Saturday Collection for 10/16/10

This week’s collection highlights two congregations expanding their ministries and Massachusetts clergy speaking out this election season.

The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden, Utah, opens youth center

The new Ed and Mary Garrison Youth and Education Center was dedicated Oct. 10, signaling the beginning of the growth of the church’s youth outreach, said Jay Stretch, lay Eucharist minister.

Carolyn Tanner Irish, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, spoke at the dedication.

“Her presence, her prayer, her courage were utterly necessary for all of this,” said the Rev. Peter Van Hook, interim rector, gesturing to the addition to the church at 2374 Grant Ave.

Irish prayed over the building, asking God to bless the church, the people and their mission.

“Peace to this house and all who enter it,” she said, making the sign of the cross at the door.

Van Hook thanked Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey for the city’s help in making the space for the addition possible. Godfrey said the city worked to clear a place for the youth center because it is important to Ogden.

“They (the church) have a history of doing great things with the youth. You can never have too many people focusing on the youth,” he said.

The center will serve a wide variety of needs in the community, Van Hook said.

St. Mary Magdalene’s becomes a parish

The church (in Lakewood Ranch, FL) that began with 22 members in December 1997 as the Manasota Mission made the transition from mission status to that of a parish during the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida convention last weekend in Punta Gorda. Its vicar since 2006, the Rev. Jim Hedman, was installed as rector.

“I think it’s just a process of doing the work, of having our eyes focused on bringing the Gospel to the world and teaching good stewardship in our lives,” Hedman said. “It’s been one of those things where we’re taking one step forward. We’ve hit that stability and we’re still growing.”

Clergy join to fight housing law repeal

Christian, Jewish, and Muslim clergy gathered yesterday at Trinity Church in Copley Square to urge Massachusetts residents to vote no on Question 2, which would repeal the state’s affordable housing law….

…“Affordable housing, without fail, is what people in our communities tell me is the most critical issue,’’ said Bishop Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. “As a person of faith, we’re supposed to care about people in need.’’

Latifa Turner Ziyad, a Muslim who serves as vice president of Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, said the clergy’s unity reflected the importance of blocking repeal of the law.

“We are here for a common goal,’’ she said. “. . . Social justice and the dignity of all persons are fundamental values for communities of faith, and they call us to speak out: All people should have the opportunity to live in affordable, safe housing.’’

Rabbi Elaine Zecher of Temple Israel said she and the rest of the clergy felt a responsibility to look out for the most vulnerable.

“We stand up for those who can’t afford housing,’’ she said. “We want to make sure their voices are heard.’’

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