Loading...

Follow Episcopal News Service on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

St Andrews Episcopal Church - Live Nativity - YouTube

[Episcopal News Service] Take a centuries-old tradition. Find a church with a big front lawn on a busy street. Get a priest who is also a carpenter. Recruit volunteers – lots of volunteers. Get your friends to donate costumes. Figure out who has farm animals. Get the bishop to deliver some hay.

Put it all together, and it’s the living nativity scene at St. Andrew’s in the Valley Episcopal Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that was staged Dec. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m.

If the estimated 300 people who drove past the scene, and those who took advantage of the chance to get a photo with St. Nicholas, learned something about Jesus and the nativity and realized that “the heart of the season is open to them,” then the effort was a success, Central Pennsylvania Bishop Audrey Scanlan told Episcopal News Service.

If those folks make the connection that what she called this “creative and novel” effort came to them via the Episcopal Church, “that’s bonus to me.”

The living nativity was the December edition of Scanlan’s “Bishop Out of the Box” series, or BOTB, an effort to show Episcopalians how they experiment with new kinds of evangelism by thinking outside the box.

The Rev. Nelson K. Baliira, St. Andrew’s rector, said in an interview the morning after the event that he hoped the living nativity scene showed that “the Episcopal Church is a living church” in which “we are not telling our own story, we are telling the story of Jesus.” It is a story, he said, that must be told to the world over and over again.

The effort was part of Scanlan’s ongoing invitation to local Episcopalians to live out the Gospel in new and creative ways and encourage them to collaborate across parish lines. “This is a project that has taken people from the cathedral. It’s involved farmers from across the diocese,” she said. “It’s involved people from four or five different parishes who have agreed to come together to be shepherds and angels.”

The living nativity scene also attracted the attention and work of some young people “who don’t necessarily go to church all the time,” Scanlan said. Some of them took turns portraying Mary and Joseph so no one has to be outside for a long time in the winter night.

Altogether, about 40 people volunteered to make the event happen, according to the Rev. Dan Morrow, canon for congregational life and mission idea, who had suggested the living nativity. He explained that St. Andrew’s, with that big front lawn and 30,000 cars driving past each day, was a great location for something he’d been wanting to do for years.

To publicize the nativity scene, the diocese rented a large, orange digital highway construction warning sign and parked it on the side of the street by the church’s sign, with the message, “Live nativity here 5-7 December 19.”

Baliira, a bi-vocational priest who grew up in Uganda, put his skills as a carpenter to work to build the creche with the help of Steve Guszick, a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg and the husband of Alexis Guszick, diocesan canon for communications. Morrow gave Baliira a photo of a creche and, the carpenter priest told ENS, “I knew exactly what I needed to do” to get it built.

He joined together wood pallets from a local roofing company for the floor and built the back and sides with plywood and two-by-fours. The roofing material came from Home Depot, Baliira said.

The Rev. Nelson K. Baliira, rector of St. Andrew’s in the Valley, was building the manger for the living nativity scene Dec. 17 when Central Pennsylvania Bishop Audrey Scanlan drove up in her pickup truck to deliver the needed hay. Photo courtesy of Nelson K. Baliira

“We put everything together in four hours” on a drizzly Dec. 15, he said. Scanlan delivered the hay in her pickup truck on Dec. 17 while Baliira was building the manger.

The evening of Dec. 19, between 70 and 80 cars, each filled with adults and children, drove up the church’s quarter-mile long driveway to view the tableau. Some got out of their cars to pet the goats and donkeys, and one dog, and to talk to the participants.

Then they drove on to where the driveway forks and saw a sign inviting them to stop at the church for cookies, hot cocoa and a visit with St. Nicholas and Scanlan. Ryan Tobin, a young man who is the junior warden of St. Stephen’s in Harrisburg, played St. Nicholas. “He’s an experienced St. Nicholas,” Scanlan said. “He’s done this before.”

Tobin was vested as the bishop that St. Nicholas was, rather than the Santa Claus that his life inspired. The point was to show that Nicholas and Scanlan are “part of that same big family,” Morrow said. A history of the St. Nicholas-Santa Claus connection, written by the St. Nicholas Center, was available.

Along with his traditional gift of gold (chocolate) coins, St. Nicholas handed out candy canes that young people at the diocesan fall youth retreat had decorated to look like croziers.

The organizers also distributed an invitation “to reflect on the gift of Jesus Christ at Christmas,” Morrow said.

Baliira, who had seen living nativity scenes in his native Uganda, said the one on St. Andrew’s front lawn seemed alive with the presence of God.

“We were away from the malls,” he said with a chuckle. “We were in our little village of St. Andrew’s” with animals and people out in the quiet night air.

“The noise was the noise of the donkeys and the other animals” that reflected “the natural beauty in which the Lord Jesus came to visit us and be part of us.”

Part of a bigger plan

BTOB began in September with an agape love feast in Riverfront Park along the Susquehanna River that runs through Harrisburg. Scanlan said participants asked passersby if they needed prayers and, if so, invited them to pray with them.

“A lot of churches in this day and age have a lot to be anxious about: numbers, dwindling finances, the building, clergy shortages,” Morrow said. “One of the things we found is that, given all those things to worry about, given all the anxiety, sometimes what suffers is creativity and imagination.

“So, the basic idea of Bishop Out of the Box is to go to these different communities and help them do something that’s out of the box, something that’s imaginative, something that gets them out of the church building and into the community. We try to do them in ways that are easy to implement and are easily replicable.”

Scanlan said their travels are part of her vow to live the sermons she’s been preaching around the diocese this year. She speaks about Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s call to the Way of Love. She said she echoes his sense that God calls people “not just to the places where we’re comfortable but to go to places that sometimes make us uncomfortable and that are challenging for us, because God often needs us there even more.

“So, in standing up in the pulpit and telling people to do this, I’m also trying to model it for them; kind of walk the walk and say, ‘well, I’m going to do this, even if it makes me uncomfortable as well. We can walk together in this.’”

Also in September, BOTB did a prayer walk through the Bloomsburg Fair. When diocesan convention convened in Williamsport in October, BOTB staged a walk through the downtown “to warm up the city to us being there,” she said. Participants went to the emergency room and the bus station to pray with people.

The day before Thanksgiving, BOTB was at the Central Market in Lancaster, asking shoppers what they were thankful for and what gives them hope.

In January, BOTB will be in the Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. The area is predominantly African-American, with refugees and immigrants living there as well. People will be invited to help paint and color in an outline of King on a giant canvas and use a big blackboard to answer the question “What is your dream?”

The monthly travels have become popular, Scanlan and Morrow say. “People are kind waiting for us to come to them, and when we get there we’re inviting them to come along and they’re proud and happy to be part of it,” she said.

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

The post Living nativity scene offers roadside evangelism in Central Pennsylvania appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

[Episcopal News Service] Two Episcopalians, a husband and wife from Ohio, are receiving national recognition for their outreach to a Haitian man who recently was released from federal detention after spending more than two years behind bars waiting for a decision on his request for asylum.

Not only was Ansly Damus released while his legal case proceeds, but he has been welcomed into the Cleveland Heights home of the couple who championed his cause, Melody Hart and Gary Benjamin. Living with the couple was one of two court-approved conditions of his release, the other being that he wear a monitoring bracelet on his ankle.

Benjamin’s and Hart’s nearly yearlong support for Damus and for his efforts to win release were detailed by the Washington Post in a 3,000-word feature story that appeared as the centerpiece on the cover of the newspaper’s Dec. 17 print edition. It also can be found online here.

The latest from @elisaslow: A Haitian asylum seeker had spent two years in U.S. detention until an Ohio couple tried to do something about it https://t.co/9HJUCRrUrr

— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 17, 2018

“There is no question that Mr. Damus’ access to a just process was entirely the result of Melody and Gary’s relentless advocacy on his behalf,” Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth Jr. said in a written statement to Episcopal News Service. “They are a model of what is means when we vow in our Baptismal Covenant to ‘strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.’

“It is not only Ansly Damus who has benefited from their faithfulness, but each of us. They have held us and our justice system accountable for his treatment.”

Hollingsworth’s office and the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations in Washington, D.C., offered logistical support for Benjamin and Hart, who are members of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland. An Office of Government Relations staff member also helped transmit letters from Damus to his family back in Haiti.

The Episcopal Church’s General Convention has frequently passed resolutions in support of immigrants, including those seeking asylum. A resolution from 2015 specifically called for “an immediate release of detained asylum seekers.”

The Post story notes the Ohio couple first heard about Damus’ case from a friend who is involved in immigrant justice issues. Hart told the Post she remembers saying simply, “We’ll do whatever we can.” That turned out to be quite a lot.

Damus, 42, was an ethics professor in Haiti whose criticism of a local politician with suspected ties to gangs resulted in threats of violence to him and his family. He chose to flee, at first to Brazil, and in 2016 he presented himself to American authorities on the Mexico border and asked for asylum, following procedures outlined by U.S. immigration law.

Federal authorities took him to a detention center in Ohio and continued to hold him, saying they considered him a flight risk. Hart and Benjamin, in addition to visiting Damus and sending Damus dozens of supportive letters, rallied others in their congregation and social circles to show he had a community willing to welcome him with open arms.

They brought 32 of those supporters with them by bus for Damus’ recent hearing in a federal courtroom in Michigan, which prompted the federal judge to remark that it was clear Damus had “a community that cared about him,” according to the Post’s report.

We are here in Ann Arbor at federal court fighting for our Haitian asylum seeker’s immediate release from Geauga County Jail. Ansly has been in a windowless cell for more than 2 years. pic.twitter.com/8IsBHNVGZl

— ACLU of Ohio (@acluohio) November 28, 2018

“I hope this shows that people in this country care about what’s happening to him,” Hart said in the Post story. “He has to believe that he’s come to the right place.”

The judge chose to delay a ruling that day on Damus’ prolonged detention, but federal authorities decided to offer a deal for Damus’ release rather than wait for a ruling, the Post reported.

Now Benjamin and Hart are Damus’ official sponsors, allowing him to live with them as he and his lawyer continue to pursue a victory on his asylum request.

“Today I am so happy,” he said on the day of his release, as Hart and Benjamin prepared to drive him home.

A Haitian asylum seeker had spent two years in U.S. detention until an Ohio couple tried to do something about it https://t.co/Wzq616hYAt pic.twitter.com/jKxuXleY9n

— Global Cleveland (@GlobalCleveland) December 18, 2018

The plight of asylum seekers has become a hot-button political issue in the United States, with the Trump administration seeking to limit the number of such immigrants allowed into the country. On Dec. 20, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would require asylum seekers at the Mexican border to wait in Mexico while their claims are under review. It wasn’t immediately clear if such a policy would apply to a case like Damus’.

“Aliens trying to game the system to get into our country illegally will no longer be able to disappear into the United States, where many skip their court dates,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a news release that provides no specifics on how widespread such cases are.

The release notes that the U.S. is dealing with a backlog of more than 786,000 pending asylum claims.

President Donald Trump also was criticized last fall for using and amplifying language that demonized a migrant caravan from Central America in the runup to the congressional midterm elections. Trump’s claims that asylum seekers were invading the United States were widely seen as a misleading tactic intended to drive conservative voters to the polls – a tactic he immediately dropped after the election.

The Office of Government Relations has called on Episcopalians to raise their voices on such issues based on General Convention’s resolutions on immigration policy.

“Most of the individuals in the caravan are asylum seekers and are fleeing dangerous and unstable conditions,” the Office of Government Relations said in an October fact sheet on the Central American migrants. “The U.S. has a responsibility to respond to those seeking asylum in a humanitarian way that complies with international law. Deterring asylum seekers or turning them back is unlawful and inhumane.”

The fact sheet also says detention is “not the solution.”

“Compassion – not brutality – will help people fleeing violence now and prevent others from needing to flee,” the office said. “When someone fears for their life or the lives of their family members, cruel tactics like detention or family separation will not work. We should respond in an orderly, sensible and compassionate manner to these families.”

Damus also was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that contested the Trump administration’s detention policies. A judge ruled in July that detainees like Damus could not continue to be held arbitrarily after clearing certain hurdles in the asylum process, and the government must conduct case-by-case reviews to determine if “humanitarian parole” is warranted, according to an NPR report.

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

The post Diocese of Ohio couple in national spotlight for outreach to Haitian asylum seeker appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Diocese of Jerusalem’s rehabilitation center for children with disabilities has secured its second consecutive audit from the Joint Commission International Accreditation. The Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, on the Mount of Olives, provides a structured program of holistic care for Palestinian children from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. In December 2015 it received its first three-year accreditation, becoming the first – and to date, the only – Palestinian rehabilitation center to receive such international accreditation. It has now completed its second audit, gaining accreditation for the next three years.

Read the full article here.

The post Diocese of Jerusalem’s Princess Basma rehabilitation center secures international accreditation appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

[Anglican Communion News Service] Bishop of Ahoada Clement Ekpeye has been abducted from his home in Nigeria’s Rivers State by unknown gunmen. The assailants stormed the Bishop’s Court residence in the Ahoada East local government area around on Dec. 18. Deputy Superintendent Nnamdi Omoni of Rivers State Police said that officers from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad were leading the investigation and search for Bishop Clement.

Read the full article here.

The post Nigerian bishop abducted from home by gunmen appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

El Rdo. Paul Moore, a la derecha, que preside el ministerio de la frontera de la Diócesis de Río Grande, interpreta para el Rdo. Héctor Trejo, a la izquierda, que atiende tres iglesias anglicanas en Ciudad Juárez, México, la cual está del otro lado de la frontera de El Paso, Texas. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

[Episcopal News Service – El Paso, Texas] El Servicio de Inmigración y Aduana de EE.UU. entrega semanalmente dos mil personas a la hospitalidad de la Casa de la Anunciación [Annunciation House] aquí en El Paso.

Muchas de ellas son familias que han esperado su turno del otro lado de la frontera y solicitan asilo. Si la Casa de la Anunciación tuviera espacio para 2.500, serían 2.500, dijo su fundador y director, Rubén García.

Los asilados reciben alimento, cama, útiles de aseo,  un paquete de atención, acceso a una ducha y ayuda para ponerse en contacto con parientes a fin de preparar su viaje. En el transcurso de 48 horas, los instalan en autobuses o aviones para que se reúnan con miembros de sus familias en otras partes de Estados Unidos.

“La gran mayoría de la gente tiene a alguien”, dijo García.

En su mayoría, vienen de El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras; pero algunos vienen de Nicaragua, Brasil, Cuba, Venezuela, incluso hasta de la India. Algunos huyen de la violencia, algunos vienen en busca de oportunidades económicas, otros escapan de la persecución, religiosa o de otro tipo.

Unas 30 personas en representación de grandes congregaciones episcopales urbanas y suburbanas, se reunieron en Texas Sudoccidental para lo que llamaron una “Peregrinación  a El Paso”. Aquí se ven reunidos en Ciudad Juárez, junto al muro fronterizo que separa México de Estados Unidos. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

El 13 de diciembre, unas 30 personas en representación de grandes congregaciones episcopales, urbanas y suburbanas, se reunieron en Texas Sudoccidental para lo que llamaron una “Peregrinación a El Paso”. El Rdo. Gary Jones, rector de la iglesia de San Esteban [St. Stephen’s] en Richmond, Virginia, inició la peregrinación motivado por el deseo de contrarrestar una opinión que denigra a los solicitantes de asilo como narcotraficantes y violadores, cuando de hecho huyen para salvar sus vidas y en busca de medios de subsistencia.

La primera escala de la peregrinación fue la Casa de la Anunciación, donde los participantes escucharon un informe de García, que ha trabajado en la frontera durante 40 años presenciando y respondiendo a diferentes oleadas de migrantes y refugiados a lo largo de ese tiempo.

“El fenómeno de los refugiados no es un problema de El Paso, es un problema de EE.UU.”, dijo García.

“Ahora mismo, debido a la  aplicación de [la política migratoria de] EE.UU., estamos presenciando cambios que hacen la vida miserable”, afirmó. “La frontera se ha convertido en un lugar muy complicado”.

Cuando Casa de la Anunciación comenzó su ministerio hace 40 años, servía fundamentalmente a hombres que venían a Estados Unidos para el trabajo estacional, regresaban a casa para estar con sus familias y luego volvían a trabajar. En 1996, cuando el último cambio legislativo en la ley de inmigración hizo imposible entrar y salir, los hombres ya no podían regresar a sus hogares y en lugar de eso se quedaron.

“Una vez que toman la decisión de quedarse, pierden a la familia”, explicó García.

Un letrero a lo largo de la cerca fronteriza frene a la iglesia anglicana de San José en el lado de México, dice: “No somos delincuentes ni ilegales, somos obreros internacionales”. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

Con el cambio de la ley migratoria de mediados de los años 90, la población indocumentada aumentó de 6 millones a 12 millones para 2004, ya que los hombres procuraban la reunificación familiar y las mujeres y los niños empezaron a llegar. En la actualidad, hay 11 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en Estados Unidos, algunos de los cuales han estado viviendo clandestinamente de 20 a 30 años, dijo él.

A su llegada, los migrantes y solicitantes de asilo deben presentarles sus casos a agentes en los puntos de entrada designados o saltar muros y cruzar ríos para presentarles sus casos una vez arrestados a los agentes del Servicio de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza de EE.UU. o CBP (por su sigla en inglés), explicó García.

Hace un par de semanas, unos solicitantes de asilo estaban durmiendo en el puente para no perder su lugar en la cola, ya que sólo dejan entrar a 20 personas a un tiempo. Luego, en un esfuerzo por despejar el puente, el CBP comenzó a dar números que escribían con marcadores indelebles en los brazos de los solicitantes de asilo para controlar su lugar en la cola, dijo él.

De allí, los envían a los albergues de Ciudad Juárez, justo del otro lado de la frontera, para que esperen su turno.

Miguel Escobar, director ejecutivo de la Escuela de Teología Episcopal del Seminario Teológico  Unido, saluda a niños de la municipalidad de Rancho Anapra en las afueras de Ciudad Juárez. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

Los peregrinos episcopales llegaron a El Paso en el preciso momento en que daban la noticia de la muerte de una niña guatemalteca de 7 años en internamiento administrativo de la Patrulla Fronteriza de EE.UU., al día siguiente de que ella, su padre y otros 161 migrantes se entregaran a los agentes luego de ingresar ilegalmente en Nuevo México. Las circunstancias de la muerte de la niña  siguen sujetas a investigación.

Para los peregrinos, sin embargo, era un patente recordatorio del peligroso viaje que enfrentan los migrantes y solicitantes de asilo, así como del anticuado sistema de inmigración de EE.UU. y de la respuesta del gobierno de Trump a la actual crisis humanitaria en la frontera sudoccidental. El gobierno ha enviado al menos 8.000 soldados a la frontera en un intento de detener la entrada. No obstante, los migrantes siguen llegando en caravanas.

“Quería ver con mis propios ojos lo que estaba pasando”, dijo el Ven. Juan Sandoval, arcediano de la Diócesis de Atlanta, un mexicoamericano de tercera generación que creció en Phoenix.

“Parecería que en lugar de soldados, deberían enviarse gente de iglesia y cooperantes, personas que pudieran ayudar”, afirmó.

El Muy Rdo. Nathan LeRud, deán de la catedral episcopal de La Trinidad en Portland, Oregón, de pie por el lado de Ciudad Juárez junto al muro que separa México y Estados Unidos en la frontera de El Paso, Texas. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

Es ahí donde intervienen las iglesias. En su mayoría, la hospitalidad proviene de las iglesias de El Paso, a la vanguardia de las cuales está la Iglesia Católica Romana y la Casa de la Anunciación. Algunos solicitantes de asilo reciben asistencia jurídica de organizaciones como el Centro de Defensa del Inmigrante “Las América” [Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center] la segunda escala en el trayecto de los peregrinos.

Allí, Cristina García, que ofrece asesoría legal, explicó la complejidad de la reunificación familiar, la cual puede tomar de 20 a 30 años, dependiendo de las cuotas de EE.UU. y del país de origen, y la dificultad en ganar casos de asilo. Su agencia, dijo ella, ganó seis casos de asilo en seis años y, en un triunfo importante, siete en lo que va de año.

La crisis actual, explicó ella “es deshumanizante en todos los aspectos e ignora el derecho humanitario al acceso”. Ella dijo también que El Paso, Atlanta y el estado de Arizona son los lugares más difíciles para obtener asilo, y en el Paso, como en el resto de Estados Unidos, los jueces toman decisiones arbitrarias caso por caso.

De allí [los peregrinos] siguieron a la iglesia de San Cristóbal [St. Christopher’s], una de las cinco iglesias episcopales de El Paso y la más cercana a la frontera, que dirige el Rdo. J. J. Bernal. El Rdo. Paul Moore, que preside el Ministerio Fronterizo de la Diócesis de Río Grande, proporcionó un panorama de la situación actual en lo que se refiere a Centro América, hablando acerca del fracaso de la economía de goteo, la política exterior de EE.UU. como se ha relacionado históricamente con Centroamérica, la deportación de los miembros de las pandillas, los problemas de seguridad a través del Triángulo Norte, [y] los cárteles de las drogas, asociados a la violencia y al apetito de Estados Unidos por las drogas.

A través del Triángulo Norte de América Central, una región que incluye El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras, más de 700.000 personas han sido desplazadas por la violencia. Sin embargo, se trata de un fenómeno global que afecta ahora a una cifra récord de 68,5 millones de personas en todo el mundo.

La peregrinación siguió a una Cumbre de Ministerios de la Frontera organizada por Moore y que se tuvo lugar aquí en noviembre.

El 14 de diciembre, los peregrinos salieron para Ciudad Juárez, algunos en automóviles y otros valiéndose de accesos peatonales a lo largo de los tres puentes que conectan las dos ciudades. En Juárez, el Rdo. Héctor Trejo, que llegó hace seis meses de Chihuahua, la capital del estado de Chihuahua, los llevó en autobús a dos de las tres parroquias anglicanas.

San José, está localizada junto a la frontera en Rancho Anapra, un poblado pobre en el lado noroeste de la ciudad, un área dedicada anteriormente a la cría de ganado donde se establecieron ocupantes ilegales y que los cárteles de la droga han infiltrado.

“Debido a que aquí la gente no tiene derechos de propiedad, se convirtió en un lugar para elementos delincuenciales”, dijo Trejo. “Hay casas de seguridad, y es un centro del movimiento de narcotraficantes y tratantes de personas.

“El reto aquí es grande”, añadió, diciendo que los miembros de la comunidad acuden a él por consejo sobre cómo franquear el muro [fronterizo] porque temen por sus vidas.

De derecha a izquierda,  la Muy Rda. Kelly Brown Douglas, decana de la Escuela de Teología Episcopal del Seminario de Teología Unido; Miguel Escobar, director ejecutivo de la Escuela de Teología Episcopal, y la Rda. Winnie Varghese, directora de justicia y reconciliación en la iglesia de La Trinidad [Trinity] de Wall Street, cruzan el Puente Internacional Paso del Norte hacia El Paso, Texas. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

A diferencia de la Iglesia Católica Romana, la Diócesis Anglicana del Norte de México no cuenta con un ministerio establecido para servir a los migrantes; era algo en que los episcopales buscaban participar y algo que Trejo abordó. La realidad es tal, dijo él, que los voluntarios deben ser adecuadamente adiestrados para tratar con personas que han estado viajando por semanas y a veces por meses, personas que no se han bañado ni se han cepillado los dientes en mucho tiempo, y que han huido de situaciones traumáticas, violentas y abusivas y han encontrado lo mismo a lo largo de su viaje. No obstante, él está buscando compañeros para el ministerio y para crear una red de intervinientes a lo largo de la frontera.

Fue algo de lo que Bernal, el rector de San Cristóbal en el Paso, se ha hecho eco. La Iglesia Episcopal, dijo él, necesita articular y establecer una visión para su ministerio en la frontera.

“La Iglesia Episcopal es una voz para los que no tienen voz”, afirmó. “Aquellos de nosotros aquí en la frontera nos sentimos aislados. Necesitamos más voces activas y más recursos humanos”.

A través de su Ministerio Fronterizo, la Diócesis de Río Grande busca expandir su ministerio, dijo Moore.

Y eso, explicó él, debe asumir la forma de un ministerio en la base dirigido por los que están en el terreno mediante asociaciones basadas en el respeto mutuo, no en el patriarcado.

El último día de la peregrinación del 13 al 15 de diciembre, dos autos repletos de peregrinos partieron para Tornillo, Texas, el sitio de un campamento que se abrió para albergar a 360 menores no acompañados y que ahora alberga a 2.700. Ellos no pudieron llegar al campamento pues, tal como los agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza les dijeron, se trata de una propiedad privada, pero lograron acercarse lo más posible y se reunieron en una cerca para orar por los niños retenidos allí: por su seguridad, por sus  afligidos padres y por su futuro.

“Me alegro realmente de que fuéramos al campamento —no lo llamaré albergue, no es un albergue—, es un campo de concentración para niños”, dijo el [Muy] Rdo. Stephen Carlsen, deán y rector de la iglesia catedral de Cristo en Indianápolis. “Sentí que necesitaba presenciar lo que estaban haciendo en nuestro nombre como estadounidenses.

“No puedo imaginar lo que sería si la frontera de EE.UU. es tu última esperanza… la manera en que las personas son [mal]tratadas y deshumanizadas. Si esta es su última esperanza, ¿de qué deben ellos huir?”

– Lynette Wilson es reportera y jefa de redacción de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

The post La peregrinación a El Paso arroja una ‘luz de verdad’ sobre la crisis humanitaria de los migrantes en la frontera appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

[Episcopal Public Policy Network of California] In recent days, over 6,000 migrants have gathered at the California-Mexico border fence seeking appointments with American immigration officials to petition for asylum. With wait times projected to last for months, many are forced to live in shelters where food is scarce, and privacy is non-existent, and some become sick.

When large numbers of people cross borders to flee persecution, war, and disaster, they are considered refugees in the world’s eyes, and many nations build refugee camps or absorb migrating people, helping families to resettle and educate the children. Presently, U.S. immigration officials admit 40-100 asylum seekers into California each day, recognizing the credible fear of danger and death if migrants return to their home nations. These young families tell stories of death threats and kidnapping threats to them and their children.

As Christians during the season of Advent, we recognize the ancient echo of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt, when Mary and Joseph hid the infant Jesus from the murderous Herod. We also recognize our obligation to help the oppressed and the homeless. We urge our fellow Episcopalians to appeal to government officials to speed up the processing of asylum seekers and to provide adequate shelters and legal assistance in the U.S. for recent immigrants.

We also encourage our fellow Episcopalians to work locally to provide shelter, legal aid, material support, and advocacy for asylum seekers. One way to help is to donate to organizations such as Al Otro Lado, which connects immigrants with medical and legal services, and San Diego Rapid Response Network, which provides temporary shelter and travel assistance to asylum seekers.

Let’s work together to create a more compassionate immigration system and to alleviate the suffering of our neighbors.

Episcopal Public Policy Network of California Signed in Cooperation,

The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop, Diocese of California
The Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner, Bishop, Diocese of Northern California
The Rt. Rev. John Taylor, Bishop, Diocese of Los Angeles
The Rt. Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce, Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Los Angeles
The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, Bishop, Diocese of El Camino Real
The Rt. Rev. David Rice, Bishop, The Diocese of San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Assisting Bishop, The Diocese of San Diego

The post California bishops issue call to assist Central American refugees appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

COP24 President Michał Kurtyka speaks at a briefing Dec. 13 in Katowice, Poland. Photo: Episcopal Church , via Facebook.

[Episcopal News Service] A delegation of Episcopalians who represented Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at this month’s United Nations climate conference in Poland is heralding the conference members’ agreement on next steps toward reining in global warming – and the successful resolution of a key impasse over word choice.

The Episcopal delegation “bore witness to significant developments in international climate change policy,” the delegation’s leader, California Bishop Marc Andrus, said this week in a written statement about the conclusion of COP24, known officially as the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Nearly 200 countries met from Dec. 2 to 14 in Katowice, Poland, with the goal of developing a framework for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, which seeks to keep global warming under the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius that scientists predict is necessary to prevent a spiraling catastrophe of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and related weather extremes.

In 2016, the Episcopal Church was granted U.N. observer status, which allows members of the delegation to brief U.N. representatives on the Episcopal Church’s General Convention climate resolutions and to attend related meetings. At COP24, the delegation promoted a more ambitious goal of keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Andrus said most member nations “acknowledged the need to ramp up ambitions for reducing carbon emissions, while also attending to a ‘just transition’ for the most heavily impacted countries who are also the most under-resourced for adaption.”

COP24 President Michał Kurtyka called the successful negotiations on implementing the Paris Agreement “a great achievement.”

“Our common efforts didn’t consist solely of producing texts or defending national interests,” Kurtyka said in an online statement. “We were conscious of our responsibility to people and commitment for the fate of Earth, which is our home and the home of future generations who will come after us.”

Andrus was joined for both weeks of COP24 by Lynnaia Main, the Episcopal Church’s representative to the United Nations, and Andrus’ wife, Sheila Andrus, an ecological entomologist representing the Diocese of California.

The rest of the delegation was split between the conference’s two weeks, with the first week including the Rev. Lester Mackenzie of Laguna Beach, California; Alan Yarborough, Office of Government Relations communications officer, and the Rev. Melanie Mullen, the Episcopal Church’s director of reconciliation, evangelism and creation care. For the second week, they handed off to Andrew Thompson, an environmental ethicist at Sewanee: The University of the South, and Jack Cobb, the Office of Government Relations domestic and environmental policy adviser.

“Our delegation, through our meetings with negotiators, our presentations and our side events, worked tirelessly to bring our church’s own unique voice to COP24,” Andrus said. They also participated in panel discussions, conferred with ecumenical partners and joined worship and prayer services.

#COP24 Day 10: The Presiding Bishop's delegation hosted a "Spirit of Apollo 8" event, attended side events and gathered for a final dinner. Thank you to Bishop Marc and Sheila Andrus for their leadership of this COP24 team. Dziękuję, kochamy Cię! #EpiscopalClimate #EpiscopalUN. pic.twitter.com/b0WrLdC8CO

— Episcopal UN (@EpiscopalUN) December 13, 2018

One of the highlights of the delegation’s second week at COP24 was a statement it drafted to join a chorus of support among partner delegations for a climate science report by the International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. Most COP24 member parties had sought to “welcome” the IPCC report, but that wording raised objections from the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

“The United States was willing to note the report and express appreciation to the scientists who developed it, but not to welcome it, as that would denote endorsement of the report,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement quoted by the Associated Press. “As we have made clear in the IPCC and other bodies, the United States has not endorsed the findings of the report.”

That response “was far from adequate to forward the climate action needed now,” Andrus said. He wrote an initial draft of an Episcopal delegation statement, and he and his team spent five hours revising it until it was ready to present to the U.S. delegation on Dec. 11.

The statement referenced resolutions passed by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention and invoked some of the consequences of climate change already being experienced across the church, from rising sea levels to wildfires.

“It was a clear stand based on the Episcopal Church’s policy and actions to say that words matter and that the science-based goals of a global climate agreement, which can avert the worst climate impacts, also matter,” Andrus said.

In the end, COP24 member parties adopted language that “appreciated and expressed gratitude” for the IPCC report while urging all parties to make use of its findings.

“What I hope Episcopalians will know from our small, singular experience in Katowice is that their voices matter,” Andrus said, and he encouraged anyone interested in these issues to follow the Episcopal Public Policy Network. “Advocacy is the way we express our faith in action.”

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

The post Episcopal delegation heralds progress in addressing climate change at COP24 in Poland appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Church in Japan has celebrated 20 years of women’s ordination to the priesthood with an overnight retreat and celebratory Eucharist. The retreat, at the Anglican Community of Nazareth in Tokyo, was led by the Rev. Ajuko Ueda, a priest and theologian, before the Eucharist at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Tokyo. Archbishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu joined several bishops in the congregation for the service, which was presided over by the Rev. Atsuko Fumoto, the province’s most recently ordained female priest.

Read the full article here.

The post Anglican Church in Japan celebrates two decades of women’s ordination appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

[Anglican Communion News Service] The first woman to be consecrated to the office of bishop in the Church of England, Libby Lane, is to become a diocesan bishop. Currently the suffragan bishop of Stockport in the Diocese of Chester – a role she has held since 2015 – Lane has been chosen as the next bishop of Derby. The bishop made history when she was consecrated in York Minster in January 2015. She will take up her new role after Easter 2019.

Read the full article here.

The post Church of England’s first female bishop chosen for diocesan bishop role appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview