Feast of St. Stephen and Boxing Day celebration at Mucky Duck in Houston. Proceeds benefited Lord of the Streets Episcopal Church.
Preached at Epiphany and at Lord of the Streets Adent 1B
Yet, the lack of comprehensive data means that we can't know if there's been an upsurge in such cases, says Samuel Walker, a criminal justice scholar at the University of Nebraska in Omaha and author of The Color of Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America. "It's impossible to make any definitive statement on whether there were more incidents in the last 5 to 10 years than in the past," he says. "We just don't have that kind of data." But what is certain, Walker says, is that the fatal shooting in Ferguson "was just the tip of the iceberg."
USA Today reported that on average there were 96 cases of a white police officer killing a black person each year between 2006 and 2012, based on justifiable homicides reported to the FBI by local police. As reported, the FBI's justifiable homicides database paints only a partial picture—accounting for cases in which an officer killed a felon. It does not necessarily include cases involving victims like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others who were unarmed when confronted by police.
Risk factors [for the social determinants of violence] within close relationships (family, friends, intimate partners, and peers) are:The health and well being of a society is always rooted deeply in how well families and individuals are able to thrive within a supportive community. The recent violence reveals not only racism and violence but the deep issues that prevent individuals and their families from thriving in the United States today. We must face the fact that we are not well and the divisions and violence we now suffer are deeply rooted and symptomatic.
- poor monitoring and supervision of children by parents
- harsh, lax or inconsistent parental disciplinary practices
- a low level of attachment between parents and children
- low parental involvement in children's activities
- parental substance abuse or criminality
- low family income
Risk factors within the community and wider society are:
- associating with delinquent peers.
- low levels of social cohesion within a community;
- gangs and a local supply of guns and illicit drugs;
- an absence of non-violent alternatives for resolving conflicts;
- high income inequality;
- rapid social and demographic changes;
- quality of a country’s governance (its laws and the extent to which they are enforced, as well as policies for education and social protection).
Our country and her leaders must ask some penetrating questions. Have we been lulled into complacency after the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, ignoring the remaining struggles in the areas of education, economics, and mass incarceration? Have we been deluded by greater inclusivity and access to public accommodations to erroneously believe ours to be a “post-racial” society? Have we, as religious leaders and the broader community, become so co-opted by status, comfort, and materialism that our prophetic voices on behalf of the marginalized have been muted?Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following statement on the way forward from Ferguson regarding racism:
The Episcopal Church joins many others in deep lament over the tragic reality that continues to be revealed in Ferguson, Missouri. The racism in this nation is part of our foundation, and is not unique to one city or state or part of the country. All Americans live with the consequences of centuries of slavery, exploitation, and prejudice. That legacy continues to lead individuals to perceive threat from those who are seen as "other." The color of one's skin is often the most visible representation of what divides God's children one from another. ... I ask you to stand with hands extended in love, to look for the image of God in every neighbor, and to offer yourself in vulnerability for the sake of reconciliation across this land. May we become instruments of God's peace and healing, made evident in communities of justice for all.The issues that face our country are profound. While we are a nation founded on a vision of freedom - racism blurs that vision. While we are a nation founded on a vision of peace - violence (gun violence specifically) mars our sight. We are a country who is blessed with great riches and which offers a vision of prosperity; but that ideal is broken by scarcity and economic depression for many of our youth.
Weariness must not conquer our spirits. Apathy and despair are not options. We will never lose hope! The legacy of our people has been forged in the crucible of slavery, oppression, lynchings, pain, and suffering and we’ve never surrendered to the spirit of defeatism or anarchy. Our efforts will be intensified as we work within our denomination and beyond to develop strategies to address the multitude of issues impacting our community, as we also partner with others who advocate and work for justice and peace. Our testimony is that “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!”Let us pray for our country, let us pray for one another, let us pray for the families, let us pray for the end of racism, let us pray for the peace and the end of violence. Let us pray and let us act.
Michael Harvey, the British founder of the international Back to Church movement will speak in several churches in the Diocese of Texas October 18-25 (see schedule in article). Presentations open to all interested.
Important Insurance Reminder from the Diocesan Treasurer
Effective January 1, 2015, any clergy person that joins the staff of a church or institution within the Diocese and has not previously been covered by the Diocese for health care coverage, will be provided single coverage. Additional coverages for spouses or families will be available but must be paid for by that clergyperson individually. This change was approved and announced last year when the Executive Board approved the single coverage as a standard for all clergy and staff. Going forward this will bring the Diocese into line with the parity provisions of the Denominational Healthcare Plan. If you have questions about this policy please contact either Bob Biehl or Debra Klinger in the Diocesan Office.
Changes In The Church? Watch This Webcast October 2
The Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church (TREC) will host a church-wide meeting on October 2 at 6:30 p.m. CST to receive responses to proposed recommendations to be brought forward to the 78th General Convention next summer. The meeting, webcast from Washington National Cathedral, will be available live at the Houston Diocesan Center, 1225 Texas St., Houston.
Seminary of the Southwest, 501 E 32nd St, Austin, TX 78705, will also host a viewing location beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Room 210. A discussion led by faculty will follow. Please contact Micah Jackson for more information.
Questions can be emailed to organizers during the event at or via Twitter @ReimagineTEC. Please contact Kevin Thompson if you would like to attend this event at the Houston Diocesan Center. For more information on the webcast, visit the TREC website at http://reimaginetec.org/
Please Consider Reprinting The Following Announcements In Your Bulletins and Newsletters
Register Now For 2014 Clergy Conference At Camp Allen
The 2014 Clergy Conference, October 20-22 at Camp Allen, features Dr. Elaine Heath, McCreless Professor of Evangelism at SMU Perkins School of Theology; Caesar Kalinowski, founding leader of SOMA, church planter and missional strategist; Michael Harvey, co-founder of Back-to-Church Sunday; Bob Lupton, founder and president, FCS Urban Ministries; Dr. Matt Russell, visiting scholar, Cambridge University, Faculty of Divinity, and more. The Conference will also include a new clergy wellness track and immunizations will be offered. Register online at campallen.org. Click on 'Register for Events Online'.
Houston Area Episcopal 20s & 30s Day Of Service On October 11On Saturday, October 11, from 12:45–4 p.m., the Houston-area Episcopal 20s & 30s will gather to serve the less-fortunate by volunteering at the Houston Food Bank. This is a great opportunity to do the work commissioned by Jesus, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and it is also a great chance for fellowship with young adults from other area Episcopal churches. Participants will meet at the Food Bank (535 Portwall St.) at 12:45 p.m. for check-in and assign individuals to different tasks such as sorting canned goods, packaging rice, organizing fruit, or various other projects. For more information, click here.
Register Now for ECW Annual Retreat, October 17-19
The 113th Annual Retreat for Women in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas will be held at Camp Allen, October 17-19. This fall event has been expanded to Friday through Sunday, with options to attend for one, two or all three days. More information, including registration, is available here.
Calling All Golfers: The 13th Annual Youth Projects Golf Tournament, October 18
The 13th Annual Youth Projects Golf Tournament with St. James House and Trinity, Baytown, will be held October 18 at the Evergreen Point Golf Course in Baytown, TX. The tournament is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Cost of entry includes a hamburger buffet, free driving range, sleeve of balls, green fee and cart. For more information and a registration form, click here. To sponsor a hole click here.
Annual St. James House Silver Tea To Take Place October 28
The annual St. James House Silver Tea will be held Tuesday, October 28 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the home of Melissa and Al Grobmyer, 3720 Inwood Drive, Houston, TX 77019. This year the event will honor The Guild Shop and Louise Symmes, recently retired executive director, for continuing the stewardship started in 1962 by the Sewing Group of St. John the Divine. For more information, please call 281.425.1200.
Cookies Needed For Kairos Prison Ministry
Fancy yourself a baker extraordinaire? Well your chance has arrived. The Kairos Prison Ministry team in Marlin, TX needs donations of cookies that they can take into the prison system as they minister to inmates. If you can help by baking some cookies for a great cause, contact the Rev. Wendy Huber.
Episcopal Communicators Membership
If you have communications responsibilities for your church, school or Episcopal institution, consider joining the national Episcopal Communicators, a professional organization that offers a robust network for sharing information and improving your communications skills. Annual dues provide access to the online membership group, resources, eligibility to enter the annual Polly Bond Awards competition and a discount on the annual conference fee.
Dues are $80 but for a limited time, regular membership, open to anyone with communications responsibilities in the Episcopal Church at any level are $40. Join here and enter the discount code "membership."
Open Enrollment Begins October 6
For those clergy and lay employees receiving benefits from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, open enrollment will begin October 6. Click here for 2015 rate information and the Open Enrollment timeline and meeting schedule.
Reminder Regarding The Denominational Health Plan Parity Resolution
Please review the important changes effective January 1, 2015. Click here for more information.
Resources For Ministering To People With Disabilities
For those of you who minister to people with disabilities, here is a list of resources currently available. Please let us know if any other resources of which you may have information. http://www.disability99.org/id5.html
More Upcoming Events
October 4 - St. Francis Day
October 4-5 - Diocesan Adult Choral Festival, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston
October 5-6 - Little Church Club Meeting, Camp Allen
Need a Job?
To see job opportunities, visit our employment page.
UPDATES & CHANGES
Sometimes It's a Long Way Home [more]
Michael Harvey Texas Tour 2014 [more]
Christian Educator, Janie Stevens, Dies at 67 [more]
Churches Prepare for Blessing of the Animals: Resources Available In Spanish And English [more]
Drilling for Clean Water in Nicaragua [more]