300 Miles in Malawi for UrbanPromise International
Local rider from St. John’s
Somerville, NJ (June 2019) – For ten days in July, Bridgewater resident William Hoffman will join a dozen riders from local New Jersey churches on a 300-mile bicycle trek through the African country of Malawi. The aim is to raise funds for local education initiatives for children and young adults.
A parishioner at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Somerville, Hoffman’s ride will be sponsored by church members and friends. Proceeds will support UrbanPromise International, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and young adults both in NJ and around the world. http://www.urbanpromiseinternational.org
“It’s not uncommon for children living in rural Malawi to have to walk more than 300 miles every year just to get to school,” Hoffman explained. “One of the ways that the money raised can help is to build dormitories closer to where students go to school.”
In its 30 years, UrbanPromise has delivered impactful educational and social projects throughout the United States and around the world. In Malawi there are seven ministries focused on areas such as girls’ empowerment, afterschool programs, medical clinics and mentoring programs. Among its other achievements, Urban Promise has been featured by Diane Sawyer of ABC News.
“The youth ministry program at St John’s is deeply committed to serving the needs of children and young adults both here in Somerville and globally,” noted the Rev. Canon Ronald Pollock, rector of St. John’s. “We’re delighted to support UrbanPromise International and we will be following the progress of all the riders, praying for them daily, and pledging our funds to their efforts.”
For more information or to make a pledge/donation to Hoffman’s Bike Trek, contact St. John’s at 908-722-1250 or go to https://www.urbanpromiseinternational.org/hoffmans-trek-malawi-ride
About St. John’s
St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 158 West High Street in Somerville. St. John’s is handicapped accessible. Ample parking is available in the church lot behind the church or on the street. At St. John’s, weekly Sunday services are conducted at 8 am and 10:15 am with music. St. John’s offers Sunday School every Sunday at 10:15 am preceded by “Children’s Chapel” at 10 am which features the rector offering a brief children’s message. Among its many programs, St. John’s hosts the SHIP's Galley Soup Kitchen three days a week and a monthly Laundry Love, assisting those who are unable or cannot afford to clean their laundry. www.stjohnsomerville.org. Like us on Facebook!
Student Ministry resumes at St. James in Florence, Italy....
The Rev. Andrew A. Cooley, Interim Rector, reports:
“A new caldaia (furnace) was installed; we are now living in the Rectory. After spending time cleaning and organizing, we were able to host 8 college students for dinner last Wednesday. We had a great evening of eating, discussion, compline and even a short bible study. It was a fabulous "house warming" experience and connected us to the ministry of hospitality that has been such an important part of the Rectory.
“The theme of our discussion, and a theme that continues to rise in my consciousness is that of "Pilgrimage". We reflected together on how being in Florence on a semester abroad can be a time to awaken to hear God's call in our lives in new ways. I pray that all of us touched by St. James can find our ears opened to hear God's voice speaking in new and transforming ways through our connections here.
“Soon these students will be returning to the United States and resuming more familiar patterns. My God bless them, and each of us in our journeys. And may we be filled with gratitude for the hospitality we have experienced in this place.
On May 3 and 4, the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) held its Northeast Regional Conference in Niagara Falls, New York. The event was hosted by the UBE's Bishop James Theodore Holly Chapter, based at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Buffalo.
At the conference luncheon, Bishop Bill Franklin was awarded the inaugural Racial Healing and Transformation Award from the Bishop Holly Chapter. Franklin, who was instrumental in organizing the diocese's Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination, retired in early April.
Justice Rose Sconiers, dean of the conference, commended Franklin for his leadership on racial justice issues. " I could really see the difference between when Bishop Franklin stepped into this diocese and when he left," she said, citing his participation on the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable and his support of the diocesan commission.
In addition to Sconiers, organizers of the conference included Wayne A. Blassingame, president of the Bishop Holly Chapter of the UBE; Michael Hughes and Kim Green, conference co-chairs; and Ann Burroughs, Josephine Cross, Deacon Lillian Davis-Wilson, Herman Wilson, and Paul Nevergold.
On May 4 the Diocese of NY had a very successful wardens’ conference, organized by diocesan chief of finance, Esslie Hughes, and hosted by the Parish of Christ the Redeemer in Pelham. The 110 wardens who attended enjoyed an engaging and informative presentation from diocesan vice-chancellor Alice Yurke on the perennial topic of the role and responsibilities of wardens, a sermon preached by TEC chief operating officer Deacon Geoffrey T. Smith, an address by Bishop Dietsche, a panel discussion led by Heavenly Rest rector the Rev. Matthew Heyd, and further presentations on the mechanics of diocesan finances, church revitalization and new church development, and the Diocesan Investment Trust, by the Rev. Matthew Hoxsie Mead, Bishop Allen K. Shin, and Mr. John Trammell, respectively.
Links to materials and videos are at www.dioceseny.org/2019-wardens-conference.
The videos include:
Anti-Racism and Reconciliation Training
Here is the latest class of NJ Diocese’s Antiracism 2.5 day training, completed Saturday May 11 at All Saints Scotch Plains. The inter-active Training, Repudiating the Sin of Racism, was facilitated by a team of NJ Antiracism Commission members who created and developed course. All successful participants of New Jersey’s Antiracism Multi-day trainings are presented with the purple and gold stoles signifying membership in the Diocese’s Antiracism Team. The next NJ Diocese’s 2.5 day Antiracism Training will be October 4, 5 and 12 at St Stephens, Whiting, NJ.
Bishops United Against Gun Violence - Live
Bishop Chip Stokes will livestream a prayer vigil on gun violence this Friday from the 9/11 memorial insideTrinity Cathedral in Trenton. Sponsored by Bishops United Against Gun Violence, the vigil will be broadcast live on the Episcopalians United Against Gun Violence Facebook page, the theme is school shootings and urban violence and the main reading will be Habakkuk 1:1-4.
The Jubilee Ministry site Samaritan House--a halfway house that has transitioned more than 200 men to permanent housing in the past five years--gained national exposure, including an article in USA Today. While the reason for the attention was unfortunate, the resulting attention has increased donations and an awareness of the good work Samaritan House is doing. Local police had entered Samaritan House on April 24, looking for a resident, and were startled by a different resident's pet dog. Officers shot and wounded the dog in the leg. The dog--a 2-year-old mixed breed named "Bella"--has had surgery and is recovering. The incident has raised some questions about local police policies.
English & Spanish Protocol
The Diocese of New Jersey has developed a Protocol for English-speaking congregations that wish to establish a relationship with those who speak Spanish. This Protocol outlines the various steps to take from the early exploratory stages up to full implementation. We have planned a June 1 Workshop to present this Protocol to all interested congregations of the Diocese. The Workshop will be held on Saturday June 1, 2019 from 9:00 a.m.-noon at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Pennington, NJ.
La Diócesis de Nueva Jersey ha preparado un Protocolo para las congregaciones de habla inglesa que desean establecer una relación con aquellos que hablan español. Este Protocolo describe los distintos pasos a seguir desde las primeras etapas exploratorias hasta la implementación completa. Hemos planeado un 1 de Junio Taller para presentar este Protocolo a todas las congregaciones interesadas de la Diócesis,
La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba celebrará su 110 Sínodo Anual
La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba celebrará su 110 Sínodo Anual, en la Catedral Episcopal de Cuba en La Habana. Comenzará el día 28 de Febrero, continuando los días 1ro, 2 y 3 de Marzo.
Se contará con la presencia del Primado de La Iglesia Anglicana de Canadá Frederick Hiltz, el Rev. Can. Dr. Michael Thompson y la Dra. Andrea Mann.
Por la Iglesia Episcopal asistirán el Rev. Chuck Robertson, la Rvda. Glenda McQueen y la periodista Lynette Willson. De la Diócesis compañera de Puerto Rico estará presente el Rev. Ángel Rivera.
El Oficio de Clausura será el Domingo 3 de Marzo del 2019, en el cual se llevara a cabo el oficio de ordenación al Diaconado. Luego de haber terminado sus exámenes canónicos 4 candidatos recibirán esta orden, para luego ir a realizar su tarea pastoral en diferentes lugares de la Diócesis. Pedimos sus oraciones de acompañamiento en este evento.
Nuestro lema guía para este 110 Sínodo es:
Vocación: Fuerza en la llamada y generosidad en la respuesta.
Y el texto bíblico:
¨Mantengan entre ustedes lazos de paz y permanezcan unidos en el mismo espíritu: un solo cuerpo y un mismo espíritu, pues ustedes han sido llamados a una misma vocación y una misma esperanza¨.
Efesios 4, 3-4.
Estoy enviando dos fotos: En Cuba la reunión de la COMISION DE MINISTERIOS JUNTO CON LOS NUEVOS CANDIDATOS A ORDENES Y ASPIRANTES A LA VOCACION PASTORAL.
La otra foto: REUNION DEL CONSEJO METROPOLITANO PARA CUBA, ANTES DEL SINODO DE LA IGLESIA EPISCOPAL DE CUBA. están presentes los Primados Fred Hiltz de Canada y Michael Curry de TEC.
Lent 2019 began on Ash Wednesday, March 5. From the Book of Common Prayer:
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.
Here is a brief look at what went on around Province II
Every congregation in the province had some event on Ash Wednesday. Not everyone shared photos, so these are just a small peek at what went on. For example, Rev. Lee Crawford, an Episcopal priest at the Church of Our Saviour in Killington, was at Killington Peak Wednesday offering ashes to skiers and riders at Killington Resort, but the story and photo were from a news service - check it out! Several of our bishops made videos and public statements about Lent and its importance.
From the Virgin Islands: Photos from The Rev. Sandra Malone, St. Mary's, Virgin Gorda. They are from the Ash Wednesday midday service and Rev. Erminie George at the service for seniors at St. Mary’s on Virgin Gorda. See the gallery >
A rare tornado that hit the Cuban capital, Havana, on Sunday night has left four people dead and 195 injured, officials said. Read the story >
What can you do to help?
Friends of the Episcopal Church in Cuba says they are happy to collect donations and wire them through. Please use the donate here button on our website <https://www.friendsofeccuba.org/> and indicate that you would like your donation to support Cuba tornado relief. The community of Luyano was dramatically impacted and support is greatly needed.
If you prefer to send a check please send to
St. Lukes Parish
1864 Post Road
Darien CT. I
Checks can be payable to St Luke's with Cuba Tornado in the memo line.
The new vicar for Community Justice Ministry in the Diocese of Long Island, the Rev. Marie A. Tatro, was asked by Newsday in January, “What role does social justice play in your faith?” Mo. Tatro, who worked as an attorney for 20 years in non-profit organizations representing low-income New Yorkers before seminary, provided this reply:
“The narrative arc of the Bible is a story of migration: oppressed people journeying from place-to-place, seeking refuge, finding G-d in holy places, in seemingly ordinary places throughout G-d's creation, and finding holiness in one another, since we are all wonderful made in G-d's image. As a Jesus-follower, the vows of my baptismal covenant require that I "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being."
As our observance of MLK's prophetic witness draws near, it is especially important to renew those vows. In these times when so many of our sisters and brothers of color continue to be dehumanized by the powers and principalities -- whether it be at the southern border, in prisons, schools, or in the streets -- my faith deepens my commitment. Our core Gospel message is to embrace the outcast and the most vulnerable among us, and to spread G-d's love to all.
Along with hundreds of our interfaith partners across Long Island, our diocese will continue to put the beauty and power of G-d's love into action, resting in our faith that the arc of history bends toward justice.”
The Rev. Clair Ullmann, a priest of the Convocation, and her husband Rainer Ullmann, direct a unique ministry of spiritual direction and local outreach in the mountains of Austria. (See the pictures below!) The Chapel of the Holy Family is locate above Mühlbach am Hochkönig in the Austrian Province of Salzburg, about 45 minutes south of the city of Salzburg.The ministry of The Rev. Clair Ullmann was well described when she received the Bishop's Award in 2010:
The Rev. Clair Ullmann, a 2010 Bishop’s Award recipient, is a woman of great wisdom, following on not only her life’s experiences, but also the attentive and deliberate way in which she has developed the many spiritual gifts from God. Many Convocation members and newcomers have experienced the warmth of the Ullmann’s hospitality at their home and retreat center, nestled under Hochkönig Mountain and surrounded by earthly treasures. There are confirmands’ retreats, women’s retreats, and couples experiencing the MAP program (Marriage – an Adventure in Progress). In this setting, together Rev. Clair and her husband, Rainer, minister to those seeking a quiet place to “rest in God’s presence” and to couples making that “mysterious journey of a lifetime”... marriage. Though Rev. Clair has served on many Convocation Committees, spiritual direction and mentoring remain an important focus of her ministry. This year at Convention, as she stepped down as President of the Council of Advice, Convention delegates gathered to hear her reflections on the work of the Council and the Convocation. It was a mixing of nuts and bolts, grounded in prayer. As she spoke, a vision of her leadership style emerged. Rev. Clair first heard the priestly call while working at the Episcopal Church in Florida. In 1994, she was ordained deacon at the Pro-Cathedral in Brussels, and two years later, she was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop George Carey at Canterbury Cathedral. In the Convocation, Rev. Clair serves as an assisting priest at Church of the Ascension, Munich Germany and as Vicar of the Chapel of the Holy Family in Mühlbach am Hochkönig, Austria. Rev. Clair completed her studies at Virginia Theological Seminary and The Shalem Institute, and earned a masters diploma from the University of Leuven (Belgium).