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Bishop of Lincoln suspended after information received by Archbishop of Canterbury

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 3:22pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Bishop of Lincoln Christopher Lowson has been suspended from office, following information passed to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby by police.

Welby stressed in a written statement that “there has been no allegation that Bishop Christopher has committed abuse of a child or vulnerable adult.” But Welby said that if the information provided to him was proven, “I consider that the bishop would present a significant risk of harm by not adequately safeguarding children and vulnerable people.”

Read the full article here.

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Presiding Bishop joins panel in Massachusetts on Episcopal Church’s ‘big tent’

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 3:17pm

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, retired Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Barbara C. Harris and House of Deputies Vice President Byron Rushing receive a standing ovation following the April 28 panel discussion at Grace Church in New Bedford. Photo: Bridget K. Wood/Diocese of Massachusetts

[Diocese of Massachusetts] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry joined retired Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Barbara C. Harris and House of Deputies Vice President Byron Rushing on April 28 at Grace Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts, for a candid panel conversation about racism and about who is on the inside, who is on the outside and who is still on the margins of the church and society.

The program, “Our Episcopal ‘Big Tent’: How Big is It?” was the culminating public event of Curry’s April 26-29 visit in the Diocese of Massachusetts that included preaching at a “Way of Love” rally on Boston Common and gatherings with numerous ministries, groups and congregations from the Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod.

“I think the reality is we are not as big a tent as we sometimes think. We’re not as small as we once were,” Curry said, in terms of inclusion, “and I suspect that the tension is that we are somewhere between who we actually are, which is a mix. It is a mix. …

“You think the tent is bigger when you’re at the center, but when you’re on the edge, it’s not that big because it doesn’t feel like there’s room for you,” Curry said, adding, “I’ve gotta tell you, it’s work to be a minority in the majority culture, whether that’s racial, or whether that’s gender, or that’s orientation, or whether that’s political.”

Rushing, who is serving a third term as vice president of the House of Deputies and is a former Massachusetts state representative, said it is essential to understand that the call to be a church for everyone is a countercultural idea, given that most Americans still live in segregated communities.

He described growing up in a Bronx, New York, neighborhood where the majority non-black population was Jewish. “And so when I looked around when I was growing up, I thought all Christians were black and all white people were Jewish,” he said.

“The biggest problem of any kind of openness to everybody is that we expect people to arrive some place. And so the people who are in the middle of that place are the most comfortable in that place,” Rushing said. “Sometimes you can be on the edge but you have made a middle for yourself, which is what black people have done in the Episcopal Church. And sometimes even then there is no place where certain people can have a middle.”

Harris, who this year marked the 30th anniversary of her consecration as the first female bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion, said she is “not as sure the tent is as big as we proclaim it to be, or we may have inadvertently closed some of the flaps by which people can meaningfully come in,” she said. “I think for this really to be a big tent we have to more fully live into the words: Come in under the broad umbrella of faith. Period.”

All three shared personal stories of answering a call to act for justice when there was personal or professional risk involved, and all three pointed to Jesus in their closing words of challenge and encouragement for these divided and partisan times.

Harris said she wouldn’t deal in words of woe, but left the audience with this advice: “My mother used to say to me, growing up, ‘Pray to God and ask people.’ So that’s my word of weal,” Harris said. “Pray to God and ask people, and some right will come out of it.”

“I’m with Barbara in this,” Rushing said. “I think most of us in this room could give the woe list real fast. I am convinced that the authority is Jesus. And I am more and more convinced that he is with us for this one reason:  To have us understand that we are all human beings and have to love each other. That there is no love if we can figure out ways of having some list of people that we don’t have to love.”

“Amen and amen to them,” Curry replied. He recalled the previous day’s meeting with young adults in their 20s and 30s. “The only word I can think of to describe it, it was holy,” he said. “They were asking about how do you run the race and keep running, because it’s hard, and opposition within and without is real. And it’s like you say, Byron, you’ve got to keep looking at Jesus.”

“Keep eyes on him, because Palm Sunday is real and everybody’s happy,” Curry said. “And Good Friday is real, and ain’t nobody happy. But Easter’s always coming.”

Video of the full “Our Episcopal ‘Big Tent’: How Big Is It?” program and video of the “Way of Love” rally on Boston Common, are available here.

–Tracy J. Sukraw is director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

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Anglican college in Pakistan wins legal battle for independence from political interference

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 3:58pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A Pakistan court has ruled in favor of the Church of Pakistan’s attempt to retain independence for an Anglican college in Peshawar, after the moderator of the church took legal action to defend it against a government take over.

Interference in Edwardes College from the governor of Peshawar over the past few months had forced Bishop of Peshawar Humphrey Peters to defend its independence and its governance and budgets from being revised. The court ruling this week blocked the local government’s attempts to interfere in college affairs.

Read the full article here.

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Episcopal grants to help Florida churches, communities still struggling after Hurricane Michael

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 3:26pm

Part of the roof at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Panama City, Florida, is covered in blue tarp Jan. 12 after being damaged in Hurricane Michael. Photo: David Paulsen/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal congregations in Florida’s Panhandle were approved recently for nearly a half million dollars in aid from the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast and Episcopal Relief & Development to repair their churches and to serve their communities, which are still recovering from Hurricane Michael seven months ago.

The diocese is preparing to distribute a little more than $200,000 to cover repairs and insurance deductibles for eight churches in the region – including one, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Marianna, that just recently got clearance to return to its sanctuary. Because of structural damage, St. Luke’s has been worshiping in its parish hall since the hurricane, diocesan disaster relief coordinator Chris Heaney told Episcopal News Service.

Episcopal Relief & Development approved a $250,000 grant that will be distributed among nine congregations that have ongoing or new ministries serving individuals and organizations as they work to bounce back from the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael.

Central Gulf Coast Bishop Russell Kendrick, in an email to the diocese, also urged Episcopalians to join The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations  in advocating for Congress to pass a long-stalled disaster relief bill.

“This is a concrete way that each of us can be an advocate for our friends living in the wake of Hurricane Michael (as well as many other disasters),” Kendrick said. “This is a way we can do our part to turn up the volume of love and justice.”

Hurricane Michael made landfall Oct. 10 at Mexico Beach with an estimated wind speed of 155 mph. Some residents of Florida’s Panhandle lost everything or nearly everything – trees gone, homes damaged or destroyed, businesses darkened, schools closed, jobs up in the air and the uncertainty of how to press on.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Steve Bates listen to Episcopalians share their stories of Hurricane Michael at a listening session Jan. 12 at Bates’ Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Panama City. Photo: David Paulsen/Episcopal News Service

When Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visited the region in January, he was welcomed by Episcopalians clinging to hope amid the slow progress toward recovery. Roofs were still patched with blue tarps. Piles of debris dotted the roadsides. Holy Nativity Episcopal School in Panama City was a construction zone, and students attended lessons in makeshift classrooms set up at nearby Holy Nativity Episcopal Church.

Curry, speaking to a packed crowd at the church, said he was inspired by residents’ perseverance.

“To hear what you have done and are doing, therein is hope and grace and the power of love,” Curry said.

Cynthia Fuller, dean of students at Holy Nativity Episcopal School, was among those who heard Curry speak that day, and since then she has taken a leadership role in a volunteer group called Michael’s Angels, which advocates on behalf of hurricane victims and their communities. It started when someone posted a call to action on Facebook, Fuller said in an interview with ENS, and that call brought about 75 women to an inaugural meeting in February.

“We were trying to figure out what can we do to help our community,” Fuller said. She was one of six women who stayed after the meeting to plot next steps.

The volunteer women’s group Michael’s Angels leads a rally in April in front of the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee to advocate for federal disaster aid. Credit: Michael’s Angels

She now heads the education subcommittee of Michael’s Angels, with much of her work aimed at helping the large number of students in Bay County schools who are effectively homeless because of the hurricane. Other subcommittees were assigned health care, government relations, development and communications.

Michael’s Angels organized a rally in front of the state Capitol in Tallahassee in April to draw attention to recovery efforts and to put pressure on the federal government to provide disaster money. Fuller said Panhandle residents are frustrated that more than 200 days have passed since their communities were upended by Hurricane Michael, and Congress still has not approved additional aid.

This week, congressional negotiators said they were close to a deal on a $17 billion package of aid for disaster areas in several states, as well as Puerto Rico, the Washington Post reported. A Senate vote could come next week to end a months-long impasse over the funding.

UPDATED ALERT: Disaster Relief Funding! Take action again! Urge your Senators to pass a clean disaster and humanitarian assistance bill! Link: https://t.co/oZzoGrHrJE#EpiscopalAdvocacy pic.twitter.com/fq23UGNScU

— The EPPN (@TheEPPN) May 14, 2019

The Office of Government Relations issued an action alert on May 14 to its Episcopal Public Policy Network, or EPPN, urging members to contact their senators and voice support for the legislation. EPPN noted that one of the stumbling blocks has been the Trump administration’s attempts to add border security funding to the bill.

“Mixing emergency and disaster relief with the Administration’s border policy threatens the ability of our government to respond to the immediate needs of people who are suffering,” the action alert says. “Our nation is long overdue for a serious and thorough reform of our immigration system and policies, but this should not be done while disaster relief is needed.”

Until federal aid arrives, Central Gulf Coast congregations are extending a helping hand in a variety of ways, now with financial backing from the diocese’s newly approved grant from Episcopal Relief & Development.

In Apalachicola, for example, Trinity Episcopal Church was not damaged by Hurricane Michael, but some of its neighbors were hit hard by the storm, Heaney said. Since then, Trinity has offered a daycare ministry to assist families with children who aren’t in school but need child care while parents are at work.

A variety of other ministries also will receive part of the grant money, including food pantries in communities struggling after the hurricane. Those ministries existed before the storm but are in greater demand now, Heaney said. The same goes for Suppers at Grace, a continuing ministry at Grace Episcopal Church in Panama City Beach that has grown to serve storm victims.

Hurricane Michael was “like nothing we’ve ever seen over here, and I hope we never see it again,” Fuller said, and she described the recovery as far from complete. “You can drive down every street and block and see houses that are still sitting there either with a tarp on or half caved in.”

She, her husband and their 12-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter rode out the hurricane while huddled in their home in Calloway, a Panama City suburb, and they feel fortunate for surviving. A tree crashed through the window of their son’s bedroom soon after the family had fled the room to retreat into a bathroom.

Though their house sustained little additional damage, some neighbors’ homes are a total loss. Fuller said local pride has helped the community pull through such turmoil, and she also credits her faith.

“Every day, every single day I pray for strength and courage and wisdom, and then patience,” she said. “It’s definitely strengthened my faith a lot. It had to. I don’t see any other way I would have been able to get through this.”

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

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Death row inmates’ first-person stories featured in prison ministry’s tour of Episcopal churches

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 2:59pm

“On the Row” is a production of Prison Story Project featuring six actors reading the words of death row inmates in Arkansas. Photo: Kathy McGregor

[Episcopal News Service] An Arkansas Episcopal congregation’s prison storytelling ministry will embark next month on a brief tour, visiting Episcopal churches from Missouri to Texas to stage dramatic readings of death row inmates’ first-person stories.

Prison Story Project, founded by Kathy McGregor at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, spent the summer of 2016 helping 11 inmates write about their lives and the experience of awaiting execution at the Varner Supermax prison in Grady, Arkansas. The inmates’ stories are collected in “On the Row,” a script for six actors. The script’s incarcerated authors also formed the audience for its first performance on Oct. 8, 2016.

Six months later, two of the 11 contributors to “On the Row” were executed by the state of Arkansas.

The executions drew national attention as part of the state’s rush to carry out eight executions in April 2017 before Arkansas’ stock of lethal injection drugs was to expire. Four of the eight men were put to death, while the other four executions were postponed amid vocal opposition from anti-death penalty activists, including Arkansas Episcopalians. The Episcopal Church has long taken a public stance against the death penalty.

Although the executions are referenced at the beginning of “On the Row,” McGregor told Episcopal News Service that the inmates’ words are presented mostly as they were written, before anyone knew of the state’s plans for expedited executions. The script is structured to build a compelling narrative arch, and the stories avoid any overt arguments in favor of abolishing the death penalty.

“We’re not political about that. We just let the words of the inmates speak for themselves,” McGregor said, yet the project seeks to show the humanity behind those words in ways that may surprise listeners. “The audiences should come prepared to feel changed at the end of it,” she said.

The Episcopal Church’s opposition to capital punishment is well established, dating back more than 60 years. General Convention has passed numerous resolutions on the issue. A resolution adopted last year calls for all death row inmates’ sentences to be reduced, orders letters to that effect be sent to all governors of states where the death penalty is legal, and enlists bishops in those states to take up greater advocacy.

Prison Story Project makes clear that readings of “On the Row” are presented in the context of The Episcopal Church’s ongoing advocacy. It is promoting the upcoming tour as “a call to action … for parishes and dioceses to explore and understand the reasons for our opposition; the inequity as applied to minorities, the poor and those who cannot afford adequate legal representation; the contribution to continued violence, and the violation of our Baptismal Covenant.”

The number of executions nationwide has dropped steadily since 1999, from a high of 98 that year to 20 in 2016, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Arkansas is one of 30 states with the death penalty, including all of the states on the Prison Story Project’s four-city tour – Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The June performances were “the easiest bookings I ever had to do,” McGregor said. The host churches, listed here, didn’t hesitate to open their doors for readings of “On the Row”:

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri, on June 13
  • St. James’ Episcopal Church, Wichita, Kansas, on June 14
  • Christ Church Episcopal, Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 15
  • Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Dallas, Texas, on June 16

St. Paul’s in Kansas City has been active in a range of social justice ministries that emphasize giving a voice to the voiceless in society, the Rev. Stan Runnels said in an interview with ENS, so it seemed natural to host a performance of “On the Row” in the church’s parish hall.

“We believe very strongly in the power of the narrative and the power of the voice of the marginalized to tell their stories better than anybody else,” said Runnels, who is rector at St. Paul’s.

Runnels spent four years in the late 1980s as a volunteer chaplain to death row inmates in Mississippi. He had just recently been ordained as a priest, and he experienced a “deep monasticism” on death row that had a profound effect on his own spiritual growth.

“I found death row inmates to be remarkably honest about some of the deep questions of life and faith and spirituality,” he said. “Because there’s nothing like knowing the day you’re going to die, or the day the state wants to kill you, to grapple with the deep questions of life.”

When McGregor founded Prison Story Project in 2012, her initial focus was on holding writing workshops at a correctional center for women in northwest Arkansas. A second class of inmates in 2013 produced stories that were compiled in a script titled “Stories From the Inside Out,” with performances in the prison and out in the community.

From the start, the hope was that writing would allow the inmates to face the truth of their lives and find redemption, McGregor said. The “outside” performances of the inmates’ words achieved a second goal of giving the public a sense for the real lives of those locked away out of sight.

After several subsequent classes, McGregor and her team turned their focus to death row. They reached out to officials at Varner in 2015, and after months of conversations, they received permission to begin working with death row inmates in May 2016.

“We were a little nervous, but it didn’t take long for us to settle in,” McGregor said.

Out of 34 inmates on death row at the time, 11 volunteered and were selected for the project. McGregor and the project’s creative writing director met with the inmates once a month and followed up by email, giving them prompts to begin their writing and coaching them on techniques. Write from the heart, McGregor told them.

The written compositions were then shared with the project’s theater director, Troy Schremmer, who suggested additional prompts to elicit more detail from the inmates. When Schremmer had enough material, he compiled the inmates’ writings into the narrative that became “On the Row.”

Six actors visited Varner for their first staged reading in front of the inmates, who were separated in individual cells because they are not allowed direct contact with each other, McGregor said.

The first public performances were held at the end of October 2016 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Additional performances were scheduled in 2017, but McGregor and her team didn’t learn until February that the state planned to execute eight prisoners in 10 days at the end of April.

Four of the “On the Row” writers were among those scheduled for execution. Jack Jones, sentenced for the 1995 rape and strangulation of a 34-year-old woman, was executed on April 24. Kenneth Williams was executed April 27 after killing a university cheerleader in 1998 and then killing another person after escaping from prison in 1999. Last-minute stays of execution were granted for the other two inmates who had worked with McGregor’s team.

The “On the Row” tour in June is backed by several grants, including from the Episcopal Evangelism Society. A second tour is planned for October around Arkansas. In addition, Prison Story Project will record one of the performances for a video that will allow McGregor to hold screenings and question-and-answer sessions without requiring actors and directors to join her each time.

After getting to know the inmates personally, McGregor said she is committed to sharing their stories to all who will listen, “until they abolish the death penalty in every state.”

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

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Colorado Episcopalians, interfaith social justice advocates hold ‘Faithful Tuesdays’ at state capitol

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 2:55pm

From Feb. 5 to the end of the Colorado General Assembly’s first 2019 regular session, an interfaith coalition held “Faithful Tuesdays” events at the capitol in Denver, focused on supporting specific legislation and forwarding a shared narrative of justice, love, healing, reconciliation and care for others. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Denver] A coalition of interfaith leaders and their allies regularly brought a social justice message to the Colorado General Assembly’s first 2019 regular session. The effort was formed from long-standing relationships rooted in multiple faith traditions, all recognizing a common humanity, shared values and a desire to change the public narrative.

“About a year and a half ago, we started talking about what it would look like, what kinds of issues we could really come together on, and the power that we might have if we joined forces and called on both the people in our congregations, as well as our legislators – who are our leaders – to lead out of values grounded in our shared humanity and human dignity,” said the Rev. Amanda Henderson, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado.

Over the last two years of anti-immigrant sentiment, increased incidences of racism and racial violence, and the proliferation of shootings in schools and houses of worship, the effort, coalition members agreed, has taken on greater urgency. Hence, Faithful Tuesdays.

“I feel like we have this real challenge to the soul of who we are, and there are so many powers that are seeking to divide us. There are real acts of violence happening in our faith communities and around our country at large that are grounded in hate and dehumanizing people,” said Henderson, who is a Disciples of Christ ordained minister. “We have a different story to tell, and we see that the time is urgent to tell a different story and to live a different story together.”

Interested in getting involved in advocacy? The Episcopal Public Policy Network is a grassroots network of Episcopalians across the country dedicated to carrying out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through the active ministry of public policy advocacy. Click here to learn more and join.

The diverse coalition of interfaith leaders, organizations and community members who committed themselves to add a deeper, moral dimension to the public policymaking process in Colorado met weekly for Faithful Tuesdays. Their focus: “To advance a faith narrative and collaborative process that supports a just economy, promotes equity, and eradicates racism in Colorado.”

Beginning on the first Tuesday in February and continuing every Tuesday throughout the General Assembly’s first 2019 legislative session, which ended May 3, the coalition held events at the capitol focused on supporting specific legislation and forwarding a shared narrative of justice, love, healing, reconciliation and care for others.

“The coalition formed specifically [because] for The Episcopal Church and the Interfaith Alliance, it’s a way for us to reclaim a faith voice in public life that is not a regressive, far-right faith voice, which is the only faith voice that has existed in a substantive way in many places for decades,” said Anthony Suggs, director of advocacy and social justice for The Episcopal Church in Colorado.

“For The Episcopal Church, this coincides pretty well with the reclaiming Jesus movement,” he said. “For us, how do we stop being, ‘We’re Christians, but we’re not that,’ ‘We’re Christians, but we’re not this,’ ‘We’re people of faith, but we’re not that’? How do we say, ‘We’re people of faith and this is what we care about because this is what Jesus cares about’?”

The “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis” initiative launched in March 2018 to “reclaim Jesus” from those believed to be using Christian theology for political gain. From its inception, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has been on board.

“For me, it’s important to get people involved in this work because I don’t see a division between this and ministry; this is ministry,” said Suggs. “I don’t see a division between what we do in our churches and what we do at the capitol, and so both of them are ways to live our calling as servants for justice and followers of Jesus.”

Laura Peniche of Together Colorado testified April 30 in celebration of progress made on immigration, including the expansion of a driver’s license program for undocumented immigrants. In Colorado, 60%-70% of deportations begin with a traffic stop. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

On April 30, the last Tuesday of the legislative session, some 60 coalition members gathered one last time for a closing celebration and lament in the capitol’s south foyer. They celebrated the expansion of an existing bipartisan program that grants driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, a program widely support by the state’s dairy farmers; and they lamented setbacks to a proposed family leave program, which was relegated to a feasibility study. They also lamented a bill that would have allowed cities to set their own minimum wage.

“The laments that we talked about today were family leave. It’s something 9to5 working women have been the lead on” for the last five years, said Mike Kromrey, executive director of Together Colorado, a faith-based nonprofit that has worked alongside community leaders to uplift children and protect human dignity since 1978. “It was supposed to be a priority in the majority party this year, and we couldn’t get it over the finish line. It’s like an example of what we would see as modest pro-family legislation, but we have a long ways to go on that.

“And right now, we still have not secured another bill to allow cities to do a higher minimum wage; that got laid over today till tomorrow. We thought that was a relatively simple bill to allow localities to make their own decision – it doesn’t force anyone to ever do anything,” Kromrey said. “We have a lot of work to do, especially around economic issues. We’re very, very much a purple state; you know those kinds of issues are harder to forward either at the ballot box or the legislature or even in cities, but there are hopeful signs I would say.”

In the General Assembly, the House-initiated local wage option later passed the Senate with amendments. Interest groups spent the most money on the Family Leave Act, with more than 200 lobbyists tracking the bill.

“The family act has sort of been gutted at this point,” said Suggs. “It was one of Gov. [Jared] Polis’ primary focuses, but the Democrats only hold the Senate by two seats and the fact that they hold it by only two seats has shined a pretty bright light on the moderate to conservative Democrats that are in that chamber, so folks from the business community, whatever that means, have been opposed to it.”

The act would have covered more than maternity and paternity leave; it would have allowed employees to take paid time off to care for family members suffering from an illness or recovering from abuse. “For employees, it would add up to about $100 a year in taxes,” Suggs said. But ultimately, “employers didn’t want to pay for it.”

Some businesses were on board, like Illegal Pete’s, a popular restaurant chain that started in Boulder in 1995; and, theoretically, family leave could still take effect in 2022, said Suggs.

Rabbi Eliot Baskin of Temple Emanuel in Denver issued a call to action April 30 on bills to address local minimum wage options and to protect immigrants from federal overreach. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

Coalition members, including the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, the Colorado Catholic Conference, the Colorado Council of Churches, the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council, The Episcopal Church in Colorado, Colorado Sikhs, the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Rocky Mountain Synod, Together Colorado and others, took turns hosting the Tuesday events. The topics and specific legislation addressed included criminal justice, the death penalty, immigration, homelessness, financial and racial equity and economic justice.

“The Colorado Council of Churches has been involved with several of the groups involved here, and we all have been doing work separately on advocating for social justice,” said Adrian Miller, the council’s executive director and a member of Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Toward the end of 2018, we all came together and said this might be a really cool thing to do. And what we had in mind was Moral Mondays in North Carolina and were just wondering, can we replicate that here in Colorado.”

The coalition wanted to show a more progressive Christian-interfaith voice in Colorado, which typically polls as one of the least religious states in the country, though believers are majority evangelical Christian.

“This is important especially in the Christian faith tradition, if you look at the Bible; I mean most of it is about social justice, and we are called in this time to be prophetic witnesses for social justice,” said Miller. “And I think it’s important that the progressive aspect of the church have a more public witness because I think when people hear Christianity these days, they think immediately of the very conservative segment of Christianity.”

Interested in learning more about the Episcopal Service Corps? Click here.

A Durham, North Carolina, native raised Free Will Baptist, Suggs studied history at New York University, where he happened upon Grace Episcopal Church at the corner of 10th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.

“I walked into the college service at the college parish with the college priest and was hooked from there,” he said. He later worked at summer camps for the Diocese of Long Island and, halfway through his senior year, became the camp and retreat coordinator at Camp DeWolfe. In September 2017, he joined the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps volunteering at the diocese in what is now his permanent role as director of advocacy and social justice.

“NYU’s history department is very good at teaching its students to think critically about why history has been written a certain way, who wrote it, why they wrote it, what was left out on purpose, what was put in on purpose, and how do we look at the ways history affects current structures,” said Suggs. “So that’s mostly how I approach my work now: What has led to this moment? What are the pieces that have led to this, and what are the pieces that we are completely forgetting?”

Though the legislative session has ended, the legwork at the local level and the coalition and relationship building continue year-round.

“All of this work happens in relationship, none of it happens while just filling out paperwork and giving testimony,” Suggs said. “We have relationships with legislators, we have relationships with community organizers and with each other, so all of the big wins that we have legislatively have come through relationship, and I think that’s a big lesson for people who want to get involved but think that they have to do it all on their own.”

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

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Diocese of Egypt teams with British university to open archive research center

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 4:18pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A new research center has been opened in Cairo as part of a newly renovated archive facility for the Episcopal Diocese of Egypt. The new Cairo Research Centre has been created by the Diocese of Egypt, in collaboration with the U.K.’s University of Leicester.

British Ambassador to Egypt Geoffrey Adams attended the opening ceremony May 9 alongside Bishop of Egypt Mouneer Anis and James Moore of the University of Leicester and Richard Gauvain from the British University in Cairo.

Read the full article here.

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Recent Anglican Consultative Council meeting mapped out work in mission, governance, ecumenism

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 4:13pm

Anglican Consultative Council members raise their hands May 4 in a rare actual vote on a measure. Most resolutions were passed by “general consent” or “general assent,” rather than by a show of hands. Photo: Neil Vigers/Anglican Communion News Service

[Episcopal News Service] During long days of reports and discussions, often at a rushed pace, the 99 members of the Anglican Consultative Council who met in Hong Kong for its 17th meeting set the Anglican Communion’s mission and ministry agenda for the coming years.

Amid concerns about process and unity, the ACC spent April 28-May 5 considering work in three categories: the Five Marks of Mission; issues of unity, faith and order; and governance. In the end, they passed 24 resolutions.

The members also made “public statements” about the Easter Day terror attacks in Sri Lanka; the disasters left in the wake of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in eastern Africa; and ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts in South Sudan, Pakistan and India, and the Korean peninsula.

Episcopal Church Anglican Consultative Council members (from left) the Rev. Michael Barlowe, Rosalie Ballentine and Oklahoma Bishop Edward J. Konieczny pose May 4 for a formal portrait with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, second from right. Photo: Neil Vigers/Anglican Communion News Service

The ACC on May 4 stumbled over how to word a resolution calling for the communion’s Standing Committee to gather information about the provinces’ efforts to listen to people “who have been marginalized due to their human sexuality.” The original version of the resolution, proposed by Oklahoma Bishop Ed Konieczny, contained a preamble reaffirming “the respect and dignity of persons as Children of God who have been marginalized due to their human sexuality” and stated that “they should be fully included in the life of the Anglican Communion.”

That language went too far for some. After more than two hours of frank debate and intense negotiations, the result was a completely rewritten resolution that “noted with concern” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s 2020 Lambeth Conference decision about bishops who are in same-sex relationships and requesting him to renew the communion’s 21-year-old promise to listen to the experiences of LGBTQ people. Concerns have been raised in the communion both about Welby’s refusal to invite the same-sex spouses of bishops and his decision to invite those bishops themselves. The latter is departure from the previous Lambeth Conference.

“It is easy to let one disagreement dominate, but the reality is, we only care enough to disagree because Jesus has made us one,” Welby said during his closing address later that same day.

“There are all kinds of things that we’ve gotten wrong this week – plenty that I’ve gotten wrong – but here we are at the end of the week and under the grace of God we are called to go out now and change the world, to go on changing the world, in the power of Jesus Christ, carrying out the mission of God, bringing in the kingdom, all of you with each other and loving one another because we are family. In a divided world, what more precious gift can we bring than one that respects diversity, loves one another and provides hope,” Welby said.

“We are called to go out now and change the world, to go on changing the world,” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tells members of the Anglican Consultative Council during his May 4 closing address. Photo: Neil Vigers/Anglican Communion News Service

The ACC passed resolutions:

* calling for continued support of the colleges and universities of the Anglican Communion (A17.01);

* affirming support of the International Anglican Women’s Network and women’s ministries (A17.02);

* affirming that gender justice and equality are an inherent part of intentional discipleship embedded in the Gospel and rooted in the Christian values of human dignity, justice, and love; commending for use “God’s Justice: Just Relationships between Women and Men, Girls and Boys”; and requesting member churches to involve men, boys, women and girls in building mutually just and equitable relationships in families, churches and other communities and encourage shared decision-making and leadership (A17.03);

* welcoming and supporting the work of the International Anglican Family Network (A17.04);

* recognizing that there is a global climate emergency, encouraging member churches to make the Fifth Mark of Mission (To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth) “a living testament to our faith,” and encouraging the Lambeth Conference 2020 to be as environmentally sustainable as possible (A17.05);

* celebrating the work by some member churches and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network to shift messaging and action from climate vulnerability to climate resilience and expressing regret about the ongoing impacts of climate change (A17.06);

* calling for work to develop an Anglican Health Network (A17.07);

* noting with concern the pattern of invitations to the Lambeth Conference 2020, requesting the archbishop of Canterbury ensure that a listening process is put in place with supportive and independent facilitation in order to hear the concerns and voices of people especially those who have felt themselves marginalized with regard to sexuality, as well as compiling all the work done in this area across the communion since Lambeth 1998, and requesting the archbishop of Canterbury look at all issues of discrimination across the communion to make recommendations to the Standing Committee and to report to ACC18 (A17.08);

Archbishop of Hong Kong and Anglican Consultative Council Chair Paul Kwong preaches May 5 during ACC-17’s closing Eucharist at St. John’s Cathedral in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district. Photo: Old Dog/St. John’s Cathedral

* encouraging networks to improve theological education in the Anglican Communion (A17.09);

* affirming the work of the Anglican Alliance and encouraging provinces to support it (A17.10);

* encouraging member churches and communion agencies to continue and extend their work to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, requesting that the secretary general reports to the Standing Committee, no later than its first meeting in 2020, on a 10-year strategy on communion engagement with the goals (A17.11);

* commending the emphasis on intentional discipleship and disciple-making in the Anglican Communion Office’s Strategic Plan and asking the Mission Department to develop a resource hub “to support and equip the culture change in the communion towards intentional sharing and living a Jesus-shaped life” (A17.12);

* encouraging further engagement with the Five Marks of Mission, repentance when people have fallen short of being true disciples, amending of their lives accordingly and a greater commitment of prayer for the redemption and salvation of the world and all its people (A17.13);

* reiterating past statements on the development, use and impact of nuclear weapons; lamenting the lack of justice for those communities most impacted by testing of nuclear weapons; acknowledging the work of member churches and the World Council of Churches on these issues; requiring the secretary general to report on the implementation of the commitments made in past resolutions; requesting the Standing Committee to ensure that ACC18 develops a contemporary Anglican response to these issues (A17.140);

* encouraging member churches to invest in pathways to education and employment for young laypeople (A17.15);

* welcoming and commending for study “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal,” the Agreed Statement of the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III), along with two commentaries, one Anglican and one Roman Catholic (B17.01); the report of the Anglican–Old Catholic International Coordinating Council (B17.02) and “The Procession and Work of the Holy Spirit,” the Agreed Statement of the Anglican–Oriental Orthodox International Commission (B17.03);

Full ENS coverage of the 17th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council is available here.

* approving a new Anglican Communion process for receiving ecumenical texts developed out of its dialogues with other Christian traditions (B170.4);

* recognizing the failures of the past and the determination that every church in the Anglican Communion is a safe place for everyone, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults; approving the “Guidelines to enhance the safety of all persons – especially children, young people and vulnerable adults – within the provinces of the Anglican Communion”; requesting member churches and extra-provincial churches under the direct metro-political jurisdiction of the archbishop of Canterbury to take specific steps (outlined in resolution’s text) toward this end; and requesting the secretary general to reconstitute the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission (C17.01);

* welcoming an outline budget structure for 2020-25 for improved financial planning and transparency by the Anglican Communion Office (ACO) and the commitment of the ACO to seek to maximize voluntary income from sources beyond member churches, reaffirming ACC resolutions calling on all member churches to contribute to the Anglican Consultative Council budget, endorsing the proposed formula for member church contributions, encouraging member churches to discuss the formula with the ACO during 2020-2022, and requiring the secretary general to report annually on implementation of the formula (C17.02);

* calling on member churches to consider the appointment of a young person as one of its ACC members from ACC18 onward, encouraging the inclusion of young people in the work of Anglican Communion networks, and encouraging member churches to include youth representation in their synods (resolve to guarantee one Standing Committee place for an ACC youth representative was defeated) (C17.03); and

* approving the 2019-25 Strategic Plan for the ACO serving the Anglican Communion and its member churches, requesting member churches to engage with the ACO to implement the plan, requiring the secretary general to report on the implementation to the Standing Committee at least annually, requiring periodic reviews by the Standing Committee and explaining any changes to the next ACC meeting (C17.08).

The texts of some of the 24 resolutions are posted here, and the rest are due to be posted soon. Written versions of all the reports given to ACC-17 are here.

Read more about it

ACC background is here.

ENS coverage of the ACC is here.

The Anglican Communion News Service covered the meeting here.

Tweeting happened with #ACC17HK.

The bulk of the meeting took place at the Gold Coast Hotel, about 45 minutes from central Hong Kong.

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

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Church of Ceylon bishop urges Sri Lankan unity ‘to rebuild our dear, shattered motherland’

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 4:13pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Bishop of Colombo Dhiloraj Canagasabey, the senior bishop of the Church of Ceylon, has urged Sri Lankans to unite and appreciate religious and ethnic diversity. Speaking to reporters, Dhiloraj issued a “humble and earnest” appeal “to the intelligentsia of this country, to all religious leaders, civil society, youth leaders and all our citizens who truly love this land, to come together to overcome all … ethnic, religious and ideological divisions and to formulate policies and to mobilize the people to rebuild our dear, shattered motherland.”

He also issued urged an end to the demonization of the country’s Muslim community following the Easter Day massacre in which 257 people were killed when Islamist terrorists attacked churches and hotels in the country. He described Sri Lankan Muslims as “our fellow citizens” who had “lived with us in this country for many hundreds of years.”

Read the full article here.

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Congregation to celebrate legacy of parishioner who died in Civil War, was buried under church

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:02pm

A bell honoring John Codman Pollitz has been a fixture at Trinity Episcopal Church in Roslyn, New York, for more than a century, but the precise location of Pollitz’s grave under the church remained a mystery until last year. Photo: Trinity Episcopal Church

[Episcopal News Service] A 19-year-old parishioner who died while serving in the Civil War has been buried under Trinity Episcopal Church in Roslyn, New York, for more than a century, but until now, the final resting place of this hometown hero mostly was the stuff of legend.

Much of that legend is embodied by Trinity’s historic bell, which has long been on display at the church and bears the name of the young soldier, John Goodman Pollitz, who paid for the bell out of his army pay. It was first tolled at his funeral, Feb. 1, 1863.

“His grave is under this church,” a plaque on the bell reads, providing no further detail about the location of the grave. The burial site hadn’t been accessed since 1914, and its place wasn’t marked.

Then last year, Trinity Episcopal embarked on an extensive renovation project that involved replacing the church’s floor. Parishioner Karl Hansen told Episcopal News Service he and other members of the congregation who were familiar with Pollitz’s history were curious if construction crews would find evidence of the grave. Sure enough, removing the old floor, they revealed Pollitz’s gravestone resting on the dirt of a crawl space.

“Legend had it that he was buried under there, but now it’s completely confirmed,” Hansen said, adding that the congregation brought in a specialist with a radar device to pinpoint the location of an underground box presumed to be Pollitz’s coffin.

The congregation plans to celebrate Pollitz while dedicating his burial site and a new plaque at a ceremony June 2 after the Sunday Eucharist.

The floor has since been restored, and the plaque was placed over the site of the grave, its location precise – 16 feet off the west wall and 15 feet off the south wall of the church, at the back of the church’s nave, Hansen said.

Though the location had been a mystery, Pollitz’s story was well-known. He had taught Sunday school for the Episcopal congregation in Roslyn starting in 1859, a decade before Trinity parish was founded. The early congregation worshipped in a chapel that Pollitz thought was “a dream come true” for his religious classes, according to an excerpt of a 1969 parish history article that was reprinted in a 2007 newsletter.

He was barely 18 when he joined the Union Army. With his regiment in New Bern, North Carolina, he fell ill and died on Jan. 7, 1863. The parish history reported exhaustion as the cause of his death. A 1914 article in The New York Times about Pollitz said he died of “camp fever.” Hansen, who served in the Marines in the early 1970s, said he and others suspect Pollitz succumbed to dysentery.

Whatever the cause, he was remembered at Trinity as a hero. His remains were buried “under the shadow of the chapel belfry,” the newsletter article says.

The bell he had purchased for the congregation arrived at about the same time that his body returned home for burial, and it “was sweet in tone” when it first tolled at his funeral, according to the Times. The bell soon produced a note, however, that suggested to the congregation that it had cracked, prompting the decision to lower it, turn it upside down and fill it with dirt and flowers “to serve as an urn in the grave enclosure” at the chapel, the Times reported.

Trinity Episcopal Church was built in 1906, and the floor was installed over John Codman Pollitz’s burial site. Photo: Trinity Episcopal Church

A new, larger church was built in 1906 over the grave and bell, but no record was kept of the grave’s location. It was accessed and the bell recovered and restored in 1914 when a crack in the church foundation led to “a crawling circuit of inspection under the parts of the church most difficult to access,” the Times said in its article that year previewing the dedication of the restored bell.

For a century, the congregation maintained only a general sense of the grave’s position under the floor, with no visible evidence of its existence. Now that it again has been uncovered, Trinity is giving it a permanent marker on the floor so no one will ever forget.

Trinity is a small congregation, with about 50 people typically attending Eucharist on Sundays. Its rector, the Rev. Margaret Peckham Clark, presided over her final service at the church this month before leaving for a new call in the Diocese of Newark, so Trinity is welcoming supply priests on Sundays until it names an interim rector and embarks on a search for a permanent replacement.

At a time when Trinity is planning for its future, the June 2 dedication of Pollitz’s grave is an opportunity for parishioners to take another look back, at the short life of a young man who gave his time to the education of the congregation’s children, his money to the parish’s early growth and his life in service to his country at war, said Hansen.

“Pretty impressive, I think,” he said.

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

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La disculpa de Welby sobre la invitación a Lambeth allana el camino para que el Consejo Consultivo Anglicano marche unido

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 10:13am

El obispo burundés Eraste Bigirimana, a la derecha, y el obispo de Nairobi Joel Waweru, abrazan a Ed Konieczny, obispo de Oklahoma, el 4 de mayo, pese a que ambos se opusieron a la resolución que él propuso. Los dos participaron en la redacción de un texto de avenimiento que el Consejo Consultivo Anglicano aprobó por unanimidad. Foto de Paul Feheley/ACNS.

[Episcopal News Service — Hong Kong] El arzobispo de Cantórbery, Justin Welby, trabajando con otras personas, preservó la unidad de la 17ª. reunión  del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano el 4 de mayo al disculparse por  su decisión de no invitar a cónyuges del mismo sexo de los obispos que asistirán a la Conferencia de Lambeth  y convenir en renovar la promesa de la Comunión de hace 21 años de escuchar las experiencias de personas LGBTQ.

“Les pido perdón por los errores que pueda haber cometido” dijo Welby.

La reunión del 28 de abril al 5 de mayo estuvo a punto de romperse durante la tarde de su último día trabajo, no por la Conferencia de Lambeth, sino por el mayor problema de cuánto el Consejo debe decir acerca de la plena inclusión de personas LGBTQ en la vida de la Iglesia.

El conflicto surgió por vía de la resolución del obispo de Oklahoma, Ed Konieczny, que pedía que el Comité Permanente de la Comunión reuniera información acerca del esfuerzo de las provincias de escuchar a personas “que, debido a su sexualidad humana, han sido marginadas dentro de la Iglesia, la sociedad y en sus respectivas culturas”.

La cobertura completa de ENS de la 17ª. reunión del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano puede encontrarse aquí

Los miembros no pusieron objeción a esa labor. Sin embargo, un buen número de ellos rehusó aceptar el preámbulo de la resolución, que habría reafirmado “el respeto y dignidad de personas como hijos de Dios que han sido marginadas debido a su humana sexualidad” y dice que “deberían ser plenamente incluidas en la vida de la Comunión Anglicana”.

El franco, pero amable debate por la resolución, las intensas negociaciones que tuvieron lugar durante los recesos de ese debate y la resultante resolución completamente reescrita probó que “al final, el amor de Cristo se manifestó”, dijo Konieczny a Episcopal News Service después de la reunión. “Probamos que somos capaces de tener una conversación y capaces de entendernos mutuamente y capaces de llegar a un acuerdo”.

“Tal vez lo poquito que hicimos aquí puede ser un ejemplo para la Comunión en general y, para aquellos que eligieron quedarse fuera, y quizás en alguna medida esto les ayudará al menos a pensar en volver”.

Nigeria, Ruanda y Uganda no enviaron representantes a la reunión del CCA-17. Algunos obispos han dicho que no asistirán a la Conferencia de Lambeth porque objetan las posiciones teológicas de otros obispos y provincias.

El Rdo. Michael Barlowe, representante del clero en la delegación de la Iglesia Episcopal, calificó el empeño de Konieczny de toda una semana como “valiente”. La Iglesia Episcopal, dijo él después de la reunión, resultó bien servida por Konieczny que  “amablemente intentó abordar un asunto muy controvertido”.

Todo el CCA fue amable durante las casi tres horas que duró el debate y la negociación, dijo Rosalie Ballentine de la Diócesis de Islas Vírgenes, la representante laica de la Iglesia Episcopal.

“Eso prueba que podemos discrepar de una forma amorosa”, afirmó ella. “Algunos de nosotros en la Iglesia Episcopal a veces debemos aprender a dar un paso atrás y darnos cuenta de que realmente se trata de Jesús, de Dios, de cómo andamos en la fe, en lugar de seguir nuestro camino. Mucho de eso se demostró hoy”.

Debatiendo “incluidos” vs. “acogidos”

El lenguaje en el preámbulo de la resolución tocó todas las desavenencias  [que existen] en la Comunión sobre la sexualidad y fue demasiado lejos para algunos. No fue mucho mejor cuando una enmienda propuso cambiar la última cláusula , “deben ser plenamente incluidos en la vida de la Comunión Anglicana” por “son plenamente acogidos en la vida de la Comunión Anglicana”.

Los miembros debatieron los matices de ser “incluido” o “acogido” y si la interpretación de cualquier de las dos palabras cambiaba cuando se traducía a otros idiomas.

Konieczny aceptó la enmienda para hacer avanzar la resolución que terminó aprobándose con 38 votos a favor, 20 en contra y 17 abstenciones.

Durante el consiguiente debate sobre la resolución, el arzobispo sudanés Ezekiel Kondo dijo que en su país de mayoría musulmana “mañana la Iglesia cerraría”, si el CCA aprobará la resolución. “Si aprobamos esta resolución, estaríamos enviando un mensaje equivocado” a la Iglesia y al mundo, afirmó.

El obispo Eraste Bigirimana, de la diócesis burundesa de Bujumbura, dijo que la Comunión ha estado dividida desde que los anglicanos comenzaron a hablar formalmente de la sexualidad en la Conferencia de Lambeth de 1998. La división, dijo él, porque no todos creen que “la Biblia es muy clara: la fornicación es un pecado, el adulterio es un pecado; la homosexualidad es un pecado para los cristianos”, dijo Bigirimana. “La Biblia tiene que ser nuestra referencia”.

Joel Waweru, obispo de la Diócesis de Nairobi, se opuso a la resolución porque “sienta doctrina”, algo que el CCA no hace. Él dijo que los miembros del CCA “no han tenido tiempo de discutir temas de la sexualidad humana, pero ahora se les pide que voten una resolución sobre eso. Y Waweru arguyó, la resolución debe extenderse para incluir a personas que han sufrido discriminación por alguna razón.

“Como alguien que proviene del hemisferio sur”, el obispo dijo que él estaba de acuerdo con los otros que temían que la aprobación de la resolución le daría argumentos a los conservadores anglicanos, llevando a más de ellos a boicotear la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020.

Jane Alexander, obispa de la Diócesis canadiense de Edmonton, dijo a sus colegas que la resolución del CCA simplemente le recordaba a la Iglesia acerca del compromiso incumplido de la Conferencia de Lambeth 1.10 de escuchar a las personas LGBTQ.

Si el CCA no reafirma el respeto y la dignidad de los que han sido marginados debido a su sexualidad humana, afirmó ella, “entonces se me rompe el corazón y habremos quebrantado nuestro Pacto Bautismal” “para no mencionar el Código de Conducta que los miembros aprobaron al comienzo de la reunión y que contiene una declaración semejante”.

Casi al final del debate de cerca de 45 minutos, Konieczny dijo que él no respaldaría una propuesta que se hizo para borrar todo el preámbulo. “Subrayó que había trabajado en la resolución toda la semana y había aceptado “múltiples revisiones” porque era consciente de las diferencias que representan los miembros del CCA.

“Me siento angustiado. Estoy desconsolado. Cuestiona mi fe que” el Consejo no pueda afirmar la declaración que hizo en el Código de Conducta de hace una semana y  “que queramos enviar un mensaje al mundo de que te respetaremos a la distancia, que no eres bienvenido. Este no es el cuerpo de Cristo al cual yo pertenezco”, dijo Konieczny.

Que el CCA debata si alguien es hijo de Dios y bienvenido en la Iglesia “está más allá de mi comprensión”, dijo él, añadiendo que en el 50% de las zonas geográficas de las iglesias miembros “privan de sus derechos, encarcelan y ejecutan a personas que difieren de su sexualidad humana, sin que digamos nada”.

“Por el contrario, nos preocupamos de la política, en lugar de las personas”.

Durante el receso para el té de la tarde, un creciente número de miembros se reunieron en torno al arzobispo de Cantórbery y al obispo de Oklahoma Ed Konieczny mientras se encontraban debajo del estrado en el salón de reuniones del Consejo, intentando llegar a un acuerdo. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Después de que los miembros hicieran un receso para orar, Margaret Swinson, vicepresidente del CCA, dictaminó que la propuesta de borrar el preámbulo “destruye demasiado el espíritu en que esta moción se presentó “ para que ella ejerciera su discreción de permitir que llegara a someterse a votación.

Welby sugirió que el Consejo se tomara un receso para que hubiera discusiones de grupos en las mesas. Esa pausa  dio lugar a lo que convirtió en un “receso de té” de casi 50 minutos, durante el cual varios grupos de representantes y de miembros del personal se agruparon, a los cuales a veces se incorporó Konieczny, en el intento de alcanzar un acuerdo.  Welby con frecuencia se encontraba en el centro. Waweru y Konieczny trabajaron juntos en un punto. Waweru, mantuvo la puesta sobre la espalda de Konieczny, mientras éste se sentó y leyó la propuesta final.

Con ese borrador en la mano, Swinson le pidió a los miembros que escucharan a Welby y decidieran si ellos podía aceptarlo como una avenencia. Él les recordó a los miembros que la Comunión Anglicana ha discrepado fieramente en el pasado acerca de los contraceptivos, del divorcio y de la ordenación de las mujeres. “Luego, no debemos entrar en pánico” sobre el capítulo actual del debate sobre la identidad sexual que ha sido parte de la Comunión por casi 30 años, dijo Welby.

Al arzobispo de Cantórbery se le conoce como el “centro de la unidad” del CCA, la Conferencia de Lambeth y la Reunión de los Primados. En ese espíritu, Welby dijo que era “mi falta y mi responsabilidad” que ciertas personas se sintieran disgustadas porque algunas fueron invitados a la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020 y otras no.

“Puede ser que al final de los tiempos, entienda que hice eso mal, y responderé por ello de una u otra manera en el día del juicio”, dijo. “Donde lo manejé mal, lo cual estoy seguro que lo hice, para un grupo u otro, quiero disculparme con ustedes porque no he ayudado a la Comunión, tanto a los que están preocupados por quiénes fueron invitados o los que están preocupados por quiénes no fueron invitados.

“Les pido perdón por los errores que pueda haber cometido”.

El obispo de la Diócesis de Nairobi, Joel Waweru, de pie a la izquierda, tiene la mano sobre el hombro del obispo de Oklahoma Ed Konieczny mientras éste lee el texto de un posible arreglo a una resolución que amenazó con descarrilar el último día de sesiones del ACC-17. El arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby lee de pie a la izquierda de Konieczny, el obispo de Lambeth Tim Thornton está a su derecha, y próximo a Thornton se encuentra Stephen Knott, subjefe de personal del Palacio de Lambeth. La vicepresidente del CCA, Margaret Swinson, a la derecha, habla con Darren Oliver, asesor legal del CCA, mientras el obispo Anthony Poggo se recuesta sobre la mesa. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

El texto de compromiso, que se presentó ante el Consejo como una enmienda hecha por Waweru y que eliminó el preámbulo original, advierte “con preocupación el patrón de invitaciones a la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020” y le pide a Welby que establezca  un proceso de escucha ,con asesoramiento solidario e independiente a fin de oír las preocupaciones y voces de personas, especialmente las de aquellos que se han sentido marginados por cuenta de su sexualidad”.

Welby debe también hacer acopio de la labor que se haya hecho en la Comunión desde que la Resolución 1.10 de Lambeth 1998 demandó tal proceso. Él ha de informar al Comité Permanente y al ACC-18 en 2012. Finalmente la resolución le pide que informe  a ambos organismos acerca de “todos los problemas de discriminación” a través de la Comunión.

Luego de sus disculpas y de la explicación de la enmienda de Waweru, Elby se excusó en francés y tradujo la enmienda al francés. Y le pidió al Nick Drayson, de la Diócesis del Norte de Argentina, que tradujera ambas al español, y al obispo de la Diócesis de Tanganica Central, Dickson Chilongani, que hiciera lo mismo al swahili. Los miembros para quienes el inglés no es su primer idioma han tenido dificultades durante la reunión debido a la falta de servicios formales de interpretación o traducción.

“Por respeto y amor y afecto a nuestro Arzobispo y por amor y afecto a nuestros iglesias miembros, y especialmente por mis hermanos del hemisferio sur, y por la unidad de la Iglesia”, Konieczny dijo que estaba “dispuesto a aceptar esta enmienda de mi hermano Joel”.

Esforzándose para hablar, Konieczny dijo que él quería que “sus hermanos obispos del sur” supieran que “estamos dispuestos a conversar y a andar juntos en unidad y amor, y les insto a venir y reunirse con nosotros”.

La enmienda de Waweru fue aprobada 83 a 0 con tres abstenciones en un sondeo tentativo para probar su solidez. Waweru, Chilongani y Bigirimana se acercaron a Konieczny para abrazarlo. El obispo keniano besó el anillo episcopal de Konieczny, quien respondió de la misma manera y los presentes comenzaron a cantar “Alma, bendice al Señor”.

El Consejo se reunió formalmente y la resolución enmendada se aprobó por “consenso general”.

La resolución, titulada ‘La dignidad de los seres humanos’, dice:

“El Consejo Consultivo Anglicano

  1. Advierte con preocupación el patrón de las invitaciones a la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020 y solicita que el arzobispo de Cantórbery como centro de unidad garantice que un proceso de escucha se ponga en vigor con moderación solidaria e independiente a fin de escuchar las inquietudes y voces  de personas, especialmente de aquellas que se han sentido marginadas por cuenta de su sexualidad. El arzobispo de Cantórbery también será responsable de compilar  todo el trabajo hecho en esta área a través de la Comunión Anglicana desde Lambeth 1998 e informarle  al Comité Permanente [del CCA] y al CCA-18.

El Consejo rechazó posteriormente una resolución presentada con antelación en que se le pedía a Welby que contemplara el establecimiento de un equipo de trabajo para esclarecer la identidad esencial y los lindes de la Comunión Anglicana en el siglo XIX. Konieczny dijo que temía que la verdadera intención de la resolución era crear un organismo con la facultad de declarar “quien estaba dentro y quien fuera en la Comunión Anglicana”. La votación 43-35 con ocho abstenciones,  se produjo después que Swinson dictaminó que había sido aprobada luego de su petición de “consenso general”, y Konieczny, junto con un tercio de sus colegas, pidió una votación a mano alzada. Fue la primer vez que se recuerde que el CCA rehusaba aceptar una medida favorecida por el arzobispo de Cantórbery.

“Alabado sea Dios por haber votado en contra de lo que yo quería”, le dijo Welby luego a los miembros. “Eso es el anglicanismo”.

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

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Cuestiones de procedimiento y una agenda repleta llevan a los miembros del CCA-17 a pedir cambios en reuniones futuras

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 10:04am

Miembros del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano levantan las manos en una forma bastante peculiar de votar sobre una medida. La mayoría de las resoluciones se aprobaron por “consentimiento general” o “asentimiento general” más que a mano alzada. Foto de Neil Vigers/ACNS

[Episcopal News Service – Hong Kong] Al tiempo que  el Consejo Consultivo Anglicano concluía su reunión del 28 de abril al 5 de mayo en esta ciudad, muchos miembros decían que el grupo debe reconsiderar la estructura de su reunión y su proceso de resoluciones.

Todos los representantes de la Iglesia Episcopal en el CCA, el obispo de Oklahoma Edward J. Konieczny, el Rdo. Michael Barlowe y Rosalie Ballentine, dijeron en una entrevista con Episcopal News Service el 4 de mayo, al final de la última sesión de trabajo del CCA, que deseaban que la agenda no hubiese estado tan repleta. La reunión anterior, el CCA-16, celebrado en Lusaka, Zambia, duró 12 días en 2016. Esta reunión duró ocho días.

“Llegó a ser obvio para casi todos aquí que queremos tener espacio y tiempo para aprender los unos de los otros y entendernos mutuamente, y para debatir y para escuchar, y para tener todas las emociones que suben y bajan y van más allá”, dijo Konieczny. “Espero que los que organizaron esta reunión hayan oído eso”.

Las sesiones de trabajo incluyeron vídeo y presentaciones en vivo junto con discusiones de mesa que muchos dijeron que  a veces percibieron como apresuradas y difíciles para aquellos que no tienen el inglés como primera lengua. Ballentine, que asistió al CCA-16, dijo que esta reunión tenía “una absoluta falta de proceso”.

“Hablamos de ‘andar juntos’, pero parte de ese andar juntos tiene que ser la oportunidad para nosotros de conversar juntos, de oírnos los unos a los otros,  de escuchar”, dijo Ballentine. “Uno no puede hacer eso si no crea el espacio para que eso suceda”.

Barlowe escribió un largo mensaje en Facebook el 2 de mayo sobre lo que él llamó “el control ejercido sobre la interacción y la participación de los miembros del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano”. Barlowe, que es funcionario ejecutivo de la Iglesia Episcopal y secretario de la Convención General, dirige una oficina que dedica gran parte de su tiempo a la planificación de reuniones, que están destinadas a operar  dentro de lo que él llama “el compromiso en la participación y la transparencia”  de la Iglesia en el gobierno.

Durante el polémico debate del CCA acerca de la identidad sexual en la mañana del 4 de mayo, el arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby habló con frecuencia en francés, tradujo al francés textos que aparecieron en las pantallas del salón, y le pidió a otros que interpretaran sus comentarios y tradujeran los textos a español y swahili. Sin embargo, esos son sólo tres de los muchos idiomas que hablan los miembros del CCA.

“Gran parte del desacuerdo y mucho de la confusión y ansiedad hoy fue en torno al idioma”, dijo Konieczny. Los obispos del sur global le dijeron que no entendían la redacción de partes de su resolución. Y también le dijeron que algunos de los términos elegidos transmitirían conceptos que serían “extremadamente difíciles y diferentes” en su cultura, contó él.

La cobertura completa de ENS de la 17ª. reunión del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano puede encontrarse aquí.

Por consiguiente, explicó Konieczny, esos obispos se mostraron renuentes a considerar la moción. Su renuencia paralizó la reunión y Konieczny, algunos de los obispos y Welby redactaron una enmienda de compromiso que reescribió la resolución. Welby finalmente explicó la avenencia en francés, tradujo el texto al francés y le pidió a otros miembros que lo tradujesen al español y al swahili.

Los miembros del CCA necesitan tener más que traducciones parciales o saber suficiente inglés para poder descifrar lo que está pasando, apuntó Konieczny. Todos ellos necesitan un entorno en el que puedan examinar cuidadosamente las decisiones propuestas y participar plenamente en el debate, de manera que el Consejo pueda oír todos los puntos de vista, añadió él.

Barlowe dijo que el difícil debate sobre la resolución acerca de la identidad sexual mostró el “colapso del control”, añadiendo que “la agenda controlada y todo lo demás no produjo realmente lo que tal vez se pretendía,  que era sofocar el debate y el diálogo. Por el contrario, cuando las personas tuvieron la oportunidad de debatir verdaderamente un asunto, dijo él, tenían cosas que decir, pero los problemas de interpretación y traducción y la falta de compromiso previo sobre el tema “empeoró la situación”.

Margaret Swinson , vicepresidente del ACC, les dijo a sus colegas al final de la última sesión de trabajo de la reunión, que resultaba claro para ella que “necesitamos una revisión del proceso en torno a las resoluciones”.

Los miembros de la Iglesia Episcopal en la reunión del CCA, el obispo Edward J. Konieczny, al centro, entre el Rdo. Michael Barlowe y Rosalie Ballentine, conversan durante un receso el 1 de mayo fuera del salón de sesiones del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano en el Hotel Costa de Oro de Hong. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/EN

Ella citó dos razones. La primera fue “la cordura del comité de resoluciones”, que con frecuencia se reunió mientras otros se dedicaban a hacer otras cosas tales como comer o visitar parroquias en Hong Kong.

La otra es el hecho de que algunos de los miembros para quienes el inglés no es su primera lengua tuvieron dificultades durante la reunión debido a la falta de servicios de interpretación o traducciones formales.

No hubo intérpretes oficiales en la reunión, que se llevó a cabo en inglés. A principios de la semana, el director de Operaciones David White reconoció que “para un gran número de personas aquí, el inglés no es su primer idioma”. Muchos informes y otros documentos están disponibles en inglés, francés, español y portugués, algo que no fue así en las anteriores reuniones del CCA. Sin embargo, las resoluciones sólo estaban disponibles en inglés.

White explicó que le habría costado a la comunión de $10.000 a $15.000 por persona brindar servicios de interpretación para aquellos que lo necesitaban, un costo que él calificó de “económicamente imposible”. Dijo que a esos miembros se les pidió “traer a alguien consigo y lidiaremos con las traducciones de esa manera”.

Más de una vez durante las sesiones de trabajo, Welby llamó la atención al hecho de que, como él lo definió durante una cuestión de orden, el ACC-17 “insistía en que los [los miembros] usaran el inglés, cuando o bien no podían leer o entender inglés, o es su segunda o tercera o incluso cuarta lengua”.

Swinson dijo que la fecha límite para presentar resoluciones debía fijarse más temprano para permitir la traducción. Ella comprometió al Comité Permanente de la Comunión, de la cual es miembro, a revisar ese proceso.

Las reglas parlamentarias del Consejo parecían fluidas en ocasiones, con los funcionarios del Consejo a veces aplicando estrictamente los plazos y límites anunciados para las enmiendas de resolución, y en otras ocasiones ofreciendo flexibilidad. El 4 de mayo se presentó un debate en medio de reglas a veces cambiantes sobre la admisibilidad de las enmiendas

El Consejo no llegó realmente a votar sobre muchas resoluciones o enmiendas, sino que el Presidente le preguntó a los miembros: “¿Está conforme en dar su consentimiento general a esta resolución?” A veces se usó la expresión “consentimiento general”. El Presidente no indagó por quiénes disentían. El moderador de la sesión podía decidir someter una moción a una votación de mano alzada y así lo hizo.

En un caso, y debido a un audible número de noes, los miembros le objetaron a la presidencia su decisión de dar  por aprobada una medida. Konieczny pidió un voto a mano alzada y le recordaron que al Consejo le habían dicho al principio de la reunión que esa petición debía contar con el respaldo de un tercio de los miembros. Más de un tercio de los miembros se puso de pie par apoyar su petición.

Barlowe dijo que si bien la Iglesia Episcopal no es perfecta, intenta “nivelar el campo de juego mediante cosas como reglas de orden y procedimientos parlamentarios regulares”. Tales reglas pueden parecer aburridas, agregó, pero ofrecen “un manera de oír todas las voces”.

Lea más al respecto

La historia del CCA se encuentra aquí.

La cobertura permanente de ENS al CCA se encuentra aquí.

La cobertura del Servicio de Noticias de la Comunión Anglicana [Anglican Communion News Service] se encuentra aquí.

Se enviaron mensajes de Twitter a través del hashtag  #ACC17HK.

La mayor parte de la reunión tuvo lugar en el Hotel Costa de Oro [Gold Coast Hotel] a unos 45 minutos del centro de Hong Kong.

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

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Splinter Anglican Communion group announces alternative meeting just before Lambeth 2020

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 2:39pm

[Episcopal News Service] The turmoil over the 2020 Lambeth Conference continues, most recently with a communiqué from the leaders of the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON, reiterating their contention that the gathering of Anglican Communion bishops is flawed because it will include bishops from provinces that allow same-sex marriage.

The group also announced that it will call  a meeting of Anglican Communion bishops for June 8-14, 2020, in Kigali, Rwanda, just weeks before the Lambeth gathering. In 2008, its inaugural year, GAFCON staged a similar pre-Lambeth meeting in Jerusalem. When GAFCON was formed in 2008, its founders said “moral compromise, doctrinal error and the collapse of biblical witness in parts of the Anglican Communion” had reached a critical level.

“On the one hand, we have no interest in attempting to rival Lambeth 2020,” GAFCON’s May 2 letter from its Primates Council said. “On the other hand, we do not want our bishops to be deprived of faithful fellowship while we wait for order in the communion to be restored.”

The council said the Rwanda meeting is meant primarily for bishops who have already decided to boycott Lambeth. However, any bishop of the Anglican Communion who supports its “Jerusalem Declaration” and Resolution 1.10  of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, defining marriage as “the lifelong union of a man and a woman” are invited.

While Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been criticized for his refusal to invite the same-sex spouses about bishops to the 2020 Lambeth Conference, GAFCON said in its 2018 “Letter to the Churches” he should not invite bishops from provinces “which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.”

“We have not yet received a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury,” the council’s letter said.

As noted in the 2004 Windsor Report (page 61 here), Lambeth Conference decisions  do not carry the force of canonical law in part because there is no single set of canons applicable across the entire communion.

GAFCON’s 2018 letter also asked Welby to invite as full members to the Lambeth Conference bishops of the splinter groups known as the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil.  Instead, on April 26, Welby announced that he had invited the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), the Anglican Church of Brazil and the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) to send observers to the conference. They will have the same status as representatives from other Christian churches such as the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Lutheran and Reformed churches and also multi-lateral bodies including the World Council of Churches and the Global Christian Forum.

Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America, the new chair of GAFCON’s Primates Council, responded by saying Welby had based his decision on “a partisan, divisive, and false narrative by wrongly asserting that I left the Anglican Communion. I have never left the Anglican Communion, and have no intention of doing so.

“I did transfer out of a revisionist body that had left the teaching of the Scriptures and the Anglican Communion and I became canonically resident in another province of the Anglican Communion. I have never left.”

Foley said being given observe status “is an insult to both our bishops, many of whom have made costly stands for the Gospel, and the majority of Anglicans around the world who have long stood with us as a province of the Anglican Communion.”

During the Anglican Consultative Council’s recent 17th meeting, Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon said that GAFCON had acted in a way that “causes confusion and potential division.” He said that calls for GAFCON bishops to attend Lambeth as full participants were divisive because the bishops “are clearly not members of the communion.”

The council’s letter also announced that it had affirmed the interim report of its Task Force on Women in the Episcopate which, after a “four-year comprehensive study,” recommended that GAFCON provinces should not allow women to be bishops “until and unless a strong consensus to change emerges after prayer, consultation and continued study of Scripture among the GAFCON fellowship.”

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

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Aviso a los medios: El Consejo Ejecutivo de La Iglesia Episcopal se reunirá en Maryland, del 10 al 13 de junio de 2019

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:41pm

[10 de mayo de 2019] El Consejo Ejecutivo de La Iglesia Episcopal se reunirá del 10 al 13 de junio de en el Centro de Conferencias en el Instituto Marítimo en Linthicum Heights, Maryland.

Los representantes de los medios de comunicación que quieran asistir a la reunión deberán acreditarse. Todos los medios deberán pre-registrarse comunicándose con Lisa Webb, funcionaria adjunta encargada de Asuntos Públicos en info@episcopalchurch.org. Tengas en cuenta: todo representante de los medios de comunicación que asista es responsable de correr con sus propios costos de alojamiento, comidas y transporte. Los representantes pueden comprar boletos para el almuerzo en la recepción del centro de conferencias por $20.

Consejo Ejecutivo 

El Consejo Ejecutivo de la Convención General es un órgano electo que representa a toda la Iglesia y que lleva a cabo los programas y políticas aprobados por la Convención General. Su labor consiste en supervisar el ministerio y la misión de la Iglesia. Esto incluye la responsabilidad de supervisar el trabajo realizado por la Sociedad Misionera Doméstica y Extranjera, así como también la disposición de los fondos y otros bienes de acuerdo con los cánones de La Iglesia Episcopal y las resoluciones, órdenes y presupuestos adoptados o aprobados por la Convención General. También incluye la supervisión de la labor de la Oficina de la Convención General.

El Consejo Ejecutivo está formado por veinte miembros elegidos por la Convención General (cuatro obispos, cuatro sacerdotes o diáconos y doce laicos) y dieciocho miembros (un clérigo y un laico) elegidos por cada provincia. El Obispo Presidente y la Presidenta de la Cámara de Diputados son el presidente y la vicepresidenta. Los otros miembros del Consejo Ejecutivo son miembros ex oficio con presencia y voz, pero sin voto.

La lista de los miembros se encuentra aquí.

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Guatemalan woman nears two years living at church that offered sanctuary from deportation

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 2:38pm

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega with some of her sewing machines at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. Photo: Yonat Shimron/Religion News Service

[Religion News Service — Greensboro, North Carolina] Juana Luz Tobar Ortega spends her days at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church sewing pillow covers, sculpting clay cups and bowls and cooking papusas and tamales.

But Ortega’s many homemaking skills belie the harsh reality of her life: She cannot go home.

Later this month, Ortega will mark her two-year anniversary in sanctuary. The 47-year-old Guatemalan native took refuge at St. Barnabas on May 31, 2017, after receiving an ankle bracelet and an order of deportation.

On May 9, some PBS stations across the country will air a 25-minute documentary titled “Santuario” that tells Ortega’s story. The film looks at the plight of the Ortega family after Juana left her husband, Carlos, four children and two grandchildren for sanctuary. The directors hope the film shines a light on noncriminal deportation cases like Ortega’s, which have multiplied in the wake of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.

Ortega, who has no criminal record, has lived in the United States for 26 years, most of them in the North Carolina town of Asheboro, about 30 miles from Greensboro.

Before taking sanctuary, she worked as a seamstress for a furniture company in nearby High Point. Six years ago during a raid on her employer, she was arrested for entering the country illegally and released. It was then she first realized her asylum claim was denied. Each year since, she checked in with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and received a one-year stay of deportation – until in 2017, when for no stated reason she was given 30 days to leave the country.

Faced with the choice of leaving her family and going back to Guatemala, or awaiting a knock at the door from an ICE officer, she sought church sanctuary.

Ortega’s family visits her at the church every weekend. Her two granddaughters often stay with her during school vacations. But for all practical purposes, her life is on hold.

“I came into the project excited about the idea of sanctuary as a form of protection for people facing deportation,” said Christine Delp, who co-directed the film with Pilar Timpane. “And I came through not really sure whether sanctuary is a good or bad thing. It’s like being in limbo. There’s an extreme emotional, financial, physical toll on families.”

Hundreds of congregations across the country have pledged to support undocumented people at imminent risk of deportation. A far smaller number have actually housed them.

There are now 48 people taking sanctuary in houses of worship across the U.S., according to Church World Service, which maintains a database. Three have been in sanctuary since 2016, when the most recent sanctuary movement began, and 21 are coming up on their second anniversary.

Houses of worship are considered “sensitive locations,” meaning that federal immigration enforcement officers will avoid arresting, searching or interviewing people there under most circumstances.

The congregations that have people living in sanctuary have worked hard to advocate on their behalf.

So far, they’ve had limited success.

Some people in sanctuary have successfully won a stay of removal and have been reunited with their families. (One woman formerly in sanctuary at another Greensboro church was granted a green card last week, entitling her to permanent residency.)

But the majority are still waiting.

Timpane, co-director of the documentary about Ortega, which has shown at 11 film festivals and won the grand jury prize for short documentary at the New Orleans Film Festival, said she still struggles with people’s misunderstandings about the immigration system.

“It continues to surprise that we get questions like ‘What did she do? Why is (she) getting a deportation sentence?’ — rather than ‘What can be done to change the system?’” Timpane said.

St. Barnabas, North Carolina’s first congregation in recent history to offer sanctuary to an undocumented immigrant, took in Ortega knowing her stay would be indefinite, but feeling called nonetheless to help her.

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, center front, poses with her family for a photo released in 2017 by American Friends Service Committee, which was helping her resist a deportation order.

To keep her safe, it instituted new rules: The church doors remain locked. A volunteer is on duty 24 hours a day. And no immigration enforcement officers are allowed on the premises without an arrest warrant signed by a judge.

The church turned a vesting room and storage area into a bedroom and sitting area for Ortega. Her son-in-law, a plumber, installed a shower in one of the church bathrooms.

Besides sheltering her, church members revved up their advocacy on Ortega’s behalf. They’ve written letters, made phone calls, visited Congress to push for an immigration policy that keeps undocumented families together and allows a path to citizenship. Failing that, they have raised the possibility of a private bill that might allow Ortega a stay of deportation.

The church was buoyed by last year’s midterm elections when Democrats took control of the House of Representatives — including the House Judiciary Committee, and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. A church group drove to Washington to visit with Rep. Jerry Nadler, the committee chair, taking some of Ortega’s pottery as a gift. The group also visited with Sen. Thom Tillis, one of North Carolina’s two Republican senators.

But so far, there’s been little movement on immigration.

The Rev. Randall Keeney, the church vicar, said he’s become disillusioned by the nation’s politics that have failed so many undocumented people.

“I used to think our representatives acted out of conscience,” he said. “I don’t believe that anymore. I think they only act out of expediency and for political reasons.”

Last year, the ankle bracelet that ICE strapped around Ortega’s leg broke. The church, which has been upfront with ICE about her whereabouts, called the agency to inform officials about it. ICE offered to fit her with a new bracelet.

The church said no.

This weekend, Ortega’s third child, Jackeline, will graduate from a community college with a degree in animal science. Ortega won’t be there to cheer her on when she accepts her diploma.

Her youngest, Carlos Jr., whom she lovingly calls Carlito, is a high school junior. Ortega tears up at the thought that she might miss his high school graduation next year.

Then she wipes away the tears and reminds herself why she chose sanctuary.

“It’s better for me to stay here,” she said. “Here I have my family. If I went back (to Guatemala) we’d be separated.”

Jackeline, Carlos and Carlos Jr. are U.S. citizens, while Ortega’s two older daughters, born in Guatemala, have qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“It’s hard for us,” said her eldest daughter, Lesvi Molina, who stays with her one night a week. “But it’s nothing compared to what she’s dealing with. It’s very overwhelming to feel like there’s no way out.”

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Arkansas Episcopalians rally support for Syrian school while raising awareness of refugee crisis

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 2:48pm

The Wisdom House Project is a partnership between the Syrian Emergency Task Force and an ecumenical group that originated at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Conway, Arkansas, to support a makeshift school for kindergarteners in Syria’s Idlib province. The school teaches about 130 students a year. Photo: Wisdom House Project, via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] If you haven’t thought much about the Syrian refugee crisis lately and want an update, consider asking an Episcopalian from Arkansas.

You might learn that the Syrian province of Idlib is the last stronghold of rebels fighting the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad, and humanitarian activists warn a final showdown in Idlib could create an “apocalyptic scenario” for civilians, many of them refugees displaced from their homes by Syria’s eight-year civil war.

Idlib also is home to the Wisdom House Project, a school for kindergarteners that recently graduated its third class. Those students are the ones with a connection to Arkansas, through an ecumenical partnership with roots at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Conway, Arkansas.

With the ministry’s help, life in Idlib carries on in the face of ever-present danger.

“Right now, our biggest concern is the well-being of our students, teachers and their families and figuring out, first of all, how to keep the school going,” the Rev. Teri Daily said in an interview with Episcopal News Service. “And if there comes a time when that isn’t possible, how do we help our families that are on the ground there?”

The Syrian boys and girls who attend Wisdom House Project have become “our students” and “our families” for many Arkansas Episcopalians because of the Wisdom House Working Group, which Daily helped launch in Conway in 2016, while she was rector at St. Peter’s. Since then, the group has raised about $100,000 for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a nonprofit that has used the money to renovate classrooms in Idlib, outfit them with desks and teaching materials, pay teacher salaries and even buy a school bus.

The school now has five teachers and four staff members, who take the photos and videos that fill the Wisdom House Project’s website and social media feeds with the faces of smiling young children.

Money raised since 2016 through the Wisdom House Working Group in Arkansas has helped the Syrian Emergency Task Force renovate classroom space for five teachers and their students in Idlib, Syria. Photo: Wisdom House Project

In the photos, the children raise their hands in celebration. They show off their latest craft projects. They stand proudly in front of classroom artwork. They wear hand-sewn uniforms, which were funded by American donations, as were the backpacks draped over their little shoulders. And they hold up colorful letters of hope and encouragement created for them in Arkansas by children they’ve never met.

But this ministry isn’t limited to a narrow focus on the education of 130 or so students in one Syrian community. It also hopes to raise awareness in the United States about the bigger picture in Syria, a country where hundreds of thousands have been killed in a seemingly intractable internal conflict. That conflict in recent years has been overshadowed globally by the parallel, but separate, fight in Syria against the terrorist group ISIS.

“The word needs to get out about what is happening and how this country is being devastated,” said Jerry Adams, a St. Peter’s parishioner who serves as chair of the Wisdom House Working Group. “The bigger picture is there’s no easy way out for this country.”

Assad began his brutal crackdown against a pro-democracy rebellion in 2011, sparking what the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, calls “the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time.” An estimated 5.6 million people have fled Syria since the civil war began, most of them to Turkey.

In September 2015, global attention to the plight of Syrian refugees intensified in response to photos of a dead 2-year-old Syrian boy lying facedown on a beach after a boat capsized while his family was trying to flee the war-torn country.

“The international news was plastered with the refugee crisis, of refugees coming out of Syria,” Daily said. “The situation was really dire, and violence was escalating.”

At the same time, some Republican politicians, citing potential terrorist threats, were voicing opposition to resettling Syrian refugees in the United States. President Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, vowed in December 2015 to implement “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

The Episcopal Church also took a public stance that year, when its General Convention voted in July 2015 on a resolution denouncing “the slaughter and displacement of Syrians” and urging congregations to pray “for an end to the humanitarian and refugee crisis in Syria.”

One Sunday that fall, Daily raised the issue in an announcement to her congregation. “I put out a call and said, ‘The refugee crisis that’s taking place in Syria is weighing heavy on my heart, and if it’s weighing heavy on your heart, meet me in the library at 3 o’clock.’”

Somewhat to her surprise, more than a dozen parishioners joined her that afternoon, and they began their first conversation about what one Episcopal congregation in Arkansas could do.

They started by learning more about the Syrian conflict and listening to the stories of Muslims originally from the Middle East who had moved to Arkansas. They looked into sponsoring a Syrian refugee family but found that few were being resettled locally. And they initially struggled to find ways of supporting humanitarian outreach in Syria.

Then in March 2016, Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, came to Conway to speak at a TEDx conference hosted by his alma mater, the University of Central Arkansas. The group from St. Peter’s reached out to him by phone, and the morning after his speech, he met over coffee with Daily, Daily’s husband and Adams to talk about Moustafa’s native Syria.

“We said, ‘We don’t know how to help,’” Daily recalled. “And Mouaz said, ‘You know, there are so many more displaced people living within Syria than there are refugees who have left Syria.” The UNHCR estimates about 6.6 million Syrians are considered internally displaced, or refugees in their own country.

The Syrian Emergency Task Force had not yet gotten involved in humanitarian work, focusing instead on advocacy in Washington, but Moustafa knew of some Syrian women in Idlib who had begun teaching refugee children and orphans at a makeshift school. After several months of planning and conversation, the nonprofit and the Episcopal congregation agreed to work together in support of the Idlib teachers. St. Peter’s made its first donation to the cause in August 2016, and the next month it officially kicked off the Wisdom House Working Group, committing to at least five years.

Our third class of Kindergarteners has graduated! We received our certificates but our celebration was cancelled due to bombing nearby. #Idlib #Syria #SaveSyria #EyesOnIdlib @syrianetf pic.twitter.com/z7K4ccre6T

— The Wisdom House (@WisdomHseSyria) May 6, 2019

“Since then, Episcopal churches have been really amazing,” said Natalie Larrison, Syrian Emergency Task Force’s director of outreach. Larrison, who is based in Arkansas, joined the nonprofit the same year that it formed its partnership with St. Peter’s, and she is its primarily liaison with the Wisdom House school.

One of the first improvements the project made was to find an underground location for the school, essentially the basement of an existing building, which provided increased security for students. The children are all 6 or younger, so they were born after the start of the Syrian conflict.

“They’ve only known war,” Larrison said.

Students at Wisdom House in Idlib, Syria, hold up some of the “Letters of Hope” they received from children in Arkansas. Photo: Wisdom House Project

The Wisdom House Working Group has grown to include representatives from other churches in and around Conway. About 10 or more of them meet regularly in person or by conference call to get updates on the needs at the school in Idlib and to plan fundraisers.

Today, despite a truce last September, violence is on the rise again in Idlib, putting the nearly 3 million people living in the province under constant threat of attack. Adams expressed frustration that the urgency of the crisis doesn’t resonate with more Americans.

“It’s easy to block it out. It’s not next door. It’s Muslims, not Christians,” Adams said. “If your children hear a plane, they think it’s a passenger plane. If you’re in Syria, the kids think they’re being bombed.”

Daily left St. Peter’s in 2017 to serve as rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Russellville, about 75 miles away from Conway, but she remains involved in the Wisdom House Project. Like Adams, she hopes their work will encourage Americans to pay more attention to Syria.

The project also conveys to Syrians the message that they haven’t been forgotten. That is the purpose of “Letters of Hope,” the letter-writing campaign involving Arkansas children. In photos from Idlib, Daily said she is heartened “to see the faces of the children at the school when they get letters from other children, and to see the faces of the teachers when they feel like they’re not totally alone there.”

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

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Welby: la legislación inglesa le impide al CCA debatir su decisión de excluir de Lambeth a cónyuges del mismo sexo

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 11:16am

El arzobispo de Cantórbery, Justin Welby, a la izquierda, dijo en una conferencia de prensa el 27 de abril que su decisión de no invitar a la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020 a cónyuges del mismo sexo de los obispos era dolorosa para todos los implicados. El arzobispo de Hong Kong y presidente del CCA, Paul Kwong, también participó en la conferencia de prensa. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

[Episcopal News Service – Hong Kong] Los miembros del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano, reunidos aquí del 28 de abril al 5 de mayo, no pueden formalmente debatir la decisión del arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby de excluir a los cónyuges del mismo sexo de los obispos invitados a la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020 .

Welby dijo en una conferencia de prensa el 27 de abril,  en respuesta a una pregunta de Episcopal News Service, que el CCA es el único de los Instrumentos of la Comunión Anglicana que está gobernado por la legislación inglesa.  Está incorporado como “una compañía inglesa con fines benéficos”.  Por vía de la Constitución,  los síndicos “especifican muy claramente lo que puede y no puede hacer” dijo el.

“La doctrina no es uno de los asuntos qué le compete”, dijo Welby  refiriéndose al Consejo.

El “objetivo”del CCA,  según su constitución, es  “promover la religión cristiana y, en particular, promover la unidad y propósitos de las iglesias de la Comunión Anglicana,  en la misión, la evangelización, las relaciones ecuménicas, la comunicación, la administración y las finanzas”. La constitución incluye 30 facultades específicas del CCA después de señalar en su declaración general que “el Consejo tiene la facultad de hacer cualquier cosa que estime que fomenta su(s) objetivo(s) o sea conducente o contingente a hacerlo”.

La cobertura completa de ENS de la 17ª. reunión del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano puede encontrarse aquí.

Welby dijo que  “habrá una oportunidad fuera de la conferencia para que los miembros de la misma me hagan preguntas”  acerca de cualquier tema que quisieran,  y afirmó que no tiene dudas de que el tema de Lambeth saldrá a colación. “Y eso será en una sesión privada, de manera que las personas puedan expresarse libre y claramente, y expresar su desacuerdo, lo cual es perfectamente apropiado”.

Él  hizo notar que la decisión acerca de a quiénes invitar a la Conferencia ha sido la exclusiva prerrogativa del arzobispo de Cantórbery desde la primera conferencia en 1867.

El debate formal de la Conferencia de Lambeth está actualmente en la agenda para el final de la mañana del 4 de mayo como uno de los tres asuntos de la 19ª. sesión de trabajo de las 21 que habrá.  También en la agenda de esa sesión están incluidos un debate sobre las finanzas y asuntos institucionales del CCA (que se transfirió de la sesión anterior)  y la primera de las dos veces en que los miembros considerarán las resoluciones.  La sesión está programada para que dure 75 minutos. En la última reunión del CCA se aprobaron 45 resoluciones, todas ellas en votaciones  de aprobación o rechazo conforme al calendario acordado.

Tanto el Consejo Ejecutivo como la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal,  así como cierto número de diócesis,  han objetado la decisión anunciada el 15 de febrero, en un blog del Servicio de Noticias de la Comunión Anglicana, por el Secretario General de la Comunión Josiah Idowu-Fearon.

El Secretario General de la Comunión Anglicana, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, dijo el 27 de abril que muchas iglesias fuera de la comunión anglicana están debatiéndose con lo que él llamó “este problema” de las relaciones del mismo sexo. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Idowu-Fearon escribió que Welby había invitado “a todos los obispos activos”a la reunión periódica de los obispos de la Comunión Anglicana que sesionará del 23 de julio al 2 de agosto de 2020.  Esa decisión representa un cambio de la anterior Conferencia de Lambeth.  En 2008,  el entonces arzobispo de Cantórbery Rowan Williams rehusó invitar al obispo Gene Robinson, que en el año 2003 se convirtió en el primer obispo abiertamente homosexual y con pareja de la Comunión Anglicana.

Sin embargo, Idowu-Fearon dijo en el texto de su blog que “sería inapropiado que cónyuges del mismo sexo fuesen invitados a la Conferencia”.  Agregó que la Comunión Anglicana define el matrimonio como “la unión de por vida de un hombre y una mujer”,  tal como quedó codificado en la Resolución 1.10  de la Conferencia de Lambeth de 1998.

La decisión de Welby provocó también un rechazo en Gran Bretaña, incluida la Universidad de Kent, en Cantórbery,  donde tiene lugar la mayor parte de la conferencia,  y entre algunos miembros de las cámaras del Parlamento.

“Es digno de notar que la controversia no es en un solo sentido”, dijo Welby,  añadiendo qué ha recibido “un número significativo de cartas” que objetan su decisión de invitar a obispos que están en relaciones matrimoniales con personas del mismo sexo cuando ninguno fue invitado en 2008. “Este es un punto que a veces se olvida”, afirmó él.

Mary Glasspool , obispa auxiliar de la diócesis de Nueva York, es el único obispo en servicio activo de la Iglesia episcopal que tiene un cónyuge del mismo sexo, Becki Sander. El Rdo. Thomas Brown debe ser ordenado y consagrado el 22 de junio como el próximo obispo de la diócesis de Maine.  Él está casado con el Rdo. Thomas Mousin.

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

Cuando K.C. Wong, del Hong Kong Catholic Newspaper  le preguntó a Welby si el problema de las relaciones de personas del mismo sexo era tan apremiante ahora como lo fue cuando Robinson se convirtió en obispo en 2003, Welby respondió  “depende a quién uno le pregunte”.  Es un asunto apremiante en Norteamérica y en partes de Australia, agregó.

“Para ser sincero,  en muchas partes de la Comunión,  no es un asunto que tenga mucha relevancia”, respondió Welby.  En esas zonas  la gente se enfrenta con “problemas de vida o muerte”, dijo,  tales como el aumento de los niveles del agua del Océano Pacífico,  la expansión de los desiertos en África, la violencia sangrienta y la violación como un arma de guerra en Sudán del Sur y en la República Democrática del Congo y la persecución de los cristianos.

“Es un problema apremiante para la unidad de la Comunión o, para ser absolutamente específico, porque no nos pondremos de acuerdo en ese punto, es un problema muy apremiante por la manera en que discreparemos bien y si somos capaces de discrepar bien”, recalcó.

Cuando Idowu-Fearon replicó que muchas iglesias fuera de la Comunión Anglicana están debatiéndose con lo que llamó “este problema”  de las relaciones del mismo sexo, Welby advirtió en contra de esa caracterización.

“No es un problema. Se trata de personas. Cuando tratamos con personas, las tratamos como personas hechas a la imagen de Dios y con la dignidad de ser a la imagen de Dios”, apuntó. “La primera regla es que éstas son personas, y yo creo que la parte más dolorosa para mí de las decisiones que he tenido que tomar es que, en el mismo momento que escribo una carta o tomo una decisión, estoy tomando una decisión sobre personas, y que no hay decisión que dé lugar a que nadie resulte lastimado”.

Su decisión “lastimó a muchas personas”, admitió Welby, “pero habría lastimado a un inmenso número de personas en otras partes de la Comunión”, si hubiera decidido de manera diferente.

“No había una solución amable”, que él rechazó a favor de “la solución desagradable”, afirmó. “No es tan simple como eso”.

Welby señaló que, el 1 de mayo, el CCA suspenderá sus tareas y a los miembros se les ofrecerá la opción de asistir a una “consulta” de 90 minutos sobre Viviendo en amor y fe, el nuevo empeño de la Iglesia de Inglaterra de reflexionar teológicamente acerca de las diversas opiniones sobre identidad y sexualidad humanas.

“Conducirá, espero yo, de manera significativa, a escucharnos más atentamente los unos a los otros en todo el mundo”, subrayó.

Welby dijo que la asistencia opcional a la sesión exige la suspensión de las labores del Consejo porque “eso no cae dentro de lo que el CCA puede hacer”.

Lea más al respecto

La historia del CCA se encuentra aquí.

La cobertura permanente de ENS al CCA se encuentra aquí.

La cobertura del Servicio de Noticias de la Comunión Anglicana [Anglican Communion News Service] se encuentra aquí.

Se envían mensajes de Twitter a través del hashtag  #ACC17HK.

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

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El ACC-17 se abre con llamamientos al testimonio cristiano y al discipulado intencional para un mundo mejor y más pacífico

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 11:08am

[Episcopal News Service – Hong Kong] La 17ª. reunión del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano comenzó oficialmente el 28 de abril con una combinación de discursos y la tradicional liturgia anglicana sazonada al final con costumbres chinas.

Cerca del final de la eucaristía, que tuvo lugar en la catedral de San Juan  [St. John’s Cathedral] en el corazón del distrito financiero de esta ciudad, el arzobispo de Hong Kong y presidente del CCA, Paul Kwong le dijo a la congregación que Hong Kong significa “Puerto Fragante”, un nombre que recibió debido al comercio de especias de sus primeros tiempos.

“Creo que de un discípulo emana ‘la fragancia de Cristo’en la vida diaria”, dijo él. “Mi oración es que el CCA-17 pueda ayudar a nuestra Comunión Anglicana a convertirse en dadora de la ‘fragancia de Cristo’ al mundo”.

El arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby le dio gracias a Dios de “que tú has reunido a tu Iglesia de norte y sur, de este y oeste”. Él luego golpeó enérgicamente tres veces un gong ceremonial y declaró abierta la 17ª. reunión del CCA en el nombre de la Trinidad.

San Juan, que está celebrando su 170º. aniversario este año, es la sede de la Diócesis Anglicana de la Isla de Hong Kong, una de las tres diócesis que, junto con la Diócesis de Kowloon Oriental y Occidental y la Zona Misionera de Macao, forma la Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, la Provincia Anglicana en Hong Kong. San Juan es el edificio eclesiástico occidental más antiguo que sobrevive en Hong Kong. Durante la ocupación japonesa de Hong Kong, de 1941 a 1945, la catedral fue convertida en un club para los japoneses y despojada de gran parte de su mobiliario original.

Los anglicanos deben llevarles a otros la paz que Cristo les ha traído, dijo el arzobispo de Cantórbery Justin Welby en su sermón del 28 de abril durante la eucaristía de apertura de la 17ª. reunión del Consejo Consultivo Anglicano en la catedral de San Juan en Hong Kong. Foto de Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Durante su sermón, Welby le agradeció a las víctimas actuales de la persecución de cristianos de toda la Comunión Anglicana por “mantenerse firmes en su fe” y compartirla con otros.

Refiriéndose a los atentados terroristas del Día de Pascua en Sri Lanka, el Arzobispo dijo,  “esa paradoja de la muerte circundante, de las manos de la violencia al parecer triunfantes, es tan antigua como la promesa de Jesús cuando le dijo a sus discípulos, ‘la paz sea con ustedes’”.

El secretario general de la Comunión Anglicana, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, dirigiendo más tarde la Oración de los Fieles, comenzó pidiéndole a la congregación que se pusiera de pie para guardar un momento de silencio por las víctimas de esos ataques.

Welby dijo que los anglicanos y los demás son “llamados a apoyar a esos destrozados por la persecución, por los disturbios civiles y por la guerra”. El apoyo comienza, dijo él, orando por la paz y recibiendo de Dios “mucho más de lo que podemos consumir nosotros de manera que debemos aliviar al mundo que nos rodea” convirtiendo a las personas en pacificadores y reconciliadores.

Welby llamó a los miembros del CCA a orar “para que seamos llenos  de admiración y de paz”, en lugar de escondernos detrás de las barreras del prejuicio. “Porque al hacerlo, perdemos la paz, abandonamos a nuestras hermanas y hermanos, y no tenemos nada de lo cual dar testimonio”, afirmó.

Ese testimonio, sobre el cual el CCA-17 está reflexionando mediante un enfoque llamado “discipulado consciente”, se produce fácil y frecuentemente en algunas partes de la Comunión, si bien en otros lugares, dijo Welby, es “raro, excepcional, e incluso está olvidado”. Por ejemplo, señaló, una encuesta de la Iglesia de Inglaterra encontró que sólo un tercio de los padres que asisten a la iglesia creía que era importante transmitirles la fe cristiana a sus hijos.

“Nuestras familias son nuestro más cercano campo de misión”, subrayó.

Temprano en el día, alocución presidencial

Mientras las primeras sesiones de trabajo del Consejo se iniciaban, en la mañana del 28 de abril, Welby dijo en su alocución presidencial que el CCA se reúne “no para nosotros, sino en el servicio de Dios”.

El CCA es “el grupo más notablemente diverso de la Comunión, representando 2.000 lenguas diferentes y un número semejante de culturas, según Welby. “El milagro de la Comunión es que, a través de la obra de Jesucristo, somos hechos uno por la sola gracia de Dios, no por nuestra elección o por nuestra selección”, dijo.

Welby le recordó al CCA que cada una de las 40 provincias de la Comunión y seis organismos extraprovinciales son tan autónomos como independientes.

“Sabemos que lo que uno de nosotros hace nos afecta a todos. Tenemos el derecho autonómico a tomar decisiones, provincia por provincia, de estar presente o estar ausente”dijo. “Ser interdependiente significa que debemos limitar ese derecho por amor los unos de los otros”.

Welby dejó claro en su alocución que la unidad de la Comunión Anglicana le mostrará al mundo cómo viven los seguidores de Cristo, aunque discrepen.

“No podemos condenar a naciones completas a la ausencia de ayuda, al abandono del apoyo, al solitario sufrimiento por consentirnos el lujo de la desunión”, enfatizó él. Los anglicanos no podemos descuidar a los damnificados por la guerra, abandonar a los pobres y los perseguidos, ignorar el cambio climático o dejar de predicar el Evangelio con la intención de hacer discípulos, “porque creamos que nuestros problemas son más importantes”, dijo el Arzobispo en la parte más animada de su discurso.

Haciendo notar que si bien algunos países saben lo que es vivir en peligro, Welby describió un peligro que dijo se estaba extendiendo por el mundo “en el cual amaga la posibilidad de la ruptura del orden basado en la ley que ha gobernado al mundo desde 1945, y el populismo se levanta  a través del Hemisferio Norte, con el aislamiento como secuela.

“El cambio climático se torna cada vez más peligroso para todo el planeta —un verdadero jinete del Apocalipsis. Es en estos tiempos que la Comunión Anglicana tiene la posibilidad no sólo de ser un lugar de refugio y estabilidad en el mundo, sino un lugar de transformación, un lugar donde el interés propio se torne en servicio, donde el temor se transforme en fe y donde la enemistad y la injusticia se conviertan en el amor y la misericordia del Señor”, dijo Welby.

El Consejo Consultivo Anglicano, personal y clero, fueron recibidos por bailarines de león de varias escuelas de Hong Kong y otras organizaciones de la Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, la Provincia Anglicana de Hong Kong, durante una cena el 28 de abril. Foto de Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS.

Algunas estadísticas del CCA

El Consejo consultivo Anglicano es uno de los tres Instrumentos de la Comunión, siendo los otros la Conferencia de Obispos Anglicanos de Lambeth y la Reunión de los Primados. El arzobispo de Cantórbery (que es presidente del CCA) es visto como el “Foco de la Unidad” de los tres instrumentos. Debido a que el CCA está compuesto de obispos, clérigos y laicos, es el organismo más representativo de la Comunión.

De los 99 miembros presentes en el CCA-17, 69 son hombres y 30, mujeres. Más de la mitad son miembros nuevos. Cincuenta y seis son ordenados y 43 son laicos. De los 56 miembros ordenados, nueve son mujeres.

Compárese eso con la Reunión de los Primados, que no ha contado con ninguna mujer entre sus miembros desde que período de Katharine Jeffers Schori como 26ª. obispa primada de la Iglesia Episcopal terminó en noviembre de 2015. De los 670 obispos que asistieron a la última conferencia de Lambeth en 2008, 18 eran mujeres, en comparación con 11 en 1998. En la Conferencia de Lambeth 2020 se espera un significativo incremento de esa cifra , pero el total será menos de 60.

Sólo Nigeria y Uganda no enviaron representantes a la reunión del CCA-17. La lista de asistentes aparece aquí.

Lea más al respecto

La historia del CCA se encuentra aquí.

La cobertura permanente de ENS al CCA se encuentra aquí.

La cobertura del Servicio de Noticias de la Comunión Anglicana [Anglican Communion News Service] se encuentra aquí.

Se envían mensajes de Twitter a través del hashtag  #ACC17HK.

El grueso de la reunión está teniendo lugar en el Hotel Costa de Oro [Gold Coast Hotel], a unos 45 minutos del centro de Hong Kong. Se dice que el lugar es más económico que un hotel en la parte principal de la ciudad.

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

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