Inside The Harvest From the Bishop
Bishop Wolfe describes all the good news that has come as a result of the Crossroads capital campaign. Page 2
Small church, big appetites St. Timothy’s, Iola, fed 50 college basketball players for nearly three weeks when their dorm cafeteria wasn’t open after Christmas, and in the process they developed new friendships. Page 3
Bishops speak out
Bishop Wolfe and Western Kansas Bishop Michael Milliken spoke out against an anti-gay bill proposed in the Kansas Legislature. Page 3
Vestments see new life Vintage vestments have been remade into sets of seasonal banners to hang on the walls of St. John’s, Parsons. Page 5
Food needs expressed
Participants in the Mobile Food Pantry operated by St. Paul’s, Clay Center, wrote comments on paper plates to let U.S. senators know how they felt about proposed cuts to food programs. Page 6
Council of Trustees gets final update on Crossroads donations By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest
At its Feb. 18 meeting the Council of Trustees received final totals from the Crossroads capital campaign, as well as information on a new effort to bring one of its major projects to completion. Crossroads chair Larry Bingham provided a breakdown of how the approximately $3 million raised has been allocated. The campaign had more than 700 donors, including those who made a onetime gift, have completed their pledge or are in the process of finishing a multi-year pledge. Crossroads, which was launched in the spring of 2010, sought to raise funds largely in support of the Kansas School for Ministry, which offered education for students who are preparing to be deacons, priests and lay leaders in large and small congregations. In 2013 the school was expanded to a cooperative venture of four area dioceses, including Kansas, and was renamed the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry. Crossroads funds were dedicated to constructing a new Leadership Center to provide much-needed classrooms and a chapel for the school, along with accessible diocesan offices on the
second floor, as well as the remodeling of the diocesan conference center to provide overnight accommodations for students, along with meeting space. Money donated also will provide an endowment to support the school. The diocese also pledged to dedicate 10 percent of the money raised, after expenses, for outreach and mission projects. Bingham, a member of St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, noted that although the campaign failed to reach its stretch goal of $5.5 million, Crossroads successfully raised the most money ever contributed to a capital campaign in the diocese. He said the receipts (minus campaign expenses) now have been allocated to the three areas — endowment to support the Bishop Kemper School, outreach and mission, and the construction and remodeling of buildings — in the same percentage as envisioned when the campaign began. This results in an endowment for the diocese’s support of the Bishop Kemper School of more than $470,000 and an outreach fund of almost $240,000.
K2K is sending two teams of workers to Kenya this summer, and there is a lengthy list of projects they plan to undertake. All of those, however, require funding to happen. Page 6
By Karen Schlabach Diocesan Youth Missioner
Philip Clayton, theology professor at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., will offer this year’s Tocher Lecture on May 22 at Grace Cathedral in Topeka. Page 9
St. Aidan’s, Olathe, said thank-you to its “kitchen angel” and former organist, Gwen Starmer, during a surprise 90th birthday party. Page 9
Bishop Barbara Harris marked the 25th anniversary of her ordination and consecration in 1989, when she became the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion. Page 11
In her Lenten message, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori calls the church to “seek the healing of the whole world.” Page 11
(Please see Crossroads, page 3)
New Safe Church policy seeks to prevent abuse
Kansas to Kenya
For an 11th year, youth from around the diocese gathered in Topeka in mid-January to read the Bible, cover-to-cover, out loud, and to learn through workshops and presentations. Page 7
Most money ever in capital campaign
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
The Rev. Dixie Junk (left), priest in charge at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, points out some features of the church property to the Rev. Mark Stevenson, Domestic Poverty Missioner for the Episcopal Church, during his visit to the church in January. Stevenson was in Kansas City learn more about how the parish will use a $35,000 Jubilee Ministry grant it received.
KC church will start new youth program, thanks to $35,000 Jubilee grant By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest High school students in innercity Kansas City soon will get the chance to develop life and job skills, thanks to a new program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church that has received funding from the Episcopal Church. A $35,000 Jubilee ministry grant will fund the start-up this fall of “Youth in Transitions,” which the church’s priest, the Rev. Dixie Junk, described as a youth development program. The need that sparked the church’s grant application was simple — the local school district sends students home at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays
to provide time for staff training. Through a series of meetings with community groups, church members heard that there was a real need to find something meaningful for high school students to do during that time. The new program will provide selected students help in several areas: Life skills — personal finance, nutrition and healthy eating, and communications; Job-readiness skills — how to complete a job application, interviewing and networking; Community service training to become a volunteer in one of the (Please see Grant, page 5)
The Council of Trustees approved a new Safe Church policy at its Jan. 28 meeting. The policy is contained in a 42-page document that is intended to provide information and resources that will help congregations protect children, youth, adults, clergy, staff, and our organizations and institutions. The policy has been posted on the “Policies” page of the diocesan website, under the “Resources” tab. It can be found at http://www. episcopal-ks.org/resources/documents/SafeChurchPolicy2014.pdf. The new policy incorporates many concepts that already are in practice in the diocese but had not been an official part of the policy. Highlights of the new policy are provided here, but the document contains a great deal of information, including sections that are new or expanded from the previous policy. It is highly recommended that all ministry leaders review the policy in full.
Training is required
The policy addresses two kinds of required training that are designed to prevent sexual abuse, exploitation and misconduct — Safeguarding God’s Children (dealing with children and youth) and Safeguarding God’s People (dealing with adults). Safeguarding God’s Children is required every six years for clergy and adults volunteering with children and youth, and Safeguarding God’s People is required every six years for clergy and lay ministry leaders of adult groups. (Please see Policy, page 6)
2 • The Harvest • January/February 2014
From the Bishop
The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe
Publisher: The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop Editor: Melodie Woerman A member of Episcopal News Service and Episcopal Communicators, The Harvest is published six times a year by the Office of Communications of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas: February, April, June, August, October and December. Stories, letters and photos are welcome. They will be used on a space-available basis and are subject to editing. Send all material (preferably in electronic format or by email) to: Melodie Woerman, editor The Harvest 835 SW Polk St. Topeka, KS 66612-1688 phone: (800) 473-3563 fax: (785) 235-2449 firstname.lastname@example.org Send address changes to: Receptionist 835 SW Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688 email@example.com Upcoming deadlines: March-April issue: April 1 May-June issue: June 1 Subscription rate: $1.50 annually Third class mailing Permit No. 601, Topeka, Kansas POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 SW Polk St. Topeka, KS 66612-1688
The Anglican Communion
A global community of 70 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces in more than 160 countries.
Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby Lambeth Palace, London WE1 7JU, United Kingdom www.anglicancommunion.org Episcopal seat: Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England
The Episcopal Church
A community of 2 million members in 109 dioceses in 16 countries in the Americas and abroad. Presiding Bishop The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (800) 334-7626 www.episcopalchurch.org Episcopal seat: Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas
A community of more than 11,000 members in 46 congregations, two diocesan institutions and one school in eastern Kansas.
Bishop The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe 835 SW Polk Street, Topeka, KS 66612-1688 (785) 235-9255 (800) 473-3563 www.episcopal-ks.org Episcopal seat: Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Topeka
Crossroads campaign has produced much good news Dear Friends: I want to give you a recap of what has been made possible by the Crossroads campaign, the diocesan effort that was launched in the spring of 2010 to educate lay and ordained leaders, support outreach and mission efforts, and construct a Leadership Center adjacent to the cathedral in Topeka. When we undertook a feasibility study early in 2008, it was estimated that the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas might be able to raise between $3 million and $4 million for these projects. And then came the largest economic downturn in a generation. But even after that, through the Crossroads Campaign we have received commitments for more than $3 million towards these goals, thanks to the generosity of more than 700 people across this diocese. I am so grateful for this outpouring of support. PHOTO BY STEPHEN BUTLER
Much good news And from this, there is so much good news to share:
and new resources are becoming available to support this project.
Our fundraising successes are leading to greater generosity from previous contributors and greater access to gifts from major donors who now see the viability of the project. Our fundraising successes have created broader eligibility for a variety of foundation grants. Together, all the gifts to Crossroads have laid the Through this school, we It is not inexpensive to foundation for building our have been recognized by the much-needed Leadership build structures that will wider church as an innovative Center, but we will need adleader in theological educaserve the diocese for the ditional funding to make it a tion. Presiding Bishop Kathanext 100 years, and we reality. rine Jefferts Schori said, “The It is not inexpensive to Bishop Kemper School for want to make build structures that will Ministry is a regional model serve the diocese for the next a contribution to the of what is possible when dio100 years, and we want to ceses work closely together.” church, in our make a contribution to the We have beautifully church, in our generation, that generation, that will renovated and dedicated Upwill make the same kind of ton Hall, an overnight accommake the same kind impact on the church that has modation for 22 people, in been made by contributions of impact honor of our beloved former from those who have gone Archdeacon, Jim Upton. on the church that before us. Bishop Kemper School So, we have begun a fresh has been made students stay there once a initiative, the Leadership month. by contributions from Center Fund, to raise the We have established additional $3 million necesthose who have gone an endowment to support our sary to build this important work at the Bishop Kemper facility. before us. School with an initial contriWith so much support bution of over half a million behind us, and with an envidollars. able track record of success, We have allocated we now can approach major nearly a quarter of a million donors and foundations so they will become our dollars to support mission and outreach efforts for partners in completing this vision we have worked those in need. so hard to build. You’ll be hearing more about this new effort, We have almost a million dollars on hand tobut in the meantime I ask you to keep this work in ward construction of our much-needed Leadership Center, which will provide classroom space for the your prayers, so that we are able to boldly fulfill the mission to which God has called us. Bishop Kemper School of Ministry, as well as a We organized a new non-profit organization, the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry, which is a collaborative partnership with the dioceses of Western Kansas, West Missouri and Nebraska, to share in the operation and leadership of the school. It is educating lay and clergy leaders for large and small churches across the Midwest.
basement library and archival space, and updated diocesan workspace on the second floor.
The nation’s economy has begun to rebound,
Faithfully, +Dean v
January/February 2014 • The Harvest • 3
Iola’s small church feeds big athletes from local juco By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest If you want to know how much food it takes to feed two hungry college basketball teams for nearly three weeks, just ask the people of St. Timothy’s, Iola. They can tell you, because that’s what they did in early January for the men’s and women’s teams at Allen Community College. Sue O’Connor, who is co-chair of the parish’s Outreach Committee, said they were approached by the men’s coach when he found out that the dormitory cafeteria wouldn’t be open during the time players would be on campus for games and practices. He knew to ask the church because in recent years members have provided some meals for the college’s cross country team when they are in town for early conditioning drills before the start of fall classes. But O’Connor said that experience hardly prepared the church of 31 members for the challenge of feeding so many meals to 50 athletes. Nightly dinners called for at least six 9-by-13-inch pans of casseroles, in addition to vegetables, fruit, rolls and dessert. When they served ham, it took 40 pounds. For spaghetti night, it took six pounds of pasta and 10 loaves of garlic bread. Mashed potatoes? They had to peel about 30 pounds of raw spuds per meal. O’Connor said a dozen church members were part of the project, with two people taking responsibility for all the lunches of sandwiches, fruit, chips, granola bars and cookies. Members donated desserts for every dinner and homemade cookies for every lunch, she said.
Sue O’Connor (middle row, center), and other members of St. Timothy’s, Iola, helped feed members of the men’s (pictured) and women’s basketball teams at Allen Community College for three weeks, when their dormitory cafeteria wasn’t open in January.
Even after the athletes had eaten their fill, O’Connor said they always provided take-out containers so leftovers could go back with them to the dorm. She said, “Having raised six kids, I knew no one was done eating for the day at 6 p.m.”
‘These people are eaters’
The Rev. Jan Chubb, the parish’s vicar, said she was happy to help, because she knew first-hand how important good food is to an athlete. “I’m from a basketball family,” she said, “and these people are eaters.” O’Connor said Chubb and member Lois Burris gave the kitchen crew a big break when they each provided the large main dish for two dinners. Chubb said many of the players aren’t from Kansas, having been recruited from inner-city areas for their basketball skills. That means they weren’t used to — or sometimes even familiar with — the hearty, home-cooked meals they found when they
came to the parish hall to eat. “They didn’t know what pork loin was, and some had never seen turkey and dressing,” Chubb said. “Many of them come from areas known as food deserts, places without full grocery stores.” O’Connor said that lack of familiarity didn’t slow down their appetites, though. “Once they tasted it, they always took extras,” she said.
A frugal budget
O’Connor said the basketball coach told her she had $2,500 to spend on ingredients for the meals, and they spent about $1,760. Only later did she learn that the amount he’d mentioned was the food budget for both teams for the entire season and was expected to cover meals when they were on the road, too. The coaches were very grateful to have money left over, she said. She said spending that amount to produce 40 meals for 50 people over 20 days was only possible because of the donation
Crossroads: New fund announced (Continued from page 1) After about $690,000 spent remodeling the Upton Hall conference center, the remaining Crossroads funds available to build the Leadership Center are just under $950,000. However, additional funds will be needed to begin construction (see total figures, right). In a letter to the diocese on page 2 of this issue of The Harvest, Bishop Dean Wolfe noted that a feasibility study done early in 2008 indicated the diocese could raise between $3 and $4 million. Given the massive financial fall-off that occurred during the Great Recession that began in the fall of 2008 and continued throughout the campaign, hitting that target figure with gifts from so many donors has been a significant accomplishment, he said.
Leadership Center Fund to raise an additional $3 million
Bingham said he recently received updated costs to build and furnish the Leadership Center, putting that total now at about $4.2 million. He said that in the weeks after the Crossroads campaign totals were finalized, the diocese has received an additional $350,000 earmarked to help build the Leadership Center. These new pledges and gifts, when added to the $950,000 provided by the Crossroads campaign, leave approximately $3 million still to be raised. He said the diocese has created a Leadership Center Fund to receive new gifts that are specified for its construction. The Rev. Art Rathbun, the diocese’s Missioner for Development, told the Council that he, Bishop Wolfe and Bingham are working together to pursue major foundation grants and to contact potential large individual donors. Rathbun also is vicar of St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids and St. Paul’s, Marysville Bishop Wolfe told Council members that the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry is getting a lot of attention throughout the Episcopal Church, both for the quality
Crossroads totals Total raised $2,912,263 Amount after campaign expenses and 5 percent allowance for unpaid pledges $2,385,994 Percentages for each project 68.5 percent – Buildings (Upton Hall and Leadership Center) 21.6 percent – Endowment for Bishop Kemper School support 9.9 percent – Outreach and mission Amount available for each project $690,607 – Renovation of Upton Hall (completed in October 2012) $943,046 – Leadership Center $515,891 – Endowment for Bishop Kemper School support $236,450 – Outreach and mission
of education it provides locally at a low cost, as well as its innovative partnership between four Midwestern dioceses (Kansas, West Missouri, Western Kansas and Nebraska). He also noted that Upton Hall, the diocese’s recently remodeled conference center at Bethany Place, gives potential donors confidence that their funds will go toward high-quality projects. Rathbun said that as the Leadership Center Fund project goes forward, members of the diocese will have the chance to help reach the overall total to make the building a reality. v
of so many items from members, plus some ingenuity on the part of the cooks. Leftover ham became the base for Italian ham spaghetti, and extra hamburger from taco night was turned into Sloppy Joes. “We stretched every dime as far as we could,” she said. The players chipped in to help, too, she said, taking care of meal clean up every evening and carrying out the trash. They were quick with thank-you hugs, too, and O’Connor said by the end of their three weeks together, “We were all so sad that it was drawing to a close.” The athletes’ help extended outside meal times, too. The men’s and women’s teams both helped with one week of the church’s commitment to BackSnacks, a program that provides a weekend’s-worth of healthy snacks in backpacks to at-risk elementary students. The men’s team unpacked the truck of supplies, O’Connor said, and the women’s team made quick work of placing items into the backpacks.
O’Connor said church members truly enjoyed getting to know the players, making sure they always sat down to share each meal with them. The team has been quick to provide the church with free tickets, and she said several parishioners have taken them up on that offer. Two new church members who were regular cooks go to as many games as they can, she said, But O’Connor said that developing relationships with these young athletes, many far from home, was what made the effort truly worthwhile. “Hugs were the greatest payment,” she said, “and learning so much about these kids was our biggest benefit.” v
Kansas bishops speak out against anti-gay bill The two Episcopal bishops in the state of Kansas — Bishop Dean Wolfe of the Diocese of Kansas and Bishop Michael Milliken of the Diocese of Western Kansas — on Feb. 14 wrote to members of the Kansas Senate urging them not to pass House Bill 2453. The controversial legislation would have allowed employees of private businesses or public entities to refuse service to gay or lesbian people, if the refusal was based in their sincerely held religious beliefs. In their statement, the bishops wrote, “This proposed legislation is reminiscent of the worst laws that permitted discrimination against people on the basis of color, sex or nation of origin. The intent of this bill is an affront to the beliefs of all Kansans who support equal treatment under the law for every human being.” They added further, “Our biblically based faith calls us to live out the command of Jesus Christ to love one another. You cannot love your fellow Kansans and deny them the rights that belong to everyone else.” They bishops were the first religious leaders in the state to speak out against the proposed bill, but they later were joined by Bishop Scott Jones of the United Methodist Church, as well as a number of business leaders and organizations, including the state Chamber of Commerce. After passing the Kansas House, the bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chair said he did not intend to bring it up for a vote. The text of the letter is available on the diocesan website, http://www.episcopal-ks.org/bishop/statement-HouseBill-2453.php.
Big response on social media
The bishops’ letter was picked up by the Huffington Post, an online news aggregation site, where more than 20,000 people liked it on their Facebook page, and more than 3,300 people shared the report with others. The stories about it on the diocesan Facebook page reached more than 1,000 people over the course of the weekend after the letter was sent. — Melodie Woerman v
4 • The Harvest • January/February 2014
Campus peer ministers plan during retreat
Leaders of the diocesan campus ministry program met Jan. 24-26 at Upton Hall in Topeka for a retreat that looked forward to the future while also seeing where it has been in the past. Participants included eight of the 11 peer ministers who serve on five campuses: Emporia State: Sadie Pile Pittsburg State: Austin Stapleton Wichita State: Tristan Holmberg Kansas State University: Olivia Divish, Sarah Haley, Sydney Webb University of Kansas: Ben Allman, Tyler Kerr, Alex Kezar, John Olson, Emily Shipman They were joined by the Rev. Stephanie Jenkins, who became the diocese’s campus missioner in September 2013, as well as campus interns Taylor Mather (Kansas State University) and
Caroline Howard (the University of Kansas). The interns assist Jenkins with the campus ministry program and also supervise peer ministers who live in the Canterbury Houses at KU and K-State. Jenkins said that during their time together, retreat participants continued building their community of peer ministers, worshipped together, and shared meals with lots of conversation and plenty of laughter. Programmatically, they focused on reviewing the past 10 years of campus ministry and looking more in depth at the direction for the future. They also helped develop a “theology of community,” based on the theological reflection used by students in Education for Ministry courses. Jenkins said this process generated lots of insights among the peer ministers. She said participants then be-
Participants at the campus peer minster retreat included (front row, from left): Sadie Pile, Emporia State; Olivia Divish, K-State and Ben Allman, KU; (second row): the Rev. Stephanie Jenkins, Campus Missioner; Emily Shipman, KU; John Olson, KU; and Austin Stapleton, Pittsburg State; (back row) Caroline Howard, campus intern at KU; Alex Kezar, KU; Tyler Kerr, KU; and Taylor Mather, campus intern at K-State.
gan to create a “rule of life” for campus ministry, focusing on “our relationship to self, others, God and church.” Jenkins said that the retreat allowed her, the interns and the peer ministers to get to know each other better. “Throughout the weekend it
was beautiful to witness the deepening of relationships and trust,” she said. The level of commitment the students have toward each other and their ministry is crucial, she said. Jenkins asked participants to complete an anonymous survey after the retreat, and she said one
respondent wrote, “Each time I do one of these retreats and hang out with other peer ministers, I learn again how much I love doing this. This ministry is very near and dear to my heart, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.” — Melodie Woerman v
Grant: Help for high school students is program’s aim (Continued from page 1)
church’s existing food ministry programs — food pantry, Saturday morning hot breakfast and community garden; and Quiet time for reflection, something school officials identified as a missing element in many homes. About half of the one-year grant is earmarked for hiring a part-time program coordinator, which Junk said is the key to the program’s success. This person will oversee the program’s selection of student participants and recruit the volunteers who will teach the skills classes. The rest of the grant funds will provide curriculum materials and technology equipment for instructors and students, as well as classroom tables and chairs. Junk said the church, which is located in the city’s urban core, will rely on volunteer labor and in-kind donations to convert some existing rooms, like an under-used library and chapel, into spaces where students can learn and study.
Grant notes innovative program
The Rev. Mark Stevenson, who became the Episcopal Church’s first Domestic Poverty Missioner last September, oversees the Jubilee grants. He made a trip to St. Paul’s in late January to get a first-hand look at plans for the start-up of the new program. He said that St. Paul’s was selected from 59 applications because this program can be used by other churches around the country. “What we liked about this program was the ability for it to be replicated in different contexts,” Stevenson said. The grant committee was searching for a model ministry that showed innovation and creativity, had an educational component, and could be duplicated elsewhere. Junk said she has received support for the new program from Kansas City Mayor Mark Holland and Commissioner Ann Murguia. In a letter that accompanied the grant application, Holland praised the church’s outreach efforts that support its neighborhood and reach thousands of people each year. He said the youth start-up will bring “our kids up to speed on important job readiness and life skills that can be harder to come by in urban environments.” Murguia’s letter said St. Paul’s will fill a
hopes it can serve as leverage and incentive for community partners to want to make the culinary training possible. Episcopal Community Services has pledged to help make those connections. Junk said this grant goes a long way to showing others that St. Paul’s is committed to helping create a better neighborhood. “The larger our position as a vital member of this community, the more likely there will be resources to help us,” she said. “There will be more people in our corner fighting to make sure we make it.”
Encouraging work with the poor
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
The Rev. Mark Stevenson (left) was joined in a visit to the food pantry at St. Paul’s, Kansas City by the parish’s priest in charge, the Rev. Dixie Junk (center) and Ross Warnell, the pantry’s manager. The church’s new program will involve high school students as volunteers in the food pantry and other parish-based food ministries.
gap that currently isn’t being met by schools or the local community, to help “prepare young people for the realities of the work force and the responsibilities of citizenship.” She called St. Paul’s efforts “a great service and benefit to our city.” Junk said area employers told her some of their young employees lack the work and life skills the church’s program will teach. They have promised to send them to the church’s new program to catch up. She said government officials also have pledged their help in connecting businesses with the church to provide additional trainers and to enhance the course content.
Culinary program is future goal
Junk said that if St. Paul’s can find the money, they would like to provide an expansion of the successful Culinary Cornerstones chef training program operated by Episcopal Community Services, a social service agency of the Dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri. That program is based at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City, Mo., and
teaches high-end cooking skills to students whose backgrounds (often drug addiction or jail time) make them hard to employ. The program helps place graduates in restaurant kitchens across the metro-Kansas City area. To make that expansion a reality, St. Paul’s would need nearly $20,000 to buy restaurant-grade equipment for its kitchen, and another $125,000 to put in a parking lot to accommodate events that Culinary Cornerstones students cater as part of their training. On the church grounds there is room for only about a dozen cars now, so the church relies on street parking for Sunday services and weekday outreach efforts. In the meantime, Junk hopes they can begin to offer training for other kinds of restaurant jobs, such as waiters and waitresses, which can provide meaningful jobs for high school students. She admits expanding into the culinary program is ambitious, given that St. Paul’s has a small membership, operates with a bare bones budget and receives financial help from the diocese. But if the Youth in Transitions program is a success, Junk
Stevenson said that one of his roles as the church’s Domestic Poverty Missioner is to encourage more people to work directly with poor people, as St. Paul’s already does and will expand with its new program. “Our goal is that one in four people in the Episcopal Church will work with the poor,” he said, “and one in four parts of the budget and every program.” Cuts to the Episcopal Church budget in recent years mean there are fewer funds at the denominational level to put into this work, but Stevenson said “that’s a good thing. It gets us out of our silos and celebrates the fact that all good ministry happens at the local level.” Stevenson saw the transformational power of fighting poverty when he was canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. “When you sit with someone who had nothing and lost that, who had a job and lost that, then you see how God starts working in their lives,” he said. But it also transforms the lives of people who help. “When you start living this, you are changed.” Stevenson said he wants to offer Episcopal Church members a new approach in their ministry to help people get out of poverty. Instead of starting with the needs of the community, he suggests looking at the passion of people who are ready to give. In that way, well-intentioned programs don’t wither when people have no interest in participating in them. “It’s more about helping people determine what their treasure is, so they can begin to give that away,” he said. “The reason I’m in this job is to define new ways to help you do the work God is calling you to,” he said. v
January/February 2014 • The Harvest • 5
Vintage vestments become new “In the Power banners for Parsons church of the Spirit” By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest
rishioners, Joyce Roath, to create the banners. Roath cut panels from the front and back of each one, keeping the ornamental panels, called orphreys, intact. Decorations on the sleeves became loops at the top for hanging. She created a set for Christmas first, hurrying to get the banners completed for Christmas Eve. They are made of creamy white brocade with several dark blue velvet panels that are trimmed in gold braid.
Some vintage vestments, combined with sewing skills, have resulted in sets of seasonal wall banners that will grace the walls of St. John’s, Parsons. The project is a memorial to Trudy Lindemann, who served for more than 40 years as director of the parish’s Altar Guild, during the time her husband, the Rev. T. Edward Lindemann, was priest there, as well as afterward. Mrs. Lindemann died in Oc‘Oohs and ahs’ tober 2013. The Rev. Sharon Billman, Her daughter is the Rev. Jan St. John’s vicar, said she has Chubb, vicar of St. Timothy’s, heard nothing but “oohs and ahs” Iola, who helped launch the projfrom parishioners once the banect when she learned of an antique ners were hung. These are more store in Kansas City that featured elaborate than the other banners vintage vestments. When she saw the parish has either made or them, the idea to use them in a purchased, she said, made from new way was born. silk that would be very expensive “I have a thing for vintage vestto buy new. ments,” Chubb said. “I wear one She said that with these banmy dad had. In going to museums, I have seen old vestments used as A new banner for the Christmas season, one of ners on the walls, the other, plainer decorations. Some of these are so four that were made from vintage vestments, hangings the church has “seem beautiful that you don’t want to hangs on the wall of St. John’s, Parsons, as much more elegant. They really leave them in a closet. I thought a memorial to longtime Altar Guild director enhance the look of the church.” Roath already has created banthere might be a way to repurpose Trudy Lindemann. The background is white silk brocade with blue velvet panels trimmed ners for Pentecost, made from red these old vestments.” Chubb ultimately bought sev- in gold braid. Other seasonal banners are silk with striking gold and black trim. She then will tackle a new eral vestments — four dalmatics planned, all to be made from vestments. set for Easter, as well as another (a formal vestment, similar in shape to a chasuble but with sleeves, worn by deacons); to mark the long “ordinary time” seasons after Pentecost one cope (a long cape worn on special occasions); and and during Epiphany. Billman said each of the Christmas banners are 41 one large piece she later learned is a humeral veil, usually used in the High Church ritual of Adoration of the inches long by 17 inches wide. Three hang on one wall of the nave and one on the other, the imbalance required Blessed Sacrament. She said she thinks, based on the style and quality of by large bronze memorial plaques that are on one wall. Billman said that contributions given in memory of fabrics, that they all date to the 1950s. She turned the dalmatics over to one of her Iola pa- Trudy Lindemann paid for the vestment purchase. v
A play honoring the life and ministry of the first Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, Thomas Vail, and his wife, Ellie This is the 150th anniversary year of Bishop Vail’s election, and a special play about him, commissioned just for this occasion, will be performed throughout the diocese. Wichita, St. James’ Church 3750 East Douglas Thursday, April 3, 8 p.m. Friday, April 4, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 5, 8 p.m. Sunday, April 6, 7 p.m. Pittsburg, St. Peter’s Church 306 West Euclid St. Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m. Other locations around the diocese will be announced as they are confirmed. Tickets for all performances are $12 for adults and $7 for students through college. They can be purchased at the door.
Policy: Guidelines also address social and electronic media (Continued from page 1) These trainings are offered in person periodically throughout the diocese, and they also can be taken online. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or (913) 7085927) for a list of certified trainers for those who want to schedule an in-person training event, or to arrange to take the classes online.
General items to note
Code of Conduct for protection of children and youth (consider having volunteers read and sign this prior to working with children or youth). Expanded information on sexual harassment, with clear definitions of prohibited verbal, visual/non-verbal and physical behavior. Code of Conduct for persons who have pastoral relationships (consider having ministry leaders read and sign that they understand these guidelines). Guidelines for monitoring and supervision of pastoral relationships. Guidelines for providing spiritual counseling. Guidelines for appropriate affection with children, youth and those in pastoral relationships. A “Computer, Electronic Communication and Social Media” section with recommendations. Sample reference check questions. A sample children and youth permission form.
New elements in the monitoring and supervision of children and youth programs
Two unrelated adults must be present at all times for any church program or activity and must meet required ratios: • Infants (ages 0-1): one adult for every three infants
• Toddlers (ages 1-2): one adult for every six toddlers • Elementary (age 2 to grade 8): one adult for every eight children • High School (grades 9-12): one adult for every 12 youth. Open Door Policy for activities: parents, clergy or professional staff may visit and observe programs at any time, unannounced. Never have adults one-on-one with a child or youth unless they can be easily observed by others. If both male and female children or youth are participating in an overnight activity or an activity away from the church, then both male and female chaperones need to be present. Classrooms or other meeting spaces should have windows or a window in the door, or the door should be left open.
New items in the guidelines for the protection of children and youth
Comply with the guidelines for appropriate affection; Volunteers should be known at least six months before they can serve. Programs with children age 6 and under should have procedures for ensuring children are released only to their parent/guardian. Written permission forms are required for transporting children or youth. Adults will relate to children and youth with respect, consideration and equal treatment, and will avoid even the appearance of favoritism. Adults are prohibited from using the Internet to view or download any sexually oriented materials on church property or in the presence of children and youth.
An adult may sleep in the same hotel room or camp cabin with no fewer than three other children, providing the adult and all the children are of the same sex. Adults are prohibited from using harsh language, profanity, degrading punishment or any mechanical restraint for behavior management. Adults are prohibited from participating in or allowing others to conduct any hazing activities or behaviors that could be construed as hazing.
Social and electronic media
A good rule-of-thumb is to apply all rules for inperson interaction to social media. It is recommended that all social media communication take place in a group or on a page and should not take place in the form of personal messages and chats. (In other words, communicate in ways that can be easily observed by other adults in ministry.) It is recommended that adults not submit friend requests to youth. Digital communication is best for basic, factual information. Pastorally sensitive issues or information that might be legally sensitive are better presented face-to-face.
When anyone observes, experiences or even merely suspects inappropriate behaviors, it is important to tell someone. That might be the youth missioner, a church warden, a clergy person or even the bishop. Anyone can make a report by any means with which the person feels comfortable, whether formal or informal, and all complaints will be investigated promptly and with as much confidentiality as the situation allows. Karen Schlabach is the Safe Church coordinator for the Diocese of Kansas. v
6 • The Harvest • January/February 2014
Food recipients urge Senators to fund programs By Dave Seifert U.S. Senators hear from their constituents all the time. But just before Christmas, Sen. Jerry Moran and Sen. Pat Roberts received some unusual mail — paper plates inscribed with messages from recipients of food at the Mobile Food Pantry in Clay Center. Eighty-seven pantry patrons wrote their messages during the December distribution in an effort to inform the Senators about why food programs in the pending farm bill and federal budget should be fully funded, not cut. Members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church organize the monthly distribution in partnership with Harvesters Community Food Network of Kansas City, Mo. “This helps out when we are in need because we live in a car,” one plate read. Another said, “Assistance programs are vital and allow one to meet other financial burdens — utilities, medicine, etc. We never knew how vital until we became one of the many who never thought we would be in need.” Donna Long, a member of St. Paul’s and a local attorney, coordinated the effort. In an accompanying letter to Sen. Moran and Sen. Roberts she wrote, “In our rural community, as you know, there’s
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLAY CENTER DISPATCH
The Rev. Lavonne Seifert, priest in charge of St. Paul’s, Clay Center, holds a paper plate written with a plea that federal food programs not be cut. A stack of these plates, created by people helped by one of the food programs the church sponsors and asking that funding be preserved, was sent to Kansas U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran.
a strong work ethic. Although most people who can work do, that doesn’t mean there’s no need.” She added, “If food stamps and other food programs supported
with governmental funds are cut, we won’t be able to keep up with the need. And many of the other programs we provide here in Clay County will be lost.”
The Rev. Lavonne Seifert, priest in charge at St. Paul’s, reinforced Long’s message and invited community members to volunteer when she spoke at a coffee in December sponsored by the Clay Center Area Chamber of Commerce. “You don’t need to come when it’s 108 degrees, or when it’s 8 degrees. We’ll be there then, because people are hungry regardless of the weather,” she said. “But do come whenever you can. We’ll put you to work!” “You know a lot of the folks here and you know they are a proud bunch,” Long’s letter to the senators added. “We treat everyone who comes with love and respect, as you know that, but for the grace of God, we could be in need as well. “Let us continue — with you — to do the necessary work of feeding our neighbors, those in need, and doing the Lord’s work.”
Tons of food provided
The Mobile Food Pantry has provided 10,000 pounds of food to people each month during its five years of existence. Volunteers served 7,392 people in 2013, an average of 616 people in 198 households per month. And it’s just one of several food programs organized by St.
Paul’s — now known as “the church that feeds people” — and supported by Harvesters. Others are: BackSnack, which provides a weekend’s-worth of nutritious food delivered in backpacks to 70 children from two Clay Center elementary schools for the weekend, to combat hunger. Senior Commodities, an income-based program for adults age 60 and older, as well as some younger families that meet certain guidelines. Once a month, volunteers provide about 40 individuals and/or families with a 25-pound box of food — mostly nonperishable items but some perishable items as well, such as cheese. Kids Café, a program that provides a free healthy lunch to kids every Monday through Friday during the summer. St. Paul’s almost doubled the lunches it served in 2013 to nearly 2,000 by adding a new location in Clay Center’s Dexter Park, joining the original site in Huntress Park. Dave Seifert is a consultant in the area of communications and also assists the diocese with congregations in transition. He is married to the Rev. Lavonne Seifert. v
Kenya ministry helps those who give as well as receive By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest The Kansas to Kenya ministry, known as K2K, is preparing for another summer of trips to provide ministry with people in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya. And while the program has no shortage of willing workers, its primary need now is for money to help it continue activities and outreach it has begun in previous trip to the east African nation. Deacon Steve Segebrecht, who serves as the program’s director, has been going to Kenya since 2005, initially as part of medical missions to reach underserved populations in the region northwest of the capital of Nairobi. Segebrecht, who serves at Trinity, Lawrence, also is an otolaryngologist. He said the partnerships Kansans have formed in Kenya all aim not only to make lives better but to help Kenyans with tools they can use in the future. But they all require funding. Some of the ongoing projects include: Purchase of more e-readers to help childhood literacy in a Maai Mahiu school; Construction and support for the Agatha Amani House, the first safe house in the country for women who are victims of domestic violence; Development of composting and drip irrigation for better crop production; Funding for monthly dental clinics in partnership with the Kijabe Hospital; Continued development of the pharmacy program at the University of Nairobi; Medical clinics, including one especially for women, through the K2K medical team; Educational and leadership development for students through an awards program and soccer tournament; Construction of adequate housing for people without it; Seminars on women’s rights and
Nyakio Lake (left) has named the safe house for women in Kenya, which she helped create, after her mother, Agatha Amani (right). The house is one of the programs supported by the Kansas to Kenya ministry. Photo by Robert Basow
health, as well as nutrition, dental care, and emotional and spiritual health; Develop more clean water, bio-gas and other projects for environmental sustainability; Provide funding for orphans to attend school and have lunch every day; Purchase and distribute anti-malaria bed nets, especially for young children and pregnant women; Support an expansion of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs; and Funding for microfinance loan projects and community development workers.
Those who have been part of K2K teams in the past say they participate for many reasons, but most center on two things — knowing they are helping people in great need, and receiving back from the people of Kenya as much as they offer. Bishop Dean Wolfe, who has been to Kenya three times, said, “I did not know, I probably couldn’t have known, how many lives would be affected, how our diocese would be so deeply impacted, and how in the desire to serve others that we
would be so richly rewarded.” John Bishop, from Trinity, Atchison, said he felt enriched by being in Kenya. “You understand how much you have received; you are blessed by the relationships that you have formed over there.” Tyler Kerr, a peer minister at the University of Kansas, spent a month in Kenya last summer and helped with initial construction of the Agatha Amani House. For the women who will find shelter there, he said, “We are making a difference in the world by being there. It can give them hope.” Kathy Miller helped introduce e-readers to the Osborne Library at a school in Maai Mahiu because as a librarian, “I believe that education is the key to lifting people out of poverty.”
Saving lives at Agatha Amani
Nyakio Lake, a native of Kenya, is the driving force behind the Agatha Amani House, which is believed to be the first safe house in the entire country dedicated to helping abused women. Lake, a member of St. Thomas, Overland Park, named the house after her mother, who donated the land where the house stands.
TEAMS HEAD TO KENYA Two groups will travel to Kenya this summer as part of K2K: Community team: June 5-18. This group works in a wide variety of development and empowerment areas. Leaders are Joe Bob and Nyakio Lake, St. Thomas, Overland Park Medical team: June 12-23. Health care professionals see hundreds of patients in clinics that address medical, dental, pharmacy, physical therapy and emotional needs. Leaders are Diane Kruger, St. Stephen’s, Wichita; and Pat Parker, St. Margaret’s, Lawrence
Lake reported that just months after its construction, the house already has made a difference in the life of a 15-year-old girl, when it was able to provide her shelter for a month and a half. “Winnie,” Lake said, had been kept away from school as a child and was raped and impregnated at age 12. She delivered prematurely, and the baby didn’t survive. She then was subjected to female genital mutilation and last year was given to an older man as his third wife. She escaped from him, and the local police referred her to Agatha Amani House, which is located in a remote areas in the area near Naivasha. There, Lake said, “Winnie got psychosocial support, medical checkups, introduction to primary school education, safety and a peaceful environment.” After her six weeks at Agatha Amani, she was referred to another shelter farther away from those who had perpetrated violence against there. There, Lake said, she could “go to school in peace.” v
January/February 2014 • The Harvest • 7
Miqra draws youth for Bible-reading weekend in Topeka By Karen Schlabach Youth Missioner For the 11th year, more than 100 youth and adults from around the diocese gathered over the Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend in mid-January to read the entire Bible, cover-to-cover during Miqra, a Hebrew word meaning “a public reading of scripture.” Senior high youth met at Grace Cathedral, with junior high students at St. David’s, both in Topeka. Reading the Bible is the focus of the weekend, and it presents a shared challenge for participants to complete during the weekend. But youth who participated praised the event, with one calling it “an awesome experience” and another “a fun and meaningful way to connect to God through scripture.” Millie Womble, a high school senior from St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, said, “Bible-reading shifts were broken into one-hour increments, which at first seemed like a struggle for me. When I started reading, though, the time seemed to fly by.” There typically are only one-to-three people reading at any given time, so the other 100 people attending Miqra get to learn more about the Bible. This year the educational focus was on the New Testament. The group Bible reading continued even on the cathedral elevator, as students moved from one room to another during the weekend. Milana Blessant (left), St. Peter’s, Pittsburg, holds the Bible while Will Loehr, St. David’s, Topeka, keeps reading.
Plenary speakers and workshops
During Miqra youth in grades 6-12 spend a weekend taking turns reading the entire Bible, out loud, as well as learning more about what it says and means for their lives.
The Rev. Rob Baldwin, Trinity Lawrence, opened Miqra speaking to all those assembled about how they can use the Bible as a road map for their travels. The Rev. Kelly Demo, one of the diocese’s former youth officers, taught the group about the historical Jesus, mentioning specific facts that can be proven about the time of Jesus’s life. Bishop Dean Wolfe overwhelmingly was the favorite speaker during the weekend. Youth said he was fun to listen to, explained things well, told interesting stories, had a great teaching style and was inspiring. There also were workshop times when youth could choose to learn about something in a more focused format.
Organ plus iPad now provide music for Junction City church By Tom Kite As the 10 a.m. Sunday worship service begins, one of four “digital organists” at the Church of the Covenant in Junction City pushes the play button on an iPad, and the church’s electronic organ begins the prelude. This new way of providing music began after the church’s longtime organist, announced her retirement in late 2012. Members of the worship team undertook an exhaustive search for a replacement, but no one could be found. The team then began considering electronic options, and contacted Jeff Combs, who works for an organ company in Newton. Combs offered to demonstrate for them an option provided by Church Music Solutions (CMS) of Marine, Ill. The CMS system can be used on electronic organs and most pipe organs, and it requires installation of a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), if it’s not already part of the organ. Covenant’s worship team discovered that CMS could provide a method that allows the church to choose its own music from the Hymnal 1982 and have it played back on the church’s organ. Covenant tells the company what hymns and service music it will use. CMS organists then play and record that music, and the company sends the music electronically back to the church. Now, each Sunday one of the digital organists at the church opens the “Virtual Organist” app on the church iPad,
downloads the day’s service and connects the iPad to the organ. Because CMS has provided the music in the order it occurs in the service, it is a simple matter to push “play” at the appropriate times. Alexa Wojciechowski, who selects the weekly service music and hymns for the church, was pleasantly surprised with the results. “I think it’s working pretty well — actually better than I thought it would,” she said. Keith Collett, one of the digital organists at Covenant, said the arrangement provides excellent quality. “It’s still not a substitute for a live organist who can react to the mood of a service,” he said, “but it’s a great alternative when church organists are rarer and rarer.” Covenant began using this service in September 2013 and has used it for all services except Christmas Eve since that time. Only one service very early in the relationship experienced some technical difficulties, and those were quickly corrected by CMS. While the CMS price structure varies based on the number of services purchased, the costs to Church of the Covenant are $45 per service, the price of the church’s iPad and secretarial time (usually about one hour per month) to submit the music selections. Those wanting to know more about the CMS system can contact Combs at (316) 737-4256. The website for CMS is www. churchmusicsolutions.com. Tom Kite is a member of the Church of the Covenant in Junction City. v
Speakers included the Rev. David Cox, on the Beatitudes; the Rev. Susan Terry, on Jesus’s view of women and what it means for us today; Teresa Rogers, on the humor of Mark; and Kitty Fapp on the book of 1 Timothy. The adults who participate also get a lot out of participating in Miqra. One of those who attended said, “I learned just how calming and meditative it is to read the Bible aloud, just to myself. I found myself wanting to do it again and read more. I plan to do it before bed more often.” Womble said she thinks Miqra is an event in which many youth will want to participate. “Altogether, Miqra was a great experience, and I encourage anyone wanting to grow stronger in their faith to come next year.” v
8 • The Harvest • January/February 2014
Around the diocese St. John’s, Abilene has a crafting group, St. John’s Undercrafters, and on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 8, members sponsored a Valentine-making party. They provided materials, tools and instructions for the non-crafters in the parish. Trinity, Atchison is studying the book of Revelation during its Sunday morning Adult Forum, which takes place right after the service. St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids grew by three new members when three Crook brothers were baptized on Nov. 17. They are Julian, 4; Ashton, 5; and Torrance, 8. Their parents are Olivia and Jason Crook. Grace, Chanute on Dec. 18 hosted members of First Presbyterian Church for a service of Lessons and Carols, with Holy Communion. The bell choir from the Presbyterian church played a special piece, and a light meal followed the festive event. St. Paul’s, Clay Center is seeking additional volunteers to help with the church’s extensive food ministry in the community, in advance of some new service opportunities in the coming year.
January that attendance during 2013 had grown by 8.68 percent over the previous year.. St. Paul’s, Kansas City has welcomed Ray Segebrecht, a member of Trinity, Lawrence, as a regular participant in its weekly Sunday afternoon Spanish-language Misa service. Segebrecht is a medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and graduated with a degree in Spanish from KU. St. Margaret’s, Lawrence welcomed members of the local Muslim community on Feb. 9 after worship services to share “Noah’s pudding,” a traditional Muslim treat that remembers Noah. This is part of the congregation’s ongoing relationship with the Lawrence Muslim community. Trinity, Lawrence on Feb. 9 observed “Pennies for Pipes” day, when members were encouraged to bring jars of pennies from home to help fund the refurbishing of the church’s organ pipes. St. Paul’s, Leavenworth book group, the Happy Bookers, in March will be reading Bleeding Kansas by Kansas author Sara Paretsky.
St. Paul’s, Coffeyville has begun to provide volunteers for the reading program at a local elementary school, under the auspices of the Boys and Girls Club. Helpers were asked to spend one hour a week for two months to help children learn to read.
St. Paul’s, Manhattan on Feb. 16 had a “Chilly Outside? Chili Inside” event that featured a chili cook-off and winter clothing drive. The winning chili submission was based on the number of donated clothing items used to “vote” for a favorite.
St. Martin’s, Edwardsville member Tony Martinez is making plans to install raised bed garden areas on the church property, to help beautify the grounds.
St. Michael’s, Mission men’s group teamed up with the youth group for the annual “He Cooks” dinner Feb. 15. Proceeds from the elegant dinner, with men cooking and serving as wait staff alongside the youth, went to the parish youth program.
Trinity, El Dorado marked the Feast of the Presentation on Feb. 2 with a Candlemas procession from the parish hall into the church for worship that day. By tradition, candles used during the year were blessed on this feast day. St. Andrew’s, Emporia in January began offering the services of Matins (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) Monday through Thursday, in the chapel. Epiphany, Independence hosted a Family Fun Night on Sunday, Feb. 15 with a camping theme. Campfire songs accompanied by dulcimers and s’mores added to the fun of a pizza supper for members and friends. St. Timothy’s, Iola made Thanksgiving brighter for members of the community when it provided 280 special meals on the holiday. Some ate in the parish hall, and the church provided carry-out and delivery for others wanting a meal. Covenant, Junction City noted at its Annual Meeting in
St. Matthew’s, Newton offered a blessing of couples during the Sunday worship service on Feb. 15. The Valentine Day celebration continued that day with a parish potluck supper. St. Aidan’s, Olathe soon will have an automated external defibrillator in the church, thanks to an anonymous donation. The machine will restart the heart of someone who has suffered a sudden heart stoppage, when minutes can mean life or death. Grace, Ottawa Episcopal Church Women hosted a luncheon for women of the church on Feb. 25. St. Thomas, Overland Park again is producing a Lenten reflection booklet written by members of the congregation. This year they were asked to describe the songs, books, quotes or movies that have given them spiritual insights. The booklet was compiled by the Rev. Kelly Demo.
Teachers from Ecuador spent Dec. 22 in the parish hall of St. Paul’s, Manhattan, after they were left stranded when their flights home were cancelled by heavy snow. The church provided space to rest as well as food until they were able to leave town the next day.
Manhattan church aids stranded travelers Right before Christmas, St. Paul’s, Manhattan, offered hospitality to travelers stranded in town while trying to return home to South America. About 50 teachers from Ecuador had spent seven months attending Kansas State University’s “Go Teacher” English-and-teaching-skills-enhancement program, and they were scheduled on flights leaving Manhattan on Dec. 22. But more than eight inches of snow that fell the day before meant their flights were cancelled. They could return to their dorm rooms, but with the cafeteria closed, no food service was available. Parishioner Laura Phillips-Zee, who works with the Go Teacher program, called the church’s rector, the Rev. Patrick Funston, to see if the parish could provide food and a place for the stranded travelers to spend the day. He quickly agreed, and several parishioners navigated snowy streets to come in and cook for the guests. Others brought in some sweets to top off meals. The church offered its parish hall as a place for them to relax, chat, and play the piano or some video games. Funston said that some of the guests even attended the 11:30 a.m. worship service. Funston said that the snow cut attendance at services that day to only about 20 people, but the kitchen and parish hall were “full of life.” The teachers were able to catch flights home the next day, but not before parishioner David Jones delivered a left-behind suitcase to the airport just in time to reunite it with its owner so it could make it onto the plane. v
St. John’s, Parsons has added $60 to its scholarship fund by collecting 1,000 labels from Best Choice products. The church annually gives a $300 check to every high school graduate in the congregation. St. Luke’s, Shawnee has a new group for women, Fortnight, which meets every other week for Evening Prayer, followed by a discussion of the gospel and other spiritual concerns. Grace Cathedral, Topeka Friends and Family Group sponsored a wine (and other beverage) tasting party for the entire parish on Feb. 15. Participants were asked to bring a bottle of their favorite variety, accompanied by a cheese, dessert or hors d’oeuvre that complemented the beverage. St. David’s, Topeka continued its 40-year commitment to Doorstep, a local service agency, by collecting more than a 1,000 pounds of food for its food pantry. More than 50 local congrega-
tions help support the agency’s ministry. St. Luke’s, Wamego member Ed Dillinger is the new president of the Wamego Council of Churches. At the first meeting he chaired, the group decided to examine needs in the community for counseling, medical services, food support and help with utilities. Good Shepherd, Wichita is nearing completion of its Shepherd Project, to upgrade the church’s physical plant. It has installed a new LED yard sign, resurfaced the floors in the narthex and Fellowship Hall, and added a new speaker system. To come are a resurfaced choir lift and painting and recarpeting the nave. St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita helped fill “bags of blessings” for people in need in the community on Feb. 27 by gathering personal care items and then placing them into gallon-sized plastic bags. St. James’, Wichita has a
new sewing guild that will make dresses for little girls, as well as short pants for little boys, in underserved places like Haiti and South America. Non-sewers were encouraged to help with tasks like cutting fabric or ironing. St. John’s, Wichita supported the local “Significant Others” ministry with a shower on Jan. 9 to help furnish a new safe house for women breaking free from sex trafficking and starting a new life. St. Stephen’s, Wichita members over the winter collected personal care items for Episcopal Social services in the Little Red Wagon in the church foyer. The effort is a ministry of the church’s Daughters of the King chapter. Grace, Winfield has made its Annex Building available for a new mission outreach by the local Methodist Church. The Loan Closet loans out durable medical equipment at no cost to people without insurance and others in need. v
January/February 2014 • The Harvest • 9
People Lawrence church makes confirmation an all-parish event St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, wanted to mark the bishop’s visitation in a big way, and they delivered. When Bishop Dean Wolfe arrived on Feb. 16, the church presented 11 people to be confirmed and nine to be received from other churches. They also had an additional 33 people who made a reaffirmation of their faith. The Rev. Matt Zimmermann, rector, had used his sermons in the weeks before the visit to inform the largest number of people possible about the history, worship and theology of the Episcopal Church and encouraged them to make a public commitment of their faith. v
Bishop Wolfe (center back) is joined by the 53 members of St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, who were confirmed, received or reaffirmed their faith when he visited the parish on Feb. 16. The rector, the Rev. Matt Zimmermann, is in the back row, third from right.
Tocher Lecture speaker will explore emerging churches Philip Clayton, theology professor at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., will offer the next Tocher Lecture on Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at Grace Cathedral, 701 SW 8th Ave. in Topeka. His topic will be “Emerging Churches and the Future of Faith.” In it he will explore the changing face of religious faith and observance, as well as the challenges associated with religious pluralism. The event is free and open to the public, and a reception and book signing will follow the lecture. According to his website, Clayton has been a leading advocate for interreligious dialogue, comparative theologies, and the internationalization of the science-religion dialogue. As a Christian theologian, he has been deeply involved in the emerging church movement, speaking and writing about the evolving understanding of Christian faith in the 21st century and new ways of
books, including The Predictament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, and Christian Minimalism, 2011; Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society, 2009; Adventures in the Spirit: God, World, and Divine Action, 2008; Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness, 2004; and The Problem of God in Modern Thought, 2000.
Afternoon event for clergy Philip Clayton will deliver this year’s Tocher Lecture May 22 at Grace Cathedral in Topeka.
being and becoming church. He received his doctorate from Yale University and has taught at colleges and universities in this country as well as in England and Germany. He is the author of numerous
Clergy of the diocese are invited to a special afternoon event with Clayton at 3 p.m., also at the cathedral. He will offer remarks on topics similar to his evening address but in a more informal session. Those wanting to attend the afternoon gathering need to contact the Very Rev. Andrew Grosso to confirm attendance. He can be reached at email@example.com or (913) 367-3171. v
NOTABLE NAMES Daria Condon has been elected the new president of the Episcopal Church Women of the diocese. She is no stranger to the workings of the board, having previously served as secretary, Southeast Convocation chair, continuing education coordinator and historian. Daria Condon She said of her new responsibilities as president, “I am very excited about this new adventure in my life and hope I can follow in the footsteps of the great women who have served in this capacity over the years — women who have guided me and helped me grow in so many ways.” Condon has been a member of St. John’s, Parsons, since childhood. The diocesan ECW states on its web page, “The purpose of the Episcopal Church Women organization is to assist the women of the Episcopal Church to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world and to take their place as leaders in the life, governance and worship of the church.” v
Deacon Robert Hirst, who serves at Good Shepherd, Wichita, in February was named the Employee of the Quarter for the Wichita office of the state Department of Children and Families. The Wichita office is one of four across the state. He serves as human serDeacon Bob Hirst vices supervisor for the agency, which provides a variety of child protective and family welfare services. Hirst was selected for the award, which carries a $1,000 bonus, for outstanding service above and beyond the norm to those with whom he works inside and outside the agency office. In learning of the award, Hirst said, “I am just doing my job and vocation.” He said he plans to use the bonus to help people in need through his discretionary fund. Hirst also serves as “innkeeper” for the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry. He is in charge of physical arrangements during residential weekends and helps ensure that student and faculty needs are met. v
Olathe church helps its ‘kitchen angel’ celebrate her 90th birthday On Jan. 12 St. Aidan’s, Olathe, helped Gwen Starmer, known to parishioners as their “kitchen angel,” celebrate her 90th birthday with a surprise party featuring cards, gifts and a cake. Starmer for many years was the parish’s organist and choirmaster until she was slowed by arthritis. She then assumed a weekly ministry to the church that she undertook for many years and only recently gave up for health reasons. She came in every Wednesday to rinse cups from Sunday morning’s coffee hour, put them in the dishwasher and then put them away when dry. She used the time the dishwasher was running to straighten pew cards in the church, water plants and do whatever else she saw needed doing. She also would pick up soiled tablecloths and dish towels from the kitchen and return them, clean and folded,
the following Sunday. Starmer has a degree in music from the University of Kansas and led choirs in Texas as well as Kansas. She taught at the Kansas School for the Deaf, as well as offering private piano lessons. Carolyn Sturgeon, a fellow parishioner at St. Aidan’s, said Starmer is “so lovely and so humble” and called her “a wonderful example of love, compassion and kindness.” v
Clergy news Deacon Karen Wichael will be the new director of pastoral care at St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, effective March 31. She succeeds Deacon Beth Drumm, who has resigned. Wichael previously served Good Shepherd and St. Stephen’s in Wichita. The Rev. Elizabeth “Eli” Montes is the chaplain at the new offices of Saint Francis Community Services in Wichita. She previously served in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. The Episcopal agency now provides foster care, adoption and family preservation services in the Wichita area. The Rev. Evan Ash is serving as the supply priest at Trinity, Atchison, through the end of April while the parish’s rector, the Very Rev. Andrew Grosso, is on sabbatical. The Rev. Dean P. Stone, who served at St. Michael and All Angels, Mission, as an assisting priest, for a number of years, died on Dec. 31. He was 90. A service celebrating his life took place on Jan. 6 with Bishop Dean Wolfe officiating. Deacon Ernest Blair, who served at St. David’s, Topeka, from 1955 until 1980, died on Jan. 8. He was 96. He had transferred to the Diocese of Arizona in 1980 but returned to Topeka a few years later. v
10 • The Harvest • January/February 2014
National and international news Anglican news briefs Episcopal News Service and Anglican Communion News Service Presiding bishop to receive honorary degree. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is one of six people form the worlds of science, the arts and religion selected to receive honorary degrees from the University of Oxford, England, on June 25. She already holds an earned doctorate in oceanography from Oregon State University. Canterbury Cathedral hosts its first-ever girls’ choir. Canterbury Cathedral, mother church of the 85 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, will have its first girls’ choir perform since it was rebuilt nearly 1,000 years ago. On Jan. 25, worshippers heard the voices of 16 girls between the ages of 12 and 16 at a historic Evensong service. Twenty years ago, Salisbury Cathedral was the first English cathedral to allow girls to sing in choirs at services. There are now 765 girls in cathedral choirs across England, compared with 1,008 boys. Pennsylvania bishop will serve two dioceses. Bishop Sean Rowe of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania on March 1 was elected the provisional bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem, to serve for three years. Rowe has served in Northwestern Pennsylvania for seven years. Rowe will take up his new duties immediately and by summer will spend half of his time in each diocese. Bethlehem’s Standing Committee said it chose to select a provisional bishop after the retirement of its previous bishop in order “to undertake a healthy, productive period of reflection and discernment about the mission to which God is calling us.” Episcopal Church ordains its first female French priest. The Rev. Fanny Sohet Belanger became the first female priest in the Episcopal Church when she was ordained at Virginia Theological Seminary on Feb. 1. She is a Master of Divinity student there. She was ordained by Bishop Pierre Whalon, bishop-in-charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. A native of Grenoble, France, Belanger plans to engage in ministry in the Washington, D.C., area for a few years but expects to be return to her native France.
Reimagining task force issues two study papers; seeks comments The Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church in February issued two study papers designed to “stimulate conversation and seek input from the larger church,” according to its website, http://reimaginetec.org/. The task force, known as TREC for short, was charged by the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church to create a plan for reforming the church’s structures, governance and administration. The two papers deal with Episcopal networks and proposed reforms to churchwide governance and administration.
First paper looks at networks
The first paper, on networks, begins with the assumption that “the corporate model of doing work/ ministry is no longer sustainable: the classic central (up)/local (down) relationship is changing, or has changed.” The paper then goes on specifically to look at four groups within the Episcopal Church with an eye toward how they can be improved for better networking: The House of Bishops, the House of Deputies and Executive Council The church’s seminaries The Episcopal Church Center at 815 Second Avenue in New York; and The structure that establishes nine geographic provinces within the church
Governance and administration
The second paper explores issues primarily of governance and how the structures currently in place within the church help or hinder mission.
The paper begins by stating, “… structural reform will not save the church or do the work of reaching out to the world in new ways with the transforming good news of the gospel. The church wide structures can, however, help to foster the kind of innovation and adaptation that many understand as critical to the future of The Episcopal Church, and which are already being explored and implemented in many places and at all levels of the church.” The paper then goes onto make a series of specific recommendations to Reduce the size and scope of General Convention, the church’s governing body that meets every three years Reduce the church budget and the yearly asking from dioceses by 42 percent Explore new options for the role of the Presiding Bishop and the relationship between that office, General Convention and Executive Council
The task force has asked people across the church to read the papers and to respond, either by email or by comments on the website. Additionally, the task force has created an engagement kit that allows or groups to explore a variety of concepts in one- or two-hour gatherings. They ask that people answer these questions: What is your best memory of The Episcopal Church? What should the church hold on to? What should the church let go? Imagine it’s 10 years in the future and you are talking to a friend about The Episcopal Church. What will you say brings you the greatest joy? v
‘Malaria fight needs concerted efforts,’ says Zambia Anglican Council. The Anglican Church in Zambia says the fight against malaria in the central African region cannot be won unless all stakeholders come together to address the disease, which remains a “major public health and development challenge on the continent.” Despite improvements in malaria incidence in the past seven years, it still remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Zambia. West Africa gets a new primate. The Most Rev. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, archbishop of Ghana, has become the primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa following the unexpected death of Archbishop S. Tilewa Johnson on Jan. 21 while playing tennis. Africa relations officer to serve the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. The Rev. Isaac Kawuki Mukasa of the Diocese of Toronto, who works as the Global Relations Officer for Africa in the Anglican Church of Canada, will also become the African Relations Officer for The Episcopal Church. He will work closely with the Rev. Ranjit K. Mathews, Officer for Global Relations and Networking for the Episcopal Church. Together they will work to promote The Episcopal Church’s mission engagement in Africa, with a focus on global partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa. Anglican Communion Facebook page will showcase life and ministry. Social media posts about life and ministry of the Anglican/Episcopal world are being shared on a new Facebook page, facebook.com/TheAnglicanCommunion. While AnglicanNews.org and its Facebook page has been sharing news from around the Anglican Communion for the past few years, other non-news posts have been confined to individual accounts unless intentionally shared. The new Facebook page aims to gather the best posts from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and elsewhere into one place and — in conjunction with the Twitter account @acoffice — to give visitors and followers a birds-eye view of Communion activity. v
A Medieval Feast
A fundraiser for the Kansas 2 Kenya ministry Saturday, April 26, 6 p.m. St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 12251 Antioch Road, Overland Park Featuring dinner, silent auction and period music
$50 person – seating is limited to the first 96 guests Make checks payable to “Diocese of Kansas” with “Medieval Feast” in the memo line. Mail ticket order with check to: K2K Feast, Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, 835 SW Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612
Come and celebrate the joy of ancient times by attending an authentic Medieval feast. Proceeds will support K2K projects in Kenya (a shelter for abused women and a student library).
January/February 2014 • The Harvest • 11
History was made 25 years ago when ‘To be a follower of Jesus Barbara Harris became first woman is to seek the healing bishop in the Anglican Communion of the whole world’ By Tracy J. Sukraw Diocese of Massachusetts
The world was watching on Feb. 11, 1989, when Barbara C. Harris was consecrated before a congregation of nearly 8,000 at Hynes Auditorium in Boston, thus becoming the worldwide Anglican Communion’s first female bishop. The historic and, at the time, controversial nature of that event signalled for many a hoped-for sea change toward church leadership that looks more like the church’s actual membership, a majority of which is women. Twenty five years later, however, the reality is more ripple effect than tidal wave as women are still only gradually making their way into the episcopacy; communionwide, the church is still counting its firsts.
Half the Communion
Roughly half of the Anglican Communion’s 38 member churches, or provinces, allow women to be ordained bishops. Sarah Macneal was elected the first female diocesan bishop in Australia last November, and Ellinah Wamukoya of Swaziland, consecrated in November 2012, is Africa’s first. New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, South India and the extra-provincial Anglican church in Cuba have also elected and consecrated women as bishops. About a dozen others have cleared the way canonically (Wales most recently) but have yet to elect and consecrate a woman. The Church of England, the communion’s mother church, itself still does not allow for women to become bishops, but its General Synod on Feb. 11 — the 25th anniversary of Barbara Harris’s consecration — approved a measure that, if accepted by a majority of its dioceses and then Parliament, could enable women to become bishops in England this year.
20 Episcopal women
Closer to home, just 20 of the 239 bishops consecrated in the Episcopal Church since Barbara Harris in 1989 are women, most recently Anne Hodges-Copple, the bishop suffragan, or assisting bishop, of North Carolina, last year. Thirteen of them currently are among the 139 active members of the church’s House of Bishops, according to numbers provided in January by the Office of the Presiding Bishop. (When retired bishops are counted, there are 19 women out of a total of 291 currently in the House of Bishops.) One, Katharine Jefferts Schori, is presiding bishop and primate of the province — another Anglican Communion first for a woman. Only three are active diocesan bishops: Mariann Budde in the Diocese of Washington (D.C.), Mary Gray-Reeves in the Diocese of El Camino Real in California
The presiding bishop’s Lenten message
PHOTO BY DAVID ZADIG FOR DIOCESE OF MASSACHUSETTS/EPISCOPAL TIMES
Newly consecrated Bishop Barbara Harris receives applause from the presiding bishop, Edmond Browning, during her service of ordination and consecration in Boston on Feb. 11, 1989.
and Catherine Waynick in the interview that what’s notable to Diocese of Indianapolis. her about the number of women “What the numbers say to us in the episcopate 25 years after is that we haven’t broken through Barbara Harris’s consecration the unconscious assumption that is not only that there are so few bishops will be men,” said Dr. women serving as diocesan bishFredrica Harris Thompsett in ops, but also that so few women of a phone interview. She is the color have been elected — out of Mary Wolfe Professor Emerita of relatively few candidates of color, Historical Theolmale and female. ogy at Episcopal and Barbara “Women are the She Divinity School in Harris, along with Cambridge and a Carol Gallagher, majority of the historian who has are the only three. church and 40 written extensively “ To m e i t ’s on women’s roles striking that the percent of its in the church. first woman elect“There’s a hesi- ordained leader- ed bishop was a tancy to see this black woman, and as a continuation ship, but only 20 w e ’ v e s t e p p e d of sexism, and an from that of its bishops.” back assumption that bold path, in my we’ve dealt with opinion. Barbara sexism in the church because Harris was no token — she was women are ordained. But if wom- the most able and fit person for en are the majority of the church that role. Where we’re at now and 40 percent of its ordained reflects the fact that the color line leadership, but only 20 of its is still an operating principle in bishops, then those are assump- our church and in our society, and tions that should be rigorously and that racism and sexism walk hand structurally challenged.” in hand,” she said. The church’s numbers mirror In a Feb. 10 phone interview, those for women in corporate Bishop Barbara Harris herself America. Catalyst, a nonprofit conveyed ambivalence about the devoted to women and business, progress and lack thereof that reported at the end of 2013 that, the numbers convey. She took a for the eighth year in a row, there broad view, sharing the hope that was no significant change in the 25 years from now the Episcopal number of women on corporate Church in general will look “more boards (16.9 percent of board like our total society looks, with seats in 2013 compared to 16.6 all kinds and conditions of people percent in 2012) or in executive being actively involved.” officer positions (14.6 percent in Now 83, she volunteers about 2013 versus 14.3 percent in 2012). a day a week in the offices of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Many are qualified downtown Boston and keeps up In the church, it’s not an issue an active schedule of travel and of there not being qualified wom- speaking engagements nationwide en, Thompsett said, citing women and abroad. currently serving as cathedral and Preaching the Gospel is where seminary deans and in leadership her ministry is focused now, she at the diocesan level. “My histori- says. “I’m just grateful that I’ve cal work tells me that unexamined had this opportunity to serve, in systems perpetuate themselves, my lay ministry, which was active, and when there is a lag like this, it and in all three orders of ordained takes investigation and structural ministry, as deacon, priest and support to move things forward.” bishop,” she said. The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Tracy Sukraw is director of elected bishop suffragan in Mas- communications for the Episcopal sachusetts 11 years ago, said in an Diocese of Massachusetts. v
The reality is that the season of Lent, which Christians have practiced for so many centuries, is about the same kind of yearning for greater light in the world, whether you live in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere. The word “Lent” means “lengthen” and it’s about the days getting longer. The early Church began to practice a season of preparation for those who would be baptized at Easter, and before too long other members of the Christian community joined those candidates for baptism as an act of solidarity. It was a season during which Christians and future Christians learned about the disciplines of the faith — prayer and study and fasting and giving alms, sharing what they have. But the reality is that, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the lengthening days were often times of famine and hunger, when people had used up their winter food stores and the spring had not yet produced more food to feed people.
Acting in solidarity with those who go hungry is a piece of what it means to be a Christian. To be a follower of Jesus is to seek the healing of the whole world. And Lent is a time when we practice those disciplines as acts of solidarity with the broken and hungry and ill and despised parts of the world. I would invite you this Lent to think about your Lenten practice as an exercise in solidarity with all that is — with other human beings and with all of creation. That is most fundamentally what Jesus is about. He is about healing and restoring that broken world. So as you enter Lent, consider how you will live in solidarity with those who are hungry, or broken, or ill in one way or another. May you have a blessed Lent this year, and may it yield greater light in the world. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church v
Legislation clears hurdles to allow women bishops in England Episcopal News Service The Church of England cleared a major hurdle Feb. 11 when its General Synod gave its assent to new legislation that would enable women to become bishops. The vote came almost 15 months after synod, the Church of England’s main legislative body, narrowly rejected similar, but more complex, legislation to accept women as bishops. Various groups have since worked toward advancing as efficiently as possible a legislative package that could be supported by the overall majority. The legislation now needs to be approved by a majority of the church’s 44 dioceses, which typically would take at least 12 months. But through some procedural agreements, the legislation can come back to synod in July for final approval. The deadline for diocesan responses is midnight on May 22. Last time, 42 of the 44 dioceses supported the legislation. Since the creation of synod in 1970, this is the first time a piece
of legislation on the same subject has had to be sent to the dioceses for a second time. Final approval at synod will require a two-thirds majority in all three houses of laity, clergy and bishops. And even then, the measure would still require approval by the U.K. Parliament because it effectively changes English law. Following the failure of the previous legislation, it was clear from parliamentary debate that many of the U.K.’s politicians were getting impatient with the church’s drawn-out journey towards acceptance of women bishops. Were synod to give final approval in July, the U.K. Parliament may take up the matter before the end of 2014. Today’s debate indicated that many former opponents in synod are willing to commit to the new legislative package, in part due to a declaration from the House of Bishops outlining procedures for handling grievances, mediation and resolving disputes arising from those who are unable to accept the new legislation or the ministry of women bishops. v
12 • The Harvest • January/February 2014
Reflections on faith and life
Sharing the Good News
Topeka priest offers daily prayers for Kansas Senate By the Rev. Don Davidson
SENATORIAL PRAYERS Here are two prayers the Rev. Don Davidson offered during his first week as Senate chaplain during this legislative session.
1 Commission on Ministry meeting, Upton Hall, Topeka
5 Bishop Kemper School for Ministry classes, Grace Cathedral and Upton Hall, Topeka (through April 6)
2 Bishop Wolfe at Trinity, Arkansas City and Grace, Winfield 5 Ash Wednesday 8 Bishop Kemper School for Ministry classes, Grace Cathedral and Upton Hall, Topeka (through March 9)
Youth Commission meeting, St. Andrew’s, Emporia
New Beginning’s staff day, St. Andrew’s, Emporia
Wednesday, January 15 Although the camel may disagree, we know O Lord, that Wednesday is not truly any different than any other day. Each day is a gift that you have given us. What an amazing change in our world if your children would pause each day and give thanks for the day they have been given, the chance to do your will and the opportunity to make your creation just a little better. Help us to give you thanks no matter what day it is. In your holy name we pray. Amen. Friday, January 17 Holy God our first week is coming to an end. We greet you this morning with a greater awareness of the mountains that must be climbed, the copies made, files created and words committed. There is much to do. Help us to enjoy a Sabbath rest, to reconnect with our loved ones and safely return rested, ready and rededicated to the days still to come. In your holy name we pray. Amen.
I think that each senator, and each person who works in the legislative branch, should reflect upon the question of the harmony between their individual ethics and purpose and the actions they take, and then remember their relationship to God as they understand God. I cannot help but believe that our world would be a better place if our governmental representatives would open themselves to prayer and the hearing of God’s word in the midst of all the other voices that surround them. My thanks go to the good people of St. David’s for their understanding during my service in the 90-day legislative session. The Rev. Don Davidson is rector of St. David’s, Topeka. This is his second year of serving as chaplain to the Kansas Senate. v
9 Bishop Wolfe at St. Paul’s, Marysville and St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids 11 Fresh Start, Upton Hall, Topeka
6 Bishop Wolfe at St. Thomas, Overland Park 8 Fresh Start, Upton Hall, Topeka 13 Palm Sunday
Bishop Wolfe at Grace Cathedral, Topeka
15 Chrism Mass, Grace Cathedral 18 Good Friday – Diocesan Office is closed 20 Easter Day
Bishop Wolfe at Grace Cathedral, Topeka
25 Recharge youth minister retreat, Upton Hall, Topeka (through April 26)
18 Council of Trustees meeting, Upton Hall, Topeka 21 Bishop Wolfe at House of Bishops meeting, Camp Allen, Texas (through March 25) 28 New Beginnings youth event, Good Shepherd, Wichita (through March 30) 30 Bishop Wolfe at St. Andrew’s, Emporia
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In January 2012, while visiting the Omaha Zoo, I received a call from State Senator Susan Wagle, the incoming president of the Kansas Senate, asking if I would be the Senate chaplain for coming the term. I had never met Senator Wagle but soon was introduced to her and her staff and the staff of the Secretary of the Senate. Let me assure you that I did not accept the position for the popularity or the benefits — although I do get a great parking place — but rather because I am kind of old-school when it comes to giving back to our nation when possible, and serving as a chaplain was something I felt comfortable doing. My position is simple, really. I go to the Senate chamber each day that senators are in session, and I lead a prayer when they convene. I also coordinate guest chaplains, who are nominated by senators from clergy in their districts. I am honored to know many of those who serve in the Senate as well those who serve them — the clerks, secretaries of committees and interns. While very few people will agree with all the actions of any legislative body, I have learned that these folks work hard. They arrive early, stay late and take their job seriously. I have learned that it is quite easy to criticize without understanding the amount of time and energy that it takes to write, re-write, edit, proofread and finally take a piece of legislation to a committee, then possibly another committee, and get it ready for debate and final vote among 40 senators. Party affiliation has a great deal to do with how any vote will end, but in the debate sometimes one can hear minds struggling for clarification and understanding, something quite necessary when a vote must be defended during the next trip home. Senators, after all, are people, and they along with their office staffs have issues like everyone else. The chaplain continues to be a non-sectarian presence, bringing a word, smile and hope to them. In the prayers that I offer, I try to reach each senator without excluding anyone because of faith differences, and I doubt that I am always successful. But my hope is that those 30 to 45 seconds at the beginning of each session may be a time of reflection and reminder.
The mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas is to gather, equip and send disciples of Jesus Christ to witness to God’s reconciling love.
News and features from the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas