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News from Around the Province


Save the Date: "Faith-Rooted Organizing with Alexia Salvatierra," September 15-16

The Maine Episcopal Network for Justice, in partnership with The Episcopal Church's Office of Social Justice and the Diocese of New Hampshire, will host a workshop with the Rev. Alexia Salvatierra at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center on Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16.

A Lutheran pastor, Salvatierra is the author of Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World. This workshop, open to all Episcopalians in New England, will be limited to 40 participants. Because of support from The Episcopal Church, the training-session will be deeply subsidized to make it affordable.

Registration will be open soon. Stay-tuned!


Written by The Rev Stephanie Johnson and The Rev Jerry Cappel with a forward by Bishop Thomas Ely

In 2011, the Episcopal Church House of Bishops issued a pastoral letter on the environmentIn response, Stephanie Johnson (former Province I Energy Stewardship Minister) and Jerry Cappel, with support from a Sowing Seeds of God's Mission Grant, created a five-week study course titled A Life of Grace for the Whole World. The curriculum follows the five sections of the Bishops' letter. It explores the theology at the heart of environmental crises and guides Christians in developing a practical response. 

Bishop Ely recommends it wholeheartedly: "It is a deep and thorough exploration of our pastoral teaching, yet it is presented in a way that makes it easy to use in parish settings or on weekend retreats." In the curriculum's forward, Bishop Ely writes, "The teaching we produced invites the Church to recognize the salvation of all creation as the work of Christ in the world. It presses us to recognize that because we are called to live in Christ and with Christ, we in turn seek to live 'a life of grace for the whole world.' It encourages the church to respond in terms that have always been central to its Christian faith and life: repentance, worship, redemption, salvation, obedience and holiness. This is important, for it is calling the church to be faithful to itself."  Read more from "The Living Church." 



Responses to Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a contemporary form of slavery that typically involves victims who have been forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. In 2000, the United Nations issued the "Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children" (also referred to as the Trafficking Protocol or the Palermo Protocol), as an international agreement to address the issue. Since then, the General conventions of the Episcopal church have 
  • recognized the problem of and support efforts to stop trafficking of women, girls, and boys (2000-A057), 
  • condemned sex trafficking (2003-D034), 
  • asked for the development of educational resources for congregations (2003 D034, 2000 A057), 
  • supported efforts to address trafficking (2009 A167), 
  • asked each province to begin a dialogue to recognize how domestic and international trafficking affects the people in our province (2012 D042), 
  • and protect human trafficking victims on native american reservations in MT and ND (2015-A029).
Our dialogue is ongoing in Province I. Please join the conversation
 

The Rev. Becca Stevens

This video from the Diocese of TX offers a peak of Becca Steven's "Love Heals" message: click here

Anika Rogers shared her story of healing at Thistle Farm after surviving addiction, prostitution and trafficking. She was part of the Love Heals Conference held at St. Paul's, Brunswick. Anika, Regina Mullins, another survivor leader, and Thistle Farms founder, the Rev. Becca Stevens, spent four days in Maine speaking about the healing and social enterprise efforts of the Thistle Farms ministry in Nashville.  The Diocese of Maine's Human Trafficking Ministry Group brought the women to Maine in partnership with Bates College, Lutheran partners, the Center for Wisdom's Women in Lewiston and Province 1 (Sowing Seeds Grant). Click these links to a photo album and video of the presentations.

Other Human Trafficking Resources and Information

  • Episcopal church site 
  • Episcopal church resource rich Advocacy Site 
  • Vital Practices for Congregations - Episcopal Church Foundation site on Human Trafficking
  • March 2013 - ENS Report with links: Church-wide conversation focuses on human trafficking Presiding bishop hosts off-site UNCSW event 
  • PBS - Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour PBS prime time documentary film and national broadcast event inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality - which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds - present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. More info here.

Cultural Competency and Multicultural Awareness Opportunities

Thanks to a Sowing Seeds of God's Mission Grant, Province 1 leaders from each of our dioceses and from Episcopal Divinity School are collaborating to create a wide variety of entry points to address racism as listed below.  The group envisions a type of RESOURCE CENTER with materials, activities, and support-lending forums (i.e. threaded discusisons and live web conferences) to support efforts that INCREASE SENSITIVITY, AWARENESS/KNOWLEDGE, and SKILLS [competencies] with respect to one's own and others' multi-cultural contexts and SPUR ACTION to enact the Dream of God. The group includes representatives from New England Episcopal Dioceses: James McKim (NH and the Province I Antiracism Representive to Executive Council), the Rev. Canon Hannah Anderson (NH), the Rev. Karen Montagna (MA), Deacon Ema Rosero-Nordalm (MA), Becky Alden (MA),Alexzendria Link (W MA), Canon Robin Hammeal-Urban (CT) and Liz Magill (EDS). For more information and/or to join the conversation, contact Julie Lytle, Executive Director: executive.director@province1.org.

Third Tuesdays 7:30-8:30 pm Web Conversations

(All Will Be or Have Been Recorded; Check for links embedded in the descriptions)

Launched on September 15, 2015 with the Bishops Speak Out on Race, Province I is hosting interactive web conferences that provide insight about the state of racism in New England and highlight our efforts to address it. Topics will include conversations among and with national leaders and local organizers like The Rev Bill Kondraith on "The Role of Feelings in Racial Justice Work," James McKim introducing NH's Diversity Dinner's and Archdeacon Jan Grinnell introducing Rhode Island's Center for Reconciliation. The upcoming topic will be posted here with a registration link to the free web conference each month. Registered participants will receive additional details including the web conference link. 

Bishops Speak Out on Race (September 2015)

The Episcopal Bishops of New England spoke out passionately about the many levels of racism - personally, interpersonally, culturally, and institutionally - which exist in New England during an hour long web conference on Sept 15. Karen Montagno, chair of the Province I Cultural Competency and MultiCultural Awareness Task Force, facilitated the interaction between the Bishops as at least twenty-eight participants text chatted questions and comments with each other and the Bishops. After identifying the role of race and racism in each of their dioceses, individual bishops reflected on their role as teachers, called for us to practice listening to and learning with those who are different, challenged us to focus on the dignity of each person/all people, and reminded of the hope offered to people of faith as we face our fears and address oppression in all its forms. This was the first of the monthly THIRD TUESDAY CULTURAL COMPETENCY CONVERSATIONS. A recording is available here.

Byron Rushing Speaks Out on Race (October 2015)

After offering a rich history of race in the America - particularly noting that there was no America before the first European encounter with the indigenous people, Byron Rushing's broad strokes highlight our challenge as faithful people. He described shifts visible during the 2015 General Convention to move beyond a focus on training to expand formation and education to truly dismantle racism - and all oppressions. Outlining both practical steps and a broad vision, he challenged participants to see that racism is much bigger than privilege and difference. Byron called us to embrace our baptismal and Gospel call to welcome ALL as God's beloved.    A recording is available here.

James McKim - Are You Benefitting from the Establishment? (November 2015) 

James McKim introduced a series of compelling videos about white privilege and our contemporary context to spur conversation and reflection. Click here to view the recording of the November conversation which does not include the video clips. Please pause the recording after James invites participants to view the recording and click the boldfaced title links below to watch the videos participants saw.

Coming Together Around Race: The Need to Heal (Dec 2015)

Four Episcopal women leaders - The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, The Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher, PhD, Heidi Kim, and Deacon Ema Rosero-Nordhalm  spoke with The Rev. Karen Montagno about their deep commitments to the sacred work of racial reconciliation and healing. Click Here to view the recording.

  • The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris is suffragan (assisting) bishop alongside the diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, in Massachusetts. She currently serves on the House of Bishops Pastoral Development Committee and the Board of Directors of the Episcopal Church Investment Group.  In the Diocese of Massachusetts she is vice president of Episcopal City Mission, and she is the president of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. A native of Cleveland, she was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 in the Diocese of Newark. 
  • The Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher, PHD is the first American Indian (Cherokee) female bishop in the Episcopal Church. She is author of two books, Family Theology: Finding God in Very Human Relationships (2012) and Reweaving the Sacred: A Practical guide to Change and growth for Challenged Congregations (2008), she serves as the Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of North Dakota and Bishop Missioner for the Bishop's Native Collaborative. 
  • Heidi Kim is the Missioner for Racial Reconciliation for the Episcopal Church. Her role is to facilitate the establishment and growth of networks in the Church that confront structural issues of racism in society and the church. Her approach is grounded in the Baptismal Covenant’s call to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself" and to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” 
  • Deacon Ema Rosero-Nordalm is missioner for Hispanic ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Her work includes Spanish language and cultural translation for trainings, including Safe Church, Eucharistic Visitor and antiracism trainings. She also gathers and documents best practices in congregations where there are Hispanic to help with the development and implementation of strategy for Hispanic ministry in the diocese.

The Role of Feeling in Racial Justice Work

The Rev. Dr. Bill Kondrath introduced us to the role of feelings in racial justice work. The Rev. Karen Brown Montagno, Diocese of MA Director of Congregational Resources and Training, facilitated the conversation. Click here to view the recording. (NOTE: It appears that Bill's web cam was blocked from the recording, our apologies.)

Bill's career has blended racial justice work and explorations of the role of feelings. His recent book, Facing Feelings in Faith Communities (2013) "is based on a simple premise: We have emotions because we need them. God created us as affectively competent beings to help us understand our world and to give appropriate signals to people around us about what we are experiencing. When we express our feelings clearly, other people can more easily respond in ways that are helpful to us, thus enhancing our relationships and the work we might do together." During this web conversation, Bill identified a number of documents. You can request them from the executive.director@province1.org: guidelines for newsletters (2105). Feeling chart, feeling wheel, and Facing Feelings in Faith Communities. 

 

Tours of culturally significant sites with group conversations about their significance and theological reflection

Resource List (readings, films, curricula, etc.) for parish and diocesan formation offerings. Check out the resources we have been collecting here

  • The task force of seasoned anti-racism traininers have collected and curated resources from religious and secular organizations. This currently is a 29-page paper document available from the executive director.  We are working to transform the data into a searchable web-based site.
  • Seasoned facilitators have added commentary on how to best utilize them.

 


Province I launches Flexible, Two-Year Deacon Formation Process

After almost two years of development, a group of diocesan representatives interested in sharing diaconal education, training and formation activities will launch a two-year deacon formation program with a pattern of two month-long courses that include online lectures conversations followed by a quarterly weekend retreat. After the Inaugural Orientation Weekend, Sept 18-20 at Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford, CT, the cycle will be:

  • Oct/Nov online conversations: Hebrew Bible and Christian Testament
  • Dec weekend residency: The Prophetic Voice of the Deacon: Scripture and Preaching
  • Jan/Feb online conversations: Theology
  • Mar weekend residency: Theology of the Deaconate
  • Apr/May online conversations: Church History and the Anglican Tradition
  • June weekend residency: Anglican Diaconate through History
  • July/Aug online conversations: Community Organizing
  • Sept weekend residency: Deacon as Community Organizer
  • Oct/Nov online conversations: Liturgics
  • Dec weekend residency: The Deacon in the Liturgy
  • Jan/Feb online conversations: Ethics
  • Mar weekend residency: Integrating Ethics in the Diaconate
  • Apr/May online conversations: Spirituality and Self Care
  • June weekend Residency: Maintaining a Vibrant SPiritual Life
  • July online conversation: Capstone Preparation
  • Aug weekend residency: Capstone and Portfolio presentations

Those interested in diaconal ministry should contact their parish priest and diocesan Commission on Ministry.


The Anglican Consultative Council formulated the Five Marks of Mission over a series of years (1984 Bonds of Affection; 1990 Mission in a Broken World). They have been affirmed by the Archbishops of the Anglican Communion at the 1988 and 1999 Lambeth Conferences, the 1996 General Synod of the Church of England and the 76th Episcopal General Convention (2009) (See History from the Anglican Church of Canada). They serve as a quick reference to remind Christians of the many ways we can be church following Jesus’ Way and serve as a means for different countries and cultures to have a common focus.

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom 
  • To teach, baptise and nurture new believers 
  • To respond to human need by loving service 
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
    (Bonds of Affection-1984 ACC-6 p49, Mission in a Broken World-1990 ACC-8 p101) 

Aware that this “checklist” is only a start to the many ways we can seek to serve God and God’s people, Anglican in Mission challenged each Province, diocese and parish to think expansively about how they represent Christ in the world. MISSIO (1999) articulated three convictions shaping how this can be expressed:

  • We are united by our commitment to serving the transforming mission of God.
  • Mission is the bedrock of all we are, do and say as the people of God.
  • Our faithfulness in mission will be expressed in a great diversity of mission models, strategies and practices.

How do you see these convictions in your contexts?

RESOURCES FOR THE FIVE MARKS OF MISSION


CREATING THE COMMON GOOD IN NEW ENGLAND

The Province's Task force on Economic Justice is working to raise awareness about economic equity and identifying ways to catalyze the common good in New England. Representatives from each of the New England Episcopal dioceses are working together to address EMPLOYMENT (ensuring a livable wage), ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY (providing gainful employment) and EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW. The group is currently identifying ways the province can support and enhance efforts by local agencies and institutions and exploring what we can do better together than apart.  Join our conversation on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7:30-9 pm via Adobe Connect (http://episcopal.adobeconnect.com/commongood)


Mission is Message!

Seven Criteria for Mission (as adopted by Maine Diocesan Convention on October 23, 2011)

  • Diocesan resources will support program/ministry efforts that are Christ-centered and Gospel-oriented.
  • Diocesan resources will support program/ministry efforts that collaborate with other churches, communities and affinity groups and demonstrate a willingness to share personnel and resources.
  • Diocesan resources will support those program/ministry efforts led by those who can demonstrate their experience as well as passion for their particular ministry
  • Diocesan resources will support program/ministry efforts with evaluation processes in place and those that can articulate a plan to achieve sustainability.
  • Diocesan resources will support program/ministry efforts whose leaders are willing to share their successes and best practices as well as failures with other congregations or collaborative groups that wish to replicate their work in other parts of the Diocese.
  • Diocesan resources will support program/ministry efforts that demonstrate a willingness to move from a centralized approach to ones that will involve and benefit a wide range and number of people within the diocese and beyond.
  • Diocesan resources will support program/ministry efforts that demonstrate the values of transparency, equity, fairness and collaboration.

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