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June
2005
Greening the church
From grassroots “green building” projects to international conferences, Episcopalians are seeking ways to integrate their faith with care for the environment. Interest is growing, as are efforts to link members and organizations within the environmental movement with each other and with other faith groups.
Successful interfaith activism
For years major manufacturers in Hudson County processed chromite ore into chromate chemicals, which are used in paints, chrome plating, leather tanning and other industrial processes and products. The production process left millions of tons of chromate chemical waste that later became fill at schools, homes, playgrounds and other Hudson County building sites, predominately in densely populated Jersey City, home mostly to low-income African Americans.
A cup of activism
A growing number of congregations and individuals are buying fair-trade, organic, shade-grown coffee. This means coffee growers in developing countries receive a fair wage for their product, which is grown in an environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion.
Interfaith greetings for new pope
Two U.S. Bishops joined Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and other Anglican and ecumenical representatives to greet Pope Benedict XVI at an audience at the Vatican the day after his inaugural Mass that millions watched around the world.
Episcopal press wins awards
At the Associated Church Press in Nashville, where more than 1,000 entries were submitted for the Best of the Christian Press competition, honorable mentions (third place overall) were awarded to Episcopal Life and Episcopal News Service in the Best in Class category.
Hope and health care in Haiti
The 25th anniversary of Episcopal presence in the village, a presence that has brought hope and human services to thousands of impoverished rural Haitians. It began with the vision of the Rev. Fritz Lafontant, whose pastoral service in the Diocese of Haiti is in its 54th year.
Clean Sweep for Mother Nature
Nine faith communities – Episcopal, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Baha’i, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist and Zen Buddhist – co-sponsored Clean Sweep with two environmental groups, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. A $15,000 Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Grant helped fund the project.
Since you asked...
Terry Parsons, stewardship officer for Congregational Development at the Episcopal Church Center, responds:
Haven on Earth
Elder Haven, a collaborative effort between the church and the Mojave Valley Volunteer Hospice, opened in October 2004. It provides free transportation, senior activities and a hot meal two days a week to socially isolated seniors. Eventually, the goal is to expand.
An older holy war
It is a measure of how little things have changed in the world that these incidents -- drawn from the 12th century and now onscreen in Kingdom of Heaven -- feel depressingly current. It is a sign of how much things have changed in Hollywood that the violent fundamentalists bent on holy war here aren’t the Muslims, but the Christians.
Love as adventure
People get hitched (as the Duchess of Cornwall put it) or come to religion looking for a sense of security and companionship. Much less commonly we come looking for adventure and change. We may not welcome what, it turns out, is inevitable.
Being in harmony with creation
Our focus on the environment moves us not simply to admire and rejoice in the beauty that surrounds us, but also to recover and renew our gratitude and reverence for the wonder of creation of which we ourselves are a part.  In so doing, may we indeed be faithful stewards of the world God has given into our care.
Being right, or belonging
In our profound belief that we must be right, we might lose something very precious: the ability to discern what is right together, as a body.
The parting of friends
The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Kansas will be poorer in spirit without Christ Church. And Christ Church will be poorer in spirit — not in every way, but in a way that matters.
Letters to the Editor
Episcopal Life welcomes letters and will give preference to those in response to stories. Letters should be no longer than 250 words and must include the writer’s name, address, phone number for verification. Pictures are welcome. Send to Letters, Episcopal Life , 815 Second Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; or e-mail to letters@episcopal-life.org. All letters will be edited for brevity and clarity.