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Celebration and a call to love mark Presiding Bishop’s visit…

first_img Rector Shreveport, LA By Holly BehrePosted Apr 14, 2016 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Submit an Event Listing Cathedral Dean Boise, ID April 15, 2016 at 3:51 pm Thank you for starting this exploration and expression of faith in the Jesus movement with a time of worship at Mother Emanuel. That was the right place to start! David Benedict says: Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Collierville, TN Featured Events Comments (3) Rector Belleville, IL Celebration and a call to love mark Presiding Bishop’s visit to Charleston Rector Smithfield, NC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Pittsburgh, PA Submit a Job Listing Director of Music Morristown, NJ Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI April 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm …the whole ethos surrounding the Canterbury rock is so interesting…wondered if this was a first coming from England? Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Albany, NY Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visited Grace Church Cathedral on Sunday, April 10, for a special service that included the dedication of a stone from Canterbury Cathedral. From left the Very Rev. Robert Willis, the Very Reverend J. Michael A. Wright, Curry and the Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg. Photo: Carrie Graves/Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina[Episcopal Church in South Carolina] The Episcopal Church in South Carolina welcomed the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry with music, barbecue, a cathedral celebration and a day-long conference on evangelism and racial reconciliation during a three-day visit to Charleston April 8-10.The visit was a time to give thanks for the renewed life and energy of the diocese, and to hear Curry’s call to put that energy to use as part of the Jesus Movement, relying not on the strength of power, but the strength of love.“Episcopal Church in South Carolina, don’t you be ashamed  to be known as people of love,” he said in his keynote address on April 9. “Don’t you be ashamed to be people who are willing to welcome all of God’s children.  Don’t you be ashamed to let this be a house of prayer for all people.” (Video of the address)Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is greeted by members of historic Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston at a neighborhood barbecue and block party on April 9 held to celebrate his three-day visit to The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Photo: Holly Behre/The Episcopal Church in South CarolinaFive downtown churches hosted events for the visit, and capacity crowds showed up eager to meet the presiding bishop and celebrate the recovery and growth in the reorganized diocese in the eastern half of South Carolina, which endured a split in 2012-13.“Our Presiding Bishop certainly infused this diocese with enthusiasm and commitment on behalf of the Jesus Movement during his time here,” said the Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, bishop provisional of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. “He encouraged us along the road we have traveled for over three years now, and he challenged us for the way ahead.”“For our churches and for our people, this was a time of revival and of faith-building, in the much-loved traditions of the Episcopal Church,” vonRosenberg said. “At the weekend’s end, Episcopalians in this part of the world were unified in gratitude for the many blessings we received, and in thanksgiving for our membership in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion.”A time to unite The presiding bishop’s first visit was an ecumenical Community Evening Prayer Service with the Rev. Betty Deas Clark, the senior pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church. The nine people who were shot to death on June 17, 2015, at Mother Emanuel were remembered at the service, which took place at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, two blocks from Emanuel. Clark preached on “A Time to Unite.”Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visited Charleston April 8-10 and participated in a service of Community Evening Prayer with the Rev. Betty Deas Clark, senior pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church. The ecumenical service, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal on Anson Street, gathered faith leaders from around Charleston as The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg (center) welcomed the presiding bishop. Photo: Bob Waters“The body of Christ is being called to come together like never before,” she said. Drawing on examples from St. Paul and the early church, she said that all people together, in community, form a temple for God. “This is a marvelous thing that God has done: he has made a single body of diverse people. Not an Old-Testament Israel and a New-Testament church, but one body, one temple, to serve as the dwelling place of one Spirit. In God’s family there are no barriers of race, class, color, for we are one in Christ Jesus.” (Video of Clark’s sermon)Curry gave thanks for Clark’s ministry, the witness of Mother Emanuel and her people, and the Charleston community.“Charleston has witnessed,” he said. “The Greek word for ‘witness’ is related to the word for ‘martyr.’ And you have been a martyred witness, a witness to this fractured and divided country, that division is not the way. So we thank God for you.” (Video of the Presiding Bishop’s remarks)In his keynote address the next day, he spoke again of the Emanuel massacre. “Self-centeredness is destructive,” he said. “We know it. Charleston knows it. You have seen the results of self-centered existence manifested in hatred and its destructive power. You’ve seen it.  “You’ve also seen the beauty and the painful hope that love and forgiveness can bring. It can save us all.”Celebrating a cathedralThe visit included a celebration of another kind of unity, as the presiding bishop preached at the newly designated cathedral of the diocese, Grace Church Cathedral. Also present was the dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Very Rev. Robert Willis. (video of the Choral Eucharist at Grace)The presiding bishop gave his blessing at the dedication of a stone taken from Canterbury Cathedral. Willis brought the stone, carved with a Canterbury Cross, to be placed in Grace, a tradition followed in cathedrals around the Anglican world. The dean said the gift was a way for Grace “to express its organic unity with the Mother Church and all the other branches of our Episcopal Anglican communion.” Read more about the cathedral celebration here. ‘Spirituality, Evangelism, and Justice’The centerpiece of the weekend was an all-day conference, “Spirituality, Evangelism, and Justice,” at Church of the Holy Communion. About 350 paid registrants spent the day engaging with the Presiding Bishop and five other speakers from across The Episcopal Church on topics of racial reconciliation, evangelism and justice. The conference was sponsored by The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina, a nonprofit group that supports the Episcopal Church and the local diocese through educational efforts.The presiding bishop focused on Jesus’ baptism in his keynote address.Presiding Bishop Michael Curry poses with some of the 50 youth who attended the Bishop’s Lock-In on April 8 at Grace Church Cathedral in celebration of the presiding bishop’s visit to Charleston April 8-10. Photo: Lauren Kinard“Anybody here baptized?” he asked, drawing a response of laughter and a church full of raised hands. “Guess what – you’re in the Jesus Movement! And we are the 21st-century Episcopal version of the Jesus Movement.“And the nice thing about movements is that they’re very flexible and adaptable,” he said. “Movements can move quick. They can pivot. They can move fast, they can adapt to new and changing circumstances.“That’s one of the reasons we in the Episcopal Church thank you in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. You’ve had to learn to adapt. You’ve had to learn to deal with hard times. You’ve had to learn how to be the church of God, the church of Jesus Christ, the body of Christ, without all the institutional support. And you’ve done it!”More celebrationsThe conference concluded with a Solemn High Mass at the Church of the Holy Communion with the presiding bishop as celebrant. The preacher was the Rev. Michael Hunn, canon to the presiding bishop for ministry within the Episcopal Church. (Video of Canon Hunn’s sermon)Two of Charleston’s historic African American congregations also hosted special celebrations to welcome Curry. Calvary Episcopal Church, founded in 1847, served up barbecue at a neighborhood block party on April 9. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, founded on Easter Day 1865, welcomed the presiding bishop as their preacher for Eucharist on April 10.More than 50 youth from 10 churches also joined the celebration, gathering for an overnight lock-in April 8-9 at the cathedral in honor of the visit. Curry spent time with them before Evening Prayer on Friday night.The presiding bishop’s time in Charleston also served as an opportunity to give thanks for vonRosenberg, who has announced he will “re-retire” in June, three years after he came out of retirement to be South Carolina’s provisional bishop.“We live in times very often when there are questions and sometimes debate about whether or not leadership is even possible,” Curry said. “You in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina know that leadership even after retirement is actually possible, because you have seen it in Charles vonRosenberg.”— Holly Behre is director of communications for the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Tags Rector Martinsville, VA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Knoxville, TN Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Washington, DC This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 susan zimmerman says: Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Bath, NC Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL 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 Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel 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 An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 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 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Press Release Service Wayne Helmly says: Featured Jobs & Calls Curate Diocese of Nebraska Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Submit a Press Release Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Tampa, FL April 14, 2016 at 4:52 pm Many thanks to Presiding Bishop Curry and our other distinguished guests for giving us a weekend that The Episcopal Church in South Carolina will not soon forget. Because of your presence and the inspired program sponsored by The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina, there was a “sweet, sweet Spirit” all over Charleston. Many of us are still giving thanks to God daily for the gifts you gave us through your witness and work. Thank you for leading us in The Jesus Movement. And Bishop Curry, we hope you will come back to St. Stephen’s, Charleston, again soon. We’ll sing even more songs your grandma sang! Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Comments are closed. Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Hopkinsville, KY last_img read more

Start reading Celebration and a call to love mark Presiding Bishop’s visit…

Smoky Was Wrong: Why Our Forests Need Fire

first_imgThe first reports of the fire in Shenandoah National Park arrived at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, citing smoke several miles up the Rocky Mount Trail in the south district.Shenandoah National Park Assistant Fire Management Officer Matt Way reported for work and hiked the Rocky Mount Trail from the park’s western boundary to find a 50-acre fire burning a few ridges below Skyline Drive.The fire was too large and intense to make a safe direct attack with the few firefighters on site. Instead, Way worked with law enforcement officers to evacuate hikers from the trail, and he began to develop a suppression plan that would use additional resources and require clearance to use chainsaws and leaf-blowers—key tools to fighting eastern fires, but ordinarily prohibited in wilderness areas.Driven by wind and burning through stands of mountain laurel, pine and oak, the fire rapidly grew. Way initially planned to use existing trail breaks to contain the fire, which had grown to more than 200 acres by the next morning. By day three, the fire had reached 2,000 acres. Crews headed down a trail to establish a fire line and halt the fire’s southern progress, but with the dry conditions and gusty wind that day, the fire beat them there and jumped the trail just as they arrived. Soon flames were racing up the ridge toward Skyline Drive.The firefighters repositioned themselves to track the fire’s progress from the Brown Mountain overlook. What they saw was one of the fire’s most intense moments. Driven by winds and steep slopes, the fire roared up the mountain. It devoured leaf litter, dead snags, and mountain laurel in the understory, and when it hit drier pine stringers, it used the laurel as a ladder fuel to climb the trees, scorching them from top to bottom with 60-foot flames.In just 20 minutes, the fire had climbed from the valley bottom to Skyline Drive. As it approached, the gusting wind lofted airborne firebrands to ignite spot fires on the other side of the road. Crews fell back to establish yet another fire line on the Appalachian Trail, which runs along the ridgetop above the road. This line held, but aided by winds, a lack of rain and low relative humidity, the fire continued to burn in other directions, including toward private property and houses to the north and west.Park Superintendent Jim Northrup wrote in an open letter posted on Facebook:“It is important for the public to understand that allowing the fire to come to these stopping points, where safe, defensible positions have been prepared, is not the same as ‘letting the fire burn’ out of control.”The Rocky Mountain Fire of 2016 continued for another two weeks, burning 10,234 acres before officials declared it controlled in early May. It burned down to the park boundary on its north and west sides, and actually crossed the boundary into Beldor Hollow, but no structures were harmed. The Rocky Mountain Fire was only half the size of the 24,000-acre Shenandoah Complex fire of 2000, but it still ranks as park’s second largest fire in recent memory, and it serves as an example of how fire continues to play an important role in forests, even in the temperate rain forests of the Blue Ridge.Brown Mountain overlook panorama_FIXBrown Mountain Overlook.Fire plays a crucial role in the shape of the world, included with air, earth and water as one of the classical elements. Native Americans routinely used fire to make forests more productive for wildlife and game, effectively altering the ecology of Southern Appalachia. English settlers continued the trend, burning to open the understory, aiding in hunting and traveling, while also facilitating new plant growth for wildlife and domestic grazing animals. A 1908 report by a U.S. Senate committee reported that Appalachia “has suffered incalculable damage from fire, which in many localities still burns every year unchecked.”Today, fire continues to do what it’s always done. But in an age of climate change, suburbanization, and ecological changes, the physical, cultural and political landscapes around fire have shifted along with the way we conceptualize it.Much of that evolution has been framed by how public lands agencies manage fire. The U.S. Forest Service was still a fledgling institution in 1910 when it fought what became known as “the Big Blowup” on the Idaho-Montana border. The blaze burned more than a million acres in three days, creating its own weather, devouring entire canyons with giant fireballs, and forcing mass evacuations.The Forest Service suffered a crushing defeat, yet the Forest Service’s creator and most outspoken champion, Gifford Pinchot, wove into a grand narrative numerous heroic moments by federal officials—running toward the fire when everyone else was fleeing, taking shelter in abandoned mine shafts and creekbeds, and helping evacuate towns in the fire’s path. This narrative both guaranteed the Forest Service’s survival and ensured it would spend decades focused primarily on fire suppression.The Big Blowup’s veterans defined federal fire policy for decades to come: Willam Greeley emerged as Forest Service chief and prioritized fire suppression above all else. Meanwhile Elers Koch—whose obituary appeared in newspapers after the Big Blowup before he emerged from the forests still alive and with an intact crew—advocated for fire as an important component of forest health. For most of the century, Greeley’s views dominated federal policy, but over time, Koch’s influence grew as agencies began to recognize fire as a necessary ecological force, not only desirable but essential for many species of plants and animals. Smokey has been sending the wrong message: wildfire is as natural and necessary as rain for forest health.Today, fire policy continues to evolve. The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service both look for opportunities to let fire run when they can, as long as it doesn’t endanger firefighters or private property.“We’re more populated in the East compared to the West, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have opportunities to achieve ecological objectives,” says Riva Duncan, fire management officer for North Carolina’s National Forests. “We look for opportunities. We had a fire last summer, an unusual lightning fire in summer without rain, that we were able to manage for multiple objectives. We got about 2,000 acres out of it.”Allowing a fire to burn to accomplish ecological goals, however, must be weighed against other considerations, primarily the safety of crews and the proximity of private land and structures.“We want a fire that we can pretty much keep it where we want it, providing good ecological effects, whether to soil, to wildlife, to vegetation, and certainly we want to minimize impacts to the public,” Duncan says. “Every single fire we really have to look at differently and decide if we can meet our objectives. If we don’t think we can, we’ll do our best to suppress it.”In managing the spring fire in Shenandoah National Park, fire officials chose not to make a direct attack because it was difficult to do so on rugged terrain in unfavorable weather conditions without endangering firefighters. Instead, they pulled back and made a stand at defensible locations—roads, trails, natural barriers and constructed fire lines.The fire strategy came about from prioritizing firefighter and public safety, but the Rocky Mountain Fire of 2016 still produced a wealth of ecological benefits.In late June, two months after the fire was contained, its aftermath could still be seen in charred ground cover and scorched trees, but already sedges and ferns had reclaimed the forest floor, covering the charred-black ground with a vibrant green.“This is pretty much what we’re going to see at this point in the game,” says Way. “There’s vegetation growing back. Mother Nature is going to heal the scars.”Thin pine trees where the fire burned hottest were completely scorched, but National Park Service fire ecologist Missy Forder says the thick-barked pines are “pretty bombproof,” and even those that do die will likely be replaced, since they also released cones that rely on flames to reach the temperatures required for them to release seeds.“The fire will have positive impacts on the vegetation and the wildlife,” Forder says. “It will regenerate those oaks and acorns. New, succulent vegetation that comes out pulls in wildlife. You’ll see different bird species, different animal species, things that haven’t been in that area because it’s been the same [ecological] structure. Fire alters it and makes it much more of a destination for different species.”The same factors that make recently burned areas attractive for native plants and wildlife also create opportunities for invasive species, so biologists also must monitor them for exotics such as wavyleaf basketgrass, princess tree, and oriental bittersweet.Not everyone is convinced of fire’s touted ecological effects. During the Shenandoah spring fire, residents along the park’s northern and western boundaries grew nervous as the flames grew closer. The various agencies involved in fighting the fire were able to use heavier equipment outside the park’s wilderness area, with the Virginia Department of Forestry pitching in with bulldozers to help cut fire lines.In North Carolina, residents near Linville Gorge fought against a federal proposal for a prescribed burn. The burn, budgeted at about $4.5 million, would have been planned for 16,586 acres of mostly wilderness but also some areas near private land. Opponents formed Save Linville Gorge Wilderness as a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and rallied public opposition, which succeeded in putting the project on hold, likely for good.Lonnie Crotts, Save Linville Gorge Wilderness’s public engagement coordinator, argues that prescribed burning rarely improves the health of forests.“Prescribed burning is driven by a supply of federal money that began in 2001 with ‘forest landscape restoration’ legislation under the George W. Bush administration,” Crotts wrote in an email. “This money provides much desired income to agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service … which creates a bias for the ‘need’ for more fire in our environment.”Crotts’ arguments against prescribed fire in the gorge include: concerns that human-caused fires may rage out of control; carbon release contributing to climate change; invasive species that thrive in burned areas and may cause more fire; air quality impacts made by the particulates released in fire; and threats to fire-sensitive endangered species.Crotts also points to a 2012 fire in Croatan National Forest, near the North Carolina coast, that started as a prescribed burn but which spread to more than 20,000 acres. The fire didn’t threaten private property, but it did result in “code red” air quality warnings in three counties, and smoke could be smelled as far away as Raleigh.The halting of prescribed burning in Linville Gorge doesn’t mean the end of fire there. Nearly 20,000 acres in the gorge have burned since 2000 from fires that weren’t planned (although three of the four fires during that time were human-caused).Odds are fire that will strike Linville Gorge again. So long as they can keep firefighters safe and private property protected, federal officials are likely to let it burn.“Because of the nature of topography there, it’s rare we can safely put people in the gorge to fight it,” Duncan says. “With fires in the gorge, we have to wait until it comes to us.”RockyMountFire_21Apr2016_ByTomDaly-1_FIXPhoto by Tom DalyDespite the impasse at Linville Gorge, the Forest Service and other land managers continue to conduct prescribed burns and manage unplanned fires for ecological goals when possible. In 2015, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire crews conducted 37,263 prescribed burns that affected a total of 2.9 million acres, with state agencies accounting for about half of that, and the U.S. Forest Service for another third.Overall, more than 10 million acres across the country burned in wildfires in 2015, according to the NIFC. In the Southeast—a large geographic area that includes southern Appalachia but also extends west to Texas—an average of 910,000 acres burn each year from human-caused fires and 224,000 acres from lightning-caused fires.Most of those fires burned unevenly in a mosaic pattern, scorching some areas while leaving others relatively unscathed. The mosaic pattern left by fire aids in recovery, as vegetative heterogeneity leads to more biodiversity as different ecotypes overlap. That patchiness also can disguise the effects of fire, especially to an untrained eye observing a burned area just a few months afterward.In Shenandoah National Park, land that was ablaze a couple of months ago is now covered in green, obscuring the ashes that still cover the ground. If one is closely watching the trail ahead or in deep thought, it’s possible to wander through a burned area without even noticing. That rapid recovery may also lull us into believing that fire has been eradicated from the landscape in which we live and play. But fire continues to shape the natural environment, as it has for millennia and as it will into the future, despite all efforts to eradicate and manage it.WOMEN AND WILDFIREArrive on the site of a wildfire and you’ll find fire engines, staffed by crews clad in yellow and green, lots of shovels and pulaskis, and the smell of smoke. One thing not likely to be present: A significant number of women.Federal land agencies, traditionally dominated by men, have started to hire more women, including for leadership positions. Still, that progress hasn’t translated to wildfire jobs, according to numbers compiled by Brenda Dale, a U.S. Forest Service fire management officer. Women hold only 11 percent of permanent wildfire jobs in the Forest Service; by contrast they make up nearly 40 percent of its overall workforce. In the agency’s Southern region, only three women hold supervisory fire jobs, compared to 94 men.Duncan says the numbers are getting worse instead of better.“It’s something I scratch my head over all the time—there are fewer women now in fire than at any time in the last 15 years,” says Riva Duncan, fire management officer for North Carolina’s National Forests.In the Southwest U.S., Bequi Livingston first joined a fire crew in 1979. She worked with wildfire for three decades, and in 2012, she established the Women in Wildland Fire program to pay her experiences forwardThe program provides young women with fire training in a supportive environment, creating an opportunity to land a job on a seasonal fire crew. It also creates a foundation for its graduates to eventually work their way into leadership positions.The eastern version of the Women in Wildland Fire program looks quite different than out West, however. Eastern fires tend to occur in the spring and fall, when dry leaf litter covers the ground, while western fires mostly happen in the summer. That means college students often can’t participate on a regular basis.The few young women who do pursue fire training in the East often go west during the fire season. Duncan sees her job as providing the training and helping participants find opportunities, like one woman who trained in North Carolina and then joined a hotshot crew in California.“We certainly look for young women who like physical challenges, are physically fit, who like the adventure,” Duncan says.Related Content:last_img read more

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