From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopalians: News Briefs
Thu, 19 Dec 2002 14:12:41 -0500
December 19, 2002
Episcopalians: News Briefs
Agreement allows church to serve society, Canadian primate says
(ACC) An agreement between the Anglican Church of Canada and the
Canadian government over liability for Indian residential
schools will allow the church to continue to serve society and
to forge new bonds with native people, the Anglican primate
In a letter to church members posted on the Anglican Church of
Canada's Web site, Archbishop Michael Peers said he is
"profoundly encouraged" by the way Canadian Anglicans and
Anglican dioceses have responded to the agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, all 30 Anglican dioceses must
ratify and agree to contribute $25 million to a settlement fund
over a five-year period. The agreement effectively ends the
Anglican Church's involvement in costly litigation that was
threatening the future of its national organization.
>From 1820 to 1969, the Anglican Church of Canada was involved in
residential schools. In 1911, the first contracts were signed
between the Government of Canada and a number of dioceses. In
1921, the Missionary Society of the Church in Canada began to
assume those contracts. "In the words of the Bishop of Keewatin,
a person with experience of the schools decades ago and a
partner in dialogue with many former students, this was not a
good system with a few bad people in it, but a deeply flawed
system with many good people in it," Peers wrote. "In 1969 we
abandoned participation in the schools, and began to forge a new
relationship with aboriginal Canadians that would be rooted in
justice, solidarity, and mutuality.
"More than twenty years later, former students of the schools
began to come forward, alleging abuse at the hands of those in
authority in the schools. Those allegations have prompted our
church to come to terms with two painful realities. First, our
partnership with the government in seeking the assimilation of
aboriginal Canadians was itself a profound error. Second, some
within the schools used their power to take advantage of the
vulnerability of children," the primate wrote.
In November, the Anglican Church of Canada and the government of
Canada reached agreement on a settlement of validated claims of
sexual and physical abuse in schools administered by the
Anglican Church. "We are asking each diocese to consider the
proposed agreement, and to make a financial commitment to the
settlement fund," Peers said. Several dioceses have already
ratified the agreement, and at least four dioceses that have
ratified the agreement had no formal relationship with any of
the schools, and therefore no legal liability. "That we
recognize both a common 'moral liability' and a common vocation
to ministry and mission in our society, whether or not we are
directly and legally affected by the schools issue, is surely
one of the strengths of this Anglican Church of Canada," said
"This settlement is not about 'getting out of' anything," the
letter emphasized. "It is instead a way of getting more deeply
into the healing and reconciliation by which we can both
strengthen our own common life and extend that life into mission
in our society."
Lilly Endowment awards $1.6 million grant to Chicago
(ENS) Congregations and clergy in the Diocese of Chicago will be
the beneficiaries of a $1.6 million grant from the Lilly
Endowment Inc. for a pioneering clergy mentoring program. The
grant, the largest the endowment has made in its
Transition-into-Ministry Program, initiated in 1999, will fund
the five-year "Making Excellent Disciples" pilot project being
developed by the diocese's Department of Congregational
Development and Deployment.
The pilot project, the first of its kind in the Episcopal
Church, aims to create and sustain pastoral excellence among new
clergy and to recognize and revitalize excellence among
established and effective clergy through a comprehensive
training and mentoring program. Recently ordained clergy will
spend their first two years of ordained ministry in a "mentoring
congregation," stable congregations led by exemplary pastors.
Then they will be placed in "mustard seed congregations,"
missions or parishes of fewer than 150 active members with a
strong sense of mission and the potential for growth.
"This program will allow us to take enthusiastic, promising
ordinands and place them in some of our strongest mentoring
congregations so they are better prepared for everyday realities
as new ministry leaders," said Bishop William Persell, Chicago's
diocesan bishop, in his grant application letter.
In 2003 five congregations will be chosen as mentoring
congregations with an additional five chosen in 2004. For the
initial five-year pilot phase, 25 new clergy will be mentored by
10 seasoned and successful pastors. They will spend their first
two years as curates (a newly ordained assistant priest) in the
mentoring congregations and then be assigned to serve in one of
the 15 mustard seed congregations for at least three years.
"This is a terrific grant to receive and promises to assist not
only newly ordained clergy in Chicago in their further formation
but also to have learnings for us all," said the Rev. Melford E.
Holland Jr., coordinator of the Presiding Bishop's Office for
Ministry Development." It connects in spirit with our Fresh
Start program which seeks to provide resources for clergy,
congregational leaders, and dioceses in the first two years of
their new ministry together." The Diocese of Chicago is also a
participant in Fresh Start.
Seminary hosts missionary training for first time
(ETSS) "People always ask me: 'Is the Episcopal Church still
sending missionaries to foreign countries?'" says the Rev. Jane
Crosby Butterfield, mission personnel office director of the
Episcopal Church. As an indication that the church is still
strongly committed to sending missionaries, she points to a
two-week orientation program for 22 candiates on the campus of
the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in mid-January.
This marks the first time Butterfield will stage training
sessions for Episcopalians only. Prior to this, orientation
programs have drawn missionary trainees from many Protestant
denominations and the sessions have been more ecumenically
based. "We hope to make missionaries more visible in the
Episcopal Church," Butterfield said. "We need to have more
focus for training in the worldwide Anglican Communion."
Butterfield opened an extension office of the Mission Personnel
Office of the Episcopal Church's Anglican and Global Relations
office last summer on the Seminary of the Southwest campus when
spouse, the Very Rev. Titus Presler, became dean and president
of the seminary in June.
Titled "Cross Cultural Orientation for Mission
Personnel--Ministry in the Dimension of Difference," the January
18-31 session will bring missionary candidates to the Austin
campus from throughout the country. The orientation program
includes seminar discussions ranging from cross-cultural
dynamics and mission identity to building Christian community
from diversity and worship and spiritual formation for mission.
Bible studies focusing on mission themes will be mixed with
field trips in the Austin and San Antonio areas. Staff teachers
will be coming from countries throughout the world, as well as
the Episcopal Church Center. Presler and the Rev. Paul Barton,
assistant professor of Hispanic studies at the seminary, will
assist in the training.
Mission destinations include Zambia, the north of Ireland,
Kenya, Honduras, Jerusalem, Venezuela and Gambia. About
one-third of the missionary candidates are members of the Young
Adult Service Corps. Persons planning to become Volunteers for
mission and appointed missionaries round out the orientation
group. Missionaries serve for a renewable term of one to three
years. Their work is funded by the missionary programs of the
Episcopal Church Center and supporting dioceses and home
Former seminary dean named interim dean in Paris
(ETSS) The Very Rev. Durstan McDonald will be an American in
Paris throughout much of 2003.
McDonald, dean emeritus of the Episcopal Seminary of the
Southwest, will be interim dean and rector of the American
Cathedral in Paris from January through at least September,
2003. As interim dean, he will be the acting priest in charge of
the parish, carrying out regular liturgical and administrative
duties of the dean with the support of the cathedral's clergy,
wardens and vestry.
For more than a century, the cathedral of Paris--formally known
as the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity--has been a center
of worship for English-speakers abroad. Located near the Seine
in the heart of Paris, it draws visitors from throughout the
world. Permanent parishioners number about 400.
McDonald's tenure at the cathedral is expected to last until a
search committee finds a new dean to succeed the Very Rev. Ernie
Hunt retired in late 2002. During Hunt's leadership, the
cathedral expanded its outreach from the local and national
community to other nations in West and Central Europe.
Don't scapegoat gay clergy, Charleston tells O'Reilly
(ENS) Bishop Steven Charleston, president and dean of the
Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was a
guest on the Fox News program "The O'Reilly Factor" on December
The segment related to a recent Boston Globe editorial written
by Bishops M. Thomas Shaw and Bud Cederholm of the Episcopal
Diocese of Massachusetts challenging a recent Vatican statement
implying a link between pedophilia and homosexuality.
"The real problem we're facing in the church is abuse, and the
second big problem we're facing in the church is how the church
hierarchy deals with the cases of abuse," Charleston told host
"It is a very, very big problem for gay people to combat that
kind of stereotyping and prejudice, and it's a big problem for
heterosexual people as well," Charleston said. "What we want are
for gay people and heterosexual leadership to come together
united to make sure that we simply don't tolerate this kind of
abuse in the life of any church, and this is not just an issue
for the Roman Catholic Church."
In a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, Charleston wrote,
"The church cannot make homosexuals the scapegoats for its own
failures, especially failures at the highest levels of its own
administration. Rather, it should acknowledge that gay and
lesbian persons always have, and always will, provide
outstanding clergy and lay leadership for the Christian faith."
Episcopalians join commission commemorating historic Brown
(ENS) Two Episcopalians from parishes in the Diocese of Kansas
are among those appointed by President George W. Bush to serve
on a new commission charged with designing ways to commemorate
the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision
Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka that effectively
struck down school segregation in America.
Deborah Dandridge, a member of St. David's in Topeka and Jesse
Milan of St. Martin's in Edwardsville, are two of the 21 members
on the nationwide panel.
The group will design public education activities to mark the
anniversary on May 17, 2004 of the court's decision that struck
down the "separate but equal" policy in the United States. The
commission was created by an act of Congress and was signed into
law by President Bush in September 2001.
Dandridge, who is an archivist and researcher at the University
of Kansas, was selected for membership by Topeka's Brown
Foundation. Milan, who is president of the Kansas Chapter of the
NAACP, was selected by Bush as one of the representatives of the
state of Kansas.
Dandridge said, "To me this commission represents one of the
important ways our nation will be honoring a Supreme Court
decision that revolutionized race relations and sparked hope for
others around the world to work for social change without
violence or war." Milan, who has been active in civil rights
issues for decades, said, "This is one of the points in my life
where I can do what I always have tried to do--make life better
for people in the future."
Dandridge said one of the goals of the commission is to work
with textbook companies to expand the information on the Brown
case presented to schoolchildren. Milan agreed that information
is critical to people's understanding of the case and its
ramifications for American society. But he wants to push the
commission to go further. "The group must address the greater
question of equal protection under the 14th amendment," he said.
"We have to look to the future and think about the kind of
America we want."
Milan also said he hopes this new role will provide him the
opportunity to visit with church groups about how they can
participate in this commemoration and develop ways to discuss
issues of race in their congregations. "It is a gift from God to
have two Episcopalians on this commission," he said. "This
really is a teaching moment."
Central New York bishop opposed Vietnam war, supported women's
(ENS) The Rt. Rev. Ned Cole, retired bishop of the Diocese of
Central New York, died December 16, 2002, at the age of 85 in
Syracuse, New York. He became the seventh bishop of the diocese
in 1969 and served until 1983. As bishop, Cole served the
diocese during a tumultuous time for both the Episcopal Church
and the country. He took stands on controversial issues
including opposition to the Vietnam War, ministering to those
who moved to Canada to resist the draft, opposition to the death
penalty, and support for the ordination of women.
Cole was known as a champion of the underdog and acted as both a
spiritual and civic force in the community. He served as a
member of the General Board of the National Council of Churches;
as a member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church
representing Province II; and as a member of the Episcopal
delegation to the Consultation on Church Union. He was also
active in the New York State Council of Churches; the Human
Rights Commission of Syracuse and Onondaga County, the Food Bank
of Central New York, the Urban League of Onondaga County and the
Syracuse Division of the New York State Commission on Human
Cole was born and raised in California, Missouri, graduated from
Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and attended law school
at the University of Missouri in Columbia. He was secretary to
the Secretary of the State of Missouri from 1940-1942, and in
the Air Transport Command of the Army Air Forces, from
1942-1945. He graduated from the Episcopal Theological School in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, and ordained deacon and priest by
Bishop William Scarlett of Missouri. He served parishes in
Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri, and in 1956 was elected
dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis.
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