Inside The Harvest Overland Park shootings
After three citizens were murdered at Jewish facilities nearby, St. Thomas’ in Overland Park offered the community a place to gather in prayer for those who had been lost. Page 2
Ordinations on June 7
Three deacons and one priest will be ordained at Grace Cathedral, Topeka, on June 7. Page 3
ECS at 25
Episcopal Community Services of Kansas City turns 25 this year, and Executive Director John Hornbeck describes how it has offered cross-diocesan collaboration ever since. Page 4
Girls with sewing machines and women with wisdom (and patience) teamed up at St. Michael’s, Mission, to make quilts for cancer patients as a Lenten project that just might keep going. Page 5
Canned foods and ice cream St. Luke’s, Shawnee, used a canned food drive to help the pantry at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, plus a neighborhood ice cream social, to tackle outreach and evangelism in a single afternoon. Page 5
Life in Nepal
Karin Feltman of St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, now has lived in Nepal for four months, and she writes that she’s starting to put together the pieces toward service to victims of human trafficking. Page 6
St. Thomas’, Overland Park, has started a program to provide training to young adults with special needs, at a time when funding has been cut. And some great salsa is a by-product. Page 7
Social Media Sunday
What’s a free way to share the story of your congregation, and of the Episcopal Church? Social Media Sunday June 29 is one answer, and it uses the power of social media already in place. Page 7
Bowling Hall of Fame
The Rev. Sharon Billman of St. John’s, Parsons, now can count two selections to Kansas bowling Halls of Fame among her 41 years in the sport. Page 8
Tuskegee Airman honored
Aldee Miller of St. James’, Wichita, received the Congressional Gold Medal in January, recognizing his service with the storied Tuskegee Airmen who served during World War II. Page 9
Bishop Kemper School honors its first class of graduates By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest The first class to graduate from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry celebrated the completion of their studies May 10 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka, in a commencement service that was filled with prayer and encouragement. The school was created in July 2013 when four dioceses — Kansas, West Missouri, Western Kansas and Nebraska — combined their existing theological education schools into the Bishop Kemper School, which offers classes in Topeka. Students are in residence for one weekend a month for 10 months, but they also spend time beforehand preparing for class and afterward completing assignments. The 13 graduates are from the Dioceses of Kansas (two people), Western Kansas (two) and West Missouri (nine) and received certificates in one of three areas: Diaconal Studies, a 2-year program leading to ordination as a deacon; Presbyteral Studies, a 3-year program leading to ordination as a priest; and Anglican Studies, a 1-year program for those with theological education in traditions other than the Episcopal Church. Those from the Diocese of Kansas were Jon Hullinger (Anglican Studies) and Shelby Jester (Presbyteral Studies). Nine others from this diocese are among the 35 students who enrolled last fall. Graduates, other BKSM students,
PHOTOS BY MELODIE WOERMAN
The first graduates from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry celebrate the completion of their courses after a graduation service May 10 at Grace Cathedral in Topeka. Those from the Diocese of Kansas are Jon Hullinger (front row, second from left) and Shelby Jester (second row, far right).
and friends and family heard Dr. David Thompson say in his sermon that those completing their studies are called to be “purveyors of hope” in a society that is searching for something but often doesn’t know what it is. Thompson, an ordained pastor in the Wesleyan Church tradition who teaches a course on congregational development at the school, noted that many of the graduates will be called to serve in a parish “where hope is exactly what they
New dean named to lead BKSM By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest There will be a change in leadership this summer at the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry. The school’s Board of Directors on May 27 announced that the current dean, the Very Rev. Andrew Grosso, is leaving at the end of June to become the Director of Distance Learning at Nashotah House, an Episcopal seminary located about 30 miles west of Milwaukee, Wis. They also announced that Dr. Don Compier has accepted their call to become the new dean, beginning July 1. Grosso also has served as rector of Trinity, Atchison, since May 2008, and his last day with the parish will be June 15. From 2005 to 2008 he was a canon at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry is a collaborative venture of the Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas, (Please see Dean, page 3)
Dr. Don Compier, new dean of the Bishop Kemper School
The Very Rev. Andrew Grosso, the school’s outgoing dean
need, with a building too big and a budget too small.” But their mission, he said, remains “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.”
Faculty are very impressed
Courses are taught by faculty who are drawn from clergy and lay people within the four dioceses, and when surveyed near the end of the academic year, they (Please see Graduates, page 3)
St. Clare’s, Spring Hill, has closed its doors By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest In a statement released on May 23, Bishop Dean Wolfe said that St. Clare’s, a worshipping community that the diocese had started in Spring Hill, south of Kansas City, in 2008 had its last service on May 25. The bishop said that St. Clare’s “was an effort of the diocese, in collaboration with dedicated parishioners and clergy, to see if a congregation in Spring Hill could establish itself as a self-sustaining parish. After a strenuous six-year effort, we regret to report it could not.” He said that the Rev. Philip Hubbard, the priest who has led St. Clare’s, was “in conversation with several parishes as he seeks a new call.” Bishop Wolfe said that the diocese’s commitment to start this new congregation involved taking “risks for the sake of the Gospel … and we will continue to take risks for the sake of the Gospel.” He added, “We have learned valuable lessons from this experience, including the knowledge that even the most promising venture does not always find the human or financial resource to become sustaining in the long term.” He noted that even as it closes, St. Clare’s has left a legacy that those throughout the diocese will honor and celebrate. “Since the first liturgy was offered at St. Clare’s in 2009, the word of God has been faithfully preached, the sacraments of (Please see St. Clare’s, page 4)
2 • The Harvest • May 2014
Overland Park church hosts vigil after nearby shootings By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest 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: June issue: June 10 July-August issue: Aug. 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 45 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
Within minutes of learning that shots had been fired at a local Jewish Community Center on the afternoon of April 13, the Rev. Gar Demo, rector of St. Thomas’, Overland Park, began texting his friend, Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn. “We need to do something,” Demo said to the rabbi, whose Temple Israel has used the church’s facilities for services and Seder dinners, and he quickly agreed. Demo then called Bill Tammeus, another friend and former religion columnist for the Kansas City Star who is active in his Presbyterian church. Together they planned a prayer vigil for that evening, to take place at St. Thomas’. They wanted it to be a time when people could come together as a community. Through the course of the afternoon they and other residents learned that a lone gunman, later found to hold anti-Semitic views, had killed two people at the Community Center and another at a Jewish retirement home. He was arrested nearby just moments after the third killing. While he had targeted Jewish facilities, all of his victims were Christians. Demo said that the first target, the Jewish Community Center, was part of the “fabric of the Overland Park community” and served people of all faiths. “I have congregation members who have been on the staff there,” he said. “Many members attend events there.” Overland Park has a sizable Jewish population, he said, with
PHOTO BY SARAH JOHNSON
Almost 800 people crowd into St. Thomas’, Overland Park, the evening of April 13 in a prayer vigil for those murdered in shootings at two nearby Jewish facilities earlier that day.
five synagogues within a mile of his church. That made the shootings feel very personal to so many. “This hit everybody,” Demo said. “These are our neighbors and friends.” News of the vigil quickly spread through local news channels and social media, and nearly 800 people attended. Demo and the Rev. Ben Varnum, the assistant at St. Thomas’, wrote in a statement that ran in the online version of TIME magazine, that the vigil provided an opportunity for prayer.
They said, “We offered prayers — not only for those who had been killed but that such broken places might be healed, and that we might have the courage to respond not by learning to hate, but by choosing to love more fiercely. We prayed that we might act to build a more just world.” Bishop Dean Wolfe was one of the participants, and in his comments said, “As we pray God’s comfort for those who grieve and for our wounded community, let us also resolve to be the hands and feet and very heart of God.” v
Excerpts from Bishop Wolfe’s statement about the shootings ‘Hatred makes everyone look like the enemy’ The news of an armed man shooting and killing a teenager and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, and a woman at the Village Shalom assisted living facility, is another shocking reminder of the culture of violence that continues to flourish within our larger culture. We are particularly saddened to learn these murders appear to have been motivated by antiSemitic feelings expressed by the man now in custody for these crimes. On Sunday, the violence came to us. These are our neighbors. These are our friends. This is not somewhere strange and far away for us. These violent incidents happened in our diocese. My son played several basketball games at the Jewish Community Center when he was a student at Bishop Seabury Academy. We have friends who regularly participate in programs there. On Sunday afternoon the Jewish Community Center was filled with young people from a myriad of faith traditions rehearsing plays and auditioning for musical competitions. It says something about the way in which people of different faith traditions live and work so closely together in our community that a man intent on killing members of the Jewish faith went to a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish assisted care facility and took the lives of two Methodists and a Roman Catholic. Hatred makes everyone look like the enemy. We grieve with those who have lost their loved ones, and our hearts are broken by this senseless
tragedy. So what should we do now? First, we do what people of faith have done for thousands of years when faced with tragedy. We gather together. We retell the ancient stories of our faith. We share our grief. We hold tightly to one another. We hold our children closer. We call upon our God to comfort us. We can say we are shocked by these events. And we are. We can say we are saddened. And that expression does not even begin to communicate our profound heartbreak. What we cannot say is we are surprised. Shootings and violent incidents like this one occur almost weekly in the United States of America. When will it stop? What will the faith community do about it? This epidemic of violence has become a significant public health issue that calls for a response. What does it tell us when our children sound like old hands when it comes to tactics like “sheltering in place” or “locking down?” Due to the frequency of these shootings, our children have practiced these tactics for years. From the school shootings at Columbine, to the massacre of innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School, to the mass murder of people attending a movie in Aurora, Colorado, this has become the new normal. It is not acceptable. In this most holy of weeks, let us continue to pray for all those affected by this tragedy, and let us prayerfully consider what each of us can do to stop this vicious cycle of violence. v
May 2014 • The Harvest • 3
Graduates: Faculty applauds students’ abilities, enthusiasm (Continued from page 1) uniformly reported being very impressed with the high quality of work they received and the seriousness of purpose students brought to their studies. Several faculty members said that papers they received were of such a high level that they could have come from students in graduate school or residential seminaries. They noted that many of those enrolled at BKSM have advanced degrees, and since most are older they not only bring rich life experiences to their studies but also a serious commitment. The Rev. George Wiley of Kansas, who taught two courses in church history this year, said he first realized how good the students were in March of last year, when he heard a student give what he called a home-run sermon during Noonday Prayers. When he complemented her, she told him that it was the first sermon she had ever preached. “I was floored,” he said. He said his upper-level history class last fall had five students, and he was amazed to learn that four of them had doctorates — one M.D., one J.D. and two Ph.D.s.
Dr. Melissa Tubbs Loya of Nebraska, who teaches Old Testament, said she assigns her students the same texts that she has used in graduate-level courses. She said her BKSM students strive to rise to her expectation that they work “at a sophisticated level,” and in return she has received some papers that rival what she has seen from college graduate students. Dr. Don Compier from Kansas taught for
Bishop Kemper School for Ministry Dean Andrew Grosso (center) addresses the graduates and others at the service May 10 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. Looking on are (from left) Canon Interim Meghan Froehlich, representing the Diocese of Kansas; Western Kansas Bishop Michael Milliken and West Missouri Bishop Martin Field.
nine years at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, a residential Episcopal seminary in Berkeley, Calif., and he said students at BKSM “are just as capable and devoted as any I have ever had in class before.” He said their ability to make connections between what they are learning in class and the church’s mission and ministry “is unusual in my experience.” Other faculty also report that students’ real-world experience makes the Bishop Kemper School a special place of learning. Dr. Jim Lewis of Kansas said that
students’ maturity brings with it “a sense of purpose, a level of commitment and a dedication to the educational enterprise that both challenges the faculty and focuses the students’ work.”
Rewarding for teachers
The Very Rev. Benjamin Thomas of Western Kansas said his students were very eager to learn, mostly because they “are people who have decided that their greatest desire in life is to serve the church,” which propels them toward a “deep commitment
Dean: Transition shows Holy Spirit’s work (Continued from page 1) West Missouri, Nebraska and Western Kansas, and it offers classes to educate people for leadership in lay and ordained vocations. It was formed in July 2013.
In making the announcement, Larry Bingham, chair of the board, said that Compier “has extensive experience in theological education, including more than a decade in administration and nearly 25 years as a faculty member, most recently as Dean and Professor of Theology at Graceland University Seminary, an institution of the Community of Christ, in Independence, Mo.” Compier, a member of St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, earned his Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Emory University in Atlanta. He has served as a member of the Bishop Kemper School’s Board of Directors and has been a faculty member of the school this past year. He also taught at the Kansas School for Ministry, one of the predecessors of the Bishop Kemper School, since 2011. He will be ordained as a transitional deacon on June 7 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. The position of dean now will be full time, a move the board approved earlier this year in recognition of the growing needs of the school. Compier will work from his home in Independence, Mo.
School is richly blessed
Bishop Dean Wolfe said of the change in leadership, “We have been richly blessed — first to have someone as capable as the Very Rev. Andrew Gross serving at the Bishop Kemper School, and then to have someone as wonderfully qualified as Dr. Don Compier serve as our next dean. I believe the Lord has been looking out for us.” In the board’s statement, Compier said, “It is a tremendous honor and joy to be selected as the next dean of the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry. This collaboration between four dioceses is a fresh and unique effort to do work urgently needed today, namely re-imagining and redesigning theological education and ministerial formation for all the people of God, lay and in the ordination process. “I am very grateful for the confidence that the board has
expressed, and I greatly look forward to building further on the excellent foundations laid by them and Dean Grosso.” Grosso said in the statement, “We could not have found someone better suited to guide the school through the next stages of its development and growth. Don brings with him a wealth of experience in theological scholarship, teaching and administration. He has been associated with the school since its inception and has served as a member of the faculty, the board and the faculty advisory committee. “The school right now is in very good shape: we have a talented and dedicated faculty, and a board committed to the ongoing expansion of the school and its programs.”
Bishop praises both men
After the announcement, Bishop Wolfe praised the work Grosso has done to make the school a reality. He said, “We would not have achieved the success we are currently enjoying at the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry if it were not for Andrew Grosso’s extraordinary devotion to this endeavor. He (with his wife Diana’s support) has contributed more to this school than any of else will ever know. Andrew’s passion for educating lay persons, deacons and priests for ministry in the church will be well utilized at Nashotah House, an historic Episcopal seminary founded by Bishop Jackson Kemper himself. “It is an honor for Andrew to be called to such a distinguished position, and it is an honor for us to know his excellent work in our diocese prepared him for such a demanding assignment.” Bishop Wolfe added that Compier brings great gifts to the school’s leadership, with an illustrious alumnus in his portfolio. “Don has served as a professor and administrator of several seminaries,” he said. “He was on the faculty at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, where he taught Katharine Jefferts Schori, our current Presiding Bishop. He has made presentations to the House of Bishops and has the gift of being bilingual, which will assist all our efforts in educating Spanish-speaking leaders.” Bingham said that he and the other members of the board felt that such a smooth transition in a school that is only a year old, without a loss of competency, was inspired. “The Holy Spirit obviously is at work here,” he said. v
to the education” the school provides. That engagement means, for him, that “teaching at the Bishop Kemper School has been one of the most professionally rewarding parts of my work.” Compier said that after teaching at BKSM he leaves “refreshed and greatly encouraged,” and Lewis said that after a weekend of classes he experiences “a great renewal of spirit,” something he never expected based on his previous teaching experience. The Very Rev. Craig Loya of Nebraska said BKSM students come to their work with a clear understanding of “the central challenges facing the church in our region,” which includes many small churches with limited resources. He said the school will be an important part of the conversation about how the church in the future will educate and deploy people for ministry. Larry Bingham of Kansas said he has found students “incredibly knowledgeable about the customs and practices” of their home area and have a vision of their role not just to the church but to the greater community. “Having clergy leaders called to service from within their local community not only mirrors early church tradition,” he said, but convinces him that “this is the path that the church must take in small and mediumsized communities.” Thomas says that the high-level intersection of academic preparation and practical ministry needs, which the Bishop Kemper School curriculum provides, has convinced him that this “is both a sustainable and healthy model of theological education for our church.” v
Ordinations set for June 7 in Topeka Four people will be ordained in a service set for Saturday, June 7 at 10:30 a.m. at Grace Cathedral, 701 SW 8th Ave., in Topeka. Three will be ordained as deacons who latr will be ordained priest once they have served the required six-month period in the diaconal order. They are: Don Compier, St. Michael and All Angels, Mission, who will become the next dean of the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry on July 1 (see story on page 1); Steven J. King, St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, who will become the curate at St. Thomas’, Overland Park; and Vivian Orndorff, St. Luke’s, Wamego, who will become the curate at Trinity Church in The Woodlands, Texas. Being ordained a priest is the Rev. J. Ted Blakley, who currently is serving as the curate at St. John’s, Wichita. He was ordained to the diaconate in January. Bishop Dean Wolfe will preside and preach at the service. All members of the diocese are invited to the service and to the reception that follows. Clergy are asked to vest (red stole) and to walk in procession.
Jon Hullinger to be received
Jon Hullinger, who served for 14 years as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church before becoming an Episcopalian, will have his Holy Orders as a priest received by Bishop Wolfe on Pentecost, June 8. That recognition will take place as part of the bishop’s annual visitation to Grace Cathedral, Topeka, during the 10 a.m. service. Hullinger attended the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry this past academic year and received a certificate in Anglican Studies on May 10. v
4 • The Harvest • May 2014
Episcopal Community Services celebrates 25 years and health, that did not respect the boundary of a state line that far too often served as a an artificial barrier to collaboration between the Dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri. This decision proved to be a remarkable step to take. Today, Episcopal Community Services in Kansas City is the only ECS organization in the country that regularly operates in two neighboring dioceses. From the beginning, the board included members from both dioceses and from all four quadrants of the greater Kansas City area. We continue to seek to engage in partnerships and work together, and the people we serve reap the benefits of the ministries that result from this cooperation.
By John Hornbeck Recently I spoke with someone who said how difficult it is to obtain any meaningful collaboration across state lines. The multiple jurisdictions — states, counties and cities — continue to be a challenge for everything from transportation to the arts, and certainly for human services. This makes what a group of visionaries in the Episcopal Church did 25 years ago even more remarkable and illustrates the foresight that they possessed. On March 24, 1989, Episcopal Social Services was incorporated under the laws of the State of Missouri. It lists three members of the Board of Directors, all who can be considered founders of the organization: The Very Rev. J. Earl Cavanaugh, dean of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City, Mo.; the Rev. David With, St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, Kan.; and Molly Porter. The incorporation papers, after the name, lists a phrase that embodies the core purpose for which this initiative was undertaken: “Serving the Greater Kansas City Region.”
At that time, the programs that this new organization would
Service to others
HARVEST FILE PHOTO
The Community Kitchen operated by Episcopal Community Services in Kansas City, Mo., has been serving noonday meals at no cost to people who are hungry and homeless for the past 25 years.
undertake, coordinate and support had not been defined. Those would evolve and change over the 25 years that followed, but the initial
core principles remain the same. One was a decision to address challenges in our communities, such as homelessness and hunger
St. Clare’s: Bishop Wolfe says diocese remains committed to church growth (Continued from page 1) the Church have been joyfully celebrated, and many have come to experience the sweet fellowship of Christian community.”
Effort started in 2008
In June 2008, the diocese hired Hubbard, a recent seminary graduate from St. Thomas’, Overland Park, to undertake the start-up of a new congregation in Johnson County. After his ordination as a priest in December 2008, Hubbard began making contacts to find people who were interested in being part of a new church. Services first were conducted in July 2009 in the living room of the Hubbard house in Overland Park, while a diocesan committee explored possible locations for a permanent home. In early 2010, the diocese announced that St. Clare’s would be located in Spring Hill, a town of 5,500 that straddles the Johnson and Miami county lines. The area was selected because it had shown growth in the previous decade and was just 10 minutes away from nearby towns that might provide potential members. The congregation began worshipping in a storefront building it rented in historic downtown Spring Hill, with its first official service taking place on Pentecost, May 23, 2010. With the help of a grant authorized by the Council of Trustees, in 2011 St. Clare’s purchased the building. The congregation opened a food pantry in the summer of 2012, and since then it has distributed more than 25 tons of food. The pantry is being transferred to Life Spring, another area church. Bishop Wolfe said that the congregation’s efforts have left their mark in Spring Hill. He said, “We honor the impact this initiative had on its community, and through St. Clare’s communitywide outreach, a number of people have been introduced to the Episcopal Church.”
The diocese provided financial support for this new congregation beginning in June 2008, when it paid Hubbard’s salary, health insurance and pension, as well as support expenses like mileage, office supplies and a cell phone. Beginning in 2012, St. Clare’s budget picked up the non-employment costs. In 2013, the congregation agreed to assume one-third of Hubbard’s salary and benefits, and the diocese covered the other two-thirds. By agreement, beginning this year the church paid two-thirds of those costs. As a guarantor on the loan on the building St. Clare’s purchased, the diocese now assumes the mortgage payments until the building can be sold.
Commitment to try again
In his statement, Bishop Wolfe asked for prayers for the people of St. Clare’s, and for the Hubbards. “I ask your prayers for everyone who has given so much of their time, tithe and talent to Saint Clare’s,” he said. “There have been some truly heroic efforts by lay missionaries from other parishes that we acknowledge and appreciate. We especially remember Philip, Sonja and their son, Ian, and pray their family will be the recipients of God’s generous love and grace in this time of transition.” The bishop said the diocese will continue to explore ways to expand the church’s reach in the diocese. “Failure to grow the church in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas is not an option,” he said. “We will try again. We simply will need to discover the best models for church growth in our context. Our God demands our faithfulness and not our success.” The full text of the bishop’s statement is on the diocesan website, www.episcopal-ks.org/ news. v
Another reason that led to the creation of the forerunner of ECS was to help people serve others. It was a goal to provide members of area churches with significantly more opportunities to live out the Baptismal Covenant. We did this by building communication between parishes, increasing the awareness of societal challenges and opportunities to become involved, and expanding the level of active volunteerism in the Episcopal Church in the greater Kansas City area.
From the very beginning, the desire was to encourage and enable all churches, regardless of size or specific geography or other factors, to have an opportunity to be involved. And, 25 years later, volunteer engagement continues to be a key focus of our organization. We have come to view volunteerism as a program of education and advocacy, knowing that one of the best ways for people to truly understand the challenges of society is to witness them first hand. And as always, we view volunteerism as a ministry of the Baptismal Covenant. The original name of the organization has changed to Episcopal Community Services, and the services we have provided have indeed evolved during the past 25 years, but those initial core principles remain the same. Throughout 2014, you will be hearing more about Episcopal Community Services. We will certainly look back at what has been done in the past. But we also hope to carry those original core principles forward and tell new stories, and generate energy for our current programs and ministries, and the challenges and opportunities of the future. John Hornbeck is executive director of Episcopal Community Services. v
COMING EVENTS Education for Ministry mentor training
Training for mentors in the Education for Ministry program will take place Thursday, June 19 through Saturday, June 21 in Topeka. There will be two sessions offered: a basic/in-service training (for six to eight participants) and a formation training (for six to 12 participants). The formation session will focus on the Four Sources, examining in-depth the four sources of theological reflection used in EFM. The cost of the training is $90 per person. Participants can also reserve overnight accommodations in Upton Hall for $40 per night. The deadline to register is June 2. To register or for more information about the training opportunities or about the EFM program, contact diocesan EFM coordinator Mike Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (316) 258-4834.
Bishop Kemper School summer classes
The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry has announced two courses that will be part of a summer session June 14-15 that is open to all interested people in the diocese: Mysticism in the Anglican Tradition, led by Dr. Jim Lewis. Participants will become more familiar with several classical sources of English mystical theology, including The Cloud of Unknowing, as well as medieval writers such as Richard Rolle, Julian of Norwich and Walter Hilton. The Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament, led by Dr. Melissa Tubbs Loya. This course will explore the major figures and themes associated with the emergence and development of the prophetic tradition in the faith and practice of Israel, including the historical and cultural context that shaped this vibrant literary and spiritual tradition. Classes will meet in Upton Hall Conference Center, located next door to the diocesan offices at Bethany Place, 835 SW Polk Street in Topeka. The cost to attend is $100, which covers tuition and meals. Limited overnight accommodation in Upton Hall can be reserved on a first come, first served basis. In addition to classroom instruction, there will be opportunities during the summer session for corporate worship and fellowship. For further information or to register for the course, please contact the Bishop Kemper School dean, the Very Rev. Andrew Grosso, at rector@ trinityks.org or (913) 367-3171, before June 10. The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry is a collaborative venture of the Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas, West Missouri, Nebraska and Western Kansas, and it offers classes to educate people for leadership in the Episcopal Church in lay and ordained vocations. It was formed in July 2013. v
May 2014 • The Harvest • 5
Generations come together to make quilts for others By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest A casual encounter between Kari O’Rourke and a young girl who likes to sew led to a special Lenten project at St. Michael and All Angels, Mission, which brought together women and girls to make quilts for cancer patients and those with other illnesses. O’Rourke, who previously had made comfort quilts for her partner’s mother after a diagnosis of breast cancer, and for her own mother who died of lung cancer, said she invited the girl to join her in making a quilt as a Lenten project. But it didn’t stop there. “She was eager to participate and recruited her sister and several additional friends to be a part of the group,” O’Rourke said. A request at church prompted 15 adult women to volunteer to serve as mentors, and when O’Rourke posted about the project on her Facebook page, friends stepped forward to volunteer and donate materials.
Girls were responsible for sewing the quilts, with the guidance and support of adults.
but she said can be shared with caregivers and others. She also said that while this started as a Lenten project, the group is discussing whether they want to continue it in some fashion.
Girls do the sewing
Participants came together for the first time on Ash Wednesday evening, forming teams that included a young sewer — all were between the ages of 9 and 13 — and adults who helped her. The girls brought their own sewing machines to tackle creation of quilts that use a pattern O’Rourke described as “sophisticated,” which presented the teams with a challenge to meet together. It also meant the adult volunteers had to be “patient, cooperative and openminded” as they assisted the young sewers. The fabric for each quilt was selected with the recipient in mind, based on the person’s age and special interests. A colored ribbon on the quilts of cancer patients indicated their illness — for instance, pink for breast cancer, and orange for leukemia. Adults offered guidance and advice, and were on hand to help rip out a seam or unstick a bobbin. Two women handled the ironing, which kept the quilts pressed flat as they were being made. The groups met for two hours on Wednesday evenings throughout Lent, and by Easter completed eight quilts. Roxie Drautz was an eager volunteer for the project, since she had undergone
Bridging the age gap
PHOTOS BY DREW VINING
Making quilts for cancer patients and people with other serious illnesses was a joint Lenten project by girls and women at St. Michael and All Angels, Mission.
successful treatment for breast cancer. She said each sewing session began with a personal story from someone who has had cancer, who explained how important support from friends and loved ones is to the recovery process. And then they bathed their efforts in prayer. O’Rourke said each week they lit a candle “and prayed for the light of Christ to shine on the people who will receive our gifts,” she said. Amy Winter joined her two daughters in the project, but said she initially was concerned about adding another commitment to their already busy schedule. “But the time flew by so quickly that we would eagerly work longer if we could,” she said.
She said she thought she would enjoy the time spent with her daughters and other women and girls in the church, “but I had no idea it would be so moving, educational, fulfilling and fun.” Drautz agreed. “The enthusiasm of the young women and their talents was most humbling,” she said. She said it was “inspirational” to work with them to help others. O’Rourke said the group planned “blessing parties” at which they presented the quilts to their recipients, all scheduled between Easter and Pentecost. Each quilt was accompanied by a bag filled with what O’Rourke called “comfort items” — things like lip balm, hand sanitizer and candies, which not only can be a help to the patient
O’Rourke said it can be hard to find projects that bring together different generations, but this project that paired middle school students with adults “seamlessly bridged the gap” through the formation of cooperative teams. Winter said the intergenerational aspect was “effortless.” She said, ‘Everyone working on the quilts was kind and patient, and the mentors let the girls run with the sewing.” As a bonus, she said her daughters also learned how to iron. O’Rourke said her goal in starting the project was to show that “making people feel better at a highly vulnerable time in their life is empowering.” Drautz said it offered her even more. “I felt Christ’s hands in the sewing group, with the Holy Spirit whirling among us,” she said. “It’s the most enriching Lenten experience that I have been blessed to be involved.” v
Shawnee church reaches out in service and evangelism From St. Luke’s, Shawnee On Sunday, March 9, St. Luke’s, Shawnee used a neighborhood scavenger hunt as a way to collect much-needed items for the food pantry at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, and to invite people to an afternoon ice cream social. The event was planned in January by the parish Outreach Committee, and its chair, Debra Callaway, said it seemed like an ambitious project. “But St. Luke’s has never shirked a challenge,” she said. “For a small church, we have taken on some big projects and often surprised ourselves with the results.”
Food pantry needed help
Team 7 displays its pride in collecting the most canned goods during a scavenger hunt food drive at St. Luke’s, Shawnee on March 9, to benefit the food pantry at St. Paul’s, Kansas City.
She said that the church has been a longtime supporter of the pantry and is kept up-to-date on its needs by parishioner Gloria Kelly, who is a weekly volunteer. Kelly reported that the pantry early in the year had seen an increase in people coming for help, meaning the shelves were running empty. And with spring break falling in the middle of March, kids would be home and not eating lunch at school, adding an extra strain on the pantry’s capacity. To answer the need, St. Luke’s member Debbie
Fowler organized more than 30 members into teams with names based on ice cream toppings, since the event would conclude with an ice cream social at 2 p.m. back at the church. After eating a quick sack lunch after church, teams headed out at noon to canvass an assigned neighborhood for food donations. They also handed a card to residents inviting them both to the ice cream social that afternoon, as well as to upcoming church services. Callaway said that even the weather cooperated that day, after a snowy week before. And she said the outreach effort turned into an “in-reach” activity, with members who had been only acquaintances becoming friends. And the evangelism aspect worked, too, when a dozen neighbors who had never before been to St. Luke’s stopped by for ice cream and conversation. “One team even distinguished themselves by finding and returning a lost dog,” she said. Participants had fun but also accomplished their initial goal, collecting and delivering 658 food items to the St. Paul’s pantry. “Not bad for a congregation of 120,” Callaway noted. She said that she now is calling the event the “first annual” food drive and scavenger hunt. “How could we not plan to do it every year after its inaugural success?” v
6 • The Harvest • May 2014
Life in Nepal Karin Feltman, a member of St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, writes about her first four months in Kathmandu, Nepal, as she prepares for service to victims of human trafficking in the southeast Asian nation. Karin Feltman at Swoyambunath Temple
from language and culture learning. I couldn’t see beyond the inconvenience, and then something wonderful began to unfold. I began making connections with people who use art as a way to help trafficking survivors process and heal from their trauma. I am currently taking a five-week training course on how to incorporate this type of art into ministry, and how to design and lead a program myself. Now my art classes have taken on a whole new dimension and excitement, as I imagine using what I learn to help the people I dream of helping. It is a good reminder that there is a bigger picture that I can’t always see, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
have now been in Nepal for four months. In some ways it feels like I have been here so much longer than that. I think that is because I am fully settled into life here. I have a post office box. I attend daily language classes. I have finished the first third of my required language learning, and I am somewhat functional in the language — at least for most of what I currently need. That’s not to say that I don’t have a long way to go! I have Nepali as well as international friends. I have a regular vegetable stand and grocery store that I frequent. I have secured a study visa (which will allow me to legally remain in the country until February 2015) and am now taking classes at Kathmandu University School of Art three times a week to fulfill the requirements for that visa.
A life in Nepal
I go to Nepali church every Saturday, a Nepali (with English translation) Bible study every Thursday, and an anti-trafficking networking and prayer meeting every Tuesday. I attend trainings on sexual abuse in the church, trafficking issues and more. My flat is completely outfitted, and I have become used to things like a “no electricity” schedule and water rationing. In other words, I have a life here. Four months? Unbelievable. A word about the electricity — Nepal is on hydroelectric power, so during the dry season (which spans from September until the following May) there isn’t even close to enough power to go around. To compensate for this, the city doles out the available electricity to different zones at different times during the day. In the driest (and coldest) of months, there often is only two or three waking hours of electricity each day. I now have a Nepali name, because no matter how I say my name, the people here think I am saying that I am Korean, much to everyone’s confusion. I have tried putting the emphasis on different syllables, pronouncing it differently and more. Still, I was known as the tall, blonde Korean. In desperation, I turned to my language instructor who gave me my Nepali name, Karunaa. She chose it because it is similar to my own name, easy for Nepalis to understand, and she believes the mean-
Challenges abound SUBMITTED PHOTOS
People in line to draw water for their homes at a local well that also is a place to wash.
ing fits me well. It means “kindness and mercy.” I have to say I love it! I will try to live up to it.
Learning language and culture
I recently had someone ask me if I work. The organization with which I serve (for security reasons, this can’t be put into print but I would be happy to share via email) requires that we become functional in the language and culture before officially engaging in work. Although I completely see the wisdom in that, especially now that I am here, I will admit that the go-go-go in me wants to get started. Never mind that I don’t actually know where or what that work will be, yet! That doesn’t mean that I am not constantly trying to make a difference here. In a country with this level of poverty, even being intentional about where I buy my fruits and vegetables (I choose the little family-run stand at the corner) or my milk and eggs (the tiny shop behind my apartment) can make the difference between whether they have money to feed their own family that week, or not. I recently attended a fundraiser for an orphanage that has 106 children and no funding, and through a very generous offer of support by some friends, I am helping to arrange a fund that will send some of these children to school. It also will provide medical care for others who
The bazaar and market at Kathmandu Durbar Square
are sick but with no money for medicine or doctor’s visits. I also am beginning to meet with and mentor a 16-year-old sexual abuse survivor who lives in a local transition home. We meet officially for English/ Nepali language practice and unofficially so I can help bring light, love and hope into her life. This is a process, and every so often I need to remind myself that the real work is what happens along the way. At first, I wasn’t thrilled about the art classes I take to fulfill my study visa requirement. I looked at them as something that was taking valuable time away
For the most part, I really love living in Kathmandu, but there have been a few challenges along the way. I have had (and triumphed over) what we believe was typhoid fever, as well as a pretty nasty GI bug that I picked up in the village during a stay with a Nepali friend’s family. I currently have an upper respiratory infection that doesn’t want to let go, and I don’t think the thick dust and terrible air pollution are helping. As beautiful as Nepal is, it is a filthy country. The air is dirty, the water is dirty, the food is dirty… There is absolutely no chance of remaining completely healthy, so I am just hoping for minimal illness and short durations — and the clarity to know when to take medicine and what kind to take. Thank you for keeping me and this work in your prayers. I would love to hear from you — it helps me stay connected to home. If you’d like to send an email, you can reach me at eramazon@ aol.com. I also have room for more financial partners, as there will be expenses related to whatever programs I implement or support, once I begin my Women at Risk initiative. You can email me for information, or send a check to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 5700 W. 6th St., Lawrence, KS 66049, and put “Nepal” in the memo. Thank you in advance for your support! Jai Mashi (the “believer” greeting in Nepali, which means “Victory to the Messiah.”) v
May 2014 • The Harvest • 7
Parish offers training for special needs adults Morgan’s Salsa is the real passion of Thom’s Helpers. With a secret ingredient known only to Diaz and her mother, the salsa is offered in three varieties: mild, medium and a spicy version called “Whoa!” Because it is made without preservatives, a batch is made each week to fill orders placed by church members the previous Sunday. This project started in late March, and already sales far exceed expectations. And the young people of Thom’s Helpers couldn’t be prouder.
With state training funds drying up, St. Thomas’, Overland Park, started Thom’s Helpers to aid young adults By John McKnown When Sue Elliott last fall suggested to the Rev. Gar Demo that St. Thomas’, Overland Park, begin a ministry to young adults with special needs, they weren’t sure how the parish would react. Their concern was answered in September when the Vestry gave an immediate and unanimous response: “What do we need to do? When can we get started?” Elliott has a special place in her heart for people with special needs, since until her retirement last fall from the City of Olathe she had worked to organize Special Olympics and other programs that benefited people with special needs and their families. With funding from the state of Kansas drying up for training for special-needs young adults after high school, she knew the call for the church to reach out to them was great. And St. Thomas’ already had an understanding of these needs through two of its members. Eric Kling, who has Down syndrome, administers the chalice during communion, and Morgan Diaz, who has a sensory processing disorder, serves as a greeter on
Respect and dignity
Thom’s Helpers and adult volunteers show off the ingredients for the salsa they make as a fundraiser for activities at St. Thomas’, Overland Park, which started the program for young adults with special needs. (Front row, from left) Shirley Roberts and Sue Elliott. (Back row) Sawyer Stern, Dola McNown, Michael Findling, John McNown, Morgan Diaz and Emily Fowler.
Sundays with her mother, Diana. Kling’s enthusiasm for his faith even encouraged his best friend, Blake Docking, to be baptized at the church.
Elliott worked with the Olathe school district to create a pilot program called “Thom’s Helpers.” It would provide training initially for three young adults of varying levels of ability, and then could expand as the church identified both its capacity to supply volunteers to help, as well as tasks that would be appropriate for those involved and transferable to the community at large. Elliott saw that the key was
Priest will help lead trip to the Holy Land The Rev. Gar Demo, rector of St. Thomas’, Overland Park, will be one of two clergy leaders of an interfaith trip Nov. 10-19 to the Holy Land. He will be joined by Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn, whose congregation, Temple Israel, and St. Thomas’ have forged close ties in recent years. Cukierkorn has traveled and led many trips to Israel in the past 20 years. Demo said the trip will include most of the significant historical sites for Christianity and Judaism. He said, “This is a great opportunity for people who want to grow a little deeper in their understanding of the Bible, and it also is a great pilgrimage in terms of experiencing the places where Jesus walked and lived.” The cost is $4,399 per person, which includes air travel from Kansas as well as all local transportation in country and double-occupancy lodging. All travelers must have a passport that is valid for
at least six months past the travel dates.. All travel arrangements are being made through Ayelet Tours of Albany, N.Y. The itinerary calls for travelers to spend four nights at a kibbutz in Galilee, four nights in Jerusalem and one night in Tel Aviv. Tour highlights include the Mount of the Beatitudes, Nazareth, the site of Jesus’ baptism, the Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the room of the Last Supper, the site of the battle between David and Goliath, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and walking tours of cities and sites along the way. Those interesting in booking travel with this interfaith pilgrimage event may do so online (http://www. ayelet.com/CukierkornNovember2014.aspx), or by calling the tour company at (800) 237-1517 or (518) 7836001. v
to provide the young people with fellowship, enriching activities, and acquisition and maintenance of skills in a Christian community where they felt cared for and productive. With the Vestry firmly behind the idea, in January Elliott identified three young adults to participate in the pilot project: parishioner Morgan Diaz, along with Michael Findling and Sawyer Stern. She also began training the first group of parish volunteers: Emily Fowler, Shirley Roberts, and John and Dola McNown. Currently Thom’s Helpers train for two-and-a-half hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Training spiced with salsa
With the support of the parish volunteers, the young adults undertake a variety of helpful tasks around the church: recycling worship bulletins, servicing the soft drink machine, cleaning and setting up the parish hall for upcoming events, making snacks and drinks for Sunday coffee hour, preparing rooms for Sunday School, policing the grounds around the church, and filling the weekly orders for “Morgan’s Salsa.” The salsa that Thom’s Helpers have started to make is named for participant Morgan Diaz, and the group gives proceeds from sales to the church’s outreach ministries.
The goal of Thom’s Helpers is to create a place where the young people are treated with respect and dignity, and St. Thomas’ is determined to create an atmosphere where they know they are valued members of a larger community surrounded by camaraderie and laughter. Quite simply Thom’s Helpers is about putting Christ’s call to love our neighbors into action. St. Thomas’ hopes that this ministry — one that few people could have visualized a year ago — will inspire other churches to serve young adults with special needs, providing them and their families a sense of worth, dignity and love. And the Thom’s Helpers volunteers are finding that the relationship certainly runs both ways. Shirley Roberts said, “I volunteer to help them, but they are making my life better.” John McNown is a member of St. Thomas’, Overland Park, and is a volunteer with Thom’s Helpers. v
Social Media Sunday is evangelism opportunity The Diocese of Kansas will join other dioceses and parishes across the Episcopal Church in marking June 29 as Social Media Sunday. On this day Episcopalians are encouraged to use their own social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) to tell their friends about the Episcopal Church. Worshippers are encouraged to post a photo, live tweet a sermon, upload a short video of a choir, or generally tell people why they love being an Episcopalian. All are encouraged to use the hashtag #Episcopal so the messages can spread even farther. Melodie Woerman, diocesan director of communications, said participating in this event is an easy way to become an ambassador for the Episcopal Church. “People now rely much more on the accuracy of word-of-mouth endorsements from their friends than
they do on paid advertising,” she said. “By discreetly using your smartphone in church, or posting something from home afterward, Kansas Episcopalians can let their existing network of friends know how much we value our church,” she said. “It also shows them, rather than tells them, what our churches are like. It might even encourage them to visit.” Organizers of the events, two volunteer parish communicators in St. Louis and Connecticut, said, “We did a little number crunching, and if even a minority of people who already are using social media post about The Episcopal Church on June 29, almost 10 million of our friends and family could learn something about us and our church.” For more information about Social Media Sunday, including some clever graphics that churches can use, visit http://episcopalshare.org/. v
Campus ministry seeks applicants for fall interns Are you — or do you know — a graduating college student passionate about the life of faith and looking to engage in a year of service offering ministry to others, while gaining leadership skills before embarking on their next chapter of life? If so, consider applying or encouraging this person to apply to become a Campus Intern and staff member of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.
This position offers the ministry opportunity to deepen one’s own faith and share formation, leadership and pastoral skills at one of the diocese’s two Canterbury Houses by working with college-aged peer ministers. It also offers the space to explore more deeply the intern’s own vocational discernment. This service year begins August 1, 2014, and has the potential to be
a two-year internship. Compensation includes a monthly stipend and lodging. For more information regarding this opportunity please see the job description online at www. edokcampusministry.wordpress. com/campus-intern-application/, or contact Campus Missioner the Rev. Stephanie Jenkins at email@example.com or (785) 766-7435. v
8 • The Harvest • May 2014
Around the diocese St. John’s, Abilene is making new plans on how it can use a house the parish owns adjacent to the church, looking to turn it into a parish house for meetings, classes, outreach and fellowship activities.
Trinity, Atchison donated $310 in proceeds from its Shrove Tuesday pancake supper to the Atchison County Food Pantry. A box of food accompanied the contribution. St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids and St. Paul’s, Marysville each hosted pancake fundraisers to help with medical expenses of member Maggie Holle, who was diagnosed in November with a severe heart condition. The suppers brought in more than $4,000. St. Paul’s, Clay Center has made upgrades to its kitchen to support the church’s food ministry. Two new stoves were provided by a donation from members Bob and Donna Long. They put them to use making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. St. Paul’s, Coffeyville collected diapers for babies and adults during Lent, given to Genesis, a local social service agency. St. Martin’s, Edwardsville had a spring work day April 5, with an emphasis on organizing the church archives. Lunch was provided for all the helpers. Trinity, El Dorado Vestry and clergy participated in a planning session and retreat on April 26. The event was led by Dave Seifert from St. Paul’s, Clay Center, who is a church consultant in goal setting and strategic planning.
west Missouri. The event provided time for worship, spiritual growth and fellowship. St. Matthew’s, Newton member Scott McCloud on Easter began service as a verger, a lay liturgical minister who assists with the ordering of services. He studied during the past year with Kent Wingerson, verger at Grace Cathedral, Topeka, and with the Rev. Michael Bernard.
Parsons priest gets second bowling Hall of Fame selection
Grace, Ottawa has begun collecting loose change as “coins for Christ,” to benefit a variety of outreach projects. The first will help with expenses of the family of a sick infant. St. Thomas’, Overland Park hosted a book drive during Lent to benefit first and second graders at Comanche Elementary School, where the parish assists with BackSnacks. Members were asked to donate new or gently used books suitable for that age group, as well as bilingual books to aid Spanish-speaking families. St. John’s, Parsons is refurbishing the area around the church altar, thanks to a generous donation from a member. The walls have been returned to a rose color from previous decades, and woodwork has been restored to its natural brown color. St. Luke’s, Shawnee collects travelsized versions of soap, shampoo, lotion and other toiletries, to benefit those who use the shower facilities at Cross-Lines Community Outreach. Grace Cathedral, Topeka displayed
PHOTO BY MICHELE MOSS
fabric art made by members in its Cloister Gallery display area during the month of April. Each month the gallery displays a different art exhibit, just outside the entrance to the church. St. David’s, Topeka hosted a suicide prevention workshop for middle and high school youth April 6, led by several mental health professionals. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds.
St. Andrew’s, Emporia on Fridays during Lent offered the Stations of the Cross with the nearby Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. The parishes alternated locations each week.
The Rev. Sharon Billman, vicar of St. John’s, Parsons, now is a member of two Kansas bowling Halls of Fame. On April 12 she was inducted into the Kansas State Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame during the group’s annual meeting in Lansing. This follows her induction in 2009 into the Kansas State Bowling Association’s Hall of Fame, and she remains the only woman to be a member of that hall. Both of the selections, she said, were in recognition of her contribution to the sport of bowling. Billman, who has been a bowler for 41 years, worked for 12 years for the Kansas State Bowling Association and then another 16 years for the national association. She said, “It is an honor to be part of any Hall of Fame, and it’s humbling to be in two.” v
St. Luke’s, Wamego continues its Wednesday evening program time, and in Lent added a children’s music ministry to its fellowship time and children’s garden. Evenings start with potluck at 6 p.m., followed by programs for children and adults. Good Shepherd, Wichita is preparing to celebrate the church’s 25th anniversary later this year. Co-chairs of the committee that is planning events are Deacon Carmen Anderson and Gee Petrosky. The church was formed in 1989 by the merger of St. Mark’s and St. Matthias’. St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita continues its monthly clothing give-away, to benefit people who need it, on the first Saturday of the month.
Epiphany, Independence helped people celebrate the 100th anniversary and opening day of Riverside Park and Zoo on April 12 by staffing a stand that sold hot dogs, chips, cookies, water and soft drinks. Proceeds benefitted the church.
St. James’, Wichita noted that color sketches of Kansas water wild life made by students in its After School Program had been sent to the Great Plains Nature Center’s art competition. There are 24 children enrolled in the program.
St. Margaret’s, Lawrence spent Lent engaged in a “spiritual fitness” course entitled “Christ Walk,” written by Anna Fitch Courie. The program is described as “a journey of spiritual contemplation through physical activity.”
St. John’s, Wichita hosted its 43rd annual Lenten Luncheon Series, with speakers and lunch available very Wednesday during Lent. v
Is news from your church missing here?
Trinity, Lawrence on March 1 celebrated all the babies born to parish members or baptized in the church in 2013 with a benefit baby shower. Those attending were asked to bring baby-related items to aid the local Willow Domestic Violence Center. St. Paul’s, Leavenworth has a FIST group (Friends in Service to St. Paul’s) that meets one Saturday a month for breakfast and then tackles needed work projects around the church. St. Paul’s, Manhattan member Carol Connizzo announced her retirement as parish treasurer after many years of service, effective April 30, in order to spend more time with her family. She also has provided bookkeeping service to the church’s Encore thrift shop. St. Michael’s, Mission hosted its annual men’s retreat in early March at Conception Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in north-
PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. MARGARET’S, LAWRENCE
KU honors St. Margaret’s musician Stephen Ilardi, an associate professor of clinical psychology who plays the keyboard at the 10 a.m. service at St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, was selected as the 2014 recipient of the HOPE Award at the University of Kansas. The “Honor for an Outstanding Progressive Educator” Award is given annually by the senior class to the person they consider the most outstanding educator. In a news release from the university, Ilardi said, “For our graduating seniors to say that my classes have had a positive impact — I take that as the highest possible praise, and I’m deeply honored to have been named among the hundreds of talented instructors we have here at KU.” Ilardi, who has been on the faculty at KU for 17 years, earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University in 1995, and he has since published more than 50 research articles on serious mental illness. Over the past decade, he was worked with his research team at KU to develop a promising new treatment for clinical depression. v
Items for this column are taken from church newsletters, either print or electronic, that are sent to the editor of The Harvest, diocesan Director of Communications Melodie Woerman. If you produce a newsletter, please make sure she is on your mailing list. Send print copies to 835 SW Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612. Electronic versions should go by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your church doesn’t produce a newsletter, you still can be featured. Just send items of note to Woerman at either of the addresses above. Feature story ideas about your church’s activities also are encouraged. You always can find deadlines for upcoming issues in the masthead of the current issue, on page 2, far left. If you have questions, contact Woerman at (800) 473-3563 or (785) 235-9255. v
May 2014 • The Harvest • 9
Wichitan gets medal for service as a Tuskegee Airman Noel Parrish, told him and the other aviation cadets, “We are an example for the United States. We must be good soldiers, we must do things well, we must be able to be outstanding.” Miller said that the American public became familiar with the mission of the Tuskegee Airmen after a visit from Eleanor Roosevelt in March 1941. He wasn’t there at the time, but he did get to meet another visiting dignitary, Lena Horne, in 1945. “I had the privilege to have her sit at my table for her second dinner with the cadets,” he said.
By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest It’s pretty hard to surprise Aldee Miller of St. James’, Wichita. At age 95, with a long career in the Army on three continents and then in education, he’s seen plenty. But he was caught completely off guard when he was awarded a copy of the Congressional Gold Medal — one of the two highest civilian awards given by the United States government — for his service as part of the illustrious Tuskegee Airmen, the all-back aviation group that won praise for their valor and skill during World War II. Miller received the award on Jan. 28 during Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer’s State of the City address. He had invited Miller to attend but didn’t tell him why, and Miller said his family knew about the award but kept it a surprise. During the speech Miller was called to the front, where he was met by Col. Joel Jackson, the commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base. Jackson handed Miller a bronze version of the medal that was first awarded to Tuskegee Airmen in 2007 in Washington. The original gold medal is housed in the Smithsonian Institution, and those who served at Tuskegee receive a bronze version to keep. “It was quite an occasion,” Miller said. “When he called my name, I was not aware that it was going to be done.” Miller said he had learned last year that he was eligible to receive the medal, which is given to all who served at Tuskegee in any capacity. Although Miller never was a pilot, he spent six months as an aviation cadet and another two years as a supply sergeant with the Army Air Corps. This year’s ceremony was arranged by Col. George Boyd, a Wichitan and veteran of Tuskegee who received his medal with the original group in 2007. When he learned Miller hadn’t yet been honored, he asked the mayor’s office to assist in making it happen.
A love of airplanes
Miller’s route to Tuskegee began with a childhood love of airplanes. “I loved making model aircraft, both solid, and paper and balsa wood,” he said. He took his first airplane ride when he was 10. While a student at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, in 1938 he was invited to learn to fly with the Civilian Private Training Program, a course designed to increase the number of pilots in the country. His mother, who taught at the university, “was most disturbed,” he said, at the thought of him leaving college, but in the end she allowed him to pursue his dream of flying. He was part of a segregated class of 18 men and two women
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
Aldee Miller, a member of St. James’, Wichita, holds his copy of the Congressional Gold Medal he received in January as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black aviation corps that was honored for their bravery during World War II.
in the two-year course in Chicago that would lead to private and commercial pilot licenses. At the end of the first year, a private pilot license physical confirmed what Miller had already known — he was color blind — and it meant he had to leave the program. He said that the doctor told him, “You can’t continue, because commercial pilots must have proper color vision, but a private pilot can fly on his own.” Miller then headed home to Florida to pick oranges. But with a high draft classification, in early 1941 he enlisted in the Army. After Pearl Harbor he was sent to Camp Wheeler in Texas, and it was there that commanders learned he knew how to fly.
Headed to Tuskegee
“They wondered why I wasn’t at Tuskegee,” he said, referring to the base in Alabama where the Army was training black men to fly as the first pilots in the U.S. military, and they arranged for his transfer. Miller entered flight training in December 1942 and spent six months in rigorous ground school and flight courses before another doctor told him that being color blind would prevent him from flying with the “Fighting 99th.” Although he was disappointed, being washed out of the aviation program did have one advantage. He’d been courting Helen Youngblood, a beautiful young woman from Texas, whose mother forbade her from marrying a wartime aviator because of the danger. But since he no longer
would be flying, Miller said Mrs. Youngblood told him, “Now you can talk to her.” They were married soon after. Miller stayed at Tuskegee for another two years as a supply sergeant, the duties he’d performed back in Texas. While there he helped support the work of what would become one of the most famous and decorated squadrons of aviators during the war. Miller said he’d not heard of Tuskegee before being assigned there, but he quickly learned that it was a point of deep pride in the black community. He said that the commanding officer, Col.
The Gold Medal A Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress; it and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. It is awarded to persons “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American
A lifelong Episcopalian
Miller said he grew up in the Episcopal Church, having been baptized in Florida when he was nine months old. His mother’s family all were Episcopalians, including his maternal grandfather, Thomas Gibbs, who was a cofounder of what now Distinguished careers After the end of the war, Miller is known as Florida A&M Univerwas discharged and took two se- sity, an historically black college. “I’ve always been proud of mesters of college at the Tuskegee Institute before he reenlisted in being an Episcopalian,” he said, the Army. He went on to be- noting that he was confirmed when he was 13 come an officer, at St. Michael and and he and his wife All Angels in TalHelen were sent to post-war Germany, “I’ve always been lahassee. He said that where he oversaw everywhere he a training center proud of being moved while in for black troops an Episcopalian.” the Army, “I tried stationed there. to be part of an He eventually — Al Miller Episcopal comsaw combat duty munity.” Many of during the Korean his assignments War and returned took him through to that country for two additional tours of duty after Fort Monmouth, N.J., and each the fighting ended. He also spent time there, he was active at the time stationed in Japan, where he nearby St. James’ Church in and Helen adopted a three-year- Eatonton. “I served that church old girl from an orphanage, whom as lay reader, lay minister and on the Vestry and as senior warden they named Beverly. In 1961 he retired from the twice,” he said. When he moved to Wichita military and moved with Helen and Beverly to New Jersey, where in 2003, he was a member of St. he spent the next five years as a Alban’s. When it closed in 2006, civilian consultant. He went back he began attending St. James. The Rev. Dawn Frankfurt, to college to complete his bachelor’s degree and then went on to the church’s rector, said Miller is “beloved by the congregation,” get a master’s. He then undertook an exten- and she especially appreciates his sive second career in education, faithful participation. “A 95-yearincluding serving as Superinten- old cradle Episcopalian, Al faithdent of Schools in the U.S. Virgin fully attends the early worship service on Sunday mornings at St. James’.” Until he stopped driving a few years ago, he also was a regular volunteer in the church office. Former rector, the Very Rev. Kate Moorehead, said Miller brought “vibrancy” when he volunteered. “He genuinely loves people and takes an interest in everyone. Frankfurt said the congregation “rejoiced” when he was recognized earlier this year with the Congressional God Medal. “Everyone in the congregation is so proud of Al for his distinguished U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO history having served as a TuskeThe Congressional Gold Medal gee Airman,” she said. awarded to the Tuskegee Airmen shows the profile of an aviator, Until recently Miller also mechanic and officer on the front, and volunteered as a docent at the the planes they flew on the reverse. Wichita Art Museum and assisted The original is in the Smithsonian the Wichita Aviation Museum in Institution in Washington; individual researching a history of the Beech Airmen receive a bronze replica. family, early Wichita aviation pioneers who went on to form the history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achieve- Beech Aircraft company. Lowell Wilder of St. James’ ment in the recipient’s field long also contributed to this story. v after the achievement.”
The Congressional Gold Medal On March 29, 2007, approximately 350 Tuskegee Airmen (or their widows) received the Congressional Gold Medal in a service in Washington, D.C., in recognition of their bravery during World War II. Since then, medals are being given to all who served at Tuskegee as they are found, whether they were pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, or any of the others who helped keep the planes in the air.
Islands. He retired for good in 1981, at age 81. Helen died in 2000, and in 2003 he married Ida Lou Harris, a good friend from New Jersey, and moved to Wichita. Ida died in 2013. He now shares a home with his daughter, Beverly, and a female tabby cat, Boots.
10 • The Harvest • May 2014
National and international news Anglican news briefs Episcopal News Service and Anglican Communion News Service Sharing Faith dinners inspire thousands across the country. Thousands of Episcopalians across the United States gathered in homes, restaurants and churches on Thursday, May 15, to share a meal and share stories of their faith. In the third year of Sharing Faith Dinners, the Dioceses of West Texas, Fort Worth, Northwest Texas, North Carolina and a few individual churches across the country and even Canada joined the Diocese of Texas for the annual event. Sharing Faith began in 2012, fashioned after Houston Interfaith Ministries’ Amazing Faith Dinners, where people of different faiths gather for a simple meal and to answer questions about their faith experiences. New Zealand province to divest fossil fuel shares. The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has become the first province in the Anglican Communion to pledge to divest from fossil fuels. The provincial synod May 14 passed a resolution that requires the church “to take all reasonable steps” to divest its shares in fossil fuel companies by its next synod, in mid-2016. Mark Wilcox, general manager of the Anglican Pension Board, advised the board that he recently had analyzed its portfolio and determined that divestment within two years may not be possible. However, the situation would be monitored on an ongoing basis. Court’s decision returns 27 properties to Episcopalians. In a preliminary decision, a California court has ordered the return of 27 properties held by a breakaway group to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and has said that dioceses cannot opt to leave the Episcopal Church. St. James Cathedral, the former diocesan offices, the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center near Yosemite National Park, the diocesan investment trust and 25 other church properties, valued at about $50 million, are included in the May 5 decision. Six other churches already had been returned to the diocese through court action, and a seventh was returned prior to litigation. Zambia Anglicans light up rural primary school. The Anglican Church in Zambia has brought hope to a rural primary school after it linked the school with an international charity to install solar-powered lighting systems in its classrooms. The Livingstonebased Mahululo Primary School, like many other primary schools in rural Zambia, has never been connected to the power grid, so pupils were limited to only studying during the day. Lights for Learning installed solar panels to produce electricity, along with LED light bulbs, which will last an average of 20 years and don’t get hot, making them safer for use in primary schools. No guns at Episcopal churches in Georgia, bishops say. Firearms will not be permitted in buildings or on property of any Episcopal church anywhere in the state of Georgia, bishops of the two Georgia dioceses have said. Diocese of Atlanta Bishop Rob Wright and Diocese of Georgia Bishop Scott Benhase spoke in response to a new law, the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, signed by the governor on April 24. Each bishop sent letters to clergy and lay leaders after the bill’s signing. The law, which expands where guns may be carried, takes effect July 1. Places of worship may allow the carrying of weapons, but that permission must be granted by the ecclesiastical authority which, in the case of the Episcopal Church, is the diocesan bishop. New Zealand commits to better gender balance in leadership. The General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has sharpened its goal of equal gender representation in provincial leadership. Synod passed a motion strengthening its standing resolution on gender balance in the make-up of the church’s decision-making bodies. Episcopal Church leases space to Lesotho. An agreement has been signed between the Episcopal Church (under its official corporate name, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society) and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Lesotho to the United Nations, to lease part of the 8th Floor at 815 Second Avenue in New York. In addition to the headquarters of the Episcopal Church, the building also provides space to the Consulat General de la Republique d’Haiti, the Ad Council and the Lyceum Kennedy School as tenants in the building. v
Partners are sought for stronger Kansas diocesan Haiti ministry By Janee’ Hanzlick For the past 30 years, churches in the Diocese of Kansas have been actively engaged in a partnership with five Episcopal congregations and their Episcopal primary schools in rural southwest Haiti. As the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti continues to need our help and support. In an effort to strengthen and broaden the impact of the diocese in supporting this mission, the Haiti Ministry Team at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Mission is inviting all diocesan parishes to consider recommitting themselves to this vital and life-sustaining partnership. Recognizing that most parishes in the Diocese of Kansas do not have the resources to support and form a partnership with an individual school on their own, St. Michael’s is seeking parishes and parishioners who would like to become partners in a diocesanwide Haiti ministry to pool our resources, passion, time and skills to support the Episcopal schools that depend on us for their survival. Elementary education is the major focus of the Kansas-Haiti ministry because most people in Haiti are unable to achieve even a basic level of education. In fact, only 20 percent of people in Haiti ever attain a sixth grade education. The children in our five Episcopal schools have very few other options for education in their rural villages. There is very little government-provided education in Haiti — 90 percent of students are educated by non-governmental organizations and faith-based groups. Through our ministry, churches in the Diocese
of Kansas are helping provide elementary education to nearly 700 children in southwest Haiti through parish schools. Kansas churches support teachers’ salaries, school supplies and medication for the five parish schools, as well as assist with specific needs, such as food assistance. We also make trips to Haiti to undertake special projects, ensure accountability and continue our long-term relationship with our Haitian brothers and sisters. At present, the primary diocesan partners to Haiti are St. Paul’s, Leavenworth; St. Thomas’, Overland Park; and St. Michael’s, Mission. We invite you to join us in this ministry. In return, you will be blessed with the friendship and spiritual partnership of our friends in Haiti. For more information, or to request a presentation to your parish or group, please contact me at (913) 515-7125 or email@example.com. Janee’ Hanzlick is a member of the Haiti Ministry Team at St. Michael and All Angels, Mission. v
New deacon is ordained in an L.A.-area laundromat From the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
Most ordinations take place in a church, but on April 28 Bishop J. Jon Bruno presided at an ordination in a different center of ministry — a Venice Beach, Calif., laundromat used by the community of Thad’s for its Laundry Love program. Laundry Love offers people who are down on their luck — the homeless, the working poor, those living on fixed incomes, single moms and their children — clean clothes as well as community, health and wellness. The program provides quarters, soap and machines to help those in need clean their clothes and bedding. Scott Claassen of Thad’s became a deacon surrounded by the slosh of washers and the hum of dryers, as friends, volunteers, and poor and homeless clients gathered around to take part in the rite. They raised their hands in blessing as the bishop spoke the words of ordination: “Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, give your Holy Spirit to Scott; fill him with grace and power and make him a deacon in your church.” In an interview with the Huffington Post, Claassen said he asked that his ordination take
PHOTO BY CHRIS TUMILTY
The new deacon, Scott Claassen, distributes communion bread to those at his ordination April 28 at a Venice Beach laundromat.
place in the laundromat, since that is a places where he already serves. In the interview, Claassen said, “We chose not to use microphones, lecterns or a grandiose altar. We responded to the space in a way that respected the work that was going on all around the ordination service. In that way, we hoped that the ordination service would reflect the orientation of the diaconate toward serving those in need.
“The result was a service in which we all stood on equal footing, and all who gathered participated in the service if they chose to do so.” During the service, people continued to flow in and out of the space, and washing machines kept spinning. Thad’s is an experimental community of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles with a mission “to take the love of Jesus ‘to the streets.’” It began in 2006. v
May 2014 • The Harvest • 11
Diocesan votes pave the way for women bishops in England Anglican Communion News Service
PHOTO BY LYNETTE WILSON/EPISCOPAL NEWS SERVICE
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reads the prayers that conference participants placed on a cross during the closing Eucharist of the Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace conference at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City on April 11.
The Church of England’s dioceses have now all voted in favor of the current draft legislation to enable women to be bishops. The legislation will go before General Synod in July for a final approval vote. Manchester was the last diocese to vote, and they approved the motion at a meeting of their Synod on May 22. The February 2014 meeting of General Synod referred the current “Women in the Episcopate” legislation to the dioceses for action. For the motion to be carried, the houses of clergy and laity had to each vote, by a simple majority, in favor. The Bishop of Rochester, James Langstaff, Chair of the Steering Committee for the Draft Legislation for Women in the Episcopate said, “The dioceses have now expressed their view very clearly, and the matter now comes back to General Synod in July. I pray that the Synod will continue to approach this decision in a prayerful and generous way as we move towards voting on the proposal that women may be bishops in the Church of England.” v
Oklahoma City conference Primates unite in looks at epidemic of violence outrage and prayer for By Mary Frances Schjonberg and Lynette Wilson Episcopal News Service A churchwide conference took place in Oklahoma City April 9-11 with the aim of helping Episcopalians renew their commitment to the Gospel call to make peace in a world of violence and “reclaim their role in society as workers for nonviolence and peace.” The event was titled “Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence.” The gathering of 220 people, including 34 bishops, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, was centered on four pillars — advocacy, education, liturgy and pastoral care — aimed at addressing the culture of violence within and outside of the church. And, at the end of the gathering on April 11, Diocese of Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton told the participants that “out of talk, much can happen.”
Reports from witnesses
Two women who experienced horrific violence and its aftermath set the tone for the closing day of the gathering. “I am standing here this morning because the violence that takes the lives of God’s beloved children every day all over our county and our world visited us in all its horrific and tragic loss in the quiet suburb of Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012,” said the Rev. Katie Adams-Shepherd, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, during morning worship. “Twenty-eight lives, violently and tragically cut short by a mentally ill man who had access to the kinds of weapons and high capacity magazines that he simply should never have had at his disposal, but rather should have had access to affirming mental health care and support,” she said. “We in Newtown are well aware that we joined a large part of the world that suffers mercilessly from violence and terrorism.” In the 16 months following the shooting, Adams-Shepherd said her community has become more engaged with others worldwide, including in Oklahoma, Colorado, South Sudan and El Salvador, communities that have suffered violent deaths, whether they’ve resulted from natural disasters or mark the everyday reality of life. Melissa McLawhorn Houston has also transformed her experience of violent death into a way to help others around the world deal with similar events. She survived the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
On that day during Holy Week almost 20 years ago, Timothy McVeigh committed an act of domestic terrorism that killed 168 people and injured 600 others, one of the first 20th century tragedies in what has become an epidemic of violence in the United States. Houston and other bombing survivors tell their stories to visitors to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and to people who have suffered from violence, including the 2011 bombing and shootings in Norway that left nearly 100 people dead. “One of the biggest ingredients that we see in terrorists is a lack of hope,” Houston told Reclaiming the Gospel participants during a visit to the museum. “If you don’t have your own sense of hopefulness for your own life, that’s where a lot of that starts from.” Experiencing that sort of violence does not leave people unscathed, Houston acknowledged, recalling her message and those of other Murrah survivors to survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks or last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, many of whom turned to Oklahoma City for help and advice. They told those people “it really sucks where you are right now but you will eventually move on. You won’t get over it; you’ll be different, you’ll be changed, but you will continue to have a life.”
A change of heart is needed
During the conference Archbishop Welby spoke of the heart’s role in transforming violence. “Reconciliation and an end to violence ... is something that can only be achieved by sacrifice and by a prophetic stand,” he said. “There are no shortcuts and there are no cheap options. We are talking at this point about change in the heart of the human being, and neither technology nor law will alter that.” He said, “The Christian disciple is to take up their cross, and for many even today this is no mere metaphor.” Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori also spoke about the role of the heart during her sermon at the gathering’s closing Eucharist. She said, “Violence begins in the heart, especially in hearts that have been wounded and scarred by the violence of others, and then react and respond aggressively, in overly defended ways. Violence begins in the heart that cannot countenance vulnerability — rooted in fear that its own vitality will be extinguished.” She said, “Violence is intrinsically kin to evil,” while “the ultimate counterforce to fear is perfect love, the ability to share life to the full, with radical vulnerability, in the face of those who would destroy it.” v
kidnapped schoolgirls Anglican Communion News Service Primates from countries all over the Anglican Communion have joined the worldwide outcry over the abduction of more than 200 young girls from Chibok, Nigeria. After the kidnappings became widely known, church leaders on five continents added their voices to the multitude of others calling for the safe return of the girls. Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba, condemned abductions of Nigerian schoolgirls as an “outrage.” He called for “all of Africa, and especially South Africa” to rise up and demand the release of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted from their school. Calling what happened “an atrocious and inexcusable act” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said, “My prayers and thoughts go out to the young people and their families at this upsetting time. I appeal to those who have taken these schoolgirls to release them immediately and unharmed.” The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, said in a statement that the church was “horrified” at what was taking place. “The unfortunate truth is that girls and women are still deemed dispensable in much of the world, or at least of lesser value than members of the other sex,” said the Presiding Bishop. “The necessary response is education — of girls and boys, in equal numbers and to an equal degree, that all might take their rightful place in societies that serve all their citizens with equal respect and dignity.” The Canadian primate, Arch-
bishop Fred Hiltz, called the Anglican Church of Canada to pray for the situation in Nigeria, saying, “The group behind the schoolgirl kidnappings, Boko Haram, and its declared intention ‘to sell them in the market’ is appalling. It is an abomination against internationally held human rights, and an absolute affront to the efforts of many nations to honor the Millennium Development Goals to empower women and young girls through a good education. “I am asking Anglicans to offer prayers of special intent in the coming weeks with people of all faiths who are appalled by these crimes,” he added. Primate of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, Francisco da Silva, issued a lengthy statement condemning the “terrible act.” He wrote, “Nigeria, like so many countries, has of course had its trying and difficult times as a multi-religious society — but it is in times of difficulty like these that we set aside our differences, and stand together — in solidarity, in demanding peace, and most importantly, demanding the safe return of these young women. Not simply a return to their families — but their return to the lives they knew, their ability to go to school and be educated, to have a better future, and to be beautiful, active members of a future Nigerian society.” The Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of New Zealand called on people to pray for the release and protection of the 200 schoolgirls. Anglican Archbishops Philip Richardson and Brown Turei, and Roman Catholic Archbishop John Dew said worship services were an opportunity for churches across the country to pray for, and to stand with governments and churches across the globe, wanting a safe return of the young women. v
12 • The Harvest • May 2014
Reflections on faith and life
Sharing the Good News
Spiritual leadership is shown through love and practice The Rev. Canon Meghan F. Froehlich At the recent diocesan Leadership Academy on May 3, 18 people gathered for a workshop on “Spiritual Leadership.” I was privileged to learn from these experienced, and often quiet, leaders. At first, our conversation was a bit reserved. It seemed to me that while everyone in the room was a leader in their ministry setting, most people had not had an opportunity to consider their own unique qualities. What is spiritual leadership? We shared how thinking of leadership in general evoked qualities of inspiration, trust and courage. Spiritual leadership started to come into focus when participants shared their thoughts about leading by example, allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, the importance of listening and availability, of caring for one’s own spiritual health, of being compassionate, caring, inclusive and honest. Now we were getting a little deeper… The conversation moved to where spiritual leadership was observed. Where have we seen spiritual leadership in action, and what did it look like? People shared small groups’ brief stories of what they had seen in others, often easier than seeing a quality in ourselves. Was there a difference between leadership in public settings and private? It seemed not — rather there was an integration of a leader’s actions regardless of setting.
‘Christ in action in a person’
Asking for support
For people who are counted on by a community to “get things done,” the next question touched a nerve: What do you as a spiritual leader need? The discussion came back to the need for spiritual leaders to offer perspective, and in order to do that, the need for taking a step back, even momentarily, from a situation of intensity. How often do we do this? How often do we need to? While we would sometimes prefer to feel invincible, this honest conversation offered the clear need for support for leaders. This did not mean agreement, but the genuine give and take of respect, listening and community care. How do I ask for the support I need? People expressed a profound gratitude to God and their companions in Christ for the opportunity to lead. And some expressed surprise that they were called on in these ways. Often it was someone else who recognized a gift in them and invited them to step into a leadership role — and now they were inviting others to explore their own gifts in similar ways. Where have you seen “Christ in action in a person” this week? This month? Have you thanked that person for allowing you to see God in a new way? Have you noticed the people who lead quietly and faithfully, inspiring you by their example? Have you thought about ways God may be calling you to pray or serve in a new way? The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas is richly blessed with faithful spiritual leaders. I am grateful to know so many around our great diocese and am always inspired by your example. The Rev. Meghan F. Froehlich is Canon Interim for the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. v
1 MegaCamp, Camp Wood, Elmdale, for grades 3-12 (through June 7)
9 Episcopal Youth Event, Villanova University, Philadelphia (through July 13)
15 Council of Trustees Meeting, Upton Hall, Topeka
Bishop Wolfe at Good Shepherd, Wichita
7 Ordinations, Grace Cathedral, Topeka, with reception following
19 Bishop Kemper School for Ministry Board Meeting, Upton Hall, Topeka
20 Bishop Wolfe at St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita
Bishop Wolfe at Grace Cathedral, Topeka
14 Bishop Kemper School summer courses open to all, “Mysticism in the Anglican Tradition” and “The Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament,” Upton Hall, Topeka (through June 15)
21 MissionPalooza youth urban mission trip, Kansas City, Mo. (through July 27) 27 Bishop Wolfe at Grace, Chanute
19 Education for Ministry mentor training, Grace Cathedral and Upton Hall, Topeka (through June 21)
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Descriptions all included an awareness of the holy, both in the leader being described and in the ability of a leader to assist others in connecting to God. It could be something as private as a conversation about a loved one’s death, to a courageous act of social justice. I saw faces aglow with feeling and insight as people talked with one another about people they met who exuded this quiet authority. People described feeling connected without any imposition, feeling cared about, feeling listened to, seeing vulnerability, clarity and a willingness to do what was right. After a time, the word love emerged as a way, though insufficient, to capture their experience.
A participant shared that it was like seeing “Christ in action in a person.” What does your ministry setting need of you as a spiritual leader? This question led off with a long silence. It was hard for most to consider that the very qualities they had described in others were also present in themselves. We offered words like centeredness, presence, optimism, perspective, encouragement and insight. Prayer came through loud and clear as one of the most important actions a leader can undertake.
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 from the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas