NOTICE: Digital Ministry Grants

Overview

The coronavirus pandemic has required parishes to lean into their adaptability and quickly implement online community building.

Incorporating online experiences into the way we gather often requires some kind of investment, whether for software, hardware, or training. In an effort to provide an opportunity for some financial assistance to our congregations, all parishes are invited to apply for a digital ministry grant for immediate and long-term investment in online ministry.

Digital Ministry grants are intended to help congregations make online offerings more engaging, more accessible, easier to manage, and better connected to onsite ministry.

There is a total of $20,000 available — $10,000 per diocese — thanks to generous gifts and designations from Eastern Michigan’s Congregational Development and Redevelopment Fund and Western Michigan’s Bishop Whittemore Foundation.

 

GUIDELINES

The maximum grant award is $700 per congregation or cooperating ministry.

Digital Ministry Grants are a one-time disbursement.

Grants may fund the following areas:

  • Hardware purchases (cameras, computers, etc.)
  • Software purchases (programs, applications, etc.)
  • Upgrades to existing technology
  • Internet and Wifi access and upgrades
  • Solutions to bridge the access gap between internet-users and non-internet users
    Training for digital ministry from outside of existing diocesan resources

Grants may not fund gifts to individuals or families.

Applications should demonstrate appropriate financial or other investment from the congregation.

 

APPLY NOW

Applications will be considered by a committee including members of the diocesan staffs and the bi-diocesan Evangelism Taskforce.

Recommendations from the committee will be brought to each respective diocesan council for final approval.

Applications were due September 20th. Contact Katie Forsyth with any questions.

Contact Katie Forsyth, our Canon for Evangelism and Networking for both dioceses, with any questions about the granting process or for ongoing support for digital ministry, communications, and evangelism. She can be reached at kforsyth@edwm.org.

Additionally, all communicators (clergy and lay, paid and volunteer) are invited to connect with others throughout our two dioceses in our resource group – the Episcopal Communicators Network of Eastern & Western Michigan.

Notice: Bishop has been Placed on Suspension

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Today, we were notified of an accord reached between the Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, and our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., as part of a Title IV disciplinary action.

Bishop Hougland, in a meeting with the Bishop for Pastoral Development, the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, disclosed that he had made “serious mistakes” and admitted his participation in an extramarital affair. The other person involved is not Episcopalian and is not a member of the staff of either diocese. No state or federal laws have been broken.

Under the Canons of the Episcopal Church, an accord is a written resolution to the disciplinary process, which is negotiated by and agreed to by both parties.

The accord places Bishop Hougland on suspension for a minimum of one year. During that time, he will be required to undertake personal steps to be accountable to the Church and emotionally healthy for himself, his family, and his dioceses, in accordance with the Canons, which state:

The Church and each diocese shall support their members in their life in Christ and seek to resolve conflicts by promoting healing, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, justice, amendment of life and reconciliation among all involved or affected. – Canon IV.1

It is the hope of the Presiding Bishop’s office, our Standing Committees, and Bishop Hougland, that this time is one of healing and reconciliation. At the conclusion of the suspension, the Standing Committees and Bishop Hougland will decide whether to continue the relationship with Whayne as our bishop.

The Standing Committees have met and are in the process of working out the details of the one-year leave, including a plan for maintaining the daily operations of the dioceses. Specifics will be available next week. At this time, we expect to hold the ecclesiastical authority of our respective dioceses and will work with our neighboring bishops to conduct the duties that only a bishop can conduct, including ordinations and confirmations. We also are committed to affirming the vote taken last Fall to explore mutual relationship between our dioceses for 3-5 years, by making decisions together as much as is possible and appropriate, maintaining our now-regular joint meetings of Standing Committees and staffs, as well as continuing all other ongoing and potential ministry collaborations.

We ask that you not be in contact Bishop Hougland directly. Any notes may be forwarded to him through Canon Bill Spaid, wspaid@edwm.org, or may be mailed to the Western Michigan diocesan office.

Know that we are praying for you, the people of Eastern and Western Michigan, and we ask your prayers for your elected leadership, as well as for your diocesan staffs, Bishop Whayne and Dana, and for each other.

Yours in Christ,

The Standing Committees of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

Janet Huff-Worvie, President
St. John’s, Otter Lake

The Rev. Brian Chace
Trinity, West Branch

Gary Grinn
St. Paul’s, Gladwin

The Rev. Dan Scheid
St. Paul’s, Flint

The Rev. Lydia Speller
Grace, Port Huron

Bill Thewalt
St. Christopher’s, Grand Blanc
Dave Croal, President
St. Mark’s, Coldwater

The Rev. Jodi Baron
St. Philip’s, Beulah & Holy Trinity, Manistee

Martha Bartlett
St. James, Pentwater

Anne Davidson
St. Mark’s, Coldwater

The Rev. BJ Heyboer
St. Mark’s, Newaygo

The Rev. Diane M. Pike
Southwest Michigan Episcopal Covenant

Carole Redwine
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids

The Rev. Dr. Randall Warren
St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo

 

 

 

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

I will not have the ability to personally speak to you individually or as a group, but I appreciate the opportunity for you all to hear from me. I have not honored my ordination vows or my wedding vows, nor have I honored the faith and trust you set in me. I have much personal work to do to be healthier and rebuild my relationships.

I apologize to the people of these dioceses for betraying my sacred oath to be a wholesome example for the entire flock of the Church.

I apologize to the staff of the dioceses for abandoning you to pick up the pieces of my error.

I apologize to the clergy for my gross lapse of moral judgement, thereby damaging our sacred relationship under orders and weakening our moral authority.

I apologize to the Presiding Bishop and the members of the House of Bishops for not living up to the standards of behavior and conduct expected for Bishops and for damaging our credibility and respectability as moral leaders in society at large.

I apologize to the other party and her family for disrespecting their relationship.

And most of all, I apologize to Dana, our daughters, and our extended families for my betrayal of their gracious abiding love.

I do not yet fully understand why I behaved in this manner, but I alone am responsible for my actions and the discipline that the Presiding Bishop and I have agreed to. Over the next year, I will carefully and fully examine what I need to do to be the person you and I expect me to be. During this time, I will be repentant, take the steps I need to amend my life, and request forgiveness from those I have wronged. I am thankful for the grace of the Holy Spirit and the promise of forgiveness for those who are truly repentant. I will do the work.

Thank you, Presiding Bishop for your pastoral care and for your hard discipline, I need them both.

Thank you, Standing Committees for your leadership in this difficult time and for your graciousness to me in this difficult moment.

Thank you for your continued prayers and ongoing support and concern for Dana and our family.

Humbly,

Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.

Eastern and Western Michigan Clergy Statement on Antiracism

As clergy of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, we grieve the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all other victims of racialized violence. We stand with those who are pleading for justice, those demanding an end to police brutality, and those who are crying out for a new day. We also recognize that racism manifests in brutal ways every day, ways that those of us who are white don’t see. 

The stories of the past few months, which echo and amplify those of over four hundred years in our nation, are opening the hearts, minds, and lives of us all. We have all witnessed people of color being murdered for no other reason than race. We have seen how the bodies of our siblings of color are perceived as inherently violent by some and expendable by others. We know that communities of color have suffered far higher percentages of deaths from COVID-19 due to inequalities in healthcare, working conditions, and other realities related to systemic racism. We have seen white supremacist groups growing in visibility and voice. We have witnessed inexcusable force—including the use of chemical irritants, rubber bullets, and batons—being used against people of all colors simply because they are in our streets peacefully protesting for change of racist structures and ways. 

The Rev. Anne Schnaare walks for justice in Marshall with her family, Matthew and Phoebe Schnaare.

As Episcopal clergy, we decry any persons or groups who have subverted these otherwise peaceful protests by bringing violence to our streets and communities. And in those circumstances where the rage of those who are suffering oppression has boiled over into riots, we heed the advice of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “to commit to listen to the anger behind the riots.” Our nation has neither acknowledged fully nor responded comprehensively to the ongoing violence against people of color. Our baptismal vows call us to respond now and always with courage and compassion, “to persevere in resisting evil, to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”

We believe that this moment, like others in our shared history, is inviting us to radical transformation. We also believe that faith demands our participation in helping such transformation take hold. We acknowledge that racism is woven into the systems, institutions, history, and psyche of our nation, including our communities of faith. We confess our complicity even as we seek to break the cycles that sinfully perpetuate racialized violence, inequality, and injustice. We commit anew to the work of reconciliation. 

As people of faith, we believe that God is present in struggles for justice, calling us to repentance and inviting us to more fully embody Christ’s mandate to “love one another.” Our Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Michael Curry, says that God’s dreams are so much greater, more merciful, more loving, and more just than the nightmare being lived by too many in our world. The nightmare of racism is real. God’s dreams are longing to break through. Now. 

We commit our prayers and our presence to the hard work ahead, to the faithful work of reconciliation as we stand with those whose tears, hopes, and cries for justice can transform and liberate us all.  

 

Signed,

The Clergy of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

 

The following people have signed their name to this letter – 

The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan, IX Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Lee, Jr., Retired, VII Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

The Rt. Rev. Edwin Leidel, Retired, I Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan

The Rt. Rev. S. Todd Ousley, II Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan

The Rev. Jennifer Adams, Grace Episcopal Church in Holland

The Rev. Deacon Brad Allard, Retired, Wyoming

The Rev. Canon Valerie Ambrose, The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

The Rev. Deacon Linda Ash, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Corunna

The Rev. John Autio, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville

The Rev. Jodi Baron, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Beulah, Church of the Holy Trinity in Manistee

The Rev. Christian Baron, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Beulah, Church of the Holy Trinity in Manistee

The Rev. Heather Barta, Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Clarkston

The Rev. Stephen Bartlett, Retired, Shelby

The Very Rev. Judith D. Boli, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw

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

The Rev. Paul Brisbane, Retired, Coldwater

The Rev. Christian Brocato, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids

The Rev. Deacon Katherine Brower, Retired, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Wendy Brown, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte

The Rev. Paul Brunell, Christ Episcopal Church in Owosso 

The Rev. Celine Burke, Retired, Manistee

The Rev. Brian Chace, Trinity Episcopal Church in West Branch

The Rev. Elizabeth Chace, Retired, Frederick 

The Rev. Zachariah Char, Sudanese Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids

The Rev. Schuyler L. Clapp, Retired, Traverse City

The Rev. Sue Colavincenzo, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Davison

The Rev. Brian Coleman, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Battle Creek

The Rev. Dr. Jared Cramer, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven

The Ven. Linda Crane, Grace Episcopal Church in Port Huron

The Rev. Rebecca Crise, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Paw Paw

The Rev. Lewis D. Crusoe, St. James Episcopal Church in Cheboygan

The Rev. Dr. Kathleen Dancer, Retired, Muskegon

The Rev. John David, Retired, Muskegon

The Rev. Dr. Mary Delaney, Retired, Alma

The Rev. Hugh Dickinson, Retired, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Elizabeth Morris Downie, Retired, Grand Blanc

The Rev. Tom Downs, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Gladwin

The Rev. Marilyn Dressel, Retired, Traverse City

The Ven. Beth Drews, Trinity Episcopal Church in Three Rivers

The Rev. Paula E. Durren, Retired, New Buffalo

The Rev. Patricia Eichenlaub, Retired, St. Joseph

The Rev. D. Edward Emenheiser, Retired, Traverse City

The Rev. Dr. Mark Engle, Retired, Battle Creek

The Rev. Dr. Valerie Fargo, The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan

The Rev. Michael C. Fedewa, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Muskegon

The Rev. Allan Feltner, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Mio

The Rev. Deacon Robert P. Finn, Retired, West Branch

The Rev. William Fleener, Retired, Muskegon

The Rev. Mary Frens, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Fremont

The Very Rev. Dr. Jay Gantz, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Flint

The Rev. Deacon Jan Gockerman, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids

The Rev. Ann Grady, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Grand Blanc

The Rev. Dr. Thomas Guback, Retired, Northport

The Rev. Canon Anne Hallmark, The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

The Rev. Jim Harrison, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland

The Rev. BJ Heyboer, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Newaygo

The Rev. John B. Hills, Retired, Grand Haven

The Rev. Ken Hitch, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland 

The Rev. Charles Homeyer, Retired, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Peter Homeyer, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Wyoming

The Rev. Deacon Kimberly Hoop, Holy Cross Episcopal and Ascension Lutheran Church in Kentwood

The Rev. Kay M. Houck, Trinity Episcopal Church in Lexington

The Rev. Michael Houle, Retired, Birch Run

The Rev. Mary Jo Hudson, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw

The Rev. Henry Idema, III, Retired, Grand Haven

The Rev. Alan James, Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids

The Rev. Mark Jenkins, Retired, Battle Creek

The Rev. Dr. Jay Emerson Johnson, All Saints Episcopal Church in Saugatuck

The Rev. Karen Joy Kelly, Retired, Three Oaks 

The Rev. Edward King, Retired, Lexington

The Rev. Ted Koehl, St. Francis Episcopal Church in Orangeville

The Rev. Deacon Anna Leigh Kubbe, Retired Archdeacon, Eastern Michigan

The Rev. Darlene M. S. Kuhn, Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Harbert

The Rev. Rebecca Baird Lepley, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Harsens Island

The Rev. Tracie Little, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton

The Rev. James Lively, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sturgis

The Rev. Pamela Lynch, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Gaylord

The Rev. Thomas Manney, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bad Axe

The Rev. Deacon Judy Marinco, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton

The Rev. Mike Marinco, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton

The Rev. Lily Marx, St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Muskegon

The Rev. Deacon Dr. Daniel L. Maxwell, Trinity Episcopal Church in Alpena

The Rev. Deacon John R. Meengs, Retired, Saugatuck

The Rev. David Meyers, St. Peter’s-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church in Montague

The Very Rev. Bill McClure, Trinity Episcopal Church in Alpena

The Rev. Richard McKenzie, ELCA clergy serving Trinity Episcopal Church in Grand Ledge

The Rev. Deacon Thomas McPherson, Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall

The Rev. Kenneth Michnay, ELCA clergy serving St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven

The Rev. Deacon Cynthia Nawrocki, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids

The Rev. Curt Norman, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw

The Rev. Ann Norton, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Otter Lake

The Rev. Nurya Love Parish, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Belmont

The Rev. Deacon Larry Parks, Grace Episcopal Church in Lapeer

The Rev. Sara Parks, Grace Episcopal Church in Lapeer

The Rev. James Perra, Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City

The Rev. Mary Perrin, St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo

The Rev. David R. Pike, St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lansing

The Rev. Diane Pike, Southwest Michigan Episcopal Covenant

The Rev. Elsa Pressentin, Retired, Muskegon

The Rev. Thomas O’Dell, Christ Episcopal Church in Charlevoix

The Rev. Gerald Rehagen, Retired, 

The Rev. Pamela Renna, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw

The Rev. Susan C. Rich, Trinity Episcopal Church in Bay City

The Rev. Rick Schark, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Coldwater

The Rev. Daniel S.J. Scheid, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint

The Rev. Canon Robert Alan Schiesler, Retired, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Anne Schnaare, Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall

The Rev. Harold Schneider, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Otter Lake

The Rev. Philip A. Seitz, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Christ Episcopal Church in East Tawas

The Rev. Deb Semon-Scott, Retired, Jonesville

The Rev. Dr. Gail A. Shafer, Trinity Episcopal Church in Grand Ledge

The Rev. Mary J. Shortt, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Higgins Lake

The Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Snyder, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven

The Rev. Deacon Bonnie Smith, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Elk Rapids

The Rev. James E. Smith, ELCA clergy serving Trinity Episcopal Church in Three Rivers

The Rev. Deacon Thomas Smith, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Davison

The Rev. Jim Sorenson, Retired, Saginaw

The Rev. Canon William J. Spaid, The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan 

The Rev. Dr. Lydia Agnew Speller, Grace Episcopal Church in Port Huron

The Rev. Deacon Jane Spencer, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sand Point

The Rev. Canon Michael P. Spencer, The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Grand Blanc

The Rev. Nancy Steele, Retired, Chesaning

The Rev. Jim Steen, Retired, Saugatuck

The Rev. Pamela V. Sten, Retired, Buchanan

The Rev. Diane Stier, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Mount Pleasant

The Rev. Linnea Ruth Peterson Stiffler, Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hastings

The Rev. Deacon Joanne St. Pierre, St. John the Baptist, Otter Lake

The Rev. Rick Stravers, Retired, Kalamazoo

The Rev. Charles M. Stuart, Retired, Saginaw

The Rev. Deacon Christine W. Tillman, Retired, Wyoming

The Rev. Dr. Chysanne Timm, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Northport

The Rev. Joel Turmo, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Richland 

The Rev. David Vickers, Holy Family Episcopal Church in St. Clair

The Rev. Deacon Patricia Vinge, St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo

The Rev. Sharon Voelker, Retired, Bay City

The Rev. Robert Walton, St. James Episcopal Church in Albion

The Rev. Dr. Randall R. Warren, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo

The Rev. Michael Wernick, Holy Cross Episcopal and Ascension Lutheran Church in Kentwood

The Rev. William Whiting, Retired, Elk Rapids

The Rev. Michael Wood, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Portage

The Rev. Susan York, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids

Una declaración del clero del Este y Oeste de Michigan

Como clero de las diócesis episcopales del Este y Oeste de Michigan, lamentamos la muerte de George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor y todas las demás víctimas de la violencia racial. Acompañamos a los que piden justicia, los que exigen el fin de la brutalidad policial y los que claman por un nuevo día. También reconocemos que el racismo se manifiesta de manera brutal todos los días, en formas que aquellos de nosotros que somos blancos no vemos con facilidad.

Las historias de los últimos meses, que hacen eco y amplifican las de más de cuatrocientos años en nuestra nación, están abriendo los corazones, las mentes y las vidas de todos nosotros. Hemos sido testigos del asesinato de personas de color sólo por el color de su piel. Hemos visto cómo los cuerpos de nuestros hermanos de color son percibidos como inherentemente violentos por algunos y prescindibles por otros. Sabemos que las comunidades de color han sufrido porcentajes mucho más altos de muertes por COVID-19 debido a las desigualdades en la atención médica, las condiciones de trabajo y otras realidades relacionadas con el racismo sistémico en nuestra sociedad. Hemos visto grupos de supremacía blanca creciendo en visibilidad y con voces más altas. Hemos sido testigos de la fuerza inexcusable —incluido el uso de irritantes químicos, balas de goma y bastones— contra personas de todos los colores simplemente porque están en nuestras calles protestando pacíficamente para cambiar estructuras basadas en el racismo.

Como clero episcopal, denunciamos a cualquier persona o grupo que haya subvertido estas protestas pacíficas llevando violencia a nuestras calles y comunidades. Asimismo, en aquellas circunstancias donde la ira de quienes sufren la opresión se ha convertido en disturbios, prestamos atención al consejo del reverendo Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. y, “nos comprometemos a escuchar la ira detrás de los disturbios”. Nuestra nación no ha reconocido plenamente ni ha respondido de manera integral a la violencia constante contra las personas de color. Nuestras promesas bautismales nos llaman a responder ahora y siempre con valor y compasión, “perseverando en resistencia al mal, luchando por la justicia y la paz entre todas las personas y respetando la dignidad de todo ser humano”.

Creemos que este momento, como otros en nuestra historia compartida, nos está invitando a una transformación radical. También creemos que la fe exige nuestra participación para ayudar a que esa transformación ocurra. Reconocemos que el racismo está entretejido en los sistemas, instituciones, historia y psique de nuestra nación, incluidas nuestras comunidades de fe. Confesamos nuestra complicidad incluso cuando buscamos romper los ciclos que pecaminosamente perpetúan la violencia racial, la desigualdad y la injusticia. Nos comprometemos nuevamente con el trabajo de reconciliación.

Como personas de fe, creemos que Dios está presente en las luchas por la justicia, llamándonos al arrepentimiento e invitándonos a encarnar más plenamente el mandato de Cristo de “amarnos unos a otros”. Nuestro Obispo Presidente, el Reverendísimo Michael Curry, dice que los sueños de Dios son mucho más grandes, más misericordiosos, más amorosos y más justos que la pesadilla que viven muchos en nuestro mundo. La pesadilla del racismo es real. Los sueños de Dios anhelan hacerse realidad. Ahora.

Nos comprometemos con nuestras oraciones y nuestra presencia a la ardua tarea por delante, al fiel trabajo de reconciliación mientras seguimos acompañando a aquellos cuyas lágrimas, esperanzas y gritos de justicia pueden transformarnos y liberarnos a todos.

 

Firmado,

El clero de las diócesis episcopales del Este y Oeste de Michigan

 

Las siguientes personas han consignado esta carta:

El Muy Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., obispo provisional de la Diócesis Episcopal del Este de Michigan, IX Obispo de la Diócesis Episcopal del Oeste de Michigan

El Muy Rev. Edward L. Lee, Jr., Retirado, VII Obispo de la Diócesis Episcopal del Oeste de Michigan

El Muy. Reverendo Edwin Leidel, Retirado, I Obispo de la Diócesis Episcopal del Este de Michigan

El Muy Rev. S. Todd Ousley, II Obispo de la Diócesis Episcopal del Este de Michigan

La Rev. Jennifer Adams, Grace Episcopal Church en Holland

El Rev. Diácono Brad Allard, Retired, Wyoming

La Rev. Canóniga Valerie Ambrose, la Diócesis Episcopal del Oeste de Michigan

La Rev. Diácona Linda Ash, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Corunna

El Rev. John Autio, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Greenville

La Rev. Jodi Baron, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church en Beulah, Church of the Holy Trinity en Manistee

El Rev. Christian Baron, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church en Beulah, Church of the Holy Trinity en Manistee

La Rev. Heather Barta, Episcopal Church of the Resurrection en Clarkston

El Rev. Stephen Bartlett, Retirado, Shelby

La Muy Rev. Judith D. Boli, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Saginaw

La Rev. Molly Bosscher, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church en Grand Rapids

El Rev. Paul Brisbane, Retirado, Coldwater

El Rev. Christian Brocato, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church en Grand Rapids

La Rev. Diácono Katherine Brower, Retired, Grand Rapids

La Rev. Wendy Brown, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Charlotte

El  Rev. Paul Brunell, Christ Episcopal Church en Owosso

La Rev. Celine Burke, Retirada, Manistee

El Rev. Brian Chace, Trinity Episcopal Church en West Branch

La Rev. Elizabeth Chace, Retirada, Frederick

El Rev. Zachariah Char, Sudanese Grace Episcopal Church en Grand Rapids

La Rev. Schuyler L. Clapp, Retired, Traverse City

La Rev. Sue Colavincenzo, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church en Davison

El Rev. Brian Coleman, St. Thomas Episcopal Church en Battle Creek

El Rev. Dr. Jared Cramer, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Grand Haven

La Ven. Linda Crane, Grace Episcopal Church en Port Huron

La Rev. Rebecca Crise, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church en Paw Paw

El Rev. Lewis D. Crusoe, St. James Episcopal Church en Cheboygan

La Rev. Dr. Kathleen Dancer, Retired, Muskegon

El Rev. John David, Retirado, Muskegon

La Rev. Dr. Mary Delaney, Retirada, Alma

El Rev. Hugh Dickinson, Retirado, Grand Rapids

La Rev. Elizabeth Morris Downie, Retired, Grand Blanc

El Rev. Tom Downs, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Gladwin

La Rev. Marilyn Dressel, Retired, Traverse City

La Ven. Beth Drews, Trinity Episcopal Church en Three Rivers

La Rev. Paula E. Durren, Retired, New Buffalo

La Rev. Patricia Eichenlaub, Retired, St. Joseph

El Rev. D. Edward Emenheiser, Retired, Traverse City

El Rev. Dr. Mark Engle, Retired, Battle Creek

El Rev. Dr. Valerie Fargo, The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan

El Rev. Michael C. Fedewa, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Muskegon

El Rev. Allan Feltner, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church en Mio

El Rev. Diácono Robert P. Finn, Retired, West Branch

El Rev. William Fleener, Retired, Muskegon

El Rev. Mary Frens, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Fremont

El Muy Rev. Dr. Jay Gantz, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church en Flint

The Rev. Ann Grady, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church en Grand Blanc

El Rev. Dr. Thomas Guback, Retired, Northport

La Rev. Canóniga Anne Hallmark, Diócesis Episcopal del Oeste de Michigan

El Rev. Jim Harrison, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Midland

La Rev. BJ Heyboer, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church en Newaygo

El Rev. John B. Hills, Retirado, Grand Haven

El Rev. Ken Hitch, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Midland

El Rev. Charles Homeyer, Retired, Grand Rapids

El Rev. Peter Homeyer, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church en Wyoming

La Rev. Diácona Kimberly Hoop, Holy Cross Episcopal and Ascension Lutheran Church en Kentwood

La Rev. Kay M. Houck, Trinity Episcopal Church en Lexington

El Rev. Michael Houle, Retirado, Birch Run

La Rev. Mary Jo Hudson, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church en Saginaw

El Rev. Henry Idema, III, Retired, Grand Haven

El Rev. Alan James, Grace Episcopal Church en Grand Rapids

El Rev. Mark Jenkins, Retirado, Battle Creek

El Rev. Dr. Jay Emerson Johnson, All Saints Episcopal Church en Saugatuck

La Rev. Karen Joy Kelly, Retirada, Three Oaks

El Rev. Edward King, Retired, Lexington

El Rev. Ted Koehl, St. Francis Episcopal Church en Orangeville

The Rev. Deacon Anna Leigh Kubbe, Retired Archdeacon, Eastern Michigan

La Rev. Darlene M. S. Kuhn, Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Harbert

La Rev. Rebecca Baird Lepley, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Harsens Island

La Rev. Tracie Little, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church en Fenton

El Rev. James Lively, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Sturgis

La Rev. Pamela Lynch, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church en Gaylord

El Rev. Thomas Manney, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Bad Axe

La Rev. Díacona Judy Marinco, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church en Fenton

El Rev. Mike Marinco, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church en Fenton

La Rev. Lily Marx, St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church en Muskegon

El Rev. Diácono Dr. Daniel L. Maxwell, Trinity Episcopal Church en Alpena

El Rev. Diácono John R. Meengs, Retired, Saugatuck

El Rev. David Meyers, St. Peter’s-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church en Montague

El Muy Rev. Bill McClure, Trinity Episcopal Church en Alpena

El Rev. Richard McKenzie, ELCA clergy serving Trinity Episcopal Church en Grand Ledge

El Rev. DiáconoThomas McPherson, Trinity Episcopal Church en Marshall

El Rev. Kenneth Michnay, ELCA clergy serving St. John’s Episcopal Church en Grand Haven

La Rev. Diácona Cynthia Nawrocki, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church en Grand Rapids

El Rev. Curt Norman, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Saginaw

La Rev. Ann Norton, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church en Otter Lake

El Rev. Thomas O’Dell, Christ Episcopal Church en Charlevoix

La Rev. Rebecca Owsley, Retired, East Tawas

La Rev. Nurya Love Parish, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church en Belmont

El Rev. Diácono Larry Parks, Grace Episcopal Church en Lapeer

La Rev. Sara Parks, Grace Episcopal Church en Lapeer

El Rev. James Perra, Grace Episcopal Church en Traverse City

La Rev. Mary Perrin, St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church en Kalamazoo

El Rev. David R. Pike, St. David’s Episcopal Church en Lansing

La Rev. Diane Pike, Southwest Michigan Episcopal Covenant

La Rev. Elsa Pressentin, Retired, Muskegon

El Rev. Gerald Rehagen, Retired,

La Rev. Pamela Renna, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Saginaw

La Rev. Susan C. Rich, Trinity Episcopal Church en Bay City

El Rev. Rick Schark, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church en Coldwater

El Rev. Daniel S.J. Scheid, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Flint

El Rev. Canónigo Robert Alan Schiesler, Retirado, Grand Rapids

La Rev. Anne Schnaare, Trinity Episcopal Church en Marshall

El Rev. Harold Schneider, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Otter Lake

El Rev. Philip A. Seitz, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church en Atlanta, Christ Episcopal Church en East Tawas

La Rev. Deb Semon-Scott, Retired, Jonesville

La Rev. Dr. Gail A. Shafer, Trinity Episcopal Church en Grand Ledge

La Rev. Mary J. Shortt, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church en Higgins Lake

El Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Snyder, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Grand Haven

La Rev. Diácona Bonnie Smith, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church en Elk Rapids

El Rev. James E. Smith, ELCA clergy serving Trinity Episcopal Church en Three Rivers

El Rev. Diácono Thomas Smith, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church en Davison

El Rev. Jim Sorenson, Retirado, Saginaw

El Rev. Canónigo William J. Spaid, Diócesis Episcopal del Oeste de Michigan

La Rev. Dra. Lydia Agnew Speller, Grace Episcopal Church en Port Huron

La Rev. Diácona Jane Spencer, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Sand Point

El Rev. Canónigo Michael P. Spencer, Diócesis Episcopal del Este de Michigan, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church en Grand Blanc

La Rev. Nancy Steele, Retired, Chesaning

El Rev. Jim Steen, Retirado, Saugatuck

La Rev. Pamela V. Sten, Retirada, Buchanan

La Rev. Diane Stier, St. John’s Episcopal Church en Mount Pleasant

La Rev. Linnea Ruth Peterson Stiffler, Emmanuel Episcopal Church en Hastings

El Rev. Rick Stravers, Retirado, Kalamazoo

El Rev. Charles M. Stuart, Retirado, Saginaw

La Rev. Diácono Christine W. Tillman, Retired, Wyoming

El Rev. Dr. Chysanne Timm, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church en Northport

El Rev. Joel Turmo, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church en Richland

El Rev. David Vickers, Holy Family Episcopal Church en St. Clair

La Rev. Diácona Patricia Vinge, St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church en Kalamazoo

La Rev. Sharon Voelker, Retired, Bay City

El Rev. Robert Walton, St. James Episcopal Church en Albion

El Rev. Dr. Randall R. Warren, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church en Kalamazoo

El Rev. Michael Wernick, Holy Cross Episcopal and Ascension Lutheran Church en Kentwood

El Rev. William Whiting, Retirado, Elk Rapids

El Rev. Michael Wood, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church en Portage

La Rev. Susan York, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church en Grand Rapids

Guidance Around Coronavirus

From a message sent on March 11, 2020.

Dear Friends,

 

As we continue to learn more about the COVID-19 virus, I offer a few more words about our practices as a people of faith in the midst of a health crisis.

Click here to read my original guidance, sent on February 28th.

As faith communities, we are called to be calm and compassionate voices in the midst of fear. We are also called to seek and serve all persons and are charged with loving one another by taking seriously situations that may put one another in harm’s way.

We know and understand that this outbreak will escalate and we will continue to be generous to one another and adaptive in our practices to slow the spread and keep folks healthy and safe. While, for many, the illness may be low-risk, for the elderly and immunocompromised it may be deadly. Out of compassion for one another, I urge you to take precautious to protect the vulnerable among us.

Bishop Hougland reflects on what it means to be compassionate and mindful in the midst of the global health crisis. Watch on Facebook.

 

The following are some new and reiterated guidances for practice in your parish. Please use your best judgement to make the appropriate decisions for your community. These decisions should be made by the priest in consultation with the appropriate lay leaders, or, in the case of no long-term clergy presence, by the wardens of the congregation.

  • Regarding the Clergy – clergy should wash their hands with soap and water before services and use hand sanitizer visibly before distributing communion. If you feel sick or have any symptoms, please remain at home.
  • Regarding Communion – Use of the common cup with proper purificator is low risk. Some research suggests that metal chalices may be less conducive to the spread of germs than ceramic. Though it may seem counterintuitive, intinction is not a safer choice. Please remember that receiving in one kind (bread or wafer only) is full participation in the Eucharist.I understand the canons to require both bread and wine to be available to the congregation. You may choose to offer only a small portion of wine and offer it only to those who seek it rather than pass it along the altar rail.
  • Regarding the Peace – please avoid direct contact. A wave, elbow bump, bow, peace sign, or other greeting is recommended. Please also refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer or at any other time during the service.
  • Regarding the Offering – please avoid passing a plate from one person to the other. Ushers may walk plates up and down the aisle, or plates may be located in a central place for people to leave their contributions.
  • Regarding Baptismal Fonts – when possible, water in baptismal fonts should be drained and the practice of dipping hands in the water should be discontinued.
  • Regarding Morning Prayer – our tradition offers more than one way to come together in worship and several of our congregations are already familiar with this expression of our life of worship. This may be a season to practice sharing in Morning Prayer. Please consider this office as an alternative to the Eucharist for a season or some portion of upcoming Sundays.
  • Regarding cancellations – For us, gathering for worship and prayer is central to our life as Christians. Unless strong recommendations are made by health authorities, I believe we should still gather. Consider using your local school district as a metric – if schools are closed due to health concerns, congregations might close as well.If you need to make that decision, please consider how to make a remote gathering possible amongst your community using Zoom or Facebook Live. You may choose to explore live-streaming your services now to include individuals that, due to personal decision, may need to remain home while others gather.
  • Regarding coffee hour or other served meals – if you need to serve food, please remind your volunteers to wash their hands and handle food with plastic gloves or utensils. Self-service buffets are not recommended. You may choose to serve in individual containers or by food servers wearing gloves.
  • Regarding Eucharistic Visitors and pastoral visits – please ensure that visitors wash their hands and throughly sanitize all vessels. Consider restricting home visits to ordained persons for a time and moving all non-essential visits to a phone call or video chat. Please find ways to check in with your most vulnerable members of your community as this crisis unfolds.
  • Regarding meetings – please consider how you might utilize telephone or online meeting tools, like Zoom, for regular meetings such as bible studies, vestry, and more. Non-essential in-person meetings should be avoided.
  • Regarding outreach programs – consider how you might be called to respond to those experiencing the economic impact of this crisis. If your ministry requires feeding or close contact with others, please be careful to sanitize, wash hands, and use plastic gloves in food preparation both to protect yourself and the people you serve.
  • Regarding the church building – please institute rigorous regular or daily cleaning of all common surfaces, including altar rails, door knobs, etc. Additionally, please make sure you have sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content available throughout your building and at every entrance.
  • Regarding parish staff – please remain flexible regarding sick leave. Anyone caring for a family member or feeling sick should remain at home without penalty. Consider allowing any staff who can work remotely to do so.

Again, at this time, these are recommendations and not directives. I trust our parish leaders to exercise their agency in making the best decisions for their community and individuals to make the best decisions for themselves. We will continue to evaluate, act, and adapt as we come to more concrete understanding of the magnitude of the crisis.

You may find the following resources helpful as you make your decisions:

Our offices, with the wider Church, are continuing to monitor the situation and weigh the risks of planned diocesan gatherings. At this time, next week’s clergy continuing education day and this summer’s mission trip to the Dominican Republic have both been cancelled. If other events are cancelled, registrants will be notified and details will be released via our bi-diocesan newsletter.

And, please, remember to pray – pray for all who are ill and all who care for them. Pray for those without access to consistent or quality healthcare. Pray for those for whom the economic impact of lost wages and low activity is great. Pray for the Church – that we might greet one another with generosity, care, and compassion, especially in this season in which fears are high and separation is easy. Know that I always hold you in my prayers and I hope you do the same for me.

Peace,


The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.
Bishop Provisional, Eastern Michigan
Bishop Diocesan, Western Michigan

Bishop Hougland’s Christmas Message | 2019

The following is a transcription of the video:

Stir up your power, O Lord. And with great might, come among us. And because we are slowly hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help deliver us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hey Western and Eastern Michigan. Whayne Hougland here.

That is the collect for the third Sunday of Advent and it is a beautiful collect because it invites the spirit and power of God to come stir us up, which is kind of what Christmas is all about.

The question that I think we should be asking ourselves in this Advent season of preparing for Christmas is – what is this Messiah we are expecting? What is the Jesus God Among Us, the Emmanuel, that we’re seeking to receive on Christmas?

I think a lot of people, particularly in ancient times, thought of the Messiah as a political hero, a military leader, someone who would break in to the difficult times and just make everything good and holy and create a heaven on earth immediately. And everything would be great and happy.

That the Messiah would come and make everything good. Everyone happy. Everyone healed and whole and restore the whole world under this messiah, this Savior, this King, this Lord of Lords. Except that’s not what we get with this Jesus. This Jesus is not the Messiah that we expect and I wonder if it’s even the Messiah that we want.

Jesus instead, the Messiah, comes in the form of a child as humble and vulnerable an entity as we can relate to. And he comes among us and dwells among us and lives among us and has for over 2,000 years, affecting our lives internally and changing us, not by some bolt of lightning, but slowly. Slowly coming amongst us and changing us into the loving, compassionate, forgiving beings that we were made to be.

What are you looking for in the Messiah? What are you hoping to receive at Christmas? It may not be what you expect. Do we just want a mighty God to come in and fix everything? Or do we not have some share, some role, some relationship in the bringing the kingdom of God to bear as Jesus did?

This is an icon that I picked up in Bethlehem when I was on pilgrimage there a year and a half ago. It’s an icon of Mary and it is unique to Bethlehem because you can see how colorful it is, how bright, and there’s a slight sort of smile on Mary’s face that she is overjoyed to be carrying the Savior of the World – the true Messiah.

There are other icons of Mary that are pretty common but they’re often brown and more somber and there’s not a slight smile on Mary’s face. That’s typically associated with Jerusalem and Jesus’ death.

Here we are on the cusp of Christmas and the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. And it’s here in Bethlehem that Mary bears and brings to bear the Son of God into the World.

The question for us becomes how can we assist Mary in this work. How might we as well cary this Jesus, our Messiah, into the world?

Looking forward to seeing you in the new year. Hope its a blessed and holy and happy one. And that you each have a very Merry Christmas. Thank you.

Suscita tu poder, oh Señor, y con gran potencia ven a nosotros; ya que estamos impedidos penosamente por nuestros pecados, haz que tu abundante gracia y misericordia nos ayuden y libren prontamente; por Jesucristo nuestro Señor.

Hola, Michigan Occidental y Oriental. Whayne Hougland por acá.

Esta es la colecta para el tercer domingo de Adviento. Es una colecta muy hermosa porque invita al espíritu y el poder de Dios a venir a despertarnos, que a fin de cuentas, es de lo que se trata la Navidad.

La pregunta que creo que deberíamos hacernos en esta temporada de Adviento, de preparación para la Navidad es: ¿Quién es este Mesías que estamos esperando? ¿Quién es el Dios de Jesús entre nosotros, el Emmanuel, que estamos buscando recibir en Navidad?

Creo que mucha gente, particularmente en la antigüedad, pensaba en el Mesías como un héroe político, un líder militar, alguien que llegaría en tiempos difíciles y simplemente haría todo bueno y santo y crearía un cielo en la tierra inmediatamente. Y todo sería feliz para siempre.

El Mesías vendría y lo arreglaría todo. Todo el mundo sería feliz. Todas las enfermedades sanarían y el mundo entero sería renovado bajo este Mesías, este Salvador, este Rey, este Señor de Señores. Excepto que eso no es lo que obtenemos con este Jesús. Este Jesús no es el Mesías que esperamos y me pregunto si es incluso el Mesías que queremos.

En cambio, Jesús, el Mesías, viene en la forma de un niño, un ser humilde y vulnerable con el que podemos relacionarnos. El viene entre nosotros, y habita entre nosotros, y vive entre nosotros, y lo ha hecho durante más de 2,000 años, afectando nuestras vidas internamente y cambiándonos, no por la fuerza, sino lentamente. Viniendo a vivir entre nosotros lentamente y transformándonos en los seres amorosos, compasivos y perdonadores que fuimos creados para ser.

¿Qué estás buscando en el Mesías? ¿Qué esperas recibir en Navidad? Puede que no sea lo que esperas. ¿Queremos que un Dios poderoso llegue y lo arregle todo? ¿O será que nos toca hacer algo, jugar algún papel, cultivar alguna relación, para que el reino de Dios venga, tal como lo hizo Jesús?

Este es un icono que recogí en Belén cuando estaba en peregrinación allí hace un año y medio. Es un ícono de María y es exclusivo de Belén porque se puede ver cuán colorido es, cuán brillante, y que María tiene dibujada una sonrisa porque está encantada de llevar en su seno al Salvador del Mundo: el verdadero Mesías.

Hay otros íconos de María que son bastante comunes, pero a menudo son marrones y más sombríos y no hay ninguna sonrisa en el rostro de María. Estos están típicamente asociados con Jerusalén y la muerte de Jesús.

Aquí estamos en la cúspide de la Navidad y el lugar de nacimiento de Jesús en Belén. Y es aquí en Belén donde María lleva y trae al Hijo del Dios al mundo.

La pregunta para nosotros es cómo podemos ayudar a María en esta labor. ¿Cómo podríamos también llevar a este Jesús, nuestro Mesías, al mundo?

Espero verlos en el año nuevo. Espero que sea un año bendecido, santo y feliz. Y que cada uno tenga una muy feliz Navidad. Gracias.

Bishop Hougland’s Message to the Diocese Post-Sabbatical

Watch on Facebook // Watch on YouTube

The following is a transcript of this video message:

Hi, Western Michigan. Whayne Hougland here. I’m back!

I wanted to take a few moments to say thank you. Thank you for the great generosity and the great gift that you gave Dana and I to have this time away – to take a step back to reconnect with each other and to rest and to explore some of the world. And we just can’t thank you enough for the great gift. It is a rare opportunity to do this, and I don’t take it lightly. And I just want you to know how much I really do appreciate it.

So, what did we do? We flew out of here on the first of May. We flew to Italy, and spent time in the great cities of Italy: Venice and Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome, and also some time down in the southern coast of Amalfi and got to see Positano and Mount Vesuvius. Saw the Vatican and went to the Uffizi museum in Florence and countless churches in the countryside of Tuscany. It really is beautiful. That was a great gift.

And then from there we went on to Spain and met my parents and spent some time in and around Madrid.

And then we flew up north to the Basque country which is where my grandparents are from. We spent one of the best days in the little village of Natxitua where my grandfather was born. It’s on the very northern coast of Spain. Can’t be more than a couple dozen buildings in this little community. We went to lunch that day at the only restaurant in town and we got to talking with the owner of the restaurant. My mother said, “I’m an Astoreca from here,” and so the owner got on the phone and started calling people. And some folks came to have lunch with us, and it was really wonderfully touching and moving. It was really just a great experience.

And then from there we travelled a little bit on the Camino de Santiago. We drove – I didn’t walk this time. I got to show Dana some of the sights that I had toured nine years ago when I made my pilgrimage to Santiago. We spent some time in Portugal and then back in Spain, southern Spain through Seville and Granada. And then we left out of Barcelona.

I’ve never eaten so much pasta and drank so much red wine. It was really great. And I didn’t gain too much weight either. We had a really wonderful time.

Along the way, we sold our house in North Carolina – yay! – after almost six years now. So that was a great burden that’s been lifted.

And when we came in July, we had to move from our house that we’ve been renting here in Grand Rapids. We moved from our five-bedroom home to a one-bedroom apartment. And we did that intentionally because we decided that we needed to let go of some stuff that we’ve been holding on to for too long. We spent almost three weeks, probably more than three weeks, trying to sort through 35 years of marriage and raising two children and figuring out what is essential and what is not.

You may know Marie Kondo. She’s a Japanese organizational consultant. She has this way of looking at your stuff and determining whether you should keep it or not by saying, “Does this bring you joy or not?”

So, we spent a lot of time trying to determine what brings us joy. And we ended up giving away a lot of stuff. Most of our furniture, most of our clothes, just about all of our children’s art projects… I mean, you know how it is. So, we had to sort through all that stuff, and it was really hard. It was super emotional, and it was also kind of freeing.

And I think if there’s been a theme that’s been emerging for me as I’ve been reflecting on what this sabbatical has been, it’s that taking the time to assess where you find joy in life and what are the things that bring you joy. It’s a great way to sift through all the stuff and get to what is essential. And letting go of those things that are not essential, what I’ve found is you really do find space for what’s new. I think what God was doing with meanyway in this sabbatical was trying to clear out space so that I might be ready and open for what is new.

And so, we’re back now. This is my first week back in the office. Got a lot of stuff coming up on the agenda moving forward. And it’s a lot of hopeful and exciting, for some, maybe anxious kind of things. But I think that in the spirit of trying to find our joy and trying to determine what is essential and seeking to be open to what God is giving us, there’s a lot of hope for the future.

You’ve probably seen that two of our staff members have resigned. First of all, Gennie Callard, who has done a really wonderful job for many, many years has decided to resign and move back closer to family in Massachusetts. And I really respect her and honor her for her work here and the way she is moving forward to care for her family. Thank you, Gennie, for all the good work that you’ve done. You’ve been a real blessing, and you’ll be missed.

And Tricia, who’s only been here for a short time as my assistant, just got an offer she couldn’t refuse from her home denomination to serve on the leadership team of the primary authority for that denomination. It’s like working for Michael Curry, our Presiding Bishop. And so she said she just couldn’t pass it up. We thank her also for the good work that she’s done here in helping us transition to new offices. And we wish her well, wish them both well and God bless.

We will miss them. But I think it’s also an opportunity for us to reassess and to reconsider how we’ve done things and how we might do things fresh and that’s quite hopeful.

Coming up almost immediately – this weekend as a matter of fact – we’ll begin our pre-convention meetings to discuss budget and plans for our convention in November. We’re going to start dancing intentionally real close now with the Diocese of Eastern Michigan as we move forward with that relationship and see what exciting things are in store there.

And so I’m really looking forward to being here. And I’m really glad to be back. I found that not being so busy wasn’t so good. I prefer being busy, and so I’m glad to be back with you.

I hope you’re well. Hope you’ve had a good summer. I’m looking forward to the fall and an exciting new year coming up as we approach convention. And I look forward to seeing you out there.

God bless and thanks.

Departures from Diocesan Staff

Dear Friends,

Two of our diocesan staff members have announced their plans to move on to their next phase of ministry.

– – –

After sixteen years on our diocesan staff, Gennie Callard has submitted her resignation as the Bishop’s Assistant for Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries. She will be moving back to Massachusetts to be closer to her family.

Over the course of her ministry among us, Gennie has developed top-tier programs for the formation in our community and has helped curate a culture in our diocese in which the youngest among us are honored and heard at all levels of leadership. In addition to our camping programs, Gennie has helped to create opportunities for our youngest Episcopalians and those who support them across our diocese, state, and wider church through convention, youth programming, the Episcopal Youth Event, trainings, retreats, and more.

In addition to her work in children’s and youth ministry, Gennie has worked closely with Sudanese Grace, caring and supporting them in their development as a congregation. Most recently, through her work as President of Province V of the Episcopal Church, Gennie was instrumental in the creation and organization of the wonderfully successful Big Provincial Gathering, held last month in Kalamazoo.

Gennie has been a champion of young people in our church, increasing the impact of their witness and ministry amongst us. We are grateful for her commitment to young people, passion for ministry, and her many years of leadership in our diocese. She departs from us with our thanks and blessings for all of life’s adventures before her. Gennie’s ministry with us will conclude August 31st. A celebration of Gennie and her ministry is being planned for sometime later this fall. Details to come.

– – –

Tricia Leistra has also resigned in order to accept an unexpected offer to serve on the national staff of the Reformed Church of America, her home denomination.

Tricia came on board earlier this Spring as the Diocesan Office Administrator, supporting the bishop’s day-to-day activities and the organization of the diocesan office. In these few short months, Tricia has helped us to live into our transition of our diocesan office from Kalamazoo to Wyoming and helped to improve efficiency and transparency in our diocesan operations.

Her outside perspective has been an asset to our community as we move forward to becoming more responsive, flexible, and in-tuned with the diocese and the wider church. Tricia’s ministry with us will conclude August 28th.

– – –

I am grateful for the leadership of these two incredible staff members and send them off with our sincere gratitude for their time with us and prayers as they move ahead.

Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: Send down upon our friends, the healthful Spirit of thy grace: and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Peace,

The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.
Bishop Diocesan,
The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

A Milestone Year for Women in the Church

by the Rev. Canon Valerie Ambrose

In my visits with parishes and vestries around our diocese I often hear the question, “Why does the church move so slowly?”  That certainly was a question posed by supporters of women’s ordination to the priesthood for 87 years after the first women were approved to be ordained deaconesses and for more than four decades after the first woman was ordained a priest in the Anglican Communion.

Why does the church move so slowly?

This year marks the 75thanniversary of the ordination of Florence Tim-Oi in Hong Kong by The Rt. Rev. R. O. Hall.  However, she delayed serving as a priest in order to protect her bishop from censure while waiting for the Anglican Communion to acknowledge her ordination.  Considered a counter-revolutionary by the Communist government of the People’s Republic of China, Tim-Oi was forced to undergo political re-education and to work on a farm and later in a factory until 1974.  She eventually was allowed to exercise her priestly ministry in the nationalized Chinese church.  After visiting family in Canada in 1981 she moved there and was licensed in the dioceses of Montreal and Toronto, where she served until her death in 1992.

Two other women, Jane Hwang and Joyce Bennett, were ordained to the priesthood in Hong Kong in 1971 by Bishop Gilbert Baker. Those ordinations fueled the debate in our country over whether women could be ordained as priests here as well. In the preceding year our General Convention had eliminated the deaconess canon and voted to ordain women as deacons equally as men.  At that same convention, where women could serve as deputies for the first time, lay deputies voted to approve the ordination of women to the priesthood, but the clerical order defeated that resolution.  Again at the 1973 General Convention the vote to approve the ordination of women to the priesthood failed to pass.

Following that convention 11 women deacons were “irregularly” ordained to the priesthood in Philadelphia in 1974.  Another 4 women were ordained priests in 1975 in Washington, D.C.   At the 1976 General Convention growing support for women’s ordination led to both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies finally approving women to be ordained to the priesthood and episcopate.  A short 13 years later in 1989, The Rev. Barbara C. Harris was consecrated the first female bishop of our Church, and in 2006 The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori was the first woman to be elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, thereby making her the first female Primate of the Anglican Communion.

To some the Church moves far too slowly.  To some the Church moves far too quickly.

To some the Church moves far too slowly.  To some the Church moves far too quickly.  But most would agree that the structure and polity of our Church allows for ample study, debate and prayerful discernment as we strive to heed the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Since the first ordination of a woman to the priesthood 75 years ago, tremendous equality for women in the Church has been achieved and appreciated in many corners of the worldwide Anglican Communion.  May the gifts of all God’s sons and daughters continue to be affirmed and celebrated.  And may everyone’s talents and faith also be understood to be imbued by God for the carrying out the mission of the Church–to restore all people to unity with one another and God.

Patience and Impatience

by the Rev. Canon Anne Hallmark

One mild spring morning during a retreat, two women were walking in a field. 

The younger woman was lamenting how unimportant her life was, how far from perfect she was as an individual, how little glory she was giving to God.  As she was saying these things, the pair came upon a very small and flawless light blue flower surrounded by green grass.

The older woman asked the younger, “Is there anything wrong with that flower?”  “Nothing.” “Is the flower unimportant?” “No, it’s beautiful.”  “Does it glorify God completely?” “Oh! Yes.”

When I consider June as Pride Month,” I believe the point is the same.

We, each of us, no matter what our life and work, glorify the Living God by blossoming as fully and freely as we are able, remembering always that it is the Love of God that creates us as we are and keeps us becoming.

For me, Pride Month honors participation in the long march out of the darkness of active repression, contemptuous stereotyping, and willful ignorance.

For me, Pride Month honors participation in the long march out of the darkness of active repression, contemptuous stereotyping, and willful ignorance.  Many have already braved much to speak up, to be visible, to demonstrate against such evil.  I wish I could say that the road ahead is clear but I know it is lined with badly frightened people who attempt to hide their fear with rage, aggression, and confusion.  Even so, Love marches on.

Thank you, each and everyone who has found and used your voice to express the wholeness of who you are, particularly with regard to something so tender and vulnerable as your sexual identity.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Thank you for your impatience and outrage.  Thank you for speaking out, for being out.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Thank you for your impatience and outrage.

I believe that by your generous and courageous words and deeds, you are living out the Baptismal Vow each of us makes every time we renew those vows, the commitment “to seek and serve Christ in all persons”.  Thank you for calling all of us to more abundant possibilities of love fully and freely expressed.

The lives of all who are celebrating and being celebrated by Pride Month fill me with gratitude for the risks our brothers and sisters have taken, some smaller, some larger, some life-shattering – the risk of expressing their individual humanity, the struggle to blossom as the unique creation each one is.  And, I am deeply grateful for the the gatherings this month that express, support, encourage, and joyfully celebrate this way of walking in the Love of God.

Ascension Day

by the Rev. Canon Bill Spaid

Ascension Day is one of my favorite feast days. I love the scriptures, prayers, psalms, hymns, and just the fact that by the time Ascension Day rolls around spring really has arrived here in the north.

Sadly, though, this festival of the church often gets lost in the plethora of graduations, proms, Mothers’ Day, Memorial Day and other springtime events.

I find a whimsical delight in the imagery of the Ascension; our Lord’s sandaled feet dangling from a cloud and the disciples standing with their mouths agape wondering what was going on. I imagine that had I been there I would have been grabbing for those feet trying to pull him back to earth. But the whole point of the Ascension is that Jesus is no longer the Master of a small band of disciples in a particular place and time, but the ruler of the universe who transcends time and place.

Think about how in our prayers we often are grabbing for Jesus’ feet – “O Lord be with us…, O Lord please help me…, O Lord if only… O Lord, please fix/heal/save…”  You get the idea.  They’re fine prayers, really, but do we also pray with imagination and hope and a longing for what might be in a kingdom that already is.

In the collect for Ascension Day, we pray that as Jesus has ascended into heaven, so may we also in heart and mind there ascend.

I wonder what our churches would look like if we prayed with the imagination of what heaven would be if it was our community. Do we share a vision of hope that enlarges our scope of the world and all that is holy, and embraces a mystery that calls us into new and deeper relationships with God and one another, and the world around us?

I certainly see heaven apparent in many instances in my visits to parishes – where vision and imagination are transformed into generous engagement with their communities in service, and where formation contributes to a lively sense of faith and commitment, and where people feel safe and welcome to participate.

Our Canon Missioners — Val, Anne and I – would enjoy and welcome the opportunity to engage in conversations with you about how we can more confidently look to Jesus and see the hope to which he has called you and the immeasurable greatness in his power in us who believe.

The kingdom of God, my friends, is in our midst.