From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Ecumenical study guide on global poverty and MDGs / Evolution Sunday / Catalyst: From Loss to

From "Matthew Davies" <>
Date Fri, 9 Feb 2007 09:06:04 -0500

NewsLink, Serving the Episcopal Church

Daybook -- Today is Friday, February 9, 2007, in Epiphany.

* Today in Scripture: Daily Office meditation: * Today in Prayer: Anglican Cycle of Prayer: * Today in History: On this day in 1980, Calvin Onderdonk Schofield, Jr. became the second bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.

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World Report

PHILIPPINES: Churches unite to help ensure honest elections

TANZANIA: Central Tanganyika bishop questions legitimacy of singling out the Episcopal Church

More World news:

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Lutheran, Episcopal Churches release ecumenical study guide on global poverty and MDGs

[ENS] God's Mission in the World, a study guide on global poverty and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) produced jointly between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is now available to purchase and can be ordered from Episcopal Books and Resources online at or by calling 800-903-5544.

In his introduction to the guide, Alex Baumgarten, international policy analyst for the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations, wrote: "The guide is designed to be used by Christian communities of any denominational background and any knowledge level. Ideally, its use will lead Christians to deeper patterns of involvement in the movement to end global poverty. To that end, it offers practical suggestions for how to take the MDGs beyond this course and into a congregation's prayer life, education program, social outreach, community organizing and public advocacy."

God's Mission in the World features six weekly sessions examining Christian understandings of social justice, global poverty, and the MDGs. The eight goals for the eradication of deadly poverty flow from the historic Millennium Declaration of 2000, and have been adopted by more than 190 nations, including the United States. The goals are to, by 2015, cut extreme poverty and hunger in half; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and create a global partnership for development with emphases on debt cancellation, foreign aid, and fair trade.

Resolutions passed at both the 2003 and 2006 General Conventions put the Episcopal Church firmly on record in support of the MDGs. The guide was released as part of the ONE Episcopalian Campaign (, inviting Episcopalians to speak with one voice in urging the U.S. government to keep the promises it has made in the fight against deadly poverty around the world..

The ONE Episcopalian campaign seeks to build on the enormous energy for the MDGs already generated among Episcopalians, challenging every congregation to become a ONE Congregation. This involves pledging to organize a "ONE Sunday" and achieve three of the following five goals:

1. Feature the MDGs in a sermon or rector's forum

2. Organize an "Offering of Letters" and ask participants to sign the ONE Declaration

3. Use ONE resources in Christian-education classes for youth and adults

4. Meet with Members of Congress to advocate for the MDGs

5. Collect an offering once a year for the MDG programs of Episcopal Relief and Development

Both Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), contributed forewords to the guide. Jefferts Schori wrote: "I am delighted to commend God's Mission in the World as a practical study course for how the process of learning, action and advocacy can begin and be deepened in Christian communities.It encourages us - through prayer, reading of the Scriptures, and examination of the dimensions of poverty - to come to a new understanding about Christian responsibility in a world scarred by hunger and unmet basic needs, pandemic disease, widespread conflict, and deep-seated inequality."

Copies of the guide can be ordered from Episcopal Books and Resources online at or by calling 800-903-5544.

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Evolution Sunday to be observed February 12

[ENS] For the second year in a row universities and Christian churches will be celebrating the anniversary of the birth of 19th century English naturalist Charles Darwin by exploring how understanding evolution can enrich the appreciation of God's creation.

About 100 of the 570 congregations listed on the Clergy Letter Project website are Episcopal. Most will mark the Sunday closest to Darwin's birth date (February 12) with related teaching or preaching.

On February 11 at Trinity Memorial in Binghamton, New York, Dr. Sandra Michael, distinguished service professor at Binghamton University (Biology) and chair of the Episcopal Network on Science, Technology and Faith, will be preaching and making available copies of A Catechism of Creation: An Episcopal Understanding.

At St. Philip's in the Desert, Tucson, Arizona, the Rev. Thomas Lindell, deacon and professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona, continues his adult education series on "Engaging Ambiguity: Inviting the Questions" with a session on "Darwin's Gift to Theology."

In San Jose, California, at Trinity Cathedral, the Rev. Lee Barford, deacon and master researcher at Agilent Laboratories, will be preaching at two liturgies. In between services, the Rev. Lance Beizer will begin a two session adult class using a unit from "The Thoughtful Christian" by Lutheran theologian Ted Peters and virologist Martinez Hewlett.

Professor Robert Schneider, former chair of the Executive Council Committee on Science, Technology and Faith, will be leading the adult forum at St. Luke's Church in Boone, North Carolina. He will use resolution A129: Affirming Creation and Evolution, passed at the 2006 General Convention, as a springboard to conversation about fundamental issues of Christian faith and sound science.

Useful resources

A Catechism of Creation

The Thoughtful Christian

For A129: go to page 8.

The Clergy Letter Project resources for Evolution Sunday _ _ _

Catalyst: "From Loss to Hope" from Forward Movement, by David L. James, 77 pages, hardcover, c. 2007, $12.95

[Source: Forward Movement] "Living means losing," writes David James. "From the loss of the perfect environment of the womb, through the loss of childhood innocence and broken relationships, to the loss of beauty, health and life itself, life is a series of losses and searches for hope."

The storms of life keep coming -- storms of financial strain, emotional turmoil, spiritual doubt, crumbling relationships, failing health, death. Sometimes there's nothing left but a tangled mass of splintered homes, shattered dreams, and financial ruins, except...the memory of a God who has helped in the past. Sometimes remembering the wideness of God's mercy is the only hope we have.

These short stories cover the full spectrum of loss: from the loss of a child to the loss of a job to the loss of faith. Inspired by James' reliance on the hymnal as a place to turn for guidance, hope, and promise, each reflection closes with a hymn quote, using verse as a bridge back to the tradition of hope that has sustained so many through so much. A book to be slowly digested, carefully considered, and readily shared.

To order: Episcopal Books and Resources, online at or call 800-903-5544.

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