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THE FEAST everyone has a place at the table



a community art project through lent and easter page 14

Autumn 2019

The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan + 1 //

THE FEAST is a collaborative publication of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan. EDITING & DESIGN: Katie Forsyth Canon for Evangelism & Networking |



Butterfly installation at St. John’s, Midland.



The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan 924 N. Niagara Street Saginaw, MI 48602 The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan 5347 Clyde Park Avenue SW Wyoming, MI 49509

pg. 12


pg. 16


pg. 26 © 2019 The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan


Stay Connected


ast summer, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invited us to join him on the Way of Love - to consider and commit to seven core practices as we go about the work of following Jesus.

Your DIOCESAN WEBSITE is your information hub for all of the latest news, resources, upcoming events, and more. Visit your diocesan website at and Our e-newsletters are your sources of all news for each diocese throughout the year. The newsletters feature updates, upcoming events, resources, and more. They come out every other week! Subscribe on your diocesan website.

The Way of Love is more than a program or curriculum - its a rule of life, a way of breaking out the various practices of our lives as Christians and as Episcopalians. In this issue of The Feast, we take on the Way of Love, exploring stories from across our two dioceses honoring each of the seven practices. We’ll hear how the co-founders of Her Way of Love Turn toward Jesus in choosing to follow him and bringing people into their online community. We’ll check in with the young participants from the progressive mission trip and Learn how their study of scripture shaped their work in the world. We’ll Pray with the community of St. John’s, Midland as they take on a shared Lenten practice of communal art. We’ll Worship with St. Andrew’s, Harrisville in a local nursing home - taking the congregation to the community. At St. Martin-of-Tours, Kalamazoo, we’ll Bless forgotten cremains, offering a sacred home for the left behind and forgotten. St. Augustine’s, Benton Harbor will fill us in on their mission to Go, to build tiny houses for the homeless and housing insecure members of their community. And finally, we’ll Rest, digging into one person’s experience of taking time out from the demands of everyday life and discovering a call toward monasticism.

Follow us on our SOCIAL MEDIA channels. “Like” the FACEBOOK page to check out what’s happening around each diocese. You can also follow us on INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, and YOUTUBE.

Thank You!

I am so grateful for the folks sharing their gifts of storytelling with our community - for the offerings of these writers, poets, and artists that make up this issue of The Feast. I hope you will enjoy their stories and that, in hearing them, you may go out and tell some of your own.

Thank you to all those that have supported the publication of this magazine, especially to those that have donated since the last issue to help fund our ongoing storytelling in our community.


Jobst Blachy

Stephen and Martha Bartlett

The Rev. Nancy Harpfer

In memory of the Rev. Jim Graham & Grayce M. Scholt

In memory of Mrs. Chick Carter and her ministry with St. Philip’s, Grand Rapids

Jane Bingham

Lorainne Cooke

In memory of Eileen Reid

Dr. Earl Harper Sr.

J. Robert and Barbara Hector

The Rev. Michael Houle

Pamela Cronkite

The Rev. Sharon Naughton

In thanksgiving for her many years of ministry

In honor of the Rt. Rev. Todd & Ann Ousley

Katie Forsyth

The Rev. Marilyn Dressel

Joyce Schumann

Canon for Evangelism and Networking, The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

Frank and Patricia Eichenlaub

The Rev. Charles & Judy Stuart + 4

Marge Frybarger Photo by Peng Chen on Unsplash

In memory of Joel Frybarger

Beryl Tarrant


Shall We Dance? A conversation on transition and tango with two bishops


n September, Canon Katie Forsyth sat down with Bishops Cate Waynick and Whayne Hougland to talk transition - in the Church and in our two dioceses and the Way of Love. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. --KF: Our dioceses have been in the midst of

transition over the past several years and are on the brink of entering into deeper relationship for some time. What does the Gospel tell us about change and transition? CW: In my own reflection and pondering on the

incarnation, I consider God’s willingness to take on human life in order to make some kind of transformation possible. I have to ask myself, “Is God also changed? Is there something about the life of the Trinity that was changed?” Thinking in those terms, my whole understanding and thinking about our life in God is that it is grounded in change and transformation. WH: The whole passion narrative is about a trust in

God to take us through death into new life. That we are constantly in transition, and that there are multiple transitions, little deaths every day, in which the opportunity for resurrection can occur + 6

in God’s providence. And so there’s security and hope and comfort in both the incarnation and what it does for us and our relationship with God. CW: It has a pattern. I mean, consider the Exodus.

We wander long enough for God’s purposes to be accomplished in order to enter something new, something different. Long enough to really come to trust in God and God’s promise for something new and better. And if we can remind ourselves of that and claim it, then we can say, “Oh yeah! God hasn’t let us down yet!” KF: Do you think that the church is being pulled into

something new and different in this time? WH: Yes! CW: I think so, yeah, on a lot of levels. For one, the

church no longer has the status that it used to have. We’re finding ourselves in a position similar to the Church’s very earliest days and having to find a way tell the world about what God has done in Jesus - a world that, in a lot of ways, just doesn’t care! Being religious is just not necessarily what all people are striving for. They’re not striving for the right religion. They want to be convinced that religion is necessary at all. We have our work cut out for us in a really different way than we did fifty or sixty or one hundred years ago. WH: I’m thinking about my sabbatical this past

summer, which included moving from our rented

Photos: Bishop Cate Waynick asperges the congregation during diocesan confirmation at Transfiguration, Indian River; Bishop Whayne Hougland greets St. Timothy’s, Richland during a visitation (Light Reveals Photography).

house to a much smaller one bedroom apartment. It was this process of letting go of all of this stuff in order to transition into this new space. It takes a lot of energy - spiritually, emotionally - to let go so that you can be open to what God has next or wants you to receive. CW: On the one hand, I think about a seminary

professor who walked into our classroom one day and said, “You know, of course, that in order to follow and serve Jesus, you have to give up everything. Absolutely everything.” He stood there and looked at us and looked at us. And then he said, “Well, maybe not everything. But for sure, the first thing you thought of when I said that.” So, on the one hand, I have that, and on the other hand, I carry this image of people who have lost absolutely everything in these hurricanes. They have to evacuate, and when the time comes, they get back to where they lived and there’s nothing

there. They’ve gotten out alive and maybe are with their families, but that’s all they’ve got. For them, it’s not a matter of giving it up. It’s a matter of having it just ripped out of your life. And we say to those people, “God didn’t do this to you, but God is with you in this. God is with you, walking through your loss.” If we can say that to them, we can say it to ourselves, no matter what it is that God calls on you to leave behind, you can do it. KF: What does this mean for us as we enter into the

next phase of relationship between our two dioceses – this 3-5 year process of conversation? WH: I think of it as a dance. I think our dioceses

have been dancing to our own sort of individual music, our own sort of beat. For some it’s a waltz, and for some it’s tango, and for some it’s a hiphop or something else. We’ve all had this different music and it seems as though the Spirit is telling us that it’s time to find a new beat, a new rhythm, + 7

a new way of being, that will expand on what we already have and be something that’s not been done before or not done often. CW: Yeah, we’ve each been doing our own dance in

lots of ways. Western Michigan has been kind of creating a new inner structure for itself: moving the diocesan offices, regional restructuring… And, Eastern Michigan has been figuring out how we gather and work together since the structures of 25 years ago haven’t sustained us over that time. We’ve been doing this parallel dancing alongside each other, and we’ve had these moments when we’ve sort of tested out - could we dance together? What might that be like? And now the two dioceses are getting to the point where they might actually partner up instead of just dancing separately. Look, I’ve been thinking about the way people seem to dance today. They stand by themselves and sort of bounce up down… I don’t know what that is, but if you want to waltz or you want to tango… WH: You need a partner. KF: And there’s a negotiation of the steps too. CW: Yeah, you have to figure out who’s leading for

a while, holding each other and learning how each one responds to the rhythms. And that can take a while. It can take some real practice to get good at that. And in this kind of dancing, it’s really the spirit that’s leading. KF: What makes you really excited about the future

of the Church - for our dioceses or the whole? WH: Well, for me, what’s exciting about our two

dioceses working together is that we’re really at a leading-edge movement within the greater denomination. We are amongst the first two

charting a new course out on the frontier. I find that really, really, really exciting. And then to consider how we can look at our gifts and assets to share, and go beyond what we could have imagined independently... That is just really, really exciting. I think about the relationships that can be developed, the strengthening of ministries, the sharing of resources, in terms of systems and processes and policies and staff. And how that can improve the way we move and conduct ourselves and strengthen on the ground ministries on both sides of that imaginary line between us. And to consider just what that might mean for the wider church to see that this can be done... I’ve had Bishops come to me and say, “We’re watching you!” because this is the future of the church. CW: You talked about pioneering, but I’m thinking

maybe we’re more sort of back to the future. WH: Yeah, true. CW: We’re back in the pioneer days when the

church was little groups of people gathering together and having a relationship with a circuit riding priest or bishop. We’re headed back into a time when we have to shift our expectations about what ministry looks like. KF: It’s a vision of church that we might think of as

a mixed economy, both in terms of leadership and in the ways in which we gather. Our communities might be more than just parish-based. We already have communities rising around farms, creationcare, home churches… Everything is going to get blurred and that’s still Church. WH: You’re right. I think that’s exactly right. CW: Yes. Our expectations about what constitutes

church are going to have to shift and having

intentional sharing of leadership and resources, helps us get there.

faithful person would do this…” And I looked at him. I said, “Did it not occur to you…”

WH: I think that’s what the spirit is leading us to

WH: We do that, too!

do – to consider how we become what the church needs to be so that people can know of this Jesus and this Way of Love that he brings us. KF: Nice transition. That was good.

KF: Is there a particular step on the Way of Love

that you struggle with? WH: Rest!

WH: You’re welcome. KF: So, the Presiding Bishop has given us this great

resource, the Way of Love. How have you engaged with this since it debuted about a year ago? WH: Well, for me, it’s consistent with practices that

I already engage in as part of a rule of life that I have had for many, many years. It uses some different terminology to make it more accessible for folk, which is brilliant. And you can start anywhere. You can start with Turn or Rest, or Worship. It doesn’t matter. You can engage in it however you receive it. It goes back to this sense of transition that we’re experiencing - this is new language for a new time. And the importance of it is the same importance it was in the early years and has been throughout the history of our tradition - that when in you’re in the midst of chaos, when you’ve had to abandon your home, when you’re in a time of violence and divisiveness, when the world seems really unsteady, here you go. Here’s a place in which you can stand. CW: I’m remembering a conversation I had with a

young priest who said that, in his own spiritual journey for a while, he was attracted to Islam. And I said, “What was it? What was it about Islam that was attractive?” “Well, they have these practices... You’re supposed to pray five times a day. And you’re supposed to make a pilgrimage. And a

Bishops Waynick and Hougland meet with Canon Forsyth over Zoom to talk transition and the Way of Love. + 8

CW: “...that we have practices?” Right!

CW: Yeah. WH: If I’m going to be honest and vulnerable for a

minute, I would say that a lot of my identity is tied into accomplishing things or getting things done or even being acknowledged, being accomplished. It’s so much a part of the unhealthy American ethos - that we find our value in accomplishment, not in being children of God. And I would say that’s a problem for me. CW: I think it would be spectacularly dishonest

for any bishop to say, “Oh, I’m just a thoroughly unambitious person [laughs].” It’s not necessarily prideful ambition, but it is the kind that you were just talking about - about being able to see progress being made. It’s about being able to accomplish certain goals and see certain benchmarks. Or sometimes, for me, it was even hearing some of my own thoughts coming back to me. I mean, that feels good. It feels affirming. And it’s not a bad thing to be affirmed. But it gets in the way of remembering that you can get a whole lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit. WH: Right. CW: From my perspective, as someone who’s at the

end of this ministry as bishop, the ability to rest is something that I’m going to have to embrace or I’m going to be really, really unhappy. + THE RT. REV. WHAYNE M. HOUGLAND, JR. recently celebrated his sixth anniversary as bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan. As of publication, he is also nominated to serve concurrently as Bishop Provisional of the Diocese of Eastern Michigan. THE RT. REV. CATE WAYNICK is the retired bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis. She was elected Bishop Provisional of Eastern Michigan in October 2017. Her ministry with the diocese concludes at Diocesan Convention in 2019. + 9

HER WAY OF LOVE by the Rev. Kay Houck


or many years, my best friend and I dreamed of collaborating in ministry.

We would talk and wonder about the possibilities, but we never came up with a firm plan. So we waited. And in our waiting, the Spirit was quietly at work. Around a year ago, Danielle called me from Oklahoma where she was living at the time. Her voice was filled with hope and longing. The Holy One was moving in her heart, and she described a sense of urgency in responding to the call. Danielle imagined starting an Instagram account where we might share prayers and spiritual reflections curated alongside beautiful images. I had previously been hesitant because I did not know what it would look like to balance full-time parish ministry with a new ministry endeavor. But Danielle’s idea helped to unbind me from my fear. Danielle brings the gift of dreaming, while I bring the gift of developing plans. So, our collaborative gifts make a really great team! The Way of Love had been released just a few months prior to this pivotal conversation, and it was fresh on my heart and mind. I suggested that we use the Way of Love as our inspiration. In October 2018 we launched Her Way of Love, an online community for women seeking to cultivate an intentional life of prayer and action by following the Way of Love as a rule of life. Neither of us knew what would happen next, and over the past year we have been surprised, delighted, challenged, and overcome with gratitude. Through the Her Way of Love community, Danielle and I have become connected to women who long for the experience of greater intimacy with the divine. Together we name and celebrate

Love as the centering power of our lives. We seek to be challenged and inspired to grow deeper roots in the gospel. We are committed to cultivating space in which we can do the beautiful work of living as disciples of love. Danielle and I keep saying “yes” to this ministry because we trust that something extraordinary is happening. Something that is far beyond either of us. We have experienced and continue to experience the power of the gospel. Initially our discernment process called upon us to TURN our lives to Jesus and to welcome the power of his love to embolden and equip us for ministry. Since our initial launching, this ministry has challenged me to return to Jesus over and over again. Throughout the year, I have needed to pay attention to old patterns and habits that resurface, for instance, putting pressure on myself to create content for others, instead of creating in response to the authentic stirrings of my spirit. I have needed to turn to Jesus when I have gotten caught up in the traps of competition and comparison. I have needed to name the temptation to keep up with others, so that I may find release and turn toward my own ministry— the ministry the Spirit has entrusted to me. The Her Way of Love community now includes an Instagram account, Facebook page, Facebook group, website, and e-newsletter. Some days I feel unsettled as I wonder about what lies around the bend in the road, or how to best honor the mission of our fellowship. Yet, in the midst of uncertainties, love is my centering force. Every day is a new day to turn to Jesus, and I fully believe he will show me the way. + THE REV. KAY HOUCK is priest-in-charge at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lexington, Michigan and co-founder of Her Way of Love.

“Yet in the midst of uncertainties, love is my centering force.” + 10

Photos: Images from the Her Way of Love Instagram feed; Kay and Danielle pose during Kay’s ordination in 2012. + 11


he Easter Vigil is the most important service of the liturgical year, yet many of our youth and adults have never attended the service. There it sits - nestled inconveniently between sundown on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter morning. However, it contains the story of our redemption through Jesus and God’s never-ending love - a story deserving of some study and contemplation, right? This year, for our Wednesday evening youth group gatherings, the Grand Rapids Episcopal Youth (the combined youth group of St. Andrew’s and St. Mark’s) studied Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent from The Episcopal Church. This program took the seven scripture readings for the Easter Vigil and tied them to the seven practices of the Way of Love. If one had never attended the Vigil, and even if one had, this was a chance to look deeper into the journey of Lent. A chance to learn the story of salvation, God’s grace, and walk with Jesus into a life transformed. The third lesson, Learn (Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6), went to the heart of what we do in formation, but especially so in the context of the season of Lent and understanding the Easter Vigil. Our youth practiced Lectio Divina, learning how it can open you to fresh wisdom each time you or someone reads a passage of scripture. However, Learn does not leave us just with reading scripture, but calls us to put the wisdom gained from reading scripture into action. Part of that is going out and sharing our wisdom, gifts, and love with others, but also being open to learning more about God’s wisdom through the stories of those we meet.

The Way of Love on the Move by Jeff Brown

It was out of this study that the theme of our Diocesan High School Progressive Mission Trip-The Way of Love-came into scope. The Progressive Mission Trip is an event in which high school aged leaders travel throughout the state, forming relationships and joining in short-term mission projects with local churches and organizations. It’s all about going out into the world to do as Jesus taught. First organized out of the Diocese of Western Michigan in 2015, the trip is now open to participants from both dioceses. The participants in this summer’s mission trip - about a dozen high schoolers from across the diocese - built on what we had learned in Grand Rapids through Lent by reflecting at the end of each day where we found each of the seven practices of The + 13

Way of Love in action. From the very beginning, I wanted it to be clear that, though we would spend some time “doing and helping”, a good portion of this trip would be about Learning. Our first stop was at St. Paul’s, Muskegon. During our time there we worked with Family Promise of the Lakeshore, an organization helping families without housing. On the following day we worshipped with our generous and hospitable friends at St. Paul’s. The Gospel reading was of Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary and Martha. While Martha stayed attuned to the household tasks, Mary took time out of the busyness to listen and learn at the feet of Jesus. In his sermon, the Rev. Mike Fedewa emphasized the importance of hospitality, but also the need to be with Jesus and Learn from him and his example. Can we strike a balance between the doing of Martha and the being, listening, and learning of Mary? At Plainsong Farm, we worked with the young adult fellows and staff, including the Rev. Nurya Love Parish and Mike and Bethany Edwardson, to plan Sabbath at the Farm. This is a weekly community gathering during the summer, bridging prayer and worship with hands-on environmental and agricultural education and creation-care. Youth were reminded of our call from scripture to be stewards of creation, as we are part of creation. If the land is not healthy, we are not healthy. With help from young adult fellow Jimmy Pickett, our youth wrote the prayer, harvested produce, and prepared it for the potluck that would follow the service. After the meal, we learned about heirloom wheat and how it is healthier for the body and environment. It is also the closest grain to the wheat Jesus had eaten. We ended the visit at the heirloom wheat field on the farm, the same field where our meal’s bread had started from. Then at Church of the Epiphany, South Haven, with the help of Father Michael Ryan and parishioners, our participants were able to put their gifts and talents to use as they helped plan a memorial service for a man who passed away, his remains unclaimed. Although, little was known about Chris, the man who had died, one could not help but be reminded of Jesus’ Parable of the + 14

Lost Sheep. Youth chose the spot in the memorial garden to inter his ashes, dug the hole for them, helped to select hymns, served as altar guild, chalice bearers, acolytes, and readers. I can still see the readers sitting mindfully and prayerfully with several readings prior to the service to select the ones they thought most fitting. The service was beautiful. A loving tribute to “one that was lost.” Our journey also included a trip to St. Paul’s in Flint, with the Rev. Dan Scheid and his congregation. There, we prepared food and shared a meal with those struggling in the midst of poverty and the water crisis at their Tuesday Free Community Lunch. We realized that their story is our story and Jesus calls us to action. We continued to see The Way of Love in action at Crossover Community Outreach Ministry in Flint, a nonprofit in relationship to St. Paul’s, which provides free emergency food, clothing, household, personal items, and youth programs.

Photos - Missioners gather at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Flint to learn more about the church’s response to poverty, violence, and the Flint Water Crisis; the group poses for a photo during some break time at the lake; missioners lead Sabbath at the Farm at Plainsong Farm.

The Way of Love invites us to regularly study scripture, especially the life and teachings of Jesus, so that we may better understand God’s story, notice God’s work today, and how we can see the light in all God’s children. Then, we go out and put this wisdom into action. From the Easter Vigil to the last day of the Progressive Youth Mission Trip, I could see the understanding grow on the faces of our youth and the delight of seeing the scriptures they had studied culminate in this glorious celebration of new life. They were finding a deeper call to go out into this world and spread Jesus’ message of love and reconciliation to live the Way of Love. + Jeff Brown is the Director of Youth Ministries at St. Andrew’s and St. Mark’s Episcopal Churches in Grand Rapids and the organizer of the diocesan Progressive Youth Mission Trip. + 15

PRAYERS TAKE FLIGHT a community art project for lent and easter by Missy and Jim Harrison + 16


magical thing happened during Lent this year at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland. Our parish newsletter summed this up very well: “An inspiration, becomes an idea, that becomes a plan when executed by the collaboration of many hands.” Our story began with planning for our Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. We needed a project for the youngest among us to do – to keep kids occupied during the festivities. We decided to create butterflies out of pipe cleaners, clothes pins, pom poms, and coffee filters. The butterfly is classic metaphor to help explain the season of Lent to people of all ages - a caterpillar creates a chrysalis and spends a time in it until transformed into a beautiful new creation, much like Jesus dying and being placed in the tomb. The time of Lent is our time of waiting for our new life in Jesus reborn. As children glued butterflies together, the adults folded them. Origami butterflies began to fill the tables of the pancake supper and a bigger idea was sparked. Origami butterflies. A grandson with an airplane mobile above his bed. A friend that created liturgical mobiles at a church in Georgia. The discipline of prayerfully folding and creating throughout the Lenten season. On Shrove Tuesday, the butterfly stations were filled with activity the entire evening. The excitement about this new thing filled our Fellowship Hall. We felt something bubbling up. We placed a request in the newsletter asking people to take on a new discipline throughout lent. We purchased folding paper from the local craft store and placed instruction sheets throughout the church. One woman announced during the service announcements that she would be folding butterflies in the Fellowship Hall during the week. She invited others to join her. The Fellowship Hall was abuzz on a Tuesday afternoon, with people working together on their mountain and valley folds. + 17

Directions were read and reread. Papers folded, crumpled, and smoothed. Someone would figure part of it out and share it. Neighbor turned to neighbor and helped one another. And soon, something resembling a butterfly was created. That one Tuesday produced over 150 butterflies. That day also bonded the folders in fellowship, laughter, and prayer. Those weekday butterfly folders soon were taking instructions and paper to their neighbors and praying and folding with them. Their enthusiasm spread to others in the congregation. More instructions were printed and more paper was purchased. Some parishioners folded butterflies while rooting on their team in March Madness. Others met regularly to fold in our Parish Hall. Tables at coffee hour soon filled with origami butterflies. After the horrific shooting at the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, a butterfly was folded and prayed over in honor of each of the victims. Over the course of six weeks, our parish produced over 1,500 origami butterflies, each one lovingly created and prayed over by a parishioner. Father Jim’s office began to look much like the Butterflies in Bloom exhibit at Dow Gardens. Baskets of butterflies filled the floor ready to take flight. Thank goodness Midland is a place populated with engineers. Just as it took many hands to create these beautiful creatures, it took many minds to help these butterflies soar. Imagining how to hang 1,500 butterflies in a church was no easy task, but our crack team was up to it. Plans were drawn up and calculations made. They figured out pulleys and hoops and stringing methods. Hours of planning and measuring made the finished project look like it was effortless.

Discovering how to make the mobile functional and beautiful was scary at times and yet truly exciting. This was an opportunity to trust in God. This was a project that at all times seemed Spirit driven as we received donations of scaffolding and discovered other building materials in the most unlikely of places – fishing gear and track and field supply stores. Soon the butterflies were strung, snugged together, and hung from every surface available, waiting for Holy Saturday and their behind-thescenes metamorphosis. They stayed there, just as Jesus’ body stayed in the tomb. They waited in preparation for their Easter flight. On Sunday, rather than a stone rolled away, parishioners were awestruck to find the chancel of the church gloriously transformed. People stared in amazement at the beauty, even tears were shed. Cellphone videos and selfies were plentiful. The butterflies, a tangible representation of our prayers, danced above the altar on Easter Sunday and throughout the season, as a reminder that Jesus defeated death, rose from the grave and gave us all new life. And as they danced, we were reminded of the hope of the resurrection. We were reminded that by evening on the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were filled with joy and the peace of Christ, the Holy Spirit breathed upon them. + MISSY HARRISON is a storyteller, play-facilitator, and formation professional. She serves as Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland. THE REV. JIM HARRISON serves as Assistant to the Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland.

“Just as it took many hands to create these beautiful creatures, it took many minds to help these butterflies soar.”

Above - The butterfly installation hung above the altar at St. John’s, Midland throughout the Easter season in 2019. A folded butterfly. St. John’s Rector, the Rev. Ken Hitch, holds up the ring base during the installation process. Below - Folders gather mid-week in the fellowship hall. Scaffolding goes up in the sanctuary to begin hanging the installation.

A Hearty


“We pray for a calm day, a peaceful night, relief from worry...”

How one Northern Michigan congregation developed a relationship with a local nursing home, offering an opportunity for worship and prayer to those in need of peace and comfort. by Susan Wander


any members of the congregation fall asleep during the service.

The singing is hesitant and often out of tune. People wander in and wander out. There are shouts of, “get out of here.” There are also wide smiles, joyous singing, handholding, and sincere gratitude. These are the signs of our monthly prayer service at the local nursing home, Lincoln Haven. The Rev. Nancy Harpfer started this service about five years ago when her husband was a resident of the nursing home. After his death, she went back and asked the activity director what more she could do to help them. She said “Bring your church.” Nancy designed the services, lined up the pianist, and recruited helpers. We have been meeting once a month ever since. + 20

This service has become our most-attended service we offer out of St. Andrew’s by the Lake Episcopal Church in Harrisville. Worship is now led by the Rev. Joe Jenney with members of our congregation attending and supporting as they can. Pastor Claire Duncan from Haynes Community Church brings some of her congregation and assists in the service. Together, St. Andrew’s, Haynes Community Church, and the residents, we meet just before the noon meal. Music is a big part of our gathering. Susan Armstrong, our organist, offers her ministry at the piano. She arrives early and plays familiar songs as we gather with the residents. The local Baptist church provided large print hymnals. There are many hymns intermingled in throughout our time together. And Susan always plays some rousing tunes at the end, or “bouncy music” as one resident calls it.

Photo: Pastor Claire Duncan, along with Sue Wander from St. Andrew’s by the Lake Episcopal Church in Harrisville, pray with a resident of Lincoln Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center during their monthly ecumencial prayer service.

Throughout the service, we offer praise and thanksgiving, a gospel passage and prayers. After the final hymn comes the most important part - Joe and Claire go from individual to individual offering a healing prayer.

them from a distance.

We all gather around the prayer recipient, touching them and offering a hearty “amen!”

This service feeds the souls of the receivers and the souls of the givers. And doesn’t our God often work that way? +

Most of the residents welcome a prayer knowing that many of them will not see full recovery. So, we pray for a calm day, a peaceful night, relief from worry, or an improvement in a condition. There are a few who decline and we pray for

SUE WANDER is part of the Ministry Team at St. Andrew’s by the Lake, Harrisville. She is learning patience again with a new puppy.

I never want to come to this service. It is a painful reminder of what might be in the future. But I am always glad that I did. + 21

Claiming the Unclaimed by Andy Gonzalez + 22 + 23


re you the church that takes unclaimed cremations?” a man asked at the door of St. Martin of Tours in Kalamazoo. When Laurie Atwater said yes, he thrusted a box and said, “Here, these are unclaimed.” The man had just dropped off and left behind his own daughter’s cremains and walked away. A short time later, a young man stopped by the church. His girlfriend had just died and he was looking for her remains. “It’s about dignity,” Laurie says, looking back at her encounter with both men and the funeral held for the young woman who died. This isn’t a unique situation. For one reason or another, there are some cremains that go unclaimed. One Kalamazoo funeral home had more than 100 cremains dating back until the 1940s. Instead of a proper funeral or burial, they’re left in storage facilities at these funeral homes, marked as unclaimed. In our baptismal covenant in the Book of Common Prayer, we commit to strive to respect the dignity of every human being. That commitment doesn’t end when a person dies. Even in death, a person deserves to be honored, remembered, and claimed. In 2015 a member of St. Martin of Tour’s decided to create an outdoor altar and garden as part of his Eagle Scout project. The parish soon realized the space could be used to help fulfill that baptismal covenant and started the Claiming the Unclaimed ministry. Working with funeral homes in West Michigan, and with the coroner’s office, St. Martin of Tours gives people a chance to find dignity in death and be claimed as wanted by a community.

Photos: Cremains are blessed during a service in the outdoor garden at St. Martin’s; crosses with each person’s name were blessed and placed with the buried. + 24

Twice a year, the parish holds funeral services for those who are unclaimed.

Prayers of the People on the month the person died.

Several of the cremains are put in a baby casket, provided by a local funeral home. During the service the parish receives those “who have, for various reasons, not been claimed and buried: some were unknown, some were unwanted, some were forgotten.”

These acts, while simple, serve as a reminder of who the person was, and reminds the parish of the importance and reality of the communion of saints.

Members of the parish then welcome these people into their community and honor them by reading each person’s name along with their date of birth and date of death. Doing this is a sign and reminder that this person lived and deserves the dignity of having their name read out loud while being buried. While the person is being buried with others, they are still unique and loved individually by the members of the parish. Since they are now members of the parish community, St. Martin of Tours doesn’t forget about them once they’re buried. The names of each person buried in the memorial garden is listed on a plaque, leaving a public record of their existence and a record letting people know this person is claimed by this community. The parish also remembers each person by name during the

In the Burial of the Dead Rite One, we ask to “believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting.” The 92 people buried in the memorial garden of St. Martin of Tours are more alive right now than we can ever imagine. Being claimed or unclaimed in this life doesn’t change the fact that we are each claimed individually by God. As a people called to follow Christ, the Claiming the Unclaimed ministry is a reminder and call to do the work God does. It’s a reminder that every person deserves the respect to know they’ve been claimed by the church. For the church, it’s a reminder of the nearness and reality of the communion of saints and dignity of every human person. + ANDY GONZALEZ is a cat parent, amateur cook, and karaoke enthusiast. He worships at St. Martin of Tours in Kalamazoo.

“Being claimed or unclaimed in this life doesn’t change the fact that we are each claimed individually by God.” + 25


ara Gillespie is a part-time physical therapist and mother who’s been the youth coordinator for St. Augustine’s in Benton Harbor for about eight years.

Tiny Houses for Big Change by Anne Marie Warner

When she started, they began with a simple children’s chapel during the regular Sunday service. This quickly transitioned to a youth-led liturgy once a month, as the kids got older and wanted to lead in the wider community. “It starts with worship,” says Cara. She also takes them to other churches occasionally, many that have very few or no children in their parishes to lead kids’ mass. This visibility of young parishioners to the greater church body is what she’s after. And she wants each child to know that “no matter how small you are, you can teach us.” Including kids in the process is at the heart of what Cara does and it flows naturally from her ideas about church, children, and education. And the kids can feel their belonging. During my day spent with Cara and her kids, we stopped off at St. Augustine’s so they could show me around. I asked the kids what comes to mind when they think of their church. “Small,” said one. “God,” said another. One was excited to talk about the paper cranes they hang up for All Souls Day in the eaves of the skylighted A-frame roof. The young kids galloped around the sanctuary while the oldest one lounged in a pew, phone in hand, as if on a couch at home. As Cara continued her work with her community, the youth took on more and more leadership and decided as a group to grow and sell vegetables. And one Sunday, when discussing where they would like to donate the proceeds of their sales, they told Cara, “We want to build a tiny house for a homeless person.” In Benton Harbor, the issue of homelessness is not an abstract idea. The young parishioners see the needs of their neighbors in the community both inside and outside of their walls.

“No matter how small you are, you can teach us.” + 26 + 27

Donate to Tiny Houses for Big Change - Send checks to St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church at 1753 Union Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 or search for the project on GoFundMe.

When I met with Cara to talk about their project, she brought not only her two kids, Jack (13) and Bella (10), but two others from St. Augustine’s so they could contribute to telling the tiny house story. The four were notably the only kids in the quaint coffee shop in downtown St. Joseph. They munched cookies, played a bit on their phones, and goofed around a little, but mostly they sat and listened and absorbed our conversation. When asked the question, “Why did you want to do this?” ten-year-old Terrencia replied, “So we could help people that don’t have homes.” When Cara first asked architecture professor Mark Morano for help with the project - officially titled “Tiny Houses for Big Change” - she was expecting (maybe even hoping) to hear “no” but his enthusiastic “yes!” was the next step in getting this project going.

first house and whatever we don’t use on this build will go towards the second.” In addition to Andrews University, Cara and her team are collaborating with Harbor Habitat for Humanity to make the tiny house a reality. Habitat will provide the land, a “good fit resident”, and financial readiness training for their renter. Together, they are also putting together more community resources to support their tiny house renters with additional assistance and services as needed. The tiny house will be transitional housing, providing the bridge between housing insecurity and home ownership. As an affordable rental, the total cost (rent, utilities, taxes, and insurance) calculates to about $450 per month – no more than 30% of a full-time, minimum wage work at the Michigan rate of $9.25 per hour.

Mark’s mantra, that “a structure should be useful, firm and delightful” is well-integrated into the architecture department at Andrews University where he teaches and runs a summer architecture camp. His graduate students designed the prototype for the tiny house and this summer’s “Renaissance Kids” architecture camp helped raise funds to support the project, auctioning off campermade play structures, pet houses, and artwork.

Construction on the first tiny house will begin in 2020.

“We raised over $8,200, so the auction was a great success,” said Cara. “So far we’ve raised more than we need for the

ANNE MARIE WARNER is a mother, writer, and photographer. She worships at St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo.

As we were leaving the café, Cara said off-handedly that they were in the paper that day and had Bella go to the counter to buy their last copy of The HeraldPalladium. Sure enough, there they were on the front page, telling their story of youth-led mission in their community. “We are little,” says Cara, but “we have people with big hearts that go out and do the work.” +

Photos: Top - Renaissance Kids campers work on fundraiser projects. Bottom - Cara Gillespie and youth from St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. + 28 + 29


n early 2014, I realized that something needed to change in my life.

I was regularly working twelve to fourteen hours per day, sometimes going a month or more without taking a single day off. I had visited the Emergency Room multiple times, showing symptoms of stress-related illness. My moment of clarity came while sitting in my office at 2 a.m. on a Saturday. I felt proud of myself for being such a dedicated worker, but then I stopped and thought: “Wait a minute; this is insane. Who does this?” I needed to find a healthier sense of balance and rhythm. Who understands balance and rhythm better than anyone? The word came to me: monks.

Keeping Time

Without even checking with my wife, I emailed and booked a week-long retreat at St. Gregory’s Abbey, an Episcopal Benedictine monastery in Three Rivers. That week changed my life. Sitting in the abbey church, I felt quiet on the inside for the first time. I had long felt an attraction to contemplative spirituality but had never sat still long enough to really try it.

by J. Barrett Lee

The greatest insight I gleaned from the Benedictines is their very different conception of time. Like most North Americans, I had always presumed that time is linear: progressing inexorably from Point A to Point B. According to the linear conception of time, the goal of life is success. My task is to assert my powers of will and force the timeline to go in the direction I wanted. What I learned from the monks is that time is not actually linear, but cyclical. As monks make their daily rounds of the Divine Office and the Mass,

they keep returning to the same point in liturgical time, again and again. At each celebration of the Eucharist, the Church finds itself gathered around that table in the Upper Room, with Christ and his Apostles at the Last Supper. As we chant the Sanctus, saints and angels from all of time and space gather with us in the Paschal mystery. The science fiction fan in me loves to think of the Eucharist as time travel. The goal of life in this cyclical vision of time is not success, but faithfulness. The only way to go forward is by going around. This vision of faithfulness is very much in-tune with the cyclical rhythms of the natural world: Day follows night as the Earth rotates; month follows month in the phases of the Moon; seasons come and go as our planet revolves around the Sun. The monks mark the passage of time with prayer, pausing to feel the Earth twisting and turning beneath their feet. They return to the hours of the Office and the Mass in order to renew their conscious contact with the Source of motion. It is their faithfulness to this daily rhythm that makes them monks. Between the Hours of the Office, the Earth keeps turning. There are periods of work and rest, but the cycle of prayer remains constant. Sacred interruption is the rhythm of Benedictine spirituality. After all, a symphony is just a jumbled mess of noise without the rests between the notes. This insight changed the way I approach my life at work and at home. Time is not linear, but cyclical. The goal is not success, but faithfulness. One can only move forward by going around. Within the cyclical rhythm of monastic life, I discovered a deep peace that I had never

“I had long felt an attraction to contemplative spirituality but had never sat still long enough to really try it.” + 30

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash + 31

J. Barrett Lee on the day he was clothed as an oblate novice in November 2016 at St. Gregory’s Abbey in Three Rivers, Michigan. Photo by Larry Braak.

GO ON RETREAT experienced before. My question to myself as I left the abbey after that first visit was: How do I take something of this experience with me into the rest of my life? Obviously, as one who is already bound by marriage vows and responsibilities toward children, becoming a monk was out of the question, but the monastic life is only one path to holiness within the larger Christian way. Any person, in any station of life, who lives with an open heart to God can take part in the blessed peace “that passeth all understanding” (Phil 4:7). For some, the Benedictine monastic tradition is a helpful tool for achieving spiritual growth in their life outside the cloister. I have come to believe that I am one such person. I have found through St. Benedict a way of life that is grounded and balanced, built on moderation and flexibility. People like me, who throw themselves into new things with gleeful abandon (and subsequently beat themselves up when they are unable to attain the heights to which they had aspired), need someone like St. Benedict to come along and remind us: Easy does it; Slow and steady wins the race; Growth is about + 32

progress, not perfection. St. Benedict declares that his Rule is written for “beginners” who are “hastening to the heavenly homeland” and want to “show that we have attained some degree of virtue and the rudiments of the religious life.” In other words, Benedictine spirituality is for regular people on life’s journey, not spiritual superheroes who want assurances that they have already arrived. I heard a story about a monk who, when asked what one does all day in a monastery, replied: “We fall down and we get up, we fall down and we get up, we fall down and we get up.” As a busy husband, father, and hospital chaplain, I frequently struggle to say Morning and Evening Prayer daily and participate in the celebration of the Eucharist each Sunday. My efforts are always incomplete and faltering, but each time I fall down, I get back up again and keep going, which is, I suppose, the point of the whole thing. + J. Barrett Lee attends St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo. He works as a chaplain resident at Bronson Methodist Hospital, and is an oblate novice of St. Gregory’s Abbey, Three Rivers.

Commit to the practice of Rest. There are several ongoing opportunities for individual and facilitated retreats in our community, including: ADVENT YOUTH RETREAT at PLAINSONG FARM For high-school aged young people in both dioceses, December 7-8, 2019. Pictured. ALL SAINTS, SAUGATUCK RETREAT HOUSE Rental space available for individual and group retreats. CAMP CHICKAGAMI

Camp Chick offers two facilitated retreats:

• Women’s Retreat - August 14-16 (All adultsvv) • Dinner Church Retreat - September 5-7 (College-Gen X), Pictured.

Rental space is also available for parishes and groups. Staff may work with renters to arrange program faciliatation. CLERGY RETREAT For all clergy canonically resident in or serving in the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, May 5-7, 2020. EMMAUS MONASTERY in VESTABURG Rental space available for individual and group retreats. ST. GREGORY’S ABBEY in THREE RIVERS Guest houses available for individuals or small groups to spend time sharing the brothers’ life of worship and recollection. Pictured. + 33





ear Church by the Reverend Lenny Duncan is a passionate, beautifully-written love letter to the Church. It is also, at times, one of the most challenging books I’ve read. However, not unlike taking on a new workout routine, the soreness that one will almost certainly feel at one point or another while reading this book may make one spiritually stronger, and in so doing, make the Church stronger.

The Rev. Lenny Duncan is a writer, speaker, and ELCA Pastor, currently serving as mission developer with the community of Jehu’s Table in Brooklyn, New York. + 34

Over the course of Dear Church, Duncan breaks down the myriad ways in which his branch of the Jesus Movement (the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, with which The Episcopal Church is in full communion) has failed and continues to fail to live up to its commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of the themes Duncan explores have to do with the way the ELCA, the whitest denomination in the US, navigates issues of race. However, Duncan also explores issues of gender, sexuality, economics, and nationalism. Trust me, no matter what privilege individual readers may possess, Duncan almost definitely will call readers to check it. I can assure readers that, at some point in the reading of this book, they will feel

push-back. As I experienced this push-back, most profoundly when Duncan explores the ways in which the Church’s liturgy can be unintentionally perpetuating white supremacist paradigms, I sat with that feeling and reflected on it. These places of push-back tend to be opportunities for growth.

system, full of human people trying to emulate the divine.” We will always fall short of this standard, but that doesn’t mean we ought to wallow in guilt or shame about it… it means we are called to repent and begin again! Dear Church is a tool for our toolbox.

Some folks will struggle with this book more than others. There are certainly folks who may be inclined to discount Duncan’s testimony altogether, especially given his frank tone and very occasional use of language that may be construed to be profane. For my part, I’ve never found such language to be as profane as refusing to seriously consider the perspectives of the marginalized.

Complete with a ready-to-use set of discussion questions and a logical chapter sequence, Dear Church would make an excellent small group study resource. Depending on the nature of the group and their experience exploring issues of racial justice, facilitators may do well to supplement it with additional materials and consider a more generous pace. This would be an especially useful text for those in positions of leadership and liturgical service. It’s worth noting that, because of Duncan’s ELCA context, readers may at times not understand every reference, but The Episcopal Church is close enough kin to the ELCA to have its own cognates in many cases. Facilitators would do well to be prepared for these instances to provide background information.

However, Duncan holds himself to account when discussing issues of justice in which he himself has privilege. He’s walking alongside readers, fully understanding the extent to which he’s challenging them, but doing it because he loves the Church too much. He loves us too much to sit in silence while we immolate ourselves in service to the false idols of white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and every other paradigm which convinces us that there exists another human being unworthy of dignity, respect, or wellness. I believe that, like all Spirit-fed endeavors, Dear Church can be transformative for those who engage it with open hearts and are willing to do the work, both internal and external, it calls us to do. As Duncan says, “The Church is a human

All in all, I look forward to returning to Dear Church over and over to see where it can encourage me to grow, and I’m grateful to Duncan for his vulnerability and willingness to hold us all accountable to the Gospel we profess. + TANNA LECLAIRE is a Nominee for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan and a graduate of the Academy for Vocational Leadership. + 35

empty space & potential by the Rev. Dr. Randall R. Warren The Rabbis of old say that the empty space between the wings of the angels on the Ark held all potential. Certainly the empty tomb did too. That is the nature of empty spaces, to be really empty they need boundaries, wings, walls, or even words. We extroverts give you thanks, Lord Christ, for talking to struggling Thomas and even more for being the Word. You talk to us, argue with us,

we have to believe

Photographer, Gregory Forsyth. 2018. St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton.

by David James The day will come, maybe not this year, maybe not in the next decade, but the day will dawn when love will be as common as air and we’ll breathe it in until it seeps into our blood stream, lodges in our cells. This love will bend hatred into toys for children; mold anger into kindness and patience; bury violence into rows of lilies and snapdragons, into roses and peonies. This love flowing in us will shine up in the sky; it will rise at night and sing us to sleep; love will fall like rain and soak the earth, fill the seas, carry the homeless and poor into our homes

at times are gracious enough to keep us entertained. For often we do not know what we know

for rest and laughter.

until we hear ourselves say it.

maybe tomorrow, maybe in twenty years,

We don’t find the empty space of all potential

when only love will matter, when love will fuel our desire,

The day will come,

when love will stretch its eternal arms

within ourselves until, with you, we speak the words which encircle it. RANDALL WARREN is the Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo.

around the world, and everyone in it, and we’ll realize, finally, we’ve made it to heaven. DAVID JAMES is a member of St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton. David

has two new books of poetry forthcoming in 2020, Nail Yourself into Bliss and A Gem of Truth. He teaches writing at Oakland Community College.

<< You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11 Artist, Barbara Beerthuis - Holy Trinity, Wyoming + 36 + 37


Above - Diaconal ordination of the Rev. Michael Spencer (Diocesan Staff, Grand Blanc); priestly ordination of the Rev. Peter Homeyer (Wyoming). Below - 2018 Diocesan Conventions; DCDI welcomes Mary Parmer to lead Invite Welcome, Connect in Midland.

Above - Youth from the lower peninsula dioceses participate in ELCA events Charge and The Gathering; EM youth join the Province V Youth Leadership event; clergy from both dioceses gather for clergy retreat in Dewitt. Below - Diaconal ordinations of the Rev. Derek Stefanovsky (Darien, CT) and the Rev. Abby VanderBrug (Greenwich, CT).

Below - Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan collaborate on the mission project in San SimĂłn in the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic; Diaconal ordination of the Rev. Kellan Day (Highland, NC).

Below - Confirmations in Lansing, Port Huron, Saginaw, Wyoming, and Indian River; Diaconal ordinations of the Rev. Tom Manney and the Rev. Dan Maxwell (Alpena); Western Michigan staff move from Kalamazoo to their new offices at St. Barnabas, Portage and Diocesan House in Wyoming.

Above - Graduation service for the Academy for Vocational Leadership; WM youth participate in the progressive mission trip; Diaconal ordination of the Rev. Harold Schneider (Otter Lake) Left - Province Vâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Big Provincial Gathering in Kalamazoo with guest speaker, the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija of TryTank.

Below - Campers and staff in community as part of Camp Chickagami and the Episcopal Youth Camp. + 40

PEOPLE ORDINATIONS Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Kellan Day to the diaconate in March.

The Rev. Becky Mickelfelder accepted a call to serve as Interim Rector at All Saints, Saugatuck in March.

Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Peter Homeyer to the priesthood in December.

The Rev. Nurya Love Parish accepted a call to serve as Rector of Holy Spirit, Belmont in January, where she was serving as Priest-in-Charge.

Bishop Waynick ordained the Rev. Daniel Maxwell to the diaconate in June.

The Rev. Diane Pike accepted a call to serve as Rector of the Southwest Episcopal Michigan Covenant (Dowagiac, Niles, St. Joseph) in December.

Bishop Waynick ordained the Rev. Tom Manney to the diaconate in June.

Bishop Waynick ordained the Rev. Harold Schneider to the diaconate in August.

The Rev. Dr. Gail Shafer accepted a call to serve as Rector of Trinity, Grand Ledge in February.

The Rev. Derek Stefanovsky was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Waynick in January and the priesthood by Bishop Todd Ousley in September.

The Rev. Derek Stefanovsky accepted a call to serve as Assistant Rector at St. Luke’s in Darien, CT in July.

Bishop Hougland ordained the Rev. Abby VanderBrug to the diaconate in February.

The Rev. Abby VanderBrug accepted a call to serve as Director of Children and Family Ministries at Christ Church in Greenwich, CT in September.

CALLS & TRANSITIONS The Rev. Molly Bosscher accepted a call to serve as Rector of St. Andrew’s, Grand Rapids in June. The Rev. David Brower accepted a call to serve as Interim Rector of Church of the Mediator, Harbert in November. Gennie Callard resigned as WM Assistant to the Bishop for Children & Youth Ministries in August. The Rev. Kellan Day accepted a call to serve as Assistant Rector at Church of the Incarnation in Highlands, NC in June. The Rev. Michael Fedewa accepted a call to serve as Rector of St. Paul’s, Muskegon in November. The Rev. BJ Heyboer accepted a call to serve as Rector of St. Mark’s, Newaygo in June, where she was serving as Priest-in-Charge, concluding her part-time ministry with St. John’s, Fremont. The Rev. Alan James accepted a call to serve as Interim of Emmanuel Petoskey in December.

The Rev. Dan Maxwell accepted a call to serve as Deacon at Trinity, Alpena in June. + 42

Every three years, the Episcopal Church convenes an international youth event welcoming thousands of young people across the Church for celebration, worship, learning, and leadership training. The next EYE will take place in Washington, DC, July 7-11, 2020. EYE is for youth in grades 9-12 during the 2019-2020 school year. Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan will be traveling together, forming deeper relationships across the state and across the church. Applications are open now at and

< 2020 Convention with Michael Curry Save the date! In 2020, our diocesan convention is going to be BIG! Building on our process of deepening relationship, discovering opportunity, and listening for the Spirit, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan will meet for a combined convention next October 30-31, 2020 in Lansing.

RETIREMENTS The Rev. Dr. Cory Stoppel retired as Rector of All Saints, Saugatuck in February.

And that’s not all! We will be joined by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry alongside members of his staff to learn more about our call to be messengers of the Good News and to live the Way of Love. All are welcome to attend convention, whether as an elected delegate or as a visitor.

DEATHS Fr. Jude Bell, OSB of St. Gregory’s Abbey in Three Rivers died on July 11, 2019. Marjorie Bennison, wife of the late Rt. Rev. Charles Bennison, died on January 21, 2019. The Rev. Bob Diehl, former Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul’s, Port Huron, died on December 20, 2019. The Rev. Hugh Hostetler died on December 15, 2018. He served congregations in Dowagiac, Plainwell, Three Rivers, and Grand Rapids. The Rev. Beth McLaren, former Associate at St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo, died on January 20, 2019. The Rev. Whayne Nicholson, former Rector of St. John’s, Mount Pleasant, died on June 10, 2019. The Rev. Thomas Toeller-Novak, former Rector of Grace, Holland, died on June 28, 2019. The Rev. Edward Scully, died on September 7, 2019. He served communities including Fremont, Newaygo, Albion, and the diocesan camp. Canon Donalee Williams, lay canon and former Director of Music at the Cathedral of Christ the King, died June 25, 2019.

The Academy for Vocational Leadership

The AFVL is a three-year program of local formation leading to ordained ministry. Using curriculum from the Seminary of the Southwest’s Iona Collaborative, students from the three lower peninsula dioceses gather monthly for classes in Holy Scripture, church history, theology and ethics, liturgy, and more. The 20202021 class will begin study next August. Visit your diocesan website for more details.

Diocesan Church Development Institute


The Rev. James Lively accepted a call to serve as Rector of St. John’s, Sturgis in August.

< The Episcopal Youth Event


Tricia Leistra resigned as EDWM Diocesan Office Administrator in August to accept a call to serve on the staff of the Reformed Church of America.


DCDI is a two-year program for teams of 3-4 people, including clergy, working to recognize and activate lay leadership in the congregation by building skills, encouraging new and experimental ministries, and by identifying resources for next steps. DCDI equips congregations to work toward a common goal, founded in theology and practice. To learn more, visit the DCDI page on your diocesan website.


THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF EASTERN MICHIGAN 924 North Niagara Street Saginaw, MI 48602 + 44

Profile for The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan

The Feast 2019  

The Feast is a collaborative magazine of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan.

The Feast 2019  

The Feast is a collaborative magazine of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan.