I greet you all and hope that this note finds you in good health. It's been 14 months since we, in Haiti, have been living in unprecedented times. In the past, after a greeting of "how are you?” we would usually hear "not too bad." These days the responses are "I'm dying of hunger" or "I'm not going out anymore." And the parting wish now is "be careful."
Life in Haiti has become very difficult. Travel from one city to another is impossible. Food, treated water, fuel, propane gas, products of first necessity such as flour, rice, pasta, and ingredients such as oils, spices, soap, milk, cereals all remain in Port-au-Prince in the warehouses of their owners. The farmers and agriculturists cannot transplant their fruit and vegetables to big cities.
The charcoal remains in the provinces. the people in Port-au-Prince cannot prepare food without charcoal.
The majority of hospitals in provincial towns remain closed due to lack of fuel and also to maintain the safety of patients and employees. Doctors are stranded in one place or another. The general hospital of the city of Les Cayes is inoperable. Currently, if you need to get to North America for a serious emergency illness, a Cayes charter flight to Port-au-Prince is $750. Getting sick these days in Haiti is not desirable.
Some priests are stuck in Port-au-Prince with or without their family and others in the countryside with or without their families. Some commercial banks open their doors early in the morning before demonstrations while others open just every two days. One piece of good news: with the magic of technology, your funds sent to your partners are transferred by direct deposit to the accounts of institutions in provincial towns.
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Haiti had a very positive meeting with the Presiding Bishop last month in New York concerning the state of the diocese. The current situation in Haiti has greatly slowed the activities of the diocese. The diocese convention is planned for January 28 and 29, 2020. The sources of income of our institutions are completely blocked as people have no money for school fees or to give to the church. Sincerely the situation is alarming.
With the fervent hope of your prayers, we thank you all in the name of our Lord Jesus.
Diocese of Haiti
Rev. Dr. Kesner Ajax
Dean of BTI and executive secretary
Episcopal Church of Haitiepihaiti@yahoo.com
Some of the children from the Sea Cow's Bay area on the island of Tortola returned to school this week with new backpacks and school supplies, thanks to the congregation of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. More than half of the 60 children came from the surrounding community. The original idea was to invite children to bring their backpacks to be blessed but when it realized that some children had no backpacks to bring, the congregation donated cash and school supplies so that backpacks could be bought and filled. The outreach involved students from kindergarten through high school.
Tbilisi Ministry to be welcomed to Convention
At the September meeting, the Bishop and the Council of Advice approved the recommendation of the Committee on Mission Congregations to invite St. Nino's mission in Tbilisi Georgia to be a specialized mission in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.
We will welcome the congregation to the councils of the church in our Convocation Convention in Geneva in October.
Sacramental ministry and oversight will be provided through monthly visits by Convocation priests under the leadership of the Rev. Sunny Hallanan , Rector of All Saints in Waterloo, Belgium.
Please keep this new ministry in your prayers.
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 >