From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopalians: News Briefs
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
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
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 www.Day1.net.
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, www.Day1.net.
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
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
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 www.seamenschurch.org
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
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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