Episcopal churches look to strength public education

tjndc5-5jh44wl8lp51a0ej0nyy_layout.jpgEpiscopal Bishop of New York Mark Sisk (left) is holding a conference on public education on Saturday (Nov. 1) at the Cathedral School in NYC (112th and Amsterdam Avenue).

The keynote speaker will be the renowned author and education critic Jonathan Kozol.

Deputy NYC Mayor Dennis Walcott will also speak. The program will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The 2007 Diocese of NY convention resolved that “every parish is encouraged to work with its community and youth to develop a partnership with a local public school that can ensure every youth has access to a high-quality education.”

Saturday’s conference will mark the launch of “All Our Children,” a program to encourage churches to strengthen public schools. Nine parishes are part of the pilot program. One of them is Christ Church in Bronxville, which is offering drama, music and dance programs to children from Mount Vernon and Bronxville.

“All Our Children has the potential to change so many lives — in the partner schools and in the parishes,” said Bishop Catherine Roskam, assistant bishop of the diocese.

‘We have been working at this for a very long time’

After Lambeth…life goes on in the Episcopal Church.

inpage_bishops_sisk.jpgI watched most of today’s Web-conference with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and New York Bishop Mark Sisk, who just got back from England and the worldwide gathering of Anglican bishops. You can see it HERE.

Sure, they talked about sexuality, homosexuality, the Episcopal Church’s tentative moratorium on gay bishops, all that. But no votes were taken. And it doesn’t sound like there were any real fireworks.

“We were very clear..that the well being and adequate and proper care of gay and lesbian members of this church is a significant matter to us,” Sisk said. “Even though other parts of the Communion may not understand that, we have been working at this for a very long time.”

Sisk also said: “The role of gay and lesbian people has been affirmed time and time again in our common life, by our resolutions, in our canons.”

In other words, Episcopal bishops in the U.S. will act as they see fit when it comes to same-sex unions and ordaining gay priests.

Interestingly, Jefferts Schori said there is “a lack of information and misinformation about this Episcopal Church of ours” on the part of her Anglican colleagues. Many did not know, she said, that the U.S. church will try to avoid consecrating gay bishops for the foreseeable future.

She also said that many bishops did not seem to believe that the Episcopal Church holds basic Christian beliefs.

“Not everybody believes that we believe them,” she said.

Sisk said that many bishops from developing countries were frustrated by all the sex talk at the expense of addressing worldwide poverty and health issues.

“These are the things that are absolutely crushing our communities,” Sisk said, paraphrasing them.