With just under a fortnight to go until the start of this year’s RBS 6 Nations tournament we thought it best to remind you of last years outcome. Even though France may have won and Italy walked away with the wooden spoon, there was plenty more to talk about. Take some time out and reacquaint yourselves with the tournament thats due to take over your weekends for the next 6 weeks. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
Then it was greeted by some of the stars of Hollywood at Madame Tussauds. Thor, Morgan Freeman, Cameron Diaz and musical stars Elton John and Taylor Swift were all pictured with the trophy.Former USA Eagles captain Todd Clever was on hand to be part of the tour as it also travelled to Emerson Middle School to inspire the next generation of rugby stars in the United States.Clever said: “Having the Rugby World Cup here in the USA is a huge boost for us and seeing the reaction of the pupils at Emerson Middle School and all the tour stops just cements the opportunity – people want to know more, get involved and start playing or even just find out where to go and watch a game.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Gerard Butler Gets To Grips With Rugby World Cup TrophyThe Rugby World Cup trophy is currently in the midst of its worldwide tour. One of the most recognisable and famous trophies in the world, many are hoping to get up close to rugby’s top prize.However, there are some who have got a bit too close – and you can most definitely include Hollywood actor Gerard Butler on that list.Usually only Rugby World Cup winners are allowed to touch the trophy, but during the tour’s stop in Los Angeles, Scot Butler borrowed the trophy handler’s gloves to deliver an acceptance speech for winning the trophy. A rundown of the Rugby World Cup groups… After making the speech, Butler pretended to take off behind a curtain with the trophy. Fortunately, he didn’t get very far and the Webb Ellis Cup was able to tick off a few LA attractions during its trip.This was part of the 15th leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour and the Webb Ellis Cup travelled to several other LA hotspots including the homes of the LA Lakers, LA Chargers, LA Galaxy, and the new LA Rams stadium development. Rugby World Cup Venues Expand Next up on the 20-nation tour is a trip to Canada and it will then travel to South America to visit Brazil, Chile and Argentina, before going on a 100-day tour of Japan before the start of the 2019 tournament.Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest rugby news. Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2023 Collapse Rugby World Cup Venues The Scottish actor tries to steal the trophy during its tour to Los Angeles! Rugby World Cup Groups On The Run: Butler looks to make a break for it Rugby World Cup Groups Rugby World Cup Fixtures The 2023 Rugby World… Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2023 What you need to know about the 12… Expand
BEN CISNEROSTrainee solicitor at Morgan Sports LawRugby’s judicial system does not need a radical overhaul – it just needs fine-tuning. Some people decry apparent inconsistencies. Yet in any system of sanctioning, there’s a necessary element of discretion and with discretion there is always room for disagreement.Any reform should be focused on minimising that area for potential dispute.One way this might be improved is by weighting the factors that disciplinary panels must consider when determining the seriousness of an offence and applying the off-field mitigating factors.Different panels approach things differently: some place great importance on the impact on the victim; others focus on intent. Similarly, some panels are willing to overlook a player’s past disciplinary record if they are otherwise of excellent character.Off! Manu Tuilagi had two weeks taken off a 2020 ban for good conduct and immediate remorse (Getty)I would place intent as the most important factor in the assessment of seriousness and would place a guilty plea as the most significant mitigating factor.I’d also change the regulations so that there’s a limitation period on past disciplinary sanctions – for example, only bans from more than five years ago can be ignored for sanctioning purposes. These tweaks would require changes to World Rugby’s regulations but would go a long way to eliminating perceived inconsistencies.On the whole, though, the system gets to a reasonable and fair outcome in the vast majority of cases. There is no need for wholesale reform to rugby’s disciplinary process. Your plea, appearance, past record – all are factors that can bring about a reduced ban for a player. But is the system right? Read this debate from our December 2020 issue LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Face-off: Do we need to overhaul rugby’s disciplinary process?NIK SIMONRugby correspondent for The Mail on SundayRugby’s courtrooms are the equivalent of the bargain bin in the corner of your local convenience store: 50% off all year round.Unless you are a terrorist, murderer or equivalent, there is a good chance the independent panel will find a mitigating factor to reduce your sanction.Look at Owen Farrell’s hearing last September. Irrespective of your views on his high tackle on the then 18-year-old Wasps fly-half Charlie Atkinson, the disciplinary process that followed reduced the game to a laughing stock.His red-mist moment was judged to be a top-end offence worthy of a ten-match ban. That would have ruled out the England captain for the start of the autumn Test campaign.Yet Farrell walked away with a reduced five-match ban. Why? Because he had a positive testimonial from a charity, who have nothing to do with his on-pitch actions.His tackle left Atkinson, fresh out of Abingdon Senior School, unconscious. As one writer put it, presumably the testimonials were not from Save the Children.“Sorry, mate” Saracens’ Owen Farrell apologises to Charlie Atkinson for the high tackle last autumn (Getty)Rugby’s disciplinarians often leave themselves open for ridicule. In his recent autobiography, Joe Marler revealed how he was advised to wear a suit and to cut his hair to reduce his chances of a long ban being handed down to him at a disciplinary hearing.Actions should be judged at face value but that’s not the case. Instead, you’d better find yourself a good tailor and sign up at your local support centre, then you’re halfway there… Order needed: a skirmish between Wasps and Northampton players last year at the Ricoh (Getty Images) What do you think? Email your views to [email protected] debate first appeared in the December 2020 issue of Rugby World.
Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA By Matthew DaviesPosted Oct 16, 2015 Comments (2) Submit a Press Release Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Mary Taggart says: Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis 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 The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Lora and Arthur Bernabei gather apples from their 500-acre farm in southwest Hungary before heading to Nickelsdorf, Austria, where refugees are being welcomed.This article is part of an ongoing series exploring the response to the global refugee crisis by The Episcopal Church and its ecumenical and interfaith partners. Other articles in the series are available here.[Episcopal News Service] As thousands of refugees fleeing conflict started arriving at the train station in Budapest, Hungary, in early summer, Episcopalians Lora Bernabei and her husband Arthur Reynolds knew that as Christians they were called to respond with loving kindness.They gathered apples from their 500-acre farm in southwest Hungary, loaded their car and drove to the capital to start distributing them to the men, women and children who’d walked for weeks to find safety in the arms of their European neighbors. The refugees were exhausted, traumatized and desperately in need of food and water.“When we first went to train station, we saw people just like us, and gave them bags of food and water,” said Bernabei via Skype from the Hungarian farm. “We really wanted to find a way of giving back from the abundance that we have in our own lives.”They filled a shopping cart and within two minutes it was empty. So they returned with their van, carrying the equivalent of 40 shopping carts. That was gone in less than an hour.They sent an email to their local priest and he put out a call for help in the parish newsletter. “All of sudden we had a carload of volunteers,” she said. “People just wanted to help – clothes, food, my car was filled to the brim.”At the time, they weren’t to know that in early September Hungary would throw many of the refugees into prison and close its borders to force future asylum seekers, many destined for Germany, to find alternative routes through neighboring countries such Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.“The situation was changing very quickly. Hungary got a lot of bad press and … they were clearing out the train stations,” said Lora.Arthur Bernabei meets with volunteers helping to welcome and process refugees as they arrive in Nickelsdorf, Austria. Photo: Lora BernabeiBut then Bernabei and Reynolds heard that the refugees were being well received at the Austrian border, so they diverted their mission and started making regular trips to Nickelsdorf, a point of historic significance and reception for people fleeing problems through Hungary.“We saw the field where they cross over and then it gets much more sophisticated in Nickelsdorf,” she said, “with tents saying, ‘We’re glad to help you.’ ”During their first trip to Nickelsdorf, a two-hour drive from their farm, they transported 400 kilos (882 pounds) of apples and delivered them to the Red Cross refugee reception center. They have since returned with shoes, toiletries, cans of food and other items to help them along their journey.The refugees arrive at the Nickelsdorf reception center and generally stay there for one night. Every day the center is turned around. Buses are filled and the refugees transported to the German border as the center is cleaned and linen replaced for the next arrivals.The refugee reception center in Nickelsdorf is turned around every day as refugees are processed and transported to Germany. Photo: Lora Bernabei“We wanted to do our part somehow, and this is something tangible,” said Bernabei. “I was very moved the first time I witnessed the refugees as they are people with great dignity,” she said. “They are shopkeepers and dentists and they cannot stay in their own country. It’s luck that they’ve made it here. They are not poor – they are political refugees and they are people like you and me. They are fleeing for their lives, and we just want to help them on their way.”For more than 20 years, Bernabei has been a lay leader in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, serving on various commissions and boards. She was pivotal in the work of the Convocation’s Commission on the Ministry of the Baptized and the European Institute of Christian Studies, noted especially for her leadership to formalize the bishop’s vision for the discernment process and for lifelong Christian formation for both clergy and laity.Like Bernabei, many Episcopalians and their ecumenical partners throughout Europe don’t see their response to the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II as short term.“Our churches in Europe, with the current refugee crisis, have stepped up all over the place,” said Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, “not only [to provide] basic needs, but also counseling for the asylum process.”In addition to the response in Hungary, Whalon recognized the work of Episcopalians in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and beyond in extending support and hospitality to the refugees who’ve risked their lives to escape persecution.“When [the refugees] are able to settle down, they become incredible resources for their host country,” said Whalon. “It’s very important that people know that. To not have compassion on these people, with their courage and desperation, with their extraordinary woundedness and their extraordinary skills, would be a complete and utter denial of the reality of Jesus Christ.”Bernabei agreed. “These people want to work. In reality, they integrate very quickly … . They want to make a living and become part of society. They are professionals.”“War sees no boundaries,” said Nagulan Nesiah, program officer for Episcopal Relief & Development, which is responding to the refugee crisis through regional partnerships that offer hospitality and welcoming safe spaces as people journey through the continent. “Many of [the refugees] were teachers, lawyers and professionals who had homes and stable careers. Now, they find themselves in a vulnerable situation without clothing or resources to care for their families. They arrive in their new countries with an eagerness and determination to succeed.”The most recent updates from Episcopal Relief & Development about its response to the refugee crisis, as well as ways to donate, are available here.“It’s an extremely arduous, difficult task, but all over the place we have incredibly creative volunteers, dedicated clergy,” said Whalon. “We’re making a difference in every community that we’re in, and we are only just starting to address this new crisis. It’s spontaneous, and it’s something I am very proud of.”But the current refugee crisis, although largely centered in Europe, is a global issue.The U.S. government has announced it will increase the number of refugees being resettled to the U.S. from 70,000 to 85,000 in 2016. At least 10,000 of these refugees will be from Syria. The rest will come from places like Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Mexico and Central America, where war, violence and persecution have forced citizens to flee and prevented their ability to return home.Episcopal Migration Ministries, the refugee resettlement service of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, will assist many of those being resettled to the United States. (The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is the legal and canonical name under which The Episcopal Church is incorporated, conducts business and carries out mission.)Each year, Episcopal Migration Ministries, through a network of 30 local organizations, provides a wide spectrum of services for more than 5,000 refugees, asylees, special immigrant visa holders, and Cuban/Haitian entrants, including resettlement, employment, and additional case management to refugees with significant medical or mental health needs. These new Americans rely upon this assistance and support as they rebuild their lives in security and peace in communities across the United States.“For Episcopalians, refugee resettlement ministry is a tangible, meaningful and powerful way of being in the world: a way of living out our Baptismal Covenant to seek and serve Christ in all persons, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being,” said Allison Duvall, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ program manager for church relations and co-sponsorship.“Refugee resettlement is the story of individuals, families, and communities, of neighbors knowing one another, caring for one another, learning from one another’s stories, experiences, strengths, and gifts. And, in knowing each other, growing in understanding, compassion and respect.”Resources for education and responseThe most recent updates from Episcopal Relief & Development about its response to the refugee crisis, as well as ways to donate, are available here.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s statement on refugees as well as congregational and individual response suggestions are available here.– Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Featured Events Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Albany, NY Rector Tampa, FL An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Comments are closed. Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Collierville, TN Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 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 Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET 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 Tags Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Knoxville, TN Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Director of Music Morristown, NJ Youth Minister Lorton, VA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Washington, DC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Hopkinsville, KY IDA BRANCA says: Rector Shreveport, LA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Smithfield, NC Submit an Event Listing Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate Diocese of Nebraska Submit a Job Listing This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Refugees Migration & Resettlement New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Bath, NC October 23, 2015 at 10:55 am SO PROUD OF ALL THE PEOPLE GIVING OF THEMSELVES TO GIVE TO SUCH A REWARDING NEED FOR ALL. YES, YOU HELP HOWEVER YOU CAN, NEVER DENIGRATING ANY ONE WHO DOES GOOD FOR HUMANITY.THANK YOU ALLIDA BRANCA Press Release Service Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Belleville, IL ‘What if it were you?’ Responding to the refugee crisis in Hungary, Austria October 16, 2015 at 6:10 pm Thank you for this story. Reading of response and the help that the refugees are getting from our worldwide Episcopal community is heartening. It is unfortunate that Mr. Davies used the quote: “They are not poor – they are political refugees and they are people like you and me.” from Lora Bernabei. I hate to state the obvious, but here goes:If the refugees were poor would they be any less deserving of help?Why does one feel compelled to say they are “people like you and me?” Aren’t we all God’s beloved, each deserving of compassion and mercy?Again, thank you for covering this important story.Peace,Mary Taggart
Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI November 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm I think our church is going to be set ablaze with the Holy Spirit. It is quite obvious after hearing Presiding Bishop Curry’s homily. When I returned to church after thirty-two years, I automatically felt this fire smoldering in the Church, waiting to ignite. Our new boss has stirred the ashes, and it is igniting into full flame. I am so excited for the Episcopal Church. We need a revival of the real “Jesus Movement.” The entire Christian Church needs it. Between our new Presiding Bishop, and Pope Francis, I see a total revitalization of Christianity. We are in for a fantastic journey. God’s peace and blessing to our new boss. November 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm God is showing me the ideal of love is not to be God but to serve God. That is the joy of human life called devotion, devotion to a living God. Service makes the servant. Servant becomes the friend and and friend is fulfilled as the lover, lover of God. Hello lovers of God. Catherine Cheek says: Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Canon K. F. KING tssf says: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET November 5, 2015 at 9:15 am Yes, Bishop Curry, you are spot on. What a breath of fresh air you bring to the Episcopal church. Imagine what the world would be like if all strived to be the eyes and ears of Jesus…to live as Jesus loved. Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Frances Anderson says: This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 November 1, 2015 at 11:39 pm “Eat His Body, Drink His Blood and we will live Forever” November 2, 2015 at 1:02 am We’ve been waiting for you, Michael. November 2, 2015 at 2:08 pm I was especially impressed with the reconciliation shown by having prayers from a rabbi, a Muslim, the primate from Canada, and a Moravian minister. May all religions get their act together and exhibit the love of God, whoever we call Him/Her. Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Gage Pope says: November 2, 2015 at 6:46 am A very inspiring sermon. I too am eager to join the Jesus Movement. I think Michael Curry will be an inspiring and energizing leader. I’m proud of our church. Tags Posted Nov 1, 2015 Curate Diocese of Nebraska Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Jeanne Lewis says: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Video November 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm Thanks be to God! Though I mourn the leaving of Bishop Curry from NC, I am overwhelmed by the possibilities of his leadership for the Episcopal Church. The Spirit is truly alive in him. He is picking up the standard of the Jesus movement and will lead us forward in ways we cannot even imagine. Looking for absolutes? Read his sermon from Sunday: Love God and love each other. That’s the only absolute. If you’re focused o anything else, you aren’t paying attention. It’s all about love! Ours for Him, His for us and ours for each other. The Rev. Mark Geisler says: 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 . Connie Murray says: E Hall says: November 4, 2015 at 9:23 am I will never forget what +Frank Griswold told us in Chicago soon before he left for New York. He told us that in many ways, he would still be our bishop. He would simply be overseeing a bigger flock once he became Presiding Bishop. The people of the Diocese of North Carolina will not lose their connection to Bishop Curry. It will just be different. r h lewis (VTS 1963) says: Lynn White says: Press Release Service Sister Katherine says: Featured Events Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY November 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm What an inspiring sermon Bishop Curry has delivered. I thank God that he is now the head of the Episcopal Church. Let the Jesus Movement move forward Jeffrey Knox says: Rector Knoxville, TN Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Submit a Job Listing Deborah Tatum-Johnson says: Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Course Director Jerusalem, Israel November 10, 2015 at 2:06 pm “Now he belongs to . . .” the rest of the Episcopal Church, and, yes, North Carolina will miss him.And, Yes Francis Anderson, please, can we have transparency please! Comments (21) Walt Joyce says: Youth Minister Lorton, VA Vicki Gray says: November 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm This sermon is absolutely great. And I am satisfied that PB Michael Curry recognizes that Jesus told us, “Not everyone that says unto me >Lord, Lord< shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that does the will of my father which is in heaven." Let be about helping the poor and needy, help those who suffer by whatever means, help eliminate capital punishment, Try to stop war whenever we see it, and respect all, regardless of race, color, or creed! Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Cathedral Dean Boise, ID November 2, 2015 at 6:02 am This is truly a momentous and proud day that the Lord as given us. The enthusiastic sermon sounds as if Bishop Curry is grounded in reality and has leadership skills needed to unite the church. The sermon sparked my interest to be ready to join the Jesus Movement as we meet challenging times. As our Priest Father John states, ” I am so glad to be an Episcopalian”. November 4, 2015 at 10:41 pm After 30 seconds of seeing the sermon, my 11 year old daughter said “I like this guy.”. My 13 year old son? “Nice sermon”. Certainly two thumbs up from the pre-tee and teen set! Geraldine Denson Seals says: Submit an Event Listing The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Albany, NY Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Tampa, FL Rector Bath, NC joan Crittenden says: November 1, 2015 at 11:07 pm Very inspiring, we’re ready, let’s get going beginning now!!! Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Shreveport, LA 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 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Sister BJ Brown says: 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 November 2, 2015 at 11:03 am Michael may God Bless and keep you today and always, God probably didn’t sleep last night from all the joy and shouting that you and all you parents from St. Philips Buffalo New York , along with Fr. Curry and Dorothy Gerry and Nancy Woodruff An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET All Saints’ Day, November 1, 2015A Sermon Preached by the Most Reverend Michael B. CurryThe Installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and PrimateThe Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Washington, D.C.In the Name of our loving, liberating and life giving God:Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.It really is a joy and blessing to be able to be here and for the church to gather and to ask for God’s blessing.Allow me a point of personal privilege. I am looking forward to working with my sister the Reverend Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies. We’ve been working with each other a bit over the summer. And I look forward to working together with her in the years to come.I want to offer thanks on your behalf for Dick Schori, the spouse of the Presiding Bishop.In a time when there is often debate and genuine consternation as to whether courageous, effective leadership is even possible anymore, let the record show that The Episcopal Church has had a leader in Katharine Jefferts Schori.It is an understatement to say we live in a deeply complex and difficult time for our world. Life is not easy. It is an understatement to say that these are not, and will not be, easy times for people of faith. Churches, religious communities and institutions are being profoundly challenged. You don’t need me to tell you that. But the realistic social critique of Charles Dickens rings true for us even now. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”But that’s alright. We follow Jesus. Remember what he said at the Last Supper, just hours before he would be arrested and executed? “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 KJV)As that great biblical scholar has said, borrowing from what might be Bobby McFerrin’s paraphrase of Jesus’ words: Don’t worry. Be happy! Don’t Worry. Be Happy.Let me offer a text from the 17th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. When [the angry crowd could not find the Apostle Paul and Silas], they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also…. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” (Acts 17:6-7)What you have there is a First century description of the Jesus movement. Don’t worry. Be happy!Many centuries later, Julia Ward Howe, writing in the midst of America’s Civil War, spoke of this same movement, even amidst all the ambiguities and tragedies of history. This is what she wrote:In the beauty of the liliesChrist was born across the sea,with a glory in his bosomthat transfigures you and me,as he died to make folk holylet us live to set all free,while God is marching on.Glory, glory, hallelujah,God’s truth is marching on.That’s the Jesus movement. What was true in the First Century and true in the 19th Century is equally and more profound in this new 21st Century. So don’t worry. Be happy.God has not given up on the world,and God is not finished with The Episcopal Church yet. IThe truly liberating truth is that Jesus didn’t come into this world to found a religion, though religious faith is important. Nor did he establish a religious institution or organization, though institutions and organizations can serve his cause. You will not find an organizational table in the New Testament.Jesus came to continue a movement. Actually, Jesus picked up and took the movement of John the Baptist to a new level. John was part of the movement born out of prophets like Amos and Isaiah and Jeremiah. And prophetic movement was rooted in Moses, who went up to the mountaintop. Jesus crystalized and catalyzed the movement that was serving God’s mission in this world. God has a passionate dream for this world. Jesus came to show us the way. Out of the darkness into the dream.That’s what is going on in the passage from the Acts of the Apostles — the movement! The Apostle Paul and Silas, his partner in ministry, have been preaching, teaching and witnessing to the way of Jesus in the city of Thessalonica. While their message finds some resonance with many, it is troublesome to others. A riot breaks out because of the tensions. Our text describes those who are troubled by the teaching about The Way, as the Jesus movement was first called.Listen to this description of the first followers of Jesus:These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also…. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus. (Acts 17:6b-7)Notice that the activity of Paul and Silas was seen not as an isolated incident in Thessalonica, but as part of a greater movement of revolution. “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also.” Paul and Silas by themselves might not have been of much consequence. But as part of a movement, they posed a problem.This movement was perceived as somehow reordering the way things were, “turning the world upside down.”The reason the movement was turning the world upside down was because members of the movement gave their loyalty to someone named Jesus and committed themselves to living and witnessing to his way above all else. “They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” That’s what we did at the beginning of this service when, in the Baptismal Covenant, we reaffirmed our commitment to be disciples, living by and witnessing to the way of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. The Way of Jesus will always turn our worlds and the world upside down, which is really turning it right side up! That’s what Isaiah was trying to tell us in Isaiah 11. He saw the dream. When God’s way is our way:The prophet Isaiah saw this. When Gods dream happens, when the world is upside down…..The wolf shall live with the lamb,the leopard shall lie down with the kid,the calf and the lion and the fatling together,and a little child shall lead them….The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lordas the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)St. John saw in his vision of the world end in the Book of Revelation. Exiled and imprisoned for his witness to the way of Jesus, John was caught up “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10). He lifted up his head, and he saw the dream.Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more. (Revelation 21:1-4)No more war.No more suffering.No more injustice.No more bigotry.No more violence.No more hatred.Every man and woman under their own vine or fig tree.The rule of love. The way of God. The kingdom. The reign.The great Shalom, Salaam of God.The dream.God’s on a mission to work through “our struggle and confusion,” as the Prayer Book says, to realize God’s dream. [i]My brothers and sisters,God has not given up on the world,and God is not finished with The Episcopal Church yet.We are the Jesus movement.So don’t worry, be happy!IINow I know we all thought we were coming here today, via the live-stream of the internet or here in the cathedral, for the Installation of our Presiding Bishop. I thought that too until I was on the plane earlier this week, flying from North Carolina to the Episcopal Church Center in New York.And I kid you not, a thought popped into my head: “You know this is not about you.” It sort of jolted me inside. A lot was going on. I was on the way to fill out employment and insurance papers. The movers were coming to Diocesan House in Raleigh. I was going to spend one last day with Bishop Katharine. The real Michael Curry was frankly scared to death and wondering, “Did you all make a mistake?” I was stuck on a plane, strapped into my seat belt because of turbulence on the flight, and I couldn’t get off. At that moment, and I’m not trying to get mystical or anything, but at that moment something said to me, “Michael Curry, this is not about you.”I must admit that was a moment of some sweet liberation. Because it’s not about me. It’s about God, and it’s about Jesus. It’s about that sweet, sweet Spirit who will show us the way “into all the truth,” as Jesus promised (John 16:13), who has shown us the way to be who we really were created to be.The way of Jesus will always turn our lives and the world upside down, but we know that that’s really right side up. Therein is the deepest and fondest hope for all creation and the human family.Just listen to what Jesus said. What the world calls wretched, Jesus calls blessed, turning the world upside down.Blessed are the poor and the poor in spirit.Blessed are the merciful, the compassionate.Blessed are the peacemakers.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, that God’s righteous justice might prevail in all the world. (Matthew 5:3-9, paraphrased)Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Matthew 7:12)At home and in the church, do unto others as you would have them do to you. That will turn things upside down. In the boardrooms of the corporate world, in the classrooms of the academic world, in the factories, on the streets, in the halls of legislatures and councils of government, in the courts of the land, in the councils of the nations, wherever human beings are, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That’s a game changer! “Things which were cast down are being raised up. And things which had grown old are being made new.” That will turn things upside down, which is really right side up! That’s what Jesus said and what the Jesus movement is about!Love is the keyBut the key to this turning, which is at the center of the way of Jesus, is love. Later, in the Sermon on the Mount, where our Gospel reading came from, Jesus said this:“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45a)The liberating love of God is the key to the way of Jesus. Both Matthew’s and Mark’s gospels tell about the lawyer or scribe who came up to Jesus one day. Great teacher, he asked, in all of the massive legal edifice of Moses, what is the greatest law? What is the cardinal principle on which it all stands? What is the goal? What is the point of it all? In other words, what is God really getting at?Jesus answered, bringing together a teaching of Moses from the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4 and a text from Leviticus 19:18. Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)This is really a stunning declaration. On these two — love of God and love of your neighbor— hang, hinge, depend ALL the law and the prophets. Everything Moses taught.Everything the prophets thundered forth about justice.Everything in the Bible.True religion.It’s about love of God and the neighbor.If it’s not about love, then it’s not about God.This way of love is the way of Jesus. This is the heart of the Jesus movement. And it will turn the world, and the Church, I might add, upside down, which is really right side up.Let me show you what I mean. In Luke’s gospel, chapter 10, Jesus and a lawyer come to an agreement that love of God and love of neighbor is the standard of all morality. But then the lawyer says (and I paraphrase): Ok, I’ll grant the point about love for God and neighbor as Moses taught. But we need to carefully define what we mean by neighbor. Just how expansive or inclusive is this definition? This could have far-reaching impact. So, who exactly is my neighbor?That’s when Jesus makes up a story, a parable. This guy was walking on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. That road was known to be a pretty dangerous road to travel at night. But this guy needed to go where he was going. As it happened, he got mugged and robbed. He was beaten pretty badly and was lying on the side of the road. A priest was coming down the same road, saw him lying there, but for whatever reason, walked on by. Another religious leader from the community came by a little later, and probably for fear of his own safety, walked on by, too, leaving the guy on the side of the road. Then this Samaritan guy came by. Samaritans were not well-regarded. There was some real animosity toward them that had a long history. But ironically it was that Samaritan who actually stopped, cared for the guy, bound up his wounds, put him on his own donkey and took him into town. Then he paid for his health care and made sure the guy was taken care of until he was well.Jesus then asks the lawyer, “Now, who was a neighbor to the man?” Jesus didn’t fall for his question. By asking that question, Jesus reveals to that lawyer – and on down the centuries to us — what the love of God really looks like.But imagine the same parable with slightly different characters. A Christian was walking the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and she fell among thieves. Another Christian came by, but passed on by. Another did the same. And still another follower of Jesus passed on by. A brother or sister who is Muslim came by and stopped and saw her in need and helped her. Imagine. Who is the neighbor?It could be a young black or Hispanic youth who is hurt, and a police officer who helps. Or the police officer hurting and the youth who helps. Imagine.Do you see where Jesus is going? He’s talking about turning this world upside down.God has not given up on the world,and God is not finished with The Episcopal Church yet.We are the Jesus movement.So don’t worry, be happy.IIILast summer, the 78th General Convention of our Church did a remarkable thing: the General Convention invited us as a church to take this Jesus Movement. We made a commitment to live into being the Jesus movement by committing to evangelism and the work of reconciliation — beginning with racial reconciliation. Across the divides that set us apart. I believe the Holy Spirit showed up. I was telling someone about this, and they said, “Do you realize this Church has taken on two of the most difficult and important works it could ever embrace?”Let’s get real. Imagine “Jeopardy” or another television game show. The question asked of the contestants is this: “Name two words that begin with ‘E’ but that are never used at the same time.” And the answer? What is ‘Episcopalian’ and ‘evangelism’ ?I’m talking about a way of evangelism that is genuine and authentic to us as Episcopalians, not a way that imitates or judges anyone else. A way of evangelism that is really about sharing good news. A way of evangelism that is deeply grounded in the love of God that we’ve learned from Jesus. A way of evangelism that is as much about listening and learning from the story of who God is in another person’s life as it is about sharing our own story. A way of evangelism that is really about helping others find their way to a relationship with God without our trying to control the outcome. A way of evangelism that’s authentic to us. We can do that. And this idea of reconciliation, beginning with racial reconciliation — really? Racial reconciliation is just the beginning for the hard and holy work of real reconciliation that realizes justice but really across all the borders and boundaries that divide the human family of God. This is difficult work. But we can do it. It’s about listening and sharing. It’s about God. In this work of reconciliation we can join hands with others. It is as the Jesus movement, following Jesus’ way, that we join hands with brothers and sisters of different Christian communities, with brothers and sisters of other faith and religious traditions and with brothers and sisters who may be atheist or agnostic or just on a journey, but who long for a better world where children do not starve and where is, as the old spiritual says, “plenty good room for all of God’s children.” We can join together to do this work. In evangelism and reconciliation has got to be some of the most difficult work possible. But don’t worry. We can do it. The Holy Spirit has done this work before in The Episcopal Church. And it can be done again for a new day.It was sometime in the 1940s, when the armed forces had not be desegregated. Just after the Second World War. In the United States, Jim Crow was alive and well. Segregation and separation of the races was still the law in much of the land and the actual practice in other areas, even if it wasn’t technically the law there. The armed forces had not yet been desegregated. The Tuskegee Airmen were still a unit. Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas had not yet been issued. Long before Rosa Parks had not yet stood up for Jesus by sitting down on that bus in Montgomery. Long before Jackie Robinson was playing baseball, before Martin Luther King, Jr. was still in seminary.An African American couple went to an Episcopal church one Sunday morning. They were the only people of color there. The woman had become an Episcopalian after reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, finding the logic of his faith profoundly compelling. Her fiancé was then studying to become ordained as a Baptist preacher. But there they were on America’s segregated Sabbath, the only couple of color at an Episcopal Church service of Holy Communion according to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. When the time came for communion the woman, who was confirmed, went up to receive. The man, who had never been in an Episcopal Church, and who had only vaguely heard of Episcopalians, stayed in his seat. As he watched how communion was done, he realized that everyone was drinking real wine — out of the same cup. The man looked around the room, then he looked at his fiancée, then he sat back in the pew as if to say, “This ought to be interesting.”The priest came by uttering these words as each person received the consecrated bread: The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving.Would the priest really give his fiancée communion from the common cup? Would the next person at the rail drink from that cup, after she did? Would others on down the line drink after her from the same cup? The priest came by speaking these words to each person as they drank from the cup: The Blood our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.The people before her drank from the cup. The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ…. Another person drank. Preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. The person right before her drank. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s Blood was shed for thee…. Then she drank. And be thankful. She drank. Now was the moment her fiancé was waiting for. Would the next person after her drink from that cup? He watched. The next person drank. The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee…. And on down the line it went, people drinking from the common cup after his fiancée, like this was the most normal thing in the world. The man would later say that it was that reconciling experience of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist that brought him into The Episcopal Church and that he had an evangelism. He said, “Any Church in which blacks and whites drink out of the same cup knows something about the Gospel that I want to be a part of.”That couple later married and gave birth to two children, both of whom are here today, and one of whom is the 27th Presiding Bishop.We are Gods’ children, all of us. We are God’s baptized children. We are here to change the world with the power of love. God really does love us. The Spirit has done evangelism and reconciliation work through us before. And the Spirit of God can do it again, in new ways, now beyond the doors of our church buildings, out in the world, in the sanctuary of the streets, in our 21st-century Galilee where the Risen Christ has already gone ahead of us.Yes, the way of God’s love turns our world upside down. But that’s really right side up. And in that way, the nightmare of this world will be transfigured into the very dream of God for humanity and all creation.My brothers and sisters,God has not given up on God’s world.And God is not finished with The Episcopal Church yet.God has work for us to do.Jesus has work for us to do and it’s the Jesus Movement.So don’t worry. Be happy!He’s got the whole world in his hands.He’s got the whole world in his hands.He’s got the whole world in his hands.He’s got the whole world in his hands. November 2, 2015 at 9:06 am Jesus is my King! Michael Curry is my General… and I have my marching orders!!!! God be praised! Only love will change the world and only love will usher in the Kingdom. I give great thanks for our new Presiding Bishop and I am thankful to Katherine for all she did as #26. Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Stewart David Wigdor says: Video: Curry’s sermon at installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Belleville, IL Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Curry Installation, Comments are closed. Rector Martinsville, VA November 2, 2015 at 11:45 pm All I hope for is true transparency at all levels of the EC over the next 6 years. Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT November 2, 2015 at 7:46 am Thanks be to God ! What energy and wisdom and commitment. We have a new leader and nowit is necessary for all who call themselves Christians (of the Episcopal tradition) to be part of thework to heal and reconcile and restore. We build for the Kingdom – let us get on with it !! Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR November 1, 2015 at 10:11 pm Bishop Curry’s sermon touched me deeply. I look forward to being more of a part of the Jesus Movement. I’m proud to be an Episcopalian in this time in the Episcopal church. Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Frances Anderson says: November 2, 2015 at 11:43 pm I wonder if the majority of the remaining membership of the Episcopal Church are aware of how much money has been spent on litigation over the past 6 years . The largest number of priests in the history of the church have been forced out of their positions. I pray for true transparency in the next 6 years! Submit a Press Release Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Washington, DC Rector Collierville, TN Thomas Hofer says:
Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest By Amy SowderPosted Nov 8, 2017 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 Rector Pittsburgh, PA Comments are closed. The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Submit an Event Listing Comments (2) Rector Bath, NC How the second-largest soup kitchen in the U.S. handles hunger today Food and Faith: Series focuses on church’s anti-hunger work Youth Minister Lorton, VA Food and Faith, Tags 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 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Press Release Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Knoxville, TN Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Martinsville, VA This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Featured Events Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Tampa, FL Rector Smithfield, NC Curate Diocese of Nebraska Guests can receive a free, well-balanced meal with fresh produce five days a week at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, which is celebrating its 35th year. The church nave can hold as many as 500 people at a time. Photo: Mike Goldsmith and Jim Graniela/Ideas in Motion[Episcopal News Service — New York, New York] A handful of chickpeas and a few leaves of kale at lunchtime won’t change the world, but consistent, nutrient-dense meals can form the foundation for a better life. And everybody, no matter their status, deserves to enjoy delicious food, say two New York City chefs who traded in a life of linen tablecloths for one with plastic trays.That’s why Felipé Saint-Martin left Manhattan’s award-winning, fine-dining institution, Gramercy Tavern, where the seasonal dinner tasting menu is $170 per person. His belief in providing enticing food to all people drew him to become head chef at the much humbler Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, where the day’s main meal is free.“Why switch?” Saint-Martin repeated as he prepared for the day’s lunch of turkey-zucchini chili over brown rice and salad made with locally grown kale and topped with cherry tomatoes, almonds, raisins, shredded carrots and ginger vinaigrette. On the side sat a slice of multigrain walnut-cranberry bread and an apple from an upstate New York farm. “The purpose.”Chef Felipé Saint-Martin fills trays for the guests during lunch on a Tuesday in mid-July at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, a mission of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News ServiceMembers of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan began the feeding ministry in 1982, when welfare benefits were slashed during the Reagan administration, with the goal of providing a warm, hearty meal to people in need. Before the soup kitchen’s director of operations, Chef Michael Ottley, arrived nine years ago, however, it was mostly about getting 2,000 calories on one tray.“The philosophy was that was enough to sustain them for one day, but that wasn’t healthy calories,” said Ottley, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. “Eight years ago, we started concentrating on the whole person.”That means healthy, sustainable, locally sourced meals with lean proteins, and more vegetables and fruits than protein. Volunteers serve fresh fruit and New York-farmed one-percent milk every day. But it also means serving people with dignity and providing services beyond food.Health, harder to reachSoup kitchens like the one at Holy Apostles are on the front lines of the Episcopal Church’s efforts to help combat hunger in America. Episcopal News Service is reporting the stories of some of those efforts for its “Food and Faith” series.Hunger looks different in the United States, the 13th richest country in the world based on gross domestic product per capita, according to a 2017 report by Business Insider, than it does in less-wealthy nations. Rather than being skeletal or bloated from lack of food or malnourishment, Americans in need tend to be overweight and to suffer from diabetes and heart disease. That’s partly because healthy food can be more expensive and less available in poor neighborhoods, called “food deserts,” where access to supermarkets with fresh food is limited. Children grow up eating food from convenience stores, bodegas and fast-food joints – some not knowing what an eggplant or sweet potato looks like.At Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, a mission of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan, the meals contain not only the 2,000 calories recommended for a day, but more nutrients from local, fresh, and rescued food sources. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News ServiceSo Saint-Martin tries to create meals that include the freshest, most local ingredients available, just like Gramercy Tavern does, but with the drastically fewer resources of a not-for-profit entity. He and Ottley also want to reduce food waste and costs, help the guests’ other needs once they’ve eaten their fill, and feed more people in more ways, on more days and in more locations.Soup kitchen rankings‘Food and Faith’Episcopal News Service’s five-part series focuses on anti-hunger efforts in the Episcopal Church, from food pantries to the church’s advocacy on government programs that fight hunger. Part 4 will post next week.True, this Chelsea-based mission is the largest emergency feeding program in New York City and the second-largest in the United States, serving about 1,200 people on a busy day, Ottley said. The country’s largest soup kitchen, Project Open Hand, offers about 2,500 meals daily in San Francisco and Alameda Counties.The biggest soup kitchen in the world? That would be the Golden Temple in the western Indian city of Amritsar, according to Al Jazeera. Every day, about 100,000 people are fed meals of roti, a flatbread, and dal, a lentil soup. The concept of free langar, the Punjab word for “kitchen,” began centuries ago with Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion.In one form or another, these emergency meals for those in need have been available around the United States since the 18th century, but the soup kitchen as we know it took hold in the Great Depression. Soup was chosen because it was economical – water could be added to serve more people.Who needs foodNearly 1.4 million New Yorkers face hunger every year, including almost one in four New York City children, according to City Harvest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to food rescue, distribution, and education, rescuing more than 500 million pounds of food in the city since 1982. The organization picks up day-old bread from restaurants and bakeries. Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen utilizes this bread, a lot of which comes from Eataly, an Italian eating and shopping emporium that includes a bakery, with several locations including two in Manhattan.Even though the economy has improved the last several years, New York’s poverty and unemployment rates remain high. For many, income hasn’t kept up with the rising cost of living: 42 percent of NYC households – 2.7 million people – don’t have the income to cover basic necessities such as food, transportation, childcare, and housing, according to City Harvest.Every day, guests can enjoy fresh fruit, New York-farmed one-percent milk, lean protein and vegetables – everything locally sourced whenever possible so it’s sustainable and healthy. Photo: Mike Goldsmith and Jim Graniela/Ideas in MotionAt Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, more than a third of the guests come from off the street, estimates the Rt. Rev. Andrew St. John, interim executive director of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, based on observational research. Other guests spend their nights at homeless shelters or are housed, but are working poor or are seniors from the neighborhood’s surrounding senior housing centers and facilities. “‘Guests,’ we call them. We treat people with respect. That’s very important, and we train our volunteers to do that,” said St. John, who’s originally from Melbourne, Australia, and was rector of Holy Trinity Church and The Church of the Transfiguration in Manhattan. “It’s a seamless path from love God to love your neighbor.”In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression, according to the Coalition for the Homeless, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for and directly serves homeless people in the city.In May 2017, there were 61,113 homeless people sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system, according to the coalition. Thousands more sleep on the streets. For families, the most common reason is lack of affordable housing and eviction. For single homeless people, especially those living on the streets, major causes are mental illness, addiction, and other health problems.On a sunny day in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the line starts snaking around the black wrought-iron fence an hour before doors open for the hot lunch, which is available 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Inside, rainbows of light shoot through the multicolored stained-glass windows in the church’s nave, where the 15 round tables can seat 150 guests at a time. On Sundays, lightly cushioned chairs are brought in and placed in rows for church services.A guest at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, a mission of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan, accepts from a volunteer some extra buttered bread, which is offered to-go as part of the meal plan served five days a week. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News Service“They treat you with respect. There’s some real nice people,” said Ansel, who preferred not to give his full name. Ansel eats at Holy Apostles only occasionally because he stays at a Harlem shelter that is about a two-hour commute north from the church. On this day, he was in the Chelsea area for a job interview as a cook.Since starting at Holy Apostles nine years ago, Ottley discovered that the need is greater than ever because the expense of living in New York City is on the rise and out of reach for most people, pushing them away to the suburbs and beyond. But many people can’t afford to move. It’s a problem seen throughout the country.“People have to decide whether they can pay for rent, medical care, or a meal,” Ottley said. “The safety net is getting full of holes. I don’t know. It’s just crazy. Are we treating our veterans right? Children? Seniors? No. These are the people who are affected the most. How do we justify that?”The soup kitchen is feeding more seniors who don’t have enough money. Some of them come in and volunteer because they’re too embarrassed to come as guests, and it’s a good way to socialize as well, Ottley said. More Asian people are coming in too. “I don’t know why that is. Maybe it was after [Hurricane] Sandy when Chinatown was hit,” Ottley said.The volunteersAs volunteers guide them, guests file in a few at a time to take the trays with built-in indentations for each dish. These volunteers – retirees, people doing court-ordered or school-required community service, people with disabilities, school and church groups, and corporation employees – stand behind each station donning white hats and clear gloves. The Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen has 23 full-time employees and one part-time employee, plus 55 to 70 daily volunteers.Volunteers from mission trips help load the meal trays in assembly-line style at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, a mission of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News ServiceEdward Cohen is a volunteer coordinator who hands out assignments such as welcoming guests at the door, scooping food onto the trays, bussing tables, and collecting trays as guests leave. “I like it when school groups volunteer,” Cohen said. “They can see that there are other people less fortunate.”Karen Lai, 16, decided to volunteer with a few friends on summer break before her junior year at Stuyvesant High School in downtown Manhattan. Lai spent her shift drying the clean trays and placing slices of that multigrain walnut-cranberry bread on each tray before sliding it to the next volunteer for the next food item, assembly-line style.“I didn’t know what else to do, so I was like, ‘Why not?’” Lai said. “I think it’s nice that people do this and that there are a lot of volunteers willing to be here.”What food insecurity looks like todayThis mission by Holy Apostles began 35 years ago as a temporary solution to a temporary problem during former President Reagan’s tax cuts, Ottley said. “Here we are, 35 years later, still going strong, sadly, but that’s where we’re at. The United States has a real lack of food policy, and I don’t see a political climate that will change that soon,” he said.Over the years, the soup kitchen’s mission has modernized, in part through focusing on rescued food and sustainability, which are not just marketable buzzwords about reducing food waste and keeping the economy and environment healthy in the long-term.Saint-Martin and Ottley have dropped the cost per meal from 78 cents the first six months of 2016 to 77 cents the same time this year. The budget per meal is $1, Saint-Martin said, which has steadily dropped with their reduced costs.This success is partly due to Ottley’s initiative to use rescued food as much as possible. The menu schedule may call for Mediterranean roasted tilapia, but if Ottley receives a load of tuna, he’s going to use that instead. On a turkey white chili day, Saint-Martin received a bunch of red kidney beans, so the chili changed. “It cuts down on the cost of food we have to pay for. I also buy directly from farmers,” Ottley said.That helps everybody. About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted annually, enough food to feed 3 billion people or 10 times the U.S. population for a year, Ottley said. Bananas and bread are the most wasted items.At Holy Apostles, besides the daily bread on the meal trays, there’s a station with extra bread and butter for guests to take with them for later. And when volunteers at the trash station take the guests’ finished trays, they pluck off any untouched apples and place them in a basket for others to take if they want. Volunteers also pack 100 to 150 brown-bag lunches to deliver to bus terminals and Penn Station, part of a new program started in May.Helping the whole personOnce a person’s basic survival needs are met, he or she can then work on thriving. Richard Trifiro, the soup kitchen’s social service manager, places trained counselors on-site to help people, one on one, find services such as job programs and referrals. Also, there are résumé workshops, job booths, meditation sessions, writing classes, ID cards, mail service, clothing banks, and toiletry stations. The biggest program is the computer workshop, Trifiro said. On Tuesdays, a screen unfurls after lunch for a movie. On this particular Tuesday, it was “Trainwreck,” a comedy starring Amy Schumer. Fun is important too.“Food is what’s going to get them in here. Then they find concrete benefits like toiletries, clothing, and socks. It gets them engaged in the program,” Trifiro said. “Once they get past those necessities, then they’ll be more willing to do more for themselves.”Guests can receive a free, well-balanced meal with fresh produce five days a week at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, which is celebrating its 35th year. The church nave can hold as many as 500 people at a time. Photo: Mike Goldsmith and Jim Graniela/Ideas in MotionTreating people in need to delicious, nutritious food, which can fortify them to improve other aspects of life, gives Saint-Martin a sense of purpose he never had before. It’s a value he learned from his grandmother, who always provided space at the table for anyone hungry, even strangers off the street. That’s why he wanted to cook for a living in the first place.“I think it took me 18 years to realize that. A person needs to follow their beliefs,” Saint-Martin said. “Churches need to modernize to stay relevant, and soup kitchens do that.”— Amy Sowder is a special correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn. She can be reached at [email protected] Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Washington, DC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Press Release Service Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Featured Jobs & Calls Richard Gatjens says: 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 Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Albany, NY Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Job Listing Richard Basta says: Rector Collierville, TN An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET November 16, 2017 at 8:09 pm I volunteered there today for the first time. It’s well organized and the volunteers are friendly and courteous. It’s inspiring! November 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm Great ministry. This should be the ECUSA s number one priority. Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Belleville, IL Rector Shreveport, LA Poverty & Hunger Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR 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 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis 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 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Associate Rector Columbus, GA By Aysha KhanPosted Mar 31, 2020 Curate Diocese of Nebraska Submit a Press Release Rector Albany, NY Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Health & Healthcare Featured Events Rector Smithfield, NC This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Press Release Service Featured Jobs & Calls Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Bath, NC Tags Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Submit an Event Listing Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL As Zoom and other videoconferencing services become more common, so are the disruptions known as “Zoombombing.” Image: Religion News Service[Religion News Service – Boston, Massachusetts] On Sunday, Alex Merritt was signed in to the Zoom video conferencing app, discussing a biblical passage with members of his Sunday school young adults group at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.Then the trolls attacked.Some began sharing their screens and drawing obscene images over the text the group had been discussing. “You are being hacked! You are being hacked!” one shouted. Another turned on his video and began revealing his genitals.“It was generally chaotic and impossible to stop,” recalled Merritt. “It was a huge wake-up call for me because I’m an elementary public school teacher, and I don’t want the children in my class exposed to any of the pornographic images that trolls sent us.”The mass transition of houses of worship to Zoom and other online video conferencing platforms has meant that religious services are more accessible than ever before.Unfortunately for digital congregants, that means they are also more accessible to online trolls who have plenty of free time to disrupt their services with obscene or hateful interruptions.Merritt’s church group, which had to shut down its meeting and set up a new one, originally put a public Zoom link on its website. Now, the group will only send the link to members of its private Facebook groups, all of whom have been approved.“I think places of worship need to be really careful when they put public Zoom links on their websites, especially if those links are to meeting spaces where there will be young children,” Merritt told Religion News Service. “Places of worship, ideally, want to be places that anyone can attend. At the moment, they need to balance this desire to be open to all who seek and the reality that there are folks out there who would sabotage these digital spaces.”The epidemic of “Zoombombing” has spared no one, with trolls finding meeting links that have been posted online, then sharing and drawing graphic content on participants’ screens — leaving schools and universities, churches and synagogues alike with no choice but to close their meetings abruptly.A Shabbat service held via Zoom by a Bay Area synagogue was crashed by Nazis. A Unitarian Universalist church in Massachusetts saw a livestreamed service on YouTube deluged with dislikes. A livestreamed church service in Los Angeles was hacked and replaced with porn. A Zoom webinar last week with the People’s Forum, an activist-oriented cultural space directed by theologian Claudia de la Cruz, was disrupted by a troll posting the n-word in the chat window repeatedly until administrators blocked him.“My heart sank when I saw it happen,” said the Rev. Jason Wells, who had joined the People’s Forum event from Concord, New Hampshire, and saw the racist messages. “There are lots of great justice workers on that call and I felt deflated when I thought of how it would affect everyone there.”On Sunday morning, the Rev. Laura Everett was on Zoom at Boston’s First Baptist Church preaching about death when users from outside the church’s congregation hijacked the service.After finding a link to the meeting, which Everett had tweeted so her followers could tune in to her sermon, the trolls began forcing racist and anti-LGBT hate speech onto participants’ screens.“Hate doesn’t stop in a pandemic,” she tweeted as church leaders stopped the meeting and reconvened in a password-protected web conference. “Lord, have mercy.”The disruption left Everett thinking about the “profound brokenness” in the men who harassed her and her congregants.“Candidly, as a Preacher, I’ve got enough work now: Exegete the Scripture, Say something wise during a pandemic?” Everett tweeted afterward. “Preach the sermon, Run Tech set up, Live stream to FB/Twitter/Zoom. What I don’t need is more work from internet trolls #zoombombing & harassing me and the congregation.”Combined with the desire to leave their churches’ doors open to the masses, many religious leaders’ newness with the technology means they struggle to protect their services from such disruptions.Many faith-based organizations, including the United Methodist Church of New England and the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, have begun sharing tips with members for avoiding Zoombombing. Zoom’s own blog has published an extensive guide to the features that hosts can use to protect their meetings.Gateway’s Director of Online Education made this brief tutorial on how to protect your church or small group from Zoom Bombers. If you are using Zoom for online education, social gatherings, or church functions watch this video: https://t.co/MfukNOIJ8q— Gateway Online (@GatewayOnlineEd) March 28, 2020“If you don’t advertise how to get onto the meeting it becomes much harder for people to join the meeting in the first place,” wrote David Sim, a trainee minister with the Church of Scotland who created a guide to preventing Zoombombing. “That may be counter-intuitive where we want to welcome all, so it may not be possible in every case – for example for our public worship where we want everyone to join. However, if you are having a business meeting, a Messy Church or a small prayer meeting, you can share joining details by email or text on a need to know basis.”Merritt, who began researching ways to protect his students as he moved to distance learning, recommended that administrators disable screen sharing and annotations during meetings. Otherwise, any participant who joins the meeting can share the contents of their own screen or draw anything onto the shared screen.He also urged houses of worship to enable Zoom’s waiting room feature so the host can approve folks to join the meeting and be ready to boot any unknown users out of the meeting.And don’t forget to pray for those who harassed you, Merritt said.While his own group was too harried by the intrusion to do so together, he said, “it seems like the obvious, Christian thing to do in retrospect!”This article was originally published by Religion News Service. Rector Collierville, TN Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Tampa, FL How to prevent ‘Zoombombing’ from disrupting virtual services Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Shreveport, LA Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Washington, DC Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Knoxville, TN COVID-19, Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Submit a Job Listing Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Martinsville, VA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Belleville, IL In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ 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 An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA
UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom I just turned on my computer and realized that I missed tonight’s radio show. I forgot it was Monday. TAGSGreg JacksonLet’s Talk About ItRod Love Previous articleIn case you missed it: The Apopka news week in reviewNext articleLake Apopka Natural Gas celebrates third annual Utility Workers’ Day Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Central Florida voters do not want to miss this show and the chance to call in to express your support or displeasure with the Apopka CRA and the elected officials who are leading the decision to disregard all Apopkans. Progress should be fair and consistent, and if this happening in Apopka, it is probably taking place in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Sanford, Daytona Beach, etc.Tune in to 1680am WOKB, online at www.wokbradio.com or on Facebook @letstalkaboutitlive Monday from 7 pm to 8 pm to hear Rod Love and Greg Jackson on LET’S TALK ABOUT IT, Central Florida’s leading results-oriented radio talk show … This is a can’t-miss-show that will blow your mind!*****Let’s Talk About It, with Rod Love and co-host Greg Jackson, now on its 17th episode, is an edgy new radio program that has a distinct “Apopka” tone.Rod LoveHosts Rod Love and Greg Jackson are well-known figures in Apopka. Love is a local businessman and the co-chair of the Apopka Task Force against Violence. He is a consistent speaker at Apopka City Council meetings. Jackson is a local attorney that ran for the Florida Legislature in 2016 for District 45, which includes a part of Apopka.The show airs on WOKB 1680AM on Mondays from 7-8 PM. You may also stream it online here.Let’s Talk About It describes itself as a show in search of results-oriented solutions. It tackles important subjects such as crime in urban communities, jobs, business growth, relationship with the police, transitioning from a mom and pop proprietorship to mom and pop incorporation and a whole lot of other action initiatives that affect the quality of life of individuals and families are the major focus. Its goal is to develop an understanding of the everyday needs and issues of people and assist in empowering them with the necessary information or motivation towards addressing such needs, all with the support of professionals or experts who will be the show’s guests.Greg Jackson Let’s Talk About It has an interactive style of information sharing that is both entertaining and educational. It acts as a vehicle for civic and faith-based organizations, small businesses and everyday citizens to be able to work together to foster a progressive development of communities’ interactivity with one another.To join the conversation tonight, call Let’s Talk About It at 407-894-1680. 1 COMMENT Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 From Let’s Talk About it with Rod Love and Greg Jackson March 5, 2018 at 8:46 pm You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Reply Please enter your name here Apopka CRA Please enter your comment! Mama Mia This Monday on LET’S TALK ABOUT IT with Rod Love and Greg Jackson, we will discuss the Apopka CRA’s continual disregard of the South Apopka community. After the Apopka CRA voted to give nearly $200,000.00 for a single police officer to patrol the CRA’s business area and $1 million for a parking lot, the “Dynamic Duo” asks why not a single penny has been allocated to directly improve the lives of South Apopka residents. Additionally, there will be a statement from the largest African-American Church in the South Apopka community, that you will not want to miss. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Previous articleThe Best Rx for Back PainNext articleBallot shortages, record turnout and two runoffs… Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Please enter your comment! By Christine McDonaldMany of you may have had a personal experience with identity theft. It’s become far too common these days. My parents’ credit card number has been taken three times over the last couple of years. With all the hassle of having their card number tampered with, then having the bank cancel and re-issue a new card, each step has been a learning experience within itself for the entire family. I want to educated everyone on what we have learned in this process and hopefully bring awareness to Identity Theft and Cyber Crimes.In a 2015 Identity Fraud Study via the Federal Trade Commission, “Identity fraud victims occur every two seconds and $16 billion was stolen from 12.7 million U.S. consumers in 2014, compared with $18 billion and 13.1 victims the year before.”Recently while valeting a car at a prominent hospital, a young gentleman took my mother’s card for payment. Instead of putting it to the register he held it under the desk station, which was out of our sight. I asked him what he was doing with my mother’s card. Later, via police, we found out that this is a common tactic for scammers, as they may have a card reader hidden out of sight of a customer. They may even distract you with small talk and within seconds your credit card number and your identity has been compromised. By a quick swipe on another machine, your information is put into a data base to be sold. Scary, right?Now a days a little device can be placed on a card reader to look legitimate. A crook may scam your card a couple times and explain the multiple swipes by acting like your card didn’t swipe correctly. After speaking with the police, I have now learned it is always crucial we keep our receipts and never let the card out of your eye sight. If, at a restaurant, keep receipts with the tip amount. Staying up-to-date with daily bank balances and credit card charges is crucial.“While most people are vulnerable to identity theft, children and elderly people are the most targeted. Cyber hacks take place on a daily bases,” informs the Federal Trade Commission. Most banks will reimburse you for the wrong charges, but it is a true hassle. It’s important for you to stay on top of our own bank and credit card balances via computer and/or phone. Always keep an eye on your credit cards when being swiped, because sadly you never know.We’ve now learned it only takes a moment with your card out of sight to be swiped. After speaking with police about my mother’s credit card, I learned that scammers often operate in groups. The insiders sell the credit card information from a data base they have now accumulated. “Most of these individuals work for financial, medical, or even educational facilities,” states the Federal Trade Commission. These institutions store more personal information and it is easy for them to then sell off confidential information which can be very lucrative.After this experience my mother’s card was canceled immediately and a new card was reissued. If ever you feel something wasn’t handled properly go ahead and take the necessary actions needed. Stay ahead and on top of your financial well being. Please enter your name here Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate The Anatomy of Fear Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here The Anatomy of Fear Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. TAGSBig LotsFirepitGrillOutdoor Living SpacePatio Previous articleScholarships Available for Apopka Area Medical StudentsNext articleApopka Police requesting help from community Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment! Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter 3. Fabulous firepitsWhen the temperature drops on a spring evening, who wants to head indoors? Adding a firepit to your outdoor living space is a great way to extend your enjoyment of it well into the night. You don’t have to be a pro at building a fire to enjoy a firepit, either. Big Lots offers a gas-fueled firepit nestled inside a stone-topped table that makes starting a fire as easy as turning on the gas and flipping a switch. Arrange four plushly cushioned rockers around your firepit table, and you have the perfect spot for evening chats. Mother Nature is the ultimate exterior designer, and she shows off her chops every spring and summer when backyards come alive with colorful flowers, birdsong, warm breezes and the lush aroma of newly mown grass. Is your deck, patio or other outdoor entertaining area living up to her standards?If your backyard entertaining space could stand some freshening and pops of color, the outdoor living experts at Big Lots point to these eight elements to turn any patio or deck into a paradise worthy of Mother Nature’s brilliance:1. A perfect patio setPatio furniture is the focal point of any outdoor living space, how you use your patio or deck should guide your choice of furnishings. If you’ll be doing a lot of outdoor dining, a table and chairs are essential. Do you envision relaxed evenings chatting with friends in a comfortable setting? Outdoor sofas, love seats, benches and gliders, arranged around a coffee table, can create an intimate area.2. Colorful cushions and pillowsEven the most-loved, highest quality patio set can benefit from replacing old, faded cushions with something new, colorful and exciting. New cushions can completely change the look of your entire outdoor living space, and remind you why you fell in love with your furniture in the first place. Don’t just stop with replacing chair cushions, however. Add toss pillows in colors or patterns that compliment your chair cushions, and pile them on your outdoor sofa to create a comfortable, bright seating area. 4. An enlightened atmosphereSpeaking of evenings outdoors, lights extend your entertaining hours and create inviting ambiance for patios and decks. Choose a mixture of light sources, such as candle-lit lanterns for a warm glow, solar lights to illuminate travel paths, and string lights that cast gentle light from above.5. Smart shade sourcesOf course, much of your outdoor time will be spent in the sun, so take steps to provide some shade for your patio or deck. A range of versatile shade sources fit virtually every decor theme, and patio or deck size. Have a large, open concrete patio? A gazebo with a canopy and netting can provide shade and keep insects away from guests and food. Want to move the shade with the sun? An offset umbrella with stand can help you put the shade exactly where you need it at any time of day. Traditional umbrellas shelter seating areas, and add bright pops of color to your outdoor decor.6. Multiple seating areasIn addition to the focal point of your patio or deck, use patio furniture to create separate seating areas for more flexible entertaining. A small cast iron bistro set or bench situated beneath a tree is a great spot for quiet conversations, sipping your favorite beverage or relaxing with a good book. A glider near the patio or deck is sure to be a favorite spot for parent-child chats.7. A great grill stationWhether you prefer a big, beautiful four-burner 48,000 BTU stainless steel gas grill or a traditional round charcoal kettle grill, a well-planned and efficient grilling station is a must for outdoor entertaining. Be sure to outfit your station with your grill of choice, a rack of accessories like a grilling tool set and grill brush, and a cooler for briefly storing food before it goes on the grill.8. A greener outdoor environmentIf you truly want to celebrate Mother Nature’s creativity, what better way could there be than to decorate your outdoor living space with her handiwork? Arrange flowers and greens in containers in a variety of shapes and sizes throughout your outdoor entertainment area. A small, brightly colored pot of pansies makes a wonderful centerpiece for your patio table. Plant a tall fern or palm in a large, vividly hued pot and use it as a natural division between “rooms” in your outdoor living space.You can find all these must-have elements and more at affordable prices at your local Big Lots. For more information, or to find a store near you, visit BigLots.com.