July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel entitled You Can’t Go Home Again, which tells the story of a man who returns after many years to his hometown and becomes sorely disillusioned by what he finds. What he had once experienced as a place of innocence had given way to something altogether hostile, ravaged by the passing of time and the inevitability of change. The man concludes: ‘You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood... back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and fame... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.’
Let your Word dwell richly in our hearts our God, to bring us light and life, and love for your son, Jesus Christ, through whom we pray. Amen. So, are you ready? You know what time of year it is. They say that Christmas is for children. I am not sure about that, in fact, I would disagree. Advent is definitely for adults. And this is the first day of Advent. It is the first day of the church year, so happy new year. I am going to spend a little bit of time talking about these traditions and so forth, but then to get to what advent is trying to point us to, which is the Gospel.
How can we pray this prayer of all prayers, here in Paris, the day after? O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP) Yes, Jesus did command us: “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.” (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27). Really?
The installation of the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry as the 27th presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church was undeniably a global and interreligious celebration with the Anglican Communion and the world’s Abrahamic faiths well represented. Six primates and several other Anglican leaders traveled to Washington National Cathedral for the Nov. 1 service that marked the official start of Curry’s nine-year term as presiding bishop and primate. Among the regions and countries represented were Brazil, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Korea, Middle East, Nigeria, Philippines, Southern Africa, West Africa, and the West Indies.The Rev. Christine Hardman, bishop of Newcastle designate, Church of England, attended as the representative of Lambeth Palace, the London residence of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
The Episcopal Church in Europe is helping refugees escaping war and persecution to find new homes in France. The Association d’Entraide aux Minorités d’Orient -- a non-profit organization set up to help the French government identify candidates eligible for asylum -- has helped to resettle more than 2,600, twice the number since this video was first published in June 2013. A.E.M.O., set up in 2007 by Bishop Pierre Whalon and Iraqi businessman Elish Yako, has largely focused on Iraqi Christian refugees. In the past two years it has also helped many Syrian minorities escaping persecution. The association meets the refugees as they enter France and assists them with integration and administrative issues.
As thousands of refugees fleeing conflict started arriving at the train station in Budapest, Hungary, in early summer, Episcopalians Lora Bernabei and her husband Arthur Reynolds knew that as Christians they were called to respond with loving kindness. They gathered apples from their 500-acre farm in southwest Hungary, loaded their car and drove to the capital to start distributing them to the men, women and children who’d walked for weeks to find safety in the arms of their European neighbors. The refugees were exhausted, traumatized and desperately in need of food and water.
A Pastoral Address to the People of God of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
[Episcopal News Service – Brussels, Belgium] Etched on a sign outside a makeshift refugee camp in north Brussels were the words “Et si c’était toi?” For the Rev. Sunny Hallanan and her parishioners at All Saints Episcopal Church in nearby Waterloo, Belgium, that question – “What if it were you?” – has been a constant reminder that those escaping conflict and persecution need to be treated with compassion and respect rather than suspicion and fear. After a month volunteering at the camp in Maximilien Park, Hallanan got to know many of the refugees. Although she didn’t speak much Arabic and they had yet to grasp basic French, just to sit with the refugees and to share the few words they did know seemed to be enough to form friendships and build trust.
The camp has been called ‘the Jungle,’ an apt name considering the conditions that exist there. Thousands of refugees have gathered in the Jungle, just outside of Calais, each with a story of hardship and horror. They are trying to reach the UK by crossing the Channel. Some try to stow away in lorries headed for the Eurotunnel, others in people’s cars or even find a way to hide on the trains. Their desperation mirrors the disturbing images we have seen of migrants crossing the Mediterranean in rickety vessels. Here, too, in the Jungle some have died for their efforts, though their numbers are not to be compared to the thousands that have died at sea.
The letter of James is something that we hear only once every three years, and it is worth remembering that two of our sacramental practices are based on this Scripture: the anointing of the sick, which when I was a boy was called Extreme Unction and was supposed to be reserved only for the dying (but is now much more the sick), and the other is the sacrament of reconciliation also known Penance. If you will take your Italian books and open to page 253 in the BCP, you will see this title, Ministration to the Sick, or if your prefer, 'minister per i malati.' This is based on this letter of James that we read today.