From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopal News Service Briefs
Fri, 14 Dec 2001 12:22:40 -0500 (EST)
Episcopal Parish Services moves online with new signs
(ENS) For the past 55 years, Episcopal congregations across
the nation have posted the familiar red, white and blue "The
Episcopal Church Welcomes You" signs. This year, for the first time,
congregations have new choices in signs and a new way to order
them and other products from Episcopal Parish Services (EPS).
Beginning December 12, congregations and individuals can order
EPS products online using a credit card or a church EPS account,
by going to the Episcopal Parish Services website
(www.episcopalparishservices.org). They can also call Episcopal
Parish Services at (800) 903-5544 to request a brochure and order
form, or use the forms in the center of the EPS catalog to place
Congregations now have a choice of a new church sign design
with new words, a new design with the traditional words, and the
traditional words and design. They can also order a small additional
information sign that attaches to the main sign, reading "Member
of the Worldwide Anglican Communion."
Images of sample signs and detailed instructions located online
will help the viewer select a sign and place the church name and
other information on the sign. A preview section allows the viewer
to see how the words entered will appear on the
finished sign. The sign can then be purchased on the site's secure
server, using a credit card and/or the church's EPS account number.
The signs come in standard sizes: large (24" x 30"), a small
additional information sign (8" x 24") and an Anglican Communion
sign (8" x 24"). All are constructed of porcelain glass fused to
18-gauge steel, made to last for three decades. The "additional
information" sign can be attached to the main sign to give times
of services or other information, and the Anglican Communion sign
can be attached below it. A specially designed scroll type bracket
of rigid construction can be purchased to hang the sign.
"I think people will find the site inviting and easy to use,"
remarked Dan England, director of communication for the Episcopal
Church. "I'm especially excited about the possibility that the new
signs ordered online will soon be going up around the country. Of
course, we're always looking for ways to improve service and we
really want feedback on this."
University of the South awarded $1.9 million foundation grant
(ENS) The University of the South is one of 28 colleges and
universities in the country to receive a $1 million-plus grant from
Lilly Endowment, Inc., to create or enhance programs that enable
young people to draw upon the resources of religious wisdom as they
think through their vocational choices and to consider the ministry
as a profession they might pursue.
The university, owned by the dioceses of Province IV of the
Episcopal Church, received $1.98 million to attract young people
to the ordained ministry, to provide more students with hands-on
experience in religious- and service-based vocations
through internships and outreach opportunities, and to support
curricular and co-curricular efforts to help students explore
values and vocations in collaborative programs involving the
University Chapel, academic departments, the School of Theology,
and Career Services.
"With the Lilly Endowment's support, Sewanee can build a
strong and enduring program to help young adults carefully consider
their values and how they can best live out those values in their
lives and chosen professions," said Dr. Joel Cunningham, president
of the University of the South.
Craig Dykstra, vice president for religion at the
Indianapolis-based foundation, said: "These exciting grants directly
address one of the major themes of the Endowment's grantmaking in
religion, and that is to help identify, recruit, call and
nurture into Christian ministry a new generation of talented pastors."
A recent issue of Congregations magazine shows the percentage
of clergy 35 years old and under is at just 4 percent in the
Totaling $55.3 million, the 2001 grants will fund programs
affecting students, faculty and staff at all the schools of the
University of the South. Schools have planned activities such as
student retreats, enhancing worship on campus, changing
career-planning services, curricular changes, lecture series and
conferences, special courses, semesters of study in seminaries
and divinity schools, internships in congregations and faith-based
organizations, and mentoring projects.
"It is clear that these schools thought through their
missions and strengths and that they were very intentional in
devising these proposals," Dykstra said. "The caliber of
proposals was outstanding, and it is obvious that all these
schools thought seriously and productively about how to encourage
young people to consider questions of faith and commitment as
they choose their careers."
Founded in 1937, the Lilly Endowment is a private family
foundation that supports causes of religion, community development
Future of Christian Coalition in doubt with Robertson's resignation
(ENI) The resignation of the Rev. Pat Robertson as president
of the conservative Christian Coalition has led to doubts about
the organization's future. The coalition has been losing influence
in recent years, its membership has dropped and its financial
resources diminishing, critics point out.
"The Christian Coalition has been a sinking ship for several
years and now the captain has jumped overboard," said the Rev.
Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the
Separation of Church and State. "Without Robertson's money and political
clout, it's only a matter of time before the organization collapses
"The religious right in this nation is much bigger than any one
person," said the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, executive director of the
Interfaith Alliance, formed in 1994 to counter the religious right.
He argued that critics of the coalition must contend with "a
broad-based movement that has power centres in the US government
itself. I think he feels there is an Administration in place and
at least one branch of Congress in place that carry his agenda."
In the December 5 announcement of Robertson's resignation
of the group he founded in 1989, the influential religious
broadcaster and one-time Republican presidential candidate said
he wanted to devote more time to ministry, to spirituality and to
the Christian Broadcasting Network. He said that he wanted to
focus on the things that would "bring forth the greatest spiritual
Robertson's successor, Roberta Combs, said that his vision
to give US Christians "a seat at the table was the inspiration
for millions who are now in their communities actively defending
America's Godly heritage."
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