Bishop Singh Invites Leaders to Discernment Weekend

 

Click here to learn more about the Discernment Weekend and RSVP for this no-cost event.

Greetings Beloved,

Have you ever felt a strange warmth within, or a disturbance within, that caused you to wonder if perhaps you are being called to discern for Holy Orders? To serve as a deacon, as a priest? Has someone tapped you on the shoulder and said, “have you thought about this?”

If you have, I think you will be interested in the day of discernment that is being hosted for people from both Eastern and Western Michigan. It is going to be a few days of exploring this in prayer and listening to people who may be able to give you some clarity, so that you may have a meaningful way to push through your call.

A long time ago, when I was a student in college, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said “have you considered discernment to become a priest?” and I didn’t take them very seriously immediately. Still, the seed they sowed led to stay with the discomfort which then became a fire in my bones.

The dates are June 24th, starting with dinner, and for the rest of the weekend you will have an opportunity to be with others who are feeling similarly.

If you are feeling this urge within yourself, what can you do about it? Well, first of all you talk to your priest. If you don’t have a priest, talk to your wardens so that they will be able to give you some guidance and clarity.

There will be a lot of details that you can get from them and from our dioceses so that you may do something about it. I just wanted to invite you to be open to the experience. So that we together can be helpful in your discernment.

God Bless.

 

Saludos amados,

¿Has sentido alguna vez un calor extraño en tu interior, o una perturbación en tu interior, que te ha hecho preguntarte si tal vez estás llamado a discernir? Las órdenes sagradas para servir como diácono, como sacerdote. ¿Te ha tocado alguien en el hombro y te ha dicho “has pensado en esto”?

Si lo has hecho, creo que te interesará la jornada de discernimiento que se está organizando para personas del este y del oeste de Michigan. Serán unos días para explorar esto en oración y escuchar a las personas que pueden ser capaces de darte un poco de claridad, para que puedas tener una manera significativa de explorar tu llamada.

Hace mucho tiempo, cuando era estudiante en la universidad, alguien me tocó el hombro y me dijo “¿has considerado el discernimiento para ser sacerdote?” No lo tomé muy en serio inmediatamente, pero la semilla que sembraron me llevó a quedarme con la incomodidad que después se convirtió en un fuego en mis huesos.

Las fechas son el 24 de junio comenzando con una cena y durante el resto del fin de semana tendrás la oportunidad de estar con otras personas que se sienten de manera similar. Si sientes este impulso en tu interior, ¿qué puedes hacer al respecto? Bueno, en primer lugar, habla con tu sacerdote. Si no tienes un sacerdote, habla con tus guardianes para que puedan orientarte y aclararte.

Habrá muchos detalles que podrás obtener de ellos y de nuestras diócesis para que puedas hacer algo al respecto. Sólo quería invitarte a estar abierto a la experiencia. Para que juntos podamos ser útiles en tu discernimiento.

Que Dios te bendiga.

PRE & POST GENERAL CONVENTION MEETINGS

Opportunities to meet with our diocesan deputations

All in Eastern and Western Michigan are invited to participate in upcoming online gatherings before and after this summer’s General Convention.

The General Convention is the decision-making body of The Episcopal Church. Composed of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, the convention gathers every three years (in non-pandemic times) to take up the business of the church — debating and acting on resolutions, worshiping and praying together, and reflecting on and preparing for ministry in the church in the long-term. The 80th General Convention, delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, will take place in Baltimore this July in a modified format (shorter and smaller than usual).

Our two deputations have been meeting and preparing together over the last several months. As they prepare for the work they were elected to do, they invite all in our dioceses to spend time with them before and after the General Convention to learn more about this important piece of our overall governance and to share local concerns around our churchwide work.

Please read below for dates, general topics, and to RSVP for our Zoom meetings. We hope you will join us!

DATES & RSVP

PRE-GENERAL CONVENTION MEETINGS

Sat., June 11th, 11-12:30pm
RSVP

Thurs., June 16th, 7-8:30pm
RSVP

—–

  • Overview of General Convention
  • Major areas of business for General Convention
    How to stay connected to our deputations

POST-GENERAL CONVENTION MEETINGS

Thurs., July 28th, 7-8:30pm
RSVP

Sat., July 30th, 10-11:30pm
RSVP

—–

  • Reporting back from Baltimore
  • Reflecting on any legislation that will have a particular impact on our dioceses

Episcopal Youth Camp

We are pleased to announce that registration for Episcopal Youth Camp this summer is now open!

We will gather the week of August 7th through 13th at Camp Newaygo. All youth, grades 3-12, are invited to join us for a great camp experience. Visit our website, www.episcopalyouthcamp.org to learn more about our sessions, pricing, and more.

Adults interested in volunteering or donating can learn more on our website.

If you have any questions, please email camp@edwm.org.

HEALTH & SAFETY
Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our campers and staff. At the time of our program we will follow the guidelines set by the CDC, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. We will require rapid COVID testing upon check-in, daily temperature checks and screenings, and will be maximizing time spent outdoors — perfect for camp!

Click here to read more about our COVID precautions.

VOLUNTEERS & CLERGY
Our volunteers are awesome. We have clergy, teachers, parents, retirees, nurses, lawyers, accountants, and college students. Our oldest counselor is in their eighties and our youngest is 18.

We are seeking volunteers to serve our camp in several areas:

  • As cabin counselors, maintaining a healthy and safe cabin environment for every child and planning and facilitating group activities.
  • In our “pumpkin patch” supporting the children of our other volunteers who are too young to be official campers.
  • As day clergy, celebrating our daily Eucharist and, if you are able, spending time with us throughout the day, in our morning formation and afternoon activities. Overnight accommodations are available.

All volunteers must complete Safe Church certification and undergo a background check.

Click here to learn more about volunteering at EYC.

REGISTRATION
Episcopal Youth Camp 2022 takes place August 7-13th at Camp Newaygo for students entering 3rd-12th grades.

The cost to attend is $450. There is a $50 discount per sibling for those registering more than one camper from the same family.

Click here to download a printable flyer to hang in your church!

DISCERNMENT WEEKEND

Take a step in exploring how God may be calling you

Have you ever felt a nagging deep inside, wondering about whether you may be called to ordained ministry?

Have you been fighting that feeling?

Have others in your life told you you should consider becoming a deacon or priest?

Are you interested in exploring a call to ordained ministry?

This is the weekend for you.

The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, in collaboration with the Academy for Vocational Leadership and the Iona Collaborative from the Seminary of the Southwest, is extending an invitation to come together for a weekend of discernment. This event is a first step into considering formal discernment and is open to all.

Our retreat, which will include both time in plenary and discussion, gathers at 5:30pm on Friday, June 24th and concludes following lunch on Sunday, June 26th.

With questions, please contact the Rev. Canon Tracie Little (tlittle@eastmich.org).

Location

Courtyard by Marriot
2400 E. Campus Drive
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

All meetings will take place at this location.

A block of rooms has also been reserved at this hotel for $189/night. Click here to book with the hotel block. The last day to book this rate is June 3rd.

Participants are welcome to take advantage of this hotel block or to find other accommodations nearby, arriving for the meeting sessions at the Marriott.

Registration

The cost of the weekend is being shared between the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan. There is no cost to participants beyond any necessary accommodations.

Please register for the Discernment Weekend by June 20th.

 

Behind Bishop Singh’s Vestments

Excerpted from a message from Colleen Hintz, designer and creator of Bishop Singh’s new vestments. The vestments were a gift from the Episcopal Bishops of African Descent, replacing vestments lost in a house fire last year and marking Bishop Singh’s new start with our dioceses. 

Sign’s new vestment marks his start with the dioceses.

I wanted to share at least part of what was going on in my head as I created your set.

The beauty of the Phoenix rising is, for me, so connected to your reality and all you have been through both personally and professionally. I do believe the Presiding Bishop chose wisely in asking you to take on this unique episcopacy in Michigan. I see you empowering so many with the presence of the Phoenix. I love how the tears of the Phoenix are both yours and theirs to experience. I love how the jewels become sparks lighting the way along the water’s journey. I love how the waters intertwine, interconnect, come close together and move far apart while all at the same time being part of the greater whole.  I see you helping them to experience that reality to the fullest.

The rising phoenix in Sign’s vestments.

I will admit that when it was all finished, I realized there is an error within. Each strand goes over then under then over then under, and on and on throughout the entire chasuble. That is until at one point, there are two overs…

While it was possible to fix, I chose to leave it because of a childhood experience that stays with me to this day.

The blue strand goes over then under the head dress matching the chasuble.

As a young student, I was driven. I wanted only A’s and 100’s. Nothing else was good enough. I can still hear my high school chemistry teacher telling me “girls don’t deserve A’s in chemistry” which only drove me harder. That all was to change when my Girl Scout troop went to NYC the summer of my 15th year on this planet. I can still remember touring the UN. A new Persian rug had just been gifted to the UN and had been hung in a stairwell. It was very large and very beautiful. The guide shared the story that it had taken 3 artisans some 2+ years to create and commented that there were 3 errors within. I immediately tried to find them. She chuckled at me and said I would never find them but each artisan had left their first error in recognition of the reality that only God is perfect… I can still feel that hitting me square in the gut. I didn’t have to be perfect. Only God was!  Even to this day, I prefer to leave my first mistake to honor that reality.

May you wear the set with great joy,

Learn more about Colleen Hintz on her website, www.fruitofthevine.us.

Report and Policy Changes Around the Eucharist

Dear Friends,
In mid-February this year, we invited and appointed a task force to help us engage two things concerning the Eucharist.

To enhance our organic wisdom by offering theological reflections on the eucharist.

To recommend guidelines for engaging the wine/common cup during and after this exhausting season.

In response to our rather unrealistic invitation to deliver a result by March 23rd, this group of lay and clergy leaders worked diligently. They have delivered by collectively offering a gift to the church, the means of grace, and hope of glory, which we pray will have eternal and temporal value.

As bishops of our three dioceses, we endorse their recommendation and commend it to you without any significant changes. We ask you now to consider using these theological reflections and do your congregational deep dive into what it means for you to be a eucharistic community where you are.

We ask you to follow their recommendation to engage the wine thoughtfully using these articulated criteria: that the practice be reasonable, recognizable, and reverent.

Since we cannot predict COVID-19’s ability to morph, we ask that we respectfully stay vigilant, realizing that our practices may change again.

We also ask you to consider training a host of eucharistic visitors to help with home visits for those parishioners who choose to join you online. And finally, we invite you to consider starting these practices on Maundy Thursday, celebrating the deep joy and hope of Eastertide!

Phase 3 of our directives, the Plan for Re-Entry for Great Lakes Episcopalians has been updated to allow for the use of wine according to the considerations set out in this resource document.

Additionally, we invite you to two tri-diocesan teach-in gatherings via Zoom. The first will be on May 25th at 7pm, unpacking this resource created by our Fabulous Nine and providing a template to replicate in our congregations. The second will be on June 1st at 7pm, focusing on training eucharistic visitors and sharing resources.

We ask you to direct your gratitude to Almighty God for the gifts among us made manifest by these nine saints:

The Rev. Thomas Downs, St. Paul’s, Gladwin (Eastern Michigan)
The Ven. Beth Drew, RN, CCRC, Trinity, Three Rivers (Western Michigan)
The Rev. Dr. Jay Emerson Johnson, All Saints, Saugatuck (Western Michigan)
Mrs. Jelecia Geraghty, St. Paul’s, Flint (Eastern Michigan)
Dr. Timothy Gombis, Grace, Grand Rapids (Western Michigan)
The Rev. Dr. Andy Guffey, St. Mary’s in the Hills, Lake Orion (Michigan)
The Rev. Dr. W. Richard Hamlin, Retired (Michigan)
Ms. Amy Simons, St. John’s, Saginaw (Eastern Michigan)
The Rev. Dr. JoAnn Kennedy Slater, St. Luke’s, Ypsilanti (Michigan)
May this Holy Lenten season draw us closer to God, who calls us to make all things new even out of this season of sorrow and pain.

In the servant Christ, our hope of glory!

Faithfully yours,

The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh
Bishop Provisional
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie Perry
Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Statement from Bishop Singh Concerning Roe v. Wade

Dear Saints,

Earlier this week, our nation received news about a likely decision forthcoming from the United States Supreme Court. This impending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years will have painful repercussions across our country – for the people forced to carry unplanned and dangerous pregnancies against their will, for those of us whose religious liberties are not as protected as others, for those whose protections of privacy now stands poised for contestation – same-sex marriages, access to birth control, and so much more.

As Episcopalians, we commit every day to respect the dignity of every human being – one’s dignity requires the existence of choice over control, freedom over force, and abundant love over fear.

The Episcopal Church is consistent in our support for access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion access, which is the agency of a woman and her loved ones. I commend to you this resource released yesterday by the Episcopal Public Policy Network, including a resolution passed by the General Convention in 1967.

I am aware that while we may see mixed reactions to this potential decision, many are now afraid for their safety and that of their loved ones. I pray for our church, our world, and the communities we serve. As we give thanks for our mothers, may we wisely achieve God’s dream for a world in which no child is afraid or hungry, no person is enslaved, and where our love for one another flows fearlessly.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh
Bishop Provisional
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

 

LARC is now ECM

On Sunday, June 18, 2000 (one week after Pentecost), four bishops in Michigan signed a covenant.

The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Lee, Jr. (of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan); The Rt. Rev. Edwin Leidel (of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan); The Rt. Rev. Gary Hansen (of the N/W Lower Michigan Synod); and The Most Rev. Patrick R. Cooney (of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord) affirmed and attested to the understanding and belief that:

“It is the will of our Lord Jesus that all his disciples be one. Encouraged by the international, national and regional dialogues among Lutherans, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics, we celebrate the faithful initiative of our church leaders, past and present, in fostering church unity. Recognizing the desire for the eventual union of Lutheran, Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, we the Bishops and the people of the above named Synod and Dioceses make this joint affirmation and solemn covenant.”

 

Thus, the annual LARC (Lutherans, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics) Retreat was born.

With the exception of 2020 due to COVID, over the years, LARC has provided an annual in-person educational and restful forty-eight hour retreat (over three days and at the Augustine Center in Conway), with the three denominations taking yearly turns “hosting” (securing the speaker) and sharing the leading of daily worship, i.e. an Episcopal day of worship, a Lutheran day of worship, and a Roman Catholic day of worship (the longer middle day of worship corresponding to the “hosting” denomination).

And over the years many of our various bishops have attended and supported our efforts. And since the warp and woof of liturgical worship was familiar to all three denominations –– and was one of the primary considerations which brought the three denominations together in the first place –– we were able to share theological reflection, fellowship, meals, and worship together; though some of the fuller expressions of the unity we’ve hoped to achieve (as expressed in the covenant’s introductory paragraph above) have remained somewhat elusive since, for example, we are unable to share in Roman Catholic Eucharist; and they in ours. We have, however, lived through that tension and remained faithful to the covenant’s stated intent, knowing that the Spirit sometimes moves more slowly than we would like.

But as ecumenical and interreligious efforts (like the Kaufman Interfaith Institute in Grand Rapids) have gained traction both in Michigan and around the world, the LARC Planning Committee has sought to broaden its ecumenical outreach to other Christian denominations. And at its 2021 retreat, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, and the Dominican Sisters were represented as well. And so riding on this wave of expanded representation and increased attendance, LARC’s leadership heard the call of the Holy Spirit to similarly change and expand the retreat’s name from LARC to ECM –– the Ecumenical Community of Michigan.

Our 2022 Retreat will offer not only an expanded invitation to other denominations, but will provide an additional day of contemplation, reflection, education, fellowship, and new patterns of worship as well. Its title is Beholding God in Creation, and will be led by Pastor Steve Thomas (M. Div.), who has rich experience in spiritually and ecologically based retreats, and serves as the national coordinator for the Mennonite Men organization. More details will be forthcoming; but for now, please mark your calendars for ECM: October 10 at 4:PM through Oct 13 at 1:PM.


The Rev. Mike Wernick
Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
The Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

Bishop Singh’s 2022 Easter Message


Greetings beloved friends, 

We are gathering for Easter in the midst of so much loss. Two years of this pandemic has drained so much of our energy, individually and collectively. Globally, we have lost more than six million people. We are living in the midst of many wars including the war in Ukraine, where violence is seeming to have the last and sometimes the only word. 

In the midst of so much that is broken in our human community we are reminded of this incredible story of resurrection where women, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, and other women, went to a tomb to care for a body. A dead body. Jesus’ body. They ended up awakening to a new world view that was not familiar to them. It is not familiar to us.

That is the real story of Easter, where God breaks through and gives us a new way to be. Providence is what we associate with the gift of God. When God invites us to a new way of being, that is providence. Jesus died and was raised from the dead: providence. 

Second thing I noticed in the story is also the deep courage of women who went to a tomb when there was so much controversy, so much fear, so much to be depressed about. But they moved, even in and through their grief to claim a deep resilience and courage that we are given as a gift. 

Finally, I think there is this deep sense of amazement that everyone is awakened to in the story of resurrection. Where people who were totally afraid were overcome with an unencumbered joy. The joy of knowing God is with us in a very real way. Not as a baby that is vulnerable anymore, but as the risen Christ giving us the strength to face our fears, our challenges, and overcome everything that stymies us, and release us to this grace of joy.

So, my beloved friends, as you gather for your celebration of Easter this year, I pray that you will be filled with the reassurance of providence, a deep assurance of the courage that we have as followers of Jesus, and live into your joy abundantly

Blessings as you celebrate Easter. And may you be filled with that deep intertwining peace of the risen Christ who has risen on a new year. Alleluia. Christ has risen indeed. Amen.

 


Saludos queridos amigos,

Nos reunimos para la Pascua en medio de tantas pérdidas. Dos años de esta pandemia han drenado mucha de nuestra energía, individual y colectiva. A nivel mundial, hemos perdido más de seis millones de personas. Vivimos en medio de muchas guerras, incluida la de Ucrania, donde la violencia parece tener la última y a veces la única palabra.

En medio de tantas cosas rotas en nuestra comunidad humana, recordamos esta increíble historia de resurrección en la que las mujeres, María Magdalena, Juana, María y otras mujeres, fueron a una tumba para cuidar un cuerpo. Un cadáver. El cuerpo de Jesús. Acabaron despertando a una nueva visión del mundo que no les era familiar. No nos resulta familiar.

Esa es la verdadera historia de la Pascua, en la que Dios irrumpe y nos da una nueva manera de ser. La providencia es lo que asociamos al don de Dios. Cuando Dios nos invita a una nueva manera de ser, eso es la providencia. Jesús murió y resucitó de entre los muertos: [eso] es la providencia.

La segunda cosa que noté en la historia es también el profundo coraje de las mujeres que fueron a una tumba cuando había tanta controversia, tanto miedo, tanto para deprimirse. Pero se movieron, incluso en y a través de su dolor, para reclamar una profunda resistencia y valor que se nos da como un regalo.

Por último, creo que existe ese profundo sentimiento de asombro que a todos nos despierta la historia de la resurrección. Donde la gente que estaba totalmente asustada se vio invadida por una alegría desbordante. La alegría de saber que Dios está con nosotros de una forma muy real. No como un bebé que ya es vulnerable, sino como Cristo resucitado que nos da la fuerza para enfrentarnos a nuestros miedos, a nuestros retos, y superar todo lo que nos estorba, y liberarnos a esta gracia de la alegría.

Así que mis queridos amigos, al reunirse para la celebración de la Pascua de este año, rezo para que se llenen de la seguridad de la providencia, una profunda seguridad del valor que tenemos como seguidores de Jesús, y vivan en su alegría en abundancia.

Bendiciones en la celebración de la Pascua. Y que se llenen de esa profunda paz entrelazada de Cristo resucitado que ha resucitado en un nuevo año. Sin duda, cristo ha resucitado. Amén.

LOBBY DAY WITH END GUN VIOLENCE MICHIGAN

April 13, 2022 in Lansing (and virtually)

Following the shooting at Oxford High School last November, community organizers and faith leaders came together and launched End Gun Violence Michigan, an advocacy and exploratory committee aimed at enacting common-sense gun reform in our state, whether through advocacy with our legislators or through a ballot initiative in the future.


From big cities to small towns, gun violence is impacting all of our communities. A new state task force has been appointed to consider legislative proposals — a small first step. On April 13th, End Gun Violence Michigan will host a Lobby Day in Lansing to meet with legislators and discuss with them our perspectives as a people of faith and as Michiganders including the urgent need for safe storage laws, universal background checks, and limits on guns at government buildings. Please join Bishop Singh, Michigan Bishop Bonnie Perry, Northern MIchigan Bishop Rayford Ray, ELCA Bishop Craig Satterlee, ELCA Bishop Donald Kreiss, and dozens of other lay and clergy faith leaders to advocate for change.

All participants will be assigned small groups for their meetings, which are likely to take place in the morning or early afternoon.

Training will take place via Zoom on the evening of April 7th for all who register for Lobby Day including how to effectively communicate with legislators and their staffers on this issue. More information for the training will be shared by organizers following your registration.

While the preferred way to participate is in-person in Lansing, virtual meetings are being arranged as well. Those who would like to support on-the-ground but prefer not to participate in a meeting might consider volunteering to join a Lobby Day support team including those focused on prayer, hospitality, protest, social media, and at-home prayer. Click here to learn more about support teams.

OTHER DETAILS

Where should I meet with the group? St. Paul’s, Lansing is our Episcopal HQ for Lobby Day. You can find the Hospitality Team there and they’ll direct you where to go.
Is there parking?
St. Paul’s only has a few parking spaces. We recommend parking in one of the parking structures near the Capitol building.
Closest Parking Garage to St. Paul’s (0.2 miles, 5-minute walk), $6 a day:
City of Lansing, North Capitol Ramp, 316 N Capitol Avenue, Downtown, Lansing, MI 48933
Closest Parking Garage to Capitol Building (400 ft, 2-minute walk), $5 a day
: Townsend Ramp, 221 Townsend Street, Downtown, Lansing, MI 48933
What should I bring?
If you’re planning to be outside with a support team, bring a foldable lawn chair, blanket to sit on (or if it’s cold), umbrella, and dress according to the weather. You will be able to go into the St. Paul’s building to shelter from the cold, rain, or snow if needed. What should I wear? Folks meeting with lawmakers should dress professionally. Those serving on a support team should dress comfortably for the weather and are encouraged to wear the color orange which is the color of gun violence awareness.
Should I pack a lunch?
If you would like to pack your own lunch, please do. However, a light lunch, snacks, and water will be provided at St. Paul’s.
How will people know we are there to support End Gun Violence Michigan?
Our support teams will be handing out End Gun Violence Michigan pins, lawn signs, and signs you can carry in support of the cause.