From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Episcopal News Service Briefs

Date 26 Feb 2001 13:28:09


News Briefs

Advent and Lenten guide available

     (ENS) The Higher Education Ministries Arena, an ecumenical partnership of 
seven denominations, recently announced the availability of an Advent and Lenten 
meditation guide for students. This year's guide was written by a team of three 
students and one chaplain and is now available via e-mail for free.

     To receive emails go to and during the Lenten 
season, you can receive a plain-text message along with an Adobe pdf with a brief 
meditation, a prayer, a simple chant, and on Sundays, an art meditation.

     The partnership includes the American Baptist Churches USA, the Christian 
Church (Disciples of Christ), the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, 
and the United Methodist Church.


     The General Theological Seminary in New York announced February 5 the 
election of the Rev. Robert Giannini as its new board chairman and the 
appointment of Dr. Delbert C. Glover, in January as its associate dean for 
planning and development.

     Giannini has served for the past 11 years as dean and rector of Christ 
Church Cathedral in Indianapolis. He will succeed Bishop Mellick Belshaw who 
retired after nine years of service.

     Glover is a retired executive of the Dupont Corporation of Wilmington, 
Delaware for where he worked 32 years. 

     The Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC) welcomed the 
Rev. Don Thompson as its new general secretary on January 26.

     Thompson has been president and provost for the past nine years of Thorneloe 
University in Sudbury, Ontario. He is a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada.

     The following people recently joined the Episcopal Church Center staff:

     *The Rev. Juan Marquez will join Anglican & Global Relations on March 5 as 
an international partnerships officer. Marquez most recently served as a prison 
chaplain for the New York State Department of Corrections.

          *Lisette Sosa joined the Telecommunications Department on January 29 as 
a console attendant. Sosa replaced Winifred White, who recently retired.

          *Janette O'Neill and Jim Hemphill joined the Episcopal Relief 
Development Department as a program advisor and consultant respectively on 
February 9.

     O'Neill is responsible for programs in Africa and will coordinate the 
church-wide campaign for Jerusalem 2000.

     Hemphill will provide general management consulting, exploration of 
appropriate management and governance structures and establish general project 


Going to church can save your life

     (HealthScout) Researchers at the Human Population Laboratory in California 
who looked at the statistics from a long-running study of Alameda County 
residents have concluded that if you go to church regularly you'll be healthier 
than your neighbor who doesn't.

     The researchers have been tracking the health and social habits of about 
7,000 people in the Northern California enclave since 1965. About 2,000 are still 
in the study. 

     "We've known for some time that people who attend church services live 
longer, but the question is why," said William Strawbridge, senior research 
scientist at the laboratory. "It turns out that regular attendees are in better 
health at the start, and those who don't have good health habits are apt to 
improve if they go to church." 

     The study found those who go to church at least once a week are almost twice 
as likely to stop smoking as those who don't go to church, and are 50 percent 
more likely to become physically active. And regular churchgoing apparently has 
an even greater positive effect on women. 

     "Women are more apt to improve and maintain health behaviors," Strawbridge 
says. "For instance, women are more than four times more likely to stop excess 
drinking than men." 

     The study, which was supported by the National Institute on Aging and the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), appears in the current issue of 
the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

     Regular churchgoers also seem to form lasting relationships outside church 
more readily than those who never darken the vestibule doorway, the study 
concludes. This additional social contact could be another reason they are 

     For more information see


Christians in the Congo live in fear

     (Southern Cross Online) The assassination of Laurent Kabila, president of 
the Democratic Republic of Congo, has revived the country's three year-old tribal 

     The Congo, one of the most resource-rich countries in Africa, has been 
crippled by 35 years of corrupt leadership under Presidents Kabila and Mobutu. 

     An Australian mission partner, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, 
has taken many people into her home since the outbreak of violence, including the 
head nurse and 14 nursing students from an Anglican hospital in Boga.

     "There is much tension and people are very scared," she said. "This is 
genocide, the Walendu/Wangiti against the Wahema/Wagerere. It's a continuation of 
the tribal fighting that started to the north of here where maybe 30,000 have 
died. It's just horrific," the mission partner said.

     When rioting began in Bunia, Anglican archbishop Patrice Njojo was seen 
fleeing and his whereabouts are still not known.

     Archdeacon Ise-Somo, head of the Department of Evangelism for the country, 
called on Australians, in a letter, to pray for Congo:

     "Pray for us all so much at Bunia…We are tired with the life of this world 
and our prayer is that our Lord will come and take this Church so that we can go 
and rest in peace. But we still have the thirst to continue to preach the good news of 
salvation for those who have not yet been born anew."

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