The Bishop’s E-pistle: The (Inter)National Episcopal Church

People in Episcopal congregations frequently refer to the “National Church,” by which they mean the whole Episcopal Church. Since coming to Arizona as your bishop I have tried to–gently–push back on this, since the Episcopal Church is not solely in the United States. It also includes dioceses in Europe, Taiwan, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Honduras, Venezuela, and two nations that are currently in crisis: Cuba and Haiti.

The Diocese of Cuba was only recently readmitted to the Episcopal Church at the 2018 General Convention. Bishop Griselda Delgado has sent out a message to the church, a portion of which is contained in an Episcopal News Service article.

The Diocese of Haiti has been in a lengthy period of conflict, yet also is known as the largest diocese of the Episcopal Church in numbers of baptized members, and served heroically in caring for survivors of the 2010 earthquake, which destroyed the Cathedral. The Presiding Bishop has offered a pastoral word to the church in Haiti.

We are all bound up together in our common life; when there is suffering and unrest in one place, it grieves the heart of Jesus and of his church. So I bid your prayers for our siblings in Christ in Haiti and Cuba.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, p. 815)