A CHURCH of England priest will take a historic step next week when he joins a global break away movement and converts to Catholicism.
Father David Elliot (pictured below right) will resign his post at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, in Oxford Road, on Sunday and lead a number of his parishioners in setting up the newly-formed Reading Ordinariate at St James' Catholic Church, in Forbury Road.
The 15-strong group, who will officially became Catholics on Ash Wednesday next week, is among 30 across England joining the exodus being led by former Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet Father Andrew Burnham, now an Oxfordshire Catholic priest.
The move was galvanised by Pope Benedict XVI's offer to accommodate Anglicans within the Roman Catholic Church through the English Ordinariate - specifically for CofE traditionalists who want to switch allegiance while retaining some of their Anglican traditions.
It comes in the wake of last year's Church of England General Synod ruling supporting the ordination of women bishops in England for the first time, causing a rift between traditionalists and modernisers.
Searchers declared Saturday that no one had died in the rubble of Christchurch's well-known cathedral — a rare piece of good news in the final days of a grim recovery operation following an earthquake that devastated New Zealand's second-largest city and killed at least 165 people.
Authorities had feared that as many as 22 people were inside the Christchurch Cathedral's stone bell tower when it was toppled by a magnitude 6.3 quake on Feb. 22.
Police Supt. Sandra Manderson said urban search and rescue teams had completed their excavation of the area and confirmed that no one was trapped inside what had been a popular tourist attraction.
"Urban search and rescue (teams) have cleared the whole area ... and they've found no bodies," she told National Radio.
The Dean of Christchurch Rev. Peter Beck has been advised and was "absolutely elated," she said.
Manderson said she hoped that the surprise good news would bring down the estimated death toll of the disaster from as high as 240 to around 220. She said she was investigating what the estimate of 22 people in the tower had been based on.
Anglican bishops have urged the political class to stop bickering and instead focus on implementing the new Constitution.
In a dispatch to newsrooms after a two-day meeting at Nairobi’s All Saints Cathedral, the bishops noted that the nation’s focus should be on reforms, national unity and the fight against corruption and not political bickering and sideshows.
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala who signed the communiqué said the foul language used by politicians was “careless utterances” and reminded them that “leadership came with heavy responsibilities”.
The bishops’ counsel came just a day after the National Cohesion and Integration Commission cautioned Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto to stop using abusive language.
The bishops were categorical that those implicated in corruption scandals should be kicked out because their being in office “threaten(ed) to erode gains made in national reforms".
“All public servants implicated and charged with corruption, impropriety, neglect, abuse of office or any other scandal, must step aside,” they said.
The bishops, who prior to the referendum on the new Constitution six months ago, had campaigned for a ‘No’ vote, said the time had come for Kenyans to support the implementation process because the new law belongs to all Kenyans.
Sri Lanka’s Anglican Diocese of Colombo, a short while ago elected Ven. Dhiloraj Canakasabey, uncontested, as the fifteenth Bishop of Colombo.
The Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon (Anglican Church) elected the incumbent Archdeacon of Nuwara Eliya, Ven. Dhiloraj Canakasabey as the shepherd for the Anglican Seat of Colombo.
Although Ven. Canakasabey’s was uncontested he had to obtain the required two-thirds majority of both the House of Laity as well as the House of Clergy, as per the Constitution, Canons and Rules (CCR) of the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (CIPBC) as amended.
He succeeds Rt. Rev. Duleep Kamil De Chickera, who was consecrated and installed as the Bishop in May 2000, and is the second Tamil to be appointed as the Bishop of Colombo, after Rt. Rev. J J Gnaprakasham.
From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department - Canada-
An Anglican priest in British Columbia has earned a PhD for his research into the spirituality of snowboarding.
Rev. Neil Elliot of St. Andrews Anglican Church in Trail began his studies 10 years ago in England, pulling together a love of snowboarding, an interest in spirituality and a desire to understand the relationship between spirituality and religion.
It was the word "soulriding" that first captured his attention more than a dozen years ago, while he was living in England and snowboarding in the Alps in Europe. The term made him wonder if there was a spiritual dimension to carving a path down a mountain.
"It's not a well-used term [and] it's kind of vague. I was interested in this term possibly as some kind of indicator of what was happening about spirituality. Was soulriding some kind of spirituality? Was it organized in some way? I had a whole bunch of questions about it," he said Friday in an interview.
"It seemed to provide a very good excuse for me to do some field research -- and you have to remember, at that time I was in Birmingham, England, without a mountain in sight and feeling fairly itchy to get out for more than just a week or two to the mountains."
The Anglican bishop of Jerusalem has launched legal action against the Israeli government after it refused him and his family a residency visa for the city.
The Right Reverend Suheil Dawani, who is Palestinian by birth and US educated, has been denied the visa for more than six months after anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations against him of illegal land transactions and forgery. There are suggestions the accusations may have spilled over from an internal Anglican dispute within the diocese.
A letter in Hebrew from the Israeli interior ministry accused the bishop of "acting with the Palestinian authority in transferring lands owned by the Jewish people to the Palestinians and also [helping] to register lands of the Jewish people in the name of the church".
Dawani has denied the allegations and demanded details including the names of his accusers – so far unsuccessfully. He has been told he and his wife and daughter must leave the country immediately, though the order has not been enforced.
William Hague, the British foreign secretary, and the US state department have raised the matter with the Israeli government. Dawani has been supported by Israel's chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar. Dr Rowan Williams, who as archbishop of Canterbury leads the worldwide Anglican communion, and Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, the US Episcopal church's presiding bishop, have complained to Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.
In a colorful and joyous service, the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri today is consecrating and installing the Very Rev. Martin S. Field as its eighth bishop.
The service is at 11 a.m. in the Imperial/Colonial ballrooms of the Marriott Muehlebach Tower at 12th and Wyandotte streets.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will be the chief consecrator. During the service, Field will be ordained a bishop, then installed as the diocesan bishop.
Field was rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint, Mich., from June 2003 to January 2011. An Ohio native, he served churches in Tennessee, Hawaii, Maryland and Ohio and was a chaplain in the United States Navy.
He succeeds the Rt. Rev. Barry Howe, who had led the diocese since 1998.
“An ordination service typically is one of the happiest occasions in the life of a diocese, and bishop-elect Field’s ordination is sure to be a colorful and joyous event,” said the Rev. Samuel A. Mason of Trinity Episcopal Church in Independence, chairman of the ordination committee.
Central Wisconsin Episcopal churches are one step closer to finalizing a regional ministry that would provide stability amid aging congregations and tight budgets.
Representatives from seven area churches -- in Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Mosinee, Marshfield, Wausau, Merrill and Antigo -- drafted a mission statement and name for the group, the Episcopal Ministries of Central Wisconsin.
The mission statement lays out a commitment for the congregations to work together, but does not bind any one church to the group. Many of the details about how the regional ministry would work have yet to be determined, and not all churches are 100 percent sure of their roles.
"I think (the statement) envisions congregations will enter into this partnership at a level that is appropriate to them at this time," said the Rev. David Klutterman, rector of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Wausau. "We've got energy to move forward."
The group of churches began exploring a regional ministry last year as a way to combine shrinking resources and create a solid foundation for the parishioners in the region. For example, there are only two full-time priests among the seven churches, so some churches receive the Eucharist only a few times a month.
Three autoimmune diseases threaten the life of Cristy Kessler, and her fight to stay alive has taken her to Istanbul, Turkey, for an experimental treatment involving stem-cell and bone-marrow transplants.
The One of Our Own Fund has helped Kessler, a 39-year-old associate professor of education at the University of Hawaii, raise an initial payment of $22,000 for the pre-transplant therapy she will receive in Turkey. She arrived in Turkey Feb. 26 to begin preparing for the transplant procedure.
Organizers of the fund have also raised an additional $35,000 for debts accumulated in Kessler’s 7-year struggle with scleroderma, vasculitis and ankylosing spondylitis. They’re now trying to raise $55,000 to cover the transplant stage of treatment.
The Rev. Liz Zivanov, rector of St. Clement’s Church, Honolulu, is Kessler’s partner and a cofounder of the fund. She launched a weblog, From Here to Istanbul, to post reports about Kessler’s therapy at Anadolu Medical Center, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Zivanov says the fund has attracted support from as far away as Maryland, New Hampshire and American Samoa.
The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the Rt. Revd Suheil Dawani has been denied the renewal of his "Temporary Residency Status" in Jerusalem. This action was taken when the A-5 permits held by himself, his wife and youngest daughter were revoked by the government of Israel, effective 24 September 2010.
Bishop Dawani was elected in 2007 as Bishop of the Diocese and was recognized by the State of Israel as the head of the Episcopal Diocese in accordance with the decision by the State of Israel in 1970 which acknowledged the Diocese as one of the thirteen recognized churches in Israel. All Anglican Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem who have not held Israeli citizenship have been granted residency permits (A5) to allow them to live in Jerusalem where the Bishop's residence, diocesan offices and cathedral are located.
Bishop Dawani, his wife and daughters had successfully renewed this permit, as required, in 2008 and 2009. On 24 August 2010, Bishop Dawani went to renew the permit with the Ministry of the Interior and was informed in writing that permits for himself, his wife and daughter would not be renewed because of allegations pending against the Bishop. The letter, in Hebrew, included the following: "Bishop Suheil acted with the Palestinian Authority in transferring lands owned by Jewish people to the Palestinians and also helped to register lands of Jewish people in the name of the Church." There were further allegations that documents were forged by the Bishop. The letter also stated that Bishop Dawani and his family should leave the country immediately.
CHURCHES and Christian groups in Libya and Egypt are struggling to cope with the humanitarian challenges presented by the turmoil in the two countries (News, Comment, 25 February).
Many hundreds of foreigners in Libya, where the army has tried to sup press the widespread popular re volt, have sought refuge in Roman Catholic churches in Tripoli and Benghazi. A large number of those seeking help are migrants from other African countries who were hoping eventually to reach Italy or other EU states.
The RC Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Mar tinelli, said that the main concern was for “hundreds of Eritreans who are stranded here and no one cares for their evacuation. We are appealing to all to help these people.” Italy agreed to take 54 of the stranded Eritreans, and there were scuffles at Tripoli air port when dozens of others tried to reach the plane taking them to Rome.
Bishop Martinelli said that he had “entered contact with the Red Crescent and other Muslim organisations to appeal for protection of our churches, of the convents, of our faithful, and of the sisters who work in the hospitals”.
Fr Daniel Farrugia, of St Francis of Assisi’s, in Tripoli, stressed that he and his colleagues had no intention of leaving: “We feel we belong here with our Sisters who are giving their ser vices in social centres. Their work is so much appreciated by the Libyans.”
Throughout several decades of civil war, the Episcopal Church of Sudan kept 2,000 schools open, mostly under trees – a testament to its commitment to educating its people.
Today, with four million members, the Episcopal Church accounts for almost half of the south's population. It is one of the biggest social service providers in the country, and as such is strategically positioned to reach deep into the hearts of local communities.
For Robin Denney, development work is about the changing of hearts and minds, and through her service as an Episcopal Church missionary in Sudan she's witnessed those transformations in abundance through the church's ministry.
"You can't just convince someone to change their behavior by telling them something or by giving them training," she said. "It's through discerning as a community where is God calling us that people's hearts and minds are changed and that is the work of the church, and the church here has such a vision for development."
Denney, of El Camino Real, and Larry Duffee, an Episcopal missionary from Virginia, have traded in their lives in the U.S. to share their gifts and play a small part in helping to rebuild South Sudan, just four months away from independence after voters in a January referendum almost unanimously chose to secede from the north.
A priest at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is affirming that the newly established Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Ordinariate of the United Kingdom, is "very important" to Benedict XVI.
Members of the ordinariate, established for former Anglicans wishing to enter full communion with the Catholic Church, recently visited Rome and met with staff at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including the prefect, Cardinal William Levada.
Father Hermann Geissler, head of the dicastery's doctrinal office, gave an interview to The Portal, an independent review of the ordinariate.
He affirmed that "the ordinariate is very important to the Holy Father."
"In the area of ecumenism it strengthens the Catholic Church's approach in two ways," the priest noted. "It promotes sincere dialogue with a Christian defense of life and the promotion of peace."
He stated: "The goal of the ecumenical movement is complete visible union with one Christ and with Peter in one Church. We must cooperate and grow together."
Father Geissler affirmed that the Pope is called to promote unity in the Church and world. "He is the chief shepherd, he cannot do otherwise."
"Unity is built on two pillars, love and truth," the priest added.
Diocese of Northern Michigan Bishop-Elect Rayford Ray has received the required consent of the wider Episcopal Church for his ordination and consecration.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has notified the diocese that Ray has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process, according to a press release from the Office of Public Affairs.
Ray was elected on December 4. His ordination and consecration service is slated for May 21 with Jefferts Schori as the chief consecrator.
Under the canons of the Episcopal Church (III.11.4), a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to a bishop-elect's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.
As outlined under Canon III.11.4 (a), for every bishop election the presiding bishop confirms the receipt of consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction, and reviews the evidence of consents from diocesan standing committees sent to her by the standing committee of the electing diocese.
In Canon III.11.4 (b), standing committees, in consenting to ordination and consecration, attest they are "fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ."
In another case, St. Philip’s Church, Moon Township, will buy property from the Diocese of Pittsburgh and sever its ties with the ACNA for at least five years.
In the same diocese, Somerset Anglican Fellowship will surrender leased property and some liturgical artifacts to the Episcopal diocese but will retain its affiliation with the ACNA.
“We have some principles to uphold, but we don’t want to be cruel,” said the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price Jr., Bishop of Pittsburgh, in an interview with The Living Church. Price said the diocese consulted with David Booth Beers, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s chancellor, throughout the negotiations.
The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, led by Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA, objected strongly to both of those settlements. It characterized the St. Philip’s settlement as raising issues of church-state separation because of the stipulation that the parish must break its previous ties.
Bishop Duncan issued a godly directive that requires his clergy to consult with the Anglican diocese before engaging in any discussions with the Episcopal diocese.
In the Diocese of Virginia, Church of Our Saviour, Oatlands, will lease property from the diocese for five years and will not affiliate with the Anglican District of Virginia, CANA or the ACNA.
“It is truly heartening for us to come to an agreement,” said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Bishop of Virginia. “This settlement ensures that the legacy entrusted to the Episcopal Church continues, while providing a clear way forward for the Oatlands congregation.”
The Vancouver-area Anglican diocese is trying to recoup more than $100,000 in court costs from a bitter dispute with conservative dissidents over four church properties.
The diocese, led by Bishop Michael Ingham, recently applied to the B.C. Appeal Court to retrieve a portion of the soaring court costs in a case rooted in a battle over same-sex blessings and how to interpret the Bible.
The diocese has been saying for months the three-year-old legal dispute has bled away financial assets that could have been more usefully going to helping the poor, protecting the environment, supporting the Third World, strengthening parishes and other purposes.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher awarded court costs to the diocese on June 29, 2010, when he upheld the diocese's right to the four parish properties, including 1,000-member St. John's Shaughnessy (left), which has become home to evangelical Anglicans.
However, the dissident parishes argued in B.C. Appeal Court against having to pay the court costs to the more liberal diocese, even though the diocese ended up winning in both B.C. Supreme Court and in a unanimous decision of the B.C. Appeal Court.
The single ring of a bell echoed through the Holy Trinity Cathedral, signalling the moment the earthquake struck.
Hundreds of people stood together silently, heads bowed, to remember the dead at a ceremony in the Anglican church in Parnell yesterday.
Most of those gathered - who included police staff, MPs and Auckland city councillors - were dressed in Canterbury colours, black and red.
Others had a bright red ribbon or a rose pinned to their chests.
Auckland Dean Jo Kelly-Moore's encouraged all New Zealanders to remember their fellow countrymen in Christchurch.
"May you [in Christchurch] know our love and support in your grief. And may you know courage, strength and hope," she said. "Today we remember those who have died ... and the families who are still waiting to be reunited with their loved ones."
INTEREST in the Pope’s offer to Anglicans to join the Catholic Church via a unique arrangement is gaining momentum with up to 60 Anglican clergy to be ordained as Catholic priests in Australia and the Torres Strait by Pentecost this year.
That number – including 30 from Australia and 30 from the Torres Strait - is also expected to rise.
Archbishop Barry Hickey and his Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton showed their strong support for the Ordinariate by both attending the 26 February festival at Como Catholic Parish introducing the Anglican Ordinariate in Australia. Archbishop Hickey said those participating in the Ordinariate and the festival are joining in the “important prayer” of Jesus Himself, who prayed to the Father that “all may be one, as You and I are one”.
Dossiers seeking ordination from Forward in Faith Australia chair Bishop David Robarts and TAC Bishop of WA Harry Entwistle, Bishop Tolowa Nona (Torres Strait) and retired TAC Bishop Raphael Kajiwarra (Japan) are being submitted for approval. A fifth is a former diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Church in Australia, who cannot yet be named.
Pentecost is when Anglo-Catholics hope the new Ordinariate will be established under Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (“Groups of Anglicans”). Some seminarians aligned with the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), which claims 400,000 members globally, attend the Adelaide College of Divinity where Catholic seminarians also study.
The archbishop of Canterbury expressed “shock and sorrow” Wednesday at the murder of a Catholic Pakistani government minister, saying it increased fears about the security of Christians there.
Archbishop Rowan Williams, the leader of the worldwide Anglican church, urged Pakistan to protect minorities after Shahbaz Bhatti was shot dead in broad daylight in a residential area of Islamabad.
“It is with the greatest shock and sorrow that we have heard of the assassination of Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, minister for religious minorities in Pakistan,” he said in a joint statement with Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
“This further instance of sectarian bigotry and violence will increase anxiety worldwide about the security of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan, and we urge that the government of Pakistan will do all in its power to bring to justice those guilty of such crimes and to give adequate protection to minorities.
“Meanwhile, we assure Mr Bhatti’s family of our prayers and deep sympathy, and promise our continuing support for all those of whatever faiths who are working for justice and stability in Pakistan.”
The Rt. Rev. Richard Lester Shimpfky was remembered March 1 as an ardent supporter of Episcopal Asiamerican and Latino ministries, and for his spiritual leadership and humility.
Shimpfky, 70, served as the second bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real from 1990 to 2004, and most recently was bishop-in-residence at Christ Episcopal Church in Short Hills in the Diocese of Newark. He died Feb. 28 with his wife of 45 years, Jamel Kassim Shimpfky, and other family members gathered around him, according to an email from the Newark diocese.
"The people of Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real give thanks to God for the life and work of Bishop Shimpfky as their second bishop. While we are saddened by his death, we rejoice that he is now at peace," Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves said in a statement emailed to ENS. "We will honor Richard's life with a memorial service at Trinity Cathedral in San Jose at a later date.
"Several members of the diocese will attend his services in Ridgewood, New Jersey," Gray-Reeves added.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12, at Christ Church in Ridgewood, with Bishop Mark Beckwith officiating.
"As former Asian missioner of the Diocese of El Camino Real, I will miss Richard as a bishop, a pastor and a personal friend," said the Rev. Winfred Vergara, missioner for Episcopal Asiamerica ministries for the Episcopal Church.
ALL is now set for the standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion) holding in Owerri, Imo State capital from March 1-5.
The twice in a year event, which is the executive arm of the General synod of the Church of Nigeria, would be Presided over by the Primate, His Grace, The Most Rev'd. Nicholas Okoh. No fewer than 1000 delegates including 14 Archbishops and 165 Bishops are expected to congregate at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) in the Eastern Heartland of this ecclesiastical brainstorming event.
Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Orlu, His Grace, Most Rev'd Bennett Okoro PhD disclosed these facts to journalists, at the Bishop's Bourne Owerri, during the pre-event briefing.
He traced the history of church councils to the Apostolic times (The first council in Jrusalem) as recorded Acts chapter 15, where the apostles took decision on the admission of the Gentiles to Christianity without precondition of circumcision.
Christians have a mission to transform society and this includes transforming the Church, a Malaysian Anglican bishop says. “Within the Church itself, we face challenges - people can be from two extremes,” Bishop Andrew Phang said at the Anglican Church’s second South East Asia Provincial Gathering held February 22-24 in Penang.
Elaborating on the gathering’s theme, “Rising Above the Storms,” he said within the Church there is a cold and orthodox group which refuses to have anything to do with society or politics. At the same time, there are “liberals” who pick some scripture and act on it. They base their actions on their emotions even if the act is wrong.
The Church in Southeast Asia faces great challenges as it is a small minority in Muslim and Buddhist countries, he added.
Finding burial grounds and places of worship are a continual problem, he told some 500 Anglican Church leaders. Often we “have to use shop houses as places of worship,” he said.
He later said: “The Church hopes to be the catalyst of favorable changes which are meaningful and beneficial,” noting that “globally there is a cry for change. However, changes are hard to predict as there are good and bad outcomes.”
On a recent visit to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, retired Pakistani Bishop Mano Rumalshah of Peshawar described his diocese as "not a church for the poor, because there are too many. We are a church of the poor." Rumalshah and the new bishop of Peshawar, the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters, visited Houston in February to share the story of their ministry with Episcopal churches.
Straddling the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Diocese of Peshawar exists in one of the most hostile settings on earth. Taliban forces take refuge in this area, as part of the diocese encompasses a buffer zone or "lawless" area between the two countries where global powers engage in the war against terrorism. According to Rumalshah, no real border exists because one tribe of people represents the majority population of both Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan (or NWFP) within the diocese.
Yet, in this dangerous area, the Diocese of Peshawar serves the poor with medical and pastoral care as well as educational training. In the NWFP there are an estimated 100,000 Christians out of a total population of 17 million. But the services of the Diocese of Peshawar are open to people of all faiths, including terrorist sympathizers.
The St. Mark’s Episcopal Youth Community has resumed the tradition of making a spiritual pilgrimage to the Taizé Monastery in France. During winter break this week, seven of St. Mark’s young adults were to spend two days in Paris and then venture to Taizé, in the heart of Burgundy, with a youth group from Christ Church in Bronxville, N.Y. Leading the group from St. Mark’s is Joshua Hill, director of children and youth ministries, accompanied by chaperones Erik Luchs and Katie Gojkovich.
“The kids will find this a memorable and transformative spiritual journey that will draw them into a global Christian community through singing, meditation, study, group reflection, chanting, and prayer with youth and monks from all over the world,” Hill said before the trip. “Though it may sound strange to them at first, our teens will return with a greater sense of who they are and what’s important in life.”
Worshippers will see how New Zealand's historic Christchurch Cathedral looked before it was partially destroyed during a benefit concert at its Scottish "twin" on Monday night.
St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow is an almost exact twin of Christchurch Cathedral.
The damaged cathedral was described by its dean Peter Beck as "the heart of the city", adding that its heart had been "broken" by last week's 6.3-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 147 people.
Glasgow's St Mary's was built at the same time to a design by the same architect.
Scottish singers are coming together tonight at St Mary's, on Great Western Road, for a benefit concert for the people of Christchurch. The concert will also feature the music of several New Zealanders living in Scotland.
Cathedral Provost The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth said: "People in Scotland have all kinds of strong links with people in New Zealand.
"This concert is an act of solidarity with the people of Christchurch.
A Christian's duty should not end with the weekly worship service, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church urged Sunday.
Speaking at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Richmond, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori said Christians must extend their efforts beyond the physical building to reach people within the community who are in need.
"The work we do on Sunday morning and inside what we traditionally call 'the church' … is about supporting people for their lives outside of this place," she said. "Get lost in your involvement in the needs of the world and the opportunities to love your neighbor."
Jefferts Schori, the 26th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the first woman to serve in the position, led worship services Sunday at St. Paul's and at St. John's Episcopal Church in Church Hill.