From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Episcopal News Service Briefs

Date 15 Feb 2001 12:38:49


News Briefs

Lay professionals explore church employment issues

     (ENS) The National Network of Lay Professionals in the Episcopal Church 
(NNLP) will hold its 10th annual gathering from June 15-17 at the Trinity 
Conference Center in West Cornwall, Connecticut.

     "Wonder, Work and Worth!" is expected to provide a space for physical and 
spiritual renewal where lay professionals can examine some of the elements that 
make a congregation or other church institution a good place to work.

     Canon Rick Johnson, founder and executive director of, the 
electronic communications outreach of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, 
California will be the keynote speaker.

     The gathering will also include workshops in the following areas:

     *human resource issues

          *parish administration and budget preparation


          *work as ministry

          *Church Pension Fund issues

          *Equal justice and accountability in the workplace

     Lay professionals will also begin the development of resolutions to be 
submitted to the 2003 General Convention, and discuss the results of surveys of 
diocesan implementation of past resolutions related to topics of concern to lay 
professionals, such as benefits, vocational recognition and pro forma 

     To register go to

Celebration of Women's Ministry in March

     (ENS) An Episcopal priest teaching at a Roman Catholic university whose 
ordination prompted Duquesne University to relieve her of her duties will preach 
at a Celebration of Women's Ministry on March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's 
Episcopal Church in Highland Park, Pennsylvania.

     The Rev. Moni McIntyre, who joined the Duquesne University Theology 
Department in 1990 and earned tenure in 1997, was recently ordained as an 
Episcopal priest. Following her ordination, she was relieved of her teaching 
responsibilities in the Theology Department, and the university moved to revoke 
her tenure, maintaining that through her ordination as an Episcopal priest 
McIntyre is "publicly protesting doctrines of the [Roman Catholic] church," 
according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

     The Celebration of Women's Ministries honors lay and ordained women of all 
traditions who have served the broader church and the world through committed 
responses to the call of faith against obstacles within and outside the church. 
It is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Episcopal Women's Caucus (EWC), the local 
chapter of the national organization. 

     The university has employed and continues to employ ordained ministers of 
other denominations and faiths, such as Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, and 
various Protestant denominations to teach the same courses that the university 
maintains McIntyre is no longer able to teach. The university has settled the 
matter with McIntyre by assigning her to a position in the Graduate Center for 
Social and Public Policy.

     For more information contact Elizabeth Drescher at 412-612-7821.


Church leaders call for a peace settlement in the Middle East

     (Anglican Journal) The leaders of nine Canadian churches have called for a 
peace settlement in the Middle East that would guarantee "peaceful existence 
within secure borders" for both Israelis and Palestinians.

     Responding to a rash of violent incidents and a growing death toll that 
began escalating last fall, the leaders said in a statement that Palestinians 
have the right to exist in peace and freedom in an internationally recognized 
homeland and state.

     Israel, they added, has an equal right to exist in peace and security. "We 
believe that the rights which apply to one people must also apply to the other," 
they stated.

     The leaders also said that speedy implementation of United Nations Security 
Council resolutions are also needed. They called for continued dialogue "to keep 
Jerusalem open and accessible to the three faiths that hold it sacred, and to all 
residents of the region who see it as the centre for their livelihood and 

     The statement also said, "The downward spiral of violent protest and violent 
repression must give way to nonviolence and negotiation."

     The leaders commended the Canadian government for the humanitarian 
assistance it has provided to the victims of violence. "We believe that Canada 
can play a significant leadership role in the search for peace," they added.


Earthquake survivors need more than external help

     (ENI) Bishop Vinod Malaviya of the Church of North India's Gujarat Diocese, 
the Indian state devastated by an earthquake on January 26, warns that survivors 
need more than material assistance.

     "It is not enough that relief material is distributed to the affected 
people. We need to send counselors to help the people overcome the trauma. We are 
making arrangements to train young people urgently in counseling before sending 
them to the villages," said Malaviya.

     The bishop witnessed the destruction first-hand as he traveled 350 
kilometers to Ahmedabad after a church meeting in Gandhidham. He said he was 
particularly shocked by "the total devastation in Bhachau town," not far from the 
epicenter of the earthquake.

     "I stopped there and found a man desperately searching among the rubble," 
Malaviya said. "He told me he was looking for a glass to get some water. He had 
just returned from cremating his three children. When I touched his shoulder, he 
leaned on to me and wept for several minutes."

     Prabhat Failbus, national coordinator of Churches Auxiliary for Social 
Action's (CASA) human potential development program, said, "I have visited 
several villages as far as 30 kilometers around Bhuj. But I have not come across 
a single structure intact. We need to reach out to these villages and arrange 
shelters for them immediately."

     Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) gave a $25,000 emergency grant to 
Malaviya and the diocese and an additional $25,000 grant to the Church of North 
India "to support the larger relief efforts." ERD's Director of Development 
Malaika Kamunanwire said, "Once the immediate needs are addressed, we stand ready 
to assist in the rehabilitation of the people suffering in the aftermath of this 


El Salvador hit by another earthquake

     (ENS) Bishop Martin Barahona of the Episcopal Church of El Salvador said 
that crying, pain, suffering, anguish and desperation are the emotions felt after 
San Vicente, La Paz and Cuscatlán, in the central area of El Salvador, were hit 
with a February 13 earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale. Current data 
reports 270 deaths, 1,700 injured, 2,200 houses destroyed and 21,000 homeless.

     The latest catastrophe is exactly one month after the January 13 earthquake 
that left 98 municipalities practically destroyed and caused 726 deaths, 4,440 
wounded, 111,401 homeless and 118,157 homes destroyed.

     Barahona expressed gratitude for the Episcopal Church of the United States 
and the Anglican Communion for all their prayers and financial assistance in the 
earlier quake and asks for the same outpouring of aid with the current situation.

     Donations may be sent to the Episcopal Church of the United States, 
Episcopal Relief and Development, Missionary Diocese of El Salvador (account # 
10756637) Citibank, 153 East 53rd Street, New York, NY  10043.

Germany attempting to confront its racism

     (ENI) The growth of neo-Nazi groups, and the lingering legacy of the Second 
World War, is forcing Germany to confront a particularly sensitive issue--racism. 
Churches and other groups argue that legislation and court action is not enough 
to eliminate racism and they are calling for special programs in churches, trade 
unions, and youth groups to fight racism and extremism. "Our purpose is to find 
ways to make people learn about, discuss and examine their prejudices," said 
Wolfram Meyer, spokesman for an alliance that is coordinating hundreds of anti-
racism groups. "We cannot eliminate this problem but we can reduce it," he told a 
group of journalists covering the recent meeting of the World Council of Churches 
central committee in Potsdam.

     In describing the activities of extremist groups, Meyer said that they were 
"people who work against the democratic system in a tradition of militant 
nationalism with a heavy element of racism." He said that it was the goal of the 
alliance and its local projects to "force conversations and examinations of 
right-wing extremist attitudes." People are finally beginning to realize that 
"denying there is a problem is the worst thing they can do, and actually makes 
problems worse."


Christian attitudes toward Israel still differ widely

     (Church Times) A new Church of England report contends that Christians still 
differ "fundamentally" about Israel and its role in history. The report, "Sharing 
One Hope?" says that the majority of Christians believe that scriptural promises 
and prophecies are fulfilled in Jesus Christ and that there is no "special 
significance" to the return of Jews and the establishment of the nation of Israel. 
Others regard the Jewish return as fulfilling biblical prophecy.
     The report also identifies liturgy and ministerial training as important in the 
formation of attitudes towards Judaism and the Jewish people. Yet Christians 
continue to debate the question of one or two covenants with the people of God 
and the implications for viewing the role of Jesus and mission to the Jewish people.

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