Episcopal

Chris Lisee 6-07-2012

A group of Episcopal bishops is asking President Obama to help assure that a United Nations agency continues to support a diocese-run hospital in the Gaza Strip.

In a June 6 letter, the 102 bishops ask the president to support funding for Al Ahli Hospital from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The letter asserts funding was cut off in May, though an UNRWA official said a final decision has not been made.

The hospital, run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, “is the only facility of its sort in the Gaza Strip that is not run by the Hamas government and as such, it is able to provide care without any outside interference or political calculation,” the letter states.

 
Annalisa Musarra 3-09-2012
Assorted Christian saints images, Wiki Commons; illustration by Cathleen Falsani

Assorted Christian saints images via Wiki Commons; illustration by Cathleen Falsani

As college basketball fans prepare for March Madness, a holier tournament already has Christians rooting and cheering this Lenten season.

For three years running, "Lent Madness" has taken to the Internet as a competition between Episcopal saints in a single-elimination bracket tournament resembling the one followed by March Madness fans.

This Lenten devotional, first created by the Rev. Tim Schenck on his blog, "Clergy Family Confidential," allows readers to learn about and vote for the saints presented daily on the website, with the winning saints moving closer to the coveted prize of the Golden Halo.

"I was looking for a fun way to embrace the Lenten season," said Schenck, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Hingham, Mass.

"Lent doesn't have to be all doom and gloom," said Schenck. His goal, he says, is to help people "connect with the risen Christ during this season" and to "have a bit of fun in the process."

Randall Balmer 10-03-2011

The puzzle here is not that readers of the Bible would tilt toward the political left. That, for me, as well as for thousands of other American evangelicals, is self-evident. Jesus, after all, summoned his followers to be peacemakers, to turn the other cheek, to welcome the stranger and to care for “the least of these.” He also expressed concern for the tiniest sparrow, a sentiment that should find some resonance in our environmental policies.

No, the real conundrum lies in the subtitle the editors of Christianity Today assigned to Franzen’s article, which was titled, “A Left-Leaning Text.” Adjacent to a picture of a Bible tilted about 45 degrees to the left, the editors added the subtitle: “Survey Surprise: Frequent Bible reading can turn you liberal (in some ways).”

The fact that anyone should register surprise that the Bible points toward the left should be the biggest surprise of all.

Danielle Tumminio 9-28-2011
If older generations paint morality in black and white, young people's palettes are disappointingly grey.
Cathleen Falsani 9-27-2011
September 18 was National Back to Church Sunday. It's OK. I missed it, too.
Cathleen Falsani 8-29-2011

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was standing in the bathroom of my apartment outside Chicago, about to hop in the shower, when I heard the phone ring and then my husband call my name.

"It's Roger from the desk," he called, sleepily, invoking the name of the morning assignment editor at the Chicago Sun-Times where I was a reporter at the time.

I padded down the hallway in my pajamas to the living room and picked up the phone.

"How quickly can you get down here," Roger asked.

"I dunno, an hour, maybe," I said. "Why? What's up?"

"A plane hit the World Trade Center in New York," he said. "They think it's a terrorist attack."

Andrew Simpson 8-04-2011

When the Alabama legislature passed their infamous, anti-immigrant law (HB 56), the religious community in the state immediately cried foul. Jim Wallis and other national leaders condemned the law as unjust and immoral.

HB 56, which will go into effect September 1, attacks virtually every aspect of immigrants' lives. Among many punitive measures, it authorizes police to detain anyone they suspect is undocumented, mandates criminal penalties for those who transport undocumented migrants, and demands that public schools determine the immigration status of all students.

Colin Mathewson 7-26-2011

There's something special about the bookends of our lifetimes. I became a first-time father seven months ago and a hospice chaplain just one month past. Growing up and growing old, especially the first and last months of our lives, can be surprisingly similar experiences.

I fed my daughter sweet potatoes for the first time last night. Introducing her to solid foods has been a treat. While we're trying our best to teach her the sign language words for "food", "more", and " all done", Robin still finds closed-mouth grumble-whines to be the best way to let us know she thinks sweet potatoes aren't all that hot. Another subtly nuanced whine might instead wonder, "You don't happen to have any more mashed banana or applesauce around, would you?" My attempt to turn the filled spoon into an acrobatic and roaring airplane met with scant success.

Tom Andrews 7-05-2011

We cannot allow the history of a brutal genocide to repeat itself in Sudan, nor denial and inaction to repeat itself in Washington, D.C., but both are happening at this very moment

Claire Lorentzen 6-28-2011
Scott Kinder-Pyle is a Presbyterian pastor in Spokane, Washington, and the featured poet in Sojourners' July issue.
Jeannie Choi 2-25-2011
Books. Pizza. Women Writers. Here's a little round up of links from around the web you may have missed this week:

[Editors' note: South Sudan is preparing for its independence referendum on January 9 -- an event whose occurrence is threatened by North Sudan's intransigence and by logistica
Becky Garrison 12-09-2010
For those who are looking for something beyond the traditional 12 days of Christmas gift-giving shtick, here are some ideas I gleaned during my ongoing travels for http://www.amazon.com/gp
[Editor's Note: Voter registration has now started for South Sudan's January 9 referendum on independence -- an event whose occurrence is threatened by North S
I was privileged the last few days to be in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jim Wallis 6-01-2010
Somebody sent that sign to my wife Joy and she promptly put it up outside right next to our front door. It's true -- our family now organizes life around baseball.

Last week, The Washington Post's On Faith site devoted their weekly Q&A to the debate over social justice which they titled, "Wallis vs.

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