Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Diocesan mission team will leave for Madagascar on Sept. 16

Our diocesan mission team will leave this Thursday afternoon, Sept 16, for their long journey to Madagascar, where they will spend the next two weeks. They ask our prayers for safe travel and for the work they will do in our Companion Diocese of Antananarivo.

Once the team arrives on Sept. 18, there will be daily reports and pictures from their ministry posted on the mission website.

Fourteen people, including the team leaders, the Rev. Debra Andrew Maconaughey, priest-in-charge of St. Columba, Marathon, and her husband, Kirk, will be in Madagascar till Oct. 1, visiting and working with our missionaries, Bishop Todd and the Rev. Patsy McGregor in Toliara.

In addition to the Maconaugheys, other team members include: David Lyon, Anne Morkill, Blair Shiver and TerriLynn Kelly from St. Columba; Rose Brown, Holy Family, Miami Gardens; Rick and Cordella Misseau, Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Palm Beach; Sharon Cassell, St. Joseph’s, Boynton Beach; Emily Nell Lagerquist, Chapel of St. Andrew, Boca Raton; Jacky Lowe, St. James-in-the-Hills, Hollywood; Dr. Emma Stoll from Fisherman’s Hospital in Marathon; and Carolyn Mackay, a friend of the Maconaugheys from Virginia.

Stoll and Kelly, who is a nurse, will head the medical team; Kirk Maconaughey, the Misseaus, Anne Morkill and Emily Nell Lagerquist all have experience in water and/or conservation work and will lead the environmental team.
According to Andrew Maconaughey, the mission will be “multifaceted.” The group will lead Vacation Bible School at two sites; offer a medical clinic and distribute several hundred pairs of eyeglasses; work on an environmental project aimed at providing clean water; and join with the people in Toliara churches and communities for worship and spiritual conversation.

And there will be the kazoos—Andrew Maconaughey said the team plans to take distribute about six-dozen kazoos: “Anything you can hum, you can play on a kazoo!”

She added that on previous mission trips she’s found kazoos to be a great way to break down barriers of language and culture.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Diocesan clergy sign Bishop Frade’s letter opposing Quran-burning

Clergy signatures added to the bishop's letter

At the annual diocesan Clergy Conference, Sept. 7-8, the clergy voiced approval for Bishop Leo Frade's letter to the editors of local newspapers in which he called a small Gainesville, Fla., church's plan to burn copies of the Quran "an act of intolerance and religious stupidity."

Frade expressed concern that this act would endanger not only Christians living in predominantly Muslim countries, but also American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He appealed to Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center to "desist from an action that will hurt his Christian brothers and sisters around the world."

Read the full text of the letter here.

Forty clergy--about half of those attending the conference--added their signatures to the letter; many others were supportive but did not have time to sign before the end of the conference.

A copy of the letter, with the page of signatures attached, was mailed to Jones on Sept. 9.