Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click here. I was up against guys like Freddie Michalak, Vincent Clerc and Yannick Nyanga when I went for France U16 trials. They all went on to play for France, but I was told I was too small and skinny.The turning point came after I was told I wouldn’t make it in France. I’d stayed in touch with Richmond and went on tour with them at U17 level to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. There I met Edwin Doran (a leading light at Richmond and sports tour organiser) and he said, “Come to England, live with me and I promise you’ll play for England.”That belief really pushed me on. I lived with Edwin for two years, went to Richmond College, and then I got my chance at London Irish. Corin Palmer and Toby Booth spotted me and said, “We can make you into a professional rugby player.”My competitive edge has got in my way at times as I want to win too much. I’m controlling it now but need to ensure I don’t lose my edge while controlling it.I set goals each season and Toby Booth tries to make sure I achieve them. Mike Catt has also been a key influence. When I started to doubt myself he’d say to me, “You will get 50 caps” and that belief made me stronger.I try to come back stronger every time I get knocked down. It makes me work harder and I try to give every situation everything I’ve got.This article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine. Repeat Offender: Delon ArmitageDelon Armitage was one of the few England successes at the World Cup in New Zealand, proving a credible alternative on the wing and showing the kind of form that saw him win the first of his 26 caps in 2008. We asked the London Irish man to look back at his route to the top of the game…I grew up in Trinidad, which isn’t exactly a hotbed of rugby, so I had little or no contact with the game in my early years.I discovered rugby when I was nine because my stepdad brought me to England and he played for Hatfield at No 8.I didn’t like rugby when I started playing at Sudbury Court. There was no tag rugby then and initially I didn’t enjoy the tackling and physicality.I remember it was very cold at their ground, which was next door to Wasps. I didn’t like that – it was nothing like Trinidad!The breakthrough came when we moved to Richmond and I went into a better mini set-up there. The atmosphere at the Athletic Ground was totally different to anything I’d experienced.My brothers also took part. Steffon was in the age group below me and Bevon was in the group above, so it was a social event for dads and lads, and we enjoyed every minute.I started on the wing before moving to centre and full-back.The more rugby I played, the more I enjoyed it. We’d go down to Richmond on a Sunday and would stay from 10am to 4pm, with Mum happy to get all the boys out of the house at once!My competitive streak comes from my mum and I wasn’t happy when life for me began in the C team, but I soon got my chance to move up. We had a good team, winning a lot of trophies, so at that age I was always scoring and enjoying it.We moved to France when I was 13, to just outside Nice, and one of the first things I asked was, ‘Where will I play my rugby?’ I was very committed.A big change is how I’d describe playing in Nice. Rugby was played on a full pitch and it became much more physical. I saw my younger brother, Guy, playing with the under-fives, and even they were tackling!The French are very passionate and if we lost, guys were in tears. I’d never seen that before. In England, if we lost we accepted the opposition were better on the day. But that change in attitude didn’t put me off. For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 visit 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.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Ben Blair last played during the Amlin final against Toulon in May 2010After 15 months out with a knee injury Ben Blair returns to rugby this weekendHaving suffered a knee injury in the Heineken Cup match against Castres in October 2010, Cardiff Blues fullback Ben Blair returns to action to face Gloucester this weekend.The Blues take on Gloucester at Kingsholm on Saturday 28 January at 3pm and Blair is relieved to be back on the pitch after such a long time out of the game.Speaking at the Vale of Glamorgan training centre Blair said: “It’s been a hugely frustrating period for me both on and off the pitch over the last 15 months. When I first injured the knee back in October 2010 I don’t think anyone expected it to take so long to get back. “Ben brings a vast amount of experience having been a solid front line player for us for the past five to six seasons, so it’s good to have him back.“Obviously he’s been out for a long time with his knee injury but we hope to see him back to his kicking best and controlling the back three for us, solid under high balls and driving our attack in wide areas. He’s trained hard by himself doing a lot of rehabilitation and seems to be right back up there with his fitness scores, and has performed well alongside the players in rugby training.” “It’s been extremely hard both mentally and physically to get to the position where I am able to play again, so I’m just looking forward to finally having a match. The rehab work on the knee has gone well and it feels good. I’ve really missed playing so it will be good to get a run out on Saturday.”Speaking of Blair’s return, Cardiff Blues backs coach Gareth Baber added: MARSEILLE, FRANCE – MAY 23: Ben Blair of Cardiff catches the ball during the Amlin Challenge Cup Final between Toulon and Cardiff Blues at Stade Velodrome on May 23, 2010 in Marseille, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Grand Slam heroes: Wales will be looking for their first win on Australian soil since 1969By Owain Jones, Rugby World EditorWALES HEAD coach Rob Howley has named four uncapped players in his 38-man touring party to face the Barbarians before travelling to Australia for a four-test Tour.Scarlets full-back Liam Williams, prop Rhodri Jones, Ospreys centre Ashley Beck and Cardiff Blues wing are all named to make the trip Down Under.Wales will face the Barbarians on June 2nd before heading South for three Tests against Australia and a game against Super 15 franchise ACT Brumbies.Injuries have meant Jamie Roberts and Lyon-bound Huw Bennett were not considered, while full-back Lee Byrne was also omitted because his club commitments with Clermont Auvergne still likely be in the Top 14 final. He will be on stand-by for the tour’s latter stages.Wales will be sending 12 of their squad out early to acclimatize in advance of the June 9 First Test, while Ian Evans and Alun Wyn Jones will fly out late due to wedding commitments.Another name to catch the eye in the squad is Dan Biggar. The 22 year-old Ospreys fly-half has been in fine form for the Ospreys, recently passing the 1,000 point mark for his region.Biggar’s back: Dan has been in fine form for the OspreysStill carrying injuries but travelling with the squad are Jonathan Davies (hernia), Matthew Rees (ankle) and Scott Williams (shoulder).The squad will assemble on May 21, except for the 12 Ospreys involved in preparations for their RaboDirect Pro12 Final against Leinster in Dublin.Set for a 100th and final cap will be 36 year-old Martyn Williams who is expected to make his farewells and play a part in the Barbarians test at the Millennium Stadium Ausralia v Wales – Melbourne, June 16Australia v Wales – Sydney, June 23 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Howley takes the reins after Warren Gatland fractured both heels in a fall in New Zealand.FORWARDS: Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (NG Dragons), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Toby Faletau (NG Dragons), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Paul James (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lyldiate (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues)BACKS: Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Aled Brew (NG Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny, Will Harries (NG Dragons), James Hook (Perpignan), George North (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets)Wales’ upcoming fixturesWales v Barbarians – Millennium Stadium, June 2ndAustralia v Wales – Brisbane, June 9ACT Brumbies v Wales – Canberra, June 12 SWANSEA, WALES – DECEMBER 16: Dan Biggar of Ospreys looks on towards the scrum during the Heineken Cup Pool Five match between Ospreys and Saracens at the Liberty Stadium on December 16, 2011 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on August 17, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. This, in truth, does rely somewhat on which Australia team is put out. However, with no Hugh McMeniman – the blindside who won his first cap since 2008 is out to have reconstructive surgery on his shoulder – and the likes of Ben Mowen and Michael Hooper set to contend with the incorrigible breakdown-menace Richie McCaw again on Saturday, they need someone who can both obliterate rucks and race out to whichever half-back Hansen selects.It remains to be seen if the balance of power will change at all in the second Bledisloe outing of 2013, despite these fresh injury problems. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Ready replacements: All Black call-ups Colin Slade and Tom Taylor talk tactics with the injured Dan CarterBy Alan DymockTHE AUSSIES have bombed the conveyer belt.After the Wallabies bumbled and bled during the Bledisloe massacre, falling 47-29 to the All Black in Sydney, they can at least comfort themselves with the knowledge that two of the Kiwi fly-halves will be missing form the second Test in Wellington.Out on a limb: Aaron Cruden rest his damaged kneeWhile second-row Luke Romano is out indefinitely with a torn abductor tendon, the rudder-men Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett will miss the second-round match with respective knee and calf issues.It is expected that Barrett will return from the calf strain for the Argentina Test in Hamilton while medical staff will assess the damage done to Cruden’s right posterior cruciate ligament during his rehabilitation. He could potentially be out for six weeks. Of course, the All Blacks have a few backs in cold storage, with 10-cap Highlander Colin Slade – soon to join the Canterbury Crusaders – brought in alongside 24-year-old jack of all backs Tom Taylor, who has experienced All Black camps before. He may be a utility figure at the Crusaders, but he can slip easily into the patterns put out by Steve Hansen.Which is the worry. New Zealand picked an experienced side for the first Test and new names like Steve Luatua were able to parachute in and have a dominant game thanks to the rest of the team being efficient and strong. The blindside made more tackles than any other All Black, chopping down 13 attackers and pulling off five assisted-tackles.More to worry about than the Kiwi fly-half: Ben MowenSlade and Taylor may not be able to boss proceedings quite so much should they be needed, but the hope is that Dan Carter can shake off his hamstring troubles. If not, though, the All Black pack should be in control again, to such an extent that whoever is at fly-half should be afforded time.
This column first appeared in the January 2017 edition of Rugby World magazine. Well earned rest: The England squad have a beer after their 3-0 whitewash LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS I’ll drink to that: Warren Gatland toasts the 2013 Lions tour win. (Photo: Inpho)I’m a slight outlier and do most of my drinking during the week, working my way through a bottle of wine a night Sunday through Wednesday. This is partly due to deep angst at my place in the sporting world and partly because I can’t think of anything better to do with my evenings than get tipsy while looking at autotrader.com.That is why Eddie Jones’s approach, which seems to be doing the trick in reforming previously wayward characters in the England squad, is such a gossamer-thin tightrope for a head coach to tread. Apparently, he relies on the players to regulate themselves and “treats men like men” (ooh, I get a tingle just writing that). The problem with this is that most men, like me, are idiots. Players on the lash in 1953 (Bert Hardy/Getty Images)Cod psychology aside, how does a drinking culture in a professional side manifest itself? There are two types of boozing: sanctioned and illicit. A coach may have various reasons to call for his team to have “a couple of beers” (it’s always a couple). He may want the boys to let off some steam and get to know each other, or to control how much is taken. Either way, these gatherings usually have the distinct whiff of ‘forced fun’, especially when the habitually psychotic head coach circulates like the host of a Mike Leigh cocktail party trying to show he is just a bloody good bloke. In any event, while the most diligent players will have their shandy and head to bed, there will always be a hardcore who use a team beer as a springboard to a night of full-on debauchery.The demographic of this hardcore is not fixed. It will contain the obvious cohort of very young, very fit men with above-average disposable income, but the drinkers in a club may also come from the seasoned, sometimes jaded, older pros frustrated with the mundanity of their sporting life and keen to jump on any passing funwagon. Those with families may also grab any mandatory team night or day out as another opportunity for a bit of ‘home avoidance’. Charming concept, I know. WE RUGGER players do love a drink. Often enjoyed – popular folklore pretty much has it bang on here – from unusual vessels, such as a standard issue boat shoe. And conspicuous consumption is not just limited to the grass-roots game. The majority of professionals, even the properly athletic, talented ones rather than those who somehow ended up being paid for being outsized and good at lifting heavy things, jump at any chance to get blotto. This is a great surprise to the civilians you encounter on a night out as the sight of their hero puking in a nightclub toilet somehow doesn’t tally with the day job of modern-day gladiator, risking life and gym-honed limb for a beer-fuelled audience’s amusement.The culture of getting boozed after a match dies hard, and most professional sides will have a decent blowout a few times a year, with or without the imprimatur of the bosses. Rugby may be at the extreme end of the spectrum but plenty of other sports are at it too: Wayne Rooney dribbling at a provincial wedding; Ryan Lochte smashing up a Brazilian service station; Freddie Flintoff slurring at Number 10. Win or lose, once the tiresome chore of competition is out of the way, many sportsmen just can’t wait to get their hands on a blue WKD.Getting on it: Dylan Hartley takes a drink out of the Cook Cup (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Why do we do it? Arguments can be made for alcohol’s effectiveness as a tool for team bonding, or as a release valve after the build-up of pressure going into a big game. So a very shaky case could be put for it being some sort of psychological aid in a group’s development.But, performance-wise, there is not one positive to be had from getting steamboats. Nietzsche (I know, check me out) argued against alcohol as he reckoned it numbs pain and reassures us things are fine as they are and we don’t have to change anything about our lives. Speaking as a mediocre, journeyman pro sportsman, that sounds like a pretty good sales pitch – temporary respite from the knowledge you’ll always be average in your chosen field. And that leads us to a fact which is uncomfortable for most professionals. For a true great, being the best is enough, and your Wilkinsons, McCaws, Ronaldos, Murrays etc, either don’t drink or hardly touch the stuff.
Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw team up in midfield for Ireland for the first time since the 2019 World Cup while Hugo Keenan gets the nod at full-back.Prop Cian Healy will make his 50th Six Nations appearance, in contrast to James Lowe, who is making his championship debut on the wing.Tadhg Furlong, who played for Leinster last weekend after nearly a year on the sidelines with injury, is named on the bench, with Andrew Porter starting at tighthead.Long-awaited return: Tadhg Furlong is back in the Ireland team for the first time in nearly a year (Inpho)What have the coaches said?Wales coach Wayne Pivac: “We know we have to tighten up, be more disciplined and not give them so many easy in-roads into our territory, which presents them with opportunities to score points.“We’ve got to be disciplined and make sure the territory stats, in particular, are shared evenly.”Ireland coach Andy Farrell: “George North at 13 is something they have done before and Alun Wyn comes straight back into the side, I am sure he will add an advantage there to the feeling of the group.“Dan Lydiate coming back in will add new energy to the group as well. We expect them to be strong anyway but that side is a strong one.” Sunday service: Wales v Ireland rounds out the opening weekend of the 2021 Six Nations (Getty Images) The 2021 championship will provide a stark contrast – deserted streets rather than supporters spilling onto pavements from local bars and pubs; the silence of rows of empty seats replacing the cacophony produced by packed stands.As Rugby World columnist Stephen Jones wrote in his tribute to rugby fans: “Major stadiums are called the cathedrals of the game. But what are cathedrals without congregations?”Players have been performing to empty stadiums for months now, but an empty Principality is still likely to be something of a shock given the sound that usually reverberates around the ground.Playing on home soil has certainly been a factor in this Six Nations fixture in recent years, with Ireland’s 2013 win in Cardiff the last time the visiting side triumphed. But the lack of a sellout crowd this year could well negate Wales’ ‘home advantage’.Ireland have lost their last three away games in the Six Nations but they have never lost four in a row while Wales, who lost to Scotland and France at home last year, haven’t been beaten three times on the bounce on Welsh soil since 2002-03.Both teams were criticised at various points in 2020 – the first years of Wayne Pivac’s and Andy Farrell’s reigns respectively – so will be looking to demonstrate significant signs of improvement in this year’s championship.For example, the lineout for those in red and green malfunctioned a fair bit in the Autumn Nations Cup, so that will no doubt have been an area of focus.Wales have experienced hooker Ken Owens back in situ for this game along with the world’s most-capped player, Alun Wyn Jones, at lock, while Ireland’s rising star James Ryan is becoming more accustomed to lineout calling. It is set to be a key battleground in this opening fixture.So what else do you need to know about the game? Here’s our Six Nations Wales v Ireland Preview…What’s the big team news?Wales are without regular first-choice wing Josh Adams, who has been suspended for two matches for breaching Covid rules, so Louis Rees-Zammit and Hallam Amos start on the wing.Related: Why Louis Rees-Zammit is getting fasterJonathan Davies is injured so George North, more regularly a wing, forms a powerful centre pairing with Johnny Williams while captain Alun Wyn Jones has recovered from a knee problem to partner Adam Beard in the second row.Dan Lydiate’s form for the Ospreys has been rewarded with his first Test start since November 2018, and he lines up in an experienced back row with Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Hooker Ken Owens and scrum-half Tomos Williams both return after missing the Autumn Nations Cup through injury.Caelan Doris was Ireland’s breakthrough star in 2020 but he’s been ruled out for this match so CJ Stander starts at No 8 and is joined in the back row by Peter O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier. What time does it kick off and is it on TV?Wales v Ireland, Sunday 7 February, Principality StadiumThe final game of round one kicks off at 3pm in Cardiff and is live on BBC and S4C in the UK and Virgin Media One in Ireland. You can also listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and RTE.Wayne Barnes is the referee for this match and is assisted by fellow Englishman Luke Pearce and Alex Ruiz, of France. Tom Foley is the TMO.What are the line-ups?WALES: Leigh Halfpenny; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Johnny Williams, Hallam Amos; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tupuric, Taulupe Faletau.Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, Josh Navidi, Gareth Davies, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins.IRELAND: Hugo Keenan; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (captain), Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rob Herring, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander.Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Will Connors, Jamison Gibson Park, Billy Burns, Jordan Larmour. Six Nations Wales v Ireland PreviewWales return to the Principality Stadium for their opening match of this year’s Six Nations against Ireland, but will it be home sweet home for Alun Wyn Jones and his team?They played their home matches last autumn at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli because the Cardiff ground had been turned into a field hospital to help with the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has since been decommissioned and will serve its more traditional purpose as a rugby stadium during the championship.Yet there is, of course, one marked difference – no fans. The Principality Stadium is always a riot of colour and noise when Six Nations time rolls around, and that sense of occasion spreads throughout Cardiff city centre. Any interesting statistics?The stats from last year’s Six Nations suggest these are two similar teams – Wales averaged the most carries a game (127), Ireland were second with 126; Ireland made the most metres (738), Wales were third with 690; Ireland scored the most tries in the final quarter of matches (7), Wales were joint second with 6; they were the only two sides to score multiple tries originating from the scrum – Ireland four, Wales two.This is Wales most experienced Test line-up: Will it be home sweet home as Alun Wyn Jones & Co return to the Principality Stadium to play Ireland? Ireland were the most disciplined side in last year’s Six Nations, conceding just 41 penalties. They were also awarded the most (56).Wales had the best lineout success rate in the 2020 championship, winning 62 of 70 (89%), but they also made 22 more handling errors than any other side (89), including 35 knock-ons.Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale made the most metres and line breaks in the 2020 Six Nations, but is currently sidelined with a knee injury.George North, who wins his 99th Wales cap, needs two more Six Nations tries to draw level with Shane Williams as the championship’s second top try-scorer. Former Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll tops the chart with 26. 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.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Sam Simmonds leaves Northampton’s Lewis Ludlam in his wake during a Chiefs match (Getty Images) What’s the best present you’ve ever received?My parents paid to get my England debut shirt framed for me, and my cap. I’d already got my Exeter Premiership one hung up at home. To have the England one next to it is pretty cool.Bringing down an Argentinian Puma on his England debut in 2017 at Twickenham (Getty Images)Do you have any nicknames?Simmo. Or sometimes Chesney, he’s a ginger guy from Coronation Street. Devo (Ollie Devoto) likes to call me that.What’s the best thing you’ve won from a raffle or a bet?I’ve not won much. People like Alex Cuthbert and Jonny Hill, they’ve had some big winners in the past at Cheltenham. I’ve been to Cheltenham the past two years and not won one race!Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?Steven Gerrard, one of my idols when I was younger. Liam Gallagher of Oasis. Because he likes beer and he’d be quite fun; he’d have some stories from his time in the band. And Donald Trump, just to see what the guy is actually like, how he comes across.Steven Gerrard, the former England midfielder who played more than 500 games for Liverpool (AFP/Getty)What’s your guilty pleasure?Ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs. When it gets to the final training session on a Wednesday, I go home and pile into a Ben & Jerry’s.Best book you’ve read?I actually haven’t read a book all the way through. I start it and have good intentions of finishing but I always feel I’m missing out on something else if I’m reading a book. I’d rather watch a crime documentary on Netflix.What was your first job?My first proper job was as a lifeguard at my local swimming pool in Teignmouth. That was when I was at college, just before I signed my first senior contract with Exeter. It was the easiest money I’ve ever made. The pool wasn’t big and in two years I didn’t once have to jump in. Or even tell anyone off. It was five minutes from my house, so I’d get up ten minutes before my shift, go over there, sit there for a couple of hours and go home.On a team-building exercise on the River Dart in 2016. Simmonds once worked as a lifeguard (Getty)How would you like to be remembered?As a good or a great player but also as a good mate by those you played with. You spend a lot of time off the pitch in the team environment, whether it’s going out or socials or away trips. That’s something I’ll look back on when I’m older and say, “These were my best friends.” The core of this article on Sam Simmonds appeared in the May 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine. Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Overlooked by England, Chiefs No 8 Sam Simmonds has today been named in the Lions squad. He talks gaming, Steven Gerrard and guilty pleasure with Rugby World… Downtime with… Exeter star Sam SimmondsMore than three years after he last played for England, Sam Simmonds was today named in Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions 37-man squad to tour South Africa. It’s a selection that Rugby World and many others were pushing for following the impact made by the Exeter Chiefs No 8 in recent years.Simmonds’s explosive pace and acceleration is unmatched by any of the Lions’ other back-row contenders, making him a formidable runner from deep or in the wide channels. Yet he also thrives in the close-quarter forward work, being strong over the ball and particularly adept at the pick-and-go. His 45 tries in 64 Premiership games is a staggering return.BT Sport’s Ben Kay says that when it comes to form “Simmonds is almost out on his own in terms of the last 18 months”. And his colleague Dave Flatman branded the 26-year-old Exeter forward “other-worldly” after he had helped Chiefs win at league leaders Bristol.The current European Player of the Year, Simmonds joins Ireland’s Jack Conan and Welshman Taulupe Faletau as the principal No 8 options in the Lions squad. Here’s an interview with Simmonds for a Downtime feature that ran in the May 2021 issue of Rugby World…Simmonds carries v Bristol, when his speed was clocked at over 20mph despite an ankle injury! (Getty)Sam, what’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?Playing for Saxons against South Africa, Alec Hepburn tried a kick that was charged down. Then against Bristol this year, he tried another kick and again it was charged down. Being originally from Australia, he backs his AFL-style kicking and I’ve not seen one work yet! It wasn’t funny at the time but after the game you can have a laugh about it.Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?Stu Townsend. Just for morale. You can bank on him having a pack of cards on him, or some other sort of game. He’s a guy who whenever you’re in his company you’re having a good time, so he’d be invaluable in a situation like that.What really annoys you?I’m quite a big gamer and I’d say losing on FIFA is quite a big one for me. My partner (Emily) would tell she’s heard me on the weekend a lot. I probably get more angry at losing a game of FIFA than from losing a game of rugby.Any superstitions?I like to go out behind Joe (Sam’s brother) as we walk out onto the pitch. It’s just something I’ve always done. I guess that’s a kind of superstition.Sam runs out behind brother Joe for a Premiership semi-final in 2018 – his only superstition (Getty)What’s your most embarrassing moment?When you get your first England cap, you have to sing a song. In the changing room after my debut (v Argentina, 2017), Eddie (Jones) did his talk about the game. Then I got up and said, “I think I have to sing a song.” I didn’t know it was supposed to be done at the dinner, when you receive your cap. I sung Build Me Up, Buttercup – I wanted the boys to get involved in the chorus! Some of them said I’d have to do it again upstairs (in front of 200 people) but Dylan Hartley let me off. It worked out better getting the embarrassment over and down with then.What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever bought?It would be something for our Secret Santa that we do every year. That’s something Stu Townsend absolutely loves. If it’s a present that isn’t taking the mick out of someone you have to own up and you get punished for not getting into people. But if I told you what I’d bought, I might get a forfeit. And it might be a bit inappropriate as well…Celebrating a Chiefs try in the Champions Cup final with scorer Henry Slade and Jack Nowell (Inpho)If your house was on fire, what’s the first item you would save?My European Cup medal from last year, quickly followed by my Xbox. I grew up watching the Heineken Cup, it was awesome. To have our name on the trophy and be able to say I was in that team is amazing.What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?Liverpool Football Club. Say, the last 12 or 15 years, I’d try and back myself on that.If you could be one of your team-mates, who would you be?I would say Nowellsy (Jack Nowell) just because of the experience he’s had with the Lions and all those England caps. But he gets injured too much. Maybe Luke Cowan-Dickie just to know what’s going on in his head.
Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs By Bellah ZuluPosted Aug 8, 2014 Rector Collierville, TN The Pygmy people’s appearance and lifestyle means they have also been marginalized by much of society (2). Photo: Creative.org[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is breaking new ground by bringing help and hope to a Pygmy1. community living in the country’s forests. Pygmy peoples live in several ethnic groups across the forests of central Africa. There are an estimated 250,000 to 600,000 living in the Congo rainforest alone.These forest dwellers have lived by hunting and gathering for millennia. But in the past few decades their homelands have been devastated by logging, war and encroachment from farmers. Their appearance and lifestyle means they have also been marginalized by much of society2.Bringing helpIn an interview with ACNS , the Provincial Youth Worker for the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo the Revd Bisoke Balikenga revealed that he is talking with the Pygmy community to find out how he and other Anglicans there can best meet its needs.Earlier this year, Mr Balikenga and a team of other youth workers visited Bamande, a Pygmy settlement in the heart of the Equatorial rain forest. “We went to give them food and to find out how we can reach them with the Word of God,” he explained. “They were saying that they also want to learn how to read and write.”Mr Balikenga explained that locals have been hiring the Pygmy people in Bamande to do basic chores such as laundry for them. The wages are very small: “[The Pygmy people] are surviving on less than a dollar a week,” he said.“We gave them beans and salt and it was nice to see their reactions because many of them did not think that any church, including the Anglican Church could help them,” he said. “It is really nice to work with Pygmies because they have been neglected by many people for a long time.“We need to organise seminars and workshops for them so that they can learn how to read and write,” he said. “We need to teach them about their health and where they can get the right medicine when they have a problem since most of them still rely on traditional medicines which are not always effective.He added: “The Church activities are going well but we still need to do more. These people need food since a lot of them are dying of starvation, and clothes.”Bringing hopeThe Anglican Church is also thinking about how best to bring the Gospel to these forest people. “We need more evangelistic teaching among Pygmies,” said Mr Balikenga who explained that there were other churches trying to help, but were not going far enough to help Pygmy communities.Mr Balikenga said that, regardless of their lifestyle, their poverty or lack of formal education, the Pygmy people deserve to be treated with dignity: “They should still be considered like any other human being with rights.”By meeting both their physical and spiritual needs the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo aims to do just that. “We need to give hope to Pygmies who are mostly neglected by the society here in Congo,” he said.Notes1. The term ‘Pygmy’ has gained negative connotations, but has been reclaimed by some indigenous groups as a term of identity2. The conflict in the DRC was especially brutal for the country’s Pygmy peoples, who suffered killings and rape. In August 2008, nearly 100 were released from slavery in DRC, of whom almost half came from families who had been enslaved for generations – See http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/pygmies Rector Bath, NC August 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm I think that the best way to reach these people with the Gospel is to start by offering to help with their stated needs and then by asking them about how God is already acting in their lives. We would be amiss if we assume we are bring the Gospel to anyone. God is there, our job is always to first listen to what others tell you about their spiritual experiences. Tags Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Washington, DC Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Hopkinsville, KY Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Peggy Thompson says: Press Release Service An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Africa, Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Albany, NY Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Comments (1) 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 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 Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Comments are closed. Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Congo Anglicans reach out to Pygmy community Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Martinsville, VA Anglican Communion Featured Events Rector Belleville, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Director of Music Morristown, NJ AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit an Event Listing Rector Smithfield, NC Featured Jobs & Calls Curate Diocese of Nebraska 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 Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Knoxville, TN Submit a Job Listing Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Tampa, FL Submit a Press Release Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI
Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis 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 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Tags Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Martinsville, VA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Events Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Tampa, FL Rector Belleville, IL Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT 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 In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Featured Jobs & Calls On May 5, during the City of Raleigh’s City Council, the board for the Raleigh Hall of Fame announced its 2015 Hall of Fame inductees. Three of the eight honorees have ties to Saint Augustine’s University – Dr. Robert E. Bridges, Rev. Arthur James Calloway and Bishop Henry Beard Delany. This recognition demonstrates how two former SAU professors and an alumnus have upheld SAU’s rich legacy by making significant contributions to the city.Dr. Bridges’ service to the City of Raleigh began in 1961. Upon earning a degree in elementary education from Saint Augustine’s College (now University), he was hired by Raleigh City Schools to teach fourth grade at Hunter Elementary School. In 1984, he became the school system’s first African-American superintendent. During his 28-year career, he helped integrate the school system, participated in the merger of the Raleigh School System and Wake County School System into one, and oversaw unprecedented growth. Aware of the need for African-American male children to have mentors and encouragement in achieving academic success, he created the Helping Hands Program which the school system still operates. After retiring in 1989, Dr. Bridges served as provost at SAU and chaired the NC Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps. He continues to work with the Helping Hands Program and mentor young African-American men. His impact on the community and the school system has been recognized throughout the years by numerous awards including the Wake Education Partnership Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.For thirty-nine years, Rev. Calloway served the citizens of Southeast Raleigh as rector of St. Ambrose Episcopal Church. Under his leadership, the church established after-school programs, provided meeting space for Alcoholic Anonymous, and provided grants for senior citizen programing all to the benefit of Southeast Raleigh. During this time, he also took on the role of community organizer, civil rights activist and college instructor at SAU. During the 1960s, he helped organize efforts to integrate Raleigh City Schools and supported the election of African Americans to political office. Rev. Calloway was elected to the Raleigh City Council representing Southeast Raleigh for three terms from 1979-1985. He was also involved with the PTA, Save Our Community Association, Southside CAC and Southeast Optimist Club. In 1998, Rev. Calloway retired from St. Ambrose. He passed away in 2001.Alumnus Delany, a centennial inductee, was born an enslaved person on February 5, 1858 and died April 14, 1928 as a Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Delany, a Georgia native, arrived in Raleigh in 1881 to enroll as a student at St. Augustine’s Normal School to study theology and music. After graduating in 1885, Delany immediately joined the staff. He served as the chaplain, vice principal and supervisor of building projects. He and his students helped construct several buildings on the campus including the Historic Chapel, which still is a place of place of spiritual guidance for the campus and the community.Ordained in The Episcopal Church in 1889, Bishop Delany’s legacy continues in the churches he helped found as well as at SAU’s Historic Chapel.A Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Monday, October 5 at the Raleigh Convention Center. For more information, visit www.raleighhalloffame.org. Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Youth Minister Lorton, VA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Submit a Job Listing 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 Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Knoxville, TN An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud: Crossing continents and cultures with the most beautiful instrument you’ve never heard Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Smithfield, NC Associate Rector Columbus, GA Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Collierville, TN An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET People Rector Bath, NC Rector Albany, NY Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Press Release Service Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit an Event Listing Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Washington, DC Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Pittsburgh, PA Posted May 12, 2015 City of Raleigh to include Saint Augustine’s University professors and alumnus in its Hall of Fame Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA
Casey Kend of New York, a supporter of same-sex marriage, holds a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 26, 2015. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters[Episcopal News Service – Salt Lake City] Applause broke out in legislative committee meetings around the Salt Palace Convention Center here when General Convention participants received word about the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling June 26 that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to be married.The ruling came just as Episcopalians began debating the church’s understanding of sacramental marriage and the accompanying canonical definition of marriage, and whether to extend that definition to include same-sex couples.The court’s 5-4 ruling settled the issue of access to civil marriage and fulfilled one of The Episcopal Church’s long-held public-policy stances. The Episcopal Church officially has advocated for equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in both the civil and ecclesial arenas for years.The church’s advocacy for civil equality for LGBT persons began in 1976 with Resolution A071 in which it said “homosexual persons are entitled to equal protection of the laws with all other citizens, and calls upon our society to see that such protection is provided in actuality.”That same convention said (in Resolution A069) that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.”(A complete list with links to all related General Convention resolutions from 1976 to 2012 on liturgy, marriage and ordination in addition to resolutions on LGBT civil rights is here).However, it was not until 2012 that the General Convention voted to consider anew the church’s theology of marriage, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Episcopalians’ access to the sacramental rite. Those are the questions facing this meeting of convention.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori cited 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 about love in reacting to the decision.“I rejoice that the Supreme Court has opened the way for the love of two people to be recognized by all the states of this union, and that the court has recognized that it is this enduring, humble love that extends beyond the grave that is to be treasured by society wherever it exists,” she said. “Our society will be enriched by the public recognition of such enduring faithful love in families headed by two men or two women as well as by a woman and a man. The children of this land will be stronger when they grow up in families that cannot be unmade by prejudice or discrimination. May love endure and flourish wherever it is to be found.”House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings issued a statement saying “As we Christians are known to say from time to time: ‘Alleluia’.”“I am elated that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. In March I had the great privilege of signing on to an amicus brief urging the justices to make the decision they announced today, and I am deeply grateful that they have granted a fundamental human right to people whom had been denied it for so long.”Jennings said she supports marriage equality “not in spite of my faith but because of it.”“In more than 35 years of ordained ministry, I have known many faithful, committed same-sex couples whose love gave me a deeper understanding of God’s love and whose joy in one another testified to the goodness of God’s creation,” she said. “I have also learned through simple, everyday experience that same-sex couples make vital contributions to our common life, and I rejoice at the security today’s ruling affords them.”The Supreme Court cases that the justices ruled on attracted much attention and at least 145 amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” briefs were filed. Nearly 2,000 individual lay and ordained religious leaders, led by Jennings and Episcopal Church bishops in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee (the states included in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals), filed one of those briefs.Those bishops included Kentucky Bishop Terry Allen White; Lexington Bishop Douglas Hahn; Michigan Bishop Wendell N. Gibbs Jr.; Western Michigan Bishop Whayne M. Hougland Jr.; Northern Michigan Bishop Rayford J. Ray; Eastern Michigan Bishop Todd Ousley; Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth Jr.; Ohio Assisting Bishops David C. Bowman, William D. Persell and Arthur B. Williams Jr.; Southern Ohio Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal; retired Southern Ohio Bishop Suffragan Kenneth L. Price Jr.; Southern Ohio Assisting Bishop Bavi Edna Rivera; West Tennessee Bishop Don E. Johnson; and East Tennessee Bishop George D. Young III. All of the bishops have authorized the blessing of same-sex couples in their dioceses, including for couples who have already entered into civil marriages in other jurisdictions.Diocese of Vermont Bishop Tom Ely, Diocese of Hawaii Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick, Diocese of Southeast Florida Bishop Leo Frade, Diocese of Maine Bishop Steve Lane, Diocese of Atlanta Assistant Bishop Keith Whitmore and nearly 200 ordained and lay Episcopalians also signed onto the brief.The court’s ruling clarifies the work facing the General Convention’s Special Legislative Committee on Marriage, according to Ely, a member of that committee who also served on convention’s Task Force on Marriage.The Rev. Ruth Meyers, chair of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in the last two triennia, and Diocese of Vermont Bishop Tom Ely, a member of that committee, discuss the U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality ruling before the June 26 Eucharist in the General Convention worship hall. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News ServiceThe Rev. Ruth Meyers, who chaired the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in the last two triennia and is a consultant to the Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music legislative committee this convention, said the decision “changes the context” of the special committee’s work because the ruling changes the law of the United States.The committee, which is handling all of the marriage-related resolutions coming to this meeting of convention, was meeting when the ruling was announced. Ely said the members applauded and also reflected on how the news would bring joy to some and difficulty to others.Meyers and Ely chaired the blessings subcommittee of the legislative committee at the 2012 convention, when convention approved Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be A Blessing, the liturgy for blessing same-sex relationships and accompanying resources whose provisional use was authorized in 2012.Episcopalians react to the court’s decision“I believe that God works for justice night and day, and when the church doesn’t follow God’s lead, God sometimes works in the culture. And so, this is a victory for God. Now, The Episcopal Church gets to decide if it wants to join God in that justice,” retired Diocese of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson told Episcopal News Service just before convention’s daily Eucharist began.The Eucharist’s prelude was a rousing rendition of “We are Marching in the Light of God” complete with a conga line, and numerous participants hugging each other.“I am so excited, I’m very, very proud to be a part of The Episcopal Church, which has been dealing with marriage equality in a variety of different forms for a long number of years,” said Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles Mary D. Glasspool.“Of course my excitement is couched by other areas of our life together where there isn’t such equality, but every bit helps. We’ve been moving toward trying to say all really means all, the (U.S.) Constitution applies to everybody. When The Episcopal Church says we are open to everybody, and all of the sacraments are available to all of the people, that’s what we mean, so we are living into that.”Glasspool said the decision will “change, and really call attention, to the conversation we are having in the church because we need to really look at, and perhaps, tease apart what is the civil aspect of our lives doing, what does civil union look like, what is the appropriate responsibility of the state to guarantee civil rights and what does the church want to say sacramentally to the people of God, where are we pointing to God’s presence and God’s holiness and God’s love and God’s justice, and how that gets manifested in our lives.”The Rev. Susan Russell, a longtime advocate for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church, Integrity past president and senior associate at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, and the Rev. Michael Sniffen, rector of the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Brooklyn, New York, Integrity chaplain and a self-described “straight ally,” celebrate the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the General Convention worship hall before the daily Eucharist. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News ServiceThe Rev. Susan Russell, a longtime advocate for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church, called the ruling “a momentous win for freedom, for equality, for inclusion and, most of all, for love.”“It is a day to celebrate with deep joy that our country is one step closer to keeping the promise of the pursuit of liberty and justice for all. Today’s historic ruling means same sex couples will soon have both the freedom to marry and equal respect for their marriages across the country – it is a triumph of justice over bigotry.”The last meeting of General Convention in 2012 passed Resolution D018, which Russell sponsored. The resolution noted that The Episcopal Church “is a period of discernment about the meaning of Christian marriage, with faithful people holding divergent views,” and urged Congress to repeal federal laws that discriminate against same-sex civilly married couples; and pass legislation allowing the federal government to provide benefits to them.Russell said “as momentous as today’s historic decision is, we must now harness the momentum from marriage conversation to the work of securing additional advances towards equality especially nondiscrimination protections for LGBT Americans. It is absolutely unacceptable that LGBT people can still be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes and denied service in restaurants and shops simply for being who they are.”Noting the convention’s on-going marriage debate, Russell said she prays “for justice to roll down like waters in Salt Lake City for The Episcopal Church just as justice prevailed today in our Supreme Court” and give same-sex couples access to the sacrament of marriage.The Rev. Jon M. Richardson, Integrity (http://www.integrityusa.org/) vice president for national affairs, said in the group’s official statement that Integrity members and leaders “can hardly contain our emotion on this day of jubilee throughout the nation.”“We are thrilled that LGBT Episcopalians can know full civil marriage equality everywhere, and we continue in our fervent hope that the church will answer the call to equality with the same prophetic witness as the U.S. Supreme Court has,” he said.Russell, Richardson and others also couched their reaction in the context of the discrimination people will continue to face because of their color and sexual orientation.“Personally, I’m overjoyed; it’s a long time coming,” said Lizzie Anderson, a deputy from the Diocese of Michigan, a youth minister at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Royal Oak. “For The Episcopal Church, it’s fitting as we are discussing what changes to make to our prayer book and canons to include all of our brothers and sisters in the right to marry.”“At the same time, I recognize the diversity of The Episcopal Church and that there are people in our church and our country who are hurting because of this decision. As members of the church, I hope we can hold them in our prayers and be compassionate toward them in this difficult time they’re facing,” Anderson said.Diocese of Michigan Deputy Emily Wogaman, a high school student, said “it’s about time” the court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.The Rev. Altagracia Perez-Bullard, canon for congregational vitality for the Diocese of New York said she is “so proud of our nation. The decision was a strong defense of the constitution. I don’t expect everyone to agree, but this was a fight for basic human rights.”And, with tears in her eyes, she added: “I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime, but I thought it should pass because it is a basic constitutional issue. It renewed my faith in that branch of government.”Anne Brown, Diocese of Vermont, said the decision “allows me to celebrate our marriage more openly,” she said of her 25-year marriage to the Rev. Lee Crawford.Crawford said the decision is “like the Berlin Wall coming down.”“I can’t help but think about how it will affect our conversations at General Convention about marriage equality,” she added.“My heart does go out for those for whom it is not celebratory news. I’ve been at conventions like that. I know what it feels like to stand in that place,” she said. “But, I think the time has come and the time is now. I’m so glad to be able to offer this up at the Eucharist.”Bishop Raul Tobias of the Philippine Independent Church, with whom The Episcopal Church is in full communion, said that while he “rejoices in as much as it is an answer to prayers for many, it is not yet time for us” in the Philippine Independent Church to consider these discussions.He said the decision “created an opening for joy. I rejoice for their joy. Because we’re not ready doesn’t mean we’re against it. We’re just not ready for it.”Convention faces various same-sex marriage proposalsThe General Convention is considering a number of resolutions urging it to move toward greater clarity in its understanding of the availability of the sacramental rite of marriage to both different- and same-sex couples.The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music asks in its report (beginning on page 3 here) that convention authorize an expanded version of Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be A Blessing, the liturgy for blessing same-sex relationships and accompanying resources whose use was authorized in 2012. The new version (on pages 2-151 here) includes three additional liturgies: “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage”; “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2”; and “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony.” Those rites offer the option of using “wife,” “husband,” “person,” or “spouse,” thus making them applicable for both heterosexual and same-sex couples.The commission’s proposed Resolution A054 says diocesan bishops must approve use of the rites. It also says that bishops within civil jurisdictions where same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal may continue to provide “generous pastoral response” to meet the needs of church members (an echo of Resolution 2009-C056).And the proposed resolution repeats the provision in Resolution 2012-A049 that “no bishop, priest, deacon or lay person should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities” as a result of his or her theological objection to or support of the resolution. The resolution also would extend to these new rites the provision in the church’s Canon I.18.4, which says that clergy may decline to solemnize any marriage.The Task Force for the Study of Marriage asks that The Episcopal Church go further, proposing in its Resolution A036 to revise Canon I.18 titled “Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony” (page 58 of The Episcopal Church’s canons here).Among many edits, the revision removes references to marriage as being between a man and a woman.The revision would recast the requirement in the canon’s first section that clergy conform to both “the laws of the state” and “the laws of this Church” about marriage. The rewritten portion would require that clergy conform to “the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage, and also to these canons concerning the solemnization of marriage.”And the proposal preserves the canon’s provision that clergy may decline to solemnize any given marriage and extends that discretion to include the choice to decline to bless a marriage.Among the six diocese-proposed actions, Resolution C017 from the Diocese of Chicago and Resolution C0022 from the Diocese of California both ask the convention to authorize the use of the marriage rites in The Book of Common Prayer 1979 and in Liturgical Resources I “for all marriages legal in the civil jurisdiction in which the liturgy takes place.” In civil jurisdictions with same-sex marriage, the rites’ language would be interpreted as gender-neutral. C022 also proposes a rewrite of the solemnization canon, as does Resolution C024, also proposed by Chicago, and Resolution C026 from Northern California.The Diocese of Rochester, in Resolution C007, and the Diocese of Los Angeles in C009 simply ask that convention “take any and all steps necessary to make the Rite of Holy Matrimony available to same-sex couples throughout The Episcopal Church immediately.”The Rev. John Dwyer, deputy from the Diocese of Minnesota, has proposed Resolution D026 that would have General Convention declare that the terms “man and woman” and “husband and wife” in the services of The Book of Common Prayer are equally applicable to two persons of the same gender.All of these resolutions, and other related ones that might arise, have been assigned to Special Legislative Committee on Marriage, formally a bishop committee meeting alongside a deputy committee but voting separately. The resolutions assigned to that committee are here.The night before the Supreme Court announcement, the marriage committee held its second resolutions hearing, this one on five resolutions suggesting changes to the church’s marriage canon.The proposals would remove gender-specific language from the canon, and would streamline and reorder it, according to the Rev. Brian Taylor, chair of the marriage task force.“What it does by using gender-neutral language is open the door, so that should we authorize new rites or should continue with the generous pastoral response option, their use would be supported canonically,” Taylor said at the hearing.More than 300 people filled the Radisson Hotel ballroom for the hearing. Twenty-two people offered testimony, 16 in support of the various proposals and six against.The Rev. Jim Papile, Diocese of Virginia alternate deputy, also urged support. “For all our trials, I believe we are a stronger church today than before. We can deal with the challenges if we will do what is right. We are so close. It’s time for us to finish this thing and get on with building the body of Christ, all of us together,” he said.Diocese of Albany Deputy the Ven. David Collum spoke against the measures, asking that the church’s unity and allowance for diocesan discretion be taken into account.Referencing the rite for blessing same-sex unions that the General Convention approved in 2012, for use at the discretion of local bishops, Collum said, “It’s hard to be a gay or lesbian person in the Diocese of Albany because we’re not using that rite. It’s hard for people who are on the other side of the issue because we’re still talking about it. It’s tough, but we’re talking,” Collum said. “I would just ask that any resolution you put forward to advance this agenda, think about the unity of the church in addition to how important this specific issue is.”His colleague, the Rev. Canon Robert Haskell, the Diocese of Albany canon to the ordinary, said the changes would amount to The Episcopal Church “turning its back on 2,000 years of Scripture, history, the history of the church’s interpretation of marriage.”“It breaks my heart to see this church, the wonderful Episcopal Church that I love, departing from this,” Haskell said.Diocese of Virginia Bishop Shannon Johnston spoke against canonical changes and urged instead revision of the Prayer Book and Constitution as a stronger and better means for accomplishing the task force’s goals. “I want to say first of all that I am absolutely and utterly committed to full marriage equality in the life and witness of The Episcopal Church, full stop,” he said. “I want the strongest possible witness this church can make for marriage equality, and doing it simply by canonical means, I think, is the weaker case.”The committee holds its third and final hearing in the Marriott Hotel Downtown at City Creek at 7:30 p.m. MDT on June 26.– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. ENS reporters and correspondents Lynette Wilson, Pat McCaughan, Sharon Sheridan and Tracy Sukraw contributed to this story. Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Supreme Court marriage ruling draws applause in Salt Lake City Decision comes as General Convention debates marriage theology, sacramental rites Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 June 27, 2015 at 2:01 pm …excellent…we used to call it walking the Via Media…we are so far to the Left on every political/Theological issue and meetings where ‘voting’ takes place is so often stacked by rector designees and on up the hierarchy. …there is a great difference between the absolute of Love and the the absolute of Orgasm the church has never had a problem with same sex people loving one another. It is the issue of orgasm. One can give someone a kiss be breast to breast stomach to stomach and thigh to thigh..you’re just not to crawl into bed. Some will say it just natural but many children have fallen in love with their teachers and grandparents and been taken to the basement…there is the absolute of Love and the absolute of Orgasm, both very different. Human Sexuality, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 June 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm Dena, please remember the person who said that is from another country and culture. People forget there are TEC dioceses all over the world. It is it’s own empire. In some of those countries same sex marriages are not legal and the culture is still against it. So, what do Episcopalians in those countries do? Break the law? Perform marriages their culture says are morally incomprehensible? Seriously, if GC passes a resolution or canon requiring dioceses to perform same sex marriage now, are the foreign dioceses required to comply? Rector Shreveport, LA Susan Zimmerman says: General Convention 2015, Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK 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 June 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm Now let us work for full marriage equality in the church. We’ve come a long way and have made great progress, but now it’s time to make the final step! Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Press Release Service Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Featured Events Chris Harwood says: Dena Langdon says: June 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm The scriptural basis for opposing same-sex marriage has always been a slender thread and one that is generally in opposition to all that Christ teaches about love. I do not sympathize with those who say their congregations are “not ready.” By that standard most of our civil rights would still be ignored. How can the Episcopal Church tout its openness when it permits any of its clergy to decline the sanctification of a same-sex marriage? General Convention, June 27, 2015 at 6:45 pm “How can the Episcopal Church tout its openness when it permits any of its clergy to decline the sanctification of a same-sex marriage?”…and so it begins. This statement is not in isolation. The new liberal orthodoxy will not be content until there is no dissent. There are many liberal progressives that will not be content until what is “allowed” will be instead be mandated. People with healthy memories will remember how quickly the conscience clause for women’s ordination was thrown aside for absolute uniformity without dissent. So … it begins…. just as many predicted. So, take no comfort from the actions of General Convention this year wherein “all may – none must”. Reading the blogosphere one can see the writing on the wall for those who exercise a conscience clause. In the near future there will be uniformity or invitations to exit. Rector Washington, DC June 30, 2015 at 8:52 am I feel very blessed to have lived in a place in history where I witnessed the Fall of Communism, the Episcopal Church’s election of its first open gay Bishop, the validation of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement in the election of America’s first African American President, the Second Pentecost of the Irish People as they voted to amend their Constitution to include marriage equality and now the United States Supreme Court boldly stating that all Americans have the right to marriage guaranteed under the US Constitution. Marriage Equality comes to America and now the People of Faith must respond out of the Love of God in Christ. I feel and think that the Holy Spirit of God is at work perfecting His/Her Creation. We are a part of the greatest movement of Grace in the History of the World, save for the Resurrection of Jesus. As we learn how to accept each other and love each other, God becomes “real” in our day. The election of Bishop Michael Curry to lead us seems to me to be well timed. I do believe God’s Hand is at work in this Episcopal Church. Thanks Be To God! Elizabeth L. (Bette) Fugitt says: An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Comments (11) John Fitzgerald says: Rector Belleville, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Albany, NY Same-Sex Marriage Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Submit a Press Release Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Marriage Equality, Submit a Job Listing AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Martinsville, VA Youth Minister Lorton, VA June 29, 2015 at 7:34 am Let me start by say by stating that I do want our brothers and sisters in Christ to know that they are loved and a valuable part of our Christian community. Having said that, I would prefer not to say that their relationships be called marriage. I would prefer that the Church provide a service that blesses same sex unions which are performed by civil authorities, and that the language of those blessings do not contain the language of traditional marriage services. I think that this would be a reasonable compromise. Let me add that I do miss the days when the sexual activities between two consenting adults were between them and God, and not everyone else! Associate Rector Columbus, GA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group William A. Flint, PhD says: Featured Jobs & Calls 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 Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest By Mary Frances SchjonbergPosted Jun 26, 2015 Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Knoxville, TN Susan Zimmerman says: Rector Hopkinsville, KY An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud: Crossing continents and cultures with the most beautiful instrument you’ve never heard Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 Tags Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Tampa, FL June 27, 2015 at 11:06 am I’ll be the odd one out because someone has to be. I think that our Church is going a bridge too far by taking on itself the power to redefine what Jesus clarified about human bonding in Matthew 19. Christian Marriage has been settled in the Church by His words wherein He reiterated Genesis 2 (forgetting the errors that others twisted it into over time). We need to heed Chief Justice Roberts’ dissenting opinion yesterday. In it he said that there is now nothing that can legally be done to deny marriage to 3 or more people of any grouping. If the precedent of changing marriage is based on what people want, then the door is now open to continually redefine marriage. The same is true at General Convention. What this Convention changes a future generation will be obliged to move beyond since cultural demands will have become the validity for change — an understanding that marriage “has evolved” once again. I am very disappointed – but not surprised – that the Marriage Study never once quoted , nor dealt with, Jesus’ clarification of the “who” of marriage in Matthew 19. That Study began with the premise…..”our understandings of Marriage have evolved.”. After this Convention the “evolving” will have only begun. Then what? Blessings for 3 or more? Kevin Miller says: Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Susan Zimmerman says: Rector Collierville, TN Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Bath, NC Curate Diocese of Nebraska June 29, 2015 at 10:11 am You not only debase but bear false witness when you assert that the issue has anything to do with orgasm. I stood by and took care of a partner sick with cancer for 2 & 1/2 years – and have witnessed couples in a marriage you might approve of split when one partner couldn’t handle the pressure of dealing with the other’s sickness. For the latter part of that time, physical his illness precluded any orgasms. Since he has died, I often think of all the things I miss about having him in my life. Never once do I think about the orgasms. This fascination with sexuality and sexual mechanics is perverse. When a straight couple announces they’re getting married or about to have a child, the proper response is joy. If someone’s response to that were to start picturing sexual organs and ways they bump against each other, that would be THAT person’s perversion. The same with same sex marriage. If you can’t stop thinking about body parts when the topic comes up, then that is your perversion. Pardon my vulgarity, but it was necessary to address yours. I can have compassion for your lack of understanding and try to deal with you human to human; I can also acknowledge if you are in a culture that makes it difficult for you to deal with change on certain issues. But when you have to inappropriately vulgarize and omit the truth of other people’s humanity to make your point, it is reasonable to conclude that you don’t have a valid one. Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Doug Desper says: Comments are closed. June 27, 2015 at 1:45 pm …whats the final step? This 1% leading the church majority? They’ve secretly been doing it for the last 50 years…you should do some research as to how they came in to power…grit your teeth Submit an Event Listing Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Smithfield, NC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Doug Desper says: June 27, 2015 at 2:01 pm …excellent…we used to call it walking the Via Media…we are so far to the Left on every political/Theological issue and meetings where ‘voting’ takes place is so often stacked by rector designees and on up the hierarchy. …there is a great difference between the absolute of Love and the the absolute of Orgasm the church has never had a problem with same sex people loving one another. It is the issue of orgasm. One can give someone a kiss be breast to breast stomach to stomach and thigh to thigh..you’re just not to crawl into bed. Some will say it just natural but many children have fallen in love with their teachers and grandparents and been taken to the basement…there is the absolute of Love and the absolute of Orgasm, both very different. Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA 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