Archbishop Makgoba launching initiative
In a unique global business initiative, the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, has announced the launching of the Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership.
The partnership involves the Royal Bafokeng Holdings, a $5 billion black-owned investment company in South Africa; N.G. Wade Investment Company, a Jacksonville-based family holding company with strong expertise in forestry, agriculture, dairy and real estate; and the African Business Development Group, which is implementing Makgoba’s initiative.
The announcement at a press conference at Environmental Services Inc. in Jacksonville coincided with the observance of Juneteenth which marks the final end to slavery in the United States.
“On this momentous occasion, we begin to forever change how business is done in Africa and with the Diaspora around the globe,” Makgoba said. “Stewardship of a community’s resources and engagement in entrepreneurship can lead to economic independence and a better quality of life. Unfortunately, much of Africa has lacked the leadership and opportunity to accomplish this. We will use examples from successful communities to empower indigenous people across Africa and the world.”
Read more here
Nigeria: We Feel the Pains Inflicted on Christians - Muslim Leaders
By Onimisi Alao, Daily Trust in allAfrica.com
Jos — Muslim leaders, who rose from a security forum organized by the Plateau State Police Command yesterday to deliberate on the Boko Haram threats to carry out fresh attacks in Plateau, said they are pained each time they hear of attacks on churches perceivably by members of the Boko Haram sect
"We are troubled each time there is an attack on any church and every mosque prays against Boko Haram because what they are doing is not Islamic as Islam views the killing of one person as the killing of humanity," a representative of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) at the forum, Muazu Sani, said.
He said it was sad that although Muslims abhor violence and go out of their way to protect the Christians in their midst, Christians see Boko Haram as Islamic, a situation which, he said, needed to be corrected.
Muazu said: "We the entire Muslim community in Jos share the feeling of our Christian brothers in the state. We are also at pains over frequent attacks on churches, we weep anytime a church is attacked. We wish we had privileged information over any of the attacks; sincerely we will intimate our Christian brothers to take precautionary measures. Our Christian brothers should not think we Muslims in Jos are happy or are aware of planned attacks on churches."
Read more here
Taking the lid off a violent can of worms
by Beryl Rule, The Melbourne Anglican
The Church must be at the forefront of a campaign to prevent violence against women, according to Dr Ree Boddé, who addressed all three regional clergy conferences on the topic last month. She spoke to Beryl Rule between conferences.
Dr Ree Boddé’s first year as project officer for the Synod-approved Prevention of Violence Against Women Program (PVAWP) will be spent in addressing clergy conferences, deaneries, and parish groups to raise awareness of the importance of the issue, and to distribute practical resources to help work for violence prevention. Or, as Ree more pithily sums it up, “We are lifting the lid from a can of worms.” Her expectation is that taking off that lid will result in significant responses and reactions.
There is no disputing the gravity of the problem, which occurs irrespective of socio-economic, cultural or religious divisions. One in four women in Australia is likely to experience violence at the hands of a boyfriend or husband, and one woman is killed through domestic violence every week. The Diocesan program is focussed on primary prevention – educating people about the determinants of violence and helping to develop greater competency in dealing with it.
It may be as simple as putting up a poster; it could mean calling parish and local meetings, or appointing a parish co-ordinator to oversee ongoing activities, or becoming involved in the (pilot) peer mentor program. At this stage, Ree said, she cannot predict where the project will be in a year’s time, but she and her steering committee are constantly evaluating initiatives as they are rolled out, and – most importantly – opportunities for conversations about the violence issue are being created.
At the time of this interview she had been encouraged by the very positive reaction of the Northern and Western Regional Clergy Conference to an address she had given, and also by the increasing number of hits to the ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ section of the Social Responsibilities website.
“Hits increased from 18 to 84 in March, and were up to 111 in April,” she said.
Three determinants have been identified for violence against women: rigid gender stereotypes; unequal power relations and a tolerance of violence in our culture. Discussing the latter, Ree said sexual violence was a norm in advertising, giving examples of a suit advertisement showing a woman with a rope around her neck, and another ad depicting a gang-raped woman. Such ads had a considerable desensitising influence on into the way women were regarded.
References to gender stereo-typing and power roles caused TMA to enquire whether St Paul’s view of men as the head of the household might be placed in a similar category? Ree refuted this most energetically, declaring it was an incorrect interpretation of what the apostle was saying.
“He says we are all part of the body, which works together with Christ as the head. It is not a matter of us having power over others, but power with them,” she said. “It’s a matter of servant-hood, not domination. Jesus came so that we could live more abundantly, which we cannot do when there are unequal power relationships, with one person controlling another.
“I strongly believe that members of the Anglican Church are the right people to begin addressing this issue. They are well positioned, with links to local communities. Besides, we have a Biblical basis to support this program against violence; it is part of our Christian faith outreach. Jesus set us the example by showing a high regard for women during His life on earth.”
Read more about the prevention of violence against women.
Diocese Presses Ahead With Dramatic Changes To Parish Share
From the Diocese of Durham
A film outlining dramatic changes to the Church of England Diocese of Durham’s Parish Share has been produced. The film includes an interview with The Rt Rev Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, underlining the importance of the Parish Share and explaining changes to the way it is donated, based on amounts pledged rather than demands made.
He returned to the theme during his recent Keynote Address in the Diocesan Synod Meeting when he said: “Any growth in the Church requires resources. Churches until they grow and mature will need to be supported.
“This is why Parish Share matters. It is a reality, not an organisational necessity, that we are one body under Christ. So my concern about Parish Share, and the very radical changes that are being proposed, are not saying we need to make ends meet, although, of course, we do but are about saying we need to be effective in carrying out the call and ministry of Jesus Christ in this Diocese.
“Essentially the changes are a complete upending of the system. Instead of setting the budget then sending out requests to Parishes to contribute we will instead asked the Deaneries collectively to decide what they can pay with each parish looking at its contribution. On the basis of what is offered, the budget will be set. The risks of this are perfectly obvious and I am long enough in the tooth in financial management to understand them.
“Basically, if everyone decides to pay very little there will be very little money, that is simple arithmetic and even I can handle it. We depend on a prayerful, Spirit-led and generous-hearted approach by parishes. That will enable us to continue mutuality, and should also mean that the burden of guilt and pressure on parishes that cannot meet what is being demanded of them is relieved and in the grace of God, He will resource what He calls us to do.
“The target is threefold: in the short term, that is by the end of 2013, that we are very close to 100% of what is being offered being collected. In the medium term, there needs to be growth of that 100% figure, in order for us to be able to continue to grow the Ministry of the Church. That will be accomplished by working with parishes that struggle to make contributions, and by a long term programme teaching on stewardship and giving. In the very long-term, from 2025, the target is that our growth in giving, and in numbers, is sufficient to ensure the diocese is fully self-sustaining. Without that we are vulnerable to the winds and fashions of things happening elsewhere in the Church, which is neither healthy or wise.”
Also featured in the Parish Share film are examples of the work of the Diocese in rural, urban, youth and parish ministry along with interviews with some of the Clergy active in it’s delivery. Among those interviewed is The Revd Emma Johnson, Curate of the rural parishes of Cockfield, Evenwood & Lynesack in Weardale. Emma said: “Parish Share enables inspiring leadership and vision for every single one of our communities and enables God’s Kingdom to shine in every corner of our Diocese, and without it we would really struggle”.
Rotorua conference on abortion
From Church Alive, the magazine of the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki
The Rev Amanda Bradley recently attended the International Medical Conference on Abortion in Rotorua. She was the only priest present but was admitted as a delegate because of her work for six years with students at Pakview Abortion Clinic Wellington where she was well know. Clients are still referred to her (Project Rachel) via the Waikato Women's Health Clinic. Although enrolled as a priest, Conference staff labeled her "counselor".
She list here some of the information received at the conference:
Questions asked of the delegates were:
It is in writing, in the conference handbook, on page 26, that Surgical Termination of Pregnancy for "foetal abnormality" is as late as 22 weeks. Viable births today are 23-24 weeks and sometimes even less.
There is a proposed change to the Abortion Reform Bill. When this becomes a matter for debate, let us hope that we shall all be aware and ready to make submissions.
Presiding Bishop proposes alternative 2013-2015 budget
Proposal is 'beginning of reforming effort' to 'reorient' church towards mission
By Mary Frances Schjonberg, Episcopal News Service
In a somewhat unusual step, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on June 21 proposed an alternative budget for consideration by the upcoming meeting of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention. The proposal is “more clearly based on missional strategy than the current draft proposed budget” approved in January by the church’s Executive Council, Jefferts Schori said in an eight-page message that accompanied the proposed budget.
She said that “the heart” of the Episcopal Church is mission “in partnership with anyone who shares that passion” and her proposed budget “is intended to help us reorient ourselves to that passion.”
“The strategic and spiritual principle of this budget proposal is that the church is most truly itself, the Body of Christ, when it lives and breathes mission,” she said.
When asked by Episcopal News Service, the Rev. Canon Gregory Straub, General Convention secretary and the church’s executive officer, said that to his knowledge this was the first time a presiding bishop had proposed a budget after Executive Council had sent its draft budget to the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance.
“I didn’t know that Bishop Katharine was preparing her own budget,” House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson said via email June 21. Anderson was attending an afternoon baseball game at Detroit’s Tigers Stadium and said she would “study what she has come up with when I get home.”
Diocese of Maine Bishop Steve Lane, who is PB&F vice chair, told ENS in a telephone interview that he welcomed Jefferts Schori’s proposal.
“I believe that budgets are leadership documents and I had been hoping that the presiding bishop, as our leader, would make a statement about budget priorities and strategy,” he said. “I am very pleased to see that she has done that. I think that is an important offering to the church.”
While her decision to propose an alternative budget might seem “unusual,” Lane said, “I don’t see that it’s any kind of violation of canon or other things for the presiding bishop to make her own statement about direction and purpose.”
Lane said PB&F will make “the appropriate adjustments” to council’s proposed draft budget based on all the input it has received and what it will hear at General Convention. He called Jefferts Schori’s proposal “important data” that lays out some clear priorities and said that “Program, Budget and Finance will have to consider that along with the rest.”
He and other committee members are aware of “lots of proposals in the blogosphere, some of them quite specific,” and have been interviewing members of the church center staff and other church leaders “in order to be as prepared as possible when we gather” in Indianapolis July 4.
A zero-based beginning
Jefferts Schori said her proposal began as zero-based budget, to allow for “a more theologically based and strategic process” that is “spiritually enriching rather than depleting” and made for a forward-looking document.
She also noted that the proposal is more detailed in the areas of mission and administration because that is where she has oversight. It suggests an overall five percent reduction in governance costs and anticipates “allocating those costs collaboratively, in consultation with other elected leaders including the President of the House of Deputies, the Executive Officer of General Convention, and the Executive Council.”
The proposal is based on asking the church’s dioceses and regional mission areas to pay 19 percent of their annual income from two years previous (minus $120,000) during each year of the triennium. That percentage is the same as the asking for 2012 after having decreased from 21 percent in 2010 and 20 percent in 2011.
Council crafted its final draft version of the 2013-2015 budget by assuming the 19 percent asking and the spending outlined in a 15-percent version. To that spending scenario, council members then ranked their priorities for restoring parts of the budget to the 19 percent levels. Those priorities include investing in emerging networks and supporting existing ones, empowering local ministry and communications.
Among the staff of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, 12.75 positions would be cut under the presiding bishop’s proposal, although as many as five of those positions are currently empty.
Jefferts Schori centered her proposed budget around the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission, which the General Convention endorsed in 2009 (via Resolution D027) and said the church’s 2013-2015 budget ought to center on the marks as “strategic priorities.”
Her message highlights six initiatives focused on the five marks and amounting to $8 million.
A change in budget organization
The presiding bishop also anchored her proposal in the continuing call by herself and others to restructure and reform the church. “As it is in every age, our church is in need of reform, in order to engage the mission God has set before us,” Jefferts Schori said. “This budget proposal is intended as the beginning of that reforming effort.”
The budget is organized by “spiritual priority” with mission being followed by governance and administration, she said, with the second and third being “servants” of the first.
The presiding bishop also noted that her proposal represents a change from the triennial budget’s usual canonical (Canon I.4.6(b) and (c)) budget model of lining out canonical, corporate, and program expenses. Such a model “no longer adequately serves the Church in responding to a world very much in need of our partnership,” she said.
Each line item in the proposal is designated as belonging to one of those three areas “in order to satisfy the canons,” Jefferts Schori said, “but the existing canonical categories do not seem strategically useful and the budget proposal is not organized accordingly.”
Jefferts Schori said this proposal is needed because while the Executive Council was “faithful” in its effort to prepare and approve a draft budget in a different way from previous convention years, “a coherent strategy did not emerge” from those efforts.
Jefferts Schori cited a portion of Canon I.2.4(a)(1) as her authority in making the proposal. The portion says the presiding bishop is “charged with responsibility for leadership in initiating and developing the policy and strategy in the Church.”
The presiding bishop, with the help of certain members of the church center staff, traditionally presents Council with a proposed draft budget in the months leading up to each General Convention. The council then may alter that proposal.
General Convention’s joint rules (in II.10 10 (a)) require council to give Program, Budget and Finance a proposed budget no less than four months before the start of convention. Neither council nor PB&F is allowed to change the budget document between the time it is sent by council to PB&F and the beginning of General Convention. Once convention begins it is up to PB&F to craft a budget for the convention’s approval.
However, there have been questions about and a certain amount of frustration with the budget process and the documents it has produced. At the end of its April meeting in Salt Lake City Executive Council issued a memo saying that the proposed draft budget released to the church “is not exactly” the one it passed.
On June 1, Jefferts Schori, Chief Operating Officer Bishop Stacy Sauls and Treasurer to General Convention Kurt Barnes released an annotated version of council’s draft budget.
Program, Budget and Finance began to study the 2013-2015 draft in early February. At General Convention it will hold three hearings:
- July 4 at 12:30 p.m. on the framework of the budget and the budget process,
- July 6 at 7:30 p.m. on funding, and
- July 7 at 7:30 p.m. on spending.
PB&F will present its proposed budget to a joint session of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops on July 10 at 2:15 p.m. A final vote on the budget is expected on July 12, the last day of convention.
“Program, Budget and Finance is facing a daunting task,” Lane said, noting that its work on the budget must be done by July 9 in order for the budget to be presented the next day.
Lane promised, “We will present to General Convention as clear a budget as we can manage to pull together in the time that we have.”
— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.
The 25th June is the International Maritime Organisation's Day of the Seafarer
One of the six official mission agencies of the Church of England is the Mission to Seafarers that has an international presence in 250 ports. Why not learn more about the agency and issues that fact those out at sea by watching their videos on YouTube including one about the Mission to Seafarer's Flying Angel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8XPgs_vggo&feature=plcp
Now a Christian is a hit!
From Shareit! Magazine of the Church Army
The creators behind Church Army's Now a Christian email course are celebrating after sign-ups hit the 2,000 mark. The course was launched back in 2009 and is specially designed to help people explore the basics of Christianity. People can sign up for free by visiting the Now a Christian website and they will then receive an email every day for five weeks.
Evangelist and Church Army's Online Service's manager, Neil Thomson, said, "Now a Christian has been a great resource for people beignning their Christian journey as well as for some who have come back to church. the feedback and stories we have had from people have been really encouraging and we are thrilled that this has helped over 2,000 people so far."
To sign up please visit www.nowachristian.org
Flip your way through Anglican Communion publications
Have you checked out the Anglican Communion publications available on issuu.com? This is a new way to enjoy newsletters produced by networks and initiatives of the Communion such as the International Anglican Women's Network and Anglican Mission
Take a look at some at http://iawn.anglicancommunion.org/newsletters/index.cfm and at http://bit.ly/Mcz8pm
More publications will be posted on the issuu site as they become available
Suffering Well: The Predictable Surprise of Christian Suffering
Review by Paul Cavanough in Tasmanian Anglican magazine
Suffering happens! If you find yourself personally confronted with the reality of suffering, a book with the title ‘Suffering Well' tends to catch the eye. It is especially attractive that the book is part of a series titled ‘Guidebooks for Life'.If you are like me you'll find yourself looking for a book like this when times are tough for you or the people you love. Obviously I went to the last page to see if I could expect to be disappointed. I found this,
My prayer is that this book might spur you on to know God-to know him as he truly is and to live in the light of his generous revelation. (p. 165)
That's right - this book is only 165 easy-read, story-filled pages of insightful and biblical reflection on the topic of suffering. The author touches on some examples of suffering which were unexpected by me.By way of example, do you know folk who are suffering because their children and grandchildren reject Christ? I have been praying for my brother to turn to Jesus for thirty-five years. This book insightfully acknowledges the deep nagging pain that results for so many of us.
...there is something very sad about seeing family and friends and even just casual acquaintances living sinfully...It simply brings disappointment and sadness. (p. 121)
How did we ever get the idea that life should be a breeze?
The author suggests that like television shows we all play stories in our head which are created by the world we live in. One example is that anything that causes suffering must be bad because suffering is pointless. The biblical perspective, which the author drives home, is that God uses suffering to build perseverance, character and hope in his people. (Romans 5:3-4)
Biblical illustrations and current stories are powerfully mixed to drive home the foundational realities of the impact of sin in our world and the power of God in our lives. The author touches on the realities of physical suffering such as terminal illness, natural disaster and martyrdom. I found comfort, challenge and encouragement in his conclusion that,
The world experiences suffering not because God is out of control but because God is in control. And the solution to suffering is not to see everything sorted out in our time, but to wait patiently for God to act according to his character. (p. 41)
So you think that suffering is no big deal for you? No great struggles or persecution in your life?
This book will challenge you deeply as it asserts that,
The great danger for Christians living in the West is not physical death at the hands of persecutors but slow spiritual death of a thousand tiny compromises crouched at our door, waiting to devour our hearts.(p. 97)
This book draws answers for the deepest questions from the biblical text. Although not perfectly structured at times, the author's key points and arguments are easily accessible for any Christian with a love for the Bible and a desire to understand God and his ways.
I loved this read. It helped me through a time of deep questioning.
Why shouldn't we benefit from the culinary skills of our brothers and sisters overseas? Here's a receipe for Stuffed Brinjal/Eggplant from The Light newspaper of the Indian diocese of Durgapur
2 green chillies (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup ghee/vegetable oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp coriander seeds (dhania)
2 tbsp aniseeds (saunf)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
__________________________________ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER Click here for the full ACP
Psalm: 20 Mk 9:2-8
Derry & Raphoe - (Armagh, Ireland) The Rt Revd Kenneth Raymond Good
Sunday 24-Jun-2012 Pentecost 4
Psalm: 119:17-32 Mk 9:9-13
PRAY for The Church of North India (United) The Most Revd Dr Philip Marandih Moderator of CNI & Bishop of Patna
Psalm: 21:1-7,13 Mk 9:14-29
Eastern Kowloon - (Hong Kong) The Rt Revd Louis Tsui
Psalm: 22:1-21 Mk 9:30-37
Diocese of the Free State (formerly Bloemfontein) - (Southern Africa) The Rt Revd Elistan Glover
Psalm: 22:22-31 Mk 9:38-50
Western Kowloon - (Hong Kong) The Rt Revd Andrew Chan
Psalm: 23 Jdg 17
Diocese on the Coast formerly (Ikale-Ilaje) - (Ondo, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Joshua Ogunele
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Disclaimer: The Weekly Review is a summary of news, information and resources gathered from around the Anglican Communion over the past week. The views expressed in Weekly Review do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Anglican Communion Office.