Lift Every Voice – A sneak peak at Cape Town

A Sneak Peak of Cape Town, South Africa

Lift Every Voice is a three-year ministry designed to build an understanding of social injustice that will help participating young people develop a vision and skills to lead their dioceses’ programming around race and inclusivity.  The second year, Lift Every Voice, 2016, will be held at the Christian Brothers Centre near Cape Town, South Africa, July 3-10, 2016. The focus of the conference for 2016 will be on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation process, strengthening our “listening skills” of others’ stories and discerning how to respond to these stories as disciples of change.

Here are some informative links including the video above introduce you to the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, though we will not be visiting any wineries! Several other links are documentaries on South Africa’s history, on Apartheid and on the Townships in Cape Town. Review our itinerary to identify some of the places we will be visiting while in Cape Town, such as Robben Island, Table Mountain, Waterfront market, Townships and more. Useful Links

Follow the Lift Every Voice group as they travel to Cape Town, South Africa this summer by joining the Facebook Group.

For more information visit the Lift Every Voice Website.

Advent: Journey from Gratitude to Hope – United Thank Offering

#Gratitude2Hope#AdventChallenge (2)
The Board of the United Thank Offering has presented a challenge to The Episcopal Church, Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to benefit a special grant of $30,000 for Episcopal Migration Ministries.

Through Advent: Journey from Gratitude to Hope Episcopalians are being called to support refugee welcome in the United States through the 2015 Ingathering Challenge. United Thank Offering will match the first $30,000 given by December 31, 2015 that is marked “EMM-UTO.”  The challenge will continue throughout December 2015.

Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in The Episcopal Church.

Each year the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, through its Episcopal Migration Ministries refugee resettlement service and a network of local organizations, faith communities and volunteers, welcomes 5,000 refugees to more than 30 communities across the United States. Refugees arrive in the United States having fled from the most violent and war-torn places on earth. With just a few months of support to get started, refugees become productive, resilient members of our society and economy.

“Episcopal Migration Ministries is thankful for the generosity of the United Thank Offering,” noted Deborah Stein, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. “This is the same hope that every refugee embraces as they undertake the treacherous journey away from war, away from violence, away from certain death. It is hope that drives every refugee to journey to new life away from everything they know in a faraway place like the United States.”

To Donate

Checks or online donations should have UTO-EMM in the memo line/comments section. Checks can be sent to:

United Thank Offering
DFMS – Protestant Episcopal Church US
P.O. Box 958983
St. Louis, MO 63195-8983

Donations are also accepted online at https://episcopalchurch.thankyou4caring.org/  just select UTO from the drop down menu and then put EMM in the comments.

More information

For more information contact Melton.

#Gratitude2Hope

#UTOBlueBox

Lift Every Voice, 2016 Application Open

image001Lift Every Voice is a three-year ministry, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, designed to build an understanding of social injustice that will help participating young people develop a vision and skills to lead their dioceses’ programming around race and inclusivity. The second year, Lift Every Voice, 2016, will be held at the Christian Brothers Centre near Cape Town, South Africa, July 3-10, 2016. The focus of the conference for 2016 will be on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation process, strengthening our “listening skills” of others’ stories and discerning how to respond to these stories as disciples of change.

LEV 2016 Application Form for US Applicants

Download Flyer for LEV, 2016

Applications are due by Dec. 15th. Primary consideration will be given to youth aged 16-22. The 2016 application is open to all; those who attended last year and apply will have priority. Any available spots will then be open to adults through January 6th, 2016

Contact: Beth Crow, Lift Every Voice Coordinator beth.crow@episdionc.org 1-919-208-0438

http://lifteveryvoice.dionc.org/

Continuing the Lesson: Civil Rights Sunday, September 15

Rob JohnsonToday I am pleased to welcome Rob Johnson as guest blogger. Rob is a longtime friend, fellow youth minister, and advocate for social change. Rob teaches Religion and Project Adventure at Breck School, an Episcopal, coeducational, college prep school in Minneapolis. He also serves as the Sunday Morning Youth Coordinator at Trinity Episcopal Church, Excelsior.

——————————–

Faith Communities Are Essential to Continuing the Work of Justice

Have you seen the movie Four Little Girls? It’s the story of the four young members of 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham in 1963 who were killed when their church was bombed. The documentary chronicles the civil rights demonstrations occurring before and after the young girls’ murder in the church. The people involved in the demonstrations took up the unenviable task of trying to end the entrenched system of discrimination and segregation in Birmingham 50 years ago.

Civil Rights SundayThe Civil Rights Movement has become one of the most defining eras for our country. The energy and power of the Movement has been an example for “peoples’ movements” around the world. It is also an example of the power of religious congregations, as many faith communities mobilized to do the work of standing up to segregation.

But of course, not all religious communities initially got involved in the resistance. Many Christian churches famously did not get involved until quite late. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail was a response to an open letter from eight clergymen who argued the demonstrations shouldn’t happen – “unwise and untimely” was how they described the civil rights work.

It might seem unfair to judge actions with the hindsight of history. However, if anyone has the responsibility – the duty – of responding when others fail, it is faith communities, specifically the Christian church.

Faith communities need to be pushing the work of fighting and ending injustices in our country, and indeed the world. Christians need to educate themselves and their young people on where injustices like misogyny, genocide, human trafficking, racism, and so many others, continue to exist. And with that education, they need to be taking action.

50 years later, on the anniversary of the Birmingham bombing, faith communities across the Episcopal Church will be involved in Civil Rights Sunday. Most sources agree that September 15, 1963 was a Youth Sunday at 16th Street Baptist Church and that the lesson was “A Love that Forgives,” based on Matthew 5:43-44 (though some sources say it was Luke 23:34).

This Sunday, faith communities are asked to set aside the lectionary to continue the lesson, “A Love that Forgives,” that was so brutally interrupted.

I encourage you to use creativity to consider the ways in which you can incorporate this lesson into your Sunday curriculum. Ask yourself:

  • What in this reading speaks to you about how we are called to be as Christians? Consider using Gospel Based Discipleship as a way to discern the ways you individually and communally are called into this ministry.
  • How have your youth experienced racism, sexism, or classism in their schools or neighborhoods? How can you inspire them to respond the next time they encounter injustice?
  • What is relevant locally and how can your faith community make a difference? Consider as a starting point what action your church is already taking. How can you build from there?

Here are some resources that might be useful: