Feast Days with Bishop Skip – Maundy Thursday

Just for the fun of it we’ll begin with a little Latin.  The liturgical name for today is taken from the first antiphon of the ceremony of the washing of the feet, “mandatum novum,” John 13:34.  It is obvious from where the English words “mandate” and “command” derive.

We find in the scriptures appointed for this day three mandates.  In Exodus, concerning the Passover, the Israelites are told “You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord.”  In I Corinthians, Paul, recounting the events of the meal on the night Jesus was betrayed, passes on Jesus’ words, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  Then in John’s Gospel we hear from Jesus directly a new commandment following his washing of the disciple’s feet, “Love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  There are no “may” rubrics here that give permission to opt out – declarative statements all around.

All of the events referenced, the Passover, the Lord’s Supper and the Foot Washing, are living sermons.  Each one is about love; God’s active love for us and our love for each other which is a way of loving God.  These great expressions of love are portrayed in the simple yet intimate acts of feeding and washing.  Is it not in moments of such service, diakonia, when we often are able to show our love in the offering of oneself to another?  Paul is saying there cannot even be a Eucharist in a community whose members do not love one another.

I think immediately of when my children were small and the delight, usually, of the high chair ceremony.  This was high church.  We got our positions, the vested bib was in place, and a jar of food was warmed in the special bowl for this mealtime alone, adorned with the family children’s spoon.  Tradition is important.  In this case the washing followed the eating, but bath time was also a highly ritualized event.

I am reminded too of such moments on the other end of life.  Times when my parents were ill and dying and once again vested in bibs and gowns, feeding and washing, intimate moments of connection through the love of eye contact and being close in deeply held thanksgiving that did not need words.  The gratitude was thick in the air and it went both ways.  Lots of remembering occurred.

One could argue that it was all sacramental in that each tender moment was an expression of the love that goes beyond oneself and is directed toward another.  Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the ways in which we remember him and one another, hold this entire cycle of life from birth to death.  It gives life to all, the giver and the receiver, and transforms the relationship.  A bond is forged that is indelible, never to be forgotten, and in such moments not a single morsel is lost because there time has no meaning.  Eternal life is made present.  It is the sacrament of the moment.  It is cosmic.

So it is with the pattern of the life of faith.  Such acts of Gospel love epitomize the paradox of the Gospel where at a table or wash basin the offerings of hospitality usually attributed to a common servant become revolutionary.  The three days initiated today, in their unity, invite us to this revolution of love.

Bishop Skip

 

 

Sólo por diversión empezaremos con un poco de latín.  El nombre litúrgico de hoy está tomado de la primera antífona de la ceremonia del lavatorio de los pies, “mandatum novum”, Juan 13,34.  Es obvio de dónde derivan las palabras en inglés “mandate” y “command”.

Encontramos en las escrituras designadas para este día tres mandatos.  En el Éxodo, a propósito de la Pascua, se dice a los israelitas: “La celebraréis como una fiesta para el Señor”.  En I Corintios, Pablo, relatando los acontecimientos de la cena de la noche en que Jesús fue traicionado, transmite las palabras de Jesús: “Haced esto en memoria mía”.  Luego, en el Evangelio de Juan, escuchamos directamente de Jesús un nuevo mandamiento tras el lavado de los pies de los discípulos: “Amaos los unos a los otros; como yo os he amado, amaos también los unos a los otros”.  Aquí no hay rúbricas de “puede” que den permiso para excluirse, sino que se trata de afirmaciones declarativas.

Todos los eventos a los que se hace referencia, la Pascua, la Cena del Señor y el Lavado de los Pies, son sermones vivos.  Cada uno tiene que ver con el amor; el amor activo de Dios por nosotros y nuestro amor por los demás, que es una forma de amar a Dios.  Estas grandes expresiones de amor se retratan en los simples pero íntimos actos de alimentación y lavado.  ¿No es en los momentos de ese servicio, de la diaconía, cuando a menudo somos capaces de mostrar nuestro amor en el ofrecimiento de uno mismo a otro?  Pablo dice que no puede haber una Eucaristía en una comunidad cuyos miembros no se aman unos a otros.

Pienso inmediatamente en cuando mis hijos eran pequeños y en el deleite, por lo general, de la ceremonia de la trona.  Se trataba de la alta iglesia.  Nos colocamos en nuestras posiciones, el babero de la ropa estaba en su sitio, y un tarro de comida se calentaba en el cuenco especial para este momento de la comida solo, adornado con la cuchara de los niños de la familia.  La tradición es importante.  En este caso, el lavar seguía a la comida, pero la hora del baño también era un evento altamente ritualizado.

También recuerdo esos momentos en el otro extremo de la vida.  Tiempos en los que mis padres estaban enfermos y moribundos y, una vez más, se vestían con baberos y batas, alimentando y lavando, momentos íntimos de conexión a través del amor del contacto visual y estando cerca en una acción de gracias profundamente sostenida que no necesitaba palabras.  La gratitud era espeso en el aire y fue en ambos sentidos.  Se produjeron muchos recuerdos.

Se podría argumentar que todo era sacramental en el sentido que cada momento de ternura era una expresión del amor que va más allá de uno mismo y se dirige a otro.  La muerte y resurrección de Jesús, y las formas en que lo recordamos a él y a los demás, sostienen todo este ciclo de la vida, desde el nacimiento hasta la muerte.  Da vida a todos, al dador y al receptor, y transforma la relación.  Se forja un vínculo indeleble, nunca olvidado, y en esos momentos no se pierde ni un bocado porque allí el tiempo no tiene sentido.  La vida eterna se hace presente.  Es el sacramento del momento.  Es cósmico.

Así es con el modelo de la vida de fe.  Tales actos de amor evangélico personifican la paradoja del Evangelio, donde en una mesa o en un lavabo las ofrendas de hospitalidad normalmente atribuidas a un siervo común se convierten en revolucionarias.  Los tres días iniciados hoy, en su unidad, nos invitan a esta revolución del amor.

Obispo Skip

Easter Message from Bishop Skip

Easter Day always brings to mind fond memories from my childhood. One that sticks in my mind, perhaps just for the simplicity of the event, is of my two sisters and me in new Easter clothes standing in our front yard in northeast Baltimore. All the while my Mom and Dad are attempting to get us to hold still long enough to get pictures of us in our fresh regalia. This was a big deal. Even as a child I realized that the cost of the new clothes had a significant impact on the family budget.

We knew something special was going on. We knew not only because of the new clothes, but also because such a fuss was being made over us. We also knew something was happening at our home parish, The Church of the Messiah, which was the reason for the dress up. Everything felt new. It was in the excitement of the air. The day itself seemed new. There was a freshness and aliveness among the people as at no other time. I didn’t know why, but this young boy felt new as well. In fact, I knew I was new! Something was happening.

Now I know more clearly that something was happening because something had happened on that first Easter Day. It was not the resurrection of an idea, or a belief system, or a feeling, but of Jesus of Nazareth. Something happened to Jesus himself. The Scriptures are clear about this. “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised: he is not here” (Mark 16:6). And because something happened to Jesus, something is happening amongst his people. We may not be able to explain it all nor do we need to.  Even the Scriptures don’t explain it, they proclaim it – Christ is Risen. So we too gather in a community of worshipful attention and intention, virtually or otherwise, to proclaim that something happened to Jesus. By proclaiming that truth, we look for and expect that something is happening among us.

At Easter we gather to shout God’s victory, not our own. We are raised because Jesus is raised. Out of that hope we are invited to live a life in thanksgiving for that gift with hearts bursting with joy, and thereby bring God’s transforming love to bear in all that we do. This new life takes shape as we witness for God’s peace, God’s justice, God’s embrace, and the defeat of anything that keeps anyone in the bondage of not knowing the freedom of God’s hope for her or him. It is precisely within this life that the proclamation of hope to those in need and pain takes place. Jesus’ resurrection is a radical affirmation that it is right now where eternal life becomes real in us as a people of healing for the world.

The great liturgical theologian Aidan Kavanagh said, “The Jesus of our faith died, rose, and became a people.” So we gather as a community to worship the One who is hope. As Christ is alive among us we are given the assurance that nothing can snuff out the life in us that Jesus has resurrected. Nowhere is it clearer to me than in the simple truth of God’s people struggling along with me to embrace our own gifted humanity.  We discover along the way that God’s new life is right in the midst of us. We are alive and new once again. Something is happening!

Bishop Skip

 

 

El Día de Pascua siempre me trae a la mente buenos recuerdos de mi infancia. Una que se me queda grabada, quizá sólo por la sencillez del acontecimiento, es la de mis dos hermanas y yo con ropa nueva de Pascua, de pie en nuestro patio delantero en el noreste de Baltimore. Mientras tanto, mi madre y mi padre intentan que nos quedemos quietos el tiempo suficiente para hacernos fotos con nuestros nuevos atuendos. Esto fue algo importante. Incluso cuando era niño me di cuenta que el costo de la ropa nueva tenía un impacto significativo en el presupuesto familiar.

Sabíamos que algo especial estaba pasando. Lo sabíamos no sólo por la ropa nueva, sino también por el alboroto que se armaba. También sabíamos que algo estaba sucediendo en nuestra parroquia natal, La Iglesia del Mesías, que era la razón para el vestido. Todo se sintió nuevo. La emoción estaba en el aire. El día mismo parecía nuevo. Había una frescura y una vida entre la gente como en ningún otro momento. No sabía por qué, pero este joven también se sentía nuevo. ¡De hecho, sabía que era nuevo! Algo estaba pasando.

Ahora sé más claramente que algo estaba sucediendo porque algo había sucedido en ese primer día de Pascua. No era la resurrección de una idea, o un sistema de creencias, o un sentimiento, sino de Jesús de Nazaret. Algo le pasó a Jesús mismo. Las Escrituras son claras al respecto. “Buscas a Jesús de Nazaret, que fue crucificado. Ha resucitado: no está aquí” (Marcos 16:6). Y debido a que algo le pasó a Jesús, algo está sucediendo entre su gente. Puede que no seamos capaces de explicarlo todo ni necesitamos hacerlo.  Incluso las Escrituras no lo explican, ellos lo proclaman — Cristo resucitó. Así que nosotros también nos reunimos en una comunidad de atención e intención de adoración, virtualmente o no, para proclamar que algo le sucedió a Jesús. Al proclamar esa verdad, buscamos y esperamos que algo esté sucediendo entre nosotros.

En Pascua nos reunimos para gritar la victoria de Dios, no la nuestra. Resucitamos porque Jesús ha resucitado. A partir de esa esperanza, se nos invita a vivir una vida de agradecimiento por ese don, con corazones rebosantes de alegría, y así llevar el amor transformador de Dios a todo lo que hacemos. Esta nueva vida toma forma cuando damos testimonio de la paz de Dios, de la justicia de Dios, del abrazo de Dios y de la derrota de todo lo que mantiene a alguien en la esclavitud de no conocer la libertad de la esperanza de Dios para él o ella. Es precisamente en esta vida donde tiene lugar el anuncio de la esperanza a los necesitados y al dolor. La resurrección de Jesús es una afirmación radical de que es ahora mismo cuando la vida eterna se hace realidad en nosotros como pueblo de sanación para el mundo.

El gran teólogo litúrgico Aidan Kavanagh dijo: “El Jesús de nuestra fe murió, resucitó y se hizo pueblo”. Así que nos reunimos como una comunidad para adorar a Aquel que es esperanza. Como Cristo está vivo entre nosotros se nos da la seguridad de que nada puede apagar la vida en nosotros que Jesús ha resucitado. En ningún lugar lo veo más claro que en la simple verdad del pueblo de Dios que lucha junto a mí por abrazar nuestra propia humanidad dotada.  Descubrimos a lo largo del camino que la nueva vida de Dios está en medio de nosotros. Estamos vivos y nuevos una vez más. ¡Algo estaba pasando!

Obispo Skip

 

Feast Days with Bishop Skip – The Annunciation


Announcements come in many forms.  I recall with some measure of fondness the morning announcements over the intercom in the public schools I attended.  There are announcements we receive by mail, email or social media proclaiming significant moments in life such as a birth, a wedding or a graduation. Today’s celebration marks the greeting of the angel Gabriel to Mary announcing a birth that is yet to come.  If you do the math you realize that Christmas is nine months from now.

We have here the beginning of a succession of characters in Luke’s gallery of people with little or no status in the culture, such as women, and in this case most likely a young teenager, being called upon to do great things with God.  Even Nazareth was a tiny out-of-the- way town of no more than one hundred fifty people.  So I wonder.  To how many young women did Gabriel go before a yes came back in reply?  Could we have had the Blessed Virgin Rachel, or Zipporah, or Hannah?

One might argue that the biblical text in Luke does not indicate Mary had a whole lot of choice in the matter:  “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son.”  Yet we also learn that she was “troubled” by such a greeting, indicating some sort of internal wrestling.  Well, yes!  I find this to be one of the great understatements in all of scripture.  Of course she was troubled, even disturbed and overwhelmed I would think.  This is no ordinary day in one’s life.   Then being told not to be afraid, which means of course there was indeed something of which to be afraid, she does give her assent: “Let it be to me according to your word.”

It is that assent of Mary which has prompted many to say that she is the model believer as she accepted her vocation as the God-bearer, “theotokos” in Eastern Orthodoxy, with perfect conformity of will.  I do not want to overly romanticize Mary’s “yes,” however.  In dialogue with the Annunciation event, I want to push back a bit and ask if we have here a conflated chronology.  I guess it is my own humanity which wants to believe that Mary’s troubled pondering lasted more than the seconds it takes to read of it.  Discernment of God’s call on one’s life, especially when it is transformative and involves a complete redirection, takes time in prayer that comes out of a deep grounding and preparation.  It reminds me of other’s acts of obedience in the biblical witness such as of Abraham and Sarah.  In modern times we might think of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, or Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Whatever the process of discernment that occurred, the theological point is made.  Through the angel Gabriel, God announced a call to faithfulness and Mary said yes.  Her wonderfully grace-filled response to God is beautiful and the Church has admired her for it throughout the centuries since:  “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.”  Know too that you are full of grace and out of that deep embrace of God may you find the will to say yes to the angel as close to you as your own breath.

 

 

Los anuncios vienen de muchas formas.  Recuerdo con cierto cariño los anuncios matutinos sobre el intercomunicador en las escuelas públicas a las que asistí.  Hay anuncios que recibimos por correo, correo electrónico o redes sociales proclamando momentos significativos en la vida como un nacimiento, una boda o una graduación. La celebración de hoy marca el saludo del ángel Gabriel a María anunciando un nacimiento que aún está por venir.  Si haces las cuentas te das cuenta que la Navidad es de nueve meses a partir de ahora.

Aquí tenemos el comienzo de una sucesión de personajes en la galería de Lucas de personas con poco o ningún estatus en la cultura, como las mujeres, y en este caso muy probablemente una joven adolescente, siendo llamada a hacer grandes cosas con Dios.  Incluso Nazaret era una pequeña ciudad fuera del camino de no más de ciento cincuenta personas.  Así que me pregunto.  ¿A cuántas jóvenes acudió Gabriel antes de recibir un sí como respuesta?  ¿Podríamos haber tenido a la Santísima Virgen Raquel, o a Séfora, o a Ana?

Uno podría argumentar que el texto bíblico en Lucas no indica que María tuviera mucha decisión en el asunto:  «He aquí, concebirás en tu vientre y darás a luz un Hijo.»  Sin embargo, también aprendemos que estaba «preocupada» por tal saludo, lo que indica algún tipo de lucha libre interna.  ¡Así es!  Me parece que ésta es una de las grandes subestimaciones de toda la Escritura.  Por supuesto que estaba preocupada, incluso perturbada y abrumada, creo.  Este no es un día ordinario en la vida de uno.   Entonces, cuando se le dice que no tenga miedo, lo que significa que sí había algo que temer, da su consentimiento: “Que sea para mí según tu palabra”.

Es ese asentimiento de María el que ha llevado a muchos a decir que es el modelo de creyente, ya que aceptó su vocación de portadora de Dios, “theotokos” en la ortodoxia oriental, con perfecta conformidad de voluntad.  Sin embargo, no quiero romantizar demasiado el «sí» de María.  En el diálogo con el acontecimiento de la Anunciación, quiero retroceder un poco y preguntar si tenemos aquí una cronología confusa.  Supongo que es mi propia humanidad la que quiere creer que las cavilaciones de María duraron más que los segundos que se tarda en leerlas.  El discernimiento de la llamada de Dios a la propia vida, especialmente cuando es transformadora e implica una reorientación completa, requiere tiempo de oración que surge de una profunda fundamentación y preparación.  Me recuerda los actos de obediencia de otros en el testimonio bíblico, como el de Abraham y Sara.  En los tiempos modernos podríamos pensar en Martin Luther King, Jr, Harriet Tubman, o el arzobispo Oscar Romero.

Cualquiera que sea el proceso de discernimiento que ocurrió, se hace el punto teológico.  Por medio del ángel Gabriel, Dios anunció un llamado a la fidelidad y María dijo que sí.  Su maravillosa respuesta a Dios llena de gracia es hermosa y la Iglesia la ha admirado por ella a lo largo de los siglos desde entonces:  “Ave María, llena de gracia, el Señor está contigo”.  Sepan también que están llenos de gracia y de ese profundo abrazo de Dios que encuentren la voluntad de decir sí al ángel tan cerca de usted como su propio aliento.

 

Feast Days with Bishop Skip – St. Joseph

 

During his time with the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, Bishop Skip will offer some brief teaching on each of the major feast days. Today’s post recognizes the Feast Day of St. Joseph, March 19th, 2021. 

Some years ago a dear friend gave me an icon of St. Joseph and the Christ Child.  We were at the time young fathers.  I remember that when I first looked at it I stopped breathing for a second.  I had many times seen icons of the Blessed Mother and the Infant Jesus.  This was different.  To see the Child Jesus with his cheek pressed close to that of his earthly father’s spoke of an intimacy of father and child that reached into my soul.  I could not take my eyes off of that gossamer border demarcating two faces touching, portraying the love of a son leaning into the warmth of his father.  I wondered what the icon writer was praying when crafting such a window to gaze upon God.

Praying through that icon from time to time has been very rich.  Sometimes I am Joseph, the father.  I cannot help but ponder the responsibility he obediently embraced to be a model of faithfulness to the boy Jesus.  The story of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple begins with the words, “Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover.”  Every year.  This, then, was the twelfth time since Jesus was born and in that regularity we discover a faithful Jewish family that must have formed Jesus’ heart and soul.  One wonders when he entered Jerusalem for the last time on this earth if Jesus recalled those times as a boy.  I think of my own sons, one born on this very day of the year, and yes my daughter too, and regularly pray that they may know the gift of God’s embrace deep within.  I treasure every moment of past and present when my cheek touched theirs and does again even through the electrons of a text message.

Sometimes I am the child in the icon.  I give thanks for my formation in Christian faith by my own father and these days find that I, when praying for the repose of the soul of both of my parents, give thanks for all with which they gifted me.  I will never forget a moment as a boy, and I do believe I was twelve years old, when I was watching a television program concerning nuclear annihilation.  As I remember it the statement was made in the show that all that might survive would be colonies of ants with their complex social structures, or perhaps just cockroaches which were especially impervious to radiation.  I went outside to find my father planting a tree and told him of my fear and concern.  He looked at me a moment and said, “I understand why that would bother you, but what I want you to remember is that God came to us as a human being, not an insect.”  I found strength there.  I walked away comforted and I know now my cheek and his were pressed close.

The punch line of the account in Luke of the boy Jesus in the temple and his parent’s frantic searching for him is when he says his first recorded words, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  Jesus’ growing maturity is shown here as he claims his own identity. He even recognizes that his relationship with God supersedes all relationships, including that of family.  This is a hard teaching.  I dare to pray, “God, may my children, the ones for whom I would search to the end of the earth, love you more than they love me.”  Yet I also pray, “God, may they in my love, find your love.”

 

 

Hace algunos años un querido amigo me dio una imagen de San José y del Niño Cristo.  En ese momento éramos padres jóvenes.  Recuerdo que cuando lo miré por primera vez dejé de respirar por un segundo.  Había visto muchas veces imágenes de la Santísima Madre y del Niño Jesús.  Esto era diferente.  Ver al Niño Jesús con la mejilla pegada a la de su padre terrenal me hablaba de una intimidad de padre e hijo que me llegaba al alma.  No podía apartar los ojos de esa frontera de gasa que delimitaba dos rostros que se tocaban, retratando el amor de un hijo que se apoya en el calor de su padre.  Me he preguntado qué rezaba el autor de la imagen al confeccionar semejante ventana para contemplar a Dios.

Rezar a través de ese icono de vez en cuando ha sido muy enriquecedor.  A veces soy José, el padre.  No puedo dejar de reflexionar sobre la responsabilidad que él aceptó obedientemente de ser un modelo de fidelidad al niño Jesús.  La historia de Jesús de doce años en el templo comienza con las palabras: “Todos los años sus padres iban a Jerusalén para la fiesta de la Pascua”.  Cada año.  Esta, pues, era la duodécima vez que nacía Jesús y en esa regularidad descubrimos una familia judía fiel que debió formar el corazón y el alma de Jesús.  Uno se pregunta, cuando entró en Jerusalén por última vez en esta tierra, si Jesús recordó aquellos tiempos de niño.  Pienso en mis propios hijos, uno de ellos nacido en este mismo día del año, y sí, también en mi hija, y rezo regularmente para que conozcan el don del abrazo de Dios en lo más profundo.  Atesoro cada momento del pasado y del presente en que mi mejilla tocó la suya y lo hace de nuevo incluso a través de los electrones de un mensaje de texto.

A veces soy el niño en la imagen.  Doy gracias por mi formación en la fe cristiana por parte de mi propio padre y estos días encuentro que, al rezar por el descanso del alma de mis dos padres, doy gracias por todo lo que me regalaron.  Nunca olvidaré un momento en el que de niño, y creo que tenía doce años, estaba viendo un programa de televisión sobre la aniquilación nuclear.  Según recuerdo, en el programa se afirmaba que lo único que podría sobrevivir serían las colonias de hormigas con sus complejas estructuras sociales, o quizá sólo las cucarachas, que eran especialmente impermeables a la radiación.  Salí para encontrar a mi padre plantando un árbol y le conté mi miedo y mi preocupación.  Me miró un momento y dijo: “Entiendo que eso te moleste, pero lo que quiero que recuerdes es que Dios vino a nosotros como un ser humano, no como un insecto”.  Encontré fuerza allí.  Me alejé consolado y ahora sé que mi mejilla y la suya estaban juntos.

El relato de Lucas sobre el niño Jesús en el templo y la frenética búsqueda de sus padres es cuando dice sus primeras palabras grabadas: “¿No sabíais que debía estar en la casa de mi Padre?”.  La creciente madurez de Jesús se muestra aquí al reclamar su propia identidad. Incluso reconoce que su relación con Dios supera todas las relaciones, incluida la de la familia.  Esta es una enseñanza difícil.  Me atrevo a rezar: “Dios, que mis hijos, a los que buscaría hasta el fin del mundo, te amen más que a mí”.  Pero también oro: «Dios, que ellos en mi amor encuentren tu amor».

Digital Ministry Grants 2021

OVERVIEW

The ongoing pandemic has required congregations to adapt, take risks, and learn more and more about online community building. 

As we continue on through this long-term season apart, and look ahead to the new modes of ministry (both online and hybrid), all congregations in Eastern and Western Michigan are invited to apply in our second round of Digital Ministry grant funding.

Digital Ministry Grants will fund investments into software, hardware, training, and more to help make online and hybrid offerings more engaging, more accessible, easier to manage, and better connected to on-site, long-term 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.)
  • Internet and Wifi installation and upgrades, prioritizing one-time expenses
  • Solutions to bridge the access gap between internet-users and non-internet users
  • Training for digital ministry from outside of existing diocesan resources

Prioritization will be given to applications with a long-term objective, investing in online and digital ministry even when in-person gatherings are possible.

Grants may not fund gifts to individuals or families.

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

What if my congregation received funding in the previous round of funding?
While prioritization will be given to congregations that have not received a Digital Ministry Grant, applications are welcome from those that may have received partial or full funding in the previous round with some explanation of how that investment was utilized.

 

APPLY NOW

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

Applications are due April 1.

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 atkforsyth@eastmich.org and 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. 

Apply Now

A Christmas Message from the Standing Committees

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!

LUKE 2:14

Watch on Facebook  |  Watch on YouTube

We bring Christmas greetings to you, the people of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan on behalf of your Standing Committees.

We know, both as the Presidents of your Standing Committees and as people in the world, this has been a hard and unusual year. Yet, in this Holiday season, we want to pause and remind all of us that, despite the challenges, the Gospel is being proclaimed, people are caring for one another and those in need, and there are amazing things happening in this corner of God’s Kingdom. There is so much that is positive, powerful, and holy in our common life together.

In this holiday season, a holiday season unlike any other we’ve experienced, it’s important not to lose sight of that.

In this season of hope, we find hope in the ways that both of our dioceses have and continue to live the Gospel in the world…

In this season of hope, we find hope in the ways that both of our dioceses have and continue to live the Gospel in the world…

This year, when the world shut down and we were unable to offer in-person worship for the first time, our lay and clergy leaders adapted quickly, with grace and great humility, to worship in an online context. Thank you.

When many went hungry, due to the economic burden of the pandemic or otherwise, our parishes responded and continue to respond by addressing food inaccessibility. Through feeding programs like Food for Life in Bay City to the Community Kitchen in Three Rivers, from meal distribution in Alpena, to the Breakfast Cafe in Grand Rapids, we fed people. Through the seventeen Episcopal congregations that joined the first Good News Gardens cohort with Plainsong Farm, we grew food to feed people. Thank you.

When asked how congregations would respond to a world in need, our communities did so quickly and with great compassion. When the vestry of Holy Trinity, Manistee made the decision to start a baby pantry in their rectory building one Sunday, supplies started moving in on Monday. When, mid-pandemic, two dams failed and the communities of Sanford and Midland were underwater, the congregations of Holy Family and St. John’s, Midland came together to provide long-term relief to families with the help of donations from across our two dioceses and beyond. To all those congregations doing amazing and responsive ministry – Thank you.

When our dioceses experienced the challenge of our bishop’s suspension, our work and ministry together as exploring dioceses did not shut down. Our Standing Committees committed to taking on this work as a joint body, in all of the challenges and opportunities that entails. Our newly bi-diocesan Evangelism taskforce came together to offer grants to parishes improving their digital proclamation of the Gospel. Our antiracism work expanded and reached across our geographic borders. Our youth have been gathering for Zoom youth group at least once a week since the pandemic began. For these and all others we haven’t mentioned – thank you.

And thank you to the faces we don’t always see. The people restocking shelves and filling to-go orders. The people treating our loved ones when they’re sick. Those dropping groceries on friend’s porches, or bundling up to check in with a friend on their front lawn. The people of our dioceses – running the tech, shopping for equipment, joining in online worship from their homes. Thank you.

While we’re not physically together, we are all the more aware of the ways in which our common life depends on one another – for all that we’ve been through together and all that we will continue to do together, thank you.

While we’re not physically together, we are all the more aware of the ways in which our common life depends on one another – for all that we’ve been through together and all that we will continue to do together, thank you.

On behalf of the Standing Committees and staffs of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. May you and your loved ones celebrate the season with care for one another, in health, in hopefulness, and in sight of the one who was born and died for us all.

Merry Christmas.


Les traemos saludos navideños a ustedes, la familia de las Diócesis Episcopales del Este y Oeste de Michigan en nombre de sus Comités Permanentes.

Sabemos, como presidentes de sus comités permanentes y como personas viviendo en el mundo, que este ha sido un año difícil e inusual. Sin embargo, en este tiempo de Navidad, queremos hacer una pausa y recordarnos a todos que, a pesar de los desafíos, se está proclamando el Evangelio, las personas se están cuidando unos a otros y a los necesitados, y que están sucediendo cosas asombrosas en este rincón del Reino de Dios. Reino. ¡Hay tanto de positivo, poderoso y santo en nuestra vida común juntos!

En este tiempo de Navidad, un fin de año diferente a cualquier otro que hayamos experimentado, es importante no perder estas realidades de vista.

En este tiempo de esperanza, encontramos esperanza en la forma en que nuestras dos diócesis han vivido y continúan viviendo el Evangelio en el mundo …

En este tiempo de esperanza, encontramos esperanza en la forma en que nuestras dos diócesis han vivido y continúan viviendo el Evangelio en el mundo …

Este año, cuando el mundo cerró sus puertas y no pudimos adorar en persona por primera vez, nuestros líderes laicos y clérigos se adaptaron rápidamente, con gracia y gran humildad, a la adoración en un contexto en línea. Muchas gracias.

Cuando muchos pasaron hambre, debido a la carga económica de la pandemia o a causa de otras razones, nuestras parroquias respondieron y continúan respondiendo, enfrentándose a la inaccesibilidad de los alimentos. A través de programas de alimentación como Food for Life en Bay City hasta la cocina comunitaria en Three Rivers, desde la distribución de comidas en Alpena hasta el Breakfast Cafe en Grand Rapids, alimentamos a la gente. A través de las diecisiete congregaciones episcopales que se unieron al primer grupo de Good News Gardens con Plainsong Farm, cultivamos alimentos para alimentar a las personas. Muchas gracias.

Cuando nuestras congregaciones tuvieron que responder a un mundo necesitado, nuestras comunidades lo hicieron rápidamente y con gran compasión. Cuando la junta de Holy Trinity, Manistee tomó la decisión un domingo de abrir un depósito de productos para bebés en el edificio de su rectoría, los suministros comenzaron a llegar el lunes. Cuando, en medio de la pandemia, dos represas fallaron y las comunidades de Sanford y Midland estaban bajo el agua, las congregaciones de Holy Family y St. John’s, Midland se unieron para brindar alivio a largo plazo a las familias con la ayuda de donaciones de nuestras dos diócesis y de más allá. A todas aquellas congregaciones que están haciendo un ministerio asombroso y comprometido con las necesidades actuales – Muchas gracias.

Cuando nuestras diócesis experimentaron el desafío de la suspensión de nuestro obispo, nuestro trabajo y ministerio juntos como diócesis en exploración no terminó. Nuestras Comisiones Permanentes se comprometieron a asumir este trabajo como un órgano conjunto, con todos los retos y oportunidades que conlleva. Nuestro nuevo grupo de trabajo de evangelización bi-diocesano se unió para ofrecer subvenciones a las parroquias para mejorar su proclamación digital del Evangelio. Nuestros esfuerzos en contra del racismo continuaron expandiéndose y llegaron incluso más allá de nuestras fronteras geográficas. Nuestros jóvenes han continuado reuniéndose vía Zoom al menos una vez a la semana desde que comenzó la pandemia. A todos estos y todos los demás que no hemos mencionado, muchas gracias.

Muchas gracias también a las caras que no siempre vemos. La gente que trabaja reabasteciendo los estantes en nuestras tiendas y realizando pedidos para llevar. Las personas que cuidan a nuestros seres queridos cuando están enfermos. Aquellos que dejan las compras en los portales de sus amigos o que se abrigan para encontrarse con amigos en un jardín al aire libre. A toda la gente de nuestras diócesis – manejando la tecnología, comprando equipos, participando en la adoración en línea desde sus hogares. Muchas gracias.

Si bien no estamos físicamente juntos, somos más conscientes de las formas en que nuestra vida en común depende los unos de los otros, por todo lo que hemos pasado juntos y todo lo que seguiremos haciendo juntos, muchas gracias.

Si bien no estamos físicamente juntos, somos más conscientes de las formas en que nuestra vida en común depende los unos de los otros, por todo lo que hemos pasado juntos y todo lo que seguiremos haciendo juntos, muchas gracias.

En nombre de los Comités Permanentes y los equipos de trabajo de las Diócesis Episcopales de Michigan Oriental y Occidental, les deseamos una muy Feliz Navidad. Que tú y tus seres queridos celebren la temporada con cariño mutuo, con salud, con ilusión y con la vista del que nació y murió por todos nosotros.

Feliz Navidad.

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