Imagine the impact this could have if the Episcopal Church joined this ecumenical campaign.
In every country, gender-based violence is a tragic reality. This violence is frequently hidden, and victims are often silent, fearing stigma and further violence.
We all have a responsibility to speak out against violence, to ensure that women and men, boys and girls, including people who are transgender, and people who are gender non-conforming, are safe from rape and violence in homes and schools, at work and in society, and in our churches.
#ThursdaysinBlack is a global ecumenical campaign of the World Council of Churches. In 2019, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted a social policy resolution calling upon all people across all expressions of the church to join by wearing black on Thursdays, and actively participating in various reflection and action items. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada both serve as Ambassadors for the #ThursdaysinBlack campaign.
The campaign is simple but profound. Wear black on Thursdays. Wear a pin to declare you are part of a global movement. Advocate for attitudes, policies, and practices that promote a no-tolerance culture against gender-based violence. Work for the safety, protection, and healing of those in harm’s way. Encourage others to join you.
Imagine if all 288,872 Episcopalians in Province II responded to the Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan Probe’s call to honor our common baptismal covenant:
“Regardless of our political opinion, our common ground as Christians is our desire to be faithful to God, fulfilling Jesus’ commandments to love our neighbors, to care for the widow and orphan, and to offer water and basic comforts to those who suffer. And as Episcopalians, we all seek to fulfill our baptismal vows: honoring the dignity of every human being and striving for justice and peace.” (read her whole address: https://cnyepiscopal.org/2019/07/the-humanitarian-crisis-at-the-us-mexico-border-an-invitation-to-prayer-and-faithful-action-from-bishop-dede/).
There are so many opportunities for each one of us to do something.
The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande and neighboring dioceses are engaged directly in ministries with migrants and asylum-seekers on the US/Mexico border. Rio Grande's asylum seekers information page (https://www.dioceserg.org/Ministries/asylum-seekers) has information about how to donate to support ministry on the border, along with regular video updates from Rio Grande Bishop Michael Hunn and other resources.
Episcopal Migration Ministries has compiled resources and statements from around the Episcopal church (https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/response-to-the-border-education-and-advocacy) , including this one-hour webinar (https://vimeo.com/345900279) about the current situation at the US/Mexico border.
Please explore these resources, learn, and help in all the ways that you can.
As of the 2017 statistics, there were 288,872 baptized Episcopalians in Province II.
The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, has launched a one-off $800,000 USD appeal to fund pensions for clergy in the Diocese of Cuba. The General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC) voted last year to readmit Cuba into membership following a separation of 52 years caused by the Cuban revolution. The average stipend for Cuba’s 23 serving clergy is $55 USD per month. Clergy in the diocese are not entitled to state pensions or social security because the Cuban government does not recognize their service as employment. Read the ENS story here: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/pressreleases/the-episcopal-church-announces-launch-of-together-again-juntos-de-nuevo-cuba-pensions-campaign/
Imagine if each of us Province II Episcopalians sent just $5.00 to the appeal (https://www.episcopalchurch.org/development/pensions-campaign) – the campaign would be full to overflowing!