SPIRIT WEMO YOUTH SUMMER ACTIVITIES | VOLUNTEERS MAKE IT HAPPEN
Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri
June, 2014 | Volume 6, No. 3
New Building Dedicated
Taking a first step can be more challenging than keeping going, some behind the scenes moments, and as always, we need your words and pictures.
PUBLISHER The Right Rev. Martin S. Field EDITOR Gary Allman
Spirit is published by the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri 420 West 14th St. Kansas City, MO 64105 EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS Gary Allman, Communications Director Mrs. Angela Crawford, Communications Assistant The Rev. Dr. Steven Rottgers, Canon to the Ordinary SUBMISSIONS/LETTERS
Spirit welcomes submissions of news articles, photographs and letters to the editor on topics of interest to the diocese. Submissions should include the writer’s name, e-mail and postal addresses and phone number and are subject to editing.
By Gary Allman
4 Keeping Watch The question of vocation versus career, our commitment to service, and some thoughts on the recent ordinations within the diocese. By The Right Rev. Martin S. Field
5 The Ponder Box Pentecost brings us a discussion on how people choose to hear or not hear our messages, and what can influence their decision to listen or not. By The Rev. Dr. Steve Rottgers
PHONE (816) 471-6161 ext. 17
FAX (816) 471-0379
Pregnant and Priestly
E-MAIL email@example.com WEB SITE www.episcopalwestmo.org
A humorous look at the expected and unexpected repercussions of being pregnant and a member of the clergy. By The Rev. Meg Rhodes
ON THE COVER Confirmation at Christ Episcopal Church Springfield. Photograph: Gary Allman
7 Blue Springs’ Shoes
Members of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs, collected over 2,000 pairs of shoes to give to the non-profit agency Soles4Souls. By Joyce McIntosh
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The dedication and blessing of Christ Church Warrensburg’s new school buildings. By Rachel Clements
9 Youth Summer Events This summer’s diocesan youth events offer education, networking and fellowship. By Kim Snodgrass
10 Ordinations The recently ordained priests and deacons make their introductions. Introduced by The Right Rev. Martin S. Field
13 You Make it Happen The benefits of volunteering and combating volunteer ‘burn out’. By John Hornbeck
14 BKSM Graduations As the first students of the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry graduate we take a look at the success of the school. By Melodie Woerman
15 The Agenda Summer and fall events around the diocese.
EDITOR’S LETTER | Gary Allman
First Steps... Getting started or re-started can be much harder than simply carrying on. I AM ONE OF LIFE’S PROJECT MANAGERS. When I see
something isn’t getting done, I look around for ways to facilitate getting it done. If that fails I do what many years as a business owner has taught me. Roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Over time I’ve picked up a lot of skills because I wasn’t afraid to take on something new. This does have its disadvantages. I’m continually climbing one learning curve or another, and it is impossible to keep such a broad base of experience up-to-date. And, dare I say it, without the time to hone all of those skills, I’m not as efficient or as good at some of them as I think I ought to be. I’ve discovered this has a direct parallel in my spiritual life. If I work too hard, skip church on Sunday in favor of getting a report finished, miss the Thursday Eucharist because of a school concert or childcare issue, I start to drift. One missed Thursday becomes a month of missed Thursdays. Suddenly, I get out of practice. I’ve lost my spiritual edge. I lose my way. This is something I’ve been keenly aware of this past year during my sabbatical from my EFM (Education for Ministry) class. The spiritual aspects of my life are just as affected by the old adage of “use it or lose it” as my technical skills and physical capabilities. I’ve found getting back into a good spiritual practice is every bit as hard as getting back into an exercise program; even though in both cases, I know that I’ll benefit immensely from doing so. The key for me is to take that first step down whatever path I need to travel and then keep walking. Taking that first step is hard. This past month I’ve been privileged to be present as many people reached important way points in their spiritual journeys, some of whom have been called to tread a different path, that of the diaconate and priesthood. You can meet some of them in the article about the recent ordinations on page 10. It was interesting to hear how many of them denied the inner call they felt for a long time before finally taking their first steps in their new vocation. Being present at the various baptisms, ordinations, confirmations, reaffirmations and receptions over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to use one of the skills I’ve picked up along the way: basic documentary photography. Many years ago I was roped into spending several seasons as a studio wedding photographer, and photographs have become hugely important in engaging conversation online. You only have to look at the popularity of websites such as Instagram and Pinterest. Having a decent camera, I’ve carved a small niche taking
pictures at church events. During the ordinations to the priesthood, I had a chance to get ‘closer to the action’ than I would normally be, and so I was fortunate to be there to capture a ‘behind the scenes’ moment. We had just finished taking the pictures of the bishop and the newly ordained priests. The sanctuary in Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage was almost empty. In those few moments of quiet, Bishop Marty asked Mothers Anne and Linda, and Fathers Galen and Michael if they would give him a blessing. “I give many and receive few.” He knelt there before the altar and received a blessing. It was a very humbling moment for me. If I hadn’t been prompted by one of the few bystanders, I wouldn’t have taken a picture. But I was, and I did.
I, in common with many others, like taking and sharing my photographs. I particularly enjoy it when other people get pleasure from them. Pictures show others what a vibrant, active diocesan community we have. This is an area where I need your help. We need photographers from around the diocese to step up to the plate and send us their pictures. We need photographs to be shared on our Facebook pages, on our websites and in our magazines. To be able to include them here in the Spirit magazine photographs need to be taken with at least a reasonable quality point and shoot camera (something that is getting harder to come by). Unfortunately at the moment cell phone pictures typically don’t have the resolution to look good in print. We also need your words, we don’t have the resources to be able to write the articles for this magazine and do all the other things we need to get done. We want the Spirit to be about you and what is going on in the parishes. As much as I would like to, I don’t have time to read every parish magazine to pick out the gems that lie therein. So if any of your newsletter articles may be of interest to others please send them to me. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org We will share as much as we can. Thank you. + SPIRIT | June 2014
KEEPING WATCH | The Right Rev. Martin S. Field
Commitments Change Lives 8 graduated from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry. With some overlapping (4 both graduated and were ordained), there were 11 in all: Lauretta Hughes, Paula Lively, Kim Taube, Anne the Sacrament of Confirmation or the Rites of Reception or Cheffey, Linda Milhollen, Mike Shaffer, Galen Snodgrass, Bruce Reaffirmation. In these rites individuals — who are ready to Bower, Donna Stanford, Kevin White, & Chas Marks. enter into a new level of dedication to the Church universal and For quite a while, these 11 folks have been exploring and local — receive the laying on of hands and the prayers of the learning about commitment and service. They’ve been “countgathered church that they may be strengthing the cost”, as Jesus recommends in Luke, chapter 14, and ened in the Holy Spirit for ministry. In other they’ve found themselves called and able to commit to the serwords, these moments are all about commitvice required of those “further ordained”, that is those ordained ment — commitment to their responsibility beyond the ordination of baptism. as Christian witnesses and servants. Not all of us, of course, are called to Holy Orders. Commitments change lives. For example, Nevertheless, all Christians are called to commitment and sera person who is single might have a very difvice. Each of us. No exceptions. ferent focus than a married person. Focus A young fellow named Johnny had trouble pronouncing on self transforms to focus on “us”. Couples the letter “R”, so his teacher gave him this sentence to practice without children don’t always have the at home: “Robert gave Richard a rap in the rib for roasting the same motivators as those who are parents. rabbit so rare.” A few days later the teacher asked him how he Commitments change things. was doing with his practice sentence and to say it for her. He The same is true for our Christian commitments. Our first quickly rattled off the sentence: “Bob gave Dick a poke in the commitment as Christians is to God who became incarnate in side for not cooking the bunny enough!” Jesus Christ. Hand in hand with that is our commitment to the That’s a humorous but unfortunate tale of someone finding Church. And hand in hand with both of those is our committhe easy way out of a commitment. Even though the commitment to reach out in service to God and to the children of God. ment — if lived out fully — It is my experience that too many Christians have would have brought him a only a vague idea of what is benefit, Johnny shirked and involved in “serving God.” skirted around it. Someone once said, “Most As summer arrives and people want to serve God, but with it the season after only in an advisory capacPentecost — the season of the ity!” Real service — which Holy Spirit, of fire, of power, invariably involves an aspect and of commitment — will of self-giving, of self-denial — you take a vacation from your takes real commitment. One commitments and from sercannot offer one without the vice? Or will you maintain other, meaning: one cannot full fidelity to those commitbe truly committed withments even as you find rest out that commitment being Confirmations, reaffirmations and receptions at Christ Episcopal Church, and recuperation in some expressed in service, and one Springfield. down time? Too often, vacacannot truly serve except as tions mean folks drop their an expression of true commitcommitments to God and his ment. Church, their commitment to stewardship of time, talent, and On the last Saturday of April and the first two Saturdays treasure. How will you honor your commitments during the of May, three services took place that were milestones in the coming summer months? I pray God will give you the grace to lives of some of our brothers and sisters. The first two of these remain steady and to carry through with all you have promised three occasions were ordinations, and they took place at Grace, to do. Carthage and Christ Church, Springfield respectively (my deepest thanks to these host congregations). At these services, 4 persons were ordained priests, 3 were ordained deacons, and Have a blessed Season after Pentecost and a grand summer! + JUST ABOUT EVERY SUNDAY, I MAKE AN OFFICIAL, EPISCOPAL VISITATION TO A PARISH OR CONGREGATION IN OUR DIOCESE. Quite often, my visitation involves celebrating
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THE (PENTECOST) PONDER BOX | The Rev. Dr. Steve Rottgers
“You cannot hear what you do not understand!” Dr. Edward Deming “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” IS NOT ALWAYS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY. IT WORKS WELL FOR SELLING CELL PHONES AND FOR CREATING ALLEGIANCE TO A CELLULAR NETWORK, but even before microwaves sent phone
messages, images, and music through the air, the question, “Can You Hear Me Now?” still had relevance. I know of people wearing hearing aids who are very subtle yet very deliberate about turning their “ears” off so that they cannot hear the person right in front of them talking to them. In other times, I have watched as people have an extensive amount of information presented to them, so much so that it flew so high over their heads that no one in the room connected to the data, the topic, or the speaker. In one instance, a person next to me said in an aside to me, “That person must be brilliant because I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about!” Sometimes new ideas fall on blind eyes or deaf ears because the important information people really needed to see or hear just doesn’t get through. The experience stored in a person’s memories simply makes the person believe: “This new information is wrong. It doesn’t match my model of experience, so I don’t need to know or worry about any of this!” The inner person just turns off the lights and the sound and the person, “Just Doesn’t Hear It!” A lot of this plays out in business scenarios where communication breaks down between leaders and staff, R&D departments and production line personnel, and in management suites and boardrooms regardless of size of the company or the tech-savviness of the persons involved. The base lesson is this: one must intentionally listen and seek proficiency in the ways and means that information, data, and messages are conveyed. Technology is part of it. Understanding language is part of it. Making oneself available is a major part of it. But being engaged in relationship—whether with a friend, a loved one, a family member, a colleague, a peer, or a new acquaintance—is the most significant part of any transfer of information or knowledge, or even a humorous quip. Is this new to our day and time? Most assuredly “No!” In ancient times, it was important for God’s message to be conveyed to as many as possible, as quickly as possible, and as far and wide as possible, so God made sure that we could hear (both then and now). To do that, God moved beyond depending on humans to convey the message on their own. His message needed some power and impact beyond that of humanity alone. Thus, God chose people who were open to a new power in their lives, not only their spirit, but a Holy Spirit. The message fared a bit better, but still there remained a need to trans-
mit the message even better still. God’s choice? He created a family tie, a relationship with humanity, a Son. Jesus did his best to be as much, to as many, in as many of places, as a “Son of Man” could manage. Even then, the people who heard him speak, including his inner circle of Apostles, couldn’t hear the message because they didn’t understand. It was too far outside the realm of their experience. It was akin to a fantastically tasty entrée sliding off a Teflon coating and onto the ground. Something was missing in the lives of the “hearers”, something that was needed to make the Holy Message stick and help the people to become “holy”. Again God had an answer for the dilemma: give the people a Holy Spirit too, one that counters the human temptation “not to hear” the New Good News and which instead ushers in the words and insights in a way that will help them stick. A Holy Spirit that could capture Holy Messages and reroute them into a person’s heart and soul and mind and manifest them into the strength of the actions of the body. It was not an accident that this took place in Jerusalem when it did. It happened at the Feast of the Gathering of the Sheaves, a ritual celebration of the first cuttings of the crops and a time for offering the firstborn of cattle and livestock. It was, in any regards, a “Stewardship Offering Sunday” in keeping with the Law of the Old Covenant. The intent was to give to God something that one raised or grew as an offering. That is why people from around the world came to Jerusalem for this important, Spring holiday. In its own way, the feast provided all the communications potential of our modern use of the internet. The challenge was this: how do you speak Good News to an assembly of multi-lingual citizens gathered from the thenknown world? Easy! Choose a handful of fearful yet faithful people that have experienced the Living Son of God in Jesus, who have been hanging out together awaiting a promised gift from God, empower them with that gift (that Holy Spirit), and then kick them out into the streets to speak and convey God’s message of Grace and Salvation in languages in which they were not proficient. It worked! And it works today! If we are open, willing, and have a desire to receive the Holy Spirit, it can be ours for the asking! It will open your eyes and ears and mouth and inner perceptions to a new level of understanding. We will remain in this world like everyone else, but we will no longer be “of this world”. What we say, how we act, and how we experience the world and those around us will be different! It is God’s intention that we—like the Apostles centuries ago—receive God’s gift, His Holy Spirit, so we can hear and understand when God speaks to us. That is indeed Good News! And when we understand God’s will for us, we can be our best in our loving and personal relationships, in our business connections, in our local community ties, and most certainly, in our places of worship and faith. + SPIRIT | June 2014
GUEST COLUMNIST| The Rev. Meg Rhodes
Pregnant and Priestly AS CLERGY WE OFTEN FIND OURSELVES IN AWKWARD POSITIONS, BUT NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU FOR THE MOMENTS THAT OCCUR WHILE YOU ARE EXPECTING AND ORDAINED. I’ve decided to make a brief
list of just a few of the things that a clergy person ought to be aware of if you are planning to enter the rarified ranks of: Pregnant & Priestly. • Water may be dipped, poured, and sprinkled during liturgy. It may not be broken. •
You will need to move the elements closer and closer to the edge of the altar as your belly makes it harder and harder to reach them.
The look on people’s faces when your youth tell strangers their priest is pregnant.
The credit you receive for taking church growth so much to heart.
It isn’t odd that the priest inticts her communion wafer.
Cinctures are capable of making any vestment an empire waist.
Complete strangers will take a fascinated interest in the fact that, “you can have sex.” Now is a great time to tell the story of the virgin birth.
Contractions during the sermon may lead to awkward words or phrases being punctuated.
Your parish will become accustomed to “a brief intermission” during worship when the baby decides to stomp on your bladder.
It makes sense to be called, “Mother.”
The priest rushes to the head of the line for treats during coffee hour. But doesn’t drink the coffee.
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Maternity clerical wear requires a new level of creativity and imagination.
When people curse in the delivery room they are quick to apologize. Don’t worry they won’t utter a word if you do it yourself.
While I offer the above list for humor, this time in my clergy-life is a great reminder of the many assumptions that still exist about clergy; that we are somehow different and to be placed on a sacred pedestal. For my parish and myself, pregnancy and birth are blessed reminders that the human life is one that
we all share. The pain and the beauty. This and many life events are great opportunities for us all to remember that we are brothers and sisters, created and redeemed by the same God, equally loved and mortal. That, and an alb can hide anything! UPDATE: Caroline Elsa arrived on April 24 at 28 weeks old and weighing a whopping 2 pounds 12 ounces. She’s doing incredibly well, and we are just waiting for her to get bigger before she can come home. + The Rev. Meg Rhodes serves as rector of St. Anne’s in Lee’s Summit, is wife to Eric Rhodes and mom to Weslee Grace and Caroline Elsa.
Weslee Grace, Eric Rhodes and The Rev. Meg Rhodes, Easter 2014.
Blue Springs’ Shoes
Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs’ congregation has recently held a very effective shoe drive. by Joyce McIntosh
WHAT DOES ONE DO WITH THOSE SHOES IN THE BACK OF THE CLOSET, TOO GOOD TO THROW OUT BUT NOT BEING WORN AND JUST COLLECTING DUST? Members
of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs, collected them as a Lenten project to give to the non-profit agency Soles4Souls, which immediately distributes them to barefoot folk in 121 countries and 45 states. They also invited two neighboring Blue Springs churches, All Saints Lutheran and Good Shepherd Christian, to take advantage of the delivery truck. Trinity and St. Michael’s, both of Independence, sent shoes as well. Church members asked everyone they knew to bring in anything that protected feet, and the response was unexpectedly enthusiastic. Although no goal was set, privately, there was hope for four digits. The spreading excitement prompted many to take the project to their workplaces. It was a win-win situation that warmed the heart and shared so much with those who need. A Resurrection parishioner offered his truck to deliver the trailer of carefully-boxed shoes to a Soles4Souls warehouse in northwest Iowa after Easter, with the assurance they would be on their way to eager recipients within two days.
The Soles4Souls tally cards
In the Undercroft hangs a poster of a truck and trailer. Each time a box was filled with shoes, the count was written on a brightly-colored rectangular tally card and a running total in big numbers put at its top. The truck was “filled” bottom to top, front to back. At 961 pairs, a “trailer” had to be added. It became an inspiration to everyone to add more tallies. The collection passed 1,000 pairs within the first three weeks of Lent, and more shoes appeared daily. Total pairs of shoes collected? 2,000 on the nose on Palm Sunday when the drive ended. During Holy Week, “Room for any more?” was heard several times - and ultimately produced another 23 to box. Final total: 118 boxes and 2,023 pairs of shoes. The Rev. Ron Keel, rector of Resurrection said “Caring for others and responding to Photograph: The Rev. Ron Keel their needs is the focus of our
Outreach Ministry…This Lenten project accomplished that goal wonderfully and gave great satisfaction to those who participated.” + Joyce McIntosh serves on the outreach committee at the Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs.
SPIRIT | June 2014
New Building Dedicated Christ Episcopal Church Warrensburg dedicates new school building. By Rachel Clements
ON MAY 13 CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH WARRENSBURG’S NEW EARLY CHILDHOOD OPPORTUNITY CENTER AND CHRIST CHURCH CHRISTIAN SCHOOL BUILDING WAS DEDICATED AND BLESSED.
The Director of the Early Childhood Opportunity Center, Liz Fatka, formally opened the building by cutting a ceremonial ribbon. Bishop Marty also joined in with the celebrations and led the dedication and blessing of the new building. The Early Childhood Opportunity Center (ECOC) and Christ Church Christian School (CCCS) are a faithbased preschool, childcare center, and private elementary school. They are outreach ministries of Christ Episcopal Church and a growing asset to the community. What began as 13 children in a trailer behind the church’s parish house has grown into over two hundred students with waiting lists and visions for the future. The school serves children from birth through 3rd grade and has an expansive after school program for school-aged children. The mission of the program is
Bishop Marty watches as the ribbon is cut by Liz Fatka, Director of the Early Childhood Opportunity Center. Photograph: Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce
to prepare children for school in a loving, caring environment, giving them the academic tools necessary not only to meet but exceed standards for grade level equivalency. As an outreach project of Christ Church, the ECOC is something
Jim Joyner, Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce (far Left) and Liz Fatka (far Right) at the opening celebrations. Photograph: Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce
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of which parishioners are proud. During 2013, the ECOC expanded through the construction of a new building to replace the dilapidated Parish House. This new building houses five new classrooms and an indoor play space that also serves as a Fellowship Hall for the church. This expansion was made to accommodate the growing program and give the church some much needed improvements. Since the completion of construction, several community organizations have begun using the building as a place to hold meetings and events. The parish’s next project is to complete some much needed repair and renovation of its historic church building. The parish’s Red Door Committee has prioritized the repair and is preparing to start fund raising. Major projects will include a new roof, restoration of a beautiful rose window, and plastering and painting the church interior. + Rachel Clements is Office Manager at Christ Episcopal Church, Warrensburg.
Youth Summer Events
Camp WEMO, EYE and Missionpalooza give the youth a chance to take stock and grow. By Kim Snodgrass
EVERY YEAR OUR DIOCESAN YOUTH MINISTRY MAKES EVERY EFFORT TO OFFER MEANINGFUL EVENTS THAT CAN GIVE TEENS A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT GOD THEY CAN SHARE, a deep connection to a faith
community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future. Coming up this summer Camp WEMO, EYE and Missionpalooza are three of those events that open wide the door so that God can change lives! Camp WEMO is the beginning of a full summer line-up! When asked to evaluate last summer’s camp experience the expected “I liked swimming” answers were there, but looking deeper it was apparent that what people liked best was finding the perfect balance between rest and activity. Camp was and will be again the opportunity to make new friends and see old ones, get away from one’s normal life, feel safe and loved, share faith with others, enjoy optional activities and, perhaps most importantly, relax. When asked if camp made a difference in their lives, youth overwhelmingly answered “Yes!” Comments heard ranged from “It taught me a lot about myself ” to “It made me feel closer to God”. Camp WEMO’s over-arching theme is focused on Jesus’ response to a question about which commandment in the law was the greatest. He said You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Our goal is to make that visible throughout each day during worship, activities, games, cabin time and special events. Close on camp’s heels is the Episcopal Youth Event or “EYE”. EYE is the single greatest event the Episcopal Church does for youth! Close to 1,500 people will come together July
9-13 in Philadelphia, stay at nearby Villanova University and learn, laugh, and serve. We will learn about new aspects of the Episcopal Church and our faith. We will laugh and have a great time with our team of people from our diocese as well as meeting all kinds of new people. We will serve by really asking the questions and having discussions about what it means to be a modern day Episcopalian and Christian. Each member of the West Missouri Delegation of 18 youth sent in an application in January to be part of this amazing event. Attending EYE is a particularly special opportunity because it only comes around every three years. This summer we will be leaving on Monday, July 7 to begin the eastward trek to Philadelphia and return home the following week on Monday, July 14. Prayers for safe travel would be greatly appreciated! We’ll enjoy one day of site-seeing in the Philadelphia area, but more importantly we’ll be learning about the Five Marks of Mission – to Tell the Good News, Teach the Baptized, Tend the Needs of Others, Transform Injustice and Treasure Creation - developed by the Anglican Consultative Council which gives parishes and dioceses around the word a practical and memorable “checklist” for mission activities! And we end the “summer line-up” with Missionpalooza ’14! If you come to Missionpalooza you will find a room full of youth with a passion to make the world a better place; inspired to reach out and be part of the solution to problems and tend to the needs of others. Since the mid-90s there has been an “explosion” in youth service with more schools emphasizing community service. Youth want to be challenged to do what they can to help and practice “radical” faith. This can involve something as “simple” as spending a week at one of the eight Missionpalooza work sites, lifting a shovel or wielding
a paintbrush at Habitat for Humanity, playing games or reading to a child at Operation Breakthrough or the Mattie Rhoades Center, preparing and serving meals at the Kansas City Community Kitchen, visiting with a resident of Bishop Spencer Place, walking and playing with a Wayside Waif four-legged friend just waiting to be adopted, helping make life a little easier for someone at the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City or offering the much needed strong backs and hands to help at a number of greater Kansas City Episcopal Churches. Again this year we appreciate the people of St. Paul’s, Kansas City, Missouri who not only generously open their doors to this week-long ministry but do so with open arms and a friendly welcome! For seven days Missionpalooza more or less takes over the building with 100+ people in attendance. Missionpalooza is also unique in that it is co-sponsored by the Dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri. Both dioceses hope that this experience will encourage youth to return home and volunteer locally. In the evenings we gather for worship and enjoy a program put on by area lay ministers that relates the day’s work to Christian faith. Evenings also include fun activities such as games, music, movie night, outdoor BBQ, and a Saturday “fun site” activity. Our hope is that the Camp WEMO, EYE and Missionpalooza experiences all say and show that we do what we do, we say what we say, we believe what we believe because of our faith, not just to be nice people. Our hope is that each event offers multiple opportunities to help us all understand that faith is supposed to make you live differently…..and help us connect the dots. All in all, it’s a wonderful summer ahead – full of “old” events lived out in brand new ways! + Kim Snodgrass is West Missouri’s Youth Coordinator. SPIRIT | June 2014
Welcome our most recent ordinands to the diaconate and priesthood MOST COMMONLY “VOCATION” IS USED AS A SYNONYM FOR OCCUPATION, THE CAREER OR PROFESSION ONE CHOOSES IN ORDER TO SUPPORT ONESELF. We
don’t need to believe in God to choose a career or a profession. We can pick, choose and switch freely, and with a career, there’s mostly a horizontal dimension. But vocation, as the Church defines it, introduces a vertical dimension, a call from God with both universal and individual implications. Universally, all of us have a vocation: the call to holiness. Individually, we are all called to a particular vocation: to be a single person, a wife or a husband, a religious brother or sister, or a deacon or priest. Following the will of God is vocation. In an occupation, we may make our own choices. In vocation, it is no longer “What do I prefer?” but rather “What does God want me to be?” Vocation is a divine call. It’s when one accepts God’s call and conforms one’s activities, values, and interests to the will of God. The stories that follow are stories of our friends and neighbors answering the call of vocation. Enjoy their witness. +Bishop Marty
Ordinands to the Priesthood Mother Anne Cheffey I am a cradle Episcopalian who was born and raised in Sedalia, Mo. I always excelled in arts and creative things which has become very handy in my ministry. Married to Dean Cheffey, I have two beautiful daughters, Krista and Tiffany. I also have two wonderfully animated and energetic grandsons named Jacob and Hunter. I work for Mercy Hospice as a Chaplain and have done that for 8 years now. On the weekends, I have the pleasure of serving at St. Mark’s in Kimberling City and working with a wonderful group of people. At my ordination, I choose three very special people to be my sponsors – my husband Dean, Fr. Ken Chumbley and Fr. Jonathan Frazier (who mentored me for the 18 months I was at Christ Church). All three of them backed me up, supported me and guided me during the entire process – I will be eternally thankful to them – but especially to my husband, Dean. I am looking forward to what plans God has for me now. 10 SPIRIT | June 2014
Mother Linda Milholen I am a practicing physician (general surgery) and have been married to Bruce for almost 50 years. (Yes, we were children, but it was not an arranged marriage!) I have been an Episcopal deacon for almost 18 years, serving churches in the Diocese of Lexington and West Missouri. I have been at Transfiguration in Mountain Grove for the past five years. About two years ago, my vicar, Fr. Ellsworth and the Bishop’s Committee asked me to consider ordination to the presbyterate. After a period of discernment, I agreed. I attended Bishop Kemper School for Ministry during the last year. My sponsors, appropriately enough were Fr. Bradford Ellsworth; Bishop’s Warden, Joyce Bowman; and People’s Warden, James E. Ellsworth. Father Michael Shaffer In fifth grade I was invited to sing in the choir at St. Andrew’s, Kansas City. I did not appreciate the formative impact the church would have on my life at the time. A practicing trial attorney for 33 years and one of the founding partners of the firm Shaffer, Lombardo Shurin. I was ordained a deacon in 2000, serving at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral and St. Andrews in that capacity, until my ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests. I credit the fulfillment of my spiritual journey “to grace” and the loving tutelage of my three ‘spiritual directors’; Arthur Vogel, Earl Cavanaugh and Ed Whelan. Michael Ramsey the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury once told a group of newly ordained priests, ‘May it one day be said of you, not necessarily that you talked about God cleverly, but that you made God real to people’. In that regard, Arthur, Earl and Ed are my role models for priestly ministry. As a priest, I pray that by word, deed and sacrament, the hope and promise of our baptism and Easter might be ‘made
real’ to the people with whom I live, work, play and worship. As a community of disciples, may we all pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit our lives always bear witness to gift of God’s grace and the power of Christ’s love. My wife Sally and I have five grown children and four grandchildren. We will soon be moving to the San Juan Islands in Washington State, in the Diocese of Olympia. Father Galen Snodgrass It’s an honor to be a Christian. Christianity is about living a life of dependence on God. Our creator’s intent is for a life of communion. We are broken people who live in a broken world, yet we have true hope by acting in faith through the Body of Jesus Christ. We are to live sometimes as students, sometimes as educators in reconciliation. We say to those around us, come join our community that lives in the world with the unique identity in freely sharing life and love with others. Kim and I have been married 34 years, and we’ve been blessed with four children Samantha, Katy, Doug, and Lisa. We have one grandchild, four month old Avery, and our second grandchild is due in late June. Let me be sure to say that Kim is an inspirational gift to me; plus she’s our Diocesan Youth Coordinator! Currently we are in the process of moving to the Kansas City area, and I’m doing supply work in Kansas City, Carthage, and Noel through early July. I’ve recently resigned as Pastoral Care Manager of Mercy Joplin/Carthage Hospitals.
Ordinands to the Diaconate Deacon Laura Hughes I became an Episcopalian as a young adult after moving to California. I was introduced to the church by my sister and her soon-to-be husband. They attended St. Luke’s in Los Gatos, California. The first time I worshiped in the Episcopal Church, I was absolutely clueless as to when I should stand, sit or kneel. Yet, somehow I knew I had found myself at home. It was a lively church with a large and vibrant young adults group. Eventually, I
attended confirmation classes at our priest’s home and was confirmed in 1989. I found that I had a knack for programming and design when I had an opportunity to work for a computer consulting firm. I have been working in that field for 20 years and am currently working as a Business Analyst and Software Designer. My studies for the priesthood began several years ago when I began attending the George Herbert Institute for Pastoral Studies. I have served St. John’s in Springfield for several years in many different ministries, including: Youth Ministry and Education, Altar Guild, Vestry Clerk, Eucharistic Minister, Preacher, Eucharistic Visitor and more. I had the opportunity to intern with the wonderful people at Trinity in Lebanon, and I am now serving as a Deacon at St. Matthew’s in Ozark. The reason I began this journey to the priesthood was to be able to serve this diocese wherever there is need; and simply be God’s humble servant. Deacon Paula Lively Just how does a sixty-six year old woman from Oklahoma end up in the Ozarks as an ordained Deacon in the Episcopal Church? I have no idea, and no one is more surprised than I am. But, happen it did! God touched me at a very early age. I was eight years old that Sunday when I walked down the aisle of the Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, with only Jesus by my side, to make a “Profession of Faith” and to ask to be baptized. That’s where everything started. Teen angst arrived with a vengeance, and like so many of us, I rebelled and remained unchurched for many years. I married my best friend of 15 years, Mike, in 1977, and we began traveling around the country. Finally, road weary, we decided to put down roots in God’s beautiful Ozark Mountain Country. We landed in Branson, Missouri in 1982. While looking for a church in which I could feel comfortable and do some soul searching, I discovered the Episcopal Church. I found myself going back to Shepherd of the Hills over and over again to hear Fr. Don Barton’s down-to-earth preaching and, of course, I fell in love with our beautiful liturgy. I was very impressed that this church didn’t think they owned communion, nor did they believe they were the only ones going to heaven. After moving to Kimberling City we discovered St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. We made our first visit there in September of 2002. We met Fr. Kermit and Deacon Lilly Mae Smith. Fr. Kermit shared with me early on that, “We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we invite you in to search for answers with us.” “I can do this,” I thought to myself. SPIRIT | June 2014
After serving in about every position possible at St. Mark’s, the nudging from God continued, and Mother Virginia Brown helped me figure out that I needed to start the process with a Congregational Discernment Committee. We all decided together that I should proceed. I attended The George Herbert School for Pastoral Studies and became Deacon Paula on May 3, 2014. This is the best thing and the hardest thing I have ever done! Currently, I’m serving at a wonderful church, St. Stephen’s in Monett. The Good Lord willing, I will become Mother Paula this November at Convention. I love God, I love his calling for me, and I love serving. Please pray for me to grow and please God in this vocation. Thanks! Deacon Kim Taube I live in Boonville Missouri with my husband Greg and our two daughters Abby and Sophie. Abby is in her junior year of college at Central Methodist University. She will finish with her BSN in 2016. Sophie is a junior in high school, she is very involved in soccer. She plays with the Boonville Soccer Academy and for the Boonville High School. We have a menagerie of dogs, cats, and horses on our tiny farm. I have worked for the Missouri State Teachers Association in Columbia for 20 years, currently as the Member Care Supervisor. We started attending Christ Episcopal Church in Boonville ten years ago and both of our daughters were baptized in the Episcopal Church. The Rev. Dr. William Fasel and The Rev. Marty Byer were, and still are, excellent mentors, and they were instrumental in helping me through the process of realizing my calling to this ministry. The congregation at Christ Church is extremely supportive and caring. I can’t thank them enough. I attended three years of class at the George Herbert Institute. Mother Virginia, the Rivendell Community, and all of our instructors were always encouraging and compassionate. It is an honor to represent the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of West Missouri, and Christ Episcopal Church. I look forward to many years of service and leadership as a Deacon. +
12 SPIRIT | June 2014
You Make It Happen
Without volunteers our ministries will fail. Volunteer support can help prevent burn-out. By John Hornbeck
AT 7:00 A.M. ON A SATURDAY MORNING, PEOPLE MEET AT ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, AND START PREPARING A HEARTY BREAKFAST FOR THEIR GUESTS FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
A little later that same morning, another group meets at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on the other side of the state line and starts preparing lunch for a completely different neighborhood. Around an hour later, still another group meets at the Kansas City Community Kitchen and starts prepping fresh produce for meals that will be served to hundreds of people the following week. By this time, additional volunteers will arrive at both of the churches above, plus St. Paul’s in midtown to get their respective food pantries ready to provide what may be the only groceries that some families will receive this week. Especially this time of year, Saturday will see still additional volunteers working in vegetable gardens, from Grace Church in Liberty to St. Ann’s in Lee’s Summit to St. Mary Magdalene in far south Kansas City, to help tend and harvest fresh produce to be used in all of these pantries and kitchens and more. Still other volunteers will enter fields of local growers to glean produce for hunger ministries. Perhaps the most beautiful part of this dance of caring is that these volunteers come not only from the churches mentioned above. They come from other Episcopal Churches from all over the greater Kansas City area. In many cases, very special collaborations have grown up between various churches being supportive of individual ministries. And this is only one day of the week. Virtually every day of the week, fifty-two weeks a year, volunteers around the Kansas City area and across both the Diocese of West Missouri and the Diocese of Kansas are making a difference by helping to address hunger in our communities. But the dance stops... and none of this giving from the heart takes place... if not for you. Over a period of years, this has become perhaps the core domestic ministry of the Episcopal Church. It has come to identify many of us in our communities.
This also represents one of the primary objectives of Episcopal Community Services (ECS) from its origin 25 years ago. “Volunteer formation” was, and continues to be, one of the missional objectives of ECS and the Hunger Relief Network. Why? Foundationally, we believe that most people truly want to fulfill the instructions from Matthew 25 to serve “the least of these who are members of my family” and to do so by providing food, when they are hungry, with a welcoming and loving spirit even though they may be strangers. To help further encourage and support volunteering, Episcopal Community Services is helping to develop several resources. In case you don’t realize it, we already have your own Facebook page as the Hunger Action Team. Up and running for more than a year, www.facebook.com/ HungerActionTeam already has 175 people as friends. We would like to see more of you – lots more of you – whether you are already active volunteers or have an interest in becoming on-call volunteers. In addition to celebrating our volunteers, this is becoming a way for notifying others of volunteers needs. We also want you to share your successes and your challenges. Beginning in June, you will also see your own free newsletter - “Volunteers Make It Happen”. The newsletter will be completely dedicated to volunteers, and will be sent out on the third Wednesday of each month. And because it is your newsletter, and because it is indeed you that “makes it happen”, we want your stories and pictures to include in this publication of Episcopal Community Services. We also need you as a subscriber. Finally, we also will want to see as many of our current volunteers as possible at our new Celebration of Volunteers on July 12. This gathering will be a little different than it has been in the past. We think we will have some pleasant surprises for you. More than anything, we want to thank all of our volunteers and welcome new ones . . . because you do indeed make it happen. + John Hornbeck is the Executive Director of Episcopal Community Services.
SPIRIT | June 2014
On May 10 the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry held its first graduation ceremony. Melodie Woerman
THE FIRST CLASS TO GRADUATE FROM THE BISHOP KEMPER SCHOOL FOR MINISTRY CELEBRATED THE COMPLETION OF THEIR STUDIES MAY 10 AT GRACE CATHEDRAL, TOPEKA, in a commencement service
that was filled with prayer and encouragement. The school was created in July 2013 when four dioceses – Kansas, West Missouri, Western Kansas and Nebraska – combined their existing theological education schools into the Bishop Kemper School, which offers classes in Topeka. Students are in residence for one weekend a month for 10 months, but they also spend time beforehand preparing for class and afterward completing assignments. The 13 graduates are from the Dioceses of Kansas (two), Western Kansas (two) and West Missouri (nine) and received certificates in one of three areas: • Diaconal Studies, a 2-year program leading to ordination as a deacon; •
Presbyteral Studies, a 3-year program leading to ordination as a priest; and
Anglican Studies, a 1-year program for those with theological education in traditions other than the Episcopal Church.
Graduates, other BKSM students, and friends and family heard Dr. David Thompson say in his sermon that those completing their studies are called to be “purveyors of hope” in a society that is searching for something but often doesn’t know what it is. Thompson, an ordained pastor in the Wesleyan Church tradition who teaches a course on congregational development at the school, noted that many of the graduates will be called to serve in a parish “where hope is exactly what they 14 SPIRIT | June 2014
Bishop Marty with the graduates from the Diocese of West Missouri. Back row: Chas Marks, Galen Snodgrass, Bishop Marty, Kevin White. Front row: Bruce Bower, Michael Shaffer, Linda Milholen, Donna Stanford, Anne Cheffey. Photograph: Melody Woerman
need, with a building too big and a budget too small.” But their mission, he said, remains “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” Faculty Members Are Very Impressed Courses are taught by faculty who are drawn from clergy and lay people within the four dioceses, and when surveyed near the end of the academic year, they uniformly reported being very impressed with the high quality of work they received and the seriousness of purpose students brought to their studies. Several faculty members said that papers they received were of such a high level that they could have come from students in graduate school or residential seminaries. The Rev. George Wiley of Kansas, who taught two courses in church history this year, said he first realized how good the students were in March of last year, when he heard a student give what he called a home-run sermon during Noonday Prayers. When he complemented her, she told him that it was the first sermon she had ever preached. “I was floored,” he said. He said his upper-level history class
last fall had five students, and he was amazed to learn that four of them had doctorates – one M.D., one J.D. and two Ph.Ds. Dr. Melissa Tubbs Loya of Nebraska, who teaches Old Testament, said she assigns her students the same texts that she has used in graduate-level courses. She said her BKSM students strive to rise to her expectation that that work “at a sophisticated level,” and in return she has received some papers that rival what she has seen from college graduate students. Dr. Don Compier from Kansas taught for nine years at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, a residential Episcopal seminary in Berkeley, Calif., and he said students at BKSM “are just as capable and devoted as any I have ever had in class before.” He said their ability to make connections between what they are learning in class and the church’s mission and ministry “is unusual in my experience.” Other faculty also report that students’ real-world experience makes the Bishop Kemper School a special place of learning. Dr. Jim Lewis of Wichita said that students’ maturity brings with it “a sense
THE AGENDA | Upcoming events around the diocese of purpose, a level of commitment and a dedication to the educational enterprise that both challenges the faculty and focuses the students’ work.”
Rewarding For Teachers
The Very Rev. Benjamin Thomas of Salina said that his students are very eager to learn, mostly because they “are people who have decided that their greatest desire in life is to serve the church,” a desire that propels them toward a “deep commitment to the education” the school provides. That engagement means, for him, that “teaching at the Bishop Kemper School has been one of the most professionally rewarding parts of my work.” Compier said that after teaching at BKSM he leaves “refreshed and greatly encouraged,” and Lewis said that after a weekend of classes he experiences “a great renewal of spirit,” something he never expected based on his previous teaching experience. The Very Rev. Craig Loya of Nebraska said BKSM students come to their work with a clear understanding of “the central challenges facing the church in our region,” which includes many small churches with limited resources. He said the school will be an important part of the conversation about how the church in the future will educate and deploy people for ministry. Larry Bingham of Kansas said he has found students “incredibly knowledgeable about the customs and practices” of their home area and have a vision of their role not just to the church but to the greater community. Having clergy leaders called to service from within their local community not only mirrors early church tradition, he said, but convinces him that “this is the path that the church must take in small and medium-sized communities.” Thomas says that the high-level intersection of academic preparation and practical ministry needs, which the Bishop Kemper School curriculum provides, has convinced him that this “is both a sustainable and healthy model of theological education for our church.” +
Camp WEMO at Wakonda!
Melodie Woerman is Director of Communications with the Diocese of Kansas.
Further details on the following events can be found on the diocesan youth website.
Sunday June 8 to Friday June 13 Camp WEMO is fully booked!
Missionpalooza 6:00 p.m. Monday July 21 - Saturday July 27 An urban mission trip, for those who have finished grades 8-12. This is the 14th year for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in KCMO to be our host! The week includes four days at various work-sites in the KC area.
Other Events Southern Deanery Meeting
Calling All Parish Historians, Archivists and Historiographers Does your congregation have an interesting story to tell? Is there an unusual event or notable individual in your church’s history? Do you have photos or artifacts related to that story? If so, send a short description to us (see our e-mail address below). Your story may be selected by the editor for a future article.
Send Us Your News & Articles We welcome your news articles, photographs and letters to the editor on topics of interest to the diocese. Submissions should include the writer’s name, e-mail and postal addresses and phone number. Whenever possible we will share your submissions with the members of the diocese in the Spirit Magazine. The earlier you can get your news to us the better, to ensure inclusion please send in your news an absolute minimum of two weeks before the end of the month in each of January, March, May, July, September and November.
10:00 a.m. - Noon - Saturday July 10. Venue TBA.
If you have an idea for an article please tell us.
Budget discussion meeting. The venue is still to be decided, check on the diocese website nearer the date.
You can contact us at:
Youth Ministry Commission Commissioning Service 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Saturday August 23, venue TBA.
email@example.com Please note: because of space and time constraints we cannot guarantee to be able to always use your news material or pictures. Any supplied text and images may be edited.
The Spirit & eSpirit online:
Save the Date In One Garden 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday, September 27
ECW Fall Gathering Saturday, September 6, TBA Springfield.
Gathering and Convention 2014 November 7 & 8. Ramada Oasis Convention Center, Springfield.
Online Diocesan Calendar For the latest information on diocesan events don’t forget you can also check the diocesan calendar online at: www.diowestmo.org/our-work/our-work.htm
www.diowestmo.org/espirit/espirit-newsletter.html SPIRIT | June 2014
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