US Disaster Program of Episcopal Relief and Development

As you consider donating to the relief of those harmed by wind, rain, and flood after Hurricane Harvey, check out the work of our own Episcopal Relief & Development.

Begin quoteEpiscopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program connects, equips and inspires leaders of US dioceses in The Episcopal Church to prepare for hazards that might affect their communities, to mitigate the impact of disasters and to help vulnerable people make a full and sustained recovery.

Notice: Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Response Fund

The US Disaster Program works with diocesan and congregational leadership in areas that have been affected by disasters. We partner with diocesan leaders by providing technical resources and connections to others around the country who have faced similar challenges, as well as access to the Ready to Serve volunteer database. …

Read more from ERD: US Disaster Program

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Episcopal Relief and Development Logo

This is the introduction to work of Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) to promote gender equality, to empower women, and to oppose and heal gender-based violence. The ERD page contains links to specific programs, data about gender-based violence, and an invitation to help heal a hurting world. Read more

Begin quote

Gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response are cross-cutting themes that shape and inform all of Episcopal Relief & Development’s integrated programs worldwide. In order to sustainably and equitably address hunger, poverty, disease and post-disaster relief and recovery, local attitudes and customs around gender, power and gender-based violence must also be taken into account.

“Unless women fully enjoy their human rights, to which freedom from violence is inextricably bound, progress toward development will continue to fall short.”  USAID

Gender roles and other social norms impact every area of Episcopal Relief & Development’s work, and addressing gender-based violence (GBV) is a major area of focus. GBV affects the health and well-being of women in every country, regardless of socioeconomic or ‘development’ status, and almost all of our partners identify violence against women and girls as a major obstacle to healthy and prosperous families and communities. There is a great need for the voice and action of faith leaders, communities and institutions to prevent and respond to GBV, and to restore the health, dignity and livelihoods of women and girls affected by violence.

Although GBV is often associated with countries experiencing conflict, it is present everywhere, in various forms such as domestic violence, rape and the marginalization of girls and women across cultures and nations. Stemming from attitudes and practices around gender and power that are deeply ingrained in society and culture, GBV is a sensitive issue and often falls by the wayside of community dialogues and interventions. Change must come from within those communities to be lasting and effective, and faith leaders have a unique position of trust and influence at both the individual and community levels to enable and encourage such change. Our programs aim to empower these leaders and to leverage their roles in their communities to become champions for the support, protection and empowerment of survivors of violence, and of women and girls in general. Read more about this on the ERD website.

end-quote-black-71by52

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

 

Commission on the Status of Women 61 in 2017 (UN Women)

UN Women (Homepage)

Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment, & GBV (Episcopal Relief & Development)

What can I do?

Headline: Million of Syrian Refugees in needEpiscopal Church Responds to Syrian Refugee Crisis

Adapted from the Diocesan News of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego:

Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD), the worldwide relief arm of the Episcopal Church, is working to collaborate with organizations active in transit countries such as Greece. Episcopal Migration Ministries suggests these actions for concerned Episcopalians:

  1.  pray;
  2. volunteer with one of our local resettlement partners to welcome new Americans: http://bit.ly/EMMpartners;
  3. join the #RefugeesWelcome global social media campaign urging governments to welcome refugees (ie. use hashtag #RefugeesWelcome in your Facebook posts, Tweets and Instagram posts);
  4. sign the White House petition asking the president to pledge to resettle at least 65,000 Syrians by 2016: http://1.usa.gov/1L6zh9l.

A Prayer for the Victims of the Syrian Conflict

We pray for those damaged by the fighting in Syria.
To the wounded and injured:
Come Lord Jesus.

To the terrified who are living in shock:
Come Lord Jesus.

To the hungry and homeless, refugee and exile:
Come Lord Jesus.

To those bringing humanitarian aid:
Give protection Lord Jesus.

To those administering medical assistance:
Give protection Lord Jesus.

To those offering counsel and care:
Give protection Lord Jesus.

For all making the sacrifice of love:
Give the strength of your Spirit
and the joy of your comfort.
In the hope of Christ we pray, Amen.

From the Church of England Prayers for Syria.

Goats and Chickens

A boy with a goat in Kenya, thanks to ERD

Early in October the folks at Episcopal Relief and Development invited those who would listen to make a Gift for Life as a good way to remember and honor “The Poor Man” of Assisi (St. Francis):

Today [October 4th] a very peculiar saint will be honored throughout the Christian world. Although he was from a wealthy family, he chose to live in poverty. He preached to a Sultan in Egypt, a flock of birds in the trees, and a ferocious wolf. He founded orders for men and women, and in 2013 a Pope took his name for the first time. Each year, he is honored far and wide with blessings of animals. He is St. Francis, the gentle man from 13th century Assisi, Italy. We invite you to honor him by increasing opportunities for others with the gift of a cow, a chicken, a pig, or my favorite, a goat!
—Sean McConnell, Engagement Director for ERD in a Facebook Post

On two Sundays our Sunday Morning Forum group gathered up just under $100 and with a little help beyond the Forum we made a donation to purchase and send a goat and some chickens to help feed brothers and sisters far from the Coachella Valley and St. Margaret’s.

2013-1015 ERD Donation

To make this gift go even further, generous donors to ERD have pledged to match gifts made to ERD between now and December 6th. So, we’re able to send out 2 goats and twice as many chickens as our small part of the global efforts of ERD.

To all who have this possible: Thank you. Keep it going: make your own gift to ERD as a way of doing good today, and tomorrow!

Photo: Episcopal Relief & Development

Wind Chimes: 14 Dec 2012

Graduates of A4T1 Girls School, Kabul
Graduates of A4T1 Girls School, Kabul | An Episcopal Relief and Development Partner Program

[John said] “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.”

Luke 3:8 NRSV

Sometimes the music in the chimes makes the heart dance. Refreshed by the dance, every activity of the day is energized. What do you hear?

By word and EXAMPLE

Imagine that. The words of John spoken in the 1st century Judean wilderness thunder into the “Christmas Season” of 21st century America. “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.”

When asked by the people “What then should we do?” (Luke 3:10) John, in so many words, says ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (3:10-14) Luke goes on to tell us, “…with many other exhortations, [John] proclaimed the good news to the people.” (3:18)

In our Baptismal Covenant we promise that, “with God’s help,” we will “Proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.” In Advent we annually discover, joyfully, that fulfilling such a promise is a noble way to live life. ~dan

A blessing based on the readings of Advent 3 (12/16/12)

Go now and rejoice in the Lord always.
Do not be afraid or worried about anything,
but in everything trust God and pray.
Bear fruits worthy of repentance,
sharing what you have and being gentle with all.

And may God rejoice over you with gladness;
May Christ Jesus renew you in his love;
and may the Holy Spirit give you peace beyond understanding
to guard your hearts and minds in Christ.

Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources for 12/16/12

Soacer40x20

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.” Find one that helps you focus on God as you make your way into the loving arms of God.

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea (reprised):

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

divider line

Image: Photo Gallery of Episcopal Relief and Development

Wind Chimes: 3 Dec 2012

The chimes have begun to ring in the “new (church) year.” What do you hear?

Check out the Advent Calendar from Trinity Wall Street

Trinity (Episcopal) Wall Street has an online Advent Calendar for us. Every day features a short verse from scripture and an audio meditation from members of the church. Here is the link: http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/news/features/2012-advent-calendar

An Advent Calendar with a more “youthful” flavor

Here is another kind of Advent Calendar with a younger audience in mind:
http://bustedhalo.com/features/advent-calendar-2012

It is produced by The Paulist Fathers (a Roman Catholic Religious Order). Their ministry has the intriguing title of “Busted Halo Ministries” because they believe that “all God’s children are ‘saints in the making.’ Everyone is called to aspire toward the holiness and selflessness of a Mother Teresa or Saint Francis. At the same time we are all too often aware that this journey toward sainthood is one fraught with imperfections, struggles, and mistakes. Each of us sports a Halo that is either dented, scratched, tarnished… in some way Busted. Yet God loves us anyway and continually calls to bang out the dents and polish our halos up to a nice golden shine.” About BustedHalo

Soacer40x20

Yes, give us grace …

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the First Sunday of Advent
Book of Common Prayer, p. 211

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use your “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe (and am acting on my belief) that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Kiva — “a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.”

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

divider line

Video: Advent in 2 minutes was produced by Busted Halo Ministries

Wind Chimes: 1 Dec 2012

World AIDS Day is December 1

The sounds in the chimes today seem to carry until the whole world is filled with their hope. What do you hear?

December 1 is World AIDS Day

This is a day of prayer, study, reflection, and action. Some statements and information for you:

A Statement on World AIDS Day from The Rev. Mark S. Hanson (Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and The Most. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori (Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

World AIDS Day 2012: Esperança’s Esperança a reflection from the field by an Episcopal Relief and Development worker

The UN Press Release for World AIDS Day

On Twitter search/see: #worldaidsday

A Prayer on World AIDS Day

Loving God, you show yourself to those who are vulnerable and make your home with the poor and weak of this world; Warm our hearts with the fire of your Spirit. Help us to accept the challenge of AIDS. Protect the healthy, we pray, calm the frightened, give courage to those in pain, comfort the dying and give to the dead eternal life. Console the bereaved, we beg you, and strengthen those who care for the sick. May we, your people, using all our energy and imagination, and trusting in your steadfast love, be united with one another in conquering all disease and fear. —Author unknown

Shannon, Maggie Oman (2009-12-22). Prayers for Hope and Comfort: Reflections, Meditations, and Inspirations (pp. 170-171). RedWheelWeiser – A. Kindle Edition.

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” was an invitation to give and use your “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe (and am acting on my belief) that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

2 Suggestions for giving on this Day (one global, one local for desert dwellers)

  • The “Health Fund” of Episcopal Relief and Development. (Navigate to “Health” on the Donate Page to designate your donation go to ERD’s Health Fund)
  • Desert AIDS Project. Located in Palm Springs, California, the Desert AIDS Project (DAP) seeks to “meet the evolving medical and social service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS by providing direct services and advocacy, while working to prevent new infections through education and outreach.”

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

Mission Statement
Go to the Home Page for #GivingTuesday
Wind Chimes for November 27, 2012

divider line

Image: UN Press Release for World AIDS Day