National League 2 North round 6 review

first_imgLoughborough Students’ stay of absence from the summit of Two North lasted only one week after they ran in nine tries in a 67-27 win over Kendal toleapfrog Fylde in the table. Minus Jason Robinson, who failed a late fitness test, Fylde slipped to their first defeat of the season at home to Leicester Lions.The Lions won 32-30 and they now lie in third, just behind Westoe. A first half try double for Matt Smith helped Westoe to a 27-19 win over Harrogate.The Lions and Westoe put their 100% records on the line when they meet each other at Lutterworth Road on Saturday, while Loughborough will be mindful ofthe attacking threat posed by Harrogate. Fylde travel to Nuneaton who are still searching for their first win and were well- beaten at Huddersfield last time out.Huddersfield, 57-13 winners, easily preserved their unbeaten home record and wing James Wood grabbed a hat- trick. They are now seventh – one point and LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Mark Pease scored twice as Morley followed up last week’s encouraging display against Loughborough with their first win of the season: a 27-14 success atbasement side Manchester. Morley will be confident of doubling up against Rugby Lions while Manchester travel to Kendal.center_img one place above Hull – their next opponent.Preston Grasshoppers notched 50 points for the second successive week in winning 50-24 at Rugby Lions. ‘Hoppers now host a Hull Ionians side whose ownrecent good form came to a halt against Luctonians. Luctonians play Caldy.last_img read more

Schalk Brits – Saracens and South Africa

first_img Schalk Brits He’s been named player of the 2009/2010 season, a fitting title for a man thats had alot to prove. Rugby World caught up with ‘Twinkle Toes’ to chat about cars going missing, living in the northern hemisphere and finishing his studies. RUGBY WORLD: Who are the jokers in the Saracens squad?SCHALK BRITS: Definitely Goodey (Alex Goode) and Saully (Andy Saull) to a certain extent, and then Glen (Jackson) had his humour.RW: Can you tell us any practical jokes?SB: Skusey (Richard Skuse) takes Vaseline and puts it on your car door handles. I’ve put sticky spray on people’s windows before. Cars get hidden after training too, so it takes you ages to find them. There’s a lot of space to hide cars!RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?SB: Juandre Kruger and Mouritz Botha having a go at each other in a game last season and both getting a yellow card without even throwing a punch! And Glen Jackson going off at every single ref. He’s going to get it dished out if he ever referees in the northern hemisphere!RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?SB: Intelligence, if that’s a superpower. It’s between that and speed, and wanting to solve a lot of problems like the economy, the oil spill… On a lighter note, teleporting would be nice. No flights, no waiting in queues. Cool!RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?SB: Scaletrix. Four years ago I bought a massive set for Ernst Joubert’s birthday. We only used  it three times and it was a lot of money!RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?SB: Photos, my dogs Zoe and Mila, and my fiancée Colinda, but the rest can burn!RW: What are your nicknames?SB: I was called Smiley in South Africa because I smile a lot. I’ve been called Twinkle Toes before, but I don’t like that one much!Sights, Snow and Studies…RW: Any phobias?SB: I really dislike snakes. On the golf courses in South Africa there are a lot of snakes and if you go into the bush to look for your ball you just see the movement. It’s the most scary thing!RW: What’s the best thing about living in the UK?SB: The people are amazing. And you can travel anywhere from London. This year I’ve been to Rome, Portugal, Croatia, Paris…RW: And the worst? SB: London has the most amazing summer but the worst winter! Coming from Cape Town, it rains a lot, but this year here has been freezing. We played some games in the snow and it was frozen solid against Leeds – it’s been a whole new experience!RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?SB: Any of my rugby mates; I could talk to them for hours. And I’ve never met Nelson Mandela but I’d like to be stuck in a lift with him!RW: Any bad habits?SB: I’m forgetful. I’ve lost a lot of shades, wallets and cables. Right now I can’t find my shaver’s cable!RW: What couldn’t you live without?SB: A toothbrush. And I like my music so my iPod – the only music I’m not really into is jazz. And my MacBook.RW: Who’s your perfect woman?SB: Colinda! She has to be independent, loving and intelligent.RW: Any regrets?SB: The Premiership final is a regret, and I wouldn’t have minded coming to England a bit earlier. But no, I live in the moment.RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?SB: At Stellenbosch I studied accountancy and at the moment I’m doing CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). I wouldn’t mind finishing that.RW: When was the last time you creased up?SB: I’ve smiled a lot during this conversation, but otherwise on a sailing trip round Croatia with friends this summer. There are a lot of good memories from that trip, having a couple of beers and talking rubbish to the boys!Check out his profile for South AfricaScoring a cheeky try… LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Saracens Learn more about Schalk’s teammates at Saracens…David Strettlelast_img read more

Samoan George Stowers heading to Ospreys

first_img“George will bring a real physical presence to our back-row, and as we experienced ourselves in the two games against London Irish in the Heineken Cup, he provides a real nuisance value, making life incredibly difficult for the opposition with his high work-rate.“He is also a proven leader with experience of captaincy at international level, and we’ve no doubt that he will prove to be a real asset to the Ospreys over the next two years. As a player who has made a huge impact in England during the last two seasons, we are extremely pleased to have secured his services and we look forward to welcoming him to Ospreylia.” Back-rower Stowers scoring for IrishThe Ospreys are delighted to confirm that Samoan international back-rower George Stowers has signed a two-year contract with the region.A powerful runner at 1.88m tall and weighing 112kg, he is renowned for his ferocity in the tackle and contact area, as well as being a skilful ball handler. Equally effective at number eight or blindside flanker, he will join the Ospreys next season after two years in the Aviva Premiership with London Irish.Having moved to Auckland as a teenager, Apia born Stowers played for Pukekohe RFC before progressing to Counties Manukau in the NPC, and then into the Waikato Chiefs Super 12 squad for the 2000 season. Two years later he moved to Japan to play for the Kobe club, where he stayed for seven years until moving to the Madejski Stadium to play for Irish in 2009. To date, he has made 40 appearances for the Exiles, scoring six tries. Two of his 23 appearances this season came against the Ospreys in the Heineken Cup.Stowers’ international debut came against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in November 2001, but he had to wait seven years for his next cap, which came in a Pacific Nations Cup match against Fiji in June 2008. Since then he has been a regular in the Samoa starting XV, earning 20 caps to date, with three tries to his credit. He has captained his country on seven occasions, including the narrow 17-13 loss to Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2009.Speaking after signing for the Ospreys, Stowers commented:“I’m excited about signing for the Ospreys and what looks like an exciting challenge ahead. I’ve spoken at length to the coaches about their vision for the team, had a good look around the first class facilities there, and I’m really looking forward to being able to play a part in what they are trying to achieve. TAGS: London IrishOspreys LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img “I’ve played against the Ospreys twice this season so I know a bit about the squad there, and from what I’ve seen of them over the last few months in the LV= Cup and the Magners League, there’s strength in depth with some really good youngsters coming through that I can help develop.“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to be part of a forward thinking and ambitious set-up, and it’s an exciting move for me, personally and professionally, that will allow me to experience rugby in new environments.”Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, said: READING, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: George Stowers of London Irish celebrates as he scores a try during the Aviva Premiership match between London Irish and Sale Sharks at the Madejski Stadium on October 31, 2010 in Reading, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) last_img read more

Rugby Book Review – Rugby in the 19th Century

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The Armchair Zone with Alan Pearey – Deputy EditorRugby School pupils dressed in 19th century garb during the 1991 World CupThere have been some cracking rugby history books down the years, but never have we been treated to rugby writing by the men who were there at the time. Until now.This collection of 17 contemporary essays from the 19th century is not consistently interesting – the advice on on-field positions, for example, is similar to the modern day – but the good stuff shouldn’t be missed.The principal author, Bertram Fletcher Robinson, was a three-time Cambridge Blue and his description of a typical match day in Yorkshire puts you right in the shoes of an 1890s club player: cold beef and beer for lunch, taking a drag to the ground, no pre-match practice so as not to spoil the ‘entrance’, and shouts of “Come on you men, play up!” by the captain.The 1890s was the time of the Great Schism, after a row about broken-time payments. Robinson and leading players of the day not only spell out their arguments for an amateur code but champion rugby’s value as a character-building athletic pursuit, decry sport as an exhibition (“exercise for 30 men is a poor return for the idleness of 30,000”) and suggest ways in which it could be improved.Never pass in your own 25 unless you can pass like a Welshman, argues England cap RH Cattell. Abolish heeling, says his colleague HB Tristram, because once the ball is out all the forwards are offside! He contends that our friends across the pond understood this and so gave birth to American Football.The book, an original copy of which costs £250, was compiled by a scientist, Paul R Spiring, who spent three years researching Robinson’s life for the introduction. RW RATING 4/5BUY IT AT: RRP:  £14.99   PUBLISHED BY:  MX PublishingGot a rugby book or DVD you’d like us to review in the Armchair Zone? Email [email protected] article appeared in the June 2010 issue of Rugby World Magazine Do you want to buy the issue of Rugby World in which this article appeared? Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 visit perhaps you’d like a digital version of the magazine delivered direct to your PC, MAC or Ipad? If so click here. TAGS: Book Review last_img read more

France gamble by calling up inexperienced Remy Grosso

first_img France’s wing Remy Grosso attends a press conference ahead of France v Romania Uncapped Castres winger Remy Grosso replaces injured Yoann Huget in the France squad LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS He looked miles off the pace in the warm-up game with England at Twickenham, so Grosso has every chance of coming straight into the starting lineup for the pool decider against Ireland.The Castres winger is an intriguing prospect. He first caught the eye in a struggling Lyon side before a move that saw his career stall somewhat.Powerfully built and very strong, he’s in a similar mould to Huget, with a little less subtlety and obviously far less experience.With nine tries for Castres last season, he showed his nose for the try-line, and he already has one this year in three Top 14 games.He also spent the summer playing for France’s Sevens side as they made it to the Olympics with victories in the European qualifiers.center_img In four years in charge of France, Philippe Saint-André has used 82 players – one fewer than his predecessor Marc Lièvremont.Over the next fortnight, Saint-André should equal Lièvremont’s record after he called up uncapped winger Rémy Grosso to replace the injured Yoann Huget.The loss of the Toulouse winger is huge for les Bleus. While he is a controversial character, and his appearance in the tournament was not welcomed by all, Huget was in fine form.His combination of pace and power, as well as a mean sidestep, made him a threat for France, who are short of options out wide.It was on one of those trademark sidesteps that he suffered a torn ACL, and his season looks to be over as a result.That left Saint-André with just two wingers in his squad, the supremely talented if a little infuriating Noa Nakaitaci, and Bordeaux flyer Sofiane Guitoune.The latter was something of a surprise inclusion, having earned a call-up back in 2013 but has since suffered a string of injuries, making just one appearance during the Six Nations. That appeared to help him, and he’s looked very difficult to stop so far this season. He’ll miss Wednesday’s clash with Romania because of World Rugby’s replacement regulations, but expect him to have some fun against a poor Canada side in the third round of matches.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.last_img read more

Tendai Mtawarira on facing the British & Irish Lions

first_imgCan’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Tendai Mtawarira on facing the British & Irish LionsTendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira will go down in history as one of the most accomplished players of the professional era. Last year, the South Africa prop retired after winning a British & Irish Lions series, a Tri-Nations, a Rugby Championship and a World Cup over the course of an 11-year stint with the Springboks.Fans in the northern hemisphere may remember Mtawarira as the destroyer of English tightheads. He powered through Dan Cole in the 2019 World Cup final to give his forwards an edge and set the tone for a famous South African victory.Ten years earlier, he out-scrummaged the more fancied Phil Vickery to help the Boks win the set-pieces and ultimately a crucial first Test against the Lions.“It felt surreal running out onto that field to face the fabled Lions,” Mtawarira says. “I was desperate to make a mark as one of the youngest guys in the Bok team.“A lot was said in the media before the first Test about how they wanted to destroy us in the scrum. They saw that John Smit (the Springbok captain, who played most of his career at hooker) was starting at tighthead and that a young, relatively unknown player in myself was starting at loosehead. They thought they saw an opportunity – and ultimately they underestimated us.“And you know what? We took it personally,” Mtawarira adds, before breaking into one of his booming laughs.“I remember sitting there in the change room before the game. The front-rowers were getting fired up. Bismarck du Plessis told me that this was my moment to shine.“The training that week had been so intense, especially around the scrums and collisions. We were going out there to be as physical as possible. By the time that first whistle blew at Kings Park, I was ready to get stuck in. I unleashed the beast, so to speak, from the very first collision.”Head to head: Tendai Mtawarira prepares to pack down against Phil Vickery in the first Test (Getty Images)Mtawarira reveals that the plan was to go after Vickery at the scrum from the outset. The Boks felt that Vickery was the key to the tourists’ set-piece success. If they could nullify the tighthead, they could control the contest.“We’d done out homework on Vickery. He went into that series as pretty much the best tighthead on the planet. We knew we’d be in trouble at the scrum if he was allowed to settle and to get into a strong position to win the hit.“So we looked to disrupt him. I got a strong bind and used everything I had to get under him. While I was going after Vickery, Bismarck did his best to block the other front-rowers from lending Vickery assistance on that side.“We really surprised them as a unit. We did that at the first scrum, and at the second. We did it again, and again. They had no response. We grew in confidence as the contest progressed and the rest, as they say, is history.”Gary Gold – the current USA head coach – served as the Springbok forwards coach between 2008 and 2011. He still gets goosebumps when he’s asked to talk about the day that Mtawarira took down an England legend at Kings Park.“I’ve been coaching for more than 20 years. In all that time, I haven’t witnessed a bigger game-changing moment than when Beast destroyed Vickery in that first Test,” says Gold. Thumbs up: Tendai Mtawarira celebrates South Africa’s series victory over the Lions in 2009 (Getty Images) The World Cup-winning Springbok prop reflects on the 2009 series with Jon Cardinelli – and offers his travel tips for visiting fanscenter_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “He set the tone for us at the scrum and that went a long way towards winning the game. Vickery was subbed early in the second half. It was a massive win within a win, and we rode the momentum into the next match to clinch the series.“I can’t remember who was named the official Man of the Series, but for me Beast was right up there.”The countdown to the next instalment of this epic battle has begun. For the third time in the professional era, the Boks will go into a Lions series as world champions. The side from the north will be keen to prove a point.While it remains to be seen who will come out on top, a special level of intensity, says Mtawarira, will be guaranteed.“I grew up in Zimbabwe watching South African rugby and the Super Rugby tournament in particular,” he says. “When the Lions toured in 1997, I watched the games closely. Back then, I had my heart set on becoming a loose forward. Gary Teichmann and Bob Skinstad were my heroes.“What struck me about the matches between South Africa and the Lions was the brutality of it all. It seemed to be on another level to anything else in rugby.“Scott Gibbs ran over Os du Randt at one point in that series. It was something I struggled to process: a centre running over a loosehead prop! So that’s how the Lions were built up in my mind from a young age, and why I had so much respect for them going into the 2009 series.”The big man still follows the local game closely. Prior to lockdown, he attended Super Rugby games at Kings Park to support the Sharks – a team he represented for the duration of his professional career.“I can’t wait to see the Sharks tackle the Lions at Kings Park,” he says of the tour fixture scheduled for 10 July 2021. “That’s still a few months away, and already there’s a big buzz about it at home and up north. It’s going to be truly special.”Tendai Mtawarira’s South Africa travel tips for Lions fans“Nothing beats a day out at one of the beaches on the East Coast,” says Mtawarira, a long-time Durban resident and a father of two.“My favourite spot is out at Ballito (50km north of Durban). I often take the kids and the dogs out there for some fun in the sand and waves.FIND OUT ABOUT THE LIONS RUGBY TRAVEL PACKAGES FOR THE 2021 TOUR“The weather is warm the year round in this part of the world. I’m sure that the tourists will take advantage when the Lions come to town. Closer to home, the Umhlanga area boasts golden beaches as well as a number of bars where one can enjoy a cold one after a long, warm day.“There’s plenty to do around Kings Park. Adrenaline junkies will love the Big Swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium across the road. We often go to uShaka Marine World on the beachfront. There are a number of water activities for the kids as well as a world-class aquarium.”last_img read more

Six Nations Team of the Championship

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Highlight Jacob Whitehead selects his ‘dream team’ from the 2021 tournament Hamish Watson would not be stopped. A tremendous finish from the Scottish flanker. #GuinnessSixNations #SCOvIRL— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 14, 2021This was the most contested position – Charles Ollivon was totemic for France and Tom Curry held back the tide for England. 8. Grégory Alldritt (France)A toss-up between Taulupe Faletau and Alldritt. The La Rochelle No 8 was France’s top carrier, soaking up so many difficult and physical midfield carries. Has the engine of a fire truck, threatening every other breakdown as France’s best jackler.Faletau stamped his name onto the Lions No 8 jersey ahead of Billy Vunipola.To finish, here’s a B-Team of the Championship…Hugo Keenan (Ireland); Anthony Watson (England), George North (Wales), Garry Ringrose (Ireland), Damian Penaud (France); Finn Russell (Scotland), Ben Youngs (England); Cyril Baille (France), Ken Owens (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Jonny Gray (Scotland), Tom Curry (England), Charles Ollivon (France), Taulupe Faletau (Wales).Who would make your Six Nations Team of the Championship? Email [email protected] to let us know. France half-backs Matthieu Jalibert and Antoine Dupont celebrate (AFP/Getty Images) 9. Antoine Dupont (France) Clearly the best scrum-half in the northern hemisphere at the moment. It’s not even close, even if it could be argued Dupont never brought more than his B-game this Six Nations! Finished top of the assist (five) and offload (eight) charts, and crossed three times himself. 1. Wyn Jones (Wales) Really can do everything demanded from a modern prop – tackles, scrums, turnovers. After a nasty run of injuries in recent years, it’s gratifying to see him as the presumptive starter at loosehead for the Lions.Cyril Baille shone in the loose for France.England’s Kyle Sinckler (Getty Images)2. Julien Marchand (France)Has struggled with the lineout at points but is such a dynamic player. His footwork is sublime, his jackaling tenacious and he’s still just 25. A fine successor to Ibanez, Servat and Guirado.Ken Owens rolled back the years to book his ticket to South Africa. 3. Kyle Sinckler (England) Tadhg Furlong was excellent whenever he played, but only started three games.Sinckler was one of only a few players who emerged with credit for England; his passing and carrying is so crucial to their attack. The scrum only tended to struggle on Mako Vunipola’s side. 4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland) Quite possibly the most dominant performer of the competition. One of the world’s best lineout and breakdown forwards, bringing exceptional club form onto the international stage. Won ten turnovers this tournament – four more than any other player. Julien Marchand, Louis Rees-Zammit and Gael Fickou (left to right) all make the XV (Getty Images) Scotland NEVER give up. Duhan van der Merwe scores with the very last play of the game to secure the win in Paris! #GuinnessSixNations #FRAvSCO— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 26, 2021He’s now scored eight tries in ten Tests – and must go on the Lions tour.Related: Scotland beat France in Paris for first time in 22 years 10. Matthieu Jalibert (France) A formative tournament for the young fly-half after a difficult Six Nations in 2020. Calm yet creative, his performance in a losing effort at Twickenham was one of the most impressive of the decade from a visiting ten.His battle with Romain Ntamack for the France No 10 jersey over the coming years will be required viewing.center_img His counter-attacking qualities have always been self-evident, but captaincy seems to have rapidly developed his game management. Ran the win at Twickenham from full-back, while his kicking against France on Friday night was again sensational. 14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales) A breakout tournament for the Keith Jarrett of the 21st century. Single-handedly won the crucial game at Murrayfield with a delightful chip and gather – without that moment, Scotland would have won the title. Finished as joint-second top try-scorer in his debut Six Nations with four and seems set to play in ten more.Anthony Watson, who also scored four tries, may have had a more solid tournament overall, but Rees-Zammit owns the moments that will be remembered. 13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland) Absolute glue. Made the most carries of any back in the competition but has also become the crucial man in Andy Farrell’s defensive system. Terrified England’s attack in the final round.Robbie Henshaw breaks tackles against England (Sportsfile/Getty Images)Liberated by an extended run in the starting jersey, this tournament has seen him potentially play his way into the Lions Test XV.George North had his best Six Nations in a long time too. 12. Gaël Fickou (France) Proved how indispensable he is to the French back-line. Once the mercurial line-breaker, he now plays the role of the savvy veteran, whose most impressive trait right now is his defensive anticipation.Of course, he has his moments with the ball in hand too – his straighten and give for Brice Dulin’s Grand Slam-denying try the highlight. 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland) Scored match-winning tries away in Twickenham and Paris, finished as top try-scorer with five and made the second-most metres of any player in the competition. It takes at least three defenders to bring him down. Six Nations Team of the ChampionshipThe lack of crowds didn’t matter – this was one of the most exciting Six Nations ever.We saw a Wales victory that looked unlikely six months ago, two famous Scottish away wins and a fall from grace for Eddie Jones’s England. Ireland showed signs of resurgence, France were a few minutes away from their own Grand Slam, but the less said about Italy the better.Related: How Wales won the Six NationsAs for the British & Irish Lions, selection is looking very different than before the tournament given the performances of the past two months. So who would make a composite team of the 2021 tournament?Six Nations Team of the Championship 15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland) Coming right at the start of the championship, we need to remember quite how good Hogg’s performances against England and Wales were. Can’t get to the shops? Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet. Subscribe to the print edition for magazine delivery to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What a player! Tadhg Beirne helped himself to 𝙖𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 #GuinnessSixNations Player Of The Match medal yesterday!— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 15, 2021 5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, captain)Iain Henderson has been exceptional, but Jones deserves inordinate praise for leading Wales to the title after the autumn doldrums.Still around the top of the metrics for tackles and ruck arrivals, and amidst stiff competition will be in the Lions squad on playing merit alone.Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones rules at the lineout (AFP/Getty Images) 6. Josh Navidi (Wales) If there is a rule that the Six Nations Player of the Tournament has to come from the winning side, cast my vote for Navidi. Reminds me more and more of Richard Hill every time I watch him. So brilliant to see him back from concussion issues. 7. Hamish Watson (Scotland) One of the best players on the pitch in every game he played. Unbelievably powerful for his size and utterly fearless. Imagine the battle he could have against Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi this summer.last_img read more

Love, and laundry: Ministries offer hospitality to homeless guests

first_img Rev. Mike Bell says: An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Bath, NC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Tampa, FL Love, and laundry: Ministries offer hospitality to homeless guests Poverty & Hunger Press Release Service Rector Albany, NY Rector Belleville, IL Carol Reeves in Ewa Beach, HI says: Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Associate Rector Columbus, GA The Rev. Margaret Moore says: Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Comments are closed. Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET July 17, 2014 at 11:41 pm Immediately I want to help get something going like this in my small town in northern Michigan. We don’t have the homeless or street people, but we have no shortage of the poor. Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Martinsville, VA Submit a Job Listing Rector Knoxville, TN Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME March 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm What a fabulous ministry! It is my experience with homeless folk, other out-of -luck people, and the elderly or sick at home that LAUNDRY presents one of the greatest, generally ignored problems. Few public services help with laundry. THIS is a ministry consistent with the gospel mandate. I can visually see that problem when on the street or visiting for pastoral care, but just like most people I’m reluctant to personally touch laundry that might seem too dirty: But we have been gifted by the Divine with gloves! This may not be the final frontier for Christian ministry, but not many have gone there before. Good for you!Peggy Moore+ May 27, 2015 at 3:07 am I have felt this year-long “craving” to do the laundry for the many homeless families in Hawaii, but had no clue to find a “square one.” I praise the Lord that on my anniversary of receiving this longing passion, this was shared to me by a loving sister in Christ. With great joy, I started creating all the records that will be needed to make the first move, and to share this with my church family!! I know the Lord shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory, and all these blessings will be added, when we first “seek the kingdom of God.”Great Inspiration!!! Many to follow 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 Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 center_img 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 Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Smithfield, NC Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Pittsburgh, PA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Submit a Press Release Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Submit an Event Listing Director of Music Morristown, NJ Comments (3) Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Featured Jobs & Calls Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 By Pat McCaughanPosted Mar 12, 2014 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Curate Diocese of Nebraska Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH A volunteer helps a client load her washing machine at the Venice Beach Laundry Love on the last Monday in January.[Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles] There’s an exciting ministry washing over the Episcopal church in the Diocese of Los Angeles; it’s called Laundry Love and it brings together congregations and homeless guests over hospitality and laundry.The line begins to form about 5 p.m. outside the Beach Coin Laundry in Huntington Beach, on the second Wednesday of each month.And it keeps growing — with homeless men and women, the working poor, those on fixed incomes, or just plain down on their luck, single moms and their children — guests who welcome Laundry Love Huntington Beach as much for the community as the clean clothes.Giovana, a single mother, accompanied by two of her four children, said her January visit was the first time she had participated in Laundry Love. She drove around the block several times before working up the nerve to park and approach the line.About 7 p.m., before the laundry actually begins, she and other guests are invited inside, first come, first served, where they receive several bags of groceries, and her children — Kayla, 6, and José, 3 — receive crayons and coloring books.“A friend of mine told me about this last month, but I just couldn’t believe it was for real,” Giovana says. “Even tonight, I didn’t bring all my dirty clothes; I started not to stop, started not to come in at all, but then I just decided to take a chance.”Offering a chance for clean clothing is just one aspect of Laundry Love’s mission; the rest is community, health and wellness, according to Steve Bruce, who is married to Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Diane Bruce.He, along with Christian and Shannon Kassoff, and another couple, Matt and Connie Martin, organized the ministry two years ago. It began as an outreach of thom’s, an emerging ministry that grew from St. Wilfrid of York, Huntington Beach and St. John’s, Rancho Santa Margarita and is dedicated to service.“When we first started forming thom’s, we said for sure we wanted to have some sort of community presence, community outreach … and this just seemed the right fit,” Bruce said. He serves as a kind of “hospitality ambassador” inviting all sorts of groups — church and otherwise — to support the ministry through volunteering and donation.“I tell them that this is what Jesus was inviting us to do, to get out of our churches and into the community and to get to know the community and help your neighborhood,” he said. “For me it’s a personal transformation to sit down and listen to the stories of the homeless and the working poor, those who are disabled. For me, the Holy Spirit always shows up and it just feels like a great thing for me to do.”Healthier eating, healthier livingThis particular evening, Jan. 8, begins and ends with food — groceries purchased by Laundry Love from the Second Harvest Food Bank are distributed to guests before the laundry starts — and a hot meal is offered once the washers and dryers are spinning.Groceries are sorted by category — canned goods, boxed pastas, pancake flour and syrup and other items for guests with access to stoves and refrigerators, who can prepare their own meals — and ready-to-eat food for those living in vehicles or on the streets.Volunteers from local churches and faith institutions bag and distribute the groceries at Shannon Kassoff’s invitation. “I’ll bring people in one at a time,” she tells volunteers.“Sometimes they have large families and I’ll tell you how many bags to give them. If they are a family of seven, they’re welcome to have seven bags. OK, I’m going to start bringing people in.”Next up is the laundry orientation for volunteers, like Tracy Heffelman, also a first-timer. She was attending a Surf City Rotary meeting earlier that day where the Kassoffs made a presentation about a separate heartfelt endeavor — completion of a seven-classroom, 320-student school they helped build in the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania.“They were talking about an upcoming trip to Tanzania and then at the end, they mentioned Laundry Love,” Heffelman said. “I said, ‘this is awesome’. I live nearby, I want to help out, so here I am.”Others, like Salim Majeed and several members of the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove, are here to observe the operation and replicate it in their own neighborhood.“This is a good cause and we want to give back to the community,” Majeed said. “We feel obligated to be part of what’s going on,” he said.‘Clean clothes and conversation’One of Damian Kassoff’s responsibilities tonight is to be “the quarter person.”“I make the change on the change machine,” explains Kassoff, 13. “I make the change, put it in the bag. When my mother assigns positions I give quarters to the people who wait for someone to do their load, depending on how many quarters there are.“My job is doing this and talking to people and putting music on.” It is David Bowie’s birthday, he adds, and also Elvis Presley’s. In tribute, throughout the evening the sounds of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and Presley’s “All Shook Up” and “Burning Love” fill in the gaps around the conversations.Everyone is expected to talk with the guests, Shannon Kassoff tells the volunteers who include members of the outreach ministry from St. George’s, Laguna Hills, and the youth group from the Church of the Messiah, Santa Ana and elsewhere.“This month marks Laundry Love’s second year,” she begins, amid applause. “We cannot do it without your help. Laundry Love is an opportunity for people to come and get some clean clothes but more than that, to just be in community. A lot of people who come have been coming here for two years so we know them well.“It’s not the task, it’s about hanging out and talking to them. Cool, let’s get started.”The Kassoffs live near the laundromat, according to Christian, 44, a full-time information technology manager, who supervises 14 employees in a family-owned business. When they aren’t engaged in outreach work, Shannon serves as a yoga instructor, he says. He also is the diocesan representative for Episcopal Relief & Development and a member of the diocesan Program Group on Global Partnerships.They will also be leading, along with the Rev. Julie Bryant of Transfiguration, Arcadia, an educational/information trip to El Salvador from Aug. 1-8 this year, he said.Christian serves as the “outside guy” keeping track of the line while Shannon supervises volunteers inside. The Martins have typically cooked and served up the hot meals.Inside, Shannon assigns tasks based on availability: those who need to leave earlier, help with the wash. Those who are available until about 10 p.m. are on dryer duty.While passing out quarters, post-it notes, dryer fabric softener sheets and laundry soap, she offers further instructions and a few reminders borne of experience: “Make sure the door is locked and latched, otherwise it’ll all come spilling out.”The sticky notes are to keep track of who’s using which machine. “When I bring people in, I will introduce you by name, you’ll have a sticky note, put their name on it and put it on their machine.”And, always ask first.“Ask them if they want us to use our soap,” she continues. “Sometimes they have their own, because they may have allergies or sensitivities. Hang onto quarters; you’re putting the quarters in for them and keeping track of them.”Says Christian: “For the dryers you’re going to start with two quarters and ask them if they want a dryer sheet. Once it stops, have them check the load and if we need to put more quarters in, we will. Talk to Shannon for anything extra. Let her know before you run out of quarters.”Steve Bruce offers an opening prayer, and other words of respectful wisdom. “Ask,” he says, “always ask people if they want help to take their clothes out.”Shannon agrees. “Yes, we are helping them, but they are essentially doing their own laundry and some people are particular about their things being touched. Ask, ‘can I help you fold these items or take them out?’ Most of the time, they want help.”Volunteers wear name tags; T-shirts are available for sale. There is a Facebook page, and Laundry Love Huntington Beach has already helped launch a similar venture in Venice Beach and is consulting on additional ones, in Silver Lake and Garden Grove and elsewhere.Volunteers Angelo of thad’s, left, and Christian Kassoff of thom’s chat with a guest at the Venice Beach Laundry Love as volunteer Steve Bruce, center, stands ready to supply other clients with detergent.A ‘slightly chaotic’ movement, in Venice BeachScott Claassen calls Laundry Love Venice Beach, a ministry of thad’s, “slightly chaotic … but it allows folks to get to know one another and to share the experience of ‘I’m doing something I’m not in complete control of and I’m really putting myself out there’.”thad’s grew out of the Rev. Jimmy Bartz’s ministry at All Saints, Beverly Hills in 2006 and has occupied numerous locations, before settling on the current one, the Writer’s Boot Camp at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica.After a volunteer night at Laundry Love Huntington Beach last summer, Claassen, a thad’s lay associate pastor said: “our community fell in love with it and we said, ‘look, why aren’t we doing this?’”There were a few bumps along the way — the first Laundromat that agreed to work with them “decided they did not want to bring the greater homeless population there,” Claassen said. But they found another location “and we end up packing the Laundromat on a night they wouldn’t have much business. It works out well.”They average around 30 volunteers and 70 guests when they gather on the last Monday evenings of the month, he said. The evening begins at 7 p.m. and ends about 10 p.m. They provide a simple meal but no groceries, at least not yet, he said.Laundry Love began about 10 years ago in Ventura County and has since expanded across the nation, to more than 100 such ministries, according to the Kassoffs. While the ministry has a very practical side, of helping people get clean clothes, it also “opens people up to an experience of God’s love in our lives,” Claassen said.“The majority of the folks are homeless or living in shelters and most of them are on the streets but, definitely, we have some folks that have jobs. In fact, we ordered pizza and the pizza deliveryman was somebody who had been a guest the prior time.“He was so excited. He came in and was serving the pizza up with everyone, he was very grateful.”He added that: “We are doing laundry for people and it’s helping them alleviate their economic pressures. We’re also providing an area where people from our community and from thad’s community and the greater Venice population can interact in a safe and engaging environment. To me, that’s where the real gold is—the emphasis is on love, not laundry.”He added: “I want to emphasize what a privilege it is to do this every month and how much it has meant for the thad’s community. We’ve really grown from being able to step out and talk with folks and engage the community in that way. We’ve had folks from Laundry Love show up at thad’s. It has enriched our community to put ourselves out there and to be willing to change.”Jesse, 43, a blues singer and electric guitar player who lives in his van, says his music mirrors his life: “It’s about destruction, chaos.”The pony-tailed former concrete and metal trades worker hums and plays recorded renditions of his music while waiting for his wash to finish. He has never fully recovered from on-the-job injuries and now “I’m completely broke,” he says.Laundry Love is a bright spot in what has been, for him, a whole lot of darkness. “I have severe allergies. If my clothes get dusty, I break out in painful rashes. This helps me. I have medical problems, problems people don’t understand. I experience chronic pain; I only sleep about two to three hours a night, because of muscle spasms. It makes your blues become deeper. I feel ready to die at 43.”For Kat, who lives in the neighborhood and is on a fixed income, Laundry Love makes the difference when she runs short before the end of the month. It helps with prescription medication, and those little extras, like buying her dad a birthday gift this month.“It is so uplifting for me to be here,” she said. “It’s so encouraging. I feel less strife in my life.”LuzAna Figueroa said it was important for the Church of the Messiah’s @youth group to participate in Laundry Love.“We wanted to show them that they can be the change in the community we’d all like to see,” she said. “If you don’t teach kids, if you don’t expose the to compassion, then those core values get lost in the mix.”One of the students, Jesus agreed. “I enjoy helping people out,” he said. “This is not half-hearted. It’s hands on. You get to interact with everyone. You get a sense of how this is helping someone. It’s an awesome program.”Meanwhile, Troy, 49, goes to the barbershop next door for a much-needed haircut. The barber cuts children’s hair for free; Laundry Love pays $8 for adult haircuts. “It helps me out a lot,” he said of Laundry Love. “I really like it.”Shannon Kassoff said it takes about $500 to pull off one Laundry Love event; about 15 volunteers are needed for an average of about 70 guests, she said. The ministry survives through T-shirt sales, and donations, of money, laundry products, and the hot meals, usually cooked by Matthew Martin.Tonight, dinner is chicken, rolls and salad and Shannon offers volunteers another word of wisdom: “We’re going to have dinner as soon as we get all the washing machines full. So, if you didn’t get a particular job, it would be helpful if you could go out and help serve dinner.“The other thing, if you don’t have a job you can go outside and hang out with the guests. That’s what it’s all about. That’s where it’s happening.” Youth Minister Lorton, VA This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Collierville, TN Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK 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 Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Featured Events Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Tags Rector Hopkinsville, KY Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ last_img read more

Ferguson pilgrims study systemic racism, injustice and reconciliation

first_img Racial Justice & Reconciliation By Lynette Wilson Posted Jan 22, 2016 Director of Music Morristown, NJ Andre Johnson says: Featured Jobs & Calls In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Associate Rector Columbus, GA Comments (1) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Featured Events Rector Belleville, IL Rector Hopkinsville, KY Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Submit a Press Release Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Martinsville, VA Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Albany, NY Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Youth Minister Lorton, VA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Smithfield, NC Press Release Service Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group center_img Tags Submit a Job Listing Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ February 1, 2016 at 9:31 am Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Jamaica we do not experience racism in any significant way, given the much larger black population. However, classism and poverty remain. Wealth is still held by mostly non-blacks, but the idea of the us against them mentality is not pervasive, hence not divisive. The programs being applied provide insight into what can be done here in Jamaica to prevent and reduce crime, which could be viewed as “class” profiling that could lead to an incident similar to that in Ferguson. Murder by any other name is still murder. Looking forward to collaborating in the future on initiatives to alleviate poverty by increasing opportunity. Blessings, peace and LOVE on you all in the mighty name of Jesus! Rector Washington, DC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH 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 Rector Pittsburgh, PA Comments are closed. Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Erendira Jimenez-Pike of the Diocese of Kentucky addresses the congregation of Wellspring Church in Ferguson on Oct. 11. The Rev. F. Willis Johnson, Wellspring’s pastor, is to her right. A photograph of the memorial at the site where Michael Brown was fatally shot is in the foreground. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service[Episcopal News Service – Ferguson, Missouri] In the months following General Convention, the Episcopal Church has been working to fulfill its mandate to confront racism and the institutional structures that support it.On Jan. 21, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached the sermon at the opening Eucharist of the 2016 Trinity Institute, Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice. As he invited those assembled to embrace difficult conversations around racism, he offered some advice; “As you prepare to march, meditate on the life and teachings of Jesus. “  Keynote speaker Michelle Norris also offered her belief that “listening is an act of courage.” Trinity Institute is hosting this year’s institute on racial justice as a means of creating new understanding, opportunity, and encouragement for deeper conversations about racism.February is Black History month, following the many celebrations this week of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., and the church’s collective hope for racial reconciliation. Next month, the presiding officers of the Episcopal Church will meet in Austin, Texas, to begin to discern how to move forward with Resolution C019, through which the General Convention made racial reconciliation a priority for the next triennium.  Yet significant learning and leadership development around issues of racial justice and reconciliation began back in October of 2015, when the Episcopal Church sponsored a Young Adult Pilgrimage to Ferguson, in partnership with the Union of Black Episcopalians and the Diocese of Missouri.Fourteen months to the day after the Aug. 9, 2014, death of Michael Brown, 25 Episcopal Church pilgrims visited the site where the teenager died after being shot in a struggle with a Ferguson police officer.Shawntelle Fisher of SoulFisher Ministries and Cornita Robinson, director of development for St. Stephen’s & The Vine, lead pilgrims on a walk from Koch Elementary School to the Michael Brown memorial site. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceIn the aftermath of Brown’ death much attention has focused on policing and racial profiling. The pilgrims traveled to Ferguson in search of a better understanding of what happened that day and the protests and community response that has followed, both in the context of Ferguson and in their own lives. The intention was that pilgrims would bring that understanding back to their work, churches and communities, and begin to tell their own stories.“We need to create spaces where people are telling their stories and actually being heard. And I think part of it is young people doing the work in their own context and doing the work in the spaces they inhabit,” said Leandra Lambert, a young adult member of the Union of Black Episcopalians who helped plan the pilgrimage, adding that anti-racism committees and anti-racism trainings for leaders are not enough.“There are also spaces where decisions are being made and it would be helpful to us to know exactly where those spaces are, what committees, what organizations, exactly where in the church do we need to be so we are at the table, because if you are not at the table you are on the table,” she said. “A critical piece is not just saying it’s important to have people engaged, but really working towards that and taking those conversations to heart and putting the resources behind it.”The Episcopal Church sponsored the Oct. 8-12 pilgrimage, which brought together a cross section of young adults aged 19 to 34, representing white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander and mixed-race people from across church to study racial justice and reconciliation in the context of Ferguson. The pilgrimage was funded via a grant of the Constable Fund approved by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church in early 2015.The four-day pilgrimage included two visits to the site where Brown died, presentations and conversations with local clergy, non-profit and community leaders, small table discussions and worship.Brown, 18, was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, after an altercation. Wilson later testified that he stopped Brown and his friend because they matched the description of two teenagers involved in the robbery of a convenience store moments earlier. Video surveillance indicated Brown had robbed the store.A struggle ensued between Wilson and Brown, and Wilson fired multiple shots at close range into the head and chest of Brown, who was unarmed.Protesters quickly took to the streets and images of police officers in riot gear clashing with them filled television and computer screens. The protests that followed Brown’s death continued into November 2014 when it was announced that a grand jury decided not to charge Wilson in Brown’s death.  An independent federal investigation initiated by the Justice Department later cleared Wilson of violating Brown’s civil rights but raised multiple concerns about racial disparities in the Ferguson police department’s conduct of its duty. On the anniversary of Brown’s death another protest broke out and a state of emergency was declared.Ferguson becomes a national focal pointFerguson, a suburb of St. Louis, is 67 percent black, and a quarter of its 21,086 residents live below the poverty line. Brown’s death put Ferguson on the map; the community has become a nationwide symbol of racial disparity and injustice and the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color.Ferguson also has become a symbol of hope and a site for pilgrimage in a quest for understanding what happened the day Brown was shot and the protests and grassroots and community responses that have followed.For the pilgrims, many of whom work for or serve the church in some capacity, the pilgrimage was an opportunity to learn about what happened in Ferguson and to take the lessons and stories back into their own communities, churches and work.“These young people are not the future of our church, they are the here and now of our church. They are the growing edge of our church, and they are our best ambassadors and best evangelists. They are our best missionaries to other youth and young adults in the church – they can spread the word of who we are,” said Heidi Kim, the Episcopal Church’s missioner for racial reconciliation.“I think that they have a different and powerfully compelling notion of what makes our church relevant, and I would love to see that message work its way throughout the rest of the church,” said Kim. “I think they understand very clearly what it means to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world. So for them ministry is about worship and liturgy and studying and reflection, but it’s also about being present in a world that is suffering, and moving and engaging in a way that will bring grace and healing.“My belief is not that The Episcopal Church is here to save Ferguson, but that the lessons from Ferguson can redeem The Episcopal Church. I think that the prophetic witness of these young people can help to redeem us all.”Leandra Lambert of the Union of Black Episcopalians, Sitraka Andriam of the Diocese of California and Erendira Jimenez-Pike of the Diocese of Kentucky participate in a small-group discussion at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis on Oct. 10. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceMany of the pilgrims were anticipating incorporating their experience on the pilgrimage into programs and curricula to facilitate conversations and healing in their own communities.For instance, Donnecia Brown is participated in Servant Year, a 15-year-old program in the Diocese of Pennsylvania that places Episcopal Service Corps members in intentional communities and pairs them with social service agencies, schools and social justice community organizations. She is working on building up a support group for teens by teens to address the culture of violence and the community trauma that young people face every day in Philadelphia.Aaron Rogers, of the Diocese of Newark, works with the Newark Mentoring Movement, and is seeking to connect leaders in his community to leaders in Ferguson.Timothy J.S. Seamans, who serves as school chaplain at Holy Innocents Episcopal School in Atlanta, Georgia, is developing a justice curriculum centered in healing and particularly racial healing for schools.Short- and long-term responseIn the immediate aftermath of Brown’s death, the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief and Development awarded the Diocese of Missouri a $40,000 grant to address domestic poverty, pastoral and community work in northern St. Louis County, where Ferguson is located.The Rev. Steve Lawler, rector of St. Stephen’s & The Vine in Ferguson, and Ferguson Councilman Dwayne T. Davis talk about the Ferguson Youth Initiative, housed in an old firehouse attached to City Hall, on Oct. 10. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceBefore Brown was killed and protesters took to the streets of Ferguson, the Rev. Steve Lawler, rector of St. Stephens & the Vine, and Pastor F. Willis Johnson, of Wellspring Church, had done asset mapping in the community. They were poised to respond to the immediate needs of residents who were confined to their homes because of the protests and the militarized police presence that shut down buses and businesses.St. Stephen’s food pantry delivered food and toilet paper to people stuck inside.The asset mapping also made Lawler and Johnson recognize that they needed to focus on economic growth and social engagement, said Lawler.To that end, St. Stephen’s started Incubate Ferguson as a way to encourage small business development and Wellspring founded The Center for Social Engagement and Justice as a way to foster and offer space to nonprofit, grass-roots organizations.“Most economic growth that is going to reasonably occur here is going to be small-business growth,” said Lawler. “Even if you are given job-preparedness training the real question is, where are the jobs? Where are jobs that you can actually live on? That’s why we are focusing on business creation.”In addition to loss of manufacturing jobs over the last 40 years, Ferguson was hit particularly hard during the mortgage crisis, with 50 percent of the community’s 6,000-plus homeowners owing more than their homes were worth.Throughout the pilgrimage, a picture of Ferguson began to emerge that went beyond the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests.Historical prejudice On the first full-day of the pilgrimage and again on the eve of departure, the pilgrims had an opportunity to listen and ask questions of Bishop Wayne Smith and to learn about some of the ways the diocese responded in the short- and long-term.In their first meeting, Smith outlined the St. Louis metropolitan area’s political and geographical boundaries and explained how the region became one of the most racially segregated in the country.Pilgrims Timothy J.S. Seamans of the Diocese of Atlanta and Dominique Bocanegra of the Diocese of Massachusetts take part in a small-group discussion on Oct. 10 at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceAs far back as 1876, the city of St. Louis removed itself from St. Louis County, “the city thought it had all the space it needed,” explained the bishop. The city of St. Louis has 22 wards, each represented by an alderman, and the county was long ago carved up into 90 separate municipalities, which he described as “political fiefdoms that set the grid work for segregation.”Smith described Ferguson as an inner-ring suburb once home to white working-class residents who labored in big three auto factories and the former aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor McDonnell Douglass, which was headquartered in St. Louis County.“Twenty years ago, Ferguson was 80 percent white and 20 percent African-American, that has now flipped,” Smith said.Later that same day, the pilgrims heard from the Rev. Chester Hines, a deacon at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis and one of two black clergy in the diocese, who shared his story of living three-quarters of a century in St. Louis.“I’ve seen a lot,” said Hines, who as an infant was brought to St. Louis by his parents who were sharecroppers in Mississippi.Hines talked about geopolitical factors and the long history of institutionalized racism that has existed in public education, public safety and policing, the judicial system, housing and economic development – the environment that led to Brown’s death and the protests in Ferguson.With more than 90 municipalities in St. Louis County there’s “fighting over the limited resources available to support and sustain communities.”In fact, one of the things the Department of Justice’s investigation into the Ferguson Police Department uncovered was that city officials put making money, through traffic tickets and other citations, above providing public safety to the community. It also found that Ferguson’s black residents were disproportionately targeted.Hines also outlined how the public schools ignored the 1954 Supreme Court ruling to end segregation of schools. It wasn’t until a black parent sued one of the districts in 1972 that “voluntary desegregation” was implemented under threat that schools would face the loss of federal funds. Still, he said, desegregation wasn’t fully achieved, to the extent that it has been, until the 1990s.Hines described race as “the horse in the middle of the table” that no one wants to talk about. “The psychology of our community is that we live in a state of denial … we are our own worst enemy,” he said.The rise of community leadersLeaders are emerging, however, in people like Shawntelle Fisher, who started a nonprofit organization to address the school-to-prison pipeline and the problem of mass incarceration, and like Felicia Pulliam, who serves on the Ferguson Commission, created to study the underlying social and economic conditions underscored by the unrest in the wake of Brown’s death.Nicholas Lino of the Diocese of Hawaii writes in his journal during the Ferguson Pilgrimage Oct. 8-12 sponsored by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceBefore the commission could produce the Ferguson Report, its members had to hold meetings and listen to the marginalized voices in the community. At first she said, “hundreds and hundreds of angry people would show up, we spent hours listening.”Pulliam has lived most of her life in north St. Louis County; she remembers when her family left the city for the suburbs, she watched as the Baskin-Robbins closed and liquor and payday loans stores opened.“I watched the community change; black people try to move here to make a better life and this happens,” she said.Policing and the criminal justice system are two things the Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart, a transitional deacon in the Diocese of Washington who served 20 years in the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., knows something about.Fisher-Stewart led the pilgrims through an exercise on Oct. 11 where they were the police recruits and she played the role of police captain. She asserts that community policing in minority neighborhoods is a fallacy and that “the police are not change agents, they are the status quo.”Citing works such as Kelly Brown Douglas’ “Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God,” Fisher-Stewart contends that today’s U.S. policing practices are based on the slave patrols in the South, and that “the criminal justice system needs fuel – bodies – and the police are the gatekeepers.”Brown’s death came less than a month after Eric Garner, 43, was killed in a chokehold by a New York City police officer on Staten Island, and four days after police shot and killed John Crawford, 22, in Beavercreek, Ohio. In Cleveland on Nov. 23, 2014, a police officer killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice. (Last week investigators ruled the shooting of Rice was justified.A need to address institutional racismThroughout the four-day pilgrimage, participants said it became increasingly obvious that racial reconciliation cannot be achieved until the structural and institutional racism is addressed, and that all people, black, white, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, and Pacific Islander face one another as equals.The Rev. Starsky Wilson, pastor of St. John’s Church, St. Louis, Pastor Phiwa Langeni of Zion United Church of Christ, and the Very Rev. Michael D. Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, talk during an Oct. 10 panel discussion on “The Role of the Prophet.” Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceOn Oct. 10, both a panel on “The Role of the Prophet” and Chuck Wynder Jr., the Episcopal Church’s missioner for social justice and advocacy engagement addressed the topic of racial justice.“In order to have reconciliation there has to be justice making, (and) part of that justice making is affording the person or the group that has been harmed to name the harm, to speak to the harm, and to state what they need in order to be whole,” said Wynder in an interview with ENS. “There’s still a need in our communities to repair the breach and make justice in order for people to sit down in our communities and heal the wounds.”Reconciliation is a dynamic and active process, he said.“That’s why we talk about racial justice and reconciliation, if you speak about reconciliation first it can be perceived that you just want to make a cheap peace, you just want to have calm, and even at the personal level often people don’t want to repair the breach, they just want to have peace with the other person without saying I’m sorry and doing the work to make the other person whole,” said Wynder.  “It’s much more complex when we talk about it at the institutional, systemic and cultural level, but the same principles apply.”A second walk, a deeper understandingAfter the pilgrims’ second visit to the site where Michael Brown was fatally shot, they began to prepare to go back into their own communities, and some shared new insights.“The first time I went there was so much going on – I was learning so much about St. Louis and Ferguson and everything that led up to that event that I was a little over-stimulated and overwhelmed and I couldn’t quite process it,” said Adiel Pollydore, a member of Episcopal Service Corps resident of Life Together in Boston.Pollydore is from Albany, New York, where she said gun violence also is an issue.“I think that as I had more time to process, and then going back on Sunday I really allowed myself to feel all of the emotions. And I was surprised that sure enough there was that initial tang of like hurt and pain, but also an overwhelming feeling of hope as I was able to learn what has come out of this place and what this dramatic, traumatic event has done for the people of Ferguson in terms of really bringing about change. And that made me really hopeful.”Pollydore works with youth in Boston interested in building a local movement. “Youth who are saying ‘You know what, being black and poor, being brown and poor in Boston and being a young person is hard and we want people to know about us and our stories and we want to feel connected to other young people who feel similarly disenfranchised and what can we do about it’,” she said.Pollydore said she has a lot to bring back.“I’ve learned so much from the activists and speakers about what that (starting and sustaining a movement) might look like and I’m excited to bring that back,” she said. “I’m also excited to push faith communities that I’m part of, including Life Together, and including St. Mary’s in Dorchester, to continue to think about race.“I know there’s a lot of work done in both of those communities, and so thinking about sharing ways in which to tell this story and my story interacting with the larger story of Ferguson, I’m really excited.”– Lynette Wilson is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Curate Diocese of Nebraska 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 Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Bath, NC Advocacy Peace & Justice, Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Ferguson pilgrims study systemic racism, injustice and reconciliation Church to focus on anti-racism, reconciliation throughout the triennium Rector Tampa, FL Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Shreveport, LA Submit an Event Listing 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 This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Collierville, TN last_img read more

San Antonio church engages neighborhood children in pen-pal program

first_img Rector Pittsburgh, PA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL August 1, 2016 at 6:19 pm St. Phillips College, San Antonio, is the child of St. Phillips Church. The College was owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas until after World War II, when it grew beyond the means of the diocese to support. St. Phillips is a grand old parish with a wonderful history of faith and service. Thanks for this article. Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Director of Music Morristown, NJ David Veal says: Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Laurie Eiserloh says: August 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm Thank you for sharing this history! Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Washington, DC Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group By Mike PattersonPosted Aug 1, 2016 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Shreveport, LA An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Press Release Service 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 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 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem March 29, 2017 at 8:20 pm It’s amazing to see how some people are Still exhibiting sense of humanity while others are possessed with spirits of violence. Thanks alot for this moving story of the youngster and the history. May God bless you. Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Albany, NY Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET The Rev. Patricia Riggins, left, and Regina Walker confer over a pen-pal notebook. Photo: Diocese of West Texas[Diocese of West Texas] On All Saints’ Day, Regina Walker, a member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas, opened the thin spiral notebook from her fourth-grade pen pal at nearby S.H. Gates Elementary School and discovered that the light-hearted exchange of letters had taken an unexpectedly somber turn.The letter from her young friend, written on blue-lined paper, contained a sobering passage: “Do you have a dad because I don’t he died in a car crash. We had his funeral.”After she read this, Walker retreated to compose herself in a quiet corner of the church’s parish hall.  “My heart broke for such a young person to go through such a tragic event,” Walker said.  “I saw this as a light-hearted exercise.  Suddenly, it was very serious and thought-provoking.”Seeing her alone, the Rev. Patricia Riggins, St. Philip’s parish priest, sensed something was up.  Walker showed her the letter and the two huddled over how she should reply.“She is a young girl,” Walker said, “so I had to be sensitive to how I responded.”Riggins told her: “You know, Regina, it’s All Saints’ Day.  See if you can use that.”Walker thought about Riggins’ suggestion and sat down with the notebook.  “God is good,” Walker explained.  “He came at the right time to tell me how to respond.”She picked up her pencil and wrote: “I am very sorry to hear that your Dad died. Today is All Saints’ Day, a day when we give honor and prayers to our loved ones in heaven.  I will say a special prayer for you and your family.”“It was a beautiful response,” Riggins said.The exchange of letters between Walker and her young friend began as a pen pal program last fall between the fourth graders at Gates and the parishioners at St. Philip’s.  The school and church are located only about six blocks apart in southeast San Antonio and share a heritage rooted deep in the African-American community.S.H. Gates, a prominent local educator, was the first African-American to have a school named in his honor in San Antonio.  St. Philip’s heritage dates to its founding in 1895 as the first Episcopal Church for African-Americans in the Diocese of West Texas.Stephanie Webb, the counselor at Gates Elementary, coordinates the school’s pen-pal program. Photo: Diocese of West TexasThe cooperation between the church and Gates started when Riggins heard about a partnership between San Antonio’s Christ Church and its neighborhood school, Madison Elementary, at an Abide in Me conference. (See “A Mutual Transformational Relationship,” The Church News, March/April 2015)  Although St. Philip’s is much smaller than Christ Church, she wanted to see if there was some way on a lesser scale that her church could help the children at Gates Elementary.“Part of the DNA of this church community is to be in a relationship with Gates,” Riggins said.  “Several of the kids of our parishioners went to Gates.  And we have quite a few teachers in the parish.”Riggins arranged a meeting with Stephanie Webb, the school counselor, to explore ways that the church could help Gates. “I knew we could do something like buy school supplies, but I wanted something different,” Riggins said.Webb had an idea: “I said, ‘You know, what if we could have a little pen pal program with the fourth grade because they are tested in writing for STAAR.’”  The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness measures fourth graders on reading, writing and math.“I thought that that would help with the writing by encouraging them to write more,” Webb said.  “The kids would also be learning things about other people and people would be learning things about them.”Riggins presented the idea to the church and “nobody said no.”The program was launched when the school’s two dozen fourth graders decorated the cover of their spiral notebooks and wrote a letter introducing themselves to their future pen pals at St. Philip’s.Riggins picked up the notebooks from the school, took them to church and “just started passing them out at coffee hour to anybody who wanted to participate.”  They were quickly snatched up, even by St. Philip’s own sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.  “I thought everything is on phones these days,” she said. “They’ve never had a pen pal before.  So our youth are participating in this as well.”Generally, it takes about two to three weeks to turn the letters around between the church and school.  The parishioner and student remain paired as pen pals throughout the year.On Sundays, when the notebooks are passed out after services, it’s a mad dash as church members reach for their letters.  “It’s nice to see people grab their booklets,” Walker said.  “They grab their pencils and put their heads down and then raise them thinking about what to say.  We have to watch our own penmanship!”The parish hall also buzzes with conversations as members share what their pen pals have written.  “When I distribute the notebooks I listen to the conversations in the parish hall,” Riggins said.  “‘Listen to what he wrote,’ they say.”Regina Walker works on her pen pal notebook. Photo: Diocese of West TexasThe same excitement happens at school when the children get their notebooks back from church. “When they get their books back they open them up and read them, then they’ll share with each other what their pen pal wrote, the questions that they had, the ideas and experiences that they had,” Webb explained.The children tell their pen pals about themselves, their families, their school, their pastimes, what books they are reading, what their favorite stories are.  Sports and video games are a big topic, too. “We also get a lot of pictures,” Riggins said.One child wrote her pen pal that they were learning about the Caddo Indians.  “It’s really fun,” the youngster wrote.  “Tell me more about the Indians,” the parishioner wrote back.Another church member told her pen pal that she was “glad you like to read because reading is essential to your education.”“A lot of this is trying to be encouraging and asking questions about what they’ve learned,” Riggins said. “Anything to get them to write and to practice writing and to tell us about themselves and their school.”Webb said the fourth-grade teacher reviews the letters and offers suggestions to the children on what to write and how to improve their writing.“Sometimes they don’t know what to say, especially over a holiday,” Webb said.  She and the teacher encourage the children to write about what “happened on your Easter holiday, what happened on your Christmas holiday. Share that experience with them.”Webb will occasionally substitute the time she sets aside each Wednesday for guidance work with the class for letter writing. “I’ll say, ‘Take out your notebooks.  This is what we’re going to do for guidance’ so that it won’t take time away from their class” and interfere with their preparation for the important STAAR test.“I think that’s a good impact for them,” Webb said. “They notice the patterns that other people use when they write.  They will conform to what they see other people doing.”Riggins has also heard positive feedback about the program.  One parent noticed the improvement in her child’s handwriting, for example.  “You can also tell the sentence structure gets better,” Riggins said.  “They start responding.  They have more confidence.  They’re not getting anything from us that is scolding.  All they’re getting from us is that we’re responding to their questions and they get a chance to brag on themselves.”Church members “love the fact that they’re encouraging the kids.  This congregation knows the value of education.  They want to very much assure that these kids are valued as individuals and valued as children of God and keep up with their education.”“It warms my heart to go back in time to remember what it was like, what is in their minds, what their young minds think about at that age,” Walker said.Although religion is not a theme in the letters, the children know that the letters are sent from a local church.  “Several church members do talk about that this is my church family,” Riggins said.  “Many of our letters end with ‘You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.’”With only 49 families, St. Philip’s faces limitations on how broad it can spread its outreach programs into the community.  In addition to the pen pal program at Gates, a couple of members also read to pre-K and kindergarten children attending the school.In another outreach to neighborhood children and families, St. Philip’s has revitalized its Breakfast with Santa program, held on the second Saturday of December.  The breakfast, advertised throughout the area, including fliers distributed at Gates and a promotion on the church’s marquee, offered pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee to anyone who attended.The children got their picture taken with Santa and made Christmas ornaments.  Last Christmas, 100 people attended, including one family who joined St. Philip’s.  “Several kids said it was the best day they’d had,” Riggins said.  A few children participating in the pen pals program also attended.For St. Philip’s, the breakfast “allowed us to have conversations about how we can pray for people who are in trouble.  I think it’s deepened our conversations about what happens to our neighbors,” Riggins explained.When reading the children’s letters, she “picks up on loneliness.  I pick up on kids who are so excited that somebody’s listening. I think that’s what struck a lot of our parishioners is that these kids asking to be in a relationship and that’s what God calls us to do.”“It helps you count your blessings,” Walker said, “makes you realize people go through different things, makes you aware of what people go through.”Webb is hopeful that the pen pal program will continue in future years. St. Philip’s hopes so, too.  “It brings us great joy,” Riggins said.— Mike Patterson is a freelance writer and member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Blanco, Texas. Rector Belleville, IL Featured Events Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Submit a Job Listing Submit an Event Listing Rector Tampa, FL Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Knoxville, TN Course Director Jerusalem, Israel San Antonio church engages neighborhood children in pen-pal program Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Collierville, TN Children Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS David Frank says: August 6, 2016 at 3:54 pm How do you work around the involvement of the public schools with a church? For example, as lovely as the quoted letter to the girl whose father had passed is, it COULD be construed as prosetalization. I have read of other programs of the public schools partnering with churches that have crossed the line, either intentionally or unintentionally. Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Comments are closed. Cathedral Dean Boise, ID In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Martinsville, VA 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 Submit a Press Release Curate Diocese of Nebraska New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Hopkinsville, KY Associate Rector Columbus, GA Comments (4) Bruce Wilson says: Tags This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Featured Jobs & Callslast_img read more