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July / August
2005
Listening process affirmed
A concerted effort to isolate the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada further from the Anglican Communion was rejected by members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) during its 10-day triennial meeting in Nottingham England, which concluded June 28.
Addressing Holy Land justice
Recognizing the suffering on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a report from the Anglican Peace and Justice Network included personal experiences and passionate debate about peace, justice and coexistence in the Holy Land. The report outlined concerns about provinces investing in companies that support the “occupation” of Palestinian lands.
Recalling ACC’s start
Having been so deeply involved in the formation and early history of the Anglican Consultative Council, and being both English and Canadian, I have serious concern for the continuance of the Anglican Communion. It is unique in its philosophy of unity in diversity, and through that it has been able to reconcile many thorny questions.
Hungry for solutions
“Hunger in the U.S. has been on the rise for the last four years,” Ndungane said. “Yet with such need, proposals in the current budget debate to cut [federal government nutrition] programs and deprive hundreds of thousands of working families of food support, cannot be justified and must be opposed.”
Crisis in the Holy Land
Members of the Episcopal Peace Commission are working on a report for next summer’s General Convention. The SRI committee is to report to Executive Council in October on whether the church profits from its investments in corporations that support the infrastructure of the occupation. “We found it’s a complicated issue, and we have considerable work ahead to gather the information we need,” Cullinane said.
Seeking one holy catholic church
A group visited the Anglican Centre in Rome and met with its director, Bishop John Flack; received a briefing at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at the Vatican; toured St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican gardens; and participated in a discussion on the nature of the ecumenical movement.
Endowment rate draw is cut
Executive Council spent much of its spring meeting talking about money, politics and evangelism: how to safeguard the church’s endowments, the international crises in Haiti, Sudan and the Anglican Communion, and how to stem recent membership decline.
True friends
Not many topics would draw more than 300 teens and parents to a diocesan-sponsored lecture on a Friday night in Salt Lake City.  But the subject was power, or moral courage in the face of power, especially as it touches adolescent girls’ lives and relationships. It didn’t hurt that the guest speaker was Rosalind Wiseman, author of the bestseller, Queen Bees & Wannabes, upon which the movie Mean Girls is based.
Hands-on ministry
The HT clinic is offered every three weeks. Typically, more than a dozen practitioners arrive with their massage tables.  The parish hall is soon transformed into a sacred healing space with soft lighting and meditative music.
Since you asked...
The Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas, Angus Dun professor of Mission and World Christianity at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., responds:
Rock of Ages
There have been times in my life when problems seemed overwhelming, when my human abilities and strengths were not enough. I called to God for help, for some assurance that, even if things could not be changed, there was a power greater than I that at least would acknowledge my difficulties. I needed a power that could give me some distance and perspective to help me beyond my confusion, grief or anger. I needed the view from the top of the rock.
Learning from Paine
 “These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote Thomas Paine, almost exactly 230 years ago, watching the birth struggles of a new nation.
Holy heroes!
“A great many Christians remain stunted in their faith because they accept Jesus and then stop, as if that completed things,” he says. “There is a world out there that needs saving, that needs Christians to act as God’s hands and feet.”
Brother, can you spare a benefit?
A discussion of such sweeping and radical proportions as the nation is now contemplating must focus on two basic concerns.  First, what is the truth of the matter?  Is Social Security set on a path that cannot be maintained?  Second, what does this nation stand for?  Does the most powerful nation on the planet shirk at meeting the basic needs of its elderly and disabled?
When the vow breaks
For too long, despite the congregational pledge of support, we in the church have treated marriage as a private matter and its failure as a private shame. At the same time, we have offered up rhetoric about marriage as a building block of society, an emblem of God’s love for us and a source of strength and stability for the church.
Recalling days of horror
We recall the agonies that drove mothers to hurl their infants and themselves into swollen rivers. The blue waters turned red with the blood of the thousands either thrown to their deaths or who decided to end their lives rather than to give up their faith and belief in the Lord Jesus.
An intimacy with Scripture
While there may be sudden moments of intense awareness of God’s love and mercy – moments of piercing conviction – we are largely shaped and molded by the recurring patterns and rhythms of prayer and sacrament that work within us, often in hidden ways, the developmental dynamics of God’s grace.  Our prayer calls us both to a continual meditation upon God’s mighty acts and to a constant yielding of ourselves to God’s larger purposes.
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.