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Anglican leaders issue message on 30th World Aids Day

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 3:42pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] World AIDS Day will be marked Dec. 1, and Anglicans are joining with Christians from other churches to promote HIV testing. This year, the Anglican Communion Office is working alongside the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance to mark the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day by encouraging everyone to get tested and know their HIV status.

Read the full article here.

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Way of Love’s seven practices inspire variety of Advent resources for Episcopalians

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 1:32pm

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians have spent the past five months taking up the Way of Love’s seven practices, with help from a wide range of liturgical and devotional tools from all corners of the Episcopal Church, and the church is encouraging all to make a special effort to embrace this rule of life during Advent.

Members of All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, California, light the Advent wreath during a 2017 service. Photo: Colleen Dodson-Baker/All Saints

The church has released Journeying the Way of Love, featuring both a four-week Advent curriculum and an Advent calendar. Both are tied to the readings and themes from the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke.

A rule of life is a set of simple spiritual practices intended to focus believers on their faith journeys and provide support along the way. The Way of Love framework is built around seven practices, which for the Advent curriculum are scheduled on specific days of the week: worship (Sunday), go (Monday), learn (Tuesday), pray (Wednesday), bless (Thursday), turn (Friday) and rest (Saturday). The Advent calendar follows a similar pattern.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry unveiled the Way of Love in July at the 79th General Convention.

“I want to ask not only you, but every Episcopalian, to make a commitment to throw yourself into the hands of Jesus, and then live life out of that,” Curry said in his sermon during the opening Eucharist at General Convention. “These tools may help you.”

Since then, the church has joined with numerous affiliated organizations to develop and promote additional resources to help people bring Jesus to the center of the lives. Some of those have been adapted for Advent, and Episcopalians are participating in other Advent initiatives in the spirit of the Way of Love.

One prominent example is AdventWord, billed as a “global Advent calendar” that is populated each day by participants’ social media posts prompted by the day’s word and hashtag. AdventWord also will send daily emails during Advent with reflections on the days’ words. The signup is here.

“The offering of AdventWord provides a daily short reflection and visual meditation to guide Christians around the world to prepare our hearts and homes for the arrival of Christ,” said Sarah Stonesifer, who coordinated this year’s campaign as digital missioner at Virginia Theological Seminary. “Participants can deepen their understanding of the coming of Jesus in the world through the practices of meditation and prayer.”

The kickoff word on Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent, is “Journey.” Curry has offered his own reflection for the campaign, but to read it you’ll have to wait until Dec. 25, when the AdventWord is “Celebrate.”

The Episcopal Church is promoting additional resources for Advent:

Church leaders expect to use the Way of Love as the primary framework for future seasonal resources, though innovations on these themes have transcended the liturgical calendar and inspired activity at the diocesan and congregational levels.

The Diocese of Washington, for example, has developed a Way of Love lectionary that congregations can use to introduce and reflect on the seven practices over an eight-week cycle. The diocese also has produced daily devotionals and a small group prayer guide based on the Way of Love, and Bishop Mariann Budde speaks about the seven practices in a new podcast called “Experiencing Jesus.”

The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania is promoting a Way of Love retreat on Dec. 14 and 15, part of the “Learning Weekend” series organized by the Stevenson School for Ministry. The agenda includes workshops intended to help clergy and lay leaders to incorporate the Way of Love in their congregations’ parish life.

“I hope that in this next year we can continue to strengthen our efforts at collaborating with each other for God’s mission,” Central Pennsylvania Bishop Audrey Scanlan says in an online introduction to the diocese’s Way of Love resources. “That we will continue to stretch ourselves and try on new and creative ways of being Church by living in the Way of Love as our Way of Life.”

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

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Representing the Presiding Bishop, Episcopalians advocate for the environment at COP24

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:53am

[Episcopal News Service] Wildfires. Hurricanes. Four straight record-setting years of increasing temperatures. Ocean acidification. Sea-level rise. Species loss. Drought. All are made worse by climate change, fueling humanitarian crises as people are forced to flee their homes because of natural disaster or changes in their environment.

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities,” warns the 1,656-page National Climate Assessment released Nov. 23 by the Trump administration.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, representatives from United Nations member states, including government, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, will meet in Katowice, Poland, for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP24, to hammer out a framework for implementing the Paris Agreement, which was reached in 2015, at the 21st conference.

“Not only have all the nations of the world signed the Paris Agreement, I have seen the great religions of the world and the indigenous spiritual traditions also come together to seek the healing of the planet, said California Bishop Marc Andrus in an email to Episcopal News Service.

“During Lambeth 2008 I listened with astonishment as bishops from India, West Africa, Australia, the United States and Sudan talk for just short of two hours about the environmental degradation and climate change effects that were already plaguing the dioceses they served,” he said. “Only in the last 10 minutes of the two hours allotted for conversation on two of the major issues that have been facing our church for decades did this group of bishops turn their attention to the second issue, so consumed were they by the present danger of climate change.”

Andrus will lead an eight-member delegation representing Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at the Dec. 2-14 conference in Poland. This is the fourth Episcopal delegation to attend the annual conference on climate change. The Episcopal Church began attending the conference in 2015 in France, where the Paris Agreement was reached.

In Paris, the Episcopal delegation made a spiritual case for climate action. At that conference, member countries, including the United States, reached a landmark agreement to set voluntary goals aimed at keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, which scientists predicted would be necessary to prevent a spiraling catastrophe of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and related weather extremes.

Greenpeace stages a protest outside the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

In Morocco in 2017, nations reaffirmed their commitment to cut carbon emissions. In Germany, in 2018, the process was thrown into doubt by President Donald Trump’s pledge to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement.

The United States is the world’s largest economy and its second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, which trap heat in the atmosphere and make the planet warmer.

It was in June 2017, as part of his “American First” strategy, Trump that announced the United States’ withdrawal from the international agreement, saying it undermines the economy and places the United States at a disadvantage.

Since then, the We Are Still In movement has taken root, with more than 200 faith organizations signing on, including Episcopal churches.

Still, the world is far from meeting the Paris Agreement’s target, which would require reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels. In fact, emissions continue to rise.

The conference in Poland is intended “to finalize the rulebook for how the Paris Agreement will work, … That’s important because if you don’t have rules, it falls apart at this level of bureaucracy,” said Lynnaia Main, the Episcopal Church’s representative to the United Nations.

Scientists agree that climate change is a global threat. The World Meteorological Organization warns that, given current trends, warming could reach between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which informs U.N. policy, issued as similarly dire report.

“I have quoted many times in the past decade something that was said by the former archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, ‘It takes a global body to deal with global problems.’ An example of how this is true is the increasing crisis of environmental refugees,” said Andrus.

“Have you wondered what was the engine that drove the closely watched caravan out of Central America? According to an Oct. 30, 2018, Guardian article, in addition to violence, organized crime and systematic corruption, ‘climate change in the region is exacerbating – and sometimes causing – a miasma of other problems, including crop failures and poverty.’ The caravan comes mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, it crosses Mexico and seeks asylum in the United States. … The struggle of the people in the caravan is transnational, and I would say cannot be ‘solved’ by any one country. We must work together for the good of all.”

Environmental justice is one of the church’s three main priorities, along with racial reconciliation and evangelism. Over the years, General Convention has passed numerous resolutions on the issue, whether supporting federal climate action or pledging to mitigating the church’s own impact on the environment.

The church’s 79th General Convention met in July in Austin, Texas, and passed 19 environmental resolutions, including support for a national carbon tax, carbon offsets for church-related travel, ocean health and supporting Episcopalians’ continued participation in the Paris Agreement.

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 meetings in the official zone.

“The continuity fostered by our COP delegations’ attendance at the annual U.N. Climate Change Conferences has a multiplier effect for our broader Episcopal and Anglican influence at the United Nations,” said Main in a press release. “Our actions in Katowice will strengthen a broader base of U.N. ministry that includes eradicating poverty through the Sustainable Development Goals, supporting migrants and refugees, defending indigenous peoples, mainstreaming gender and protecting rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

-Lynette Wilson is a reporter and managing editor of Episcopal News Service.

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Con Cuba: fortalecer los lazos de familia y provocar una transformación

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 9:40am

La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba celebró su Sínodo General en la Habana del 21 al 23 de febrero de 2014 y adoptó un plan estratégico de tres años. Foto de Lynette Wilson/ENS.

[Episcopal News Service] Ahora que la Diócesis de Cuba está oficialmente de vuelta al redil de la Iglesia Episcopal, la obispa de Cuba, Griselda Delgado del Carpio  tiene grandes ilusiones de fortalecer los lazos de familia y de provocar una transformación.

Para empezar, Delgado quiere “que todo el mundo sepa lo feliz que estoy de estar de regreso a la familia” y espera extender a otras diócesis y congregaciones los puentes que ella ha tendido con la Diócesis de la Florida a lo largo de las últimas tres décadas.

“Durante 30 años, hemos aprendido a amarnos mutuamente, a trabajar juntos, a respetarnos y a compartir los dones que cada comunidad tiene que ofrecer a la otra”, dijo ella en una reciente entrevista telefónica con Episcopal News Service a través de un intérprete.

“Para nosotros, una asociación significa que dos comunidades trabajen juntas, que reciban y den y evalúen mutuamente la trayectoria en ese proceso, y que valoren mutuamente sus dones”.

Luego de una separación de 52 años, la 79ª. Convención General [que sesionó] del 5 al 13 de julio en Austin, Texas, aprobó la reunificación con la Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba.

La Resolución A238 llama a “a las diócesis, congregaciones y miembros de la Iglesia Episcopal  a familiarizarse con los ministerios de la Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba  y a trabajar en armonía y compañerismo por la evangelización, la comprensión mutua y la plena expresión de la misión de Dios, así como a contemplar las maneras de estar en colaboración.

La obispa Griselda – como la llaman afectuosamente – espera vivir más plena y profundamente en el espíritu de la resolución, creando asociaciones, al tiempo que profundizando las relaciones de la Diócesis de Cuba con sus [diócesis] hermanas de EE.UU. Ella aspira a provocar una transformación al centrarse en la creación de comunidades a través de la reedificación de iglesias, y espera proporcionarle pensiones al clero diocesano.

La Diócesis de Cuba está compuesta de 46 congregaciones y cinco misiones pequeñas que están transformándose y creciendo y comenzando a desarrollarse”, afirmó ella. Cada una enfrenta diferentes retos, pero “cada uno puede resolverse individualmente”, subrayó Delgado con confianza.

“Lo principal es poder seguir llevando la Buena Nueva al pueblo”, dijo ella “con la herramienta evangelizadora del amor y de conocer a Jesús.

“Tenemos mucho que aprender  unos de otros”, añadió. “Queremos hacer todo eso mientras reafirmamos la identidad del pueblo de Cuba. Esto es lo que los cubanos tienen que dar al mundo: su propia experiencia y trayectoria de fe en la Iglesia”.

Evangelización: agua potable, comidas calientes, huertos

Chip Weismiller regresó recientemente de ayudar a instalar un sistema de filtrado de agua en la iglesia episcopal de Santa Cruz del Norte  cerca de La Habana, junto con otros miembros de la iglesia de San Lucas [St. Luke’s Church] en Darien, Connecticut, y de la iglesia de Cristo [Christ Church] en Bronxville, Nueva York.

Members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut, and Christ Church, Bronxville, New York, join their Cuban counterparts to help assemble and install water filtration systems at Santa Cruz del Norte Church. Photo: Stuart Weismiller

Eso significa agua pura, no sólo para la iglesia, sino para toda la comunidad. “Esperan que hasta 100 personas al día vengan en busca de agua potable”, explicó él.

Es un modelo para ministerios de arrancada en zonas con infraestructura ruinosa y donde, durante varias generaciones, la sociedad no ha respaldado a la Iglesia, según Pat Cage, que ayudó a crear Amigos de la Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba, a petición de Delgado.

La organización de voluntarios con sede en EE.UU. se fundó para asistir a Delgado y a la Diócesis de Cuba a “llevar a cabo su visión transformadora de crear una Iglesia que, unida en la diversidad, celebra, predica, enseña, sirve y comparte el amor de Dios”, según Cage.

“Una manera en que la obispa Griselda está tratando de reconstruir la comunidad eclesial es sirviendo a las necesidades básicas de las personas”, afirmó Cage, miembro de San Lucas en Darien, quien también ha visitado Cuba.

La Rda. Yamily Bass-Choate, vicaria de la Iglesia Memorial de San Andrés, en Yonkers, Nueva York, dijo que su congregación, junto con miembros de la iglesia de Cristo, en Bronxville, se han asociado con la Diócesis de Cuba, y llevan grupos de adolescentes a Cuba para aprender de la cultura [del país] y de su gente y ayudar con el establecimiento de sistemas de purificación de agua.

“Hemos instalado alrededor de 26 sistemas de filtrado de agua desde que comenzamos hace varios años y también hemos adiestrado a personas allí que lo hagan”, le dijo Bass-Choate a ENS.

“La obispa Griselda tiene una estupenda visión para la diócesis”, señaló Michael Pollack, miembro de la iglesia de Cristo que recientemente regresó de su octava visita a Cuba para ayudar con los sistemas de agua.

Él sigue volviendo porque “Cuba es un lugar especial. La gente es maravillosamente cálida. Su alegría de vivir y su bondad son palpables. Era evidente, justo ahí. Hay un sentido real de que ‘estamos en esto juntos y que debemos ayudarnos mutuamente’”, afirmó él.

La visión de Delgado se originó durante su ministerio como sacerdote en la iglesia de Santa María Virgen en Itabo, la congregación que ella atendió durante 25 años antes de ser elegida obispa.

La asociación con iglesias en la Diócesis de Florida y la instalación de sistemas de filtrado de agua provocó la transformación.

“En su iglesia en Itabo, la gente venía hasta de 100 kilómetros de distancia en caballos y carretones a buscar agua potable”, contó Cage. “Puedes imaginar el impacto que tiene el agua potable en la comunidad desde el punto de vista de la salud y el bienestar; las enfermedades se han reducido significativamente”.

La iglesia de Santa María Virgen, localizada en una zona rural a unos 370 kilómetros de La Habana, tiene ahora un huerto donde cultivan frijoles, maíz y café, y el plan es llegar a añadirle, con el tiempo, pollos y cerdos. “Los productos agrícolas [provenientes del huerto] se le venden a la comunidad a un precio muy módico. Al final de cada estación, se le reparten las semillas a la comunidad”, dijo Cage.

Como resultado, los huertos están prosperando en toda la comunidad de Itabo y también la asistencia a la iglesia. “Se trata de responder a las necesidades, mostrar compasión y amor y llevar la iglesia a la comunidad”, recalcó Cage.

Además, Delgado fue capaz de apuntalar en Itabo el edifico de la iglesia que estaba inestable y de levantar un albergue estilo dormitorio para visitantes, explicó Pollack. Un generador de biogás utiliza los desperdicios de los cerdos para hacer gas para cocinar, y el desarrollo de los huertos fue de vital importancia, afirmó Pollack “porque me explicaron que, antes, los alimentos tenían que importarse”.

Y agregó, “la visión de la obispa Griselda es sostenible. No hay manera de negar lo que ella ha llevado a cabo, dadas las circunstancias en Cuba y la situación histórica”.

Cage dijo que la organización Amigos de la Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba  espera coordinar relaciones semejantes entre otras iglesias estadounidenses y cubanas.

Asociaciones: Un ministerio transformador y de relación

Comiendo juntos, adorando juntos y visitando a los enfermos en sus hogares y orando por ellos resultó tan convincente para Stuart Weismiller como ver a una joven darle de beber las primeras gotas de agua pura a su marido, Chip, durante el viaje de ambos del 6 al 13 de noviembre de 2018.

Miembros de la iglesia de San Lucas, en Darien, Connecticut, y de la iglesia de Cristo, en Bronxville, Nueva York, se unieron a sus homólogos cubanos en comidas, cultos y visitas pastorales para orar por los enfermos en sus casas, entablando relaciones y fortaleciendo los lazos familiares. Foto de Stuart Weismiller.

Fue el segundo viaje a Santa Cruz del Norte de la pareja, miembros de la iglesia de San Lucas, en Darien, quienes lo consideran evangelización pura, no un ministerio de “proyecto”. “Queremos tener una relación con las personas. Es muy importante para nosotros participar en todas partes de los servicios de culto. Algunos miembros de nuestro grupo leen lecciones [en los oficios]. Comemos juntos. Nos abrazamos”, cuenta Chip Weismiller.

Él dijo que la visión de Delgado es sostenible y transformadora porque “una de las formas en que uno atrae gente a la iglesia es proporcionando un ambiente amoroso, de aceptación, y antes de que prediques nada, funcionas con hechos, y con acciones”.

Roger Martin, otro de los miembros de San Lucas en el viaje, se mostró de acuerdo. La iglesia de Delgado, dijo él “es un modelo de lo que puede hacerse”.

Según Martin, la asociación entre San Lucas y la iglesia de Santa Cruz del Norte ha crecido y ha prosperado. La adición de una comida dominical ha comenzado a edificar la comunidad, y la donación de un equipo de béisbol le ha permitido al rector, el Rdo. Frank Fernández Triana, organizar equipos de jóvenes y también llevarlos a la iglesia.

“Lo maravilloso de Cuba es que la gente que asiste a las iglesias episcopales son jóvenes. Sus padres puede que no vengan a la iglesia, pero ellos sí”, dijo Martin. Otras oportunidades siguen presentándose. “Debido a los huracanes [específicamente Irma], el techo de la iglesia está inestable”, apuntó Martin, que fue decano adjunto de la Escuela de Teología de Harvard de 1980 a 1986. “Nuestro plan es ayudarles a reconstruir el techo de la iglesia y pintarlo y repararlo. Mientras avanzamos, va a haber muchísimas cosas que hacer para mejorar la iglesia”.

Y añadió, “yo enseñaba misión en Harvard. No veo esto como una misión. Veo esto como trabajar con personas que pueden enseñarnos muchísimo acerca de la Iglesia”.

Grades desafíos, mayores sueños: descanso y pensiones para el clero

La visión de Delgado también incluye ayuda y apoyo para los clérigos cubanos que “no tienen pensiones del Estado o categoría equivalente de la seguridad social porque su servicio no se reconoce como empleo”, dijo la ex obispa primada Katharine Jefferts Schori, que actualmente es obispa auxiliar de la Diócesis de San Diego.

“En la Convención General de este verano, durante nuestra conversación sobre Cuba en la Cámara de Obispos, yo reté a la Cámara a pedirles a sus feligreses que donaran 0,50¢ para ayudar a las pensiones del clero cubano”, dijo Jefferts Schori.

“La cantidad total que se necesita es de unos $800.000, y ese monto es aproximadamente 0,50¢ por cada episcopal”, dijo ella en un email reciente a ENS. “Varias [diócesis] ya han respondido, y algunas han enviado más que eso. El Tesorero [de la Sociedad Misionera Nacional y Extranjera] ha establecido un fondo dedicado a recibir donaciones, y cualquier funcionario diocesano de finanzas puede pedirle  detalles a Kurt Barnes”.

Ella dijo que el clero cubano jubilado con frecuencia “vive en penuria, dependiendo de miembros de la familia o de sus propios magros ahorros para sostenerse. Algunos clérigos en Cuba, que prestaron servicios allí antes de que esa diócesis se quedara a la deriva en 1965, si reciben pequeñas pensiones del CPG [el Grupo de Pensiones de la Iglesia], pero hasta hace pocos años ha sido muy difícil enviar esos fondos limitados desde EE.UU.”.

Varias diócesis, entre ellas San Diego, Arkansas, Luisiana, Nueva York, Vermont y Utah, han respondido, haciendo llamados a sus congregaciones a ayudar en este empeño. Sin embargo, N. Kurt Barnes, el Tesorero de la Iglesia Episcopal, rehusó hacer comentarios  sobre el monto de lo recaudado hasta ahora.

“Esto sólo ha comenzado recientemente; y no creo que podamos proporcionar totales actualizados”, dijo él a ENS en un email. “No obstante, hemos abierto una cuenta de custodia para recibir y guardar los fondos”.

Jefferts Schori añadió que la Iglesia de EE.UU. tiene mucho que aprender de su hermana cubana.

“Ellos son muy emprendedores y están apasionadamente dedicados a ayudar a sus prójimos”, le dijo en un email a ENS. Además, Delgado “ha ayudado a producir un plan de desarrollo para la diócesis que está empezando a dar abundante fruto —en lo que respecta a formación, responsabilidad y pastoralmente. Yo animaría a cualquiera que esté interesado en visitar, aprender más y entablar una relación de mutualidad a largo plazo.

“Nuestros hermanos y hermanas en Cristo en Cuba tienen mucho que mostrar y enseñar y ofrecer”, dijo Jefferts Schori. “Lo que no tienen son muchos dólares. Piensen en esto como algo semejante a la colecta de Pablo para los pobres de Jerusalén. Hemos recibido de vuelta a la Diócesis de Cuba en la Iglesia Episcopal : esta es una manera de salvar el abismo entre EE.UU. y Cuba”.

– La Rda Pat McCaughan es corresponsal de Episcopal News Service.

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Anglican leaders from the Americas conclude regional primates meeting

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 3:31pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglican primates from the Americas and the Caribbean have concluded their regional meeting Nov. 29 with a commitment to continue meeting regularly and working together in the coming years. The three-day meeting, at the convent of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto, was characterized as being “not just honest talks, but very honest talks which enabled us to face the difficulties in the Communion and move forward together in Christ.”

Read the full article here.

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Se aceptan solicitudes para el cargo de Director Ejecutivo Adjunto

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 8:12am
La Iglesia Episcopal está aceptando solicitudes para el cargo de Director Ejecutivo Adjunto, el cual es parte de la Oficina Ejecutiva de la Convención General.

El Director Ejecutivo Adjunto organiza y supervisa el trabajo de investigación canónica de la Convención General (los informes diocesanos y parroquiales y demás datos relacionados), trabajando con asesores profesionales, el Church Pension Group (CPG) y otros colaboradores que realizan análisis estadísticos y demográficos. El Director Ejecutivo Adjunto también organiza y supervisa las funciones de la Oficina de la Convención General que tienen que ver con encuentros presenciales y la planeación o ejecución de eventos. Así mismo, coordina el trabajo de logística que realizan el personal y los consultores para las reuniones de la Convención General, el Consejo Ejecutivo, los organismos interinos y otras reuniones similares. Por pedido del Director Ejecutivo, el Director Adjunto representa al Director Ejecutivo en reuniones y funge como Registrador Adjunto, a la vez que realiza otras funciones según sean asignadas.

El Director Ejecutivo también deberá recibir capacitación de la Suplente de Legislación, adquirir los conocimientos de las funciones legislativas de la Oficina de la Convención General y prestar apoyo cuando sea necesario.

La información sobre este cargo y los detalles para presentar solicitudes están disponibles aquí.  Además de completar su perfil y de enviar su currículum, sírvase también enviar una carta de presentación que incluya por los menos tres referencias profesionales. La fecha límite para presentar solicitudes es el 21 de diciembre de 2018.

Para más información, comuníquese con la oficina de Recursos Humanos de la Iglesia Episcopal en HRM@episcopalchurch.org.

El Centro de la Iglesia Episcopal (The Episcopal Church Center) es la oficina [central] de la Sociedad Misionera Doméstica y Extranjera (DFMS, por su sigla en inglés), que es la entidad corporativa de la Iglesia Episcopal. La DFMS es un empleador que garantiza la igualdad de oportunidades laborales e incentiva la participación de solicitantes calificados que son miembros de grupos protegidos contra la discriminación de empleo según las leyes federales, estatales y municipales, así como también los cánones de la Iglesia y las resoluciones de la Convención General.

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South Sudan archbishop prays for peace with country’s president

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 4:53pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] South Sudan Archbishop Justin Badi Arama has paid a visit to South Sudan President Salva Kiir to pray for peace in the country. During the visit, Arama thanked Kiir for his continued support for the country’s churches and for his support for the funeral of the late Bishop Peter Munde, who died last month.

Read the full article here.

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Archbishop of Central America elected to Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 4:50pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Julio Murray, primate of the Anglican Church in the Central America Region, has been elected as the Americas’ regional primate on the Anglican Communion’s Primates’ Standing Committee and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council. The elections took place as the leaders of the Anglican Church in the Americas and Caribbean gathered in Toronto, Canada, for a regional primates meeting.

Read the full article here.

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Strengthening family ties, sparking transformation with Cuba

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 11:41am

The Episcopal Church in Cuba held its annual General Synod in Havana Feb. 21-23, 2014, and adopted a three-year strategic plan. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service] Now that the Diocese of Cuba is officially back in the Episcopal Church’s fold, Bishop Griselda Delgado Del Carpio has big dreams for strengthening family ties and sparking transformation.

For starters, Delgado wants “everybody to know how happy I am to be back in the family” and hopes to extend to other dioceses and congregations the bridges she’s built with the Diocese of North Florida, over the past 30 years.

“For 30 years, we have learned to love each other, to work together, to respect each other and share gifts that each community has to offer the other,” she said in a recent telephone interview with the Episcopal News Service, via an interpreter.

“For us, a partnership means for two communities to work together, receiving and giving and valuing each other’s journey in the process, and valuing each other’s gifts.”

After a 52-year estrangement, the 79th General Convention July 5-13, 2018. in Austin, Texas, approved reunification with the Episcopal Church in Cuba.

Resolution A238 called “upon the dioceses, congregations and members of The Episcopal Church to acquaint themselves with the ministries of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba,” and to work in harmony and companionship for evangelism, mutual understanding, and the full expression of God’s mission, and to consider ways to be in partnership.

Bishop Griselda—as she is affectionately called—is hoping to live more fully and deeply into the spirit of the resolution, creating partnerships while deepening relationship with U.S. siblings. She aims to spark transformation by focusing on building community through rebuilding churches, and hopes to provide pensions for diocesan clergy.

The diocese encompasses 46 congregations and five small missions that are “becoming and growing and staring to grow up” she said. Each one faces different challenges but “each one can be worked out individually,” Delgado said confidently.

“The main thing is to be able to continue to bring the Good News to the people,” she said, “with the evangelistic tool of love and of knowing Jesus.

“We have much to learn from each other,” she added. “We want to do all of that while reaffirming the identity of the people of Cuba. This is what Cubans have to give to the world, their own experience and journey of faith in the church.”

Evangelism: clean water, hot meals, gardens

Chip Weismiller recently returned from helping to install a water filtration system at Santa Cruz del Norte Episcopal Church near Havana, along with others from St. Luke’s Church in Darien, Connecticut, and from Christ Church in Bronxville, New York.

Members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut, and Christ Church, Bronxville, New York, join their Cuban counterparts to help assemble and install water filtration systems at Santa Cruz del Norte Church. Photo: Stuart Weismiller

It means clean water, not just for the church, but for the entire community, “they are expecting to have 100 people a day come there to get fresh water,” he said.

It is a model for jump-starting ministries in areas with crumbling infrastructure and where, for several generations, the society has not approved of church, according to Pat Cage, who helped form Friends of the Episcopal Church of Cuba, at Delgado’s request.

The U.S.-based volunteer organization was created to assist Delgado to “realize their transformational vision of creating a church that, united in diversity, celebrates, preaches, teaches, serves and shares the love of God,” according to Cage.

“A way Bishop Griselda is trying to rebuild the church community is to serve the basic needs of the people,” according to Cage, a member of St. Luke’s, Darien, who has also visited Cuba.

The Rev. Yamily Bass-Choate, vicar of Iglesia Memorial de San Andres, Yonkers, New York, said her congregation, along with members of Christ Church, Bronxville, has partnered with the Diocese of Cuba, taking groups of teenagers to learn about the culture and people and to assist with establishing water filtrations systems.

“We have installed about 26 water filtration systems since we began several years ago, and have also trained people there to do it,” Bass-Choate told ENS.

“Bishop Griselda has a wonderful vision for the diocese,” said Michael Pollack, a Christ Church parishioner who recently returned from his eighth visit to Cuba to help with the water systems.

He keeps returning because “Cuba is a special place. The people are wonderfully warm. Their joyfulness for life and the goodness in it is palpable. It was right out there in front of everything, right there. There is a real sense of ‘we’re in this together and we need to help each other,’” he said.

Delgado’s vision originated during her ministry as priest at Iglesia Maria Virgen in Itabo, the congregation she served for about 25 years before she was elected bishop.

Partnering with churches in the Diocese of North Florida, the installation of a water filtration system sparked transformation.

“At her church in Itabo, people come from literally a hundred miles away in horses and buggies to get clean drinking water,” Cage said. “You can imagine the impact clean drinking water has on the community from a health and wellness standpoint; illness has been significantly reduced.”

Iglesia Maria Virgen, located in a rural area about 850 miles from Havana, also created a garden, growing beans, corn, coffee, eventually adding chickens and pigs. “The agricultural products are sold at a very low price to the community. At the end of each season, the seeds are given out to the community,” Cage said.

As a result, gardens are on the rise around the entire community of Itabo and so is church attendance. “It is meeting the needs, showing compassion and love and bringing church into the community,” said Cage. She said the Friends’ organization is hoping to facilitate similar partnerships between U.S. and Cuban churches.

Additionally, Delgado was able to shore up an unstable church facility and erect a dormitory-style dwelling for visitors in Itabo, Pollack said. A bio-gas generator uses waste from pigs to make cooking gas, and developing the gardens was vitally important, said Pollack, “because it was explained to me that before, food had to be imported.”

He added that: “Bishop Griselda’s vision is sustainable. There is no way to deny what she’s accomplished, given the circumstances in Cuba and the historical situation.”

Partnerships: a transformational, ‘relational’ ministry

Eating together, worshipping together, visiting the sick in their homes and praying for them felt as powerful for Stuart Weismiller as did watching a young girl sip her first drops of clean water for her husband Chip during their Nov. 6-13, 2018, trip.

St. Luke’s and Christ Church’s team joined their Cuban counterparts for meals, worship, even pastoral visits to pray for the sick in their homes, developing relationships and strengthening family ties. Photo: Stuart Weismiller

It was the second trip to Santa Cruz del Norte for the couple, members of St. Luke’s, Darien, who consider it pure evangelism, not a “project” ministry. “We want to have a relationship with the people. It was very important for us to partake in all parts of the worship services. Some members of our group read lessons. We ate together. We hugged each other,” according to Chip Weismiller.

He said Delgado’s vision is sustainable and transformational because “one of the ways you attract people to church is to provide a loving, accepting environment, and, way before you preach anything, you behave in deeds and actions.”

Roger Martin, also a St. Luke’s member who joined the trip, agreed. Delgado’s church, he said, “is a model for what can be done.”

According to Martin, the partnership between St. Luke’s and Santa Cruz del Norte Church has grown and blossomed. The addition of a Sunday evening meal has begun to build community, and the donation of baseball equipment has allowed the rector, the Rev. Frank Fernandez Triana, to organize teams of young people and also to bring them into the church.

“The wonderful thing about Cuba is the people going to Episcopal churches are young. Their parents may not come to church, but they do,” Martin said.Other opportunities continue to unfold: “because of the hurricanes [specifically Irma], the roof of the church is unstable,” said Martin, who served as associate dean of the Divinity School at Harvard from 1980 to 1986. “Our plan is to help them reconstruct the roof of the church and have it painted and fixed up. As we move forward, there’s going to be a lot of things to do to really improve the church.”

He added: “I taught mission at Harvard. I don’t see this as mission. I see this as working with people who can teach us a whole lot about the church.”

Big challenges, bigger dreams: Rest, pensions for clergy

Delgado’s vision also includes aid and support to Cuban clergy, who “have no state pensions or equivalent kind of social security because their service is not recognized as employment,” said former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, now assisting bishop in the Diocese of San Diego.

“At General Convention last summer, during our conversation about Cuba in the House of Bishops, I challenged the House to ask their congregants to offer $0.50 to help fund pensions for the Cuban clergy,” said Jefferts Schori.

“The total need is about $800,000 and that amounts to about $0.50 per Episcopalian,” she said in a recent email to ENS. “Several have already responded, and some dioceses have sent more than that. The [Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s] treasurer has established a dedicated fund to receive donations, and any diocesan finance officer can ask Kurt Barnes for details.”

She said retired Cuban clergy often “live in penury, depending on family members or their own meagre savings for support.  Some clergy in Cuba who served in Cuba before that diocese was set adrift in 1965 do receive small pensions from CPG [the Church Pension Group], but until the last few years it’s been very difficult to send those limited funds from the USA.”

Several dioceses, among them San Diego, Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, Vermont and Utah, have responded, issuing calls to their congregations to aid the effort. Episcopal Church Treasurer N. Kurt Barnes declined, however, to comment about the amounts raised thus far.

“This has only recently begun; and I don’t think we are likely to provide running totals,” he told ENS in an email. “We have, however, established a custodial account to receive and hold the funds.  Cuba Pensions custodial account number 20-101-2711-5787.”

Jefferts Schori added that the U.S. church has much to learn from its Cuban sibling.

“They are highly entrepreneurial and passionately focused on aiding their neighbors,” she told ENS in an email. Additionally, Bishop Griselda “has helped produce a development plan for the diocese that is beginning to bear abundant fruit – in terms of formation, accountability, partnerships and pastorally. I would encourage anyone with an interest to visit, learn more, and build a long-term relationship of mutuality.

“Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Cuba have much to show and teach and offer,” she said. “What they don’t have is much in the way of dollars. Think of this as something like Paul’s collection for the poor in Jerusalem. We have welcomed the Diocese of Cuba back into the Episcopal Church – this is a way of bridging the divide between the U.S. and Cuba.”

— The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.

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