Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Shane Lopez: Hope is an ancient virtue

Posted on: April 25th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Books, Reviews



Q&A: Health & Well-being

Shane Lopez: Hope is an ancient virtue

The author of “Making Hope Happen” says that hope can be cultivated and shared. Read more »


Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, Faith & Leadership Newsletter, April 22, 2014

A Call to Action

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Books, Reviews


Women, Religion,
Violence and Power
by Jimmy Carter

Simon & Schuster Canada 
Released, March 25th, 2014
Hardcover, 211 pages.
$34.00 CAD. $18.00 CAD Kindle
ISBN #978-1-4767-7395-7


Review By Wayne A. Holst


Author’s Words:

I saw the ravages of racial prejudice as I grew 
up in the Deep South when for a century the U.S.
Supreme Court and all other political and social
authorities (in America) accepted the premise
that black people were, in some basic ways, 
inferior to white people… 

Even those in the dominant class who disagreed
with this presumption remained relatively quiet
and enjoyed the benefits of the prevailing system.

Carefully selected Holy Scriptures were quoted 
to justify this discrimination in the name of God.

There is a similar system of discrimination, 
extending far beyond a small geographical
region to the entire globe; it touches every
nation, perpetuating and expanding the
trafficking in human slaves, bodily mutilation,
and even legitimized murder on a massive scale.

This system is based on the assumption that
men and boys are superior to women and girls,
and is supported by some male religious leaders
who distort the Holy Bible, the Koran, and other
sacred texts to perpetuate their claim that
females are, in some basic ways, inferior to 
them, unqualified to serve God on equal terms.

Many men disagree, but remain quiet in order
to enjoy the benefits of their dominant status.
Some men even cite this premise to justify
physical punishment of women and girls.

(There is too much justification for violence,
today) and in to many cases we use violence
as a first, rather than a last resort, so that
even deadly violence has become commonplace.

There is a pervasive denial of equal rights to
women, more than half of all human beings,
and this discrimination results in tangible harm
to all of us, male and female.

Although economic disparity is a great and
growing problem, at home and around the
world, I have become convinced that the
most serious and un-addressed worldwide
challenge is the deprivation and abuse of
women and girls, largely caused by a 
false interpretation of carefully selected
religious texts.

In addition to this… there is a devastating
effect on economic prosperity caused by
the loss of contribution of at least half 
the human beings on earth.

This is not just a woman’s issue. It is not
confined to the poorest countries.

It affects us all.

I was asked to address the Parliament of
World’s Religions in Australia, December, 2009.
My remarks represented the personal views
of a Christian layman and a Bible teacher for
more than seventy years, and a former 
political leader. I reminded them that 
selected scriptures from all the world’s sacred
scriptures are interpreted, almost exclusively,
by powerful male religious leaders, to
proclaim the lower status of women and
girls. This claim to inferiority spreads to the
secular world (as well) to justify… acts of 
discrimination and violence against women.

This includes rape, and other sexual abuse,
infanticide of newborn girls, and abortion of
female fetuses, a worldwide trafficking in
women and girls, and so-called honor killings
of innocent women who are raped … as well
as less violent but harmful practices of lower
pay and fewer promotions for women and
greater political advantages for men.

In Australia, I called upon believers, whether
Protestant, Catholic, Coptic, Jew. Muslim,
Buddhist, Hindu, or tribal, to study these
violations and to take corrective action.

(In the following pages I will share discoveries 
I have continued to make since then.)

I will explore the links between religion-based
assertions of male dominance over women, as
well as the ways that our “culture of violence”
contributes to the denial of women’s rights.

(There has always been violence in the world)
but there is a difference today. We have 
visionary standards adopted by the global
community that espouse peace and human
rights, and global communications of violations
has become much more extensive and effective.)

Pope Francis stated in August of 2013 -
“Faith and violence are incompatible.” 

This powerful statement exalting peace and 
compassion is one in which all faiths can agree.

In this book, I want to include the statements 
of many others who will offer a rich array of
ideas and perspectives on the subject.

My Thoughts:

I have collected, read and reviewed many of
Jimmy Carter’s books over the years and am
grateful that, even in his eighties, Carter can
continue to write and speak with such clarity
and relevance. 

Will this be his last testament? I hope not.
But even if it is, this book – dedicated to the
theme of human rights which has been
the subject of many of his books – will be
worthy of his enduring legacy.

Few American presidents have added to
the literature of life and liberty that Carter
has accomplished in his post-presidency.

Of particular value in this book is the
author’s study of sacred scripture, beginning
but not confined, to his own Christian Bible.
Carter knows his Christian scriptures, as
he is a Baptist, and has taught Sunday
School for decades. Over the years, however,
he has read the Hebrew and Islamic scriptures
as well. He has studied them in the context
of inter-faith dialogue and study.

He expanded his scriptural vision to many
Eastern religious writings to add breadth
and depth to this study. There are few
political leaders around the world with
Carter’s grasp of the Bible and the other
sacred writings of humanity.

Another benefit of reading this book is
the fact that he is not politically naive -
even though he has a spiritual heart.
Carter has been on the world political
stage at various levels for many decades.
He had dealt with many serious problems,
made his share of mistakes, and most
importantly – he has tried to learn from 
them. How many ex-politicians can be 
likewise credited?

Carter’s book is also evidence that a
person living in the “higher decades
of life” can still make a valuable
contribution to everyone. Not only
does he possess the wisdom of the
years, but also the refinement of
that wisdom as he continues to stay
engaged with issues that matter.

I need now to just begin to say that this 
is a  book I will treasure, try to understand,
and integrate into my behavior as a male.
Male or female, I hope you might too.

Buy the book from


Dr. Wayne Holst teaches religion and culture at the University of Calgary and  helps  to co-ordinates Adult Spiritual Development  at St. David’s United Church in that city.


Colleagues List, Vol. IX, No. 32,  April 6th, 2014



‘Grapes of Wrath’ is 75, but its depictions of poverty are timeless

Posted on: April 15th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Books, Reviews


‘Grapes of Wrath’ is 75, but its depictions of poverty are timeless

Seventy-five years later, The Grapes of Wrath still isn’t universally loved — it remains one of the most frequently banned books in this country. But, as NPR reports, it’s also a powerful reminder of a past that no one really wants to see repeated.


Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, News & Ideas, April 15, 2014

Welby & Hiltz discuss issues of sexuality, reconciliation

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews


By Marites N. Sison



Archbishop Fred Hiltz hosted a dinner for the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his wife, Caroline, at St. James’ Cathedral Centre. Guests included “a host of people from Canada who are so deeply committed to the works of the Anglican Communion,” said Hiltz. Photo: Michael Hudson 

When Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby met with the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, he was “very interested” in the work of the Anglican Church of Canada’s commission on the marriage canon because of the reality that the Church of England will have to wrestle with the issue of same-sex marriage following its legislation in the U.K.

“Notwithstanding the declared position of the Church of England at this moment, he [Welby] is very conscious, of course, that there’s going to be a fair amount of pressure from within the Church of England to at least have some discussion around that [same-sex marriage],” said Hiltz in an interview with the Anglican Journal. “He hoped that we would stay in touch over the work of the commission, [because] inside the Church of England, they will need to have the same conversation.”

Welby was also very interested in the issue of reconciliation as it relates to the history of the Canadian church’s relations with indigenous people and its involvement in the Indian Residential School System. “As he said now, in the Church of England, things are coming to light in terms of abuse in church schools…they’re kind of at that early stage,” and Welby wanted to know how the Canadian church responded.  “They’re compelled [to respond] and they will not stand in anyone’s way,” said Hiltz, adding that Welby was interested in the church’s 1993 apology to former residential school students for the harm and pain inflicted through the schools.

On the issue of the marriage canon, Hiltz said Welby was “very appreciative” that the commission will conduct a broad consultation across the Anglican Communion and with its ecumenical partners on the matter of changing the Canadian Anglican church’s marriage canon (church law) to allow same-sex marriage.

When it met in 2013, General Synod—the church’s governing body—passed a resolution to bring a motion concerning same-sex marriage to its next meeting in 2016. Resolution C003 asked the Council of General Synod (CoGS)—the church’s governing body between General Synods—to prepare and present a motion to change the church’s Canon 21 on marriage “to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples.”

During their two-hour meeting April 8, Hiltz said Welby was interested in how the church has dealt with the conflict over human sexuality, in particular, how the 2010 General Synod in Halifax dealt with the issue in a non-parliamentary manner and how there has been “continuing conversation” about the matter. Hiltz quoted Welby as having said, “You’re actually on the frontline of where we’re going to be eventually. You’ve been on a journey; it hasn’t been an easy [one]— it has been conflicted at times, but you stuck with it.”

In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Welby said he found Hiltz “a particularly helpful, thoughtful and challenging interlocutor, and someone who seems to be able to unlock and unpick issues that were weighing on my mind.”

Welby had also inquired about how the church was prepared to deal with the impact of the resolution in 2016—regardless of its outcome.

“It’s just a reality that when things move, one way or another, that there would be some dioceses or parishes looking for some model of episcopal leadership,” said Hiltz, adding that he informed him about the church’s shared episcopal ministry model. “I told him that it’s in place, [but] it has only been enacted and effective in one diocese—Montreal.”

Hiltz said he informed Welby about the Canadian church’s long history of “bending over backwards to hold people in dialogue, to create provisions for everybody to stay in the fold…”

Overall, Hiltz described Welby’s visit as “good,” saying that he thought it provided the Archbishop of Canterbury “a sense of the commitment of the Canadian church to the Communion.”

Hiltz said that the dinner he hosted for Welby was an opportunity for him to meet “a host of people from Canada who are so deeply committed to the various works of the Anglican Communion…to get a sense [that they] have a broad, global view of the church.”

About 70 people who gathered at the dinner, held at St. James’ Cathedral Centre, included Canadian Anglicans who serve or have served in various capacities the Anglican Communion and its networks.

“One of the blessings of the visit is that he has heard things about all of us and says we’re very diverse, even within our church…,” said Hiltz. “He was leaving us knowing of our deep commitment to preserving the unity of the church as best we can, being prophetic as best we can, being committed to the life and witness of the Communion.”


Anglican Journal News, April 10, 2014

Anglican women: “Gender equality key to sustainable development framework”

Posted on: April 12th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews


The delegation was made up of 20 representatives from around the Anglican Communion
Photo Credit: Caitlin Beck

By Terrie Robinson, Anglican Communion Office 

Without gender equality none of the Millennium Development Goals or proposed sustainable development goals will be accomplished. This was the conclusion of the Anglican Communion delegation of women who attended the recent 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) in New York.

Their statement released today acknowledges hard-won gains for women and girls in recent years but points out that women make up two-thirds of the 1.4 billion people currently living in extreme poverty, while one in three women experiences violence in her lifetime.

The group stated: “Gender equality and women’s rights are the essential precursors to meeting global challenges, which have disproportionate and burdensome impacts on women and girls.”

The delegation, made up of 20 representatives from around the Anglican Communion, welcomed the CSW58 recommendation to Member States that gender equality and women’s empowerment should be reflected as a stand-alone goal in the post-2015 international development framework, and be integrated through targets and indicators into all goals.

The statement was clear: “Achieving gender equality requires equal access by women and girls to education, employment and income generating activities, health care, land and resources, as well as equal contribution to decision-making and peace-building processes and post-disaster responses.”

The statement also carried a clear message about the role and potential of Anglican churches in partnering with UN and Member State agencies and making their own contributions to sustainable development, “The churches of the Anglican Communion have a vital part to play in exemplifying the transformation we long to see by transfiguring our communities and ending suffering”. 

For the full text of the statement, below and also


The priority theme for the 2014 session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women was “Challenges and Achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls”.


Women’s Empowerment: A Gospel issue

The priority theme for the 2014 session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW58) was “Challenges and Achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls”.

We are at a historic point in global development and understanding as we review the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), move toward the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 (Beijing+20), and negotiate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015-2030. Despite hard-won gains, women currently account for about two-thirds of the 1.4 billion people who live in extreme poverty. One in three women experience violence in their lifetime. Gender equality and women’s rights are the essential precursors to meeting global challenges, which have disproportionate and burdensome impacts on women and girls. These include:

  • poverty and hunger
  • access to healthcare, especially neonatal and post natal care and non-communicable diseases
  • climate change and environmental degradation
  • the prevalence of sexual and gender based violence
  • the need for universal birth registration.

Achieving gender equality requires equal access by women and girls to education, employment and income generating activities, health care, land and resources, as well as equal contribution to decision-making and peace-building processes and post-disaster responses. Long hours were spent negotiating the language of the agreement and focusing on the importance of a stand-alone goal for women and girls’ equality. Without equality none of the MDGs or proposed SDGs will be accomplished.

The Anglican Communion delegation therefore is truly pleased that the Agreement reached by the UN Commission on the Status of Women confirmed the need for a stand-alone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the set of international targets. The Agreement also stated that gender equality must underpin all other goals and includes strong language against violence against women and girls. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women, said the Commission’s agreement to call for a stand-alone goal on gender equality represented “a milestone toward a transformative global development agenda that puts the empowerment of women and girls at its centre”.

Cross-sector partnerships can speed up the pace of change. Faith-based organisations are increasingly perceived as key partners. The churches of the Anglican Communion have a vital part to play in exemplifying the transformation we long to see by transfiguring our communities and ending suffering. The gospel passage chosen by Anglicans leading morning worship in the UN Church Centre was from Luke 1 – Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and her great song of praise, empowerment and hope. Just as that was a time of enlightenment, so we trust that this Commission will lead to greater global understanding of women’s inequality and preparedness to speak out and for gender equity.

We thank the leadership of the Anglican Communion for the opportunity to join with 6000 women from around the globe and spend two weeks focused on the Status of Women. We are particularly grateful for the opportunity to meet and share with our Anglican sisters, as well as sisters from other Christian traditions, and other faiths. Uniting with women from very diverse contexts was an extraordinary learning experience that we will each take back to our communities.

We are sincerely grateful to Rachel Chardon for the support and assistance provided by the Anglican Communion Office at the UN; Beth Adamson whose generous facilitation ensured that we engaged fully with CSW and its opportunities for advocacy and learning; the staff of the Episcopal Church Center; the women of The Episcopal Church for their generous hospitality and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori for the her warm welcome.

We return to our communities with new vision and renewed passion. When God is with us, “there is nothing we can’t do to heal, to save, to advocate, to transform.”(Deborah Rosenbloom, Jewish Women International).


Sarah Jane Bachelard – Anglican Church of Australia
Sandra Andrade Igreja – Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
Florence Sarkar – Church of Bangladesh
Caitlin Reilley Beck – Anglican Church of Canada
Faith Gandiya – Church of the Province of Central Africa
Mugisa Isingoma – Province de L’Eglise Anglicane du Congo
Rachel Aston – Church of England
Terese Wong – Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui
Marie Pierrette Bezara – The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
Keiko Murai, Akane Shinoda – Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Japan)
Esther Lee – Anglican Church of Korea
Kaufo’ou Leveni, Ana Maria Lamositele – Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia
Ayra Indiryas – Church of Pakistan
Immaculée Nyiransengimana – Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda
Elaine Cameron – Scottish Episcopal Church
Granny Seape, Louisa Mojela – Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Lucille Pilling  - The Episcopal Church


Anglican Communion News Service [ACNS], April 8, 2014

Anglican-Lutheran shared offices transforming mission

Posted on: April 12th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews


By Erin Green

The 2001 Waterloo Declaration brought the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) into full communion. Since that time, the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission (JALC) has typically met twice a year  to explore ways the two churches can work together at local, regional, and national levels.

The most recent JALC meeting received a report of flourishing full communion relationships in Winnipeg, MB, where the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land and the ELCIC’s Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod have since last summer shared offices at the newly christened Anglican Lutheran Centre.

Almost one year into the new living arrangement, Anglican Bishop Donald Phillips and Lutheran Bishop Elaine Sauer are eager to share lessons learned and successes from life together at 935 Nesbitt Bay.

From the Lutheran perspective, the July 2013 move has been quite comfortable. “As the person who moved into the office,” says Sauer, “the transition went quite smoothly. There’s a lot of warmth and welcoming happening here.” Her Anglican counterpart agrees. Phillips remembers how receptive Anglican diocesan staff were to the proposal and that they “latched onto the idea of a shared office very quickly.”

The staff teams are delighting in finding opportunities for ecumenical collaboration. They share in activities ranging from coordinating joint study days for Anglican and Lutheran clergy, to mid-week celebrations of the Holy Eucharist, to shoveling snow from the office steps.

The dozen or so people who work at the Anglican Lutheran Centre are also open to negotiating the partnership as it evolves. The bishops noted, for example, that at first there were monthly joint staff meetings. These were later scaled back as staff got to know each other and settled into working relationships.

The bishops believe this initiative will be a seed for growth elsewhere in their churches. This vision is supported through close collaboration at the centre, including shared communication through their respective newspapers, Rupert’s Land News and the MNO Crossword. Sauer says she hopes congregations will think about ministry and learn to always ask, “How might we do that together? Who can we do this with?”

While the practical benefits of shared office spaces are clear, Phillips and Sauer also emphasize the importance of mission and ministry at the Anglican Lutheran Centre. “The driving force in this is how we can be the best disciples of Jesus Christ,” says Philips, “and how we can further this mission in our local and global neighbourhoods.” Sauer agrees and adds, “This has been the whole cornerstone of our relationship. What we can do together, we can do better.”


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, April 11, 2014

The Journey is a Shared One: Anglican, Lutheran leaders reflect on Truth and Reconciliation

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By Erin Green


The seventh and final national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission took place in Edmonton, AB, from March 27 to 30, 2014. The event drew thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together for survivor statement gathering, listening and learning, celebration of Indigenous culture, and expressions of reconciliation.

The Edmonton event also saw broadening church participation, including a first expression of reconciliation from Anglican full communion partners the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). While the ELCIC and its predecessors were not directly involved in Indian Residential Schools, they now join in truth and reconciliation processes.

The Lutheran expression of reconciliation included a copy of a 2011 National Convention resolution encouraging right relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and a pottery pitcher given to honoured guests at that same event.

Offering this expression as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reaches the end of its mandate was fitting for the ELCIC. “This timing allowed our resolution the maximum amount of time to bear fruit,” reflected Johnson. “We’re starting to see actions taking place and people are taking on the work of reconciliation. It has felt like enough of a beginning that today making an expression felt real, felt appropriate.”

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, was especially appreciative of the ELCIC gesture. Watching it take place “felt wonderful,” said Hiltz. “When we declared full communion in 2011, we said we’d take an interest in one another’s churches. The Spirit has been calling our church toward renewed relationships with Indigenous people and to have a full communion partner that takes as much interest in something that has been such a huge priority for our church feels good. It feels like a real partnership.”

This moment in Anglican-Lutheran relationships reminded Hiltz of the 2013 Joint Assembly theme – Together for the Love of the World. “This partnership is not just for the benefit of our churches,” he said. “It’s for the benefit of something bigger and opens eyes and hearts to a world out there that is crying for love . . . that is crying for Gospel.”

Johnson echoed Hiltz’s appreciation of the strong Edmonton showing of Anglican-Lutheran relationship, “When I asked people in my church to stand, Anglicans stood too.”

The Anglican Church of Canada offered a timeline of evolving relationships between Indigenous people and the church as an expression of reconciliation. It covers more than five hundred years of history and ends with a call for individuals to join their church and society in moving towards right relations.

In light of this expression, Hiltz reflected on what future markers on the timeline might be. He named education and justice as priorities for the church. In particular, Hiltz was struck by the number of references made in Edmonton to education and the role it plays in reconciliation. He expressed hope that every theological college in the country would contribute to reconciliation through education. In the future, he said, “you don’t get a Master of Divinity degree without some knowledge of residential schools and the churches’ responses to it. If we’re going to go forward, clergy and laity need to know this history.”

On the justice front, Hiltz hopes the timeline will show “our church making some very significant moves in working with Indigenous people for adequate housing and healthcare, particularly mental healthcare, and making progress against the trend of missing and murdered Indigenous women.”

The future of reconciliation is also taking shape in the ELCIC. The expression of reconciliation is a springboard for the 2015 National Convention. Johnson expects this to be “a real time to share exciting creative initiatives  that will act like yeast and leaven the rest of the church.” She is also looking forward to “learning how our full communion relationship starts to become an echo of Aboriginal understanding of ‘all my relations’ – what you experience, we experience.”

As spiritual leaders for their churches, Hiltz and Johnson also seek theological resources for reconciliation. Johnson sees scripture “full of a call to reconciliation – with your neighbour, with yourself, and with your actions.” In particular, she names Matthew 5:23-24 as critical in her understanding of reconciliation: “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to them, and then come and present your offering.”

Hiltz turns to the images of Christ found in the teachings of St. Paul. In particular that God was in Jesus Christ, and through this God and humanity are reconciled. He recalls also “all the ways in which Christ reached out to people and brought people together for a greater purpose – to find new life and to find new relations with one another and with God.”

On the long journey of hearing truth and prayerfully working for reconciliation, Johnson and Hiltz are in agreement. “It really helps to have a brother in Christ and sister church to go through the process with,” concludes Johnson. Hiltz echoes the sentiment and adds, “And for me, it is very meaningful to have a sister in Christ and sister church that has seen how long the journey has been in our church, and to recognize that it has not been easy, but now the journey is a shared one.”

To read ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson’s presentation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, please click here.

To read remarks by Archbishop Fred Hiltz at the Alberta National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, please click here.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, April 9. 2014

Human trafficking brings shame to humanity, UN Special Rapporteur tells an ecumenical consultation

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews


Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, at an ecumenical consultation in Sri Lanka
Photo Credit: WCC/Semegnish Asfaw

[WCC] In an ecumenical consultation held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, called human trafficking a criminal activity, on rapid increase in the world. Ezeilo said that not a single country or entity has yet been able to stop this practice, and the magnitude of this problem is enormous.

Ezeilo said the “responsibility of faith-based organizations in addressing human trafficking, together with governments, UN agencies and civil society, is paramount”.

Ezeilo shared these views at the consultation, titled “Migration and Human Trafficking: Modern Slavery?”, organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Christian Conference of Asia. The event, held from 4 to 8 April, was hosted by the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka.

The consultation gathered participants from Africa, Asia, the Arabian Gulf, Australia and Europe.

In her inaugural address, Ezeilo said that the increasing trend of “human trafficking is adding shame to humanity.” In many parts of the world human trafficking is organized by criminal syndicates for organ transplantation and sexual exploitation of women and children, she noted.

Bishop Philip Huggins, chair of the Migrant and Refugee Working Group of the Anglican Church of Australia, stressed the urgency of addressing the issue of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a humanitarian crisis causing immense suffering. Addressing this issue effectively requires unprecedented cooperation between religious leaders, their organizations, along with UN agencies and governments,” said Bishop Huggins.

Dr Chibuzo Raphael Opoko, bishop of the Methodist Church in Nigeria and member of the WCC’s Executive and Central Committees, spoke about the situation of child trafficking in Nigeria. He said that, in Nigeria, cases have been reported from hospitals, orphanages and clinics where teenage and single mothers were often forced into illegal bonding agreements.

Dr Mathews George Chunakara, director of the CCIA, addressed the thematic plenary on “Migrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking: Towards an Ecumenical Global Advocacy”. Mathews George said that human trafficking is a phenomenon intimately linked to transnational migration. The rights and security of migrant workers require special protection as they continue to face blatant human rights violations and exploitation by organized criminal groups.

“Faith-based organizations in many countries are taking leading roles in preventing human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Therefore, there is a considerable scope for developing an ecumenical advocacy to address human trafficking more comprehensively,” he added.

Sophia Wirsching from Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World, Germany) shared “best practices” in addressing human trafficking. She said that it is “necessary to de-link trafficking in human beings from cross-border irregular migration.”

“Anti-trafficking engagements should contribute to de-stigmatization and de-criminalization of victims of trafficking in order to improve their legal status and well-being,” she said.

WCC statement on asylum seekers and human trafficking in the Sinai Desert

Minute on the rights of migrants and migrant workers

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs


Anglican Communion News Service [ACNS], April 7, 2014

Commission begins work on proposed marriage canon revision

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews




The Commission on the Marriage Canon met for the first time April 3-4, 2014, at the offices of the General Synod in Toronto.

The eight commissioners, who come from across Canada and from varied backgrounds, began their day and a half together by becoming acquainted with one another, and by reviewing in detail their task as mandated by Resolution C003 of the 2013 General Synod and the terms of reference established by the Council of General Synod.

A process for inviting submissions to the commission from the church at large was agreed to and details about the broad consultation envisaged by the General Synod resolution will be announced in the near future.

The members of the commission also discussed what background resources will assist them in their assigned task of determining a way to amend the marriage canon “to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite- sex couples” while at the same time ensuring that no one “should be constrained to participate in or authorize such marriages against the dictates of their conscience.”

A timeline for the commission’s work was also agreed to. A progress report will be made to the upcoming meeting of the Council of General Synod.

Members of the Commission on the Marriage Canon

Canon Robert Falby (chair)
Dr. Patricia Bays
The Very Rev. Kevin Dixon
The Rev. Dr. Paul Friesen
The Rev. Paul Jennings
Dr. Stephen Martin
The Rt. Rev. Linda Nicholls
The Most Rev. John Privett

The Ven. Bruce Myers (clerk)


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, April 7, 2014

Church’s mission analysed at Finnish church consultation

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews


Kyriaki Avtzi, the WCC’s programme executive for evangelism in Järvenpää, Finland
Photo Credit: Joanna Lindén-Montes

From the World Council of Churches


Embracing the holistic view of mission as “koinonia” (being in communion with God, all peoples and the whole of creation) has become more than bringing the good news to others, said Kyriaki Avtzi, the World Council of Churches (WCC) programme executive on evangelism, while addressing the theme “Your Kingdom Come” at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) partnership consultation.

“It is the eagerness to receive back the good news as the gospel of life is embedded in different contexts,” she said.

Avtzi shared these reflections on 2 April in her paper titled The Mission of the Church in the Changing Landscapes of the 21st century, presented at the ELCF consultation in Järvenpää, Finland.

Speaking of factors changing the global landscapes, Avtzi mentioned growth of churches in the global South-East, running parallel to an opposite trend in the North-West. With this phenomenon, she said, “new mission churches emerge introducing new expressions of witnessing to the gospel, through different cultural as well as theological interpretations of the Bible.”

Avtzi said that mission is “promptness to understand that God’s Spirit is indeed working across cultures, churches and religions”. Human beings come to life, are sustained in life, and anticipate eternal life because of the infinite love of a life-giving God whose mission extends beyond any human boundaries.

Avtzi went on to say, “The prophetic dimension of mission necessitates the building of relationships not only with God but also with people; irrespectively of their social, cultural, religious identities.”

The ELCF works with seven mission organizations that have more than three hundred missionaries serving around the world. The consultation gathered ELFC partner churches, representatives of ecumenical organizations like the WCC, the Lutheran World Federation, the Conference of European Churches and Finnish organizations.

Read full text of Kyriaki Avtzi’s presentation at the ELFC consultation

“Your Kingdom Come” ELFC partnership consultation 2014

Ecumenical perspectives on mission and unity


Anglican Communion News Service [ACNS], April 3, 2014