September 1, 2020
Convocation Newsletter
(COVID-19 special edition #18)
September 1, 2020
A Newsletter for Members and Friends of the Convocation of
Episcopal Churches in Europe
Please direct any comments to
"Ordinary Time" in an extraordinary time...
The "Season of Creation" is marked each year from September 1 to October 4, and is observed in many church traditions, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Methodists and many others. This prayer and other resources can be found here.
Prayer in the Season of Creation
Loving God, we thank you for the gift of life in all its diversity and beauty. Lord Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, we praise you that you came to redeem all of creation. Holy Spirit, we rejoice that you breathe in the life of the world. Grant us faith and courage to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus as caretakers of, and justice-seekers for, your beautiful and bountiful creation. For the blessing of your people, the sustaining of the earth and the glory of your name. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 18)
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Prayer for Understanding
Almighty God, through your Holy Spirit you created unity in the midst of diversity; We acknowledge that human diversity is an expression of your manifold love for your creation; We confess that in our brokenness as human beings we turn diversity into a source of alienation, injustice, oppression, and wounding. Empower us to recognize and celebrate differences as your great gift to the human family. Enable us to be the architects and bridge-builders of understanding, of respect and love; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, the ground of all unity, we pray. Amen.
- Author Unknown, (This prayer was offered at a recent Bishops and Canons meeting.)
Pray with us in the  2020 Convocation Cycle of Prayer   available here
A Word from Bishop Edington

Back in June, as the protests against police brutality against communities of color in the United States were echoed in Paris by large demonstrations demanding accountability for the death in police custody of Adama Traoré, the Convocation and the cathedral went in together on a large banner that was lashed to the iron gate that sets off the building from the sidewalk. The banner, photos of which have been widely shared on Facebook and elsewhere, simply said, in all of the Convocation’s languages: “The Episcopal Church in Europe stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.”

There was no escaping this message for passersby, and indeed the banner began to gather some notice. Many members of the cathedral congregation took selfies in front of it. Others, not connected to the congregation, did the same. A number of our congregations shared the photo we’d posted of it on their own pages.

Three weeks or so ago, we arrived at the cathedral one morning for daily morning prayers to find that the banner had been cut horizontally, and then vertically, with what must have been a utility knife. No one knows just when this happened, or who did it.
What’s even less clear is why it was done. Was it someone who somehow opposes the idea of the Black Lives Matter movement? Someone who thinks police brutality isn’t that significant a problem? Someone who just hates the church? Or perhaps someone who was just thrilled by a destructive act, without any meaningful intent?

It’s impossible to know, of course. All it really proves is the truth of a maxim contained in the title of a book by the philosopher Martha Nussbaum—the “fragility of goodness.” From its earliest expressions, Western culture has somehow sensed that goodness and virtue are not themselves intrinsically strong or even capable of enduring undefended; they are vulnerable. God is almighty, but that does not mean virtue has an easy time of it in the world God has created.

The banner was repaired by the cathedral’s indominable staff, but eventually the wind and rain had their way, and the torn banner was finally taken down this week.

Somehow, the sight of that torn fabric struck me more deeply than simply a vandalized banner. It seemed a metaphor for so much of this annus horribilis. We are all torn. We have been torn away from each other, from our friends, from family members we cannot visit, from our communities of faith.

And our society is itself torn—torn by the grinding injustice experienced by communities of color that can no longer be veiled, or explained away by anything other than embedded structures of white supremacy; torn by a sense that the foundational assumptions of our social contract are dangerously weakened and failing, that the bonds that should connect us in a shared destiny have frayed to the breaking point.

“When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it” (John 19:23–24) 

That odd little detail tucked into John’s account of the execution of Jesus seems such a strange observation in the midst of the drama as to perhaps be an editorial error. It is hardly that. Think about it for a moment; how many clothes do you own that have no seam in them at all?

This seemingly mundane possession of the dying man on the cross is embedded in the story as a clue to who he is, and who we are meant to be. There is no weak point in the garment of salvation, no place where fabric has been cut and lost. We are meant to be woven whole, a single, seamless community. 

If we are torn, then our quiet prayer and our conscious effort must be directed to the work of reweaving, of תיקון עולםtikkun olam, repairing the world. We must prepare ourselves now for the work that lies before us, of laying hold the broken, frayed threads of the fabric of our church community, our neighborhoods, and our nations, and set about the holy task of mending.

See you in church,
A Poem
I found a one-armed Jesus
In my garden, as I worked
He caught my eye, I lifted him and thought, “What a cool perk!”
Both arms were raised up
But only one of them at length
I pondered that discrepancy
And one arm’s lack of strength
I thought perhaps that we might be that hand that he was lacking
And heard the words, “Of course! And you had better all get cracking!”
If we could see our hands as “hands of God” each day we live
We’d do more work called “Love”
And see just how much we can give ❤️

Kathleen Koch
Emmanuel Church, Geneva
Season of Creation
In 1989, the Eastern Orthodox Church, at the behest of the Ecumenical Patriarch, recognized September 1 as the Day of Prayer for Creation. 

Today that has evolved into the Season of Creation, which starts on September 1 and ends on St. Francis Day, October 4. The Season of Creation is a global ecumenical celebration hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC). It is observed in many church traditions, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Methodists, the Reformed, and many others.

Episcopal Liturgical Resources for Honoring God in Creation: Explore a host of liturgical resources for honoring God’s creation, from the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.
Online Resources for the Season of Creation

For the Season of Creation 2020, leaders from the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada collaborated on a set of beautiful weekly devotionals.

In Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s words, “Liberating, life-giving God, help us to know that we and the world you have created are truly the work of your hands. Give us knowledge and wisdom to care for your handiwork now and for future generations. Amen.” Also available as double spread pages here.

Season Of Creation Website that includes the Season of Creation 2020 prayer, information on events and how to take action to celebrate the season, with ideas for an outdoor prayer service, Creation walk or pilgrimage, sustainability event, or preaching about creation throughout the Season.

Creation Care Resource Page: This Episcopal list provides resources on loving formation, liberating advocacy for environmental justice, and life-giivng conservation and sustainability efforts. 
Convocation Convention in Nice, October 22-24
scheduled to be a Hybrid Event
2020 Convocation Convention
The annual convention of the convocation will take place October 22-24. At present, a hybrid convention is planned, in which full participation is possible in-person in Nice, France, or virtually online.

With changes in the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, it is possible there will be changes in the set-up of the convention. The convention website will have the latest information available.

Task Forces to Report to 2020 Convention
At the 2019 Convocation Convention in Bossey Switzerland, Task Forces were appointed to examine and four priorities in the coming year. These Task Forces will report to the 2020 Convention in Nice.

In June, these four priorities were examined in considerable depth at the annual Academy for Parish Leadership (APL) sponsored by the European Institute for Christian Studies (EICS). These reports are being finalized and updates will be available in upcoming newsletters.

The four task forces and their chairs are:
  • Refugees and Migrants - Thomas Huddleston (Waterloo), Chair
  • Climate and Creation Care - Stephen Squire (Geneva), Chair
  • Racism and Reconciling the Beloved Community - Stephen McPeek (Wiesbaden), Chair
  • Youth and Children: The Church of Today - Joyce Chanay (Paris) and Caireen Warren (Rome), Chairs
Upcoming Convocation Events

  • Sept. 12: CAECG (Online)

  • Sept 28 - Oct 1: Clericus

  • October 15-18: TEC-ELKB dialogue - Augsburg, Germany

  • October 19-21: COMB meeting - Nice, France

  • November 7-8: Consecration and Seating of the new Archbishop of Utrecht - Deventer NL

  • November 27: COABICE in Paris

  • May 28-29, 2021: Mission Fest in Augsburg, Germany
Online Worship in the Convocation
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
(commonly called the "American Cathedral")
Paris, France
Online Worship Opportunities for Sundays and Weekdays

With many of our church buildings closed to public worship, many of our parishes and missions have moved their Sunday and weekday Worship online. Consider taking part in worship with your sisters and brothers in Christ across Europe.

Opportunities for in-person worship are also noted.
Times of in-person worship are also indicated. All times are (Central European Summer Time (CEST).

Worship on Sundays and during the week:


  • Emmanuel Church, Geneva, SWITZERLAND
  • In-person worship Sunday 8:30: Holy Eucharist
  • In-person worship Sunday 10:30: Holy Eucharist (with instrumental music and cantors singing)
  • Services are live-streamed







** All live-streamed services are posted to the Cathedral YouTube and Facebook and may be accessed at any time.
The Presiding Bishop's July 5 message to the Convocation
The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate
of the Episcopal Church, preached a sermon on July 5, 2020 for the Churches of the Convocation .

View the Presiding Bishop's Sermon - here
Youth Ministry
A useful resources from the Youth Commission:

For more information on youth events and registration, please visit the Youth Ministry webpage HERE
The Convocation Youth were invited to submit creative ideas for a project called “Pentecost Project 2020”, telling the story of Pentecost. What a wonderful result: a video featuring youth from throughout the Europe speaking the good news in the languages of our Convocation!
Dean Laird is featured on France24
The Very Reverend Lucinda Laird, Dean of our Cathedral, was featured on France24 this week in a program called "The 51 Percent" which focuses on women in leadership.
Convocation COVID-19 Webpage
Information in one place
Convocation COVID-19 Response
Please visit our webpage dedicated to our COVID-19 response, as well as other resources.

If you have things to add please send information to
Congregational Plans for reopening churches - see the Bishop and Council of Advice directives on Regathering the Church Prayerfully and Intentionally here
Episcopal Asset Mapping
The Convocation is on the map! Visit us on the Episcopal Asset Map.

About five years ago, Canon Jere Skipper began the work of expanding the Episcopal Asset Map to include our congregations and ministries in Europe to the church-wide resource.

All of the parishes, established missions, and other ministries are on the Asset Map. Much more information needs to be added. Please consider updating the Episcopal Asset Map entry for your church or ministry. If you need help contact the archdeacon.
Cathedral Mourns the Passing of Parishioner Dame Olivia de Havilland
From the Very Rev. Lucinda Laird, Dean of the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris:

Dear American Cathedral family,
It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of our beloved parishioner Dame Olivia de Havilland, early this morning (Sunday, July 26th).

Olivia was 104, and had been a member of the Cathedral since she moved to France in the 1950s. She died peacefully, with love and prayers surrounding her. Please keep her daughter, Gisèle, and her many friends in your prayers.
- Dean Lucinda Laird
Almighty God, our Father in heaven, before whom live all who died in the Lord: Receive our sister Olivia into the courts of your heavenly dwelling place. Let her heart and soul now ring out in joy to you, O Lord, the living God, and the God of those who live. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
No funeral arrangements have been made at this time.

A tribute written by Anne Swardson, cathedral parishioner and former Council of Advice president, can be found here
Canon Zach Ullery, Cathedral Director of Music with Dame Olivia de Havilland in 2010.
Convocation Communications Committee
Trinité Magazine
Spring 2020 issue
The Convocation Communications Committee (CCC) coordinates the communications of the Convocation. Special emphasis is given to Social Media, and close coordination with the parishes and missions of the Convocation. Existing modes of communication such as newsletters and the website are getting a facelift.

Members are: Thomas Girty (Paris), chair; Felicity Handford, Marc Smets-Tolley (both Waterloo), Walter Baer (Paris), Audrey Shankles (Wiesbaden), Helena Mbele-Mbong (Geneva), Maleah Rios (Rome) and Ellen Hampton (Paris), ex-officio. Others are being added.

The Convocation is now also featured with four pages in the cathedral's semi-annual publication Trinité, covering Convocation events.
Sermons Online

Did you miss Church?

Check out an on-line sermon:

See Bishop Edington's August 16 here - here
See also:
The Bishop's Pastoral Message
from June 5 on YouTube - here

Read: Bishop Edington's op-ed
from June 10 in Le Monde - here
(French and the original English version - here)
Francophone Outreach...
A la radio : le Magazine Anglican
Le « Magazine Anglican », animé par Laurence Moachon, paroissienne de la Cathédrale de la Sainte Trinité à Paris. 
À propos du Magazine Anglican :
Depuis septembre 2012, Laurence Moachon présente le 4e samedi du mois, le Magazine Anglican. Avec l’objectif de faire mieux connaître la tradition anglicane au public français, elle traite de sujets d’actualité culturelle, historique, liturgique ou ecclésiologique dans la Convocation et la Communion Anglicane. 
Regarding Allegations of Clergy Sexual Abuse
Important information on the lifting of the Statute of Limitation regarding clergy sexual abuse...

Let it be known that for three years in the Episcopal Church there is no statute of limitation on clergy sexual abuse. Every diocese has a confidential way to make a report. In Europe here is ours:
"Go forth for God; go to the world in peace; be of good courage, armed with heavenly grace, in God's good Spirit daily to increase, till in his kingdom we behold his face."

                                                   Hymn 347 - Holy Eucharist; Music: Litton 
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