Bishop Bob Ihloff: “The Detention Center was stark and foreboding. Before we got closer, it was as if it were deserted. Then there were hands and pieces of paper moving in the slot windows, and acknowledgement there were people within. They could see us and we them. It was both frustrating and moving: frustrating because they couldn’t hear us and moving that we had made contact across a deep and unjust divide.”
In 2017, more than 65,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. Millions more suffer from opioid addiction in every corner of our Church. GC79 will consider only one resolution concerning the opioid epidemic. Of course, the number of resolutions considered on any given issue is not the standard for how deeply we care, but Jan Brown, deacon of Bruton Parish in Williamsburg, Va., issues an urgent call for us to do more as a Church.
As Episcopalians, let us ask ourselves this question: How, in modern times, is evil organized? In the systematic denial of the dignity of every human being, in the way we want to detach ourselves from our history, from our deep and God-given sense of Ubuntu. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
I was relieved to hear someone say yesterday, “We can’t hear the voices of the poor, because they are not here.” That silence can be deafening. Those living with poverty and oppression in this world have so much to share with us about where Jesus is made known in their midst. But, if we cannot hear those voices because our privilege is speaking too loudly, then it might be time to turn down the volume and listen.
As General Convention considers the question of Prayer Book revision, it is imperative that new and better Prayer Book translations be authorized and funded. Producing translations that are truly accessible to the people who will use them is not only a matter of justice for our siblings in the Episcopal Church, it is deeply consistent with the history of Anglican liturgy.