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May
2005
Beyond the pews
“Many [women] have the levels of concern that are so basic: How do we feed our families, how do we put shoes on their feet, how do we deal with government instability and community instability,” she said. “It really opened my eyes to the diversity of the people around the world.”
Partners in Mission
“Because of the sudden openings of opportunities for women they have accomplished all the self improvement and development as they can and at a much higher pace than men. People say that is why we have some much domestic violence – the men are trying to reassert their manhood, if there is such a thing, by being violent to women.
A perspective
First and foremost I am an activist. When I received a call in February 2002 saying it wasn’t too late to get credentialed for the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, I leapt at the chance.
A true shepherd
The Church’s first Navajo bishop, Steven Tsosie Plummer, 60, died April 2 in a Shiprock, N.M., hospital after a battle with cancer. The son of a medicine man, Plummer lived all of his ordained life in Navajoland. He was the first elected bishop of the Navajoland Area Mission, created by General Convention in 1977, comprising portions of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
Easing retirement worries
The new pension plan covers all clergy and lay employees with benefits very similar to those of clergy in the Episcopal Church, pension officials said. It provides benefits for years before 1980, as well as years when Puerto Rico was independent and since 2003.
Asia expert
Episcopal Relief and Development has named Robert Radtke, a scholar in Asian political and socio-economic issues, to be its next president. Radtke, 40, will begin work on July 5 after concluding his term as senior vice president for programs at the New York-based Asia Society. He succeeds Sandra Swan.
A preventable epidemic
Although it a preventable and curable disease, malaria kills 3,000 children in this region each day. Unless more resources are put into control, there can be no meaningful progress towards reducing poverty in these countries.
Merging mission
Since the federation papers were signed, denominational lines have all but disappeared, said Rob Patterson, a Lutheran member of the congregation’s board of trustees. “The interesting thing to me is, I really don’t know who’s who … I think that’s what is exciting to people, because it doesn’t make any difference,” he said. “I think people are recognizing that, regardless of our denominational orientation, we’re just really one people under God.”
When I was in prison …
Haunted by the fact that 900 Alaskans are imprisoned in Arizona, the Diocese of Alaska sponsored a contingent of inmates’ family members to visit Arizona recently. Ten Alaskans made the journey with hope, trepidation and cartons of moose meat, salmon strips and muktuk.
Rapping out the Word
The words, chanted by the congregation, increased with intensity in response to the exhortations of freestyle rapper “D.O.” (Defy the Odds), the main attraction at last month’s Hip Hop Mass at a 137-year-old Episcopal church in the South Bronx, N.Y.
Pillars of understanding
As Anglicans, we believe that we use all our senses and our body in prayer. Making the sign of the cross is probably more common in Episcopal churches today than ever, but bowing before the cross and during the recitation of “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit …” has practically disappeared.
A Spirit of surprise
For us as Anglicans the issues are immediate and drastic; we are going to continue to cling to our carefully honed arguments, our lovingly nurtured ways of experiencing the world and all the other components of identity we cherish because we have come to believe they are essential to our being. Or we are going to welcome the rushing wind of God that blew through the church on that first Pentecost.
Liberation, not excommunication
Faith is not defined by the Anglican Consultative Council or the archbishop of Canterbury or an angry group of primates from Africa or Asia. Faith is the embodiment of deep-seated belief in God, and it is spread through works and preaching and stewardship and prayer and a dozen other means that no office or person or group of persons can dominate or control.
Patriotism supplanting piety
Today young Christians willingly serve in the armed forces and take up the murderous weapons of war.  Older, stay-at-home Christians plaster their vehicles with belligerently pro-war “Power of Pride” stickers and insist that war against terrorism is godly. The truth of this observation ought to leave us breathless.
Beyond gender categories
What would our community look like if we were to suspend our opinions and fears about each other and simply ask: “What does it feel like to be you in the world? How do you experience God as loving you? How is God’s grace known to you in your body? In your relationships? What does your particular call to holiness look like? Who are you?”
Some reflections on Pentecost
Centuries pass and we learn that the earth is not flat, that our planet is not the center of the solar system and that matter can be converted into energy.  And wouldn’t the alchemists be amazed at our ability to do what they always wanted to do, namely change one element into another. This learning, and unlearning, I believe, is all part of what Jesus meant when he said “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Letters to the Editor
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