Standing Rock Heats Up Again
Just when it appeared that things were cooling down
as Standing Rock tribal leaders appeared to be ready to use other means of protest of the pipeline being built across sacred land which threatens their water supplies, the North Dakota governor ordered mass arrests
of those remaining at the water protectors camp. The arrests of 76 individuals took place on February1, 2017 which after the official close for this week's news, but before posting and so are included here. You can find the most recent past update story here
Episcopalians Respond to the Executive Order on Immigration
The Executive Order
banning immediately the entrance into the U.S. of people from 7 countries, including those holding green cards and refugees with visas provoked not only major demonstrations at a number of airports and cities, but numerous statements from religious leaders. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry had sent a public letter
to Donald Trump urging that the Episcopal Church's ministry of refugee resettlement not be disrupted just two days before Trump signed the E.O. Since then numerous Episcopal Bishops and officials have gone on record denouncing the order. The Episcopal Cafe
gives a listing of the statements. Be sure to also look in the comments because they include updates. In addition, there has been a petition circulating about refugee resettlement ministries that had garnered the signatures
of more than 3500 religious leaders from many different faith traditions, including a number of Episcopalians.
Sudan Sends Christians to Jail for Trying to Help a Badly Burned Refugee
Petr Jašek, a Czech national with a background in medical administration was arrested on his arrival in Sudan. He was bringing $5000 to help with medical expenses for a student badly burned during a 2013 protest. Charged with spying, defaming the government, and bringing money to finance rebels,
Jašek and two Sudanese Christians who were seen on a video Jašek had on his computer have received long sentences
. The government is also taking action to have numerous Christian churches demolished.
Trump's Supreme Court Nominee is an Episcopalian
Neil Gorsuch, nominated on Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court may be a conservative, but he attends a downtown Episcopal Church in Boulder, CO, according to the Religion News Service
. St. John's web page description of the parish refers to itself as "inclusive" and has this statement: "We are formed and strengthened through a
variety of worship services, traditional music, contemplative prayer,
spiritual and social justice formation programs, as well as meaningful
service within the parish, the local community and in the larger world." The parish is listed as a Jubilee ministry by the Episcopal Church because of its long history of outreach.
Judge Withdraws from Consideration for South Carolina Supreme Court
Judge Diane Goodstein whose originally banned loyal Episcopalians in South Carolina from using the name of their diocese, and who issued the original trial decision that awarded all property to the schismatic group had put her name forward for consideration as a South Carolina Supreme Court Judge. Episcopalians appealed that decision in a filing highly critical of Goodstein, but have been waiting over a year and a half for the Supreme Court to issue its opinion on that appeal. Steve Skaradon who edits the blog scepiscopalians.com reported the withdrawal and explains the politics of South Carolina judge selection. His blog does not have internal bookmarks, so look for his February 1 entry.