Page 1

Inside The Harvest From the bishop Bishop Wolfe reminds us that the Christmas season lasts a full 12 days, and he encourages everyone to observe them all, to have time to contemplate the miracle of Jesus’ birth. Page 2

Refugee agency Episcopal Wichita Area Refugee Ministry, or EWARM, has announced the appointment of its first executive director, just a year after the agency was created. Page 3

Same-sex blessings Seven-time Kansas General Convention deputy Larry Bingham describes the 35year journey that has led the Episcopal Church to ask for and be ready to debate proposals at next summer’s Convention that could lead to the blessing of samesex unions. Page 4

Chad Senuta, in pictures The story of Chad Senuta’s nearly 10 years of ministry to youth in the diocese is told in a variety of photos from youth events over the years. Page 5

Making prom special Grace, Winfield, wants every high school girl in the area to have a memorable prom, even if money is a problem. Through generous donations the parish provides formal dresses and accessories in a welcoming environment. Page 6

Seabury Academy chaplain The Rev. Patrick Funston has a congregation of 200 that he sees every day in his service as chaplain and teacher at the diocese’s secondary school in Lawrence, Bishop Seabury Academy. Page 7

Around the diocese Read about what’s happening in parishes and ministries around the diocese, including volunteer awards at Episcopal Social Services and campus coffee hospitality at K-State. Page 8

Coats for little ones A Topeka man has made it his mission for more than a decade to provide new, warm coats to young children in the area who otherwise wouldn’t have one, through his Warm Little Ones Coat Fund. Page 9

Interfaith effort in Omaha An Episcopal community is part of the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, which has brought together Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations. The three soon will have new buildings on a shared parcel of land, which also will include homes, offices and retail shops. Page 10

Diocese bids a fond farewell to youth missioner Chad Senuta By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest


oung people from across the diocese — including some alums and adult sponsors — gathered at Grace Cathedral, Topeka, Dec. 17 to say good-bye and thank you to Chad Senuta, who completed nearly 10 years as diocesan Youth Missioner on Dec. 4. Senuta’s wife, the Rev. Lisa Senuta, will be the new rector of St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Northfield, Ill., in the Diocese of Chicago. The couple and their daughters, Bethany and Mabel, are moving to Chicago at the end of December. The Mustard Seeds youth band, with Senuta on lead guitar, offered music for a Eucharist that had the stone walls of the cathedral rocking. The band has been one of the hallmarks of Senuta’s ministry. During his sermon, Bishop Dean Wolfe said that sometimes ministry to youth consists mostly of “pizza, movies and fun,” but that Senuta offered them much more. “Today we remember a ministry where Christ has been boldly and unapologetically proclaimed,” he said. “If all the young people who have been affected by Chad’s ministry over the past 10 years were here, this cathedral couldn’t contain them all.”

Photos by Melodie Woerman

Chad Senuta (left) admires a quilt made of T-shirts from all the youth events he’d sponsored during his nearly 10 years leading the diocesan youth program, as Danette Friedel, Good Shepherd, Wichita, looks on. The quilt was made by Kitty Fapp, Grace Cathedral, Topeka. Fapp and Friedel are adults involved with the youth program.

In response Senuta noted that Jesus said that people could tell his disciples because of the way they love one another. “He didn’t say by the number of times you go to church, but by love. Here, I have been loved,” he said. At a reception after the service, some

From rector to vicar: St. Paul’s, Coffeyville, looks to the future By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest


he people of St. Paul’s, Coffeyville, are undertaking a new model of ministry that not only answers their needs for clergy leadership but also points the way for other congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. On Jan. 1 the 115-communicant church in the Photo by Dale Tackkett southeast corner of the state moves from having a rector The Rev. Antoinette Tackkett (left) becomes vicar of St. Paul’s, Coffeyville, Jan. 1, following the retirement to a vicar, who is a bi-voca- of the current rector, the Rev. Jerry Adinolfi (right). tional priest who oversees a congregation engaged in team ministry. time salary while working full-time The Rev. Antoinette Tackkett has hours. But since then demographics have been named the vicar by Bishop Dean caught up with the church, and even a part-time salary no longer is possible. Wolfe. But when Tackkett was ordained to That shift was prompted by the Dec. 31 retirement of the Rev. Jerry Adinolfi, the priesthood last January (she graduwho will conclude 14 years as the par- ated from the Kansas School for Ministry ish’s rector, the second-longest tenure in in 2010), Adinolfi knew the time was right to announce his retirement and the church’s 133-year history. But it’s also the result of a clear-eyed help steer the congregation into its new look at the congregation’s resources future, which includes lay members takand a commitment to continue vibrant ing on more responsibility in areas like ministry even if finances can’t support administration and pastoral care. Tackkett said, “The most important what has happened in the past. When Adinolfi arrived in Coffeyville, thing the laity will need to do is pastoral his pension after a career as an Air Force (Please see Vicar, page 3) officer allowed him to draw only a part-

adult youth leaders presented Senuta with a quilt made from all the T-shirts at youth event that had taken place during his tenure. The quilt was made by Kitty Fapp of Grace Cathedral. (Please see Senuta, page 3)

Online donations now accepted via website By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest


new online donation system now is in place for people who want to make secure, electronic contributions to the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. To do this, donors go to the diocesan website,, and click the “Donate Now” button on the left side. That opens a page operated in partnership with Network for Good, a respected firm that manages secure, online donations for more than 6,000 non-profit organizations. Donors then can select the amount and frequency of their gift, the fund to which it should go, and the number of the credit or debit card they wish to use for the transaction. Donor contact information also is needed. Once a donation is made, donors receive a confirmation thank-you email generated by Network for Good, confirming the gift. Currently, donors can select from these places where they want a donation to go:  Crossroads Campaign, including making payments on a pledge;  Diocesan endowment;  Campus ministries;  Bishop’s Discretionary Fund;  Kansas to Kenya Missionary Fund; and  Youth camp scholarships. (Please see Donations, page 2)

2 • The Harvest • November/December 2011

From the Bishop

The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe

Publisher: The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop Editor: Melodie Woerman A member of Episcopal News Service and Episcopal Communicators, The Harvest is published six times a year by the Office of Communications of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas: February, April, June, August, October and December. Stories, letters and photos are welcome. They will be used on a space-available basis and are subject to editing. Send all material (preferably in electronic format or by e-mail) to: Melodie Woerman, editor The Harvest 835 SW Polk St. Topeka, KS 66612-1688 phone: (800) 473-3563 fax: (785) 235-2449 Send address changes to: Receptionist 835 SW Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688 Upcoming deadlines: January/February issue: Jan. 15 March/April issue: March 15 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 Rowan Williams Lambeth Palace, London WE1 7JU, United Kingdom Episcopal seat: Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England

The Episcopal Church A community of more than 2.1 million members in 110 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 Episcopal seat: Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas A community of 12,000 members in 46 congregations, two diocesan institutions and one school in eastern Kansas. Bishop The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe 835 SW Polk Street, Topeka, KS 66612-1688 (785) 235-9255 (800) 473-3563 Episcopal seat: Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Topeka

Go ahead! Celebrate all 12 days of Christmas


ear Friends, In my neighborhood, Christmas trees begin to be dragged to the curb for trash pickup the very day after Christmas. The lights begin to come down from neighbors’ gables almost immediately after Christmas Day, and within a few days, everything in the suburban landscape is quickly brought back to normal. By New Year’s Day, it is as if Christmas never really happened! And while I understand fresh evergreens don’t last forever and Christmas lights eventually need to be stored away, I’d like to advocate celebrating all 12 days of the season of Christmas. With the exception of the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” most people don’t realize Christmas is a liturgical season with 12 full days. We tend to focus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we miss the fact that the Christmas season gives us nearly two weeks to ponder the mystery, to welcome the Christ Child and to begin to explore the implications of Christ’s coming to earth in the form of a child. It takes some time to take in such a miracle. It takes some time to comprehend the radical love it communicates. It takes some time to begin to internalize that God loves us so much that he sent his only begotten son. It takes some time to wade through all the tinsel and wrapping paper to find the true and holy gift hidden in the midst of all of it. So yes, you can leave your Christmas tree up for 12 scandalous days! Yes, you can leave your holiday lights on every night of the Christmas season. Yes, you can continue to give gifts that reflect your love and appreciation of others. Yes, you can continue to practice acts of charity and love for the less fortunate. Yes, you can continue to go to parties and enjoy all the revelry of the season. And yes, you can continue to bid people “Merry Christmas” all the way up until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. This year, I invite you to explore the entire 12 days of the Christmas season and to discover the surprising gift that this time might become for you and your family. I invite you to a blessed and holy season of

Photo by Stephen Butler

It takes some time to take in such a miracle. It takes some time to comprehend the radical love it communicates. Christmas, and may Christ continue to be born in your hearts and be revealed in your lives and in your ministries. Faithfully, +Dean The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe 

Donations: Secure online option now in place (Continued from page 1) Network for Good is a 10-yearold company that has received the “charity seal” of approval from the non-profit arm of the Better Business Bureau that evaluates charities.

The diocese pays a fee for this service, which includes 3 percent of every gift made through the site. Donors have the option of adding 3 percent more to their gift, which reduces the cost of the online service to the diocese and provides an additional tax-

deductible contribution for them. Anyone with questions about using the new electronic donation procedure should contact Char DeWitt, diocesan director of development and stewardship, at (785) 250-0060 or cdewitt@ 

November/December 2011 • The Harvest • 3

Senuta: Programs for youth were expanded and enhanced during his 10-year tenure He also has added others, including the New Beginnings Youth who had been part of Senuta’s weekend for middle school stuministry made a farewell video for him, dents and the Fall Fun Fest, which incorporating some of his favorite mov- encourages youth to invite friends ies and television shows, including “Star to learn more about the diocesan Wars,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Elf” and youth ministry program. He also has offered special “The Office.” Youth alumni spread across the training and support weekends for country sent in their own short videos those who work in parish youth of thanks and appreciation. One young ministry. He also continued the apman ended his by telling Senuta to “stay pointment of 15-20 high school awesome.” In closing remarks, Senuta asked those youth each year as diocesan peer who had benefited from his ministry to ministers, which provides them with skills in leadership and minrespond by “paying it forward.” Canon to the Ordinary Craig Loya istry. He also has helped educate presented him with an icon of the Holy future youth leaders through the Trinity, noting that it depicts God as a youth ministry summer intern program he estabrelationship, an aplished in 2005, propriate image for A photo remembrance which gives Senuta’s ministry, of Chad Senuta’s college stuwhich has been based ministry as youth dents unique on creating strong remissioner is on page 5. hands-on skills lationships. and training in Chad Senuta holds an icon of the Holy Trinity Bishop Wolfe said as he listens to remarks about his ministry. A a chair with the seal of the diocese in- leading parish youth programs. Prior to leading the diocesan Eucharist and reception marking the end of his scribed on the back will be shipped to tenure as youth missioner was Dec. 17. Senuta’s new home in the Chicago area, youth program, Senuta had been a high school and middle school as a reminder of home. The bishop said, “We’ve had a tradiEnglish teacher. He also had served as a youth intern, worship leader tion of truly outstanding youth missioners Leader since 2002 Senuta has served as leader of the and peer minister at St. Francis Canter- for some time in this diocese. I intend for diocesan youth program since June 2002. bury while he was a student at Kansas the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas to continue to be a leader in youth ministries in During his ministry he has expanded and State University in the early 1990s. the Episcopal Church. We will continue enhanced several programs for youth of to support creative youth programs like the diocese, including the Bible-reading Advisory group to assist Bishop Wolfe has had an initial meet- Miqra, camp and Happening, which can weekend Miqra, Happening, the urbanministry experience MissionPalooza, ing with an advisory group to help him serve as models of excellence. Our comcamp and Kansas’s participation in the discern the next steps in providing leader- mitment is to the best youth ministries that we possibly can offer.”  ship for diocesan youth ministries. triennial Episcopal Youth Event. (Continued from page 1)

Vicar: ‘People are willing’ to take on tasks (Continued from page 1) care — hospital visits, and taking communion to the sick and those in nursing homes, which they already are doing.” Tackkett, along-time parish member, is a teacher and academic dean at Coffeyville Community College, so until she leaves that post in June 2012, she’ll have limited hours to commit to weekday parish work. Senior warden David Helgason said the initial challenge is to get more people engaged. “It’s a matter of getting people to step up,” he said. “People are willing, and we’re trying to get people who haven’t been as involved.” Tackkett said, “Everyone has known for several years that this day was coming. They’ve seen the budget at the Annual Meetings.” But they are readying for the challenge, she said. “There’s been no grumbling.” St. Paul’s has a Sunday attendance that tops 65 most weeks, but Helgason said that like many smaller churches, lots of its members are older and less able to be involved. Some new people have started attending, he said, adding increased vitality and energy to the congregation. He said the congregation has been “living off gifts” in recent years and now must rely only on pledged income to meet expenses. While giving has increased the past two years, it’s not enough to cover even a part-time salary, he said. Tackkett said the church will reimburse her for some expenses, but she otherwise will work without compensation.

Creating a model The Rev. Craig Loya, the diocese’s canon to the ordinary, already has met with the congregation several times to plan for this transition and will work with them in the next year to make it smoother. He said, “I am excited about the way in which this process can serve as a model for a shift that will happen in more and more parishes of the diocese,” he said. He added that several other churches, especially in the Southeast Convocation, have undertaken variations of this vicar-led ministry model, notably St. John’s, Parsons, and St. Timothy’s, Iola.

He said the transition process in Coffeyville will involve helping members assess the parish’s current ministry, determining what ministry teams are needed to carry out its mission, engaging in gifts discernment to see who has the gifts and skills to fill the ministry teams, providing training to fully empower members to exercise their ministries, and ongoing support. Loya said that while about a third of the diocese’s 46 congregations are large enough to sustain a full-time, seminaryeducated rector, most simply don’t have the numbers to do that. He said the diocese is beginning to resemble more and more what some have called a “mixed economy,” including parishes with full-time priests and smaller faith communities led by ministry teams with bi-vocational priests. Tackkett said that while an increased emphasis on ministry by lay members has been spurred by current necessity, she sees it as a positive development. “As a church, we have done an injustice to our rectors to expect them to take on all duties,” she said. “Now everyone is doing church, instead of just one person at the front with the others as bystanders. They have to be part of it now, and that’s what the early church was like.” Adinolfi said he’s already seen that at work. “They got it,” he said. “They are jumping in and picking up the ball.”

Learning the ropes Adinolfi said he was pleased to have six months to work with Tackkett, after she completed her post-KSM internship year. The two priests celebrate and preach on alternate Sundays, and he’s shared pointers on tasks like filling out the annual parochial report and planning Holy Week services. Tackkett praised Adinolfi’s mentorship, saying she feels as prepared as she can be to oversee the congregation. Adinolfi, who will move to Overland Park at year’s end to be nearer to his grandchildren, said he’s certain the congregation not only will embrace its new leadership model but will thrive under it. He says the people have “an evangelistic sense,” and with more people getting involved that will only continue. “I see lots of hope and growth,” he said. “What makes me proud of them is that they’re getting the gospel.” 

First director named for new refugee agency By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest


ishop Dean Wolfe has announced the appointment of Shannon Mahan as the first executive director of the Episcopal Wichita Area Refugee Ministry, or EWARM. The newly formed agency is an affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministry and will be settling political refugees from Myanmar (Burma) as early as February. Bishop Wolfe said of her appointment, “Shannon brings considerable experience in nonShannon Mahan profit management, an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for extending God’s love to those fleeing unimaginable circumstances.” Mahan is a licensed social worker with a master’s degree in non-profit management, and she has extensive experience in a variety of non-profit agencies. Her husband, Earl, is the priest in charge at St. John’s, Wichita. Mahan’s salary will be paid by money from federal grants that accompany refugee resettlement.

New agency helps the persecuted EWARM was started just over a year ago by members of St. John’s, who had a dream to help some of the millions of refugees who flee persecution every year. It has set up an office in the former administration building for St. John’s and has formed a partnership with the International Rescue Committee, a major global refugee agency that also recently established a presence in Wichita. The two groups are sharing office space. Funding for the agency and its resettlement efforts will come through Episcopal Migration Ministries, one of nine national agencies that hold agreements with the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees. It is part of The Episcopal Church. Those coming to Wichita through EWARM’s efforts aren’t immigrants but refugees — people who have been forced to flee their homes because of violence caused by ethnic, political and religious persecution, and who often end up in refugee camps along a country’s border. Many Burmese refugees have been homeless since 1988, when the military regime of Myanmar (as Burma now is called) violently cracked down on an emerging democratic movement. The agency is receiving funding through EMM to assist refugees for up to 90 days with needs such as housing, furnishings, clothing, food, assistance in applying for Social Security cards, medical screenings, English language instruction and job placement.

‘Ambassadors’ needed EWARM is asking members of Episcopal parishes across the diocese to serve as “ambassadors” to help welcome new refugees to Wichita. These volunteers can aid the refugees with transportation, companionship, assistance with learning English and welcome baskets to greet new families The agency also needs people to help furnish rooms in new residences. If interested in helping, contact Mahan at 

4 • The Harvest • November/December 2011

After 35 years, The Episcopal Church is still addressing issues of homosexuality and same-sex blessings By Larry Bingham


followed by a resolution at the next Convention in 1979, stating that homosexuality “should not be a barrier” to ordination in The Episcopal Church. The next Convention that gave major attention to this issue was in 1991, when all dioceses were asked to participate in a churchwide “Dialogue on Human Sexuality.” There were 25 parishes in the Diocese of Kansas that participated in a multiweek, guided dialogue on same-sex relationships.

ince 1976, The Episcopal Church has been seriously addressing the acceptance of gay persons and same-sex relationships in our church and in our society. During these 35 years there have been times when we were a leading voice in the culture on gay issues, there have been periods of silence, and there have been moments of great controversy that have caused dissension and schism. Focuses on quality of all Now we find ourselves scrambling to relationships catch up with a surprisingly quick turn of In my opinion, the most important event secular events where several states have in this 35-year journey was a resolution adapproved gay marriage and others are opted by the 2000 General Convention. DurLarry Bingham recognizing civil unions. ing debate over a resolution about same-sex In July 2012, our General Convention relationships, the conversation finally moved away from (which will meet in Indianapolis) will consider a proarguments about approving or disapproving homosexual posal to approve a 3-year trial use of a liturgical rite for activity and instead focused on the quality of all relationthe blessing of same-sex unions. Since the majority of ships, both heterosexual and homosexual. We stopped states do not permit marriages between persons of the talking about “them” and began to talk about “us.” same gender, the resolution that is being proposed will The final resolution, which was adopted by voice vote be limited to the blessing of unions. with virtual unanimity, defined the values The Episcopal Church expected of all relationships, both homosexual Issue first addressed in 1976 and heterosexual, noting that they “will be characterized The 35-year journey began with a resolution at the 1976 General Convention proclaiming that “homosexual by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communicapersons are children of tion, and holy love.” God who have a full and The resolution further equal claim with all othA resolution by General Convention denounced “promiscuity, er persons upon the love, in 2000, which was adopted by voice exploitation and abusiveacceptance and pastoral concern and care of the vote with virtual unanimity, defined the ness in the relationships of any of our member,” Church.” Although that values The Episcopal Church expected and stated that the church seems obvious in 2011, it was revolutionary in of all relationships, both homosexual “intends to hold all its members accountable to the 1970s. Until 1973, homosexuality was listed and heterosexual, noting that they “will these values.” Finally, we as a “mental disorder” by be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, had focused on and reached consensus on the core the American Psychiatric mutual affection and respect, careful, values the church expects in Association. sexual relationships That was quickly honest communication, and holy love.”

between its members. From this point on, these values have guided the deliberations on issues of sexuality.

Proposals to be debated in July Of course, all of the disagreements were not resolved in 2000. In 2003 we had a very public disagreement over the approval of the election of a gay man as the Bishop of New Hampshire. This disagreement extended to the wider Anglican Communion, where many of the other churches in the Communion held very different positions about sexual orientation. Those discussions occupied much of the attention of General Convention and the Anglican Communion between 2003 and 2009. That brings this journey story to the 2009 General Convention in Anaheim, which instructed the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop theological and liturgical resources for the blessing of same gender relationships. Its findings and proposals will be discussed at the next General Convention that meets in July 2012.

More information to come I have been monitoring the work and deliberations of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music during the past three years. I also have been appointed to the General Convention legislative committee that will receive the Standing Commission’s report, which they’ve already announced will include a rite for same-sex blessings. Between now and the time General Convention meets in July, I and other deputies from the diocese will share information about this issue in The Harvest and in other communications with the congregations. We’ll include theological and educational material as well as the draft of the proposed rite. I urge every church and every parishioner to read and study this material and to discuss it with each other as we approach the time of decision in July. Larry Bingham is a seven-time deputy to General Convention and has held a variety of leadership posts in the diocese, most recently as chair of the Crossroads capital campaign. He is a member of St. Michael and All Angels in Mission. 

Wichita church plans second Holy Land pilgrimage


t. James’, Wichita, sponsored a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in July 2011, and it was such a success that they are doing it again in July 2012. This second version will actually feature two trips — one for adults and another one for high school and college youth. All participants will leave on July 18. Adults will return on July 26, with youth arriving back in Kansas on July 30. Adults will visit Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Bethlehem, Caesarea, the Sea of Galilee, Jericho and Qumran. The cost is $3,685, which includes roundtrip airfare Members of St. James, Wichita, stop at St. from Wichita, all accommodations, James Street in the Old City of Jerusalem two meals a day, ground transporta- during a Holy Land pilgrimage in July 2011. tion in Israel and the services of an The church plans another trip in 2012. English-speaking guide. Leading the pilgrimage again will be the Rev. Amanda Eiman, St. James’ assistant rector, and Sue Abdinnour, a parishioner who is a native of Jerusalem and whose brother operates the travel agency that is making the arrangements. Youth making the pilgrimage will participate in activities through the Children and Youth Summer Camp Program, which is facilitated by members of Abdinnour’s family in Jerusalem. Young people will stay in various camp-like settings as they interact with Christian youth from the Holy Land, participate in volunteer work and engage in leadership training. They also will visit many of the area’s most sacred and historic sites. The cost will be $3,500 per person. All those participating in the pilgrimage must have a current passport. More information is available on the parish website at www.stjameswichita. org or by contacting Eiman at or (316) 683-5658 or Abdinnour at or (316) 744-8612. 

 

November/December 2011 • The Harvest • 5

For nearly 10 years Chad Senuta has spearheaded diocesan youth programs. That amounts to 10 years of fun at summer camp, 10 years of urban ministry through MissionPalooza, 10 years of cover-to-cover Bible reading at Miqra, 10 years of spiritual awakening through Happening and New Beginnings, 10 years of fun and new friends at the Fall Fun Fest. There also were hundreds of hours of rehearsals and performances with the Mustard Seeds youth band, and time spent consulting with parishes to strengthen their youth programs, He now heads off to Chicago, where his wife

On the ropes course at Camp Wood during Summer Camp 2010

has accepted a call to be rector of a parish. Blessings to you, Chad, as you begin your new adventure in Chicago. We’ll miss you!

Playing lead guitar with the Mustard Seeds youth band during Miqra 2009

Chad said he’d shave his head if there were 200 campers at this year’s first-ever MegaCamp. There were, so he did.

Readying for some sumo wrestling at Fall Fun Fest in 2007 Enjoying a competitive game of dodgeball at New Beginnings in 2010


6 • The Harvest • November/December 2011

Winfield church helps make prom dreams come true How to help

By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest


he people of Grace, Winfield, are working hard to make sure that the high school prom is a memorable experience for girls who otherwise couldn’t afford to go. In the spring the congregation will open for a fourth year a free shop it’s named Prom Dress Express, which seeks to outfit high school girls from head to toe in formal wear donated by parishioners and other. So far they’ve been able to provide formal gowns in a variety of sizes, styles and lengths (some with price tags still affixed), shoes, jewelry, evening bags, perfume, and make-up. The Rev. Betty Glover, the church’s rector, said the shop is set up in a nearby building that formerly housed a Montessori school. Volunteers have created a private dressing room complete with full-length mirror, and dresses are displayed on nearby racks.

Chance to feel beautiful Glover said the shop is open to all girls in the county’s high schools, reducing the stigma to those who need some help. She said the effort brought in a few girls the first year and a few more in the second, with last year’s shop

Prom Dress Express at Grace, Winfield, is seeking donations of these items to share with high school girls next spring:  Gently-used, clean, prom dresses in a variety of sizes, lengths and styles  Dressy shoes  Evening bags  Dressy jewelry  Make-up Anyone with items to donate should contact the Rev. Betty Glover at (620) 660-5777 or at The deadline to donate is late January. Pick-ups of donated items also can be arranged by contacting Glover. Submitted photo

Janine Hudson (left) and the Rev. Betty Glover of Grace, Winfield, display dresses that will be available at the church’s Prom Dress Express in the spring. Donated dresses and accessories mean high school girls can attend their prom who otherwise couldn’t afford to go.

drawing more than the initial years combined. “Everything is completely free,” she said, and some of the dresses that girls have selected have been donated back. “That’s a wonderful by-product of the program,” she said. “We give, and they have the opportunity to give back to another young woman.” She said many of the girls who come bring their mothers with

them to shop. “I have loved seeing moms shop with their daughters, without having to worry about costs,” she said. Glover said she really loves this project. “It doesn’t save the world,” she noted, “but it offers a chance for someone to feel beautiful, a chance for a touch of luxury, that otherwise might not be possible.” Glover said the shop again

is seeking donations of gentlyused, clean, prom-style dresses, as well as dress shoes and other accessories. Because Prom Dress Express is open from mid-February through March, they need donated items by late January. Members of the south-central Kansas parish also are willing to pick up dresses from nearby donors, she said.

Some people who don’t have items have donated money to help pay for dry cleaning a few dresses that required it. Glover said they also dream of being able to provide things like gift certificates for manicures or other beauty care services, “things that would make for a lovely evening that otherwise might not be possible,” she said. Anyone with items to donate can contact Glover at (620) 6605777 or chaplainbetty@sbcglobal. net. 

Communications survey: we asked, and you answered


he recent survey of the diocesan communications ministry indicates that people are very pleased with what they see. The survey was offered online and also was printed in the September-October issue of this newspaper, to allow people access to the questions in a variety of media. There were a total of 190 responses, 180 online and 10 in print. When asked which of the communications tools they use, the overwhelming favorite was The Harvest (903 percent), followed by DioLog (66.1 percent), the diocesan website (55.9 percent), the diocesan Facebook page (26.9 percent) and the diocesan Twitter feed (4.3 percent). People expressed a high level of satisfaction with The Harvest, with 60.4 percent very satisfied and 18.1 percent somewhat satisfied. 19.2 percent were neutral about the newspaper, and 2.1 percent said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied with it. The five favorite content areas in The Harvest are news and features about parishes in the diocese (91.0 percent), news and features about people in the diocese (77.5 percent), the “Around the diocese” parish news briefs page (77.0 percent), Bishop Wolfe’s column (65.7 percent) and news about diocesanwide ministries (59.0 percent). The biweekly diocesan e-newsletter, DioLog, also drew praise, with 22.2 percent of people calling its content essential, 45.1 percent very helpful, 12.3 percent somewhat helpful and 0.9 percent not helpful. 18.5 percent of respondents had no opinion about the newsletter. While the majority of people responding use the diocesan website only occasionally (50.5 percent), another 26.9 percent use it at least monthly. Respondents said their top destination on the website was the diocesan calendar (59.4 percent), followed by the news page (47.8 percent) and the bishop’s visitation calendar (35.5 percent). Most people don’t currently engage the diocesan social media platforms. 56.8 percent of respondents said they never use the diocesan Facebook page, with a whopping 84.0 percent never using the diocesan Twitter feed. Of those who replied, 55.1 percent were women, 77.7 percent were lay people, and 70.1 percent were age 55 or older. Only 23 people under age 45 completed the survey. 46.5 percent of the respondents attend church in the Northeast Convocation, 21.4 percent in the Southwest, 18.7 in the Northwest and 9.6 percent in the Southeast. Seven people from outside the diocese also participated. 

Photo by Deacon Oliver Bunker

Grace, Chanute, members (from left) Nicki Gladson, Linda Cockrell, Kevin Deware, Kathy Ross and Mary Ann Ross compete to see whose chili will represent the church in the city’s Sixth Annual Battle of the Churches Chili Challenge. Gladson’s chili prevailed. The citywide event is sponsored by the Episcopal parish to raise money for a local homeless shelter; more than $12,000 has been collected so far.

Grace, Chanute sponsors chili challenge


homeless shelter was the real winner in an ecumenical chili cook-off sponsored by Grace, Chanute. The sixth annual “Battle of the Churches Chili Challenge” took place Nov. 18 at the First Baptist Church, one of the participants. According to Deacon Oliver Bunker, who organized the event, nine Chanute churches participated this year, representing Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Christian and United Brethren traditions. The effort raised more than $3,100 for Faith House, a local homeless shelter. Since it began in 2006, the chili cook-off has collected more than $12,000 for the shelter, Bunker said. Each of the participating churches brought enough chili to feed 50 people, along with crackers and

bowls in which to serve it. The public could sample as many types of the steamy stew as they wanted, at 50 cents each. They then were invited to “vote” for their favorite by dropping money into decorated jars at each church’s table. The church whose chili collected the most money was deemed the winner. That honor went to New Life United Brethren in Christ Church, which not only went away with ecumenical bragging rights for the next year but also with the traveling plaque that denotes the winner. Bunker said the annual event is “a fun and ecumenical way to raise some money for this very important ministry in our community.” And, he added, “a little healthy competition might do us all some good!” 

November/December 2011 • The Harvest • 7

School chaplain offers students room to explore faith By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest



he Rev. Patrick Funston wears two hats as chaplain at Bishop Seabury Academy in Lawrence — spiritual leader and teacher — but both have a single purpose: to help young people explore issues of faith and to encourage the formation of their spiritual lives. He was appointed to this position by Bishop Dean Wolfe in July, following his spring graduation from seminary. He will be ordained a priest in January. Funston said that while it has been a challenge to get up to speed in such an important position right out of seminary, he truly enjoys serving as spiritual advisor to the students, faculty and staff at the Episcopal school, which is an institution of the diocese. “I have the opportunity to preach the gospel to 200 people on a daily basis,” he said. While the school has had a chaplain since it opened in 1997, the position became full-time in 2008. Funston is the second person to serve in that capacity, which includes teaching two sections of World Religions. His predecessor was the Rev. Sarah Knoll (who happens to be his sister-in-law), who served for two years. The diocese covers half the cost of the chaplaincy, as part of the program to place recent diocesan seminary graduates in jobs in the diocese. Bishop Wolfe worked to enhance the position of chaplain because of the diocese’s deep commitment to the faith development of young people. “We believe we have an opportunity to establish strong faith in young people at a time that is unique in their lives, when they want to explore faith issues,” he said. “Bishop Seabury Academy represents one of the most important mission fields in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.” Funston, 29, is a product of that diocesan youth commitment, having spent his formative years at St. Francis in Overland Park when his father was rector there. He was active in diocesan youth events and was among the first youth peer ministers selected.

Distinctly Episcopalian Funston presides over chapel services each Wednesday morning, basing it on Prayer Book liturgies. A service in early December used a modified form of Morning Prayer, accompanied by the lighting of the school’s Advent wreath. His homily included videos and stories to help students think about the real meaning of Christmas. While chapel services in the past have represented a variety of religious traditions, Funston is committed to using the Book of Common Prayer. “I want to convey my love of being Episcopalian and of Jesus to the kids,” he said. Dr. Don Schawang, the head of school, said he appreciates that Funston offers an Episcopal service while valuing the faith traditions of the students, only a few of whom are Episcopalians. “We’re being respectful and valuing inquiry,” he said. “That’s distinctly Episcopalian. We’re giving them a place to explore and to empower students with knowledge and the opportunity to inquire.” Jacquie Krueger, the school’s director of admissions, said she can see a difference in the students after they’ve attended chapel. “They walk with a relaxed feeling,” she said. “There’s a lighter feel about them.” A non-Episcopalian herself, she said the way Funston presents matters of faith to the young people is just right. “Whether they


 Located at 4120 Clinton Parkway in Lawrence  172 students in grades 6 - 12; 28 faculty and staff  Opened in 1997; moved into its current location in 2003  An institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas  Its mission: to promote individual academic growth and character development through an excellent education rooted in moral principles  Named after Bishop Samuel Seabury, the first bishop consecrated in the Episcopal Church after the Revolutionary War  School emblem is based on the anchor cross in the seal of the diocese  Tuition is about $12,000 a year; a quarter of the students receive financial aid.  Students must adhere to a dress code: khaki pants, skirts or shorts, and collared shirts in the school colors of white, black, navy blue and dark green

Above: The Rev. Patrick Funston discusses the Zoroastrian religion during one of the two World Religions classes he teaches every day at Bishop Seabury Academy, an Episcopal secondary school in Lawrence.

forcing them into anything — faith, or feeling something they don’t feel, or thinking something they don’t think — but providing them with information and guidance.” He also said Funston exhibits a characteristic that’s important for anyone who works with students — speaking with them and not to them.

Classroom challenges

Right: As chaplain, Funston leads a weekly chapel service based on the Book of Common Prayer for the school’s students, faculty and staff. Photos by Melodie Woerman

are a person of faith, they grow into faith because it’s not being forced on them,” she said. “It encourages them to be inquisitive.” The 172-member student body at Bishop Seabury reflects an eclectic mix of faith traditions. Funston said the majority are Roman Catholic, coming from the city’s two elementary parochial schools. There also are four Episcopalians, a few Muslims, one Sikh, one Jew, some conservative Evangelicals and other mainline Protestants, two who identify themselves as Wiccan, “and lots of unchurched or those who call themselves atheist or agnostic” he said. He said while he’s unabashed in sharing his own faith, conversion isn’t the main goal. “Some might become Episcopalians,” he said, “but it would be nice for kids to come out saying, ‘This is what Episcopalians believe, and this is what I believe.’”

Seventh grader Seth Peters likes the way the school is true to its faith tradition. “We are an Episcopal school that accepts everyone,” he said. “You don’t have to make excuses for being church.” Bishop Wolfe echoed that sentiment, saying the school recognizes that its students come from various faith backgrounds, “but we are clear about the Episcopal DNA of the school.” Schawang said that kind of religious clarity models what he wants to see in students at Bishop Seabury Academy. “Be passionate,” he said. “Don’t be fuzzy. Claim the confidence in your own exploration, which leads them to ask, ‘What do I believe long term?’” He said one of Funston’s greatest gifts is his authenticity. “Students appreciate that he is who he is,” he said. “He’s not

Funston said one of his biggest challenges has been learning the ropes as a classroom teacher, something for which seminary did not prepare him. He sees each of his 32 students every day in one of two sections of his World Religions class, which is the social studies requirement for all 8th graders. “I’m having to learn both content and the method of teaching,” he said. He’s received lots of help from faculty members and from Schawang, as well as what he calls “grace from the students.” On a recent day he described the elements of Zoroastrianism, a monotheistic religion that originated 1,000-500 BC that bridges Eastern and Western religious traditions. He creates lesson plans from the class’s textbook, and he’s grateful to have only two sections to teach; most teachers have four. Funston said he is amazed at how much he has been shaped by his ministry at the school after just seven months. Not only does he relish times “when they make a connection and I don’t have to make it for them” but also the opportunity to spend so much time with them. “A parish priest sees most people only on Sundays,” he said. “Here, it’s like being in a congregation and having them with you five days a week. Every day is almost a Sunday.” 

8 • The Harvest • November/December 2011

Around the diocese  St. John’s, Abilene offered a Christmas pageant this year based on a Norwegian legend about the night of Jesus’ birth, with parts for all the young people in the congregation.  Trinity, Arkansas City hosted a taco supper fundraiser Oct. 17, complete with plates of the Mexican treat and gift baskets for sale. Early reports said proceeds would equal that of the 2010 event.

children in two local elementary schools. Members of the youth groups wrapped the gifts together on Dec. 17.  St. Martin’s, Edwardsville offered members the chance to make their own Advent wreath in a special activity after church on Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent.

 Trinity, Atchison concluded its discussion of Randy Pope’s book The Intentional Church, in which he notes that congregations grow when their members are themselves growing in faith.

 Trinity, El Dorado offered a pre-Advent quiet day on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the church as an opportunity to set aside cares and concerns of the daily world and provide time to reflect. Meditations and silence formed the bulk of the day.

 St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids women concluded their fall Bible study in November, when the 10-member group wrapped up current lessons from Bill Hybel’s book, Too Busy Not to Pray. The group will resume during Lent with more discussion.

 St. Andrew’s, Emporia now offers a lunch each Saturday to people in need in the community through “St. Andy’s Kitchen,” an effort by parishioners to help those in need on a day when the local feeding program doesn’t serve meals.

 St. Paul’s, Clay Center watched “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” during the church’s monthly movie night. The story describes a relationship between a man and his dog that transcends death.

 St. Thomas’, Holton has a new Advent wreath banner, handcrafted by members Luray Benson and Terri Horanic. Flames on the four candles attach by Velcro so they can be “lighted” each week.

 St. Paul’s, Coffeyville is practicing environmental stewardship by using non-disposable coffee mugs on Sunday mornings and asking people to bring their own table service for potluck dinners.

 St. Margaret’s, Lawrence enjoyed a delicious breakfast Dec. 11 between services, featuring the famous French toast prepared by the rector, the Rev. Matt Zimmerman.

 St. Andrew’s, Derby joined with a local Lutheran church to provide Christmas gifts for 178

 Trinity, Lawrence members again purchased plum puddings prepared by members of TEST,

ESS honors outstanding volunteers


piscopal Social Services in Wichita honored some of its volunteers during its annual volunteer recognition dinner on Oct. 16. More than 170 people volunteer at ESS each year, providing more than 10,000 hours of service.

Bob Parker Award The coveted Bob Parker Award went to Joyce Barker, a member of Good Shepherd, Wichita. Named for the agency’s first director, this award is given out only periodically to acknowledge a volunteer who shows longevity and consistency. Barker has been a volunteer in the agency’s food program for more than 10 Volunteers of the Year years and assists in the kitchen every Marjorie Williams (top) Joyce Barker, recipient of the Friday. In addition, she usually brings and Bud Lytle Bob Parker Award homemade baked goods from home to share with those who come to the Marjorie Williams, a member of St. James’, agency in downtown Wichita seeking a hot meal Wichita, has been a part of the program for more and other kinds of assistance. than five years and volunteers every day but one the program is open. She also plays the piano for Volunteers of the Year the newly formed Venture House Singers. Among those receiving special recognition Bud Lytle, a member of St. Christopher’s, were two longtime volunteers in the agency’s Wichita, also has been part of the payee program Representative Payee Program, which administers for more than five years and, like Williams, assists disability benefits for those who need this service. clients nearly every day the program operates. 

the parish’s environmental stewardship team, as a fundraiser to support the group’s ministry. It took six gallons of prepared mixings to make all the puddings.  St. Paul’s, Leavenworth hosted a family Advent event Nov. 20 after church. Soup and sandwiches were provided, and attenders could make Advent wreaths and take part in other Advent-themed activities.  St. Paul’s, Manhattan engaged in outreach via hot beverages when it provided free coffee and hot chocolate to those watching the city’s Veterans Day parade Nov. 11 as it passed by the downtown church. The porch of the thrift shop building provided the perfect serving location.  St. Paul’s, Marysville helps its community by providing BackSnacks every week for elementary school students in need. The packs contain a weekend’s worth of food.  St. Michael’s, Mission offered people experiencing a difficult time or burdened by the arrival of the holiday season an opportunity for worship through a Blue Christmas service at noon on Dec. 8.

Photo by Nic Mather

Coffee and cocoa hospitality

Olivia Divish (left) and Naomi Cunningham, peer ministers at the Episcopal campus ministry at Kansas State University in Manhattan, offer free hot coffee and cocoa to students walking to campus on Dec. 12, the first day of fall semester finals. Students at Canterbury House offered the warming beverages on the first two days of finals as a tangible expression of God’s love. 

 St. Matthew’s, Newton has purchased an automatic external defibrillator, which can help restart the heart of someone in a medical emergency. The parish nurse, Sandra Herder, provided training in how to use the equipment for several Sundays this fall and encouraged every member over the age of 12 to be trained.  St. Aidan’s, Olathe has rededicated its chapter of the Daughters of the King, which first was established there in 1998. New

members of this order for women, committed to prayer and service, begin their training in January.  Grace, Ottawa is making plans to restart Sunday school classes in January and is looking for teachers.  St. Francis, Overland Park celebrated their annual Harvest Supper on Oct. 29. The highlight of the evening was the homegrown talent show that followed the dinner.  St. Thomas, Overland Park conducted a blood drive at the church Dec. 11. It offered parishioners the chance to give the gift of life by donating a pint of blood, noting that every two second someone in the U.S. needs blood.  St. John’s, Parsons hosted 18 students for its Laundry and Latte outreach to Labette County Community College students early in the semester. They helped students with summer birthdays celebrate with cake and a free extra load of laundry, paid for by the church.  St. Peter’s, Pittsburg members Larry and Theresa Vanderhoofven hosted a Holy “Spirits” gathering — formerly known as the wine-tasting group — at their home. Participants were asked to bring a beverage and potluck dish.  St. Luke’s, Shawnee member and artist Peggy Cook is offering drawing and painting classes for any interested parishioners on eight Thursday evenings. Beginners through experts were invited.  Grace Cathedral, Topeka staged a dramatic reading of the Gospel of Mark on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, directed by member Marvin Stottlemire.

Mark is the main gospel read during the current Lectionary year.  St. Luke’s, Wamego welcoming committee is working on creating a “Get Acquainted” booklet for visitors. It’s being based on the one produced by Grace Cathedral.  Good Shepherd, Wichita offered an old-fashioned Harvest Festival Nov. 12 after the church’s Saturday evening worship service. Participants were asked to bring a snack and then bob for apples or try their luck at the cake walk.  St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita enjoyed an all-parish Thanksgiving-style dinner on the Sunday before the holiday, after church.  St. James’, Wichita is helping fill the needs for Christmas gifts by purchasing items for 14 families through Episcopal Social Services, as well as the families of students in the parish’s afterschool program.  St. John’s, Wichita enjoyed a parish turkey dinner on Nov. 16 after the Wednesday evening service. There was no charge to attend, but donations were accepted to aid the discretionary funds of parish clergy, to help neighbors in need.  St. Stephen’s, Wichita youth group members and adults chopped onions and browned beef to create chili to sell during the annual parish rummage sale. The sale netted more than $4,700 for youth scholarships.  Grace, Winfield hosted its fourth annual pie back-off on Nov. 16. The winner of the “Bishop’s Prize” for best pie was the chicken pot pie from Karen Deal and Helen and Sarah Emrick. 

November/December 2011 • The Harvest • 9


Topeka man’s goal: warm Love of parish ministry brings Kansan home coats for all area kids By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest

By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest



or more than a decade Jim Brewer has had a single passion — to make sure that children in the Topeka area have a new, warm winter coat. The Grace Cathedral member has channeled that commitment into upwards of 11,000 coats, which are provided by area agencies with money donated by his “Warm Little Ones Coat Fund.” His interest was sparked 11 winters ago when Brewer picked up his young granddaughter from the Salvation Army day care center. He and the director began chatting about coats, and Brewer learned that many of the children there didn’t have anything to keep them warm. A Topeka dry cleaning business gathers used coats to distribute, he said, but few children’s coats are donated. So he decided to do something about that. He collected 60 coats, mostly used, and handed them out to youngsters in the day care center. When he gave away the new coats, “you could tell the difference in their faces,” he said. After that, he was committed to providing only new coats. “They meant so much more to the children and families,” he said. As other agencies heard about his generosity, they began calling to see if he could supply them with coats. He soon concluded that he’d concentrate on raising funds so agencies could buy coats for their children rather than collecting coats himself. Not only did it eliminate the need to store them, “but now they can match a coat to

Photo by Melodie Woerman

Jim Brewer, a member of Grace Cathedral, Topeka, has helped provide new coats to kids in need in the Topeka area for more than a decade through his Warm Little Ones Coat Fund.

the child who needs it,” he said, noting that Kansas City Chiefs jackets are popular with boys, while girls gravitate to coats in pink and purple. His voice choked with emotion as he described one girl who twirled around with glee after receiving her coat. “She said, ‘Don’t I look pretty? No one has ever worn this coat before.’” Brewer hates to turn down any child in need, but he targets children from birth to age 5. “They’re the ones who often can’t obtain a coat,” he said. Some children are repeat customers, getting another new coat after outgrowing one. His efforts have grown so much that it now is an official, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization administered by the Topeka Community Foundation. The

Want to help? Contributions to Brewer’s “Warm Little Ones Coat Fund” can be sent to: Topeka Community Foundation 5431 SW 29th Street, Suite 300 Topeka, KS 66614 Or made online at:

fund now takes in about $5,000$6,000 a year. A lifelong Episcopalian, Brewer said that a priest once told him, “You are put on this earth to do community service.” He’s tried ever since to heed those words. “I think God is telling me to do this [fund],” he said. “It’s rooted in God’s call.” 

hen the Rev. Ben Varnum accepted a call to become assistant rector at St. Thomas in Overland Park, the Kansas City native said many people remarked that he was coming back home. He sees it a little differently. “It’s not going back to Kansas,” he said, “it’s stepping forward into the fullness of the calling. It’s a step into something new but also familiar.” Varnum’s route from a young man growing up at St. Michael and All Angels in Mission (who also was an active diocesan youth program participant) to assistant at a nearby parish took him to Chicago, where he received degrees from the University of Chicago. After college Varnum said he thought he had a calling to teach. Since he’d always been interested in exploring how our interactions with other people shape us, he thought a Master of Divinity degree would be his best graduate school road to teaching. What he wasn’t prepared for was falling in love with parish ministry, he said. His divinity degree required him to work in a congregation, and he was assigned to St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church. There he realized he’d rather do parochial ministry than anything else he could imagine. He started the process for the priesthood in the Diocese of Chicago but was caught in a two-year moratorium on all ordinations as they retooled their process. By the time he was given the OK this past summer, he’d already finished seminary, spent four years

The Rev. Ban Varnum, shown here at his ordination as a transitional deacon Nov. 1, is the new assistant at St. Thomas, Overland Park.

working in a parish and had done a hospital chaplaincy residency year. “It was hard to do it this way,” he said. “I did everything backwards.” Varnum was ordained a transitional deacon on Nov. 1 and expects to become a priest in 2012. A family trip back to Kansas City offered the opportunity to have lunch with the Rev. Gar Demo, rector at St. Thomas who led diocesan youth programs when Varnum was in high school. Demo mentioned he’d be looking for an assistant, and Varnum said it felt like “the right calling.” He started Oct. 1 He said the parish of 700 people provides existing programs into which he can fit his gifts for adult formation and education, along with liturgical and pastoral duties. “It’s amazingly hospitable with lots of energy and possibilities,” he said. 

Clergy news The Rev. A. Patrick K. Funston, chaplain at Bishop Seabury Academy, Lawrence, will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 10:30 a.m. Grace Cathedral in Topeka. A reception will follow.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Woodyard

Blue Rapids youth rides to first-place awards Logan Zimmermann (on horseback), a member of St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids, placed first in two horseback riding events Sept. 11 at the Nebraska Special Olympics at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Neb. His first-place awards were in trail ride and showmanship. Logan, 12, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. He has been riding horses with the Nebraska Equine Assisted Therapy program for almost 10 years. Pictured with Logan is his stepbrother, Gage Woodyard, who also is a member of St. Mark’s. 

The Rev. Joyce Holmes has been appointed as priest in charge at Grace, Chanute, beginning Dec. 15. She previously served as rector of St. Matthew’s, Newton, from 1994 to 2001, and as assistant at St. Stephen’s, Wichita, from 1991 to 1994, following her ordination to the priesthood by Bishop William Smalley. She most recently has been rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer

in Avon Park, Fla., in the Diocese of Central Florida. The Rev. Lisa Senuta has accepted a call to become the rector of St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Northfield, Ill., in the Diocese of Chicago, beginning Jan. 15. She has been the assistant rector at St. Michael and All Angels in Mission and before that was assistant at St. Thomas in Overland Park. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2001 by Bishop Smalley. The Rev. Peter Doddema was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 21 at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Ky., by Bishop

Chilton Knudsen on behalf of Bishop Wolfe. Doddema, who was ordained to the transitional diaconate in this diocese in June, is serving at St. Phillip’s in Harrodsburg, Ky. The Rev. Sarah Knoll was married on Nov. 26 to Jami Sweeney in St. Louis, where she now serves as a hospital chaplain. The Rev. Amanda Eiman, associate priest at St. James’, Wichita, has announced her engagement to the Rev. Christopher Bishop, priest-in-charge of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Radnor, Penn. No wedding date has yet been set. 

10 • The Harvest • November/December 2011

National and international news Anglican news briefs Episcopal News Service and other reports  Haiti elects Ogé Beauvoir as bishop suffragan. The Rev. Canon Ogé Beauvoir, dean of the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Port-au-Prince, was elected Nov. 25 to be the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s first bishop suffragan. Beauvoir was elected on the second ballot. The election took place at a special diocesan convention at Ascension Church in Carrefour, a suburb of Portau-Prince. Beauvoir, 55, will assist Bishop Diocesan Jean Zaché Duracin as he serves the people and clergy of the diocese, numerically the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church. The new bishop suffragan will be headquartered in the Greater North Region of Haiti.  Arizona offers border visit in April. The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona is offering a visit to the U.S./Mexico border in April to give Episcopalians the opportunity to better understand the complexity of border issues. “Crossing Over” will take place April 12-14, 2012, and will include stays in Nogales and Douglas, Ariz., as well as a cross-border excursion to Agua Prieta, Naco or Nogales, Mexico. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will be among those participating, and she will offer an address before the seventh annual “God Has No Borders” procession that will take place on April 14. More information about the April event is on the website of Episcopal Border Ministries, http://  New Zealand Cathedral dean quits post for city council seat. After nine years, the Rev. Peter Beck, dean of the Anglican Christchurch Cathedral, in Christchurch, New Zealand, is quitting “the best job the church” to run for a seat on the City Council. He said wants to play a greater role in rebuilding New Zealand’s second biggest city following the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 22. Beck reportedly clashed with Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews over fundraising tactics to rebuild the deconsecrated cathedral. He had hoped the cathedral would be rebuilt by the first anniversary of the earthquake, while Bishop Matthews believed money should be raised for all Anglican churches damaged in the quake, rather than just the cathedral.  Two Episcopal communities named interfaith models. Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries in Omaha, Neb., and St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., have been named by the National Council of Churches as two of its first five “model interfaith engaged congregations.” Each congregation recognized for its engagement in interfaith relations will in turn serve as a mentor for other congregations seeking to enhance their work in this area. The Council expects that recognition of model congregations will become an annual event.  Former Canadian general secretary elected bishop of Uruguay. The Ven. Michael Pollesel, former general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, has been elected bishop of Uruguay by the diocesan synod. The election still has to be approved by the province of the Southern Cone, whose House of Bishops meets in May 2012. Pollesel resigning as general secretary last summer to become rector at Toronto’s St. Nicholas Church, Birchmount. He will take up the position in Uruguay, a country of 3.5 million people, after Bishop Miguel Tamayo Zalviídar retires in June. He will stay on at St. Nicholas until a new incumbent is found.  Tutu, Makgoba challenge governments on climate change. Governments must act to ensure that the health, livelihoods, security and existence of all people are not threatened by climate change, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town told the “We Have Faith — Act Now for Climate Justice” rally at King’s Park Stadium, Durban, on Nov. 27. Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu addressed thousands of people at the multifaith rally, after which he handed over a petition to the U.N., calling on world leaders to commit their governments to a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement to combat climate change.  Former ecumenical officer to become assistant bishop of Chicago. The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting in January will become the assisting bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Epting is the retired bishop of the Diocese of Iowa who later served for nine years as the presiding bishop’s deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations. He retired from that position at the end of 2009. 

Answer: What priest recently appeared on the quiz show “Jeopardy”? Episcopal News Service


he Rev. D. Scott Russell, Episcopal Church chaplain at Virginia Tech, learned a few things during the journey that brought him to a recent appearance on the television quiz show “Jeopardy.” The pressure of nine million people watching you bet your knowledge against two other players can make 30 minutes pass like 30 seconds, and the bright studio lights can erase short-term memory. If you take the often-given advice to try to beat your competitors and buzz in first to win the right to answer, “you have to have the right answer.” And, if you come in third and you are wearing a clerical collar, Russell said, you learn to be a “gracious loser.” Russell, associate rector at Christ Church in Blacksburg, Va., and campus minister at Virginia Tech’s Canterbury House, appeared on the Dec. 5 telecast. The quiz show, which has been on television since 1964, requires contestants to provide answersframed-as-questions in a variety of subject categories. Russell, earned his spot on the show by first doing well on Jeopardy’s online test. He was

Photo/Jeopardy Productions Inc.

The Rev. D. Scott Russell (right), Episcopal Church chaplain at Virginia Tech, poses with Jeopardy quiz show Alex Trebek. Russell recently appeared on the popular television show.

then invited to a regional contest. Russell learned that the show producers aren’t just interested in people who do well at trivia games. The producers “want to make sure you’re fun and engaging, and that you’re not just some trivia nerd,” he said. The show doesn’t keep track of how many ordained ministers or member of religious orders have appeared on the show, but Russell said that when he was in Washington, D.C., for the taping

of the regional contest, he chanced upon Diocese of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, who told him he had been a Jeopardy contestant years ago. “He didn’t win either,” Russell said with a chuckle. He may have placed third, but Russell still went home with some money. Second- and third-place contestants receive $2,000 and $1,000. Russell said his winnings covered his Hollywood trip expenses with a little left over. 

Three Abrahamic faiths find their common home in Omaha Episcopal News Service


maha, Neb., may not be the place that some imagine as fertile ground for the prospect of three Abrahamic faiths finding common ground, but the vision of such peaceful co-existence has taken a major step toward becoming reality. The Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha announced Dec. 13 that it has completed the purchase of four adjacent parcels of land, amounting to about 35 acres, on a former golf course in the heart of Omaha. The course is being turned into Sterling Ridge, a development that will also include single-family homes, an assistedliving facility, office and retail space and a hotel. Tri-Faith is a partnership of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, Temple Israel and the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture. Eventually what Tri-Faith calls “a multi-faith neighborhood of collaboration” will encompass a synagogue, a mosque and an Episcopal church along with an ecumenical center. The first buildings are expected to be completed in 2013. Tri-Faith’s vision statement says that by working together, “our vision is to build bridges of respect, trust and acceptance, to challenge stereotypes of each other, to learn from one another, and to counter the influence of extremists and agents of hate.” The Rev. Canon Tim Anderson, diocesan canon for Tri-Faith Ministries, said in a press release that an Episcopal community that will worship on the site is already organized under the name “Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries.” The community will eventually choose a name that “clearly identify us as a Christian church, make people of all denominations feel welcome, and reflect

our commitment to interfaith work,” Anderson said. Anderson said the venture will give Episcopalians “a unique opportunity” to live out [the church’s baptismal covenant] promises with our new Jewish and Muslim neighbors.” The community began meeting in Lenten worship on Sunday evenings at St. Augustine of Canterbury Church in Elkhorn, Neb., where the gathering is divided into what Anderson said is “First Table” and “Second Table.” First Table is the Eucharist and the Second Table is a time for a light meal and a discussion, often centering on understanding other faiths. “We regularly have members of the Islamic and Jewish communities drop in to share in the conversations,” Anderson said. The neighborhood part of the initiative is significant, according to Anderson. “There are lots of great interfaith dialogues which happen around the country and around the world,” he said. “But when the event is over, people leave the hotel and fly home. We’re already home, and tomorrow we will see the same neighbors every day.” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori called the Tri-Faith Initiative “one of the foremost examples of what is possible when siblings dwell together in peace.” Tri-Faith’s goal is greater understanding through greater proximity. “Experience teaches us that interaction can transform intolerance, ignorance and fear into understanding, respect and trust,” Bob Freeman, Tri-Faith Initiative board chairman, said in a press release. “These basic values are shared by the three Abrahamic faiths and are rooted in our Midwestern culture.” 

November/December 2011 • The Harvest • 11

Vision of new Haiti cathedral is taking shape By Mary Frances Schjonberg Episcopal News Service


here is a new vision at the heart of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, as plans for a new building for Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince are starting to take shape. A request for architectural proposals is slated to be released “in the very near future,” the Rev. John A. Runkle, consulting project manager to the “Rebuild Our Church in Haiti” team working on cathedral reconstruction, recently said. “The cathedral is going to be a very profound symbol of hope, of inspiration, of refuge, of stability, of returning to some positive state of being for so many people in Port-au-Prince,” said Runkle, who was appointed to the position earlier in the fall. Runkle, who once was the conservator at Washington National Cathedral, is a licensed architect and has frequently worked on projects involving architectural and cultural landmarks.

Cathedral is first rebuild At Haiti Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin’s request, the cathedral is to be the first major post-quake diocesan reconstruction project. The Rebuild Our Church in Haiti fundraising campaign to aid that work was formally launched on the first anniversary of the quake. Terri Mathes of the Episcopal Church Foundation, who is managing the campaign, recently told the church’s Executive Council that the effort “has created a sense of community in dioceses and across dioceses that perhaps were not so plugged in with each other on a particular issue before.” She called the rate of participation across the church “phenomenal.” Official rebuilding cost estimates will be based on plans submitted by the architect or architects chosen in the bidding process. As is the case when planning to build any church, there is no dearth of ideas on what a new Episcopal cathedral in the heart

Photo by Joseph Constant for ENS

Sikhumbuzo Vundla, Diocese of Haiti’s chief of operations, surveys the bells of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, which was destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. The temporary cathedral structure is visible behind him.

of Port-au-Prince ought to encompass, Runkle said. “Everybody has a vision, everybody has a desire to create a new cathedral, and part of the hard work we’ve been doing over the past couple of months is trying to get everybody’s vision and desires harnessed and get everyone on the same page so that we are unified in how to go forward,” said Runkle. “That takes work, that takes conversation, that takes a lot of listening and being in dialogue with each other.” Already some ideas seem clear. The building itself ought to reflect the beauty of the Haitian culture, Runkle said. In addition, the three surviving religious murals of the 14 that once filled the cathedral’s interior will be incorporated into the new design. The world-renowned murals depicting biblical stories in Haitian motifs, crafted by some of the best-known Haitian paint-

ers of the 20th century, were added to the 1920s-era Gothic Revival-style cathedral in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Other paintings and woodcarvings also adorned the inside of the building. Those sorts of artistic embellishments in the old cathedral were for Haitians “a form of worship — an expression of devotion to God — and definitely need to be part of the new worship space,” Runkle said. “Exactly how we’re going to do that, I don’t know.”

Native experience is needed It will be important that the architect or architects chosen have experience working in Haiti or the Caribbean to ensure that they understand the country’s artistic culture as well as the working environment, he said, adding that there has been talk of a possible partnership between Haitian and U.S. firms. Befitting Holy Trinity’s status as a focal point in Port-au-Prince, Runkle said,

it is hoped that the new building would be able to be “a safe haven, a refuge, a place that can provide help and assistance if other things around it cannot do that” during some future emergency. The building could do that by being hurricane- and earthquake-resistant, and able to generate its own electricity, filter water and have telecommunications capability during an emergency, he suggested. There is also the hope that the building will be environmentally sensitive. It could include as much material as possible that can be recycled from the destroyed building, use indigenous materials when possible, consider installing solar panels and investigate how to capture and use rainwater, according to Runkle. He said there are hopes the building will be environmentally sustainable and a model for new construction in Haiti. The Holy Trinity complex once housed Holy Trinity Music School, Holy Trinity Professional School, primary and secondary schools, and a convent of the Sisters of St. Margaret, as well as the cathedral building. Discussions are underway about temporarily relocating the schools, Runkle said, but the goal is to return them to the cathedral site. That effort, and its funding, will be separate from the cathedral construction. The educational part of the cathedral campus is emblematic of “gospel of wholeness” that Duracin has said the diocese has preached and practiced since its founding in 1861, serving Haitians’ physical and emotional needs as well as their spiritual ones. That ministry continues even after the earthquake. The diocese’s relief and development office known as Centre Diocesain de Developpement et de Secours, in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, continues to serve the entire country in education, health care, environmental protection, food assistance, microcredit and short-term emergency assistance. The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. 

Resources will offer information on proposed blessing rites Episcopal News Service


Submitted photo

Laptop helps Haitian man get to med school

Mackensy Medela (center) holds a laptop he received in April from St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, which provides support for St. Paul’s Elementary School in Torbeck, Haiti, which Medela had attended as a boy. Making the presentation are Bob Carlson (left) and Janee’ Hanzlick of St. Michael’s. To pursue his dream of becoming a doctor in his community, Medela first had to pass the national entrance exam, with aid from a computer. Hanzlick said she recently received word that he not only had passed the exam but had the highest score in southern Haiti. Medela currently is attending the Catholic medical school in Port-auPrince but has applied to the less expensive and academically superior national medical school. 

he Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has released educational materials and other information surrounding its plan to ask General Convention to authorize a three-year trial use of its proposed rite for blessing same-gender unions. The downloadable materials are available in English and Spanish at http://generalconvention. org/ccab/files/2. They are part of the commission’s 18 months of work in response to General Convention’s mandate in Resolution C056 that it work with the House of Bishops to collect and develop theological resources and liturgies for blessing same-gender relationships, and report to the 77th General Convention July 5- 12, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, SCLM chair, said that the materials now available are meant to inform people about the work of the commission, in advance of the release next spring of the resources it has collected and developed. The materials available now “are designed particularly for deputies and diocesan conventions, but could be used in other contexts,” Meyers said in the release. Among the items are: educational materials about the commission’s response to C056 for diocesan conventions and diocesan meetings of deputies; a summary of the liturgical principles used

by the commission; an overview for deputies of the commission’s work between now and General Convention; theological reflection materials; and a piece called “Understanding Resolution C056.” In October the SCLM said that it would propose to General Convention that the church spend three years using a rite for same-gender blessings and studying its application. The resolution also will ask for the continuation of the “generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church,” called for in C056, Meyers said, including allowing for adaptation of the rite for local use. And the resolution would have the commission report to the 2015 meeting of Convention on how all the materials are used. During that same triennium the church also would reflect on its understanding of marriage in light of changes in both societal norms and civil law if Convention agrees to a related resolution the commission will propose, according to Meyers. The blessing resources to be released in the spring are due to include the rite for blessing same-gender relationships, a theological essay on the issues involved in blessing such relationships, a pastoral resource to guide clergy and trained lay people who would prepare same-gender couples to receive a blessing (the church requires heterosexual couples to engage in pre-marital counseling as well), and a discussion guide for helping congregations and other groups to discuss the rite and other materials. 

12 • The Harvest • November/December 2011

Reflections on faith and life

Sharing the Good News

Diocesan Calendar January 2012

February 2012

Jesus’ coming reminds us of a world living in peace



A Christmas message from the Presiding Bishop

13 Kansas School for Ministry, Bethany Place Conference Center, Topeka (through Jan. 14)

See, your salvation comes – Isaiah 62:11


Bishop Wolfe at St. Luke’s, Wamego

MIQRA Bible-reading weekend for youth, Grace Cathedral and St. David’s (through Jan. 16) 15 Bishop Wolfe at St. Matthew’s, Newton 17 Council of Trustees meeting, Grace Cathedral, Topeka

That is not a vision of pristine isolation, but a vision of comfort and healing to a people 22 Bishop Wolfe at Grace, Winfield and Trinity, Arfrequently at war, occupied, or exploited by kansas City superior forces. The fear of powerful others taking and using for themselves the produce of the poor is healed and transformed into a society in which the gifts God provides will be shared by all. For when salvation comes, that society will be called, ‘the Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord’; and you shall be called, ‘Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.’ (Isaiah 62:12) Jesus comes among us to remind us of a world living together in peace, to reclaim and make real that vision of creation for all humanity and all God’s creatures. That world is put right as relationships between God and humanity are set right. The relationship between God and human being cannot be set right without equal healing of relationships between us mortals. See, your salvation comes! Will we welcome that healing? The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church 

Bishop Wolfe at St. David’s, Topeka

10 Kansas School for Ministry, Bethany Place Conference Center, Topeka (through Feb. 11) Commission on Ministry meeting, Bethany Place Conference Center, Topeka (through Feb. 11) 12 Bishop Wolfe at Ascension, Neodesha and Epiphany, Independence 16 Cursillo weekend, Heartland Presbyterian Retreat Center, Kansas City, Mo. (through Feb. 19) 19 Bishop Wolfe at St. Andrew’s, Derby 21 Council of Trustees meeting, Grace Cathedral, Topeka 25 Lay Leadership Academy, Great Hall, Grace Cathedral, Topeka 26 Bishop Wolfe at St. Thomas’, Holton

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he great prophets before Jesus proclaimed a vision of a nation and a people redeemed. We continue to share that yearning — as the Christmas hymn puts it, “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” We’ve seen abundant hopes spring up in the past year across the Arab world and Eastern Europe, and in the global Occupy movement. Those voices seek a world of greater justice, communities in which decisions and the gifts of creation are more available to all. Our understanding of salvation is most profoundly about justice in community, and as Christians we believe that help and healing for all are grounded in the incarnate presence of God — among us and within us. We look for salvation to the one who came among us in the most humble way, a helpless child born in a scandalous way to a poor peasant couple. The Incarnation, God with us, changed the world in ways that we insist are leading to the ultimate healing of all creation. “See, your salvation comes,” says the prophet in every age, yet it is not yet fully come upon us. We live in hope for its fullness. May hope be nourished within us, in each and every human being and community, for the journey toward God’s healed and holy future. That proclamation of coming salvation is a part of Isaiah (62:6-12) that will be read in some congregations at Christmas, but if you don’t hear it, go and read the whole of it. Its centerpiece speaks of what that salvation looks like:

The Lord has sworn… I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have labored; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts. (Isaiah 62:8-9)


Ordination of Patrick Funston to the priesthood, Grace Cathedral, Topeka, 10:30 a.m.

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.

The Harvest, November-December 2011  

The nwespaper of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas