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June
2006
Two issues will dominate convention
Resolutions by the score will be approved by bishops and deputies at the 75th General Convention at Ohio’s Greater Columbus Convention Center, June 12-21, but no decisions will be as important as those concerning the church’s relationship with other bodies in the Anglican Communion, and its selection of a presiding bishop to provide strong leadership in the next decade.
Convention’s younger faces
Many voices of youth and young adults in the Episcopal Church will be heard this June as the participants gather at several events: the festival; the General Convention Official Youth Presence; and E3: Educate, Experience, Empower, sponsored by the Diocese of Southern Ohio with support from the Episcopal Church’s Center’s Ministries with Young People program.
Economics, justice and peace
The Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice will make the Millennium Development Goals, first presented at General Convention in 2003, a focus again. Supported by all 191 U.N. member states, the MDGs are a series of initiatives geared to eliminating the most extreme forms of poverty and hunger in the world by the year 2015.
Budget grows 7 percent
The proposed budget for the Episcopal Church for 2007-2009  totals almost $152 million. Deputies, bishops and anyone else at General Convention will have three chances to comment and make requests before that budget is adopted.
Discipline, ministry proposals
The Standing Commission on Ministry Development proposes a new system for enforcing discipline on church leaders. Members call the current canons (rules), known as Title 4, adversarial, pointing to the use of presentment as a tool. They want to replace that with a system using mediation and fact-finding and seeking “restorative justice – reconciliation,” said Stephen Hutchinson, chancellor for the Diocese of Utah, who helped write the proposals.
Deputies of color to caucus on common issues, resolutions
At a weekend conference in Columbus in April, 48 of the more than 200 deputies of color who will be at convention began discussions to identify resolutions most pertinent to the caucus.
Children’s program features a Narnia theme
Activities for children at the center include using different methods to tell their faith stories, said Jeffri Harre, Episcopal Church program assistant for children’s ministries and Christian education. Children’s program participants will visit the center twice.
Four bishops elected
The four Bishops, together with others who have been elected within 120 days before General Convention, will come before diocesan bishops and deputies at convention for their consent. Normally, consents are given by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees.
Grace after crisis
Episcopalians who have returned to New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 percent of the city have united to rescue their neighborhoods, help one another and speak of how the storm drew many of them closer to God.
Since you asked...
The Rev. Rosemari Sullivan of Virginia Theological Seminary responds:
Island economics
Churches are feeling overwhelmed by the housing need. “Working families on the island are in big trouble,” says the Rev. Robert Edmunds, rector of St. Andrew’s, Edgartown.  “A quick $50 from me no longer solves the problem.”
Community of Hope
Today, under the guidance and direction of the Diocese of Texas – which has 36 centers – 84 Community of Hope centers offer spiritual formation and pastoral-care ministries by trained volunteers. The centers are established in churches, health-care facilities and correctional institutions across the United States and Canada.
Documenting ugly history
The DeWolf family of Rhode Island was the largest slave-trading family in early America. More than 10,000 Africans – kidnapped, chained, beaten – made the hellish middle passage across the Atlantic in the holds of DeWolf-owned ships. Over the course of three generations, from 1769 to 1820, 47 of these ships made runs, building trade and the family’s fortune.
Still running strong
Malcolm Boyd became known in the 1960s as “The Espresso Priest” for his religiously-themed poetry-reading sessions in coffee houses across the nation. He went on to record his prayers to Jesus and in 1966 wrote the landmark book Are You Running With Me, Jesus?
Message for ‘brokeback’ church
Here’s the somewhat new thing we’re trying to do at General Convention 2006.  We are gathering and discerning per usual and, as a national church, attempting, I think rightly, to weigh the implications of our decision making in balance with the needs values of our international communion.
Take comprehensive view
If the church cannot get along in spite of differences of opinion, how can we witness to a world that does no better? If we cannot even coexist with each other — let alone embody the exemplary love that Christ said would be the hallmark of our identity — of what use are we to the world or to ourselves?
An ‘Ah-ha’ in Bangkok
I have never forgotten that moment. Now, almost 40 years later, that one statement reminds me that we see what we are conditioned to see and we classify on the basis of parameters that are determined by our culture and our upbringing.
Relieved by results
Historically, religions have promoted many kinds of prayer. Prayers of praise, thanksgiving and repentance have been highly esteemed, while intercessions of the kind done in the Benson study — appeals to God to take some action — are of lesser importance. They represent a less-respected magical wing of religion.
Letters to the Editor
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