Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Shalom from Bishop Katharine

This Saturday, November 4, marks the investiture of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The ceremony will be viewable via webcast. The following bulletin insert is going out for use at services this Sunday.

For Global Good

Presiding Bishop invites Church to widen ‘shalom’ by taking up U.N. Millennium Development Goals

In this octave of the Feast of All Saints, at this time of remembering the interconnectedness of communion and community, Katharine Jefferts Schori has begun her ministry as the Episcopal Church’s 26th Presiding Bishop. Here she encourages each Episcopalian to care for all creation by living a local life for global good.

by Katharine Jefferts Schori

The Episcopal Church adopted a set of mission priorities at its General Convention in June. First among them is justice and peace work, framed by the Millennium Development Goals. We understand this work as a visible sign of the work of building the Reign of God. A vision of the Reign of God lies behind the ancient Hebrew concept of shalom, which means far more than simply peace. Shalom has to do with the restoration of all creation to right relationship with God, so that the hungry are fed, the grieving comforted, the ill are healed, and prisoners set free. The mission of the church, according to our Catechism, is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ (Book of Common Prayer, page 855). That work of restoration and reconciliation frames all our ministry as Christians, whether we are students, parents, legislators, or farmers. We cannot be at one with our neighbors if some are starving or living in slums. The work of achieving the Millennium Development Goals is intimately wrapped up in the promises we make in the baptismal covenant to engage in God’s mission.

The other priorities adopted by our General Convention include work with young adults and youth, congregational transformation, reconciliation and evangelism, and partnerships within the Anglican Communion and with other faith communities. The fi rst priority has important connections and impacts on the others – for example, partnerships in developing countries, often through Anglican churches, are essential and intrinsic elements of addressing most of the MDGs, and our youth and young adults will experience part of their formation as Christians in service to others.

The Millennium Development Goals seek to end the deep poverty that limits human flourishing. Achieving them would provide concrete examples of the abundant life Jesus insists is the reason he came among us – “I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Alternate link for comments