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Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

Follow social media coverage of Presiding Bishop headlining San Joaquin revival

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 4:24pm

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry are holding a three-day Episcopal revival from Nov. 17 to 19, with an emphasis on sharing a bold, inclusive vision of faith in action.

The weekend features a variety of public events and preaching by Curry, whose office is teaming up with local leaders to organize Episcopal revivals across America and beyond. You can follow the events this weekend using the hashtag #EDSJrevival or by checking the social media feed below.

Anglican redevelopment project in Hong Kong wins UNESCO award

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:50pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] An innovative community regeneration project by the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui – the Anglican Church in Hong Kong – has been given an Award of Excellence by UNESCO in its Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The Blue House Cluster Project, by the HKSKH’s St James’ Settlement NGO, is the first project in Hong Kong to win Unesco’s top award in this category.

The citation states that “this unprecedented civic effort to protect marginalized local heritage in one of the world’s most high-pressure real estate markets is an inspiration for other embattled urban districts in the region and beyond.”

Read the full article here.

Invitación a presentar aportes y comentarios sobre el borrador preliminar del presupuesto para el trienio 2019-2021 de la Iglesia Episcopal

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 7:05am

Los episcopales de toda la iglesia están invitados a presentar aportes y comentarios sobre el borrador preliminar del presupuesto para el trienio 2019-20121.

“Los presupuestos del trienio anterior y en curso se elaboraron para reflejar las Cinco Marcas de la Misión”, manifestó en su carta resumen Tess Judge, miembro y presidente del Comité Permanente Conjunto [del Consejo] de Finanzas para la Misión. “El presupuesto de 2019-2021 se basa en el Movimiento de Jesús cuyas prioridades son la Evangelización, la Reconciliación y Justicia Raciales y la Mayordomía del Medioambiente.

Añadió Judge “una de las ventajas del presupuesto del Movimiento de Jesús es que este refleja el modo en que el personal está organizado, por departamento, en lugar de disperso a través de las Cinco Marcas y otras áreas como en el pasado. De manera que las partidas de comunicación, informe, colaboración y creación del presupuesto resultan más claras. En la transición al Movimiento de Jesús, algunas secciones del presupuesto cambiaron de lugar, de manera que puede ser difícil hacer comparaciones directas entre gastos en áreas de presupuestos anteriores con los gastos que se proyectan en el próximo trienio. Y la comparación de porcentajes puede resultar inexacta”.

Después de las sugerencias y aportes, el borrador preliminar del presupuesto será elaborado para su aprobación por el Consejo Ejecutivo de la Iglesia Episcopal en su reunión de enero de 2018. De ahí en adelante, el Consejo Ejecutivo presentará el borrador de presupuesto al Comité Permanente Conjunto de Programa, Presupuesto y Finanzas (PB&F por su sigla en inglés) en febrero, el cual a su vez elaborará el presupuesto final para su aprobación durante la Convención General el próximo verano.

• El borrador preliminar del presupuesto está disponible aquí
• Puede someter sus aportes y comentarios aquí

• La fecha límite para presentar comentarios es el 10 de enero de 2018. 

Hitos
Una narrativa disponible aquí presenta información resumida sobre el borrador preliminar del presupuesto.

He aquí unos cuantos hitos:
• Las dos primeras páginas proveen un resumen del ingreso que se espera, 128’429.734 dólares y se proyecta que los gastos ascenderán a 132’921.145, lo cual resulta en un déficit de 4’491.411 dólares

Entre los hitos de la página de ingresos (1): 
• Partida 2 – Compromisos diocesanos (Tasaciones obligatorias a partir del 1 de enero de 2019). En los compromisos del actual trienio la solicitud [diocesana] se redujo de un 18% a un 15% con una exención de 150.000 dólares para cada diócesis. La cifra de la partida 2 [del presupuesto] 2016-2018 es el compromiso real que se esperaba (no un pleno compromiso asumido). El presupuesto 2019-2021 muestra una cifra bruta, la totalidad de la tasación prevista del 15% con una exención de 140.000 dólares proyectada para todas las diócesis. El recuadro rojo que sigue es una prestación para aquellas diócesis a las que el Consejo Ejecutivo podría concederles dispensas de pagar el monto total en el proceso de Revisión de Tasaciones.

• Partida 3 – Ingreso proveniente de activos irrestrictos y de fondos externos. Estos dos renglones representan una extracción de un 5% de las inversiones.

• Partida 3 – Campaña de Solicitud Anual – 500.000 dólares provenientes de la nueva solicitud anual de fondos del Departamento de Desarrollo para financiar ministerios en el presupuesto operativo. De este [dinero] 88.000 dólares cubrirán los costos de las campañas anuales.

• Partida 4b – Reconciliación Racial – Se reservaron 2 millones de dólares de las reservas a corto plazo en el trienio actual. Puesto que este era un programa completamente nuevo, tomó más de un año que se pusiera plenamente en marcha, de ahí que no se gastaran los 2 millones de dólares. El presupuesto 2019-2021 contempla más de 1 millón de dólares para esta labor.

Entre los hitos de la página de gastos (2):
• Las categorías de los gastos para el presupuesto 2019-2021 incluyen: Evangelización, Reconciliación y Justicia Raciales, Cuidado de la Creación, Ministerio del Obispo Primado para la Iglesia y el Mundo, Misión dentro de la Iglesia Episcopal, Misión fuera de la Iglesia Episcopal, Gobierno de la Misión y Áreas Financieras, Legales y Operacionales de la Misión. Estas [categorías] no se corresponden perfectamente con las categorías presupuestarias de las Cinco Marcas.

• Personal- todas las partidas de personal incluyen un aumento de un 3% cada año y un cálculo estimativo de un 9% en costos de seguro de salud. El Obispo Primado ha expresado su satisfacción con la actual plantilla del personal y pide que no haya nuevos contratos en el presupuesto 2019-2021.

• Cámara de Diputados, Partida 298 – Los costos de personal incluyen 900.000 dólares para salarios y beneficios para el/la Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados para garantizar que los fondos estén disponibles si los aprueba la Convención General.

Convención General
La 79.ª Convención General de la Iglesia Episcopal se llevará a cabo del jueves 5 de julio al viernes 13 de julio de 2018 en el Centro de Convenciones Austin  de la ciudad de Austin, Texas. (Diócesis de Texas)

La Convención General de la Iglesia Episcopal se celebra cada tres años para deliberar los asuntos legislativos de la Iglesia. La Convención General es el organismo bicameral que gobierna la Iglesia, compuesta de la Cámara de Obispos, con más de 200 obispos activos y jubilados, y la Cámara de Diputados, con más de 800 diputados clérigos y laicos electos, provenientes de las 109 diócesis y tres zonas regionales de la Iglesia. Entre convenciones, la Convención General continúa funcionando a través de sus comités y comisiones. El Consejo Ejecutivo de la Iglesia Episcopal lleva a cabo los programas y políticas adoptadas por la Convención General.

Study measures economic impact of historically black colleges, including 2 with Episcopal ties

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 3:52pm

[Episcopal News Service] The two historically black colleges with longtime ties to the Episcopal Church have significant economic impacts on their communities and on the lives of their graduates, according to a study released this week that quantifies that impact for a hundred such institutions in the country.

Saint Augustine’s University generates $72 million in annual economic activity in and around Raleigh, North Carolina, while Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, generates $17 million in economic impact, according to the study from United Negro College Fund, or UNCF.

Those two Episcopal-affiliated institutions and other historically black colleges and universities, also referred to as HBCUs, combine to generate an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion, the equivalent of a top 200 ranking in the Fortune 500, according to the report, titled “HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

Everett Ward became the 11th president of Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, in April 2015. Photo: Saint Augustine’s University

“Not only are each of our institutions strong as far as educational vehicles for American society, but also, to look at it from an economic impact … these are universities that have tremendous impact,” Everett Ward, president of Saint Augustine’s, said in a phone interview with Episcopal News Service.

The report defines economic impact as “direct spending by HBCUs on faculty, employees, academic programs and operations and by students attending the institutions, as well as the follow-on effects of that spending.”

UNCF also collected data on jobs produced by the colleges and the estimated lifetime earnings of the colleges’ graduates.

“The economic benefits of HBCUs extend to more than just the students themselves,” UNCF President Michael Lomax said in the study’s summary. “They’re

equally important to the communities, and the regions, that HBCUs have served for more than 100 years.”

Historically black colleges and universities were founded in the post-Civil War period to provide educational opportunities to black men and women who were excluded from white institutions of higher education because of segregation. The Episcopal Church at one point supported 11 HBCUs in Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Saint Augustine’s was created in 1867 by the Episcopal Church and opened its doors the following January. The school that later would become Voorhees College was founded in 1897, and the Episcopal Church has supported it since 1924.

The Episcopal Church’s financial support of those two schools continues today. General Convention approved $2 million for the two schools in its 2016-2018 budget, including $400,000 in long-term development grants. Separately, the church’s Development Office is working to increases awareness of the schools within the church and to help with fundraising.

The UNCF report is based on 2014 data, which showed all HBCUs generated 134,000 jobs and more than 50,000 graduates that year who could expect to earn a combined total of $130 billion in their lifetimes.

For Saint Augustine’s, the study tallied 684 jobs, 301 on campus and 383 off campus, and the  university’s 226 graduates in 2014 were expected to earn $574 million in their lifetimes.

Voorhees was found to generate 287 jobs, including 196 on campus and 91 off campus. The lifetime earnings for its 117 graduates in 2014 were estimated at $297 million.

The study also concluded that those earnings estimates represented 77 percent more than what the graduates would have earned without college degrees, or about $1.1 million more per graduate.

Facts sheets on each of the 100 HBCUs are available on the UNCF website.

The scope of the study was limited to the direct economic impact of the colleges and universities, which paints a positive picture but doesn’t tell the full story, the website HBCU Digest said in an analysis. “So much vital data about HBCU value is absent,” the website says, citing the additional economic value of the institutions’ athletics, social events, volunteerism, capital projects and philanthropy.

Ward, the Saint Augustine’s president, acknowledged the study could have incorporated more data but said it was well done. “This study can grow in future years as they begin to widen their scope and look at other indicators,” he said.

One key metric from his perspective is the 65 percent of Saint Augustine’s students who come from North Carolina, many of whom are expected to remain in the state after graduation and contribute to the local economy.

Ward sees the UNCF study released this week as a valuable tool for showing the impact of his and other colleges.

“We plan to share it with the business community here,” he said. “We are sharing it with community stakeholders so that the larger community understands the impact that the university has.”

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

Webinar to discuss World Council of Churches’ global birth registration campaign

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 3:00pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The World Council of Churches will hold a webinar – or online seminar – next Nov. 20, World Children’s Day, to discuss the global campaign for birth registration. The participants will include the director for mission in the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Canon John Kafwanka, who will explain the consequences he faced as somebody whose birth, in Zambia, wasn’t registered. Every year, 51 million children worldwide are not registered. Without birth certificates, children become vulnerable to sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour, forced conscription, illegal detention and child marriage, officials say.

Read the entire article here.

Fijian churches unite to ‘Break the Silence’ on violence against women

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:54pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Churches across Fiji will observe “Break the Silence Sunday” this weekend, in what is described as “their most visible effort to halt the epidemic of violence against women in Pacific Island nations.” Research conducted by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre suggests that 64 percent of Fijian women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced physical or sexual abuse meted out by their husbands or partners. Church leaders say they want to break “the culture of silence and shame” on gender-based violence.

Read the entire article here.

Anglican archbishop calls for prayer, dialogue amid political upheaval in Zimbabwe

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:15pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Church leaders from Zimbabwe, central Africa and Europe have been commenting on the ongoing political situation in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe remains under house arrest.

In a pastoral letter Nov. 16, Archbishop of Central Africa Albert Chama echoed the call for prayer and dialogue that was issued a dat earlier by the Heads of Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe. “This sad situation needs more than a political solution. It also needs all people of faith to pray and all citizens to engage in dialogue for the sake of peace and stability in Zimbabwe,” said Chama, who is also the chair of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa.

Read the full article here.

Ahead of General Convention, Episcopalians consider Church Pension Fund’s service to a changing church

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:09am

[Episcopal News Service] As the Church Pension Fund rounds its 100th anniversary year and enters a second century, many Episcopalians are considering how its ministry might need to change to serve a changing church.

If the church’s “traditional” clergy employment model was a priest – always male until 1977 – employed full time with regular salary increases, who rarely interrupted his service and who rarely worked in the church after retirement, then only 58 percent of clergy now fit into that model, according to recent Pension Fund research. Sixty-one percent of those priests are male, 33 percent are female.

A growing number of clergy typically work part-time for multiple church employers over the course of their service. They often have some employment outside the church. Many clergy have their ministerial service interrupted for many different reasons. Their compensation does not necessarily increase over time.

Many clerics continue to work after their retirement. In fact, 58 percent of retired clergy younger than 72 still serve in some capacity and 95 percent of retired vocational deacons do the same, giving many congregations clergy services they otherwise could not afford.

The benefits landscape for Episcopal employees, lay and ordained, is also influenced by the continuing debate in the United States about the future of the Affordable Care Act and the disruption that the ensuing uncertainty has created in the insurance markets.

“The reality of the church is that there are fewer people and, more than that, less money,” the Rev. Winnie Varghese, the Diocese of New York deputy who chairs the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church, recently told Episcopal News Service. The result, Varghese said, is a growing and more permanent class of part-time clergy and lay church workers.

The committee is one group considering the question, in Varghese’s words, whether the church has the structures it needs for the church as it is today, rather than the one it was 25 or even 10 years ago.

Some changes already are set for next year when the Church Pension Fund plans to enact the biggest revisions to the fund’s benefits in the past 60-some years. Two important aspects of the clergy plan will not change in this round of revisions. The plan will remain a defined-benefit one and the mandatory assessment a cleric’s employer pays to will remain at 18 percent.

Mary Kate Wold, Pension Fund chief executive officer and president, said earlier this year that the revisions, expected to go into effect Jan. 1, are needed to “create more-modern plans that address the realities of a changing Episcopal Church, while ensuring that each pension plan remains financially sustainable.”

Canon I.8 of the Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Canons (page 41 here) authorizes the Church Pension Fund to provide retirement, health and life insurance benefits to the church’s clergy and lay employees. (The Pension Fund is one of five companies that make up CPG).

Source: Church Pension Group Annual Report for 2016. Graphic: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Staff members have spent more than three years traveling the church to listen to more than 1,500 Episcopalians discuss how the Pension Fund ought to react to the changing church. As CPG was listening to the church and discussing possible revisions, General Convention in 2015, via Resolution A177, approved the effort. In Resolution A181, it also told CPG to study compensation and the cost of benefits for clergy and lay employees in the dioceses of Province IX, the Diocese of Haiti, the Episcopal Church in Cuba, and with its covenant partners.

Staffers are winding down a tour of the church’s dioceses, both explaining the changes and, at times, tweaking them based on responses during those sessions.

General Convention committee is studying the Pension Fund

Meanwhile, House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings has charged the State of the Church Committee to focus part of its triennial study on the Pension Fund, as well as on the church’s multicultural ministries and justice and advocacy ministries.

Jennings told ENS that she chose those three aspects of the life of the church based on the concerns she has heard raised in her conversations with deputies and other leaders, and as she travels around the church.

In July, the committee offered Episcopalians the chance to take two surveys, one about the Church Pension Fund and the other about social justice ministries. Nearly 1,200 people completed the Pension Fund survey.

The survey itself stirred some concern, according to Varghese. Some people contacted her worried that “somehow we were changing the pension plan or proposing changes to it.”

“I had to write back quickly and say it’s a survey just to understand our church and to hear from people who are really engaged in the life of the church but who don’t come to convention,” she said. “It’s simply a survey. This group had no authority, or delusion, of changing the pension plan and would never think to.”

Instead, Varghese said, the committee wanted to hear what people thought about the pension plan, “including some mandates we have in front of us that conflict with one another.”

For instance, she said, the General Convention is concerned about parity for certain benefits between clergy and lay employees. But many clergy face years of debt for the education required to work in a church that does not pay for seminary education, she added. Paying off that debt sometimes influences priests’ employment decisions and their sense of financial security. Add to that the aforementioned changing financial and demographic circumstances.

So, Varghese asked, hypothetically, does equity required raising all employees to the current benefit levels or does it mean reducing benefits for some in order to increase the level for others? And, who bears what pain of each of those choices?

Based on questions and concerns raised in the responses to the July survey, the committee sent a set of questions to the Church Pension Fund. Wold told ENS in written replies to questions emailed to her that she worked with staffers and the Pension Fund’s board of trustees to respond. What Wold called a “very collaborative process” included videoconferences with the subcommittee working on the issue and follow-up questions from the subcommittee that eventually resulted in the fund’s 19-page response.

When the Pension Fund sent its report to the State of the Church committee late last month, it also released it to the entire church. The responses are part of the data that the State of the Church committee is using to write its report. Normally such information requested by the committees charged with work in between General Convention is not released to the church ahead of the so-called Blue Book collection of official reports.

Jennings told ENS that it is “a bit confusing” that the Pension Fund chose to release its responses without any context ahead of the committee’s Blue Book report. However, the State of the Church committee is completing its report and it is due to do posted here early next year.

“We believe our clients and others would appreciate having the information contained in the report,” Wold wrote to ENS. She and her colleagues realized that many of the questions raised by the subcommittee might be asked elsewhere in the church, she added. The subcommittee’s work “helped us create a document that tells the story of the Church Pension Group well. It is a report we are proud to share with anyone who wants to take the time to read it.”

A question of relationship and authority

One of the more interesting parts of the Pension Fund’s response involves its answer to the committee’s question of how it sees its relationship to the church. While noting the authority outlined in Canon I.8, the report describes the relationship as “transactional” with the fund providing services to the church, which is described as a “client.” The fund says that it has “no legal or governance relationship” with the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (the name under which the Episcopal Church in incorporated).

The Pension Fund suggests that the church can influence that relationship by the fact that General Convention elects 24 of the fund’s 25 trustees and can amend Canon I.8 to increase its services to the church. The most recent amendments came in 2009 when the convention told the Pension Fund to establish a mandatory lay pension plan and the Denominational Health Plan.

The canonical relationship between the DFMS and the Church Pension Fund “is a subject about which reasonable people can disagree,” Jennings told ENS. The leaders of both organizations have had “thoughtful conversations about those issues and how General Convention might direct the Pension Fund to address contemporary realities and justice issues in the Episcopal Church, including the needs of part-time and non-stipendiary clergy and lay employees,” she added.

Varghese said that questions about “the authority of General Convention with regard to everything and anything in the work of the Pension Fund” come up in many conversations at every one of the triennial gatherings. Part of those conversations involve whether the Pension Fund ought to have the same questions and concerns, and whether responding to them could make the pension fund more, or less, effective and financially sustainable.

“The more that we can clarify that and be in the agreement, the better of the church,” Varghese said of the debates.

The committee, she noted, cannot make any changes on its own. That authority rests with the General Convention and CPG.

“As much as anyone I trust the great decisions about things I don’t understand to the people that are authorized to make them. I am happy that there are people who know a lot more than I do about a lot of things,” she added. “But some of these philosophical decisions, we collectively have to make and they are absolutely in resistance and often very different language and a different understanding of humanity and compassion than the culture around us and that’s really hard, and not just on the issue of pension.”

“I hope that this work is understood,” Varghese said. “We are not people external to the system but we need to be mature enough to face the decisions that we’re making and to hold ourselves responsible for them.”

More information about the State of the Church committee’s work is available here.

— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is interim managing editor of the Episcopal News Service.

Southwest Florida’s first bishop to ordain women passes away

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:47am

[Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida] The Rt. Rev. Rogers Sanders Harris, whose call to Southwest Florida came at a critical time for the diocese, died Nov. 15, in South Carolina. His predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Emerson Paul Haynes, had served a 13-year episcopate and died while in office in 1988, which left the diocese without a bishop.

The Rt. Rev. Rogers Sanders Harris, 1930-2017

“He just came at a very difficult time,” said the Rt. Rev. Barry Howe, the current assisting bishop of the diocese and, during Harris’ time, dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter. “He took a very difficult situation and made the best of it he could.”

Howe recalled that when Harris arrived, the issues of women’s ordination were left unresolved, and formal plans to elect a bishop coadjutor (a bishop with the right of succession) were never completed. The standing committee instead became the ecclesiastical authority and several retired bishops assisted during that period, but were never actual administrators. Important decisions were just deferred.

Harris was invested as diocesan Sept. 9, 1989, at the cathedral. Joan Kline served on the search committee for Harris and attended general conventions with him and his wife, Anne. She recalled having a good relationship with them. “I thought that he was the kind of bishop that went by the book,” reflected Kline, who said that the previous bishop, Emerson Paul Haynes, was in some ways more hands-off. “That didn’t always make him popular with the clergy,” Kline said.

It was during Harris’ tenure that the diocese first ordained female priests. When the diocese was in the selection period for bishop, Kline recalled that the issue of the ordination of women was central, as Southwest Florida was one of seven outlier dioceses in the Episcopal Church that were not ordaining women, and the previous bishop, Haynes, had not ordained women.

The decision to go forward with women’s ordination came fairly quickly, as it had been clear from the time of the election that Harris would be supportive of the idea. To resolve the issue and many other simmering problems, he arranged a meeting, recalled Howe. “He called together all the clergy who were not happy, and that was not hard.”

Harris ended up sending Sharon Lewis to seminary; other female priests in the diocese, such as the Rev. Tonya Vonnegut Beck, were licensed. The first woman he ordained was the Rev. Carol Schwenke, who was then a deacon at Holy Innocents in Valrico. Schwenke said she was at first a bit intimidated by him, thinking he was strict and standoffish, but that was just because she says she didn’t understand his personality. Later on, every time she saw the Harrises, she would get a hug from them both. “I remember that he went by the book,” said Schwenke, who said that she believed he thought of himself more an interim bishop, one who would “bring the diocese up with the rest of the church.”

“I always felt deeply encouraged by the friendship and understanding of the life of the Diocese of Southwest Florida and our relationship as colleagues in the House of Bishops,” said the current bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith. “I was pleased for his relationship with the diocese, and pray for his grand entrance into heaven.”

In his first convention address to the diocese Oct. 13, 1989, Harris reminded the gathering that Jesus Christ was head of the church. “We are here to do his will, to serve his mission. So I come to be the leader of this diocese, not the head of it.”

South Carolina native

A native of South Carolina, Harris was born Feb. 22, 1930, in Anderson, the son of Wilmot Louis and Sarah Elizabeth (Sanders) Harris. After receiving his bachelor’s degree at the University of the South in 1952, he married Anne Stewart March 28, 1953. He served in the Korean War from 1952 to 1954 as 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. “He came across as being no-nonsense,” said Howe. “He had been a marine in Korea.”

After his service, he received his Master of Divinity from the University of the South in 1957, was made deacon August 6, 1957 and priest April 5, 1958, under the Rt. Rev. Clarence Alfred Cole of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. In his parish work, he first served as vicar of both Grace Episcopal Church in Ridge Spring, South Carolina, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Batesburg. He served for 10 years as rector of the Church of Good Shepherd in Greer from 1959 to 1969 and was later rector of St. Christopher’s in Spartanburg from 1969 to 1985. He was consecrated bishop in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina March 9, 1985, by the Most Rev. John Maury Allin and the Rt. Revs. William Arthur Beckham and Alex Dockery Dickson. There, he served as suffragan bishop from 1985 to 1989.

“Rogers was loved for his deeply pastoral ministry and strong leadership,” said the Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. “We will all miss his faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and his thoughtful presence.”

In the wider church, he served as vice president of Province IV of The Episcopal Church from 1991 to 1994 and president from 1994 to 97. He was a member of the presiding bishop’s Council of Advice from 1994 to 1997. He served as a trustee of the University of the South in Sewanee and president of the Bishop Gray Inn in Davenport, Florida, from 1989 to 1997. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1977, as well as an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1986. His thesis was The Commitment of Confirmation.

“He was just a wonderful soul,” said Karen Patterson, who served as secretary of the nominating committee before the election of Harris. “He was a wonderful person to work with.” Patterson appreciated that he served as personal chaplain to the Episcopal Church women, who then had a non-voting representative on diocesan council. She said that during the time after Haynes left the diocese, many issues had not been addressed, as there was no bishop. He had a bit of a formal, businesslike approach to his office, what Patterson assumed was a remnant of his time in the military.

“Our diocese needed that at the time,” said Patterson. They also served together in Province IV. Patterson said that outside of the diocese, people called him Rogers, which was unheard of within the diocese, even with clergy. “He was much more relaxed at synod.”

Smith also observed that relaxed nature. “Rogers, being the third bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, he called me ‘five’ with a twinkle in his eyes,” said Smith.

“He played everything in the key of C major,” said the Rev. Canon Michael P. Durning, who first came to know Harris while he was curate at St. John’s in Naples, and served as chair of the finance committee. He recalled that Harris, who he described as “uncluttered and uncomplicated,” addressed the issue of diocesan apportionment. He came at the calculation from both a theological perspective, as well as his personal stories of his farming ancestors in rural South Carolina. “The larger congregations had a larger responsibility than the smaller congregations,” said Durning.

“I think of him often,” said Sandra Poling, assistant to Harris, who recalled his quiet nature and “innate honesty” in all he did. “He would give a job and expect it get done. He was not one to stand behind you and direct you.” She recalled him as a prayerful man, fully aware of everything going on around him. When problems came, he “dealt with it.”

“He provided a steady hand that was needed and appreciated,” said the Rev. Ed Henley, who believes that putting the diocese on a sound administrative footing was a critical accomplishment. “His personality was not such that you ended up with a lot of stories, but that was perfectly fine.”

The issues and discussions of worship styles were not of great importance in his role as bishop. “He didn’t make a whole lot of fuss about liturgy,” said Howe, who worked across the street from diocesan offices, which were then in St. Petersburg, across from the cathedral. “We just kind of became good friends.” He recalled that in his personal demeanor, he was reserved. “He was a very soft-spoken guy, and thought a lot before he spoke.”

His wife, Anne Harris, survives him. The family notified Smith by text that “Amazing Grace” was playing in the hospital room when he died.

Becas episcopales para la evangelización disponibles para esfuerzos locales y regionales

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 5:42am

El proceso de solicitud ya está abierto para el nuevo programa de Becas Episcopales para la Evangelización diseñado para financiar esfuerzos de evangelización local y regional en la Iglesia Episcopal.

“Este programa alentará a toda nuestra Iglesia a compartir recursos, catalizar la imaginación y, en última instancia, cultivar una red de evangelizadores que puedan aprender unos de otros y conectarse unos con otros”, explicó la Reverenda Canóniga Susan Brown Snook, Presidente tanto del Comité Episcopal de Becas para la Evangelización como del Comité del Consejo Ejecutivo de Misión y Ministerio Local.

El programa de Becas Episcopales para la Evangelización es coordinado por el Comité Local de Misión y Ministerio en colaboración con el Equipo de Iniciativas de Evangelismo de la Iglesia Episcopal.

“La evangelización no es una práctica atemorizante que sólo practican los ‘otros’ cristianos”, dijo la reverenda canóniga Stephanie Spellers, canóniga del Obispo Presidente para el Evangelismo, la Reconciliación y el Cuidado de la Creación y miembro del comité de becas. “El evangelismo es el corazón de la vida cristiana, y esperamos que este programa prenda la llama y conecte a los episcopales que están creando formas únicas, auténticamente episcopales de buscar, nombrar y celebrar la presencia amorosa de Jesús en todas partes”.

El Comité buscará propuestas enfocadas en varios objetivos
• Crear y difundir recursos que equipen a los episcopales y las iglesias para convertirse en evangelistas y narradores de historias en la vida diaria.
• Crear oportunidades para las personas que no forman parte de una comunidad de fe para que construyan sus propias relaciones amorosas, liberadoras y dadoras de vida con Dios en Cristo.
• Apuntar a un impacto duradero y amplio.
• Emplear innovación y creatividad.
• Promover el aprendizaje, la comprensión y la aplicación práctica en toda la iglesia.

Las instituciones episcopales (parroquias, diócesis, provincias, escuelas, seminarios, comunidades monásticas, organizaciones episcopales y otras entidades episcopales afiliadas) son elegibles para recibir estos fondos. Las asociaciones colaborativas regionales con entidades no episcopales son bienvenidas y alentadas, pero una entidad episcopal debe servir como líder del proyecto, ser gerente activo y agente informante. Aquellos asociados con un seminario o programa de formación son alentados a explorar la posibilidad de conseguir fondos a través de la Sociedad de Evangelismo Episcopal en www.ees1862.org.

Hay becas disponibles de hasta 2.000 dólares para una congregación individual y de hasta 8.000 dólares para las colaboraciones entre varias iglesias, diócesis y regionales. También se espera que los grupos que reciben financiamiento realicen una contribución financiera significativa para el proyecto.

El Comité de Becas revisará las propuestas y hará recomendaciones al Consejo Ejecutivo en la reunión de enero de 2018. La distribución se realizará dentro de las cuatro semanas posteriores a la notificación y la finalización de los formularios necesarios.

La aplicación, los criterios y la información adicional están disponibles aquí.

La fecha límite para presentar solicitudes es el 15 de diciembre a las 8:00 de la noche hora del este [de Estados Unidos].

Para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con Kayla Massey en kmassey@episcopalchurch.org o 212.716.6022.

Anglican commission begins work to develop global safeguarding procedures

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:11pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] An international commission established to make the Churches of the Anglican Communion safe places for children, young people and vulnerable adults has begun its work. The Anglican Communion’s Safe Church Commission was established by the Anglican Consultative Council at its meeting last year in Lusaka, in one of four resolutions on safeguarding.

Read the entire article here.

Call for protected freedom of speech after Australians vote ‘yes’ to same-sex marriage

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:09pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] Australia’s Parliament has begun the process of legalizing same-sex marriage after a resounding “yes” to the proposal in a plebiscite. Just under 80 percent of eligible voters participated in the voluntary postal vote, with 61.6 percent voting in favor. Within hours of the result being declared, legislators began the process of considering a private members bill tabled by Sen. Dean Smith. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wants the bill to become law by Christmas.

Read the entire article here.

Between a crisis and a ‘kairos’: Zimbabwean church leaders call for national dialogue

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:03pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] An ecumenical group of Christian leaders in Zimbabwe have said that the country is “between a crisis and a kairos” (opportunity) and have called for a national dialogue. The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations, chaired by the Anglican bishop of Central Zimbabwe, Ishmael Mukuwanda, brings together the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe. In a statement released to ACNS Nov. 15, the group says that many Zimbabweans are “confused and anxious about what has transpired and continues to unfold in our nation.”

Read the entire article here.

Religious, community and school leaders train to tackle Burundi’s biggest killer

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:55am

[Anglican Communion News Service] Four-hundred people representing the faith, community and education sectors in Burundi have been trained to combat malaria, the main cause of death in the country. So far in 2017, more than six million cases of malaria have been registered; and more than 2,600 people have died. The training took place in Bururi and Mwaro districts – two of the four worst-hit areas of the country.

Read the entire article here.

Editors’ note: Episcopal Relief & Development partners with the Anglican Church of Burundi on other health-integrated programs, dealing with issues such as HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence.

Nashotah House announces passing of the Rev. Rick Hartley

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 8:57am

[Nashotah House Theological Seminary — Nashotah, Wisconsin] It is with great sadness that Nashotah House Theological Seminary announces the unexpected passing of the Rev. Richard (Rick) S. Hartley, associate dean for student services, affiliate professor of ascetical and pastoral theology and a Nashotah House alumnus.

The Rev. Richard (Rick) S. Hartley

Hartley began his ministry in his early twenties after serving five years with an itinerant drama ministry. He devoted time to continuing his education during his entire 20 years of ministry. He received his Master of Sacred Theology, Ascetical Theology, from Nashotah House in 2015 and his Doctorate of Ministry with an emphasis in leadership and spiritual formation in 2009. In addition, he had studied and earned degrees at several other schools, including St Paul Theological College, Sanctus Theological Institute and Andersonville (Baptist) Theological Seminary. Originally ordained a Baptist, he was approbated into the Congregational Way in 2006, but finally came home to Anglicanism in 2013. Hartley was a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

He had published articles in the International Congregational Journal and served on the Theological Commission of the International Congregational Fellowship, giving lectures in the United States, Bulgaria and England. He also developed a lay school for ministry during his time with the Congregationalists. Hartley leaves behind his wife, Karla, and three children.

Services will be held on Nov. 18, at the First Congregational Church in Mukwonago, with visitation from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 1 p.m.

Founded in 1842, Nashotah House is a seminary serving the Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion and other ecumenical partners.

Jamaica and Cayman Islands launch season of intentional discipleship

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 2:49pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, in the province of the West Indies, have launched a season of intentional discipleship, following the call of last year’s Anglican Consultative Council. About 1,500 clergy and laity gathered at the Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville, Jamaica, Nov. 12, to hear Bishop Howard Gregory explain the importance of discipleship.

Get the entire article here.

Church of England publishes guidance for schools on homophobic, bi-phobic, transphobic bullying

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 2:46pm

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Church of England has today published revised guidance to help its 4,700 schools tackle homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying. The Church said that the guidance will help prevent children in its schools “having their self-worth diminished or their ability to achieve impeded by being bullied because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.” It is an updated version of 2014 guidance, Valuing All God’s Children, which tackled homophobic behavior. The update covers a wider range of negative behaviors, and incorporates the relevant legal and inspection frameworks and reflects the Church’s vision for education, whose four elements of wisdom, hope, community and dignity form the theological basis of the guidance.

Get the entire article here.

Input, comments invited for Episcopal Church 2019-2021 triennium preliminary draft budget

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 2:30pm

[The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] Episcopalians across the church are invited to review and provide input and comments on the preliminary draft of the 2019-2021 triennium budget.

“In the current and prior triennia, the budgets were built to reflect the Five Marks of Mission,” Tess Judge, Executive Council member and chair of Finance for Mission Committee, stated in the overview letter.  “The 2019-2021 budget is based on The Jesus Movement with Evangelism, Racial Reconciliation & Justice, and Environmental Stewardship as priorities.”

Judge added, “One of the advantages of The Jesus Movement budget is that it reflects how the staff is organized, by department, rather than spread across Five Marks and other areas as in the past. So lines of communication, reporting, collaboration, and budget creation are clearer.  In the changeover to The Jesus Movement, some sections of the budget were moved, so that it may be hard to make direct comparisons between costs in areas in prior budgets to projected costs in the coming triennium. And comparing percentages can be inaccurate.”

Following comments and suggestions, the preliminary draft budget will be prepared for approval by the Episcopal Church Executive Council at its January 2018 meeting. From there, Executive Council will present the draft budget to Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance (PB&F) in February, which will then prepare a final budget for approval at General Convention next summer.

• The preliminary draft budget is available here. 
• Input and comments can be submitted here.
• Deadline for providing comments is January 10, 2018.

Highlights
A narrative located here provides overview information about the preliminary draft budget document.

Here are a few highlights:
• The first two pages summarize projected income, $128,429,734, and projected expenses, $132,921,145, resulting in a deficit of $4,491,411.

Among the highlights on the Income page (1):
• Line 2 – Diocesan Commitments (Assessments required beginning January 1, 2019) In the current triennium commitments asked dropped from 18 to 15 percent with a $150,000 exemption for each diocese. The Line 2 2016-2018 figure is the expected actual commitment (not an assumed full commitment). The 2019-2021 budget shows a gross number, the full 15 percent with $140,000 exemption projected assessment from all dioceses. The red box below is an allowance for those dioceses which might be granted waivers from paying the full amount by Executive Council in the Assessment Review process.

• Line 3 – Income from Unrestricted Assets & Outside Trusts – these two lines represent a 5 percent draw from investments.

• Line 3 – Annual Appeal Campaign – $500,000 from the Development Department’s new Annual Fund solicitation to fund ministries in the operating budget.  Of this $88,000, will cover the costs of annual campaigns.

• Line 4b – Racial Reconciliation – $2 million dollars was set aside from short term reserves in the current triennium.  Since this was a brand new program, it took over a year to get up to speed, so the full $2 million will not be spent.  The 2019-2021 budget carries over $1 million for this work.

Among the highlights in the Expenses page (2):
• The Expense Categories for the 2019-2021 budget include:  Evangelism, Racial Reconciliation & Justice, Creation Care, Ministry of the Presiding Bishop to Church and World, Mission Within the Episcopal Church, Mission Beyond the Episcopal Church, Mission Governance, and Mission Finance, Legal & Operations.   They do not perfectly correspond with the Five Marks budget categories.

• Staff – all staff lines include a 3 percent raise each year and estimate 9 percent increases in health insurance costs.  The Presiding Bishop has expressed his satisfaction with the staff in place and asks that there be no new hires in the 2019-2021 budget.

• House of Deputies, Line 298 – Staff Costs include $900,000 for salary and benefits for the President of the House of Deputies to be sure funds are available should the salary be voted by General Convention.

General Convention
The Episcopal Church 79th General Convention will be held Thursday, July 5 to Friday, July 13, 2018 at The Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas (Diocese of Texas).

The Episcopal Church’s General Convention is held every three years to consider the legislative business of the church.  General Convention is the bicameral governing body of the Church, comprised of the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 active and retired bishops, and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay deputies elected from the 109 dioceses and three regional areas of the Church, at more than 800 members. Between Conventions, the General Convention continues to work through its committees and commissions.  The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church carries out the programs and policies adopted by General Convention.

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