Our fall clergy retreat will will be held on the dates of September 2, 3,and 4, 2010. Hotel accommodations have been contracted with The Hilton Garden Suites in Valencia. Here's the details of what they are doing for us.

    - Complimentary Shuttle will be available to the individuals who need a ride to Site Location at 8:00am. Shuttle can seat 7ppl maximum.
    - Complimentary Beer, Wine and light Appetizers for both Thursday and Friday Night. This will be set in a Complimentary Meeting Suite. 
     - $85.00 rate for a King or Queen/Queen.
     - Complimentary Hot *Made to Order* Breakfast both Mornings at our Restaurant the Great American Grill. Guests can design their own breakfast from Eggs any style, Sausage & Bacon, French Toast, Omelets, Cottage Cheese & Fruit or a combination of the items above. Also available are Fresh Fruit, Cereals, Pancakes, Breakfast Breads, Cream Cheese, Coffee and Juices! Each guest will receive a Breakfast Coupon for both mornings upon check-in.  

We think that you will accommodation extremely comfortable . Please make reservations promptly.  To make reservations please call Ben Marino at Hilton Garden Suites and tell him you like to make a reservation for the Diocese of the West Clergy retreat.

Ben Marino
Sales Manager
Hilton Garden Inn Valencia Six Flags
27710 The Old Road
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 284-3201

 You will be receiving a compilation of internet links with things to do and places to go within the Santa Clarita area. You will find that there is plenty to do in the off times. There is an opportunity for those clergy that hunt to participate in the September 1 dove hunt which is also available to out of state clergy. California one day hunting licenses can be obtained for less than $25. The cost of the hunt will be $50. We will be camping at the ranch where the hunt is being held. For further information, please contact Fr. Rich Maciejewski. By the way, this hunt is normally $100 but the gentleman who owns the ranch is a parishioner of All Saints Church. 

We are excited about what God will be doing in all of us at the retreat. For further information about the retreat itself, contact Archdeacon David Anderson.

Bp. BatesA Note to North American CEC Members

July 4th has like many of our National Holidays has become a day for BBQ’s, Family Gatherings, and the like. This particular day will be marked with Firework Displays. It is a good thing that we gather with those we love and mark this important day. But like many of our National Holidays many, many Americans have forgotten what the day is really about.

Let me quote the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truth to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This is perhaps the most sweeping protection of human rights ever written by man.

bpkesslerDear brothers and sisters,

I am in Ireland, after a two day travel nightmare to get here.  Last night I met with a lady who is one of the most sold out people for God, country and pro-life I’ve met.  My wife Karen, Jessica our daughter, Margaret House, and myself are here joining the Ireland folks in a major pro-life battle.

They are where we were in the 50's in America.  As in the USA, American money is being spent in huge amounts over here to turn minds in favor of abortion.  These noble people in many ways stand as the last great obstacle to abortion on demand throughout the world.  If Ireland falls, there will be no countries in the world who view the CRIME of abortion as that, a crime.

Please pray for us and the others here; Bp. Ortiz and Cathy are here with us and of course Fr. Terry.  The people of Ireland deserve our support and prayer.  I'll admit, until I got here and met with these people, I never got it, why Fr. Terry brought young people here to teach them about the pre-born war. I now understand.

Also, this is the first time Fr. Terry has come to Northern Ireland.  We are in Belfast and it is amazing.  It is the only thing in which the Catholic and Protestant worlds will work together over here. The cooperation isn't like America.  The pro-life movement is being used by God to bring some healing here between the divided church.

Yours and His,
+Bp. Doug

Millions of people living in the United States are illegal immigrants. The vast majority have come from Mexico and Central America. States like Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas have all been seriously impacted by legal and illegal immigration. It has effected education, health care, crime, and even language. The majority of the illegal and legal immigrants who come to the United States come for jobs and we can see these immigrants working in the restaurants, construction, and service industry, childcare and as domestics. The majority of the immigrants have strong Christian values and are active in the Church. Statistics show that the growth in the American Roman Catholic Church is primarily a result of immigration both legal and illegal.

Recently the discussion of illegal immigration has focused on a piece of legislation that allows local law enforcement officers who have suspicion that a crime has been committed and suspect that the alleged violator is an illegal immigrant to check their citizenship or immigration status. This piece of legislation has caused a great deal of controversy. Even Christians are divided as to where they stand on the issue. Some see it as an incredible injustice and denial of basic civil rights, while others have suggested it is merely an enforcement of Federal Law and a protection of the rights of Arizona citizens.

The issue of immigration and the migration of peoples across national boarders is not merely an American issue as nations around the world are struggling with the issue. Europeans nations have been as conflicted as the United States. Countries in areas where there are civil wars and persecution are dealing with ever growing refugee camps, as people flee their homelands merely to survive.

As Christians our response must always be on the side of justice and respect for the dignity of every person. We must always remember that the immigrant, legal or illegal, is a victim of a failed system both of the country they fled and their new dwelling. Most immigrants, legal or illegal, are searching out the basic human needs of food, shelter, medical care, and education. Immigration, whether legal or illegal, is a story of hope – hope for a better future for themselves and their families. Most often immigration is about hope for the lives of children.

The governments have often failed at addressing immigration because the issues are complex. But too often they fail to respond because of underlying political realities, either seeing the immigrants as a new voting block or fearing the loss of re-election because of disenfranchising those who want to halt illegal immigration.

The entire story of Old Testament from Abraham to Moses is a story of immigration of a people seeking the promise of a better life. Our Lord Jesus was in a sense an immigrant to Egypt for a period of time. People around the world today are fleeing persecution, violence, genocide, unspeakable poverty, and oppression. All around the world are refugee camps where there are hungry, thirst and disease yet those in the camps live there because they cannot return to their own homeland for fear of death.

The best summary of the Biblical view of immigration is found in Exodus 22.21, “You shall no wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19.34, reads, “the alien who resides among you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” Hebrews 13.2, says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some have entertained angels unawares” And, our Lord Jesus tells us in ministering to strangers we have done ministry to Him – Matthew 25.35

The charge of Scripture to the people of God was to show justice to immigrant peoples because they were once immigrants in Egypt. This could apply certainly to Americans who must remember that the vast majority of Americans come from immigrant families. The city where I live history is significantly tied to the history of immigrant people – the Irish, the Italians and now the Asians and peoples from Central America.

The history of immigration has never been an easy one. In America immigrant groups have often been met with violence and protests. Often the immigrant group is forced to live in poverty. The story of the immigrants of the early 1900’s is also the story of the lower east side of York and the poverty of tenant housing. The story of Brooklyn is a story of immigrants leaving the lower east side for a better life. Most of the members of my congregation are descendants of these immigrants – they are the grandchild and sometimes the children of the immigrant community.

The fact is that most of these immigrants came to the United States legally through places like Ellis Island in the New York Harbor. These immigrants came to become Americans and almost all of them spent years learning English so that they could pass the citizenship exam and be sworn in as American citizens.

The story of the Hebrew people in Egypt is a story of legal immigration. Joseph asks permission of Pharaoh for his family to move to Egypt (Genesis 45.16-18). When they arrived, the brothers asked Pharaoh if they could sojourn in the land (Genesis 47.1-4) and Pharaoh allotted them a section of the land of Goshen/Rameses (Genesis 47.5-7).

The story goes on that though the Hebrew people labored and prospered often to the benefit of the Pharaoh, the government began to oppress the people as slaves and eventually enforced genocide on the Hebrews.

The study would teach us that we are to show justice and equality to legal immigrants. The legal immigrants are not to be oppressed or discriminated against but rather have full access to the social networks of the country. The laws of the land were equally applied to both Israelites and legal immigrants.

Justice is a characteristic of our God. Where there is injustice the Church must speak clearly and profoundly for if injustice for one group is allowed then there is injustice everywhere. If there is a group of people without basic human rights, without a voice in government, without legal resources and protection then it places all of us at risk.

The governments of the world have the right to establish boarders, to make immigration regulations, and establish guidelines for citizenship. These boarders must be honored and the governments have the right to enforce their own requirements. It is up to the governments to insure that the regulations and enforcement are just and non-discriminatory.

The debate is how does the government respond to illegal immigration or the plight of refugees. It is not the task of the Church to establish laws. It is the task of the Church to minister to the stranger among us for the Kingdom of God knows no earthly boundaries. The Church should advocate for just humane laws and treatment of all persons. Often the Church will be called to be the voice for those who have no voice. The Church is always called to show compassion and mercy.

The Church must pray for our governments and government officials. We must obey the laws of our nation and call for a change of law when the law is unjust or immoral. It is not the responsibility of the Church to support political campaigns, draft legislation, or enforce law. Christians in democratic nations have the responsibility to vote for persons who will work to ensure that the country is secure so we can live in peace. Persons who ensure equal opportunity. Persons who will protect the rights of all people groups. Persons who will be proponents of justice. Persons who will respect the dignity of every human from conception to natural death.

As individual Christians evaluating the complexity of immigration law or the securing of national boarders we must not be tempted by political expediency, fear, or our own prejudices. We must examine the issue in light of Scriptures and the call for justice, mercy, and grace.

As the Patriarch of the Charismatic Episcopal Church my call is an international call and not an national call. I am the Patriarch of dozens of national churches each facing their own unique set of issues. Some of the nations are involved in long term civil wars, others deal daily with thousands of refugees fleeing genocide or the rape of millions of women, some struggle with the issue of sex trade, slavery, and exploitation of children through kidnapping and forced service in the military. For many of our churches their ministry is to a people who live day to day merely to survive and have a meal or clean water. As the Patriarch I will refrain from making political statements for this reason. I encourage us as Christians to remain informed on the issue of legal immigration reform and illegal immigration. In all of this I remind us to seek the heart of God who is creator and father of all and remember that citizen, immigrant (legal or illegal), or refugee is created in His image not the image of a nation.

Under His mercy,
The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates,
Patriarch, ICCEC

Vacancy for Staff Chaplain to join the Department of Pastoral Services at the Eisenhower Medical Center, located in Rancho Mirage, CA., in the beautiful, sunny desert resort communities of the Coachella Valley in Southern California. We are a regional specialty referral center, top 100 hospital, on a journey toward Magnet status. We currently have around 350 beds with an additional 260 beds coming on-line this summer!  We are the valley's only not for profit facility. Our world renowned medical center also includes the Betty Ford Center, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences and a host of other leading healthcare facilities.

The usual current market qualities and qualifications are desired of interested candidates for this position.  The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, energetic and possess excellent professional and interpersonal skills.  This is a full-time, day shift position with a shared rotation for night and weekend on-call coverage.  A competitive salary and benefits package will be provided to the successful candidate.  Previous experience desired, a minimum of two years pastoral experience required, bilingual skills most useful (Spanish/French).

Requirements: Master of Divinity or related degree from an accredited theological school, four units of CPE, certification from APC/NACC/NAJC or eligible for certification within one year, ordination or equivalent and ecclesiastical endorsement.  Will consider candidate in process of completing professional education.

For more information please contact Rev. Vincent J. McMorrow-Purcell, M. Div, 1-760-773-1817;  OR attach CV/Resume and photo to email, with cover letter of interest to: vmcmorrow-purcell@emc.org

Father Vincent is a CEC priest in the Diocese of the West.

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