The Episcopal Church Committee on Science, Technology & Faith
The Episcopal Church Network for Science, Technology & Faith
Report to the 2005 Ecumenical Roundtable on Science, Technology & the Church
9 April 2005, Ghost Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Committee on ST&F was pleased to be joined this year by a member of the Executive Council (Bonnie Anderson), the body to which the Committee reports, and by (Nan Cobbey) the Associate Editor of Episcopal Life, the church's national newspaper.
Our greatest accomplishment of the past year is the completion and roll-out of a document called "A Catechism of Creation," authored by Bob Schneider and a small subcommittee, with substantial help from the Committee as a whole. Bob Schneider and Phina Borgeson, a member of the subcommittee, will be reporting on the Catechism later this evening, so I won't say anything further.
The Catechism has been enthusiastically received by our Presiding Bishop and by the church's Canon Theologian. And having passed muster to this extent, the way was clear to put the Catechism up on the church's national website. Google "Catechism of Creation" or "Creation Catechism," rather than trying to find it by negotiating the church's complex website. We plan very soon to have a Spanish translation also available. And we will be writing some suggested lesson plans to assist parish educators in using the Catechism for Adult Christian Education and Confirmation classes, for example.
This major document represents a sort of foundational document on our web-based resource center. This resource center is intended to offer assistance to all levels of the church in thinking about and making decisions about how to live faithfully in American society. We will be adding vetted papers to this Resource Center at the rate of about 1 per month during the coming year. Most articles will be originals, written by members of the Committee and the Network, all of them vetted by the Committee.
We began some substantive planning for our 2006 General Convention, meeting next June in Columbus, Ohio. This planning includes the crafting of 4 resolutions in the area of science and religion. One will commend the Catechism for use by the Episcopal Church. One will be in the area of food security. One will update a 1982 resolution in support of strong science education; the resolution was written before Intelligent Design became a threat to the integrity of secondary school science education. And the last resolution will extend the mandate of the Committee to become a clearinghouse for diocesan work in the area of science, technology and religion.
Since our mandate from the church's Executive Council says that we are to represent our church at appropriate conferences, including AAAS Annual Meeting, we voted to use part of our budget to share purchase of a table in the Exhibition Hall at that meeting next February.
The Network for Science, Technology & Faith produced two issues of its electronic newsletter, last October and this March. The Network is our membership organization, and Sandra Michael, the Convener, is working to increase membership numbers. All here are invited to join the Network as Associate Members at the rate of $20 per year. Sandra has sign-up forms.
The Network is working toward closer relationship with the national church and also with the Episcopal Ecological Network, a grassroots network that helps Episcopalians to advocate and articulate protection of the environment as God's creation.
The Network proudly presented its first "Genesis Award in Science and Religion" to the Rev. Dr. J. John Keggi. The citation reads as follows:
The Genesis Award for Science and Religion presented to
The Reverend Dr. J. John Keggi, S.O.Sc.
Prophet & Pioneering Leader
Convener of the Episcopal Fellowship of Ordained Scientists
Co-Convener of the North American Chapter of the Society of Ordained Scientists
Convener of the Episcopal Delegation to the
Ecumenical Roundtable on Science, Technology & the Church
Barbara Smith-Moran, Committee Co-Chair
Robert Schneider, Committee Co-Chair
Sandra Michael, Network Convener