre de prière qui jette les bases de la création de nouveaux textes liturgiques qui répondent aux besoins des épiscopaliens dans toute l’église, tout en continuant d’utiliser le Livre de la prière commune de 1979.

La résolution A068 prévoyait à l’origine le démarrage d’un processus qui allait conduire à un livre de prière entièrement révisé pour 2030. Les évêques ont au lieu de cela adopté un plan pour « une révision liturgique et du livre de prière pour l’avenir de la mission de Dieu au travers de la branche épiscopale du Mouvement de Jésus ».

La résolution amendée des évêques prévoit que ceux-ci fassent participer les communautés de culte de leur diocèse à l’expérimentation et la création de textes liturgiques de remplacement qui seraient soumis à un nouveau Groupe de travail sur la révision liturgique et du livre de prière, groupe devant être nommé par l’Évêque Primat et la présidente de la Chambre des Députés.

Il y est aussi dit que la révision liturgique emploiera un langage et une imagerie inclusifs et englobants pour l’humanité et la divinité, et intégrera la compréhension, l’appréciation et le respect de la création de Dieu.

Entretemps, la Convention générale a également adopté une résolution qui permet à toutes les congrégations de l’Église épiscopale d’utiliser des versions facultatives en langage englobant des trois prières de l’Eucharistie Rite II du Livre de la prière commune de 1979.

La résolution D078 prévoit un nouveau libellé pour la Prière A, la Prière B et la Prière D. Les modifications sont disponibles pour usage expérimental jusqu’à l’achèvement de la prochaine révision exhaustive du Livre de la prière commune.

La couverture ENS complète de la révision liturgique et du livre de prière est disponible ici.


Réponse aux voix et aux récits de femmes
Les voix et les récits de femmes ont joué un rôle non négligeable dans les travaux de la 79ème Convention générale, allant de la  liturgie où les évêques ont exprimé lamentations et confession pour le rôle de l’église dans le harcèlement, l’exploitation et les sévices sexuels, à  la Résolution D087 qui permet aux députées d’amener leurs bébés dans l’enceinte de la Chambre des Députés pour l’allaitement.

La couverture ENS complète des questions d’égalité des sexes en matière de justice  est disponible ici.


Actions en matière d’immigration
S’il y a une question qui a défié toute attente de controverse à la 79ème Convention générale, c’est bien l’immigration.

Les évêques et les députés sont arrivés à Austin la semaine dernière tout de suite après le tollé national à propos de la politique de « tolérance zéro » de l’administration Trump envers l’immigration, notamment la décision de séparer les enfants des parents en détention. Et en dépit du revirement de ladite administration sur les séparations familiales, les politiques d’immigration sont demeurées une question brûlante, notamment dans l’État frontière qui était l’hôte du rassemblement triennal de l’Église épiscopale.

Mais si le pays reste divisé sur ce qu’il faut faire en ce qui concerne l’immigration, les milliers d’épiscopaliens rassemblés à la convention ont présenté un front uni de soutien aux familles qui ont été séparées, à celles confrontées à l’expulsion et aux immigrants en général – au travers de la prière, des témoignages, de l’action et de l’adoption rapide de mesures législatives.

La Convention a adopté trois résolutions sur les questions d’immigration.

La résolution C033  déclare publiquement que l’église respecte la dignité des immigrants et décrit comment la politique publique doit refléter cette position, la résolution A178 prend une position ferme à l’encontre des séparations familiales et du traitement des parents et enfants immigrants et la résolution C009, intitulée « Conversion en une église sanctuaire » encourage les épiscopaliens à tendre la main et à apporter leur soutien aux immigrants confrontés à l’expulsion, y compris en offrant un sanctuaire physique s’ils le choisissent.

L’un des moments déterminants de cette Convention générale a été la veillée de prière qui s’est tenue le 8 juillet  à l’extérieur du Don Hutto Residential Center, établissement de détention d’immigrants à un peu plus d’une demie heure d’Austin. Un rassemblement massif de plus d’un millier d’épiscopaliens qui ont prié et chanté en soutien aux parents et enfants immigrants qui avaient été séparés.

La couverture ENS des questions d’immigration est disponible ici.


Contestation des injustices dans le conflit israélo-palestinien
La Convention générale a repris son examen des résolutions ayant trait au conflit israélo-palestinien avec des résultats mitigés en raison principalement de la réticence de la Chambre des Évêques à prendre les mesures audacieuses prônées par la Chambre des Députés.

Sur les quinze résolutions soumises sur le thème Israël-Palestine à la Convention générale, seules six ont été adoptées par les deux chambres, bien que les résolutions ayant abouti touchent encore au sort des enfants palestiniens, au statut de Jérusalem, au recours disproportionné à la force meurtrière des deux côtés et aux façons dont l’Église épiscopale peut œuvrer pour la paix par l’entremise de ses décisions d’investissement.

Les évêques et les députés, même ceux qui arguent en faveur d’une position plus stricte à l’encontre des conditions de l’occupation par Israël des territoires palestiniens, ont tenu à affirmer le droit d’Israël d’exister et de se défendre, citant la politique de longue date de l’église envers la région. Et tandis que les évêques ont rejeté la résolution la plus controversée, la D019, en disant qu’elle équivalait à un “désinvestissement” dangereux vis-à-vis d’Israël, ils ont rejoint les députés en adoptant la Résolution B016, qui se fait l’écho de la D019 dans son utilisation de l’expression « filtre droits de l’homme en matière d’investissements ». Toutefois, à la différence de la D019, la Résolution B016 ne comporte aucun calendrier pour les décisions du Conseil exécutif ni aucune référence à la complicité de l’église dans l’occupation même si elle conduit en fin de compte à ce que l’église retire de l’argent de sociétés qui y font des affaires.

La couverture ENS complète des questions Israël-Palestine est disponible ici.


Bienvenue à nouveau, Cuba
La Convention a voté l’admission ou la réadmission de l’Église épiscopale de Cuba en tant que diocèse en adoptant la Résolution A238. Il est prévu que le Diocèse de Cuba rejoigne la Province II qui comprend les diocèses de New York et du New Jersey aux États-Unis, Haïti et les Îles Vierges.

La couverture ENS complète de Cuba est disponible ici et ici.


Rémunération du président des députés
La Convention est convenue d’un plan d’action visant à payer le président de la Chambre des Députés pour le travail de sa fonction.

La Résolution B014 a été adoptée sans indication de montants mais convient de verser au président de la Chambre des Députés des jetons de présence d’administrateur et des honoraires de dirigeant « pour services spécifiques rendus dans l’accomplissement des obligations exigées par la Constitution et les Canons de l’église ».

La couverture ENS complète se trouve ici.


Et sur une note plus détendue…

L’impeccable pigeon captive la 79ème Convention générale par sa réelle présence numérique.

Le pigeon confesse aux pitres aviaires un plaisir emplumé et un battement de l’esprit.

A booming Brotherhood

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 11:37am

[Brotherhood of St. Andrew – Austin, Texas] Jeffrey Butcher crisscrossed the Unites States the last six years, meeting with everyone from the presiding bishop to the Brotherhood of St. Andrew’s smallest chapters.

Brotherhood of St. Andrew President Jeff Butcher delivers his president’s address July 5 at the men’s ministry’s triennial convention in Austin. Photo: Brotherhood of St. Andrew

He’s revamped and re-invigorated this 138-year-old men’s ministry. Membership is up.

But he also pointed out one massive problem – the transition from a 19th-century dues-paying mentality to a 21st-century ministry pledge offering given out of thanksgiving.

“The idea that we can run this entire operation with volunteers left the station 20 years ago,” Butcher said.

In addition to the hundreds of local ministries undertaken by the brotherhood’s 5,162 members in 358 chapters throughout the U.S., the national brotherhood now supports and helps conduct seven ministries: discipleship and mentoring, Boy Scouts and youth, restorative justice, veterans affairs, racial reconciliation, human trafficking and recovery.

The brotherhood moved its headquarters from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, to Louisville, Kentucky.

In January 2017, the executive board hired Tom Welch to be the brotherhood’s first executive director in more than 12 years.

Here is a report on the day-by-day activities of the Brotherhood Triennial at the Embassy Suites Arboretum in Austin, which concluded July 7:

Thursday, July 5

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry delivered the welcoming address, arriving from his duties at the Episcopal Church General Convention 10 miles away.

Curry praised the brotherhood’s now-seven national ministries. “Think about what this says about our commitment to our communities,” he said.

After a report on General Convention business, Curry ended by proclaiming loudly, “God bless the brotherhood.”

Just prior to the presiding bishop’s talk, Butcher offered his address. It contained a detailed look at the background and reasons for the organization’s many upgrades.

Following Butcher’s address, Senior Vice President Jack Hanstein led the group in a formal vote on various changes to the organization’s constitution and bylaws. The brothers approved the changes unanimously.

Friday, July 6

The triennial’s second day began with a homily by 91-year-old the Rev. Sid Gervais of Round Rock, Texas. He emphasized that there “is only one church. None of us has ever been baptized an Episcopalian. Or a Methodist.”

“The church makes mistakes when it begins to think of itself by denominations,” Gervais said. “There is no such thing as a ‘cradle Episcopalian.’

“There is a job before us and we all know what it is.”

Sticking to financial issues, the National Council next tackled the Sept. 2018-Dec. 2019 budget.

The 16-month 2018-2019 budget of $341,139.47 contains expense and travel allowances for elected officers, province presidents, missional theme vice presidents and the Anglican Liaison, as well as stipends for regional workshop speakers.

It provides assistance for regional workshops. Fourteen regional workshops took place in the last 18 months, with an aggregate attendance for these sessions and other national council meetings totaling 638 brothers participating.

“Forward Day by Day” editor talks evangelism

After workshops on evangelism, scouting and human trafficking, the brothers were introduced to Forward Movement Executive Director the Rev. Scott Gunn, who talked about his seven years with the Episcopal Church ministry that publishes “Forward Day by Day” and other material. Gunn launched into a spirited discussion about evangelism.

“Once I got a great car wash for $12 at a new place in town,” Gunn told the 92 brothers attending the triennial. “I told everybody I knew about this great new car wash. I bet I told 100 people. But then I thought, ‘Why don’t I tell that many people about my faith, which is the most important thing in my life?’

“It was the beginning of a personal ministry of evangelism.”

He noted that the Episcopal Church is losing one percent of its membership every year – a figure Gunn said could easily be reversed.

“They used to say typical Episcopalians invite someone to church every 40 years,” Gunn said. “That was probably coined during the era of the Greatest Generation. Back in their day, you didn’t have to invite people to church – they just came. Not only to church but to the Rotary Club, the PTA and other community organizations.

“It was an entirely different story for their children, the boomer generation, the largest in U.S. history. The main thrust of the boomers was simply to ‘do good.’ It didn’t matter why or for whom.

“For many but not all boomers, the church was just as suspect as the government and corporate America,” Gunn said.

“Their children were labeled Generation X. After seeing their parents and grandparents struggle with three wars, a depression, assassinations and civil unrest, Generation Xers responded by partying. Gen Xers came of age in the 1980s, a decade of excess, cocaine and ‘greed is good.’ The church? What’s that?

“And their children rebelled by becoming a curious, studious bunch. They are interested in a lot of things, including spirituality. This is the millennial generation so coveted by advertisers and, yes, the church. They don’t reject society like their grandparents and parents. They will visit your church if invited, and they might come all on their own.”

Then he offered a practical solution to stop the decline.

“If a significant number of Episcopalians invited two people per year to church, this decline could turn into a great revival of the Episcopal Church,” Gunn said.

“Our liturgy, music and the fact that we kneel are among the unique things that set us apart,” he said. “Every time someone kneels, they are searching for Jesus.”

Saturday, July 7

The Rev. Matt Marino from the Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine in Houston conducted a rousing workshop on discipleship and mentoring.

He started with some statistics:
* 85 percent of all U.S. teenagers definitely believe in God.
* 72 percent of the Episcopal Church teenagers definitely believe in God.
* 51 percent of all U.S. teenagers feel very strongly that they are close to God.
* 36 percent of Episcopal Church teenagers feel very strongly that they are close to God.
* 51 percent of all U.S. teenagers say faith is very or extremely important in their daily life.
* 40 percent of Episcopal Church teenagers say faith is very or extremely important in their daily life.
* 56 percent of all U.S. teenagers have committed to live a life for God.
* 32 percent of Episcopal Church teenagers have committed to live a life for God.

“Now you can see the importance of discipleship,” Marino said. “The youth of today have been advertised to and have seen more ads than any generation in history. They have great BS detectors.”

Marino says he’s noticed denominations often spend $150,000 on a college chaplain only to find their college ministries work better when the students themselves manage things.

To gain an understanding of how millennials think and how to minister to them, Marino recommends Googling “Simon Sinek” to find videos, talks and books by this British-American author of “Start with Why” and three other books.

– Jim Goodson is editor of the St. Andrew’s Cross.

Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui celebrates its 20th anniversary with a concert

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 11:04am

The Anglican Church in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a concert at Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The concert, held on July 10 drew an audience of roughly 1,500 people from different congregations, and included a variety of hymns and church music.

Read the full article here.

Archbishop of Canterbury hosts disability conference at Lambeth Palace

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 11:00am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby hosted a conference at Lambeth Palace last week to explore how people with disabilities can participate fully in the life of the church. The July 13 event explored the barriers that disabled people can face in church life, and what churches can do to ensure that all members can take part and share their gifts. It was also a chance to celebrate those places and individuals who have enabled increased participation within the church for those with disabilities.

Read the full article here.