Voices of Faith: Diocese of Renk, Episcopal Church of Sudan

Voices of Faith: Diocese of Renk, Episcopal Church of Sudan

The people of Sudan are at a crossroads.

As the Comprehensive Peace Agreement expires, a vote by the people may split the country in two along ethnic, religious and political lines.

“Voices of Faith:Diocese of Renk, Episcopal Church of Sudan” was produced to capture the voice of Christians in Southern Sudan who worship the Lord in the face of unimaginable physical, political and economic hardships.

As one woman shares, “We rely on God for everything; and God never fails us.”

In the context of a land where hunger, illness and political violence are an ever-present threat, there is a fierce and a fragile beauty in such a declaration.

At a particular moment in time, this is the story of the people of the Diocese of Renk, The Episcopal Church of Sudan. (25 minutes)

Bonus materials: “Voices of Praise: Diocese of Renk, The Episcopal Church of Sudan” – a twenty minute video document of the worship music of the people

producer: Constance Wilson, director: Kevin M. Goodman, photographer: Charlie Simokaitis, videographer & editor: Kevin M. Goodman, original score: Chris Beckstrom, illustrator: Dan Crowley, executive producers: Joseph Garang Atem & Jeffrey D. Lee

All proceeds from the sale of this DVD support mission in the Diocese of Renk, the Episcopal Church of Sudan.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com’s standard return policy will apply.

List Price: $ 20.00

Price: $ 16.48

La Crosse Diocese Stewardship Video

The Opportunity To help unveil the Diocese of La Crosse Stewardship campaign, a video presentation was needed. The video would play to parish members of the 130 churches throughout the Diocese of La Crosse. This video needed to educate the viewers to the true meaning of Stewardship and it needed an entertainment factor to keep their attention. The Result Who among us has not been listening to a sermon, and at some point looked around the church and wished we could read the minds of the people in attendance? The video did just that. We, the viewer, hear the unseen Priest delivering a sermon on Stewardship, while the camera moves around to different, somewhat bored at first, parish members. It stops on select people and in a stage whisper; we hear what they are thinking. As the sermon goes on, the parishioners learn what the many arms of Stewardship are all about and how easy they can apply to ones life. The mood of our audience goes from Oh no – Stewardship to Oh wow this is great.
Video Rating: 0 / 5

Exclusive: Bishop Of Camden Diocese Speaks About Church Sex Abuse Scandal

Exclusive: Bishop Of Camden Diocese Speaks About Church Sex Abuse Scandal
Bishop Joseph Galante spoke with Eyewitness News, making him the only church leader in the area to speak with the media since the latest grand jury report about priest sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Read more on CBS Philadelphia

Belgian parliament backs report on church abuse
Belgium’s parliament on Wednesday called for an independent arbitration committee to deal with years of child abuse by Roman Catholic clergy and possible compensation for victims.
Read more on Boston Globe

Belgian panel asks church to compensate abuse victims
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A Belgian parliamentary inquiry asked the Catholic Church on Wednesday to compensate people who were abused by priests as children.
Read more on Reuters via Yahoo! India News

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington and St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church Celebrate Pride 2010

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington and St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Dupont Circle, Celebrate Capital Pride 2010 with Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo and Washington Episcopal Bishop John Chane and his wife, Karen Chane.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson NJ Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli Plays Hardball with Victim of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Clifton, NJ (PRWEB) April 22, 2005

More than three years has elapsed since a survivor of clergy sex abuse disclosed being victimized to former Bishop Frank J. Rodimer and the Diocese of Paterson. However, the survivor feels he is no closer to resolution, healing, and restorative justice.

Steven M. Rabi, age 57, a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was abused as a child by former priest Joseph W. Molloy over a period of time starting when Rabi was an altar boy and student at St. Nicholas R. C. School in Passaic, New Jersey. Molloy subsequently left the priesthood, married, and raised a number of adopted children. Molloy was a child abuse investigator for the State of Florida and died in 2000.

Rabi was also abused by a second priest at the same parish. That priest, Francis X. Dennehy, remained a priest with the Diocese of Paterson and died in the 1980s.

Rabi is represented by in a lawsuit filed against the Diocese in New Jersey Superior Court by Phillipsburg NJ attorney Gregory G. Gianforcaro. Gianforcaro represented twenty-six plaintiffs in a clergy sex abuse action against several Paterson diocesan priests. The lawsuit settled earlier this year for more than Million dollars.

After the announcement that the Vatican was granting Bishop Rodimer retirement, an auxillary bishop with the Archdiocese of Newark, Arthur J. Serratelli, was appointed to lead the Paterson Diocese. Rabi wrote to Bishop Serratelli and received a handwritten response from Serratelli saying he would seek to resolve the clergy abuse crisis in the Paterson diocese.

The lawsuit filed on Rabi’s behalf “S.R. vs. Diocese of Paterson, Docket Number PAS-L-2862-04” names the Diocese of Paterson; Father Joseph W. Molloy, Deceased; The Estate of Father Joseph W. Molloy, individually; Father Francis X. Dennehy, Deceased; the Estate of Father Francis X. Dennehy, Deceased; The Estate of Bishop James A. McNulty, Deceased; the Estate of Bishop James A. McNulty, Individually; St. Nicholas Roman Catholic School; ABC Entity; and Richard Roe(s).

Since the filing of the civil claim in mid 2004, there has been no attempt by Bishop Serratelli to request the action go to mediation, thus avoiding costly legal expenses, and also serving to show empathy and charity to a clergy abuse survivor. Rabi believes that this may be due, wholly or in part, to the fact that Rabi maintains a website entitled “clergy abuse – diocese of paterson” that offers a survivors view on how clergy abuse is being handled by the Catholic Church and specifically by the Paterson Diocese.

Bishop Serratelli’s legal counsel is pressuring Rabi to release the name of an individual who also was abused by Francis X. Dennehy. That individual, a childhood friend of Rabi’s, never disclosed his abuse to anyone and does not want to come forward with it. The Church attorneys, however, will urge dismissal of the complaint if the individual is not named.

“When it comes to anonymously naming a drug dealer, the person who does that is not pressured into divulging his identity. What right does the diocese have to coerce anyone to violate another persons trust and discretion? That’s what the Church does best: violate people through a position of trust.”

“Perhaps Bishop Serratelli is allowing such intrusive violations to occur,” Rabi said. “While I welcome the scrutiny and have nothing to hide, the bombardment by diocesan attorneys is vicious at times and this disturbs me.”

Rabi received communication from the Diocese that they believed his claims of clergy abuse and that the Diocese has offered to pay for therapy and counseling “if the need is there.”

Rabi presently is the New Mexico state chapter director for SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. His work with SNAP has him presently looking into several allegations by clergy abuse victims that have taken place in New Mexico. He has helped to remove one priest from active ministry in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, NM, and also put pressure on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to investigate a pious association of Franciscan brothers. That investigation helped disband the group from the Roman Catholic Church.

In July, 2004, Rabi applied for and was granted formal excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church. In the letter written to Rabi by Santa Fe Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, Sheehan stated “…and have accused two priests there (Diocese of Paterson) of sexual abuse against you years ago…so you can have closure from the Catholic Church and things that happened to you while in New Jersey.” “In light of your request, I officially declare you to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church, in accordance with Canon 1364.” Ironically, Rabi remembers speaking to Archbishop Sheehan about the excommunication and was asked pointedly “Do you desire to use the excommunication as a public relations tool to further dissent in the Church?” “That seemed more important to the Archbishop than the loss of a soul to the Roman Church,” Rabi quipped.

Rabi and his wife are members of Faith Lutheran Church in Albuquerque. Rabi is involved in several ministries at FLC and says that the parish has embraced his witness to Jesus Christ. Rabi has disclosed his abuse and his support group activities to the parish council and has spoken about clergy sex abuse to members of the Church.

Meanwhile, Rabi realizes that Bishop Serratelli has the sole authority to cause his claims to be mediated and settled. “He inherited lots of loose ends when he was installed as Bishop. He needs to clear his desk of these claims and work diligently at preventing clergy sex abuse. If that means opening up clergy personnel files and taking a hardball approach toward his priests, then he’ll be more respected by the laity, his brother priests who maintain holy, celibate lives, and survivors who, up to now, have seen little in change since the Bishop took over the diocese nearly a year ago. But I don’t see that being realistic since the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI thinks it is the fault of the media and social mores of Americans that has caused clergy sex abuse to be exaggerated.”

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A Walk in San Francisco: God, Bishop, Man, Church: Diocese of California Celebration–july 17, 1999 (a Meditation and Report; Some Notes )

A Walk in San Francisco: God, Bishop, Man, Church: Diocese of California Celebration–july 17, 1999 (a Meditation and Report; Some Notes )

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Walk in San Francisco: God, Bishop, Man, Church:
Diocese of California Celebration–July 17, 1999
(a meditation and report; some notes on a public spiritual walk with observations and side comments)

By Peter Menkin
(written July 17, 1999)

Starting in the Morning
Some months (now years) have passed since the walk occurred, and a moment of reflection on the event makes me want to continue in prayer. I believe that there can be a silence in our emptying of our mind, in a Zen fashion. Doing this allows the Triune God to enter in, and it allows the archetype to whisper, and the speaking of our past lives to bring new impressions of reality to bring in our day.

When we gather together as a Church, or a Diocese, and walk among the Shepard, and are ourselves the people who as children of light seek to let that light come in, there is a Springtime of Easter where we can be receptive and allow the promise of his presence to bring us to that beating heart of our body to be Christ.

The morning is a difficult time, for we await the light, we await the waking of the world, the birds to sing, the everyday working life to begin its struggle and toil, its very labor as Job would in his exceptional relationship enter into another waking oblation in complaint, love, and observation with the Lord. This commentary, no stranger to the children of Abraham, is a Biblical time and I recommend the reading of Acts, and at this time of year for our Easter Luke.

Wondering is good, but the quiet of the Sunday is really the joy of measure that brings us closer to ascend and discern, to be and to contemplate. May we find someone who is suffering and in need, who is a good soul, and a genuinely gifted person as the Tibetan Nun in China who suffers so greatly at the hands of her torturers. To be in prayer and solitude with her is the silence that is the Zen moment. There is to know another who is a great distance, and to walk with them in the spirit on a journey that is an immensity of the times and in the world. I ask your prayers. God grant us grace to walk among the creatures that we have been given, and to maintain our selves in stability, in the love of our Lord, as we come to know the inevitability of the mystery of the resurrection. This we do when we walk together as Church, as Christian, in seeking our God, and knowing God who is a great and wonderful thing as a force for entry the narrow way. Oh, light, bring us this morning. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad in it.

What’s Right In the World
There is a comfort in knowing the presence of God, and eventually one may find that this kind of willingness to travel with a restful attempt to remain in the presence of the almighty is refreshing. The most unusual thing about this Saturday walk with clergy and church members was it reminded me of the importance to be aware in preparation for Sunday. If it hadn’t been for the others along the way, I would have had a very much difficult time climbing the hill to the Cathedral.

By our all climbing that hill together, like followers, like disciples, like strugglers, like penitents, like lovers, and as friends, my own journey was made easier. How glad I was along with the others for those who shepherded us on to worship. This Saturday morning of July 17, 1999 the entire group of people who attend the Episcopal Church in my area of San Francisco, started gathering in the morning for a walk up California Street. I arrived early from a sense of desire to participate in an early morning time in the City. One of the nearer towns to the Cathedral, where our journey in pilgrimage together was taking us, is in Mill Valley in Marin County.

Others came from Contra Costa County, and some from South of San Francisco like Christ’s Church located near Stanford University. Our Saviour was the group I started looking for in the morning, and was happy to find a Reverend Gwen, a Deacon, who also arrived early to begin sheparding us along. She had a map showing the way up the California Street Hill, and our places to gather together for the walk. There was a woman Priest named Gloria who was on one corner of the congruent point of arrival.

Beginning at a Crosswords
We began at a crossroads. She was dressed in a long coat, since the morning was cool and the fog had lifted. The Reverend Gloria speaks Spanish. Across from her, to the West towards the Ocean side of the Bay, was another small gathering of Church members. They held the first lone banner, to be joined by others with banners to lead their small groups. Love called us. So it does as we listen when we walk for that bidding of love, the love that is offered to us in friends and others.

There is a treasure for us to be enjoyed in a walk, by ourselves in solitude or with others as I am describing to you here. By the time the morning had risen for us to greet the arrival of the leaders, we were pretty well organized and happy to continue up the walk. Later the St. Gregory’s Church community waved us along, refreshing us, as we sent the way through the middle of the street. They are a joyous group.

They walk in a bunch. The diversity of the Diocesan Episcopal Church USA group was described in a dispatch from the Church as: ” Let It Shine, the procession, which included Chinese dragons, bagpipers and a sea of church banners, numbered more than 2,500 people and stretched nearly four blocks.” So wrote Dennis Delman the Church magazine.

There were people of all nationalities and colors in our group, and there is no singleness in Christ, nor a barrier to him or in the walk I am describing here. San Francisco is a diverse group of families from many places in the world, as are the people who were gathered in friendship.

Presiding Bishop Led the Way
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church was accompanied by his wife, and The Honorable Frank T. Griswold had this to say about the occasion, that is true for us as a spiritual direction in taking a walk up the hill wherever we may be: “‘Be thankful,'” our reading from the Letter to the Colossians urges us, ‘and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.’ A spirit of gratitude opens the way for what is given to appear as gift, as the poet Stephen Mitche observes with regard to prayer.

Gratitude helps us to release our grasp on life: to be grateful is an act of non possession; it is a yielding of control which delivers us from the harsh and unforgiving judgments we so often direct against ourselves and others.” The way we journeyed along together, this large community gathering in its spiritual exercise of shepherding to a place of worship, was by approaching the excitement with an acceptance in faith for the coming entry to the Cathedral.

This preparation for a feast inside, continued us along in a companionship of desire to be together, and to join in saying the very words that we as a community believed would bring us closer in faith, and know in love the source of the being that is the Triune God. We can bring this into our body, incarnate this for the good of our soul.

Italicized Comments: Expectations
Sometimes in retrospect, looking back just those short few weeks ago from today, I consider that the amazing coincidence of fate that brought so many together in joy for the festivities of banners, excitement, and experience to live in a more liturgical and spiritual manner together was joyful.

The power of the living word, so aptly and well said as a love to the lips in breathing just the clean air itself in this morning climb was preparation for us enough. When taking a walk, remember as others and I do, that this is a preparation for worship in your own Church. That God would be with someone alone, though, later, is another matter. God is with us, and this is the message that I want to leave with you as I recount what it is to take a walk in the country or the city. Look for him. I tell you this because it is not only what we brought in joy and anticipation, but in the expectation that we would return to our homes, families, and later in worship to our own Churches of the communion that made us happily able to walk.

So we came, friends, carrying in and enjoyment of banners and yes crosses, willing to carry them together with the clergy among and before and behind us.

Walking with God and Man
When I returned home, and in the days following I practiced reflecting on the way that I walk. When one walks with God, does one wonder as one walks, does one look for beauty and think of the glory of God, does one examine the earth and know that it is a soil of forgiveness and charity?

How does one walk, in the breathing silence that is the living presence of the Almighty?

Pondering these matters, I considered the Bible a source of the joy in which I might come to know a way that is Christ, and how I could remain more fruitful in a care for others. What is this manner that we or I can do with a friend in the expectation that God is in his willingness, and we are able in the necessity of our virtue to offer a simple prayer of pleasure in the living that he offers us. Ponder we did, I am sure, as the many who were there did, as a friend did who made the journey and was so specially blessed to be brought home refreshed, though drained. Another friend had been a singer in the Choir, and this for her was probably a remaining hymn for us as a living testament to the condition that this kind of prayerful or spiritual desire can offer by the experience we shared.

Peace was a theme of this celebration, and how aptly this message is given by the very nature of the worship. Even