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November
2005
Recovery takes time
Bishops in the four affected dioceses and Episcopal Church Center officials repeatedly acknowledge that some people and parishes have become frustrated in past weeks as their offers of assistance were met with requests that they wait patiently.
Reflections from Louisiana
Bishop Charles Jenkins, displaced from his diocesan offices in New Orleans, his own home uninhabitable, spoke to Episcopal Life’s associate editor Nan Cobbey from the temporary, but perhaps long-term, loaned offices at St. James Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge.
Compassion of experience
“We encountered families who were merely stopping over in Seguin, who had relatives in California or elsewhere,” said the Rev. Jay George of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. “What they needed was immediate response – gas money, food money.
Pushing property plans forward
They arrived wearing work gloves and carrying brooms, mops, paper towels and other cleaning supplies. Men, women, teens and children converged on the campus that is now the site of All Saints Episcopal Church, the newest congregation in the Diocese of Lexington (Ky.), formed and led by young adults.
Preparing for resettlement
With a donated 27-foot RV that parishioners have filled with supplies, clothing and food, the congregation hopes to resettle a family next door to the church.
San Antonio responds
Families arriving from New Orleans, and later from eastern Texas when Rita hit, brought to life the TV news reports Lillibridge and his family had been hearing. “When they got off those buses from the airport, they hadn’t showered in four days. They hadn’t eaten. The diabetics hadn’t had insulin … these people were just desperate,” he said. “There were thousands.
Emergency grant seeds a harvest
“I am the president of the Bank of America, and we are going to send you $100,000,” said the man on the other end of the phone. India Chumney, director of Communities in Schools in San Antonio, had been on the radio talking about the work of the Diocese of West Texas, Episcopal Relief and Development and her own organization.
Visitors discuss reconciliation
“The harsh wind of Hurricane Katrina exposed fundamental injustices and environmental neglect and abuse, and blew away any pretence that the inequities of race and class have been overcome in our nation or among us,” they said in a statement after their six-day meeting.
Connecting young adults
“Empowering the young to make decisions about where our church is going is important so they don’t feel like they are just along for the ride.” With that in mind, the advocacy group focused on how young adults can become leaders in the church on all levels and how the network effectively can communicate to bishops and clergy the work of young adults and young adults ministries.
Church Publishing grows
Church Publishing incorporated, an affiliate of the Church Pension Fund  best known as the official publisher of worship books for Episcopalians, has bought two other companies specializing in Episcopal materials -- Morehouse Publishing and Living The Good News.
Staying engaged in Palestine
The Executive Council in October directed its Social Responsibility in Investments Committee to use the church’s investments to encourage positive change in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
Engagement, not divestment
The committee report came in response to last year’s Executive Council charge to investigate what corporate actions “might be appropriate with companies that contribute to the infrastructure of Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and with companies that have connections to organizations responsible for violence against Israel.”
Coming out of its shell
In a natural, tree-filled setting close to the village center, next to the high school and on the same road as a retirement community, the new St. Columba’s seemed poised to welcome the community.  The light-filled, pew-free worship space seems to invite the beauty of coastal Maine into the building in a way that the church’s namesake, the Celtic missionary St. Columba, might appreciate.
Priests walk the beat
Cases of domestic violence, drug abuse, homicides are all in a day’s work for Nyre-Thomas and other diocesan clergy in Los Angeles who volunteer as chaplains, riding along in police cruisers and offering spiritual support to officers, victims and suspects.
Deepening ties through art
Mary Howe has learned to break down barriers by picking up paintbrushes. “[Art] is just a wonderful opportunity to begin conversations with people that you wouldn’t normally have,” she said. “It gives you an opportunity to talk with people on another level and get beyond the barriers that exist.”
Celebrating creativity
An Episcopal priest, Wolf is spending more time honoring God in this way after leaving a regional ministry in Tennessee last summer. She had spent time at other churches before that -- the cathedral in Hartford, Conn.; a parish in St. Louis; a mission church that she guided to parish status in Tennessee.
Searching for Truth
It’s easy for adults to condemn her generation for its lack of faith in anything – for adolescents’ depression, self-destruction and out-of-control behavior, Corbman says. “The utopian dreams of our parents hold no water for us … we don’t believe in simple answers … we believe in personal encounters … we believe in human touch … we’re waiting for the All.”
Siren song of summer
Never have we stood more in need. The church, to borrow a metaphor from Crane, is busily engaged in eating its own heart. The church needs to find its summertime again. Who will restore it if we do not?
At least Apologize
Since those early days immediately following the end of slavery, there has been little attempt by the United States government or by religious institutions to make amends for the horrors and inhumanity of the enslavement of an entire race of people. In fact, the present living conditions of many African Americans, when compared with the rest of the world, causes a number of white people to ask, “Why reparations?”
‘Give me this little servant of God’
In 1993, I gave birth to my third son, Hollis. Despite the phrase “elderly gravida” (I was 38) at the top of my hospital chart, I had an easy time. Driving to his six-week checkup, I cheerfully sang an old gospel tune to the infant buckled in the back. It was Easter season, and I felt one with any bird singing in raucous, noisy joy.
'Thy will be done'
My understanding of God’s will for us is essentially God’s love for us and God’s desire that we grow up in all ways into Christ, who is, after all, the archetype of the human person most fully developed and realized. And because God’s will is God’s love for us, it is generous and expansive rather than narrow and constricting.
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.