Spring 2016 | The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas
6 | Archdeaconâ€™s legacy funds BKSM classes 8 | Healthy breakfasts help residents of K.C. 12 | Nepal now is home for Lawrence woman 14 | Miqra brings youth up-close with the Bible
From the Bishop | The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe
Important things to remember
This has been a particularly interesting year in my life and ministry. I served as a transitional deacon for one year in the Episcopal Diocese of California before being ordained a priest in 1993. I served as a priest for 10 years before being ordained Bishop of Kansas in 2003. I am now in the middle of my 13th year as your bishop and have served as a bishop longer than I served as either a deacon or priest. I was beginning to think my work in Kansas might be coming to a close, but the episcopal election in Pennsylvania made it clear that God is not done with me here yet.
And while it’s always a little disappointing not to be called to work you feel uniquely qualified to do, I remain glad I participated in the election in Pennsylvania. Because I was engaged in that intense discernment process, I was reminded of some things that are important for me to remember, and for you to know. I was reminded… I still possess a strong passion for ministry in Christ’s Church. Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” After all these years in ministry, and after all the successes and failures I’ve experienced, I have not lost one bit of my enthusiasm for the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church. I have a passion for completing our efforts to complete the diocesan leadership center and to create dedicated space for the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry to grow and thrive. After recently receiving more than $400,000 in key “challenge grant” gifts, we only need to raise $800,000 to reach our final goal! This is no small amount, and it will require everyone’s participation, and yet, the finish line is in clear sight. I have a passion for leading our diocese in the creation of diverse, multi-cultural and multi-racial ministries. I believe our diocese must look more and more like what many of us imagine heaven will look like. Our efforts towards creating viable Spanishspeaking ministries must continue and expand. Our efforts to dismantle racism, and our efforts to invite more and more people of different races and cultures to join our work, must continue to grow. I have a passion for leading our diocese in caring for the poorest among us. Almost every parish in our diocese has a feeding program, food pantry or backpack snack program to feed the hungriest people in our state. But
we are seeing more and more working families coming to our churches in need of assistance, and I believe a deep compassion for the poor is at the very heart of the teachings of Christ. I believe God is calling us to do more for God’s most vulnerable people. I have a passion for inviting more and more people to come and see what Episcopalians are doing in Christ’s name. Young people say they want to be part of a church deeply committed to changing unjust structures in our society. Middle-aged people say they want to be part of a church that doesn’t just “talk the talk” but a church that “walks the walk.” Older people say they want to be part of a church that preserves ancient truths and ancient forms of worship. The Episcopal Church is the place where all of these people can find a home, and we must be the people to invite them to find it with us! The election in Pennsylvania took place while I was attending the spring House of Bishops meeting at Camp Allen. In all my years of ministry, I’ve received no greater honor than the standing ovation I received from my brother and sister bishops after I returned to the floor of the House following the election. Bishops, as much as any group in the church, understand the difficulty and the vulnerability of making oneself available to serve. I am so deeply indebted to all of them, and I am indebted to all the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas who have spoken or written to me to say that they are glad I am still their bishop. I am glad, too. May we continue to do the work we have been given to do as “we seek to know Christ and to make Christ known.” In the Name of our Risen Lord,
In This Issue
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SPRING 2016 | Vol. 103 | no. 3
Around the diocese
A publication of The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688 (785) 235-9255 (800) 473-3563 www.episcopal-ks.org
Youth volunteer gets special recognition
The Anglican Communion is a global community of 70 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces in more than 160 countries. The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Churches share news of their late-winter and spring activities, including reaching out in service to their communities.
Topekan Kitty Fapp receives a Bishop’s Chair Award in recognition of her years of faithful service to the youth of the diocese.
Upton legacy funds BKSM classes
Lay people in four dioceses can take free classes at Bishop Kemper School for Ministry thanks to a new scholarship honoring the late Archdeacon Jim Upton.
Church program helps people find jobs
St. Paul’s, Clay Center, with help from an intern from K-State, has established a Help Center to assist people in their community find work.
The Episcopal Church is a community of 2 million members in 109 dioceses in 16 countries in the Americas and abroad. The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas is a community of more than 10,000 members in 44 congregations, three diocesan institutions and one school in eastern Kansas. The Rt. Rev. Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop
One Saturday a month breakfast diners at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, enjoy healthier fare, thanks to the church and Episcopal Community Services.
The Harvest is published four times a year by the Office of Communications of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. Member, Episcopal Communicators and Episcopal News Service
Galena priest dies suddenly
Publisher The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop
Healthy breakfasts offered in K.C.
The Rev. J.W. Stephenson, who had served St. Mary’s, Galena, since 1988, died on March 5 of an apparent heart attack. He was 69.
Nepal ministry brings many surprises
Karin Feltman thought she’d find meaning in working with the people of Nepal. She didn’t expect to find that her heart now belongs there.
Youth at Miqra know the Bible up-close Dozens of youth gathered in Topeka in January for the annual Bible-themed weekend, which includes reading the Bible out loud over 72 hours.
ON THE COVER: Spring made itself known outside Grace Cathedral, Topeka, in mid-March with a tulip tree (liriodendrons tulipifera) in full bloom. Tulip trees are in the magnolia family and are sometimes called by that name. | Photo by Melodie Woerman
Editor Melodie Woerman For submissions, please contact the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Need to change your mailing address? Harvest Address Changes 835 Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688 email@example.com Upcoming deadlines: Summer 2016 issue: May 15 Fall 2016 issue: Aug. 15 Postmaster: Send address changes to Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688
The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 1
Around the Diocese
News and notes from congregations St. John’s, Abilene bid farewell in December to member Justin Shaw, a member of the military who will be stationed in Georgia for the next two years. Trinity, Atchison welcomed members of the community to its annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. Parish youth assisted with preparing and serving the meal. St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids had a baptism during its Christmas Eve service, welcoming 4-year-old Ellarie Claycamp. With more young people attending, the church also had enough acolytes for a procession for the first time in 20 years. St. Paul’s, Clay Center book discussion group looked at a book by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Crazy Christians, as its January study. St. Paul’s, Coffeyville aided its community in recent months: the Thrift Shop provided clothes and household items for a family that lost their home to fire, and members collect disposable diapers and box tops from designated products to aid Community Elementary School. St. Andrew’s, Derby provided a weekly Taizé service during Lent, meeting Saturdays at 5 p.m., offering time for peaceful prayers and music amid Scripture readings and silence. St. Martin’s, Edwardsville heard from Sunday School students on April 3, as a short play by young members served as the day’s sermon. Trinity, El Dorado continues to serve pets in the local community through Priscilla’s Pet Pantry, 2 | The Harvest | Spring 2016
PHOTO BY STEVE BURK
Choristers get close-up look at new pipes While new organ pipes were being installed at Grace Cathedral, Topeka, in late February, organist/choirmaster Steve Burk invited his young choir members to give one a special kind of tryout — by climbing inside the 16-foot wooden pipe that will sound a low C. “I told them they could tell their kids someday they crawled down into one of the biggest pipes in the Cathedral organ when they were a kid,” Burk said. This pipe (pictured in the cathedral’s center aisle) along with others installed this spring, were made possible by a bequest from the late Myles Criss, a former cathedral organist and choirmaster.
a service that provides free dog and cat food, as well as collars, toys and other items, to pet owners who otherwise can’t afford to help their furry friends. It is open one Saturday morning each month and depends on donations of money and supplies. St. Mary’s, Galena members hosted a fundraiser spaghetti supper in January, and then invited the community to join them for pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Epiphany, Independence explored the book Welcome to the Church Year during Lent in a weekly study combined with Evening Prayer and a light supper. Covenant, Junction City said a special thank-you to member Sally Edwards, who stepped down after many years of service as head of the Altar Guild. St. Margaret’s, Lawrence offers a children’s service on the second Sunday of every month. On other weeks, a children’s chapel provides worship times for children from age 4 through fifth grade. Trinity, Lawrence provided some special treats for those at the local domestic violence shelter on Valentine’s Day. Children received boxes of toys, small books, crayons, mittens and portable games; women received perfume, personal care items, gloves and scarves. St. Paul’s, Leavenworth has a “Friends in Service to St. Paul’s,” or FIST, work group that tends to needed projects around the church one Saturday morning a month, including breakfast and fellowship. St. Paul’s, Manhattan pastoral care team remembered shut-in members of the parish with roses delivered for Valentine’s Day.
‘Night on the Red Carpet’ celebrates Oscar Episcopal Social Service, Wichita, hosted its annual fundraiser gala, “A Night on the Red Carpet,” on Feb. 28. The event takes place on the same night as the Academy Awards, and this year the famed Oscar statue came to life, thanks to the efforts of Gavin Myers (center). Party-goers, including Grant Sacket (left) and Chloe Wade, wore their finest to raise funds to support ESS-Venture House and Breakthrough Club. The agency helps to find meaningful employment for people living in poverty or with the effects of serious mental illness. St. Paul’s, Marysville has begun work on a cabin, next door to the church, installing an accessible restroom. The parish plans to offer English as a Second Language classes as soon as the upgrade is finished. St. Michael and All Angels, Mission offered a special family service on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, for elementary-aged children and their families. Weekly special events for preschoolers helped them use music and prayers to learn about Lent. Ascension, Neodesha raised $500 for the Neodesha Food Pantry at its Shrove Tuesday pancake supper.
Every 10th person attending also got a gift of free pancake mix, and four bags of mix were delivered to the local fire department. St. Matthew’s, Newton marked the football Super Bowl with the Souper Bowl of Caring — collecting cans of soup for the local Salvation Army food bank. Grace, Ottawa member Debra Harris has begun a parish nursing program once a month during coffee hour, providing testing for diabetes and cholesterol, as well as blood pressure monitoring. Continued on page 4 The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 3
Around the Diocese Continued from page 3 St. Thomas’, Overland Park sponsored an all-parish Outreach Day Feb. 20, giving members a chance to spend a morning working with four local agencies, including Special Olympics and the Kansas City Community Kitchen. The morning was capped off with lunch back at the church. St. John’s, Parsons before Christmas reached out to children in the local Youth Crisis center by providing a game system and a variety of games for their use. They also invited them to a special Christmas dinner at the church. Epiphany, Sedan supported the after-prom event for students at Sedan High School by giving the planning committee a gift of $100 for the April 16 event. St. Luke’s, Shawnee honored the memory of long-time member June Harlow when a new series of Stations of the Cross were dedicated in her honor, right before the start of Lent. St. Francis’, Stilwell hosted a special St. Nicholas breakfast in December, with more than 70 children from the Stilwell community attending. Grace Cathedral, Topeka choristers hosted a special Shrove Tuesday tradition — an Italian supper — as a fundraiser for youth choir trips and events. St. David’s, Topeka is collecting items once a month, including laundry detergent, diapers, toilet paper and non-perishable food, that parish clergy can distribute to people who stop by the church seeking help.
4 | The Harvest | Spring 2016
PHOTO BY TOM POTT
Wichita church remembers homeless who have died St. John’s, Wichita, hosted a citywide memorial service Dec. 21, 2015, to remember homeless people who had died in Wichita during the year. The service included representatives of other churches. Those attending also had the chance to donate to the Winter Shelter Fund, operated by Wichita’s Inter-Faith Ministries. St. Luke’s, Wamego hosts a weekly sign language class, on Tuesday mornings. St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita sought to help refugees arriving in Wichita by collecting needed clothing and household items for them, through the work of Episcopal Migration Ministries-Wichita. Good Shepherd, Wichita is providing prayer shawls, baby hats and scarves for the homeless, all made my members of the church’s Busy Needles group, which meets one afternoon and evening a month. St. James’, Wichita chapter of the
Junior Daughters of the King collected nearly 400 pairs of new socks, which were distributed in late January in conjunction with an event designed to count the number of homeless in the Wichita community. St. John’s, Wichita marked its 145th anniversary by publishing a compilation of previous church cookbooks from 1908, 1920 and 1988, as well as current recipes. St. Stephen’s, Wichita combined its Shrove Tuesday pancake supper with a special music and theatre show, with a free will offering to benefit the parish music department.
PEOPLE OF the Diocese
Topeka youth volunteer gets special award By Melodie Woerman
volunteer Kitty Fapp received a special Bishop’s Chair Award from Bishop Dean Wolfe during Miqra, the Bible-themed youth event in January at which Fapp, characteristically, was volunteering. The award, a wooden rocking chair with the seal of the diocese engraved on the back, is the highest award given to a layperson for service within the diocese. In recommending Fapp, who is a member of Grace Cathedral, Topeka, for the honor, diocesan Youth Missioner Karen Schlabach said there was no one more deserving of the recognition. “I can remember Kitty helping at youth events and camp from when I was a youth, 20 years ago. She’s been a consistent volunteer for longer than anyone remembers — literally. Whenever I need something done that feels impossible, I can call Kitty, and she’ll say, ‘No problem!’” Testimonials from those she has touched echoed Schlabach’s comments and were presented to her in a notebook. Trevor Mahan, a high school student from St. John’s, Wichita, described Fapp as “a teacher, a role model, a wonderful cook, a mother, a saint,” saying she was like a second grandmother to him. Randy Harrison, an adult volunteer from St. James’, Wichita, said he had worked side-by-side with her in many church kitchens across the diocese, where she “never wavered from that drive she has not only to
PHOTO BY KAREN SCHLABACH
Kitty Fapp, a longtime volunteer with the youth program of the diocese, looks at a notebook of letters to her after being presented with the Bishop’s Chair Award from Bishop Dean Wolfe during the Miqra youth event on Jan. 17. serve the youth but to share God’s word with everyone she meets.” Sydney Webb, a college senior from St. David’s, Topeka, said that she knows that hospitality is one of
Fapp’s spiritual gifts “because she made each of us feel undeniably loved by her and loved by God,” radiating “love, positivity, compassion, hope and gentleness.” The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 5
Students share a light moment during a recent class at the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry.
New lay scholarship honors Upton legacy THE BISHOP KEMPER
arship per academic year. ScholarSchool for Ministry has established ship applications are accepted on an a scholarship that honors the late ongoing basis but are due on the first of the month for the folArchdeacon Jim Upton lowing month’s course. and helps provide opporArchdeacon Jim Uptunities for lay people to ton was ordained to the take classes for personal diaconate in the Diocese enrichment or continuof Kansas in 1984 and ing education. served as archdeacon The Jim Upton Scholunder Bishop Smalley arship provides a $100 and Bishop Wolfe. He stipend to one lay student died in 2007. each month during the He served a variety academic year, covering The late Archdeacon of parishes and ministhe cost of auditing one Jim Upton tries around the diocese class. If a recipient wants to take a class for credit, $100 will be and was instrumental in the development of the Kansas School for applied to the $180 tuition cost. Most classes meet in Topeka, with Ministry, BKSM’s predecessor in the Diocese of Kansas. some offered online. Upton was known for his deep Applicants must be a lay member passion for servant ministry, and he of an Episcopal church in the Diocese of Kansas, Nebraska, West Mis- was a nationally recognized resource souri or Western Kansas. No one in on the modern diaconate. More information about the the process for Holy Orders is eligiUpton Scholarship, and an online ble. Recipients can receive one schol6 | The Harvest | Spring 2016
UPCOMING CLASSES AT BISHOP KEMPER SCHOOL August 13-14
Christian Spirituality, Old Testament II, Christian Theology II, Catholic Tradition
Introduction to Scripture, Old Testament III, Diakonia II, Modernity and After
Old Testament I, Anglican History, Social Witness of the New Testament, Theology of Education Ministry
Contemporary Mission, History of the Episcopal Church, Adult Catechesis and Formation
Foundations of Ethics, Diakonia I, Polity and Canons, Pastoral Theology
application form, are available on the school’s website, www.bishopkemperschool.org/scholarships/
Around the Diocese
Help Center: Clay Center church creates program to aid the unemployed By Melodie Woerman
Clay Center, already is known throughout its community for its extensive ministry of providing food to hungry people. Now they can add another accomplishment to the list — help for people who are unemployed. This spring the church has created a Help Center, which will provide referrals to agency resources and help prepare people for job interviews and placements. This came about through the leadership of member Donna Long and the work of Tayler Christian, a social work intern from Kansas State University who has spent 35 hours a week all semester on the project. “There is no local office in Clay Center for programs like this,” Long said, adding that when members distributed food to hundreds of people every month, they had seen growing levels of poverty. “Helping the unemployed find work will help lift people out of poverty,” Long said. The groundwork for the Help Center idea was laid by the church’s Outreach Committee, which decided that for its first year the effort would concentrate on connecting people to employment opportunities and resources, as well as preparing them for employment and creating a volunteer program. The effort began in earnest in mid-January. By mid-March, those goals had become a reality.
PHOTO BY DONNA LONG
Tayler Christian, a social work intern from K-State, looks over materials she has created as part of the Help Center developed by St. Paul’s, Clay Center. Christian and Long contacted area resource agencies, as well as existing employment readiness programs in nearby communities, to develop a resource list of referrals. Christian knew those interviewing for jobs might lack appropriate clothes, so she set up a “Career Closet” in the church basement, thanks to community donations. She also designed a brochure that has been distributed across town. She and Long also organized a network of trained volunteers, half from the church and the rest from
the community, to help people fill out job applications and run through mock job interviews with them. Long said they hoped to serve the first group of people seeking the Center’s help in April. After Christian graduates in May, Long said the program will seek volunteer help, and perhaps even another K-State intern next semester. Christian said she was heartened that the community “has come together and lifted up the program. I never expected to have so much positive feedback.” The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 7
Cookin’ up h
Episcopal Comm and St. Paul’s partner to serve a meal to people
A volunteer cracks eggs by the dozen to make a quantity of scrambled eggs for the Third Saturday breakfast at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, on Feb. 20. A new healthier menu once a month increases the percentage of protein provided.
Text and photos by Melodie Woerman 8 | The Harvest | Spring 2016
THE WEEKLY Saturday breakfast program at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, has a new look once a month, thanks to a partnership between the church and Episcopal Community Services of Kansas City. Starting in October, diners still got a bountiful plateful of food but with healthier twists on some menu items they’ve come to love. The “Third Saturday” breakfast features whole grains in its pancakes and biscuits, roasted potatoes instead of fried, and sausage made from turkey, not pork. The once-a-month menu also offers more servings of fresh fruit and increases the amount of protein provided, while cutting carbohydrates. Beau Heyen, chief executive officer of ECS, said the reason for the change is simple — many area residents who rely on emergency food suffer from a cluster of health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes. When you consider than many also lack access to adequate health care, Heyen said the church’s food ministry needs to play a positive role in modeling health.
munity Services s, Kansas City, healthy, delicious who need both
He said the Third Saturday healthy menu is serving as a pilot program, with an eye toward how it might work on a weekly basis. Joy Spearman, St. Paul’s senior warden, said there is an effort across Wyandotte County to improve the health of the community. Posters on the parish hall walls tout the mayor’s 1-2-3-4-5 Fit-Tastic initiative, emphasizing exercise, reduced time in front of screens, and consuming more low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and water. Spearman said the church sees this emphasis on health as an extension of sharing God’s love. “How can we say we love God and not help you take care of the temple God gave you?” she said.
Portion sizes also matter
The Third Saturday meal also utilizes volunteer servers who put a controlled portion on each plate. This is different from the help-yourself model on other Saturdays, and Spearman said some people didn’t like the change at first. “But they still are getting full,” she
Colorful printed cards share nutrition information with diners. said, and after getting used to the mendations that each meal should new menu and serving method, din- include appropriate amounts of proers report that they find the food not tein, grains, fruits and vegetables. only tasty but healthy. Spearman said on Third SaturThose who may want days, diners also avoid something for later standing in long lines can pick up to-go bags, waiting for their meal. paper sacks that include Instead they are seated in peanut butter, fresh fruit, the church and are called whole grain crackers and in groups of 25. “No one bottled water. is standing around with Heyen said that the others hovering over healthy menu provides them,” she said. “Part of more than half the calogood health is allowing ries an adult should eat Beau Heyen, CEO, them a leisurely meal.” each day, while offering Episcopal CommuThe cost of the food nity Services 133 percent of the receach week is paid by St. ommended protein and Michael and All Angels in only 53 percent of daily carbs. Mission, whose member, Julie MarTo help diners learn more about cus, originated the breakfast prowhat they are eating, colorful cards gram 18 years ago. on each table provide nutrition information about menu items, as well as sharing the “My Plate” recomContinued on page 10
The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 9
Continued from page 9 Eventually he’d like to see the breakfast, as well as other ECSrelated food programs across the metro-K.C. area, offer a restaurantstyle meal, with volunteer waiters and food choices. That model has begun at ECS’s Community Kitchen in Kansas City, Mo. (see story below). Part of St. Paul’s costs are covered by a $1,500 Jubilee grant the church received last year from the Episcopal Church, to begin new programs designed to empower its community to adopt healthier diets and lifestyles. The parish is a recognized Jubilee Ministry of the Episcopal Church, marking it as a place committed to social justice and transformation. ECS also has been designated a Jubilee Ministry.
The emergency food problem
Heyen said that emergency food sources, including soup kitchens and food pantries, often provide food that isn’t very healthy. “Much of it is high in sodium and sugar and low in fiber,” he said. While putting food into hungry
Joy Spearman (left), senior warden at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, speaks with a volunteer during the Third Saturday breakfast at the church on Feb. 20. stomachs, he said it does nothing to combat the health consequences of food insecurity. It doesn’t provide balanced nutrition and can lead to obesity, hypertension and diabetes. This is a special problem in the area ECS serves, he said, noting that both Kansas and Missouri were
among 14 states with levels of food insecurity greater than the national average. Heyen said it is ECS’s goal to make sure hungry people not only have access to healthy food but also to education to help them make healthy choices on tight budgets.
ECS gets nationwide attention for ‘dining with dignity’ WHEN
Community Services in January replaced the cafeteria-style serving line at its Community Kitchen in Kansas City, Mo., with restaurantstyle service, they had no idea how far the concept would travel. A Feb. 5 story in the Kansas City Star first was picked up by the Associated Press, which led to stories by Huffington Post, ABC News and the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. The website Upworthy described 10
| The Harvest | Spring 2016
the program as “a soup kitchen disguised as a restaurant.” A short video by the website NowThis garnered more than 32 million views. Part of what made the story so powerful was expressed in the original Star article by one diner, Brian Oglesby. He said after being waited on by a volunteer, who took his order from among several restaurant-quality items on a menu, “They’re treating me good, like they don’t know I’m homeless.”
Beau Heyen, chief executive officer at ECS, called the concept “dining with dignity,” and told the Star, “Not only is the food different, but no more long lines and elementary school trays. Our clients will be served like they are in a restaurant.” In the next two years, ECS hopes to expand this concept of emergency food service to four other areas, including Olathe and Kansas City, Kan. ECS is a joint ministry of the Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri.
PEOPLE OF THE DIOCESE
Galena vicar dies of apparent heart attack THE REV. J.W.
Stephenson, who served as the vicar of St. Mary’s, Galena, since 1988, died on March 5 of an apparent heart attack. He was 69. His funeral took place at St. Mary’s on March 9, with Bishop Dean Wolfe officiating and preaching. Stephenson was born in Seattle, Wash., but grew up in Galena. There he met his wife, Gerri; they were married in 1965. He served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam Conflict and was stationed aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. After his service Stephenson entered law enforcement, where he was an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Chicago, until his retirement in 1984. After retiring from the ATF, he moved back
to Southeast Kansas and centered his work and ministry at St. Mary’s. He was ordained in 1988 by Bishop Richard Grein and served the Episcopal church in Galena, as well as the nowclosed St. Stephen’s in Columbus, since then. Stephenson also served his local community by helping to provide safe and affordable water as the Operator and Manager for Cherokee County Rural Water District #2 from 2008 until his death. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters (and their husbands), and four grandchildren. The family asked that memorial contribution be made to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 415 Washington St., Galena, KS 66739.
The Rev. J.W. Stephenson, shown here celebrating the Eucharist at St. Mary’s, Galena, died March 5.
K-State student picked for a year of service SYDNEY WEBB,
a senior at Kansas State University and a member of St. David’s, Topeka, has been selected for a year of service in Massachusetts through the Episcopal Service Corps. She will be serving through Life Together South Coast, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, located on the south coast of the state, between Cape Cod and Providence, R.I. Webb said the program focuses on community and civic engagement, youth development, and immigration reform. “They provide an intentional Christian
living community as well as programs for spiritual formation and leadership training,” she said. Webb, who was an alternate deputy from Kansas to last summer’s General Convention, said that body’s emphasis on social justice stuck with her as she decided to spend a year after college in service. “There is so much more that we could be doing to live that out,” she said, “and the Episcopal Service Corps emphasizes and stands for social justice, which is one of the many things that drew me to the program.” The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 11
PEOPLE OF THE DIOCESE
Lawrence woman reflects on two years of service to the people of Nepal By Melodie Woerman
in Nepal for two years, Karin Feltman is home on leave and enjoying the things she has missed most: time with family and friends, hot showers, good cheese, and dollar tacos at her favorite Mexican restaurant. But Feltman, a member of St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, said her time back in the States showed her that she has become more comfortable living in a developing country than here. “I feel lazy,” she said. “In Nepal I walk everywhere. Life in the U.S. is very orderly and regulated. After Nepal, it feels dull!” In the first two years of a four-year commitment, Feltman has learned to speak Nepali, survived major earthquakes last year that devastated parts of the country, has begun doing research on why Nepal is so deeply involved in human trafficking and has worked to empower women through education.
Human trafficking research
Karin Feltman (bottom right) in May 2015 plays with children from a Nepali village where she is researching the issue of human trafficking. 12 | The Harvest | Spring 2016
She discovered that little research has been done on how to prevent Nepalis from becoming victims of human trafficking, so she set out to learn more. Given the lack of existing information, she quickly
has become one of the experts in the country. She said about 10 percent of people from Nepal who are trafficked end up in sex slavery of some kind, and the other 90 percent are in forced labor. Many in both categories are girls, where some poor families send them off to another country thinking they are going to get an education but instead are victims of unscrupulous recruiters. But she said some girls are exploited by their own families, who know that sending daughters away means they won’t have to pay for their food or education. In one instance, she said an American woman in Kathmandu — a single mom — wanted to hire someone to help her with housework. The agency sent a six-year-old girl. Feltman said the little research that has been done shows that indigenous people who live in mountainous areas of the country are more likely to be victims of trafficking, but it does not show why. She has developed a survey tool she hopes will hone in on what makes this population so vulnerable, with an eye toward prevention. She said she wants to begin to answer some basic questions. “Who goes for legitimate
work and then is trafficked? What makes some vulnerable to be trafficked versus those who are not?” She has developed a relationship with people in the village of Marming, in the mountains above her new hometown of Kathmandu, and was planning to spend significant time there in research. Then two major earthquakes struck, in April and May last year, damaging almost every structure in the village. She was the first outsider to reach Marming after the quakes and has worked to help them recover, including raising funds to put up temporary structures for residents. Because of the damage she has been to the village only on shorter visits but did spend three weeks there over Christmas and New Year. She hopes to spend another year or two on this research, eventually expanding it into surrounding areas and perhaps throughout the entire country. “But I want this to be God’s agenda, not mine,” she said.
Empowering women is crucial
“They are seen as cursed or dirty,” she said. “Information takes the fear away and allows them to take control over their own lives.” She also is working to provide them with basic hygiene products that women in developed countries take for granted. Without them, girls can’t go to school during their period and miss a quarter of their education, Feltman said. She wants to help village women set up a means to manufacture the washable and reusable hygiene products she has been able to provide, which not only would ensure a regular supply but also provide them with an income. Feltman said about her empowerment work, “I want them to see that we are equal as women. We have opportunities. The first step is showing them that they are worthwhile, beautiful, valuable and strong.” She said eventually she would like to find a way for village men to learn about their own bodies, too.
A heart for Nepal
As important as her research into Feltman said she is looking forhuman trafficking will be, Feltman ward to returning to her life in Nepal says she believes her most important later this year, where she has chosen work lies in empowering women in to live a life of moderation to be in Karin Feltman Nepal. She said in that patriarchal solidarity with people there. country, women and girls are valued less than men. “I choose to live with their restrictions,” she said, inShe is working with a school in a village not far from cluding walking to the local well to get water rather than Marming, where she has raised money to provide schol- having it delivered to her apartment. “I want to underarships so 32 at-risk girls can get an education. The $125 stand what it is like to not have options.” per student not only pays for school fees, supplies and She said, “I prefer this life. It’s what God created me to uniforms, but it also gives a small stipend to her family. be. God equips me to do what I am doing. It’s not always “To get the money, the family has to make sure she easy, but I have more satisfaction with my life than I ever goes to school,” Feltman said. had here.” One of her scholarship students is about to enter the She said she is convinced that being a Christian reequivalent of high school, an enormous achievement quires service to others. “We are all called to work for since fewer than 40 percent of the girls in this village God’s kingdom, outreach and mission. There are differever attend school. Fewer than 13 percent of them finish ent ways for different people.” eighth grade. When she signed up to serve overseas, she was willing She also works with adult women in the village to to go where no one else would. “I didn’t have a heart for give them very basic information about how their bod- Nepal when I went,” she said. “God made it true.” ies work. “Most of them know nothing about their own Anyone wanting to support Feltman’s work in Nepal, anatomy or body processes,” she said. They don’t un- which is funded by donations from individuals, churches derstand how they become pregnant or the reason for and groups, may contact her by email at eramazon@aol. monthly menstrual periods. com The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 13
Miqra brings youth up-close to the Bible By Melodie Woerman
MORE THAN 70 YOUTH
gathered in Topeka Jan. 15-18 for the annual Miqra weekend, which focuses on learning more about the Bible, combined with reading the Bible out loud over the course of 72 hours. Miqra is Hebrew for “a reading of scripture.” Eleven of the youth were attending a diocesan youth event for the first time. Thirty adults provided logistical support and assisted with workshops and small group discussions. Two students and an adult sponsor from the Diocese of New Jersey also attended, to learn more about the event. The theme for this year’s Miqra was the four Gospels plus Acts, which offered a special focus for workshops and activities. Over the course of seven years, all sections of the Bible will be covered. Senior high students met at Grace Cathedral, with sixth-through-eighth graders a few miles away at St. David’s.
Learning as well as reading
PHOTOS BY MELODIE WOERMAN
Veronica Meyer from the Diocese of New Jersey reads from the Old Testament book of Malachi during Miqra, in the nave of Grace Cathedral, Topeka. 14 | The Harvest | Spring 2016
While youth participants didn’t arrive until Saturday afternoon, the Bible reading got started Friday morning, thanks to adult volunteers and college students in the diocese’s campus ministry program. The reading was streamed live via the website UStream, allowing friends and family to watch online. Once youth arrived, they received an overview of the five books that would form the basis of the weekend and attended the first of several workshops over the weekend. A guest at both Miqra locations on Sunday was Bishop Dean Wolfe, who
spoke to participants and answered questions from them. He told senior high students that there are three main reasons for them to be part of Miqra: To learn more about how to use scripture, not as a weapon, but as a way to understand God’s word in our midst; To build community; and To learn about the Bible. Participants also spent time in worship. They attended Sunday morning services at each of the churches and ended the day with the service of Compline. On Sunday evening junior high students had special times for prayer using the practice of lectio divina, which includes reading, meditating, praying and then contemplating passages of scripture. Senior high students gathered at silent prayer stations around the cathedral that had been set up for them by peer ministers from the diocesan campus ministry program.
Arts and crafts formed one of the activity workshops during Miqra.
A junior high student reads out loud from the Bible in the nave St. David’s, Topeka.
Exploring for New Jersey
The Rev. Debi Clarke heads youth and young adult ministries for the Diocese of New Jersey, headquartered in Trenton. Two high school students and an adult member of their Youth Council attended Miqra to see if it might be something their diocese would like to incorporate into its program. Clarke said they “came back thrilled,” and the diocese already has made plans to offer its first Miqra weekend this fall. She noted that the theme for New Jersey’s convention this year was “Know your Story and Live it Boldly.” She said, “If we’re not reading the Bible, we don’t know our story.” Young people often can view reading the Bible as a task too hard to tackle, she said, but if they can read it in community, over a span of 72 hours, “they might read it after their time together.” She added, “This is the perfect way for us to know our story.” Clarke said that she received text
messages from each of the three New Jerseyans letting her know when their hour of reading was taking place. “I logged on to the live stream to watch them,” she said. “So did their parish priests, parents and others.” She had received lots of information about Miqra from diocesan Youth Missioner Karen Schlabach, whom she praised for her generosity in sharing all aspects of the program that originated in the Diocese of Kansas 14 years ago. Clarke said plans now are set for New Jersey’s Miqra to take place this year Nov. 11-13. In 2015 two dioceses sent youth and adults to learn more about Miqra. One of them, the Diocese of Maine, had its first-ever Miqra last October. University of Kansas student Tyler Kerr attended as an emissary from the Diocese of Kansas. The Diocese of Chicago hosted Miqra for a third time over the same Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend as Kansas. The Harvest | Spring 2016 | 15
Wichita press offers special prayers
ST. MARK’S PRESS,
The Rev. Earl Mahan concluded his ministry as rector of St. John’s, Wichita, on April 3. He had served the church since 2011. The Rev. Mary Siegmund was installed on Jan. 20 as rector of St. Luke’s, Shawnee, She had been serving the congregation as priestin-charge. Condolences go to the Rev. Frank Cohoon on the death of his wife, Mary, on Dec. 18; to the Rev. Joseph Bayles on the death of his wife, Patricia, on Feb. 19; and to the Very Rev. Don Compier, dean of the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry, on the death of his mother, Phyllis Jean Compier Key, on Jan. 28.
a publishing ministry of Good Shepherd, Wichita, now is offering for sale special Prayers of the People written by George F. Woodward III. They are provided by downloadable PDF, enabling church offices to copy and paste directly into bulletins. Based on lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary, the download includes special prayers for every Sunday in each of the three years of the lectionary cycle, as well as prayers for special services. Congregation responses also are included, The cost is $20, and the file will
16 | The Harvest | Spring 2016
be emailed to the purchaser the day following purchase. The entire three-year set of prayers can be purchased from St. Mark’s Press online at https://stmarkspress.net/shop/the-prayersof-the-people/
SHARING THE GOOD NEWS | The HOUSE OF BISHOPS
A Word to the Church The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church, meeting in retreat March 11–15 at Camp Allen Conference Center in Navasota, Texas, unanimously approved the following “Word to the Church.”
There is legitimate reason to fear where this rhetoric and the actions arising from it might take us.
“WE REJECT THE
In this moment, we resemble God’s children wandering in the wilderness. We, like they, are struggling to find our way. They turned from following God and worshiped a golden calf constructed from their own wealth.
On Good Friday the ruling political forces of the day tortured and executed an innocent man. They sacrificed the weak and the blameless to protect their own status and power.
The current rhetoric is leading us to construct a modern false idol out of power and privilege. We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others.
idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others.”
On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead, revealing not only their injustice but also unmasking the lie that might makes right. In a country still living under the shadow of the lynching tree, we are troubled by the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric. Americans are turning against their neighbors, particularly those on the margins of society. They seek to secure their own safety and security at the expense of others.
No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, we must respect the dignity of every human being and we must seek the common good above all else. We call for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail and we will not betray our true selves.
The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 S.W. Polk Street Topeka, KS 66612-1688 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
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