From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Episcopalians: News Briefs

Date Wed, 12 Jun 2002 15:45:43 -0400

June 12, 2002


Episcopalians: News Briefs

Church of England appoints first senior black bishop

(AP)The Church of England has appointed a Ugandan-born 
anti-racism campaigner as its first senior black bishop. The Rt. 
Rev. John Sentamu was appointed as the bishop of Birmingham in 
central England, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Mark Santer, who 
retired in May after 15 years in the post. A former assistant 
bishop of Stepney in east London, he becomes the first black 
person to head an Anglican diocese in the United Kingdom.

"I am both delighted and overwhelmed to have been chosen as 
the eighth bishop of Birmingham," he said at a news conference 
in Birmingham.

Sentamu is a high-profile figure who has often accused the 
Church of England of being institutionally racist. In 1997 he 
became an adviser to an inquiry into the bungled police 
investigation of the 1993 killing of black teen-ager Stephen 
Lawrence. The inquiry concluded that London police were 
institutionally racist. In January 2000, the bishop criticized 
the force after he was stopped and searched by police officers 
while driving near St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Sentamu, who left Uganda during dictator Idi Amin's regime in 
the 1970s, was ordained in 1979 after studying at Cambridge 

Former rector renounces priesthood in wake of misconduct 

(ENS) A retired Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Southwest 
Florida has renounced his orders and been deposed from the 
priesthood following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Rev. Richard Arthur Pollard, former rector of All Saints 
Episcopal Church in Tarpon Springs, renounced his orders June 8. 
Pollard was formally deposed, or removed from the Sacred Order 
of Priests, on June 10 by Bishop John Lipscomb. 

Pollard was rector of the 500-member, 110-year-old parish 
from 1974 until his retirement in 1992. Before serving in Tarpon 
Springs, he was the associate rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal 
Church in Tampa from 1969-1974 and vicar of St. Elizabeth's 
Episcopal Church in Zephyrhills from 1964-69. He still resides 
in the Tampa Bay area. 

Lipscomb's office had received verbal and written statements 
from two men, now adults, alleging that Pollard sexually abused 
them in the 1970s. They were minors at the time the abuse 
allegedly occurred. 

In a June 7 meeting with Lipscomb, Pollard was counseled 
about his rights under church law and was provided with an 
advocate. The alleged victims also have been offered counseling 
of their own choosing. The diocese will not release additional 
information about the alleged victims. 

The diocesan Standing Committee met Saturday, June 8, and 
decided to refer the matter to the church attorney for 
investigation, which could have led to a formal ecclesiastical 
charge, called a presentment. But when Pollard was informed of 
the Standing Committee's decision, he announced he would 
renounce his orders. 

Diocesan spokesman Jim DeLa said Pollard did not admit to 
wrongdoing when he renounced his orders. 

The bishop and members of the diocesan pastoral response team 
met with about 60 members of the All Saints congregation on June 
10 and have also contacted the other congregations in the 
diocese and in the Diocese of Western New York, where Pollard 
had previously served. 

"The Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida has made it 
clear, through existing policy and training requirements, that 
sexual misconduct on the part of leadership of the Church, both 
lay and ordained, is never acceptable," declared a statement 
from the diocese. "The diocese is committed to seek justice and 
reconciliation for all involved."

In a June 10 letter to diocesan clergy, Lipscomb asked them 
to "refrain from gossip, speculation, rumor and innuendo" 
regarding the case. "It is important that our energy be given to 
prayer for healing for those who brought the allegations and 
their families, the Pollards and all who are and have been 
involved in these proceedings," Lipscomb concluded.

DeLa said he does not know of any other allegations against 
Pollard and that the diocese has not had any other sexual abuse 
allegations involving minors.

The Diocese of Southwest Florida consists of 79 congregations 
with 39,000 baptized members.

Bible scholar-interpreter preaches on 'Day 1' radio program 

(EMC) The Rev. William L. Dols, a noted Bible scholar and 
interpreter, will be the Episcopal speaker July 28, Aug. 25 and 
Sept. 22 on "Day 1," formerly known as "The Protestant Hour," a 
nationally broadcast radio program also accessible via streaming 
audio at

Excerpts from his sermons also will be included in a 
television version of "Day 1" on Hallmark Channel's "America at 
Worship," airing at 10 a.m. (ET/PT) Sundays. 

An Episcopal priest for 43 years, Dols has served 
congregations in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina and as 
executive director of The Educational Center in St. Louis, 
Missouri. He developed a resource for Bible exploration and 
study called "The Bible Workbench," which he continues to 
fashion and edit after 12 years, and authored "Just Because It 
Didn't Happen: Sermons and Prayers as Story." He recently served 
as minister of education at Myers Park Baptist Church in 
Charlotte, North Carolina.

Born in Baltimore, Dols is a graduate of Washington and Lee 
University, Lexington, Virginia, and Virginia Theological 
Seminary. He is a fellow of the College of Preachers at the 
National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He is now retired and 
living in Alexandria, Virginia.

"Day 1" has been broadcast as "The Protestant Hour" every 
week for more than 57 years, winning numerous awards in the 
process, including the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcast 
excellence. It is produced cooperatively by the Episcopal Media 
Center, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church 
(U.S.A.), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the 
United Church of Christ. 

The executive producer for "Day 1," Peter Wallace, will 
consult with churches that want to have the program broadcast in 
their community. For more information, call toll free 
888-411-Day1 or check the program's Web site,

Center for Seafarers' Rights catches recruiting firm 
exploiting workers for third time

(SCI) The Center for Seafarers Rights (CSR) of the Seamen's 
Church Institute of New York and New Jersey is protesting the 
illegal recruiting practices of AL-Najat Marine Shipping LLC. 
Reliable sources reported to CSR that the United Arab Emirates 
company is offering to recruit 30,000 Moroccan nationals for 
positions aboard cruise ships by contacting various employment 
agencies in Morocco.

"The church must raise a loud voice when these types of 
abuses become known. The exploitation of poor people is 
indefensible. The international community must put pressure on 
this firm to stop operating in a clearly illegal manner," said 
Douglas B. Stevenson, director of the Center for Seafarers' 
Rights. "According to our sources, AL-Najat has attempted this 
recruitment without notifying the appropriate Moroccan 
governmental authorities."

Last summer in Kenya, AL-Najat claimed to have 50,000 jobs 
available to Kenyan citizens for work aboard cruise vessels 
owned by U.K., Spanish, Portuguese, and Greek companies. The 
claim was later discredited. Similar reliable sources reported 
the fraud to CSR that started an international call to end the 
illegal practices.

The Kenyan government confirmed that cruise ship recruitment 
schemes bilked more than $500,000 from at least 10,000 Kenyan 
job seekers under the guise of requiring a medical examination 
fee. Reports of similar activities occurred in India and 
Pakistan as well. In each case, fees were collected but the 
agency did not provide any jobs.

In order to be eligible to work on a cruise vessel, 
candidates must posses a merchant mariners document issued by 
the flag authority of the vessel on which the applicant will 
work. International standards also require some basic training 
and prohibit the charging of fees for finding employment for 

"I'm very concerned about AL-Najat's ability to operate with 
impunity in places where maritime recruiting conventions are not 
readily available to the general population," said Stevenson. 
"Their ability to victimize the poor is reprehensible."

Established in 1834, SCI is an ecumenical agency affiliated 
with the Episcopal Church. Stevenson is a member of Christ 
Episcopal Church in Short Hills, New Jersey, and a member of the 
Advisory Council to the Anglican Observer to United Nations. 
Before joining the Seamen's Church Institute in 1990, he served 
20 years as a U.S. Coast Guard officer, retiring as a commander. 

To learn more about SCI, visit 

ECW producing 'Women of the Table' video for Triennial 

(ECW) A new video focusing on women's ministries is slated for 
release at the Episcopal Church Women's (ECW) Triennial Meeting 
in Minneapolis in July 2003. Currently in pre-production, the 
video project will be coordinated by Susan Russell, ECW board 
member-at-large for multi-media, and produced by Katie Sherrod, 
an independent television producer from Ft. Worth, Texas.

According to Russell, "Women of the Table" is being designed 
"to tell the Good News of the work being done on behalf of the 
Gospel by the women of the Episcopal Church as they go out, fed 
by word and sacrament, to be the church in the world. The table 
metaphor will focus on the central reality of our life in Christ 
at the altar while providing a thread to weave the different 
stories of ministry together into an engaging and cohesive 
whole," she said. "The project will achieve that goal by 
offering compelling witness to the diversity of gifts offered by 
women to the church and to the world including images of both 
'traditional' and innovative ministries."

The video will offer a brief history of the ECW's 
decades-long efforts to "equip the saints for ministry" and 
include specific stories of women doing ministry in a 
post-September 11 world. "We want women to speak of the reasons 
behind their ministries, for what differentiates a ministry from 
other work is the motivation for the action," Sherrod said. "The 
stories will illustrate the Body of Christ as incarnated in the 
lives of women of the church. Because of the limitations of 
time, the video will feature a few ministries in detail while 
also capturing the astonishing diversity of ministries done by 
Episcopal women across the nation through montages of images, 
layered with music and sound bites."

She added, "Our hope is that this video will not only change 
the way ministry done by women is talked about in the church, 
but also frame and enlarge the ways women themselves see the 
work they do as they go about living out the Gospel in their 
daily lives." 

Organizers are looking for pictures of past and present 
women's ministries "in action" (i.e. photographs showing 
interaction with the people those ministries serve). 
Black-and-white photos as well as color are acceptable, and all 
photos will be returned. Please label them clearly for content 
and include a contact name with phone number and address as well 
as a one-paragraph description about the ministry and pictures. 
Materials should be sent by July 31, 2002 to: Katie Sherrod, 
1870 Ederville Road, Ft. Worth, TX 76103.


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