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  • NSIEAB 11:28 AM on 07/30/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Some 2.5 million—plus 8—join the Pope on Copacabana for two inspirational nights 

    For the last week, a small group of 8 Anglican young adults from 5 countries have been in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the World Anglican Youth Encounter. The brainchild of Reverends Nicholas Wheeler and Daniel Cabral of the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, with the support of diocesan bishop Filadelfo Oliveira, this event is taking place alongside World Youth Day, an event attracting millions of Catholic youth from around the world.

    On Friday, the faithful throngs crowded along Copacabana beach to walk the Stations of the Cross, life-sized constructions along Avenida Atlantica, at where the cross of World Youth Day and the Icon of Our Lady paused and the dramatization of each station was televised on the multiple big screens along the beach. At the end of the procession, the cross was raised on the stage from which the Pope delivered a sermon in a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. For Oliver Petter from the Diocese of London, currently in his second year of seminary in Oxford, Friday evening’s events were particularly impressive. The difference in the symbolism in Brazil was of note for him—he commented that many countries perform the stations of the cross with a ‘body’ present, but: “…to process with an empty cross here with a crown of thorns…it symbolizes absence, loss…and yet 1 million people there on the beach, such a manifestation of resurrection, in stillness and reverence…that was very moving…”

    On Saturday, the vigil previously scheduled was for a thirteen kilometer hike, ending at a campsite at Pedra de Guaritiba. However, three days’ worth of rain in Rio made for unsustainable conditions at the field, and the event was rescheduled for Copacabana beach. Thousands upon thousands staked out locations to set up camp and stay overnight, and the Pope processed along the street to greet the crowd before arriving at the main stage for an event of music, testimonies from various individuals from throughout the country, and ending with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Francis praised the spirit and strength of youth today, exhorting them to be leaders in their communities—of faith and otherwise—to call for change, and be guided by their faith to create a church not for a small few, but large enough for all of humanity to be included. The feelings of hope and inspiration were almost tangible, an emotional high note to prepare for tomorrow’s closing Mass, also to be held on Copacabana. For these 8 young Anglicans, this time in Brazil is nearing its end, but what they will take away from this experience is only beginning.

    By Nina Boe

  • NSIEAB 6:27 PM on 07/27/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    From beauty to struggle, Brazil has much to teach Anglican youth—and inspire 

    Days 4 and 5 have been busy for the small group of Anglican young adults gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the Anglican World Youth Encounter, and they will keep getting busier. The highlight of Day 4 was an ecumenical worship service at the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer in Tijuca. Around 30 people joined together to worship, led by two brothers from the Rio de Janeiro Taize community. Diocesan bishop Filadelfo Oliveira also joined the service. Afterward, the group joined thousands to line the streets nearby to wait—in the rain—for a glimpse of Pope Francis as he passed by. One of the Anglican youth in attendance, Alice Christofi, a London native currently studying in Italy, has had the opportunity to see Pope Francis a couple of times already, but said it was “still a feeling of being drawn to it… the first glimpse of the change he is hopefully going to bring. We’ve had a bit of a glimpse of that in the Diocese of Europe already…but for many people here it was their first encounter with him.”

    Day 5 was a visit to the City of God. First attending afternoon prayer at Christ the King parish, led by parish priest Rev. Nicholas Wheeler, the group then learned about the history of the parish and the community. City of God is a housing estate built in 1966 on the edge of the city to provide accommodation for people on low-incomes but became home to the residents of some 67 favelas, or shanty towns, when government embarked on a policy of slum clearance in the wealthier parts of the city. Flood victims added to the number.The Anglican church, having had a presence in one of those expulsed communities, also migrated to this new home, and in the early 1970s purchased the property on which the Parish Church of Christ the King now sits. The present church was built in 1991. For more than 40 years the Anglican parish has faced the troubles that the entire community has endured—violence, drug trafficking, security issues—but continues to be a strong community presence.  As Rev. Nicholas said that afternoon, “If the church doesn’t stay in places like this, then what on earth are we doing? How does the church have integrity…if not in places like this?”

    Afterward, Rev. Nicholas took the group on a tour of the neighborhood, starting in the area closest to the church, and eventually ending up in a much poorer part. Some houses are little more than crudely built shacks, while others have walls & foundation of concrete, but are rather simple, only a small living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. There are many roads that have been recently paved—a government initiative in preparation for the World Cup and improving the country’s image—but there are many byways that, these rainy days, have been reduced to muddy alleyways. On their tour, the group encountered a parishioner who welcomed them to her home for coffee. Though a group by then of some twelve, this was of no consequence. For Helen Wolstencroft from the Diocese of Guildford, England, she found herself very much struck by the generosity and hospitality the group encountered. Her first time in Brazil, she never considered herself the type to take the leap of faith to travel so far and have such an experience as this, but now she finds herself very moved and inspired by her experiences thus far. As the group prepares for more activities, including joining thousands in the Pope’s evening vigil on Saturday, they find themselves reflecting much and deepening their fellowship in this short time together. It is our prayer and hope that they continue to be challenged, strengthened and inspired.

    by Nina Boe

  • NSIEAB 12:13 PM on 07/24/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Greetings from Rio de Janeiro – and the Anglican World Youth Encounter! 

    Sometimes in life, one will have those experiences with people that lovely that it has the feeling that they have already passed a long time with them – and it’s just been one day. There is already this feeling in Rio de Janeiro at the World Anglican Youth Encounter. Happening at the same time as the World Youth Day (a majority of the participants are Catholic), priests Nicholas Wheeler & Daniel Cabral, with the support of diocesan bishop Filadelfo Oliveira, had the idea to have an encounter of Anglican youth in the diocese of Rio de Janeiro. With invites sent to dioceses in Brazil, Europe, Africa and Australia, there is now a small group ready for ten unforgettable days.

    On Sunday July 21 in the Cathedral of the Redeemer in Tijuca, there was a welcoming ceremony for the young adults with representatives of the cathedral congregation, including Dean Abimael Rodrigues. There was a lovely presence of parishioners and others from the community, and afterward a time of hospitality for people to eat, drink and talk. These young adults have diverse lives and stories, and are excited to be in Rio during this time. In the week that comes, they will have the opportunity to participate in World Youth Day, but also to visit parishes and places in Rio to learn more about what the Anglican Church is doing here, how we can strengthen our relations as a Church, and what does it mean to be a young Anglican in our different contexts.

    On Monday, the group spent time getting to know the church communities hosting them: St. Paul’s parish in Santa Teresa, Christ the King in City of God, and the Cathedral of the Redeemer in Tijuca. The second day was the first full day of scheduled events, the first of which turned out to be canceled—not to be deterred, the group instead went into the city center to participate in visiting the Roman Catholic cathedral, and an area full of activities from various Franciscan groups. Returning to the Anglican cathedral for lunch, Rev. Luis Coelho of Church of the Holy Trinity joined the group in helping initiate a discussion on what does it mean to be a young Anglican today. Rev. Luis provided a brief history of the Episcopal Anglican Church in Brazil, as well as valuable insight about the challenges the church has faced since its founding. The entire group then took turns in speaking about their perceptions of what does it mean to be a young Anglican in their respective contexts, with thought-provoking comments and glimpses into life in other dioceses and provinces. From successes to struggles, there was a pervasive sense of optimism and enthusiasm from this dynamic group of  young adults from all corners of the world.

    The evening’s main event—opening mass of the World Youth Day with the Catholic bishop of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro—took place on Copacabana Beach with thousands in attendance. Despite wind and small pockets of rain, there was an air of positivity, and it was striking to see so many youth from so many different countries gathered together. For the small group of Anglicans gathered in Rio during this time, participating in the main events is a chance to participate in an historic moment in Brazil, one that will remain with them even long after they return home.

    BY Nina Boe

    Office of the Secretary General of the IEAB

  • NSIEAB 5:26 PM on 07/18/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Court Orders Return of Churches to the Anglican Diocese of Recife / Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil” 

    After a long judicial battle that lasted for a decade, a Brazilian judge has this month finally decided that the actions taken by Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti in creating of the Diocese of Recife – DR, flagrantly violated Brazilian law as well as Canon law, the Doctrine & Discipline of the Episcopal Anglican Church in Brazil (IEAB), resulting in the suspension/demotion, and eventual dismissal of Bishop Robinson from his episcopal authority & legal legitimacy for such actions.

    With the sentence, it was decreed that all the actions taken by Bishop Robinson were nullified, and all would be returned to the Anglican Diocese of Recife (DAR), including property, administration & all goods and rights which were illegally usurped, including amongst them five churches with all of their belongings. From now on, all of these parishes are under the direction and supervision of Diocesan Bishop Sebastião Armando.

    It is clear, therefore, that with the decision, the Judiciary as enforcing justice and law, has put an end to this situation which generated unprecedented legal instability in the Anglican Diocese of Recife, resulting in a deleterious effect on the entire Brazilian Anglican province, reflecting poorly on the credibility of the (church) institution and leadership in Brazil and abroad. Fortunately the law does not applaud these sorts of mistakes.

    Unfortunately, even with this new step, the unity of the church, so carefully cherished and painstakingly built over these 100+ years during the existence of the Episcopal Anglican Church in Brazil, once again remains shaken, leaving its faithful troubled and confused, certainly causing in many people of faith a cooling of charity, which is our biggest concern right now.

    This is an historical moment. We trust in the aid of Divine Grace with which we can reconstruct the unity of the Church. It is our prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, touch our hearts and tell them much more than we can express.

    May the Lord bless us and guide us, with his infinite mercy.

    Recife, 21 July 2013
    Jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Recife, with the approval of the Diocesan Bishop

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