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Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on meeting Iraqi Christians in Jordan

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 10:32am

[Lambeth Palace] Archbishop Justin and Caroline Welby visited St Paul’s Anglican Church in Amman, Jordan, with Archbishop Suheil Dawani, the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem on the first day of his visit to Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“The intense suffering of Iraqi Christians does not end when they leave Iraq. As I listened, there was this awful sense of lives torn apart.”

Read Welby’s full reflection here.


Female Anglican bishops speak out on gender justice

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 3:00pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The seven female bishops of the provinces of the Anglican Church Australia and of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have used their first ever meeting to speak out “for the well-being of girls and women across the Anglican Communion.”

During the three day meeting, in the Diocese of Gippsland, to the east of Melbourne, the bishops addressed the history and experience of women in the episcopate and reflected on the journey of women to ordination to all three orders of ministry in their respective provinces.

Full article.

Calvary Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee, announces new rector

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 2:55pm

[Calvary Episcopal Church press release] Calvary Episcopal Church has announced the Rev. J. Scott Walters as its new rector. Walters was selected for his pastoral and personable leadership style, as well as his passion for liturgy and urban ministry. His first Sunday at Calvary will be July 9, 2017.

Walters is currently the rector at Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he oversees innovative liturgy and projects, such as “Bus Stations of the Cross” and the Green Groceries Program, which keeps Christ Church’s doors open all week long.

A native of Arkansas, Walters received his bachelor’s degree in English from John Brown University. In addition, he earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary.

“We are very excited to welcome Scott Walters to Calvary,” said Fred Piper, senior warden at Calvary. “I cannot improve on Scott’s own words when asked to describe himself: ‘I am a priest who loves to invite all sorts of people—the strange, the familiar and the lost—to Jesus’s table and preach the reorienting power of grace in our common life.’”

Walters is a guitarist, cyclist, master carpenter and lover of the outdoors. He is married to Ardelle, and they have two children attending college.

Calvary Episcopal Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee and The Episcopal Church, a province of the Anglican Communion. Founded in 1832, Calvary today is a vibrant parish that comprises more than 1000 baptized members. Although a growing number reside in downtown Memphis, parishioners come from all across the Mid-South. For more information about Calvary, visit calvarymemphis.org or call 901-525-6602.

Episcopalians advocate for protecting God’s creation at Peoples Climate March and beyond

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 5:20pm

Diocese of California Bishop Marc Andrus was among the Episcopalians who participated April 29 in the Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C. Andrus also spoke at a Church World Service vigil before the march. Photo courtesy of Marc Andrus, via Twitter.

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians from across the United States joined tens of thousands of people on April 29 for the Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C., and for hundreds of sister marches in cities around the world.

Braving sweltering heat in the nation’s capital, marchers rallied for action against climate change amid fear that the White House will reverse progress made on the issue under former President Barack Obama. Episcopalians were part of a large, diverse faith-based group of marchers who saw it as their role to make the moral case for protecting God’s creation.

“What really impressed me … was the incredible passion of the people, of all ages,” said McKelden Smith, who helped Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City organize a bus trip to Washington to participate in the march. “It felt like an unstoppable moral force in the streets, and that was very moving to me.”

The climate march came one week after the March for Science, which followed the Native Nation’s Rise march, the Women’s March and other prominent marches and demonstrations joined by Episcopalians over the last nine months.

On April 29, many Episcopalians who participated in the march joined Keepers of Faith, one of several subsets of marchers as grouped by the march’s organizers. Among Keepers of Faith were Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Christians of all stripes, said Shantha Ready Alonso, executive director of Creative Justice Ministries.

Alonso’s organization works with 38 Christian denominations, including the Episcopal Church, to provide resources and guidance for activism on environmental justice issues. The number of Christians who lent their “moral voice” to the Saturday’s march was overwhelming and inspiring, she said.

“That was extremely heartening to see how many people were willing to pray with their feet and put their bodies on the line in 91-degree weather to show that we care,” Alonso said, adding that she expects parishioners and congregations to turn this energy into action back in their home communities.

The sense of urgency is high among activists. As President Donald Trump was taking the oath of office in January, references to “climate change” and “global warming” disappeared from the White House website. Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. He appointed Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency gutted in his proposed budget. Trump has made it easier for oil companies to drill in national parks. On April 25, Trump signed an executive order that could open national monuments to drilling, mining and logging.

The effects of climate change can be seen across the United State from droughts in the Southwest to loss of land to sea-level rise along the Gulf Coast to wildfires in the Northwest and the Rockies to an increase in the occurrence and severity of hurricanes on the East Coast.

Church World Service held a vigil April 29 at the United Methodist Building across from Capitol Hill before the start of the march. Among the speakers was Episcopal Diocese of California Bishop Marc Andrus, who in December 2015 was part of a delegation that represented the presiding bishop and the church in Paris at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP21. It was at COP21 where 196 parties created the agreement that sets out to decrease carbon emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Andrus also had participated in the previous Peoples Climate March, held in 2014 in New York City. At this year’s march, “there was a similar spirit of a lot of hope and positive energy. I felt a lot of determination and resolute spirit from the enormous crowds.”

At the Church World Service vigil, Andrus identified three important reasons the Episcopal Church will be at the forefront of movement toward a solution to climate change. First, it is part of a world body, the Anglican Communion, and therefore “poised to be in a position, along with partners, to uniquely address the world’s climate change.” The Episcopal Church General Convention also has identified environmental justice as one of the church’s three primary issues in the current triennium.

And Andrus noted that, if the Trump administration withdraws from the Paris Agreement, many of the agreement’s goals still could be met through the work of “subnational” bodies, from cities to churches, and the Episcopal Church likely would be deeply involved in such efforts.

Individual Episcopalians can make a difference, too, not just by participating in marches but by advocating policy changes, said Jayce Hafner, the Episcopal Church’s domestic policy analyst in the Washington, D.C.-based Office of Government Relations.

“It’s incredibly inspiring to see so many Episcopalians engaged in the Peoples Climate Marches across the United States. We Episcopalians represent a critical perspective in this climate effort through highlighting the intersections of poverty and the environment and bringing new partners to the table,” Hafner said.

“While marching is important, it is only the beginning of how we – as Episcopalians – can mitigate climate change. Our next step should be undertaking robust policy advocacy at local and national levels and calling on our elected leaders to pass climate change legislation,” she added.

The Office of Government Relations represents the policy priorities of the Episcopal Church to the U.S. government. It also represents the Church as a leader in ecumenical, interfaith and secular coalitions dedicated to mitigating climate change and addressing poverty and environmental justice issues in the United States. It is a member of Creation Justice Ministries, the US Climate Action Network, and the We Are the Arctic campaign. It also co-organizes the Presiding Bishop’s annual delegations to the United Nations climate negotiations. The office also provides Episcopalians with advocacy tools.

“I strongly encourage Episcopalians to sign up for the Episcopal Public Policy Network to receive regular alerts on key advocacy opportunities and educational resources that equip congregations to raise their voices to lawmakers. This way, action in the streets can be supported and supplemented by critical conversation and relationship building with decision-makers – we need demonstration and dialogue to move the needle, and as Episcopalians, we’re well-equipped to undertake both,” said Hafner.

– Lynette Wilson is managing editor of Episcopal News Service. David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the news service.

Jonathan Soyars named Louisville Institute postdoctoral fellow at Louisville Seminary

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 5:10pm

[Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary] The Rev. Jonathan Soyars, curate at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been named visiting assistant professor of New Testament at Louisville PresbyterianTheological Seminary.

His professorship comes as part of the Louisville Institute’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program, which places top recent Ph.D. graduates in theological schools for two years, where they teach and also are mentored by a senior professor and a local pastor.

“Jonathan Soyars has outstanding credentials as a New Testament scholar,” said Louisville Seminary Dean Susan R. Garrett. “Moreover, he is known as a teacher committed to mentoring students of diverse cultures and faith
traditions. He brings a depth of experience, wisdom, and character that will enrich our school greatly, and I am delighted that he will be joining us.”

In June 2017 Soyars will complete his Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago. He has taught at the University of Chicago Divinity School and at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. He was ordained a priest by the Diocese of Chicago in 2014, and while in graduate school he served as an assistant for congregational life at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and as a transitional deacon in a local Episcopal parish. In Charlotte, he served as transitional deacon, assisting priest, and then
interim associate rector at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, before joining St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in 2015.

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. since 1990, the Louisville Institute’s mission is to enhance the vitality of American Christianity and encourage the revitalization of religious institutions by bringing together those who study religious life with those who lead faith communities. The Institute advances this work through grants programs that enable academic scholars and religious leaders to study pressing challenges and consultations that foster collaboration among researchers, theological educators and religious leaders.

In addition, the Institute’s Vocation of the Theological Educator initiative seeks to foster a new generation of faculty who are exceptionally well-prepared to teach in seminaries and prepare a new generation of pastors for congregational leadership.

Soyars earned his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

About Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is committed to building bridges across the world’s religious, racial and cultural divides. It is distinguished by its nationally-recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. For more information, call (800) 264-1839 or log onto www.lpts.edu.

Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows becomes 11th bishop of Indianapolis, first black woman to lead Episcopal diocese

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 1:44pm

Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows greets the congregation at her consecration as Bishop Barbara Harris, center, and Bishop Catherine Waynick, left, look on. Photo: Meghan McConnell

[Diocese of Indianapolis] The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows was ordained and consecrated the eleventh bishop of Indianapolis April 29, making her the first black woman to lead a diocese in the history of the Episcopal Church and the first woman to succeed another woman as diocesan bishop.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry led the service as chief consecrator and was joined by more than 40 bishops from across the church. Nearly 1,400 participated in the service at Clowes Hall on the campus of Butler University. Diocese of Chicago Jeffrey D. Lee preached. From 2012 until her election as bishop, Baskerville-Burrows served on Lee’s staff as director of networking in the Diocese of Chicago.

“Indianapolis, you have called a strong, loving and wise pastor to be your bishop,” said Lee, in a sermon that was interrupted by applause several times. “She will love you, challenge you, tell you the truth as she sees it and invite you to tell it as you do. She will pray with you at the drop of a hat and care for you in ways that will not diminish your own agency. She will empower you. She will lead. Count on it.”

Bishop Catherine Waynick hands the crozier to Bishop Jennifer-Baskerville Burrows. Saturday’s consecration was the first time in Episcopal Church history that a female bishop has transferred authority to another female bishop. Photo: Meghan McConnell

Bishop Catherine Waynick hands the crozier to Bishop Jennifer-Baskerville Burrows. Saturday’s consecration was the first time in Episcopal Church history that a female bishop has transferred authority to another female bishop. Photo: Meghan McConnell

Among the co-consecrators at the service was the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion. Before the consecration, Baskerville-Burrows told the Indianapolis Star, “The first thing that comes to mind is how grateful I am to the women that have come before. Barbara Harris will be at my consecration, and when I think about what she’s done for me and how I’ve even encountered little girls saying, ‘Oh my gosh. One day, may I discern such a call?’ That is just everything.”

Harris retired in 2003 as bishop suffragan of Massachusetts and was succeeded by the Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris (no relation), who was also a consecrator of Baskerville-Burrows.  The other chief consecrators were Bishop Catherine Waynick (her predecessor), Northern Indiana Bishop Douglas Sparks, Atlanta Bishop Robert Wright and Evangelical Lutheran Church in American Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop William Gafkjen.

The order of service for the ordination and consecration is here.

She was seated the next day in Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Baskerville-Burrows was elected in October by the clergy and lay leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis to lead 48 congregations that comprise nearly 10,000 Episcopalians in central and southern Indiana. She succeeds Waynick, who led the Diocese of Indianapolis for 20 years and was one of the first female bishops in the Episcopal Church.

“Sitting at the crossroads of America, this diocese has a special call to bring healing, hope and love to a world that is too often fearful, hurting and polarized,” Baskerville-Burrows said before her election. “I see the Diocese of Indianapolis as an inclusive community of hope bearing the light of Jesus Christ to central and southern Indiana and the world.”

Before her work in Chicago, Baskerville-Burrows was rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Syracuse, New York, where she also served as Episcopal chaplain at Syracuse University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, a master’s degree in historic preservation planning from Cornell University and a master of divinity from Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She and her husband, Harrison, met at her ordination to the priesthood in 1998 and were married in 2003. They have a son, Timothy, age 6, who is a kindergarten student at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis.

Previous ENS coverage of the historic weekend is here.



‘Public engagement’ is theme of conference of Brazilian theologians

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 3:17pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Five theologians from around Brazil participated in a theology conference this week under the theme “Anglican theology and public engagement.”

The mission theology project exists to “raise up new ‘Doctors of the Church’ in the global South to write, network, publish and engage with theologians in the global North, to renew the worldwide Church and influence society,” said the Rt. Rev. Graham Kings, co-chair of the conference and mission theologian in the Anglican Communion.

Full article.

Indigenous language project shares stories of loss and resilience

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 3:12pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The question of how indigenous families in Canada coped with language loss and worked to keep their languages alive is the focus of a new project spearheaded by the EagleSpeaker Community Connection Society in Calgary, Alberta.

“Indigenous Language—Strengths and Struggles” seeks to create a “free, graphic novel-inspired educational multimedia resource” that explores language restoration as an intergenerational impact of the residential school system, based on interviews with more than 200 survivors and their families from the Blackfoot Confederacy.

Full article.

Diocese of East Tennessee announces bishop slate

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 1:08pm

[Diocese of East Tennessee] The Standing Committee of the Diocese of East Tennessee April 28 announced a slate of five nominees who will stand for election as the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee.

The nominees are:

  • The Rev. Brian Cole – Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Lexington, Kentucky
  • The Rev. Hendree Harrison – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Athens, Tennessee
  • The Rev. Canon Frank Logue – Diocese of Georgia
  • The Rev. Canon Lance Ousley – Diocese of Olympia and St. John’s Episcopal Church, Kirkland, Washington
  • The Rev. Marty Stebbins – St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Wilson, North Carolina

Nominees’ biographical information and answers to a series of questions, can be found here.

The Rev. Jay Mills, president of the Standing Committee, said, “It is my humble honor to be involved in the bishop search as the chair of the Standing Committee. It is truly exciting to be part of the opening of God’s choice for us for our new bishop. We are truly lucky to be a healthy, happy diocese in the midst of that search. It made us an attractive diocese, I suspect, for interested folks.”

“The Search and Nominating Committee has worked hard;” said Chairman Joe Vrba, “we’ve prayed even harder and we’ve shed a few tears along the way. We’ve trusted in the Holy Spirit throughout. And, you know, everything worked out fine. Every one of us feels blessed in having been part of this process.”

As allowed by the constitution and canons of the diocese, additional nominations may be put forward via the petition process for two weeks following the announcement of the slate. The petition window is now open and will close at the end of the day on May 12, 2017.

As the work of the Search and Nominating Committee comes to a close, the work of the Transition Committee is already well underway, with “walkabouts” scheduled to give every person in the Diocese of East Tennessee a chance to get to know the nominees before the special electing convention in July. Additional details will be shared on the bishop search website and on all diocesan communication channels in the coming weeks.

The 5th bishop of the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee will succeed the Rt. Rev. George Dibrell Young, III, who announced his retirement last April. Young has served as bishop since June 2011.

Episcopal Church ready to make history with Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 12:20pm

Diocese of Indianapolis Bishop-elect Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, left, will succeed Indianapolis’ 10th bishop, Catherine Waynick, right, who, 20 years ago, became the fourth woman to lead an Episcopal Church diocese. This will be the first time in the Church’s history that a woman has succeeded another woman in the episcopate. Baskerville-Burrows took what she called this “selfie of selfies” April 22 at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Carmel, Indiana, before a celebration of Waynick’s ministry. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows first tried to read the Bible when she was 8 years old.

“I thought that is what I should do because I wanted to go to church so bad and nobody was taking me, so I thought I’ll read the Bible,” she said.

Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows

Soon to be 11th bishop, Diocese of Indianapolis
Soon to make history
+ 1st female black diocesan bishop
+ 15th female diocesan bishop
+ 6th female diocesan bishop currently active
+ 26th female bishop diocesan or suffragan
+ 44th black bishop in Episcopal Church history
+ 1,100th bishop in Episcopal Church history
Quote: “My call is to be the best bishop I can be for this diocese.”

That tiny Gideon Bible belonged to her maternal grandfather, Joseph McCray, who would die two years later, after instilling in her a lifelong love of cooking, among other legacies.

“They passed on so long ago but I have been thinking about the sacrifices that they made, and they cannot have imagined that life that I have now,” Baskerville-Burrows said about McCray and his wife, Mary Weaver, during an interview with Episcopal News Service.

After a grand liturgy on April 29, Baskerville-Burrows’ life will include being the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.

Baskerville-Burrows, who previously served as director of networking for the Diocese of Chicago, will make history that day when Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and more than 40 other bishops call down the Holy Spirit to ordain and consecrate her as the church’s first black female diocesan bishop.

The service will take place just more than 28 years since now-retired Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Barbara Harris, who also is African-American, became the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion.

Baskerville-Burrows will succeed Indianapolis’ 10th bishop, Catherine Waynick, who 20 years ago became the fourth woman to lead an Episcopal Church diocese. This will be the first time in the Church’s history that a woman has succeeded another woman in an episcopate.

Baskerville-Burrows is the 26th woman elected bishop in the Episcopal Church and will be the 12th female diocesan bishop, as well as the 44th African-American bishop and the 1,100th bishop overall in the Episcopal Church’s history.

The bishop-elect is also an enrolled member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, a federally recognized tribe based on Long Island in New York. Her paternal grandfather was a Shinnecock member who grew up on the tribe’s reservation.

Baskerville-Burrows became a Christian as a young adult and chose to join the Episcopal Church at Trinity Church Wall Street in lower Manhattan. She was baptized there in 1989, the year after she graduated from college.

“There is probably no better thing I could be than to be serving God in this way for a good section of my family,” she told ENS, struggling not to cry. “There is just nothing better. I am going to be thinking about that and their hopes and dreams and the wonder of it all.”

Those folks include her uncle, Clarvis Soanes, who will join her husband, Harrison Burrows, to bring the gifts to the altar during the April 29 service. Soanes also walked Baskerville-Burrows down the aisle at her 2003 wedding in place of her father, who died in 1991.

Meanwhile, despite much media attention, the historic nature of her pending episcopate has not been uppermost in Baskerville-Burrows’ mind during the days leading up to her ordination and consecration.

“I probably downplay it way too much. That’s not the biggest thing in my mind, not daily anyway,” she said, adding that the awareness “comes in spurts,” especially when she meets people who express their excitement.

Then she realizes that some people are responding the same way she did when she heard about Harris becoming the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion. “Every now and again it strikes me that for some women in the church this is now going to be possible because someone is finally doing it,” she said. “That catches me short.”

“At the end of the day, I think the way I keep my sanity about all that is to say that my call is to be the best bishop I can be for this diocese,” she said. “And in doing that I will be the best role model I can be for other young men and women of color or of European descent” who might want to discern if they are similarly called.

Being the best bishop for the diocese in the coming years, Baskerville-Burrows said, means nurturing what she sees as the Episcopal Church’s “particular voice and call” in the state of Indiana.

“We’ve got this Episcopal Church which for many decades has been the progressive, inclusive, all-y’all-come, we-serve-all diocese in the midst of a state that is far more conservative,” she said of the diocese.

“What I hear, and what I have seen over and over again, is this is where people go when they want to be about a gospel message love, hope and transformation.”

While other faith communities use the same language, Baskerville-Burrows said, “we mean them in such broad terms, it stands in stark relief to the alternative on the religious landscape.”

Diocese of Indianapolis Bishop-elect Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows speaks April 21 to the crowd outside the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood after a public procession that was part of the Bishops United Against Gun Violence’s “Unholy Trinity” conference. Baskerville-Burrows helped plan the conference. Photo: David Paulsen/Episcopal News Service

Baskerville-Burrows began her time as bishop-elect in Indianapolis visiting congregations on the outer edges of the diocese. She has met many people who are drawn to the Episcopal Church’s expression of Christianity.

“We are providing this broad welcome for people who want to do the Jesus Movement stuff that Michael Curry preaches about,” Baskerville-Burrows said, adding that she wants to help the diocese continue to be clear and bold about articulating that welcome.

“We’ve got a little bubble here that I’d love to expand,” she said of the diocese’s 48 congregations and about 10,000 Episcopalians.

As she prepares for her historic position, Baskerville-Burrows said she has been thinking about and talking to others about how the church can remove the barriers to women and people of color entering leadership roles at all levels of the church. Doing so will eventually lead to bishop elections offering more diverse slates of nominees to dioceses more willing to consider them, she added.

The Diocese of Indianapolis has been trying to do just that, and the effort laid the foundation for the people of the diocese to elect a nominee like her, Baskerville-Burrows said. The track of her own life should be more commonplace, she added.

“I have had really good experiences and good mentors who helped me discern every move I made and I want that to be normative. I don’t want that to be the exception,” she said.

Roots in New York City

Baskerville-Burrows was raised in the housing projects of New York City and educated in the city’s public schools through high school. She has one brother. Her mother, who will be present April 29, still lives in New York City.

The bishop-elect holds a bachelor’s degree (1988) from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she majored in architecture and minored in urban studies. She earned a master’s degree in historic preservation planning from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1994 and a master of divinity degree from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, in 1997.

Ordained by the Diocese of Central New York, she was rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Syracuse, New York, and Episcopal chaplain at Syracuse University from 2004 to 2012. She has also served at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Endicott, New York, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, New Jersey, and as director of alumni relations at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

The diocese elected Baskerville-Burrows out of a field of five nominees on the second ballot Oct. 28 at Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis. At the time, she was director of networking for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, a role she began in 2012. In that role, she led the diocese’s communications, fundraising and community relations, including initiatives against racism and gun violence.

One of the defining experiences of her ministry came when she found herself at Trinity Wall Street near the World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, part of a small group of Episcopalians from across the country meeting with  Bishop Rowan Williams, who would soon be named Archbishop of Canterbury. After the attack, she spent hours with others in a stairwell of Trinity’s office building.

As the tension of the unknown rose in the stairwell, she told Episcopal News Service in 2011, she confronted the prospect of dying that day. She realized that she was standing next to the Rev. James Calloway, who had baptized her. “I thought, here’s where I came into life and I might die here, and if I was going to die, maybe this is OK … I can be reconciled to that,” she told ENS in the 2011 interview below.

About 19 months after that day, Baskerville-Burrows married Harrison Burrows, a native of Crown Haven in the Bahamas.

Burrows was a youth minister in the Bahamas who has studied at Bexley Hall (an Episcopal seminary formerly located in Rochester, New York) and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Burrows now works in sales.

Their son Timothy Burrows, 6, is a kindergarten student at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis.

Baskerville-Burrows is an accomplished distance runner and triathlete. During her 2016 sabbatical, she attended a running retreat for mothers in Spokane, Washington, and visited Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas to record the recipes of her husband’s great-aunt, who is the island’s bread baker. Baskerville-Burrows is an avid cook and baker who once had a blog called Cookin’ in the ‘Cuse.

The congregation attending the Diocese of Indianapolis Bishop-elect Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows’ ordination and consecration April 26 will receive wine during communion from specially designed chalices. “Hoosier” (ˈhü-zhər) is a longtime nickname for the state of Indiana and its residents. Photo: Debra Kissinger

A weekend of celebration

The April 29 liturgy takes place at Clowes Memorial Hall on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis. Curry, the church’s first African-American leader, will preside and he will be joined by more than 40 bishops. The service will be webcast here, and the prelude begins at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Curry will visit St. David’s Episcopal Church in tiny Bean Blossom, Indiana, about 50 miles south of Indianapolis on April 30 for a 10:30 a.m. Eucharist. The service will be webcast here. St. David’s was one of at least two Episcopal churches – the other was in suburban Washington, D.C. – that were vandalized on the same night just after the November presidential election.

Baskerville-Burrows will be seated in Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis during an April 30 liturgy that begins at 11 a.m. A block party will follow.

A full schedule of events that begin April 28 is here.

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

Life feed: Social media updates from the #ClimateMarch

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 1:56pm

We’re following the latest out of Washington, D.C. and the People’s Climate March.

Prayer service planned for last of four Arkansas executions as activists seek to end death penalty

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:52pm

Anti-death penalty activists hold a vigil outside the governor’s mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas, on April 20 in this photo shared on Facebook by the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians in Arkansas are preparing to gather once more for a prayer service on the eve of what is expected to be the final in a series of expedited executions by the state, which activists say could give momentum to efforts to abolish the death penalty.

Arkansas is scheduled April 27 to execute convicted murder Kenneth Williams, 38, the fourth death row inmate to be executed in a week, as the state rushes to carry out the sentences before its stock of one of its lethal injection drugs expires. Before this month, Arkansas had not carried out an execution in nearly 12 years.

As it did on the eves of the previous three executions, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock will hold a brief ecumenical service at 6 p.m. April 27 followed by a candlelight vigil that will culminate in the toll of bells. The service will offer prayers for Williams, for his victims and their families and for the corrections employees who will be carrying out the execution.

“For all of these, and for ourselves, we will pray for hope, for strength and for mercy,” cathedral spokesman Josiah Wheeler told Episcopal News Service.

The Episcopal Church has stood against the death penalty since it was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, with several General Convention resolutions calling for the death penalty to be abolished, most recently in 2015.

The death penalty still is in effect in 31 states, but the number of executions nationwide has dropped steadily since 1999, from a high of 98 that year to 20 in 2016, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Arkansas has executed 30 inmates since 1976 but none since 2005, until this month.

The state had planned to execute eight inmates in 10 days, starting on Easter Monday, but four of those executions have been halted by court order.

The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas has been active in efforts to end capital punishment in the state, and Bishop Larry Benfield joined clergy from other denominations on April 12 in a rally at the Capitol to call on Gov. Asa Hutchinson to stop the executions.

“We have believed in the goodness of hard work and respect for neighbor and faith in God. But we are being led astray by a peculiar ethic that states that vengeance is a virtue, when in fact it is not,” Benfield said, according to quotes provided by the diocese. “I can only speak from the Christian tradition, but I can say definitively from my own religious upbringing that vengeance is not a mark of Christian ethics.”

The Rev. Mary Janet “Bean” Murray, a retired deacon, and member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock, said she and other anti-death penalty activists are disheartened that a fourth execution is expected to be carried out, but they already are looking beyond this week in stepping up their push for changing state law. She is vice president of a group called the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, which met this week to discuss its future strategy.

“We will continue to work and work until the death penalty is no longer an issue,” Murray told ENS.

Caroline Stevenson, another Episcopalian from Little Rock, said the recent executions may give people who favored the death penalty a reason to rethink their support.

“I think that we can change some minds with the facts,” said Stevenson, a member of Episcopal Peace Fellowship. “We have to challenge people’s faith and say, this isn’t what Christianity is all about.”

Four states have abolished the death penalty since 2009: New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland. Nebraska’s Legislature passed a law in 2015 eliminating capital punishment, but it was reinstated by popular vote in 2016.

Public opinion has for decades tilted in favor of the death penalty, with a Gallup poll from 2016 showing 60 percent of respondents supporting a death sentence for someone convicted of murder. Support typically decreases when alternatives are suggested. When asked whether they would choose to sentence a murderer to death or to life in prison, 50 percent said they would choose the death penalty in a 2014 Gallup poll.

The fight to abolish the death penalty may remain an uphill battle in pro-death penalty states like Arkansas, but Murray and other Episcopalians see killing of any kind as incompatible with what their Christian faith teaches.

“When we say in our baptismal vows that we’ll respect the dignity of every human being, that includes criminals too,” Murray said.

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.


RIP: Nancy Marvel, former Episcopal Relief & Development executive director

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 11:40am

[Episcopal Relief & Development]  A long-time resident of Pelham, New York, Nancy Marvel died on Monday, April 17, 2017, at the age of 85.

Affectionately known as “Nan,” she served as the executive director from 1995 to 1998 for Episcopal Relief & Development, formerly the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief. 

Marvel was hired by the Episcopal Church in 1976 to work under Presiding Bishop John Allin. In 1981, she joined the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief  (the PB Fund) to work on the grants program. Eventually, she was promoted to the director of grants, overseeing its domestic and overseas granting work.

During her tenure, the PB Fund was undergoing a major programmatic and operational shift to expand the focus on disaster response and recovery, and to incorporate sustainable development into its small grants program. Marvel recognized the Church’s growing interest and awareness in addressing challenges such as hunger, poverty, disaster and disease worldwide.

Before Marvel retired to become a national representative and ambassador for the PB Fund, Hurricane Mitch ravaged parts of the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean in late 1998. She led the PB Fund’s initial response in Honduras and other neighboring countries.

Over a four-year period, the community of Faith, Hope and Joy was constructed in Honduras, with 200 houses, a school, a clinic and a church. Microfinance activities and agricultural projects were launched to create economic opportunities and to help spur growth in the devastated region. This integrated approach became a core element of the organization’s disaster relief work as well as the first long-term recovery program in its history.

After retiring from the PB Fund, Marvel actively volunteered with her congregation, Christ the Redeemer Church in Pelham, the Westchester Junior League, The Manor Club and other organizations.

Marvel was a committed and long-serving staff member who contributed significantly and faithfully to the PB Fund, helping to shape and plant seeds for Episcopal Relief & Development’s future efforts.

“On behalf of our staff and board, I express sincere condolences to Nancy’s family, friends and colleagues around the Church,” said Rob Radtke, president of Episcopal Relief & Development. “She played a critical role in the evolution of this organization. Her compassion and numerous contributions will remain with us.”

Marvel is preceded in death by her husband, Robert C. Marvel. She is survived by a son, daughter, two stepdaughters, five granddaughters and many other relatives. 

In lieu of flowers, Nancy Marvel’s family has requested that memorial gifts are sent to:

Episcopal Relief & Development
P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield
Virginia 22116-7058

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 29 at Christ Church, 1415 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham, NY.

Attorneys urge Bishop Bruno disciplinary panel to move in opposite directions

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 6:17pm

The Hearing Panel considering the disciplinary case against Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno consists of, from left, the Rev. Erik Larsen of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely, Diocese of Southern Virginia Bishop Herman Hollerith IV (panel president), panel legal advisor Brad Davenport, Deborah Stokes of Southern Ohio and North Dakota Bishop Michael Smith. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/ Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service] Attorneys representing the Episcopal Church and Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno are asking an ecclesiastical disciplinary panel to come to opposite conclusions about whether the bishop violated church law in attempting to sell St. James the Great Episcopal Church.

Attorneys for Bruno argued for dismissal of the charges while the Episcopal Church’s attorney asked the members to find the bishop guilty but craft a sentence aimed at reconciliation. Their arguments came in briefs released close to a month after a rare bishop disciplinary hearing.

The misconduct allegations, initially brought by the members of St. James, stem from Bruno’s unsuccessful 2015 attempt to sell the church in Newport Beach to a condominium developer for $15 million in cash.

St. James was one of four properties that the diocese spent close to $10 million in litigation to recover from members who broke with the Episcopal Church over its policies on women’s ordination and the full inclusion of LGBTQI members in the life of the church, including ordained ministry.

Church Attorney Raymond “Jerry” Coughlan, left, shows Diocese of Los Angeles J. Jon Bruno documents during the bishop’s testimony March 29. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Bruno is at least the 10th bishop of the nearly 1,100 bishops in Episcopal Church history to have a disciplinary accusation against him reach the level of a formal hearing under the Church’s process for handling complaints applicable at the time. His trial was the first of a bishop since the Episcopal Church’s extensively revised Title IV disciplinary canons went into effect July 1, 2011.

The hearing on accusations that he violated church canons, including engaging in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy took place March 28-30 in Pasadena, California. The attorneys did not make oral closing arguments at the end of the testimony, opting instead to file written briefs. Those briefs could not be completed until after a transcript of the testimony was finished.

The Hearing Panel has not acted on the attorneys’ recommendation and it is not known when the members will issue their decision. The panel has a range of actions it can take, from dismissal of the allegations to removing Bruno from his ordained ministry.

Diocese of Los Angeles Chancellor Richard Zevnik and Vice Chancellor Julie Dean Larsen urged the panel in their brief to dismiss the entire case against Bruno. They said in the conclusion to their brief that a “civil lawsuit, political actions and social media campaign” mounted by members of St. James the Great in Newport Beach were “wrongfully, but successfully and strategically, designed to stop the sale of [the] 40,000-square foot church property” on what is known as Lido Island, a prosperous housing development sporting a yacht club.

The Church’s clergy disciplinary canon, the chancellors argue, is “not intended to be used as a weapon to challenge a diocesan bishop’s decisions regarding the administration and stewardship of his or her diocese.”

Along with the brief, Bruno’s chancellors also submitted a proposed order dismissing the charges, as well as a 65-page list of exhibits in the case. The Hearing Panel requested neither of the latter documents.

Episcopal Church Attorney Raymond “Jerry” Coughlan, on the other hand, argued in his brief that Bruno is guilty of “serious misconduct” in violating three sections of the Title IV canons: “failing to exercise his ministry in accordance with applicable church canons,” “conduct involving dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation” and “conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy. He said the panel must conclude that Bruno’s conduct was “calculated, pervasive and long-running.”

Because of those violations and because “today he shows no sign of recognizing even the possibility of his misconduct,” Coughlan recommended that panel suspend Bruno from ministry for at least a year.

However, because he said such a sentence would only exacerbate the conflict and not lead to reconciliation, Coughlan urged the panel to use its “broad authority” to craft a remedy that “looks forward creatively to heal the division now existing in the Los Angeles diocese.” That remedy would begin with staying any sentence of suspension if Bruno agrees not to appeal the panel’s finding.

Then, Coughlan suggested, a creative remedy could include:

  • Restricting Bruno’s ministry from having any role in the future administration of St. James unless asked to do so.
  • Requiring that St. James promptly be reopened for Episcopal worship under the auspices of an independent member of the diocese, such as in incoming Bishop Coadjutor John Taylor, with the advice of a committee he chooses.
  • Maintaining the Rev. Cindy Evan Voorhees as the paid vicar of the congregation for the rest of 2017 and 2018.
  • Finding that Bruno violated the two sections of Title IV but foregoing a ministry suspension and instead admonishing Bruno “to work with the new leader to effect reconciliation of all parties in the diocese, as and if that person requests.” The latter would recognize the bishop’s “many years of service, and the overarching need for everyone to move on to promote healing, forgiveness, justice and reconciliation among all in the community.”

Coughlan also submitted an unsolicited 36-page “statement of proposed facts” that presents his version of a timeline of the events leading up to the hearing.

Following the Hearing Panel’s decision, attorneys for both parties will have 40 days to appeal its decision to the Court of Review for Bishops.

Bruno turns 72, the Church’s mandatory retirement age, in late 2018. Taylor, his successor, is scheduled to be ordained and consecrated on July 8 of this year.

Because none of the previous steps of the Title IV disciplinary process resolved the issue, when the complaints against Bruno got to the point of seating a Hearing Panel, the Episcopal Church replaced St. James as the complainant in the case. Coughlan, representing the Episcopal Church, presented the case to the panel. The St. James members originally filed a complaint against Bruno on July 6, 2015. According to the Title IV process, the Church pays for the costs of the disciplinary process for bishops.

Diocese of Southern Virginia Bishop Herman Hollerith IV is president of the Hearing Panel. The panel, appointed by the Disciplinary Board for Bishops from among its members, also includes Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely, North Dakota Bishop Michael Smith, the Rev. Erik Larsen of Rhode Island and Deborah Stokes of Southern Ohio.

The St. James the Great complainants alleged that Bruno violated church canons because he

  • failed to get the consent of the diocesan standing committee before entering a contract to sell the property;
  • misrepresented his intention for the property to the members, the clergy and the local community at large;
  • misrepresented that St. James the Great was not a sustainable congregation;
  • misrepresented that Voorhees had resigned as vicar;
  • misrepresented to some St. James members that he would lease the property back to them for many months and that the diocese would financially aid the church; and
  • engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy by “misleading and deceiving” the clergy and people of St. James, as well as the local community, about his plans for the property and for taking possession of the property and locking out the congregation. It continues to worship in a rented room at city hall.

Previous ENS coverage of the hearing is here.

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

Episcopal foundation in Georgia raises $26,000 for anti-hunger efforts at walk/run

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 5:52pm

[Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta press release] The Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia, or ECF, has announced $26,000 in anti-hunger grants from proceeds of its 33rd Annual Hunger Walk/Run, held in partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and local faith organizations.

More than 450 Episcopalians walked, ran or volunteered for the Diocese of Atlanta on March 5, with 34 teams formed in support of ECF. Prior to the 5K walk/run, more than 120 youth and adults attended the Eucharist at nearby Emmaus House, celebrated by the Rev. Ricardo Bailey, which featured a powerful sermon by ECF board member Clayton Harrington calling Episcopalians to “choose the hard way” of fighting against poverty and oppression.

“Each year the Episcopal community shows up to not only participate in the Hunger Walk/Run but to raise funds to support those facing food insecurity in our community,” said Lindsey Hardegree, executive director for the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia. “The need is great. More than 25 percent of Georgia children face food insecurity, and Georgia is seventh in the nation for senior citizens facing hunger. Funds raised by our parishes through the Hunger Walk/Run are granted back to our communities to help end hunger.”

The 2017 Hunger Walk/Run was an incredible success, and with the significant help of parishes around the Diocese, ECF has received nearly $26,000 to support local hunger-related ministries and organizations. ECF is dedicated to funding opportunities for Episcopal parishes to work with their local community and nonprofits to serve the poor and oppressed. With that in mind, ECF will grant these funds to the following hunger-related ministries and organizations: 

  • Action Ministries, which partners with multiple Episcopal parishes, will receive a grant of $10,000 to support its regional hunger initiatives in the Northwest (Rome area), Mountain (Gainesville area), Northeast (Athens-Clarke County area) and Piedmont (Covington area) Regions.
  • Community Helping Place will receive a grant of $4,000 for food costs at their food pantry, which has been matched by a $4,000 gift from the parishioners of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church (Dahlonega).
  • Malachi’s Storehouse will receive a grant of $10,400 to underwrite the cost of chicken for their food pantry at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church (Dunwoody) for one year.
  • St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church (Decatur) will receive a grant of $1,329.19 toward purchasing a new refrigerator/freezer as a part of the expansion of its food pantry ministry to enable hot meal service. 

Special thanks also go out to the top fundraising individuals:

  • Shirley Lee of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
  • Connie Bergeron of St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church (Marietta)
  • Ashley Erwin of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
  • Veronica Ridenhour of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church (Morrow)
  • Zachary Thompson of Church of Our Saviour (Atlanta)

In addition, this year, the Right Rev. Robert C. Wright issued a challenge for the Bishop’s Cup – the parish that raised the most funds for the Hunger Walk/Run would receive the coveted trophy as well as a gift of $3,300 to be used for the parish’s outreach ministries. 

This year’s recipient of the Bishop’s Cup is St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, which raised $6,760. Special recognition goes to St. James Episcopal Church (Clayton), which came in a close second at $4,940, and to Church of Our Saviour, Christ Church (Norcross), and St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church, which each raised more than $2,000 to help end hunger in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. 

Mothers’ Union warns against a ‘weakening resolve’ in fight for women’s empowerment

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:12pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Mothers’ Union has warned against a “weakening resolve” in the fight for women’s empowerment and called upon the UK to do more to promote gender equality, and end discrimination against women in the workplace. Following the 61st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which focused on “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work,” Mothers’ Union spoke out about its concern over the scaling down of rhetoric and faltering language recorded in the Agreed Conclusions from the Commission.

Full article.

Bruce Myers intronisé comme évêque anglican de Québec

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:00pm

Mgr Bruce Myers a officiellement été intronisé comme 13e évêque anglican de Québec le 22 avril 2017. (Présence/Philippe Vaillancourt)

[Présence – information religieuse] L’intronisation du 13e évêque anglican de Québec a eu lieu le 22 avril à la cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité, dans le Vieux-Québec. En plus des gestes traditionnels posés lors de l’intronisation d’un nouvel évêque, ce sont surtout les paroles prononcées par Mgr Bruce Myers et ses invités interreligieux sur le sens de la foi dans la société actuelle qui ont retenu l’attention.

Comme le veut la tradition, Bruce Myers se trouvait à l’extérieur de la cathédrale au début de la célébration tandis que l’assemblée patientait à l’intérieur. De sa crosse, il a donné trois grands coups contre la principale porte d’entrée, annonçant solennellement sa présence.

Une voix a retenti en anglais dans l’enceinte de la première cathédrale anglicane construite à l’extérieur des îles britanniques. «Frère et sœurs du diocèse de Québec, notre nouvel évêque est arrivé en sa cathédrale pour y réclamer sa place parmi nous. Ouvrons-lui les portes et levons-nous pour l’accueillir!»

Dans le vestibule, Bruce Myers y est allé d’un premier geste symbolique: il s’est d’abord adressé à l’assemblée en français.

L’ensemble de la célébration a d’ailleurs accordé une grande place à la langue de Molière, de même qu’à l’anglais et qu’au naskapi, langue autochtone parlée dans le diocèse de Québec, qui fut notamment utilisée au moment de l’évangile.

Après la lecture des certificats d’élection et d’ordination, le pasteur de 44 ans a été conduit sur sa cathèdre, où il a reçu une ovation des quelque 280 personnes qui assistaient à son intronisation.

«J’ai rencontré le Christ ressuscité presque partout en parcourant notre diocèse»

Dans son homélie, il a blagué au sujet de l’incrédulité des apôtres devant la résurrection de Jésus. «Ça pourrait être une fausse nouvelle», a lancé l’ancien journaliste qui couvrait la politique provinciale à l’Assemblée nationale avant de devenir prêtre. Ce n’est que plus tard, a-t-il noté, que les proches de Jésus ont cru.

«Et quelle histoire: une histoire de lumière qui repousse la noirceur, de pouvoir rendu parfait par la faiblesse, d’espoir outrepassant la peur, d’amour surmontant la haine, de la vie rachetant la mort», a indiqué l’évêque, mettant en garde contre le risque d’être «blasé» par cette histoire entendue si souvent.

«Ça ne serait pas honnête de ma part de me présenter devant vous ce matin et de prétendre que nous n’avons pas perdu beaucoup de choses. Il y a cent ans, le nombre de fidèles anglicans dans notre diocèse était cinq fois plus élevé qu’il ne l’est aujourd’hui. Il y a bien des raisons pour cette décroissance – plusieurs d’entre elles étant des éléments hors de notre contrôle – mais il s’agit néanmoins d’une perte. Et cela correspond à une tendance lourde au Québec.»

Oui, a-t-il convenu, il s’agit d’une «perte», mais celle-ci ne doit pas avoir comme effet de faire perdre espoir.

Élu évêque coadjuteur de Québec à l’automne 2015 et ordonné évêque en mai 2016, Mgr Myers a passé la dernière année à visiter les confins des 720 000 kilomètres carrés du diocèse érigé en 1793.

Sa mission, a-t-il continué, est d’être le pasteur de «petites, mais ferventes communautés d’anglicans qui vivent éparpillés sur un grand territoire; prêcher, enseigner et célébrer les sacrements dans tous mes déplacements, et tenter d’encourager nos gens, où qu’ils soient, à voir – et à être – Jésus ressuscité».

«Et je vous affirme que je l’ai vu. J’ai rencontré le Christ ressuscité presque partout en parcourant notre diocèse.»

Il a conclu son homélie bilingue en appelant les chrétiens à aller à travers le Québec, «non pas en gémissant et en pleurant parce que les sondages nous disent que nos voisins n’ont pas la foi autant qu’avant, mais plutôt en agissant comme des témoins de Jésus-Christ – parce que, dans cette ère séculaire, l’exemple de nos vies en tant que disciples de Jésus aura plus de poids que bien des paroles que nous pourrions prononcer au nom du Christ».

Bien accueilli par les autres leaders religieux de Québec

Après la communion, le primat de l’Église anglicane du Canada, Mgr Fred Hiltz, et le métropolite de la province anglicane du Canada, Mgr Percy Coffin, ont d’abord pris la parole pour souligner les qualités du nouvel évêque de Québec, Mgr Hiltz évoquant sa «douceur d’âme».

L’archevêque catholique de Québec, le cardinal Gérald Lacroix, a salué «un frère et un ami». Les deux hommes habitent à l’archevêché catholique et il leur arrive de manger et de prier ensemble. Il voit en Mgr Myers un pasteur qui poursuivra une «longue tradition de relations harmonieuses» entre les anglicans et les catholiques de Québec.

«Vous qui avez été journaliste, le Seigneur vous appelle maintenant à être porteur de Bonne Nouvelle», a-t-il lancé à la blague.

David Weiser, le président de la congrégation juive Beth Israel Ohev Sholom, a lui aussi pris le temps de souhaiter la bienvenue à Mgr Myers, saluant la «plénitude» des communautés de foi de Québec qui se vit dans «nos diversités».

Enfin, le cofondateur du Centre culturel islamique de Québec, Boufeldja Benabdallah, a déclaré que «nous sommes tous des frères en Dieu». Il a évoqué un «pacte du cœur» avec le nouvel évêque. «La solitude d’hier, aujourd’hui je ne la sens pas du tout», a-t-il ajouté. La tuerie du 29 janvier qui a frappé la grande mosquée de Québec a en effet rapproché des fidèles anglicans et musulmans au cours des derniers mois.

Des représentants de l’Église Unie du Canada et de l’Église presbytérienne ont aussi assisté à l’intronisation. Celui qui fut évêque anglican de Québec de 2009 à 2017, Mgr Dennis Drainville, n’y était pas. Il a officiellement remis sa démission le 19 avril. Son épouse, la révérende Cynthia Patterson, était toutefois présente samedi matin.

RIP: Seventh Bishop of Albany David Standish Ball

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 4:46pm

[Diocese of Albany] The Rt. Rev. David Standish Ball, seventh bishop of the Diocese of Albany, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of April 18th, 2017.

Ball was born June 11, 1926, in Albany, New York. He attended The Milne School in Albany, where he was class president and a popular athlete. Ball served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and graduated from Colgate University in 1950. He attended the General Theological Seminary, graduating in 1953. He was ordained a deacon on June 14, 1953, and a priest on December 21, 1953, in Albany.

Ball began his ordained ministry as a curate at Bethesda Church in Saratoga Springs, New York, serving there until 1956, when he was made canon sacrist at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany. He served three years as canon sacrist and two years as canon precentor and was then elected dean of the cathedral in 1960. He served the cathedral as dean for 23 years. During that time, he was filled with compassion for the increasing number of poor and homeless on the streets of Albany and was eventually elected as president of the Dudley Park Housing Authority, where he helped raise $5 million to develop a housing project in the Arbor Hill neighborhood of Albany, near the cathedral.

On October 10, 1983, he was elected bishop coadjutor of Albany. In February 1984, he was consecrated by Presiding Bishop John Maury Allin, Bishop David E. Richards, former suffragan of Albany, and the sixth bishop of Albany, Bishop Wilbur Emory Hogg. Upon Hogg’s retirement, in October 1984, Ball was installed as the seventh bishop of Albany at the Cathedral of All Saints. Soon after becoming bishop, he established the Step Out in Faith campaign, which raised several million dollars for the diocese. He was known for his support of hospitals, nursing homes, schools, St. Margaret’s Center for Children, in addition to the poor and the homeless. A frequent sight on Albany streets was to see a homeless or poor person stop him and ask for money. Without hesitation, he always gave something. He served as bishop of Albany until he reached the mandatory retirement age in 1998.

After his retirement, he was active in local charities. The Bishop Ball Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Cathedral of All Saints, is named in his honor. The Doane Stuart School, on whose board he sat until mid-2008, named a trustee award for him. He continued to serve as bishop-in-residence at the Cathedral of All Saints until his death.

Ball’s life was dedicated to the service of God, and he served God willingly and humbly, with a heart for the needy and the marginalized in the community. He often said the secret to ministry was, “to say your prayers and love your people.” He will be sorely missed.

Calling hours for Ball will be on Friday, April 28 from 3 to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at The Cathedral of All Saints, 62 South Swan St, Albany NY 12210. Funeral services will be on Saturday, April 29th at 11 a.m. at the cathedral.

U.S.-born priest elected bishop of Caledonia

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 2:05pm

[Anglican Journal] The Rev. Jake Worley, an Alabama-born priest, has been elected bishop of the diocese of Caledonia.

Worley, rector of the Bulkley Valley Regional Parish, which includes three congregations in northern British Columbia, was elected on the eighth ballot of an episcopal election held in Prince Rupert on April 22.

“It was an amazing experience of the Holy Spirit,” Worley said. “He certainly came there and moved on our hearts. It was amazing. I don’t know what else to say besides we’re in many ways shocked, but also grateful, for his leading.”

Full article.

Iraqi refugee becomes Anglican priest in Canada

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 2:02pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Rev, Ayoob Shawkat Adwar, a priest formerly in the Chaldean Catholic Church, was received as an Anglican priest at a ceremony in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, last month.

The event was a “small but significant piece of history,” says Archdeacon Stephen Rowe, rector of the Anglican Parish of the Church of the Epiphany in Surrey, since Adwar is thought to be the first Chaldean priest in history to have become a member of the Anglican clergy.

Full article.