Issuu on Google+

CommuniquĂŠ Winter 2011-12

Vol. 19, No. 7

Health Ministry: Hearing, Helping, Healing

Jesus said, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26


Page 2

Communiqué

Communiqué Vol. 19, No. 7 Winter 2011 Website: www.ecwnational.org National ECW Vice President for Information and Communication: Marilyn Rishkofski Maggie Williams, editor Printed by Copy Cats Printing Hattiesburg, MS Submissions to Communiqué are from unique and diverse people throughout the world. Opinions expressed in these submissions are those of the author and not necessarily held by members of the ECW board. To receive the Communiqué, to report a change of address or to submit an article or photograph for inclusion in the next edition, contact: Marilyn Rishkofski 186 Little River Road Hampton, NH 03842 603-926-0443 vpinformationcommunication @ecwnational.org Subscription to Communiqué is on a voluntary basis. Suggested rate is $12. Additional contributions are always welcome. Send check payable to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to: Sandra Powers ECW Treasurer 3 Adoracion Circle Hot Springs Village, AR 71909 treasurer@ecwnational.org

Deadline for the next edition of Communiqué is Feb. 15.

Winter 2011

From the President’s Desk

Jesus can help us weather any storm Weather. Weather can have a great effect on our lives. We can get stranded in a snow storm; rain or wind can ruin a picnic; or it can just be too hot to be outside. We may stay inside our homes or offices because of the weather. Sporting events can be cancelled or postponed. Things like an outdoor wedding may need to have a conMarcia Himes tingency plan. ECW National Living in the President West, I have found the weather can affect my mood. Although the temperatures can drop to below zero here – sometimes for many days in a row – the sun is usually shining. If we have more than two days of clouds with no sun, I’m not exactly the best person to be around. I am grumpy and lethargic. Because of this, I know there are places in the country where I shouldn’t live. So I know weather can influence me, my mood and how I interact with others. Stephen Covey, in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People talks about letting others “make our weather.” Do I let others effect how I act or how I may be feeling today? I can just see that cartoon character

who walks around with the rain cloud over his head hoping to include others in his misery. Both kinds of weather are something we cannot control. We have to take what Mother Nature gives us and make adjustments accordingly. The same with the weather of those around us. Although we cannot control their weather, we can control our reaction. Taking action in a change of weather is almost automatic. Putting on a coat or hat in the cold, using an umbrella or galoshes in the rain or pulling on shorts and flip flops in the heat are all natural reactions. An umbrella against the rain of my neighbor may be a good idea too. That rain can be around me, but I don’t have to get wet. The grumpy co-worker doesn’t have to become two crabby people. Or someone who wants to tell me that I am not doing it right doesn’t have to put me in a fog. I have control over my mood. Christ has given me the tools and the equipment to handle whatever weather may come my way. I have all I need from Him, if I will just take the time to change my shoes or put on my coat when those changes in the atmosphere around me occur.

God’s peace to you, Marcia Himes

This issue is focused on Health Ministries in the Episcopal Church and ECW who do so much to promote health care in our congregations. A special “Thank you,” to those who spent precious time sharing the story of their ministry with our readers. You will receive your next copy of the Communiqué in March 2012. Your communication committee will be working hard to send Triennial Meeting information to the hundreds of women who will celebrate women’s ministries in Indianapolis in July 2012. But to the thousands of women who receive Communiqué, do not forget to send in your articles with news from your parishes, dioceses and provinces. Yours is a daily celebration that we need to share with each other.

www.ecwnational.org


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 3

Parishes probe areas of need to set agendas Submitted by Charlene L. Watson, ECW/EWM co-president Diocese of Indianapolis

Programs address wants

An Arabian proverb begins, “He who has health, has hope…” The church offers hope to the world through its many health ministries. Having health is not just the absence of disease, but health is the total being of a person. Churches in the Diocese of Indianapolis are actively involved in the health of its people. The parishioners of St. Alban’s in Indianapolis provide Kroger gift cards to Forest Manor Community Center for the elderly and also have plans for landscaping its property. They also participate in selected projects for Dayspring, including providing diapers and laundry soap and swim suits and towels for campers. St. Alban’s is actively involved in Indianapolis Public School 83, providing space for parent meetings to take place, volunteering at the school and providing gifts and support for needy families at the school each Christmas. Parishioners also contribute empty pill bottles with labels removed to be shipped to countries where medicines are often dispersed in banana leaves. A day of service is given by the parishioners of St. Alban’s to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy. Almost $5,000 was given last year to the teachers at IPS 83 to help create a matching fund account for new playground equipment to be purchased as part of the school’s renovation. Cash donations also go to the Damien Center and to the Horizon House and pop tabs are collected for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. AA weekly meetings and Freetown Village Summer Camps are held at St. Alban’s. For more information, contact Mary Boggs at marybboggs@yahoo.com. During the early summer, St. Francis in the Fields in Zionsville launched a community garden initiative in fields behind the church building 32 garden plots. The church maintains four plots to benefit a local food pantry hosted at the Zionsville Presbyterian Church. The remaining 28 plots were leased out to church and community members. In the lease, the church requested all participants donate 10 percent of their harvest to serve those in need. So far, several bushels of produce have been harvested for the food pantry. Several “Godly Play in the Garden” days have been planned. St. Francis uses the Godly Play curriculum during the school year in its Sunday school program and planned at least three special summer sessions of “Godly Play in the Garden” to expose the children to the garden. An end of the garden season party celebrated all who volunteered with the project. Although it was a lot of work, the project will

Submitted by Sara Fry, RN Diocese of Massachusetts

Continued on page 4

We started a new course called “New Beginnings” in 2010, which includes a book discussion and a healing service, followed by a simple dinner. It is for all those in the parish and community who have a “new beginning” as a result of job loss, divorce, death, retirement, etc. The program is intended to be a response to a need for something that goes beyond bereavement and includes people who are dealing with more than death. Health ministry has also been restructured as the umbrella under which all pastoral care activities and its committees occur. This includes all the support groups, Eucharistic Visitor visits, EV Training, EV-led services at local rehab and nursing homes. I prepare a pastoral care update for clergy every Wednesday morning to help them keep up with all pastoral care needs. We will also be holding a four-week session on being a caregiver with help from Hospice and Palliative Care of Cape Cod and the Islands. We did something similar to this four years ago and it is being requested again. Another part of the program is a File of Life Sunday in November. Parish nurses present the File of Life at all services and explain why everyone should have one. Copies are then distributed to parishioners as they leave church services.

Bandage project helps African lepers Submitted by Jan Frazee Diocese of Fond du Lac The Diocese of Fond du Lac ECW started the Leper Bandage Project in 1999. By October 2010, we had sent 410 bandages to hospitals in African countries. I now have 96 bandages on the way to Kaliluni Medical Center in Machakos, Kenya. This makes a total of of 566 bandages sent to hospitals or medical centers. The most recent 96 bandages were knitted by an ECW friend from the Diocese of Chicago, the women of St. Ambrose Church of Antigo, members of the First Congregational Church in Oshkosh and also from the parish women of Trinity Church, Oshkosh. I received eight bandages with no name or parish name, but I thank you for the contribution to this mission project. Anyone who would like to share this mission project can either call or e-mail for instructions: blbean6@gmail.com or 920-216-0522.

www.ecwnational.org


Page 4

Communiqué

Indianapolis health ministries, from page 3 continue and expand next year. We hope to add more plots and grow pumpkins to tie in with our fall pumpkin sales fundraiser. For information, contact Pat Guiney, 317-873-4377, info@stfranciszville.org. At St. James in New Castle, a feeding ministry with end-of-the-month dinners and a Carousel program, which provides neutral supervision of visitation exchanges Each year St. John’s has a “Treasures and for kids of divorce, are offered. A garden Trivia” sale where shoppers donate what plot has been donated to a group of clients they wish to buy available items. After the in addiction recovery that they call “The sale, members load up the items that have God Box,” which they care for and donate not sold and take them to the Trinity fresh produce to the community. Two AA Mission Store, which supports a facility groups meet weekly. St. James donates to for those fighting drug addiction. For the Westminster Food Pantry and supplies information, contact Jane Gallagher at food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christljgallagher@accelplus.net. mas for 12 families. Ongoing efforts supIn Lafayette, St. John’s provides meetporting the needs of children in the ing rooms for several 12-step groups. A Dominican Republic at Christmas include food pantry in cooperation with Lafayette a card ministry during coffee hour, a Urban Ministry is open four days a week. prayer list supported by a chapter of Each Christmas, church members particiDaughters of the King and collection of pate in Jubilee Christmas, working with clothes, school supplies and toys for the others to provide Christmas gifts for chilchildren. Contact Pat Elgan at dren. We have a parish nurse available as elganpat@comcast.net for information. needed. Each Sunday we can receive a St. John's of Crawfordsville particihealing prayer during communion. We pates in a number of community-support have a devoted group of women who knit projects. This summer, St. John’s provided or crochet prayer shawls. For information, three days of lunches for 76 school chilcontact Pequita Behrndt, dren as a part of the Tri Kappa Summer john.behrndt@comcast.net. Lunch Program. St. John’s supports the The Storehouse at St. John’s in Speedlocal FISH pantry with donations through- way, west of Indianapolis, is our most sigout the year and Chas Cooksey serves as a nificant mission and outreach to the local FISH board member. Drivers deliver community. It began in 2004 with a small Meals on Wheels to shut-ins twice dedicated group who served four to five monthly. The local Youth Service Bureau families a month. Today, the ministry is an pays $1 a month rent for a building owned ecumenical endeavor that feeds more than by St. John’s next door. The church also 170 families and 700 people each month. provides meeting rooms for youth mentor Five churches support this ministry and training and for Court Appointed Special donations from many sources enable it to Advocates as a part of its Youth Service continue. We also minister to shut-ins, Bureau ministry. Carol Titus, a member of have a card ministry and serve as an AA St. John’s, makes Episcopal rosaries as meeting space. For information, contact gifts for those who need or deserve them. Fatimas Madus, fmadus@gmail.com. The shepherds of St. John’s have a card For a small congregation, St. Mark’s ministry for church members. Healing in Plainfield has a lot of health outreach services are a new ministry at St. John’s ongoing for more than 20 years. It has implemented this fall. The Friday Morning grown to include medical equipment loans Yoga Group includes St. John’s women and articles related to health and welland friends. In August, St. John’s helped being are available in several places support Crawfordsville Elementary around the church. Occasionally, blood School’s Breakfast Club, an early-morning pressure readings will be taken. In congathering for underprivileged children to junction with the Plainfield Alliance of have breakfast, a shower, hair styling, teeth Churches, St. Mark’s hosts a food pantry brushing, clean clothing and a caring face. Wednesday and Saturday mornings and

www.ecwnational.org

Winter 2011 Thursday evenings. With three other churches, St. Mark’s has the Lion’s Den Community Lunch where a hot, delicious lunch is served to anyone who walks in the doors on Wednesdays. Tables are set with china and metal flatware and entertainment is often provided. The parish nurse attends the Wednesday luncheons whenever she is in town to answer questions. The Lion’s Den Community Lunch is subsidized by sales of additional meals on Wednesday to community members and from donations. Each Friday afternoon, the Lion Cubs deliver a hot meal and two sack lunches to 120 children enrolled in statesubsidized school lunch programs to help children eat during the weekend. The program recently received a grant to expand the program to feed 200 children. St. Mark’s thrift store provides gently-used clothing for men, women and children and small household items at an extremely nominal cost. If even that cost is out of the client's reach, clothing is donated to each family member. The Plainfield Alliance of Churches bases its work out of St. Mark’s providing assistance with rent, medical emergencies, gas and clothing. For information, contact Brenda Sutton, stmarksplainfield@att.net or Carolyn Tungate, 317-852-4539, gtungate@att.net. At St. Michael’s Church in Noblesville is an active Lay Pastoral Care Ministries program which offers intercessory prayer – private prayers on behalf of others by a dedicated group; home and hospital visitors; lay eucharistic visitors who deliver Holy Eucharist or a worship service to those who cannot attend church; meals to members – at home or for parish events; Helping Hands – assistance with daily tasks from a fellow parishioner; spiritual companionship – monthly meetings to discern and intentionally respond to God’s presence in your life; public prayer and voiced prayers said at the worship services. St. Michael’s is in the very early stages of discussing a parish nurse program. For information, contact Sherry Reed, stmichaelsoffice@sbcglobal.net and Julie Gooden, jgooden@fbcindy.org. St. Paul’s in Columbus dedicates certain Sundays to the support of Bor and Brasilia (Mission Sundays), EFHN, ERD, and United Thank Offering. Parishioners Continued on page 5


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 5

Indianapolis health ministries, from page 4 perform yard projects in the spring and fall at Turning Point Domestic Violence Center and collect pill bottles. Many also participate in the Book Buddies reading program at the elementary school next door and collect school supplies each summer for the upcoming school year. Recently a prison letter-writing ministry was begun. Parishioners participate in the Love Chapel Hot Meals Program by preparing and serving supper three Wednesday evenings in September every year and also collect food on an ongoing basis for the food pantry at Love Chapel. In the fall there is a FISH drive during which food and money are collected for food pantries in Columbus, Seymour and Edinburgh. We have a laying on of hands healing ministry conducted by the Daughters of the King during some Sunday services and on some Tuesday evenings. DOK faithfully prays for those who request prayers. Our Agape is very active, giving rides when needed, preparing and serving funeral receptions. We have our Lay Eucharistic Visitors who each week visit shut-ins and administer communion and regular hospital visitation. We have three AA meetings in the parish hall every week. One parishioner sends birthday cards to everyone in the parish. We have recently installed a community prayer labyrinth. We planned a blood drive during the summer. Bible Study is held twice weekly and Children’s Chapel is held Sundays along with adult forums. For information, contact information: Cathy Tackett, stpaulscols@att.net. St. Stephen’s in Terre Haute has monthly blood pressure checks, quarterly blood sugar checks, provides space for AA meetings, knits and crochets hats and scarves for the ministry on the river, makes lap throws for people receiving chemotherapy at a local clinic, and has a prayer circle. Parishioners volunteer at the Salvation Army food pantry as well as provide food for it. There is an annual tag sale in the spring where proceeds buy food for children during summer vacation. St. Stephen’s rings bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas and adopt several families at Christmas who would not necessarily qualify for a food basket or toys for tots but need help. St. Stephen’s partners with Salvation Army for a back-to-school program to provide school supplies and back packs. Baby showers are given for the nursery at a local alternative school for teenage parents trying to complete their education. Just recently the parish has started providing new home start-ups for homeless women with children. These women have completed a program to teach them necessary skills to have their own home, work and budget their paycheck. The flowers from the altar are re-arranged and taken to a local oncology clinic for patients to enjoy while receiving their chemotherapy treatments. Contact Deby Veach, dveach53@yahoo.com. St. Thomas Clinic located at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Franklin is a free clinic since 1996 serving low income, uninsured Johnson County adults. More than 100 volunteers provide physician, nursing, pharmaceutical, and social work services work with 750+ patients annually. In 2010, we provided more than $1.8 million in medical and dental care. We have our own pharmacy on site, and make extensive use of the Prescription Assistance Programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. We are a member of the National Association of Free Clinics, and partner

with Johnson Memorial Hospital and the Partnership for a Healthier Johnson County to take care of the community. We also coordinate the free dental services offered to Johnson County residents. We receive funding support from many other Episcopal churches and agencies. We operate under the auspices of St. Thomas Episcopal, which has housed us and supported us from the beginning. We recently installed an electronic record-keeping system thanks to an anonymous donor and a grant from the Center for Congregations in Indianapolis. For more information, contact: Jane Beers, 317-535-6057, www.saintthomasclinic.org. At St. Timothy in Indianapolis is a food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, that meets the third Tuesday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon and from 6 to 8 p.m. About 250 people in the community are served each month from this outreach. A weekly AA and ALANON group meets on Friday evenings, which is one of the biggest groups on the southside of Indianapolis. St. Timothy has a prison ministry that makes blankets for those in need locally and recently, sent blankets to South America to help families there as well. In September, the parish has a jamboree and a health fair that gives free health screenings to the public. On most Tuesdays, there is a dance class – The Fun Bunch – that helps promote activity and health awareness, too. For more information, contact sttimothy.indy@gmail.com. At Trinity Church in Anderson, a NA group meets weekly and has for many years. There is a weekly food ingathering for the people at “Stepping Stones” in Anderson, a residential facility for veterans and for women who have been released from treatment for addiction. Monthly, the parish provides a meal for those living at Alternatives, a diocesan partner here in Anderson. On Mother’s and Father’s Day, we do food ingathering as a way to honor/memorialize mothers and fathers and the food goes to the local Lutheran food bank. The women of Trinity have given four $500 scholarships to teachers for enrichment programs for their classes. We have a number of LEV’s who take the sacrament regularly to our shut-ins. A card ministry brings cheer to people each week. Each card is signed by many present at our Sunday worship. For more information, contact Bill Smalley, priest-incharge, hob851@aol.com. Many thanks to Maryfran Crist for reminding us at our 2011 Province V gathering that health is all encompassing. The Lord’s work is done by our hands and feet; the love of the Lord is seen through our eyes, ears, and heart; and the strength of our Lord is found in God’s Spirit within us. May our Almighty God continue His good work through us in the world.

www.ecwnational.org


Page 6

Communiqué

Winter 2011

The picture above shows destruction to St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children near Port-auPrince, Haiti following a January 2010 7.0 earthquake that hit the island country. At right, a child who lives at St. Vincent’s smiles for the camera. Handicapped children are discriminated against at all levels in Haitian society and rely on individuals and organizations outside the country to help them get what they need to live, learn and grow.

St. Vincent’s serves amid the Haitian rubble Submitted by Hope Lennartz Diocese of Connecticut Volunteer director, St. Vincent’s Center On Jan. 12, 2010, an earthquake hit St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children at 4:54 p.m. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake’s epicenter was just 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Buildings collapsed and walls fell over causing the death of seven students and three staff members. The surviving children were removed from the rubble and walked to the soccer field at the College of St. Pierre which became a makeshift tent city. About two weeks later, Father Sadoni Leon, St. Vincent’s director, moved the children to the former Episcopal Seminary at Montrouis, about 30 miles north of the city. The children have now returned to Port-au-Prince and are now living in an undamaged building at the Boy’s Foyer. Most of the main campus buildings were severely damaged. The French Army demolished and removed the rubble. With the help of a Japanese non-profit organization temporary classrooms and clinic rooms have been built. St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped

Children was founded in 1945 by the Episcopal Order of the Sisters of St. Margaret. Sister Joan, the first center director, wanted to bring elementary education to Haitian disabled, physically handicapped, blind and deaf children. Many less-educated Haitians believe a handicap is a punishment from God, a curse of God or gods or family spirits. Some also believe these children may be possessed or their handicap may be contagious. The disabled rely solely on international non-governmental agencies or church organizations for education, recreation and vocational training. The main mission of St. Vincent’s Center is to provide education and outpatient services to handicapped children. At this time, about half of the students are deaf, one quarter are blind and the other onefourth are physically handicapped. There

www.ecwnational.org

is much discrimination toward the handicapped in Haiti. The general population believes that handicapped persons can only become beggars. It is not uncommon for these children to report being stoned or spit on. They are told they are less than worthless. The center is a safe and holy place to learn and become the best they can be. The Friends of St. Vincent’s Center are a small group of volunteers formed to help the children and the staff of St. Vincent’s Center obtain the resources needed to educate and care for the children. Since 1997, they have provided food, medical, educational and musical supplies. The Friends of St. Vincent’s Center is an interfaith outreach ministry of St. James’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford, Conn. with 501(c)3 status. The friends have worked with different partners to provide strong education programs and, in the future, vocational training. The Deaf Program Since the earthquake, a number of nonprofits have join together to rebuild and upgrade the programs at the center. Among the partners: Continued on page 7


Winter 2011

Communiqué

St. Vincent’s, from page 6 • A team from Gallaudet University is training our deaf teenagers to become counselors at the summer camp for deaf students, scheduled to open next summer. • The Audio-prosthetics Without Borders are providing hearing tests to deaf students and fitting them with appropriate hearing aids. The Deaf students at St. Vincent’s mug for the camera at the center. Red Thread Promise and the Canadian Episcopal Women will be helping purchase needed hearing aids. • Team Canada – Healing Hands for Haiti has been working on providing deaf teachers’ continuing education. They are developing a Creole-French-English-American sign language curriculum for the deaf students, based on the national educational standards for elementary education. Blind Program The Perkin’s School for the Blind staff has provided needed educational supplies to teach students. They are also helpful in providing continuing education to the teachers of the blind. The earthquake destroyed the Braille Blind students at St. Vincent’s collection of texts. practice their music. Only recently has St. Vincent’s Center been able to obtain a Braille embosser through a generous gift from the Scotia Bank. Almost all the instruments for the music program were destroyed in the earthquake. Gradually, we have been replacing the musical instruments. St. Vincent’s Center is world famous for its Blind Student Hand Bell Choir. Music education is essential to all the blind students since this a way for them to support themselves in the future. The friends are requesting donations of gently-used musical instruments. Our mission teams carry them to Haiti. Physically Handicapped Program The Red Thread Promise, a non-profit organization in New Orleans, has been providing new wheelchairs for the children. The West Tennessee Haiti Partnership team has initiated an ongoing physical therapy program for residential students. There are now 90 residential persons living in the dorm. Scholarship Program for the Students at St. Vincent’s Center To educate a handicapped child past elementary school opens a door to their future and levels the playing field in the job market. For 15 years, the friends have provided financial aid to these bright students. Haitian-American photographer Marc-Yves Regis was able to capture and publish the voices of these children at St. Vincent’s

Page 7

Center in his beautifully illustrated book Two Good Feet. The Friends of St. Vincent’s Center and other partners have supported the scholarship fund for the children so they can continue their education beyond the primary level available at St. Vincent’s. They attend local parochial high schools and other secondary programs. Here are some of their stories: • Samuel, an orphan at St. Vincent’s, is wheelchair bound and has a spastic disability. He just completed his four-year university program in accounting and will be taking his CPA exam in the fall. • Genie, an orphan at St. Vincent’s, is entering her second year at the local business school. She will be an executive secretary when she finishes her program. • Clauriciane, an orphan at St. Vincent’s, is entering her second year at the local business school. She is in the translator program and will know five languages when her studies are complete. Genie • Dieumene, an orphan at St. Vincent’s Center, is now attending a local parochial high school in Port-au-Prince. She plans to attend the university to become a psychologist. She was born without arms. • Carlot, was a student at St. Vincent’s elementary school and received a friends’ scholarship to attend the College of St. Pierre in Port-auPrince. He was 5 years old when his arm was amputated because of an infection. He wanted to become a musician and now is an accomplished onearmed trumpeter. He attends Southern Dieumene Michigan University on a full scholarship for his baccalaureate and master’s degrees in music. His dream is to become a conductor. The facilities at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children may have been demolished in the earthquake but the programs and spirit survive and continue in what remains of the campus. St. Vincent’s continues to offer education, medical care and, for many, residential services. Perhaps, most importantly, it offers a reasonable hope where there would otherwise be none. To contact us please use my e-mail: <hopelennartz@comcast. net>. My phone number is 860-233-8366. I am now working on scheduling my next mission trip. If you would like to join us please let me know.

www.ecwnational.org


Page 8

Communiqué

Winter 2011

Healing, health are ministry’s focal point Submitted by Cheryl Gray, co-chair Diocese of Ohio Health Ministry Task Force We have 90 churches and 86 percent of them have various sorts of feeding ministries. Our diocese has 10 parish nurses and two health ministers. We have a Bishop’s Health Ministry Task Force consisting of two clergy and four lay members.This task force provides education for the diocese on issues and concerns related to health. We have been holding two workshops per year, have display tables at our diocesan conventions, winter convocations and ECW annual meetings plus we have a representative on our diocesan ECW board. We also support existing health ministries and encourage new ones. Our health ministry has been broken down into four areas: outreach, education, service and wellness and each addresses the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit. Each uses the whole-person approach surrounded by the spiritual well-being. This includes areas of mind, body and spirit; sustainable living; relationships and family, health and healing; creativity play; and leadership and community. Health ministry in Diocese of Ohio focuses on healing and health combining the ancient tradition of Christian community and knowledge and tools of modern medicine. Our health ministry includes congregations but also their communities as well within our eight mission areas. It varies with need. No two are alike.

Many times what health ministry does is an almost invisible action inside and outside church walls. It’s holding a healing service or taking someone to the doctor. It’s taking the time to visit a shut-in or hospitalized parishioner or helping someone apply for some type of medical assistance. Health ministry can be teaching or assessing the needs of the congregation and the community. Whatever it is, it is certainly worthwhile. At St. Chad’s in Rockford, Ill., for example, a lay eucharistic minister provided communion at a nursing home, while a Saturday morning gathering of veterans happened at the church. Something that seems simple – like accessibility into the church and to the bathrooms, or providing masks for those allergic to incense – is a way to minister to others. These photos, from All Saints in Loveland, Ohio, show some other health ministries in action. – Submitted by Maryfran Crist

www.ecwnational.org


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 9

Northern California unites health ministries Submitted by Susan Wahlstrom, R.N. Diocesan Health Ministries Coordinator Diocese of Northern California Jesus “sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:2 Partners in ministries of health throughout the diocese have heard the call and are reclaiming the Gospel imperative to go out and heal the sick in body, mind and spirit in ever-widening circles. Here are some stories from the ministries’ efforts: St. Brigid’s-Rio Vista twice annually for the past seven years sponsors a Community Clothing Exchange where people can bring gently-used outgrown children’s clothes or canned food for the community food bank. In exchange, they receive vouchers that can be used to select clothes their children will be able to wear. This year, Laura Delaney became parish nurse at St. Brigid’s and received an Episcopal Community Services grant to add a Health Fair component to the Community Clothing Exchange event. In August, Solano County Health and Social Services, Solano Children’s Community Services and First Five provided exhibits and education on health and community resources. Blood pressure, blood glucose and vision screenings were provided to the 60 families who attended the event. Plans for the Jan. 28, 2012, Clothing Exchange and Health Fair are already in the works with the Solano Dental Van scheduled to offer free dental work for children. St. Andrew’s-Corning and St. Peter’sRed Bluff found, after two years of offering a diabetic support group with a grant from ECS to minimal response, they could redirect their vision to a community collaboration. Latino Outreach of Tehema County has many members with diabetes

and also serves the community with health fairs and scholarships. By joining with this link, we found a program targeting nutrition and diabetes prevention at The Family Resource Center in Corning. We now work with them and the schools, churches, nonprofits and volunteers to identify families affected by food insecurity issues. Concentrating efforts at the school level, where children are already gathered, chronically hungry children are identified and given the help they and their families need. Admitting families into this program means nutritious meals for the whole family on weekends; nutrition classes, including cooking classes; learning how to stretch their food dollars; and diabetes prevention. Shopping bags filled with culturally appropriate nutritious groceries and recipe cards with costs included are provided. Case management is also offered with resources and referrals as needed. This program addresses families’ food insecurity issues in a holistic manner by identifying the causes of their hunger and offering tools to help stabilize those food insecurities and prevent nutritionally enabled disease. For 15 years, Trinity-Sutter Creek has had a health ministry that provides inreach and outreach components. Outreach ministries to Amador County have included services of parish nurses, a Community Medical Equipment Loaning Closet and

scholarships for medical and dental emergencies. Outreach also includes a counseling center with a licensed counselor and scholarships for counseling services. One parish nurse has been involved with the Amador Mental Health Department in development of the California Mental Health Services Act and connecting county faith communities to the programs being developed. This project included receiving an ECS grant in 2009 to expand that role as a Community Faith and Mental Health Liaison. The latest addition is a community support group that meets at the church for parents struggling with challenges with their adult children. We also have a trained spiritual director, a centering prayer group and a prayer shawl ministry available to the community. In ever-widening circles of healing, Diocesan Partners in Ministries of Health this year received a grant from the Diocesan Millennium Development Grant Program to provide funding for a Haitian Children’s Immunization Project. Partnering with National Episcopal Health Ministries, Episcopal Relief and Development and the Haitian School of Nursing, the project will develop a program to track and immunize all the children of Haiti. When developed, the program will be turned over to the Haitian School of Nursing for ongoing implementation. Diocesan Parish Nurse Laura Delaney, R.N. was on the first fact-finding/program development trip to Haiti in May. Is your parish interested in expanding Jesus’ call to “heal the sick?” Consider developing or expanding a health ministries or outreach effort. For information, go to www.episcopalhealthministries.org or contact me at 209-296-1139 or email: wahlstrom@volcano.net.

NJ ECW create Camden Health Partners with grant Submitted by Carolyn Belvin and Betty Philips Diocese of New Jersey The Diocese of New Jersey ECW received a mission grant, given by the women of Province II at the 2009 annual meeting, to support Camden Health Partners, a mission outreach project in the diocese. The Episcopal Church and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital are involved in the partners program, which provides care for unin-

sured patients – especially children – in Camden, N.J. Doctors and medical personnel from the hospital donate their time for this effort. They were hoping to find facilities in East Camden to care for patients in that community. St. Wilfred’s Episcopal Church in East Camden offered the use of the parish house four days a week for the program. It is across the street from the newly built Catto School and a Boys and Girls Club, so students would have access for immediate care

www.ecwnational.org

Continued on page 10


Page 10

Communiqué

Winter 2011

Children’s Clinic reaches out to Mexican population Submitted by Vicki Fitzsimmons Diocese of Arizona

Clinic success story

For 37 years, St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic has provided free, specialized medical care to children living in Mexico who cannot get or afford the care they need in their home country. For at least 30 of those years, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Nogales, Ariz., has been the site of this clinic. Approximately 20 church parishioners are involved in some part of the clinic which is a non-denominational, non-profit organization. Approximately 200 to 250 children are seen the first Thursday of each month except during July. All medical staff is voluntary, providing medical specialty care to our patients. Other volunteers handle parking, meal preparation, interpreting and the myriad of tasks that go into transforming a church into a clinic. We also distribute food, clothes and toys to patients during these visits. The clinic includes a variety of medical disciplines and specialists fit children with therapeutic shoes, wheelchairs, strollers and walkers. Every October, in cooperation with Children's Surgery International and the Center for International Medicine Advanced Hospital, approximately 40 children have cleft palate/cleft lip surgery in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. This mission has become a special project because it involves enthusiastic volunteers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border who work with the medical team to give patients smiles and a better life. St. Andrew’s parishioners volunteer in many different capacities for this outreach as well. Serving in the clinic is a transforming experience and volunteers schedule vacations around each month’s clinic day. Parishioner Peggy Cumming, a nurse and kitchen volunteer, postponed her own neurological surgery by a day because “I have to be at clinic.” Parishioner Jack Ross explains, “It is a very small thing that I do, but it is helping. I like to see the children and the care they’re getting; the joy on their faces – that’s the reward.” Dr. Karl Friedmann and his wife, Maureen, a registered nurse, volunteer as a couple. “It’s just a very satisfying thing to Camden Health Partners, from page 9 for immunizations and other health care needs by the pediatric physicians instead of having to wait hours in an emergency room at a hospital. Unfortunately, asbestos was discovered in the building, but the diocese provided funds for this to be removed and repaired. Our Lady of Lourdes received a community grant and other donations to hire an architect to design the rooms for the clinic and still have the parish house available for the congregation to use. The church continues to be open even though the congregation is small. Parish members are very dedicated to their church and are providing financial assistance so the clinic can move forward, During the past year the partnership

Lupita, in the photos at right, was a double amputee. At age 4, in the photo at right, Lupita waits for adjustments to her prostheses. She was born with feet so misshapen that she would never walk. Doctors recommended amputation below the knee. In the far right photo, at age 12, Lupita is well-adjusted to her two prosthetic legs. She loves riding her bicycle. volunteer here,” Friedmann said. In 2000, the church partnered with the clinic to apply for a UTO grant to enlarge the tiny kitchen. With the UTO grant and a special fundraiser, the kitchen was more than doubled in size to accommodate preparation of lunches and snacks for the patients and their accompanying parents. We are probably the only clinic that feeds its patients, because many travel a long way with little or no food. After the patient lunches are served, the kitchen workers prepare lunch for more than 100 volunteers as well. Many of the volunteers come from other Episcopal churches in the area as well as churches of other denominations. All have one focus: helping the children to improve their quality of life. We are very proud to report that 92 percent of all donations go to direct patient care. For more information about the clinic, visit the website at www.standrewsclinic.org.

has been sharing the facilities of Project Hope in North Camden, but they were only able to use the space one night a week. However, even on that one night, they were able to serve more than 2,000 patients. They also provide services to small business people who are unable to pay for health insurance during these difficult economic times. Medical equipment and supplies were being donated and held in various places, including Grace Church in Haddonfield, until the clinic becomes available for use. In May, Mona Andrews, the Camden district president, received a thank you letter from the Camden Free Clinic at St. Wilfred’s on behalf of the ECW for their

www.ecwnational.org

generosity. The Rev. Dr. Patrick R. Close, of Grace Episcopal Church in Haddonfield, said in the letter the clinic had recently offered its first free hypertension screening and they are looking forward to hosting a free medical screening every other month this year. There are also plans to rehab the kitchen, bathrooms and build a private examination room with donations received thus far. He concluded the letter by saying “We look forward to the day when the clinic will be fully operational and offering weekly services to the uninsured of Camden. We believe this healing ministry is vital and follows in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 11

North Porch allows ECW to serve women, children Submitted by Doris Mardirosian Diocese of Newark ECW Chair In 1980, the Rev. Martha Blacklock, then vicar of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Newark, N.J., began a ministry of presence between women of the diocese and those in the wider community. The intention was to provide companionship and support for women, especially around issues of justice. This quickly became a ministry of compassion for neighborhood women who were struggling to care for new babies and often found themselves short of funds to buy things like diapers and formula. Agnes Taylor, a woman from a Newark neighborhood known to local hospital and social service workers, began to solicit funds and supplies to assist these mothers who were in acute need. She asked for assistance from the diocesan ECW and from many of the women who would one day become the founders of North Porch. During the June 1983 overnight meeting of the ECW executive board, discussion focused on beginning a project to capture the imagination of church women in the diocese, much as “little Joseph,” the Haitian boy in need of prosthetic devices, did back in the 60’s and 70’s. Early plans included establishing a women’s center offering nutrition and child care classes in addition to baby supplies for new mothers. During the summer months of the same year, exploratory talks began with the Newark Emergency Services for Families to determine the need for these services and the possibility of establishing the North Porch Center at Cathedral House, the cathedral and diocesan headquarters at 24 Rector St. in Newark. By October of that year, The Very Rev. Dilliard Robinson, dean of the cathedral, made space available in the Cathedral House. ECW members spent many hours cleaning and painting the space, gathering furniture and installing lighting and carpeting. A North Porch board was created and the Rt. Rev. John S. Spong gave his support to this endeavor. The name North Porch seemed especially appropriate given the population that would be served at the center. In the early church buildings, the North Porch was a

place where women were allowed to gather for companionship, help and protection. And most important of all, the appeal that went out to church women across the diocese brought a phenomenal response. Money poured in, women’s groups hosted baby showers, used clothing was donated, volunteer staff signed on and a supplier was found where diapers, formula and cereal could be purchased. All potential clients, whether mother, father or caregiver were required to be referred by local or county agencies or hospitals. When North Porch began, a five-day supply of diapers and formula was distributed to each client. Later, the program was able to expand services so a seven-day supply of baby items could be given to needy mothers and other caregivers. In March 1990, North Porch established a satellite center at St. Paul’s Church in Paterson. The Rev. Tracey Lind, then St. Paul’s rector, was most supportive of this effort. In 1998, the Rev. Maggie Gat, then rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Dover, brought much enthusiasm and support to the opening of a center in that church. Like Newark, Paterson and Dover are communities with a significant number of families in distress and the needs for indigent families is ongoing. As parents moved off welfare, low wages kept them below the poverty level. Originally, the services were conceived as providing a stop-gap for mothers waiting for welfare assistance. Clients now are more often employed yet struggling to make ends meet on minimum or extremely low wages. Along the way, the North Porch Future Fund was initiated with proceeds from

www.ecwnational.org

Alice Johnson, a friend of board member, Doris Coleman. Funds are invested with the diocesan investment trust, and proceeds contribute to North Porch resources with the principal remaining invested to assure a solid future for the program. Donations may be made to the North Porch Future Fund in thanksgiving for loved ones or for special occasions, as memorials to family or friends or through planned giving in a will. The Rt. Rev. John P Croneberger gave enthusiastic support to this ministry during his tenure as diocesan bishop. Following the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith as diocesan bishop, North Porch was made a partner in Newark Episcopal Ministries, along with Apostle’s House, the Newark School of Theology, St. Phillip’s Academy and the Episcopal Community Development. All of the diocesan ECW presidents and their boards have worked tirelessly to ensure that this ministry remains vibrant and alive. Information for this article was taken from a report written by Marge Christie in 1999 and Barbara Lovely in 2010. Since the inception of North Porch, more than three dozen women have served on the board, donating their time, talent and treasure. All of these women imagined what it might be like to be a new mother, perhaps just a teenager, out of money and without family or friends to come to her rescue. The care and compassion of these women have served this ministry for more than 25 years, leaving a legacy for those generous women who will continue to carry on the mission of North Porch far into the future.


Page 12

Communiqué

Winter 2011

A Word about The Word

Finding, following ministry leads to God Submitted by Kathleen Nyhuis Diocese of Olympia Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Matthew 11:28 My ministry is that of a professional non-medical caregiver, most recently in hospice care. Hospice is a somewhat misunderstood program, one that does not promote dying, but promotes dying well. It is palliative or comfort care for those with terminal illnesses or conditions. It seeks to alleviate pain and anxiety stresses for those in the process of dying. It has a long history in the church’s institutions in Europe and Asia, and has really come to the front in the United States in the past 60 years or so. How did I come to such a ministry? As a youngster, death was a frequent visitor to our family. By my early teens, I had lost my father, a sister, a grandmother, a grandfather, an uncle and a cousin. Then, at age 32, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and told to set my things in order. There was no blaming or questioning “Why me?” But I couldn’t help wonder why the Lord might take me away from my precious family, my dear husband and two sons, 9 and 4. I knew none of us would escape death and there was no fear or discomfort being with those who were dying. To cement my feeling of call, I had a friend, the wife of one of our parish priests, who was dying and who I had not seen for a couple of weeks when she was confined to her home. She called me on the telephone one morning and asked, “Why haven’t you come to see me? I haven’t died yet!” That wake-up call found me rushing to see her, one of many visits during her last few months on earth. We talked, laughed and cried. I rubbed her back, her feet and her legs, to attempt some relief from the constant pain. She was a wise and wonderful woman of faith, who taught me much about the loneliness of dying. Scripturally, I see my work as offering “a cup of water” as was asked by Jesus of the Samaritan woman at the well; and, serving in the way our baptismal covenant entreats respecting the dignity of every person. My overall ministry is one of presence. For 30 years, I worked in parish and other levels of church administration. These positions often allowed me to establish praying relationships with those in crisis situations, offering prayer on behalf of or with others. Clergy identified one of my gifts as that of a non-anxious and loving presence, as well as gifts of healing, counsel and mercy. Clergy sent me to the hospital ahead of them to minister to parish families and patients and sometimes they would ask me to accompany them. Over the years, I was granted hospital chaplaincy and eventually hospice chaplaincy status, complete with the badge and parking privileges.

Since 1974, I have been a member of the Order of the Daughters of the King, where we seek daily to pray and to be of service. With a praying heart and eyes trained to see needs where I might help, I was often led to participate in health ministry in the parish and in institutions where such ministry took me. Stephen Ministry, a ministry of listening and feedback, to those who need or want a listening ear, came under my radar and we’d hoped to institute it in our parish. However, funding would not allow. With the move to Arizona came the opportunity to be trained and commissioned as a Stephen minister, and then eventually being trained nationally to be a Stephen leader/trainer. I also served as the administrator of the program at our parish level. When the Visiting Eucharistic Minister program was established, taking Communion from the altar on Sunday morning to those confined, I was trained with the first group in the Diocese of Los Angeles. When we moved to Arizona, I served there as well, and am now awaiting training in the Diocese of Olympia. This is a most holy and intimate ministry. Doctors, nurses, parish nurse programs, Stephen Ministry, physical and occupational therapists, counselors and mental health workers are people or programs who avail themselves to those who seek to work on their own health and wholeness. We also have yoga and tai chi instructors, exercise classes and other physical activities to help encourage us to take care of “our bodies, our earthly temples.” I know people in each of these professions or programs, who offer themselves and their gifts to the betterment of us all. If services are unavailable free of charge, there is usually a sliding scale payment available through our churches. There are varied levels of education and training required within the range of health ministries, but all offer ways to serve in maintaining our “temples,” and in honoring the end of our lives on earth. I firmly believe that God is the ultimate and only True Healer. All we do is offer a touch, a prayer, a word that will open or hold clear the pathway to God.

www.ecwnational.org


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Calendar of Events Information for this calendar comes from ECWs throughout the church. If your group or diocese has plans for meetings, special events, special missions or other happenings, please send all pertinent information for inclusion in the next edition of Communiqué to: vpinformationcommunication@ecwnational.org.

Jan. 19-21, 2012 – Diocese of Michigan Spiritual Journey. Jan. 27-29 – Diocese of Northern Michigan respite retreat, Mary Grove Conference Center. Jan.27 – Diocese of Newark UTO ingathering, ECW Diocesan Convention, Trinity – St. Phillip’s Cathedral, Newark, N.J. Jan. 28 – Women’s Commission breakfast, 6:45 a.m. Feb. 17-19 – Diocese of Fond du Lac Women’s Winter Retreat at Norbertine Center for Spirituality, DePere, Wis. TBD: Diocese of Indianapolis Spring Luncheon. March 16-18 – Diocese of Springfield Retreat centered around the theme of “Celtic Spirituality.” March 20 – Diocese of New York School of Worship, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City. March 24 – Diocese of New Jersey Lenten Quiet Day, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., St. James, Long Branch, N.J. The Rev. Valerie Redpath, leader. April 20-21 – Province II Annual Meeting, Stony Point, N.Y. April 21 – Diocese of Springfield Annual ECW

Page 13

ECW National Board Contribution Form 2009-2012 Copy this form for contributions from individuals, parishes or dioceses.

meeting hosted by St. This form is not used for Thomas in Glen Carbon, United Thank Offering or Ill. Church Periodical Club donations. April 27-29 – Province V in South Bend at the Name of Donor or Organization Ramada Plaza HotelDowntown. Address: April 27-29 – Tennessee ECWs Tri-diocesan Spring Conference, DuBose Conference Center, Monteagle, Tenn. Contribution for: Amount April 28 – Diocese of ___ Annual Pledge _____________ Newark ECW World of ___ Aid to Delegates _____________ Women program, noon – ___ Unified Gift _____________ 3 p.m., 12-3 p.m., Grace “Nets for Life” Church , Madison, N.J. ___ Triennial Meeting _____________ May 4-5 – Diocese of Endowment Ohio ECW in Toledo. The ___ Women to Women Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Reconcile Peace _____________ bishop of North Carolina, Institute Center Sudan keynote speaker. El Centro Buen Pastor _____________ May 12 – Diocese of New School and Clinic Jersey UTO ingathering Lillian Vallely School _____________ and annual meeting, ___ Communiqué _____________ 10 a.m. Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, N.J. This gift is an ___ Honorarium May 17 – Diocese of ___ Memorial Newark ECW annual for_____________________________________ meeting and UTO ingathering. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. An acknowledgement may be sent to: Trinity – St. Phillip’s Cathedral. May 27-29: Diocese of Northern Indiana (Name and address) Province V Annual Meeting, Ramada Plaza, Make checks payable to Domestic & Foreign South Bend, Ind. Missionary Society (DFMS) and mail to: July 5-11: 47th ECW Sandra Powers TRIENNIAL MEETING, ECW National Treasurer Westin Hotel, Indianapo3 Adoracion Circle lis, Ind. Many Paths, Hot Springs Village, AR 71909 One Journey. www.ecwnational.org


Page 14

Communiqué

Winter 2011

Church’s best kept secret: SIM Submitted by Rachael Desmond Diocese of Connecticut Have you heard of SIM? The Society for the Increase of the Ministry, better known as SIM, is one of the Episcopal Church’s best kept secrets. Established in 1857, this organization has been assisting Episcopal seminarians by providing financial and pastoral support and as an advocate for seminarians’ needs. During SIM’s 154-year history more than $6 million in scholarship grants have been awarded to nearly 5,000 students who became ordained Episcopal leaders. An independent non-profit 501C-3 scholarship-granting body, SIM is the only source of outside funding on a national basis to support Episcopal seminarians. At the May, 2011 ECW Diocese of Connecticut annual meeting and luncheon, Tom Moore, SIM executive director, presented a talk about SIM’s mission and had a display booth. Each attendee was asked to answer a questionnaire on what they knew about SIM and how seminarians’ education was funded. After tallying the results of over 330 questionnaires, it was evident SIM is definitely one of the best kept secrets in the Episcopal Church. While collecting the questionnaires, one woman priest returned her form with a check and said “I am so glad you had SIM here. This is the first opportunity I have been able to give back to them. If it had not been for SIM I would not have been able to afford to go to divinity school.”

In today’s environment, seminarians are challenged with an expensive education and formation process at seminary. Additionally, many are encumbered by debt without guarantees they will be placed following seminary graduation. You may wonder why support SIM? As SIM’s visibility increases, Episcopalians recognize we are investing in our future ordained leaders. This investment is critical since SIM is the only organization raising funds on a national level to support Episcopal seminarians. It is crucial for the ministry and mission of the Episcopal church to survive and flourish so we must invest in Christ-centered, well-educated and well-trained future ordained leaders. Now, you may ask how can ECW support SIM? ECW has a strong vested interest in the future of our Episcopal church. The ECW supporting SIM is an exciting avenue to provide for future ordained leaders of our church. The Diocese of Connecticut ECW at their fall board meeting voted to give $1,000 to SIM and include this amount in their yearly budget. The ECW of Old St. Andrew’s Church, Bloomfield, Conn. contributed $100 to SIM this year and hopes to include it in their future budget planning. Let’s not keep SIM a secret any longer. This is a decisive and vital time to support SIM for the future of our church. Invest in our seminarians and make their dreams to become progressive ordained leaders for the Episcopal Church a reality. Supporting SIM is a wise investment for the future of the Episcopal Church.

Fitness Challenge gets ECW in shape for service Submitted by Stephanie Byrd St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church Atop the crest of the hill, in the southeastern corner of Washington, DC, under a canopy of green that stretches to the heavens, the sun shone down and cries of “Thank you, Lord,” arose. Episcopal Church Women bent, reached, jumped and lifted. Sweat poured and “Thank the Lord” wafted through the air as the second workout of the fitness challenge came to an end. Thus began another year with the

ECW of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC. This year promises to be a great adventure. And yes: Thank you, Lord. We thank the Lord for bringing us together to celebrate our faith: Working for the Lord, working to know the Lord and sharing this sweet sweat equity brings us together in love and in faith. We thank the Lord for bringing us together in good health. We are willing and able to participate in our first ever Fitness Challenge, strengthening our bodies so we

can kneel at the altar and stand to serve. We thank the Lord for bringing us together to hold one another, supporting and holding each other up when needed, when wanted, when hoped for. It is in gratitude that we have begun another year of church activity, of family and community building; another year of bending, reaching, jumping and lifting. Jumping and lifting, praising and serving our Lord. Another year atop the crest of the hill, in the southeastern corner of Washington, DC, we say: “Thank you, Lord.”

So you want to start a women’s group? Here’s are some tips Submitted by Betty Murray Diocese of Massachusetts On Sept. 15 at St John’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, Mass., a workshop on starting and ECW group was held. The National ECW Board provided the materials and I was able to provide additional information. This came about when my request for help was answered by Shirley Greiman, Province 1 representative, and Meigan Chan, Province 3 representative. First there was a pack-

age. Then Meigan followed up with a phone call. In the mail was also a package for women in Spanish, which was given to Ema Nocero-Nordaln, a member of the diocesan ECW board who is presently in a diaconate program and ministers to the Hispanic women at St Pedro’s in Salem, Mass. So many supported this workshop. Thank you to Shirley Greiman, Meigan Chan, the women at St John’s and especially to the Rev. Ronald Ramsey, who supported the women at St John’s in their quest for starting a women’s group.

www.ecwnational.org


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 15

One woman’s story:

When I felt like an ECW I have attended St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Alamosa, Colo., off and on since I moved to Colorado’s San Luis Valley as a new bride in 1967. From childhood, I attended the Episcopal church for many years before being baptized in 1981 at St. Thomas in the Diocese of Colorado, which encompasses the entire state and 114 congregations. There is a big advantage at being baptized as an adult: I got to choose my godparents. My godmother, Mary Sparrow, introduced me to ECW. She had been its president for a number of years. Our ECW is a hands-on organization that does everything from making prayer blankets for cancer patients to cooking meals to putting together hygiene bags for migrant workers. In 2008, my godmother’s granddaughter, who also is my goddaughter, Samantha Sparrow, at 16, became St. Thomas’ ECW president, the youngest in the nation. I have been a journalist for decades and wrote about the election in The Colorado Episcopalian. The Colorado ECW invited Samantha and our priest’s 13year-old daughter, Katy Simpson, who was involved in teaching Sunday school, to the annual gathering of the Colorado ECW at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby. Of course, they needed someone to take them so, since I was ECW vice president and bishop’s warden, that was my job. I prayed up to the last moment that something would happen and we would not have to go. I had never been to a state ECW meeting, let alone the annual gathering. I had major misgivings. And, besides, I had other things to do. I am a widow and I had a job at the time and did not want to take time off to accompany two teens some 300 miles from home. We got to the meeting and about the first thing I was asked was if I would be interested in being state treasurer. I politely declined, noting that I have difficulty balancing my own checkbook. Then it was suggested that I run for president. I have headed a number of organizations but really wasn’t interested. I got to know the women of the organization, fell in love with them all and prayed on the matter. But even at the conclusion of the gathering, I could not commit despite Samantha’s encouragement that I could do the job. Then, as the Rev. Michelle Danson, who had led the gathering, dismissed us and said good-bye to us individually, I said, “I think I am called to be your president.” The sweat was coursing down my face and neck that September day and I was almost overcome by tears. Michelle said, “Are you sure?” And I replied, “Yes, I think I have the skills to be your president.” Michelle turned to the women, called them back into session, and said, “We have our president.” I was acclaimed and installed. The outgoing president, Nancy Lawthers, took the beautiful James Avery cross, “La Primavera,” from her neck and put it over my head. My world and life changed. It has been a wonderful three years. Many changes have been made in Colorado and I have been blessed with wonderful women to support me. On Sept. 18, I placed the Colorado ECW cross over the head of Robin Woods Sumners, a woman who has become one of my dearest friends, when I turned over the office to her. I know ECW is in good hands and I can retire to my tiny corner of the San Luis Valley, the largest alpine valley in the world.

Erin Macgillivray Smith, Immediate past president, Colorado Episcopal Church Women www.ecwnational.org


Page 16

Communiqué

Winter 2011

Retreat leads to spiritual Turning Points Submitted by Laura Orcutt Diocese of Utah The women of St. James parish in Midvale, Utah, have been alive and well in spiritual development over the past year. Sharon Stetz, spiritual director and hospice chaplain, led a wonderful retreat called “Turning Points,” helping us to examine our lives and realizing certain events in our lives often call us to take a new direction. A gifted speaker, Sharon told us of a serious car accident where she was told she would never walk again. This news caused her to change from being the director of Girl Scouts in Utah to a spiritual calling. Proving the doctors wrong and fully recovering and walking, she devel-

oped a keener spiritual awareness and sought spiritual training and direction herself. She then led us through a series of exercises that caused us to evaluate tough events in our lives, look at our present, and see if a turning point exists. God guides us through all points in our lives and these turning points are perfect opportunities when perhaps God speaks to us loudest if we only listen. It was a wonderful gathering to delve into what God is calling us to do. The time to come together and reflect within the community of women and honestly share is often a rare opportunity in our lives. Wanting to learn more from Sharon, the women of St. James eagerly sought a follow-up workshop which Sharon held a few months later on “Journaling as a Spiri-

tual Practice.” I, for one, never understood the depth of journaling until that class. How do you get to the core of who you are and what you are trying to say? As she presented food for thought to stimulate our minds and spirits, we would write either as a response to that or to what entered our mind. It was beautiful as she guided us and then allowed us to empty ourselves at each spiritual journaling. After a while, you arrived closer and deeper to your core and inner being and you could see God filling those spaces. The business of the activities of the world left us for those short few hours as we saw that community of Christ drawn together that day move forward as the body of Christ into a deeper dwelling and relationship with God within each person.

Yoga proves life-changing for instructor and students Submitted by Laura Orcutt Diocese of Utah A life-changing event of one parishioner which happened many years ago led her deeper into her Christian spiritual journey. Judy Spratling of St. James Episcopal Church found opportunity when many would have found despair. Well established in a corporate business in New York, Judy found a new road in life when another company bought her company and offered generous retraining for those who would no longer be with them. She chose certification in yoga which she had already been practicing for many years. She attended an ashram for a month for training and enjoyed the Christian enlightenment aspect she gained. After moving to Salt Lake City and becoming a member of St.

James Episcopal Church, she took the opportunity to offer her gift to the women of the church when the ECW was looking for ways to enhance a woman’s spiritual journey. She sees offering yoga to others as a gift to be shared. She was overwhelmingly well received in her first class last spring, which led to a fall class and now, beginning in November a weekly class every Saturday morning at the church. The women find it an incredible ways to connect with themselves and God. As Judy said, “You do this for you and for no other reason, to nurture yourself. It is not a competition or to be the best. It is simply there for you to enjoy.” We look forward to the Christian spiritual journey as we delve deeper into their Christian spiritual journey through yoga with Judy.

Event provides sweet, savory way to enjoy being a girl Submitted by Laura Orcutt Diocese of Utah Margie’s Sweet and Savory was a tremendous success thanks to a warm and generous rector’s wife. Margie Williams, wife of the Rev. John Williams, rector of St. James in Midvale, Utah, opened her house to all the women of St. James parish earlier this year in the midst of winter in Utah. And it was a full house that night which she thoroughly enjoyed. Despite the cold

outside, her house was filled with the warmth and glow of women. After an initial planning meeting, the activity began for the event. Invitations were made by e-mail, word of mouth and church announcements. Margie, a gracious host, created a wonderful event for all women to come and feel welcomed, enjoy great fellowship with one another, and bond and grow in community. Those invited provided something savory – meat with a deep sauce or something sweet to dip in a chocolate fountain.

www.ecwnational.org

The women so cherished the opportunity that Father John even had to “stay out” a bit later, since it was a women’s only event and it took a while for the festiveness of the evening to wind down. The most common theme from conversation was the thanks and appreciation women gave to Margie creating the opportunity for women to meet in community with one another. Margie looks forward to providing another opportunity for women to come together later this year.


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 17

Workshop topics varied, intriguing Submitted by the Rev. Nancy Crawford Province VIII representative and Workshop Coordinator One of the highlights of Triennial Meeting is found during the final days when workshops are offered in a variety of interests that will pique the participants’ imagination and send them home refreshed, renewed and revitalized to do God’s work in the world as ECW. The national ECW board Triennial Meeting planning committee began on the Path to Triennial Workshops last winter, collecting workshop ideas and names of potential leaders to invite. We looked to past workshops and discovered a wealth of excellent leaders who were well received most recently in Anaheim, Columbus, and Minneapolis. We asked for ideas from the province representatives, who spread our choices around the country with new and different voices. We listened to the social justice and multi-media members-at-large who added ideas relevant in today’s changing and challenging world. Then we grouped the ideas into categories: Children and Youth; the Church Today; the Creative; Leadership Skills; Social Justice; and Women’s Ministries, and then set about inviting leaders. And what a joy to hear back from such an enthusiastic bunch. The Excel spreadsheet column titled “Response” began to fill up with “Yes.” For those who declined, it was with regret because of previous commitments, but the regret often came with another workshop leader suggestion or a request to please remember them for our 2015 Triennial Meeting. And we will certainly do just that. It wasn’t intentional, but it just evolved that all of our workshop leaders, save one, are lay and clergy women. These workshops will reflect the voices and concerns of women today. Our next steps are to create a booklet with descriptions of each workshop and leader, send the booklets after the first of the year to the delegates, compile the re-

Weeks

Brown

SAVE THE DATE The 47th Episcopal Church Women Triennial Meeting Many Paths, One Journey July 5-12, 2012 Westin Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana turned registration cards and make the final schedule for the afternoons of July 8, 9 and 10, 2012. It sounds like a lot of work, but it can be made much easier if workshop registration cards are returned promptly. We will fill classes on a first-come, first-served basis, but almost all of our workshops will be offered at least twice, so we hope everyone attends the workshops of choice. However, with such a richness of programs offered by our leaders, you will be surprised and delighted whichever workshops you attend. At Triennial Meeting, there will be a chance for guests to sign up for those workshops that are not yet full. Another aspect that wasn’t intentional but just evolved is the connection of many of our workshops to the women of the Bible. The Rev. Jo Ann Weeks returns as a workshop leader on Essential Oils with An Aromatic Journey into Wholeness. This

www.ecwnational.org

Whitley

Manzanares-Cole

brings to mind Esther of Hebrew Scriptures, who prepared to see the King by anointing herself with myrrh oil. And Rahab is not only brought to life by our workshop Hardin Freeman leader, the Rev. Lindsay Hardin Freeman, author of The Scarlet Cord, but by Christine Thurston, the volunteer coordinator for Rahab’s Sisters, a ministry of outreach and compassion toward women who live and work as prostitutes on the streets of Portland, Ore. Come learn about this ministry and talk about how a similar ministry to marginalized women might be developed in your own community. Offered in Spanish only will be a workshop led by the Rev. Canon Zoila Manzanares-Cole of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis. It will follow the path of commitment made to God by women in Biblical times and the challenges facing women today in their commitment to leadership in the Church. The Rev. Edna Brown will lead Many Paths, One Journey: The Women in the Life of Jesus. And Katerina Whitley will lead Biblical Women: How do we listen to them? Now that your curiosity is piqued, come and see, come and hear, come and be a part of Triennial Meeting 2012. And especially come to Indianapolis and be a part of the three days of workshops that are being planned especially for you.


Page 18

CommuniquĂŠ

www.ecwnational.org

Winter 2011


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 19

From the chaplain:

Slow journey to appreciate many paths Submitted by The Rev. Debora L. Jennings Triennial Meeting 2012 chaplain Not long ago I was traveling on Highway 412 going from North Tulsa back home to Tahlequah. Highway 412 is a four-lane road, but with access like most two-lane roads. It was a beautiful day, and I was speeding right along – of course not exceeding the speed limit. All at once my eyes caught sight of something I had never seen before. In fact, not only The Rev. Debora Jennings did I do a double take, I took off my sunglasses just to make sure I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing. Sure enough, there before me was a horsedrawn Amish carriage waiting at the stop sign, ready to cross the four lanes of traffic. Shortly, in my rear view mirror I could see the driver maneuver the horse and buggy slowly across the highway as I sped away toward home. In those moments on that highway, it felt as if two very different worlds converged: one fast-paced, computerized, hi-tech

world, and a world whose reality is lived at a much slower speed. The experience moved me to reflect on how quickly we, too, often speed along the highways and byways of our busy lives – barely taking time to take in or breathe in the beauty of life itself. We become so focused on getting from one appointment to another, one place to the next, we lose our connectedness with the world around us. Life becomes nothing but a blur; the path becomes veiled; we miss important turns; we lose sight of others on the journey with us. And we lose the essence of who WE are, as pilgrims on life’s journey. As we move through the busyness of our lives, and especially as we prepare for the busyness of Triennial Meeting 2012, my prayer is that we give ourselves – at least every now and then – a slower, gentler pace than that with which we all too often have become so accustomed. While preparing for our time at Triennial Meeting, I invite us all to plan some down time to connect and reconnect with folks on their journey. Such a gift will enrich and enliven our journeys in ways we cannot even imagine. The world around us may continue to whirl at a fast pace. But we can choose to give ourselves a moment or two, to slow down, to breathe, and to re-ground ourselves as sisters in Christ – traveling one journey, through many paths.

From the musician:

Music helps unite diversity into praise-filled effort Submitted by Adam Graham Triennial Meeting 2012 musician Truly, I am honored and blessed to have been selected as musician for the Triennial Meeting 2012. I can’t Adam Graham begin to tell you how wonderful it was to meet and work with a board of women with such spirituality and passion for Christ’s work in the world. Not many people could convince me, a 25-year-old man, to stay overnight in a retreat center at a convent, as were our accommodations in Indiana.

One thing I am so grateful for is that there is such diversity within the Episcopal Church. Thus, “Many Paths, One Journey” is very fitting. At our planning session in Indiana, we were able to make certain the music we selected represented such diversity. I’m looking forward to music that includes traditional hymns, taize, contemporary, gospel, and hymns in the Spanish language. I’m fortunate to be minister of music at a church that does all of the above styles, and manages to balance it in a way that is comfortable for all. It is my firm belief that the role of music in church should be to lead and inspire singing songs of highest praise to the Lord, and to create an environment where all are able to grow in the love of God. That was our main focus when selecting music for the triennial. Another thought was to have a choir for the closing worship service. Thus, one of

www.ecwnational.org

the workshops that is available will be for learning two or three anthems to be used during the closing worship service. My goal with the choir is simple: to make a joyful noise unto God. I strive to provide choral anthems that support the lectionary and spoken word which makes the person listening feel part of the songs we sing. Nothing describes it better then the Chorister’s Prayer, which I invite you to share with your parish: Bless, O Lord, us Thy servants, who minister in Thy temple. Grant that what we sing with our lips, we may believe in our hearts, and what we believe in our hearts, we may show forth in our lives. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Soli deo gloria


Page 20

Communiqué

Winter 2011

Committee ready to find ECW leaders Submitted by Linda Brown 2012 nominations committee chair Responsibilities of the nominations committee cover a wide spectrum of duties. Everything from preparing appropriate letters and forms, actively soliciting nominees to assure a full slate is presented to delegates for a vote, to organizing nominee introductions and speeches at a Triennial Meeting Plenary session has to be seen to and this committee does just that. In other words, the nominations committee’s charge is to facilitate the selection process for the incoming National ECW Board of officers. Marcia Himes, national ECW president, with the approval of the executive committee, appointed me to serve as chair of the 2012 nominations committee, along with co-chairs Janet Higbie and Valzie Peterkin. The three of us represent Province I, V and VII. I can tell you I accepted this opportunity without reservation because ECW is a community of women working with women. It is women working for women. Why? Because that is who we are as Christian women. This is why I am so passionate about our ministry and continue to be involved when asked. God has opened

many doors for me as a result of ECW, offering leadership, support, mentorship, love and understanding. Janet Higbie’s response to serving was a mirror, saying, “One of the fundamental missions of the Triennial Meeting is teaching, mentoring, encouraging growth in leadership. This is probably where the nominations committee fits into the picture to help encourage, mentor those who are considering to run for office.” Likewise, Valzie Peterkin responded, saying, “To be asked to serve on the nominations committee is indeed an honor. It means we will have the responsibility to ensure the process is accomplished smoothly, prayerfully, with fairness and according to our by-laws. We have to keep in mind the women elected will be our representatives for the next three years and will be required to make decisions that will affect not only ECW members but the church world community.” Further, she said the Triennial Meeting offers opportunities not only to meet but to learn from delegates representing dioceses in the United States and overseas. It cannot be a successful conference unless ECW are willing to volunteer their time to plan and carry out the activities that are necessary.” Today, as in 1871, ECW’s mission and goals have remained relatively unchanged.

Nominations sought for DWA The Distinguished Woman Award Committee is eagerly awaiting the information about the Distinguished Woman from your diocese. Please remember that all nominations for the award must go through your diocesan ECW president or the person responsible for ECW in your diocese. We sincerely hope that you have identified the woman worthy of this honor or will reach your decision no later than Dec. 31. The application form for nominees can be found on the website. There can only be one nomination form submitted per diocese and it must be signed by the diocesan president or the official representative for ECW. Members of the current National ECW Board are not eligible to receive the award. The nomination form and a 4x5 color photograph, if possible, must be received on or before Dec. 31 to be included in the special booklet for this momentous occasion. Please send the completed form and photograph to Margaret A. Cash, 3923 Amundson Ave., Bronx, N.Y., 10466. You may send the photo as a jpeg file to nancyrcrawford@comcast.net. If additional information is desired, please contact Margaret at 718-994-1946 or by email: macash401@aol.com. We look forward to honoring all of our Distinguished Women as we recognize the many paths they have traveled during their one journey.

Women identifying a need in our church or a need in our society have been paramount in our Christian ministry. Women identifying the need and quickly setting out to find a solution without fanfare. Much of this has happened as a result of strong leadership guiding our way. Together, we represent many paths but one journey in our life as Christians, and on that journey we have together woven a beautiful tapestry. In early February, a pre-Triennial Meeting mailing will be sent to all delegates with appropriate forms, job descriptions, etc. Get prepared: If we don’t hear from you, you will hear from us. Remember, Janet, Valzie and I are on a mission: A mission to find LEADERS. Your time may be now. Time to step out of your comfort zone; and, if you feel called, allow your name to be placed in nomination for one of the ECW National Board positions to be filled at the 2012 Triennial Meeting in Indianapolis next summer. Don’t be like Moses and ask God to send someone else. After prayer and reflection, step forward saying “Here I am, Lord. What would you have me do?” You will be blessed many times over, not by what you bring to the table but by what you receive from those you encounter on your journey.

CPC meeting plans progressing well Submitted by Ursula Baxley CPC president Our CPC Triennial will be June 30-July 4, 2012. We are always before ECW’s Triennial Meeting and the church’s General Convention. We are meeting at the Hilton across the street from the state capital, a beautiful venue. We will have our National Books Fund granting session during this meeting. This has been our mission and focus since 1892 when the first grants were made. What a history. Books and magazines were sent out starting in 1888, but in 1892 they started answering requests. Continued on page 21

www.ecwnational.org


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 21

Our many paths often take us far away, so God can help bring us home again Submitted by Rev. Caron A. Gwynn Priest in Charge, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church ECW chaplin, Diocese of Washington Often our lives change when people cross our paths as we try to figure out our life’s purpose. We are connected to known and unknown persons. However, God sends people to us to enhance our relationships with each other and with God. You know the song, “This Little Light of Mine?” Well, my light meets your light. Our life paths become luminous in ways we can never imagine until the connections between one heart and another becomes a bond. It is in this manner that we can see the beauty in each other as God sees beauty in all of creation. I grew up in a family where helping others came naturally. My mom grew up watching her mom be that special person neighbors and colleagues gravitated toward for assistance or sought for a listening ear. One day my mom offered her seat to a very pregnant woman on the bus. My mom did not know this person. She told me, “I saw this pregnant woman getting on the bus and no one would give her a seat. A pregnant woman getting off from work is going to be very tired and she needs to sit down.” This one simple act of kindness transformed them from strangers to friends. They exchanged phone numbers and when the baby was born, my mom received a call saying Marcus was here. Every year, my mom received invitations to Marcus’ birthday party. She would provide the ice cream for the celebrations. I learned the value of being a blessing to others from my mother and grandmother. When I was in high school, I knew that my profession would be one of helping people to sustain their health. I sought a path filled with adventure following college graduation. I left my home in Washington, D.C. and headed to West Africa in 1982 as a Peace Corp volunteer. I was excited about living in a rural village and working for the Maternal and Childcare Division of the Gambian government. The Gambia is 90 percent Muslim and 10 percent Christian. I knew very little about the Muslim culture and religious beliefs. I kept thinking about what I would find on this new vocational path with lifestyle and environ-

ment so very different from my own. In my village of 4,500 people, I was the only Christian. God was known as Allah and his presence was strongly felt. You never know how, when, or by whom God will show up on your spiritual journey. I remember one of my first days on the job in the village. I remember the intensity of the sunlight as I stood in front of the village clinic. Mothers from nearby villages walked for miles and miles carrying their babies on their backs and food on their heads to come to our Well Baby Clinic twice a week. All I could think about was the heat and sun. I could not tolerate the heat. I thought I was going to pass out. I was miserable. I began to wonder why God had sent me to such a place where temperatures ranged between 100 and 115 degrees every day. I glanced at the babies and their mothers as they waited to be seen by the doctor. I saw my answer right before my eyes in those women and children. There was more than sunlight shining before me. There was the light of God before me in them. I never complained about the heat again. I am so grateful for the many lives whose paths crossed mine 20 years ago in that village, where life and death were always held in the balance of daily events. Can you find the love of God and his presence among those who are different from you or speak another language? Can you still be open to the lessons of fellowship and the gifts of others to you? In other words, can you be a receiver of the blessings from others both known and unknown? God’s presence is on the path that lies before us in many ways. We often have to take ourselves out of our comfort zones in order to see the light in others and let our own light be seen as well. “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” I am a third generation Episcopalian who grew up in the same Episcopal church that my mother attended as a child. At age 15, the liturgy of the Eucharist spoke to me and touched my heart. This experience began to define my life purpose. Thus, my spiritual journey began and continues to this day with the wonder of all its twists and turns.

CPC, from page 19 On July 4 at 7 p.m., we will start our Overseas Bishops dinner. Why do we call it that? Because the bishops from out of the country are our guests. Master of ceremonies will be the Rt. Rev. Julio Murray, bishop of Panama. The cost again this year will be $54. We have made sure that the cocktail area is larger and the name tags are in an easier spot for pick up. Linda Vaill is our chairman and her address is 47

West Shore Drive, Otisfield, Maine 04270. Please join us. In January, our Energy Lift Chairman, Debbie Ventura, will again write to every diocesan director asking them for $40 to continue the tradition of giving each bishop, deputy to the House of Deputies and delegate to the ECW Triennial a daily energy lift. We also give a book mark with the treat to remind those there of our mis-

www.ecwnational.org

sion. This ministry is carried out with volunteer help during the lunch break every day. We ask the chair of volunteers of General Convention for help, but anyone who has an hour and wishes to be a hero, please stop at booth 328 and volunteer. In order to do this ministry, we request written permission from the presidents of all three houses which we show daily to those guarding the rooms.


Page 22

Communiqué

Winter 2011

What is the health of United Thank Offering? Submitted by Anne Gordon Curran United Thank Offering Board Communication Committee Editor As most people know, United Thank Offering is a ministry of prayers of thanksgiving providing gifts for mission in the church in the world. It is a program of the Episcopal church supported by gifts specifically named and placed in Trust in the Memorial Gift and Trust Fund, the interest from which the UTO board uses for operating expenses. UTO’s work is managed by volunteers representing the nine provinces of the church. The ingathering money from prayers of thanksgiving is collected and granted yearly down to the last penny. With this basic structure that has evolved over the past 120 plus years, UTO representatives have provided an extremely healthy backbone for the organization which stands firm today. In the last 2½ years, UTO has been subject to study by the INC055 Special Task Force – Ad Hoc Committee appointed by the president and vice president of the executive council of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. The impetus for such a study grew out of an Internal Revenue Service inquiry into organizations using the DFMS to hold and invest monies for individual ministries. This question requires a hard look at organizations of the church to be sure they are clearly in relationship to the church through defined pathways, so we are truly one body working diligently and in full faith, as we represent the Episcopal church in the world. Are we in good health? UTO is well on the way to being a very healthy organization of the church. The complementary relationship and the shared responsibilities by the study committee and UTO board through the work of five subcommittees has been an incredible learning experience

for both groups. It required UTO look at itself in great depth with good questions raised stimulating significant study and reconsideration. Once past the initial fears by both groups, the experience of working together over these many months has created new ideas, creative ways of thinking about UTO into the future and most of all, the development of mutual respect as we have moved forward together. What is the temperature of this experience? Very healthy, indeed, and most exciting. What does UTO look like at the parish level? During the last 10 years, the ingathering money – money used entirely for mission in the world – has dropped from more than $3 million to $1.6 million. How do we understand that shift? At General Convention 2009, the ingathering at the great Eucharist brought gifts of over $28,000 which was 37 percent more than ever before, and this was during a time of significant economic regression in our country. There were also about 2,000 fewer people attending that service. These numbers seem to speak more about where peoples’ hearts and heads are at a festive and historic celebration of General Convention. Where are those same hearts and heads during the intervening years? At a recent presentation at a diocesan convention, I asked the question: “How many in this room know what UTO is?” Most hands went up. I then asked: “How many of you actually use a Blue Box in your home or office for thanksgivings?” Far fewer hands went up. “How many of your churches have ingatherings twice a year?” A few hands went up. Is the idea of ongoing thoughtfulness about thanksgivings too much to consider in our fast-paced lives? Where are you in paying attention to the prayers and blessings which predictably help someone else? It is my Continued on page 24

Open communication helps spread the message Submitted by Angela G. Brown St. Andrew’s – Harlem What is a ministry? In My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church, author Jenifer Gamber describes ministry as a cause that serves others to reflect God’s love (p. 154, 2006). Gamber encourages the readers to see themselves, along with all baptized people, as ministers who can share their goals, talents and skills with the community. How can today’s youth ministries make connections between Christian values, Bible scriptures and what young people face in their everyday lives? Communication is vital to understanding what lessons, conversations and activities will enrich students’ lives the most. St. Andrew’s Church School stu-

dents ages 13 to 16 completed surveys regarding their experience with youth ministry. As a result, the students expressed their interest in community outreach and charity work. After they finished the surveys, they talked with the church school teacher about their connections to the larger congregation and the community outside of the church. When students feel comfortable giving their input, not only do they feel respected, but youth mentors also become more aware of effective ways to engage and guide them toward action. Setting clear goals and mission statements is important in the effort to invite and retain students in the ministry. Lessons that involve conversations and selfassessments enable students to ask questions and reflect on the message. According to the surveys, many students thought the purpose of their ministry was

www.ecwnational.org

to form a deeper relationship with God by extending Bible lessons beyond just Sunday. For example, their church school sessions involved exploring their personal gifts, discussing the importance of resisting temptation, and examining the role of prayer in building faith. These issues relate to situations that students experience in school, with their families, and as they develop their outlook on life. Many tweens and teens are averse to the “because I said so” way of thinking. In other words, young adults expect relevant, concrete reasons to participate in church life. Of course, many young people will arrive at the church building because their parents brought them, but it will take more for them to really be present and receive the ministry’s purpose. Only then will they feel compelled to offer something of themselves and stay involved in the long run.


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 23

ECW becomes EWM in Indianapolis Submitted by Lisa Matucheski, co-chair EWM, Diocese of Indianapolis In September 2009, the Episcopal Church Women Council of the Diocese of Indianapolis changed its name to Episcopal Women’s Ministries. This occurred after much brainstorming, discussion and prayerful consideration. By changing the name, the council hoped to bring together all the groups of women in the diocese and their individual activities. Every woman on the council had heard women in their churches say, “I am not ECW.” Even though we know that technically, all women of the Episcopal Church are ECW, many questions were presented: • What would our mission be? • Should the EWM Board be made up of

the leaders or their representatives of the different groups under the “umbrella” of EWM? • Shouldn’t the council have its own goals and strategies? • What would the committee responsibilities be? These questions and many more came up as the body was re-formed. Our group still has responsibilities to NECW and Province V when it is the Diocese of Indianapolis’ turn for the annual province meeting and we still have our two major events each year: our fall retreat and our spring luncheon. EWM eventually wrote a mission statement and a list of goals, and strategies to reach the goals, but these were not easy to do. It was decided that EWM would serve mainly as a communication resource for

the women of the diocese. The council would publicize outreach projects and events for various groups: Daughters of the King, Episcopal Church Women, Church Periodical Club, United Thank Offering, National Episcopal Health Ministries, The Episcopal Community and any other group which would see the benefit combining our energies and working together. Funding is one of the main factors keeping any group going and this body was no exception. The efforts of the treasurer have been exceptional. She has been vigilant in making sure EWM was kept as a line item in the diocesan budget and has kept scrupulous accounts. We are fortunate in Indianapolis to have the Lilly Endowment which helps fund many of the diocesan programs.

ECW re-forms in the 1980’s – continued Editor’s note: The following is the conclusion of an article that ran in the fall edition of Communiqué dealing with the re-formation of ECW during the 1980s. Submitted by Elizabeth Campbell The 39th Triennial Meeting in Detroit in 1988 began with a procession of banners from every diocese which were hung to decorate the room. A Triennial Forum gave delegates an opportunity to openly discuss and debate issues of concern for the church – human sexuality, justice and living in a new age – in a nonlegislative manner. Church Women United, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian and Lutheran Churches attended and took part on a panel. ECW were invited to national meetings of these denominations. Audio and video documentaries of the meeting helped the delegates take the story of the new life and new vision of the Episcopal church women back home to share. Julia Emery always said the Triennial Meeting was an opportunity to train and give leadership roles to women. The gatherings and work done in the triennia of the 1980’s laid down a contemporary format that continues today for organization at the national, province and diocesan levels and for communication with women in the pews of local congregations. The genius of adding the healthy infusion of symbolism also helped the national board connect with its members and promoted recognition of multilevel relationships. Most of all, by planting their feet firmly in bylaws for the na-

tional organization and programs for women in the congregations, the national board provided a modicum of continuity and predictability. They signaled there was still leadership for ministry and vision for the woman of the church, and all had equal opportunity to participate fully in the greater church. By bringing in religious and secular speakers on the cutting edge of contemporary religious thought, as well as music and current religious arts, the Triennial Meeting enriched the entire General Convention and generated enthusiasm for difficult changes in the church. All these ideas were carried home to the local parishes and missions to invigorate and sustain them. **** YOUR HELP IS NEEDED: This condensed history is offered in this 140th year of the organization of the women of the Episcopal church. It is taken from A Short History, by Anne Fulk and from triennial reports of the presidents of the National Board of Episcopal Women. The presentation of the story only raises more questions. It would be immensely helpful if anyone knowing the address of any living presiding or other officer of any Triennial Meeting, even in recent years, would forward it to me. That way questions could be directed for answers. There are other historians also looking for information for important documentaries. For example, I am also looking for a description, or actual artifact, of the cross distributed at the 39th Triennial Meeting in Detroit in 1988. Marcy Walsh presided and the theme was “Behold! New Life, New Vision.” All contacts can be directed to balnamoon@gmail.com.

www.ecwnational.org


Page 24

Communiqué

Winter 2011

Busy fall schedule keeps Chicago ECW involved, growing Submitted by Susanne Lenz, president ECW, Diocese of Chicago Our amended bylaws, to be presented at our annual meeting in April, will include creation of new ministry teams centered around the Millennium Development Goals. Each team will have a convener. Teams include: Arts, Diocesan Liaison, Education, Ending Hunger, Health and Wellness, International Outreach, Peace and Justice, Unity and Harmony, Women’s Issues and UTO. Each convener will be responsible to keep a list of speakers, gather followers from parishes and set up a meeting from time to time. We are excited about this new model. I continue as president until 2012 and am also convener for the Unity and Harmony ministry team. In that capacity, I helped organize the Sharing Sacred Space initiative for Chicago. Sharing Sacred Space is a program involving the unification of eight downtown area religious communities to host an afternoon in their sacred space. This program is sponsored in partnership with the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and Suzanne Morgan, ambassador of Sacred Space. The first monthly visit took place Oct. 2 at the Midwest Buddhist Temple. We expected 10 representatives from the eight religious communities would attend the open house to learn of the temple’s history in the community and be educated in the Buddhist way. It was a resounding success. Look for this idea to grow to other cities and religious spaces. For more information, see www.parliamentofreligions.org. The ECW’s fall forum was held at the St. Augustine’s College which boasts of being “Episcopal founded and flourishing.” The Rev. Dr. Carlos Plazas and his wife, Blanca, founded this college for Spanish-speaking students in 1980 and it has grown to four campuses. The ECW donated $2,000 in 2011 to scholarships for single mothers enrolled in the college. One of the single mother scholarship recipients spoke to our group during the fall forum. The school is located on the site of a film studio where Charlie Chaplin made 14 films before moving to California. The school

Chef Rafael Perez, above left, whose students provided a great lunch, poses with Bev Madsen, center, the Diocese of Chicago ECW Mirror editor, parliamentarian and coordinator of the bylaws revision, and Blanca Plazas, ECW member and co-founder of St. Augustine College in Chicago. Below are shown, Elida Estrada, ECW grant recipient, left, and Agatha Demarchi, who were speakers at ECW’s fall forum. (Photos submitted by Susanne Lenz.)

offers degrees in areas where its graduates are most likely to find jobs. We also held Morning Prayer in the chapel which offers upholstered velveteen-covered seats. It was a very gratifying experience. Our theme this year is human trafficking and supporting our clergy.” Our motto is Faith, Fellowship, Education and Service. Please see out website at www.ecwchicago.org.

UTO, from page 22 judgment UTO is not doing or feeling so well at the parish level, hence the serious reduction in granting funds. Let it also be noted we have had more than $2,000 less in grant requests in the last few years. Does that mean people are less desirous of funds for compelling human need in their church communities? These are tough questions. For UTO to be at the top of the health chart, the board

needs two things from you and from each Episcopalian. We need your active participation in a prayer life, remembering thanksgivings. We also need small tokens placed in a Blue Box from thousands of Episcopalians to pull together as the church we have chosen to represent. If everyone does his part, those many small gifts when put together do an incred-

www.ecwnational.org

ible job for mission around the world. Such a small effort would boost our health high on the chart. How would you judge the health of the United Thank Offering? What is your part in providing not only a prescription for improvement but simple actions to improve its condition? And then celebrate. Thanks be to God!


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 25

Province V ECW President, Joanna Gesicki, center, top left photo, talks with Pat Cropper, left, and Ann Fudge, both members of Incarnation, Bloomingdale. Ann and Pat hosted the 46-member Bishop’s Associates of the Diocese of Chicago annual bus tour. Incarnation was visited to see how they share their space with the Philippine Independent Church and with First Asian. The tour also visited Calvary, Batavia, which has shared their space with the Suni Moslem mosque for 27 years. Pictured, at right, is Muzha Ahmed, wife of the Iman. Muzha explained to those on the tour how the Christian and Muslim groups have worked together these 27 years. Above, right, the entire group posed before moving on in front of the Chapel of Divine Wisdom. (Photos submitted by Susanne Lenz).

Chicago ECW reflect on individual journeys Submitted by Valerie Hatcher Diocese of Chicago Several women with whom I served during my ECW-Chicago presidency from 2000-2003 provided glimpses of insight of our journeys as Episcopal Church Women. My appreciation to Betty Hickman, St. Peter’s, Chicago; Kate Milliman, St. David’s, Aurora; Maureen Puleo, Christ Church, River Forest; and Sister Mary Cecilia, O.S.A., Church of the Ascension, Chicago. We, as women of the Episcopal church, have come together from many paths for our journey. How have we begun our journey? Maureen: “My journey began when I was a child. My parents took me to church every Sunday. When I was older, I went on my own to youth groups, Bible class and confirmation to be closer to God.” Sister: “Often the path is begun by parents, godparents, grandparents or friends who invite and encourage us to join them for a little walk on their path. We may join them reluctantly, joyfully, questioningly or just by observation. But because they have

chosen the journey, the shared walk on the path resonates somewhere deep inside us.” Kate: “My best friends growing up were Episcopalians; they took me to the services where I felt I was actually doing worship, not talk. My great aunt and uncle, who were Episcopalians, fed me on Sundays in college.” Betty: “From a church and service oriented family, my youth path was clear and traditional: church, Bible school, youth groups, car washes, bake sales, mite boxes and a coin in the collection plate each Sunday.” Valerie: “My mother, I especially, recall, asked me to send her the church bulletin when I went to the university. She wanted to make sure I remained on the path.” All of us have been led and guided to the path by family and friends. What has been interesting or unusual on the path? Kate: “Throughout my life on other paths, completely by accident, I’ve met so many other Episcopalians, including Paul, my husband, on a blind date.”

www.ecwnational.org

Maureen: “I left home and came to the USA. Things changed, I met different people, went to a church that was different but worshipped the same God. I married and things were all right, but my husband got sick, and my life was not good. It was hard for me, my husband was difficult and I had to put him in a nursing home. Looking after a sick man and working just was not good. God and my priest were there with support. Now my husband is in a better place.” Betty: “Residence changes and a travel job impacted my church service journey. The challenge seemed to be in finding niches in new settings and paths chosen were sometimes bumpy. Once, at the last minute, an annual stewardship meeting date changed. As chairperson, I celebrated – some 600 miles away.” Sister: “Our mission becomes Christ when we choose Him. He is the focus of our journey. As we follow, we notice others on the journey, too. The believers community can be our best and surest source of understanding, compassion and help.” Continued on page 26


Page 26

Communiqué

Winter 2011

Mission, ministry: Gabriel’s Place By the Rev. Irene Miller Radcliff Social Justice Member at Large Gabriel’s Place is housed in a beautiful 18th-century stone building that until 2008 was St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church and is located in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. Avondale is like so many other urban inner city neighborhoods: boarded-up buildings, vacant lots, situations of gender and child abuse. It is a troubled neighborhood, but a neighborhood in transition with some renovation and new construction. The neighborhood also has a high infant mortality rate and a large number of residents with hypertension, diabetes, malnutrition and weight issues. Avondale does not have any grocery stores; it only has convenience stores. Even though St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church closed, the ministry continues at Gabriel’s Place, especially health ministry, a ministry that will improve the health conditions of the residents of Avondale. Two Episcopal Church Women, the Rev. Phyllis Armstrong, a retired RN, the parish nurse and also a deacon, and Barbara Falgner-Syphax, a retired LPN, volunteer their time and talents at Gabriel’s Place two days each week. They estimated they see at least 60 Avondale residents with health issues each month. Some issues are major requiring immediate attention. Phyllis and Barbara check blood pressures, provide transportation and distribute health and safety literature. They act as a referral and information system, referring people to local training hospitals for the appropriate care. They also provide information about obtaining low-cost medication. Phyllis and Barbara have many stories to tell about their experiences at Gabriel’s Place. On one occasion, Phyllis saw a new client who came in for a screening. Her blood pressure was elevated and she told Phyllis Chicago ECW, from page 25 Valerie: “My path has been a very interesting and rewarding experience wherever I have been. It has been and is a continual learning and growth process.” What would you say reflects your path on this journey? Kate: “Walking along paths – walking with this friend at one time or that friend at another time, or walking alone sometimes. “Paths over the years have diverged, but happily they cross again, although many infrequently. One of the wonderful things

she had previously had a stroke. She was off her medication because of the cost and at risk for having another stroke. Phyllis informed her she needed immediate attention and instructed her to go to a nearby clinic. The client did not have the means to go to the clinic, so Phyllis arranged transportation. A few days later, Phyllis received a call from a nurse at the clinic thanking her for referring the client to the clinic. Another time, because of a visit to Gabriel’s Place, a young boy found a safe place and was no longer in an abusive situation. For two years, Gabriel’s Place has had a community garden tended by the youth in the neighborhood which provided fresh vegetables and fruit free or at minimum cost to Avondale residents. In August, Gabriel’s Place participated in and supported an Avondale Health Fair, including free food and drinks, free and confidential screenings, prostate exams, blood pressure checks, diabetes screening, HIV/AIDS testing, food demonstrations, nutrition tips, immunization information, fitness demonstrations and line dancing. Also on the premise was a mammography van. Gabriel’s Place could not exist without the support of partners including: the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio; Avondale Community Council; Center for Closing the Health Gap; Avondale Business Association; Rockdale Academy; Cincinnati Urban League.

about being Episcopalian is the people – the people on all the paths.” Betty: “Now there is less moving about and needs and opportunities for giving are much the same. Perhaps, after all, there has been only one path, a rewarding one, in a long, fulfilling journey.” Maureen: “I’m still on my journey. … I’m involved with the ECW and still at the same church for 46 years. My path is much better. “We do things we do because that’s what God wants for you. He only gives us

www.ecwnational.org

what we can handle even though sometimes it is rough.” Sister: “The ECW has been one of the most happy experiences on my church path. While the path and ministries vary greatly, we can always find Christ in conversation together, Christ in our prayer, and Christ in our journey together.” Valerie: “From our differences we have come together, as servants of Christ, for the benefit of others through mission and ministry. My life is the richer for having been on this path.”


Winter 2011

Communiqué

Page 27

Community focuses on Baptismal vows Submitted by Karen Potts The Episcopal Community The Episcopal Community is the newest organization for Episcopal women. This group recently created and adopted its own Rule of the Community and personal Rule of Life. Although the idea of a rule of life began with the formation of monasteries centuries ago, the women of The Episcopal Community created something fresh and new. The basic tenets of The Episcopal Community are to strive to live into the Baptismal Covenant more fully and deeply along with the desire to live intentionally. To their members, “intentional living” is based on the Rule of St. Benedict. Thus, the Rule of the Community interweaves the Baptismal Covenant with St. Benedict’s teaching. The goal is to create the tools to live in this manner. The goal of a single Rule of Life became two parts: the Rule of the Community and a personal Rule of Life. The Rule of the Community distills what The Episcopal Community is. Committee chair Janet O’Brien, of the Diocese of Atlanta, said, “It is who we say we are and what each of us strives to be.” The Personal Rule of Life is a workbook with extended explanation, examples and worksheets. Both documents are available on the website, theepiscopalcommunity.org. O’Brien and committee members Florence Krejci, Diocese of Los Angeles and Karen Potts, Diocese of Oklahoma, began with a close study of the Baptismal Covenant. First, they examined the two parts of the Baptismal covenant: questions of faith and five promises which are the practical application of the creed. From the five promises, each committee member wrote a Rule of the Community. After much discussion, they chose grow, connect, support and serve as watchwords with these definitions:

• Grow: To deepen and strengthen the individual’s relationship with God. • Connect: To nourish individual relationships. • Support: To support fellow members and The Episcopal Community. • Serve: To serve others and the whole of God’s creation. Connect is different from other rules because it highlights the importance of commitment to the special relationships and responsibilities within and to The Episcopal Community. The Rule of the Community is the foundation upon which each member creates and revises her personal Rule of Life. The committee sees the Rule of the Community as a public statement of who we are and who we intend to be as members of The Episcopal Community. The Rule of Life is a personal rule and is discerned individually with the Rule of the Community as the guide. This section is as accessible and practical as possible. First is an extensive list of suggested practices; next is a sample rule in the form of a chart. The Rule of Life is actually a workbook to help guide each member in creating a personal Rule of Life. The Rt. Rev. Philip M. Duncan, II, bishop of Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast and national chaplain of The Episcopal Community, gave enthusiastic support of the Rule of the Community’s watchwords and their similarity to the four basic principles that were the foundation of the early Christian communities. Members are encouraged to review their personal Rule of Life annually in order to grow in their relationship with God and with one another through self-examination and discernment. The Rule of the Community and the personal Rule of Life set The Episcopal Community apart from other groups because of the Rules inspired by Benedictine spirituality and based on the Baptismal Covenant.

Parliamentarian: What is a delegate committee? Submitted by Connie Skidmore Whether you are a first-time or returning delegate to Triennial Meeting 2012, you should consider being on a delegate committee. There are seven delegate committees to choose from. Please read the descriptions of each committee listed below and then decide which committee would be a fit for you. Each committee will have a board liaison as consultant. You will receive a form in your January 2012 delegate mailing asking for your delegate committee preferences. Be sure to return the form promptly to ECW President Marcia Himes as the board will be selecting all delegate committee members at the April 2012 board meeting in Mississippi. The board relies

on your support and participation to help at the Triennial Meeting while you are enhancing your delegate experience. • Certification of Minutes – Keeps notes of the Triennial Meeting daily. Meets to verify the secretary's plenary session minutes and certifies the final minutes of the Triennial Meeting. • Communication/press – Works with the editor of the Triennial Today. Other duties will include reporting on Triennial Meeting activities, writing news stories, photography and proofing of Triennial Today. • Credentials – Oversees certification process for Triennial Meeting delegates and alternates and keeps a daily record. • Evaluations – Collates delegate evaluations and makes a report to the Board

www.ecwnational.org

liaison. • Hospitality – Sees that speakers, invited guests and ecumenical representatives are met on arrival, familiarizes them with the facilities and escorts them to seats. • Resolutions – Processes all resolutions submitted as well as helping to draft resolutions of appreciation to come before the Triennial Meeting. • Timekeepers – Monitors debate time during plenary sessions as regulated by Triennial Meeting rules of order, as well as timing of other events. When you are assigned to a delegate committee please note you should be at Triennial Meeting for an 8 a.m. orientation meeting in the ECW Secretariat on July 5. The board looks forward to seeing you there.


Page 28

Communiqué

Episcopal Church Women 186 Little River Road Hampton, NH 03842

Winter 2011

NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID HATTIESBURG, MS PERMIT NO. 50

2009-2012 ECW National Board President: Marcia Himes 45 Farview Circle Riverton, WY 82501 307-856-5934 president@ecwnational.org Vice President/Program: Cordelia Burt P.O. Box 6971 Ocean View, HI 95737 808-939-7555 vpprogram@ecwnational.org VP/Information & Communication: Marilyn Rishkofski 186 Little River Road Hampton, NH 03842 603-926-2344 vpinformationcommunication @ecwnational.org Secretary: Kathy Mank 9559 Kelly Drive Loveland, OH 45140 513-560-2126 secretary@ecwnational.org Treasurer: Sandra Powers 3 Adoracion Circle Hot Springs Village, AR 71909 501-922-3090 treasurer@ecwnational.org

Social Justice: The Rev. Irene Miller Radcliff 1094 Oakland Park Ave. Columbus, OH 43224 614-267-2145 socialjustice@ecwnational.org Multi-Media: Christine Budzowski 7230 80th St. Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-821-0111 ecwwebmaster@ecwnational.org Province representatives Province I: Shirley Greiman 25 Wolcott Woods Simsbury CT 06070 860-803-7525 province1@ecwnational.org Province II: Margaret Ann Cash 3923 Amundsen Ave. Bronx NY 10466 718-994-1946 province2@ecwnational.org Province III: L. Meigan Chan 1940 T Place SE Washington DC 20020 202-889-3802 province3@ecwnational.org Province IV: Barbara Owens 5 Mary Ridge Court River Ridge, LA 70123 504-737-1845 province4@ecwnational.org

www.ecwnational.org

Province V: Valerie Hoffman-Hatcher 437 Vine St. Morris IL 60450 815-942-5432 province5@ecwnational.org Province VI: Mary K. Whisler 645 South 43rd St. Boulder, CO 80305 303-499-5551 province6@ecwnational.org Province VII: Patsy Duncan 2209 W. Spruce Ave. Duncan OK 73533 580-255-4310 province7@ecwnational.org Province VIII: The Rev. Nancy Crawford 1595 E. 31st Ave. Eugene OR 97405 541-543-1122 province8@ecwnational.org Province IX: The Rev. D. Digna Suyapa Rodriquez Colonia Trejo 23 Av.C Calle 21 Al Sur Oeste 1106 San Pedro, Sula/Honduras 011-504-773-6089 province9@ecwnational.org Parliamentarian:  Connie Skidmore, RP P.O. Box 4588 Incline Village, NV 89450 775-831-6289 cwskid@att.net


Communique Winter 2011