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Liberia’s Cuttington University, diocese at epicenter of Ebola crisis

Episcopal News Service - qui, 28/08/2014 - 12:40

Members of the task force leading the Ebola response unload supplies in Bong County, Liberia. Photo: Courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia

[Episcopal News Service] Liberia’s Cuttington University, located near one of the epicenters of West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, is reaching out to its surrounding communities while worrying about the epidemic’s impact on the now-closed school’s future, and mourning the loss of graduates and friends.

Meanwhile, throughout Liberia and Sierra Leone, Episcopal Relief & Development is in regular contact with local church partners who “are leveraging their widespread presence and trusted reputation to alleviate suffering and contain the Ebola outbreak” that has killed at least 1,427 people in West Africa since March 2014, according to an Aug. 27 press release.

Partners in both countries are mobilizing local volunteers to promote accurate information about Ebola and distribute hygiene and sanitation supplies, while the Episcopal Church of Liberia is supplying food parcels for households in quarantined communities and providing basic protective equipment for health workers at local hospitals, Episcopal Relief & Development reported.

A staff member in Episcopal Relief & Development’s Africa Regional Office in Ghana models the facemasks, gloves, gowns and other protective supplies shipped to Liberia and given to three area hospitals – Phebe Hospital, Redemption Hospital and C.H. Rennie Hospital. Photo: Courtesy of the Episcopal Relief & Development

Abiy Seifu, senior program officer for Episcopal Relief & Development, described the situation as “extremely dire,” due both to the severity of the disease and the difficulty in containing it. “People want to care for sick family members at home, they are afraid to go to the clinics because so many are dying and there is a great deal of misinformation about how Ebola is spread. Fear about the disease is making the outbreak worse, and we are aiming to combat this fear with accurate information and support for basic needs.”

Development staff members of the Episcopal Church of Liberia are working with government health leaders in Bong County to distribute food items such as rice, cooking oil and canned meat in four quarantined rural communities, the agency reported.

Cuttington University’s main campus in the interior of the central region of Liberia is about six miles from Gbarnga, the capital of Bong County. Cuttington, founded in 1889 in Liberia by the U.S.-based Episcopal Church, has two other campuses, one in the country’s capital, Monrovia, and another nearly 45 miles south of Monrovia.

The university is home to the largest nursing school in the country and, because it offers the country’s only bachelor’s degree in nursing, many of its graduates work in critical care situations. Many aspiring doctors take the university’s bachelor’s in biology to use to make the pre-requisite of the country’s only medical school, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine and Cuttington grads make up the largest portion of Dogliotti students.

“This link between Cuttington and the medical community is real and is causing us great anguish,” Cuttington President Henrique Tokpa wrote in an Aug. 25 letter. “We know the people involved in this epidemic and we sympathize with their families.”

The first medical worker in Liberia to die from Ebola was a 2012 graduate of Cuttington’s nursing school, Tokpa wrote in the letter to the Rev. Ranjit Matthews, the Episcopal Church’s network officer for global relations and networking. The nurse, whom Tokpa referred to as Mr. Daah, was working in the hospital in Foyah in northern Liberia.

A practicing medical doctor at the Phebe Hospital – a Lutheran hospital located near Cuttington’s main campus and the nation’s largest public health institution – who also teaches part-time in the College of Allied Health Sciences at Cuttington unknowingly contracted the Ebola virus and at the same time interacted with the Cuttington University’s nursing students, the president said.

“Along these lines, Cuttington University remains exposed to this deadly epidemic, Ebola, and its attendant effects,” Tokpa wrote.

The president gave five examples of students, alumni and staff who have died, including “Kwee,” a former employee who died along with his wife and son.

Henry Callendee, dean of Cuttington’s School of Education, has lost at least 12 of his family members who live in a now-quarantined town in Lofa County, according to Tokpa.

At first, not much attention was paid to the outbreak when it was in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone “because we did not anticipate the violent nature of the Ebola virus,” Tokpa wrote in the letter.

But by mid-July, with the university’s “vacation school” still operating, Tokpa said “we immediately began to sense that the situation was spiraling out of control so we took some immediate measures,” including placing around campus buckets of chlorinated water with spouts to encourage hand washing.

The staff invited doctors and the head of a Bong County Ebola task force to campus gatherings to educate students, faculty, staff, and community members about the virus and how to protect themselves. Officials “began to strategize about school closure” and worked out ways to send students home with ways for them to finish the work of the term, Tokpa said.

J. Kota Kesselly, dean of the Cuttington’s School of Allied Health Sciences, has joined the Bong County task force, which meets daily.

And the university has donated more than 150 gallons of gas to help run vehicles for people assigned to bury the dead and respond to calls for aid from “live victims,” Tokpa wrote. Vegetables from the school’s garden have been donated as well as buckets for use as hand-washing stations in communities that cannot afford to buy their own.

As school officials were planning how to shut down the vacation term, the Liberian government ordered all schools to close as part of an effort to stem the spread of Ebola. Cuttington had hoped to reopen in September or October, Tokpa said.

The university is dependent on the tuition charged to students to pay its employees. Those employees have not been paid for June, July and August, and face the prospect of not being paid in the near future, the president said in another document he sent to Mathews.

Plus the university will have to disinfect all of its buildings, according to Tokpa. With 3,000 students expected eventually to return, the university must remain on alert when the epidemic subsides and schools can re-open, he added.

Cuttington’s partners at Rutgers University in New Jersey are supplying some basic support to the university and Phebe Hospital in Bong County, he said.

“We have to remember that these communities in West Africa now struggling with Ebola have only emerged in recent years from more than a decade of civil strife,” the Rev. Canon James G. Callaway, general secretary of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion and treasurer of the American Friends of Cuttington, told ENS. “This is the second time that Cuttington University has reorganized itself to address its community’s needs. As the Liberian civil war was just ending Cuttington opened its campus to retraining former combatants for new livelihoods as they are now marshaling resources to overcome Ebola.  As educators they are showing that leadership starts with service.”

As of Aug. 22 the United Nations’ World Health Organization said there have been 2,615 suspect and confirmed Ebola cases, including 1,528 laboratory-confirmed cases, and 1,427 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. WHO claims that the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak may have been underestimated, due in part to families hiding infected loved ones in their homes.

The Ebola outbreak is unprecedented in many ways, according to the World Health Organization, including the number of health care workers who have died. More than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died, the organization said on Aug. 25.

“Ebola has taken the lives of prominent doctors in Sierra Leone and Liberia, depriving these countries not only of experienced and dedicated medical care but also of inspiring national heroes,” the WHO statement said.

The organization said many of the deaths occurred among workers who initially did not know that the person they were treating was infected with Ebola, in part because many health workers, especially in urban areas, have never seen the disease and its early symptoms are similar to other infectious diseases endemic in the region, like malaria, typhoid fever and Lassa fever.

Factors contributing to the high number of deaths also include shortages of personal protective equipment or its improper use, far too few medical staff for such a large outbreak, and “the compassion that causes medical staff to work in isolation wards far beyond the number of hours recommended as safe,” the organization said.

“Some documented infections have occurred when unprotected doctors rushed to aid a waiting patient who was visibly very ill,” the WHO statement said. “This is the first instinct of most doctors and nurses: aid the ailing.”

WHO reported on Aug. 27 that Ebola had broken out in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The outbreak in Equateur Province has been traced to a pregnant woman from Ikanamongo Village who butchered a bush animal that had been killed and given to her by her husband. Eating bush meet is seen as a major way the virus moves from animals to humans.

In Sierra Leone, the Anglican Diocese of Bo is actively participating in the government District Health and Development Team’s planning and implementation process for Ebola control, specifically on detection and case management, Episcopal Relief & Development reported.

“Some of the biggest challenges in stopping Ebola come from hiding sick people and treating them at home rather than seeking isolation and medical assistance, patients escaping quarantine and burial practices that do not contain the disease,” said Episcopal Relief & Development’s Seifu. Culturally appropriate messaging and case management are essential in encouraging communities to adopt behaviors that will effectively combat Ebola,”

The agency reported that it is currently in conversation with both the Episcopal Church of Liberia and the Anglican Diocese of Bo in Sierra Leone regarding expansion of activities to reach remote communities and longer-term engagement to address the growing food crisis.

“Restrictions on transportation and commerce due to quarantine are already causing shortages, but there may be a longer-term impact on livelihoods and food supply due to lack of market access and missed planting seasons,” according to the agency’s Aug. 27 press release. “In addition, families whose main breadwinner has fallen ill or died are particularly vulnerable.”

Seifu said that one of the key strengths of church partners is that “they can access areas that might be difficult for other organizations or even the government to reach. I am very glad that the local government agencies have recognized this strength and that they can pool resources and expertise to implement a unified strategy. This partnership is important now and will continue to be as the region recovers from this disaster.”

South India alcohol ban could include Communion wine

Episcopal News Service - qui, 28/08/2014 - 08:05

[Anglican Communion News Service] Churches in India’s southern Kerala state have given a mixed response to government proposals for a total prohibition of alcohol within 10 years.

While Christian leaders have welcomed the ban, which will be gradually phased in over the next decade, some are concerned at calls for Communion wine to be included.

Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam of the Church of South India’s South Kerala diocese, told the Financial Times, “There are so many drunkards in our society – it is a grave concern among the people. It is very good to abolish alcohol from this land. They cannot stop it in a day, a week or a month, but the church is supporting the government to get rid of all these things.”

However, there have been calls from some quarters for the church to come under the ban and replace all its Communion wine with non-alcoholic substitutes.

ucanews.com reported that Vellapally Natesan, general secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, a Hindu political group, demanded the government cancel 23 licenses issued to Roman Catholic dioceses, religious orders and other Christian groups to produce Mass wine.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that Archbishop Francis Kallarackal of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Verapoly
had earlier stated that wine was integral to mass being con-celebrated by Christians all over the world and so could not be banned.

Syro Malabar Church spokesperson Father Paul Thelekat told PTI, “No church uses anything other than wine. We will continue the tradition,” he said.

Thomas K Oommen, bishop of the Central Kerala diocese of the Church of South India (CSI), told the New Indian Express that “it [Communion with wine] will remain unchanged until the world ends,” adding that calling for Communion wine to be included in the alcohol ban was not a proper interpretation of a decision “that could contribute to the cultural advancement of society.”

However, Bishop Philiphose Mar Chrysostom of the indigenous Mar Thoma Syrian Church told ucanews.com, “Churches should think about using grape water, as had been the practice in the past, instead of wine.”

Speaking to the media on Monday, V M Sudheeran, president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said the call to ban wine in churches was not appropriate considering it had been part of centuries-old ritual and tradition.

“It is for the Christian church to think over whether liquor should be banned. The interference of external forces is not proper.”

Keralans consume the highest amount of alcohol of any state in India and temperance groups have been pressing for a total ban to address a alcohol abuse problem across the state.

There are those who have criticized the move, however, saying that it will be a very bad decision for the tourist industry in a state that welcomes around 800,000 visitors a year.

‘Self-sustainability, unity are church priorities’: Central Africa primate

Episcopal News Service - qui, 28/08/2014 - 07:59

Archbishop Albert Chama emphasizes the need to foster unity across the province and working towards one common goal. Photo: Bellah Zulu/ACNS

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Most Rev. Albert Chama, primate of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), has emphasized that self-sustainability and unity remain top priorities for the church.

“As a transnational province, we’re encouraging investments in the various countries to make sure that the national churches and subsequently the province is self-sustainable,” the archbishop said in an interview with ACNS at the Zambia Anglican Council (ZAC) offices in Lusaka shortly before chairing a meeting with the Zambia bishops to discuss the sustainability of the church.

“As a province, we’re coming up with various programs, such as training workshops and conferences, to make sure that everyone, including bishops, clergy and laity, especially the youth, get involved in the development and growth of the church and other aspects of church life.”

Chama said resources raised from the different activities and investments will be used to improve missions across the province. However, he also acknowledged the different stages of economic development of the countries making up the province: Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

“The Church in Zambia for instance needs to do more in the area of investment and only then will it become easy to do various missions and grow the church,” he said. “But we continue to share best practices from the dioceses and parishes across the province so that we can learn from one another and grow together.”

The archbishop emphasized the need to foster unity across the province and working towards one common goal. “A bigger family means a bigger voice,” he said. “CPCA has been able to contribute immensely to the global Anglican Church because of the unity we enjoy.”

Chama spoke of how the province was able to help the church in Zimbabwe during the persecutions endured by the Anglicans there when excommunicated former bishop Nolbert Kunonga and his supporters grabbed church properties.

“Provincial unity is crucial because when one part is affected, we’re all affected,” he said. “When Zimbabwe had challenges, the province came in and helped where it could.”

He added: “It is because of the unity we enjoy that our Episcopal Synod even resolved to invite [the Anglican Consultative Council] to Lusaka, Zambia within our province. We believe it’s because of this unity that we strongly feel the need to share with the Anglican Communion.”

However, the archbishop emphasized that for unity to be promoted and upheld, there was need for consistent communication and sharing of information both within the province and the rest of the Anglican Communion.

“Information needs to be shared on the best practices of evangelism and other aspects of church life that can help transform ministry,” he said. “We also need to keep learning from each other on how we can appropriately contribute to the socio-economic development of our countries.”

Chama reiterated the importance of church leaders “leading by example.”

“When people see a leader in the forefront advocating for a cause or even involving themselves in activities, they see the seriousness of that activity.”

The Anglican Church in Zambia has been brainstorming various areas of possible investments including an ambitious plan for a housing project that could help the Church’s finances in the long term.

Local churches empower communities to stop Ebola spread

Episcopal News Service - qui, 28/08/2014 - 07:51

[Episcopal Relief & Development press release] In Liberia and Sierra Leone, Episcopal Relief & Development’s local Church partners are leveraging their widespread presence and trusted reputation to alleviate suffering and contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,427 people in West Africa since March 2014.

Partners in both countries are mobilizing local volunteers to promote accurate information about Ebola and distribute hygiene and sanitation supplies.  In addition, the Church in Liberia is supplying food parcels for households in quarantined communities and providing basic protective equipment for health workers at local hospitals.

“The situation is extremely dire, due both to the severity of the disease and the difficulty in containing it,” said Abiy Seifu, Senior Program Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development.  “People want to care for sick family members at home, they are afraid to go to the clinics because so many are dying and there is a great deal of misinformation about how Ebola is spread.  Fear about the disease is making the outbreak worse, and we are aiming to combat this fear with accurate information and support for basic needs.”

Local development staff of the Episcopal Church of Liberia are working with government health staff in Bong County to distribute food items such as rice, cooking oil and canned meat to 500 people in four quarantined rural communities.  Volunteers are delivering food and sanitation supplies to homes, and demonstrating correct mixing procedures for different concentrations of bleach water for hand-washing and cleaning.  The supplies also include a hand-washing station made by installing a spigot in a covered five-gallon bucket, and a poster with accurate information about how to prevent Ebola and what to do if a family member presents symptoms of the disease.

Text of health messaging poster being distributed in Liberia:

You can stop EBOLA!

Always wash your hands with soap

  • Do not hide sick people
  • Do not touch dead body
  • Do not eat bush meat
  • When you are sick with fever, headache, body pain, etc.
    Go to the hospital quick, quick, quick
  • Listen to health workers – they know how best to help you

EBOLA can catch big people and small children

Efforts in Liberia also include radio messaging in local dialects through 15 stations in nine counties and the distribution of bumper stickers with key messaging to churches of other denominations.

The shipment of facemasks, gloves, gowns and other protective supplies from Episcopal Relief & Development’s Africa Regional Office in Ghana arrived in Liberia and were given to three area hospitals – Phebe Hospital, Redemption Hospital and C.H. Rennie Hospital – in a commissioning ceremony by The Most Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart on August 26.

In Sierra Leone, the Anglican Diocese of Bo is actively participating in the government District Health and Development Team’s planning and implementation process for Ebola control, specifically on detection and case management.  Diocesan staff trained local health volunteers who had already been active in the Church’s malaria and HIV prevention efforts to assist with education, case identification and contact tracing.  The volunteers also distributed hand-washing stations.

Contact tracing is one of the most important but often most difficult aspects of disease control, especially because the incubation period between when a person contracts Ebola and when they show symptoms can range from two to 21 days.  Trusted local volunteers who are familiar with community members and their relationships and daily routines can be extremely helpful, both in identifying cases and contacts, and in encouraging their neighbors to follow the correct procedure when someone is sick or has died, in order to prevent further infection.

“Some of the biggest challenges in stopping Ebola come from hiding sick people and treating them at home rather than seeking isolation and medical assistance, patients escaping quarantine and burial practices that do not contain the disease.  Culturally appropriate messaging and case management are essential in encouraging communities to adopt behaviors that will effectively combat Ebola,” Seifu said.

Episcopal Relief & Development is currently in conversation with both the Church of Liberia and the Diocese of Bo in Sierra Leone regarding expansion of activities to reach remote communities and longer-term engagement to address the growing food crisis.  Restrictions on transportation and commerce due to quarantine are already causing shortages, but there may be a longer-term impact on livelihoods and food supply due to lack of market access and missed planting seasons.  In addition, families whose main breadwinner has fallen ill or died are particularly vulnerable.

“One of the key strengths of our Church partners is that people know them and they can access areas that might be difficult for other organizations or even the government to reach,” said Seifu.  “I am very glad that the local government agencies have recognized this strength and that they can pool resources and expertise to implement a unified strategy.  This partnership is important now and will continue to be as the region recovers from this disaster.”

Donations in support of Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa may be designated to the Ebola Crisis Response Fund.

Two ordained to diaconate in Central Pennsylvania

Episcopal News Service - qua, 27/08/2014 - 16:54

 On Aug. 23, 2014, Bishop Robert Gepert, Bishop Provisional for the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, ordained Carenda Baker of St. John’s, Carlisle and Sarah Ginolfi of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Harrisburg to the Diaconate of Transitional Deacon. Deacon Sarah will be serving as Parish Missioner at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Indiana and Deacon Carenda is presently considering calls. Photo: Diocese of Central Pennsylvania

St. Mary’s Church in Napa joins in quake clean-up

Episcopal News Service - qua, 27/08/2014 - 16:20

Organ pipes are seen scattered on the chancel floor at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Napa, California, after a magnitude-6 earthquake hit the area early on Aug. 24. Photo: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] While the outside of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Napa, California, looks perfect after the Aug. 24 magnitude-6 earthquake, the inside of the church is a different matter.

Organ pipes litter the chancel floor while others hang precariously from the organ loft, some bent like drinking straws. Right after the quake at about 4 a.m., when the Rev. Stephen Carpenter, St. Mary’s rector, and his daughter came to the church with flashlights to check for damage, all of the pipes were still in the loft.

However, Carpenter told Episcopal News Service, “gravity or aftershocks or both took over” and some of the pipes later spilled out. The 27-rank Casavant organ was installed in the 1990s, according to Carpenter.

The most serious concern, and the reason the rector said the building is red-tagged, are the visible cracks and apparently missing parts of brick and mortar in a gothic stone arch 40 feet above the pulpit and lectern. It is not clear if the damage is cosmetic or structural, Carpenter said, and that will not be determined until a structural engineer can inspect the arch.

Meanwhile, the congregation will worship Sunday in the parish hall. Many of the members are used to that since they spent five months worshipping there back in 1999 while the church was undergoing a seismic retrofit. Carpenter noted that just less than a year after that retrofit was finished in October 1999 a magnitude-5.2 temblor hit on Sept. 3, 2000, and the church came through unscathed.

Just after the Aug. 24 earthquake, the pipes were still in the organ loft, however precariously. Either gravity or aftershocks or some combination of those forces sent some pipes tumbling to the chancel floor. Photo: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church via Facebook.

The Aug. 24 quake caused a lot of damage inside the church. “I don’t even have a book shelf to put my books back into,” Carpenter said of his office which was littered with pieces of fallen bookcases.

Parish members have shoveled up the pieces of every single dish in the kitchen after the quake spilled them out of the cupboards.

Back in the church, a mosaic of the Holy Spirit that had hung over the baptismal font since 1954 came off the wall. One large piece was found covering the font and the rest is in pieces on the floor of the nave. A Madonna statue on the church’s Mary Altar also broke when the shaking sent it tumbling to the ground.

Carpenter, who has been St. Mary’s rector for 31 years, said the house that he and his wife, Fran, live in is a mess, too. He filled a large garbage can with pieces of pottery, china, crystal and antique clocks. A grandfather clock that belonged to his grandfather is in two pieces.

A Napa native, Carpenter lost many family members in an airplane crash in the 1970s and, he said, many of the things destroyed in his home were “memories of my family.”

As they cleaned up the house, “we kept saying ‘it’s only stuff,’ but it’s still sad,” he said.

A 60-year-old mosaic of the Holy Spirit fell off the wall and broke apart on the baptismal font. Photo: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church via Facebook

The only St. Mary’s parishioner apparently injured during the quake was an elderly woman who had gotten out of bed just before the temblor struck. She fell to the floor, breaking her hip. Carpenter said the woman is now recovering from surgery.

The magnitude-6 quake struck at 3:20 a.m. PDT about five miles south-southwest of the city of Napa. Napa boasts a large number of Victorian-era buildings and is one of the centers of Northern California’s wine country.

The quake was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border, the Associated Press reported.

There were numerous aftershocks in the hours after what is being called the South Napa Quake, with four of them measuring 2.5 or more having struck by 8 a.m. PDT on Aug. 24.

St. Mary’s parish, built on the corner of Third and Patchett streets in 1931, was originally known as Christ Church, dates back to 1858 and was once located a few blocks to the east near First United Methodist and First Presbyterian churches. Those two churches were more heavily damaged in the quake. Video damage in Napa shot from a drone shows damage to First Presbyterian Church at the 2:16 mark and the damaged First United Methodist building at 2:46 here.

The quake was the largest to shake the San Francisco Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake struck in 1989, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway fell. The quake hit during the afternoon rush hour just after 5 p.m. local time.

“Our chandeliers were all swinging in unison” during Loma Prieta, whose epicenter was on the Pacific Coast about 115 miles south of Napa, Carpenter said.

The magnitude-6 quake tumble a Madonna statue of the Mary Altar. Photo: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church via Facebook.

No one was killed in the Aug. 24 quake and the City of Napa said on Aug. 25 that 208 people were treated at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa with 17 admitted.

The city said on the morning of Aug. 27 that 113 buildings had been red tagged, indicating that they are unusable or uninhabitable due to damage from the quake, and approximately 500 have yellow tags, meaning that caution is required in those buildings.  The “initial gross estimate” of damage to privately owned homes and commercial structure in the city is $300 million, not including inventory and other economic losses. The estimate, the city, also does not include public buildings or infrastructure.

Many people have been helping businesses in the heart of the Northern California vineyards get cleaned up before dealing with their own home, Carpenter said. he recalled seeing people helping out the owners of an olive oil and balsamic vinegar store in downtown Napa where so many bottles had broken that oil was running out the front door, across the sidewalk and into the gutter.

“Disasters have a way of bringing out the best or the worst in people,” he said. “Most often it shows people’s humanity.”

The quake struck just as “crush,” the wine harvest, was beginning. Crush is a major tourist event as well as the normally exciting finish to the growing season with the anticipation of what this year’s vintage will be like, but now “there’s just like a cloud over everybody,” Carpenter said.

“But, we’re moving forward,” he added.

A television interview with Carpenter by the ABC affiliate in San Diego is here.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

 

Diane Belcher to lead music program at St. Thomas, Hanover, NH

Episcopal News Service - qua, 27/08/2014 - 12:11

Renowned organist and choir director Diane Meredith Belcher will lead the parish music program at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Hanover, NH.

Belcher, a prize-winning organist, internationally recognized recitalist, choir director, and teacher, is graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music. Belcher has 30 years of professional experience in sacred music, having served churches in Philadelphia, Boston, Rochester, Syracuse, Baltimore, and Memphis, where she was also the founding director of the Memphis Concert Chorale. She will play her first service at St. Thomas on Sept. 14, 2014.

EDS names Battle as interim dean of students and community life

Episcopal News Service - qua, 27/08/2014 - 07:04

[Episcopal Divinity School press release] Episcopal Divinity School has announced the appointment of The Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D., as Interim Dean of Students and Community Life for the 2014-15 academic year. Dr. Battle will begin working at EDS on Monday, August 25th, and will reside on the EDS campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Dr. Battle is an accomplished theologian and a respected pastoral leader whose ministry has spanned the globe. A graduate of Duke University (B.A. and Ph.D.), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Yale University (S.T.M.), he was ordained a priest in South Africa by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1993. His ministry focuses on Christian non-violence, human spirituality, and Black church studies. He is the author of several books, including Reconciliation: The Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu and Blessed are the Peacemakers: A Christian Spirituality of Non-violence.

Dr. Battle is founder of the PeaceBattle Institute and has served as Rector and Canon Theologian in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Previously, he served as Provost of the Cathedral Center, Vice President, Associate Dean of Academic Studies and Associate Professor of Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.

He has also served as Chaplain to the Episcopal House of Bishops, as a member of the Theology Committee of the Episcopal Church, as Spiritual Director of CREDO, Wellness Conference of the Episcopal Church, and on several boards, including EDS alumna Mpho Tutu’s Institute for Prayer and Pilgrimage.

Most recently, Dr. Battle served as Vicar of St. Titus Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina. His website is michaelbattle.com.

About Episcopal Divinity School

Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) is a progressive center for study and spiritual formation for lay and ordained leaders. Committed to a mission of social justice and inclusive education and grounded in the Anglican tradition, EDS awards Masters degrees in Divinity and Theological Studies, Doctoral degrees in Ministry, and Certificates in Anglican Formation; Justice, Reconciliation, and Mission; and Christian Spiritualities for the Contemporary World.

EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of 10 eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion in the Boston area.

A seminary for the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Divinity School is grounded in the Anglican tradition and committed to growing in relationship with other Christian and faith traditions. Episcopal Divinity School is an academic community of biblical, historical, and theological inquiry that respects students as responsible learners with valuable experience, supports spiritual and ministerial formation, and provides tools for the life-long work of social and personal transformation. To learn more about EDS, visit www.eds.edu.

Mississippi notified of successful canonical consent process

Episcopal News Service - ter, 26/08/2014 - 16:33

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has notified the Diocese of Mississippi that Bishop-Elect Coadjutor Brian R. Seage has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process.

As outlined under Canon III.11.4 (a), the Presiding Bishop confirmed the receipt of consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction, and has also reviewed the evidence of consents from a majority of standing committees of the Church sent to her by the diocesan standing committee.

In Canon III.11.4 (b), Standing Committees, in consenting to the ordination and consecration, attest they are “fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.”

The Very Rev. Brian R. Seage was elected Bishop Coadjutor on May 3.  His ordination and consecration service is slated for September 27; Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will officiate.

A recap of the process                                                  

Upon election, the successful candidate is a bishop-elect.  Following some procedural matters including physical and psychological examinations, formal notices are then sent by the Presiding Bishop’s office to bishops with jurisdiction (diocesan bishops only) with separate notices from the electing diocese to the standing committees of each of the dioceses in The Episcopal Church. These notices require their own actions and signatures.

In order for a bishop-elect to become a bishop, Canon III.11.4 (a) of The Episcopal Church mandates that a majority of diocesan bishops AND a majority of diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination and consecration as bishop. These actions – done separately – must be completed within 120 days from the day notice of the election was sent to the proper parties.

If the bishop-elect receives a majority of consents from the diocesan bishops as well as a majority from the standing committees, the bishop-elect is one step closer. Following a successful consent process, ordination and celebration are in order.

General Seminary fills 2 positions as part of program integration

Episcopal News Service - ter, 26/08/2014 - 14:51

[General Theological Seminary press release] Leading up to this Fall semester, the Rev. Danielle Thompson, Chaplain for Pastoral Care, and the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Adjunct Professor, have taken on expanded roles at The General Theological Seminary. Each position includes key roles in implementing the Seminary’s new initiative, The Way of Wisdom.

The Rev. Danielle Thompson has accepted the position of Coordinator of Integrative Programs. In addition to continuing to provide pastoral care and support to community life, she will coordinate Field Education, Clinical Pastoral Education, and coordinate planning and implementation of The Wisdom Year.

Thompson earned the Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2006. She completed a CPE residency and worked as a staff chaplain at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee and went on to attend the School of Theology at the University of the South (Sewanee), completing the Master of Sacred Theology degree in 2011. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2010 in the Diocese of Chicago, where she served as Associate Rector of St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church and participated in the Lilly Endowment’s Making Excellent Disciples cohort, a flagship leadership training and mentoring program for newly ordained Episcopal clergy. Thompson began work at General in 2013 as Chaplain for Pastoral Care when she relocated to New York City with her family, GTS Professor of Systematic Theology Josh Davis and two children. She also serves as a part-time Chaplain at The Episcopal Church Center.

The Rev. Stephanie Spellers will continue in her appointment as Adjunct Professor of Church and Society and takes on the additional role of Director of Mission and Reconciliation. She will teach courses and lead other offerings that relate to mission, evangelism, and reconciliation in the field of ministry, and will begin the work of expanding our offerings to the increasingly important outside community. In her undertakings she will highlight the role of mission in our education and formation of students for all types of leadership. As part of her new responsibilities, she is joining The Way of Wisdom planning team and will be offering mentor-training and resources to Wisdom Year residency sites. Spellers will continue to serve part-time as Canon for Missional Vitality in the Diocese of Long Island and as a Senior Consultant in the Center for Progressive Renewal, an ecumenical center for church development and renewal.

Spellers is a popular speaker and is the author of numerous books, including The Episcopal Way (2014), Ancient Faith, Future Mission: Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Traditions (2010) and Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other and the Transforming Power of the Spirit (2006). She serves as one of two Chaplains to the House of Bishops and recently chaired the Episcopal Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism. Along with Eric Law, she is the co-editor for the new Church’s Teachings for a Changing World series.

From 2005 to 2012, Canon Spellers served as founding priest for The Crossing, an emergent congregation based at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston. She earned an M.A. in 1996 from Harvard Divinity School and an M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School in 2004. Prior to and concurrent with priestly ministry, she served in the administration at Harvard Divinity and worked as a religion reporter for a regional daily newspaper and as an editor for Episcopal Church Publishing.

Celebração da IEAB com o Arcebispo Justin Welby

SNIEAB Feeds - ter, 26/08/2014 - 14:39

Celebração da Santa Comunhão com Bispos, Fiéis, Clérigos, Líderes de outras Religiões e Igrejas e Autoridades Governamentais

Local: Paróquia da Santíssima Trindade (mesmo endereço do Escritório da Secretaria Geral)

Data: 04/09 às 17 horas

Acesse Mapa Localização da Paróquia

- SOLICITAMOS QUE FIÉIS E CLÉRIGOS (AS) DA IEAB QUE DESEJAM ESTAR NO CULTO DEVERÃO CONFIRMAR PRESENÇA ATÉ O DIA 01 DE SETEMBRO ATRAVÉS DO EMAIL sec.geral@ieab.org.br ou pelo fone 11- 36678161. Lembramos que temos um limite na capacidade do templo da Santíssima Trindade e por isso essa recomendação da Secretaria geral.

Oração Matutina e Café da Manhã Adesão com lideranças Clérigas e Leigas da Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil

Local: Escritório da Secretaria Geral. Data: 05/09 às 08H e 08H30.

- Café da Manhã- R$ 40,00

- LIMITE DE 50 REPRESENTAÇÕES

- SOLICITAMOS QUE FIÉIS E CLÉRIGOS QUE DESEJAM ESTAR NO CULTO DEVERÃO CONFIRMAR PRESENÇA ATÉ O DIA 01 DE SETEMBRO ATRAVÉS DO EMAIL sec.geral@ieab.org.br ou pelo fone 11- 36678161.

Estacionamento: Valor R$ 10,00

‘New and creative ways of prayer’ available for everyday life

Episcopal News Service - ter, 26/08/2014 - 12:39

[Episcopal News Service] What is being called “a daily office for the 21st century” is now available to members of the Episcopal Church and beyond.

“Daily Prayer for All Seasons,” developed by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music offers a variation on the Book of Common Prayer’s tradition of prayers for morning, noon, evening and nighttime.

The books are divided by the liturgical year, and each of the services for each of the eight canonical hours of the day has a theme, including praise, discernment, wisdom, perseverance and renewal, love, forgiveness, trust and watch. A complete service covers one or two pages.

The prayer book presents a variety of images of God, uses inclusive and expansive language for and about God, and presents a rich variety of language, including poetry, meditation and prayers from the broader community of faith, according to a press release. Clergy, teachers and spiritual leaders across the Episcopal Church contributed to the work.

“These prayers will help you pray at all times and find the right words when necessary,” the Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones, a contributor to the volume who serves as priest for pastoral care and community at Trinity Wall Street, New York, said in the release. “In their diversity, these prayers are manna from heaven for folks who are seeking new and creative ways of prayer. This book will teach you how to pray.”

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings of Ohio, president of the House of Deputies, said she is “grateful to the leaders from across the Episcopal Church who have collaborated on this important new set of prayers for everyday life.”

Some of the prayers are being used during Nuevo Amanecer, a churchwide gathering of Latino/Hispanic members of the Episcopal Church, at the Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina.

Work began in April 2007 on what eventually became known as “Daily Prayer for All Seasons,” according to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music’s report to the 76th meeting of General Convention (page 187 here) in 2009.

The next meeting of convention in 2012 approved the book (via Resolution A055) and it has now been published in English and Spanish in various formats by Church Publishing Inc. It is available in print and in eBook versions including Kindle, iBook and Nook formats. The print volume can be imprinted with a recipient’s name. Soft cover and leather-bound editions are available. A 37-page sampler from the book is here.

Massachusetts Bishop Shaw offers update on illness

Episcopal News Service - ter, 26/08/2014 - 09:17

[Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts] Massachusetts Bishop Thomas Shaw, SSJE, sent a message to his diocese on Aug. 25 announcing that the brain cancer he has been battling since May 2013 is incurable and expressing gratitude for ongoing prayers and support.

“At the recommendation of my medical team, I’ve decided now to pursue a course of treatment that will provide a good quality of life, though for how long, we can’t be sure,” Shaw wrote. “My prayer feels different from day to day.  Some days there is an expansiveness to it, and on other days, it isn’t so easy, though there aren’t too many of those days.  But throughout, good days and more difficult days, I feel supported by you, the people of this diocese and beyond, and by your prayers, and I’ve felt my faith life grow in significant ways.  I am looking forward to what God will bring in this new time.”

Shaw, who has served the Massachusetts diocese as its bishop since 1995, is set to retire in September when the Rev. Alan M. Gates is ordained and consecrated as the 16th bishop of Massachusetts.

The full text of Shaw’s message follows.

My Sisters and Brothers,

As my date of retirement nears, I want to be in touch with all of you and to thank you for your continued expressions of care and concern.  We have known since the beginning, when I was diagnosed with brain cancer in May of last year, that we are dealing with a difficult kind of cancer.  We have been hopeful in the therapies we’ve pursued over these months, but we now know that for me there is no cure.  At the recommendation of my medical team, I’ve decided now to pursue a course of treatment that will provide a good quality of life, though for how long, we can’t be sure.

As hard as this is to hear and to tell, I didn’t want this time to go by without letting all of you know where things are.  My medical team continues to provide me with excellent care, and I have a wonderful community of support around me.  My prayer feels different from day to day.  Some days there is an expansiveness to it, and on other days, it isn’t so easy, though there aren’t too many of those days.  But throughout, good days and more difficult days, I feel supported by you, the people of this diocese and beyond, and by your prayers, and I’ve felt my faith life grow in significant ways.  I am looking forward to what God will bring in this new time.

You know, time too often in our culture is perceived as a problem; all of us, at some point, feel we don’t have enough of it. Yet, because of Jesus the Messiah, all time is now God’s time.  It is part of the unfolding of God’s glory.  We are invited into it as an experience of the presence of God.  I believe that is where our prayer, where our life together in gathered community, where our participation with God in making all things new is taking us: into the heart of God.

May each of us be opened to the possibility and the hope offered through God’s gift of time.

Our bishop-elect, Alan, will keep you informed of changes in my condition going forward.  I continue to cherish your cards and letters, and I want to say again how much I appreciate the years I’ve served as your bishop and all that you have taught me.  I plan to be part of the upcoming consecration, and I look forward to joining you in welcoming our new bishop.

Please pray for me as I pray for you.

Faithfully,

M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE

Paul-Gordon Chandler named president/CEO of CARAVAN

Episcopal News Service - seg, 25/08/2014 - 16:34

[CARAVAN press release] Rev. Canon Paul-Gordon Chandler, a mission partner with The Episcopal Church and the former Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cairo, Egypt from 2003-2013, has assumed the role of President/CEO of CARAVAN, an interfaith arts non-profit (501c3) that seeks to “build bridges through the Arts between the creeds and cultures of the East and West.” CARAVAN started as an interfaith arts movement out of Cairo and became a non-profit organization based from Chicago this last March 2014. 

CARAVAN brings together many of the Middle East’s premier artists, with noted Western artists, to build respect, increase understanding and encourage friendship between the Middle East and the West. 

One of the flagship initiatives of CARAVAN is the globally recognized CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art. Each year this unique exhibition has garnered attention from the international press, media and art world, attracting thousands of visitors. In 2013, many thousands of Middle Easterners and Westerners viewed CARAVAN’s public art exhibition of painted donkeys (symbolizing “Peace and Compassion”) by premier artists from the Middle East and West, first throughout Cairo, followed by an estimated 120,000 people visiting CARAVAN’s exhibition in London, England at the world renowned St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

The 2014 CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art opens in late August at National Cathedral in Washington D.C. (August 30-October 6) and involves 48 premier and emerging Egyptian and Western artists (of Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds). Titled “AMEN—A Prayer for the World,” the exhibition seeks to express the deep, fundamental human acknowledgement of power and hope in the universe, for all peoples. This major arts initiative is an aspirational expression of hope and goodwill for the peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world. Following the exhibition in Washington D.C. it will move to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City (October 12-November 23).

Juan David Alvarado elected bishop of El Salvador

Episcopal News Service - seg, 25/08/2014 - 16:18

 

Bishop-elect of El Salvador Juan David Alvarado will in January of 2015 replace Bishop of El Salvador Martin Barahona who will retire. Photo: Anglican-Episcopal Church of El Salvador.

[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Juan David Alvarado was elected bishop of the Anglican-Episcopal Church in El Salvador on Aug. 23 at St. John the Evangelist Church in San Salvador.

His consecration/installation is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2015.

Alvarado, 52, will succeed the Rt. Rev. Martín Barahona who is retiring.

Elected in 1992, Barahona became the first Salvadoran to serve as bishop. Prior to Barahona’s election and the end of El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war, then-Bishop of Panama James H. Ottley oversaw the church in El Salvador from Panama.

Alvarado was elected from a slate of five candidates, including two North Americans.

The other candidates were:

  •  The Rev. Ricardo Bernal, Diocese of El Salvador;
  • The Rev. Juan Antonio Méndez, Diocese of El Salvador;
  • The Rev. Vidal Rivas, senior priest, St. Matthew’s/San Mateo Parish, Hyattsville, Maryland, Diocese of Washington; and
  • The Rev. Lee Alison Crawford, vicar, Church of Our Saviour at Mission Farm and canon missioner to El Salvador, Diocese of Vermont.

Alvarado was elected on the second ballot with 35 of 50 lay votes and 8 of 14 clergy votes.

The bishop-elect is married to the Rev. Irma Alvarado; the couple has two children.

The Anglican-Episcopal Church of El Salvador, along with the Anglican and Episcopal Churches in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua, make of the Anglican Church in Central America, or IARCA, as it is know by its Spanish Acronym.

West Texas announces six ‘potential’ coadjutor nominees

Episcopal News Service - seg, 25/08/2014 - 16:08

[Episcopal News Service] The Standing Committee of the Diocese of West Texas has presented six potential nominees for bishop coadjutor.

The potential nominees, all of whom are from the diocese, have provided biographical data, as well as answers to eight questions given to them by the Standing Committee. Each potential nominee’s profile can be viewed individually, or as a booklet here.

The potential nominees are:

  • The Rev. Scott Brown, 39, rector, St. Alban’s, Harlingen, Texas;
  • The Rev. Ram Lopez, 50, rector, St. George’s, San Antonio;
  • The Rev. Jim Nelson, 64, rector, St. John’s, McAllen;
  • The Rev. David Read, 49, rector, St. Luke’s, San Antonio;
  • The Rt. Rev. David Reed, 57, bishop suffragan, Diocese of West Texas;
  • The Rev. Robert Woody, 61, rector, Reconciliation, San Antonio.

The election is scheduled to take place on Oct. 25, at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas a high school in San Antonio.

The six are referred to as “potential nominees” because the first ballot of the election will serve as a formal nominating ballot to enable them to become nominees for bishop coadjutor, according to a description of the process here.

The bishop coadjutor will eventually succeed Bishop Gary Lillibridge who in February called for the coadjutor. Lillibridge, 58, was elected bishop in October 2003 and was ordained to that office in February 2004. He will retire in 2017 at which point the coadjutor will become the diocesan bishop.

Consecration of the new coadjutor is set for Feb. 28, 2015.

Congo Anglicans re-elect Henri Isingoma as Primate

Episcopal News Service - seg, 25/08/2014 - 14:07

[Anglican Communion News Service] Congo Anglicans have re-elected the Most Revd Henri Isingoma as Primate of the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo, giving him the mandate to lead the church there for another five years.

In an exclusive interview with ACNS today, Archbishop Isingoma said the re-election gives him an opportunity to continue with the various activities, projects and policies meant to develop the church.

“For instance, we need to revisit our Church’s constitution and adapt it to the realities on the ground,” he said. “We also need to work on restoring and promoting good relationships with other churches in the Anglican Communion and other denominations.”

In a closely contested election held yesterday in Kinshasa, by the House of Bishops, Archbishop Isingoma got five votes while the other candidate, Bishop of Kindu Diocese, the Right Revd Zacharia Masimango got four votes.

“Church planting will continue to be a top priority during this term,” said the Primate. “So far we have managed to add an extra four dioceses in order to reach as many people as possible in this vast Province.”

He also talked about the possibility of splitting the Province into two Provinces owing to the size of the country. He also raised the need to address some of the Province socio-economic problems.

“Poverty continues to be a major problem for our country and hence the need for investment projects in our various dioceses,” he said. “We also need to become self-reliant as a Church but in order to achieve this we need the support of our various partners to help build capacity.”

The Primate also spoke of the need to address the socio-political situation in the country. “There is a lot of violence in parts of the country and so we need to work with our neighbouring countries to help promote peace,” he said.

Abp Isingoma said theological education continues to play an important role in the Church and that they will continue working towards improvement of various infrastructures including support towards the Anglican University in Congo.

Abp Henri Isingoma is the third Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Congo. He studied at the Boga Institute and at the Nyankunde Institute, where he graduated in 1977. He has a degree in Theology and Human Sciences from the Superior Institute of Anglican Theology and a Master Degree in Theology from the Evangelical Theology Faculty of Bangui, Central African Republic.

He first served as Bishop of Katanga from 1997 to 2007 before being elected as Bishop of Boga in 2007, a position he held until 2009 when he was elected as third Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Congo. He also serves as Bishop of Kinshasa.

The Primate has since called for support and prayers in order for unity to prevail in the Church. He said: “All Anglicans need to work hand in hand to help build our church. We need to identify and address our common challenges as a church and help promote dialogue.”

Supporting Liberian church’s Ebola response

Episcopal News Service - sex, 22/08/2014 - 10:48

[Episcopal Relief & Development press release] Episcopal Relief & Development and the Episcopal Church of Liberia are mobilizing an awareness-raising campaign about Ebola prevention and treatment through church leaders and local volunteers in five counties.  The Church is also providing food supplies for health workers and quarantined patients through emergency response centers such as Phebe Hospital in Bong County.

In addition, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Africa Regional Office in Ghana has procured and shipped protective supplies to aid the Liberian Church’s response to the deadly epidemic.

“We sent disposable masks, gowns and gloves in addition to eye protection, which will give health workers some degree of safety,” said Vanessa Pizer, Program Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development.  “However, Ebola is highly contagious and these are just the most basic measures.  What is really needed are grassroots campaigns to advance accurate information about Ebola, so people can protect themselves and respond compassionately but effectively when they know someone is sick.”

Working through local priests, the Church is disseminating accurate information in nine dialects through fifteen radio stations. Church of Liberia staff have also created flyers in local dialects with clear explanations and instructions around Ebola prevention and response.  Volunteers will distribute the flyers and post them in churches and community buildings to reach as many people as possible.

Food relief is another critical aspect of the Church’s response.  Travel restrictions, quarantines and fears of spreading Ebola through commerce have led to shortages of food and higher prices for basic goods.  The Church’s development office is procuring food items in-country and transporting them to the most severely affected regions, and distributing supplies through hospitals and relief centers.

According to the World Health Organization, as of August 20, 1,350 people have died from Ebola in West Africa.  Liberia has been hardest-hit, with 576 recorded deaths since the outbreak began in March 2014.  The current Ebola epidemic is the worst since the virus was discovered in 1976, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then called Zaire.

Due to shortages of medical supplies in Liberia, the Episcopal Relief & Development’s Africa Regional Office in Ghana purchased supplies in Accra and sent them via airfreight to Monrovia.  The shipment was met by Church staff, who will accompany the supplies to their destinations and facilitate distribution in cooperation with local volunteers and Ebola Task Force members.

The first distributions of informational flyers and medical supplies will take place in Robertsport and Benejah cities in Cape Mount, with additional distributions in Grand Gedeh, Bong, Lofa and Rivercess.

In correspondence with Episcopal News Service, the Most Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, Archbishop of Liberia, stated that people are struggling with conflicting desires to care for their sick family members and prepare the bodies of those who have died with the necessity of not coming in contact with the bodily fluids through which Ebola, a hemorrhagic virus, spreads.

He said that he and other clergy and government leaders are urging people to set up hand-washing stations and to wash their hands frequently in chlorine-treated water.

“Because of the Church’s widespread presence in Liberia and its dedicated clergy and volunteer networks, they and Episcopal Relief & Development are very well positioned to promote accurate information and access areas that are hard to reach otherwise,” Pizer said.  “I am grateful to our partners there, who are putting themselves in harm’s way to try and save lives, and encourage prayers of support for them and the communities they are ministering to.”

Donations in support of Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa may be designated to the Disaster Response Fund.

CARTA DOS (AS) REPRESENTANTES ECUMÊNICOS(AS) DA IGREJA EPISCOPAL

SNIEAB Feeds - qui, 21/08/2014 - 18:54

CARTA DOS (AS) REPRESENTANTES ECUMÊNICOS(AS) DA IGREJA EPISCOPAL AOS ORGANISMOS, REDES E MOVIMENTOS ECUMÊNICOS DO BRASIL

Mariápolis, São Paulo – 20 de Agosto de 2014


Às irmãs e irmãos que participam de

Organismos, Redes e Movimentos Ecumênicos,

Reunidas enquanto pessoas que representam a Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil em organismos ecumênicos, redes e movimentos, sejam estes com representação oficial ou com participação pessoal, e no marco de novas comissões criadas no último Sínodo – a saber, a Comissão de Relações Ecumênicas e Comissão de Incidência Pública (Direitos Humanos, Diaconia Social e Política, Enfrentamento ao Racismo e toda forma de Discriminação) – aprofundamos o nosso diálogo sobre o sentido da presença ecumênica e inter-religiosa de nossa igreja no contexto da realidade brasileira, latino-americana e mundial e ante a conjuntura eclesial e missionária que se apresenta para nós hoje.

Elaboramos, também, uma Carta Aberta à Sociedade Brasileira, onde reafirmamos nossos compromissos com grandes e urgentes questões que tencionam nossa realidade, sem prejuízo de outras ali não mencionadas com as quais estamos comprometidas(os) ou buscamos nos comprometer.

Além disso, queremos aprofundar nosso intercâmbio na visualização e estímulo à participação em iniciativas ecumênicas com todas as organizações, redes e movimentos, por meio de nossas comissões provinciais, em especial as de Relações Ecumênicas, Incidência Pública e Diaconia.

Continuaremos colaborando efetivamente na construção de uma casa comum realmente justa e sustentável para todas as pessoas.

Dom Francisco de Assis da Silva- Bispo Primaz da IEAB/Diretoria do CONIC/ACT ALLIANCE

Dom Humberto Maiztegui- Referente da Comissão de Ecumenismo da IEAB

Dom Maurício Andrade- The Anglican Lutheran International Coordinating Committee (ALICC)/ KOINONIA

Dom Flavio Irala- Comissão Ecumenismo/ Comissão Diálogo Anglicano Católico Romano (CONAC)/MOFIC-SP

Dom Naudal Gomes- Referente da Comissão de Incidência Pública IEAB

Reverendo Arthur P. Cavalcante- Secretário Geral da IEAB/CESEP

Reverendíssima Deã Marinez Bassoto- CONIC-RS/ Comitê estadual da Diversidade Religiosa- RS

Reverendíssima Deã Magda Guedes- CLAI BRASIL

Reverendo Jerry Andrei- Membro do Grupo de Trabalho Missão IEAB/ Gestando o Diálogo Inter-Religioso e o Ecumenismo (GDIREC/ RS)

Reverendo Daniel Cabral- Conselho Estadual de Diálogo Interreligioso-RJ/ CONIC/RJ

Reverenda Carmen Kawano- Membro da Comissão de Ecumenismo IEAB/Campanha da Fraternidade Ecumênica 2016/MOFIC-SP

Reverendo Marcos Barros- Conselho Amazônico de Igrejas Cristãs (CAIC)/Membro do Conselho Executivo do Sínodo da IEAB

Reverenda Elineide Ferreira- Distrito Missionário Anglicano

Sra. Sandra Andrade- Coordenadora do Serviço Anglicano de Diaconia e Desenvolvimento (SADD)/Diretoria da CESE/ANGLICAN ALLIANCE

Sra. Ester Lisboa- KOINONIA

Prof. Daniel Sousa- FEACT/KOINONIA

Sr. Xico Esvael- CLAI CONTINENTAL/CESEP

Sr. Izaias Torquato- Membro da Comissão de Ecumenismo IEAB

CARTA ABERTA DOS(AS) REPRESENTANTES ECUMÊNICOS(AS) DA IGREJA EPISCOPAL ANGLICANA DO BRASIL

SNIEAB Feeds - qui, 21/08/2014 - 18:46

CARTA ABERTA DOS(AS) REPRESENTANTES ECUMÊNICOS(AS) DA IGREJA EPISCOPAL ANGLICANA DO BRASIL A SOCIEDADE BRASILEIRA

Mariápolis, São Paulo – 21 de Agosto de 2014.

Reunidas enquanto pessoas que representam a Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil em organismos ecumênicos, redes e movimentos, sejam estes com representação oficial ou com participação pessoal, e no marco de novas comissões criadas no último Sínodo – a saber, a Comissão de Relações Ecumênicas e Comissão de Incidência Pública (Direitos Humanos, Diaconia Social e Política, Enfrentamento ao Racismo e toda forma de Discriminação) – aprofundamos o nosso diálogo sobre o sentido da presença ecumênica e inter-religiosa de nossa igreja no contexto da realidade brasileira, latino-americana e mundial e ante a conjuntura eclesial e missionária que se apresenta para nós hoje.

Assim, consideramos que, como Igreja, temos a obrigação de nos pronunciar sobre temas relevantes da nossa sociedade, e que por chamado de Deus, devemos testemunhar e nos comprometer com a defesa dos direitos humanos e da integridade da criação. Reafirmamos o compromisso nas ações como Igreja e junto aos movimentos sociais que buscam a incidência política e a garantia de direitos em questões como:

- Enfrentamento à Violência de gênero contra as mulheres.

- Defesa dos direitos sexuais e reprodutivos da mulher.

- Inclusão e plena cidadania das pessoas LGBT, com a superação da homofobia, lesbofobia e transfobia.

- Defesa da dignidade, ancestralidade e autodeterminação dos Povos tradicionais.

- Defesa do Estado Laico, incluindo as suas implicações para a compreensão e execução do Ensino Religioso e para a colaboração com as iniciativas populares para reformas políticas, econômicas e sociais.

- Fim da intolerância religiosa.

- Crítica a projetos de desenvolvimento orientados pela injustiça socioeconômica e pelo uso desmedido do meio ambiente.

- Combate ao extermínio da juventude negra;

Deste modo, em parceria com todas as pessoas, entidades, e movimentos que compartilham desta esperança, e em diálogo com quem pensa de maneira distinta das nossas perspectivas, continuamos no caminho.

Em Cristo,

Dom Francisco de Assis da Silva- Bispo Primaz da IEAB/Diretoria do CONIC/ACT ALLIANCE

Dom Humberto Maiztegui- Referente da Comissão de Ecumenismo da IEAB

Dom Maurício Andrade- The Anglican Lutheran International Coordinating Committee (ALICC)/ KOINONIA

Dom Flavio Irala- Comissão Ecumenismo/ Comissão Diálogo Anglicano Católico Romano (CONAC)/MOFIC-SP

Dom Naudal Gomes- Referente da Comissão de Incidência Pública IEAB

Reverendo Arthur P. Cavalcante- Secretário Geral da IEAB/CESEP

Reverendíssima Deã Marinez Bassoto- CONIC-RS/ Comitê estadual da Diversidade Religiosa- RS

Reverendíssima Deã Magda Guedes- CLAI BRASIL

Reverendo Jerry Andrei- Membro do Grupo de Trabalho Missão IEAB/ Gestando o Diálogo Inter-Religioso e o Ecumenismo (GDIREC/ RS)

Reverendo Daniel Cabral- Conselho Estadual de Diálogo Interreligioso-RJ/ CONIC/RJ

Reverenda Carmen Kawano- Membro da Comissão de Ecumenismo IEAB/Campanha da Fraternidade Ecumênica 2016/MOFIC-SP

Reverendo Marcos Barros- Conselho Amazônico de Igrejas Cristãs (CAIC)/Membro do Conselho Executivo do Sínodo da IEAB

Reverenda Elineide Ferreira- Distrito Missionário Anglicano

Sra. Sandra Andrade- Coordenadora do Serviço Anglicano de Diaconia e Desenvolvimento (SADD)/Diretoria da CESE/ANGLICAN ALLIANCE

Sra. Ester Lisboa- KOINONIA

Prof. Daniel Sousa- FEACT/KOINONIA

Sr. Xico Esvael- CLAI CONTINENTAL/CESEP

Sr. Izaias Torquato- Membro da Comissão de Ecumenismo IEAB