Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Our Changing World

Bishop Frade provided his last update from the House of Bishop's meeting in Taiwan today. You can view it here: http://diosef.wordpress.com.

View all photos and videos from the meeting, taken by Bishop Frade here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/87226290@N05/sets/72157647752645615/

Monday, September 22, 2014

“We are 1 in 100″

The typhoon is gone. Almost no damage in Taipei, but other areas of the island were affected.
This morning we had three presentations on the challenge of doing ministry in areas where Christianity is being challenged.
The first speaker was the Primate of Japan, Nathaniel Uematsu. I met Nathaniel many years ago when Diana and I were invited to visit and preach for a month to the Holy Catholic Church of Japan (NSSK) as their Anglican Church is called. Nathaniel was a recently ordained priest and he was assigned to take us around – today he is the Primate of Japan. Maybe I’m getting old. Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSSK) was founded in 1859 when the Rev. Channing Moor Williams arrived in Nagasaki as a missionary of the Episcopal Church to start proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Frade with his friend Nathaniel Uematsu the Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, the Holy Catholic Church of Japan, one of the Anglican Provinces of our Communion.
Today they have 280 churches in 11 dioceses with 57,000 members and 230 clergy.
One interesting historical fact was that Japan ruled Taiwan as one of their provinces from 1895 until 1945. The Japanese Anglicans (NSSK) had Episcopal churches in Taiwan during that time but after the defeat of the Empire of Japan they left. Unfortunately for us, Chang Kai-shek confiscated the Anglican churches and gave them to the Presbyterians and other Protestant denominations. The Episcopal Church opted not to sue to recover the stolen churches in order not to give a bad witness and not to get on the wrong side of Chang Kai-shek. The end result was that the Episcopal Church in Taiwan had to start from scratch having no buildings.
The witness of the Japanese Episcopalians has been one of reconciliation with the countries they invaded during the II World War and they apologized for all the atrocities committed by their Imperial army. Today NSSK ministers not only to the Japanese but also to the Korean and Philippine immigrant that are discriminated and many times abused.
I was impressed by the words of Nathaniel when he shared what he tells his people. “Even if we are only 1% of the population of Japan, that means that we are 1 out of 100 people in Japan that Christ has chosen for us to be his vessels and carry his message of redemption. What a great privilege we have to have been chosen out of 100 to serve our Christ.”
He also explained to me that the reason that only 1% of the Japanese is Christian is not that they oppose or persecute Christianity like it happens in Muslim countries, but it is because to be a Christian demanded exclusivity if you accept Christ.
Japanese on the other hand believe they can be Buddhists, Shinto and Christians at the same time with no problems. They are people where faith is important to them so the more faiths the better.
The second presentation came from the Primate of Korea by Archbishop Paul S. Kim. I will be leaving on Wednesday to be with him and other Bishops, clergy and laity. I’ll share more after I get there. I am looking forward to learn more on their efforts on reconciliation between South and North Korea.
The last of the morning speakers was Archbishop Edward Malecdan, the Primate of PEC – the Philippine Episcopal Church. He just arrived from a devastated country due to the wind and rain caused by the same typhoon that we suffered yesterday. PEC became a missionary diocese in 1901 and was part of our church until they became self-supporting in 1991. Even though the Philippines is the fourth poorest country of Asia their church continues growing and supporting their church financially. They have 170,000 members in 70 dioceses. Their ministry is with the poor and they are also able to assist the Anglican Church in Myanmar (Burma).

The Reimagining of the Episcopal Church

Sunday, September 21, 2014
Greetings from Taiwan! The typhoon is now gone and the sun is out! Thank you for your prayers.
This afternoon we had a closed meeting dealing with TREC (The Reimagining The Episcopal Church). There were a lot of interesting comments dealing with TREC.  This will be one of the issues dominating the discussion at our next General Convention next year in Salt Lake City, Utah. This letter is the basis for the Blue Book that will be presented at General Convention. Major changes are being proposed on the structures of our Church, and I do recommend your reading of the September 2014 letter (link below).
Panel of TREC included Bishops Mary Gray-Reeves, Shawn Rowe, Andrew Doyle, and Michael Curry.

Considering it was a closed meeting, I am unable to share more details on the discussion.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The World is Bigger Than Us

View Bishop Frade's latest posting to his blog as the House of Bishops meeting continues in Taiwan.


View new photos and videos here.

Of the video below - note the baptismal font of living water at the entrance of the church, then you will see inscribed on the floor in Chinese characters the words of Jesus "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." (John 14:6).
It ends at the altar and right above the altar you see a rendering of Jacob's Ladder ascending into the Heavens with our prayers. The colorful ceiling on top of the altar depicts God's sun giving its multicolor light on the people of Taiwan. What a beautiful setting for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist!!! ~Bishop Frade

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Three powerful presentations – House of Bishops, Friday, September 19, 2014

View the link below Bishop Leo Frade's summary of three powerful presentations on Friday, September 19, 2014 in Taiwan at the House of Bishops meeting.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bishop Leo Frade's photo and video journey at the House of Bishops in Taiwan, China

Bishop Frade provides images of Taiwan through his eyes. Stay tuned for more. 

Children of Trinity Church in Keelung. This church also founded St Stephen's Church a decade ago.

View all of the photos, videos and captions here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/87226290@N05/sets/72157647752645615/

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Urban Pilgrimage: Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Representatives from the Diocese of Southeast Florida, Simone Allen of Trinity Cathedral and Melanie Veizaga of Church of the Resurrection recently attended the Urban Pilgrimage of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF). EPF is a mission of the Episcopal Church whose purpose is to connect all who seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence. EPF seeks to pray, study and take action for justice and peace in our communities, our church and our world.

Simone and Melanie recount their experiences below, recalling highlights of their pilgrimage in Austin, Texas in June of this year. They will bring  this program to our diocesan young adults in Miami in July 2015.

The week’s mission revolved around the meaning of justice, pulled from the sixth chapter of Micah in the Bible. We engaged in many activities including feeding the impoverished, understanding the social issues of immigration and recognizing the increasing need for equal housing opportunities.

The Urban Pilgrimage was a learning and growth experience that I will forever cherish. Through the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, I have seen a different side of society in a new light. Through this experience I have been forced to see without “rose-colored glasses,” the racial and cultural disparities faced by the city of Austin and many other cities including my own. I have questioned myself as to my purpose and relevance to the issues of social injustice, poverty and exclusion of our invisible society. At times, I am frustrated by my inability to be honest with myself about the fact that many of the same issues present in Austin are occurring within Miami. I felt helpless. However, through prayer and meditation, I have seen the devotion of my fellow pilgrims and their commitment to correcting the issues of social justice. With their help, along with the conversation throughout the weekend, I am prepared to provide education and intervention around these issues and bring serious focus to my community.

Bishop Frade begins meeting in Taiwan for House of Bishops

A message from our Bishop as he arrives in Taiwan, China for the Fall 2014 House of Bishops meeting:

Hello everybody!
I arrived safely to Taipei after 27 hours of travel. The photos below are of all the bishops and spouses of those who have arrived so far. Today after our meeting we met with the President of the Republic of China in Taiwan and clergy of the Diocese of Taiwan.

Please keep me in your prayers for the pain on my knee. It began to hurt after my arrival. Diana is taking very good care of my wounded knee. We miss our Cuban coffee, but the good news is that they have Starbucks in Taiwan!


Of note in this image: Bishop Leo Frade and Diana (lower left), Bishop Chip and Susan Stokes (upper right), Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves (top left), and Bishop Francisco Jose Duque-Gomez (center).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Food Packing for Haiti Draws Hundreds of Volunteers

On Saturday, September 13 several hundred volunteers (many Episcopalian) gathered together for a great cause. Food Packing for Haiti was held at St. Mark's, Palm Beach Gardens, and sponsored by Church of the Advent, Palm City, St. Paul's Delray, and St. Mark's. 75,000 meals were packed for over 3,200 school children in Haiti. Several churches within the diocese participated, some of which include: St. Bernard de Clairvaux, Holy Spirit, Grace, St. Patrick, St. Mark's, Church of the Advent, and St. Paul's.

View all photos here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Forget the Naysayers! Lift up the Lowly!

Preaching to youth is always a challenge – mainly because they are not a group that particularly desires to be preached to.   That is not to say they don’t like to learn, or care about Church, or want to be good people and do the right thing – they would just prefer that you not get all ‘preachy’ about it.  After all, they understand this world a lot better than we do. right? 

Two weeks ago I was asked to preach at the North Dade Deanery’s youth conference here in Miami.  We closed the conference with a Eucharist using the lectionary readings for Jonathan Myrick Daniels – a Seminarian and Martyr during the Civil Rights Movement. 

We talked about what it really meant to be a Christian.  That it wasn’t just ‘saying no’ to all the bad things around us, or listening to our parents, or getting good grades.  But it was, following the Magnificat – challenging the powerful, lifting up the lowly, and filling the hungry with good things. 

At the end of the sermon I challenged all of the youth present to offer up one way they would do this in their lives.  Here are some of the responses I got back:

“Give Encouragement to others.”

“Feeding people hungry for knowledge because everyone gets confused and curious once in a while. I would like to feed them with knowledge to clear their mind.”

“I could protest for what I believe in”

“Have a good laugh with them.”

“Let the love of God shine through me.”

“Find someone lowly. Bend Down.  Lift Them up.”

I am partial to that last one.  You can see that these were intelligent, articulate, well thought out ways to make God’s love a reality here on Earth.  All of them personal. All of them really powerful..

But there was one that stood out from the rest.  That preached to ME, taught ME the most important thing we need to remember when we try to follow God’s call:

“Forget the Naysayers”

That’s right. Forget the Naysayers.  There are a thousand voices out there telling you that the ‘way things are’ is the way it is always going to be.  And there is no point in trying to make a difference.  Just take care of yourself and those around you; that, my friends, is the devil speaking. 

That’s right. The devil.  We have a hard time in our Christian tradition talking about evil, the devil, Satan and all that. But there is perhaps no more powerful work of evil in the world than that voice that tells you to give up.  To quit. To think ‘this just isn’t worth it.’

And somehow this one anonymous teenager was able to see through all that evil and fear and say to me, and now to all of you, that no matter how you live out God’s call to ‘Do Justice, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly with God’ the most important thing we all have to remember is to FORGET THE NAYSAYERS – and believe that things can—and will--get better.

 - The Rev. Grey Maggiano, Trinity Cathedral, Miami