July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
Episcopal Relief & Development is working with local organizations as well as Anglican Communion and ecumenical agencies to provide assistance in Syria and in Europe to people fleeing ongoing violence. In Europe, the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe is helping to host and to resettle people in their new home countries. Churches are actively responding at a local level in Rome, Munich, Paris and Brussels, among other cities. "The way in which our 21 congregations have responded makes me very proud,” said The Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. “While Episcopal churches in Europe have had significant refugee ministries since the Second World War, our people have unanimously increased their present work."
For the past 2 years, the former bus driver from Portland, Oregon, has been forced to recycle his life in Germany, a country he’d not stepped foot in for almost 60 years. He didn’t even speak the language. In 1956, when Harry was 4 years old, his mother decided they should leave their German homeland in search of a better life. One week later, America was their new home. In all that time, Harry had never sought U.S. citizenship. He never thought he would need it. But after a brush with the law, on paper and in the eyes of U.S. Immigration, Harry was German and his destiny already set. Christ the King Episcopal Church in Frankfurt helps people like Harry rebuild their lives through a ministry called Heimkehrer, which means homecomer.
[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler grew up in Senegal, a predominately Muslim country in West Africa where his father was a minister. Throughout his childhood he observed the tension between Muslims and Christians. “I thought there has to be a better way. Most of my best friends were Muslims, and today still, Muslims number among my closest friends,” the Episcopal priest said, sitting on a wooden bench at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. He answered logistics calls and texts on his cell phone while taking a break from working on the 2014 CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art, “AMEN: A Prayer for the World.”
A communiqué from Bishop Pierre about the crisis in Iraq. Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, The situation in Iraq has become ever more dramatic. Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims are being routinely executed, families separated, the women and girls raped and sold into slavery, and entire populations driven from their homes to wander the unsafe roads of Iraq. Recently, the French government has found that it must re-open her doors to Iraqi asylum seekers, and a few people have begun to arrive. I have heard from many of you, asking “how can I be part of this mission work?”
Aéroport de Roissy (France) - Onze Irakiens de confession chrétienne, bénéficiaires de visas d'asile en raison des persécutions dont sont victimes les membres de cette communauté dans le pays, sont arrivés jeudi matin à l'aéroport de Roissy, à constaté un journaliste de l'AFP. Selon l'Association d'entraide aux minorités d'Orient (AEMO), qui les a accueillis, il s'agit des premiers chrétiens d'Irak à bénéficier de ce statut depuis que le gouvernement français a annoncé, le 28 juillet, vouloir favoriser leur accueil dans l'Hexagone.
[PARIS] L'Association d'entraide aux minorités d'Orient (AEMO) exprime sa très forte émotion devant l'exode auquel ont été contraints les chrétiens et d'autres communautés de Mossoul, en Irak, et exprime sa solidarité avec une population déjà si lourdement éprouvée.
[TEDxLSE] Writer and pilgrim Adam Weymouth reflects on the remarkable hospitality he encountered during an eight month walk taken from his home in Wiltshire, England to Istanbul. In the Bible, he says, 'the word often translated as "hospitality" is the Greek philoxenia, a love of strangers. And this goes both ways, for in a hospitable relationship each is a stranger unto the other – it is about recognising both the other within oneself, and oneself in the other.' 'We can never know where the act of hospitality will lead us. We would do well to open our doors more often.'
An Episcopal priest who worked as a volunteer in Sudan says that recent fighting, while tragic, does not cause him to lose hope in the church’s peace ministry there. "When I hear news reports of an alleged coup attempt that sparked weeks of fighting in South Sudan, " says Ross Kane, "I think back to when I was a young volunteer with the Episcopal Church working with the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC). an ecumenical body representing Southern Sudanese churches -- responded by initiating grass-roots peace dialogues. These dialogues brought together Dinka and Nuer chiefs, politicians and religious leaders in order to name past atrocities and to seek..."
[Episcopal News Service] The remains of the two most iconic symbols of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, — its murals and its bells — are entombed today on the cathedral grounds awaiting resurrection. Episcopalians have an opportunity on the fourth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated wide swaths of the country, to hasten that resurrection. Already, there is new life in other parts of the diocese’s ministries. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has called on the church to “pray and give” in a special 'anniversary' offering to help the Diocese of Haiti rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral. ...Jefferts Schori said in her invitation that “rebuilding the cathedral offers hope not only to Episcopalians but to the nation as a whole – a sign that God is present, that God continues to create out of dust, and that God abides in the spirit of his people.”
In her article, 'Fortified by Faith, Combating Global Trafficking', Amy Roth Sandrolini talks about her life's work as a journalist and human rights activist. Part of her story is set in Rome, where she was serving as a press officer to the Embassy of the United States to the Holy See. She supported to the embassy's nascent partnership with a network of Catholic nuns in a project to provide safe havens to exploited young women. While posted in Italy, Amy served on the vestry at St. Paul's Within the Walls, a congregation of the Convocation. Later, she served as a member of the Bishop's Council of Advice. She is the daughter of an Episcopal priest.