A weekly roundup of Anglican Communion news plus opinion, reviews, photos, profiles and other things of interest from across the Anglican/Episcopal world.
This edition includes...
(It's been pretty quite since Christmas...)
Simulcast of Bethlehem Prayer Service
From the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Newsletter
Bishop Suheil joined Bishop Munib Younan at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine for a simultaneous service with Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The Welcome was given by the Revd Dr. Mitri Raheb, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. The Lessons in English were read by Bishop Marion Budde, Diocese of Washington; The Revd Canon Jan Naylor Cope, Vicar of Washington Cathedral; Gretchen Theobald, Palestine/Israel Advocacy Group; Nan Hildebrand, Chaplain, Washington Cathedral; the Revd Elizabeth McHan, Communication Assistant , Evangelical Lutheran Church; The Revd Canon John L. Peterson, Canon for Global Justice and Reconciliation, Washington Cathedral; Grace Said, Palestine/Israel Advocacy Group; The Revd Fred Stickert, Pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem.
The lessons in Arabic were read by Mrs. Mai Nasser, Church Elder, Lutheran Church; Dr. Alfred Khoury, Washington; The Revd Canon Hosam Naoum, St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem. The Revd Richard Graham, Bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod of the ELCA, led the Prayers and gave the blessing in English; and Mr. Adel Khader, Christmas Lutheran Church; Bethlehem led the prayers in Arabic.
Bishop Suheil gave the Arabic Blessing. Hymns were sung by the Wartburg Choir in Washington and by the Dal al-Kalima School Choir in Bethlehem. The Christmas Message was given by The Rt Revd Munib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical and Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.
This was the fifth annual service of lessons and carols held jointly with the USA.
Death of bishop credited with rebuilding the Anglican Church in Spain
Translated from a notice issued by the Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal, www.anglicanos.org
On the morning of January 10, 2012, due to his advanced age, died Bishop Arturo Sánchez Galán, fourth Bishop of the Episcopal Reformed Spanish Church (Anglican Communion).
At the express wish of the family, memorial worship of thanksgiving for the life of D. Arturo Sanchez will be held on Sunday January 14 at 11:00 am in the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Madrid, Calle Charity 18.
Spanish Protestantism has lost one of its most prominent members. He was President of the FEREDE, during the difficult years of negotiating co-operation agreements between the Spanish State and the Protestant churches. Fresh from the Franco regim, Spanish Anglicans owed the beginning of the renewal of the Church to him.
The Reverend D. Arturo Sanchez was born in Cózar (Ciudad Real) in 1926. In his youth he became a member of the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, where he was noted for his commitment and dedication, was formed by the second Bishop pastorally the IERE, Rt. D. Martin Santos Molina. He was ordained a deacon on May 15, 1958 and priest on May 31, 1959.
A large part of his ministry was spent in the city of Valencia, where he moved with his family in 1957. He was rector of the Church of Jesus Christ in that city, and from there served the national church in different ministries.
A member of the Standing Committee and Vice President of the same on several occasions, coordinated the Youth Department IERE, and founded the house of Villa Adelfos camps in Alcocebre (Castellón), which has trained several generations of young Anglicans and Protestants Spanish several foreign countries.
He was one of the founders of the Ecumenical Interfaith Center Valencia (CEIVA, the March 13, 1968), which started in the premises of the IERE and began, as the founding text, to be "a meeting place between the Spanish Christians of different churches and training and information to its members and supporters. He was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor on October 31, 1982 and October 25, 1983 installed as the new Diocese of this Church.
During his episcopate, the IERE deeply renewed: several new parishes were opened, and the Church gained an international dimension that had not had previously. He represented the Church in various international events such as meetings of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches, was in several General Conventions of the Episcopal Church USA, where he contributed to the development of Hispanic Ministries USA facilitating several publications in Castilian.
He was President of the FEREDE the years before 1992, playing an important role during the negotiations for the signing of cooperation agreements between the Spanish State and Protestant institutions.
The Archbishop of Canterbury accepted his resignation as Diocesan Bishop on November 5, 1995, having reached the canonical age for retirement.
We thank God for life and ministry of D. Arturo Sanchez, and ask the Lord to comfort his wife, Mrs. Rachel, her children and other family.
Enthronement of new Trinidad and Tobago bishop to be broadcast on TV, radio and the Internet
From the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago
The Enthronement of the Right Reverend Claude Berkley as the 12th Bishop of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, will take place at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, at 10 a.m. on Saturday January 14.
The service will be carried by two television stations – one broadcast will be ‘live’ and the other delayed; while one radio station will do a delayed broadcast. The delayed television coverage will be streamed on the Internet.
As a forerunner to his enthronement, the Service of Consecration that saw Bishop Berkley become the bishop coadjutor on March 17, 2011, will be re-run on television.
The schedule for the broadcasts is as follows:
Sunday January 8:
3.00 p.m.: GISL Channel 4: Consecration Service Rebroadcast
Saturday January 14:
9.45 a.m.: GISL Channel 4: Enthronement Service, ‘Live’ Telecast
1.30 p.m.: CNMG Channel 6: Enthronement Service, Delayed Telecast (1730 GMT)
(This will be streamed on the Internet at:www.ctntworld.com/livestream/
1.30 p.m.: ‘Talk City’ Radio 91.1 FM:Enthronement Service, Delayed Radio Broadcast
Sunday January 15:
3.00 p.m.: GISL Channel 4: Enthronement Service Rebroadcast
Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood protects churches for Coptic Christmas
by Jayson Casper, Lapido Media
THE COPTIC Orthodox Church and the Muslim Brotherhood celebrated Christmas together in churches throughout Egypt on Saturday, in a display of national unity. Christmas, celebrated in Egypt on January 7, has in recent years been a holiday of sorrow and worry, with attacks on churches and an intensifying politics of religious identity. Many Copts are fearful over a parliament dominated by Islamists, who are poised to claim around 75% of the seats following a third round of elections.
Two Christmasses ago a church in the town of Nag Hamadi witnessed a drive-by shooting that killed six Christians exiting mass. A church in Alexandria was bombed last New Year’s Eve, killing twenty-three. Yet this year, Christmas passed off without violence, in a show of national unity by both church and Brotherhood.
Mohamed el-Beltagi, secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, told Lapido he would offer protection and greeting. ‘We will cooperate with security to make sure there are no attacks on the Church. Our presence is precautionary, but we will comfort the Copts after what happened last year.’ Beltagi stressed there was no ulterior motive. ‘Protecting churches is a social and religious obligation. It has no relation to Copts as dhimmis,’ he said, referring to the infamous second-class status accorded to non-Muslims under sharia law.
Hassan Mohamed, the assistant media coordinator for the Muslim Brotherhood in southern Cairo, also dismissed any relation to dhimmi-type protection. ‘We are here to protect our Christian brothers, as they did for us in Tahrir. Christians are in the army, so how can we treat them as dhimmis? The jurisprudence of reality says this is impossible. Our scholars will figure this out later, and it is not appropriate to talk about it now.’
Some prominent Copts expressed reservations however. Fr Philopater of the Maspero Youth Union, at the forefront of the October protest in which 27 people were shot or crushed by military tanks, said that Copts had always suffered, and would continue to do so.
‘The problem with the Muslim Brotherhood is that they hide things and play games. Some Islamists talk about protection, while others speak of jizzya, call us infidels, and refuse to greet us for our holidays.’
Jizzya is a special tax non-Muslims pay under Islamic law in exchange for exemption from the army and a guarantee of protected status. Payment renders one dhimmi. Fr Dawud, a monk in Fayyoum, told Lapido the Muslim Brotherhood was active in guarding churches in his city. ‘Perhaps they are trying to win the sympathy of Christians so we can accept them and they can reach their goal of government.’ Bishop Bisenti presides over the Coptic Orthodox diocese of Helwan in southern Cairo, and is a close advisor to Pope Shenouda. The Muslim Brotherhood guarded his church in conjunction with the military.
‘The Muslim Brotherhood wants to show love and we appreciate this. But we say we are in the protection of God.Of course we do not accept status as dhimmis; we are one people with Muslims and citizens of one nation. But we thank and welcome them in their effort to offer us Christmas greetings.’
Another Brotherhood spokesman who was present at Bishop Bisenti’s church to express solidarity told Lapido: ‘Christians do not need protection. They need to see what Muslims have in their hearts toward them. They have to know we are really like them. I left my family at home to come here and share Christmas with them, and I am happy to do so.’
* The Western media largely ignored the story of Muslim Brotherhood protection, as well as its complicated undertones. Online editions of The Times of London, The New York Times, and CNN did not mention it.
Instead The Guardian quoted Pope Shenouda’s comments during Christmas mass: ‘For the first time in the history of the cathedral, it is packed with all types of Islamist leaders in Egypt. They all agree ... on the stability of this country, and in loving it and working for it, and to work with the Copts as one hand for the sake of Egypt.’
[Editor's Note: The Anglican Communion has a Network for Interfaith Concerns. Learn more about our Communion's bridge-building work with members of other faith communities here]
Episcopal Church in Sudan sets out peace-building agenda
From the Anglican Alliance website
The Church's crucial role in rebuilding South Sudan after the years of bitter conflict was recognised in a submission to the UK Parliament. The Episcopal Church of Sudan, Lambeth Palace, the Anglican Alliance and the Diocese of Salisbury joined forces in the submission which put forward a nine-point package of proposals for improving peace-keeping in the newly-independent country.
Included in the package were proposals for:
The UK Parliament will be taking oral evidence next week for their inquiry which will look at peace-building in Sudan, and the role of civil society organisations.
Mental health first aid course
From the Church in Wales website
Helping people with mental health issues will be the focus of a series of one-day training events early next year. Mental Health First Aid is being organised jointly by the Church in Wales and the Institute of Rural Health for clergy and lay people.
Revd Carol Wardman, Bishops' advisor for Church and Society, said, "Whether it’s someone who wanders in during a service or turns up on the doorstep in distress, or a member of the congregation with a known mental health diagnosis, or a person you’re starting to worry about – most clergy and lay church leaders will have the experience of dealing with someone with a mental health issue. And then there’s the important but all-too-often overlooked factor of looking after yourself, in the midst of taking on other people’s problems, and the ever-increasing demands of the workload.
"We hope this course will raise people's awareness of mental health issues and provide a basic introduction in how to care for people in need."
The first courses will be as follows:
February 2, 2012
Three Wells Hotel, Chapel Road, Howey, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5SP
February 9, 2012
The Haliwell Conference Centre, Trinity College, Carmarthen, SA31 3EP~
The cost will be £15 per person. Registration forms can be dowloaded at:
[Editor's note: One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any year. Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can affect anyone at any time, and it’s likely that many people in your congregation have been affected. As a result churches in the British Isles are focusing on the issue of mental health. The Church of England’s mental health group and Revd Eva McIntyre have teamed up with Time to Change to create a pack for churches, providing ideas and resources for churches to plan worship on the theme of mental health.Find it here]
Archbishops commit to ‘listen to England’ in research to launch twin projects. Ministry for birth and death receives five-year investment by Church of England.
From the Church of England website
The Archbishops’ Council has invested in two projects which will enhance the Church of England’s national ministry at the moments of birth and death. Like the successful Weddings Project, another idea of the Archbishops’ Council, the new team will commission independent research to find out what people in England really want from a church service after a baby is born or when someone they love dies. The twin projects will run concurrently until 2016.
The work will be partly modelled on the Weddings Project, which exceeded all its aims over five years. The Weddings Project asked the public what they felt about a church wedding, bringing the findings to clergy in two pilot areas, Bradford and Oxford. Because of what churches said they needed, the Weddings Project built and tested a range of solutions, which it is has now offered to churches everywhere at a national roadshow.
Solutions like the ceremony planner at www.yourchurchwedding.org, where half the couples who marry in the Church of England go to draft their marriage service, and cards and gifts for churches to send to couples until their first anniversary, supported by an online reminder system for churches. In participating churches, wedding bookings increased by between 10 per cent and 50 per cent as a result of taking part. The Weddings Project book will be published by Church House Publishing later this year.
To head up the new team, the Archbishops’ Council has created a new post, Head of Projects and Development, and appointed Gillian Oliver, who led the Weddings Project team. Gillian has a background in television news and many years’ experience of working in Church of England communications.
The Archbishops’ Council will oversee this work; Council member Philip Fletcher will chair a group bringing together people with expertise from a number of essential disciplines (research, mission theology, communications etc). This group will give specialist advice over the life of the projects.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, was part of the governance team of the Weddings Project and chairs the Ministry Division for the Church of England. He said: “By listening to England in this way, we have found that the Church’s traditional ministry is still wanted and appreciated by people today. It has given churches a spring in their step, and helped them serve people better who come for a wedding. That we are about to do more of this work is good news for everyone.”
Gillian Oliver said: “The Weddings Project travelled the length and breadth of England over the last two years, and there wasn’t a single group of clergy we met who didn’t ask for the same methodology to be applied to baptisms and funerals. What the project found out was so encouraging to churches, and the things that came with it made it easy to welcome more weddings.”
A letter from Bishop of Haiti
January 12, 2012
Port au Prince, Haiti
Greetings from Haiti in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we transition from Advent season and welcome 2012, it is an apt time to remark new beginnings. We are pleased to be celebrating many new beginnings in the Diocese of Haiti. This year we do this while evaluating progress in light of the two-year anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake.
The earthquake of 2010 will be fixed in our national consciousness for decades to come and has thus been integrated into the national vernacular. When referring to events, Haitians almost always specify whether it occurred ‘before or after the Twelfth’.
We are thankful this year, and always, to be a part of the World Wide Anglican Communion. The support within our Church continues to gain momentum even while the catastrophe fades out of international consideration.
On behalf of the Diocese of Haiti, I thank you for supporting the rebuilding of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Cathedral is the center of worship for Diocese of Haiti. We are pleased to state that the Request for Proposals to rebuild the Cathedral has been issued and the international team charged with rebuilding Holy Trinity will soon choose among the proposals a firm to design and build the new house of worship. We count on continued support to complete the project. The rebuilding of the Cathedral will be a victory for the Anglican Communion and the downtown Port au Prince renaissance. We appreciate all of you who participate.
Thank you also for your steadfast support of the Diocese of Haiti’s diverse ministries. Individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds met us in Haiti and offered their gifts, talents, and resources. Many more offer their significant support from their homes. Thank you for giving of yourselves for the benefit of your brothers and sisters in Haiti. Despite the continued challenges of insecurity, limited access to clean water, and inflated prices, all Diocesan institutions are functioning albeit in temporary structures made mostly of plywood and corrugated metal. We look forward to moving all of these institutions into permanent appropriate structures. We look forward also to increasing the community development programs of the Diocese such as micro-credit loans and technical education to insure ourselves for the challenges to come. Together we are moving from the relief stage of recovery into a steady pace striding into a better future.
In March, the Diocese of Haiti welcomed a Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Sikhumbuzo Vundla. Mr. Vundla works closely with Diocesan leadership to facilitate the reconstruction process. The Diocese benefits from his knowledge and experience.
This Fall, the Diocese of Haiti elected Rev. Canon, Ogé Beauvoir as Bishop Suffragan to serve in the North. This is an important step in a plan to decentralize and reorganize. The Bishop Suffragan will share leadership duties with the Diocesan Bishop increasing the capacities of all Diocesan ministries.
The potential of what has begun in 2011 adds fuel to the fires of hope and resilience. We are elated to realize tangible advancements. We have many positive things to celebrate ‘after the twelfth’. Our joy multiplies knowing that it is shared with so many brothers and sisters around the world.
God’s Peace to you and your families at the commencement of a new year. Please know that each one of you is remembered in the prayers of your Haitian friends. May God bless each and every one of you in all of your endeavors this year.
The Right Reverend J. Zaché Duracin
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti
An extract from the New Year message by the Dean, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos and Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, The Most Rev. Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo.
From the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Facebook page
POLITICALLY, the year 2011 was loaded with lots of global, political and other crucial matters. Some were impressive and others sorrowful. These call for lessons, caution, tolerance and respect for one other.
Our leaders should demonstrate the political slogan of playing politics without bitterness. We shouldn’t allow political thuggery, killings and lack of the fear of God to ruin our political institutions and activities. It is time for us to treasure only things that are good.
We raise our voices high to commend men and women in the National Assembly on the firm decisions to condemn the same-sex marriage issue presented at the floor of both houses. While acknowledging the sacred worth of every human being, we reject this erroneous motion as being contrary to God’s intention for humankind and harmful. The issue of marriage is an ethical and cultural one and it is God’s will and not man’s.
It is very saddening that millions of Nigerian youths are unemployed. The situation constitutes a security threat. Is it not the responsibility of government to provide jobs for Nigerians; not add to their problems?
In 2010, the terror of kidnapping was the order. The menace of armed robbery calls for concern and quick action from the government towards arresting the terrible situation. Robbery attacks on banks and some other places must also be mentioned. Precious lives were lost in some instances. Security of life and property should remain an issue of national interest.
The overhaul of our refineries and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc (PHCN) should receive more urgent attention from the federal government.
Institutions that prevent corruption and protect the private sector should take the bull by the horns for good results while the Church must continue to teach and preach the undiluted word of God to ensure people live righteously and please God.
We must not leave important areas of our lives to government alone. We must pay our taxes and assist government. We must muster our collective will to confront negative issues that threaten to keep our children and us in under-development and penury. Today 50 per cent of Nigerians live on less than one dollar a day, while 10 per cent live on 100 dollars and above.
I make a clarion call that change is a must this year. The time is up. I strongly advise Nigerians to cultivate the habit of doing things correctly, so that we could attract people to the country. We should take care of the needy and the less privileged. It is not a promise but a commitment towards self-sustenance and for future growth and development of the country.
I also urge Nigerians in the Diaspora to join the government in revamping the nation, so that what they are doing in a foreign land could be done at home for the overall growth of the nation’s economy and the country in general.
Frankly speaking, corruption threatens Nigeria’s existence. The scourge of kidnapping can be attributed to economic paralysis. Daily livelihood is impacted by the cost of either diesel or petrol. This is a year of compassion. I call on the executive and legislative arms of government to show compassion on Nigerians.
I wish you a prosperous, abundant and peaceful 2012.
Learn why the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund feeds 8000 students a hot lunch each day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDcRxhO9af8&feature=player_embedded#!
And check out the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/episcopalhouse.abj#!/pages/Primates-World-Relief-and-Development-Fund/111501932203731
As the Sparks Fly Upwards
From the Tasmanian Anglican magazine
I am a great admirer of the wonderful work of various Anglican Bush Brotherhoods which planted the Christian faith, and congregations, in some of the remotest areas of Australia. The earliest Brotherhoods were mainly comprised of dedicated young priests from the Church in England.
I have often wondered what these men from ‘England's green and pleasant land,' made of the Australian Outback ... the distances, differences, heat and flies. Richard Stamp, a former Bush Brother, has provided something of the answer in this book with its fictional tale of Brother Mark.
As the Sparks Fly Upwards has been beautifully written by one who is a master in the use of words. The author is also an artist with words and paints a wonderful landscape of the uniqueness that one finds in the Australian Outback, together with brightly coloured portraits of some of the wonderful characters who live far from the well settled coastal fringe.
I started to wonder about some of the colourful characters the author introduces to the reader. Are these really fictional characters? Could their exploits and adventures be true? Was Miss Vercoe's fishing catch real? How about ‘Nails the Undertaker?' What about ‘Ferret,' and ‘Chugger?' What of ‘Wendy,' whose bright undergarments attracted the attention of the unmarried Brother Mark. These are just a few of the many wonderful characters introduced to the reader.
Then, upon reflection, I realised that these are ‘dinkum' Outback Australians - just like many I have been privileged to meet in my own ministry as a Bishop in the Outback.
Alongside the places and characters in the book there are to be found little cameos - of faith in action, of the nature of a call to ministry, and of the loneliness of being a Bush Brother far from home and family, and serving in that vast, challenging , wonderful part of Australia known as the Outback.
As the Sparks Fly Upwards is a book that brings with it some of the humour of the Australian bush. It is a book to be enjoyed.
Review by Bishop Ron Stone, former Bishop of RockhamptonAs The Sparks Fly Upwards by Richard Stamp.
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER Click here for the full ACP
Psalm: 139: 1-10 Gal. 3: 15-22
Ajayi Crowther - (Ibadan, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Olugbenga Oduntan
Sunday 15-Jan-2012 Epiphany 2
Psalm: 1 Gal.. 3: 23-29
PRAY for The Church of Bangladesh The Most Revd Paul Sarker Moderator, Church of Bangladesh & Bishop of Dhaka
Psalm: 33: 1-6,12 Gal. 4: 1-11
Akoko - (Ondo, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Gabriel Akinbiyi
Psalm: 8 Gal. 4: 12-20
Akoko Edo - (Bendel, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Jolly Oyekpen
Wednesday 18-Jan-2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Psalm: 100 Gal. 4: 21-5:1
Akot - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Isaac Dhieu Ater
Psalm: 85: 7-end Gal. 5: 2-12
Akure - (Ondo, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Michael Ipinmoye
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Disclaimer: The Weekly Review is a summary of news, information and resources gathered from around the Anglican Communion over the past week. The views expressed in Weekly Review do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Anglican Communion Office.