Wednesday, September 21, 2011

House of Bishops issues a pastoral teaching


The Episcopal Church

Office of Public Affairs

 

 

Episcopal Church House of Bishops

Issues A Pastoral Teaching

 

 

 

[September 20, 2011] The Episcopal Church House of Bishops, meeting in Province IX, in Quito, Ecuador, issued the following Pastoral Teaching:

 

 

A Pastoral Teaching from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church

Quito, Ecuador

September 2011

 

We, your bishops, believe these words of Jeremiah describe these times and call us to repentance as we face the unfolding environmental crisis of the earth:

How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field wither? For the wickedness of those who live in it the animals and the birds are swept away, and because people said, "He is blind to our ways." (Jeremiah 12:4)

 

The mounting urgency of our environmental crisis challenges us at this time to confess "our self-indulgent appetites and ways," "our waste and pollution of God's creation," and "our lack of concern for those who come after us" (Ash Wednesday Liturgy, Book of Common Prayer, p. 268). It also challenges us to amend our lives and to work for environmental justice and for more environmentally sustainable practices.

 

Christians cannot be indifferent to global warming, pollution, natural resource depletion, species extinctions, and habitat destruction, all of which threaten life on our planet. Because so many of these threats are driven by greed, we must also actively seek to create more compassionate and sustainable economies that support the well-being of all God's creation.

 

We are especially called to pay heed to the suffering of the earth. The Anglican Communion Environmental Network calls to mind the dire consequences our environment faces: "We know that . . . we are now demanding more than [the earth] is able to provide. Science confirms what we already know: our human footprint is changing the face of the earth and because we come from the earth, it is changing us too. We are engaged in the process of destroying our very being. If we cannot live in harmony with the earth, we will not live in harmony with one another."[i][i]

 

This is the appointed time for all God's children to work for the common goal of renewing the earth as a hospitable abode for the flourishing of all life. We are called to speak and act on behalf of God's good creation.

 

Looking back to the creation accounts in Genesis, we see God's creation was "very good," providing all that humans would need for abundant, peaceful life. In creating the world God's loving concern extended to the whole of it, not just to humans. And the scope of God's redemptive love in Christ is equally broad: the Word became incarnate in Christ not just for our sake, but for the salvation of the whole world. In the Book of Revelation we read that God will restore the goodness and completeness of creation in the "new Jerusalem." Within this new city, God renews and redeems the natural world rather than obliterating it. We now live in that time between God's creation of this good world and its final redemption: "The whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for . . . the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:22-3).

 

Affirming the biblical witness to God's abiding and all-encompassing love for creation, we recognize that we cannot separate ourselves as humans from the rest of the created order. The creation story itself presents the interdependence of all God's creatures in their wonderful diversity and fragility, and in their need of protection from dangers of many kinds. This is why the Church prays regularly for the peace of the whole world, for seasonable weather and an abundance of the fruits of the earth, for a just sharing of resources, and for the safety of all who suffer. This includes our partner creatures: animals, birds, and fish who are being killed or made sick by the long-term effects of deforestation, oil spills, and a host of other ways in which we intentionally and unintentionally destroy or poison their habitat.

 

One of the most dangerous and daunting challenges we face is global climate change. This is, at least in part, a direct result of our burning of fossil fuels. Such human activities could raise worldwide average temperatures by three to eleven degrees Fahrenheit in this century. Rising average temperatures are already wreaking environmental havoc, and, if unchecked, portend devastating consequences for every aspect of life on earth.

The Church has always had as one of its priorities a concern for the poor and the suffering. Therefore, we need not agree on the fundamental causes of human devastation of the environment, or on what standard of living will allow sustainable development, or on the roots of poverty in any particular culture, in order to work to minimize the impact of climate change. It is the poor and the disadvantaged who suffer most from callous environmental irresponsibility. Poverty is both a local and a global reality. A healthy economy depends absolutely on a healthy environment.

 

The wealthier nations whose industries have exploited the environment, and who are now calling for developing nations to reduce their impact on the environment, seem to have forgotten that those who consume most of the world's resources also have contributed the most pollution to the world's rivers and oceans, have stripped the world's forests of healing trees, have destroyed both numerous species and their habitats, and have added the most poison to the earth's atmosphere. We cannot avoid the conclusion that our irresponsible industrial production and consumption-driven economy lie at the heart of the current environmental crisis.

 

Privileged Christians in our present global context need to move from a culture of consumerism to a culture of conservation and sharing. The challenge is to examine one's own participation in ecologically destructive habits. Our churches must become places where we have honest debates about, and are encouraged to live into, more sustainable ways of living. God calls us to die to old ways of thinking and living and be raised to new life with renewed hearts and minds.

 

Although many issues divide us as people of faith, unprecedented ecumenical and interfaith cooperation is engaging the concern to protect our planet. And yet, efforts to stop environmental degradation must not be simply imposed from above. Those most affected must have a hand in shaping decisions. For example, we welcome efforts in the United States to involve Native American tribal leaders and to empower local community organizations to address environmental issues. Similar strategies need to be employed in myriad communities in various locales.

 

Our current environmental challenges call us to ongoing forms of repentance: we must turn ourselves around, and come to think, feel, and act in new ways. Ancient wisdom and spiritual disciplines from our faith offer deep resources to help address this environmental crisis. Time-honored practices of fasting, Sabbath-keeping, and Christ-centered mindfulness bear particular promise for our time.

 

Fasting disciplines and heals our wayward desires and appetites, calling us to balance our individual needs with God's will for the whole world. In fasting we recognize that human hungers require more than filling the belly. In God alone are our desires finally fulfilled. Commended in the Book of Common Prayer, fasting is grounded in the practices of Israel, taught by Jesus, and sustained in Christian tradition. The ecological crisis extends and deepens the significance of such fasting as a form of self-denial: those who consume more than their fair share must learn to exercise self-restraint so that the whole community of creation might be sustained.

 

Sabbath-keeping is rooted in the Book of Genesis, where the seventh day is the day in which God, humans, and the rest of creation are in right relationship. In our broken world, keeping the Sabbath is a way of remembering and anticipating that world for which God created us. Sabbath requires rest, that we might remember our rightful place as God's creatures in relationship with every other creature of God. Such rest implicitly requires humans to live lightly on the face of the earth, neither to expend energy nor to consume it, not to work for gain alone, but to savor the grace and givenness of creation.

 

The practice of Christ-centered mindfulness, that is, the habitual recollection of Christ, calls believers to a deepened awareness of the presence of God in their own lives, in other people, and in every aspect of the world around us. Such spiritual perception should make faithful people alert to the harmful effects of our lifestyles, attentive to our carbon footprint and to the dangers of overconsumption. It should make us profoundly aware of the gift of life and less prone to be ecologically irresponsible in our consumption and acquisition.

 

In assuming with new vigor our teaching office, we, your bishops, commit ourselves to a renewal of these spiritual practices in our own lives, and invite you to join us in this commitment for the good of our souls and the life of the world. Moreover, in order to honor the goodness and sacredness of God's creation, we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, commit ourselves and urge every Episcopalian:

 

n      To acknowledge the urgency of the planetary crisis in which we find ourselves, and to repent of any and all acts of greed, overconsumption, and waste that have contributed to it;

n      To lift up prayers in personal and public worship for environmental justice, for sustainable development, and for help in restoring right relations both among humankind and between humankind and the rest of creation;

n      To take steps in our individual lives, and in community, public policy, business, and other forms of corporate decision-making, to practice environmental stewardship and justice, including (1) a commitment to energy conservation and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy; and (2) efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and whenever possible to buy products made from recycled materials;

n      To seek to understand and uproot the political, social, and economic causes of environmental destruction and abuse;[ii][ii]

n      To advocate for a "fair, ambitious, and binding" climate treaty, and to work toward climate justice through reducing our own carbon footprint and advocating for those most negatively affected by climate change.

May God give us the grace to heed the warnings of Jeremiah and to accept the gracious invitation of the incarnate Word to live, in, with, and through him, a life of grace for the whole world, that thereby all the earth may be restored and humanity filled with hope. Rejoicing in your works, O Lord, send us forth with your Spirit to renew the face of the earth, that the world may once again be filled with your good things: the trees watered abundantly, springs rushing between the hills in verdant valleys, all the earth made fruitful, your manifold creatures, birds, beasts, and humans, all quenching their thirst and receiving their nourishment from you once again in due season (Psalm 104).

 

 





[i][i] From "The Hope We Share: A Vision for Copenhagen," a statement from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network in preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), December 2009.

 

[ii][ii] We are indebted to the Episcopal Bishops of New England for their earlier 2003 Pastoral Letter, "To Serve Christ in All Creation." Several of these "commitments" and other phrases herein are quotations or adaptations of their work.

 

# # # #

 

 

For more info contact:

Neva Rae Fox

Public Affairs Officer

The Episcopal Church

publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org

212-716-6080  Mobile: 917-478-5659

 

Last HOB Daily Account for Tuesday, September 20


The Episcopal Church

Office of Public Affairs

 

 

Episcopal Church House of Bishops Fall 2011 meeting:

Daily Account for Tuesday, September 20

 

 

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in Province IX in Quito, Ecuador (Diocese of Ecuador Central) from September 15 to September 20.  The following is an account of the activities for Tuesday, September 20.

 

The September 20 session began with Morning Prayer.  Bishop Carol Gallagher of Diocese of North Dakota read the Gospel in Cherokee.

 

Emcee for the day was Bishop Sean Rowe, Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

 

In the morning session, Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of the Episcopal Church, gave a presentation about structure of the Episcopal Church, "Becoming A Domestic And Foreign Missionary Society: An Adaptive Moment." The presentation sparked much conversation among the HOB.

 

In the afternoon:

- Bishop Jim Curry of Connecticut reported on the activities of Bishops Working for a Just World.

- Archbishop Albert Chama, Primate of Central Africa, offered his reflections and thanks to the HOB

 

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori chaired the business session, during which:

 

- HOB had a moment of silence for Bishop Robert Anderson and Bishop Walter Righter, who died since the last HOB meeting.

 

- Bishop Luis Ruiz of Ecuador Central addressed the HOB about the current conflict in the diocese. He said that he and the diocesan leadership have been working with the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Clay Matthews. He announced his intention to resign and expressed his thanks for the solidarity he received from the HOB. Also the diocesan leadership will resign from their respective positions. Bishop Victor Scantlebury was named by the Presiding Bishop as interim bishop for the Diocese of Ecuador Central.

 

- HOB elected Bishop Lloyd Allen of Honduras, Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas and Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas to the board of the College for Bishops for three year terms.

 

- Accepted Bishop Santosh Marray as a Collegial Member of HOB. Formerly the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Seychellles, he currently serves in the Diocese of East Carolina.

 

- Approved and accepted A Pastoral Teaching from the House of Bishops on the topic of the environment, presented by the Theology Committee.

 

The Fall HOB meeting ended with Eucharist, celebrated by Bishop Stacy Sauls. Preacher was HOB chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Diocese of Massachusetts.

 

Media Briefers for Tuesday, September 20

Bishop Brian Prior, Diocese of Minnesota

Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, Diocese of Long Island

 

Links

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

 

Diocese of Connecticut http://www.ctepiscopal.org/

Diocese of East Carolina http://diocese-eastcarolina.org/

Diocese of Honduras http://www.hondurasepiscopal.org/

Diocese of Long Island http://www.dioceselongisland.org/

Diocese of Kansas http://www.episcopal-ks.org/

Diocese of Massachusetts: www.diomass.org

Diocese of Minnesota http://episcopalmn.org/

Diocese of North Dakota http://episcopal-nd.org/

Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania http://www.dionwpa.org/

Diocese of Texas http://www.epicenter.org/

 

Anglican Diocese of Seychelles http://netministries.org/frames.asp?ch=ch00757&st=Seychelles&name=Anglican%20Diocese%20of%20Seychelles&city=Victoria

 

Province of Central Africa http://www.anglicancommunion.org/tour/province.cfm?ID=C2

 

 

# # # #

 

For more info contact:

Neva Rae Fox

Public Affairs Officer

The Episcopal Church

publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org

212-716-6080  Mobile: 917-478-5659

 

 

 

HOB Daily Account for Monday, September 19


The Episcopal Church

Office of Public Affairs

 

 

Episcopal Church House of Bishops Fall 2011 meeting:

Daily Account for Monday, September 19

 

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in Province IX in Quito, Ecuador (Diocese of Ecuador Central) from September 15 to September 20.  The following is an account of the activities for Monday, September 19.

 

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops began Monday, September 19 with Morning Prayer and Bible Study. The Bible study focused on the Mission of the Church through the lens of Matthew 5:21-26. At the conclusion of the Bible study, HOB chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Spellers of the Diocese of Massachusetts asked the bishops to reflect on their call to be reconcilers asking, "What is the breach you feel most compelled to repair?"

 

Emcee for the day was Bishop Paul Lambert of Dallas. Bishop Clay Matthews reintroduced the theme "Proclaiming the Gospel: Caring for the Least as Bishops in the 21st Century."

 

The morning was devoted to a panel discussion on Migration, Poverty, Indebtedness, and the Environment in Ecuador. Panelists were Franklin Canelos, economist and university professor; the Rev. Nilton Giese, General Secretary of Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias (Latin-American Council of Churches); Esperanza Martinez, sociologist, biologist and researcher with Oil Watch; and Ana White, Immigration and Refugee Policy Analyst at the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations.  Each presented data which detailed the many points and aspects of the topic; presentations were in English and Spanish.

 

In the afternoon session, Bishop Don Johnson of West Tennessee moderated the open discussion with the morning's panel members and HOB members.

 

Province IX of the Episcopal Church is comprised of the Dioceses of Colombia, Ecuador Central, Ecuador Litoral, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

 

Eucharist was celebrated at noon by Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce, Diocese of Los Angeles, in three languages: English, Mandarin and Spanish. HOB chaplain the Rev. Simon Bautista, Diocese of Washington, was the preacher.

 

 

Media Briefers for Monday, September 19

Bishop Mary Glasspool, Diocese of Los Angeles

Bishop Steven Miller, Diocese of Milwaukee

 

Links

Diocese of Dallas http://edod.org/

Diocese of Los Angeles http://www.ladiocese.org/

Diocese of Massachusetts http://www.diomass.org/

Diocese of Milwaukee http://www.diomil.org/

Diocese of Washington www.edow.org

Diocese of West Tennessee http://www.episwtn.org/

Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/eppn

Province IX http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/directory_11134_ENG_HTM.htm

 

Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias: http://www.claiweb.org/

Oil Watch http://oilwatchmesoamerica.org/

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

 

On the web:

Episcopal Church House of Bishops Fall 2011 meeting: Daily Account for Monday, September 19

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/newsline_129867_ENG_HTM.htm

 

# # # #

 

For more info contact:

Neva Rae Fox

Public Affairs Officer

The Episcopal Church

publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org

212-716-6080  Mobile: 917-478-5659

 

 

 

 

Account for Monday, September 19


The Episcopal Church

Office of Public Affairs

 

 

Episcopal Church House of Bishops Fall 2011 meeting:

Daily Account for Monday, September 19

 

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in Province IX in Quito, Ecuador (Diocese of Ecuador Central) from September 15 to September 20.  The following is an account of the activities for Monday, September 19.

 

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops began Monday, September 19 with Morning Prayer and Bible Study. The Bible study focused on the Mission of the Church through the lens of Matthew 5:21-26. At the conclusion of the Bible study, HOB chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Spellers of the Diocese of Massachusetts asked the bishops to reflect on their call to be reconcilers asking, "What is the breach you feel most compelled to repair?"

 

Emcee for the day was Bishop Paul Lambert of Dallas. Bishop Clay Matthews reintroduced the theme "Proclaiming the Gospel: Caring for the Least as Bishops in the 21st Century."

 

The morning was devoted to a panel discussion on Migration, Poverty, Indebtedness, and the Environment in Ecuador. Panelists were Franklin Canelos, economist and university professor; the Rev. Nilton Giese, General Secretary of Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias (Latin-American Council of Churches); Esperanza Martinez, sociologist, biologist and researcher with Oil Watch; and Ana White, Immigration and Refugee Policy Analyst at the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations.  Each presented data which detailed the many points and aspects of the topic; presentations were in English and Spanish.

 

In the afternoon session, Bishop Don Johnson of West Tennessee moderated the open discussion with the morning's panel members and HOB members.

 

Province IX of the Episcopal Church is comprised of the Dioceses of Colombia, Ecuador Central, Ecuador Litoral, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

 

Eucharist was celebrated at noon by Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce, Diocese of Los Angeles, in three languages: English, Mandarin and Spanish. HOB chaplain the Rev. Simon Bautista, Diocese of Washington, was the preacher.

 

 

Media Briefers for Monday, September 19

Bishop Mary Glasspool, Diocese of Los Angeles

Bishop Steven Miller, Diocese of Milwaukee

 

Links

Diocese of Dallas http://edod.org/

Diocese of Los Angeles http://www.ladiocese.org/

Diocese of Massachusetts http://www.diomass.org/

Diocese of Milwaukee http://www.diomil.org/

Diocese of Washington www.edow.org

Diocese of West Tennessee http://www.episwtn.org/

Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/eppn

Province IX http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/directory_11134_ENG_HTM.htm

 

Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias: http://www.claiweb.org/

Oil Watch http://oilwatchmesoamerica.org/

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

 

On the web:

Episcopal Church House of Bishops Fall 2011 meeting: Daily Account for Monday, September 19

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/newsline_129867_ENG_HTM.htm

 

# # # #

 

For more info contact:

Neva Rae Fox

Public Affairs Officer

The Episcopal Church

publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org

212-716-6080  Mobile: 917-478-5659

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog: Presiding Bishop's Sermon from Cathedral during HOB meeting


The Episcopal Church

Office of Public Affairs

 

 

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori preaches

at Quito Cathedral during House of Bishops meeting

 

 

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in Province IX in Quito, Ecuador (Diocese of Ecuador Central) from September 15 to September 20. 

 

 

[September 18, 2011] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presided at Eucharist at Catedral del Buen Señor, Quito, Ecuador, and preached in English and Spanish, noting "No one receives more than another, for all we have is a gift from God." "Nadie recibe más que otro, por todo lo que tenemos es un regalo de Dios."

 

The House of Bishops, meeting in Quito, joined the parishioners of the Cathedral along with Episcopalians who traveled hours for the Sunday morning Eucharist.

 

The following is the text of the Presiding Bishop's sermon:

 

Catedral del Buen Señor, Quito

18 septiembre 2011

 

            It is very good for brothers and sisters to live together in peace – even if it doesn't happen very often.  Human life has been marked by conflict since Cain and Abel.  Their conflict was about whose religious offering was better – sheep or crops.  They were competing for God's recognition. 

Es muy bueno para los hermanos y hermanas a vivir juntos en paz - incluso si esto no sucede frecuentemente.  La vida humana ha estado marcada por el conflicto desde Caín y Abel.  El conflicto estaba a punto de que era mejor oferta religiosa - de oveja o de los cultivos.  Los hermanos estaban compitiendo por el reconocimiento de Dios.

Most conflict beings with a scarcity – hunger, no land to call your own, no job to support a family, even a person's reputation.  Wars erupt when one nation thinks it needs something belonging to its neighbor – land, other resources, or more people to do its bidding.  Think about the conflicts over land formerly occupied by native peoples, or the attitudes toward migration from one country to another.  The United States is currently fighting two different wars, searching for greater security, both in terms of physical safety and having enough oil.  The conflict in the Middle East is about land and security, and it has many echoes of Cain and Abel's struggle over whose religious practice is best.

La mayoría de los conflictos tiene su origen en la escasez - el hambre, no hay tierra para llamar a su cuenta, no trabajo para mantener a una familia, aun la reputación de una persona.  Las guerras estallan cuando una nación piensa que necesita algo que pertenece a su vecino - la tierra u otros recursos, o más personas para hacer su voluntad.  Piense en los conflictos por la tierra anteriormente ocupada por los indígenas, o las actitudes hacia la migración de un país a otro.  Los Estados Unidos están luchando dos guerras distintas, en busca de mayor seguridad, tanto en términos de seguridad física y suficiente petróleo.  El conflicto en el Medio Oriente está a punto de la tierra y la seguridad, y tiene un montón de ecos de la lucha de Caín y Abel a lo largo de cuya práctica religiosa es el mejor.

Scarcity can be relative – it may not even noticed until there's a comparison with somebody else.  Kids and adults who decide they have to have the latest toy or fashion are living in a relative kind of scarcity, but so are those who want a higher status in their community. 

La escasez puede ser relativa - ni siquiera notó hasta que haya una comparación con otra persona.  Niños y adultos que deciden que tienen que tener el último juguete o ropa de moda están viviendo en la escasez relativa, pero también son aquellos que quieren un estatus más alto en su comunidad.

Scarcity leads to conflict, whether the scarcity is objectively real or only relative.  Scarcity also has something to do with judgment when we criticize others when we demand an immediate resolution, forgetting that God's opportunity for judgment is abundant and eternal.

La escasez lleva al conflicto, si la escasez es objetivamente real o relativa.  La escasez también tiene algo que ver con el juicio - cuando criticamos a los demás y buscamos una solución inmediata, olvidándonos de que la oportunidad de Dios para el juicio es abundante y eterna.

The Israelites in the Exodus reading we heard today are complaining because they don't like the food – either how much they're getting or the kind of food they have to eat.  They would rather go back and be slaves in Egypt than be free to find the land God has promised them.  God hears their complaints, and God sends them enough – both meat at night and bread in the morning.  It is enough, but it's not way more than enough.  On the sixth day of the week they get enough for two days, so that they don't even have to gather and prepare the food on the sabbath.  They get enough rest, too, along with their daily bread. 

Los israelitas en el desierto se quejan porque no les gusta la comida - ya sea la cantidad o el tipo de comida que tienen que comer.  Prefieren volver y ser esclavos en Egipto que ser libre para encontrar la tierra que Dios les ha prometido.  Dios escucha sus quejas, y los envía suficiente - tanto en la carne por la noche y el pan a la mañana.  Es suficiente, pero no es demasiado.  En el sexto día de la semana, reciben lo suficiente para dos días, así que no tienen ni recoger o preparar la comida en el día de reposo.  Pueden descansar lo suficiente junto con su pan de cada día.

Jesus tells a story in the Gospel about scarcity and conflict as well, but it's about relative scarcity.  The landowner, the owner of the vineyard, hires anybody who needs work, all day long, and he agrees to pay each one a day's wage – enough to live on.  But when he starts to pay all those who worked at the end of the day, those who were hired first get angry.  They think they should get more than those who only worked the last part of the day.  They feel cheated, even though they get what was promised.  

Jesús cuenta una historia acerca de la escasez y el conflicto así, pero es la escasez relativa.  El dueño contrata a alguien que necesita trabajo, durante todo el día, y se compromete a pagar a cada uno un día de salario - lo suficiente para vivir.  Pero cuando empiece a pagar al final del día, los que fueron contratados primero se enoja.  Ellos piensan que debería recibir más que los que sólo trabajó la última parte del día.  Se sienten engañados, a pesar de que se lo había prometido.

Scarcity has something to do with what or who we worship.  When the Israelites get their priorities right, they discover that God gives them enough.  When they get their priorities mixed up, they build a golden calf and worship that.  It doesn't turn out very well.  Those workers hired at the beginning of the day seem obsessed with their own effort – they are comparing themselces to those who came to work at the end of the day.  Competition and conflict result.

La escasez tiene algo que ver con qué o quién adoramos.  Cuando los israelitas conseguir sus prioridades, descubren que Dios les da lo suficiente.  Cuando llegan sus prioridades equivocadas, construyen un becerro de oro y adórenla.  No salió tan bien.  Los trabajadores contratados en el inicio de la jornada parecen obsesionados con su propio esfuerzo - en comparación con aquellos que vinieron a trabajar al final del día.  El conflicto resulta de la competencia.

            Peace, about which we sand when we came in today, is more than an absence of conflict, but it comes through an awareness of true abundance – it's the opposite of scarcity.  The kingdom of God is about a feast where everybody has enough, and enough more to celebrate.  That is the promised land God first told them about.  Peace has a lot to do with the absence of anxiety about scarcity – I'm not afraid about where my next meal is coming from, or how to clothe my children.  And I know that my neighbor isn't going to come and take what I have, because he, too, has enough.

            La paz es más que la ausencia de conflicto, pero viene la paz a través de una toma de conciencia de la verdadera abundancia - es todo lo contrario de la escasez.  El reino de Dios se trata de una fiesta donde todo el mundo tiene lo suficiente, y bastante más para celebrar.  Esa es la tierra prometida, que Dios primero prometió a los israelitas.  Paz tiene mucho que ver con la ausencia de ansiedad por la escasez - no estoy preocupado por mi próxima comida, o como puedo vestir a mis hijos.  Y sé que mi vecino no va a venir y tomar lo que tengo, porque él también tiene lo suficiente.

            The surprising thing about all of this is that it is those who don't have very much are often most generous and least anxious.  The guys in the vineyard who got a good job and had a productive day's work surprisingly ended up having the greatest sense of scarcity.  The ones who had been anxious all day until they were called to work were simply grateful.

            Lo sorprendente de todo esto es que aquellos que no tienen mucho son usualmente más generosos y menos ansiosos.  Es sorprendente que los chicos de la viña, que tiene un buen trabajo y un día productivo son los que tienen la mayor sensación de escasez.  Los que habían estado ansiosos todo el día hasta que fueron llamados a trabajar eran simplemente agradecidos.

            The conflict in this diocese is mostly about relative scarcity – decision-making authority is the scarce commodity in most people's eyes.  It's pretty clear that it isn't distributed effectively enough for people to believe there is abundance.  All the bishops here can tell you of similar conflicts in their own dioceses, but most of those conflicts have not risen to this level of intensity.

            El conflicto en esta diócesis se refiere principalmente a la escasez relativa – autoridad para tomar decisiones es el bien escaso en los ojos de la mayoría de la gente.  Es claro que no se distribuye con eficacia suficiente para que la gente cree que hay abundancia.  Todos los obispos aquí pueden decir de conflictos similares en sus propias diócesis, pero la mayoría de esos conflictos no se han elevado a esta intensidad.

The answer to all conflicts over scarcity is remembering that God intends for everyone to have enough – enough food and drink, adequate shelter and clothing, and enough security to be able to lay down weapons and live together in peace – that is the promised land.  We can't begin to live with that vision until we're ready to stop competing for resources.  The answer almost always is to share what we have.  When we do, we discover the wealth we do have.  To be able to say, mi casa es tu casa is to know that abundance only comes when it's shared.  Hoarded resources will always seem scarce.

La respuesta a todos los conflictos por la escasez es recordar que Dios quiere que todos tengan lo suficiente - suficiente comida y bebida, alojamiento y ropa adecuada, y la seguridad suficiente para poder renunciar la violencia y vivir juntos en paz – es la tierra prometida.  No podemos empezar a vivir con esa visión, hasta que estemos listos para dejar de competir por los recursos.  Usualmente, la solución es compartir lo que tenemos.  Cuando lo hacemos, descubrimos la riqueza que tenemos.  Para ser capaz de decir, mi casa es tu casa, es saber que la abundancia viene solamente cuando es compartida. Recursos atesorados siempre parecen escasos.

            Are we the workers who came first in the day, or those who came last?  Can we be grateful for what we have, and willing to share the blessing? That is the purpose of this table of thanksgiving.  No one receives more than another, for all we have is a gift from God. 

¿Somos los trabajadores que vinieron por primera parte del día, o los que fueron contratados últimos?  ¿Podemos estar agradecidos por lo que tenemos, y dispuestos a compartir la bendición de abundancia?  Ese es el propósito de esta mesa de acción de gracias.  Nadie recibe más que otro, por todo lo que tenemos es un regalo de Dios.

¡Aleluya – celebremos la fiesta!

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

 

 

On the web:

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori preaches at Quito Cathedral during House of Bishops meeting

 

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

 

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For more info contact:

Neva Rae Fox

Public Affairs Officer

The Episcopal Church

212-716-6080  Mobile: 917-478-5659

 

Blog Archive

Quotes

  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball