Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies release statements on on US Supreme Court’s DOMA, Proposition 8 rulings

The following are excerpts (in English and Spanish) from the statements made by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies on US Supreme Court’s DOMA, Proposition 8 rulings. To read the full statements, click the link following each paragraph.

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on US Supreme Court’s DOMA, Proposition 8 rulings

The Episcopal Church is presently engaged in a period of study and dialogue about the nature of Christian marriage.  This work is moving forward, with faithful people of many different perspectives seeking together to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit.  However, our Church has taken the position that neither federal nor state governments should create constitutional prohibitions that deny full civil rights and protections to gay and lesbian persons, including those available to different-sex couples through the civic institution of marriage.

Read full statement in English.

La Obispa Presidente de la Iglesia Episcopal Katharine Jefferts Schori opina sobre la ley de Defensa del Matrimonio (por su sigla en inglés, DOMA) del Tribunal Supremo de los EEUU, Resolución 8

La Iglesia Episcopal participa actualmente en un período de estudio y diálogo acerca de la naturaleza del matrimonio cristiano. Este trabajo se está moviendo hacia adelante con los fieles de diferentes perspectivas que buscan juntos discernir la acción del Espíritu Santo. Sin embargo, nuestra Iglesia ha tomado la posición de que ningún gobierno federal ni estatal deberá crear prohibiciones constitucionales que nieguen los derechos civiles y la protección a las personas homosexuales y lesbianas, incluyendo los que están disponibles para las parejas de diferente sexo a través de la institución del matrimonio civil.

Más información en la web.

President of the House of Deputies Jennings on Supreme Court DOMA, Prop 8 rulings

I join with millions of Christians across the country in celebrating today’s Supreme Court rulings that extend equal protection under federal law to all marriages and allow marriage equality to resume in California. We are moving ever closer to civil laws that recognize the God-given dignity and equality of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers.

Read full statement in English.

Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados Jennings opina sobre la ley de Defensa del Matrimonio (por su sigla en inglés, DOMA) del Tribunal Supremo de los EEUU, Resolución 8

Me uno a millones de cristianos en todo el país en la celebración de la resolución del Tribunal Supremo de hoy en día que extienden  la igualdad de protección bajo la ley federal para todos los matrimonios y permite que la igualdad de matrimonio se reanude en California. Estamos avanzando cada vez más a las leyes civiles que reconocen la dignidad otorgada por Dios y la igualdad de nuestros hermanos y hermanas lesbianas, homosexuales, bisexuales y transexuales.

Más información en la web.

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Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issues Call to Action on gun violence

[February 1, 2013] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following statement.
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EPPN

The United States has witnessed far too many public shootings in recent months and years. Far too many lives have been cut short or maimed by both random and targeted acts of gun violence. The school shooting in Newtown was horrific, yet since that day several times as many young people have died by gunshot.

It is abundantly clear that Americans are ready to grapple with the complexities of gun violence. The Spirit is moving across this land to mobilize people of faith to act. I urge the United States members of this Church to call your federal legislators on Monday 4 February to express your concern and your expectation that gun violence be addressed. The outlines of the necessary policy decisions are clear and widely supported: limits on sales of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, effective background checks for all gun purchases, better access to mental health services, and attention to gun trafficking.

We believe all God’s people should be able to live in peace, as Zechariah dreams, “old men and women shall again sit in the streets…And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing.”  The prophet reminds his hearers that even if this seems impossible, with God it is not. [Zech 8:4-6]  I urge you to add your voice to those clamoring for peace. Call your legislators and sue for peace.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

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Action for now
The following are steps that can be taken now:

Share this message – You can forward this message here or http://episcopal.grassroots.com/act-now/details/share-the-presiding-bishops-call-to-action

You can find sample posts for Facebook and Twitter here or http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1845/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=12224
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Make an announcement at church – The National Council of Churches has samples messages for sharing with your church, here or http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1845/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=12224
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Sign the pledge – Sign the pledge to change our culture of violence here or http://episcopal.grassroots.com/act-now/details/break-the-cycle-of-violence

Identify your members of Congress – In case you don’t already know who your members are, you can look them up here or http://whoismyrepresentative.com/  Have their names ready for Monday’s call-in day.

On Monday, February 4:
Call your members of congress – Dial 1-877-897-0174 to reach the Capitol switchboard and ask for your member of Congress. When you are connected, tell the staff person:

“I am a constituent and an Episcopalian, and I am calling to urge [name member of congress here] to support policies that will change the culture of violence in our country. We need legislation that limits sales of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, requires effective background checks for all gun purchases, provides for better access to mental health services, and directs attention to gun trafficking.”

Repeat for your other members of Congress.

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Updated Lesson Plans That Work now available online

Lesson Plans that WorkIn response to our many users, we have given Lesson Plans That Work a new look and new resources.

The popular Lesson Plans That Work, an online resource from the Episcopal Church, has been updated and revised, now with three distinct tracts for younger and older children, and adults.

Lesson Plans that work are available at http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/lessons/.

Published by the Episcopal Church and written by experienced church school teachers, Lesson Plans That Work follow the Revised Common Lectionary, using practical approaches to respond to the needs of volunteer teachers.

Lesson Plans That Work consists of three lesson plans presented weekly: for young children, for older children, and for adults.

On the web, Lesson Plans That Work is easy to search by Season, Year A, B, or C, and by age.  Also newly added is a “Useful Links” section providing additional formation resources.

 

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Become an ECF Fellow

Since 1964, the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has provided financial support to emerging scholars and ministry leaders – both lay and clergy – throughout the Episcopal Church.

Through its Fellowship Partners Program, ECF  helps these individuals share their knowledge, experience, and best practices with the wider Church in practical ways.

Here are two great examples of the transformational ministries funded by ECF:

The application process for the 2013 Fellowships is now open. Here are three points to consider in making a decision to apply:

  • ECF is deeply committed to strengthening the leadership capability of the Episcopal Church. Applicants to the academic and ministry tracks are asked to describe their commitment to developing the next generation of leaders for the Episcopal Church, whether this is in the context of a seminary, a local congregation, through a church-wide network, or in another context.
  • An ECF Fellowship provides both financial support and networking opportunities. ECF has typically awarded three to four Fellowships per year. New awards range up to $15,000 for the first year and are renewable for an additional two years. In addition to this financial support, new Fellows join a wide network of past Fellows and are empowered to share their knowledge, experience, and best practices with the wider Church.
  • The application requires a significant commitment of time and effort and is due on March 15, 2013. The selection process for an ECF Fellowship is highly competitive and a strong application requires a significant investment of time and effort. We encourage all applicants to begin this process early.

The Fellowship Partners Program is one of the most exciting ways that ECF supports innovative scholars and ministry leaders throughout the Episcopal Church. Please email Miguel Escobar or Brendon Hunter if you have any questions about the ECF Fellowship Partners Program.

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January 22 is National Faith Call-In Day

call in dayWe’ve been praying and working for immigration reform, and now is our chance to make it a reality.

On Tuesday, January 22nd, welcome the new Congress by making sure they know that people of faith demand humane immigration reform in 2013.

Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with BOTH of your Senators.

Tell them that as their constituent and as a person of faith, you want immigration reform that provides a pathway to FULL CITIZENSHIP and prioritizes FAMILY UNITY.

Here’s a sample script you can use to tailor your personal message:

Hi, my name is (NAME/TTTLE), from (CITY, CONGREGATION).  

May I please speak with the staff person who handles immigration issues?

I urge the Senator to support a common sense, humane immigration reform bill that prioritizes family unity and creates a pathway to citizenship for aspiring Americans who are currently undocumented. What is the Senator doing to help enact immigration reform this year?

Make sure to call twice to reach both of your Senators, and please spread the word! Ask your friends, family members, neighbors, congregations, and communities to call their Senators.

For information on how to get more involved in the push for immigration reform, as well as talking points and the IIC’s recommendations to Congress, go to www.interfaithimmigration.org.

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Mind the Gap

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Prayer in the Wake of Tragedy

Star of BethlehemLoving God, Jesus gathered your little ones in his arms and blessed them. Have pity on those who mourn for the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, innocents lost to the violence of our fallen world. As all things are possible with you, redeem this horror with the immensity of your love, and lead us to somehow love those who are responsible, filling our hearts with a spirit of forgiveness. Be with us as we struggle with the mysteries of life and death; in our pain, bring your comfort, and in our sorrow, bring your hope and your promise of new life, in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.

For more information and resources please click to www.episcoyouth.org

 

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