Lions manager Andy Irvine (L) chats with Wallabies captain James HorwillWith the World Cup put to bed, the next great landmark for home union players is the Lions tour to Australia in 2013. There are also a number of coaches putting their best foot forward for the hardest coaching job in rugby.The bookies’ front-runner is Warren Gatland, who has already agreed a five-month break in his WRU contract. The Lions has held its traditions better than any sporting team, even with the blip of 2005. The Lions is about picking the best of British and Irish talent, and having a foreign head coach sends a poor signal as to the strength of our rugby.There’s also a certain irony as Gatland held a bias in selection against foreign-based players during his Ireland days and now in his Welsh capacity.Of the other Six Nations coaches, Declan Kidney is a good outside bet. Declan ticks a lot of boxes. He won a Grand Slam in his first year in charge of Ireland to add to his two Heineken Cups with Munster. He has also had success in overseas competitions with Ireland, winning the Junior World Cup in 1998 and the 2009 Churchill Cup.A more startling victory for Lions manager Andy Irvine and the Six Nations committee was Ireland’s pool win against Australia at New Zealand 2011. Yes, the Wallabies were without Pocock, Moore and Ioane, and yes, the wet conditions played into Ireland’s hands with their set-piece attack.But still Ireland achieved a well-crafted victory. That template may not work on the hard Australian turf, but even so Kidney and his staff had the Wallabies worked out to perfection.Kidney’s other strength is man-management, as he has proved at every level of the game. He has good working relationships with his coaching staff and allows them to have a big input into the way the team plays. This is an important virtue in a coaching staff just put together, as is his onus on players enjoying themselves on tour.Kidney has one major disadvantage in that he has never coached a team with such public profile and such accompanying media pressures. He’s never been involved with the Lions and knowing the culture from the inside is a big bonus.Andy Robinson has this experience but with the Scots failing to push on to the next level, you feel he’ll feature as a specialist coach at best. So too Shaun Edwards, who is happiest in the trenches of on-field coaching rather than the head coach pressures. The final candidate is, of course, Ian McGeechan. If Irvine were to convince Geech to have one more go then he simply has to get the job. Geech always coaches at his best with an intimidating figure like Jim Telfer as a double act. Well, how about Martin Johnson as that foil? They had a great coach/captain relationship in 1997 and would be an exciting combo that would get my vote.If not available, then a strong Six Nations by Ireland and IRFU allowance of a gap year could have Kidney, the man with the Midas touch, stepping into the breach.This article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad. For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click here. CARDIFF, WALES – NOVEMBER 28: British & Irish Lions manager Andy Irvine (L) chats with Wallabies captain James Horwill during the announcement of the 10-match schedule for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia at Millennium Stadium on November 28, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
NOT FOR FEATURED LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Second up: the Lions are put through their paces ahead of the tour’s second match against Western Force in PerthBy Sarah Mockford in PerthA PIPELINE laid in 1903 to transport water from Perth to the goldfields 500km away in Kalgoorlie secured Western Australia’s future; making it feasible to mine meant the state could become self-sustainable. This week in WA rugby circles talk has been of a different type of line – not the white one that players run over when taking the field, but the invisible one that if crossed can result in penalties, cards and bans.The Lions have long stressed the importance of being disciplined on this tour and their opponents here appear eager to test that resolve. Western Force – their scrum-half Brett Sheehan in particular – have made it clear that they want to make Wednesday’s game “extremely physical” and to ensure the Lions know “they’ve been in a battle”. Sheehan even suggested that Force might take a few pointers from the Barbarians game in Hong Kong as to what got under the skin of the Lions.Over in the red corner, however, such provocation has been met with a straight bat, Graham Rowntree doing a good impression of cricket’s nightwatchman in the city that houses the WACA. In 1974 the Lions may have famously taken matters into their own hands – or should that be fists?! – with the ’99’ call in South Africa, but the 2013 party have no desire to follow their upper cuts. Throw his hat in: Best gears up for his first Lions game“We want to play, we want to be competitive and we want to be physical, but we have to play within the laws,” said Rowntree, the Lions forwards coach. “The best teams and the best players in the world are physical but they get on with their job and aren’t drawn into anything. If you get drawn into anything, you can’t do your job elsewhere.”The players, too, are following a similar theme. Rory Best – the man called up to the tour after Dylan Hartley not only crossed the line but, as Warren Gatland put it, jumped off the cliff – is not keen to get caught up in any off-the-ball antics. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime – few people get to do it and you want to give it your best,” he said. “Discipline is key. We don’t intend to take a backward step, but we need to be disciplined.”It’s a fine line to tread – the focus is on fronting up to the challenge presented by a Western Force team of varying reputations but not overstepping the mark from physicality to brutality. The Force might want a fiery encounter, but the Lions are hoping to play it cool – and that should be easier than in Hong Kong given the significant temperature (and humidity) drop!
Miracle recovery: Jean de Villiers is back but has a way to go to regain sharpness There are plenty of talking points from South Africa this month from the return of Jean de Villiers to concerns in the backrow and the Springbok exodus LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS DE VILLIERS MAKES CAUTIOUS BUT SUCCESSFUL COMEBACKSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers returned to action for the first time in nine months when he came off the bench against a World XV at Newlands earlier this month. De Villiers sustained what many – including Bok coach Heyneke Meyer – thought as a career-ending injury against Wales last November. But an intensive training regime following successful surgery put his recovery about a month ahead of schedule. De Villiers did not tour Australia with the Boks and will play a few Currie Cup warm-up games for Western Province as part of his final rehabilitation. Despite his successful cameo off the bench at Newlands, De Villiers said he didn’t expect to simply walk back into the Springbok team. “For me to get to the World Cup is still a very long way,” De Villiers said. “I’ve still got a lot of boxes to tick. From a performance point of view I’ve still got to improve a hell of a lot. If you look at the performances that Damian (De Allende) and Jesse (Kriel) gave [against the World XV] it is not just a walk in. I need to deserve my place and I’ve still got a long way to go to be at an elite level and to form part of that squad.”DUANE IN PAINAnxious wait: Duane Vermeulen has undergone neck surgery and is a doubt for the RWCSpringbok hard man Duane Vermeulen is in a race against time to be fit for the 2015 Rugby World Cup after undergoing neck surgery in early July. Vermeulen played the final weeks of the Super Rugby competition in discomfort after suffering a neck injury against the Bulls. The tough man kept shrugging off the severity of the problem but he was eventually forced to miss the Stormers’ wild card Super Rugby play-off against the Brumbies, which the Cape Town side lost. Vermeulen’s absence in the battle for the ball on the ground was a telling factor as Wallaby poacher David Pocock made hay. After Vermeulen joined the Springboks squad, the national medical staff decided that surgery was necessary and put a six-week time frame on his return.SARU CEO FACES LAWSUITJurie Roux, chief executive of the SA Rugby Union (SARU), faces a R32m (about £1.7m) lawsuit by the University of Stellenbosch (Maties). In papers lodged in the Western Cape High Court in July, the university claims that Roux, along with colleague Chris de Beer, misappropriated university funds between 2002-2010. The university employed both at the time. According to the court papers the pair made “unauthorised” financial transfers of university reserve funds for Maties Rugby Club business over that period. Roux denies the charges and has the full backing of SARU. He recently signed a contract extension to stay on as CEO until 2021. SA PLAYERS LEAVING, BUT SARU SOON TO UNVEIL NEW CONTRACTING MODEL Springbok exodus: SARU are expected to unveil plans to stop the player-drain to France and JapanSeveral leading South African players will continue their careers on foreign soil in 2016 and beyond. As previously reported the likes of Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Francois Hougaard and Duane Vermeulen will play for leading Japanese and French clubs in 2016. In an effort to stem the flow of top players SARU has spent months fine-tuning a new contractual model to keep up to 30 leading Springboks in the country. With an exchange rate that makes competing with the pound and euro difficult, SARU’s new ‘dual’ contract should ease the strain on provinces. Ten national junior contracts and 22 senior contracts will be awarded whereby SARU pays a massive portion of their salaries as a ‘top up’ to provincial contracts. According to a source leading players would now earn more than they could in France and England.CRAVEN WEEK FOUNDER DIESFormer Springbok Piet Malan, who played one Test against the touring 1949 All Blacks, died after a battle against cancer at the age of 96. Prior to his death Malan was the oldest living Springbok. His greatest claim to fame was conceptualising Craven Week, the highly successful schoolboy rugby tournament held in the July winter holidays. The tournament pits the cream of South African schoolboys together in an under-18 provincial competition. The first tournament was held in East London in 1964 and since 1974 an SA Schools team has been selected at the end of the week. At the time of writing the 52nd edition of tournament was on going in Stellenbosch. The festival coincided with the 150th anniversary celebrations of SA’s greatest rugby nursery, Paul Roos Gymnasium. The school has produced 48 Springboks while over 270 Springboks have participated at Craven Week.
After all the build up the Rugby World Cup 2015 is finally here and the hosts, England, face a tough start against a Pacific Islanders Fiji.England have named an unchanged team from the one that beat Ireland 21-13 in the final warm up match on September 5, with Geoff Parling starting alongside Courtney Lawes in the second row and man of the moment Sam Burgess named among the replacements.Fiji coach John McKee has named three British-based players in his starting XV, with dangerous utility back Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers) starting in the centres. New Bath scrum-half Niko Matawalu also starts, as does Glasgow lock Leone Nakarawa.ITV won the rights to show every World Cup game, with their coverage of England v Fiji starting at 7.25pm. If you won’t be in front of a television, BBC Radio should be your first point of all for live audio coverage.TelevisionLive coverageITV/ITV HD: 19.25-22.15S4C: 19.00-22.30HighlightsITV/ITV HD: 23.05-23.50ITV4: 09.50-10.35 (Saturday) TAGS: FijiHighlight The Rugby World Cup 2015 is finally upon us and the hosts England take on Fiji in the first match at Twickenham. Here is how to catch all the action Replacements: Tuapati Talemaitoga, Peni Ravai, Isei Colati, Tevita Cavubati, Peceli Yato, Nemia Kenatale, Joshua Matavesi, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS England captain Chris Robshaw RadioLive CoverageBBC Radio 5live: 20.00-22.00TeamsEngland: Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Brad Barritt, Jonny May; George Ford; Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Ben Morgan.Replacements: Rob Webber, Mako Vunipola, Kieran Brookes, Joe Launchbury, Billy Vunipola, Richard Wigglesworth, Owen Farrell, Sam Burgess.Fiji: Metuisela Talebula; Waisea Nayacalevu, Vereniki Goneva, Gabiriele Lovobalavu, Nemani Nadolo; Ben Volavola, Nikola Matawalu; Campese Ma’afu, Sunia Koto, Manasa Saulo; Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Leone Nakarawa; Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera, Sakiusa Masi Matadigo.
ADVERTISING FEATUREDesperate to know what the top rugby players are really thinking? Or who they think will win the Rugby World Cup 2015 final on Saturday 31st October? Then you need to check out a new series of behind-the-scenes videos, courtesy of Stowford Press, the official cider of Gloucester Rugby.In four fascinating videos filmed in May, rugby fans will have unprecedented access to three of their favourite home nation heroes – Greig Laidlaw, Richard Hibbard and Billy Twelvetrees. It’s just the appetizer you need ahead of the world’s top teams battling it out on home soil in September and October. Enjoy watching the lads asking each other questions, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, that have been sent in from real fans.In this edition, Twelvetrees, Hibbard and Laidlaw reveal their favourite movies of all time, and the three ponder what life could have been like if they hadn’t all had successful careers as home nation rugby heroes. And what do the lads enjoy when the game is over? There’s nothing like a drink of chilled Stowford Press cider. Refreshing Stowford Press is a delicious medium dry sparkling cider made with the finest British bittersweet apples and is bound to be a hit with players and fans alike throughout the season. Desperate to know what the top rugby players are really thinking? Or who they think will win the Rugby World Cup 2015 final on Saturday 31st October? Then you need to check out a new series of behind-the-scenes videos, courtesy of Stowford Press, the official cider of Gloucester Rugby. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS For more info on your favourite players, visit www.facebook.com/StowfordPress and follow @Stowford_Press. Be sure to check out other videos in the series via the Stowford Press YouTube page.
Israel Folau’s Wallaby Future In DoubtAlmost a year away from the World Cup, now is the time for players, teams and coaches to start planning ahead and looking forward to competing in rugby union’s pinnacle event.However, Wallaby and Waratah utility back Israel Folau is not inking his name down to be on the flights to Japan just yet.“There’s no rush from my end, my management are always doing a lot of work in the background and I haven’t really thought about it too much,” Folau has said. “My job is obviously solely here and what I can do with the team here. My mind is on the game on Sunday.”Folau’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and despite the Waratahs being confident of re-signing him, it is clear Folau doesn’t want to make any long-term commitments.Long Term: Folau has not made any long term commitments yet (Getty Images)Folau’s wanderlust has been been a hot topic throughout his career, as he has moved from league’s Melbourne Storm, to the Greater Western Sydney AFL side, before a switch to rugby union before the 2013 season.You would think he would want to play in another World Cup for the Wallabies, but Folau is giving nothing away.Related: Spain one win away from the World Cup LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS In a recent interview Folau admitted there were ‘plenty of options on the line’ in terms of his future. Doubt: Folau’s Wallaby career not certain (Getty Images) “It’s something I enjoyed last time around but in saying that there are plenty of options on the line,” Folau said. “When the time comes I will make that decision when I’m ready. I want to make sure everything is set in position, that I feel comfortable and then I will come out and make that announcement.”Clearly both the Wallabies and Waratahs will want to try and keep him, because the aerial daredevil is considered one of the best in the world at full-back. His creativity with offloads also set him apart from other players.Switch: Folau switched to rugby union before the 2013 season (Getty Images)However, his mind appears to be solely focused on the Waratahs at the moment, looking ahead to their clash this weekend against the Melbourne Rebels.Related: The difference speed makes in Test rugby“There’s no excuse for us being away for a couple of weeks,” Folau said. “At the moment we know we have plenty of improvement to come. They’re looking good at the moment and we certainly have a challenge on our heads on Sunday arvo.” His failure to commit to the World Cup is concerning if you are an Aussie fan, and clearly Folau needs time to make his decision. But from a rugby standpoint, his absence from the Cup will be disappointing given his talent and skill.Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, and Twitter.
Yet all those sacrifices paid off when they beat the All Blacks for the first time ever in their opening Tri-Nations match at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney. Rather than being undercooked for that match, the Pumas were too hot for the All Blacks to handle.They now play Australia, New Zealand and Australia again on successive weekends. Could a Tri-Nations title be their next historic achievement?However they fare in their next three games, the Pumas are sure to have inspired the next generation of rugby players in Argentina with this result.“Young kids can’t go to their home clubs to play rugby at the moment because of the virus but I’m sure they are going to feel proud of being Argentinean and being rugby players,” said Matera. “And this can bring new kids to the game.“It’s tough in Argentina and it’s tough to be here, but we wanted to show people that if you put in the work you can achieve things, if you keep going you can make it.” Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Argentina’s long road to historic victory over New ZealandAfter Argentina’s historic 25-15 victory over New Zealand, captain Pablo Matera spoke of how tough it had been for the squad to prepare for their long-awaited return to Test rugby.The Pumas hadn’t played an International since their World Cup campaign ended 13 months ago while the Covid-19 pandemic saw the cross-border Super Rugby competition, in which most Argentina players represent the Jaguares, ended prematurely in March.Dive time: Nicolas Sanchez scores in Argentina’s win over NZ (Getty Images)In the ensuing months, the players had to find novel ways to keep fit and work on their skills while under lockdown restrictions in Argentina. Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez ran laps inside his house, hooker Santiago Socino practised for the lineout by throwing the ball to his dad on the roof of their home, scrum-half Tomas Cubelli worked on his passing in his garage.When the squad got permission to train in Argentina they had to go through various Covid-19 protocols while the quarantine procedures on arrival in Australia for this year’s Rugby Championship, which is now a Tri-Nations following South Africa’s decision not to participate, saw them isolating in their hotel and running defence drills in the team room.Some players haven’t seen their families since August while they will have been away from home for more than two months by the time the Tri-Nations ends in December.This video from the Pumas shows what the players have experienced this year… Pumas’ pride: Argentina’s players celebrate victory with their fans in Sydney (Getty Images) See how the Pumas had to train ahead of their return to Test rugby
The Women’s Rugby World Cup will not be up for grabs until 2022 (Getty Images) Rugby World Cup 2021 postponed until 2022This year’s Rugby World Cup is set to be postponed due to Covid-19.World Rugby has made the recommendation to delay the tournament until 2022 and it will be considered by the RWC Board and World Rugby Executive Committee next week (8-9 March).The world’s best women’s players were due to converge on New Zealand in September and October, but the tournament is now expected to be put back until 2022.While this is a recommendation at present, it is highly likely that the RWC Board and World Rugby ExCo will ratify it next week, so we will have to wait until next year to see the best women’s teams in action at the tournament. TAGS: Highlight LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS World Rugby recommend that the tournament should be delayed due to Covid-19 England are one of the favourites to lift the World Cup and the RFU’s head of women’s performance Nicky Ponsford said: “We are naturally disappointed but understanding of the decision.“Player welfare has to be prioritised and ensuring teams both qualify on the pitch and can perform to their best at the tournament is also vitally important for the game.” “World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family – one of the great Rugby World Cups.”It is still to be confirmed but it is likely that the tournament will now be played at the same time – September and October – in 2022.Ireland have yet to qualify for the World Cup – they are due to play in a European qualifying tournament with Italy, Scotland and Spain – but they are backing the decision.Anthony Eddy, IRFU director of women’s rugby, said: “We’re obviously disappointed. We want to play rugby. The Rugby World Cup deserves every opportunity to showcase the best that our sport has to offer and that’s not possible in the Covid-19 environment.“We have always put player welfare at the heart of everything we do and that’s never been as important as it has over the past 12 months.“We were preparing really well and that will stand to us. We’ll maintain that focus into the 2021 Women’s Six Nations.” Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There have been ongoing delays to RWC 2021 qualifiers due to the pandemic, with ten teams still competing for the three remaining places and no dates yet for when those fixtures will take place. This week’s lockdown in Auckland also illustrates how quickly things can change at present.Plus, concerns have rightly been raised about how well prepared teams will be for the World Cup given that so few women’s Test matches have been played in the past 12 months and the ongoing disruption to the international calendar ahead of the tournament. The hosts and defending champions New Zealand, for example, haven’t played a Test since 2019.Global travel restrictions and the quarantine requirements for people arriving in New Zealand added further complications. With so many amateur players involved, an additional two weeks’ leave from work can create problems. Plus, there are the costs involved in that many people – players, coaches, medics, tournament staff etc – having to quarantine and who would foot that bill.A World Rugby statement said: “While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family.“The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global Covid-19 landscape. It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the Covid-19 related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.“The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions.
Featured Jobs & Calls Posted Feb 7, 2012 Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Rector Belleville, IL New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Submit a Press Release Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Featured Events Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Washington, DC Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Bath, NC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Course Director Jerusalem, Israel TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Press Release Service An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Pittsburgh, PA An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Submit an Event Listing Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Associate Rector Columbus, GA Saint Paul’s Foley hosts Sudan Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Shreveport, LA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH [St. Paul’s Church – Foley, Alabama] The first weekend of February 2012 was a spirit-filled time for the people of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Foley, Alabama, as they had the honor and pleasure of hosting the Rt. Rev. Andudu Adam Elnail, bishop of the Diocese of Kadugli, the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Bishop Andudu was elected bishop in 2002. At that time he was the youngest bishop in the Anglican Communion. There are more than 20,000 thousand Episcopalians in the diocese and 68 clergy. The Diocese of Kadugli is located in the Southern Kordofan State (Nuba Mountain Region) of central Sudan with an estimated population of 3.5 million. Most of the people are small-scale subsistence farmers with Christian population coming second after Muslims. The region has been subject to civil war for many years. At this time most of the clergy and members of the church live in hiding from the oppressive regime of Northern Sudan. They are facing each day the threatening issues of starvation, disease and extermination.Bishop Andudu joined the Saint Paul’s delegation, including the Rev. Keith Talbert, the Rev. Steve Pankey, Carole Hudson, Helen Lambard and Anne Stevens, in attending the 41st Annual Convention of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast held at Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile, Alabama.During the convention, Bishop Andudu had the opportunity to meet many delegates, clergy, and other leaders in the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Thanks to the hospitality and generosity of the Rt. Rev. Philip M. Duncan II, bishop of the Central Gulf Coast, Bishop Andudu was able to address the Convention twice: first, sharing the story of suffering, hunger, bombings and fear that his people in the Nuba Mountains experience every day, and later to express his gratitude for the unanimous passing of a diocesan resolution resolving solidarity, prayers, advocacy, and support for the people of Sudan. The Committee on Finance resolved that 50 percent of the collections from the convention services would be earmarked for the Diocese of Kadugli.On Sunday, the bishop preached at both services (7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.) on the healing of Peter’s Mother-in-Law from Mark chapter one, calling on the church to take seriously its need for healing: physically, spiritually, and relationally as well as its place in the life of world, not just as a building, but a people united by fellowship, prayer, sacrament, and faith who do the good work of service. He also shared the story of his people in the Nuba Mountains during the 9 a.m. Sunday school hour.Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church is a ministering community: reaching up in worship, reaching in to serve, reaching out in love to the glory of Jesus Christ. Established in 1924, Saint Paul’s has been serving God in downtown Foley for nearly 90 years. Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Tampa, FL Rector Hopkinsville, KY Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Albany, NY Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Collierville, TN Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Submit a Job Listing Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR
Press Release Service El Igne receives communion bread from Nancy Zant. Lay people distribute both bread and wine at Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo/Mary Frances Schjonberg[Episcopal News Service] Hal Vatland found Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church as he drove around southern Lee County, Florida, looking for a new congregation to join.A friend described the Fort Myers church to Jacke McCurdy one Saturday night about two years ago. “I said ‘I have been looking for that church,’” she said. “I went the next day and I never left.”When Bill Monsees first found Lamb of God, its members were worshiping in rented space in a strip mall next door to a motorcycle shop and across the parking lot from The Sandy Parrot Tiki Bar and Grill.The Rev. Jacqueline Means, the first regularly ordained woman in the Episcopal Church, worships at Lamb of Gob because “I need to get out of the sense of tradition being all we’re here for.”They’re all members of a faith community that Senior Pastor Walter Fohs, a Lutheran, says has been breaking new ground and evolving since long before its Lutheran and Episcopal members officially joined together in 2004. Evolution will continue at Lamb of God later this year as Fohs goes on sabbatical and returns in a reduced teaching and preaching role, and another cleric eventually takes on the senior pastor role.“We’re going to learn how it grows,” said Monsees, who is president of Lamb of God’s governing board which combines the Lutheran council and the Episcopal vestry. He spoke to Episcopal News Service on a recent Sunday morning between the two services during which he and Fohs outlined the plan for the congregation.Monsees says change and innovation are in Lamb of God’s blood. “I think that it’s part of our charter,” he said with a smile. “We can’t leave well-enough alone.”During the week, most of the space in Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church’s main worship space, known as the Vineyard, is occupied by Preschool @ The Lamb and accommodates about 190 children. On Sunday, the space becomes the site of the congregation’s main service. Photo/Mary Frances SchjonbergIndeed, change is a weekly event at Lamb of God. By weekday the congregation’s building, known as the Vineyard, is a pre-school for 190 children. Then, after they leave on Friday afternoon, their equipment gets wheeled to the sides behind screens and the Vineyard becomes the site of the congregation’s 10 a.m. main worship service, known as the Catch the Spirit service.Fohs presides at that service in street clothes and preaches from a stool. The liturgy and announcements are projected on two large video screens above the dais that serves as the sanctuary. Lay people stand in a circle behind him during the Eucharistic prayer and they prepare the chalices and paten for communion. Lay people administer both bread and wine.Fohs vests in more traditional garb for the 7:45 a.m. service in the church’s smaller worship space called the Arbor. That service is based on Rite Two in the Book of Common Prayer.Monsees said Fohs is the driving force behind much of the change and Lamb of God’s orientation towards service to the community beyond its doors. But, he said, it hasn’t been just Fohs alone.“We have amazing lay ministry in this church,” he said. “Walter has helped us grow and opened our eyes [to ministry possibilities] but it’s the people who do it.”Vatland and McCurdy say relationships are the reason they have stayed on at Lamb of God. Vatland, a Lutheran retired from Minnesota, said he was drawn by preaching that put things “into layman’s terms” but it was the sense of fellowship he felt among the members that kept him there.McCurdy, who attended an Episcopal church as a child, also was drawn to Lamb of God by the preaching. “And then it was the people; they do a lot of good in the community,” she said, adding that sometimes she thought the congregation stretched itself awfully thinly over a wide range of outreach opportunities.Still, she said, “they do more than you can imagine [and] they help the members that are in need without a big show so you don’t know the members [who are] in need.”The Rev. Walter Fohs greets Stan Wilson before a recent service at Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo/Mary Frances SchjonbergThe congregation’s 2012 Ministry Opportunities catalogue lists 12 outreach ministries, 20 ways to minister within the congregation and nine education and hospitality opportunities open to both Lamb of God members and people in the wider community.Among the most ambitious of the church’s outreach efforts is the annual Thanksgiving “Feeding of the 5,000” during which volunteers from Lamb of God and throughout the surrounding area prepare and deliver turkey dinners for those in need. When the program began in 2005, volunteers delivered 500 meals. This past year, 9,600 people received meals.In another major ministry to the community, Lamb of God runs a thrift store in a separate location four miles away that sells both clothes and furnishings. In addition to offering customers low-cost and gently used goods, the store contributes about $5,000 to the church’s budget and makes grants of its own to local social-service organizations.The pre-school that occupies a large part of Lamb of God’s buildings during the week was started by a parishioner who is in the day-care business. It is run independently and pays the church for the use of the space. In addition, Fohs said, the school has given Lamb of God “a reputation for a place that cares about kids.”The idea for what became Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church grew out of a friendship that formed between Fohs, who began his ministry with the Lutheran Lamb of God congregation in the mid-1990s, and the Very Rev. John Adler, who was then serving as interim vicar at nearby St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church.St. John’s and Lamb of God Lutheran were at the time in locations that Fohs recalled were “abysmal.” Lamb of God worshipped in a former retail store it owned next to a Burger King in a bend of the northbound side of U.S. 41, also known as Tamiami Trail, a busy commercial road. But, the church could only be seen from one side of the road. Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s was at the end of a dead-end road off the southbound side of Tamiami. It was just a block from the water but had no view of the water.Fohs convinced the Lutheran congregation to sell the property and build the first of its two buildings on what was then the growing southern end of Lee County. Lamb of God moved to the rented space in which Monsees first found the congregation and the Lutherans dedicated “The Arbor” in the early fall of 2000.Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s had been struggling because of conflicts with two previous priests and Fohs said Adler helped the Episcopalians consider their options. They included disbanding and dispersing to one or more other local Episcopal churches or “close your door and because of the agreement, walk down the street and become a part of Lamb of God.”“They were not too awfully excited about that right away because they were a pretty tight-knit group,” Fohs said.But on Dec. 31, the last Sunday of 2000, the St. Joseph’s congregation had its final Eucharist at their church and then drove over to Lamb of God, led by the procession cross sticking up through the sunroof of one member’s car.As they drove up Cypress View Drive to the church, “we made a double line with all of our folks holding flowers and we welcomed them into this building” where the two congregations celebrated Eucharist again, Fohs recalled.Early the next year the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America entered into a full-communion relationship (known as Called to Common Mission) that opened a door to new possibilities for shared ministry among congregations in each denomination. However, St. Joseph’s and Lamb of God were not formally joined at that point.“We kiddingly said to each other that we’re living in sin,” Fohs joked.The Rev. Walter Fohs, Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church’s pastor, walks up the aisle of the Vineyard to begin the congregation’s main service in the space transformed from the weekday preschool. Photo/Mary Frances SchjonbergEventually in 2004, the two congregations made it official, becoming a so-called “federated congregation” in which both congregations became members of a new non-profit organization that is subject to the governing provisions of both denominations. It reports to both the ELCA’s Florida-Bahamas Synod and the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.“I have two bishops,” Fohs said.A copy of the agreement can be found here at the Lamb of God listing under the Called to Common Mission link on the left side of the page.At the time of the agreement, three-quarters of the congregation was Lutheran and a quarter Episcopalian, according to the agreement. However, since then the agreement calls for “no distinction in congregational membership based on previous denominational affiliation.”Monsees, a Lutheran when he joined Lamb of God, said denominational identity is indeed not a question, and Fohs agreed. “We have a non-denominational church here,” he said. “Now, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”Fohs says “it’s been nothing but growth” in the years since the two congregations merged. These days between 300 and 400 people attend Sunday services in season and 130-160 during the summer months when the area’s “snowbirds” have gone back to their northern homes.“They’re growing, they’re vital and they have children,” said Means, who splits her time between the Indianapolis area and a home in nearby Estero, Florida. “They’re doing something right.”Change came again to Lamb of God in 2010 when the Rev. Becky Robbins-Penniman, an Episcopal priest who had worked with the Lutheran Fohs since 2002 during Lamb of God’s formative years, left to become rector of Church of the Good Shepherd in Dunedin, Florida. “We created our own volcano,” Fohs said of their partnership. “We pulled it off both for ourselves and for the community.”When Robbins-Penniman left, Fohs and Monsees said, Lamb of God could not afford to replace her. This was due in part to the way the economic recession hit their part of Florida.Called to Common Mission gave the two congregations the “impetus, opportunity and permission” to consider how they might combine forces for ministry, Fohs said. Without what he called the “nationally recognized permission,” Fohs said “there would not have been the motivation” to do so.The Rev. Jon A. Perez, who leads Epiphany Lutheran & Episcopal Church in Marina, California, and is a member of the Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee told ENS that Lamb of God is a “best-case scenario” and “an example of what can be achieved” under the full-communion agreement. By contrast, Perez said his congregation was closer to the worst-case scenario, having developed after a nearby Episcopal parish was dying and down to “the last five survivors” who “did not want to be a joint ministry.”Even with the full-communion agreement, no more than 50 Episcopal and Lutheran congregations, plus some joint campus ministries, have united under its terms, according to Perez, who maintains a list of those congregations here.“We’re a very small minority over here in the corner,” Fohs noted.Perez cautioned that, too often, it is only congregations facing what he called “failure” that are considered ripe for such combinations. Instead, he suggested, congregations focus on their assets and what could be achieved by coming together. “People want to see the church working on healing and being one,” he said.— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. 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