THE FEAST everyone has a place at the table
SACRED CONVERSATION page 24
FARM TO ALTAR
Our connection from the harvest to the Eucharist page 28
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan eastmich.org + 1 www.eastmich.org // www.edwm.org
THE FEAST is a collaborative publication of
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan.
EDITING & DESIGN Katie Forsyth Canon for Evangelism & Networking email@example.com // firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Christian Baron The Rev. Jodi Baron The Rev. Sue Colavincenzo Polly Hewitt The Rt. Rev. Whayne Hougland David James Martha Kaiser Tanna Leclaire Claire Parish Linda Rathburn The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray Richard Russell The Rev. Canon Michael Spencer The Rev. Lydia Speller Gary Street The Rev. Joel Turmo Anne Marie Warner The Rt. Rev. Cate Waynick
ON OUR COVER
Plainsong Farm heirloom wheat harvest, Kristina Hemstreet, 2018
CONTACT US The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan 924 N. Niagara Street Saginaw, MI 48602 www.eastmich.org The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan 535 S. Burdick Street, Suite #1 Kalamazoo, MI 49007 www.edwm.org
Â© 2018 The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan
CONTENTS 04 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 06 BISHOPSâ€™ INTERVIEW 10 THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IS HERE
The Episcopal Church is Here, 10
14 THE WAY OF LOVE 16 PENTECOSTAL PROCESSION 18 TAKE, BLESS, BREAK, GIVE 22 TRANSFORMATIONAL WELCOME 24 SACRED CONVERSATION 28 FARM TO ALTAR
Take, Bless, Break, Give., 18
32 IS IT WORTH THE RISK? 34 BOOK REVIEW: RECLAIMING CHRISTIANITY 36 POEM: CLOUDS 37 POEM: LAST LIGHT 37 POEM: RECIPE FOR FAITH 38 OUR YEAR IN REVIEW
Sacred Conversation, 24
42 PEOPLE: TRANSITIONS, ORDINATIONS, DEATHS 43 LOOKING AHEAD
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to the newest iteration of The Feast, the diocesan magazine of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan and, newly, of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. I am excited to begin on the page what we’ve already started in relationship - a collaborative look at life and ministry in our great peninsula, in all of its wonders and challenges. Between the time that I write this letter to you, dear reader, and the time you read it, our dioceses will have held two diocesan conventions (one in Flint and one in Lansing) with options on the table for long-term conversation and relationship building around shared ministries and leadership. While I do not know which way those decisions have gone, I do know that, no matter what path we take, we will continue to serve God with grace and creativity in this place and at this time and we will continue to seek ways to do it better together. This first shared, collaborative issue of The Feast takes a look at the three “pillars” of the Jesus Movement - racial reconciliation, care of creation, and evangelism. To take on these themes, we’ll dive into mission and ministry happening within and outside of our borders. We’ll head to the 79th General Convention where, in the midst of a two-week business meeting, the Holy Spirit moved. We’ll visit Plainsong Farm, where we’ll trace the journey of a wheat crop from planting to our Eucharist table. We’ll listen in on a Sacred Conversation in Port Huron as two churches confront racial biases known and unknown. We’ll go fishing. And we’ll sit down for a conversation with our bishops, asking what it means to live into these pillars within our own context. I am grateful for these writers, storytellers, and poets willing to take the time out of their busy lives to share with us a glimpse into their life of faith in this Church. We have countless more stories to tell. Peace,
Katie Forsyth Canon for Evangelism and Networking, The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan edwm.org + 4
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+ BISHOPS’ INTERVIEW
Mission in the Mitten: A conversation with two bishops Canon Katie Forsyth sat down with the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., Bishop Diocesan of Western Michigan, and the Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick, Bishop Provisional of Eastern Michigan to talk about the three pillars of the Jesus Movement at work in our two dioceses. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. KF: The Episcopal Church identifies three pillars of the Jesus Movement - the areas around which we do mission - racial reconciliation, evangelism, and care of creation. As bishops, what do you think it is about our theology or our tradition that makes these three issues our core priorities?
with each other and with the world around us. For me as an Anglican, a lot of our theology is found in the incarnation. We are incarnational people, in the sense that God came into the world to be in a form in which we could be in a more intimate relationship with God, and through Jesus. Being in relationship is the key to understanding the divine. How are we in relationship with the environment around us? How are we in relationship in society? Where are we seeing social justice issues that seek to divide us and continue to divide us? And how can we share our faith in a way that invites other people into this amazing relationship with this loving, liberating, life-giving God? KF: What are some of the ways you see our dioceses engaging around these issues?
CW: I would say that the sense of being sent, being mobilized and sent, is certainly part of the underpinning for evangelism. It’s that mandate to go and share the Good News with all people everywhere.
CW: I would say that 99 and forty-four onehundredths percent of the parishes really are engaged in listening to what’s going on in the communities around them and finding a way to reach out.
For me personally, it’s all about faithful stewardship. The Jesus Movement is a way of regaining our focus for the stewardship of everything our Baptism trusted to us. So, evangelism is faithful stewardship of the Good News and the things of our faith
Where we find a challenge is around antiracism, because many of our communities are so homogeneous that the folks don’t quite grasp it. I’ve heard, “If it’s not part of our life, why should we have to be concerned?”
It’s being faithful to our own inner awareness of understanding of who we are. The followers of Jesus are not commanded just to love neighbor as self, but to love each other as he has loved us.
KF: And when you say “community”, you’re meaning the area that they are in and not just the congregation itself?
WH: What these pillars speak to is our relationship
CW: Right. As Church, we’re meant to be involved in our wider communities - however broadly that may
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Bishops Whayne Hougland and Cate Waynick smile for a photo during the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas, donning purple scarves to call for the election of more women to the House of Bishops.
be defined. Around things like creation care, Eastern and Western Michigan are in an environment where people really value what creation offers, especially in terms of recreation. But now, with things like the Flint Water Crisis, there’s a growing awareness and determination to be responsive in some way. Now, that’s not something that’s gone wrong with the ecology – its systemic. It’s something that needs to be fixed. I’m also hearing growing concern about water being taken out of the Great Lakes by Nestlé. And then not being returned in an appropriate way. We’re conscious of what’s happening. KF: And Enbridge Pipeline 5 as well, because that goes through all four Michigan dioceses - it hits all of them. WH: Yeah, Pipeline 5 has been an issue that we’ve sought to engage. I’m not sure we’ve done a great job at it. It’s something that we can do better. But I do know that it’s on the radar of folk, particularly up here in the northern part of our dioceses. We need to ask - how can we engage that more intentionally? And, as folks have heard me say, Michiganders are literally defined by water - we’re a peninsula. And so, we have a sort of moral responsibility to be stewards of water.
Also, I would say that Plainsong Farm is an avenue of engagement around issues specific to food and good food and theology around food and our relationship with food. Around dismantling racism - in our last convention in Western Michigan, we passed a resolution requiring that anyone who serves in any sort of office at the diocesan level must give evidence of having taken some form of approved, eliminating racism or racism sensitivity or awareness training. One way in which we need to move deeper in our life of faith, is to seek ways to undo the injustices that the racism that’s inherent in our systems continue to create. You know, sometimes, the Episcopal Church can view “evangelism” as a dirty word. I think a way for us to address it is by getting serious about faith formation. To engage in practices of evangelism, people really need and want a base, a foundation, from which to speak confidently and competently about their faith. And I don’t think that the church has done a good job in that. CW: We have not. We’ve let them down. And it’s not about just memorizing information and formulating answers so that we can automatically generate answers to people’s questions. It’s about taking the attitude and perspective of seekers on an ongoing basis.
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People come as seekers and they should find us also to be seekers, still looking to deepen our understanding and our faith and our ways of making our faith alive in every aspect of our lives. That’s what evangelism is all about. We don’t need to come across as the people who have all the answers. There are churches out there who do that. We don’t need to do that. What we do need to do is make it clear that we’re ready to keep seeking with people. WH: Yeah. And the Way of Love initiative that Michael Curry and his staff presented at General Convention is another avenue in which we can show that we’re continuing to be seekers. CW: Yes, and it reminds me - I’ve had conversations with a number of people over the years who were searching for a religious expression they could invest in somehow. And some of them would say, “I was attracted to Islam.” And I ask, “what was it about Islam that attracted you?” It was their practices. You have to pray five times a day. There are times of fasting. You’re supposed to make a pilgrimage. I just have to laugh and say, “And you wound up as Episcopalians!
Did it not occur to you that we have practices? We do. We have all those practices!” Now, pilgrimage is not a mandatory thing, but yes - fasting and prayer and being together. Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers? KF: During General Convention, there were three special conversations on these three areas - racial reconciliation, evangelism, and creation care. Was there a moment during those conversations either with your deputations or something that you heard from the speakers that particularly affected you? WH:: I thought, of the three, that the presentations around racism were the most powerful as a whole. And in particular, the woman from the Gwich’in tribe in Alaska. Just last year the House of Bishops met there and got to meet people from the tribe and to see how they live and how they care for the caribou, and how they interact with the world around them. It was super powerful and it brought home to me that all of creation is essential, and how we live in it as a part of it is super critical. That this tribe needs the caribou and
Photos: While at a meeting of the Bishops of Province V of the Episcopal Church on Mackinac Island, Bishops Waynick and Hougland sat down virtually with Canon Forsyth to talk racial reconciliation, creation care, and evangelism; Bernadette Demientieff, a member of the Gwich’in tribe in Alaska, speaks to a combined session of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops in Austin, Texas on the destruction of sacred land and water.
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the caribou need them. And there was this symbiotic sort of relationship that was so beautiful, that’s lost in our modern world where we’re not so connected to nature. CW: I go back again to the creation story in the garden in which there’s a human being and God says, “This human being is lonesome and needs a just right companion.” So God makes the different creatures and brings them to the human to see if they can be his companion and, of course, none of them could. But the human being named them. And in the culture that produced that story, to name something meant to take responsibility for it. WH: Oh nice, I like that. CW: It tells us that all of the creatures named by humanity, they’re not there for us to exploit them, it’s intended by God to be somehow mutual. KF: How might our dioceses continue to engage and perhaps deepen our engagement around these core issues? WH: I want people to know what conversations are going on in the wider church that they might not be tuned into beyond their local context. When the bishop and deputies go off to General Convention, it seems like this far off, mysterious thing, but it’s
important for our people to know the depth of the conversation, the importance of the conversation, so that they can figure out how to connect it to themselves in their contexts. This is not a junket trip to Austin, Texas. There are important, serious discussions being had. To understand the wider context, helps us express who we are as a tradition and that our tradition is broad and big and multicolored and multi-lingual. CW: The worldwide Anglican Communion is the second-largest body of Christians in the world! We need to be aware of that. We have folks who are really, really struggling with problems we can’t even imagine. Our problems are mostly first-world problems and the broader church, the Anglican Communion, includes members all throughout the world. And as one theologian said, “We have to preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.” We have to make some connections or we’re not being as faithful as we could-- to be fully faithful we have to be deepening our awareness of our neighbors all of the time. + Bishop Whayne Hougland recently celebrated his fifth anniversary as bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan. Bishop Cate Waynick was elected bishop provisional of Eastern Michigan in October 2017.
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The Episcopal Church is Here. The 79th General Convention Austin, TX by Linda Rathburn and the Rev. Canon Michael Spencer
Thousands gather+ at edwm.org 10the Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas to stand up against discriminatory immigration policy and the imprisonment of children during the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
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Every three years the bishops of the Episcopal Church, and eight elected deputies per diocese - four clergy and four lay people - convene for almost two weeks as the “General Convention” of the Episcopal Church. The first thing to know is that the General Convention is massive. There are over 100 dioceses in the church, and if do you some quick math, you’ll find that this legislative body is nearly 1000 individuals strong. Add to that another 1000 or so volunteers, along with guests, visitors, vendors, and the odd pigeon or two, and you’ll get a sense of the size of it. Like a diocesan convention, we come together to renew relationships, to worship together, to listen to and learn from each other’s experiences of life and ministry, and to do the official business of the church, passing a budget and voting on resolutions governing the life of the entire Episcopal Church. In the end, we reviewed and voted on some 502 resolutions. Those that were successful in passing both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops become Acts of Convention. Everyday, we came together in worship. Each service featured and celebrated different expressions of the Episcopal Church from traditional hymns to native chanting. At least one lesson was read at each service in a language other than English, reflecting the diverse languages of the Episcopal Church, including Chinese and Gwich’in in addition to English, Spanish, and French.
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This particular General Convention reinforced to us that the Episcopal Church is committed to stepping up and speaking out against violence, fear, and oppression. In the early days of the Convention, we participated in a special service organized by the House of Bishops - a solemn, prayerful response to the #MeToo movement. From hundreds of submissions, a select dozen or so stories of sexual abuse and harassment in the church were read and heard during the service by rotating group of bishops, always with another bishop or two standing in support. Legislatively, there were several resolutions around sexual inequality and misconduct in the church considered by the convention. We made a statement in support of the #MeToo movement. We addressed equal pay, family leave, and even access for nursing mothers and infants on the floor of the House of Deputies. We created a Truth and Reconciliation Taskforce, charged with gathering more stories of abuse so that we may hear, repent, and heal. We suspect that the church is really only beginning its work of repentance and reconciliation for our history of abuse and inequality. We also gathered around the issue of gun violence. Bishops United Against Gun Violence (BUAGV) - an advocacy organization made up of over 80 bishops, including Bishops Waynick and Hougland - held short prayer services before the first legislative session of each day, varying on themes from mass shootings to accidental deaths and suicide. At these prayer services, the bishops would give out
Photos from GC79 - Jared Cramer (Grand Haven) joins in singing at the Episcopal Revival, Pam Lynch (Gaylord) at the BUAGV demonstration, Bill Fleener (Grand Ledge) speaks to the House of Deputies, Claire Jess (Flint) prepares for daily worship.
ninety-three small wooden crosses each day as a reminder that about 93 people die every day in the United States by guns. Convened by BUAGV, over a thousand deputies, bishops, visitors, and Austonians gathered for a demonstration in a park across the street from the convention center. In addition to hearing from several bishops, we heard from a mother and father that lost their daughter during the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and from a young high school-aged young woman organizing for smarter gun policies because she can’t stand to be afraid to go to school any longer. After the gun violence demonstration, some 19 buses and a dozen or so cars carried convention attendees to the Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, TX, for a prayer service in support of the immigrants, women, and children interred there. As we prayed and sang and listened, we saw hands and pieces of paper running up and down the narrow slats in the building’s windows. They could see us. We were there. Back in legislative session, the House of Deputies and House of Bishops passed resolutions calling on the church and others to engage with the issues related to immigration and border crossing. The resolutions continued authorization for the Office of Governmental Affairs to advocate and lobby around this issue on behalf of all Episcopalians. While most of the Convention is typically spent in our separate legislative chambers, the House of Deputies and House of Bishops met together for three “TEConversations” – lectures and discussion focused on the three pillars of the Jesus Movement -
evangelism, care of creation, and dismantling racism. Following presentations by church leaders engaged in front line work in these areas, we had facilitated discussions reflecting on how we could discern God’s movement in these mission areas, and how we imagined our people and churches might, with the resources and gifts they have, respond to the needs of their contexts and communities. The 79th General Convention felt like we were taking a step forward, hand in hand, to fully claim our place as the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus movement – committed to the work that our Baptismal Covenant and Gospel call us to do: to care for our neighbor, stand up against injustice, and to do so together in community. The 80th General Convention will be held July 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. We encourage you to consider running as a deputy or attending as a visitor. We can attest that it is an incredible opportunity to witness the breadth and depth of the church, to have the experience of singing a familiar hymn with thousands of people, and to participate in the most democratically organized Anglican province anywhere in the world. It’s an experience of the glory of God through the life and labors of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, and we commend it to each and every Episcopalian.+ Linda Rathburn is a member of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Grand Blanc and a first time deputy to General Convention. The Rev. Canon Michael Spencer serves as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Eastern Michigan and is serving as transitional deacon at St. Christopher’s. This was his fourth General Convention. eastmich.org + 13
The Way of Love By Claire Parish
When I went to General Convention 2018 I suspected the experience could introduce me to completely new ways of Christianity, but I never expected to be introduced to a completely new way of life. Nevertheless, one of the most transformative parts of my General Convention experience was learning
edwm.org + 14 Photo courtesy of the Rev. Kelley Hudlow, Deacon, Diocese of Alabama.
about the Way of Love, a new initiative that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry unveiled last summer.
new experiences, to go forth as Jesus did and welcome new communities and new ways of life.
When the Presiding Bishop introduced the Way of Love, he began with hopes to create a way for the Episcopal Church to become more deeply engaged in the Jesus Movement.
The sixth, Rest, is a reminder to be still, and accept the peace that comes with being a Christian under God’s care, following a tradition of rest traced from the first days of God’s creation.
After hours spent brainstorming with a group of Episcopal leaders - formation professionals, evangelists, church-wide staff - about what this might look like, what sort of new program they could set up, they came to the realization that they were looking in the wrong direction. The answer was in the past, in the ancient practices of monasteries, faith leaders, and ordinary people throughout the history of the Church.
The seventh, Turn, is a reminder to stop and choose to follow Jesus, to intentionally dedicate ourselves to our faith and to God each day. It is a reminder to turn away from injustice and hatred and reorient ourselves toward the loving-kindness preached by Jesus.
The idea they discovered was a “rule of life.” Although it sounds strict, a rule of life is intended to be a framework for personal growth, a simple way of guiding Christians to a life lived focused on God. By looking to the rules of life followed by Christians, rules of life both ancient and modern, they created a new rule of life: a way of life, The Way of Love. The Way of Love is tailored into something new, something centered around the love lived and taught by Jesus Christ. It focuses on seven practices: Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest, Turn. The first, Learn, focuses on the practice of reading the Bible, not just in church but every day, and studying the words of Jesus. The second, Pray, also emphasizes the formation of a deep relationship with God, reminding us to intentionally enter into conversation and dwell with God each day. The third, Worship, covers weekly worship in a church community, not just studying alone but learning and growing with others every week. The fourth, Bless, is a call for us to share our faith with others, being generous and compassionate to whomever we meet. The fifth, Go, pushes us to embrace
Every principle carries a weight and meaning that cannot stand on its own, and together they become life-changing. Through them, people from all walks of life are given a map drawn out to point us toward a deeper relationship with our faith. When I first heard the Way of Love explained, I was astonished by how perfectly it fit me. I had journeyed through General Convention astounded by the presence of God I could feel in its work, but I worried when I returned home that power would be swept away. The Way of Love was my answer. Through the various principles, from Learn to Turn, I could follow a strong path of faith every day, not just those days spent surrounded by thousands of Episcopalians. These seven principles are a simple guide to a transformative choice, a choice to follow Jesus every day of our lives, in every action of our lives. They remind us that to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, to follow his way of life, is to follow a way of love, and they show us that as we follow Jesus, we will become part of an undying movement. + Claire Parish is a member of Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Belmont and a member of the Official Youth Presence at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
Learn more about the Way of Love: www.episcopalchurch.org/explore-way-love eastmich.org + 15
Pentecostal Procession by the Rev. Sue Colavincenzo
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Photo by Raw Pixel on Unsplash.
Pentecost marks the time when the disciples, gathered for a religious festival, were suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit, and given the gift of tongues, languages they had never spoken nor studied. That day, many heard the words of the Gospel in their own language and understood. As Jews returned to their homes in different parts of the world, the Gospel spread. Somehow, it spread despite the people having no internet or public broadcasting. It spread to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Not just the knowledge of the Gospel, but the heart. The soul. The spirit. Pentecost marks the manifestation of the power of love. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said much the same in his homily at last Spring’s Royal Wedding. Speaking to 1.9 billion people throughout the world, he spoke a language of love about the Pentecostal power of love. So to bear witness, on the Feast of Pentecost last May, the people of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church gathered and walked the streets of Davison. We were black and white, old and young. As we walked Main Street, I felt a new bond with the people of Davison. As we walked, we heard from two stalwarts of our congregation - Ken Ballard and Barb Taylor - as they recounted all of the ways in which our small congregation is threaded throughout this city. We found how closely we are intertwined as we walked past the gymnastics studio where a little four-year-old tumbles each week, the massage establishment where the mother of a member works on staff, the bank that holds the church funds those funds that have helped us build three senior apartment buildings in Davison and buy the land for Children of Hope and Destiny in Malawi. We prayed for the businesses who support us in our ministries, such as Larson’s Hardware Store and Hilton Screeners. We prayed for the personnel of the MTA and the Your Ride drivers who, with kindness, help make sure our parishioners get to church each week. We stood and prayed for
those living to the South, the North, the East and the West, for families, and for our schools. We prayed for administrators and teachers and students. We prayed for the meal program initiated by Harold Steinman and the Davison Schools. We prayed for Jim Hansen of Hansen’s Funeral Home who recently buried one of our own despite the family not being able to pay. We prayed for the community groups that utilize our community garden. We prayed for our friends in Life Challenge, those still struggling and overcoming drug addiction. We prayed for the barbers and the antique shop owners and the art shop staff and the bakers and the attorneys, for the police, first responders, firefighters, city and township personnel, and for the people who helped found and forge Davison into the community it has become. We prayed for the customers and owners of the restaurants that nourish so many in body and soul, for creating the places where maybe not everybody but somebody surely “knows your name”. As we walked, it became evident that we have been and are a church of the community, a church of the city, and of the township. We are small but God uses small. God used David to slay Goliath. It gives us hope that we too can slay giants. As we walked, I reflected on the evangelistic nature of the Pentecost. Like those gathered for the festival, our church was walking out, spreading the name and life of Jesus to our community. We talk the talk, and walk the walk. We may not have the audience of 1.9 billion people, like Michael Curry, but we have our little slice of it. We can love one at a time. And we can provide a place where people can come and “someone will truly know your name.” The Rev. Sue Colavincenzo is Priest-in-Charge of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Davison and Chair of the Commission on Ministry in the Diocese of Eastern Michigan.
“We are small, but God uses small.” eastmich.org + 17
Break,Give. The Order of Naucratius brings together anglers and hunters to combat hunger in our communities. by the Rev. Christian Baron, the Rev. Jodi Baron, and the Rev. Joel Turmo
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A few years ago, when a few seminarians dreamed up a way for hunters and anglers to share their abundance with hungry people in their communities, we never would have dreamed it would now have five outposts spread throughout the Episcopal Church. In our great peninsula of Michigan, our chapter has three of those five outposts: one in Richland, one in Holland, and one in Beulah. We are connected with anglers who may or may not consider themselves “church-goers” but nonetheless love the fact that their harvest is going to someone in need. And that is a major reason why we want to share this model with anyone who may find it useful - it overtly and intentionally includes people in the Kingdom of God and the work of the kingdom of God who would not normally be participating in it. Anglers are always looking for a non-self-centered way to go fishing...one more time out on the water. We are always looking to include more people and teach new people. It’s diaconal work. It’s evangelism. It’s eucharistic. Modeled after the form of Eucharist, with the words Christ used to institute the sacrament of Holy Communion (The Four Fold Anaphora), we collect the harvest from our local woods and waters (Take), Give thanks to God for this harvest (Bless), Process (butcher or filet) the protein and store it (Break), then distribute it to vetted local organizations set up to feed people in need (Give).
Take Anglers have something of an addiction when it comes to being outside and harvesting fish. So each season of the year has a particular type of fish that is “biting”. If you’ve ever driven by or happen to live on or near a lake in the winter, you’ll likely have seen tiny little huts and tents and brave unsheltered souls trying to catch dinner in the midst of winter.
from work, to be immersed in sacred time outdoors, doing what their parents and grandparents have done for years and years. They have invested much of their lives to be able to participate in this pastime and vocation. They have learned about life and death. What it looks like and smells like. What it feels like to be directly connected to the meat that they eat. We believe that if and when humans eat meat, we should have an understanding of what is involved in the life-taking.
Bless An important part of the Order is our commitment to this Rule of Life: Prayer, Conservation, and Charity. We talk a lot about these things to encourage our members to put intention behind their harvest (if they aren’t already doing that) and to remember to give thanks for their abundance. Connecting the hunters and anglers to charities that are working to fill the food insecurity gaps in their community honors our baptismal promise to respect the dignity of all human beings. This “Rule of Life” also recognizes that these activities are deeply connected to creatures that our Creator gave us, the humans, responsibility over - to care for, steward, and harvest reasonably - no more than we need and enough to keep the ecosystems healthy for all creatures.
Break At various times throughout the year… especially in the fall, The Order of Naucratius will receive several emails, messages, and phone calls. “Hey. Are you the folks that collect the fish and venison for folks who are hungry? I have to make room in my freezer for venison and right now, it is filled with more salmon than I can eat.”
“It’s diaconal work. It’s evangelism. It’s eucharistic.”
Likewise, hunters spend many of their free hours, venturing off on their family vacations, calling in sick
That’s how ONWM was introduced to our friend, Hank, from Grand Haven. eastmich.org + 19
He heard about Naucratius and contacted us to see if we could put his fish from his freezer to good use. We met him a few days later and witnessed the kingdom of God come near as he emptied buckets full of fish he had harvested. Hank was relieved that he didn’t have to throw away all that fish that he couldn’t eat. Non-coincidentally, we learned that his wife had apparently told him he couldn’t go fishing again until he got rid of some of the fish he already had! In addition to these “Meat-Ups” Naucratius hosts an annual Big Lake Charity Fishing Tournament in Holland and travels to Big Lake tournaments to collect donations and fill the freezers of feeding ministries in that area. The tournament we host is a great way to connect the anglers to a common cause and the other Big Lake Tournaments help the community feeding programs be able to stretch their budget dollars further. Kurt VanKoevering, a Naucratius member from Hudsonville, reflected after one Big Lake Tournament that it was, “truly amazing to see how many fish were donated! Surely was an incredible thing to be a part of!”
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Give The distribution of the protein to vetted organizations that are already feeding people is a way for Naucratius to reciprocate the grace that they have been given. As Eucharistic People who follow the Way of Love, we see this as a natural way to share the Good News and the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Hunting and fishing certainly aren’t for everyone but they are activities and practices that thousands of Michiganders participate in, including folks in your congregations. And feeding people isn’t something that every parish can do on their own. Together we can do great things to connect the abundance from the woods and waters with the hungry bellies of our neighbors and bring about a more-like God’s kingdom in the mitten. Why are we drawn to Naucratius and this ministry? We think Eric Morrison, a ONWM Board Member from Rockford, said it best reflecting on his experience after a recent tournament day: “It’s nice to be part of the Big Lake fishing community. Today I was honored to help filet
Photos: St. Philip’s, Beulah delivers fish to a local food pantry, the Rev. Joel Turmo shows off his
donated fish from the Holland Big Red Classic to help feed some hungry bellies. “I don’t believe you have to be religious to be a good person. Helping your fellow man is just something that makes your heart warm. Everybody at some point in their life needs a little help. [The Order of Naucratius] is a way for me to help people while enjoying my passion of fishing. “Friends, if you have the time and ability I would challenge you to be part of the The Order Of Naucratius. It’s a simple thing really - go hunt or fish and, if you’re lucky enough to harvest some meat or fillets, share some with the needy. 100 percent no strings attached, no religion or politics shoved down your throat. I guarantee that. Today anglers from the Big Red Classic donated 1500-2000 pounds of fish which came to 600 pounds of fillets for local families. “I’m not really a religious person but I feel that, if there is a God, he would like me enjoying his beautiful creation more than sitting in a building.” Amen.+ The Revs. Christian and Jodi Baron are Co-Rectors of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Beulah. The Rev. Joel Turmo is Rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Richland.
catch, the order of Naucratius at the Big Lake Tournament in Holland.
LET’S GO FISHING. The Order of Naucratius needs parishes, priests and deacons, outreach committees, parishioners, non-church members, theologians, and feeding ministries to join us in this ministry of stewardship and feeding. We need donors who believe in feeding the hungry and individuals willing to breathe life into their own context and organize local hunters and anglers. Let’s talk! To learn more, join an existing ministry, or begin a new outpost of the Order of Naucratius - visit us online at www.onwm.org. eastmich.org + 21
WELCOME by Katie Forsyth
In 1995, while sitting in her office in Beaumont, Texas, Mary Foster Parmer received a phone call. It was her friend, Sally, inviting her to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Mary accepted the invitation. It was her first experience of liturgical worship. She describes it as overwhelming - “I realize I had no idea what ‘liturgy’ meant, but at the time it was clear I was in the midst of the most Holy, and my soul was touched in a way that to this day is hard to describe. I was drawn to the reference, the spoken word, the music, the prayers, and especially the simple act of kneeling with others in the congregation.” Mary had grown up in the Southern Baptist church and, over the years, had packed suitcases full of her own “church baggage”. In the year after her first experience of Episcopal community, she underwent a period of soul searching and healing as she began to answer a call to ministry that she had been sensing (and ignoring) for years. She closed her business and accepted a position as Director of Adult Ministries and Evangelism at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beaumont.
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Tasked with coordinating the newcomer ministry at the parish, she and Rector, the Rev. Patrick Gahan, began creating and developing a new model of invitation - one focused on authentic relationship and spiritual growth. She had found that - despite memorizing the creeds, baptismal covenant, and standard stories of scripture - her congregants tended to be “tongue-tied and helpless” when it came to engagement with theology and evangelism. She observes, “we know how to be gracious and hospitable... but where we struggle is in sharing this faith.” The impetus of the initiative was the belief that in order to thrive spiritually and numerically, we needed more than a newcomer ministry or hospitality committee - we need invitation, welcome, and connection. And thus, Invite, Welcome, Connect was born. Invite, Welcome, Connect is a transformational initiative and ministry that equips and empowers congregations and individuals to cultivate intentional practices of evangelism, hospitality, and connectedness, rooted in the Gospel.
Photo: Mary Parmer facilitates a diocesan training day on Invite, Welcome, Connect.
“It works best if it becomes part of our DNA, just who we are as the body of Christ in our communities.” Today, Invite, Welcome, Connect is an offering of the Beecken Center at Sewanee School of Theology in Tennessee. Since its development in the Diocese of Texas, Invite, Welcome, Connect has been implemented in over fifty dioceses, three Episcopal seminaries, and three universities. In a church that may seem consumed by decline, Mary offers an alternative. The vision of Invite, Welcome, Connect is to change the culture of the Episcopal Church to “move from maintenance to mission.” She believes that this work is a culture change-maker, capable of moving the Church to take on the necessary risk, to venture into the deep waters for the sake of the Gospel.
Photo: Kaori Aoshim, Unsplash.
And Presiding Bishop Michael Curry agrees. Bishop Curry, who participated in Invite, Welcome, Connect during his tenure as Bishop in North Carolina, is often referred to as our “Chief Evangelism Officer”. He is known for his engaging preaching (Royal Wedding, anyone?) and his call to “Go!”. In his forward to Mary’s book, Bishop Curry writes, “As Episcopalians we are not God’s frozen. We are God’s introverted people...shy and polite. We are not pushy people - that’s not our way. And I don’t think we need to pretend to be that way. We need to be who we are. [Invite, Welcome, Connect is] a way for God to guide people in sharing their stories in ways that are authentic and genuine.”
Invite, Welcome, Connect is coming to Eastern and Western Michigan!
In conjunction with the Diocesan Church Development Institute, the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan are pleased to host Mary and Invite, Welcome, Connect this Spring, on Saturday, May 4th at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland.
Join us on Saturday, May 4th from 104:30pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland. We recommend team participation, but individuals are welcome.
All congregations are encouraged to send participants and practitioners of Invite, Welcome, Connect. +
This event is co-sponsored by the dioceses and is offered in conjunction with the Diocesan Church Development Institute.
Katie Forsyth is Canon for Evangelism and Networking for the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan.
Additional information, including pricing and registration, is available at www. eastmich.org/IWC19. eastmich.org + 23
Sacred Conversation by the Rev. Lydia Agnew Speller, with Richard Russell
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“What are you doing here?,” a woman at Grace Episcopal Church said to a friend of the congregation as folks were arriving for one of our Euchre Night Fundraisers. It sounds innocent enough. However, the friend of the congregation was black and everyone else in the building was white. And just like that, salt was rubbed in the wound of racism which lies just below the surface in our society. Everybody in the room was clueless. No one noticed the sting our friend felt. No one stepped in to defend him. For sixty-plus years living in Port Huron, he had been treated as if he didn’t belong in many places. He had been followed around in stores by security guards. He had been stared at or given the worst tables at restaurants. And now, in a church, someone seemed to be questioning his right to be there, undermining our motto “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” Luckily, that friend of Grace was Richard Russell, part of our diocesan anti-racism committee and convener of our Sacred Conversations on Race. And he had a chance to share what happened. The white people in the group defended the woman: “She didn’t mean that!” and “Are you being over-sensitive?” Even I felt defensive for Grace, “That happened to you here? Really? Are you sure?” There we were, gathered for a Sacred Conversation because of how liberal and “woke” we were, doing what white people tend to do: believing we know more about the lives of people of color than they themselves do, minimizing their experience of oppression, talking when we should be listening. I value the Episcopal Church’s commitment to formal antiracism training for leaders. But I have also come to believe that transformation in overcoming racism is best accomplished in these small, local organic ways. About five years ago, the Rev. Tracie Little invited Bob Lotz, Richard Russell and Joe Bixler to All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Marysville for a four part series on racism during Black History Month.
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Then in 2016, Grace Church was a streaming site for the Trinity Institute’s annual conference, “Listen for a Change,” which looked at racism from a wide variety of perspectives. As a result of these initial gatherings, over the past few years, Grace Church and others began to hold semiregular conversations on Race and on the intersection of Racism and other “isms.” In our conversations, black and white people gather to look at the sin and wounds of racism in our country and in ourselves, to share our stories and to learn from one another. Richard Russell has been our convener. He is brilliant at finding selections from TV and movies and posing a question which invites us all to deeper conversation about the impact of systemic racism on all of us. It isn’t a huge crowd, but we’ve found that our participants, both black and white, will invite friends to the conversations. Sometimes we explore movies, like Hidden Figures, Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time and the lenses through which we view them based on race. We have explored gun violence and the roots of police and “stand your ground” killings of unarmed black males. We have heard first person stories about having been stopped by police for driving while black, about the indignity of being in an integrated workplace where white co-workers are promoted over you
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and others assume you only got your job because of affirmative action. White members have talked of growing up without knowing black people, of coming to learn about and acknowledge our privilege and our complicity in a white supremacist system. Our last gathering considered the White Supremacist march last summer in Charlottesville. This fall, we are in the middle of watching excerpts from Katie Couric’s “America Inside Out” series. White anxiety is our next topic. It was out of this continuing dialogue, and because Rick had read in the Episcopal News Service about Episcopalians sharing their buildings with other churches, that Rick’s church, #C4yourself, a predominantly black congregation, asked to rent space at Grace for their Sunday worship. Because of my friendship with Rick, and my congregation’s relationship with him, he knew we would be happy to share space with his church. When we were working on the agreement, I could sense a little anxiety on Grace’s side, people wondering how to keep the congregation limited to one part of the church, without having the freedom of the building. At the time, I mentioned to Pastor Totty that this was a whole new dimension of our relationship. Gathering occasionally for conversations about race is one thing - sharing space and having to confront our racial biases is quite another.
Out of sharing space has grown collaborative worship. For the last 3 years, #c4yourself and their pastors, Kevin and Jessica Totty, have joined in our outdoor service and blessing of backpacks the week after Labor Day. This year, Kevin and Jessica and their grandchild Kenly came to our summer Vacation Bible School. Jessica accidentally revealed that she taught VBS for decades. We are already exploring collaboration next year, sharing her wisdom. Recently Grace’s outreach committee has partnered with Pastor Totty’s Moving Market, a project to share locally sourced fresh vegetables and fruits in food desert neighborhoods, distributing recipes along with vegetables. Members of Grace have been volunteering with this project twice a month, on days when it pours with rain and on days when it is insanely hot. They report how much they have enjoyed the experience and the camaraderie with other volunteers. After our last Sacred Conversation, Rick stopped by my office and said, “I’ve got a bone to pick with you. I told you someone had asked me if Christianity is a white man’s religion and you told me to read some book.” I had suggested that he read James’ Cone’s The Cross and the Lynching Tree. I think he felt that I was discounting his lived experience of being a black
Christian by suggesting that, until he read something I had read, he couldn’t speak his own truth. My intention had been to validate his experience. My impact was the opposite. These years of homegrown race dialogue helped me to hear him and to apologize - to be aware once again of all the ways that I and other white people can act like experts on the experience of people of color, to know better than to reply “You are being hypersensitive”. Our conversations have helped him to become bolder and more comfortable in talking to me as he would talk to any friend - including calling me on being wrong. These conversations are what it means to follow the Christ who calls us to a ministry of reconciliation. Overcoming racism - for me and, I suspect, other white Christians - and overcoming the wounds of racism for people of color cannot be distilled into program but requires a lifelong journey. I am thankful for our little band of Sacred Conversation partners for joining me on mine. + The Rev. Lydia Agnew Speller is Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Port Huron. Richard Russell is a member of #C4yourself Church and member of the Eastern Michigan dismantling racism team and the Lower Peninsula Diversity Taskforce. eastmich.org + 27
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Farm to Altar by Polly Hewitt
Think back to the last time you took Communion. The celebrant, the blessing, the sip of wine, the sticky little sacramental wafer. That wafer probably traveled hundreds of miles to your altar. Harvested from industrial wheat fields, milled and stamped in a factory and shipped to a regional church-supply distributor, it is virtually unrecognizable as the bread we celebrate in Holy Scripture. Did you know you can actually buy Communion wafers on Amazon? Thatâ€™s because more than 75% of all wafers are sold by the Cavanaugh Co., a large secular baker that has a virtual monopoly on a product that was once lovingly produced in small batches by cloistered nuns. As monastic communities dwindled and demand for wafers grew over the course of the 20th century, the Cavanaugh Co. filled the need for low-cost, low-crumb and high-volume hosts.
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Today, only a few hundred parishes across the country still serve altar breads made by hand in cloistered communities. What has been lost in the shift to mass-produced wafers untouched by human hands? Many things. Environmental stewardship. Energy conservation. Nutrition and flavor. The sacredness of something being created and blessed by actual people. The sense of Place, of being deeply rooted in a particular soil, in a particular community. Our current communion elements are far removed from ancient Christian traditions and spiritual values. Plainsong Farm and Ministry, a new nonprofit mission of the Diocese of Western Michigan located in Rockford, wants to change all that. The farm began in 2015 and is at the forefront of a growing movement to reconnect people of faith with the land through community farming. Plainsong is both a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm where people can purchase shares for themselves or for donation as well as a discipleship ministry dedicated to restoring the relationship between Christianity and Creation. Its mission is “Growing Food for People and People for God.” One of the ministry’s signature projects is its Heirloom Wheat Program, through which churches can help grow and harvest ancient-grain wheat for baking their own Communion bread. This program is part of Californiabased Honoré Growers’ Guild, a program of Honoré Farm and Mill founded by The Rev. Elizabeth DeRuff. Plainsong was selected to serve as the second site for Honore’s wheat program. Elizabeth and Vincent Felice, also from Honoré, were present to direct the first Plainsong wheat planting in September 2017 and they returned for the wheat harvest in August of this year. Over the past year, members of the Plainsong community have gathered together three times to hand-sow wheat, harvest it, and then plant again. The group has included representatives of several different denominations and across four generations, all working together to complete tasks that are largely unfamiliar to modern people who live largely removed from how our food is grown.
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Photos: August wheat harvesting at Plainsong Farm by Kristina Hemstreet.
It now seems virtually impossible to read certain agricultural parables and psalms without recollecting the actual feel of sun searing the back of my neck, seeds slipping through my fingers and fragrant soil clinging to my clothing. As a middle-aged cradle Episcopalian, I have heard these Scripture passages for years, but mostly experienced them as a kind of instructive fairy tale from a far-off time and place. After bending my aging back to plant and bury row after row of wheat seeds, I feel much more connected to the timeless human truths behind these familiar words. And as I ponder the enormous significance of a bountiful harvest to people who had experienced drought, famine and exile from their homelands, I am more aware than ever of my sacred responsibility to safeguard Creation for the generations who will follow me. I also know that when I finally get the opportunity to receive altar bread baked from “our” wheat, my experience of this familiar sacrament will be transformed. Lisa Hrit, who travels from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint to participate in the Plainsong wheat program events, recently reflected on her joyful experience of the September harvest, “From the youngest to the oldest, there was a job for everyone at this first wheat harvest at Plainsong Farm. The only expectation that I sensed was the willingness to be present in the moment and move through the day in community – true koinonia, the Body of Christ in communion with each other and with the Triune God.”
The wheat program participants are forming themselves into a loose community of disciples committed to strengthening relationships with the land, with God and with each other. Every event includes time for group prayer, reflection, and song – followed up by a shared meal of dishes made with fresh ingredients from the farm. Sitting around the table together brings lively conversation and laughter, and a time of rest and healing after the day’s labor. The Plainsong Heirloom Wheat Program was recruited to Michigan by the Rev. Nurya Love Parish, co-founder and Executive Director of Plainsong Farm, and is now headed up by Bethany Edwardson, who with her husband, Mike, co-founded and manages the farm. The program includes a hands-on immersive experience in planting and harvesting heirloom wheat. Each planting and harvest includes an educational session where farm staff members discuss the benefits of heirloom wheat and its importance in our communion rituals. Participants learn how to handsow and hand-harvest the wheat, and work with fellow disciples to practice sustainable farming techniques. Congregations of all denominations are invited to join the Harvest Wheat Program; just write to bethany@ plainsongfarm.com for more information. If you are simply an individual who is interested in feeding your soul by growing good food, you are welcome to become involved in any Plainsong event learn more at www.plainsongfarm.com. + Polly Hewitt is a life-long Episcopalian and a member of the board of Plainsong Farm.
If you are intrigued and feel called to learn more, here are some Plainsong recommended reads on the growing Food and Faith Movement: Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith by Fred Bahnson (Simon & Schuster, 2013) Honoré Growers Guild, www.honoremill.org Resurrection Matters: Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake by Nurya Love Parish (Church Publishing, 2018) Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba (Cambridge University Press, 2011) Additional projects, resources, and news are available on the Christian Food Movement website, a project of Plainsong Farm, at www.christianfoodmovement.org. eastmich.org + 31
IS IT WORTH THE RISK? by the Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray & Gary Street In April, in coordination with Earth Day, we gathered with other people of faith on the steps of Michigan’s Capital in Lansing to call for a shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5. We gathered because we believe that all of humanity is called by God to love and care for all of creation; the issue of the danger of Pipeline 5 is of grave importance to the entire Great Lakes ecosystem and to each of our communities in the Basin. There is a growing concern among many over the lack of adequate upkeep of the edwm.org + 32
system, voicing questions about the necessity of continuing operation of Line 5. Line 5 is 65 years old. It runs under, over, and throughout the entire state of Michigan – touching each of our four Episcopal dioceses. It is showing signs of decomposition and has a history of 29 documented leaks totaling over 1 million gallons. The line’s rising potential for rupture jeopardizes the future water quality, ecosystem health, commercial fisheries, tourism, and livelihood of those across and beyond Michigan.
A rupture would mean environmental and economic devastation. Commercial fishing by Native Americans at the Straits would cease. Mackinac Island and Bois Blanc Island would be evacuated and remain so for several months. Thousands of seasonal jobs would be lost. Local businesses such as restaurants, hotels, shops, microbreweries, gas stations, marinas, and more could face economic ruin. Ferry boats to could not operate. Property values, and the Advocates, including Bishop Ray, gather in Lansing to speak with the taxes they generate, would governor and representatives about the dangers of Enbridge Pipeline 5. plummet. A recent study by Dr. Robert Richardson of Michigan State University conservatively Governor Snyder unveiled a plan for a $300 million estimated the cost to Michigan of dollar tunnel through the Straits of Mackinac an oil spill at the Straits to exceed $6 billion. for this pipeline. Experts agree - this would And yet, Enbridge claims that Line 5 is essential cost Michiganders more, both financially and for the supply of propane to the Upper Peninsula environmentally. and therefore cannot be shut down. We agree that It is crucially important that we continue to advocate residents of the U.P. must never lose their supply of against these measures. Regardless of who Michigan propane. However, we maintain there are straight voters have chosen for the positions of Governor and forward alternatives for transportation that can be Attorney General, it is essential that people of faith readily implemented. continue to step up for God’s creation and strongly But wouldn’t that result in a substantial price advocate against this tunnel and pipeline. increase for propane? No. According to an In the Episcopal Church, we believe that we are independent consulting report, “The cost impact…is stewards of creation – called to pursue justice not expected to substantially impact local/regional and peace for all people and to care for the world pricing dynamics...although profit margins may God has given us. The world we inhabit as humans be impacted.” In other words, the Enbridge profit and as Michiganders is in danger, and it is for this margin may not be quite as lucrative - their own reason that we advocate against this pipeline. We profits could be a little less. stand with the majority of people who lovingly show When one looks carefully at the impact of Line 5 compassion for this planet - our island home. + on the residents of Michigan, it quickly becomes apparent that it offers us very little. Its primary A version of this article was previously published as purpose is to transport crude oil and NGLs from an op-ed in several newspapers across the state. western Canada to Sarnia, Ontario. Michigan derives very little benefit from Line 5, while our The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray is the Eleventh Bishop of beautiful Great Lakes, which contain nearly 25% of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan. Gary the freshwater in the entire world, face catastrophic Street is a retired chemical engineer; an independent devastation. volunteer consultant to several environmental organizations, and member of Emmanuel Episcopal Since we dropped off our letter to the Capitol, Church in Petoskey. eastmich.org + 33
+ BOOK REVIEW
Reclaiming Christianity: A Practical Model for Spiritual Growth Book by the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Payne // Reviewed by Tanna Leclaire
When I picked up the Right Reverend Charles E. Payne’s Reclaiming Christianity: A Practical Model for Spiritual Growth and Evangelism, the question that struck me was, “from what or whom are we to ‘reclaim’ the Faith?” If I were to hazard a guess after reading it, I would answer: stagnation. Oh, that’s a terrifying word, now, isn’t it? Yet, as Payne himself says, “The aim of this book is to inspire members of our churches to act from a posture of confidence-- and not from a posture of fear of decline…” That is a mighty goal indeed. I feel Payne has achieved this goal in general, although through somewhat convoluted means. The vast majority of this book is built around describing a process of newcomer formation Payne developed that relies heavily on peer mentorship and sharing our own spiritual stories. He goes into sufficient detail to provide clear enough direction that those who would like to implement his process would find themselves well guided. However, the scope of the book goes farther afield, discussing topics such as Evangelism, Youth Formation, Scripture, and even Vestry Meetings. This simultaneous broadness and narrowness can be somewhat jarring, and reading Reclaiming
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Christianity from cover to cover left this reader perplexed. It felt like several books intermixed. Some chapters, mainly the last three, felt as though they were only tangentially related to the remainder of the book and were tacked on because the Bishop had something to say on their respective topics (Entrepreneurial Clergy, a model for Vestry meetings, and Youth Formation) but wasn’t inclined to write entire tomes. Part of this erratic structure, I think, is related to a lack of clarity on who the intended audience is… in seeking to cast as wide a net as possible, Payne may not be speaking to any one audience with any particular focus. That said, there are useful and instructive pieces throughout the book. When Payne dug into his broader vision for the Church and the theology behind it, he really hooked me in… I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff… and he sprinkles it throughout. It can really sneak up on a reader. For instance, in the midst of his meaty chapter describing the nitty gritty practical details of his newcomer formation process, he distills the Baptismal Covenant into five short, simple directives that could fit comfortably on a post-it note. I wrote in the margins, “I love this!” And I do.
and Evangelism An interesting inclusion in Reclaiming Christianity is a set of reflection questions at the end of each chapter, clearly signaling that Payne can envision this book being used for group or individual study. I concur, although personally I see this as being much more useful as a library resource to be dipped into and picked from as the occasion strikes. I’m not sure that I would suggest it for a general-audience book study, in spite of Payne’s attempt at casting a wide net. I can, however, certainly recommend it to clergy, especially those seeking ways to invigorate their own approach to evangelism. I also think it would be a useful read for vestries and other lay and mixed leadership groups. Those who read it will certainly find a great deal to digest, and I can see it being a good book to revisit over time. However, if you’re looking for a straightforward description of peer mentorship models, I’m not sure this is the book for you.
The Rt. Rev. Claude E. Payne served as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Texas before his retirement in 2003. His book, “Reclaiming Christianity” is available from Forward Movement.
I found it an inspiring read, in spite of its lack of focus, and sometimes as a direct result of that lack of focus. So, Payne achieved his goal for this reader, even if he did so by degrees. + Tanna Leclaire is a Nominee for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan and a third year student at the Academy for Vocational Leadership.
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clouds by Anne Marie Warner There was an evening this summer when the clouds were particularly majestic in the dusky sky--voluminous with indigo and gold. I stood at my west-facing bedroom window looking northwest, just beyond the neighborsâ€™ cluster of maple and willow. They were clouds that seemed worthy enough to carry our Lord from the heavens down here to our Blue Marble. So I waited and watched to see if He would happen to come while I was looking. Could I catch Him in my sight as just a tiny speck in the distance and watch Him descend like Mary Poppins from on high? I kept watching and waiting and enjoying the clouds, knowing the light would soon change it all. And then there was a speck. It came closer and was joined by a few more--dark and winged and then closer still. The green herons were back from a day of fishing and frogging at Crooked Lake. Putting on the brakes, extending their legs, they came in for a landing at their willow tree home.
Anne Marie Warner is a photographer and writer and member of St. Lukeâ€™s, Kalamazoo. Her photos were recently published in Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment. She has also written an essay collection and memoir loosely chronicling a four-year spiritual wandering from the Protestant fold of her roots into an Anglican practice of faith. // Photo by Mila Young on Unsplash.
last light by Martha Kaiser The silent flash of fireflies As transient as thoughts Or fleeting glimmers from the past Of times I had forgot. A humid summer evening, The air as close as death, Makes shadows exhale sparkles; I watch, and hold my breath Martha Kaiser is a retired educator. Her poems and writings have been published in the Grand Rapids Press and Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought. She is a member of St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo and looks forward to her confirmation to the Episcopal Church in 2019.
recipe for faith by David James Stare into the heart of a tulip for five hours on a late spring day. Memorize each stamen, every drip and shade of color until you can recreate the flower in your mind, the petals, the stem, the smell, the way it might dance in a rain shower. Make a list of all the fears that weigh on your heart; make another list of what you’d find if half your dreams came true. We’re brought into this world naked and blind. We either float to heaven or tumble to hell. Author David James is a member of St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton, Michigan. David’s third book, My Torn Dance Card, was a finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie book award. His second book, She Dances Like Mussolini, won the 2010 Next Generation Indie book award for poetry. More than thirty of his one-act plays have been produced from New York City to California.
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YEAR IN REVIEW 2017-2018
HAPPENING #21, NOVEMBER 2017 A weekend retreat youth held in collaboration with the Dioceses of Eastern Michigan and Michigan.
BISHOPâ€™S WORKSHOP MARCH 2018
YOUTH M THE GATHERING, DECEMBER 2018
An ecumenical youth event for high schoolers, held in collaboration with the dioceses of the lower peninsula.
CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP DAY, FEBRUARY 2018
An ecumenica collaboration
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES, MARCH 2018
al youth event for middle schoolers, held in with the dioceses of the lower peninsula.
PROVINCE V SYNOD, APRIL 2018
Fourteen dioceses gathered representatives for a meeting of Province V of the Episcopal Church.
DIOCESAN CONFIRMATION ON THE VIGIL OF EASTER, APRIL 2018
PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND, APRIL 2018 INSTALLATION OF THE REV. TYLER RICHARDS, INDIAN RIVER, JUNE 2018
CLERGY RETREAT, MAY 2018
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Ten students from the dioceses of t graduated from the Academy for V
N, JUNE 2018
the lower peninsula Vocational Leadership.
THE REV. NANCY MAYHEW ORDAINED TO THE PRIESTHOOD, JUNE 2018
CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES, SUMMER 2018
Camp Chickagami and Episcopal Youth Camp each gathered hundreds of campers, staff, and adults on retreat for a summer spent in Godâ€™s great creation.
ORDINATIONS TO THE DIACONATE, JUNE 2018 The Revs. Francis Berghuis, Janet Gockerman, and Pat Vinge were ordained to the diaconate during a service in Grand Rapids.
79th GENERAL CONVENTION, JULY 2018
ORDINATIONS, TRANSITIONS, and RETIREMENTS + WM - Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Francis Berguis to the diaconate in June. He ministers with All Saints, Saugatuck. WM - The Rev. David Brower accepted a call to serve as Interim Rector of Church of the Mediator, Harbert in October. WM - The Rev. Greg Brown accepted a call to serve as Rector of Holy Comforter in Charlotte, NC. He previously served Emmanuel, Petoskey. EM - The Rt. Rev. Jake Owensby, Western Louisiana, ordained the Rev. Andrew Christiansen to the priesthood in September. Christiansen serves as curate at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Shreveport, LA. WM - The Rev. Paula Durren retired as Rector of Chruch of the Mediator, Harbert in October. WM - The Rev. Michael Fedewa retired as Rector of St. Andrew’s, Grand Rapids in November 2017. In his retirement, Fedewa serves as Preist-in-Charge of St. Paul’s, Muskegon. WM - Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Janet Gockerman to the diaconate in June. She ministers with St. Marks, Grand Rapids. EM - The Rev. Nancy Harpfer retired as priest on the ministry team at St. Andrew’s, Harrisville. WM - Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Peter Homeyer to the transitional diaconate in June. Homeyer serves as deacon-in-charge at Holy Trinity, Wyoming.
EM - Bishop Waynick ordained the Rev. Nancy Mayhew to the priesthood in June. Mayhew serves as Priest-in-Charge of St. Alban’s, Bay City. WM - The Rev. John Meengs retired as deacon at All Saints, Saugatuck in July. WM - The Rev. Wayne Nicholson retired as Rector of St. John’s, Mount Pleasant in July. EM - The Rev. Sue Otto retired from her role as priest on the ministry team at St. Andrew’s, Harrisville. WM - The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick, Central Gulf Coast, ordained the Rev. John Kirkman to the priesthood in December 2017. Kirkman serves as Priest-in-Charge of St. John’s, Ionia. EM - The Rev. Tyler Richards accepted a call to serve as Rector of Transfiguration, Indian River. Previously he served as Priest-in-Charge of St. Andrew’s, Montevallo in the Diocese of Alabama. WM - The Ven. Marilou Schlotterbeck retired as deacon at St. Philip’s, Beulah in September. EM - Bishop Waynick ordained the Rev. Michael Spencer to the transitional diaconate in October. WM - Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Pat Vinge to the diaconate in June. She ministers with St. Martin of Tours, Kalamazoo. WM - Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Michael Wood to the priesthood in December 2017.
DEATHS + EM - The Rev. Jack Breznau died on September 7th. He had previously served St. John’s, Sand Point. EM - Mr. Charles Leibrand, former member of the Standing Committee, died on April 10th. WM - The Rev. Betty Carlson, Deacon died on August 21st. She had previously served Emmanuel, Petoskey. WM - Mr. Ross Mast, former member of the Diocesan Council, died on February 17th.
WM - the Rev. Robert A. Smith,died on March 12th. He had previously served St. Paul’s, Dowagiac. WM - Mr. Phil Stoffan, former member of the Diocesan Council, died on October 9th. edwm.org + 42
Photo by Imleedh Ali on Unsplash.
LOOKING AHEAD < Diocesan Church Development Institute The Diocesan Church Development Institute (DCDI) is a two-year congregational development program for congregational teams of 3-4 people, including clergy leadership, working to develop skills and identify resources around recognizing and activating lay leadership and working toward a common goal, founded in theology and practice. DCDI meets four Saturdays per year in Midland. To learn more, visit the DCDI page on your diocesan website.
< The Academy for Vocational Leadership
The Academy for Vocational Leadership is our local three-year program of preparation leading to ordained ministry. Using curriculum from the Iona Collaborative of the Seminary of the Southwest, students from the Dioceses of Eastern Michigan, Michigan, and Western Michigan gather monthly at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston for classes in Holy Scriptures, church history, theology, liturgy, and more. The 2019-2020 class will begin study next August. Visit your diocesan website for details.
< The Big Provincial Gathering
Province V of the Episcopal Church, fourteen dioceses in and around the Midwest, will host the “Big Provincial Gathering” on July 12-13th in Kalamazoo, Michigan with keynote speaker, the Rev. Michael Michie, Episcopal Church Staff Officer for Church Planting Infrastructure, speaking about congregational revitalization and Mission Enterprise Zones. There will be activities and workshops geared toward all ages. Visit wwww.provincev.org for details and registration.
< The Gathering & Charge
Join us as we collaborate with Lutheran Living Water Ministries to participate in The Gathering and CHARGE, two youth events bringing together hundreds of young people across the state for a weekends of worship, small groups, service opportunities and more. The Gathering has tracks for high school aged youth and for young adults. It takes place December 27-30, 2018 in Downtown Lansing. CHARGE, for middle schoolers, takes place March 22-24, 2018 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City. Info and registration will be available under “Events” at www.eastmich.org. eastmich.org + 43
THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF EASTERN MICHIGAN 924 North Niagara Street Saginaw, MI 48602
edwm.org + 44
The Feast is a collaborative magazine of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan.