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Irish faith leaders stress the dignity of human life in the Holy Land

Episcopal News Service - qui, 08/12/2016 - 15:09

[Anglican Communion News Service] Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in Ireland have pledged to work together to promote peace and deepen understanding in the Holy Land. Some 17 leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths across the island of Ireland also pleaded for an end to violence and loss of life in the Middle East. They did so after hearing from Anglican Episcopal Archbishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani, whose diocese includes Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.

Full article.

Burundian Anglicans establish safe house for victims of gender-based violence

Episcopal News Service - qui, 08/12/2016 - 15:04

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Church of Burundi has trained 126 people to support victims of gender-based violence. The Church is also establishing a safe house to provide counseling and other forms of specialist help. At an event to mark the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence – which comes to an end on Saturday (10 December), Archbishop of Burundi Martin Nyaboho said that the Church is “more than ever committed to end violence in all its forms.”

Full article.

Les protecteurs de l’eau et les militants se réjouissent de la victoire pour les Amérindiens

Episcopal News Service - qui, 08/12/2016 - 08:53

Des feux d’artifice au camp d’Oceti Sakowin pour célébrer l’annonce du gouvernement fédéral le 4 décembre qu’il n’autoriserait pas le passage de l’oléoduc de Dakota Access sous le fleuve Missouri au lac Oahe. Photo : Michael Pipkin/Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Les aumôniers épiscopaux et interconfessionnels étaient sur le point de monter une tente dans le camp d’Oceti Sakowin, le 4 décembre lorsqu’un messager s’est approché et les a invités à rejoindre la foule déjà réunie autour du feu sacré au centre du camp. Ils ont laissé la tente, les poteaux plantés dans la terre et y sont allés.

Alors qu’ils rejoignaient des centaines de personnes rassemblées autour du feu, Dave Archambault II, président de la tribu Sioux de Standing Rock, a pris le micro pour annoncer que le gouvernement fédéral avait déclaré qu’il n’autoriserait pas le passage de l’oléoduc de Dakota Access sous le fleuve Missouri au lac Oahe, à travers la source d’eau potable pour environ 8 000 personnes vivant dans la réserve de Standing Rock, qui couvre près d’un million d’hectares dans le Dakota du Nord et le Dakota du Sud.

« C’est très important pour tous les gens qui nous ont soutenus, qui se sont montrés solidaires avec nous », a déclaré Dave Archambault. « C’est énorme. C’est géant ».

Il a invité les personnes présentes à remporter chez elles les enseignements du mouvement « l’eau c’est la vie », pour guérir leurs familles et leurs communautés et créer un meilleur avenir.

« L’heure est venue pour nous maintenant d’aller de l’avant et de ne pas oublier. Je vous suis tellement reconnaissant à tous », a déclaré Dave Archambault.

La foule, dont un grand nombre campe depuis des mois pour s’opposer au projet controversé d’oléoduc, a réagi par un tonnerre d’applaudissements, en versant des larmes et a manifesté sa joie en s’étreignant.

Des milliers de personnes, dont des Amérindiens et des autochtones représentant environ 300 tribus venues du monde entier, sont arrivées au Dakota du Nord ces derniers mois dans une manifestation sans précédent de solidarité avec la Nation sioux de Standing Rock.

« Au nom de l’Église épiscopale, j’exprime ma gratitude au Président Barack Obama et à son administration pour leur défense des droits des peuples autochtones des États-Unis. Nous applaudissons la décision prise par l’Army Corps of Engineers des États-Unis de refuser le permis de passage de l’oléoduc sous le lac Oahe », a déclaré l’Évêque Primat Michael Curry, qui s’est rendu à Standing Rock en septembre. « Je tiens à remercier personnellement tous ceux qui ont œuvré pour faire entendre les voix du peuple de Standing Rock, en attirant notre attention sur des erreurs historiques et des injustices, et en nous exhortant tous à envisager une nouvelle vision de la façon dont nous pourrions aimer Dieu, nous aimer les uns les autres et aimer la création.

« Je dois reconnaissance et humilité aux protecteurs de l’eau de Standing Rock dont le témoignage fidèle sert d’exemple de courage moral, d’intégrité spirituelle et de réel souci pour la famille humaine tout entière et la création de Dieu. J’apprécie aussi grandement le sacrifice et l’exemple des anciens combattants, du clergé interconfessionnel et des aumôniers spécialisés en traumatismes qui ont accompagné les protecteurs de l’eau lors des moments critiques de la lutte ».

La décision du 4 décembre est arrivée alors que d’anciens combattants des États-Unis débarquaient dans le camp pour former un bouclier entre les protecteurs de l’eau non violents et les forces de police devenues chaque fois plus violentes et militarisées dans les affrontements. À un certain moment, il semblait que les protecteurs allaient être forcés d’évacuer le camp d’Oceti Sakowin, situé sur les terres fédérales juste au sud du fleuve Cannonball sur la route 1806.

« Sans voix… complètement bouleversé, j’ai toujours attendu ce jour avec espoir » confie, à la suite de l’annonce, le révérend John Floberg, prêtre qui supervise les églises épiscopales de la partie de la réserve de Standing Rock située dans le Dakota du Nord et qui a été à la tête du soutien que l’Église épiscopale a apporté aux protecteurs. Des larmes coulaient sur ses joues alors qu’il exprimait sa gratitude « à tous ceux qui ont répondu à l’appel et manifesté la solidarité de l’église avec Standing Rock. C’est un moment de Kairos et nous nous trouvons au beau milieu ».

« Je tiens à remercier tous ceux de toutes traditions religieuses qui sont venus nous soutenir…. C’est le point de rencontre de la tradition catholique romaine à la tradition wiccane en passant par la tradition orthodoxe, c’est le point de rencontre de nos traditions religieuses, nous sommes parvenus à un nouveau point ».

L’Église épiscopale a soutenu les protecteurs de l’eau et leurs alliés depuis le mois d’août lorsque l’opposition à l’oléoduc de Dakota Access a véritablement commencé. « Et ce soutien va continuer » a ajouté John Floberg.

L’Église continuera à apporter soutien, réconfort et accompagnement pastoral aux gens sur place et John Floberg encourage les épiscopaliens à continuer à venir à Standing Rock pour montrer leur solidarité. Hier, au moment où l’annonce était faite, un groupe de Rochester (État de New York) était en chemin.

« Ce que nous faisons c’est de rester là où se trouvent les gens, c’est là la place de l’Église, parmi le peuple, et nous continuons à appeler les épiscopaliens et le clergé à venir ici porter témoignage. Nous ne demandons pas aux gens de rebrousser chemin ».

Article complet en anglais

Episcopalians, activists raise concerns about Michigan pipeline

Episcopal News Service - qua, 07/12/2016 - 20:57

The five-mile Mackinac Bridge crosses the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Upper and Lower Michigan. Photo: Ann Wilson/Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians were on the front lines of environmental advocacy when pipeline protesters claimed victory this week against a controversial segment of a North Dakota oil pipeline. Now, Episcopal leaders are stepping up again, this time in Michigan, to seek government intervention in response to concerns about another oil pipeline.

In both cases, church leaders cite a spiritual calling to protect water resources as part of God’s creation.

The Diocese of Northern Michigan announced Dec. 7 it was asking Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to restrict the use of what is known as Line 5, a pipeline that carries oil and natural gas under the Straits of Mackinac, unless the state can guarantee there is no threat to public waters. The straits run between lower Michigan and the state’s Upper Peninsula and connect Lake Michigan with Lake Huron.

“Without water, we can’t survive. Without water there would be no life for any of God’s creatures,” said Northern Michigan Bishop Rayford Ray in an interview with Episcopal News Service. “As people of faith, we believe we are stewards of God’s creation, so we are called to be advocates.”

The diocese approved and Ray signed a resolution last month backing the recommendations of a state task force and pushing for an independent panel to verify Line 5 is safe.

The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on earth; only the polar ice caps contain more fresh water.

Activists in Michigan can draw encouragement from the results of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s high-profile protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Hundreds and at times thousands of “water protectors,” as the protesters and their allies self-identify, including Episcopalians, have been camped out since August at the site where Energy Transfer Partners had planned to extend the pipeline under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, a key source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Reservation to its south.

The standoff between protectors, authorities and construction crews sparked tense clashes and arrests while drawing national attention to the case. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visited the protest camp in late September and was among the voices urging a halt to construction on that small segment of the pipeline.

“I am grateful and humbled by the water protectors of Standing Rock, whose faithful witness serves as an example of moral courage, spiritual integrity and genuine concern for the entire human family and God’s creation,” Curry said Dec. 5  after the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers announced it was blocking the pipeline segment under Lake Oahe and recommending an alternative route be sought.

Construction is complete on most of the rest of Dakota Access’ 1,172 miles of pipeline from the Bakken oil fields of northwest North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. Energy Transfers had asserted that the pipeline – including the Lake Oahe crossing – is safe, economical and necessary to transport North Dakota oil to markets and refineries across the country and is not backing down.

In Michigan, the pipeline already is in place and use under the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5 was built in 1953 and runs 645 miles from northern Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario, a little more than an hour northeast of Detroit.  The pipeline company, Enbridge Energy, is in the process of installing supports for the existing pipeline, not building a new segment.

The Line 5 pipeline carries 540,000 barrels of natural gas and light crude oil a day. The company says 85 percent of residents in the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan heat their homes with propane carried on Line 5.

“Line 5 continues to deliver energy to Michigan residents safely and reliably every day,” spokesman Michael Barnes told the Detroit News. Enbridge has applied to the state for permission to install 19 support anchors as part of its maintenance of the 63-year-old pipeline. “We all have one goal in mind — the safe operations of Line 5 and protecting the Great Lakes, the environment, and everyone who uses these precious waterways.”

But activists hope the decision in North Dakota could lead to greater scrutiny of existing and proposed pipelines elsewhere.

“This is a message to federal and state agencies to prioritize water over oil transport in vulnerable areas like the Great Lakes,” Liz Kirkwood, executive director of the Michigan-based group For Love of Water, told the Detroit News after the North Dakota decision.

The News noted that Line 5 has never suffered a major incident resulting in the release of oil or natural gas into the Great Lakes, though the 2010 rupture of an Enbridge pipeline in southern Michigan spilled oil into Kalamazoo River and raised concerns that similar ruptures could threaten other areas.

Some activists are pushing to decommission the Straits of Mackinac crossing in favor of pursuing alternatives.

“It’s just a bad place for a pipeline,” David Holtz, chairman of the Sierra Club’s Michigan Chapter, told the Times Herald in early December. “Although we are obviously using less (oil) than we have in the past, putting a pipeline in the Great Lakes and having a pipeline in the straits is just not a great idea.”

— David Paulsen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Wauwatosa.

Welsh Christians walk from Bethlehem to Egypt for refugees

Episcopal News Service - qua, 07/12/2016 - 16:35

[Anglican Communion News Service] A group of Welsh Christians is walking from Bethlehem to Egypt to raise funds for Christian Aid’s work with refugees and displaced people around the world. But rather than walking the 430-mile journey that the holy family undertook in the Middle East, they are walking the 140-miles between the south-Wales village of Bethlehem in Carmarthenshire and the north-Wales hamlet of Yr Aifft (Egypt) in Denbighshire.

Full article.

Australian religious leaders call for action on modern slavery

Episcopal News Service - qua, 07/12/2016 - 16:31

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Primate of Australia, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, has joined other religious leaders in Australia in calling for a new law to tackle modern slavery. He has co-signed a joint open letter asking Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, to introduce a Modern Slavery Act.

Full article.

Church of England investment arm wins international awards

Episcopal News Service - ter, 06/12/2016 - 15:20

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Church Commissioners – the statutory investment body responsible for historic assets of the Church of England – has won three major prizes at the Investment & Pensions Europe Awards for its ethical and responsible investment work. The awards – for Climate Related Risk Management; Environment, Social and Governance; and Real Estate – come on top of the two awards the commissioners won in April at the Portfolio Institutional Awards. But it did not take the top award of Best European Pension Fund, for which it was shortlisted.

Full article.

Theology college members killed in road accident in Nigeria

Episcopal News Service - ter, 06/12/2016 - 15:16

[Anglican Communion News Service] Three members of an Anglican theological college in Nigeria were killed and others have been critically injured after “a ghastly motor accident,” the Anglican Church of Nigeria has reported. They were members of the community of St Francis College of Theology in Wusasa, in Kaduna state; and were traveling in the college minibus to represent the college at a function in Gwagwalada when the accident happened. On hearing news of the accident, the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, sent a primatial delegation to visit the college to express condolence and to offer support.

Full article.

Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music will present options to General Convention on possible prayer book revision

Episcopal News Service - ter, 06/12/2016 - 14:28

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) plans to present the 2018 General Convention with four options regarding the possible revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, said the Rev. Devon Anderson, commission chair.

The options, discussed in detail on the SCLM’s blog, are:

  • Revision of the prayer book beginning after the 2018 General Convention;
  • Creation of a book or books of alternative services beginning after the 2018 General Convention, with no accompanying revision of the prayer book;
  • A postponement of the decision on the prayer book and supplemental resources until the completion of a church-wide conversation on liturgical theology and practice during the 2018-2021 triennium
  • A step back from liturgical revision and a commitment to exploring the theology of the current prayer book in greater depth.

“We want to give General Convention everything it needs to give the SCLM very detailed direction and sufficient funding to follow that direction,” Anderson said. “We want to call the church to a collective discernment that leads to a decision.”

Resolution A169 of the 2015 General Convention directed the SCLM “to prepare a plan for the comprehensive revision of the current Book of Common Prayer and present that plan to the 79th General Convention.”

The commission is taking a data-driven approach to its work, and hopes to use several methods of gathering the information and opinions that will shape its conversations, Anderson said.

These methods include collecting and analyzing bulletins to gauge current practice in the church; interviewing Anglican partners who have recently revised their prayer books; holding small group discussions about the prayer book across the church, beginning at the 2018 General Convention; and sponsoring conferences on the prayer book at Virginia Theological Seminary and the School of Theology at Sewanee, the University of the South.

These methods can be tested in the next two years and deployed church-wide between the conventions in 2018 and 2021, Anderson said.

The commission is also hoping to commission a church-wide research project in cooperation with the Church Pension Group to determine Episcopalians’ current attitudes towards the prayer book. The study would follow “grounded theory” methodology, which seeks data not to confirm a previously conceived theory, but to find testable theories within the information gathered.

Anderson said data gathering is an essential step if either prayer book revision or the creation of supplemental liturgical resources is to proceed.  “The Book of Common Prayer is the fullest statement of our faith, and the deepest expression of our theology,” she said. “If we are going to revise it, it is essential that people from across the church can share their thoughts, their anxieties and their hopes with us. That is why we are focusing, at this point, on hearing the voices of our people.”

The SCLM blog also includes updates from subcommittees working on the Book of Occasional Services, the Calendar of Commemorations, congregational song, and liturgical resources that speak to issues of racial injustice and reconciliation.

 

Water protectors, supporters rejoice over victory for Native Americans

Episcopal News Service - seg, 05/12/2016 - 21:01

Fireworks marked the celebration over the Oceti Sakowin Camp following the federal government’s Dec. 4 announcement that it would not allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. Photo: Michael Pipkin/Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal and interfaith chaplains were about to raise a tent in the Oceti Sakowin Camp on Dec. 4 when a message runner approached and called them to join the crowd already gathering around the sacred fire in the camp’s center. They left the tent, poles inserted, on the ground, and they went.

As they joined the hundreds of people around the fire, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II took to the microphone to announce that that federal government said it would not allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, the drinking water source for some 8,000 people living on the Standing Rock Reservation, which covers 2.3 million acres in North and South Dakota.

“It’s significant for all of the people that supported us, standing with us,” said Archambault. “It’s huge. It’s big.”

He called on those present to take the lessons learned from the “Water is Life” movement home with them to heal their families and communities, and to create a better future.

“It’s time that we now move forward and that we don’t forget. I’m just so thankful for all of you,” Archambault said.

The crowd, including many who have been camped out in opposition to the controversial oil pipeline for months, erupted into applause; tears flowed, and people hugged one another in celebration.

Thousands of people, including Native Americans and indigenous people representing some 300 tribes from around the world, have traveled to North Dakota in recent months in an unprecedented show of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.

“On behalf of the Episcopal Church, I offer my gratitude to President Barack Obama and his administration for championing the rights of the indigenous peoples of the United States. We applaud the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the pipeline permit under Lake Oahe,” said Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who went to Standing Rock in September. “I personally offer thanks to all those who have worked to amplify the voices of the people at Standing Rock, calling our attention to historic wrongs and injustices, and urging us all to consider a new vision for how we might love God, love each other and love creation.

“I am grateful and humbled by the water protectors of Standing Rock, whose faithful witness, serves as an example of moral courage, spiritual integrity, and genuine concern for the entire human family and God’s creation. I am equally appreciative of the sacrifice and example of the military veterans, interfaith clergy and trauma chaplains who accompanied the water protectors during critical moments of the struggle.”

The Dec. 4 decision came as U.S. military veterans were pouring into the camp to stand as a shield between nonviolent water protectors and law enforcement officers in what had become an increasingly violent, militarized standoff. At one point, it looked as if protectors would be forced to evacuate the Oceti Sakowin Camp, located on federal land just south of the Cannonball River on Highway 1806.

The Rev. John Floberg, supervising priest of the Episcopal churches on the North Dakota side of Standing Rock, standing with the Episcopal flag in Oceti Sakowin Camp on Dec. 4. Photo: Lauren Stanley

“Speechless … completely overwhelmed. I always hoped for today,” said the Rev. John Floberg, supervising priest of the Episcopal churches on the North Dakota side of Standing Rock who has led the Episcopal Church’s continued support to water protectors, following the announcement. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he expressed gratitude “for all those who answered the call and had the church standing with Standing Rock. This is the kairos moment, and we are in the middle of it.”

“I want to thank everyone from every faith tradition who came to support us …. This is the common ground from Roman Catholic to Orthodox to Wiccan, this is the common ground for our faiths, we are at a new place.”

By the time the announcements finished, thousands of people had gathered around the sacred fire, “you could feel joy, shock and excitement all rolled into one; it was like the entire earth was vibrating,” said the Rev. Lauren Stanley, superintendent presbyter of the Rosebud Episcopal Mission West in South Dakota, adding that fireworks and victory songs continued into the night. “They were saying thank you to everyone who has supported them, it’s been a way of proving to the government that people do care, and that’s not been the history of native people.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe commended the Obama administration and the federal government for its decision.

“We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing,” said the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in a Dec. 4 statement in response to the Army’s decision. “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama administration for this historic decision.”

The tribe’s statement went on to thank the tribal youth who initiated the “Water is Life” movement; advocates and the millions of people around the globe who supported its cause; the thousands of supporters who came to the camps; and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent and money to its “efforts to stand against the pipeline in the name of protecting water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready with you if and when your people are in need.”

The Army based its Dec. 4 decision on the need to explore alternative routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline that “would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a review of the permit on Sept. 9, when it requested construction stop on the 1,172-mile 30-inch diameter pipeline poised to carry up to 570,000 gallons of oil a day from the Bakken oil field in northwestern North Dakota – through South Dakota and Iowa – to Illinois where it will be shipped to refineries. The pipeline was to pass within one-half mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and tribal leaders repeatedly expressed concerns over the potential for an oil spill that would damage the reservation’s water supply, and the threat the pipeline posed to sacred sites and treaty rights.

Back in September, federal agencies said the case highlighted the need for discussion regarding nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on infrastructure projects.

Energy Transfer Partners responded on Dec. 4 by saying that it and its partner Sunoco Logistics Partners are “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”

The statement went on to say, “The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”

President-elect Donald J. Trump says he supports the pipeline’s completion.

Law enforcement has back away from the Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806 near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The bridge had been blockaded since an Oct. 27 confrontation and is a vital artery for emergency vehicles carrying people to hospital from the Standing Rock Reservation. As of Dec. 5, the road remained closed. Photo: Michael Pipkin

Even while celebrating the Dec. 4 victory, water protectors and their allies are preparing for the long winter and road ahead.

“People will not leave until this situation is secure and that the victory that was won yesterday is sustained, and we have confidence that it will be sustained even into a new presidential administration,” said Floberg in a Dec. 5 telephone interview with Episcopal News Service. “Will some people go home? Yes, there can be a large stand down right now, but there will be a significant presence maintained, that will call back this force of people from throughout this country and around the world if this course is not maintained.”

Although the Dec. 4 decision is a victory, the case is not over. On Nov. 15, Dallas, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company developing the pipeline, filed a lawsuit asking for federal court intervention to finish the project.

Veterans join activists in a march to Backwater Bridge just outside of the Oceti Sakowin Camp on Dec. 5 during a snow fall as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Photo: Lucas Jackson/REUTERS

The situation on the ground intensified in late November, and initially, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Morton County Sheriff called for the evacuation of the Oceti Sakowin Camp, but both have since backed off. The Dec. 5 evacuation deadline coincided with the planned “deployment” of military veterans on the ground. In anticipation of the veterans’ arrival, the Standing Rock Sioux Nation asked for chaplains to be present.

After the Dec. 4 announcement and the initial celebration the Episcopal and interfaith chaplains returned to erect their tent, and early on the morning of Dec. 5, they hit the ground running, providing wellness and pastoral care to water protectors and their allies in the Oceti Sakowin Camp.

“We’re going two-by-two knocking on tents to make sure people are warm enough; if they are not we can help them get to a warming place, we have hand warmers and blankets,” said the Rev. Michael Pipkin, a former Navy chaplain on the Minnesota diocesan staff, who is coordinating the chaplain’s response.

Temperatures were in the lower teens on the morning of Dec. 5, and by noon snow was falling. Temperatures are forecast to fall as the week goes on.

Once the person’s physical needs are addressed, Pipkin said the chaplains move on to “deep soul work,” asking questions like, “How are you feeling? What does this mean for you?”

“We all understand that this is a prayerful place, Oceti Camp is a camp of prayer. In my whole life, I’ve never been around so many people praying and praying for a single cause …  this is prayer in action and prayerful action all at the same time,” he said.

The Rev. Lauren Stanley, superintendent presbyter of the Rosebud Episcopal Mission West in South Dakota, wears a red beanie with “chaplain” written across the front while standing alongside the Rev. John Floberg, supervising priest of the Episcopal churches on the North Dakota side of Standing Rock. Photo: Paul J. Lebens-Englund/Facebook

Thirty chaplains, including Episcopalians, Unitarians, Quakers, hospital and prison chaplains, are spending their days in camp through Dec. 7, while sleeping on the floor of St. James’ Episcopal Church in nearby Cannon Ball. On the evening of Dec. 4, Pipkin said, there was a line of veterans from recent and past conflicts still waiting to get into the camp.

“I’ve seen vets in wheelchairs … I just met an 80-year-old veteran from Alaska; it’s fascinating to me,” he said. “This has been very healing as a vet who has experienced conflict.”

Also on Dec. 5, during a forgiveness ceremony held in the pavilion of the Prairie Knights Casino and Resort on the Standing Rock reservation, non-native veterans including Wesley Clark Jr., son of the retired U.S. Army General, knelt for 14 minutes asking elders for the forgiveness of sins committed by the U.S. government against Native Americans. Following the ceremony, Native American veterans were asked to come forward and make relationships with those who were apologizing, and they did so by exchanging hugs and handshakes, said Stanley.

“Forgiveness and reconciliation is what Dave Archambault was talking about, and of course that resonates with us Episcopalians,” said Stanley. “This is a whole new chapter between natives and the rest of the United States.”

The Episcopal Church has supported water protectors and their allies since August when opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline began in earnest. And the support will continue, said Floberg.

The Church will continue to provide support comfort and pastoral care to people on the ground, and Floberg is encouraging Episcopalians to continue to come to Standing Rock in a show of solidarity; yesterday as the announcement was made, a group from Rochester, New York, was making its way.

“What we are doing is we are staying where the people are, that is where the Church belongs, among the people, and we continue to call for Episcopalians and clergy to come and bear witness here. We’re not calling for people to turn around.”

— Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service. The Rev. Lauren Stanley contributed reporting from the ground in North Dakota.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on news from Standing Rock

Episcopal News Service - seg, 05/12/2016 - 19:35

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry has issued the following statement on the news concerning the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation:

This morning, the sun ascended over the Great Plains of our nation, and hope truly dawned anew.

After months of courageously and peacefully working to prevent the laying of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which posed potential danger to the water supply of the people of the Sioux Nation and transgressed their sacred burial grounds, the water protectors on Standing Rock have won a notable victory. Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced their decision to deny an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline’s construction across the sacred land and water of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and this long-awaited announcement is cause for joyful celebration and thanks.

On behalf of the Episcopal Church, I offer my gratitude to President Barack Obama and his Administration for championing the rights of the indigenous peoples of the United States. We applaud the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the pipeline permit under Lake Oahe. I personally offer thanks to all those who have worked to amplify the voices of the people at Standing Rock, calling our attention to historic wrongs and injustices, and urging us all to consider a new vision for how we might love God, love each other and love creation.

I am grateful and humbled by the water protectors of Standing Rock, whose faithful witness, serves as an example of moral courage, spiritual integrity, and genuine concern for the entire human family and God’s creation. I am equally appreciative of the sacrifice and example of the military veterans, interfaith clergy and trauma chaplains who accompanied the Water Protectors during critical moments of the struggle.

Our whole church should offer special thanksgiving to Father John Floberg of the Diocese of North Dakota for effectively organizing Episcopalians and other people of faith in this effort, and to clergy and lay people who committed themselves to standing with the water protectors – both physically and in spirit.

Even as our Church celebrates this historic announcement, we must also look to the mighty tasks that lay ahead. In the next eighteen months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement to explore alternative routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline. We ask that the assessment involve extensive consultation with affected populations, and that any plan going forward honor treaty obligations with the Standing Rock Sioux. We will also continue to urge the current and incoming presidential administration to launch a thorough Department of Justice investigation into the use of brutal force by law enforcement on Standing Rock. Our work is not over, and the Episcopal Church has a critical role to play in ensuring a just and humane outcome is fully realized.

We recognize that this struggle for the protection of water and of the basic human rights of indigenous people is one moment in a wider movement for social and environmental justice. May we in this way bear true witness to the words of the holy prophet Micah, who said:

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

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

Historic gathering of the Portuguese speaking dioceses of Africa

Episcopal News Service - seg, 05/12/2016 - 14:05

[Anglican Communion News Service] Young people from three Portuguese speaking dioceses in Mozambique and Angola have this week taken part in a historic first joint meeting. The two countries are both Portuguese-speaking, but as they are separated by more than 1,200 miles, contacts between them have been few up to now. But now young people from the dioceses of Lebombo, Niassa and Angola, gathered from Nov. 25-30 at the diocesan center in Maciene, in the Mozambique province of Gaza.

Full article.

DeDe Duncan-Probe becomes bishop of Central New York

Episcopal News Service - seg, 05/12/2016 - 08:02

Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe of Central New York celebrates Holy Communion following her ordination and consecration as bishop. Photo: Sue Cenci/Episcopal Diocese of Central New York

[Episcopal Diocese of Central New York] Hundreds of Central New Yorkers and bishops and dignitaries from across the United States participated in the ordination and consecration of DeDe Duncan-Probe as 11th bishop of Central New York. The service took place on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Liverpool, New York. Duncan-Probe will lead the 13,000-member Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, which includes 86 local churches and chapels in a region stretching from the Canadian to the Pennsylvanian borders and from Utica to Waterloo, including Syracuse, Watertown, Ithaca, Binghamton, Elmira and the greater Finger Lakes area.

The first woman to serve as chief priest and pastor of the diocese, Duncan-Probe has said she intends to foster dialogue and reach out to diverse communities in the region. “I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude today as I join the people of Central New York in ministry,” she said, “especially because I believe we have a crucial role to play right now. The Episcopal Church’s radical welcome, and our commitment to reconciling dialogue, make our communities a beacon of hope in an increasingly divided society.”

Reflecting the new bishop’s commitment to diversity and dialogue, notable leaders from the Episcopal Church and local faith and civic organizations participated in the historic celebration. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry led the ceremony as chief consecrator, and the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, the first woman to serve as a bishop in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, preached in the consecration ceremony. Also participating were leaders from the Islamic Society of Central New York, the Upstate Lutheran Synod, Thekhen Choling USA (Buddhist) Bahai’is of Syracuse, the National Council of Churches, Upstate University Hospital Spiritual Care, and InterFaith Works of CNY.

Bishops from El Salvador to Long Island attended the consecration DeDe Duncan-Probe as the new bishop of Central New York. Photo: Cindy Barrus/Episcopal Diocese of Central New York

Duncan-Probe was elected at a special convention of the diocese on Aug. 6, 2016 following a year-long search process. She succeeds the Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams, III, who retired after 15 years as 10th bishop of the diocese on Oct. 31.

Prior to her call to serve as bishop of Central New York, Duncan-Probe was rector of St. Peter’s in the Woods Episcopal Church in Fairfax Station, Virginia, and held a number of leadership positions in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. She has served as a youth director, an educator, and co-founded an engineering consulting firm with her husband which continues to thrive. She holds a doctorate from Oxford University and two master’s degrees from Pepperdine University and from General Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Chris Probe, have three children.

John H. Taylor elected bishop coadjutor of Los Angeles

Episcopal News Service - dom, 04/12/2016 - 09:33

The Rev. John Taylor with his wife Kathleen Hannigan O’Connor. Photo: Diocese of Los Angeles

[Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles] The Rev. John Taylor was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Los Angeles on the eighth ballot Dec. 3 by delegates gathered for the 121st annual meeting of the diocese at the Ontario Convention Center.

Taylor, 62, has served as vicar of St. John Chrysostom Church and School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, since 2004. He was elected by 122 votes in the clergy order and 194 votes in the lay order.

The election culminated a nearly two-year search process. Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno announced during his address to convention that he will retire at the beginning of Diocesan Convention 2017.

The other five nominees were:

  • The Rev. Paul Fromberg, rector, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco, California;
  • The Rev. Rachel Nyback, rector, St. Cross by the Sea, Hermosa Beach, California;
  • The Rev. Anna Olson, rector, St. Mary’s, Los Angeles;
  • The Rt. Rev. Pierre W. Whalon, bishop-in-charge and suffragan to the presiding bishop, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe;
  • The Rev. Mauricio Wilson, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Oakland.

Additional information about the candidates may be found here.

“To our divided nation, to those living in fear and uncertainty, to anyone yearning for a rich relationship with the God in Christ who loves everyone without reservation, The Episcopal Church throws its arms open,” Taylor said after the election was announced. “In our diverse, far-flung diocese, we are united in our baptismal pledge to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being, especially those who are most vulnerable. I look forward with joy to serving alongside my fellow ministers — laypeople, deacons, priests and bishops — as we continue to proclaim the gospel in word and deed.”

A lifelong Episcopalian, Taylor was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1954, the son of journalists and formerly served as chief of staff to former President Richard M. Nixon and later as the executive director of the Nixon Library.

He received a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Divinity degree at the Claremont School of Theology and Bloy House. He is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.

He was ordained a priest in January 2004 and also served as curate at the Church of St. Andrew the Apostle in Fullerton.

The Diocese of Los Angeles “groans with the potential for growth through mission and ministry to those in our communities who do not know our church but whom our God in Christ commands us to reach, embrace, empower and serve,” Taylor has said.

His is a “via media” leadership style — listening to his own instincts in consultation with others. “I listen to all stakeholders to learn from them,” he has said. “If they’ve been heard, they’ll be more likely to affirm my decision even if they don’t agree with it.”

Taylor has written two novels, Patterns of Abuse and Jackson Place, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and a blog, The Episcoponixonian.

Taylor married Kathleen Hannigan O’Connor in 2002; he has two daughters, Valerie and Lindsay, and two stepchildren, Daniel and Meaghan.

The Diocese of Los Angeles encompasses some 70,000 Episcopalians in 136 neighborhood congregations and mission centers, some 40 schools and 15 other specialized service institutions located in six California counties. Los Angeles historically is one of the five most populous and culturally diverse of the Episcopal Church’s 109 dioceses.

Pending the canonically required consent of a majority of the Episcopal Church’s diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction, Taylor will be ordained and consecrated as bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Los Angeles on July 8, 2017 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center in Los Angeles.

Mensagem da Câmara Episcopal aos Fiéis e ao Clero da IEAB

SNIEAB Feeds - sex, 02/12/2016 - 22:14

CARTA DA CÂMARA EPISCOPAL SOBRE ATITUDES CISMÁTICAS NA IEAB

“Aplicai-vos a guardar a unidade do espírito pelo vínculo da paz”.

Carta aos Efésios 4.3

A Câmara Episcopal da Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (IEAB) durante esta semana tem sido solicitada a expressar sua palavra pastoral sobre uma Petição Pública que tem sido veiculada pelas redes sociais convidando a adesão a uma Aliança de Comunidades Anglicanas na IEAB.  Certamente este tipo de composição está fora da forma de ser dos Anglicanos, visto que na eclesiologia Anglicana uma aliança de comunidades é representada pela Diocese.

A Câmara Episcopal como pessoas escolhidas pela Graça de Deus e vontade do povo reafirma que todos os bispos, sejam eles diocesanos ou eméritos, prometeram “preservar a fé, a unidade e a disciplina” na Igreja, e que os bispos da IEAB estão unidos para cumprir sua tarefa de unidade na Igreja.

A Câmara Episcopal, reafirma o ordenamento canônico aprovado no último Sínodo, o qual expressa:

a. Qualquer movimento interno da IEAB, organizado deliberadamente sem o consentimento episcopal, constitui uma desobediência ao voto de ordenação, de seguir a orientação pastoral do bispo (a), conforme o Exame Canônico dos respectivos ritos de ordenação.

b. Que a manifestação de ameaças de cisma relativas a qualquer decisão tomada ou em discussão dentro da IEAB, constitui uma atitude explicitamente mencionada nos novos cânones e passível de medidas disciplinares.

Na nossa história recente, a IEAB tem sofrido diversas ações que atentam contra o ethos, ou a forma de ser que esta Província Brasileira tem escolhido como contribuição para a Comunhão Anglicana e para toda a Igreja Católica de Cristo, a saber os oito princípios presentes na Constituição da IEAB:

I. Unidade de todas pessoas cristãs;

II. Solidariedade;

III. Dignidade de toda pessoa humana;

IV. Fraternidade;

V. A Integridade da Criação Divina;

VI. Respeito à pluralidade religiosa;

VII. Inclusividade;

VIII. Promoção e garantia dos Direitos Humanos.

Sendo assim, como episcopado desta igreja, nos sentimos no dever ético e pastoral de zelar por estes princípios, sem pretender impedir o direito à livre expressão de opiniões, enquanto elas sejam no sentido de respeitar a doutrina, a disciplina e o culto desta igreja na qual livremente juramos fidelidade.

Finalmente, conclamamos a todas as pessoas que tem expressado ou apoiado atitudes cismáticas a mudarem de atitude e buscar se expressar e agir na salvaguarda da unidade da igreja, seu ethos, seus ordenamentos canônicos e suas autoridades, de forma a qualificar esta parte da Igreja, Una, Santa, Católica e Apostólica como instrumento adequado para a Missão de Deus no mundo.

Santa Maria, 02 de dezembro de 2016

++Dom Francisco de Assis da Silva, Bispo Primaz,

Diocesano da Sul Ocidental (DSO) e do Distrito Missionário Anglicano (DMA)

+Dom Naudal Gomes, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de Curitiba (DAC)

+Dom Filadelfo Oliveira, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana do Rio de Janeiro (DARJ)

+Dom Mauricio Andrade, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de Brasilia (DAB)

+Dom Saulo Barros, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana da Amazônia (DAA)

+Dom Renato Raatz, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de Pelotas (DAP)

+Dom Flavio Irala, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de São Paulo (DASP)

+Dom Humberto Maiztegui, Bispo da Diocese Meridional (DM)

+Dom João Peixoto, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana do Recife (DAR)

Burundian Anglicans campaign for ‘society without gender-based violence’

Episcopal News Service - sex, 02/12/2016 - 15:09

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Burundi Martin Nyaboho has taken part in a Mothers’ Union-organized campaign against gender violence. The archbishop joined hundreds of men and women in a procession and rally as part of the Anglican Church of Burundi’s contribution to the international 16 Days of Activism to end Gender Based Violence.

Full article.

Church supports First Nation Canadians in battle against new oil and gas pipe

Episcopal News Service - sex, 02/12/2016 - 15:05

[Anglican Communion News Service] A major new oil and gas pipeline through the British Columbia region of Canada has received government backing despite protests from indigenous peoples groups. The Tsleil-Waututh First Nation described this week’s decision as “the beginning of a long battle” to stop the project. Last month, the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of General Synod (COGS) passed a resolution by consensus in which they expressed “their support for Indigenous peoples and their desire to grow and deepen that trust both within the church and without; in asserting and advocating their right to free, prior and informed consent concerning the stewardship of traditional Indigenous lands and water rights, and in acknowledging and responding to their calls for solidarity.”

Full article.

Presiding Bishop urges North Dakota governor, sheriff ‘to monitor the nature and tone of the policing actions’ on Standing Rock

Episcopal News Service - sex, 02/12/2016 - 13:05

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The following is a letter sent  Nov. 30 by Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier concerning the situation at the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.

November 30, 2016

Dear Governor Dalrymple and Sheriff Kirchmeier:

I pray that this letter finds you well, and I want to assure you of my prayers. It has been my privilege to visit and learn firsthand about the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the Dakota Access Pipeline, and I appreciate the complexity of the conflict you currently manage.

The Episcopal Church is grateful to stand with the people of Standing Rock in their efforts to respect and protect the Missouri River and the sacred burial grounds of the Sioux Nation. We do so seeking to follow the way of Jesus of Nazareth who taught us that love of God and love of our neighbor is the highest moral law and religious duty (Matthew 22:37-40, Luke 10:25-37).

Hundreds of Episcopal clergy and lay leaders have traveled with other people of faith to Standing Rock over the past several months to bear non-violent witness to the water-protection efforts underway near Sacred Stone Camp. Reports from the ground from our own members present alarming accounts of undue force used by law enforcement against the water protectors.

Given the November 25 notice from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as Governor Dalrymple’s November 28 executive order, I urge you to monitor the nature and tone of the policing actions by local and state law enforcement, the National Guard, and private contractors. I also ask that you take action to address and stop the use of water cannons and rubber bullets, as well as the use of military equipment that escalates tensions between the parties. I am deeply concerned about the number of protectors who have been injured, and the potential loss of life that could result from the continued use of these tactics.

A delegation of approximately 30 chaplains trained to assist people experiencing trauma will be standing with the water protectors in the coming days, especially as veterans also gather this weekend to stand with Standing Rock. These religious chaplains are called to care for those who are wounded, traumatized, or seeking spiritual support; they have pledged not to participate in demonstration activities. As they carry out their work, I ask that you safeguard them, ensuring that they meet no harm or violence as they seek to bring healing to all those gathered at Standing Rock.

I close once again asking your patience, attention and respect for the people and communities in your care. Please trust that we will keep you in our prayers moving forward. If our church may be of assistance in the creation of a peaceful and just way forward, I would welcome that invitation.

Faithfully,
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church