The Public Affairs Office

The Public Affairs Office provides statistics, biographies, photos, background information, and other resources to media representatives reporting on the mission and ministries of the Episcopal Church.

The Toolkit:
The Public Affairs Office is pleased to announce a new offering for your use to help enhance your message, broaden your reach and offer tips for placements into regional, secular, and other media – both traditional and social. It’s called The Toolkit, and it is located on the Public Affairs pages of the Episcopal Church website here.

Tagged in: interfaith Middle East

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is currently leading an Interfaith Abrahamic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The pilgrimage is in response to Resolution B019 approved at General Convention 2012, recommending the interfaith pilgrimage. Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori recently noted to Executive Council that this resolution “asked me to develop an interfaith pilgrimage to the Holy Land, with equal representation of Episcopalians, Jews, and Muslims, to model and encourage similar efforts and dialogues by others.”

The Presiding Bishop is joined in leadership of the pilgrimage by Rabbi Steve Gutow, President and CEO of the Jewish Council on Public Affairs New York City and a trustee of Faith in Public Life; Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director for the Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and their respective delegates.  The Episcopal Church delegation includes Bishop Prince Singh of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester and the Rev. John E. Kitagawa, Rector of St. Philip's in-the-Hills, Tucson, AZ.

Note: The Episcopal News Service will provide full coverage of the pilgrimage upon its return to the United States

B019

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is currently leading an Interfaith Abrahamic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The pilgrimage is in response to Resolution B019 approved at General Convention 2012, recommending the interfaith...
Tagged in: Immigration Reform

One hundred Episcopal Church bishops have joined Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in welcoming President Obama’s decision to offer relief from deportation to millions of undocumented community members and to reform certain harmful immigration enforcement policies.

“I give thanks for President Obama’s announcement that nearly five million undocumented immigrants will soon be eligible for relief from the threat of deportation,” the letter states.

In the statement, the Presiding Bishop and the bishops call upon the 114th Congress and the Obama Administration to work together to implement the executive orders quickly, fairly, and inclusively, and ask that Congress and the Administration continue to work together in pursuit of just and permanent solutions to our nation’s broken immigration system. 

The statement will be sent to members of the 114th Congress and to the White House.

The statement and the signatories follow:

Together with families and communities across the United States, I give thanks for President Obama’s announcement that nearly five million undocumented immigrants will soon be eligible for relief from the threat of deportation. Too many families have lived for too long continually worried about parents being separated from children, wage-earners and caregivers from those who depend on them, and unable to participate fully in their communities and the nation’s economy.  Permanent and comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system through congressional action is still urgently needed, but the President’s action is a constructive step toward a system that honors the dignity and intrinsic value of every human being.  It will immediately strengthen our nation’s communities by allowing immigrant families much fuller participation in American civic and economic life.  
 

The Episcopal Church will work with Congressional leaders and the White House to press for implementation of the President’s plan as quickly, fairly, and inclusively as possible.  The President’s plan is not perfect.  Some deserving persons and families are excluded, meaning that additional work lies ahead.  All persons equally deserve the ability to pursue their dreams and contribute to their communities and families with liberty, dignity, and freedom.  I pray that the President’s action will lead our nation toward a future in which those sacred possibilities are open to all.

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

 

The Right Rev. Stacy F. Sauls
Chief Operating Officer

The Episcopal Church

 

The Right Rev. James B. Magness

Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries

Arizona

The Right Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, Ph.D, D. D.

Bishop of Arizona

 

Arkansas

The Right Rev. Larry Benfield

Bishop of Arkansas

 

California

The Right Rev. Marc Andrus

Bishop of California

 

The Right Rev. J. Jon Bruno, D.D.

Bishop of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce

Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Mary D. Glasspool

Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Frederick H. Borsch

V Bishop of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Barry L. Beisner

Bishop of Northern California

 

The Right Rev. James R. Mathes

Bishop of San Diego

 

The Right Rev. David C. Rice

Bishop of San Joaquin

 

Colorado

The Right Rev. Robert O'Neill

Bishop of Colorado

 

Connecticut

The Right Rev. Andrew D. Smith

XIV Bishop of Connecticut

 

The Right Rev. James E. Curry

Bishop Suffragan of Connecticut (Ret)

 

Delaware

The Right Rev. Wayne P. Wright

Bishop of Delaware

 

District of Columbia

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde

Bishop of Washington

 

The Right Rev. John Bryson Chane

VIII Bishop of Washington

 

Florida

The Right Rev. William H. Folwell

II Bishop of Central Florida

 

The Right Rev. Philip M. Duncan II, D.Min.

Bishop of the Central Gulf Coast

 

The Right Rev. Leo Frade

Bishop of Southeast Florida

 

The Right Rev. John L. Said

Bishop Suffragan of Southeast Florida (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. Rogers S. Harris 

III Bishop of Southwest Florida

 

The Right Rev. J. Michael Garrison

Assisting Bishop of Southwest Florida

(X Bishop of Western New York)

 

The Right Rev. Barry R. Howe  

Assisting Bishop of Southwest Florida

(VII Bishop of West Missouri)

 

Georgia

The Right Rev. Robert Christopher Wright

Bishop of Atlanta

 

Hawaii

The Right Rev. Robert L. Fitzpatrick

Bishop of Hawaii and the Episcopal Church in Micronesia

             

The Right Rev. Richard S.O. Chang

X Bishop of Hawaii

 

Idaho

The Right Rev. Brian Thom

Bishop of Idaho

 

Illinois

The Right Rev. C. Christopher Epting

Assisting Bishop of Chicago

(VII Bishop of Iowa)

 

The Right Rev. Jeffrey Lee

Bishop of Chicago
 

Indiana

The Right Rev. Catherine Waynick

Bishop of Indianapolis

 

Kansas

The Right Rev. Dean E. Wolfe

Vice President of the House of Bishops, Bishop of Kansas 

 

The Right Rev. William E. Smalley

VIII Bishop of Kansas

 

Kentucky

The Right Rev. David B. Reed

VI Bishop of Kentucky

 

The Right Rev. Douglas Hahn, D. Min.

Bishop of Lexington

                                   

Maine

The Right Rev. Stephen T. Lane

Bishop of Maine

 

Maryland

The Right Rev. Martin G. Townsend

IX Bishop of Easton

 

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton

Bishop of Maryland

 

Massachusetts

The Right Rev. Bud Cederholm

Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. Douglas Fisher

Bishop of Western Massachusetts

                                     

The Right Rev. Gordon P. Scruton

VIII Bishop of Western Massachusetts

 

Michigan

The Right Rev. Todd Ousley

Bishop of Eastern Michigan

 

The Right Rev. Dr. Edwin M. Leidel, Jr.

I Bishop of Eastern Michigan

 

The Right Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr.

Bishop of Michigan

 

The Right Rev. R Stewart Wood, Jr.

IX Bishop of Michigan

 

The Right Rev. Rayford Ray

Bishop of Northern Michigan

 

Minnesota

The Right Rev. Brian N. Prior

Bishop of Minnesota

                                   

Missouri

The Right Rev. Hays Rockwell

IX Bishop of Missouri

                         

The Right Rev. Martin S. Field

Bishop of West Missouri

 

Montana

The Right Rev. Charles I. Jones, DD

VIII Bishop of Montana

 

Navajoland Area Mission

The Right Rev. David E. Bailey

Bishop of Navajoland Area Mission

 

Nebraska

The Right Rev. Joe Goodwin Burnett

X Bishop of Nebraska

 

New Hampshire

The Right Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld

Bishop of New Hampshire

 

The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson

IX Bishop of New Hampshire

 

New Jersey

The Right Rev. Mark M. Beckwith

Bishop of Newark

 

The Right Rev. William H. (Chip) Stokes

Bishop of New Jersey

 

New Mexico

The Right Rev. Dr. Michael Louis Vono

Bishop of the Rio Grande

                       

New York

The Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III

Bishop of Central New York

 

The Right Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano

Bishop of Long Island

 

The Right Rev. Chilton Knudsen

Assisting Bishop of Long Island

 (VII Bishop of Maine)

 

The Right Rev. Prince G. Singh

Bishop of Rochester

 

The Right Rev. Jack M. McKelvey

VII Bishop of Rochester

 

North Carolina

The Right Rev. Michael Bruce Curry

Bishop of North Carolina                  

 

The Right Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple

Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina

 

The Right Rev. J. Gary Gloster

Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. G. Porter Taylor

Bishop of Western North Carolina

 

The Right Rev. Robert Johnson

V Bishop of Western North Carolina

                                   

North Dakota

The Right Rev. Harold A. Hopkins, Jr.

IX Bishop of North Dakota

                       

Ohio

The Right Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.

Bishop of Ohio

 

The Right Rev. David C. Bowman

Assisting Bishop of Ohio

 (IX Bishop of Western New York)

 

The Right Rev. William D. Persell

Assisting Bishop of Ohio

 (XI Bishop of Chicago)

 

The Right Rev. Arthur B. Williams, Jr.

Bishop Suffragan of Ohio (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal

Bishop of Southern Ohio

 

Oregon

The Right Rev. Bavi Edna Rivera

Provisional Bishop of Eastern Oregon

 

The Right Rev. William O. Gregg, Ph.D.

VI Bishop of Eastern Oregon

 

The Right Rev. Michael J. Hanley

Bishop of Oregon

 

Pennsylvania

The Right Rev. Robert R. Gepert

Provisional Bishop of Central Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Nathan D. Baxter

X Bishop of Central Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Charlie F. McNutt, Jr.

VIII Bishop of Central Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Clifton Daniel

Bishop of Pennsylvania

(VII Bishop of East Carolina)

 

The Right Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr.

XV Bishop of Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Allen Bartlett

XIV Bishop of Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Rodney R. Michel

Assisting Bishop of Pennsylvania

 (Bishop Suffragan of Long Island (Ret))

 

The Right Rev. Edward L. Lee, Jr.

Assisting Bishop of Pennsylvania

 (VII Bishop of Western Michigan)

 

Rhode Island

The Right Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely

Bishop of Rhode Island

                       

South Carolina

The Right Rev. W. Andrew Waldo

Bishop of Upper South Carolina

 

Tennessee

The Right Rev. George D. Young, III

Bishop of East Tennessee 

 

The Right Rev. Don E. Johnson

Bishop of West Tennessee

 

The Right Rev. James M. Coleman

II Bishop of West Tennessee

 

Texas

The Right Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr.

Provisional Bishop of Fort Worth

 

The Right Rev. J. Scott Mayer

Bishop of Northwest Texas

                                     

The Right Rev. C. Andrew Doyle

Bishop of Texas

 

Vermont

The Right Rev. Thomas C. Ely

Bishop of Vermont

 

Virginia

The Right Rev. Frank Neff Powell

V Bishop of Southwestern Virginia

 

The Right Rev. Susan E. Goff

Bishop Suffragan of Virginia

 

Washington

The Right Rev. Gregory H. Rickel

Bishop of Olympia

 

The Right Rev. Sanford Z. K. Hampton

Assisting Bishop of Olympia

 

The Right Rev. James E. Waggoner, Jr.

Bishop of Spokane

 

West Virginia

The Right Rev. William Klusmeyer

Bishop of West Virginia

 

Wyoming

The Right Rev. Bob G. Jones

VII Bishop of Wyoming

 

Europe

The Right Rev. Pierre W. Whalon

Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

 

Haiti

The Right Rev. Jean Zache Duracin

Bishop of Haiti

One hundred Episcopal Church bishops have joined Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in welcoming President Obama’s decision to offer relief from deportation to millions of undocumented community members and to reform certain harmful...

“The Episcopal Church has been in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem for a very long time,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori writes in the annual Good Friday letter to all congregations asking them to consider assistance for Jerusalem and the Middle East.

“The offering we collect on Good Friday carries on the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, through support for the many ministries of healing, feeding, and teaching among the dioceses of the Province,” the Presiding Bishop writes.

Funds collected from the Good Friday Offering are gathered and distributed to the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East which includes the Dioceses of Jerusalem and Cyprus and the Gulf, all members of the Anglican Communion. 

“May our offering this year strengthen the bonds among all God’s people, and bless each one with concrete and eternal signs of more abundant life,” she concludes.

Information and resources for the Good Friday Offering are available here

For more information contact the Rev. Canon Robert Edmunds, Episcopal Church Middle East Partnership Officer.

 

The following is the Presiding Bishop’s letter:

_______________________________________________________

 

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

 

The Episcopal Church has been in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem for a very long time.  Since 1922, we have taken an offering in our churches on Good Friday to support the work of the gospel in the Land of the Holy One.  That Land is still the place of deep division and conflict, more than 2000 years after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  He and his earthly family suffered under threat of oppressive regimes, fled as refugees to another land, labored to supply their bodily needs in the face of dire economic realities, and he himself was executed as an enemy of the state.  All of those realities are present today in the Anglican/Episcopal Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The offering we collect on Good Friday carries on the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, through support for the many ministries of healing, feeding, and teaching among the dioceses of the Province.  Refugees are cared for, the sick and injured are healed, the dead are buried, children educated, women empowered by these ministries – and all are welcomed with open arms, like Abraham and Sarah’s guests.  Jesus cared for all in need, without regard for nationality or creed, and these ministries do the same.  It is the work of shalom and salaam, building peace in the hearts of suffering individuals and communities.

I urge you to learn more, to pray for the people of the Land of the Holy One, and to give generously this year.  I would encourage us all to use the fast of Lent to focus on the hunger (both spiritual and physical) of these peoples, and contribute out of our abundance and our poverty.

May our offering this year strengthen the bonds among all God’s people, and bless each one with concrete and eternal signs of more abundant life.

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

“The Episcopal Church has been in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem for a very long time,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori writes in the annual Good Friday letter to all congregations asking them to consider assistance for...

The Episcopal Church Executive Council, at its January meeting in Linthicum Heights, MD, approved the recipients of the Constable Fund Grants, totaling $187,250 for the 2015 grant cycle.

The Constable Fund Grant Review Committee was chaired by Anne Watkins, an Executive Council member from the Diocese of Connecticut.

The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the Episcopal Church General Convention/Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).

Watkins said the committee received and considered 16 grant applications, and four grants were awarded.

Recipients

The recipients, projects, amounts and brief explanations (taken from the applications) follow:

  • New Edge International Symposium: A journey to discover God’s ever-evolving mission for the church through the ministry of all the baptized

Province III

The New Edge International Symposium will bring together from across The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion a variety of folks who have been working independently of one another for a number of years in developing new, creative, and flexible ways to effectively proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom through collaborative ministry-models. Its goal is to provide ongoing connections and development/sharing of resources in order to strengthen the changing embodiment of the Church in a post-industrial world.

Grant amount: $10,000.00

  • A Pilgrimage to Ferguson: Advocacy Training for Young People Confronting Racism & Promoting Reconciliation

Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministries and Office of Racial Reconciliation

The purpose is to fund a gathering in St. Louis, MO for young adults from across The Episcopal Church.  As part of the application process, candidates would propose a project in their own parish, campus ministry, or community, focused on racial justice and reconciliation.

Grant amount:  $52,250.00

  • Empowering Latina Women and Congregations

Office of Latino / Hispanic Ministries (in partnership with the ELCA and several Episcopal Church dioceses)

This proposal requests funding for a comprehensive Christian Education and leadership development program whereby Latina Episcopal women and other Latino church leaders engage in ongoing programs created by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). These programs have proven to be successful in developing, training, and empowering participants in the areas of Christian Education and church planting. Funds will allow The Episcopal Church to partner with the ELCA in three of their programs: Mission Developer Training, the Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo (Ecumenical Leadership Academy), and Talitha Cumi (Woman rise-up!).

Grant amount:  $100,000.00

  • Deputies of Color Pre-Convention Conference
     

Episcopal Church Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team

This two-day conference provides orientation and learning opportunities for deputies to the General Convention who have identified themselves as “persons of color.” Sponsored by the Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team, this conference brings new deputies together with seasoned deputies for orientation to the processes and structure in the General Convention which promotes fuller participation, interaction, mentoring relationships and creates caucuses and collegiality.

Grant amount: $25,000.00

Named for Mary Louise Constable

The Constable Grants were named for Mary Louise Constable, who was a visionary philanthropist.  Watkins pointed out, “Hers is an example of faithful witness and generosity in response to an obviously mature and deep understanding of herself as both a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a steward of the blessings bestowed upon her by God.”

In 1935, in the midst of economic catastrophe known as the Great Depression, Constable made a monetary gift to the Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund.  Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951.

Watkins further explained, “Stipulations for use of the fund were also visionary and generous, recognizing in and trusting those who came after her to comply with her wishes while allowing them flexibility in order to carry the mission of God through God’s Church forward into new eras.”

The language of Constable’s will states that the fund exists “in perpetuity … to apply the net income for the purposes of the Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society’s budget.

The Episcopal Church Executive Council, at its January meeting in Linthicum Heights, MD, approved the recipients of the Constable Fund Grants, totaling $187,250 for the 2015 grant cycle. The Constable Fund Grant Review Committee was chaired by Anne...

The mission and ministry focus of Episcopalians throughout the church is varied, focused and Christ-like. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, making disciples, protecting the environment and advocating for those whose voice is often overlooked occurs in all corners of The Episcopal Church. A website created to enable networks across the Church engaged in mission has been launched: Mission Centered Episcopalians Networking for Ministry, herehttp://www.mission-centered.org/

Developed through a collaborative effort among the Missionary Society, its networks and those doing mission at the local level of The Episcopal Church, the site brings those engaged in mission and those engaged in advocacy together to connect, chat and share resources and discuss ideas. 

“Mission Centered will connect the many and varied associations across the Church without replacing any existing online networking,” noted the Rev. Mark Stevenson, Domestic Poverty Missioner. “In fact, this initiative is driven and populated by such networking. It will serve as a place of gathering and telling stories, inquiring after and sharing resources, and providing inspiration and an opportunity to be inspired. Mission Centered is to be a “community watering hole” of sorts, at which we may all gather to be empowered for mission.”

Alex Baumgarten, director of the Episcopal Church Department of Public Engagement and Mission Communication, said: “Mission Centered is a reminder that the Church exists first and foremost for the sake of God’s mission in the world, and that the Church lives out mission in a variety of local contexts ‘as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love’ (BCP Catechism).   I pray that the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s role of equipping, resourcing, and connecting mission work at a local level might find new levels of creativity and accessibility through Mission Centered.”

Among the networks currently connected through the Mission Centered Episcopalians website are herehttp://www.mission-centered.org/networks and include AFRECS; Episcopal Communicators; Jubilee Ministries; Episcopal Public Policy Network; Mark 4 and 5 Fellowships; Immigration Advocacy Network; Global Episcopal Mission Network; Episcopal Community Services in America; and Global Episcopal Mission Network.  Additional networks will be added as this area grows.

The mission and ministry focus of Episcopalians throughout the church is varied, focused and Christ-like. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, making disciples, protecting the environment and advocating for those whose voice is often overlooked...
Tagged in: Executive Council

Carole Pryor of the Diocese of West Missouri has been elected the Province VII lay representative on the Episcopal Church Executive Council.

The announcement was made by the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of General Convention, during the opening session of the Executive Council meeting on January 9 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD (Diocese of Maryland).

The vacancy on Executive Council was created by the resignation of Vycke McEwen.

Pryor was elected by the board of Province VII. Pryor’s term begins immediately and continues until a Province VII board member is elected in 2015.

Pryor is an elected lay deputy to General Convention 2015 for the diocese.  

Executive Council

According to the website: “The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church is an elected body representing the whole Church...The Executive Council has the duty to carry out programs and policies adopted by General Convention. It is the job of Executive Council to oversee the ministry and mission of the Church. The Executive Council is comprised of twenty members elected by General Convention (four bishops, four priests or deacons and twelve laypersons) and eighteen members (one clergy, one lay) elected by provincial synods.

Carole Pryor of the Diocese of West Missouri has been elected the Province VII lay representative on the Episcopal Church Executive Council. The announcement was made by the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of General Convention,...
Tagged in: Executive Council

The following are the opening remarks of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, currently meeting through January 11 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD.

 

Executive Council opening remarks

January 9

Maritime Center, Linthicum Heights, MD

 

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

 

I want to begin by telling you something of the responses made to two initiatives requested by this body and by General Convention.

I made a visit to the Dominican Republic and to Haiti just before Christmas, to learn more about the difficulties experienced by people of Haitian descent who live in DR, particularly those whose ancestors have been there for nearly a hundred years.  The Executive Council considered the plight of the stateless persons of Haitian descent last February, and, among other things, asked me to lead a fact-finding mission to those two nations and dioceses, and that as a Church we both advocate and educate Episcopalians about their circumstances.[1]  We had a series of very informative encounters with people who are directly affected, with human rights workers, and with Haitian and Dominican Episcopalians who are working to respond.        

The history is long and more complicated than I can address here today.  You can expect a series of stories from Episcopal News Service on this topic, and A&N will get a fuller report in their committee meeting.  The reality is that people of Haitian descent who have been born in the DR since the 1920s are liable to have their citizenship and identity papers revoked, if they haven’t already lost them.  That means they cannot go to school, get formal employment, marry legally, cannot register the births of their children, or cannot travel.  They can’t even get a cell phone without identity documents.  The governmental responses when people complain often seem frivolous, yet experience shows that when challenged with the help of human rights lawyers, local courts often decide in favor of the people who have lost their documents.  But it is an expensive, lengthy, and complex process.  The Supreme Court rulings there that have led to this crisis have been denounced as illegal by the Latin American Human Rights Court, to which the DR is subject, as a signatory to human rights covenants.  Activists and intellectuals in the Dominican Republic believe this is part of larger political ploy to keep the populace anxious about immigration and the current political leaders in power.

As a Church we are considering a variety of advocacy responses, and I know that A&N will discuss these possibilities further.  I have already raised the issue with other members of the US National Council of Churches, and we are seeking other partners.  Let me note that there have been similar attempts in the United States to remove the guarantee of citizenship for those who are born here.  The Dominican situation has moved beyond that stage to deny citizenship to people whose parents or even grandparents were born on Dominican soil.  Nor is this kind of situation unique to people of this hemisphere.  Many Latvians are also effectively stateless.

I ask your prayers, your awareness, and your solidarity with people who know something of what it is to be a slave in Egypt.

At the same time, there is abundant good news in Haiti, in terms of progress and healing after the earthquake, and hope for a beginning to the reconstruction of the cathedral and for St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped.[2]

The second matter I want to make you aware of is the result of a resolution of the last General Convention that asked me to develop an interfaith pilgrimage to the Holy Land, with equal representation of Episcopalians, Jews, and Muslims, to model and encourage similar efforts and dialogues by others.[3]  I am happy to tell you that a group of about a dozen have been assembled and will make that pilgrimage shortly.  After hearing a variety of narratives and meeting with a broad spectrum of residents, religious leaders, and government officials, we hope to return with learnings that can be translated into our own congregations and local communities. I will have a more detailed report for you at our March meeting.

I want to devote the rest of my time about the remainder of our work leading up to General Convention.  I understand the work of this Council to be the facilitation of God’s mission – through shared financial resources, program initiatives, and active solidarity with the least of these.  In this triennium we have organized that work through the 5 Marks of Mission.[4]  We engage in God’s mission as a way of loving our neighbors, and find ourselves transformed in the process of sharing one another’s joys and burdens.  It’s a very concrete witness of the principle of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ, claimed by the Anglican Communion (MRI) more than 50 years ago.[5]

The center of that statement of principles is probably this sentence, “Every church has both resources and needs.”  It is a call to share what each church has for the welfare of the whole body.  The language sometimes sounds dated, but the meaning is contemporary:  “We need to examine our priorities, asking whether in fact we are not putting secondary needs of our own ahead of essential needs of our brothers.  A new organ in Lagos or New York, for example, might mean that twelve fewer priests are trained in Asia or Latin America.” While this document was written to address realities across the Anglican Communion, it applies equally to more local parts of the body of Christ – to congregations, to dioceses, and to this province called The Episcopal Church:  “Full communion means either very little, if it be taken as a mere ceremonial symbol, or very much if it be understood as an expression of our common life and fortune.  We all stand or fall together, for we are one in the body of Christ.  Therefore we must seek to receive and to share.”

The budget that we will pass on to Program Budget and Finance should reflect that theological understanding.  The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, if it is being faithful, should employ its resources for the welfare of the whole body of Christ and indeed the whole world.  Our constituent parts, i.e., the dioceses that make up this part of the body of Christ, should expect this challenge to participate in the life of the body of Christ joyfully, in ways that demonstrate love of neighbor equal to love of self. 

The TREC report proposes a canonically mandated level of financial participation in the churchwide response to God’s mission, in the same way that audits are expected of every diocese, in the same way that every part of the body is expected to care for the dignity of vulnerable persons, in the same way that each diocese is expected to share the same canonical limits and privileges adopted by the General Convention.

We have not held one another to account for the life and the hope that is within us.  We have embarrassed the parts of the body that lack the basic financial resources necessary to full and vigorous life as a diocese in this Church. We have often failed to respond to their cries for help.  At the same time, we failed to expect the full participation of other parts of the body in response to those cries for help.  We need new courage and honesty, and we may need more accurate definitions of what a diocese is, and what constitutes a missionary district.  We live with a theological and ecclesiological tradition that says that a diocese has most of what is needed to be self-governing, self-sustaining, and self-propagating.  If a diocese is unable to do those things, it ought to be understood as something more like what we formerly called missionary districts –parts of the body that are dependent on the larger body for support and partnership.  Our current situation has a number of dioceses that are transparently dependent on churchwide resources for their growth and development – most of Province IX, the four dioceses in the United States that have large indigenous populations, the Convocation of Churches in Europe, the dioceses of Haiti and the Virgin Islands and I would add the dioceses that experienced the exodus of church leadership. We have some level of churchwide agreement that it is important to encourage and support their growth toward that ideal of a healthy diocese.

We also have a number of dioceses that cannot or do not share of their resources in ways that are asked by the General Convention.  We should not shame them.  We should be providing the necessary assistance toward self-governance, self-sustenance, and self-propagation.  Some dioceses seem to be capable of self-sustenance and even of self-propagation within their own bounds, but not of the form of self-governance that understands that no part of the body ultimately stands alone.  Self-governance is perhaps more about loving neighbor as one loves oneself than it is about passing resolutions and budgets.  After all, budgets are concrete demonstrations of where we have put our heart and treasure.

I want to leave you with some questions for the budget work we will do here.

Does this budget give evidence of mutual responsibility and interdependence?

Does it ask each part of the body of Christ for what is needed to support the growth toward full and abundant life of the more dependent parts of the body of Christ?  I believe that means it ought to start with need, rather than an artificially determined base income.  It should expect and plan for full participation by all who are able.

Does this budget strengthen and heal the whole body, raise its capacity, and increase its generativity for mission? Generativity may be a better word for self-propagation –it means to make more life and liveliness, not only daughter communities.

Does this budget serve the least of these, whether we’re talking about individuals, dioceses, or other mission efforts?

Does this budget increase dependence, or does it encourage growth toward generativity?

Some of the most creative work that has happened in this triennium has been the result of open-ended partnership possibilities in the Five Marks budget, like the Mission Enterprise Zones, like growth in the Young Adult Service Corps, and the grant to Episcopal Service Corps to help it become self-sustaining, and the self-sustainability initiatives in Province IX.  Those initiatives invited risk-taking, growth, and creativity – they did not foster dependence.  They are the fruit of a response that’s based on abundance rather than scarcity.  Jesus’ read on this is, “I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.”  That’s ultimately the work that our budget is meant to foster.

 

 

Executive Council

Roster of members

 

The Episcopal Church

Follow at #excoun

 

 

Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD 

Diocese of Maryland

 

 

[4] proclaim good news of the kingdom; teach, baptize, and nurture new believers; respond to human need through loving service; transform unjust structures, challenge violence, pursue peace and reconciliation; care for the earth: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/five-marks-mission

The following are the opening remarks of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, currently meeting through January 11 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD...
Tagged in: Executive Council

The following are the opening remarks of President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, currently meeting through January 11 the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD.

 

 

Executive Council opening remarks

January 9

Maritime Center, Linthicum Heights, MD

 

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings

President of the House of Deputies

The Episcopal Church

 

Here we are in January of 2015. In a few short months, General Convention will be before us.  I find that the mood is expectation and anticipation, and it feels a bit like Advent. Christians believe in the future return of Christ in glory to judge the living and the dead, a return that will result in the end of the present world order. Early Christians believed that the return was imminent. Christians today have become complacent – perhaps because so much time has passed, but perhaps even more likely due to the uncertainty of when it will happen coupled with a strong distaste for the judgment of the Second Coming.

The disciples, not surprisingly, asked Jesus, “When?”  Jesus told them it can happen at any time on any day. And instead of giving them details, he told a story about a man who goes on a journey and leaves his slaves in charge of things, each with work to do. The message is clear. Don’t worry about things over which you have no control. Instead, be alert and watchful, doing the work you have been given to do.

None of us knows what will happen at General Convention – who will be elected to serve as Presiding Bishop, as President or Vice President of the House of Deputies, as Church Pension Fund trustee, or any other elected position. None of us knows what will happen to the TREC proposals, or resolutions regarding marriage, or how the triennial budget will look at the end of the budget process.

The question this raises for me is, “How do we live in the meantime?” How do we live and act between now and General Convention?

Make no mistake – Executive Council has important work to do between now and when we gather in Salt Lake City. We need to complete the draft proposed budget, consider the Constable Grant applications, determine how all diocese and missionary areas can fully participate in General Convention, develop a response to the TREC proposals, evaluate mission enterprise zones, develop resolutions to submit to General Convention on a variety of subjects, assess progress on Province IX sustainability, review grant activities and procedures, make decisions about sunsetting or continuing various Executive Council committees – the list goes on.

How should we function as Executive Council to get it all done between now and then? I’ve got three suggestions:

Travel light. There is a great story about a woman named Mary Smith who went to the cemetery to visit the grave of her husband, John Smith. She had not visited for a number of her months, and she couldn’t find the gravesite. Frustrated and upset, she found the groundskeeper and asked his assistance. He looked through the records and finally said, “I’m very sorry, Mrs. Smith, I cannot find any record of a John Smith buried in this cemetery.” “Oh, well that’s no surprise,” she said. “Everything is in my name.” As we live in the meantime, we need to remember that nothing is in our name. Everything is in the name of God and we are stewards of God’s creation, including the Episcopal Church.

The second is to live courageously. Living in the meantime, we have a choice:  A life of complete safety or a life that risks the unknowable and takes a dare. We can be the lump, or we can be the leaven. While we generally do not have the opportunity to be courageous every day, we are all faced with opportunities to take a stand, to speak on behalf of what is right and just to tell the truth. There is a cost to living courageously, even here at Executive Council, but it is a price worth paying.

The third is to live a life beyond yourself. To live in the meantime is serious business, and how we choose to live impacts not only other people but also the Church we love and serve. Twenty-seven years ago I was driving on the interstate when, right in front of me, a small truck went off the road, flipped over and rolled down a steep incline. It looked like something out of a movie. I pulled my car over, got out of the car, jumped over the guardrail, and ran down the hill to the truck.  There was the truck on its side. The truck was smoking, and the driver was half in and half out of the car. He was alert and I asked him if he was okay. He was fine and I helped him out of the cab and pulled him away from the truck. His injuries were slight, even though the truck was completely totaled. It turned out he was an off-duty police officer and soon the scene was swarming with police and fire personnel. I was pretty much ignored, so I finally asked a police officer if I could leave. He said sure, never took a witness report, and off I went to work.

At dinner that night, I relayed the exciting events of the day and my then eight-year-old daughter, Lee, said, “Mom, you’re a heroine. I’ll bet you’re on the news tonight!” I told her no one knew my name and that I was sorry to disappoint her, but I wouldn’t be on the news – not on one single channel. “Well isn’t that just like life,” she said. “You risk your life pulling a guy out of a smoking truck and no one notices. You pick your nose, and the whole world sees you!”

In the meantime, we are called by God to live a life that extends beyond ourselves, and even beyond this Executive Council. We don’t need an audience. It doesn’t matter if there is recognition. We are called to do what the moment requires.

We are called to be servants and leaders in the meantime.  Don’t miss your opportunity.

Travel light. Act courageously. Live your life beyond yourself.

Thank you.

Executive Council

Roster of members

The Episcopal Church

Follow at #excoun

Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD

Diocese of Maryland

 

The following are the opening remarks of President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, currently meeting through January 11 the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in...

Report To The Church 2015, an innovative online magazine detailing the mission and ministry, accomplishments and achievements of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society during the current triennium, has been unveiled at the Executive Council meeting on January 9.

Calling Report to the Church 2015 “an exciting, creative and comprehensive mission Report to the Church on some of the impact of our partnerships in churchwide mission and ministry so far this triennium,” Samuel McDonald, Director of Mission and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, said as he presented the online magazine.

Report To The Church 2015 is available here and can be downloaded at no charge.

“We’re in the midst of trying to create a change in the culture of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society—toward being a service organization supporting and contributing to mission at the local level and away from being a regulatory agency,” commented Bishop Stacy Sauls, Episcopal Church Chief Operating Officer. “We’re all about leveraging the unique resources that can be made available by the churchwide level—funding to the less-resourced local levels and human resources to supplement efforts on the ground—to make mission happen that might not otherwise happen.  The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is about all mission all the time at all levels of the Church.  We’re making progress.  We’re committed to continuing to make progress with the help of the people of The Episcopal Church.”

With a focus on the Five Marks of Mission, Report to the Church 2015 is an interactive magazine which includes videos, photos and narratives detailing how the churchwide resources have been put to action on the local level. The 200+ page document includes an extensive appendix arranged by diocese for quick reference.

Since The Episcopal Church budget is based on the Five Marks of Mission, “This allowed us together, staff and Executive Council in collaboration with people from across our church, to develop some of the most creative and compelling impact ministries this triennium,” McDonald said.

“The purpose of the report is to engage the whole of The Episcopal Church in a conversation about mission in order to equip all Episcopalians to be missionaries engaging the wider world in the transformation we encounter in the Gospel,” said Alexander D. Baumgarten, Director of Public Engagement and Mission Communication for The Episcopal Church.  “Throughout the report, you will see the question ‘How can we partner with you?’  We hope this question is answered widely by Episcopalians in every part of the Church, and the report’s page on our website has a response form for that.”

Report To The Church 2015 focuses on the Five Marks of Mission: To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; To teach, baptize and nurture new believers; To respond to human need by loving service; To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation; To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

McDonald explained that “Report To The Church 2015 is comprehensive, but could not be all inclusive of every mission and ministry effort.” Among the details presented are: new churches and ministries planted this triennium; work toward racial justice; the good news of the Diocesan Partnership program; the Young Adult Service Corps, and other efforts to make missionary service normative; Province IX sustainability; campus ministries; Jubilee ministries; grants and scholarships; missionary zones; Episcopal Youth Event (EYE14).

McDonald concluded, “Report To The Church 2015 has been created to celebrate the incredible work the staff has done in collaboration with many others across the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.  It reports back on our specific goals and deliverables named in our current budget.  We hope it expresses the excitement we have for mission as the heartbeat of the church, and the inspiration by God’s Spirit we find in that mission.”

See Episcopal News Service for additional coverage of these Episcopal works in action.

 

Report To The Church 2015, an innovative online magazine detailing the mission and ministry, accomplishments and achievements of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society during the current triennium, has been unveiled at the Executive Council...
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On March 24, The Episcopal Church will host and produce a groundbreaking forum on one of the most critical issues facing today’s world: The Climate Change Crisis.

The 90-minute live webcast will originate from Campbell Hall Episcopal School, North Hollywood, CA. In partnership with Bishop J. Jon Bruno and the Diocese of Los Angeles, The Climate Change Crisis will begin 11 am Pacific/noon Mountain/1 pm Central/2 pm Eastern/10 am Alaska/9 am Hawaii.

In addition to stimulating conversation and raising awareness about The Climate Change Crisis, the live webcast will serve as the kickoff to 30 Days of Action. A range of activities will be offered for individuals and congregations to understand the environmental crisis.  The activities will culminate on Earth Day, April 22. 

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will deliver the keynote address.  The forum will be moderated by well-known climatologist Fritz Coleman of KNBC 4 television news.  

Two panels will focus on specific areas of the climate change crisis; Regional Impacts of Climate Change; and Reclaiming Climate Change as a Moral Issue.  The panels, each 30 minutes, will feature representatives of faith groups, government officials, environmental policy leaders and NGOs.

The live webcast will be available on demand following the live webcast. There is no fee. Registration is not required

The forum is ideal for live group watching and discussion, or on-demand viewing later.  It will be appropriate for Sunday School, Adult education, discussions groups, and community gatherings.

The event supports Mark 5 of the Anglican Marks of Mission: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

The event is one of the aspects of The Episcopal Church's 150th year of parish ministry in Southern California.

Resources

Resources such as bibliography, on-demand video, materials for community and individual review, discussion questions, and lesson plans will be available.

For more information contact Neva Rae Fox, Public Affairs Officer, publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org.

Anglican Five Marks of Mission: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/five-marks-mission

Diocese of Los Angeles www.ladiocese.org

Episcopal Church www.episcopalchurch.org

Campbell Hall

Fritz Coleman

On March 24, The Episcopal Church will host and produce a groundbreaking forum on one of the most critical issues facing today’s world: The Climate Change Crisis. The 90-minute live webcast will originate from Campbell Hall Episcopal School, North...