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Click for a pdf of the original citation

Click for a pdf of the original citation

Convention 2017: Bishop's Crosses Awarded to the Rev. Dr. Gideon Jebamani and the Rev. Canon Jeff Golliher

Saturday, November 11, 2017
Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine

At the Diocesan Convention held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on Saturday, November 11, 2017, the Bishop of New York, the Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche, awarded the Bishop's Cross to the Rev. Dr. Gideon Jebamani and the Rev. Canon Jeffrey Golliher. The full citations are show below.
 

Gideon Jebamani

One of the world’s longest continuous oppressions of a people is the caste-based discrimination in India against the Untouchable.  The Dalit.  Gideon Jebamani was born into that world and raised as a field laborer.  But by the grace of God he was admitted to an educational hostel and given the chance for an education.  Today he is the holder of multiple degrees, and a respected advocate for human rights on two continents.  Gideon serves now as the Protestant Chaplain to Greenhaven Prison in Dutchess County.  There, one inmate told this bishop, “At first a lot of the men didn’t know what to think of this Indian priest.  But he won them over with his love.”  

Over thirty years ago, while a seminarian in Madurai, Gideon and another student organized the city’s manual scavengers, those laborers consigned to the daily removal of human waste from the streets and cesspools, and brought a strike.  Within three days they brought the city to its knees, and won important safeguards for the workers.  The scavengers union continues in Madurai today, with many hundreds of members.  A dozen years later, Gideon sustained a brutal and systematic beating by an enraged mob, for which he endured a lengthy hospitalization, for the “crime” of attempting to build a parish church on land which the church owned, to serve a local Dalit congregation.  

Gideon’s advocacy has not only been for the Dalit but to the Dalit.  Within that community he has been a champion of equality for women, of dignity and worth for the girl child, and of recognition of LGBT people.  He understands intimately what it means to be an Outcast, Untouchable, and makes no peace with oppression wherever he finds it, whether to his own community or within it.  Now, in America, Gideon has been the organizer of international Dalit conferences in Washington DC, New York, and other cities at which hundreds of Dalits gathered in convention have given voice not only to the oppression they have endured, but the rising threat of caste discrimination among us within the Indian diaspora, including the presence of caste discrimination within Christian churches and communities.  

Therefore, in recognition and gratitude for his witness to the gospel imperative of human rights and human dignity, and for his sacrificial and tireless self-offering in service to Dalit liberation, offered to the glory of God, we, on this 11th day of November 2017, in the sixth year of our consecration, do award him

The Bishop’s Cross

 

 

The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche

XVI Bishop of New York

Jeffrey Mark Golliher

In every age, God raises up people of vision and courage and sound theological integrity, to speak to the most urgent demands of the time.  Today when the world faces the greatest environmental crisis in human history, that person in the Anglican Communion and the Diocese of New York is Jeffrey Golliher.  Priest, Franciscan and Cultural Anthropologist, Jeff currently serves as the Vicar of Saint John’s Memorial Church in Ellenville.  He is also the Environmental Representative for the Anglican Communion to the United Nations.  

In that capacity, as one of the principal human resources of the communion regarding the environment, Jeff conceived of, advocated for, and helped facilitate the gathering of bishops in Cape Town, South Africa in 2015, to which this bishop was a participant, where the global consequences of climate change were compared and discussed, studied and debated, and from which came the report The World is Our Host.  That report formed the foundation for the work of our own task force that led to the ground-breaking resolutions to this convention two years ago regarding environmentally sustainable investing and environmentally responsible use of our building assets.  We know that Jeffrey’s heart is in his small Catskills parish, but it is from there that he continues to guide our environmental work, and from which he advises and counsels his own bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the global leadership of our communion.  

Fundamentally, Jeff’s theology of creation is rooted in his own experience of the spiritual pulse of the world about him.  He writes: “Trees are sacred, and I’ll tell you why.  Think of the trees we see.  They breathe.  They take in carbon dioxide, while giving us the oxygen we need.  They make our lives possible.  Without them, we wouldn’t exist.  They hold vast amounts of water above ground.  Although we don’t see it, it’s there:  in their trunks, branches, and leaves.  Not only that - people have traditionally regarded the mythological “cosmic tree” as the center of the spiritual universe.  Some believe that the souls of children perch on its branches, like birds, before they’re born, while the souls of shamans and holy ones return there to shine as guiding lights for humanity.  The cosmic tree still exists.  Every one of us can find it within ourselves.”

Therefore, in recognition and gratitude for his witness to the theology of creation, to hope, and to the responsibility of stewards, offered to the glory of God, we, on this 11th day of November 2017, in the sixth year of our consecration, do award him

The Bishop’s Cross

 

 

The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche

XVI Bishop of New York

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