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‘Violent,’ ‘dehumanizing,’ ‘dangerous’: National Cathedral’s sharp criticism of Trump resonates across America

Episcopal News Service - qua, 31/07/2019 - 15:33

The Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. Photo: Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service] It’s not often that an official statement from the Washington National Cathedral – the most famous icon of The Episcopal Church and site of many state funerals and inaugural prayer services – contains words like “savage,” “dangerous,” “violent” and “dehumanizing.”

But it’s also not often that a president of the United States calls an American city “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess … a dangerous and filthy place” and targets congressional representatives of color with racist insults.

In light of the escalation of President Donald Trump’s racially focused attacks, the clergy of the National Cathedral released a statement on July 30 that denounced Trump’s “violent, dehumanizing words.” The statement, which has spread rapidly around social media and news outlets, contains some of the strongest, most direct language used so far by American religious leaders in reference to Trump:

“As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral – the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance – we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?”

The statement, titled “Have We No Decency? A Response to President Trump,” is ultimately directed more at the American people than Trump himself, and draws a parallel between the present moment and Joseph Welch’s famous confrontation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954.

“As Americans, we have had such moments before, and as a people we have acted. Events of the last week call to mind a similarly dark period in our history,” the statement reads. “McCarthy had free rein to say and do whatever he wished. With unbridled speech, he stoked the fears of an anxious nation with lies; destroyed the careers of countless Americans; and bullied into submissive silence anyone who dared criticize him.”

It took Welch’s bold questioning on national TV – “Have you no sense of decency?” – to “effectively [end] McCarthy’s notorious hold on the nation,” and Trump’s words and actions demand a similar response from the American people, the statement says.

“When does silence become complicity?” it asks. “What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency [than] of ours.”

The statement is signed by the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Diocese of Washington, the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of the cathedral, and the Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas, the cathedral’s canon theologian.

Some of the statement’s firmest language focuses on racism and the erosion of common decency and moral values:

“We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.”

And although Budde, Hollerith and Douglas have individually criticized various policies of the Trump administration before, this statement’s focus on Trump’s character, its frank description of racism and its warning of violent consequences make it unique:

“Make no mistake about it, words matter. And Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous. These words are more than a ‘dog whistle.’ When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human ‘infestation’ in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.”

As Donald Trump continues to shout dehumanizing, violent and racist words from the most powerful office in the land, we all must transform our silence into words and action. https://t.co/2E77iZmz09

— Kelly Brown Douglas (@DeanKBD) July 30, 2019

The statement concludes with an excerpt from Trump’s inaugural prayer service at the cathedral on Jan. 21, 2017, during which the clergy “prayed for the President and his young Administration to have ‘wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties that they may serve all people of this nation, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person.’”

“That remains our prayer today for us all,” the statement ends.

The statement was quickly picked up by national and international news outlets including The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian and Bloomberg, and has been shared thousands of times on social media by influential figures such as Chris Matthews, Mia Farrow, former CIA Director John Brennan, director Ava DuVernay and multiple current and former members of Congress.

“Never have I been more proud to call the Washington National Cathedral my home,” former National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweeted along with a link to the statement.

Never have I been more proud to call the Washington National Cathedral my home.

Have We No Decency? A Response to President Trump – Washington National Cathedral https://t.co/Fck61LL3dw

— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) July 31, 2019

“This is a very big deal. Extraordinary step by National Cathedral,” said former Sen. Claire McCaskill.

This is a very big deal. Extraordinary step by National Cathedral. Have We No Decency? A Response to President Trump – Washington National Cathedral https://t.co/FAXVNDKfxT

— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) July 31, 2019

Budde told ENS she is “surprised and gratified by the response.”

“We had never planned to issue a statement in response to a presidential tweet before,” Budde said, “but as we said in the statement, this one crossed a threshold and it struck a particular nerve, given both the racial overtones and the attack by association of an entire city.”

It was Budde’s idea to compare the current political situation with the McCarthy era.

McCarthy “could say and do whatever he wanted, and it didn’t seem to have any consequence at all,” she explained. “The fear of communism seemed to give license to all kinds of political behavior that was simply outrageous, and in retrospect, we wonder: ‘My God, how could it have gone on as long as it did?’ I did some research on that iconic moment. … It was a breaking point, and a part of me has been longing for that.”

Unsure about what the separation of church and state really means? Learn more from the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion

Budde said the statement had nothing to do with impeachment or any particular political outcome. Instead, she said, she was trying to prevent the normalization of white supremacist views and the violence that they can cause by appealing to a sense of common decency.

“I don’t do that lightly, and I try not to do that in a partisan way. But we also have the hope that there was a common sense of ‘we are just tired of this, we’ve had enough, and we do have a sense of decency and this violates it and we want it to stop.’ That was our abiding hope, and we have heard that,” she said.

When asked how she would respond to Episcopalians who, regardless of their political beliefs, think the church should simply stay out of politics, Budde said she understands but believes engaging in public life is part of what being a Christian entails.

“I believe in the separation of church and state and I abide by it,” Budde said. “But the separation of church and state was never intended to keep people with religious moral views out of the political arena. It was to protect the political arena from undue religious influence that had state sponsorship. … It’s an understandable perspective, but I think ultimately it breaks down when you [consider that] the greatest moments of our history are when people of faith are engaged in the public arena, and the times when we have the greatest cause for shame are when people of faith do nothing.”

– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.

The post ‘Violent,’ ‘dehumanizing,’ ‘dangerous’: National Cathedral’s sharp criticism of Trump resonates across America appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Union of Black Episcopalians ‘family reunion’ in Los Angeles concludes, work continues

Episcopal News Service - seg, 29/07/2019 - 16:28

UBE youth and young adults spent a day at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Hollywood, California, working in the community garden, composting, picking jalapenos and tomatoes, and making salsa. Photo: Jaime Edwards-Acton/St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church

[Episcopal News Service – Los Angeles] The Union of Black Episcopalians 51st annual business meeting and conference July 22-26 in Los Angeles welcomed new board members and deepened commitments to youth and young adult empowerment, congregational and leadership development, racial reconciliation, social justice outreach and advocacy, and collaborative partnerships.

About 300 participants from across the Caribbean, Central and North America and the United Kingdom attended the gathering, themed “Preparing the Way for Such a Time as This: Many People, One Lord.” Attendees enjoyed daily Bible study, spirited worship, civic engagement and social justice-focused workshops, while also observing the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in what would become the United States.

Members honored the outgoing board, especially National President Annette Buchanan, and weighed a response to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s “get souls to the polls” invitation to engage voter education and registration drives in 2020.

Curry preached at a joyous July 24 praise service, planned and led by youth and young adults. It featured the Holy Spirit Dancers from St. James’ Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, an ensemble of young women that has performed at UBE conferences since 2016.

Youth and young adults also planned their own meeting and workshop agenda, engaged in local service projects, visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame, enjoyed a black Hollywood bus tour and visited the California African American Museum.

Buchanan said UBE “is the church’s largest advocacy group. I want us to be proud of the fact that, over these 51 years, we have been able to sustain our organization. UBE is an example for the church. Many other advocacy organizations have used our model as a way to build and propel their organizations forward.”

During her six-year term, the racial justice organization established a Washington office, hired staff, upgraded technology and introduced the first Sunday in September as UBE Recognition Sunday in honor of the Rev. Alexander Crummell. The organization added weekly online Bible study and prayer lines, and strengthened ties to The Episcopal Church Office of Black Ministries and other church bodies, and increased mentoring, outreach and advocacy efforts.

While the annual gatherings are “a family reunion, we are hopeful you will also see them as a way of developing your leadership skills,” Buchanan told the gathering. “When we gather, it is an opportunity to learn and to be revitalized to go back into the world.”

‘Black Lives Matter,’ linking justice issues

Activist Lloyd Wilke said during a panel discussion about activism that he helps to support Inglewood youth by offering conflict resolution and diversity training for educators and law enforcement officers, with “Tools for Teens” at the Museum of Tolerance and a “Keep it Real” boxing instruction program at local churches.

“After they box for an hour and are totally exhausted, I have them right where I want them,” Wilke said. “We sit in a circle and talk about issues and the things on their minds.”

Pastor Victor Cyrus-Franklin of Inglewood First United Methodist Church described fostering ecumenical partnerships and linking worship with justice issues. He has hosted a community Good Friday Stations of the Cross service that uses “rather than traditional sacred music, the music from Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ album.”

“The point being, there’s a correlation that helps us hear the words of Jesus differently … trying to find a language rooted in the faith but connected to the culture to help express where we are,” Cyrus-Franklin said.

When his congregation joined local rent stabilization advocacy and canvassed the neighborhood, it “became a form of evangelism for us, a faith walk,” he said. “One way we love our neighbors is to make sure everybody can afford to live here.”

Melina Abdullah, professor and chair of pan-African studies at California State University, Los Angeles, said church involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement is crucial “because this is spirit work.” Black Lives Matter was born in 2013 in the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.

Challenges, such as the rise of hate groups, increased allocation of public dollars to policing and the criminalization of homeless people, “could seem unwinnable were we not faithful people,” she said. “The answer to homelessness is house keys, not handcuffs. It could seem insurmountable, but we win through spirit.”

Historically black colleges and universities

Voorhees College President W. Franklin Evans said the presiding bishop will be the guest speaker at the historically black institution’s April 7, 2020, Founder’s Day celebration. The school in Denmark, South Carolina, has begun offering an online degree program and recently opened a veteran’s resource center. In addition to receiving a $500,000 historic preservation grant and a United Thank Offering grant to create a student wellness center, the college has established a relationship with the University of Ghana, “and hopefully this fall we will have 25 students enrolled at Voorhees College” from Ghana, Evans said.

Gaddis Faulcon, interim president of Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, said the historically black school has achieved financial stability and continues to move forward.

St. Augustine’s has established such priorities as enrollment management, student learning and achievement, campus beautification and the creation of distinctive programs.

“We will have an online program in organizational management and plan to create a master’s degree in organizational management,” he said.

Office of Black Ministries to UBE: ‘We want to invest in people’

The Rev. Ronald Byrd Sr. told the conference that the Office for Black Ministries has a new mission statement and a newly designed website. He announced innovative partnerships, expanded ministry, coaching and mentoring opportunities and a “Healing from Internalized Oppression” curriculum launching Aug. 16-17 in Southern Ohio.

As Episcopal Church missioner for black ministries, he seeks “to inspire, transform and empower people of the African diaspora to live fully into the Jesus Movement,” adopting a convocation model. “Our community is as diverse as any,” Byrd said.

“We have African Americans, South Africans, East Africans, Afro Caribbeans, Sudanese and many others,” he told the gathering. “We hosted our first convocation of East Africans here in the Los Angeles diocese. It is our intent and strategy, as we go forward, to convene more.” A convocation is planned with Sudanese clergy in 2020, and “we are also working with our Cuban brothers and sisters. We are hoping to make a trip there early next year,” he said.

Byrd also announced a partnership to help alleviate a clergy shortage in the Virgin Islands. Mainland clergy may spend two to four weeks in the Virgin Islands leading worship. “In return, you receive free air travel, accommodations, ground transportation and, in some cases, a small stipend,” he said. “They need clergy now.”

He also announced other supportive programming, adding: “We want to invest in people. We want to come to your neighborhood, your diocese, your deanery. We are on the move,” he said. “The only way this office will be successful is through you and your support.”

New board members, General Convention 2021

In other business, members elected a new board of directors. The Very Rev. Kim Coleman (Virginia) will succeed Buchanan as national president. The Rev. Guy Leemhuis (Los Angeles) was elected first vice president. Ayesha Mutope-Johnson (Texas) will succeed the Rev. Martini Shaw as second vice president. Christina Donovan (South Carolina) will serve as secretary. The Rev. Clive Sang (New Jersey) will continue as treasurer, and the Rt. Rev. Carl Wright, bishop suffragan for armed services and federal ministries, will continue as an honorary adviser. Derrell Parker (Florida) volunteered from the floor to lead young adult efforts.

The Rev. Sandye Wilson said the board wants to set some clear goals for Curry’s 2020 voter education and registration drive invitation before introducing it to local chapters. She announced a series of resolutions proposed for General Convention 2021, scheduled for June 30-July 9 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The resolutions would include a $2 million request for continued funding for Becoming Beloved Community to respond to racial injustice, income equality reforms through minimum wage increases, and funding for the Office of Black Ministries’ Healing from Internalized Oppression curriculum. Proposals also call for addressing voter suppression and tackling mass incarceration. The resolutions may be found here.

Additionally, UBE recognized the following:

  • The Rev. Wil Gafney, a professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, with the Anna Julia Haywood Cooper Award;
  • Alfred D. Price, a 10-time deputy to General Convention, with the Bishop Walter Decoster Dennis Award;
  • Kurt Barnes, Episcopal Church chief financial officer and treasurer, with the Bishop Quintin Ebenezer Primo Award; and
  • The Rev. Joseph D. Thompson Jr., an assistant professor of race and ethnicity studies and director of multicultural ministries at Virginia Theological Seminary, with the UBE Faith in Action Award.

The 52nd annual UBE Business Meeting and Conference will be held in June 2020 in Montgomery, Alabama.

– The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a Los Angeles-based Episcopal News Service correspondent.

The post Union of Black Episcopalians ‘family reunion’ in Los Angeles concludes, work continues appeared first on Episcopal News Service.

Jovens brasileiras participam do encontro de Jovens Episcopais no Panamá

SNIEAB Feeds - seg, 29/07/2019 - 10:20
Entre os dias 17 a 19 de julho, aconteceu na cidade do Panamá o Encontro de Jóvenes Episcopales (Encontro de Jovens Episcopais) organizado pela IX Província em conjunto com a IARCA (Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America). Participaram do evento jovens do Panamá, Honduras, República Dominicana, Colômbia, Cuba, Porto Rico, México, Estados Unidos, Equador e Brasil. A celebração de abertura contou com a pregação do Bispo Presidente da Igreja Episcopal dos Estados Unidos, Revmo. Michael Curry. Em seu sermão: “Não tenha vergonha de ser jovem. Siga Jesus e ame”, em sintonia com o lema do Evento “El camino del amor” (O caminho do amor), o Bispo salientou que, em momentos de conflitos, devemos sempre seguir o caminho do amor em nossas vidas, logo, seguir a Jesus, porque Deus é amor. Durante o encontro, os jovens tiveram à sua disposição quatro oficinas com os seguintes temas: Cuidado com a Criação, Liderança, Evangelismo e Reconciliação Racial, podendo participar de três delas. A delegação brasileira foi representada pelas jovens Diana Linhares (Diocese Anglicana do Recife), Paula Mello (Diocese Meridional) e Yarana Borges (Diocese Anglicana de Pelotas), membros do Grupo de Trabalho das Juventudes. Ao decorrer do EJE, os jovens tiveram tempo de reflexão e aprendizagem acerca dos ensinamentos do Evangelho de Jesus bem como partilharam sua cultura e experiência de fé em um espaço acolhedor.

DASP elege bispo Coadjutor

SNIEAB Feeds - ter, 09/07/2019 - 16:43

Foto: Divulgação

Na manhã desta terça feira (09) foi eleito em concílio extraordinário para bispo coadjutor da Diocese Anglicana de São Paulo (DASP) o Reverendo Cézar Fernandes Alves. O Reverendo Cézar está atualmente reitor da Paróquia São João, em São Paulo desde de 2002. Nasceu em Quixeramobim no Ceará e foi ordenado diácono em julho de 1995 e presbítero em junho de 1996, exerceu seu ministério em várias paróquias da IEAB.

O clérigo possui especialização em anglicanismo pelo Centro Anglicano de Birminghan na Inglaterra, MBA e  pós graduação em  Mindfulness. A eleição deverá passar pela homologação da Câmara Episcopal e dos Conselhos Diocesanos para então ser agendada a Cerimônia de Sagração. Parabéns ao Reverendo Cézar que Deus abençoe seu ministério.

Secretaria Geral da IEAB

Texto: Nilo Junior

DASP elege novo bispo coadjuntor

SNIEAB Feeds - ter, 09/07/2019 - 16:26

Foto: Divulgação redes sociais

Na manhã desta terça feira (09) foi eleito em concílio extraordinário para bispo coadjutor da Diocese Anglicana de São Paulo (DASP) o Reverendo Cézar Fernandes Alves. O Reverendo Cézar está atualmente reitor da Paróquia São João, em São Paulo desde de 2002. Nasceu em Quixeramobim no Ceará e foi ordenado diácono em julho de 1995 e presbítero em junho de 1996, exerceu seu ministério em várias paróquias da IEAB.

O clérigo possui MBA e é pós graduado em Gestão Emocional nas Organizações e Mindfulness. A eleição deverá passar pela homologação da Câmara Episcopal e dos Conselhos Diocesanos para então ser agendada a Cerimônia de Sagração.

Parabéns ao Reverendo Cézar que Deus abençoe seu ministério.

Secretaria Geral da IEAB

Texto: Nilo Junior

LGBTI+, Congresso

SNIEAB Feeds - qua, 26/06/2019 - 14:51

LGBTI+, Congresso

Paróquia da Trindade promove Congresso LGBTI+ em São Paulo

SNIEAB Feeds - qua, 26/06/2019 - 14:04
Entre os dias 19 e 23 de junho a Paróquia da Santíssima Trindade da Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil em São Paulo promoveu e acolheu o 1° Congresso Igrejas e Comunidades LGBTI+ em parceria com Koinonia Presença Ecumênica. O Congresso reuniu diversas lideranças políticas, movimentos sociais e de defesa dos direitos humanos, pessoas que pesquisam ou são interessadas na relação entre espiritualidade e questões LGBTI+ , e religiosas de diferentes comunidades de fé que puderam compartilhar suas experiências com outras comunidades e grupos. Tratando de temas como saúde, política e inclusão. No atual contexto as comunidades têm diferentes posições nas questões envolvendo suas espiritualidades e a diversidade sexual de gênero. Ora apoiando e acolhendo, ora excluindo ou invisibilizando seus fiéis e suas lideranças, tornando, ou não, seus espaços religiosos seguros. Os desafios do acolhimento as pessoas da comunidade LGTBI+ em igrejas e espaços religiosos tem sido uma real necessidade, para essas pessoas que também tem o direito de viver sua fé e serem respeitadas, mas, nem sempre se sentem seguras, temendo serem excluídas ou até mesmo sendo alvo de violências de todo tipo. De acordo com o Reverendo Arthur Cavalcante, reitor da Paróquia da Santíssima Trindade, a ideia de um Congresso surgiu no final do ano passado, pela conjuntura que estávamos atravessando no país, na esfera social, econômica, religiosa e política. “A pergunta era o que podia ser feito para trazer esperança na caminhada de nossas pessoas fiéis? O Congresso surge como uma proposta de usarmos a nossa experiência de Paróquia a serviço das pessoas, irmãs de fé e de luz aos movimentos sociais. Acredito que o Congresso alcançou plenamente seus objetivos.” Segundo o reverendo foi uma proposta que não só usou as ferramentas/expertises teológicas da IEAB, como também o exercício do ethos anglicano, somado ao jeito da comunidade local de tratar assuntos tão delicados de forma prática e pastoral na última década. A experiencia da Paróquia da Trindade em lidar com determinados temas gerou uma confiança de entidades parceiras e gentes que militam em diferentes espaços. “A IEAB, através da JUNET, foi uma grande parceira ao confiar em nós a responsabilidade de realizar algo grande e com poucos recursos iniciais. Reunir mais de 230 pessoas durante todo o evento não é brincadeira em tempos tão desafiadores como o nosso.” Destacou Arthur. O congresso recebeu pessoas das Dioceses Meridional, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Amazônia, São Paulo, Distrito Missionário, bem como a presença de pessoas de diversos estados: Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Maranhão, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Brasília e Pará. Gente que de outros países como Escócia, EUA e Argentina.

Rev. Carla E. Roland Guzmán, PhD, Rector Episcopal Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy

De acordo com a Reverenda Carla E. Roland Guzmán, da Igreja Episcopal dos Estados Unidos e coordenadora da Fé, família, Igualdade: latinx Roundtable (um programa de CLGS) O insight e a complexidade das apresentações e participação foram inigualáveis, mesmo em comparação com outros congressos em todo o mundo. As perspectivas teológica, acadêmica e de base, contextual, interseccional, pastoral e libertadora da comunidade foram abordadas a partir de uma variedade de perspectivas progressistas, ecumênicas e inter-religiosas. “Para a Comunhão Anglicana e outros contextos, o congresso deve ser visto como um modelo de como abordar, em diálogo, uma conversa de direitos LGBTI + em todo o mundo, de uma perspectiva religiosa, social e política. Isso permite que posições teológicas progressistas sobre questões LGBTI+ tenham um espaço que possa desafiar os diálogos discursivos sequestrados pela direita.” disse Guzmán.

O evento correu na semana da Parada LGBTI+ de São Paulo, que este ano comemorou os 50 anos de Stonewall, diversos religiosos e pessoas ligadas a comunidades inclusivas participaram , no domingo, da Parada  no “Bloco Gente de Fé” contra a lgbtifobia.  Ao final foi redigida a  Carta de São Paulo e realizada a celebração de todas as Fés. Texto: Nilo Junior, Secretaria Geral Fotos do Congresso