Standing Rock Celebrates Decision
The decision by the Army Engineers to deny approval for the last piece of the Dakota pipeline brought cheers
and celebrations at the camp on the Sioux Reservation, and a statement from the Episcopal Presiding Bishop. The announcement brought relief on the eve of what had been feared would be another confrontation if law enforcement moved on the camp to enforce an order to vacate the water protectors camp on land controlled by the army, but claimed under an 1851 treaty by the Sioux. Episcopalians have been involved in the protests from the beginning. The situation had been considered grave enough that Presiding Bishop Curry had written
to the North Dakota Governor and the local sheriff asking them to not use water canons or rubber bullets and to de-escalate the law enforcement response. He noted that there were 30 chaplains present to counsel any of the veterans planning to serve as a non-violent shield between law enforcement and the protectors. The construction company's hard-line response
, however, means that the struggle has not yet reached a conclusion. Pittsburgh Update has carried numerous stories on the Standing Rock situation. The most recent is here
Church Troubles in Haiti
This last week Presiding Bishop Curry released a letter
outlining problems dividing the Diocese of Haiti. The letter notes that the Bishop Duracin and the Suffragan Bishop Beauviour are at odds, that there are charges pending that may result in a Title IV hearing, and that the turmoil is affecting clergy and laity in the diocese, including the filing of a Title III request to separate the suffragan from the diocese. Curry has already sent representatives who negotiated a new memorandum of understanding on the processes for joint development projects between the diocese and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (i.e. the missionary arm of the Episcopal Church). Bishop Curry is now sending a three person team to open conversations with the two bishops and others to see if there is a way forward towards reconciliation.
Los Angeles Diocese Votes to Be a Sanctuary Diocese
At a convention dominated by the election of a bishop coadjutor, the Diocese of Los Angeles also passed a significant resolution
committing the diocese to be a sanctuary for immigrants facing deportation, to network with other groups making similar declarations, to encourage its parishes and schools to declare themselves sanctuary sites and to provide training for parishes and individuals to be effective sanctuary sites. The resolution was proposed by All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena, but co-sponsored by 90 people. All Saints is on record as supporting immigration reform.
Gatlinburg Parishes Helping Fire Recovery
Recovery from the fires
in East Tennessee that destroyed over 1600 buildings and killed 14 people and injured 134 will be a long process. (The numbers keep rising on destruction and deaths as officials are able to get into areas affected by the fire.) Trinity Episcopal Church in Gatlinburg was spared, but parishioners were not allowed into town for Sunday services so as many as could met a at member's house
in nearby Sevier for a service. Seven families from the parish lost their homes. The parish and others in the area are now assessing
how best to help in the recovery.