Friday, December 20, 2013

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop’s Christmas Message 2013

Christmas message 2013
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.    Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah pronounces these words to a people who remember the yoke of slavery laid on their shoulders.  They’ve been waiting for this child, whose birth transforms that yoke into a mantle of authority.  They are promised that this authority will continue to grow as the peaceable commonwealth is established – with justice and righteousness for all, and for ever.
This promise is spoken anew to people in every age, to those who have lived under oppression or in dark depression, to the hungry and ill and imprisoned.  The birth we celebrate offers hope, in Word made flesh, who comes among us to heal and walk this way with us.  The mantle of authority on his shoulders begins in the swaddling clothes of a child born in the humblest of circumstances.  Yet that authority is recognized even by foreigners from far away.  That mantle of authority does continue to grow, through a life offered for others, raised into new life, and passed on to new generations of fleshly God-bearers.  Wherever justice and righteousness is done, that authority is growing, borne on the shoulders of the Prince of Peace.
He comes again, bearing the grace of the One whose image he wears in flesh.  Seek him, sing his new song, declare his glory, and tell out the good news to all the nations:  God reigns, and he is coming bearing righteousness and truth on his shoulders.
May you discover that humble authority born again on the edges of the world’s notice.  May that royal inheritance and authority of the stable be born in you, enliven your heart, and rest on your shoulders.  Bear it abroad in peace, this year and throughout the ages.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bishops' Letter about Super Typhoon in the Philippines

November 14, 2013
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Philippines as they struggle to recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan. The loss and destruction in the Philippines has brought us to our knees in prayer. We particularly hold in prayer our sisters and brothers in Christ in The Episcopal Church in the Philippines, especially the Most Rev. Edward Malecdan, Prime Bishop, as they seek ways to reach out and care for all affected by the typhoon.  

We your bishops have committed $2500 out of our emergency relief funds to help the people of the Philippines through Episcopal Relief and Development. We commend Episcopal Relief and Development as one way that our Church can be of assistance to the Philippines at this time. More information on Episcopal Relief and Development, including service bulletin inserts, can be found through this link

We offer the following prayers for all whose lives have been devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan and ask that you, your parishes, and your local communities reach out to our sisters and brothers in the Philippines in need at this time.

O merciful Father, who hast taught us in your holy Word that You do not willingly afflict or grieve humanity.  Look with pity upon the sorrows of the people of the Philippines for whom our prayers are offered. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy, nourish their souls with patience, comfort them with a sense of your goodness, lift up your countenance upon them, and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 831, modified)

O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless, we beseech thee, all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, the same thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen. (BCP p. 209, modified) 

May the peace, hope, and life of Jesus' Resurrection surround the people of the Philippines.

Ian, Laura and Jim

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Letter from our Bishops for your consideration

August 23, 2013
Statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

On August 28, 1963 a quarter of a million people joined the March on Washington for freedom, equality, and human rights. That daMLK Jr. 1963 _ library of congress imagey, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired our nation with words of challenge, determination, and hope: "I have a dream..." That speech helped to set the tone and direction for the country, including The Episcopal Church's deeper engagement in the civil rights movement.

Dr. King confronted the racism and sin of our society with a deep faith in God's mission of reconciliation, a vision of a Beloved Community, and a conviction that all people are created in the image of God.

His profound commitment to non-violence became a most powerful instrument of social change.

Now, 50 years later, we can give thanks for the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the dedication of millions of Americans who have worked for social justice following the principles of non-violence and the Gospel of Peace.

As much as we can rejoice in major strides for justice over these years, we are well aware that Dr. King's dream has not been fully realized. There is much more work for all of us to do to ensure the dignity of every human being and to secure basic human rights and opportunity for all people.

This week, across our country, there will be community observances of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. We encourage you to join these events to remember, to pray, and to look to the future. Each of us, right now, has the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the principles of non-violence and rededicate ourselves to the dream of a society that is truly the Beloved Community.

May God fill our hearts with thanksgiving and give us the strength and courage to carry forward the work and dreams of the brave women and men who have gone before us.

In the Peace of Christ,

Ian T. Douglas
Laura J. Ahrens
James E. Curry

Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

De Bello Gallico

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt.
Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit.
Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt.