The Public Affairs Office

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

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

Traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday after Epiphany, World Mission Sunday in 2015 is February 15 in The Episcopal Church.

The purpose of World Mission Sunday is to focus on the global impact of the Baptismal Covenant’s call to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305), and to raise awareness of the many ways in which The Episcopal Church participates in God’s mission around the world.

“World Mission Sunday gives us an opportunity to remember that all humanity is created in God’s image and that we are called to reflect on how we are living into our baptismal vows and to engage concretely in mutual and interdependent relationships with our brothers and sisters around the world,” noted the Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer.

Currently, Episcopal Church missionaries are located in many international locales, including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Jerusalem, Kenya, Mozambique, Panama, the Philippines, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, and Uruguay.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Boe, Global Networking Officer.

 

 

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Traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday after Epiphany, World Mission Sunday in 2015 is February 15 in The Episcopal Church. The purpose of World Mission Sunday is to focus on the global impact of the Baptismal Covenant’s call to “seek and...

Join #ShareTheJourney with Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), the refugee resettlement service of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and eight Episcopal pilgrims as they participate in an 11-day pilgrimage to the Great Lakes region of Africa.

#ShareTheJourney is designed to raise awareness of ways in which the Missionary Society, through EMM, works to facilitate refugee resettlement work throughout The Episcopal Church.  The pilgrimage is funded through a Constable Fund grant awarded last year by the Episcopal Church Executive Council. The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society passed by the General Convention.

“Through the #ShareTheJourney pilgrimage, we are bringing awareness to the plight of Congolese refugees and the ministry of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society in resettling refugees from Congo and other conflict areas," explained Deborah Stein, EMM director. "Through real-time social media, our participants will serve as the eyes of the church as they witness conditions where refugees are currently living, and the responses we offer through resettlement."

Through the #ShareTheJourney pilgrimage from March 2-13, stories of refugees and their resettlement in the United States will be highlighted through traditional and social media.  During the pilgrimage, participants will share their experiences through blogs and posts here

The pilgrims will travel to Nairobi, Kenya and Kigali, Rwanda. Among the planned visits are the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and the Gihembe Refugee Camp in Rwanda as well as operations supported by Church World Service's Resettlement Support Center (RSC)-Africa, and the UN refugee agency UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

The pilgrims

Participating in the pilgrimage are:

  • Jessica Benson, Diocese of Idaho
  • Spencer Cantrell, gender violence fellow, National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project (NIWAP), Diocese of Washington
  • Cookie Cantwell, Province IV Youth Ministries Coordinator, Diocese of East Carolina
  • The Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, Executive Director, Forward Movement, Diocese of Southern Ohio
  • The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Georgia
  • Vicki Logue, Diocese of Georgia
  • The Rev. Burl Salmon, Middle School Chaplain and Dean of Community Life, Trinity Episcopal School, Diocese of North Carolina
  • Alyssa Stebbing, Outreach Director, Trinity Episcopal Church of The Woodlands, Diocese of Texas

The Missionary Society

  • Deborah Stein, Director, Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Kurt Bonz, Program Manager, Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Wendy Johnson, Communications Manager, Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • The Rev. Ranjit Mathews, Network Officer for Mission Personnel and Africa
  • Lynette Wilson, Editor/Reporter, Episcopal News Service

 

How can you participate?

  • Through #ShareTheJourney on Facebook or Twitter through @EMMRefugees and #ShareTheJourney. 
  • Participate through interactions, retweets and posting a photo of yourself holding a hand-written sign indicating: #ShareTheJourney with @EMMRefugees.

Episcopal Migration Ministries

Episcopal Migration Ministries is the refugee resettlement service of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Each year this ministry works in partnership with its affiliate network, along with dioceses, faith communities and volunteers, to welcome refugees from conflict zones across the globe.

#ShareTheJourney as the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society celebrates 75 years of resettling refugees in the United States. #ShareTheJourney is a multi-media effort to educate, form, and equip Episcopalians to engage in loving service with resettled refugees and to become prophetic witnesses and advocates on behalf of refugees, asylees, migrants, and displaced persons throughout the world.

 

Check out the website: www.episcopalchurch.org/emm and www.episcopalchurch.org/sharethejourney.

Learn more EMM’s history and how to participate in local refugee settlement at www.episcopalmigrationministries.org

 

 

 

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Join #ShareTheJourney with Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), the refugee resettlement service of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and eight Episcopal pilgrims as they participate in an 11-day pilgrimage to the Great Lakes region of...

The Office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has notified the Diocese of West Texas that the Rt. Rev. David Reed has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process.

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

Currently serving as Bishop Suffragan for the Diocese of West Texas, the Rt. Rev. David M. Reed was elected Bishop Coadjutor on October 25. He will become Bishop Coadjutor on February 28. Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will officiate.

 

 

 

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The Office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has notified the Diocese of West Texas that the Rt. Rev. David Reed has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process. As outlined under Canon...

The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has released the following statement with an update of progress following its recent meeting:

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) met January 12 – 14. After nearly two years of conducting its work electronically, the committee gathered for the purpose of discerning the list of candidates to continue in the process. Committee co-chair, Bishop Edward Konieczny, said that during the time together the committee’s “passionate, emotional, and difficult work laid an incredible foundation that we will aim to continue with grace.”

More than 165 people representing over 60 dioceses submitted names during the nomination period last fall. Bishops whose names were submitted were invited to continue in the discernment process as established by the JNCPB by submitting information and materials for consideration. Video conferencing afforded the opportunity for committee members to talk with the candidates.

The Canons charge the Committee to present a slate of no fewer than three nominees. The JNCPB will announce the names of its nominees in early May. During the 10 days following release of the slate, deputies and bishops may indicate their intent to nominate any other bishop from the floor. The JNCPB will release names of any additional nominees in early June.

The JNCPB will present all the nominees to both Houses of General Convention on Wednesday, June 24. A formal nomination of candidates will follow on Friday, June 26. Bishops will elect the next Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church during a sequestered session on Saturday, June 27. The House of Deputies will then vote to confirm or not confirm the election by the House of Bishops.

Please keep all those who entered the discernment process, the candidates, their families and dioceses, and the members of the JNCPB in your prayers.

The JNCPB is comprised of a lay member, a priest or deacon, and a bishop elected from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church, plus two youth representatives, appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. The General Convention Deputies and bishops serve a three-year term to conclude at the close of General Convention 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah). For more info: pbnominatingcommittee@gmail.com.

 

_____________________

 On Twitter at:  @PB27Nominations or #JNCPB

 

 On Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pb27nominations

 

 

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The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has released the following statement with an update of progress following its recent meeting: The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the...
Tagged in: interfaith Middle East

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

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

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

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

B019

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

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

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

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

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

The statement and the signatories follow:

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

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

 

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

 

The Right Rev. Stacy F. Sauls
Chief Operating Officer

The Episcopal Church

 

The Right Rev. James B. Magness

Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries

Arizona

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

Bishop of Arizona

 

Arkansas

The Right Rev. Larry Benfield

Bishop of Arkansas

 

California

The Right Rev. Marc Andrus

Bishop of California

 

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

Bishop of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce

Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Mary D. Glasspool

Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Frederick H. Borsch

V Bishop of Los Angeles

 

The Right Rev. Barry L. Beisner

Bishop of Northern California

 

The Right Rev. James R. Mathes

Bishop of San Diego

 

The Right Rev. David C. Rice

Bishop of San Joaquin

 

Colorado

The Right Rev. Robert O'Neill

Bishop of Colorado

 

Connecticut

The Right Rev. Andrew D. Smith

XIV Bishop of Connecticut

 

The Right Rev. James E. Curry

Bishop Suffragan of Connecticut (Ret)

 

Delaware

The Right Rev. Wayne P. Wright

Bishop of Delaware

 

District of Columbia

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde

Bishop of Washington

 

The Right Rev. John Bryson Chane

VIII Bishop of Washington

 

Florida

The Right Rev. William H. Folwell

II Bishop of Central Florida

 

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

Bishop of the Central Gulf Coast

 

The Right Rev. Leo Frade

Bishop of Southeast Florida

 

The Right Rev. John L. Said

Bishop Suffragan of Southeast Florida (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. Rogers S. Harris 

III Bishop of Southwest Florida

 

The Right Rev. J. Michael Garrison

Assisting Bishop of Southwest Florida

(X Bishop of Western New York)

 

The Right Rev. Barry R. Howe  

Assisting Bishop of Southwest Florida

(VII Bishop of West Missouri)

 

Georgia

The Right Rev. Robert Christopher Wright

Bishop of Atlanta

 

Hawaii

The Right Rev. Robert L. Fitzpatrick

Bishop of Hawaii and the Episcopal Church in Micronesia

             

The Right Rev. Richard S.O. Chang

X Bishop of Hawaii

 

Idaho

The Right Rev. Brian Thom

Bishop of Idaho

 

Illinois

The Right Rev. C. Christopher Epting

Assisting Bishop of Chicago

(VII Bishop of Iowa)

 

The Right Rev. Jeffrey Lee

Bishop of Chicago
 

Indiana

The Right Rev. Catherine Waynick

Bishop of Indianapolis

 

Kansas

The Right Rev. Dean E. Wolfe

Vice President of the House of Bishops, Bishop of Kansas 

 

The Right Rev. William E. Smalley

VIII Bishop of Kansas

 

Kentucky

The Right Rev. David B. Reed

VI Bishop of Kentucky

 

The Right Rev. Douglas Hahn, D. Min.

Bishop of Lexington

                                   

Maine

The Right Rev. Stephen T. Lane

Bishop of Maine

 

Maryland

The Right Rev. Martin G. Townsend

IX Bishop of Easton

 

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton

Bishop of Maryland

 

Massachusetts

The Right Rev. Bud Cederholm

Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. Douglas Fisher

Bishop of Western Massachusetts

                                     

The Right Rev. Gordon P. Scruton

VIII Bishop of Western Massachusetts

 

Michigan

The Right Rev. Todd Ousley

Bishop of Eastern Michigan

 

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

I Bishop of Eastern Michigan

 

The Right Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr.

Bishop of Michigan

 

The Right Rev. R Stewart Wood, Jr.

IX Bishop of Michigan

 

The Right Rev. Rayford Ray

Bishop of Northern Michigan

 

Minnesota

The Right Rev. Brian N. Prior

Bishop of Minnesota

                                   

Missouri

The Right Rev. Hays Rockwell

IX Bishop of Missouri

                         

The Right Rev. Martin S. Field

Bishop of West Missouri

 

Montana

The Right Rev. Charles I. Jones, DD

VIII Bishop of Montana

 

Navajoland Area Mission

The Right Rev. David E. Bailey

Bishop of Navajoland Area Mission

 

Nebraska

The Right Rev. Joe Goodwin Burnett

X Bishop of Nebraska

 

New Hampshire

The Right Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld

Bishop of New Hampshire

 

The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson

IX Bishop of New Hampshire

 

New Jersey

The Right Rev. Mark M. Beckwith

Bishop of Newark

 

The Right Rev. William H. (Chip) Stokes

Bishop of New Jersey

 

New Mexico

The Right Rev. Dr. Michael Louis Vono

Bishop of the Rio Grande

                       

New York

The Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III

Bishop of Central New York

 

The Right Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano

Bishop of Long Island

 

The Right Rev. Chilton Knudsen

Assisting Bishop of Long Island

 (VII Bishop of Maine)

 

The Right Rev. Prince G. Singh

Bishop of Rochester

 

The Right Rev. Jack M. McKelvey

VII Bishop of Rochester

 

North Carolina

The Right Rev. Michael Bruce Curry

Bishop of North Carolina                  

 

The Right Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple

Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina

 

The Right Rev. J. Gary Gloster

Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. G. Porter Taylor

Bishop of Western North Carolina

 

The Right Rev. Robert Johnson

V Bishop of Western North Carolina

                                   

North Dakota

The Right Rev. Harold A. Hopkins, Jr.

IX Bishop of North Dakota

                       

Ohio

The Right Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.

Bishop of Ohio

 

The Right Rev. David C. Bowman

Assisting Bishop of Ohio

 (IX Bishop of Western New York)

 

The Right Rev. William D. Persell

Assisting Bishop of Ohio

 (XI Bishop of Chicago)

 

The Right Rev. Arthur B. Williams, Jr.

Bishop Suffragan of Ohio (Ret)

 

The Right Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal

Bishop of Southern Ohio

 

Oregon

The Right Rev. Bavi Edna Rivera

Provisional Bishop of Eastern Oregon

 

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

VI Bishop of Eastern Oregon

 

The Right Rev. Michael J. Hanley

Bishop of Oregon

 

Pennsylvania

The Right Rev. Robert R. Gepert

Provisional Bishop of Central Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Nathan D. Baxter

X Bishop of Central Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Charlie F. McNutt, Jr.

VIII Bishop of Central Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Clifton Daniel

Bishop of Pennsylvania

(VII Bishop of East Carolina)

 

The Right Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr.

XV Bishop of Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Allen Bartlett

XIV Bishop of Pennsylvania

 

The Right Rev. Rodney R. Michel

Assisting Bishop of Pennsylvania

 (Bishop Suffragan of Long Island (Ret))

 

The Right Rev. Edward L. Lee, Jr.

Assisting Bishop of Pennsylvania

 (VII Bishop of Western Michigan)

 

Rhode Island

The Right Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely

Bishop of Rhode Island

                       

South Carolina

The Right Rev. W. Andrew Waldo

Bishop of Upper South Carolina

 

Tennessee

The Right Rev. George D. Young, III

Bishop of East Tennessee 

 

The Right Rev. Don E. Johnson

Bishop of West Tennessee

 

The Right Rev. James M. Coleman

II Bishop of West Tennessee

 

Texas

The Right Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr.

Provisional Bishop of Fort Worth

 

The Right Rev. J. Scott Mayer

Bishop of Northwest Texas

                                     

The Right Rev. C. Andrew Doyle

Bishop of Texas

 

Vermont

The Right Rev. Thomas C. Ely

Bishop of Vermont

 

Virginia

The Right Rev. Frank Neff Powell

V Bishop of Southwestern Virginia

 

The Right Rev. Susan E. Goff

Bishop Suffragan of Virginia

 

Washington

The Right Rev. Gregory H. Rickel

Bishop of Olympia

 

The Right Rev. Sanford Z. K. Hampton

Assisting Bishop of Olympia

 

The Right Rev. James E. Waggoner, Jr.

Bishop of Spokane

 

West Virginia

The Right Rev. William Klusmeyer

Bishop of West Virginia

 

Wyoming

The Right Rev. Bob G. Jones

VII Bishop of Wyoming

 

Europe

The Right Rev. Pierre W. Whalon

Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

 

Haiti

The Right Rev. Jean Zache Duracin

Bishop of Haiti

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

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

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

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

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

Recipients

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

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

Province III

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

Grant amount: $10,000.00

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

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

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

Grant amount:  $52,250.00

  • Empowering Latina Women and Congregations

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

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

Grant amount:  $100,000.00

  • Deputies of Color Pre-Convention Conference
     

Episcopal Church Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team

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

Grant amount: $25,000.00

Named for Mary Louise Constable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information and resources for the Good Friday Offering are available here

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

 

The following is the Presiding Bishop’s letter:

_______________________________________________________

 

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

 

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

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

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

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

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

The mission and ministry focus of Episcopalians throughout the church is varied, focused and Christ-like. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, making disciples, protecting the environment and advocating for those whose voice is often overlooked...
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The following are the opening remarks of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, currently meeting through January 11 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD.

 

Executive Council opening remarks

January 9

Maritime Center, Linthicum Heights, MD

 

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does this budget give evidence of mutual responsibility and interdependence?

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Executive Council

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The Episcopal Church

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Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD 

Diocese of Maryland

 

 

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

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