Summer 2015 | The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas
5 | Four new deacons are ordained to service 8 | Lawrence woman describes Nepal quakes 12 | ansans head overseas for new ministries 16 | General Convention will tackle big issues
From the Bishop | The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe
New and exciting opportunities clergy, Bishop Kemper School also offers classes for lay leaders. Every one of our congregations should be asking, “What do we need to thrive as a parish?” and then see what the Bishop Kemper School can do to help. Canon hits the ground running Our fine new Canon to the Ordinary, the Reverend Torey Lightcap, has begun his ministry here, accompanying me on several parish visitations, meeting with a number of clergy and lay leaders, and spending a long day with our young people at MegaCamp (featured on pages 1415). He was installed as the diocese’s Canon during the ordination service of our new deacons, which made that special day even more wonderful. I hope you will warmly welcome him, his wife Jacquie, and their children, Gabrielle and Annie, when you see them.
The relaxed days of summer provide rest and refreshment but also bring new and exciting opportunities to the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas and to the wider Church. I recently ordained Stevie Carter, Rob Schwaller and Arland Wallace to the permanent diaconate and Doreen Rice who, after serving a year as a transitional deacon, is to be ordained a priest. (A photo and information is on page 5 of this issue.) These dynamic leaders are among the first class of graduates from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry, and they bring tremendous gifts to our ordained leadership. Beyond educating
The 78th General Convention General Convention takes place in late June and early July, and I don’t know what will have happened by the time this reaches you. We know we will elect a new Presiding Bishop at this Convention, and bishops and deputies will consider a variety of important legislation. (More information is on page 16 of this issue.) Under the authority of the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, General Convention is the ultimate decision-making body for our denomination. I’ve packed my highlighted copy of the General Convention Blue Book, along with a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order and The Constitution and Canons. I’ve packed my Bible and my laptop, files for the Governance and Structure Committee, notes for wel-
coming bishops to the orientation session, and notes for a thank you speech for our outgoing Presiding Bishop. I hope I’m ready! Important issues to be discussed When it is in session, General Convention is the second largest democratically elected, bicameral legislative body in the world (behind the Indian Parliament, which governs 1.2 billion citizens.) There are certainly opportunities for restructuring! But how we structure the Episcopal Church for the 21st century will be a richly debated topic. I serve on the Governance and Structure Legislative Committee that will be right in the middle of the action. We must have organizational structures that allow for innovation and collaboration while respecting the parts of our tradition that make us unique. These discussions will be lively and, I hope, productive for our life together. We also will be examining ways to recognize the changing landscape around marriage in this country. As marriage between two people of the same sex becomes legal in more and more states, the Episcopal Church seeks to provide guidance to church leaders on how to respond — pastorally, canonically and liturgically. I plan to take a vacation after Convention, and I pray you will find moments of refreshment during your Kansas summer. We need time to reconnect and recharge to make us all the more ready to enter in the activities awaiting us in the fall. May the Lord continue to richly bless your life and your ministry. Grace and Peace,
In This Issue
2 4 5 6 8 12 16 18
summer 2015 | Vol. 101 | no. 4
Around the diocese
A publication of The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688 (785) 235-9255 (800) 473-3563 www.episcopal-ks.org
Teaching piano teachers, in Serbia
The Anglican Communion is a global community of 70 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces in more than 160 countries. The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
A connection made at Grace Cathedral, Topeka, helped provide a refurbished minivan to a family who recently moved to this country from Uganda.
Dr. Kristi Baker of Topeka traveled to Serbia to an international gathering of piano teachers, to share lesser-known music from American composers.
Four new deacons are ordained
Four people were ordained to the diaconate during a festive service June 13 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. They will be serving parishes across the diocese.
Dean pens novel on the life of Jesus
The Very Rev. Steve Lipscomb has written a novel that proposes some fictional possibilities for events in Jesus’ life that aren’t in the Bible.
The Episcopal Church is a community of 2 million members in 109 dioceses in 16 countries in the Americas and abroad. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas is a community of more than 10,000 members in 45 congregations, three diocesan institutions and one school in eastern Kansas. The Rt. Rev. Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop
Karin Feltman of St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, describes what it has been like to cope with hundreds of earthquakes in Kathmandu, Nepal, since late April.
The Harvest is published four times a year by the Office of Communications of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. Member, Episcopal Communicators and Episcopal News Service
Young Kansans serve overseas for a year
Publisher The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop
Surviving the earthquakes in Nepal
Two recent college graduates will engage in a year of service, taking them to Episcopal or Anglican congregations in France and the Philippines.
MegaCampers explore Episcopal identity
The diocese’s weeklong summer camp offered lots of activities for nearly 200 youth. But it also helped them explore what it means to be an Episcopalian.
General Convention in Salt Lake City
The every-three-years legislative gathering of The Episcopal Church will tackle some weighty issues, including election of the next Presiding Bishop.
ON THE COVER: Two girls enjoy a moment on the lake at Camp Wood YMCA during MegaCamp, which brought together almost 250 young people and adults in June for fun, Christian formation and community. | Photo by Melodie Woerman
Editor Melodie Woerman For submissions, please contact the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Need to change your mailing address? Harvest Address Changes 835 Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688 email@example.com Upcoming deadlines: Fall 2015 issue: Aug. 1 Winter 2015 issue: Nov. 1 Postmaster: Send address changes to Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688
The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 1
Around the Diocese
News and notes from congregations St. John’s, Abilene observed May 24 not only as Pentecost but as “Red Door Sunday,” in which all members were encouraged to invite someone to church. Members of the Daughters of the King provided a buffet of red food items for all to enjoy. Trinity, Atchison hosted an allparish picnic on May 31 at Jackson Park. Meat, drinks and tableware were provided by the church; members added side dishes. St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids honored graduating senior Gage Woodyard on May 10 during a service of Morning Prayer. Grace, Chanute hosted a barbecue fundraising dinner May 24, featuring a variety of auction items. Members and townspeople contributed $700 toward a scholarship fund for students of Neosho County Community College’s Mary Grimes Nursing School, as well as support for the Episcopal Wichita Area Refugee Ministry. St. Paul’s, Clay Center asked parishioners with a few spare moments to drop by the church and help keep the well-used church garden in shape. St. Paul’s, Coffeyville formed a team to participate in Walk Kansas, an eight-week challenge toward healthier living, sponsored by extension services at Kansas State University. The church’s team challenges were for each member to exercise and eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day from March 15 to May 9. Their goal was for each person to walk five miles a week. 2 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
Car with a Cathedral connection
(From left) Francisca Oketa, Patrick Early, Dorothy Oketa and Benson Oketa show off a minivan the Oketas recently received through a program at Washburn Tech in Topeka. All are members of Grace Cathedral, and Early, who is the director of public relations for Washburn University, nominated the Oketa family to receive the donated car. Through Recycled Rides, Washburn Tech’s auto collision and auto services technology courses refurbish used vehicles and provide them to people who need but don’t have a car. The Oketas, who came in January to Topeka from Uganda through the U.S. State Department Diversity Visa Program, qualified. The minivan now helps Benson get to his job as a quality assurance supervisor for a food manufacturing plant, and Francisca to hers as a support professional at a local program for disabled adults.
St. Andrew’s, Derby hosted a successful Red Cross blood drive on April 18 that drew 39 donors. The parish youth group staffed the recovery canteen. St. Martin’s, Edwardsville members engaged in a big clean-up effort March 28, extending from the church and grounds onto nearby roadsides. Trinity, El Dorado celebrated its 125th anniversary the weekend of May 30-31 with a barbecue supper and a special service, including the blessing of new renovations to the building. St. Andrew’s, Emporia again has a choir, which sings on the first and third Sundays of the month. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings. St. Mary’s, Galena in April hosted a fundraiser dinner for the Cherokee County Relay for Life, and the Sunday school class turned found trash into a treasure collage for Earth Day. Epiphany, Independence again had a hotdog stand for the opening of Riverside Park and Zoo on April 11. Hot dogs, chips, homemade cookies and soft drinks were for sale, as a fundraiser for the church. St. Timothy’s, Iola fielded a Relay for Life team in memory of their late vicar, the Rev. Jan Chubb. St. Margaret’s, Lawrence took its turn May 19 preparing and serving at the Lawrence Interdenomination Nutrition Kitchen, which provides a hot meal and welcome to anyone in need. Trinity, Lawrence gathered items for the children and toddlers of the Willow Domestic Violence Center
on May 3, in thanksgiving for the parish’s own children. Needed were diapers, strollers and gift cards. St. Paul’s, Manhattan now offers a Sunday school class for young members age 2 through kindergarten. It will follow the same curriculum as older kids but with age-appropriate activities. St. Paul’s, Marysville has decided to undertake a special offering to install an accessible restroom in the cabin adjacent to the church. The congregation also is exploring funding options for other needed projects. St. Michael and All Angels, Mission saw young people take on liturgical leadership roles on Youth Sunday May 3. They served as acolytes, ushers and readers at two Sunday services. Ascension, Neodesha hosted the Southeast Convocation for the annual Ascension Day service on May 14. St. Matthew’s, Newton offered, via DVDs, a series of theologians discussing major issues of the Christian faith. The discussions took place during spring adult forum classes. St. Aidan’s, Olathe member Don Seifert asked other members to join him in helping runners at the annual Garmin Marathon April 18, which took place in Olathe. Groups that provided volunteers received financial incentives for helping. Grace, Ottawa welcomed new members David Worley and Charlotte Robertson by baptism. St. Thomas’, Overland Park is offering its young members a wealth
of summer activities, including a Harry Potter-themed Vacation Bible School, an Arts Camp for those in grades 1-5, and a Reaching Out into the Community service week for those in grades 3-8. St. John’s, Parsons continues to support children in the local Headstart program by delivering packs of weekend snacks to those who might be at risk of hunger. Epiphany, Sedan is helping member Jake Miller prepare for confirmation but has broadened the class to include everyone who wants to support him and refresh their own knowledge of the Christian faith. St. Luke’s, Shawnee has planted a community garden on the church grounds. Those who wanted to kick off the project on May 16 were asked to bring garden tools. Grace Cathedral, Topeka has a visual reminder of prayers in a prayer loom provided by parish Stephen Ministers. People are encouraged to weave yarn on a four-footsquare wooden frame as they pray, to form a prayer tapestry. St. David’s, Topeka welcomed Matthew Gender, a graduate student at the University of Kansas, as the new parish organist in April. He joins Dr. Kristi Baker, who was named Music Director. St. Luke’s, Wamego welcomed a local after-school program for junior and senior high students, The Outlet, in caring for the parish’s Children’s Garden. Thanks to donations, the strawberry patch has been expanded to a field. Continued on page 4
The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 3
Around the Diocese Continued from page 3 Good Shepherd, Wichita has a new cross for its chapel — a San Damiano crucifix written by the artists of Monastery Icons, made possible by gifts to a memorial fund. The original cross of this design was used by St. Francis of Assisi. St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita offers worshippers a Taizé-style service every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the church. St. James’, Wichita thanked parishioners for support of three recent major outreach projects — the first of six Red Cross bloodmobile drives, volunteers who teach personal finance to high schoolers, and donations of blankets for homeless shelters.
Instructing piano teachers in Serbia
St. John’s, Wichita asked members to submit family recipes for inclusion in a cookbook to mark the church’s 145th anniversary later this year. The book also will include recipes from cookbooks of 1908 and 1910. Money raised from book sales will support church ministries.
Dr. Kristi Baker, Diocesan Convention secretary and director of music at St. David’s, Topeka, will introduce lesser-known works by American composers George Gershwin and Edward MacDowell to piano teachers from around the world when she offers recitals at the Seventh World Piano Conference in Novis Sad, Serbia, in late June. She is one of 45 clinicians from a variety of countries who were invited to make presentations. Baker herself is a piano teacher, as well as a concert performer.
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
Conference planned for those exploring a call to ministry Do you think you might have a call to ordained ministry or a specialized lay ministry, such as lay preacher, catechist, worship leader, youth minister or director of children’s education? Do you know someone in your parish who has developed or shows potential for these special skills? The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas invites interested persons to “Explore Your Call” during a weekend conference Aug. 14-15 at Grace Ca4 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
thedral, 701 SW 8th Ave. in Topeka. The conference begins on Friday at 6 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. on Saturday. You will learn more about discerning and recognizing your call, the ordination process and its required prerequisites, and classes offered at the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry. There also will be discussions geared toward full-time and bi-vocational ministry, and on what to expect as a clergy spouse. Couples are
welcomed and encouraged to attend together. Complete details will be sent to all churches in July, and information will be in DioLog, the diocese’s e-newsletter. For more information, contact the Very Rev. Steve Lipscomb, chair of the Commission on Ministry, at (785) 235-3457 or rslipscomb@gracecathedraltopeka. org, or Michele Moss, Commission coordinator, at (785) 235-9255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
people of the diocese
Four deacons ordained in June 13 service Four people were ordained deacons in a service June 13 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. They are (front row, from left) Doreen Rice, Stevie Carter, Rob Schwaller and Arland Wallace. Behind them are Bishop Dean Wolfe (left) and Canon to the Ordinary Torey Lightcap. PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
became the Episcopal Church’s newest deacons when they were ordained in a service June 13 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. The four are Doreen Rice, who was a member of St. Aidan’s, Olathe; Stevie Carter, of St. Michael and All Angels, Mission; Robert Schwaller, of Trinity, Lawrence; and Arland Wallace, member of St. John’s, Wichita. Carter, Schwaller and Wallace are called to the diaconate as their voca-
tion. Rice will serve as a transitional deacon before her planned ordination as a priest. Each graduated in May from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry and will serve a one-year internship before their final placement. Rice has been assigned to St. Michael and All Angels in Mission; Carter will serve at St. Paul’s, Kansas City; Schwaller has been assigned to St. Margaret’s, Lawrence; and Wallace will serve at Good Shepherd, Wichita.
In his sermon, Bishop Wolfe told the four that as deacons, “You will be called to bind up the broken-hearted and to offer a cup of cold water to those who thirst. In a world which seeks to avert its eyes from the poor, you will be called to bring their plight plainly into view.” The service also included the installation of the Rev. Torey Lightcap as the diocese’s canon to the ordinary, the chief clergy assistant to the bishop. Lightcap began his ministry as canon on May 1.
The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 5
people of the diocese
Cathedral dean pens novel on the life of Jesus By Melodie Woerman
THE VERY REV. Steve Lipscomb, dean of Grace Cathedral, Topeka, has written a novel that tells the story of the life of Jesus in ways that are both familiar and new. Retold: The Story of Jesus begins with the accounts of Jesus’ life in the four New Testament gospels. But Lipscomb then adds his own imagination to fill in gaps in the biblical narrative and to create dialogue and events that he thinks could have happened, “but probably didn’t,” he said. He said he long had speculated on the parts of Jesus’ life that aren’t in the Bible. “I wondered where he might have traveled,” Lipscomb said. “What did he do as a child?” He said that for the book he pulled not only from non-biblical texts that looked at Jesus as a boy but also from knowledge of the Middle East of the period. But all of it includes a large dose of his own imagination. “This is a novel,” he said. “It’s about 80 percent fiction.” Showing Jesus’ humanity
Lipscomb said he had two reasons for undertaking what became a nearly 400-page book. One was to highlight the human nature of Jesus. “Christians don’t seem to have a problem with the divinity of Jesus,” he said. “But they sometimes do with his humanness.” He also hopes that someone who is “spiritual but not religious” might find his story interesting enough to want to learn more about Jesus. “It’s for those who don’t otherwise care to be introduced to Jesus,” he said. And beyond that, he wanted to convey some humor. After all, he said, “Jesus went through the same trials, sadness and joys that we do.”
Ten years in the making
And while it took him more than a year to write and another year to get it published, the book was about 10 years in the making, once you factor in how long he’d been thinking about it. Lipscomb said the origin of the novel comes from some long-ago Advent and Christmas sermons, so he had a sense of how he wanted the book to begin. 6 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
The dean of Grace Cathedral, Topeka, the Very Rev. Steve Lipscomb, has written a novel, Retold: The Story of Jesus, that goes beyond the stories in the Bible to ask what else might have happened in Jesus’ life. So, fighting off a fear that he’d get stuck and never finish, over Thanksgiving weekend in 2012, Lipscomb sat down and started writing. And for 11 months, he never looked back. He wrote on his day off each week, and on holidays, finishing his first draft over Christmas break in 2013. That routine was grueling, requiring 10 to 12 hours of writing each day. And each time he not only had to get back into the groove of writing but to reconnect with the story — it’s easy to forget where you left off after a week, he said.
How to order a copy of Retold
But writing the book was just the first step. Lipscomb then spent another year getting it into final shape — working with an editor on revisions and fine-tuning — and then figuring out how to get it published. He ultimately decided to start his own company to market it. He formed The CiderHouse Press to sell the copies he paid to have printed. Books in either hard-bound or paperback can be ordered online at www.theciderhousepress.com. He also is selling through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Cre-
ateSpace, and the book also is available for Kindle, Nook and on iBooks. But he makes more money per copy on the books he sells through his own website, or in person. He said self-publishing has had a bad reputation, often taking the term “vanity press.” But he said even his former colleague the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, a New York Times best-selling author, recommended he publish his book himself. “She told me there are only about five publishers these days, and they don’t want to do much with small titles.” He said anyone who takes the self-publishing route would be wellserved to hire an editor and proofreader, as he did. He also hired a graphic artist to design his book cover and company logo, as well as set up the e-commerce website. Lipscomb said his first goal is just to make back the money he’s already invested. Beyond that, he’d love to see amazon.com sell 10 times the copies he sells himself. And his big dream? Being selected for Oprah’s Book Club. He said he only half-jokes about that. “If the right eyes get on it, it can go a long, long way.”
last services in Overland Park are July 4-5. The Rev. Shawn Streepy accepted the call to become rector of St. Aidan’s, Olathe. He had been serving as priest in charge. The Rev. Laurie Lewis accepted the call to become rector of Trinity, Arkansas City and of Grace, Winfield She had been serving as priest in charge of both parishes. Deacon Anne Flynn, who moved
to Kansas from Central Pennsylvania, has been assigned by Bishop Wolfe to Grace Cathedral, Topeka. The Rev. Robert Hutchinson died on June 10. He was 82. He had served several parishes in this diocese since 1972, most recently at St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita. Deacon Jane Ware, who had served at Trinity, El Dorado for more than 15 years, died on April 4. She was 85.
Paperback: $17.95 Hardcover: $28.95 Dean Lipscomb has created a company, The CiderHouse Press, to print and market copies of Retold. Copies may be purchased through the company’s website, www.theciderhousepress.com. The book also is available from other online retailers. If ordering from one of these, please consider leaving a review: amazon.com; barnesandnoble.com; createspace.com; iBooks It also is available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook.
That writing schedule, combined with running a large congregation, sometimes made him think he’d had enough. “But then my commitment and stubbornness would take over,” he said.
Lots of research required
One thing that slowed his writing was the amount of research he had to do. Even for someone well-versed in the gospels, he frequently had to consult Bible passages, comparing parallel versions of the same story, and figuring out which one to use. He also had to learn more about things like boat building and the Silk Road — he puts Jesus on that ancient trade route for a portion of his story
— so he could write accurately and realistically, even for fictional events.
Learning how to publish
Clergy news The Rev. Don Davidson, rector of St. David’s, Topeka, has accepted a call to become interim rector, for a three-year term, at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Grand Blanc, Mich. His last Sunday at St. David’s was June 14. The Rev. Ben Varnum, assistant rector of St. Thomas’, Overland Park, has accepted a call to become rector of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Elkhorn, Neb. His
The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 7
After the qu More than a month after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked her new home city of Kathmandu, Nepal, Karin Feltman said she is holding up pretty well — if “well” includes coping with more than 250 earthquakes since then, some of them nearly as large as the first one.
By Melodie Woerman
EVEN WITH THE CONSTANT
threat of more temblors, Feltman counts herself fortunate. More than 8,600 people died in the April 25 earthquake, which struck at noon on a Saturday. But she said it could have been much worse. “The death toll would likely have been 80,000 or even 800,000 if any of these bigger quakes had hit at night when people were in their homes,” she said in a message to her parish. Feltman, a member of St. Margaret’s, Lawrence, and a registered nurse, moved to Nepal in January 2014 to begin what she sees as her mission to combat human trafficking. She described the earthquake and subsequent events in a series of Facebook posts.
Quake struck while at church
PHOTOS BY KARIN FELTMAN
A large rockslide in Sindhupalchok district, Nepal, was caused by earthquakes that have struck the country since April 25. More than 8,600 people died as a result.
8 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
She was attending church (Saturdays are church days in Nepal) when the first earthquake hit. She said leaving the building “was like trying to run on a boat on the crashing waves.” She was thrown to the floor, where she and another member prayed “for mercy, and protection, and the chance to see another day.” They also prayed for Nepal during the two minutes it lasted.
All church members were safe, and the church property suffered only minor damage. (After a subsequent major quake, the church was deemed unsafe, and congregants now are meeting at a nearby school.) Feltman and some other health care professionals soon were called in to work at a local hospital. While en route she was taken aback by the level of destruction she saw near the center of the city. “The oldest buildings fared the worst,” she said. After she returned home later that day, she and colleagues from the same organization that sponsors their work in Nepal spent the night outside, away from the possibility of crumbling walls, and counted the continuing aftershocks. Rain forced them inside in the middle of the night, so they huddled on the kitchen floor of a colleague’s
Karin Feltman (left) used art therapy, in the form of Christmasthemed coloring books and crayons, to help children in the village of Marming begin to recover from the trauma of recent earthquakes. PHOTO PROVIDED BY KARIN FELTMAN
one-story house, running out the door every few hours when another aftershock struck. The next day another quake — or perhaps a major aftershock — hit, this time centered in the mountainous Sindhupalchok district, near the
village of Marming, where Feltman had made plans to move to begin research into trafficking issues. She said this temblor was even scarier than the first one, because this time she watched as the earth “flowed, or slid, or undulated, sideto-side.”
Piles of bricks and stones
The village of Marming, where Feltman plans to move to conduct research on human trafficking, suffered catastrophic damage. Only two buildings in the town of 250 people escaped without harm. One was her rented house.
She soon heard it had caused massive destruction in mountain areas, which made Feltman determined to find out what had become of the villagers she had come to know and hoped to call neighbors. Within days she was able to join some aid groups that were headed into the mountains, and along the way they passed areas of total destruction. “You could smell death in the air,” she said. “Houses were now piles of bricks and stones, and makeshift shelters and tent camps Continued on page 10 The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 9
HOW TO HELP Nepal Earthquake Fund
Episcopal Relief & Development is working with Nepali partners to help. Send contributions to: Nepal Earthquake Fund Episcopal Relief & Development P.O. Box 7058 Merrifield, VA 22116-7058 www.episcopalrelief.org
A boy in the village of Marming, Nepal, explores what had been the local school.
To aid Karin Feltman
PHOTO BY KARIN FELTMAN
Continued from page 9 were erected in open spaces.” As they passed by other villages, she and her travel group stopped to provide whatever medical care they could.
Reaching the village
Eventually she made her way to Marming, where villagers were amazed to see her, five days after the initial earthquake. She was the first person to reach them from the outside. They rushed to greet her, wondering why she had made the long and sometimes treacherous journey. Through tears she told them, “You are my village, my people. I have been praying for you and I couldn’t rest until I was sure you were okay.” Out of about 250 villagers, four had been killed. This earthquake also had hit mid-day, when everyone was working in the fields or tending animals. The buildings in Marming, however, didn’t fare as well. Only two structures stood undamaged — the pastor’s home and the house 10 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
Feltman relies on donations to support her work fighting human trafficking. Contact her at email@example.com.
Feltman had rented. She begged her landlord, who had lost all her possessions, to take the house back. The woman refused, saying that she believed it was God’s plan for Feltman to live in the village and in her house. So they struck a deal — the landlord and her daughter would live in one room, and Feltman would have the other room, plus the kitchen.
Candy and crayons
She was able to stay just a few hours on that trip but since has returned to bring personal supplies and clothes to the villagers. She also spent her birthday in the village and took along a treat — candy for everyone, as is the Nepali birthday tradition — as well as a supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste. On a more recent trip she brought crayons, pencils, paper and Christmas-themed coloring books to provide some art therapy for village children. She still plans to move to Marming, once the situation stabilizes. That may take a while, since the ground keeps shaking. A magnitude
7.4 quake hit on May 12, and she said there have been very few days without at least one quake of magnitude 4 or greater. There usually are several each day, which makes it hard to sleep and keeps everyone on edge. And now Nepalis are scrambling to cover whatever is left of their homes before the start of the annual monsoon rains that will drench the country until fall. But in the midst of all the uncertainty and destruction, she said she remains committed to what she is doing. “I still consider myself blessed to be living this life and doing this work,” she said. And she also is able to keep her sense of humor. On May 20 she was in Kathmandu for training to provide trauma counseling to postearthquake survivors. As another quake hit, she said three-quarters of those attending ran from the building, screaming, leaving her and a few others behind. “I guess that weeded us down to the one-fourth that are calm enough to do this job,” she joked.
Diocesan Convention set for Oct. 23-24 THE 156TH ANNUAL
convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas will take place Oct. 23-24 in Topeka and will feature elections, adoption of a financial mission plan and an expanded opportunity for education on Oct. 22. Elections will fill slots on the Council of Trustees and the Disciplinary Board. The Council of Trustees is the governing body of the diocese between conventions. Seats to be filled at this convention are: At-large lay representative (three-year term). The incumbent, Bob Skaggs, is not eligible for re-election. At-large clergy representative (three-year-term). The incumbent, the Rev. Patrick Funston, is eligible for re-election. The Disciplinary Board hears some complaints about clergy misconduct and makes recommendations to the bishop about possible action. It consists of four clergy and three lay members who serve for three-year terms. All incumbents are eligible for reelection. They are Janine Cox, Sarah Bousfield, Philip Davidson, the Rev.
Deadline is Aug. 7 Nominations: Send to Ashley Petty, 1858 Claflin Rd., Apt. 10, Manhattan, KS 66502; firstname.lastname@example.org Amendments to canons or constitution: Send to Frank Taylor, P.O. Box 550, Olathe, KS 66051-0550 email@example.com Debatable resolutions: Send to Gary Chubb, 1329 Grand Ave., Parsons, KS 67357-4256 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dawn Frankfurt, Deacon Bob Hirst, the Rev. Laurie Lewis and the Very Rev. Steve Lipscomb.
The bishop’s office set Aug. 7 as the deadline by which nominations, debatable resolutions and proposed amendments to the diocesan constitution or canons must be submitted to their respective committees. (See box, upper right, for details.)
Dinner, lecture on Thursday
A dinner to raise funds for youth camp scholarships will take place on Thursday evening, Oct. 22, at St. David’s, Topeka, followed by the an-
nual Tocher Lecture, for clergy and all interested people of the diocese. The speaker will be the Rev. Bill Kondrath, a former professor at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., who is widely recognized for his work in how to value differences.
The diocesan website has a special page devoted to Diocesan Convention that includes a variety of information for lay delegates and clergy. It will be updated as new material is released. It is at http://www.episcopal-ks. org/life/convention.php.
Bishop Kemper School offers orientation for new students ANYONE WHO MIGHT want to attend
the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry during the coming academic year is invited to the school’s orientation for new students July 11-12 at Upton Hall in Topeka. The session is for students who will be enrolling fulltime or those who simply want to take a class or two. BKSM educates people from the Diocese of Kansas and three neighboring dioceses.
Those attending will get to know BKSM faculty, staff, students and alumni, and will find out what being a student at BKSM involves. The cost is $100 per person, which includes meals and two nights’ stay at Upton Hall, located at Bethany Place. For more information or to register, contact BKSM’s dean, the Very Rev. Don Compier, at (816) 217-4053 or email@example.com. The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 11
Kansans heading to Paris, the Philippines By Melodie Woerman
TWO KANSAS young adults are among a group of 27 who will spend the next year in ministry to Anglican Communion dioceses around the world, under the auspices of the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult Service Corps. Naomi Cunningham, St. Paul’s, Manhattan, and Tristan Holmberg, St. James’, Wichita, both will start their year of service in August. They each graduated from college in May — Cunningham from Kansas State University with a degree in sociology, and Holmberg from Wichita State University with a degree in psychology and minors in history and religion. As a member of the Young Adult Service Corps (or YASC), Cunningham will work at the American Cathedral in Paris, one of a group of Episcopal churches across Europe. Her job is to help get cathedral youth more involved in outreach. Holmberg will serve somewhere in the Philippines, but he doesn’t know yet exactly where or what he will be doing. But the uncertainty doesn’t faze him. “I’m not frightened at all,” he said. “I’m excited about not knowing.” YASC was started in 2000 and sends young Episcopalians — age 21 to 30 — overseas to experience living and serving in new communities. It also gives them time, and resources, to explore their faith journeys. The group of which the Kansans are part is the largest ever, according to Elizabeth Boe, with the Episcopal 12 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
Recent college graduates Tristan Holmberg (left), St. James’, Wichita, and Naomi Cunningham, St. Paul’s, Manhattan, will be serving overseas next year through the Young Adult Service Corps. Holmberg will be in the Philippines; Cunningham has been assigned to the American Cathedral in Paris. Church Office of Global Partnerships. Until recently YASC has selected about 15 people each year. Boe said these 30 young adults will be serving in 17 different countries in Central America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The only other member of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas ever to serve with YASC was Matthew Buterbaugh, who was sent to Venezuela in 2003. He now is rector of St. Matthew’s Church in Kenosha, Wisc.
Committed to service
When asked why they applied to become YASC missionaries, Cun-
ningham and Holmberg used identical language: “I knew I wanted to do a year of service.” They both also considered the Episcopal Service Corps, which is similarly named but unrelated to YASC. That program brings groups of young adults together into an intentional community of service, prayer and worship in the United States. Cunningham, whose father is a priest who served in Kansas a few years ago, said her parents instilled in her a commitment to service, saying it “has been a major part of my life.”
Somewhat ironically, she said she actually was disappointed at first to learn she would be working in Paris. “I thought it would be Africa or Haiti or someplace very different from where I live now,” she said. She also had spent her junior year of college studying abroad in France, so she even has a passing knowledge of the language and culture. But after a conversation with her father, she said she now believes she is being sent “to a place that is more comfortable so I can do things that may be uncomfortable.” And even though people might think serving in Paris would be glamorous, Cunningham is clear. “I am not going there as a vacation. I’m going for service,” she said. Holmberg said as a child in Sunday school he learned that it is important to help other people. Being involved for years in diocesan youth programs like MissionPalooza, an urban ministry experience in Kansas City, or serving at Episcopal Social Services in Wichita, only reinforced that for him. “Faith is an action thing,” he said. He said he recently heard a sermon at Trinity, Arkansas City, in which the Rev. Laurie Lewis preached on the Bible story of Peter being called out of a boat by Jesus to join him walking on the water. “Peter was stepping into an uncomfortable place,” Holmberg said, “and that’s what I’m doing.”
Youth and campus experience
Both Cunningham and Holmberg have experience working overseas — she during her college year abroad in France and he during a 2011 trip with the Kansas to Kenya ministry. He’s going there again this summer. Each of the two provided leadership on their campuses while serving
How to help with expenses DONATE ONLINE: If you want to use a credit card or PayPal, Naomi Cunningham and Tristan Holmberg each have donation pages set up through the diocesan website, www.episcopal-ks.org/news DONATE BY CHECK: Make checks payable to The Episcopal Church and note in the memo line the name of the person you are supporting. Mail to Yanick Fourcand, Mission Personnel, The Episcopal Church Center, 815 Second Ave., New York, NY 10017.
as peer ministers with the diocesan campus ministry program. They both also were active in the diocesan youth program. Holmberg said he thinks he attended every youth event offered from the time he started middle school. Cunningham jumped into the program when she moved to the diocese for her final two years of high school. But that doesn’t mean their overseas ministries don’t come with some concerns. Holmberg said he will have to learn a new language, Filipino, “and it’s not even Western,” he said. But he added, “I figure it will work somehow.” For Cunningham, the hardest part will be spending an entire year away from family and friends, knowing what she is missing back home. “I won’t be there for birthdays, Thanksgiving or Christmas,” she said. She said she will have to be intentional about staying in touch.
Helping with funding
Elizabeth Boe, of the office that oversees YASC, said the Episcopal Church pays the $24,000 it costs to send a young adult overseas. That covers a stipend as well as insurance and training expenses. Their hosts provide housing, and Cunningham and Holmberg pay for their own meals.
The church asks each YASC missionary to raise $10,000 toward their expenses. “That allows the young adult’s entire community to participate,” Boe said. “They’ll have lots of people supporting them.” Information about assisting is detailed in the box above. To help keep their family, friends and donors involved while they are gone, each YASC member must write a blog to share their experiences. Cunningham’s blog is http:// afearandadreampart2.blogspot.com/ Holmberg will be writing at http:// tristanholmberg.blogspot.com/
After she returns from Paris, Cunningham said she would like to try a service year in the U.S. with the Episcopal Service Corps. After that, she wants to attend graduate school. Holmberg said he, too, wants to continue in a service ministry of some kind. He’s begun to discern whether he might have a vocation to ordained ministry and knows his YASC year in the Philippines will be helpful in that process. They both hope their experience will inspire other young adults in the diocese to consider serving. “YASC is such a great opportunity,” Cunningham said. “I wish more people would go.”
The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 13
MegaCamp helps youth explore Episcopal identity By Melodie Woerman
NEARLY 200 CAMPERS and almost 50
adult staff members spent a week in Christian community during MegaCamp, the diocese’s summer camp that took place May 31 to June 6 at Camp Wood YMCA. Campers were divided into three age groups — elementary, junior high and senior high — and each had its own area of the camp and its own schedule of activities. But during the Christian education portion of each day, all campers focused on a single theme: Episcopal identity. Under the direction of clergy chaplains, campers explored topics that included types of prayer, the Bible, church history, worship and the sacraments. A variety of worship services were a part of each day, and the entire camp came together on June 3 for a MegaEucharist, which was celebrated by Bishop Dean Wolfe. He was assisted by Canon to the Ordinary the Rev. Torey Lightcap and clergy who were on the camp staff. But the days weren’t all about church things. Campers got to experience a variety of activities led by YMCA camp staff, including swimming, canoeing, horseback
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
Junior high campers pray at the cross on High-Y Hill. riding, a hoisted swing, arts and crafts, a variety of team sports, fishing, bike riding, archery, and a ropes course. Senior high youth also engaged in the annual cardboard
PHOTO BY KAREN SCHLABACH
All campers and adult staff joined for a worship service dubbed MegaEucharist on June 3 on High-Y Hill. Bishop Dean Wolfe was the celebrant; Canon to the Ordinary the Rev. Torey Lightcap assisted. The service included the renewal of baptismal vows. 14 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
boat race, in which a large cardboard box is covered in plastic and secured by duct tape. Entries then attempt to race on the camp lake with campers paddling. In remarks at the start of camp, diocesan Youth Missioner Karen Schlabach urged all campers to try something new during the week. She also asked them all to make special efforts to “be sweet.” She said, “When we live in community for a week, that can get difficult. People are going to get on your nerves. There’s no getting around it. God made each of us unique, and sometimes our differences cause conflict. But even so, be sweet.” Bishop Wolfe spent three days at camp, participating in discussions and just spending time with campers. But even the bishop wasn’t immune from “mealtime mockeries,” a Camp Wood lunchtime tradition in which groups of campers call out someone for a special activity. In this case, it was a campwide demand to “Sing a song for us now, Bishop Wolfe.” He readily complied.
Camp offers community and acceptance
In post-camp surveys, youngsters said that while they enjoyed all the activities, the thing that meant the most to them was the sense of community and acceptance
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
An elementary camper prepares to begin swinging, wearing a safety harness to secure her to an elevated cable. that exists at camp. Comments from campers said they most liked “being in the ‘real’ world where our focus is on God,” “being included and feeling wanted,” “the relationships that are made there” and “the community and acceptance.” Parents agreed that camp offered their youngsters a positive experience in a caring atmosphere. One parent said that being at camp provided a “positive uplifting experience for both my children.” Other parents reported their son “came home excited about the Book of Common Prayer and doing compline!”
Twenty-seven churches represented
PHOTO BY MELODIE WOERMAN
Elementary campers enjoy trying their hand at paddling toward shore. Canoeing was one of several outdoor activities provided by the staff of Camp Wood YMCA.
Schlabach said that the 198 campers who attended came from 25 churches in the Diocese of Kansas and two in the Diocese of Western Kansas. Eighteen campers were not members of any Episcopal church. Generous donations from parishes, as well as some diocesan funding, provided full scholarships for 52 campers. Church contributions helped 103 people with at least partial scholarships. Diocesan funding helped 53 youngsters. The cost to attend MegaCamp was $420 per student. Forty-eight Episcopal camp staff came from 17 congregations in the diocese, with one person coming from a church in the Diocese of West Missouri.
The Harvest | Summer 2015 | 15
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
General Convention will tackle big issues THE 78th GENERAL
Convention of the Episcopal Church convenes June 24 in Salt Lake City for 10 days of deliberations that could make significant changes in the church’s life and governance in the coming years. Most notably will be the election of the next presiding bishop, which takes place on June 27. The House of Bishops will elect from the four bishops named by the nominating committee (at right), and the House of Deputies then confirms the selection. The new presiding bishop officially takes office on Nov. 1. More information about the nominees is online at http://www. generalconvention.org/pbelect
Major policy proposals
But major policy matters also are slated to come before the 800-plus clergy and lay deputies, and the 200-plus bishops in attendance. Proposed changes to the canons on marriage would allow same-sex couples to marry. Currently that is permitted on a diocese-by-diocese basis, in states where same-sex marriage is legal. Matters of governance and structure also will be debated, as resolutions from the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, and others, have been proposed. These grew out of action at the 2012 General Convention that sought to see if gatherings and governance procedures could be
16 | The Harvest | Summer 2015
REPRESENTING THE DIOCESE Lay deputies: Bob Skaggs Michael Funston Mike Morrow Ashley Petty Sydney Webb (1st alternate) Clergy deputies: Dixie Junk Laurie Lewis Patrick Funston Gar Demo Andrew O’Connor (1st alternate) Delegates to the Episcopal Church Women Triennial Meeting, which occurs at the same time as General Convention: Daria Condon Deacon Fran Wheeler Bev Winston Keep up with what’s happening in Salt Lake City through the “Diocese of Kansas at GC” blog: http://ksgc2015.weebly.com/
changed to better meet the needs of the church today. Other items deputies and bishops will address include the budget for the Episcopal Church for the next three years. Convention also will go paperless, with all materials for deputies and bishops provided on preloaded iPads that will provide instant, updated information on legislation as it moves through the process. — Melodie Woerman
Four are nominated for election as next presiding bishop Four men have been nominated for election as the next presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. The House of Bishop selects the 27th presiding bishop by written ballot, and the House of Deputies then votes on confirming the bishops’ selection. The election takes place the morning of Saturday, June 27. Nominees are: Bishop Thomas Breidenthal Diocese of Southern Ohio Bishop since 2007
Bishop Michael Curry Diocese of North Carolina Bishop since 2000
Bishop Ian Douglas Diocese of Connecticut Bishop since 2010
Bishop Dabney Smith Diocese of Southwest Florida Bishop since 2007
From the CANON to the ordinary | The Reverend TOREY L. LIGHTCAP
Eating an elephant: one bite at a time THANKS TO so many of
you for the very warm welcome my family and I have received since coming here from the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa and Sioux City. I find myself incredibly excited and energized about being here and serving with each of you in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas alongside Bishop Wolfe and clergy, leaders and congregations. I haven’t been here all that long — just about two months. But in that time I have managed to get around, meet some folks (not nearly as many as I’d like to at this point), and start to get the lay of the land. As I told the Council of Trustees at its May meeting, this is a complicated job with plenty of moving parts and rapidly shifting demands and priorities. Flexibility, patience and self-care must be in abundance. Eating an elephant Each day over the past month, I’ve been reminded of that old joke: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Experience teaches that it’s worth it, though, to sometimes reflect early on about how things are going and what someone is seeing. You can really benefit from those fresh assessments. It’s worth it to ask the new guy what that old familiar elephant looks and tastes like. For one, I have been consistently impressed by the quality of the people in the diocese. And that’s not glad-handing, because we have a particular call to seek and serve
Christ in all persons here in Kansas, and that’s a call that often takes us to places, people and circumstances that are hard and strange. A deliberative spirit Our work in Christ’s church, in lesser hands, might be weakened by folks with less resolve, less professionalism or less of a sense of urgency. Kansans have a positive, hardscrabble mentality that pushes them onward even (and often especially) when the work is tough. For another, this is an organization that seems to appreciate a structured and collaborative approach to things. We have a deliberative spirit that serves us well. We take counsel with each other for the good of the order. Clergy very often know how to do this simply for their own selfpreservation, but everyone here seems to understand that it’s a good thing for us to gather, consult, assess, plan and pray as one body rather than scattered entities. In this way, we lose less energy and time, and the gifts of all can be more broadly used. This is a good and joyful thing. Places to grow, too Rough edges? Places to grow? We have those, too. Often, there’s a stronger focus on buildings and tried-and-true programming. Being deliberative can sometimes take us into recalcitrance and make us risk-averse, even when we know
the time has come to step out and try new things. In these things, a season of discernment and prayer certainly couldn’t hurt. So here I am, and there’s an angle or two on our beloved “elephant.” Thanks to Bishop Wolfe, and to all, for the chance to come and serve.
The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 S.W. Polk Street Topeka, KS 66612-1688 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
News, information and features about people and congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas