Redpath and Hogg sign new contracts with Gloucester Rugby

first_imgBryan Redpath Gloucester Rugby are delighted to announce that Head Coach Bryan Redpath and Forwards Coach Carl Hogg have both signed new contracts with the club.The news is a big boost to Gloucester as they prepare for this weekend’s Aviva Premiership semi final against Saracens at Vicarage Road with both men now committed to the club until the end of the 2013-14 season.Redpath is in his second season as Head Coach of Gloucester having initially joined the club as backs coach following a glittering playing career.Redpath’s first campaign in charge saw the side reach the LV= Cup final and finish seventh in the Guinness Premiership table while the 2010-11 season has seen the club secure its first silverware in five years with the capture of the LV= Cup and third place in the Aviva Premiership.Hogg has been at Kingsholm since 2006 and served as Academy Manager before taking on his current role as forwards coach. Like Redpath, he is a former Scotland international. “The performance so far has yielded a contract renewal for myself and Carl, and I’m delighted to stay here. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it even though it’s been tough.“We’re trying to build an old-fashioned club culture, I can’t think of any better place to do that than at Gloucester, and three years gives us a good platform and the challenge now is to improve again for next year.” GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 25: Bryan Redpath, the Gloucester head coach looks on during the Aviva Premiership match between Gloucester and London Wasps at Kingsholm on September 25, 2010 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The new contracts reflect the progress the club has made in the past two seasons but, typically, Redpath paid tribute to his support staff and the role they have played.“We’ve got an outstanding group of staff, from Carl right through to Barny Allen and Bob Stewart, and all their hard work has gone into what we’ve achieved so far this year.last_img read more

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Six Nations: Ireland 26-3 Wales

first_imgNOT FOR FEATURED Perfect timing: Rob Kearney and Leigh Halfpenny catch a high ball at the same timeBy Sarah Mockford at Aviva StadiumThe match in 30 secondsIreland outplayed Wales in every facet and head to Twickenham in a fortnight with a chance of winning the Triple Crown. The defending champions looked lacklustre and had no answer to Ireland’s driving lineout, which delivered tries for Chris Henry and Paddy Jackson, while their high penalty count allowed Johnny Sexton to steadily build a comfortable lead.Ireland – Tries: Henry, Jackson. Cons: Sexton, Jackson. Pens: Sexton 4.Wales – Pen: Halfpenny.He can kick it: Johnny SextonPost-match bulletin–       This is Warren Gatland’s heaviest Six Nations defeat as Wales coach and he described it as “one of the most disappointing performances since I’ve been Wales coach”.–       Wales paid the price for ill-discipline, conceding 15 penalties.–       Possession (49-51) and territory (50-50) was an even split – but Ireland were able to do a lot more with it.–       Dan Lydiate and Jamie Heaslip topped the tackle charts with 12 while Rob Kearney made the most metres with 79 and Toby Faletau the most carries with 15.–       Ireland kicked the ball from hand 46 times compared to Wales 27 and made four line breaks to Wales’ one.– Joe Schmidt admitted that Ireland’s limited game plan was due to the expected downpours that didn’t materialise until late on.–       Scott Williams is in a sling after hurting his shoulder in the tackle on Brian O’Driscoll while Dan Tuohy has fractured his forearm. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS A fit-again Davies returns in place of the injured Williams, James’s superior scrummaging gets him the nod ahead of Gethin Jenkins while Warburton and Tipuric both play in a bid to improve Wales’ fortunes at the breakdown. Leap of faith: Paul O’ConnellWhat’s next?–       Ireland, particularly their pack, will take great confidence from this win and will need to produce an equally capable performance against England. Their driving lineout is fast becoming a huge threat to opposition teams and Joe Schmidt will want Peter O’Mahony’s breakdown work to be as effective at slowing down England’s game as Wales’.–       Given the forward dominance, Ireland should be looking to do more with the ball. There was a lot of kicking – and in fairness Sexton mixed up his kicks well – but keeping the ball in hand on occasion would bring more variety to their game and that is something Schmidt is sure to be looking for.–       Wales will surely be spending a lot of time working on the breakdown over the coming two weeks. They were not able to keep possession for long periods in Dublin and can’t risk giving a dangerous France back-line turnover ball. They also need quick ball themselves, or their own backs become redundant – as they were for large parts of the game here.–       They also need to address their driving lineout defence – they struggled to get a handle on Ireland’s dominance in that area and other teams will be looking to target them too – and their discipline.RW’s proposed Ireland XV v England:Rob Kearney; Andrew Trimble, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Dave Kearney; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip.After such an impressive performance, an unchanged – and experienced – team should do well at Twickenham. Martin Moore is pushing Mike Ross hard for the tighthead spot and if Tommy Bowe fires on his return from injury he could come in for Trimble.RW’s proposed Wales XV v France:Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Andrew Coombs, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau.last_img read more

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Pumas vintage has matured since England tour of 2013

first_imgEngland’s Test Series win in Argentina in 2013 was feted but two years later, it’s the Pumas who are being applauded around the rugby world By Adam HathawayBack in the summer of 2013 those of us not involved in the hoopla surrounding the British & Lions tour to Australia ventured to Argentina to see England take on the Pumas in their own back yard. England, who did have a few Lions Down Under and rested a few biggish names from the trip to South America, won the series comfortably 2-0, with a 32-3 win in Salta and a 51-26 win in Buenos Aires, and all was good in the world of the England Rugby.We got the normal platitudes about Argentina, you know the ones, it is always a tough place to come and play and that England vintage were the first from Twickenham to win a series out there 2-0 – even the sides captained by Bill Beaumont and Will Carling couldn’t manage that, don’t you know.We all look a bit stupid now, when you look at the team sheets for those two games with the benefit of hindsight.Time warp: Marland Yarde finds a gap in the second Test in 2013Argentina’s biggest game since the semi-final in 2007 was the semi-final against Australia last weekend and guess how many of the starting line-up at Twickenham on Sunday started in either of those Test matches two years’ ago.One and, for the trivia buffs, he was the scrum-half Martin Landajo who was the first-choice number nine in the opening international on England’s most successful tour since they beat New Zealand and Australia on consecutive weekends in 2003.When we went to Argentina everyone knew the hosts would be fielding a weakened side – their French-based players were held back for the Rugby Championship – so I wonder why the RFU were doing handstands when their boys knocked out the series win. Happier times: England came away with a 2-0 Test series winAs we now know, the Pumas got further in the current World Cup than all of the home-based nations and went significantly deeper than England, whose players were back at their clubs before the fanzone in Trafalgar Square had opened its doors.We don’t know what is going on with England but in terms of 2019, whatever happens to the Pumas in the third place play-off on Friday, the rest of the world had better watch out.Traditional forward strength and a new-found willingness to run the ball all add up to a dangerous combination. Graft on some rugby nous and a will to stop trying to play in the shadow of their own posts and the Argentinians could be onto something really big in four years’ time. Chuck in another few seasons in the Rugby Championship – it has already been noted they were lucky to avoid being dragged into the Six Nations – and the Pumas could prove to be a genuine force for years to come.Thrill seekers: Santiago Cordero is one of a clutch of exciting new Puma playersAnother factor is that most of their big names have already signed on the dotted line to play in the Super Rugby franchise, based in Buenos Aires, which will play in the competition next year. That gives the Pumas some structure, much like New Zealand.If Steve Hansen wants to give Richie McCaw a few weeks off he can tell the Crusaders to give him a few weeks off. If Hansen wants to have a look at a Kiwi playing in a different position, he can tell his club bosses to play him in a different position.That boat sailed far into the distance for England when they gave all the power to the clubs and did not get involved in centrally contracting players with the best interests of the national side at heart. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Reaching for the skies: Argentina are on an upward trajectory in world rugby Rising force: Argentina celebrate their victory over South Africa in The Rugby ChampionshipIt has not sailed for Argentina. They are in the pesos seats now and it does not take Nostradamus to work out they will be serious contenders in the next World Cup.Whose boots would you rather be in? An England coach, whoever that might be, who wants a rugby league convert to play in a different numbered shirt to the one his club wants him to wear, or an Argentinian boss who, frankly, can do what he wants.These Pumas have been big in England over the last seven weeks – they will be even bigger in Japan.A cuddly toy for those who managed to name the seven England players who started in Buenos Aires in 2013, and against Australia at Twickenham on 3 October this year. For the record…… they are Mike Brown, Jonny May, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marler, Joe Launchbury, Tom Wood and Ben Morgan.last_img read more

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Steffon Armitage speaks out on England exclusion

first_imgToulon openside Steffon Armitage talks about his England exclusion, Toulon’s season and the Champions Cup As the RFU’s review panel continue to sift through the wreckage of England’s disastrous World Cup campaign, fans are left to wonder how things might have turned out had head coach Stuart Lancaster selected his France-based players. But he didn’t, so Steffon Armitage and Nick Abendanon – European Players of the Year in 2014 and 2015 – watched from afar as England failed to make it out of the pool stage. While the Clermont full-back has been a vocal critic of England’s short-sighted selection policy, Armitage has chosen not to speak. Until now. For the first time the 30-year-old openside, so sorely missed at the breakdown against Australia, reflects on the past and ponders the future.Four defeats in seven matches – what’s going on at Toulon this season?We’re adapting to a lot of new players, about 20 in total, and a lot are quite young. Just because you play for Toulon it doesn’t mean you’re a champion. You have to earn it, but I think that will come. In the games we’ve lost this season it’s been because of our own mistakes, not because we’ve been outplayed.Is the departure of Botha, Masoe, Williams and Hayman a factor?To lose four guys like that is massive. They brought so much leadership to the team and we all looked up to them. We need more leaders to come forward and for all of us to put in extra effort.Power play: Steffon Armitage at full charge for Toulon in the Top 14. Photo: Getty ImagesThere’s lots of gossip about who’ll be coaching Toulon next season. What’s your take on it all?I just focus on my game and forget everything else. These things happen in French rugby but once I start talking about rumours it kind of rattles me, so I just keep my head down and play rugby.What are your thoughts on facing Wasps, Leinster and Bath in your Champions Cup pool?It’s the Pool of Death but to be champions you have to beat everyone. Our target is to win a fourth consecutive title.You’ve kept a dignified silence throughout the last six months. Has it been hard?Yes, but I’ve always done my talking on the pitch and not in the press. The coach has his view in not picking me so all I could do was keep playing rugby. I hoped I might get in but it didn’t happen and I had to deal with it.Were you surprised at England’s World Cup campaign?Yes, especially losing two games at home. Twickenham’s meant to be a fortress but it didn’t work at all, and I think everyone should be disappointed at the way things happened. TAGS: Highlight All smiles: Steffon Armitage has been in top form for Toulon for several seasons. Photo: Getty Images It’s a tough situation. What happened with England hit me hard. There was talk I’d be involved and all of a sudden that hope was taken away. I’ve always played rugby because I love it, but that really hurt. I’m getting the enjoyment back now at Toulon but as far as England goes at the moment I’m undecided. Right now my focus is on Toulon. I’m contracted to them until the end of next season and I love it here.For the latest Rugby World subcription offers, click here. Waving goodbye: Chris Robshaw and England exited early from the World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesDo you feel for Chris Robshaw?I do feel sorry for him because I think he needed some rivalry (in the England squad) to push him on. Whether he’s a world-class seven or not, I can’t judge that, but he always works as hard as he can and gives everything on the pitch.Explain your expertise at the breakdown.Winning turnovers is more than just technique. It’s about using the brain, playing smart, and knowing when to go into the breakdown and when not. You have to be honest and know that you can’t win them all, so it’s up to you to pick the right ones. I’m always there or thereabouts at the breakdown and I’ll look at it, and if I think I have a chance I’ll go in.Nick Abendanon called those England players who campaigned against your inclusion in the RWC squad ‘pathetic’. Do you agree?Definitely. I know them, played against them, and to hear them say we’d be a distraction if selected was pretty insulting. At the end of the day all we wanted to do was make the team better and I just think it was wrong for players to say what they did. We could have learnt from each other and created more rivalry for places.Cool runnings: Clermont full-back Nick Abendanon was also left out by England. Photo: Getty ImagesWhy did you come to France?I took a risk coming to France because there was no guarantee when I arrived at Toulon I would be playing regularly. I’ve been competing against Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Chris Masoe, Danie Rossouw, Joe van Niekerk, George Smith and others. People talk about the money, but I put a lot on the line when I came here. I did so because I wanted to become a better player but it feels like I’ve been punished (by England) for doing that.What would you say to those who said you had your England chance in 2009-10 and didn’t take it in five Tests?I’ve improved a lot since then. Having guys around me like I have in Toulon has changed the way I play and the way I think. I’m smarter on the pitch and I have learnt so much in France.Do you still harbour ambitions of playing for England? LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

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The contenders for Rugby Book of the Year

first_imgInto the Wind: The Life of Carwyn James, published by Y Lolfa, by Alun Gibbard, £14.99In a near antithesis of the Byrne book, this biography of Carywn James is an epic read stretching to well over 400 pages. Author Alun Gibbard interviewed more than 100 people and provides the definitive profile of the visionary Welshman who masterminded the Lions’ only victorious series in New Zealand.The book covers the four central strands of James’s life – literature, broadcasting, politics and rugby – and Gibbard isn’t afraid to highlight the contradictions in James’s complex personality. There are shades of Shakespearean tragedy about the coach’s sorry decline into alcoholism and his lonely death at 53.Billy Vunipola: Wrecking Ball, published by Headline, £20This wonderful book, ghosted by Gershon Portnoi, focuses on Vunipola’s remarkable journey from the tiny Tongan village of Longo Longo to the Test stage via South Wales, Bristol, Harrow and Wasps.Something of a wild child, we learn of a litany of misdemeanours, the ‘tough love’ of his parents and his eating problem that saw him weigh as much as 152kg (almost 24st) when turning professional. Nowadays he eats broccoli for breakfast and dates a dietician.Feared and revered the world over, the mighty No 8 will be back in England’s colours on their summer tour following injury. The contenders for Rugby Book of the YearThe annual Sports Book Awards exist to showcase outstanding sports writing and publishing. Launched in 2003 by the National Sporting Club, the concept has evolved into a prestigious televised awards dinner at Lord’s cricket ground each spring.There’s been a Best Rugby Book category since 2008, when a panel of judges from the Rugby Union Writers’ Club decided to make the late and great Andy Ripley the inaugural winner for his intimate memoir detailing his battle with prostate cancer. Ripley’s moving acceptance speech remains an all-time highlight.Last year’s recipient, Paul O’Connell for his autobiography The Battle, was the tenth rugby winner and brought back-to-back success for Ireland following Tom English’s award for No Borders in 2016. There will be no hat-trick, however, as this year’s shortlist – selected from books published in Britain and Ireland in 2017 – leans heavily on English and Welsh literature. Polaris, who published a book on the 1971 Lions, are based in Edinburgh.This year’s ceremony takes place on 7 June. Here, Rugby World sums up the six contenders for the London Sporting Club Rugby Book of the Year, listed in alphabetical order…Rob Andrew: The Game of My Life, published by Hodder & Stoughton, RRP £20Who knew politics could be so interesting? The former England and Lions fly-half is now in charge of Sussex cricket, but he signs off from rugby by charting the grim cycle of boardroom power plays, internal reviews and playing disasters that occurred during his decade upstairs at the RFU.Andrew cut through the clutter to help forge a workable agreement between the union and Premiership clubs. The book, penned with the aid of Chris Hewett and David Norrie, also dedicates a sizeable rump to his 11 years at Newcastle Falcons, including a brilliant analysis of that superstar-in-waiting, Jonny Wilkinson.Lee Byrne: The Byrne Identity, published by Y Lolfa, £9.99The literary equivalent of a drive with Lewis Hamilton. The Welshman whizzes through his 47-Test career, touching on everything from reckless betting and attempted extortion to dyslexia and depression.Leaving school at 15 without any qualifications, Byrne seemed destined for a labourer’s life until being put on the path to rugby stardom by the Scarlets. His running lines, siege-gun boot and fitness made the full-back a key component of the successful ‘Warrenball’ rugby that Wales favoured for so long.It’s a gripping book written in collaboration with Richard Morgan. When Lions Roared, published by Polaris, by Peter Burns and Tom English, £17.99 Wasps: The Official History, published by VSP, £25Hot on the heels of Harlequins’ history, which was shortlisted at the Sports Book Awards last year, comes the official history of their one-time London rivals.A joint effort by Barney Burnham, Marcus Williams and Duncan Jones, it relates the cherished memories and achievements of the club that allegedly failed to become an RFU founder member because their delegates went to the wrong pub. It’s comprehensive, beautifully presented and, unlike so many history books that get bogged down in minutiae, easy to read.Flying the flag: Wasps supporters at the recent Premiership semi-final against Saracens (Getty Images) Follow that: last year’s rugby winner Paul O’Connell at a book signing in Limerick (Inpho) RUGBY BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNERS2008 Ripley’s World – Andy Ripley (Mainstream)2009 Seeing Red: Twelve Tumultuous Years in Welsh Rugby – Alun Carter and Nick Bishop (Mainstream)2010 Confessions of a Rugby Mercenary – John Daniell (Ebury Press)2011 The Grudge – Tom English (Yellow Jersey)2012 Higgy – Alastair Hignell (Bloomsbury)2013 The Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players – Stephen Cooper (History Press)2014 City Centre – Simon Halliday (Matador)2015 Beyond The Horizon – Richard Parks (Sphere)2016 No Borders: Playing Rugby for Ireland – Tom English (Arena Sport)2017 The Battle – Paul O’Connell (Penguin Ireland)Man of his word: Simon Halliday picked up the rugby gong in 2014 for City Centre (Getty Images)Commended: ex-Scotland star Kenny Logan’s book was shortlisted at the 2010 awards (Getty Images)center_img Rugby World looks at the six contenders for this year’s Sports Book Awards at Lord’s LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Wasps Tom English pairs up with Peter Burns to bring us a blow-by-blow account of the 1971 Lions tour, when John Dawes and Co turned the history books upside down. It’s nostalgia at its finest, with the story told partly in the words of the players, All Blacks as well as Lions.Discussion points include the violence of the Canterbury match, the casual genius of Barry John and the unforeseen consequences for world rugby – New Zealand went back to the drawing board and have dominated the ensuing four decades.last_img read more

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Seilala Mapusua named new Samoa head coach

first_img Following Rugby World’s recent trip to the Pacific… In this exclusive video, Ali Stokes introduces you… Why there needs to be a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team Professional rugby reaches Hawaii Rugby has now got… On the attack: Seilala Mapusua for Samoa, 2011 (Getty Images) Expand SRU Chief Executive Vincent Fepuleai also added: “Samoa Rugby Union went through a lengthy process in reviewing the … RWC campaign with the aim to make sure lessons learnt will be dealt (with) professionally and (to) make sure it won’t repeat.“On behalf of Samoa Rugby Union, I want to congratulate Mapusua on his appointment.” Collapse Expand Expand “We’ll concentrate on the local players and then take it from there.” Why there needs to be a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team Expand Professional rugby reaches Hawaiicenter_img Rugby World finds out what those in the… Seilala Mapusua named new Samoa head coachFormer star centre Seilala Mapusua has been named as the new head coach of Samoa’s national team. The ex-London Irish hero – who has coached Otago’s U19 team for the last four years – has promised to bring on more domestic players while seaking to improve the nation’s Test fortunes.At the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, Samoa only registered one win, against Russia. They have not gotten out of the World Cup group stages since 2003.Samoa confirmed in their statement that 26-times Samoa-capped Mapusua takes over from Steve Jackson, whose contract expired at the end of last year.Team prayer: Mapusua in France, in 2009 (Getty Images)“My focus is to grow our local players,” Mapusua, 40, told the press. “That’s where the heart of our team will come from … that will be the key to having a competitive team. Remembering the day Jackass joined London Irish training The opportunities and the obstacles for Pacific Islands rugby – a special report LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Remembering the day Jackass joined London Irish training Meet the Pacific Islanders in Bristol It can be strange to look back at… The opportunities and the obstacles for Pacific Islands rugby – a special report Meet the Pacific Islanders in Bristol Professional rugby reaches Hawaii Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.last_img read more

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SAN DIEGO: Church center houses music program for homeless youth

first_img Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Comments (1) An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Tags AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis By Hannah WilderPosted May 24, 2013 An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI 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 Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Submit an Event Listing Rector Collierville, TN New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Amber, one of the participants in the Taking Music to the Streets program at the Episcopal Church Center in Ocean Beach, California, strums a guitar during a lesson with volunteer teacher Packy Bergquist. The program offers free weekly music lessons to homeless youth. Once a youth returns three times to the program, he or she receives a free instrument. As trust builds, volunteers assist the youth with safe living situations, education, job training and general life skills. Photo/Jeffrey Sitcov[Diocese of San Diego] “I like all kinds of music,” said Kayla, a slight young woman with a panda bear hat and an air of sweetness and innocence. “There’s this song by Jason Aldean called ‘Don’t Give Up on Me’ that talks about love. I love that song! It makes me want to play guitar.”Kayla is one of 75 homeless youth who have walked through the gates of the Episcopal Church Center in Ocean Beach and received a free music lesson and a hot meal. Through a partnership with Photocharity, a nonprofit that raises awareness about homeless and disadvantaged youth, the center welcomes people ages 12 to 24 to learn an instrument and feel at home for a few hours every Sunday afternoon.This particular Sunday, a soft rain was falling, but the doors stood wide open as young people trickled in. Jeffrey Sitcov, founder and executive director of Photocharity, buzzed around the parish hall, welcoming people. He moved quickly, carrying a stack of T-shirts and six guitars. He talked to donors and checked kids in all at once. When he saw a familiar face, he gave a hug and said, “Welcome! Good to see ya, bro!” He looked each person full in the face, locked eyes and said, “Welcome!”Three volunteer teachers showed up and started tuning instruments. Warm sounds of acoustic guitar filled the parish hall as someone played an Eric Clapton-like riff.Kids sauntered in, some on skateboards. One, probably 8 years old, arrived with his mom, eager to learn the harmonica.“We just came in to see what’s up,” said another when Sitcov asked what brought him and his friends through the doors. Everyone is greeted with a handshake and a proper introduction; each person is met with dignity. A donor has brought home-made chocolate chip cookies, which no one turns down.Within 20 minutes the parish hall transformed into a lively music lab with different groups focusing on guitar, drums, piano, harmonica, bass and ukulele. The drummers sat outside, sheltered by the balcony overhang. Once lessons got underway, the guitar players headed for the sanctuary because the parish hall grew too noisy.A volunteer teacher sat with a young woman and asked, “Do you like the blues?”“I don’t know,” she replied. “What does it sound like?”He played a classic blues progression on the acoustic guitar. She wasn’t sure she liked it, so he played reggae. Her face lit up, and they set to work.When participants return for the third time, they receive a free musical instrument of their choice.Building trustThe Taking Music to the Streets program aims to improve the self-esteem of these young people, to show them that people care about them and to create trust, which eventually leads the kids into shelters and programs that help them break the cycle of homelessness.“We give them something good for the heart and soul and that helps them pay for their meals,” said Sitcov. “Then when they’re feeling good and they trust us, we help them get into programs that get them off the streets.”The program began March 10 at the church center.“Without this program, there is no way I would have an opportunity to learn how to play and get an instrument,” said Casey, one of the participants. “Thank you.”“I’ve wanted to get my own guitar for over six years,” said Amber, another participant. “I am excited about earning my guitar!”These homeless youth have heartbreaking stories. One was kicked out at age 14 because of her sexual orientation. Her mother was addicted to prescription pills and would badger her daughter for them. She wanted a better life for herself so she left home.Another young woman has been homeless since she was 12. She likes the music program because she feels respected. She looks forward to getting off the streets.In the program’s first 10 weeks, 75 youth attended classes. Twelve returned three times or more. Ninety-five percent of these youth are 18 to 24 years old and none have many marketable skills. In the city of San Diego, there are 25 beds and a one-year waiting list for homeless kids in this age bracket.Sitcov, the founder of Photocharity, expressed thanks to the Episcopal Church for allowing Photocharity to have classes for “the throwaway homeless youth that no one is helping.”“You are keeping hope alive for these young people. This is the beginning of breaking the cycle of youth homelessness,” said Sitcov.The partnership between Photocharity and the Episcopal Church Center began through an unlikely acquaintance. Susan Rackley attends church at the center, but not for the Episcopal liturgy. She is a member of The Oasis Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church that meets in the parish hall. When she learned about Photocharity’s need for space to teach music to homeless kids, she reached out to the owner of the property, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, who reviewed the proposal and said yes.“Homeless people know this place well,” Rackley said. “They have dinners here on Wednesday nights and receive food from the pantry on other days. This place has been so instrumental in the success of the music program. They’ve been open, flexible. You think of Episcopalians as a little uptight, but not this place!”History of serviceThe center in Ocean Beach has a long history of offering peace and sanctuary to all regardless of creed. It was founded in 1922 as Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, which it remained until 2006, when its rector led the congregation out of the Episcopal Church. After a legal dispute, the property was returned to the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego in 2011.Ministries to homeless people, which began more than 20 years ago, continued uninterrupted through the change of leadership thanks in large part to Nancy Holland, canon for mission enterprise and director of the Episcopal Church Center.“I’m so proud of Nancy and grateful for her leadership and presence,” said Diocese of San Diego Bishop James R. Mathes. “She has been a remarkable ambassador for the church in Ocean Beach, taking up residence on the city’s crime-prevention task force while bolstering existing programs at the center and making room for new ones. She has turned this church into a life center for the community, and she’s done it with patience, grace and a lot of quiet listening. We are gifted by her business acumen and her strategic thinking.”Opportunities to partner with others in the community is a key to success, said Holland. “It’s the only way we’re going to end homelessness in San Diego.” Currently there are more than 3,000 youth, ages 12 to 17, who are homeless in San Diego, she said.Photocharity’s Sitcov is a professional photographer who rubs shoulders with celebrities such as B.B. King, Elton John, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. He procures their autographs on musical instruments and memorabilia, which he then sells or auctions. All proceeds support the mission and vision of Photocharity, which is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for charitable organizations that empower homeless and disadvantaged youth to make better choices.“Nancy’s a joy to work with!” exclaimed Sitcov. “She trusted Photocharity and our vision. The facility is great – we love it. It’s a perfect place to have classes.”Rackley saw Photocharity featured on a local television station. Her father had just died, and she was looking to make a memorial gift in his honor. She researched Photocharity and found that it was a worthy nonprofit that devoted a high percentage of each dollar to helping kids on the streets.“Jeffrey’s amazing,” said Rackley. “He’s got the energy of an Energizer bunny, and he’s a heck of a fundraiser. He’s not afraid to ask for autographs from celebrities to raise money for this program. He has a big heart and is always looking for ways to reach homeless kids.”Said Casey, “This program gives me more stability every week, I have somewhere good to go no matter what, where I can play instruments, hang out with nice people and have dinner. I’m very thankful. It is a blessing.”— Hannah Wilder is communications director for the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Comments are closed. Rector Pittsburgh, PA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Knoxville, TN Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Shreveport, LA Submit a Press Release Cathedral Dean Boise, ID SAN DIEGO: Church center houses music program for homeless youth Submit a Job Listing Rector Belleville, IL Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA center_img Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Featured Events Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Albany, NY Rector Tampa, FL 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 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 May 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm Excellent article, Hannah! Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Bath, NC Youth & Young Adults Director of Music Morristown, NJ Liturgy & Music, Travis Thomas says: Curate Diocese of Nebraska Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Hopkinsville, KY Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Poverty & Hunger, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Press Release Service Rector Washington, DC Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET 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 last_img read more

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Interfaith push to fix Affordable Care Act church-specific glitch

first_img By Mary Frances SchjonbergPosted Sep 26, 2013 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Albany, NY Rector Washington, DC 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 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 Rector Collierville, TN Lisa Hlass says: Doug Desper says: Cathedral Dean Boise, ID An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH F WILLIAM THEWALT says: September 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm quote/Armstrong said that “exceedingly few” Medical Trust participants pay all or the majority of their health insurance premiums. “In fact, most employers pay all or the majority of single healthcare coverage for both clergy and lay employees, which is why so few would qualify for premium tax credits under current [federal] guidance.”…The Church Pension Group estimates that about 6% of clergy and 16% of lay employees currently enrolled in The Episcopal Church Medical Trust’s plans would qualify for a “meaningful premium tax credit if the Act were passed,” Frank Armstrong, senior vice president and chief actuary for the Church Pension Group, told ENS in a written response to e-mailed questions./unquoteI’m confused. Are these employees that would be affected by The Church Health Plan Act of 2013? If so, then why isn’t this like the special tax treatment requested by the AFL-CIO?quote/“Should the Church Health Plan Act of 2013 not pass, some employees of The Episcopal Church will lose some financial incentive to enroll in health plans that are tailored specifically for their profession,” she added, such as a special Medical Trust benefit to cover participation in “colleague groups” facilitated by clergy and licensed church counselors who work with church employees to address vocational and professional pressures./unquoteAgain, I’m confused. Are these examples of employees that currently participate in the denomination plan but who pay most or all of the premium themselves? Is this the only group in the Episcopal Church that the act would apply to? Does the denomination want to keep them in its plan for its own interest or because it is looking out for this group’s interests? Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR David Carr says: Ann Fontaine says: James Trager says: New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books 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 Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Interfaith push to fix Affordable Care Act church-specific glitch Church backs effort to help some employees get premium tax credits Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Knoxville, TN September 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm This is just one more example of the hastily and secretly created Obamacare gone wrong.There will be countless others because senators and representatives were not given copies of the bill that was crafted behind closed doors in the black of night. Under such conditions, it is impossible to craft a decent bill, let alone a workable one. Let’s face it, Obama’s signature piece of legislation is currently a flop and will only get worse with time. -F. W. Thewalt Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT October 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm Amen brother! Tags September 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm I agree with F. Williams and James Trager. Why did THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH give the heads up and want the Obamacare to pass in the first place. Now, I hope those who wanted this bill to pass in the first place have learned their lesson, read it before you give your approval!!!!! Jayce, you didn’t get EVERY Episcopalian’s vote on whether to back this bill or not. I know many, many Episcopalian’s who are not happy with Obamacare and they would not have wanted THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH to endorse it. So, I guess, you reap what you sow. Ecumenical & Interreligious, Health & Healthcare Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Events Rector Pittsburgh, PA Featured Jobs & Calls Faith & Politics, Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY September 27, 2013 at 9:04 am I’m disappointed, too. When I saw the title of this article, I thought maybe the Episcopal Church was making a concerted effort to lobby for low income folks who have not been able to afford health insurance. Seems reasonable that as followers of Jesus Christ we would be advocating for those who are poor. We have plenty of lobbyists and powerful congress people advocating for middle and high and obnoxiously high income folks. Let’s not imitate our current societal norm of making sure “I get mine,” and try to follow Christ’s mandate of advocating for those who have very little and who have no voice. John B. Chilton says: September 28, 2013 at 10:26 am I am no expert, but didn’t The Episcopal Church support this bill? Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Karen Birr says: September 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm Endorsements (or sympathetic soft-ball support) for questionable decisions is nothing new from some leaders these days. I recall fondness in ENS for the disgraceful flop TV series “The Book of Daniel” that featured a radically inclusive and very confused Episcopal priest. That kind of priest made as much sense to the American viewing public as that kind of priest does to 60% of our membership who will stay home this Sunday. Then there was the inordinate attention week after week for the whole Occupy movement until it largely discredited itself. The AFL-CIO turned its back on ObamaCare and the union stated that it was misled and that the ACA is nothing but a job killer. A 40,000-strong longshoremen union quit the AFL-CIO because of their blind obedience to all things liberal Democrat. I agree with Chief Justice Roberts. Elections have consequences. The Church’s advocates willfully and with little question endorsed it. Live with it like the rest of us. Rector Smithfield, NC center_img September 27, 2013 at 11:22 am I recall that when ObamaCare was before Congress, the Episcopal Church promptly officially endorsed it. At the time I wondered whether anyone had read the bill. I think we now have the answer. The lesson is that the Episcopal Church should not endorse legislation outside its sphere of competence. Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Tampa, FL Director of Music Morristown, NJ Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Robert Ricker says: Rector Shreveport, LA September 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm Sounds like every other business trying to get special status in the ACA – disappointed in CPG. Read more here. http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/episcopal_church/do_unions_and_denominations_wa.html Press Release Service Rector Martinsville, VA Submit an Event Listing Rector Belleville, IL This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Marsha Wilkins says: Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ October 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm The church hierarchy, i.e., the very liberal Presiding Bishop, did. I, a rank and file Episcopalian, did not support Obamacare. Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Ann Zuvekas says: Course Director Jerusalem, Israel October 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm Armstrong said that “exceedingly few” Medical Trust participants pay all or the majority of their health insurance premiums. “In fact, most employers pay all or the majority of single healthcare coverage for both clergy and lay employees, which is why so few would qualify for premium tax credits under current [federal] guidance.”I agree with the 2 Annes. If very few episcopal clergy and layman would qualify for the tax credits, why is this a big deal. The ACA is not universal healthcare. It is for people who didn’t qualify for insurance because of pre- existing conditions and for those who don’t get health insurance through their employer and can’t afford it on their own. As a teacher I was paying $90.00 for my insurance, which is pretty good. I am not looking for a tax credit. I can afford $90.00 a month. It is so sad to see “Christians” begrudge others help. My goodness, this doesn’t say much for some in the Episcopal church. Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Submit a Press Release Rector Hopkinsville, KY Comments (12) Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA David Carr says: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Youth Minister Lorton, VA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ September 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm I agree with Ms. Fontaine. Why should the CPG be treated any differently from any other employer? They admit that the problem would apply only to a few low-income employees, who could then opt out and buy plans on the exchanges with subsidies. Or, we Episcopalians could begin charity at home and do WWJD for our lower-income staff members. Shame! Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Submit a Job Listing Comments are closed. Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET [Episcopal News Service] As Congress continues to fight over the Affordable Care Act, the Church Pension Group and the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations are urging legislators to pass a bill to rectify what they see as a church-related glitch in law.The Affordable Care Act is meant to make preventive health care — including family planning and related services — more obtainable for uninsured Americans.Currently low- and middle-income individuals and families who are not otherwise eligible for affordable public- or employer-sponsored coverage will be able to apply for subsidies in the form of tax credits to help them buy private health insurance through newly established health insurance exchanges. Enrollment in the plans those exchanges offer is due to begin Oct. 1 and coverage and subsidies begin in January.However, according to the law and its current implementing rules, unlike most health plans, church health plans may not offer their plans on state or federal health insurance exchanges. Thus income-eligible clergy and lay enrollees in church health plans do not have access to those tax credits based on their premiums.The Church Pension Group and the Office of Government Relations support The Church Health Plan Act of 2013 (Senate Bill 1164), which would allow eligible employees to continue to purchase insurance through church plans and have access to the same premium tax credits available to employees who purchase coverage from for-profit health plans through the exchanges, also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace.However, the bill does not give special tax treatment for clergy and lay employees who are eligible for the credits as the AFL-CIO recently requested for its members. The labor federation wants multiemployer union health plans to have access to the premium tax credits, and also maintain the tax-free treatment of contributions to their health plans, a benefit not otherwise provided to individuals who receive the premium tax credits through the Marketplace. The Obama administration has denied the AFL-CIO request.The Church Pension Group estimates that about 6% of clergy and 16% of lay employees currently enrolled in The Episcopal Church Medical Trust’s plans would qualify for a “meaningful premium tax credit if the Act were passed,” Frank Armstrong, senior vice president and chief actuary for the Church Pension Group, told ENS in a written response to e-mailed questions.The Medical Trust provides a variety of healthcare coverage offerings to Episcopal clergy and lay employees. The Medical Trust administers these offerings, contracting with leading healthcare carriers (i.e., UnitedHealthcare) and paying them a fee to provide access to their provider networks and claim payment services.Armstrong noted that an employee can qualify for premium tax credits if he or she has household income between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $24,000 to $94,000 per year for a family of four in 2014, according to information here.)In addition, they must be able to show that they do not have access to affordable health coverage through their employer. Coverage is defined as affordable when the required employee contribution for self-only coverage does not exceed 9.5% of household income. The employee would also have to purchase coverage through the health care exchanges and file a tax return (joint if married) to get the tax credit.Armstrong said that “exceedingly few” Medical Trust participants pay all or the majority of their health insurance premiums. “In fact, most employers pay all or the majority of single healthcare coverage for both clergy and lay employees, which is why so few would qualify for premium tax credits under current [federal] guidance.”Jayce Hafner, domestic policy analyst for the church’s Office of Government Relations, told Episcopal News Service that “it seems unfortunate that the Episcopal Church, an organization that worked so hard for the passage of the ACA, should be excluded from [all the] benefits of this law.”“Should the Church Health Plan Act of 2013 not pass, some employees of The Episcopal Church will lose some financial incentive to enroll in health plans that are tailored specifically for their profession,” she added, such as a special Medical Trust benefit to cover participation in “colleague groups” facilitated by clergy and licensed church counselors who work with church employees to address vocational and professional pressures.The church’s advocacy for universal access to health care dates to at least 1994 when the General Convention passed Resolution A057 , which in part put the church on record as believing that access to “quality, cost effective, health care services [ought to] be considered necessary for everyone in the population.”The Office of Government Relations sent a letter Sept. 26 to members of Congress urging passage of the Church Health Plan Act.The Church Pension Group has posted information about the proposed Church Health Plan Act and a sample letter on its website for participants to use to write their U.S. senators to urge them to support the bill.Two Democratic senators, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Chris Coons of Delaware, introduced the Church Health Plan Act in June. Coons called the fix “a common sense issue.”The Church Alliance – a coalition of 37 church-benefit boards covering mainline Protestant denominations, two branches of Judaism, and Roman Catholic schools and institutions, which provide health care benefits for more than one million clergy and lay workers, also supports the Senate bill. The Episcopal Church belongs to the alliance.However, chances of the bill’s passage are tied up in the political in-fighting that surrounds the federal health-care law that opponents have dubbed “Obamacare.”“It’s a complicated scenario in Congress. Some members of Congress are recognizing that the ACA, while comprehensive and effective, needs some improvements and they are trying to iron out these kinks,” Hafner said. “However, there are other members of Congress who are strongly against the ACA, and would sooner keep the law the way it is and work to repeal it, rather than work to improve it. These actors are making it difficult for other members to update, enhance, and progress the ACA.”And on Sept. 12, in its 41st vote against all or parts of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. House of Representatives passed No Subsidies Without Verification Act (H.R. 2775). The bill opposes a July regulation issued by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) giving state-run health insurance exchanges some flexibility when examining whether people are qualified for the insurance premium tax credits. Republicans say the flexibility will allow ineligible people to qualify for the credits and the Obama administration says the regulation is being misinterpreted. The act is expected to die in the Senate.Meanwhile, Republican majority leadership in the House of Representatives has said it is willing to shut down the federal government by refusing to grant it borrowing authority past the end of September unless the ACA is stripped of its funding. Again, it is unlikely that such a move would survive a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate. On Sept. 25, the Senate made progress towards passing a version of the House bill that keeps the government open but does not remove funding for the ACA.Other possible impactsSome observers have predicted that if the tax credits are not extended to eligible clergy and lay employees, low- to middle-income clergy and lay employees will try to leave denominational plans and purchase coverage in the exchanges. Others have wondered if some employers will strongly suggest that they do so to relieve their own costs of providing coverage.“If an employee is able to provide certification that he or she qualifies for a premium tax credit, this would be considered an allowable [Denominational Health Plan] opt-out,” said CPG’s Armstrong, reiterating that the CPG thinks “exceedingly few” Episcopal Church clergy and lay employees will qualify for the credits.Armstrong noted that Episcopal Church Medical Trust participants who opt to buy coverage through the Marketplace will lose any employer contributions currently being made toward the cost of their insurance; and any premium payments made by the employee toward the Marketplace coverage cannot be made on a pre-tax basis.Plus, those people who are income-eligible would likely need to “buy up” in order to obtain a Marketplace plan that provides the same coverage the employee has now through the Denominational Health Plan, according to Armstrong. Most Medical Trust plans are classified as “gold” or “platinum” and also provide ancillary benefits such as vision coverage, employee assistance plans and health-advocate service but the premium tax credits will be based on the cost of the Marketplace “silver” plans.(A short explanation of the “metal levels” is here.)“There are other tax and financial consequences to consider as well,” Armstrong said. “We strongly suggest that each employee speak with a financial or tax advisor during the decision process.”Meanwhile, according to Armstrong, “the Medical Trust is not overly concerned about the potentiality of church employers urging their employees to opt out of the DHP in order to relieve the employer’s expenses” because of the anticipated small number of employees involved.“Furthermore, unlike for-profit companies, the Medical Trust has the church’s and our participants’ best interests at heart and we believe that church employers feel the same way,” he said.A related issue as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act approaches is a part of the law that allows employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees during a specific measurement period to stop offering health coverage to their employees without being penalized under the so-called Employer Shared Responsibility provision of the ACA. The Obama administration has delayed implementation of that provision until 2015.Armstrong said that eventual enactment of that provision would not supersede the canonical requirements of 2009 General Convention Resolution A177 which established the Denominational Health Plan and required health benefits to be provided to eligible clergy and lay employees.Read more about it* For more information on how the premium tax credits work, go to this part of the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website.* The Kaiser Family Foundation has a subsidy calculator here.* The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has a frequently-asked-questions document about the premium tax credits here.* The Consumers’ Union has developed state-by-state brochures explaining how the tax credits work and how to qualify for them in each state. They are available here.– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. Curate Diocese of Nebraskalast_img read more

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Presiding Bishop tours Houston-area congregations, offers support in aftermath of…

first_img The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Press Release Tags Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Collierville, TN Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Hopkinsville, KY 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 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Shreveport, LA Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector Columbus, GA New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Tampa, FL Curate Diocese of Nebraska 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 Washington, DC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Hurricane Harvey, 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 Presiding Bishop Michael Curry talks with the Rev. Andy Parker, rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in west Houston, a church that sustained major damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Photo: Carol Barnwell[Episcopal Diocese of Texas] During Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s visit to the Diocese of Texas Jan. 30-31, clergy and church members shared stories of Hurricane Harvey’s epic flooding and aftermath.In some places, Harvey dropped more than 50 inches of rain in four days last August, and its impact was felt across 41 counties and a half million homes, with damages estimated at more than $190 billion.The storm that caused such historic flooding seemed hard to imagine this week in Houston as clear skies and mild temperatures greeted the presiding bishop and his team. Curry was joined by Sharon Jones, his executive coordinator; Episcopal Relief & Development Senior Vice President for Programs Abigail Nelson; and Geoffrey Smith, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church.Once the debris is hauled away, things can seem pretty normal, until one walks into the nave of a church, looks through the studs to classrooms, offices and the parish hall beyond and has to be careful to avoid tripping over large bolts in the bare concrete floor that once secured the altar railing. Five months after Harvey, in many churches and thousands of homes there remains the odor of floodwaters, and mold still seeks a foothold.Episcopal Health Foundation made an early decision to deploy its resources into research, President and CEO Elena Marks told Curry at an early morning briefing on Jan. 30. The Health Foundation partnered with the Kaiser Foundation to survey the area affected by Harvey and map the storm’s impact to show where damage was concentrated and who was most affected.“It’s not just research and maps,’’ Marks emphasized. “We wanted to engage communities and are making presentations to groups doing relief work with the hope that they will use data to set their priorities.” The resulting maps and research already have been accessed more than 30,000 times.The research reveals some things that deserve a closer look. Shao-Chee Sim, vice president of applied research at the Episcopal Health Foundation, said of the 900,000 relief applications filed with Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, the approval rate for homeowners was 45 percent, while it was 36 percent for renters. In the upscale Memorial area of west Houston, 66 percent of the 2000 applications filed had been approved.Diocese of Texas Bishop Andy Doyle said the data will help Episcopalians and others provide a different kind of disaster response. “We want to leverage the research to help the most vulnerable, to have a long-term effect within these communities,” he said.East of Houston, the area of Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur — known as the Golden Triangle — received more than 60 inches of rain during Harvey.Curry heard from the Rev. Keith Giblin, a federal judge and bi-vocational Episcopal priest, who serves St. Paul’s in Orange, where 86 percent of the homes were affected. Cut off from his congregation during the storm, Giblin navigated drainage ditches in Beaumont to rescue people in his aluminum fishing boat. He was among thousands of citizens who joined first responders to spend days and nights searching for people trapped in sometimes neck-deep water.“We had to drag the boats in places because the water could be 13 inches deep, sometimes four feet deep,” Giblin said. Submerged cars, floating clumps of fire ants, downed power lines and water moccasins plagued those who used boats, kayaks and pool floats to rescue victims.After the “utter chaos” of the flooding, Giblin said, St. Paul’s, which had water in the church, parish hall and offices, held services out in the yard for more than a month. “Serving together [through this disaster] has brought us all closer,” he said. “That’s what we do, we help each other.”Episcopal churches in Beaumont became distribution centers for water and cleaning supplies. The Rev. Tony Clark, rector of St. Mark’s, said after checking on the congregation and providing immediate relief to those in need, his vestry put the church gymnasium to good use for the community. “We were a warehouse, a hotel and a parking lot,” he said. “The thrift shop provided care packages. We warehoused supplies and hosted 75 Red Cross volunteers for several weeks in lieu of being a public shelter.”St. Stephen’s rector, the Rev. Stephen Balke, thanked Curry for the video he recorded after the storm to offer prayers and support. “We gathered to worship and put your video up. I can’t tell you how much that rallied our spirits,” he said.The congregation helped the more than two dozen parishioners whose homes were flooded and cooked for the entire community for weeks.“We stopped counting at 4,000 people served,” Balke said. “Every time our supplies ran low, another truck would pull up. It was a great blessing to say, ‘yes,’ when people needed help.”The Rev. Lacy Largent, in charge of spiritual care teams, emphasized that support from elsewhere was critical. She gave the example of Kate Hello, a teacher in Lemay, Missouri, who sent letters from her students.“I gave a letter to a man to read and he broke down in tears,” Largent said. “I apologized for upsetting him, but he said, ‘No! You helped me cry. I’m going to get my wife so you can help her cry.’”While trauma in the immediate aftermath of the flood ran deep, for many it has become more profound months later. “No one had flood insurance,” Giblin said. “This has never happened before and now we have senior citizens who can’t come back financially. They are using their Social Security checks to buy drywall.”The Rev. Pat Ritchie, deacon at St. Stephen’s, said she is seeing more family trauma today. People — children especially — are experiencing some post-traumatic shock. “When it rains now, kids want to know if Harvey is coming back. It’s a wound that is still there.”The process of rebuilding was compared to a marathon rather than a sprint, and Curry affirmed the Episcopal Church’s long-term support. “We are long-distance runners,” he said.During a stop at Trinity, Baytown, the presiding bishop heard from Senior Warden Robert Jordan and one couple he rescued.“I was in the water for five days doing search and rescue,” Jordan told Curry. He happened to be near church members Duane and Lois Luallin’s home of 40 years, when he learned the elderly couple needed help.Duane had fallen and was unable to get up, and 911 responders were overwhelmed. Jordan arrived in five minutes and ferried the Luallins to safety. He had them dry out and eat at his home, where they stayed for nearly a month before moving to an apartment.“You think the Lord left us? No, he was right there with us,” Lois Luallin said. “People brought boxes, packed things, took our wash and dry cleaning. We could not have done all that by ourselves.”Lois Luallin, left, tells Presiding Bishop Michael Curry how she and her husband, Duane, were rescued by Trinity Episcopal Church’s senior warden, Robert Jordan, in Baytown, as flood waters from Harvey rose in their home of 40 years. Photo: Carol BarnwellTrinity also fed first responders breakfast and provided food at all hours for anyone who was hungry.“Bishop Curry, you can be encouraged that the Jesus Movement is alive at Trinity,” said the Rev. Micki Rios, Trinity’s deacon.During the visit to Texas, Curry and his team also met with Hispanic clergy from the Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in southwest Houston.The Rev. Janssen Gutiérrez, rector of San Mateo, had just begun his new job when Harvey took out four of the campus’s six buildings. The congregation of 300 to 400 worshipped in tents for two months and actually saw an increase in their numbers, Gutiérrez said.The Rev. Pedro Lopez, vicar of Iglesia San Pedro, in southeast Houston, described neighbors helping neighbors. “We became a food distributor for almost two months,” he said. “The church was central to helping people find what they needed. Thousands of people came.”Diocese of Texas Bishop Andy Doyle, right, looks on as cellphones are used to snap photos of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry posing with members of Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo. Photo: Carol BarnwellCurry thanked church members who had prepared a large breakfast of pupusas, plantains and homemade red beans on the second morning of his visit.He reminded them that Jesus always fed people before he would teach them.“During trying times, when the church is open to offer support, that’s feeding folks,” he said. “When you are helping people get their cars fixed so they can get to work, that’s feeding folks. Thank you for what you have done. I want to offer the love, affection and prayers of your brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church. They stand ready to join you in the work of rebuilding.”Curry also toured St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in southwest Houston where the group was entertained briefly by several bagpipe students practicing in the courtyard. The church and school of 600 students were hit hard by flood waters for the third time in two years. Much of the school will be rebuilt as a result.The group concluded its tour of affected areas at Emmanuel Church, hosted by the rector, the Rev. Andy Parker. Emmanuel’s buildings are bare after the campus flooded when water from the reservoirs was released in the days after Harvey. Everything has been taken down to the studs, and the exterior will also be replaced.Members of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s team, Diocese of Texas staff, and members of Emmanuel and Temple Sinai gather to offer prayers at the conclusion of the presiding bishop’s pastoral visit to areas affected by Harvey. Photo: Carol BarnwellEmmanuel’s congregation continues to worship at nearby Temple Sinai where the sacredness of placing a temporary altar over the bema, from where to Torah is read, is not lost on anyone.“It’s been a blessing every week,” Rabbi Annie Belford said, although she admits some of her congregation wondered at having a cross in their sanctuary. “The partnership of the heart is incredible. It’s what we do for our neighbors.”Rabbi Annie Belford of Temple Sinai, left, and the Rev. Andy Parker, rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Houston, center, pose with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry during Curry’s visit to Emmanuel. Belford contacted Parker immediately after Emmanuel flooded during the release of water from Houston’s reservoirs last August to offer worship space at Temple Sinai. Photo: Carol BarnwellThat blessing goes both ways, Belford found. “In the course of all this, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and the women of Emmanuel handmade her a quilt so she is sleeping every night wrapped in the prayers of Emmanuel Church.”The presiding bishop asked all of the people with whom he met what they wanted to tell fellow Episcopalians. To a person, everyone acknowledged that receiving prayers and support from others had kept them going.Lance Ferguson, newly elected senior warden at Emmanuel, said, “We’ve had help from around the world. We didn’t do it alone, and that’s been an eye-opener for people here. You can get through anything if you know you have support,” he said.Surveys done by Episcopal Relief & Development after Harvey showed that in just a few months, and with the financial support and supplies from Episcopalians throughout the country and the world, the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Texas had served more than 90,000 people affected by the storm.“We stand on your shoulders,” said Ritchie, St. Stephen’s deacon. “It’s the strength of the wider church that allows work to be done here.”Curry spoke encouraging words to the group gathered for worship at Emmanuel. “You, we, are not alone, even if it feels like it sometimes,” Curry said. “We were made for God and each other, and even in midst of hell there can be glimpses of heaven when we are not alone,” he said, noting the many times neighbors have come to the aid of neighbors during and after the waters of Harvey.Going forward, the church’s mission will pivot to restoration and rebuilding, and that will take much support, from Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Texas and beyond. The Rev. Stacy Stringer has been named director of hurricane recovery to oversee regional centers in the affected areas that will help coordinate rebuilding efforts, which are estimated to take two to three years.“We are so grateful for Bishop Curry’s pastoral visit and for the assurances of continued prayers and support from across the church that he brought,” Doyle, the diocese’s bishop, said. “We, too, continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who have been affected by hurricanes, fires and mud slides. It is in times such as these, that our community of believers shines the brightest.”– Carol Barnwell is director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Submit a Job Listing An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Submit an Event Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Smithfield, NC Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Events Rector Knoxville, TN AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Presiding Bishop tours Houston-area congregations, offers support in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Belleville, IL Featured Jobs & Calls This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Press Release Service 2017 Hurricanes, Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Albany, NY Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Martinsville, VA Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ By Carol BarnwellPosted Feb 1, 2018 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Bath, NC last_img read more

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Western Kansas elects local priest to be next bishop

first_img This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 By ENS staffPosted May 7, 2018 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books The Rev. Mark Cowell[Episcopal News Service] The Diocese of Western Kansas elected the Rev. Mark Cowell on May 5 to be its sixth bishop.Cowell, a lawyer who once prosecuted gang members in Dodge City, Kansas, is the vicar of St. Mary and St. Martha of Bethany in Larned, Kansas, and Holy Nativity, Kinsley. He still works part time as Dodge City’s municipal prosecutor and was just elected to his second term as the Hodgeman County attorney, according to his biography here.The other two nominees were the Rev. Mary J. Korte, rector of St. Stephen’s, Wichita, and the Rev. Jonathan Singh, clinical manager of St. Leonard’s Hospice in York, England. The electing convention was held at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Hays.Cowell’s wife, Julie, is a district magistrate judge, and they are parents to three children: Gabriel, Cathleen and Gryffin. The Cowell family has lived in Larned since 1996 after they moved out of Dodge City because gang members there shot out his car windows.Cowell says in his biographical statement that he felt a call to ordained ministry after he finished law school in 1994. Because of his debt from that schooling, he was trained locally and, after several years of study, was ordained as a transitional deacon in October 2003 and as a priest in June 2004.While helping oversee the process that resulted in the election of current Bishop Michael P. Milliken, Cowell met with then-Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to discuss the idea of a dual-role episcopacy in which a person serves as both bishop and a congregational priest. Milliken lived that model, the first in the Episcopal Church in the past 150 years, until the end of 2014 when he resigned as rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Hutchinson to served full time as bishop, according to the diocese.Cowell has said he would continue serving both parishes if he was elected bishop.After the bishop-elect receives the canonically required consent of a majority of the Episcopal Church’s diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will ordain and consecrate the new bishop Dec. 1. Submit an Event Listing Bishop Elections, House of Bishops, Rector Martinsville, VA Featured Events 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 Rector Washington, DC Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 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 In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Submit a Job Listing People Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Curate Diocese of Nebraska Press Release Service AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Collierville, TN Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Smithfield, NC Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Tampa, FL Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Hopkinsville, KY Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Belleville, IL Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Bath, NC Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Albany, NY Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Press Release An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Western Kansas elects local priest to be next bishop Rector Shreveport, LA 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 Tags Featured Jobs & Calls Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SClast_img read more

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