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Bishops object to Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision to exclude same-sex spouses to 2020 Lambeth Conference

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 6:09pm

Many of the major liturgies during the Lambeth Conference of bishops take place at Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of the archbishop of Canterbury and what is considered the “mother church” of the Anglican Communion. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Hendersonville, North Carolina] The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops said March 15 that it is “aggrieved and distressed” by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s decision to exclude the same-sex spouses of bishops invited to the 2020 Lambeth Conference.

The bishops said they “are concerned by the use of exclusion as a means of building communion.”

Welby says on the website of the gathering of Anglican Communion bishops that he prays that “the Lambeth Conference will reinvigorate the Communion.” The website notes that Welby has invited “every eligible bishop and spouse.”

The majority of the house plans to go to Lambeth, according to the statement. The bishops said they want to continue to build relationships across the communion, “further the conversation around the various cultural expressions of marriage” and “reflect our understandings of marriage, as well as our commitment to the dignity of all human beings, including the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons.”

The statement passed on a voice vote. At least one bishop, Dan Martins of Springfield, could be heard voting no.

Diocese of New York Bishop Assistant Mary Glasspool currently is The Episcopal Church’s only actively serving bishop who has a same-sex spouse. She addressed the house on March 14.

The Rev. Thomas Brown is due to be ordained and consecrated on June 22 as the next bishop of the Diocese of Maine. He is married to the Rev. Thomas Mousin. The diocese elected Brown on Feb. 9. It is possible that Episcopal Church dioceses will elect bishops with same-sex spouses between now and the July 23, 2020, beginning of the Lambeth Conference.

The only other active bishop in the Anglican Communion to whom Welby’s decision is known to apply is Diocese of Toronto Bishop Suffragan Kevin Robertson. He married Mohan Sharma, his partner of nearly 10 years, on Dec. 28, 2018.

The statement includes a statement from the Bishops Spouses Planning Group saying they

“join our voices with those in The Episcopal Church who have expressed their disappointment and dismay” with Welby’s decision. “We especially stand with our fellow spouse, Becki Sander, spouse of Bishop Mary Glasspool,” they said.

“The spouse community understands that the Anglican Communion is not of one mind with regard to marriage, and that, in the life of the communion, this is a complex issue,” they said. “Exclusion of same-gender spouses, however, seems like a simplistic reaction to this complex issue. It saddens us that all are not welcome to walk, listen, and witness with us, and that all voices will not be heard at this gathering.”

The bishops refused on a 44-42 show of hands to pass a second resolution calling on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to ask Welby to change his mind. Curry told the house before the vote that he has had “one long conversation” with the archbishop and has exchanged letters with him as well.

“I’ve got to be honest with you, I don’t expect he’ll change, but I’m willing to say that this house really would like it to be reconsidered if there is any way that it can be,” he said.

The texts of the bishops’ statement and that of the spouses are here.

Also at the meeting

Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop David Rice speaks to the house on March 15 hours after the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Rice once served as a vicar in the Diocese of Christchurch. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

The bishops responded in a number of ways to the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 49 died. The morning Eucharist included prayers for “the victims of the shootings in New Zealand, rest to their souls and peace to their families.”

Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop David Rice, speaking at the opening of the morning session, called the attacks “an unprecedented act of terrorism.”

Rice was the bishop of the Diocese of Waiapu in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia when he was called to San Joaquin. Born and raised in North Carolina, Rice was a Methodist pastor for eight years prior to his ordination in the Anglican Church.

He began his Anglican priesthood in the Diocese of Christchurch. It is where his daughter and son went to kindergarten and primary school, he told the house. He and his wife Tracy have a home there to which they will retire, Rice said.

“I find myself as I stand here before you – and I should have thought of this because I was up all night contacting family and friends to see if they’re okay – to have something to say, but I find I have no words.”

He said he suggested to Diocese of Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas that Bishops Against Gun Violence reach out to Christchurch Bishop Peter Carrell and Richard Wallace who leads Te Wai Pounamu, the Maori diocese, “as an act of solidarity to send our love.”

Rice evoked the statement from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who said of the victims of the attacks, “They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand.”

Rice said, “Say that with me. They are us.” The house responded loudly, and Rice stopped to compose himself.

“Our immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers, say it with me, they are us.”

The house responded, “They are us.”

“Our Palestinian sisters and brothers, say it with me, they are us.”

The house responded, “They are us.

“Those who even lose their way and do harm, say it with me, they are us.

The house responded, “They are us.”

“Amen,” Rice said, returning to his table.

The bishops prayed in silence and then were led in prayer by the Very Rev. Miguelina Howell, a chaplain to the house and dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, Connecticut.

Later in the day, the members of Bishops Against Gun Violence who were at the meeting gathered for the group’s weekly Facebook Live prayer service, held this Friday in the chapel at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center. The vigil included remarks by Curry.

The House passed a resolution committing itself to upholding General Convention Resolution D034, which suspends for three years the canon (church law) that places a time limit on initiating proceedings in cases of clergy sexual misconduct against adults. The church has no time limit on reporting clergy sexual misconduct against children and youth under age 21.

The resolution affirms that the bishops are “intent on having robust pastoral response in all matters regarding sexual misconduct regardless of when that alleged misconduct occurred.”

Diocese of Central New York Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe later told the house that the group that planned the Liturgy of Listening during the 2018 General Convention has assembled a toolkit for other Episcopalians to use for similar services.

“It is our responsibility as bishops to make sure everyone is safe and to respond well when that is  not true,” she said.

The bishops who have taken The Episcopal Church’s pledge to protect and renew the Earth and those who live on it gathered March 15 under the trees at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center to record a video invitation for the rest of the church to join them. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

The bishops also voted to “commit ourselves, individually and corporately to live the Way of Love, practices for a Jesus-centered life, and we ask every member of The Episcopal Church to consider joining us in meeting and following Jesus through the Way of Love.”

Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe Bishop Suffragan Pierre Whalon proposed the resolution, saying it grew out of the previous three days of exploring the Way of Love.

Whalon and some colleagues discussed how the Way of Love could develop into a de facto strategy for the church’s mission if the bishops committed to live the Way of Love and invited other Episcopalians to join them.

“We’ve had a lot of things come down the pike that were supposed to be life-changing programs and they came along, and they just continued down the pike,” he said. “I believe that the Way of Love could be considered yet another program” if the bishops and the entire church do not commit to the practices it outlines.

More information about the Way of Love is here.

Five women bishops who have either been ordained and consecrated or elected since General Convention in July 2018 attended the March meeting. They are Arizona Bishop Jennifer Reddall, Newark Bishop Carlye Hughes, West Tennessee Bishop-elect Phoebe Roaf, Colorado Bishop-elect Kimberly D. Lucas and Kansas Bishop Cathy Bascom.

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops’ women of color who attended the Kanuga meeting pose March 14 for a photo. They are, front row left to right, Indianapolis Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, West Tennessee Bishop-elect Phoebe Roaf, Colorado Bishop-elect Kimberly D. Lucas and retired Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Barbara Harris; and back row, left to right, Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Gayle Harris, Newark Bishop Carlye Hughes, Bishop Carol Gallagher (serving as Diocese of Massachusetts regional canon) and Cuba Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

The House of Bishops met March 12-15. Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce, the house’s secretary, said 132 bishops attended the meeting, including three bishops-elect. Bishops-elect who have received the canonically required consents to their ordination and consecration are invited to attend the meetings. Retired Bishop Suffragan of Ohio Arthur Williams was the senior bishop present.

Five of the 10 bishops who form the 2018 class are women and five are men, marking the first time in the church’s history that a class is evenly divided between women and men. Four of the 10 are persons of color, Diocese of Newark Carlye Hughes, Ecuador Litoral Bishop-elect Cristobal Leon Lozano (who did not attend the meeting), Colorado Bishop-elect Kimberly D. Lucas and West Tennessee Bishop-elect Phoebe Roaf.

The gathering is the group’s annual spring meeting. The bishops normally meet each spring and fall during non-General Convention years. They will next meet Sept. 17-20 meeting. Spouses are traditionally part of the fall meeting.

Other ENS coverage is here.

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

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Episcopal House of Bishops March 2019: The Bishops’ Mind of the House Resolution on Lambeth and a statement from the Bishops’ Spouses Planning Group

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 6:07pm

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church met in retreat at Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, North Carolina. At their March 15 business meeting, they adopted the following Mind of the House Resolution and received a statement from the Bishops’ Spouses Planning Group which follows the bishops’ statement.

Bishops gathered at the Spring 2019 meeting of the House of Bishops are aggrieved and distressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision to exclude same sex spouses of bishops from participating in the Lambeth Conference, 2020. We appreciate that all of our bishops diocesan, suffragan, and assistant have been invited, and are concerned by the use of exclusion as a means of building communion.

At this time, the majority of bishops invited plan to attend the conference. Through our presence we will participate fully in the program of the conference, as well as seek to further the conversation around the various cultural expressions of marriage. We intend to build relationships and missional partnerships that will be inclusive vehicles for building communion across the Anglican world in all its beautiful diversity. We will seek to reflect our varied understandings of marriage, as well as our profound commitment to the dignity of all human beings, including the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons.

This week we have been in prayer and reflection on the Way of Love and how we as The Episcopal Church make that witness to the world as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. We affirm that all persons have been named by God as beloved and we commit to living more deeply into that truth.

A STATEMENT FROM THE BISHOPS’ SPOUSES PLANNING GROUP

We join our voices with those in The Episcopal Church who have expressed their disappointment and dismay at the exclusion of same gender spouses from the invitation to Lambeth Conference. We especially stand with our fellow spouse, Becki Sander, spouse of Bishop Mary Glasspool, who is one of the spouses being excluded.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has stated that the theme of this Lambeth Conference is “God’s Church for God’s World: Walking, Listening, and Witnessing Together”. The spouse community understands that the Anglican Communion is not of one mind with regard to marriage, and that, in the life of the Communion, this is a complex issue. Exclusion of same gender spouses, however, seems like a simplistic reaction to this complex issue. It saddens us that all are not welcome to walk, listen, and witness with us, and that all voices will not be heard at this gathering.

As Christians, we strive to live out our Baptismal Covenant and respect the dignity of every human being. A faithful expression of that Baptismal Covenant would be including same gender spouses to walk, listen, and witness with us at Lambeth.

 

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Anglicans from Caribbean dioceses train for disaster preparedness and resilience

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 12:00pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglicans from throughout the Caribbean have been taking part in a “Pastors and Disasters” workshop in Grenada. The workshop has been organized and hosted by the Church of the Province of the West Indies with the global Anglican Alliance, the U.S.-based Episcopal Relief & Development and the Canadian Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. It was staged following a number of natural disasters and climate change-related events to hit the island nations.

Read the full article here.

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Church leaders offer prayer and solidarity after New Zealand mosque attacks leaves 49 dead

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 11:55am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglican archbishops in New Zealand, Australia and England have spoken out after gunmen attacked two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. At 9 p.m. Friday NZDT (8 a.m. GMT), the official death toll from the terror attacks stood at 49 people with another 39 being treated in Christchurch Hospital. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush told a press conference that 41 people were killed at the al-Noor mosque on Deans Avenue; and seven at the Linwood Islamic Centre on Linwood Avenue. Another person died at Christchurch Hospital.

Read the full article here.

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Bishops consider response to Lambeth decision not to invite same-sex spouses to 2020 gathering

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 5:20pm

Diocese of New York Bishop Assistant Mary Glasspool speaks to the House of Bishops March 14 with New York Diocesan Bishop Andrew Dietsche, right, and New York Bishop Suffragan Allen Shin at her side. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Hendersonville, North Carolina] The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops spent time on March 14 in both open and closed sessions considering how to respond to the decision to exclude same-sex spouses from the 2020 Lambeth Conference of bishops.

“We are not avoiding it. We are being prayerful, thoughtful, strategic about what is the loving action for us,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry told Episcopal News Service after the closed session ended. “We as a house are now thinking and considering what are the creative possibilities and loving ways that we can bear witness to the Way of Love that we are committed to as the way of following Jesus.”

Diocese of New York Bishop Assistant Mary Glasspool addressed the house in open session to begin the day, with New York Diocesan Bishop Andrew Dietsche and New York Bishop Suffragan Allen Shin at her side. She is The Episcopal Church’s only actively serving bishop who has a same-sex spouse. Glasspool asked for her colleagues’ continued support, while also urging them to listen to their spouses and to consider what it would mean if “we are not at the table to bear witness” to the love of Christ that “lives and bears fruit in the lives of married LGBT people.”

Before he closed the house, Curry asked the bishops to enter “the vision that Mary has invited us into” with two questions that she had just put to them: How will they continue to be a “hospitable house” and welcome new bishops with same-sex spouses? And, What is the best way and most creative way to bear witness to God’s love and justice at Lambeth?

He invoked theologian Paul Tillich’s idea that there is a “creative and saving possibility in every situation.”

Curry asked the bishops to consider how to employ Tillich in finding ways to “witness to the communion that we love and that we are a part of, and on behalf of our sisters and brothers whom we love. What are those creative and saving possibilities that reflect the Way of Love even though it is hard?”

Curry suggested that they consider forming a small group of bishops and spouses to generate some ideas before the house’s Sept. 17-20 meeting. The bishops and spouses will meet together in September. Spouses do not normally attend the spring meeting.

Diocese of New York Bishop Assistant Mary Glasspool, front row right, joins in a group photo of all the women bishops and bishops-elect who are present for the March 12-15 meeting at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Glasspool was elected bishop suffagran of Los Angeles on Dec. 4, 2009, and was consecrated on May 15, 2010, along with Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce who was elected by the same convention. At the time she was the 17th woman to be elected a bishop in The Episcopal Church, and still is the first openly lesbian bishop in the Anglican Communion. She is married to Becki Sander, her partner of more than 30 years. She has been bishop assistant in the Diocese of New York since April 2016.

Glasspool spoke to the bishops for about 15 minutes, recounting how “within hours” of her election then-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams issued a statement that was interpreted as a call to the diocesan standing committees of The Episcopal Church and its bishops with jurisdiction to withhold their consent to Glasspool’s ordination and consecration.

Two years ago, Williams, who retired from Canterbury in 2012, was in New York for Holy Week and was invited to be part of the traditional clergy Renewal of Vows service on Holy Tuesday at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Glasspool said she was anxious about encountering him, and, she did in the crowded sacristy. Williams, according to Glasspool, said,  “Bishop Mary, we got off to a rocky start, and I’m sorry. I hope you will forgive me, and we can begin anew.”

“I stammered out ‘Of course. I understand. Thank you.’ For me this brief exchange was the holiest of gifts, a true balm in Gilead.”

She also recounted a gathering sponsored by Trinity Wall Street in September 2018 to give Welby the opportunity to promote Lambeth during which he had “gone out of his way to engage and befriend” her wife. Glasspool said that the archbishop and Sander had a “friendly and lengthy conversation” about their shared “passion for social work.” Welby, Glasspool said, gave Sander his card with his personal email address, and invited her to be in touch.

Thus, she said, she was shocked by a letter from Welby on Dec. 4, 2018, telling her that Sander was not invited to Lambeth. Sander was “shocked, hurt and enraged.” They each replied by letter to Welby, and, she said, they had hoped that news about Welby’s decision would not become public until this House of Bishops meeting.

However, on Feb. 15 Anglican Communion Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon wrote in an  Anglican Communion News Service blog that “it would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference.” He said the Anglican Communion defines marriage as “the lifelong union of a man and a woman,” as codified in Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

In the midst of the publicity that the blog generated, it “became startlingly clear that this was a political issue” that went beyond her and Sander, and the two other affected couples, she said.

Diocese of Maine Bishop-elect Thomas Brown

The Rev. Thomas Brown is due to be ordained and consecrated on June 22 as the next bishop of the Diocese of Maine. He is married to the Rev. Thomas Mousin. The diocese elected Brown on Feb. 9. A majority of bishops with jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to his ordination and consecration. The process of obtaining those canonically required consents (under Canon III.11.3 beginning on page 164 here) is underway.

The only other active bishop in the Anglican Communion to whom Welby’s decision is known to apply is Diocese of Toronto Bishop Suffragan Kevin Robertson. He married Mohan Sharma, his partner of nearly 10 years, on Dec. 28, 2018.

Diocese of Toronto Bishop Suffragan Kevin Robertson

Robertson recently told ENS that Welby informed him in person in early February that Sharma would not be invited. Robertson and Sharma are the parents of two young children.

It is possible that Episcopal Church dioceses will elect bishops with same-sex spouses between now and the July 23, 2020, beginning of the Lambeth Conference.

Glasspool asked her colleagues in the house to consider that “spouses are autonomous people – they are not simply extensions of the bishops to whom they are married” and ought to be able to make their own decisions about Lambeth. Glasspool said she hoped that the House of Bishops would not try to speak for them but instead would “listen to their voices, individually, and to whatever degree they can speak collectively, as a group.”

“Second, I really believe that it is better to be at the table when you’re on the menu,” she said. “How will people come to see and know the love of Christ as it lives and bears fruit in the lives of married LGBT people if we are not at the table to bear witness to that love?”

As Glasspool began to make a third point, her voice caught. “I want my own life to be centered in the life, ministry, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and I dare say you do, too. It is so easy, and at times very tempting, for me at least, to be drawn away from that center. So I’m asking your help to stay centered,” she said. “I’m keenly aware that the Way of Love is also the Way of the Cross. You all know this, too. The sacrificial aspect of Jesus’ love for us is also the most precious, and for that, and for all of you, I am eternally grateful.”

The House of Bishops is overwhelmingly a married house. Of 160 bishops who are active, full- or part-time, in a diocese or institution, only 16 are single, according to Bishop Todd Ousley, who oversees the church’s Office of Pastoral Development.

The bishops gave Glasspool a prolonged standing ovation. Before the closed session began, Curry told her that “the spirit of God that was upon Martin [Luther] King [Jr.] is upon you now.”

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council on Feb. 24  asked the bishops and their spouses, and the House of Bishops collectively, “to prayerfully and carefully consider her/his/their response, choices and actions” in the light of what it calls the “troubling circumstances” of the decision to exclude same-sex spouses from the Lambeth Conference. Council unanimously approved a resolution that said it found the decision “inconsistent” with the positions of The Episcopal Church and with multiple statements of Anglican Communion entities that have urged the church to listen to the experiences LGBTQ persons.

An outward and visible sign of support by some bishops

Diocese of Idaho Bishop Brian Thom says he decided to attach a photo of Diocese of New York Bishop Assistant Mary Glasspool and her wife Becki Sander to his name badge as an “expression of love” for them and for all of the bishops’ spouses. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

From the beginning of the meeting, Diocese of Idaho Bishop Brian Thom has worn a photo of Glasspool and Sander on his name badge. It is an “expression of love” for them and appreciation for all bishops’ spouses, he told ENS.

Thom said other bishops have asked him about the photo that hangs below his name badge. Some have asked him for one to wear as well, while “others have observed them and thanked me for them,” but not asked for a copy, he said.

He told ENS that he downloaded the photo from the web and did not tell Glasspool beforehand what he was doing. As it happened, she was the first person he encountered when he first wore his name badge. She responded with a big hug, he said, and then took a photo of it to send to Sander.

“I know how much my spouse contributes to my ministry, makes it possible,” Thom said of his wife, Ardele. “It’s hard for me to imagine an invitation that does not include both partners.

“Every bishop here would say that they could not do what they do without their spouses in some way.”

Thom said, “The Anglican Communion is working out its conflict on the back of persons not responsible for the conflict.”

About the meeting’s agenda

The House of Bishops is meeting March 12-15 at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center outside Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The gathering is the group’s annual spring meeting. The bishops normally meet each spring and fall during non-General Convention years.

They will close their time at Kanuga with a business meeting the afternoon of March 15.

Other ENS coverage is here.

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

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El Camino del Amor y Lambeth: La Obispa Mary D. Glasspool habla a la Cámara de los Obispos

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 5:15pm

[14 de marzo de 2019] La obispa Mary D. Glasspool, asistente del obispo de la Diócesis Episcopal de Nueva York, compartió estos comentarios durante la sesión matutina del 14 de marzo en el retiro de la Cámara de los Obispos de La Iglesia Episcopal en Kanuga:

El Camino del Amor y de Lambeth.
La Reverendísima Mary D. Glasspool

El Camino del Amor no es nada si no se expresa en gratitud, así que comienzo ofreciendo mi profundo agradecimiento a todos y por todos ustedes. Gracias, no solo por la manera en que han brindado su amor y preocupación en esta reunión, sino también por su hospitalidad y amistad en los últimos nueve años durante los cuales he tenido el privilegio de servir. Gracias al Obispo Andy y al Obispo Allen, por su colegialidad, amistad, amor y la alegría que experimento al trabajar con ambos. Gracias al Obispo Michael, por su increíble liderazgo de estos locos cristianos en el Movimiento de Jesús mientras buscamos un bálsamo en Galaad. Estoy agradecida al obispo Gene Robinson, quien rompió el hielo en nombre de las personas LGBT +, sufrió las heridas y continúa sirviendo al Pueblo de Dios en el mundo. Estoy profundamente agradecida a mi esposa de 31 años, Becki Sander, que sigue siendo una pareja amorosa, sacrificada y perdonadora, así como una hija de Dios por derecho propio. Y especialmente agradezco a nuestro amoroso y gracioso Dios, que hace que la Presencia de Dios sea conocida incluso en aquellos momentos en que, como Elías, estoy tratando de esconderme en alguna cueva, o cuando, como Jonás, estoy tratando de olvidarme de la gente de Nínive. Gracias.

A las pocas horas de mi elección como segundo Obispo Sufragáneo de Los Ángeles, el primero fue mi hermana en Cristo: Diane Jardine Bruce, el entonces Arzobispo de Canterbury, Rowan Williams, emitió una declaración que comenzó: [Esta elección] plantea cuestiones muy serias, no solo a La Iglesia Episcopal y su lugar en la Comunión Anglicana, sino a la Comunión en su conjunto. Luego recordó a La Iglesia Episcopal que la elección debe ser confirmada, o podría ser rechazada, por los obispos diocesanos y los comités diocesanos permanentes. Esa decisión tendrá implicaciones muy importantes. [Declaración del Arzobispo de Canterbury del 6 de diciembre de 2009].

Hace dos años, el Arzobispo Rowan Williams, retirado de Canterbury desde 2012, estaba en la ciudad de Nueva York, dando charlas de Semana Santa en la Iglesia de St. Thomas, en la Quinta Avenida, y lo invitamos a formar parte de nuestro servicio de Renovación de votos el Martes Santo en la Iglesia Catedral de St. John the Divine. Compartí con mis hermanos obispos que estaba más que un poco ansiosa de conocerlo y que estaba planeando ocultarme  en la sacristía, invisible si pudiera lograrlo. Cuando me estaba vistiendo en la concurrida sacristía, para mi horror, vi al Arzobispo caminando directamente hacia mí, y antes de que me pudiera escapar, él estaba frente a mí. Dijo: Obispa Mary, tuvimos un comienzo difícil, y lo siento. Espero que me perdone, y podamos comenzar de nuevo. Tartamudeé, por supuesto. Entiendo. Gracias. Para mí, este breve intercambio fue el más sagrado de los regalos, un verdadero bálsamo en Galaad.

El 22 de septiembre de 2018, el actual Arzobispo de Canterbury, Justin Welby, fue recibido por Trinity Wall Street para promover la Conferencia de Lambeth. Después de asistir a la consagración celebrativa de La Reverendísima Carlye Hughes en Newark, los obispos de Nueva York y nuestros cónyuges se unieron al Rector y a la Junta Parroquial de la Trinidad para una recepción y una cena en honor del Arzobispo. En la recepción, el Arzobispo Justin no solo nos saludó calurosamente, sino que buscó específicamente a mi esposa, Becki, y la involucró en una conversación amistosa y prolongada. Parece que cada uno de ellos tiene pasión por el trabajo social, y el Arzobispo compartió información con Becki sobre un proyecto en el que está trabajando, le dio su tarjeta con su dirección de correo electrónico personal y la invitó a comunicarse con él. Luego, el Arzobispo y nuestro propio Obispo Presidente Michael, hicieron una presentación informal antes de ir a cenar. Bromearon sobre la Boda Real y se mantuvieron alegres. Entre las palabras pronunciadas por el Arzobispo se encuentran estas: el Obispo Michael y yo somos hermanos en Cristo, aunque no estemos de acuerdo sobre algunos temas, como el del matrimonio gay. No me gustó mucho el comentario, pero Becki, la más inteligente de las dos, sospechó. Traté de asegurarle a Becki señalando que el Arzobispo Justin había hecho todo lo posible por comprometerse y hacerse amigo de ella, y que todo estaba bien.

Comparto todo esto con ustedes para que puedan comenzar a imaginar el impacto cuando, de forma inesperada, recibí una carta personal del Arzobispo Justin el 4 de diciembre, cuya primera frase decía: Querida Obispa Mary, le escribo a usted directamente, ya que siento que le debo una explicación a mi decisión de no invitar a su cónyuge a la Conferencia de Lambeth, una decisión que, como bien sé, le causará dolor, lo cual lamento profundamente. La carta me recordó que La decisión sobre las invitaciones a la Conferencia de Lambeth la hace el Arzobispo de Canterbury.La carta incluía una invitación a que Becki y yo fuéramos al Palacio de Lambeth para hablar más sobre la decisión, si así lo deseábamos, y pedía mi comprensión, aunque no mi acuerdo con esta decisión. La carta fue copiada a + Andy Dietsche, + Michael Curry, y al Arzobispo Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretario General de la Comunión Anglicana.

Compartí la carta con Becki, quien se sorprendió, lastimó y enfureció; y el Obispo Andy y yo compartimos la carta con el Obispo Allen. Pedí que todo esto no se hiciera público hasta que tuviéramos tiempo de reflexionar y orar juntos por una respuesta. Becki y yo también fuimos a ver al Obispo Michael el 13 de diciembre para más consultas, lamentos, consejos y atención pastoral, todo lo cual recibimos con gratitud. Escribí una carta de dos páginas en respuesta al Arzobispo Justin, en la que invocaba la Carta desde una Cárcel de Birmingham del Dr. Martin Luther King, en la que se citan algunos puntos relacionados con leyes justas e injustas; compartiendo algo de mi viaje personal; asegurándole mis propias oraciones; y cerrando con este párrafo:

Quizás lo más importante que quiero decir es  esto: ¡Se trata de AMOR! Me refiero a las personas que se aman y recurren a la iglesia para ser apoyadas en sus matrimonios de por vida. Se defienden los valores de fidelidad, respeto, dignidad, verdad, monogamia y el amor que es nuestro amoroso regalo de Dios para todos nosotros. Después de una discusión de por vida, estoy relativamente segura de que La Iglesia Episcopal nunca volverá a dar la espalda a la comunidad LGBTQ. ¿Se dirá lo mismo de Lambeth 2020?

Becki le escribió una carta al Arzobispo Justin y la envió el 24 de diciembre para que pudiéramos tener una Navidad tranquila. Hicimos lo que pensamos que deberíamos hacer, y luego descansamos. Sabíamos que no se trataba solo de nosotros, pero en ese momento era una conversación personal y privada.

Esperaba que esta noticia no se hiciera pública hasta después de esta reunión de la Cámara de los Obispos, cuando pensé que podríamos considerar juntos estos asuntos y otros relacionados con la Conferencia de Lambeth. Pero cuando el arzobispo Josiah Idowu-Fearon escribió en su blog que sería inapropiado que los cónyuges del mismo sexo fueran invitados a la conferencia en un post titulado The Global Excitement About Lambeth Conference el 15 de febrero de este año, la noticia se hizo pública rápidamente. Igualmente quedó claro que se trataba de un problema político, no solo sobre Becki y mi, y el obispo Kevin Robertson de Toronto y su cónyuge, Mohan Sharma, y ​​el obispo electo de Maine: Thomas Brown y su cónyuge, Tom Mousin, sino sobre las personas LGBTQ en todo el mundo y sus relaciones con nuestra iglesia. Los aspectos políticos de la situación se publicaron rápidamente: el costo de Lambeth, el propósito de Lambeth, los llamados Instrumentos de Unidad, el poder, la autoridad, la inclusión, la exclusión, la hospitalidad y la cortesía común, ¿deberíamos ir? ¿No deberíamos ir? La gente de la Diócesis de Nueva York comenzó a preguntar a sus obispos qué pensábamos, y sentimos la necesidad de compartir algunos de nuestros pensamientos con nuestra propia gente, no de ninguna manera para evitar la discusión, sino simplemente para compartir nuestros pensamientos. Entonces, los obispos de Nueva York enviaron una carta fechada el 1 de marzo a la diócesis, escrita principalmente por el Obispo Andy, y firmada por el obispo Allen y mi. Esa carta fue compartida con todos ustedes a petición del Obispo Michael. Otros de ustedes también han escrito cartas.

Para terminar, haré tres puntos breves y luego ofreceré algunas preguntas que podríamos elegir considerar. Los puntos son solo míos, aunque ciertamente pueden estar de acuerdo o en desacuerdo con ellos. El primero es este: los esposos son personas autónomas, no son simplemente extensiones de los obispos con los que están casados. Como hijos de Dios por derecho propio, en mi opinión, tienen la libertad y la prerrogativa de tomar sus propias decisiones sobre Lambeth. Espero que escuchemos sus voces, individualmente, y en la medida en que puedan hablar colectivamente, como grupo. Confío en que los escucharemos, y no intentaremos hablar por ellos.

En segundo lugar, realmente creo que es mejor estar a la mesa cuando estás en el menú. ¿Cómo vendrá la gente a ver y conocer el amor de Cristo, mientras vive y da frutos en las vidas de personas LGBT casadas si no estamos a la mesa para dar testimonio de ese amor.

Y tercero, quiero que mi propia vida esté centrada en la vida, el ministerio, la muerte y la resurrección de Jesucristo, y me atrevo a decir que ustedes también. Es muy fácil y, a veces, muy tentador, al menos para mí, alejarme de ese centro. Por lo tanto, estoy pidiendo su ayuda para mantenerme centrada. Soy muy consciente de que el Camino del Amor es también el Camino de la Cruz. Todos ustedes también saben esto. El aspecto sacrificial del amor de Jesús por nosotros también es el más precioso, y por eso, y por todos ustedes, estoy eternamente agradecida.

Así que aquí hay algunas preguntas. ¿Cómo vamos a seguir siendo una cámara hospitalaria? En la reunión de otoño, si Dios quiere, le daremos la bienvenida a nuestro Obispo Thomas Brown y su cónyuge, Tom, y posiblemente a otros socios LGBT casados. Ciertamente, antes de la Conferencia de Lambeth puede haber más. ¿Cómo les daremos la bienvenida?

¿Cuál es la mejor manera de dar testimonio del amor y la justicia de Dios en Lambeth? ¿Hay formas creativas de hacer esto?

Estoy segura de que hay otras cosas de las que todos quieren hablar. Entonces, oremos.

 Oh Dios de poder inmutable y luz eterna: mira con favor a toda tu Iglesia, ese maravilloso y sagrado misterio; por la operación eficaz de tu providencia, lleva a cabo en tranquilidad el plan de salvación; haz que todo el mundo vea y sepa que las cosas que han sido derribadas son levantadas, las cosas que han envejecido son renovadas, y que todas las cosas están siendo llevadas a su perfección, mediante aquel por quien fueron hechas, tu Hijo Jesucristo nuestro Señor: que vive y reina contigo, en la unidad del Espíritu Santo, un solo Dios, por los siglos de los siglos. Amén. BCP, p. 2o0

La Reverendísima Mary D. Glasspool
14 de marzo de 2019

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133.150 dólares otorgados en becas para el Ministerio de Jóvenes adultos y el Universitario

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 2:52pm

[14 de marzo, 2019] El Consejo Ejecutivo de La Iglesia Episcopal aprobó las recomendaciones de becas 2019 para Jóvenes adultos y Ministerio universitario durante la reunión de febrero en Oklahoma. Se otorgará un total de 133.150 dólares a 21 beneficiarios de becas de toda La Iglesia Episcopal.

Las  becas para jóvenes adultos y para el ministerio universitario brindan fondos a las diócesis, las congregaciones y las comunidades de los colegios /tribales y los campus de colegios universitarios que están participando o buscan participar en el ministerio con jóvenes adultos dentro y fuera de los campus universitarios.

“Estas becas ayudan a La Iglesia Episcopal a vivir en una comprensión más amplia de lo que significa estar en el ministerio con jóvenes adultos dentro y fuera de los campus universitarios”, dijo la Reverenda Shannon Kelly, Directora de los Ministerios de Jóvenes Adultos y Universitarios. “Este es un ministerio en crecimiento, que muestra a la iglesia cómo participar en la misión y en el Movimiento de Jesús en formas nuevas e innovadoras”.

Se concedieron cinco becas para el ministerio del campus, cuatro becas para liderazgo, tres becas para proyectos y nueve becas para los jóvenes adultos a 19 diócesis. Las becas para el ministerio del campus proporcionan capital inicial para ayudar en la puesta en marcha de nuevos ministerios innovadores del campus o para mejorar un ministerio actual. Las becas de liderazgo establecen nuevos ministerios, restauran la inactividad o revitalizan los ministerios actuales del campus. Las becas para proyectos brindan dinero para un proyecto único que mejorará e impactará el campus o el ministerio de jóvenes adultos. Las becas para jóvenes adultos proveen dinero inicial para ayudar a la puesta en marcha de nuevos ministerios innovadores para jóvenes adultos o para mejorar los ministerios actuales.

Recipientes y proceso de revisión.
Se recibieron un total de 57 solicitudes de becas, de las cuales 19 fueron becas para el liderazgo, 16 becas para el ministerio del campus, cuatro becas para proyectos y 18 para el ministerio de jóvenes adultos. La petición de solicitudes totalizó más de 665,000 dólares.

Las solicitudes de becas fueron revisadas por un equipo que incluyó a los coordinadores provinciales para el ministerio del campus y a los líderes en el área del ministerio de jóvenes adultos. Las solicitudes fueron leídas por miembros del personal del Departamento de formación en la fe, así como por un miembro del Consejo Ejecutivo. Cada solicitud recibió una puntuación, así como comentarios de tres revisores. Todos los revisores se reunieron en persona (con una persona que se unió mediante video llamada) para discernir qué becas deberían financiarse. El equipo de revisión trabajó increíblemente duro y fielmente para discernir cada solicitud y la Oficina de formación está profundamente agradecida por su dedicación y trabajo duro.

Becas para el ministerio de campus

  • Todos los Santos’ @ La Mesa, Diócesis Episcopal de Arkansas, Provincia VII,  4.800 dólares
  • Canterbury @ Plymouth, Diócesis Episcopal de New Hampshire, Provincia I, 3.400 dólares
  • Beca episcopal y luterana en el Campus de Macon, Diócesis Episcopal de Atlanta, Provincia IV, 4.850 dólares
  • Ministerio del campus episcopal en la Universidad de Carolina del Norte, Asheville, Diócesis Episcopal del Oeste de Carolina del Norte, Provincia IV, 3.700 dólares
  • Futuros fieles: puesto de escucha, Iglesia Episcopal en Connecticut, Provincia I, 5.000 dólares

Becas para el liderazgo

  • Pastoral Universitaria – Iglesia Episcopal Puertorriqueña, Diócesis Episcopal de Puerto Rico, Provincia IX, 30.000 dólares
  • Georgia Tech, Diócesis Episcopal de Georgia, Provincia IV, 14.000 dólares
  • Capellanía de la Universidad de Pittsburgh, Diócesis Episcopal de Pittsburgh, Provincia III, 14.000 dólares
  • El Ministerio del Campus Episcopal de San Lucas y la Biblioteca de U R Loved, Diócesis Episcopal de Fort Worth, Provincia VII, 14.000 dólares

Becas para proyectos

  • Diócesis Episcopal del Norte de Michigan / Canterbury House, Diócesis del Norte de Michigan, Provincia V, 1.000 dólares
  • Ministerio del campus episcopal en la Universidad de Rutgers, Diócesis Episcopal de Nueva Jersey, Provincia II, 900 dólares
  • Iglesia Episcopal de San Juan, Diócesis Episcopal de Ohio, Provincia V, 1.000 dólares

Becas para el ministerio de jóvenes adultos

  • 3er lugar – Un ministerio para jóvenes adultos de la Diócesis Episcopal de Carolina del Norte Occidental y el Ministerio presbiteriano del campus episcopal en la Universidad Estatal de los Apalaches, Diócesis Episcopal de Carolina del Norte, Provincia IV, 2.500,00 dólares
  • Amado en el desierto, Diócesis Episcopal de Arizona, Provincia VIII, 5.000,00 dólares
  • Comunidades emergentes, Diócesis Episcopal de El Camino Real, Provincia VIII,  4.000,00 dólares
  • Campamentos episcopales y centros de conferencias, Diócesis Episcopal de Virginia, Provincia III, 5.000,00 dólares
  • Cuerpo de Servicio Johnson, Diócesis Episcopal de Carolina del Norte, Provincia IV, 3.000,00 dólares
  • La vida juntos, Diócesis Episcopal de Massachusetts, Provincia I, 5.000,00 dólares
  • Ministerio de Jóvenes Adultos Marquette, Diócesis Episcopal del Norte de Michigan, Provincia V, 5.000,00
  • Plainsong Farm & Ministry, Diócesis Episcopal del Oeste de Michigan, Provincia V,  3.000,00 dólares
  • Iglesia Episcopal de Santo Tomás – Dinner church, Diócesis Episcopal de Nueva Jersey, Provincia II, 4.000,00 dólares

Para más información, diríjase a Kelly,  skelly@episcopalchurch.org.

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Cámara Episcopal de los Obispos marzo de 2019: Oraciones de los fieles, Eucaristía de apertura, 12 de marzo de 2019

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 2:46pm

[14 de marzo de 2019] La Cámara de los Obispos de La Iglesia Episcopal se reunirá en retiro en el Centro de Conferencias Kanuga, Hendersonville, NC. En la Eucaristía inaugural del 12 de marzo, el Reverendo Ricardo Bailey, capellán de la Cámara de los Obispos, dirigió a la congregación en las Oraciones de los fieles, escritas especialmente para esta reunión, con reconocimiento y oraciones por la Reverendísima Barbara Harris, celebrante, y por David Booth Beers, Canciller del Obispo Presidente, Emérito.

Estas oraciones se comparten aquí:

ORACIONES DE LOS FIELES
EUCARISTÍA DE APERTURA DE LA CÁMARA DE LOS OBISPOS
MARTES 12 DE MARZO DE 2019.
CAMPAMENTO KANUGA, CAROLINA DEL NORTE
CAPILLA DE LA TRANSFIGURACIÓN

CAPELLÁN: Llamados, como todos estamos, a dar a Jesús al mundo, nos reunimos en fe, como Iglesia en oración, pidiendo a nuestro Dios misericordioso que escuche nuestras necesidades y las necesidades de todos los que nos pidieron que les recordáramos en nuestras oraciones:

POR LA IGLESIA
En acción de gracias a Dios por el testimonio y el ministerio de La Iglesia Episcopal y el de la Comunión Anglicana, especialmente cuando observamos y agradecemos a Dios por la Obispa Barbara Harris, la primera mujer ordenada obispo en esta Iglesia y en esta Comunión el 11 de febrero de 1989 ¡Que esta observancia de su 30º aniversario de la ordenación renueve su llamado a ser un apóstol a medida que continúa liberando corazones y transformando las mentes para que todos puedan celebrar la efusión del Espíritu de Dios en todos nosotros!
¡Oremos al Señor! R /. ¡Señor, escucha nuestra oración!

POR EL MUNDO
Que al observar y celebrar el don de las mujeres, durante este mes de marzo, tengamos siempre la buena intención de celebrar los dones de cada mujer, creadas a imagen y semejanza de nuestro Dios, para anunciar la Buena Nueva a un mundo que necesita una Palabra del Señor. ¡Que Dios bendiga a las mujeres que sirven en nuestra Iglesia en el laicado, en la vida religiosa y monástica, en el diaconado, en el presbiterado y en el episcopado: que sigan sosteniendo, alimentando y capacitando a nuestro mundo para que se vean como Dios nos ve!
¡Oremos al Señor! R /. ¡Señor, escucha nuestra oración!

POR LOS OPRIMIDOS, AFLIGIDOS O EN NECESIDAD
Por todos los que sufren injusticia a manos de otros; recordemos especialmente las almas cuya dignidad y derecho a la vida no se respetan ni se protegen, especialmente a las que sufren por la “industria” del tráfico sexual humano; que el legado justo y el alma santa de Harriet Tubman inspiren a hombres y mujeres a trabajar para poner fin a todas las formas de esclavitud moderna, opresión y falta de respeto a la dignidad humana.
¡Oremos al Señor! R /. ¡Señor, escucha nuestra oración!

POR LAS NECESIDADES DE LA COMUNIDAD LOCAL.
Que el Señor, que nos llama a todos por nuestro nombre, nos capacite e inspire a todos a continuar construyendo la relevancia y el lugar de Dios en cada aspecto de nuestras vidas. Por aquellos que consideran que nuestro ministerio es ofensivo o incluso amenazador, que el Espíritu Santo libere cada corazón endurecido y transforme cada mente cerrada para ver el bien que hacen los discípulos humildes de Jesús, todos los días en nuestras comunidades locales.
¡Oremos al Señor! R /. ¡Señor, escucha nuestra oración!

POR LA ASAMBLEA CRISTIANA
Para que celebremos con profunda gratitud el trabajo, el ministerio, el fiel testimonio de nuestro hermano, David Booth Beers, Canciller del Obispo Presidente, que cumplió fielmente con este rol durante 27 años, que experimente paz de mente y corazón al embarcarse en el siguiente capítulo de su vida que Dios tiene reservado para él.
¡Oremos al Señor! R /. ¡Señor, escucha nuestra oración!

POR LOS MUERTOS
Que Dios, que es fiel, levante y restaure a la promesa de la Vida Nueva a cada obispo de esta cámara y, más allá, a quienes nos hayan precedido, marcados con el signo de la fe. ¡Que tengan la paz y el descanso eternos y que sus oraciones se unan a la Comunión de los Santos que continuamente interceden por el bien de la Iglesia todos los días!
¡Oremos al Señor! R /. ¡Señor, escucha nuestra oración!

POR LAS ORACIONES EN NUESTROS CORAZONES
Que cada oración que traemos a esta reunión de hoy, las dichas y no dichas, sean contestadas de acuerdo a la voluntad, al propósito y al plan de nuestro Dios que siempre conoce nuestras necesidades incluso antes de que las pidamos.
¡Oremos al Señor! R /. ¡Señor, escucha nuestra oración!

OBISPO: Dios Todopoderoso, que conoces nuestras necesidades antes de que las pidamos: ayúdanos a pedir solo lo que concuerda con tu voluntad; y las cosas buenas que no nos atrevemos, o en nuestra ceguera, no podemos pedir, concédenoslas por el bien de tu Hijo, Jesucristo nuestro Señor. ¡Amén!

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Archbishop of Cape Town honored for work combating poverty and promoting education

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 2:28pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The British international affairs organization FIRST has given its 2019 Responsible Capitalism Advocacy Award to Archbishop Thabo Makgoba for his work in establishing a trust to combat poverty and promote educational skills. The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Josiah Idowu-Fearon, collected the award on Thabo’s behalf from the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, during a reception in the historic Lancaster House in London, a former royal palace.

Read the full article here.

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President of Mauritius bestows country’s highest honor on Bishop Ian Ernest

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 2:25pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Bishop of Mauritius Ian Ernest, former primate of the Indian Ocean, has been made Grand Commander of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (GCSK). The award is the highest rank or distinction of Mauritius’ honor. The award was made by President Barlen Vyapoory on the advice of the country’s Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and announced on March 12, the National Day in Mauritius. This year’s celebrations marked the 51st anniversary of the nation’s independence. Ernest is now entitled to use the prefix “The Honorable,” and the post-nominal initials GCSK.

Read the full article here.

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Archbishop Welby warns against ‘cultural imperialism’ in evangelism to other faiths

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 2:21pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has warned against “cultural imperialism” and called for Christians to be sensitive and seek genuine dialogue when witnessing to those of other faiths. He made his comments when delivering the annual Deo Gloria Lecture, hosted by the London School of Theology, at Lambeth Palace March 13. The archbishop warned against making evangelism a product in a marketplace or an expression of cultural superiority.

Read the full article here.

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The Way of Love’s scope expands beyond The Episcopal Church at House of Bishops meeting

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 5:43pm

Diocese of Cuba Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio presides at Eucharist March 13 in the Chapel of the Transfiguration at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center on the second day of the House of Bishops meeting. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Hendersonville, North Carolina] Two bishops from other churches, the Church of England and the African Episcopal Methodist Church, on March 13 helped The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops expand its view of the Way of Love.

During their four-day meeting here, the bishops are centering each day’s work on a theme about the Way of Love, including Engaging the Way of Love, Resourcing for the Way of Love and Integrating the Way of Love. The March 13 theme was Deep in the Way of Love.

“The church at its best is the whatever-it-takes church” and must be “more prophetic than programmatic,” African Episcopal Methodist Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie tells the House of Bishops March 13. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

African Episcopal Methodist Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the denomination’s first woman bishop, and Church of England Bishop Ric Thorpe, a church planter who is now the bishop of Islington, both spoke to the bishops.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry set up the meeting’s theme on March 12, saying the Way of Love is a return to Christianity’s roots. “We didn’t make anything new,” he said. “We went back to the treasure chest.”

McKenzie, who has known Curry since his time at St. James Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland, told the house that the Way of Love is “a message that will resonate with people who are hurting in a very disgruntled world.”  She urged the bishops to work hard on how they would incorporate the Way of Love into their own lives “because, guess what, if you don’t get it here, it’ll be hard for you to translate it outside of this room.”

Both the culture and the context of church has changed in the 21st century, she said, and what worked in the past does not work now. However, too many churches just do the same old things, maybe with a different name, and hope it brings different results. The church, McKenzie said, has to be “more prophetic that programmatic” and should not be content “to preside over attrition.”

Attracting “servants to the prophetic pipeline” will not happen if “we are more in love with church than we are with Jesus Christ,” she said. It will not happen through marketing campaigns, new technologies, social media, “your hip-hop gospel liturgy, the buildings, programs and exclusivity, she said.

“It will only be by the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit,” McKenzie said.

The church needs to be “reminded that the church at her best is the whatever-it-takes church. It is a church that is open to the new leadings of the Holy Spirit. It’s open to the possibilities of the future. It doesn’t settle for good-enough. It keeps asking itself, ‘Is better possible?’ Sometimes it is a church where biblical priorities are chosen over methods and traditions.”

Thorpe told the bishops the story of his conversion experience and how it led him to become an evangelist and church planter. As the bishop of Islington, he supports the Diocese of London’s goal of creating 100 new worshipping communities within the diocese by 2020.

The essence of church planting is about making disciples and teaching them to make disciples of others, Church of England Bishop of Islington Rich Thorpe tells the House of Bishops. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Clergy and all church leaders need to repent, saying “we have lost our way; we’ve lost our passion for the Gospel,” Thorpe said. They need to admit to Jesus that “we’ve tried lots of stuff and it just doesn’t work and we need something different.”

Church planters and those who hope to revitalize existing churches must honor the past, navigate change in the present and look to the future, all the while making space for innovative ideas about how to be the church in their contexts. “We need to encourage each other to think differently” and take risks, Thorpe said, “even if you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.”

In terms of risk, evangelists need to have a loose hold on their traditions and be willing to “go down in flames, not just be comfortable,” he said.

The essence of church planting, Thorpe said, is about making disciples. If God is love and people are created in God’s image, then people must love God and love their neighbor, in part by sharing the news about God’s loving intentions. New disciples also need to be encouraged to make more disciples and be given the tools to do that, Thorpe said.

Denominations need to look at who the church is not reaching and then be strategic about how to connect with those people. “The incarnation is about going to where people are, rather than waiting for people to come to you,” he said.

“That’s when you get culture change” in a denomination, Thorpe said. Widespread adoption of the principles of the Way of Love, having it become the way the church works, he added, could mean a major change in the culture of The Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church needs to truly commit to evangelism, rather than fighting about sex, money and power, Bishop of Honduras Lloyd Allen says during his sermon March 13 in the Kanuga chapel. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

During a panel discussion with McKenzie and Thorpe, Curry said he worries about the danger of evangelists inviting people into an abstract relationship with Jesus, rather than into a relationship with the Jesus of the Gospel, whose example Christians are called to emulate in their lives.

Following “Abstract Jesus,” Curry said, can “easily merge into the cultural notions of Jesus, which is not what I am talking about.”

Curry said that conversations about church decline sometimes create a pit in his stomach. He added that he has realized that “somewhere in my career, the goal of my ministry is to increase the number of people in church, increase the dollars in church, and, do things that model success in every other venture of life and replicate them in the church.”

The presiding bishop said he is working on making an “internal paradigm shift.”

“I think that if I ever get to the point where the goal of my ministry is to help as many people as I can have that real loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God that we know through Jesus Christ, if that’s my goal, then actually the decline in the numbers of the church doesn’t matter because the decline in the numbers of the church may not indicate a decline in the number of people who are following Jesus.”

More about the Way of Love and resources for exploring it are here.

The House of Bishops honored Massachusetts retired Bishop Suffragan Barbara Harris on the evening of March 12, a month and a day after the 30th anniversary of her ordination and consecration as the first woman bishop in the Christian church. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Also on the meeting’s agenda

The House of Bishops is meeting March 12-15 at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center outside Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The gathering is the group’s annual spring meeting. The bishops normally meet each spring and in the fall during non-General Convention years.

The bishops are due to discuss on March 14 the 2020 Lambeth Conference, including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s decision to not invite same-sex spouses of bishops to the gathering.

They will close their time at Kanuga with a business meeting the afternoon of March 15.

Other ENS coverage is here.

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

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Juez de la Corte Suprema del estado de Nueva York desestima la demanda del obispo Sauls

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 3:26pm

[13 de marzo de 2019] Un juez de la Corte Suprema del estado de Nueva York desestimó hoy sustancialmente todas las reclamaciones en una demanda contra la Sociedad Misionera Doméstica y Extranjera (DFMS), el nombre corporativo de La Iglesia Episcopal, presentada por el Obispo Stacy, que fue destituido de su puesto como director de operaciones en abril de 2016.

La demanda de Sauls contra la DFMS y un número no especificado de acusados ​​no identificados asociados con la iglesia, afirmaba que la decisión de la iglesia de reemplazarlo como jefe de operaciones violó el contrato de Sauls, dañó su reputación y le dificultó encontrar un trabajo en otro lugar en la iglesia.

El juez Paul A. Goetz descubrió que el contrato de Sauls no se violó porque él era un “empleado a voluntad” y que “nada en el manual [DFMS] limita el derecho de los demandados a rescindir el empleo del demandante por cualquier motivo”.

Goetz desestimó la demanda de difamación porque el plazo de prescripción de un año había caducado. Sauls argumentó que el estatuto fue reactivado por la re- publicación de material presuntamente difamatorio. Sin embargo, Goetz dijo que las reclamaciones más recientes no cumplían con el estándar de reedición porque no identificaban “las palabras particulares de que se quejaba ni especificaba ´el tiempo, la forma y la persona a quien se hacía la publicación´, ni identificaba a la persona que lo hizo”.

Al desestimar la demanda de que la DFMS había interferido con las perspectivas de empleo de Sauls, Goetz escribió: “No hay ninguna alegación de que los acusados ​​fueran conscientes de que el demandante había buscado estas oportunidades de empleo o que habían interferido intencionalmente en estas oportunidades”.

El juez también desestimó la reclamación de Sauls de indemnización por los honorarios legales relacionados con la demanda que presentó contra DFMS.

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Norman Tendis honored at launch of WCC economic and ecological justice resource

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 1:04pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A resource rooted to the congregation level of churches’ engagement in ecological and economic justice was launched during a public event at the World Council of Churches headquarters in Geneva yesterday on March 12. The publication is the fruit of a long work led by Pastor Norman Tendis, WCC consultant for economy of life, who was one of the victims of the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Read the full article here.

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Praise service celebrates Irish hymn writer Cecil Frances Alexander on the 200th anniversary of her birth

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 12:58pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The 200th anniversary of the birth of Anglican hymn writer Cecil Frances Alexander was celebrated with a themed praise evening in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on March 10. During her lifetime, she wrote almost 400 popular hymns, including “All Things Bright and Beautiful”; “There Is a Green Hill Far Away”; “Once in Royal David’s City”; and, I bind unto myself today “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate.”

Read the full article here.

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Ecumenical leader Robina Winbush dies

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 12:36pm

Robina Winbush (left) attended an ecumenical breakfast at the 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri, with co-moderators, Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri and Rev. Cindy Kohlmann. Photo: Contributed to PC USA

[The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)] Ecumenical and interfaith groups across the world are mourning the passing of the Rev. Robina Winbush. The director of Ecumenical Relations in the Presbyterian Church USA’s Office of the General Assembly died on March 12 while returning from a 10-day visit to the Middle East. She was deplaning in New York when she collapsed at the airport.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Winbush received her education from Kent State and Harvard universities as well as Union Theological Seminary in New York.  She began her ministry at the Presbyterian Church USA more than 30 years ago when the church opened its offices in Louisville, Kentucky. She served in an ecumenical role in Global Missions before taking a pastorate in Queens, New York.

Read the full article here.

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House of Bishops opens spring meeting with exploration of the Way of Love

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 5:01pm

[Episcopal News Service – Hendersonville, North Carolina] The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops has begun a four-day deep dive into the Way of Love, which Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls a rule of life for the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.

Curry explained to the house that the idea for the Way of Love, an intentional commitment to follow Jesus and adopt a set of practices, including turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go and rest, grew out of a meeting of a group of bishops, clergy and lay people he called together to consider how to help Episcopalians keep Jesus at the center of their lives and at the center of the church.

The question, he said, is how to live in such a way that “when folk look at Episcopalians, they no longer see those that we celebrated for their power and their glory, but they see those who celebrate the glory and the grandeur and the goodness of God. How do we make that happen?”

The presiding bishop said the Way of Love was a return to Christianity’s roots. “We didn’t make anything new,” he said. “We went back to the treasure chest”

Curry said he was struck by the way his sermon at the Royal Wedding last May was received. He insisted that he didn’t say anything new during his time in the pulpit in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. “What shocked me was that sermon was news because to represent Christianity as a way of love was actually not just good news, it was new news in Western culture,” he said.

He called that reality a “mission opportunity for us.” He said that it is now countercultural to have “a way of being Christian that looks like the face of Jesus of Nazareth and reflects his way of love, but that is countercultural, to be quite honest.”

The presiding bishop bemoaned the fact that most opinion polls of younger people report that they see Christianity as “narrow minded, fundamentalist-ic, homophobic and bigoted.” He said that “the public face of Christianity in the United States has been highjacked. There is no sense that there is a diversity of expressions among Christians,” but instead more and more the public image is “the image of a right-wing political agenda.”

The presiding bishop insisted that he is not talking about a liberal and a conservative stance. “This is about following Jesus, not anybody’s political party,” he said.

More about the Way of Love and resources for exploring it are here.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said during his sermon in the Kanuga chapel that the church must return to its roots in the “ultimate inclusiveness” of Jesus. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

During his sermon at the opening Eucharist earlier in the day, Curry invoked what he called the “heritage” of Jesus at the Last Supper and what E. Franklin Frazier called the “underground church” of slaves in the United States. The church, Curry said, must get back to its rootedness in Jesus so that it can preach the good news of salvation to all. The slaves went to church on Sunday morning with their masters, but their underground church represented “the Christian movement for them and it is out of this movement, this Jesus movement, that they realized that this Jesus holds the key to set the captive free, and he holds the key to set the slave master free,” he said.

It was “the ultimate inclusivity,” Curry said.

Massachusetts retired Bishop Suffragan Barbara Harris listens March 12 to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach during the opening Eucharist for the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops four-day spring meeting at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

“What was true for Jesus at the Last Supper and what was true for those slaves in the antebellum cotton and tobacco fields may well be true for us even in our time as The Episcopal Church,” he said.

Curry told the story of a discovery that the congregation of St James Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland, made after their building was struck by lightning. During the restoration, an urban archeologist discovered, below a number of layers, a mural of a multi-branched vine painted on the original surface of the floor where Curry served from 1988 to 2000.

“It may be that underneath the layers that have been added over the centuries – layers of establishment, layers of being the first church, layers of having the finest citizens, layers of endowments, layers of comfort and convenience. It may be that underneath it all, there is a very simple vine and branches. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Abide in me, and I in you,’” Curry said. “And no matter how bad your demographics look, no matter how tough the cultural circumstances, no matter who is in the White House, ‘I am the vine. Those who abide in me will bear much fruit.’”

Also on the meeting’s agenda

The House of Bishops is meeting March 12-15 at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center outside Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The bishops will begin each day with Eucharist and center the day’s work on a theme about the Way of Love. The themes including Engaging the Way of Love, Deep in the Way of Love, Resourcing for the Way of Love and Integrating the Way of Love. The March 12 work will be aided by African Episcopal Methodist Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the denomination’s first woman bishop and Church of England Bishop Ric Thorpe, a church planter who is now the bishop of Islington.

The gathering is the group’s annual spring meeting. The bishops normally meet in each spring and in the fall during non-General Convention years.

The bishops will close their week at Kanuga with a business meeting the afternoon of March 15.

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

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El Camino Real chooses a five-person slate for its next bishop

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 4:47pm

[Episcopal News Service] The Diocese of El Camino Real Standing Committee announced March 12 a slate of five candidates for the fourth bishop of the diocese.

They are:

The Rev. Canon Lucinda Ashby, canon to the ordinary, Diocese of Idaho;

The Rev. Deon Johnson, rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brighton, Michigan;

The Rev. Janine Schenone, rector, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Diego, California;

The Rev. Channing Smith, rector, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church and School, Saratoga, California; and

The Rev. Canon Janet Waggoner, canon to the ordinary and chief of staff, Diocese of Fort Worth.

Their biographies and Q&A answers are here. Each candidate will submit a brief video introducing themselves, which will be posted to the website in the next few weeks, according to the announcement.

The electing convention will be June 1.

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves announced on March 15, 2018, that she would call for the election of her successor. The new bishop will be ordained and consecrated on January 11, 2020, during Gray-Reeves’ 13th year as bishop.

A seven-day petition period is currently open, during which additional candidates may come forward. The petition forms and the requirements are available here. Completed petitions and backup material must be submitted no later than March 16 by midnight PST. Anyone considering being a petitioner is asked to notify the President of the Standing Committee the Rev. Shelley Denney immediately at shelley@eca-sj.org, even before filing paperwork, so that background checks may begin as soon as possible, the announcement said.

“Walkabouts” will be held the week of May 4-11.

The candidates have been asked to refrain from coming into the diocese as guest preachers, retreat leaders, workshop presenters or in other capacities, according to the announcement. Episcopalians in the diocese were told to not contact the candidates or ask them questions.

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Jennifer A. Reddall consecrated as bishop of Arizona

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 4:44pm

Arizona Bishop Jennifer A. Reddall was ordained and consecrated on March 9. Photo: David Schacher Photography, LLC

[Diocese of Arizona] The Rev. Jennifer A. Reddall was ordained and consecrated as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Arizona at 11 a.m. on  March 9 at Church for the Nations in Phoenix. More than 1,400 people attended the historic service, as Reddall became the first woman bishop in the diocese’s 58 year history. More than 1,000 people have viewed the video of the service, which was originally live-streamed. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry led the service as chief consecrator. The Rev. Winnie Varghese, director of justice and reconciliation at Trinity Church in New York City, was the preacher.

In addition to a traditional choir with 90 choristers from churches around the diocese, music included Native American drumming and singing, a South Sudanese choir, a Spanish choir and a Mariachi band. Following the service, a celebratory reception was held in the courtyard at the church.

The consecration service may be viewed on the diocesan YouTube channel.

On Sunday, April. 7, 2019, the newly-consecrated bishop will be formally welcomed and “seated” at Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix at a 5 p.m. service.

Reddall was elected at the Diocesan Convention on Oct. 20, 2018, on the first ballot. Prior to election, she was the rector of Church of the Epiphany in New York, New York, a position she held since 2014. Reddall grew up in California, and after graduating from Yale University with a degree in theater studies, she joined the Episcopal Urban Intern Program in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from the General Theological Seminary in New York City with a Master of Divinity degree in 2002. Reddall has one son, Nathan. Her parents moved to Tucson, Arizona, in 2016. She is in a long-term relationship with Paul Sheehan, who lives primarily in Hong Kong.

Reddall succeeded the Rt. Rev. Kirk S. Smith, who had served as the fifth bishop of the diocese for 15 years.

The Diocese of Arizona was established in 1959, and has approximately 20,000 members in 12,500 households in more than 60 congregations.

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