Power of public witness: Churches prepare to take the Passion…

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first_img Comments are closed. By Pat McCaughanPosted Mar 22, 2016 Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Shreveport, LA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Press Release Service Rector Belleville, IL Rector Albany, NY Power of public witness: Churches prepare to take the Passion outdoors This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Bath, NC Featured Events Course Director Jerusalem, Israel An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Washington, DC Margaret Raigins says: Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Robert Yearwood, sexton of Trinity Church, carried the cross through the streets of Boston as area Christians remembered Jesus’ suffering with a march through the city on Good Friday 2015. The Rev. Rainey Dankel, also of Trinity, was one of the organizers of the “Stations of the City.” Photo: Patricia Hurley[Episcopal News Service] This Good Friday, for the Rev. Scott Slater and others in the Diocese of Maryland, Stations of the Cross will include a walk along Baltimore’s Route 40 corridor and stops to pray at places where gun violence has stolen lives.Elsewhere in the Episcopal Church, the ancient tradition of recalling Jesus’ path to the crucifixion also will be observed outdoors and in fresh and public ways.In Boston’s Copley Square, Matt Gin, 29, plans to be among a Trinity Church group who will use pantomime and tableaux to convey the depth of the Passion. “I’m portraying Jesus in the last five stations, the scary stations,” said Gin, in a recent interview with Episcopal News Service.And in Virginia, members of St. James’s Church’s young adult ministry will hike the stations on Holy Saturday, March 26, at Richmond’s Belle Isle, a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts with powerful historical significance. The site of a prison camp for Union soldiers during the Civil War, it serves “as a powerful reminder that the work of reconciliation is not done yet,” according to the Rev. Carmen Germino, associate rector.Baltimore: An ‘unholy trinity’ of poverty, racism and violenceSlater, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Maryland, said he’s driven through some areas of Baltimore many times “with the doors locked and the radio going” but wanted to walk the city and pray in the wake of riots that erupted after the death of Freddie Gray last year and the gun violence that continues to claim the lives of young African-Americans.Gray, 25, was arrested April 12, 2015, on a weapons charge in Baltimore. He suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody and later died. His death sparked civil unrest. A judge declared a mistrial after jurors could not reach a verdict in the trial of the first of six police officers charged in Gray’s death.According to a 2012 U.S. Justice Department report, the Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park neighborhood where Gray lived is challenged by “a cycle of incarceration, poverty, and lost opportunity.”The report included some grim neighborhood realities: a $24,000 median household income from 2006-2012; a 51.8 percent unemployment rate; and a chronic high school absentee rate of nearly 50 percent. About one-third of the residential properties were vacant or abandoned.“The hopelessness (there) soaks into your bones. It’s palpable,” said Slater, who previously walked the area to plan this Friday’s observance. “Block after block of boarded-up houses and trash-strewn streets … you recognize it’s got to be tough to grow up here.”The 7-mile walk will encompass three Episcopal church sites and include ecumenical participants. Along the way, stops for prayer at 15 spots where young African-Americans have died in gun or other violence in the past year will challenge participants to face the grim reality of what “our bishop (Eugene Sutton) has called the unholy trinity of racism, poverty and violence,” Slater said.One stop is planned behind a gas station where “a young man was shot and killed. It’s a horrible place to die, a horrible place to live also,” he said. By seeing the names and places, Slater hopes to make both the circumstances of the contemporary lives and deaths and that of Jesus “much more real” to participants.“I’m hoping that the concept of walking through our own city and passing spots where real people with real names died violently, and praying for them will make the actual Good Friday experience of remembering Jesus a little more palpable.”The Rev. Ramelle McCall, 34, rector of St. Michael and All Angels Church in Baltimore, plans to join the prayer walk because he hopes to engage others “who have not seen extremely underprivileged areas of Baltimore.”“I felt like I was a Route 40 kid; I lived in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood” for several years while growing up, he told ENS.“It’s important to make a lot of people inside and outside the church aware of these communities that need help. I hope folks who do not live in Baltimore will see how the dynamics of socioeconomics, race and class – together – affect lives.”McCall said his church is less than five miles from where Gray was arrested. As the anniversary of Gray’s death approaches, McCall hopes efforts will continue “to see if we can build some relationships and see where that goes.”Slater agreed. He said there is “a real hunger for people from the diocese who don’t live in Baltimore city to do something tangible to connect with endemic problems in Baltimore.”McCall said he is looking forward to turning prayer to action. “The need has always been there, and I’m grateful that the diocese is really coordinating this event,” he said.“I would never have imagined that as a priest, as a black man, I would really be a part of a presumably diverse group of people that really has genuine care for these communities and really wants to see how the Spirit can work through all of us to be a real friend to these impoverished areas. That’s what I’m excited about.”At the same time, the walk will be a sobering reminder not only “that Jesus Christ died for us on this day … but that in parts of Baltimore, people may be seeing Good Friday all the time,” said McCall.“We’re trying to hold up, into the context of Good Friday, the unfortunate homicides that take place and the unfortunate loss of life that happens, and how we’re saddened by such death,” he added. At the same time, “we look to a future where maybe we can celebrate hope in the midst of a Good Friday where this violence is not constantly replayed.“We have the power to rewrite the narrative, so that this is not a Friday that we look at as lives lost, but as lives that will be saved in the near future.”Boston: Mime, tableaux, ‘Episcopal evangelism at its best’For members of Trinity Church, the challenge this Good Friday will be conveying the Passion in pantomime and tableaux, while juggling various roles as spectators, bystanders, hecklers and Jesus.Mary Davis is among the six church members who will take turns portraying Jesus during the last moments of his life in “a living Stations of the Cross” amid the sights and sounds of Boston’s bustling Copley Square.“We thought, ‘It’s a lot of weight to have one person be Jesus,’ ” said Davis. “We actually just walked it yesterday and it was very moving. It made me consider aspects of the story I never thought of before, like being inside the experience in a way that was pretty new. Just during the rehearsal, I found myself in tears several times.”The Rev. Rita Powell, Trinity’s associate rector for liturgy, organized the effort with assistance from Tony LoPresti, a New York theater professional, mime and friend of the Taizé community, who coached the actors.Workshops with LoPresti prepared them with the fundamentals of classic mime for the performance, which will begin on the steps of the church with the first station, in which Jesus is condemned to death. Accompanied by tambourine, drum and violin, and others reading Scripture, the actors will move to other corners of the square as they enact the stations.“It’s like an intersection between Stations of the Cross and the kind of more contemporary ‘stations of the city’ where important sites in the city are walked to and prayed. We are creating living stations of the cross using the liturgy from the (Episcopal Church’s) Book of Occasional Services,” Powell said.Amid the busy square, the performance will be a reminder, too, that “for a small group of people the crucifixion of Jesus was a really big deal, but most of the city was not moved by the event,” she said.Whether snow, rain or shine, the performance will go on as planned at 3:30 p.m. until the final station “where Jesus is stripped and crucified and died. That will happen in the fountain at Boylston Street and we will use the stone alcove on the front porch of the church.”For Gin, a Harvard University doctoral student who was baptized at last year’s Easter Vigil and will also be Jesus during the stations, that’s the scary part.“I have to say I am still not entirely comfortable with being Jesus in those five scenes and I think that’s good. I don’t think anyone should be comfortable with those scenes.”When Powell approached him to participate, Gin, an architectural historian, was intrigued by the blend of old tradition and new interpretation.Preparing for his various roles, of bystander, heckler, executioner and Jesus has “been a real challenge, trying to put myself not just in the story but in the mindset of all of these people. There’s a tendency to focus just on Jesus but all of the sudden you’re confronted with what was the guy thinking when he handed Jesus the cross. It’s been filled out for me in a new way.”Gin said he actually won’t be hanging on the cross in the same sense Jesus did; a special rig will support his body.  “There’s this weird physical tension where I look like I’m hanging from (the cross) but my body is supporting it.”At an earlier rehearsal, he realized “a beautiful tension in just that physicality. It’s so uncomfortable. And in a really honest way, I could see how painful and agonizing Jesus’ death actually was. That’s not something that people either like to think about or do think about. Even in our contemporary representations there’s the idea of the serene Christ on the cross. To actually be in that position takes it to a whole new level.”Also, doing it “in such a public place and public way implicates everyone, whether you’re passing by or ignoring it. That’s really powerful. Whether you’re a believer or not there’s something meaningful to be drawn not just from this performance but this story.”Davis agreed. “There’s this real joy in making this story come to life even though the story itself is one of intense suffering. That is generally how I feel in Holy Week. It’s really satisfying even though it’s really horrible to unearth that piece of our faith.”Powell said the event represents “Episcopal evangelism at its best. To take what we love most, the liturgical expression of what we think is important in the story and to bravely dare to tell that in public, simply has a power to it and a risk and an excitement to it that you can’t match any other way.”Richmond: ‘A powerful public witness’ amid stark remindersOn Holy Saturday, members of St. James’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, will sing, pray, and hike while recalling the last moments of Christ’s life on earth.The city’s popular Belle Isle Park and the James River will serve as a backdrop as members of the church’s Young Adult Ministry, who organized the hike, offer reflections at “stations” marked with artwork created by the Sunday school children.“It’s a wonderful, relaxed, inviting family atmosphere” yet offers reminders of the city’s challenges, said Danielle Dick, 40, who is planning to attend along with her 9-year-old son Aidan.Hikers enjoy the scenic beauty but also pass the crumbling ruins of former industrial plants. They also recall the island’s history as the site of a Civil War prison camp for Union soldiers. It serves as a reminder of how much the past “still has a profound impact on the present,” she said.The Rev. Carmen Germino agreed.“Initially, we chose Belle Isle (as a site for the first hike last year) because it is such a well-known and well-loved public park and outdoor place in Richmond. But, the more we got into it, we realized what an appropriate theological place it was … because at one time, Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy and we are very much still living out that legacy.”Recalling the park’s history “is a powerful reminder that the work of reconciliation in the city is not done yet and Holy Week can be a very powerful time to remember that.”Last year’s hike drew hundreds and “there was a joyful spirit about it which I think is appropriate for Holy Saturday, when we’ve come past Good Friday but we’re still not out of the darkness yet getting more joyful about Easter,” Germino said.“The stopping and starting, prayer and reflection is a reminder that the journey continues. It was a nice mix of experience and feeling, it helped the kids get excited about Easter.”Additionally, “it is a public witness in the middle of what is not usually a place of worship,” she said. The sheer physicality of the service appealed to those in from their early 20s to early 40s in the group.“As they were planning the liturgy, it made sense for it to be outdoors. The most powerful stations I’ve experienced are public ones, outside the walls of the church, as if I’m in Jerusalem, walking the Via Dolorosa.”– The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service. Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Featured Jobs & Calls Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Tampa, FL Submit a Job Listing Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group March 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm join us Judith! Saturday at 10:30 am. Meet near pedestrian bridge. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Pittsburgh, PA March 23, 2016 at 10:59 am What a wonderful idea! Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Judith Wood says: Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Hopkinsville, KY Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Martinsville, VA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Comments (2) Associate Rector Columbus, GA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Tags Lent New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Director of Music Morristown, NJ Youth Minister Lorton, VA Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit an Event Listing Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Collierville, TN Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Curate Diocese of Nebraskalast_img read more


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first_img October 15, 2020 Find out more News New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council Reporters Without Borders calls for the continuation of diplomatic efforts that could help improve respect for human rights in Cuba. In particular, it thinks it is essential that the United States should lift its embargo of Cuba, which just bolsters the regime while penalising the population. Follow the news on Cuba Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet February 24, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 After a year of Raúl Castro as president, political opening still ignores imprisoned journalists News Help by sharing this information May 6, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts News Reporters Without Borders notes with regret that the Cuban government has stubbornly refused to release 23 arbitrarily detained journalists, including its correspondent Ricardo González Alfonso, in the 12 months since Raúl Castro was confirmed as President of the Council of State on 24 February 2008, 19 months after taking over provisionally from his ailing elder brother Fidel. There have been a few signs of a political opening-up in the past year but, in all, Cuba continues to hold around 200 political prisoners. The press freedom organisation calls for the continuation of diplomatic efforts that could help change this situation and, in particular, the lifting of the US embargo of Cuba that has been in place since 1962.“Nineteen of the 23 journalists currently imprisoned in Cuba for their opinions and their reports were arrested in the ‘Black Spring’ crackdown of 2003 and will begin their seventh year in detention on 18 March,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This situation is all the more absurd and cruel as the authorities have agreed to release or, on health grounds, suspend the sentences of some of the 75 dissidents arrested in that crackdown. “It also stands in complete contradiction to the intentions manifested by the government when it signed two UN human rights conventions and partially liberalised the communications sector. The government cannot keep on evading this contradiction as it tries to consolidate its diplomatic ties and extricate Cuba from its isolation.“We again call on the countries engaged in a dialogue with Cuba, especially its Latin American partners, to step up their mediation on behalf of the imprisoned journalists in the name of the free expression that is recognised everywhere else in the hemisphere. In this respect, we think it is necessary that the United State lift the embargo impose 47 years ago on Cuba. Condemned by virtually the entire international community, this embargo just bolsters the regime while penalising the population.”Raúl Castro took over at the head of the Council of State nine days after four of the “Black Spring detainees,” including independent journalist Alejandro González Raga and José Gabriel Ramón Castillo, the editor of a dissident socio-cultural magazine, were released as a result of Spanish government mediation and flew to Spain.Shortly after Raúl Castro’s installation, the Cuban government signed two UN human rights conventions, one concerning economic, social and cultural rights, the other concerning civil and political rights. A year later, neither of these treaties has been ratified.As soon as he was installed, Raúl Castro lifted the ban which until then had barred Cubans entering the country’s luxury hotels with better Internet connections, although their prices are prohibitive in a country where the average salary is about 13 dollars a month. Other measures followed in the communications domain, including legalisation of the acquisition of personal computers and mobile phones.These changes have in no way diminished the government’s repressive attitude towards those who try to circulate news and information that it does not control. Online activity continues to be monitored and the Internet is regularly blocked. Internet access nonetheless also suffers from major technical difficulties resulting from communications restrictions imposed by the US embargo. This led Michael Parmly, then head of the US Interests Section in Havana, to urge his government on 4 July 2008 to allow Cubans to have better Internet access. His request has so far been ignored and Cuba is currently counting on Venezuela’s help to achieve this.The softening of the US embargo announced by President Barack Obama’s new administration is expected above all to relax restrictions on visits to the island by Cuban exiles and the amount of money they can send to their relatives there. The Cuban government made no concessions after the European Union, on 23 June 2008, definitively lifted the sanctions which it had imposed after the “Black Spring” (and soon suspended). Nonetheless, the European sanctions were, as the US embargo continues to be, a powerful argument that is used by the government to justify gagging all of its opponents.The journalists arrested during the “Black Spring” were given sentences ranging from 14 to 27 years in prison on the spurious grounds that they were “mercenaries in the pay of the United States.” As a result of the embargo, the government is also able to cite “North American oppression” as grounds for denying its citizens access to diverse news and information. CubaAmericas Organisation CubaAmericas to go further RSF_en News RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago October 12, 2018 Find out morelast_img read more


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first_img View Comments Finding Neverland Related Shows Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. New Release Dates for The Visit & Neverland RecordingsTwo Broadway musicals from this past season will release their cast recordings a bit later than expected. The album of Kander and Ebb’s The Visit, which was originally scheduled to drop on June 26, is available digitally now and will be in stores on July 10. Meanwhile, the Finding Neverland cast album, initially set for a June 23, will be available digitally and in stores on July 17. To hold you over, check out this clip from Yahoo! of Matthew Morrison and Aidan Gemme recording “When Your Feet Don’t Touch the Ground” in the studio.center_img Cast Set for Goodspeed’s My ParisBroadway alums Bobby Steggert, Mara Davi, Donna English and Tony winner John Glover will star in the previously reported world premiere of My Paris. The new musical features English lyrics and arrangements by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown and a book by Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer winner Alfred Uhry. Performances will begin on July 23 at the Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Connecticut. The cast will also include Greg Hildreth, John Riddle and Paul Castree. The show follows Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Steggert), a nineteenth-century French painter who captured the spark of Montmarte, Le Can-Can and Le Moulin Rouge. Tony winner Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreogrpah.Broadway & Comedy Icon Jack Carter Dead at 93Jack Carter, the comedy legend who hosted the first televised Tony Awards in 1956, died on June 28 of respiratory failure. He was 93 years old. Carter made his Broadway debut in Call Me Mister before going on to host the variety show Cavalcade of Stars and his own NBC series The Jack Carter Show. He also appeared on Broadway in Mr. Wonderful and Top Banana. He is survived by his wife Roxanne, sons Michael and Chase, daughter Wendy and grandchildren Jake and Ava.Mary Louise Wilson Releases MemoirTony winner Mary Louise Wilson has released her memoir, My First Hundred Years in Show Business. The On the Twentieth Century star chronicles her life from childhood in New Orleans to moving to New York to performances in Grey Gardens, Cabaret and more, with countless gigs in between. Earlier this year, the documentary She’s the Best Thing In It, which follows Wilson as she mentors younger acting students, premiered at South by Southwest. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 21, 2016last_img read more