Sponsorship Funding Available for 2024 Pride Engagement

Easter Greetings!

For the third year, I am elated to invite the faith communities of the future Episcopal Diocese of the Great Lakes to share our message of God’s all-inclusive love with our neighbors through local Pride Festivals. This is an opportunity to show up in the world and share a message some may have never felt from the Christian church, “you are loved, unconditionally, irrevocably, and just as you are.”

June is “Pride Month,” though pride events happen throughout the year. Many communities, especially those in larger cities or county seats, will host Pride Festivals, whether in June or later in the summer. These celebrations of love and authenticity vary place to place but will often include parades, concerts, lectures, parties, and more as well as space for local organizations to come, set up space, offer solidarity, and connect with attendees seeking affirming companies, nonprofits, communities, and churches.

We are going to continue this year to sponsor throughout our area at a basic level, getting the name of The Episcopal Church out in these settings across our state. We’ll consider higher sponsorships if you, the local congregation, can commit to showing up in-person. By leveraging our sponsorship, we can work with you to ensure your community has access to the physical space to be present, engage, and offer invitation and love.

Already sponsoring yourselves? Let’s talk about how we can go further in supporting your efforts. Planning your own event? I want to know about it and contribute as we can. Several congregations from the same area at the same festival? Imagine the impact when all of the Episcopalians show up!!

To let me know that your congregation will commit to showing up in-person (or some other planned engagement with secular Pride spaces), please fill out the request form as soon as possible. Multiple requests for the same festival will be grouped together to collaborate. Applications will be addressed on a rolling basis, understanding that there are various dates for Pride Festivals — deadlines may hit and space may run out.

I look forward to seeing The Episcopal Church in the Mitten showing up once more to declare God’s love for all creation. Please be in touch with me with any questions or to talk together about possibilities for your engagement.

Yours in Christ,

Katie Forsyth
Canon for Evangelism and Networking
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan
kforsyth@eastmich.org kforsyth@edwm.org

Photo: Members of Holy Spirit, Belmont participate in Grand Rapids Pride alongside several other Episcopal congregations.

The proceeds for our 2024 Pride T-Shirt (about $5 per shirt) helps to slightly off-set our costs for sponsoring local Pride events. This year’s shirt features a common quote from our outgoing Presiding Bishop: “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God!” Multiple colors, S-4XL. $34/shirt. Click here to purchase.

Thriving in Ministry

Friends in Christ,

As church leaders, we have heard you asking for more tools, more support to help your church community thrive. This year, we are thrilled to invite you to an opportunity to participate in a new vitality initiative of the dioceses, Thriving in Ministry.

Last June, a small group of Eastern and Western Michiganders traveled to Virginia Theological Seminary for a one week training to serve as our initial team of mentor/coaches for this two-year, cohort-based program. Together with participants in peer learning groups, we’ll engage and build capacity around connection and bridge building, engaging the local community, collaboration and lay leadership, setting and meeting learning goals, contextualizing the Gospel, new pathways for spiritual practices, assertiveness and conflict adeptness, and bridging the gaps between churchwide patterns and ethnic realities. Logistically, we will:

  • Gather in cohort groups, each composed of up to eight participants and two mentor coaches
  • Meet nine times per year (monthly, with a hiatus) for approximately two hours at a time over the two-year commitment
  • Meet one-on-one, participant-to-coach, for one hour of one-on-one coaching per month for nine months

This program has been considerably subsidized by diocesan congregational development funding. The cost to the participant is $425 per person per year. If this cost would impede your ability to participate, we have limited scholarship funds available–please request a scholarship on the application form.

Each peer learning group is made up of individual leaders from a congregation (you don’t have to attend as a team from one place). All gatherings will meet via Zoom unless the particular group requests to meet in-person. In this pilot year, we will accept 24 participants. The deadline to apply is April 15th and cohorts will begin meeting in early May.

As a congregational leader, we hope you will commit to this exciting program, continuing to build the congregational development capacity of our leaders and congregations. We look forward to working with you!


The Thriving in Ministry Team
The Rev. Heather Barta – CR, Eastern Michigan

The Rev. Paul Brunell – Christ Church, Owosso

The Ven. Beth Drew – Archdeacon, Western Michigan

Dr. Nancy Foster – St. Mary’s, Cadillac; Former Interim Coach for Northern Collab, Congregational Development

The Rev. Pamela Lenartowicz – St. Mark’s, Atlanta and St. Andrew’s, Gaylord

With support from:
The Rev. Canon Sunil Chandy – Canon for the Central Collaborative and Coach for Digital Communities

The Rev. Canon Tracie Little, D. Min. – Canon for the Southern Collaborative and Coach for Adult Formation

The Rev. Canon Nurya Love Parish – Canon for the Northern Collaborative and Coach for Beloved Community/Creation Care

Bishop Skip’s Sermon for the Joint Special Convention

March 16, 2024
I Corinthians 13:1-13; Mark 9:14-29

I’ll bet that most of you have come here today to vote on whether or not our two dioceses will juncture. Hold that thought. I’d like to propose that the main event today is what we’re doing right now, that is, joining in the Great Prayer of the Church we know as the Holy Eucharist. This time of celebration intimately joins us to the one central sacrament, who is Jesus, as the outward and visible sign of who God is. If what we are about today is not first about who we are as God’s people in Christ, how we will live out our communion in Christ, and how above all things, even in our voting, we give honor, glory, and worship to him, we have lost our way.

Perhaps one way to get at this is by looking once again to that oh so familiar reading from Paul’s first letter to the Church in Corinth. It is read at many weddings. We understand why. But let’s look closer. What is the love of which St. Paul speaks, and to which he calls you and me in Christian community? Try this. Every time in that passage, when the word “love” appears, substitute these words: “The love of Jesus as shown forth in his cross and resurrection.” There’s not much room for mere sentimentality here. Paul’s meaning is death and new life in the living Christ. Trying on a few sentences, now we get: “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have the love of Jesus as shown forth in the cross and resurrection, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have the love of Jesus as shown forth in his cross and resurrection, I am nothing.” Jumping ahead in I Corinthians: “The love of Jesus as shown forth in his cross and resurrection does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…it never ends…And now faith, hope, and the love of Jesus as shown forth in his cross and resurrection abide, these three; and the greatest of these is the love of Jesus manifest in his cross and resurrection.”

Given that, I offer you this thought as we approach, after worship, the prospect of voting. How will your vote, to juncture or not, show forth the love of Jesus in his cross and resurrection, and bring about, as best we know, the greatest possibility of being a community that tethers us to Jesus? In today’s Gospel, Jesus, Peter, James and John, have just come down from the mount of Transfiguration. They arrive to see a crowd surrounding the other disciples and an argument has ensued. What is the crowd’s response as Jesus arrives on the scene? Awe. Wonder. I’m looking for awe and wonder in this crowd, this gathering of God’s people, as the Christ shows up among us. Then back to the Gospel account, incredibly, a father breaks out from the crowd, looking for healing for his son. Sometimes, a moment of clarity as to what is necessary, comes as an epiphany. The boy’s father has that awakening and he approaches Jesus, hanging on to perhaps the one last hope he has for his boy. As the encounter unfolds, most of them thought the boy was dead. Ah, not when Jesus is around. Life erupts and so it does here today, no matter how we vote. We do have Jesus’ closing remark, however, which is, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”

What of our prayer now and all those leading up to today’s vote? I have made an assumption that we are here first to glorify God and do what we can to awaken our spirit to God’s Spirit already residing in us. Or to put it another way, we are here to open our hearts to the conversation of love and mercy that is always going on within the community of the persons of the Trinitarian God. So it is, we are here to discern, to open our hearts to the movement of God among us and within us. A reminder—”to discern” literally means, “to sift.”

Whenever I think of sifting I think of my father. He loved to garden. Across the street from our house was a lush woods with deep, moist, dark topsoil as its bed. I used to love to watch him push his hands into the soil, lift it up, and let it fall between his fingers. It was almost an act of praise, a thanksgiving, a eucharist if you will. The soil had a sweet, aromatic fragrance that infused the air around us and drew me into the dust from which I was formed. Dad taught me that the nutrients of that rich black earth were being prepared for this moment over millennia.

For the gardens of azaleas, boxwoods, figs, and roses, however, it needed further sifting. So he built a sifter, welding a large open grid steel cage, three feet by four feet, mounted on legs, into which one could shovel the earth taken by wheel barrel from the woods. A crank on one end would turn the entire contraption, and when there were chunks of earth inside that needed further breaking down, there was a second crank handle on the opposite end that rotated an interior forked blade that I would turn in order to break up the clumps. As all of this spun on an axis, a very fine mound of soil would build up under the sifter that could be taken to the garden into which the various plant life would be placed and rooted.

Where are you rooted? I invite you to carry this image into your ongoing discernment and eventual voting. We have received many words, written and spoken, over many years. We load it all into our sifters. Each of us is one in whom God delights. We honor our humanity, take all that has been offered us and place it into the sifter of our heart, mind, and soul. Maybe even now we will even have to break up a clump or two along the way, mostly within ourselves, anything that would indicate our own heart-resistance to the Spirit’s movement.

What we do now, like the father seeking his boy’s healing, is gaze upon the face of God as God gazes upon ours. We seek to be open to a quality of awareness where we know ourselves drawn by grace, know who we are as God’s beloved, and trust in the One who has called us forth, from the crowd, from the days we were born.

Now, be the sifter. Receive the richness of what Jesus has placed in you and before you. Listen. Breathe. Keep silence. Hope. Love.

Bishop Skip


April 19-21, 2024 at Camp Roger in Rockford

Eastern and Western Michiganders and beyond are invited to explore our relationships to and with the Earth, during an all-ages retreat at Camp Roger this spring. Together, we’ll reflect on our care for creation and celebrate Earth Day at Plainsong Farm.

Throughout our retreat, there will be time for hiking outdoors, cozy campfires, songs, fellowship, crafting and learning together. And we’ll will spend Saturday afternoon at Plainsong Farm celebrating their Earth Day birthday through volunteer work, fellowship and fun! Our retreat is faciliated by the bi-diocesan children and youth formation team.

Lodging will be in community bunkhouses with all meals included. Sleeping assignments will be in separate spaces for individual adults, families with children, and youth with our formation team following our Safe Church policies.

Questions about this event? Please contact McKenzie Knill (Director of Children, Youth, and Young Adult Formation) at mknill@eastmich.org or mknill@edwm.org.


April 19-21, 2024

Check-in: Friday, 4:30pm
Depart: Sunday, 2:00pm

Camp Roger
8356 Belding Rd NE
Rockford, MI 49341



This retreat is open to all ages: adults are welcome for individual retreat, families are welcome to attend together, and unaccompanied middle and high school aged youth are able to attend under the supervision of our formation team.


The cost to attend has been subsidized to $30/person or $20/child aged 5-12.
Children under five years old can register for free.

The deadline to register is April 12th. Space is limited and may fill before the deadline.


and Philadelphia Eleven Documentary Screenings

May 11 – Marshall | May 18 – Midland | June 15 – Petoskey

All are invited to join our wider bi-diocesan communities at one of our regional Leadership Workshop Days late this spring. The last time we gathered in-person for Leadership Day Workshops was right before the pandemic!

Join us for a Saturday of fellowship and learning, with workshops especially geared toward newly elected vestry leaders, program staff and volunteers, and all those with interest. Each attendee will have the opportunity to choose two workshops from the offerings. Please read below for workshop descriptions, location details, and registration instructions.

Plus, in addition to our workshop offerings, attendees are invited to stay for an optional, add-on screening of The Philadelphia Eleven, a new documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s ordination in The Episcopal Church. The documentary tells the story of the audacious first eleven women to be ordained as priests in our church. This add-on option is available to attendees and to those just seeking to attend the screening. Please follow registration instructions on the ticketing page.

Questions about this event? Please contact the Rev. Canon Tracie Little at tlittle@eastmich.org or tlittle@edwm.org.


We anticipate each Saturday to follow this agenda, subject to change.

  • 9 am Check-in table, Resource tables open
  • 10 am Welcome
  • 10:30 am Workshop Session I
  • 11:30 am Break, Lunch
  • 12:30 pm Workshop Session II
  • 1:30 pm Dismissal
  • 2:00 pm (Optional add-on) Philadelphia Eleven Screening


We expect that each workshop listed will be offered twice. Additionally, we anticipate recording (and potentially live-streaming) several of the workshops over the course of the three-event series for later viewing.

Creation Care 101

Hosted by the Rev. Canon Nurya Love Parish, Canon for the Northern Collaborative and Beloved Community, Creation Care

Christian practice of care for Creation is rooted in our understanding of who we are, whose we are, and to whom this earth truly belongs. In this workshop we’ll study Scripture including sections of Genesis 2 and Psalm 24 and create prayers of thanksgiving and intercession for particular places on earth that we hope to tend well to give life and health to future generations and glory to God.

Transitions Overview

Hosted by the Rev. Canon Tracie Little, Canon for the Southern Collaborative and Adult Formation

All of our congregations at some point will experience a time of transition. During these times, as the regular pattern of clergy presence is disrupted, anxiety within the congregation can result. One of the easiest ways to calm some of this anxiety, is for leadership to be transparent about the process of working through times of transition. This workshop is designed to give a simple overview of the transition’s process to help congregations and leadership understand how they and the diocesan transitions officer work together.

Finance 101

Hosted by Sara Philo, CFO & Benefits Administrator with Julia Quillan, Bookkeeper for the Diocese of Western Michigan

Join our finance staff for an overview of parish financial leadership, including basics of accounting, reporting, audits, available loans and grants, and available resources. This workshop may be especially beneficial for those newly elected as parish treasurers, parish administrators, and all those involved in the oversight of parish finances and administration.

Vestry 101

Hosted by the Rev. Canon Sunil Chandy, Canon for the Central Collaborative and Digital Communities

Are you new to vestry and looking to learn how to be an effective member of your church’s governance? Come and join Canon Sunil as we discuss the canonical responsibilities of the vestry, including the roles and responsibilities of clergy, the executive team, as well as the role of the vestry in God’s mission in the world. Throughout the workshop, we will review real-life case studies that will help us better understand and engage in the concepts we have learned.

Planning Your Formation Year

Hosted by members of our bi-diocesan children/youth formation team

Christian formation is the lifelong process of growing in relationship with God, self, others, and all creation. In this process, we are transformed into the people God wants us to be. Join members of your bi-diocesan Children/Youth formation team to walk through and share ideas for planning your formation year to support the continued growth in relationship with God, self, others, and creation for our younger generations.

Plan to walk away with a template for planning and resources for formation and come prepared to share what has worked (or not worked!) for you in your spaces and places.
Building Blocks of Church Communications
Hosted by Katie Forsyth, Canon for Evangelism & Networking

Join our diocesan communicator for a workshop on the basics of parish communications, including an overview of websites, social media, newsletters, and more. How do we define our audiences? How do we articulate our messages? What tools are necessary (and not necessary) to meet our communications and community engagement goals? This workshop open to all and may be especially helpful to those exercising staff and volunteer communications functions, both lay and ordained.


In addition to our workshops, we anticipate offering several resource tables for general information and resource-sharing, including:

  • College for Congregational Development
  • Children and Youth Formation
  • Evangelism and Communications Resources and Swag



After the workshops are over, stick around for an optional add-on event, a screening of The Philadelphia Eleven, a new documetary telling the story of the eleven women ordained in 1974 as an act of civil disobedience. In 2024, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of breaking the glass ceiling of ordination in The Episcopal Church! Click here to watch the trailer for The Philadephia Eleven.

The screening will begin at 2pm.


Our three regional locations have been chosen to try to keep all driving distances no longer than about two hours from any of our faith communities.

May 11, 2024

Registration deadline: May 4

Trinity Episcopal Church
101 E. Mansion St.
Marshall, MI 49068


May 18, 2024
Registration deadline: May 11

St. John’s Episcopal Church
405 N. Saginaw St.
Midland, MI 48640


June 15, 2024
Registration deadline: June 8

Emmanuel Episcopal Church
1020 E. Mitchell St
Petoskey, MI 49770



The cost to attend the Leadership Day Workshops is $15/person, which helps us cover expenses and materials across the three Leadership Day events.

The add-on, optional documentary screening is an additional $10 to help cover a portion of the licensing fees.

Scholarship funds are available. Please contact Canon Little at tlittle@eastmich.org or tlittle@edwm.org to inquire.

Registration may be completed as an individual or as a group. Please register at least one week ahead of the event; specific deadlines are listed above with each location.

Video: The Episcopal Church Holds our Dioceses in Prayer

In anticipation of our Special Joint Convention on March 16th, the Building Bridges team invited several neighboring bishops and others throughout The Episcopal Church to offer a message of prayer to our dioceses. In this next week and as we meet to determine whether we will step forward together as one diocese, know that our greater church community beyond our shores is holding us in deep love, appreciation, and prayer.

Our team offers our sincere gratitude to those who contributed to this video and to all holding us in prayer.

We also extend our thanks to Abby Teasley, Latino Ministry Communications & Equity Coordinator at St. John’s, Grand Haven, for assisting us with Spanish translation.

Almost in F – Tranquillity by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100394 Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Summer Camps and Retreats for All Ages

Summer Opportunties in Eastern and Western Michigan

Calling all Episcopalians and beyond! The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan have a wealth of formation experiences to offer for all ages throughout our coming warmer months.

Please read below for a listing of 2024 camp and retreat offerings from our diocesan camp and retreat centers: Eastern Michigan’s Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, Western Michigan’s Episcopal Youth Camp taking place this year at Stony Lake Camp in New Era, and Plainsong Farm and Ministry in Rockford.

Our sessions are offered throughout the summer for every age group — opportunities for children and youth, for families, and for adults. These offerings are open to all people regardless of location, diocese, or church affiliation.



Little Gardeners Summer Farm Camp (Rising 1st-3rd Graders)
Plainsong Farm in Rockford, MI
June 10-13, Daily from 9-3pm
June 17-20, Daily from 9-3pm
$240/week – Learn more and register

Service Trip Camp to General Convention (Rising 9th-College)
Bi-Diocesan Youth Formation Team
Traveling: Michigan to Louisville, KY
June 21-28, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $150/week – Learn more and register

Pioneer Camp (14-17 year olds)*
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
June 30-July 5, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $450/week – Learn more and register

Overnight Youth Summer Camp Sessions*
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
June 30-July 5, Overnight (12-14 year olds)
July 7-12, Overnight (9-13 year olds)
July 21-26, Overnight (8-12 year olds)
Tiered pricing begins at $400/week – Learn more and register

Counselors-in-Training (Rising 10-12th graders)*
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
July 7-12, Overnight – Session I
July 14-19, Overnight – Session II
Tiered pricing begins at $250/week – Learn more and register

Big and Little Camp (6-9 year olds with a caregiver)
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
July 9-12, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $300/week – Learn more and register

Episcopal Youth Camp (Rising 3rd-12th Graders)
EYC at Stony Lake Lutheran Camp in New Era, MI
July 14-20, Overnight
$425/week – Learn more and register

Day Camp (Rising 1st-6th graders)
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
July 15-18, Daily from 9-4pm
Tiered pricing begins at $100/week – Learn more and register

Peer Ministry Leadership Camp (14-17 year olds)*
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
July 21-26, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $400/week – Learn more and register

*Group transportation option available from Lansing.


Families on the Farm (Children 5 and younger with a caregiver)
Plainsong Farm in Rockford, MI
April 25-May 22, Wednesdays from 9-10:30am
$20/class or $90 for the series – Learn more and register

Sabbath at the Farm (Worship & Potluck)
Plainsong Farm in Rockford, MI
June 4-September 29, Sundays at 4:30pm
No cost or RSVP req. Learn more.

Family Camp
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
July 20-23, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $300/week – Learn more and register

Days at the Lake (For Individuals and Families)
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
August 4-7, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $300/week – Learn more and register


Spiritual Practices Retreat
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
August 16-18, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $200/week for commuters and $300/week for those staying onsite – Learn more and register

Young Adult Retreat
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
August 31-Sept. 2, Overnight
Pay-what-you-can pricing, starting at $10 – Learn more and register

Contemplative Fiber Arts Retreat
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
September 27-29, Overnight
Tiered pricing begins at $200/week for commuters and $300/week for those staying onsite – Learn more and register

Schedule your own!
Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, MI
Contact Camp Chick for availability and support for hosting your own retreat for your parish or other group.



Camp Chickagami, located in Presque Isle, Michigan on the shores of Lake Esau and Lake Huron, is the ACA-Accredited Family Camping and Retreat Center of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan. Founded in 1929 as an Episcopal camp for boys, the program and facility now offers summer youth and family camps for all ages and genders, facilitated adult retreats, and rental space for individuals, families, and groups.

Learn more on their website.


Episcopal Youth Camp is the decades-long camping program of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. This year’s one-week camp program for all ages will take place at Stony Lake Lutheran Camp in New Era, Michigan. Their volunteer-led program seeks to build deeper relationships between one another and with God in a loving, inclusive community where all are welcome.

Learn more on their website.


Plainsong Farm and Ministry is an agency of The Episcopal Church and a cooperating ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Through their local and national work, Plainsong seeks to cultivate disciples through the lens of farm and food, address local food insecurity through their Nourish Your Neighbor program and grow the conversation about wiser use of church-owned land. This is the second year that Plainsong’s farm formation programs will include opportunities for 1-6th grade students.

Learn more on their website.

Creation Care Online Summit III

Saturday, March 2nd from 10-11:30am

The Creation Care Task Force provides leadership to the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan on issues related to the care, protection, and remediation of God’s creation. One of the group’s key goals is to make environmental stewardship and climate care a significant element of every parish’s life and mission. We would love to see members of our two dioceses become practicing “environmental evangelists!”

We invite you to spend part of your Saturday morning with the task force, March 2nd from 10-11:30am, for our third online Creation Care Summit. Our panel of four leaders from our dioceses will talk with us about actions individuals can take to live more sustainably and decrease your personal impact on the environment. The panel’s insights will help inspire and give information to jumpstart your own stewardship of creation, starting at home.

Recordings from our previous Summits are available on the creation care resource pages of the websites – Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.

Speakers and topics include:

  • Ben Brown (St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo) – Products and practices for living sustainably
  • Amy Freeman (St. Jude’s, Fenton) – Composting at home
  • Tobi Hanna-Davies (St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo) – Reducing animal products in diets, veganism
  • Lydia Nicholas (Grace, Port Huron) – Caring for one’s watershed

We look forward to sharing our experiences with you and hope this is the beginning of a broader conversation about how Episcopalians can work together to become better stewards of God’s creation.

With questions, please contact Katie Forsyth, Canon for Evangelism and Networking, at kforsyth@eastmich.org or kforsyth@edwm.org.


There is no cost to participate in the online Creation Care Summit.

The Zoom session will be recorded and made available for later viewing on the Creation Care resource pages of the diocesan websites – Eastern MI and Western MI.

Please click the button below to RSVP and receive your Zoom link to access the summit.

Second Call to Special Convention of Eastern and Western Michigan

To the Delegates, Clergy, and People of
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan:

The information for the business meeting of our special joint convention is now available. All information is in the Agreement of Union including the proposed name, the Episcopal Diocese of the Great Lakes; the draft constitution and canons for the proposed new diocese; financial information; steps toward the election of a bishop diocesan; and more. The text of the resolutions on which the conventions will be voting and the rules of order are also attached. The Agreement document is a final draft and no further changes are expected before our meeting.

The original Call to a Special Convention was distributed on February 1st.

For information, please read below and visit the convention page of our websites, www.eastmich.org/special-convention and www.edwm.org/special-convention.

This notice has been sent to all clergy and general subscribers as well as to 2023 senior wardens, delegates, and alternates and some 2024 Eastern Michigan delegates. We are currently in the window of updating our contact lists for delegates following parish annual meetings, and have an early deadline (Feb. 15) for the submission of Parish Annual Reports in order to better communicate directly with delegates who will serve this special convention and annual convention in 2024. It will be especially important that parish leadership communicate internally to ensure that all delegates have the information for our meeting.


Angela Krueger
Secretary of Convention
Assistant to the Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan

The Rev. Joel Turmo
Secretary of Convention
Rector, St. Timothy’s, Richland
The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan


  • Feb. 20
  • Feb. 22
  • March 1
  • Zoom Pre-Convention Meeting – Eastern Michigan
  • Zoom Pre-Convention Meeting – Western Michigan
  • Deadline to register for the convention. Deadline to reserve hotel rooms. Deadline to express interest for youth delegates.


The Agreement of Union is the packet of materials that would be submitted to the 81st General Convention of The Episcopal Church for ratification, should our conventions vote “yes” on the resolutions at our Special Joint Convention. It contains the proposed name of the new diocese, the draft constitution and canons, financial information, steps toward the election of a bishop diocesan and more.

At this convention, the action taken will be to vote on the resolutions for juncture, not to “pass” or “adopt” the Agreement of UnionThe Agreement essentially demonstrates to the dioceses and the wider church that we’ve done our homework to prepare for this moment. Should we vote to juncture, the draft canons and budgets would remain amendable prior to adoption at the First Convention of the Diocese of the Great Lakes.

>>  Click here to access the Agreement of Union document, plus additional materials: the text of the resolutions before convention and the rules of order for the convention. 

The convention will not have printed copies of the 63-page Agreement available. It is available digitally and for printing at home or at church before you travel. The text of the resolutions will be printed and available as a standalone, one-page document.

A note on what would come after our vote: 

Should each diocese vote to approve juncture, our dioceses would submit the Agreement of Union to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church for formal affirmation this summer. We would remain separate dioceses until the adoption of the new constitution and canons at the first convention of the new diocese in October. The transition period of formally aligning processes, structures, and policies would begin in the summer, expand following the convention in the fall, and continue over time as we would live into being one body.


  • 9:00 am
  • 11:00 am
  • 12:30 pm
  • 1:30 pm
  • After
  • Check-in Opens Book Exchange Opens
  • Service of Holy Eucharist
  • Lunch
  • Joint Business Session
  • Short Prayer Service Dismissal

*This basic schedule is subject to change. Breaks will be taken as needed.


All in the dioceses, especially voting delegates and clergy, are invited to join via Zoom for a pre-convention meeting to prepare for the business session of our convention. 

Both pre-convention meetings will be recorded for later viewing for those unable to join in-person. Delegates are encouraged to attend the pre-convention meeting for their respective diocese, but may attend the meeting of the other diocese should schedules conflict.

You must RSVP separately from your convention registration to receive your Zoom link to participate in the pre-convention meeting.

Eastern Michigan – Tuesday, February 20th at 7pm – Click here to RSVP
Western Michigan – Thursday, February 22nd at 7pm – Click here to RSVP


Prayer and worship will be built into our time together during our convention, consistent with our call as followers of Christ and in accordance with our canons for convening a diocesan convention.

Holy Eucharist – 11:00 am
We will begin our gathering with Holy Eucharist. The Rt. Rev. Gladstone Adams, III, our bi-diocesan assisting bishop, will celebrate and preach.

Due to space and timing constraints for this special convention, this service will not include the procession of church banners and clergy are not expected to vest for the procession unless holding a role in the service.

Post-Business Prayer
Before departing from our special convention, our liturgy team will lead us in a short (10-15 minute) service of prayer.

Our planning team recognizes that, no matter the results of our vote on juncture, this is a significant moment in the life of our dioceses and a range of emotions and reactions will be present in the room. Grounding ourselves in prayer at the beginning and end of our day sets the tone for our work in this moment and in the months ahead, and reminds us of our call as disciples in this church and in the communities we serve.


High school-aged young people are invited to participate at the special convention by expressing interest in serving as a Youth Delegate.

Youth Delegates are leaders in their congregation and in the diocese and have voice and vote at convention. For this special convention, youth delegates will be appointmented by the ecclesiastical authority. There is no out-of-pocket cost for the youth delegates to participate. Food, and registration fees are included; no overnight accommodations will be provided for this one-day convention. 

Youth with interest should contact Director of Children and Youth Formation McKenzie Knill at mknill@eastmich.org or mknill@edwm.org by March 1.


At the request of some in the dioceses, we will offer an area for a book exchange.

Books related to the church and ministry are welcome to be offered at no-cost to other convention attendees. Any books left over at the conclusion of our convention may be reclaimed or will be donated.


St. Christopher’s, Grand Blanc

The joint special convention, including worship and business meeting, will be held at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, located at G-9020 South Saginaw St., Grand Blanc, MI 48439. 

The church building and parking lot are totally handicap accessible.


We have several hotel blocks to provide options for those requiring overnight stays, available Friday night. Please read below for information including rate and booking instructions.

All reservations under our hotel blocks must be made by March 1st. A limited number of rooms are available at each site and blocks may fill before the deadline.

Hyatt Place Flint/Grand Blanc

Rate: $109/night
Features: Free breakfast, free parking, pool
Address: 5481 Hill-23 Drive, Flint, MI 48507
Distance from St. Christopher’s: 9.2 miles or a little over 15 minutes

Click here to reserve our rate.

Hampton Inn Flint/Grand Blanc

Rate: $109/night
Features: Free breakfast, free parking, pool
Address: 6060 Rashelle Drive, Flint, MI 48507
Distance from St. Christopher’s: 9.4 miles or a little over 15 minutes

Click here to reserve our rate.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Blanc

Rate: $119-124/night
Features: Free breakfast, free parking, pool
Address: 3405 Regency Park Dr Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Distance from St. Christopher’s: 2 miles or a little over 5 minutes

Click here to reserve our rate.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Flint/Grand Blanc

Rate: $139-149/night
Features: Free breakfast, free parking, pool
Address: 9044 Holly Rd, Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Distance from St. Christopher’s: 1.8 miles or a little over 5 minutes

Click here to reserve our rate.

Home2Suites Flint/Grand Blanc

Rate: $139-149/night
Features: Free breakfast, free parking, pool
Address: 9020 Holly Rd Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Distance from St. Christopher’s: 1.7 miles or a little over 5 minutes

Click here to reserve our rate.


FOR DELEGATIONS – One person from the congregation (usually a parish secretary, senior warden, or clergy person) must complete the registration form for their group, including all lay delegates and clergy. Additional visitors and attending children may be added to the group order form if desired. Please be prepared to provide accurate email addresses and dietary restrictions for each person. ($25/person.)

UNASSIGNED CLERGY ($25/person) and VISITORS ($25/person) may register individually, regardless of congregational affiliation.

CHILDREN UNDER 12 ($10/person) may be registered individually or with a delegation to have meals provided. High chairs and booster seats are not available. A soft space with quiet toys for the youngest attendees will be set up for use during our worship and business meetings. Please note that there is no childcare or programming for children provided; kids must be supervised by their responsible adults at all times. Children in this age group who will not eat the lunch provided do not need to register.

The deadline to register and submit all payments is March 1.

>>  Click here to register.

Canon for Northern Collaborative, Beloved Community and Creation Care Called

Friends in Christ,

We are overjoyed to share that the Rev. Nurya Love Parish has accepted our call to serve as Canon for the Northern Collaborative and Coach for Beloved Community and Creation Care after many months of search and interviews with multiple candidates. She will officially join our diocesan staff on March 15th.

Born in Las Vegas, Nevada to a nonreligious family, she first felt a call to ministry while attending church for the first time as a college student. While attending Harvard Divinity School as a Unitarian Universalist, she was baptized as Christian and later ordained as a Christian pastor within the UUA in 1997. After ten years as a Unitarian pastor and church planter, she realized she was “sneaking off for prayer with the Episcopalians regularly and frequently.” After completing a Certificate in Anglican Studies at Seabury-Western Seminary, she was confirmed in The Episcopal Church and re-ordained as a priest in 2011. Since then, she served as associate rector with St. Andrew’s, Grand Rapids and as priest-in-charge with Holy Spirit, Belmont. At the end of February, Nurya will conclude nine years of service as the founding Executive Director of Plainsong Farm and Ministry, a new Episcopal community in the Diocese of Western Michigan. Her decision to depart the farm was made last September, recognizing the evolving needs of the organization as it grows into its next season and seeking a role more specifically aligned to her call as a priest. Nurya has exercised extensive churchwide leadership for many years, especially in the areas of creation care and its integration into our understanding of the beloved community. This summer, she serves as the chair of the House of Deputies legislative committee on Environmental Stewardship and the Care of Creation for the 81st General Convention of The Episcopal Church.

She is married to Dave, a retired firefighter, and together they parent two college-age young adults, Claire and Nathan. She is the author of Resurrection Matters: Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake (2018).

As Canon for the Northern Collaborative, Nurya will coach, encourage, and equip congregations in the northernmost area of our two dioceses in areas of congregational development, transitions, and in seeking the mission and vision of our dioceses. Her specialty as Coach for Creation Care and Beloved Community focuses on convening and building capacity for individuals and congregations across both dioceses around the care and understanding of God’s creation, seeking the beloved community by confronting systems of oppression and building relationships across difference.

Acknowledging the special convention quickly approaching, the Joint Standing Committees and Nurya are aware that expectations for this role may shift and adapt, depending on the results of the decision on juncture. She anticipates beginning her ministry living in a series of short-term rentals in different areas of the north while she discerns where to settle long term.

Starting March 15th, Nurya can be reached by calling either diocesan office and listening for the list of extensions, or by emailing nparish@eastmich.org or nparish@edwm.org.

Please join us in welcoming Nurya to this new role in our dioceses!

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Don Davidson
CR, Eastern Michigan

Jelecia Geraghty
St. Paul’s, Flint

Neil Hargrave
St. John’s, Dryden

Barbara Ilkka, President
St. John’s, Saginaw

The Ven. Linda Crane
Grace, Port Huron

The Rev. Jerry Lasley
St. Christopher’s, Grand Blanc

The Rt. Rev. Gladstone Adams, III
Assisting Bishop
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

The Rev. Valerie Ambrose
Retired, Western Michigan

The Rev. Molly Bosscher
St. Andrew’s, Grand Rapids

Freya Gilbert
St. Paul’s, St. Joseph

Carole Redwine
St. Philip’s, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Anne Schnaare, President
Grace, Grand Rapids

Ellen Schrader
Grace, Traverse City

Fred Skidmore
St. Andrew’s, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Eileen Stoffan
St. Paul’s, Muskegon