July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
What if you received a gift, and the only way you could truly enjoy it was to give it away? This week I have been reflecting on the importance of exchanging gifts within the Church and greater world. In ecclesiastical circles, the term "exchange of gifts" hearkens back to Unitatis Redintegratio, the Second Vatican Council’s decree on Ecumenism, and is featured in a rereading of that decree and its implications 40 years later by then President of the PCPCU, Cardinal Walter Kaspar. These two documents represent formal and high-level institutional attempts at approaching the oneness Jesus prayed for in John (John 17:20), and Receptive Ecumenismexpands and develops many of the principles found within them.
[Episcopal News Service – Philadelphia] Americans are increasingly worried about the country’s polarized political debate and religious communities can help foster a return to respectful dialogue, said panelists in the Episcopal Church’s civil discourse forum here Oct. 22.
[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.”
I have been to 14 conventions of the CECE; this is the fourteenth. The closing Eucharist, to me, has always been a mixture of gladness and happiness...happiness that Convention is over, and sadness, as well, that it is over, because Convention is the only time when others who belong to our scattered jurisdiction can see what I, as Bishop, get to see on a regular basis: the energy, the vitality, the intelligence...and the sheer talent that our churches are blessed with. Faithfulness, outstanding outreach ministries…it is all here, and yet, the Convocation is still very much under construction, and it always will be. But today is a day to celebrate who we are, and to celebrate that we are able to be with our brother and colleague, Bishop Jorge Cabral, bishop of the Lustianian Church – the Portuguese-Anglican church, and with all of the clergy assembled here.
[Anglicans Online] All Episcopalians belong to the Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society. Since its founding, the Society in its “foreign mission” has sought to help people in other nations to establish their own autonomous Church. Altogether, we have founded seven provinces or “national churches” of the thirty-eight churches of the Anglican Communion. Today we have eleven dioceses outside the United States, plus the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. We are continuing to develop them in mind of that eventual autonomy.
Dear People of God in the Convocation of Church in Europe, I am writing to you as we begin our annual convention. It is an obligation, as the canon law of The Episcopal Church requires bishops to make an annual Address to their conventions and synods. But for six years now, since the Waterloo Convention in 2008, I have refrained from reading the address to the delegates, in favor of a Pastoral Letter to be distributed to all the members of the Episcopal Churches in Europe.