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Middle East archbishop briefs Anglican primates on reconciliation

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 12:48pm

Archbishop Suheil Dawani, primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, spoke to the Oct. 2-6 Primates Meeting about reconciliation. Photo: ACNS

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Suheil Dawani of Jerusalem and the Middle East has briefed his fellow Anglican Primates on his province’s reconciliation ministry. The archbishop, whose own diocese takes in the countries of Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria and Lebanon; and whose province includes Iran, Cyprus and the Gulf, and Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, has considerable experience of reconciliation work.

“This morning I had the opportunity to update the primates on the situation we have in Jerusalem – a city which embraces three religions,” Dawani told the Anglican Communion News Service, “and I said something about how we build trust and hope amongst the communities who live there.”

He said that reconciliation was “a priority” for Anglicans, and added that the work could be done through the church’s work and mission. “I believe strongly that through the work of our schools and institutions we can reach people and we can build up a trust and friendship amongst all these communities.”

The archbishop, who was attending the his first Primates Meeting since being elected as the lead bishop in his province, said: “ At the Primates Meeting we had wonderful fellowship amongst everybody. And this is, for me, a week of learning from each other, exchanging experiences and also learning what other provinces are doing.

“I believe that the interaction that happened with all the primates was very helpful in a very good Christian spirit. And I have to say ‘thank you’ to Archbishop Justin, because he is a good facilitator and I am really confident that he will lead the whole Anglican Communion to a place of getting together to be reconciled with each other. This is my wish and prayer.”

Reconciliation is one of the three priority areas of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. It was on the agenda of the Primates Meeting at the request of the communion’s leaders who took part in the meeting this week in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral, England.

Who are the primates and what is the Primates Meeting?

The provinces and primates of the Anglican Communion are listed here.

Primates conclude Canterbury meeting ‘renewed in their ministry’

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 11:26am

[Episcopal News Service — Canterbury, England] A positive spirit has swept through the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral this week as primates from most of the Anglican Communion’s 39 provinces gathered to address issues of common interest, with many saying they feel renewed in their ministry.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, attending his second Primates Meeting, spoke about his sense of the meeting being a “holy convocation.”

“We concluded our time together washing each other’s feet, following the teaching and the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” Curry said in a video message to the church.

“This wasn’t just a meeting. This was not just a gathering. This was, as a friend of mine often says, a holy convocation. We gathered in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and we did our work together in agreement and disagreement, following and in his spirit.”

Curry said most of the conversation in the meeting was focussed outside of the church. “We spent most of our time, to be very honest, not talking about internal things in the church but, things external where the church can bring her ministry of following Jesus to bear,” he said.

A communiqué issued at the end of the Oct. 2-6 meeting reiterated the primates’ overwhelming desire to walk together in unity, albeit from a distance when faced with differences over issues of human sexuality, such as marriage equality, in their respective provinces.

Archbishop Paul Kwong of Hong Kong said during an Oct. 6 press conference that of the five Primates Meetings he has attended this one has been the best. “The best because everyone present was sincere, was committed, was honest to each other, and I could sense everyone…felt uplifted, encouraged and … we are committed not only to walking together but even walking together much closer because there is a purpose for us together; the purpose of having the Communion, which is to be relevant in the world God has called us to serve.”

The primates said they “endorsed” and “will continue with renewed commitment” the 2016 meeting’s “clear decision to walk together while acknowledging the distance that exists in our relationships due to deep differences in understanding on same-sex marriage.”

The communiqué reports that the primates “reaffirmed commitments made in 2016 regarding the LGBTI community, specifically the Communion’s sorrow for previous failures to support LGBTI people and its condemnation of homophobic prejudice and violence.”

Those close to the meeting say they are deeply moved by the positive expressions of many primates who say they feel renewed and revitalized by their experiences this week. The primates concluded their communiqué by noting that they were leaving Canterbury “enriched by the communion we share and strengthened by the faithful witness of Anglicans everywhere.”

The primates spent the better part of the meeting’s first two days discussing marriage equality and the decisions by the Scottish Episcopal Church last June and the U.S.-based Episcopal Church in 2015 to remove the definition from their canons that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Those decisions have paved the way for both churches’ congregations to offer same-sex marriage ceremonies, but have resulted in a set of consequences, requested by the primates, that restrict those two provinces from participating on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, from being appointed or elected to Anglican Communion standing committees and from taking part in decision-making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity. The consequences were first applied to the Episcopal Church at the primates January 2016 gathering and to the Scottish Episcopal Church during this week’s meeting.

The primates’ communiqué also acknowledged the pain that has been caused by cross-border interventions when a representative of one province or diocese acts in another without permission. The majority of such interventions have been orchestrated by disaffected Anglicans and former Episcopalians who’ve colluded under the umbrella of breakaway groups, such as the Anglican Church in North America or the Global Anglican Future Conference.

The primates said they agreed that the principles governing cross-border interventions have been “clearly stated from the Council of Nicaea onwards and in the 1998 Lambeth Conference.”

There are opportunities for joint initiatives and mission partnerships for the benefit of the gospel where these are agreed between provinces, the primates said in their communiqué. However, they said, consent was critical and it is “essential that courtesy and love should be extended to provinces at all times.”

The primates urged that attempts to deal with breaches of consent and courtesy should be made in regional Primates Meetings and only referred to the secretary general and the archbishop of Canterbury as a last resort.

“We recognized that persistent and deliberate non-consensual cross-border activity breaks trust and weakens our communion,” they said. “We recognized that there is a need for a season of repentance and renewal including where interventions may have happened without prior permission having being sought.”

Most of the characters who’ve attempted to influence previous meetings from the sidelines seemed to have stayed away this time. However, an ACNA representative held a media briefing earlier in the week and attempted to infiltrate the final press conference. Cathedral police escorted him off the premises.

In their communiqué, the primates confirmed that the ACNS is not a province of the Anglican Communion, adding that “we recognized that those in ACNA should be treated with love as fellow Christians.”

In its ongoing efforts towards reconciliation, the Episcopal Church has maintained that the door remains open for former Episcopalians who’ve departed over recent disagreements about biblical authority and theology, primarily centered on the full inclusion of women and LGBT people in the life of the church to return.

Three primates – Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje of Rwanda, and Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda – did not attend this week’s Primates Meeting because of the developments in the U.S.-based Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Another three – Archbishop Sturdie Downs of Central America, Archbishop Jacob Chimeledya of Tanzania, and Archbishop Stephen Than Myint Oo of Myanmar – missed the meeting due to a mixture of practical, health and internal country concerns, according to the Anglican Communion Office.

In other business, the primates discussed evangelism and discipleship strategies across the Anglican Communion’s 39 autonomous provinces, and addressed concerns about the persecution of religious minorities, refugees and migration. They also heard from their colleagues about how climate change and concerns about the environment are affecting their provinces.

The dean of Canterbury, the Very Rev. Robert Willis, led the primates on a late-night candlelit tour of the cathedral, stopping at the floor engraving of the Compass Rose (the symbol of the Anglican Communion) the site of the martyrdom of 12th Century Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, and the Chapel of Saints and Martyrs, which commemorates more recent Christian martyrs from around the world.

Archbishop Moon Hing of South East Asia, one of 16 new primates appointed or elected since the previous Primates Meeting in January 2016, told the Anglican Communion News Service that he’d read a lot of social media comments that the meeting is a waste of time. “But then when I come, I realized that all of us primates are actually very lonely. And it is really a good time to encourage one another … There is a whole bunch of us doing the same thing, and struggling the same way, and sometimes crying to [God], calling up to him.

“We are not alone. There are others. And now we can connect with one another and we can actually build upon the strength of one another and strengthen the weaknesses of each other. That is wonderful.”

Who are the primates and what is the Primates Meeting?

The provinces and primates of the Anglican Communion are listed here.

— Matthew Davies is advertising and web manager for the Episcopal Church. The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg, interim managing editor of the Episcopal news Service, and the Anglican Communion News Service contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at noon EDT Oct. 6 with more information from the primates’ communiqué. This story was also recast at 12:25 EDT Oct. 6 to add comments by Archbishop Paul Kwong.

Video: Presiding Bishop’s message from the Primates Meeting

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:34am

The full text of the Presiding Bishop’s message follows.

I’m here at Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Communion, where the primates of the Communion have met, assembled and gathered by the archbishop of Canterbury. We just concluded what was a meaningful, a beautiful, indeed, a holy gathering of the primates of our Communion. We concluded our time together washing each other’s feet, following the teaching and the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This wasn’t just a meeting. This was not just a gathering. This was, as a friend of mine often says, a holy convocation. We gathered in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and we did our work together in agreement and disagreement, following and in his spirit. Early on, we began with a retreat led by the archbishop of Canterbury with meditations and long periods of silence where we prayed for the spirit of God to dwell within us and lead us.

Soon thereafter, we entered into a time of exploring matters of great concern to the church, internal matters, preparation for Lambeth 2020 and the gathering of the bishops of our Communion, discussion of how that would unfold and some of the preliminary plans.

We continued for a day discussing, at some length and with some depth and genuine honesty and Christian charity, the decision of our brothers and sisters in the Scottish Episcopal Church to make provision for members of the same sex to receive the blessing of marriage.

We then continued and entered into a discussion for the next several days of the ways the church can follow Jesus Christ into the world as his witnesses. We discussed at great length the reality and the need for Anglicans throughout the world to really live as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, following in his footsteps and living his teachings and in his spirit. We discussed the practicalities of helping our church become more disciple-focused and genuinely to take seriously the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. That then led us into a long and extended conversation about evangelism in and by the Anglican Communion in the world, inviting others into that relationship with Christ, sharing our stories and our journeys with our God.

We then moved on to discuss the environment in which we live – God’s created world – and to hear the stories of the impact of climate change on the lives of fellow Anglicans and [all] human beings throughout the world, especially in the developing world. We heard stories of food shortages. We heard stories of growing seasons shortened. We heard stories of unmitigated weather that is now a danger and [is] preventing people from having the kind of abundant life that is intended for us all.

In the midst of this time, the shootings in Las Vegas happened and I must tell you that my fellow primates gathered around and prayed. They gathered around me and gathered around you. We prayed and wrote a statement, and longed for the day when we in our country will not see deaths by guns.

Then, we continued engaged the world even more deeply. We engaged the issues of migration and immigration, human trafficking and heard stories from throughout the Anglican Communion about how the church is actually trying to make God’s world humane and habitable for all of God’s children.

We went on and discussed so many things that have to do with the very life of the world. We spent most of our time, to be very honest, not talking about internal things in the church but, things external where the church can bring her ministry of following Jesus to bear.

This was a gathering where, in the words of the late Archbishop William Temple, we really did reflect the church being the church. William Temple once said the church is the only society that does not exist for benefit of its own members; it exists for the sake of the world.

And, it may well be that, as the primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East and Cyprus concluded his presentation of interfaith relations, it may be that this prayer will be our prayer and a prayer for us all:

May the babe of Bethlehem be yours to tend. May the boy of Nazareth be yours for friend. May the man of Galilee his healing hand send. May the Christ of Calvary his courage lend. May the Risen Lord his promise send and his holy angels defend you to the end.

From Canterbury Cathedral, God bless you. God keep you. May God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

Anglican primates discuss action on climate change

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 8:11am

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and Archbishop George Takeli Oct. 5 discuss the primates’ conversations about climate change. Photo: ACNS

[Anglican Communion News Service] Disappearing islands in the south Pacific, recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and food security issues in Africa were amongst the items discussed by Anglican church leaders as they discussed climate change and the environment during the Primates Meeting in Canterbury, England.

The discussions began on Oct., 3 when Archbishop John Holder, primate of the West Indies, briefed his colleagues on recent hurricanes in the Caribbean; and continued Oct. 5 when the primates heard about disappearing islands in the south Pacific and food security issues in Africa.

Later, in an interview with the Anglican Communion News Service, Holder said that he welcomed the primates’ discussion on the environment, saying that it was “very important” for the church to speak out on climate change. “We are connecting these two devastating hurricanes [Irma and Maria] to climate change,” he said. “We can’t prove it but we think there is some kind of climate change element in there.”

Commenting on the primates’ discussions, he said: “We were hearing the stories from different parts of the world on climate change,” he said.

“And I think we are all convinced it is a fact of life. Even if you take away the term ‘climate change’, something is going wrong with the weather. The weather is becoming extremely destructive and there must be a reason for that.

“So, all of us . . . understand this is a problem and we commit to doing whatever we can to alleviate this problem; or at least help people prepare themselves for the bad weather. And when they are devastated or when they have bad experiences, then chip in to help them to reconstruct and revive themselves.”

On Oct. 5, Archbishop of Southern Africa Thabo Makgoba began the morning session with a biblical reflection on John 1: 29. He told ACNS that he finished his reflection with “a challenge, as Jesus invites us – as he said to Peter – to feed his lambs, to feed his sheep.

“And I lamented the fact that very often when we discuss things as primates we discuss the social justice issue of feeding the lamb and the vulnerable.” He encouraged his fellow-primates to think about “caring for the where the lambs and the vulnerable are – that is the environment” and to “make the linkage between social justice and climate justice.”

A number of primates spoke about climate change-issues in their region, including Archbishop Albert Chama of Central Africa, who spoke about food security; and Archbishop Winston Halapua, the bishop of Polynesia in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, who spoke about rising sea levels.

“The design of the Primates Meeting is just so overwhelmingly empowering,” Archbishop George Takeli, the primate of Melanesia, said, “particularly the sessions on reflections on the Scriptures.

“The reflection by Archbishop Thabo was so deeply transforming – particularly in the invitation to see the world through the eyes of God. That was the greatest challenge and the life-transforming invitation that was given to us this morning when he asked how many provinces were affected by food security and climate change – I think the whole house did raise their hand up.”

In a starkly powerful message, he said: “some may see information on climate change on television and take it as interesting reading, as entertainment; some would read it in newspapers and treat it as something to occupy time, but for me – and especially for us in Melanesia – it is actually an urgent matter.”

He said that there were three important issues to consider: “The weather pattern throughout the year is no longer consistent, creating surprise cyclone seasons – we have more cyclones than before causing flash flooding. Some places where there are no floods we are getting flash flooding happening.

“Secondly, the climate change is affecting the soil – the whole overall environment where you could plant two or three times before and you could harvest the same amount of food, is no longer there.” He said that many Melanesians live of subsistence farming and can no longer grow crops to feed themselves and their families.

“Thirdly,” he said, “the sea rise: the sea level rise is effecting some of our islands [which are] are now under water. It is a serious issue. It is a serious concern.”

Makgoba is recognised as a leading champion of environmental concerns. He too welcomed the discussions. “What I hope will come from this meeting is a commitment by each primate to pray for social justice issues but to look at those with the eyes of saying the climate, the environment, the earth where they are happening, ought to be cared for,” he said.

Takeli added: “What strikes me is the awareness, as I listen to many stories from my brother primates throughout the world I see that I am being buried deep in their own issues as well. They become part of me.

“Our stories are making the world become a very small world – that we are part of each other. And what I begin to sense from the Primates’ Meeting is that all of us are moving towards creating a strong network to work together between the primates, addressing the issues of climate change and other issues together.”

Who are the primates and what is the Primates Meeting?

The provinces and primates of the Anglican Communion are listed here.

Beyond Relevant: The Episcopal Church’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 4:46pm

Everett B. Ward, St. Augustine University president since 2015, talks with students on the Raleigh, North Carolina, campus. Photo: St. Augustine University via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] When Skylar Mitchell arrived at Spelman College, an all-female historically black school in Atlanta, Georgia, she found herself in an unfamiliar environment. “I had never been around only black people before,” she said last year, as her sophomore year drew to a close. “I didn’t like that I didn’t know how to be around black women my age on a social scale,” she said. “Now that I’ve been here, I love being around my people.”

As Mitchell wrote in her essay “Why I Chose a Historically Black College,” featured in the New York Times in April, the high-achieving comparative women’s studies major had set her sights on a big-name traditionally white institution—not one of the country’s roughly 100 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Mitchell ultimately chose Spelman, the top-ranked HBCU, over the likes of Swarthmore and other well-known predominantly white institutions (PWIs), with no regrets. “I just feel more relaxed,” she said, compared to her previous majority-white high school. “Those first couple of days when I was at Spelman — I had never felt like that before.”

While Spelman has Baptist rather than Episcopal roots, Mitchell’s story might resonate with the Rev. Martini Shaw, rector of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia. Shaw is chairman of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Committee on HBCUs. Talking with HBCU graduates, “hearing their testimonies, their witness about how those schools made such an impact and such a difference in their lives” has persuaded him that post-secondary schools dedicated to African-Americans remain essential in American society.

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council established the HBCU committee at its June meeting to continue the work begun by a task force, formed in 2015.

Two historically black colleges and universities have deep Episcopal Church roots

Voorhees College, in Denmark, South Carolina, and Saint Augustine’s University, in Raleigh, North Carolina, are the only two Episcopal-affiliated historically black colleges and universities left in the United States. At one point, the Episcopal Church supported 11 HBCUs in Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. These schools fell under the auspices of the American Church Institute for Negroes (ACIN; later known as the American Church Institute). An additional school in Texas “received funds from ACIN but was never officially brought under its oversight,” according to Episcopal Church archives. By 1976, only three Episcopal-supported black colleges remained: Voorhees, Saint Augustine’s and Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. That year, a resolution to continue funding the colleges passed at General Convention.

In 2013, however, Saint Paul’s folded. The school’s financial problems started with the 2008 economic downturn, according to the Rev. Jamie Callaway, general secretary of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion and the Association of Episcopal Colleges. Moreover, “the federal government tightened the rules on federal loan programs [including Pell grants],” said Callaway, who is also a member of the HBCU committee. The changes affected many schools, but “for Saint Paul’s, it was, unfortunately, fatal,” he added.

Saint Paul’s wasn’t unique in its vulnerability to economic swings and government cuts; this is the case for HBCUs in general. Their mission is to keep post-secondary education affordable and accessible for all students, especially low-income students (between 70 and 75 percent of HBCU students receive need-based financial assistance in the form of Pell grants), those who would be the first in their family to attend college and students without access to five-star academic resources.

“These schools aren’t only for black students,” said Brian K. Bridges, vice president of research and membership engagement at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In 1976, 15 percent of HBCU students were not black; by 2014, that figure had risen to 21 percent. And the diversity goes beyond race. “[HBCUs] really do represent a cross-section of our society; you can’t categorize them into one group of students,” said Annette Buchanan, national president of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE).

Given the small percentage of students who attend HBCUs, it’s noteworthy that the schools are “among the top feeders of black students to graduate schools and professional schools, particularly in STEM fields,” according to Felecia Commodore, assistant professor of higher education at Old Dominion University. Statistics back this up: According to the National Science Foundation, between 2010 and 2014, a notable portion of African-American doctoral degree recipients had earned their bachelor’s degrees at HBCUs, from slightly less than 20 percent in the social sciences to nearly 50 percent in the agricultural sciences.

Congrats to Biology major Malika Wood '18 for receiving a travel award to attend The Graduate School @ Penn State's STEM Open House program! pic.twitter.com/NuTWaYgxV2

— Saint Augustine's (@SAU_News) October 3, 2017

While those figures may fluctuate, a 2015 Gallup poll shows that black graduates of HBCUs are “more likely than black graduates of other colleges to be thriving … particularly in their financial and purpose well-being.” This point goes to the heart of Mitchell’s experience at Spelman.

“Some will excel at Ivy League colleges,” Shaw said, and “others will do much better academically in a much smaller setting where they feel connected and supported by a community that looks more like them.” HBCUs are smaller, on average, than their traditionally white counterparts. The largest HBCUs’ student bodies number about 10,000. St. Augustine’s University has 1,100 students, while Voorhees College has some 480 students.

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Posted by Voorhees College on Thursday, September 14, 2017

As cozy and advantageous as a small college might be, Voorhees President W. Franklin Evans wants to boost his school’s enrollment. “Last August, enrollment was at its lowest,” Evans said. The decline in enrollment—at a time when many HBCUs have seen their admissions spike—made him conclude that Voorhees isn’t “as family-oriented and as nurturing as we should be.”

Inaugurated as the school’s president in April, Evans said he is “reimagining Voorhees; it’s a different school of thought now.” In addition to boosting enrollment, his goals include reaching out to non-traditional students, re-establishing off-campus sites, boosting alumni donations and ensuring the perceived luster of Voorhees students in employers’ eyes.

Becoming more family-oriented at a school where “at least 85 percent” of the students are the first generation in their family to go to college means something specific to Evans. “We’ve got to do a better job of educating the parents and caregivers,” about navigating the college years, including the financial aid process.

He hopes, too, for more of a connection with the Episcopal Church. “I didn’t find the church as warm and kind and fuzzy as I thought it would be,” Evans said. Complicating matters for Voorhees has been the 2012 departure of the leaders and several members in many Diocese of South Carolina congregations during a dispute over biblical authority and theology, primarily centered on the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church. “That, in and of itself, is an issue that has an effect on Voorhees,” said Evans, because several churches of those congregations were supportive of the college.

While Saint Augustine’s doesn’t have that particular complication, the school is also focused on increasing enrollment and alumni giving, according to the school’s president since 2015, Everett B. Ward. He’s looking to the council committee as his school moves forward with its efforts. “To have that level of support will be very helpful,” Ward said.

That support, in fact, could help prevent the loss of another Episcopal-affiliated HBCU. “We’re aware of the decline of small, church-affiliated HBCUs in general,” said UNCF’s Bridges. “This is a trend that’s happening nationally.” And while people have bemoaned the loss of HBCUs nationally, and four schools have lost accreditation, “over the past 15 years, only St. Paul’s has closed,” Bridges said.

Strenghtening the church’s connection

Looking back at the Episcopal Church’s relationship with its historically black schools, “one thing is very obvious,” said Shaw. “Yes, they were Episcopal HBCUs. Yes, there were dollars and funds allocated, but I’m not sure how much involvement beyond that there was.”

Now, he said, is the time to support Voorhees and St. Augustine’s with more than just money—while underscoring that more money always helps. Under the auspices of the new HBCU committee, at least two consultants are working on development and strategic planning, “in direct contact with the presidents, staff and boards of both schools,” Shaw said. He also noted that Episcopal HBCUs once had a healthy percentage of Episcopal students, but that is no longer the case.

The UBE’s Buchanan noted the same trend. “What we’ve heard and seen is that young black Episcopalians are not aware of the two Episcopal HBCUs,” she said. To raise awareness, UBE added a new page, Support Our HBCUs, to its website this year.

This isn’t the beginning of the 49-year-old organization’s support of Episcopal-affiliated HBCUs, though. “We’ve had a relationship with them throughout our history,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan sees Voorhees and St. Augustine’s as “the church’s largest outreach to the black community.” She said the church could strengthen this particular ministry, though. “I think the church’s results have been mixed,” she said. “The funding for HBCUs has remained the same over the past few years — every year, it’s been a struggle to get funding from the church for [them].”

Budgets matter

The General Convention allocated $1,645,000 for HBCUs in its 2016-2018 budget, along with $400,000 in “education enterprise grants” to be shared by the two schools. That combination increases the church’s total HBCU funding to $2,045,000, which is $20,000 more than in 2013-2015, when the allocation was intended for Voorhees, Saint Augustine’s and Saint Paul’s. The current HBCU-earmarked total is $205,000 less than the 2010-2012 allocation.

At the same time, for the past 18 months, the Episcopal Church’s Development Office has been working to help Saint Augustine’s and Voorhees. With the support of the Executive Council, the presiding bishop and the new committee on HBCU, the development office’s goal is “to increase public awareness [of HBCUs] within the Episcopal Church, to strengthen fundraising for the schools and to provide connections to other Episcopal organizations that support HBCUs,” said Director of Development Tara Elgin Holley. One manifestation of this has been the formation by members of Christ Church in Raleigh of a “legacy council” for Saint Augustine’s. The council’s goal is to help spread the word about Saint Augustine’s. Three other local churches have also expressed interest in joining the group.

The development office’s efforts are part of the Episcopal Church’s racial reconciliation and justice effort, Building Beloved Community, Elgin Holley said. A summary of Building Beloved Community includes partnerships with HBCUs as part of a churchwide initiative to “repair the breach in society and institutions.”

Fighting for funding isn’t unique to Episcopal HBCUs; it’s woven into the HBCU community’s story at a national level, according to Marybeth Gasman, professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions. “HBCUs just had to fight to exist,” said Gasman. “Funding has continued to be really, really difficult; if they’re public, they’re not funded at the level of majority institutions.”

HBCUs’ endowments also lag behind those of their traditionally white counterparts’. Top HBCU Spelman draws upon a $346.9 million endowment, whereas top-ranked TWI Princeton’s endowment is $22.7 billion strong. The same goes for alumni giving. Voorhees College doesn’t have the kind of donors that support so many of the country’s TWIs, according to Evans. “We’re lucky if we have alums who are willing to give $200,” he said.

Dr. Evans and @VoorheesCollege students at Luncheon. #voorheescollege #scholarships #elizabethevelynwright #metroatlalumni pic.twitter.com/LR5NAwgzfA

— Voorhees College (@VoorheesCollege) September 23, 2017

Earlier this year, President Trump invited HBCU presidents to the Oval Office as he signed an executive order “to promote excellence and innovation” at HBCUs. As part of the order, the Initiative on HBCUs moved from the Department of Education into the White House’s purview.

“Certainly, the president’s call to meet with the HBCU presidents was a good thing, as long as it was not simply a photo opportunity; time will tell,” said Shaw. The Initiative on HBCUs’ move “causes a little anxiety,” he added. The University of Pennsylvania’s Gasman agrees: “The money is in the Department of Education. It’s not in the Executive Branch. I don’t know why you would want the chickens in the house with the fox.”

Ultimately, the Trump administration’s intentions seem mixed, at best. While the Department of Education has reinstated year-round Pell grants, the Pell grant surplus could potentially be cut by more than $3 billion in the FY 2018 federal budget. And in May, the president called into question the constitutionality of the HBCU Capital Financing Program, comments at odds with February’s pro-HBCU talk and Executive Order.

In this sense, more than 150 years after HBCUs first arose, the schools continue to explain their relevance, to justify their very existence. HBCUs’ relevance remains a topic even though “we’ve seen upticks in enrollment in the past four or five years,” according to Gasman. HBCUs are seen “as a safe space for black students, so that they do not have to deal with microaggressions.” (Microagressions are comments or actions that subtly and sometimes unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group such as a racial minority.)

Last fall’s HBCU enrollment spike in the wake of student protests at PWIs (including the University of Missouri and Yale University) drew national attention. “There are some very interesting racial dynamics going on right now in our country … coupled with the Black Lives Matter movement,” said the United Negro College Fund’s Bridges. Even students for whom finances were not a major consideration, Mitchell among them, value a place where their blackness isn’t an issue.

Given all of this, the HBCU community wants to change the subject from relevance. Commodore, of Old Dominion, and Gasman co-edited “Opportunities and Challenges of Historically Black Colleges and Universities: A Student Perspective” because “we wanted to push some of the conversations that are happening in HBCU research,” Commodore said. Those conversations included LGBTQ issues and the influx of Latino and Asian students into historically black schools. Moreover, “we really need to start talking about what are the governance challenges at HBCUs,” she said.

Buchanan pointed out the importance of leadership, not only in keeping HBCUs as healthy as possible, but also in acknowledging that a school is more than its administration. “Various leadership with various skill levels” have shepherded HBCUs, Buchanan said. “And some were not very good at all. There’s a tendency to paint a whole institution [in leadership’s light], when they really didn’t know how to manage their school.”

Bridges sounded positive about recent changes in HBCU leadership. “There’s been a new cadre of presidents coming in who are doing things in some new ways,” he said. Many of them are younger, in their late 30s and 40s, equipped with more “dynamic” marketing techniques. “The question for me is how do [HBCUs] exist, given the new racial dynamics of today, the new way of delivering education?” Bridges said. “How do they retool themselves to keep helping large numbers of low-income, academically unprepared students?”

Voorhees and Saint Augstine’s are among the HBCUs with new presidents, both seemingly eager to shift gears at their respective schools and to learn from past mistakes. At the same time, the Episcopal Church is dedicating time, people and resources to study HBCUs while supporting them in new ways, signaling that the schools should be more than just a line item in the church’s budget.

This path forward, which many credit to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, is not only forward-looking; it harkens back to the beginnings of Episcopal HBCUs. “The founding of these colleges was the beachhead of the Episcopal Church’s work for racial reconciliation after the Civil War,” said Callaway. “Instead of just going forward, the church was saying, ‘how can we move forward and change things?’”

— Heather Beasley Doyle is a freelance journalist based in Massachusetts.

Colorado Bishop Robert O’Neill on the shooting in Las Vegas

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 10:41am

[Episcopal Church in Colorado]

“If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.” -Richard Rohr

On Oct. 3, the solitary great bell of Saint John’s Cathedral tolled 59 times — once for each of the individuals killed this week in the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas.

The tolling of our cathedral’s great bell was not an act undertaken in isolation but rather one of solidarity—a response to the call of Bishops United Against Gun Violence to mourn collectively and for all of us across the country to name our grief over the deaths of so many killed so senselessly.

There is plenty for all of us to mourn. By some counts over 1,500 mass shootings have taken place since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012. That’s nearly one mass shooting a day in this country in the last five years. While the shootings in Las Vegas this week are a tragedy, they are, even more tragically, yet another sad marker of a violent trajectory that will continue to bear us all along its destructive path unless we together respond mindfully and courageously.

As a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, I invite you to read the statement we issued on Monday, and I encourage you to pass it along to others. I have been a member of this group of some 70 Episcopal bishops since its inception, and I stand with them in this call to the church:

Bishops United Against Gun Violence Statement >

There is no question that we who follow Jesus are called to pray for the victims of the violence in Las Vegas — for those who were killed, for those who were wounded, for the families of victims, for first responders, and for the medical personnel who are caring for the wounded and injured. They need us to bear them in our hearts with love.

But there is more.

Our prayer, too, needs to be one of courageous self-examination. We will never become mature, well-integrated disciples of Jesus unless we look inward, prayerfully inviting God to illumine our own hearts and to reveal to us the ways in which we ourselves are complicit—either actively or passively, through our avoidance or complacency—in the unconscionable violence of our culture. We need the Holy Spirit to awaken our hearts and to stir us out of our own listlessness.

And there is still more.

Like the disciples on the day of Pentecost, we all have a responsibility as followers of Jesus to ask the question “What does this mean?” To be obedient to Jesus is to listen attentively and to respond actively to the unsettling movement of the Spirit, to consider honestly and openly how God is actually speaking to us through the events of our world and what God might actually be calling us to do. That’s what it means to be a disciple — to follow Jesus, to walk in love as Christ loves us, to act, to allow the Holy Spirit to transform our own indifference or confusion or pain or grief in such a way that we become those who actively bear witness to the life-giving and liberating love that we intend to proclaim. Our world needs our faithful, courageous, and active witness against the violence that so haunts us all.

While tragic events like the shootings in Las Vegas this week are cause to mourn, they should also be occasions that jar us, God willing, into a certain moral, emotional, and spiritual clarity that reveals to us the work we have to do, must do, as people of God. We simply do not have the luxury to remain silent or passive. We need to name our grief, to be sure, and we need mourn with those who weep. But as Rohr has written, “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.”

— The Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill, The Episcopal Church of Colorado

Bishop of Atlanta on the Nevada tragedy: Action must follow prayers

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 10:18am

[Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta] The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta issued the following statement:

Brothers and Sisters.

In the aftermath of the horror of Las Vegas, I ask you to remember and pray for the souls of those who have died, including Mr. Paddock. I encourage you to seek the comfort we find in Christ Jesus. 

Holy Scripture reminds us that we are to “… rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” It is an important part of what makes us human. Even though Las Vegas is more than fifteen hundred miles from Georgia, we are nevertheless connected with the men and women struck down and the loved ones they left behind by our ability to empathize and have compassion.

So, we pray. We reach to God in familiar words to remember the dead and send our positive psychic and spiritual energy to those still in shock and who will grieve for years to come. But let us remember also, Jesus was a man of prayer and of action. Prayer must be prelude to action. Prayer with no corresponding action is a useless and vain exercise. Most importantly, prayer without action is not the faith Jesus practiced!

My sincere prayer is that the lives of those killed in Las Vegas will not be in vain. I still believe that America is a great country! I still believe we can accomplish great things together. I believe we can affirm the Second Amendment, protect the rights of hunters and sportsman and enact common sense gun laws that put into practice intelligent safety measures.

This is not a partisan sentiment. Morgues and cemeteries are not divided by political affiliation. And families do not cry red or blue tears. This is about coming to the realization that moments of silence and prayer will not, of themselves, make us safer. What will make us safer is ordinary people like you and I, from every political stripe, finding the courage to act.

Jesus often asked men and women he encountered, “What do you want?” I put his question to all of us, “What do you want”? I want an America where we are less afraid and more neighborly. An America where it is more difficult to get a semi-automatic weapon or high capacity magazines than it is to get a bottle of Sudafed. I want an America where special interests like the National Rifle Association don’t control our elected officials with campaign donations that render them spineless.

I want an America where law enforcement officers are better equipped to keep us safe than criminals are equipped to do us harm. These are not Democratic dreams or Republican dreams. This is an American dream that can save us from our present American nightmare.

What makes these kind of dreams a reality is when you and I, strengthened by prayer and our fellowship together, take seriously the words that we Episcopalians use to end our Eucharist:

… Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart. You are always in my thoughts and prayers, please let me be in yours.

Your brother,

Bishop Robert C. Wright

The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta


Anglican primates’ discussions focus on evangelism and discipleship

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 2:53pm

Archbishop Moon Hing of South East Asia led his fellow Anglican primates on a Bible study on Jesus, the bread of life. Photo: ACNS

[Anglican Communion News Service] A discussion about evangelism and discipleship strategies amongst the leaders of the Anglican Communion’s 39 independent provinces was so lively, it continued through the lunch break, the archbishop of the Province of South East Asia said Oct. 4.

Archbishop Moon Hing, the bishop of West Malaysia, led a Bible study at the start of this morning’s session of the 2017 Primates Meeting before a general discussion on witness and evangelism. The archbishop chairs the international Anglican Witness group of mission leaders and practitioners, said that he was “very happy and very glad” about the discussions, saying: “I am really uplifted because we come back to the core issue and core subject of our existence: that is to make disciples for Jesus.”

In an interview for ACNS, the archbishop said that his Bible study was about “Jesus, the bread of life, who provides all our needs.” People who knew what it was to be a disciple “must be intentional to do it ourselves and to make it available and help others to walk with him. Even though we have this intention we need to have some ways to do it,” he said.

In what he described as “the best response” so far during this year’s Primates Meeting, “everybody contributed and shared how different facets of evangelism and discipleship can be done.” There was not just one method of evangelism, he said, “there are many ways, directly [and] indirectly to bring the message of Christ, that he is the bread of life, and that he is the answer,” to the world.

“There was a very lively atmosphere and everybody enjoyed it,” he said. “Even during lunchtime everybody talked about it. One of the primates said: ‘We should not be issue-driven, we should be discipleship-driven.’”

The discussion on evangelism and discipleship took place the day after Dean of Canterbury Robert Willis led the primates on a late-night candlelit tour of the cathedral. the archbishop described the prayerful walk as “fascinating.” The dean took the primates and some of the meeting’s support staff on a tour which took in the floor engraving of the Compass Rose, the symbol of the Anglican Communion, as well as the site of the martyrdom of 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, before concluding at the Chapel of Saints and Martyrs, which commemorates more recent Christian martyrs from around the world.

Anglican primates and support staff for the 2017 Primates’ Meeting are given a candlelit tour of Canterbury Cathedral by Dean Robert Willis.
Photo: ACNS

The archbishop said that the tour bought to mind “the early years when the cathedral began. . . We went to some of the memorable spots in the history of the cathedral, and especially the conflicts and places of sacrifice, where people gave their lives” where the primates reflected and heard from God.

“The greatest thing that I got impact on my life from last night’s tour was the faithfulness of God through all these years: that even though when we quarrel, we have conflicts, God has never given up on us; and every time we come back to him, he is always there. And he is ready every moment for us to come back and say ‘let’s walk together again with one another, with our neighbours and with him.’”

The archbishop is one of 16 new primates attending their first Primates Meeting, having been appointed or elected since the previous Primates Meeting in January 2016. “Before I came I read a lot of the social media and comments that it’s a waste of time.” he said. “But then when I come, I realised that all of us primates are actually very lonely. And it is really a good time to encourage one another.

“One of the primates was saying he was very encouraged that he knows that as a primate he is not alone, that so many of us can all come together and share,” he said. “He encouraged us to meet more regularly . . . for fellowship or times of encouragement.”

He said that through the Primates Meeting, there was a realization that “there is a whole bunch of us doing the same thing, and struggling the same way, and sometimes crying to him, calling up to him.

“We are not alone. There are others. And now we can connect with one another and we can actually build upon the strength of one another and strengthen the weaknesses of each other. That is wonderful.”

The Primates Meeting brings together the leaders of the 39 autonomous Anglican Churches. It is meeting this week in Canterbury Cathedral, England. After a half-day spiritual retreat on Oct. 2, the primates spent a day-and-a-half discussing “internal Communion matters” before moving on to three days of discussion of outward-facing issues, including evangelism and discipleship, climate change, religious freedom, and inter-religious dialogue.

More information about the primates and the Primates Meeting is here.

Church of South India pushes for gender-equal society

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 2:52pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] A Gender Conclave held by the Church of South India at its centre in Chennai was “another significant milestone in the journey towards a gender equal society beginning with the church,” the CSI said.  The conclave was one of a number of events held as part of the church’s 70th anniversary.

Read the entire article here.

Who are the primates and what is the Primates Meeting?

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 2:42pm

[Episcopal News Service] Primates are the senior archbishops and presiding bishops elected or appointed to lead each of the 39 autonomous provinces of the Anglican Communion. They are invited to the Primates Meetings by the Archbishop of Canterbury to consult on theological, social and international issues.

The Anglican Communion Primates Meeting is one of the three instruments of communion, the other two being the Lambeth Conference of bishops and the Anglican Consultative Council, the communion’s main policymaking body. The Archbishop of Canterbury, as primus inter pares, or “first among equals,” is recognized as the focus of unity for the Anglican Communion.

Each province relates to other provinces within the Anglican Communion by being in full communion with the See of Canterbury. The Archbishop of Canterbury calls the Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates and is president of the ACC.

In some Anglican provinces the primate is called archbishop or metropolitan, while in others the term presiding bishop – or as in Scotland, primus – is used.

The Archbishop of Canterbury also invites to the primates meetings the moderators who lead the united ecumenical churches of North India, South India and Pakistan.

In 1978 Archbishop Donald Coggan, the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury, established the Primates Meeting as an opportunity for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation.”

The primates have met in Ely, England, in 1979; Washington, D.C., in 1981; Limuru, Kenya, in 1983; Toronto, Canada, in 1986; Cyprus in 1989; Newcastle, Northern Ireland, in 1991; Cape Town, South Africa, in 1993; Windsor, England, in 1995; Jerusalem in 1997; Oporto, Portugal, in 2000; Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 2001; Canterbury, England, in 2002; Gramado, Brazil, in May 2003; London, England, in October 2003; Newry, Northern Ireland, in February 2005; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in February 2007; Alexandria, Egypt, in February 2009; Dublin, Ireland, in January 2011; and Canterbury in January 2016.

The provinces and primates of the Anglican Communion are listed here.

Archbishop’s ‘profound sense of shame’ over church abuse failings

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 11:51am

Archbishop Justin Welby addresses journalists during the 2017 Primates Meeting. Photo: ACNS

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of his “profound sense of shame” over church-based abuse of children and vulnerable adults. Archbishop Justin Welby made the comments at a press briefing during the Primates Meeting in Canterbury Cathedral. He had been asked about planned visits to Canterbury by groups of survivors on Friday, who want to ensure that their concerns are heard by the church leaders gathered for the meeting.

Welby said that the “extent of the legacy of abuse” was “one of the surprises” he faced when he became archbishop in 2013.

“I feel that the church – and it is widely accepted within the church – that we have a long history of significant failure,” he said. “We should be held to a higher standard because we are Christians. We are a church.

“But it is also clear that the issue of abuse of children and vulnerable adults goes right through our society – almost all our major national institutions have failed in that regard. As I say, we should be at a higher standard and my profound sense of shame at what the church has done remains and is central to my thinking about this.”

The archbishop told journalists that he wakes up at night “thinking what was done to people and our failure to respond to it properly.”

The church, he said, had “a long way to go” but had made “progress in current terms” in its approach to safeguarding. He said that no organization could “ever afford to say . . . ‘that’s behind us.’”

He wanted to say to survivors of abuse: “We know we did wrong. We’re trying as hard as we can to get things right.”

He explained that he spoke regularly with the primate of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier, about that church’s response to safeguarding, saying that “the Australian Church has done a lot of work on this.” A royal commission – a formal public inquiry – has recently been held in Australia to investigate institutional responses to child abuse. A statutory public inquiry – the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – is currently undertaking a similar investigation in England and Wales.

Welby said that “in response to discussions with survivors and seeing the need for it,” he had written to the British Home secretary – the current Prime Minister Theresa May – before IICSA was announced to call for a public inquiry and to urge “that the Church of England should be one of the first” organizations to be investigated.

Together, the Church of England and the Church in Wales, form “the Anglican Church strand” of the IICSA inquiry. Hearings in the Anglican strand are expected to begin early next year. A preliminary hearing is taking place Oct. 4 in London.

On its website, IICSA say: “the inquiry welcomed the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the inquiry to investigate, as a matter of priority, the sexual abuse of children within the Church. Allegations of child sexual abuse within the Church of England, the Church in Wales and other Anglican churches operating in England and Wales (‘the Anglican Church’) are matters of ongoing public concern.

“This investigation will assess the appropriateness of safeguarding and child protection policies and practices in the Anglican Church. It will consider the adequacy of the past cases review of the Church of England and the historic cases review of the Church in Wales.

“As a case study, we will consider the experience of the Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual abuse and numerous investigations and reviews. We will also consider the case of Peter Ball, formerly bishop of Lewes and subsequently bishop of Gloucester, and investigate whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after he was first accused of child sexual offenses.”

Le Magazine Anglican : retour sur l’été 2017

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 4:05am

Pour écouter l’émission cliquer sur : http://frequenceprotestante.com/emission/magazine-anglican

L’église mémoriale du Général Lee à Lexington, en Virginie a été débaptisée en septembre. Elle a retrouvé son nom d’origine de Grace Church. C’est la conséquence des affrontements meurtriers de Charlottesville qui ont marqué l’été 2017 aux États-Unis.

Le Magazine Anglican a retenu cet épisode dramatique pour son émission de rentrée qui nous fait revivre les moments graves ou joyeux qui ont émaillé l’été des anglicans.

À l’origine des affrontements de Charlottesville, la décision, d’une part d’enlever la statue du général Lee, général en chef de l’armée des états confédérés du Sud, lors de la guerre de sécession et d’autre part de changer le nom du parc de Charlottesville appelé jusque-là parc Lee.

Des heurts violents ont éclaté entre des groupes d’extrême droite, suprémacistes (qui militent en faveur de la supériorité des blancs), néo-nazis et Ku Klux Klan et des contre-manifestants antiracistes. Ils se sont soldés par la mort d’une jeune fille (délibérément fauchée par un conducteur d’extrême droite) et une quinzaine de blessés du côté des antiracistes.

Depuis 2015, le « Vestry » de l’église, aujourd’hui dénommée Grace Church, réfléchissait à un possible changement de nom, mais se heurtait à la difficulté que Lee avait été membre de l’église pendant cinq ans après la guerre de sécession et que sa réputation en tant que chrétien est inattaquable.

Cette réflexion allait de pair avec une résolution de la Convention Générale de l’Église épiscopale en 2015 pour retirer le drapeau Confédéré des églises.  Selon les termes de la résolution, cet emblème de la guerre civile était en contradiction avec la promesse de fidélité à l’amour et la réconciliation prônés par Jésus-Christ.

Une décision prise début septembre à la Cathédrale nationale de Washington a peut-être servi d’exemple.

Après avoir retiré, en 2015, la représentation du drapeau Confédéré sur ses vitraux, le Doyen et le Chapitre ont décidé le 6 septembre de retirer les vitraux représentant les deux généraux Confédérés, Lee et Jackson.

La décision a été hâtée par les événements de Charlottesville, car la Cathédrale n’en était qu‘à la moitié d’un processus de discernement qui devait durer deux ans.

Ce processus invitait la communauté paroissiale à réfléchir à : la justice raciale, l’héritage de l’esclavage et comment répondre à l’appel de Dieu au XXIe siècle.

Il dépassait donc le simple cas des vitraux ou plutôt les remettait dans le contexte social et spirituel actuel pour se poser la question : est-ce que ces vitaux installés en 1953, ont encore aujourd’hui leur place dans ce qui est le « home » spirituel de la nation.

Autre événement marquant de l’été pour les épiscopaliens, retenu par le Magazine Anglican, pour son émission de rentrée : la sortie en salles aux États-Unis, le 25 août, du film All Saints (Toussaint). Le scénario reprend l’histoire vraie de cette église qui allait fermer, faute de paroissiens.

C’est son nouveau recteur Michael Spurlock, nouvellement ordonné, qui était chargé de fermer l’église. Lorsque un groupe de réfugiés Karènes de Birmanie se présente à l’église, le père Michael va se sentir investi d’une nouvelle mission.

Membres de l’église anglicane de Birmanie avant d’émigrer aux Etats-Unis et conduits par leur leader Ye Win, ils viennent demander de l’aide à l’église épiscopale Toussaint, en proposant de cultiver les terres de l’église.

Le prêtre et les paroissiens vont accéder à cette demande, les produits agricoles seront vendus et généreront des revenus, puis de nouveaux services seront développés : le rêve américain à la dimension d’une paroisse. Un rêve qui est devenu réalité depuis, puisque, l’église compte aujourd’hui 300 paroissiens. Un bel exemple de la façon d’accueillir l’étranger.

Outre ces deux événements qui ont marqué l’été des épiscopaliens, le Magazine Anglican passe en revue, l’actualité estivale des anglicans sur le continent européen et dans la communion anglicane.

Pour écouter l’émission cliquer sur : http://frequenceprotestante.com/emission/magazine-anglican

Le Magazine Anglican est diffusé, le 4e samedi du mois, à l’antenne parisienne de Fréquence Protestante. Via la radio numérique, chaque émission est accessible pendant six mois, aux auditeurs francophones d’Europe, d’Amérique, d’Afrique et d’Océanie.

Animé depuis 2012, par Laurence Moachon, paroissienne de la Cathédrale de la Sainte Trinité à Paris, le Magazine Anglican a pour objectif de mieux faire connaître la tradition anglicane / épiscopale.

Episcopal Peace Fellowship issues action alert: Host a Las Vegas vigil Oct. 4

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 6:00pm

[Episcopal Peace Fellowship]  Oct. 4 will be a National Day of Action to send #LoveToLasVegas when Donald Trump is expected to visit. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history deserves a strong unified response from those of us working to reduce gun violence in our country.

These vigils will honor the victims killed and injured with a strong message to #DemandAction to #EndGunViolence in our nation.

There will be anchor events in Washington D.C. and Las Vegas, with vigils taking place in churches, street corners and parks everywhere in between. Please open your churches, light some candles and host a vigil. Vigil bulletins created by Episcopal Peace Fellowship members are available on the fellowship’s liturgy resource page for you to adapt for your own use. 

Register your vigil so that folks can find it at this website.

And if you need any help at all, just message Episcopal Peace Fellowship on Facebook, and we’ll work with you. We’re in this together.

Oregon Bishop Michael Hanley posts statement on Las Vegas mass shooting

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 5:44pm

[Episcopal Diocese of Oregon]

From Bishop Michael Hanley:
So sad to once again wake up to the news of violence in America. Praying today for the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas. Praying for the families of those killed and for all whose lives are irrevocably changed by the actions of this individual. My heart goes out to all affected. The Lord help us.

Please see the comments for liturgical and action resources as well as an invitation to join in a public sign of mourning from Episcopalians Against Gun Violence.

(Via Facebook.)

California bishop posts a statement about Las Vegas mass shooting

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 5:34pm

[Diocese of California] With heavy hearts, the Diocese of California is praying for the many victims of last night’s tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas. May we as a nation set aside our differences at this dark hour to comfort all those who mourn. May we also find the resolve to end, once and for all, the senseless epidemic of gun violence ravaging our country.

“Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.” – St. Francis of Assisi

The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California

(Via Facebook)

Message from Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona – Las Vegas shooting

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 5:00pm

[Episcopal Diocese of Arizona]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I share with you the statement issued today by the Bishops Against Gun Violence, of which I am a member. It is a call to prayer, but also to action.

One small, symbolic action is to join in the bell ringing scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. our time. If this is too short of a notice, you might consider doing it another time tomorrow.  

Please know of my solidarity with all of you as we mourn the loss of our neighboring brothers and sisters in Nevada. I have been in personal contact with Bishop Edwards of Nevada, who appreciates our support at this time.

Statement from Bishops United Against Gun Violence  


Bishop Kirk Stevan Smith

Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

A letter from Bishop Gutiérrez of Pennsylvania regarding the shootings in Las Vegas

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 4:48pm

[Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania] “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  – Romans 8:38-39

As a community we are sickened and horrified. There are times in life when you just cannot find the words. As we confront yet another wave of death and violence I simply cannot believe the pain. Collectively we are all asking ourselves “Why?” Why such rage? Why are so many dead? Why is our nation once again left in mourning?

We offer our prayers for the more than 50 killed, more than 400 wounded and all those affected by this horror. As we celebrate the Eucharist and Daily Office in our parishes we collectively offer our prayers and plead for God’s wisdom and guidance. We believe in the knowledge that God was with them as they left this earthly journey in pain, yet, this scourge of violence cannot, cannot, continue. When will we look at one another through the eyes of Jesus Christ so that we may truly become instruments of God’s peace?

As a people of God, we will offer our hourly prayers. But we must do more.

We must resist the urge to polarize the issue along lines of race, religion and politics and instead come together as a single church and a single nation. I am asking the people of this diocese to place aside our political divisions and find a way to come together as a community and live out the message of Jesus Christ to the world. As it is written in Ephesians 4:2-3 “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

As a people of God, we will offer our daily prayers. But we must be prophets of peace.

So long as people look to solve their disagreements with violence this needs to be our single greatest priority. The violence that rained down upon the crowd in Las Vegas reflects the worst of the sin and brokenness of our human condition. I am asking that we devote a portion of our Diocesan Convention to re-commit ourselves to the work of diffusing violence in our hearts, in our community, our nation and indeed throughout our world, including the role that guns play in this problem. Only then can we truly live into our calling as followers of Jesus Christ.

I ask that we become voices of reconciliation in a hurting world. We seek to be the face of Christ to the world. For the next 30 days may we pray the Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer of St. Francis. In addition to prayer, may we become prophets of peace. We need to pray we have the courage to confront evil in this world. I ask that the Diocese of Pennsylvania now become a place that engages the world in peace and encourages respect for the sanctity of human life. We will find a way to shine a light in the darkness in the name of Christ. We have no other choice.

Bishop Dan Edwards is having all the church bells toll in Las Vegas, and throughout the Diocese of Nevada, Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. (Noon our time). We ask that our parishes in the Diocese of Pennsylvania do the same. Please toll the bells once for each fatality as the death count is reported at that time; at present it stands at 58.

In Christ, 

The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez

XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

Statement from St. Bart’s rector regarding the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 4:21pm

[St. Bart’s Episcopal Church – New York]

Dear Friends, 

As I begin this letter, I realize how many letters I’ve written to the people of God in the face of horrific events related to gun violence. Last night, at least 58 people were killed, and more than 500 were injured, while attending a music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman, firing an automatic weapon from a hotel window, sprayed the crowd of 22,000 with bullets. 

It is one of the worst mass casualty incidents in U.S. history.

The letters I have written over the years have too many of the same components. Thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families. Profound thanks to the brave first responders who, in some cases, have put themselves in harm’s way to protect the innocent and care for the fallen. Recognition of persons who have exhibited extraordinary heroism. And finally, a plea for reasonable, sane, gun laws which do not eliminate gun ownership, but regulate the use of guns through registration and limit the civilian ownership of weapons designed for military use. 

By now, there is a familiar pattern to the exchange between the gun manufacturers’ lobbyists and those who advocate for stronger gun controls in the wake of these incidents. On the day of these shootings, and for several days afterwards, those opposing gun control will say, “Now is not the time to be discussing public policy or legislation. Now is not the time to discuss political responses.” Now, they argue, is a time for mourning to express our deep respect for the victims. 

But I can think of no more appropriate way to respect the victims of this grotesque act of mass violence than to speak candidly about the conditions which contributed to their deaths. No, we will never stop all gun-related deaths, and yes, there will always be people who seek to hurt and destroy others. But the number of gun-related deaths in our country has become as staggering as it is unacceptable. Here is an amazing fact:

“Since 1970 more Americans have died from guns (including suicides, murders, and accidents) than the sum total of all the Americans who died in all the wars in American history, back to the American Revolution.” [1]

It’s hard to believe, but here is a list of some of the mass shootings related to guns in the United States since late 2012:

  • July 12, 2016, Orlando, 50 dead, 53 injured.
  • July 7, 2016, Dallas, 5 dead.
  • December 2, 2015, San Bernardino, 14 dead, 17 injured.
  • November 27, 2015, Colorado Springs, 3 dead.
  • October 1, 2015, Roseburg, Oregon, 10 dead.
  • July 16, 2015, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 5 dead.
  • June 17, 2015, Charleston, South Carolina, 9 dead.
  • May 23, 2015, Isla Vista, California, 7 dead.
  • October 24, 2014, Marysville, Washington, 4 dead.
  • April 2, 2014, Killeen, Texas, 3 dead, 16 injured.
  • September 16, 2013, Washington, D.C., Navy Yards, 13 dead.
  • June 7, 2013, Santa Monica, California, 5 dead.
  • December 14, 2012, Newtown, Connecticut, 28 dead. [2]

There are a variety of causes for these tragedies, but they all have a common denominator: easily accessible firearms with little regulation. 

I invite you to offer your deepest prayers for those whose lives have been taken in this most recent tragedy. Pray for those who have lost husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, boyfriends and girlfriends, sons and daughters. Pray for our legislators and public officials who form our public policies. 

I also invite you to write your elected representatives and make your voices as loud as the National Rifle Association’s voice. Let us make our voices as powerful as our prayers.


The Right Reverend Dean Elliott Wolfe, D.D.

Rector of St. Bart’s Episcopal Church

New York, New York

[1] New York Times, October 2, 2017, Opinion Section, Preventing Mass Shootings Like the Vegas Strip Attack, by Nicholas Kristof

[2] New York Times, October 2, 2017, Top Stories Section, Mass Shootings in the U.S. by Julie Turkewitz

A letter from South Carolina Bishop Skip Adams on the Las Vegas massacre

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 4:11pm

[Episcopal Church of South Carolina]

Dear People of God of The Episcopal Church of South Carolina,

A pall of darkness and horror has once again fallen over our beloved country. In the massacre in Las Vegas we know as of this writing that 58 people have died and more than 500 have been injured. It was an unspeakable act of evil. Our hearts go out to all the victimized, including their families, as we hold them in prayer that somehow mercy and grace may be known to them. Many times this comes in the form of the first responders, pastors and medical personnel who tend to their needs. They need our prayer as well.

The Episcopal bishop of Nevada, Dan Edwards, and the people of the Episcopal Church there, will be right in the middle of the responses needed so that a word of love may be spoken in the midst of hatred and violence. Edwards has asked that the Episcopal Churches across Nevada toll their bells in mourning at 9 a.m. Pacific time Oct. 3, once each time for the number of those killed, including the perpetrator. I am asking that our churches in South Carolina who have bells to toll them at noon Eastern time on Oct. 3, to join in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Nevada.

In addition to our prayer, we must also act. We must find a way to be in conversation about the culture of violence sweeping our nation and engage in repentance for whatever ways we participate in that culture, even unwittingly. The nature of gun violence in particular, as we know, is wrapped up in issues of poverty, class, mental illness and race. A serious conversation leading us to enact reasonable gun laws must be had, and so far it has eluded us as a nation. Some of you are aware that I am one of the Episcopal bishops who join in a group called Bishops United Against Gun Violence, and I direct you to that website for information: bishopsagainstgunviolence.org. We ask hard but necessary questions such as: “Why, as early as this very week, is Congress likely to pass a bill making it easier to buy silencers, a piece of equipment that makes it more difficult for law enforcement officials to detect gunfire as shootings are unfolding?” “Why are assault weapons so easily available to civilian hands?”

Our goal must not be just better laws, however. We are about changing hearts and human transformation. We follow the Prince of Peace and name Jesus as Lord. We are about healing and wholeness, building bridges across lines of division and hostility. This is the work we must continue to do, work that participates with our prayer and longing for the healing of the nations.

Please join in the ringing of bells tomorrow as you are able. Do gather together in prayer wherever you may be at that time. I leave you with the familiar, but oh so beautiful, A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, page 833.)

Blessings, peace and love to you all,

Bishop Skip

(I am grateful to my sisters and brothers in Bishops United Against Gun Violence for the Inspiration for this letter.)

Archbishop Welby ‘taken aback’ by Las Vegas prayer criticism

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 3:59pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that he is “taken aback” by criticism of the decision to ask the Presiding Bishop of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church to pray for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Curry prayed for the victims at the start of Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral, England, on Oct. 3, the first day of the Primates Meeting.

The Rev. Canon Andrew Gross, canon for communications and media relations for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), speaking on behalf of GAFCON, said that the decision to invite Curry to lead the congregation in prayer at the Evensong service “put the GAFCON primates in a difficult spot.” He said that they were “forced to look like they are walking together when they are not walking together.”

Full article.