Reflections on possiblities

March 13, 2007 at 9:51 am | Posted in Day 6: Monday, 12 March 2007, Laura | 2 Comments

Today before lunch the Archdeacon of Toronto asked me to pose in front of a sign that reads “Quiet Please.” After dinner Douglas Fenton asked me if I had an “inside voice.” I am happy to reflect that this must mean I am truly being myself here at the conference. I feel for that for a 24 year-old woman who’s only been a Christian for 3 years I’ve held my own pretty well. Sure I’ve really stuck my foot in my mouth a few times (revisit my post about Day 2) And I’ve probably stepped on a few toes that I don’t even know about. I certainly have learned a lot more about the Church and its inner workings in the week past. But I’ve chosen to understand them and then move back to the important piece of actually acting out the mission of God. However, in light of these new learnings I certainly can see how churchpeople could in some ways consider me a liability instead of an asset. I’m happy that they have chosen to see me as the latter. And I really feel that they have done that in my days past. I have built relationships up I never would’ve otherwise had the opportunity to do in my life. I have seen a country that acts out the Gospel in ways that must make God dance. I have honed my own gifts to be able to continue to give to the church in a lifegiving and much needed way. Best of all I have learned things about myself that I never alone would have been able to uncover. I really believe that this is what the Kingdom Of God looks, acts, and feels like. People reaching out to people and pulling out things that need to be pulled out. Cleaning each others wounds that would otherwise had been left dirty. Drawing ourselves deeper into our own spiritual journeys by asking others to join one another in the mission we are on this earth to do, “give the poor a fair chance.”

Being at this conference has been an amazing experience. Hearing what stories people have to tell from all over the world in all walks of life. I do not feel that at any time did I have to comprimise who I was in order to fit in. I cannot tell you how much of a different experience that is of the church than others I’ve heard from. In fact, a marvelous woman who told her story today talked about when she was first diagnosed HIV-positive. The church figured it out after she started to drop weight and her glands started to swell. The church she was a part of told her she was dirty and a sinner in the eyes of God. Now 13 years later, young men and women confide in her that there are places they have started to feel more comfortable coming out about their HIV status. The church however, is defiantly not one of them.

She posed the most interesting question: Why are we as Anglicans working to help the poor, the afflicted, the less fortunate then ourselves? Is it because we the church want to reach out to them who don’t have as much or enough? Do we the church want to reach out to them so we feel better about ourselves? Do we the church want to help them because it is what God is calling us to do? If so, then we need to do some serious “coming to Jesus” because that is NOT what we the church should ever use as reasons for doing the mission of the church. We the church need to reach out because our church has AIDS, our church is hungry, our church is hurt, our church is afflicted. The latter of these is what Christ calls us to do. The former is what divides the “us” and “them.” Getting honest with ourselves about why we are doing the work of Jesus is getting layers deep into spiritually defining ourselves. It’s certainly not a space I’d want individuals to start. But for those of us who have started down the path all ready of healing the sick and comforting the afflicted, it’s time for us to delve further into why that is. Because when we start to undo those layers, we start to truly live as Christians.

We’re nearing the end of our conference. I believe there are only two days left. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori has arrived this afternoon after being at a consecration, and we are glad for her presence. She will be participating in our church service our last day together. Each continent has chosen a different day in which to lead morning and evening prayer. North America is the last day. Canada will do our morning worship, and USA will do the last Eucharist with our Presiding Bishop. Bishop Frank Griswold has asked me to serve communion. I have never ever participated in a church service whatsoever. I’ve never even done a reading. I told him I’ve never done anything in a church service, even a reading. He smiled.  As I walked away a little shaky at the very thought of helping our Presiding Bishop I thought to myself  “I wonder if I’m just going to serve as the token young adult to make our picture look real pretty.” After pondering for a moment I realized this was not in fact the case. I was asked because Bishop Frank believes I can do it. And for me that’s a great way to end our week because in the beginning of choosing delegates for TEAM 2007 I had some other wonderful people (thank you Thom and Douglas) who believed I could do it.

After accepting and then realizing what I might be getting into I wanted to withdraw, and my parish I belong to believed I could do it. Now finally here I am doing it. I say this not as a pat on the back to myself but an example to everyone in the world that if a girl who was atheist most of her life can come to God, serve Jesus, and live into the Holy Spirit in an entirely different country, and in less than three years administering communion next to our new female Presiding Bishop, then the MDG’s, my friends, are indeed just as possible to achieve!

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Introducing Taís F. Kovaleski, delegate from Brazil (with English translation)

March 13, 2007 at 4:13 am | Posted in Day 6: Monday, 12 March 2007, Tais | Leave a comment

Tais KovaleskiA TEAM Conference, tem proporcionado, grandes oportunidades de convivência e aprendijado em relação a outras culturas, realidades permitindo maior aproximação da Comunhão Anglicana onde podemos conhecer projectos e trabalhos de outras provincias.Deshaco a grande curiosidade dos membros de outras delegaç?es em relaç?o ao Brasil, pois nossa grande diversidade cultural meaj pessoa com sobrenome de origin polonesa (Kovaleski) e pessoa com sobrenome de origin japonesa (Furukawa), sendo ollas brasilieras due são de diferentes regi?es do Brasil, uma da região sul e outra de região sudeste. Outra questão de grande curiosidade è a bebida tipica da região sul, que foi trajida por mim, muitas pessoas vieram até mim perguntar “O que era isso??” Esta bebida è chamada de chimarrão e é construida de erva mate e água quente, tendo gosto levemente amargo semelhante a um chá. Tem sido parmilhado com todos os irmãos que deseja rem experimentar.

Em geral a TEAM Conference está sendo de suma importãncia para mim, estudante de enfermagem, tenho coneseguido trocar muitas experiências professionais com uma enfermeira da África do sul e uma das Filipinas sobre o contexto e programas de saúde desnvolvidos em nossos países pricipalmente sobre HIV/AIDS.

Ressalto também a oportunidade de uma maior aproximação com osirmãos da América Latina e países de lingua portuguesa ondo debatemos as metas do milênio, preparamos liturgia e ainda filemos una festa Latina para maior integração.

Taís F. Kovaleski

The TEAM Conference has provided us with great opportunities for sharing and learning about other cultures, other realities, helping the Anglican Communion come closer together and enabling us to get to know projects and work in other Provinces.

I point out the curiosity of other countries in relation to Brazil, as our cultural diversity bring with it people with the surname from Poland (Kovaleski) and another with a Japanese surname (Furakawa), two Brazilians from the South and Southeastern Regions. Another thing people found interesting was the tea I brought from my region. Many people up to me asking “What is that?” This drink is called “chimarrão” and is made with hot water and the “mate” herb with a slightly bitter taste. It has been shared with all the brothers who wish to try it.

In general, the TEAM Conference has been really important for me as a nursing student. I have been able to exchange professional experience with a nurse from South African and another from the Philippines, in the context of health programmes being developed in our countries, especially on HIV/AIDS.

I also emphasize the opportunity of greater integration with our brothers from Latin America and Portuguese-speaking countries where we discussed the MDGs together, prepared liturgy and had a Latin party to get to know each other better!

Translated by Ruth Barros

Sally Sue, 29 year-old deacon from Mexico City, joins the group

March 12, 2007 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Day 6: Monday, 12 March 2007, Sally Sue | Leave a comment

Sally Sue HernandezThank you for your invitation to be part of this network.I am Sally Sue from Mexico City, I am 29 years old, I am a deacon in the Anglican Church of Mexico, I work in two congregations in the south of the city, also in the health ministry doing it in a public hospital. I enjoy working with young people, I lead two small reflections groups and I teach two courses at the seminary in Mexico City. My impressions about the conference is being a challenge for us in Mexico because as an Anglican Church we work in some issues like health ministry, Christian education, there is a group of mission and evangelism and now knowing about these Millenium Development Goals and the participation of the Anglican Communion I think we are taking back to Mexico the aims and work on it.The first thing that I would like to say is that the Anglican Church of Mexico is concern about these issues and we are doing things even when the Anglican Church is the minority in Mexico. I am glad to be here and the most important thing for me is to share all of these that we know here and that the speakers shared with us.

Mi nombre es Sally Sue de la diocesis de Mexico, tengo 29 años soy diacona de la Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico trabajo en dos congregaciones en el sur de la ciudad tambien en el ministerio de salud haciendo visitas a un hospital publico, me gusta trabajar con jovenes dirijo dos pequeños grupos de reflexion y enseño en el seminario dos cursos.

Mis impresiones acerca de la conferencia estan siendo un desafio y un reto para nosotros en Mexico poorque trabajamos en algunos temas como ministerio de salud educacion cristiana hay un grupo de mision y evangelisacion y ahora sabiendo ede los objetivos del milenio y la participacion de la Comunion Anglicana creo que nos llevamos a Mexico los objetivos para trabajar en lo que hacemos.

Quiero compartir uqer la Iglesia anglicana de mexico esta preocupada acerca de estos temas y estamos haciendo algo apesar de que la iglesia anglicna es minoritariua en Mexico. Estoy contenta de estar aqui y la mas importante cosa para mi es compartir lo que hemos aprendido y lo que nos han enseñado.

Con cariño

Rev. Sally Sue

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