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The Good News from El Camino Real - July 11, 2014

In this issue:

  • Presiding Bishop Message on Central American Refugees
  • St Mary's Antiques Sale this weekend in PG
  • Santa Maria Urban Ministry Backpack Drive
  • Youth Leader Summit

July 11, 2014

Please click here to read the full newsletter.



Diocese Endorses “Sports for Peace” Initiative for South Sudanese
Last month Bishop Mary and our Board of Trustees endorsed a unique peace initiative in response to tens of thousands of South Sudanese who have fled their country since violent conflict broke out in December. Your help is needed to support a vision that would use sporting tournaments to create teams of peacemakers in a South Sudanese refugee camp.
In March, Bishop Mary responded to an invitation by Hope With South Sudan to support a Nairobi university student in their program to attend a trauma healing, peace and reconciliation workshop in Kakuma Refugee Camp. The Kakuma Peace Institute was created by Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial, Diocese of Aweil, to train pastors and lay leaders as peacemakers among more than 130,000 refugees from South Sudan who lived in the camp and had brought the conflicts of their various tribes. (About a third of the population is Episcopalian.)
During the Institute training, Michael Puot Rambang -- the student that Bishop Mary supported – had a vision to create soccer and volleyball tournaments for peace, where teams would consist of young men and women from various tribes. The young people would enter peace and reconciliation training before the games, and eventually be sent into their communities as peace ambassadors. Michael has since gathered an organizing team of university women and men representing six tribes.
This initiative has caught the attention of the Presiding Bishop’s Office for Global Relations, who is now working with the Episcopal liaison to the UN to obtain their recognition through the Commission on Sports, Peace and Development. The Bishop of the Diocese of Olympia (Western Washington State) has joined our diocese in issuing a similar endorsement for “Sports for Peace.”
Hope With South Sudan needs your help. The training and tournaments will cost about $15,000. We are looking for people who have contacts with the San Jose Earthquakes and with other professional teams that might underwrite this initiative.  We’re also looking for connections with university and youth teams who might join in supporting this crucial effort in a camp where the majority of people are under the age of 25.
Visit www.hopewithsouthsudan.org for more information on the program and for updates on the situation in South Sudan and the leadership of the Episcopal Church in South Sudan.  Donations can be made through the website or by mailing them to HWSS, 81 N. 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113. For more information, contact The Rev. Jerry Drino at jdrino@hopewithsouthsudan.org or (408) 806-4506.


Children in the Kakuma Refugee Camp.




Presiding Bishop Addresses Crisis of Central American Children at U.S. Border
On July 10, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a statement on the current crisis of unaccompanied children and families at the United States border. Below is a condensed version; to read the full statement, click here.
“The influx of vulnerable people from Central America, including unaccompanied minors as well as mothers with children, continues to challenge the United States to respond compassionately.  Like Sudanese or Syrian refugees, these people are fleeing hunger, violence, and the fear of rape, murder, and enslavement. The violence in Central America has escalated significantly in recent months, particularly as a result of gangs and trafficking in drugs and human beings. These people are literally fleeing for their lives. 
The Episcopal Church believes we have a responsibility to all our neighbors, particularly the strangers and sojourners around us. We have been resettling refugees since 1939. Today, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and Episcopal Relief & Development are working with churches and dioceses in areas where these Central American women and children are being served. 
Episcopalians are responding with prayers and concern, and asking how to help. I urge you to remember these people and their difficult and dangerous position in your prayers – today, this coming Sunday, and continuing until we find a just resolution. The Episcopal Church has established an account to receive financial contributions to assist Episcopal Migration Ministries in this work. For details, please contact EMM@episcopalchurch.org.
I would also encourage you to contact your legislators, and ask them to support an appropriate humanitarian response to this crisis. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, and as a Church, we are asking the United States government to support such a response, grounded in justice and the fundamental dignity of every human being.”



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