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Risen Beginnings

Family Camp - June 26-29

families of all ages Teen Camp - June 30-July 5 grades 7-9 Music & Arts Camp - July 7-13 grades 7-12 Older Children - July 14-19, grades 5-6 Bridge Camp - July 21-24, grades 6-8 Younger Children - July 29-Aug 2, grades 2-4 Jr/Sr Conference - August 4-9 grades 8-12 Summer’s End - August 11-16 grades 7-12 For more info: visit email or call ECC at 401-568-4055 2

RISEN Fall/Winter 2012


2013 Camp Dates :


Rhode Island’s Source for Episcopal News The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island 275 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 Phone: (401) 274-4500 Fax: (401) 331-9430 Publisher: The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of RI

Editor in Chief: Ruth Meteer, Communications Directo

Art Direction and Design: Ruth Meteer, Communications Director


Graphic Developments, Hanover, MA

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Cover Photo: Now retired Bishop Wolf passes the crozier to Bishop Knisely at his Nov 17th Ordination. Photo taken by Richard Schori

Rhoto by Richard Schori

Contents FEATURES 20

14 Ordination of the 13th Bishop of RI A recap of the day and the search process which lead up to it, with a stained glass collage of Ordination photos.

16 Digital Bishop

Bishop Kirk Smith of the Diocese of Arizona’s much talked about sermon on communications, as given at Knisely’s Ordination.

20 The Bishop’s Address Our new Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Nicholas Knisely speaks out at Diocesan Convention on Dec 2nd, about his vision for the Diocese and his new ministry with us

27 Convention Resolutions See what resolutions were passed by our Diocesan Convention on December 2nd





From the Bishop 4 A farewell from Bishop Wolf 5 From The Rev. Linda L. Grenz 6 Body Building 7 ECC 9



Jonathan Daniels House 10 Scenes11 Episcopal Charities 8 Youth and Family Ministry 12 Sandy Recovery 13

Episcopal Life 28 16 Postlude 34

Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


learned you are a people who are ready to do great things for God in Rhode Island. There are a number of dioceses in the Episcopal Church who must face the unpleasant truth that diocesan programs might not be sustainable, that resources once sufficient are no longer able to support diocesan-wide ministry, and that congregations will have to significantly change their own ministry. It is impressive to me that you have been managing this for the past decade or so. Much of the hard work and difficult decisions that need to be made in other dioceses have already been made here. We, as a diocese, are in a hopeful place where we don’t have to make decisions about our future in a reactive way; we are able to make them in a strategic way.

From Bishop Knisely The 13th Bishop of RI as of the November 17th, 2012 Ordination A few words written just before Knisely’s Nov 17th Ordination. See page 14 for the story of his Ordination, and page 20 for his first Address to the Diocese as Bishop As I write, I have come to the end of my transition here in Rhode Island. Almost five months ago I was elected your bishop, and In the intervening months we’ve packed up our home, started the move to Rhode Island, and I’ve started working in the diocesan office. I’ve now been living in Rhode Island for two months, and can get to a number of our churches by memory – no more GPS all the time for me. I want to publicly thank Bishop Wolf and her husband Tom for the generous welcome they have given to Karen and me. Starting the afternoon of the election, they have been in regular contact, to help us make the transition to a new home and a new ministry. I want


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to thank Lora McFall and the whole of the transition committee who’ve worked so hard to do the same. Lora in particular has opened her home to our family and been there whenever we’ve needed information, a ride, or even a place to park our stuff.

That is a great gift to me as I come into the community, and one that I wonder whether or not we all fully appreciate. We have the luxury of thinking through what we are called to do next to proclaim the Good News that God has fulfilled in Jesus’ life among us.

Over the coming months I hope you’ll reflect on your sense of call, on God’s purpose for you - and your sense of what God is calling us to do in our ministry together. If you’re so We, as a diocese, moved, I hope In the past few are in a hopeful place you’ll share what months I’ve bewhere we don’t have to make you hear with gun to get to decisions about our future me. Send me a know the Diocin a reactive way; note at the diocesan Staff. I’ve we are able to make them esan office, or to had a chance to nick@episcopalin a strategic way. meet most of the I believe elected and apthat part of the pointed leadership of the diocese. As role of a bishop is to work to hear the I’ve mentioned, I’ve been to a num- voices of the people of God and try to ber of our congregations for meetings, express what the Holy Spirit is saying events, or even Sunday worship. I’m through them. I’m excited to start that just beginning to build the relation- time of listening with you, and I look ships that will sustain our mutual forward to trying to discern the patministry for the decade or so, but I’ve terns that emerge.

a farewell from bishop wolf


Retired as of Novmeber 17th, 2012


n September, 1995, you elected me as the twelfth bishop of Rhode Island, and on February 17, 1996, I was duly ordained and consecrated. What an extraordinary 16 and three quarter years it has been. Little could have prepared me for the many challenges that would unfold during those years; the speed of technological developments, the rapid influx of our Spanish speaking neighbors, and the unimaginable consequences of a deep recession. In the life of the Church we were asked to use our resources more creatively: ministering with reduced staffs, merging congregations, and developing a sharper focus for mission. There is still more to do, but together we have done the difficult “rightsizing,” that other dioceses are just beginning to address, and we have used all our financial resources prudently Bishop Wolf made Beeple People of her staff as a parting gift and with restraint. It has not been easy to work with a smaller staff than is ficult assessment comes in the spiritual ness. growth in the members of the body. needed, but each How grateful I am I am confident that the wisdom, member of staff to those of you intellect, and deep faith of our I am content has risen to the who have given new bishop will build on the in knowing that occasion giving the Diocese of Rhode Island me a glimpse of ministry of those bishops who more than we have preceded him. Coupled could ever ask has consolidated its leadership, what my ministry is on a firm financial footing, has meant to your with your trust and devotion, I or imagine. I and is poised for the growth growth in Jesus delight in the thought of what am content in Christ. St. Paul the diocese will look like in the that we have longed for knowing that reminded us that years to come. over many years. the Diocese of our job is to plant What a privilege and honor it Rhode Island seeds, that in God’s time and with has been to serve as your bishop. has consolidated its leadership, is on a firm financial footing, and is poised God’s grace, bear the fruit to which we Words cannot express the deep for the growth that we have longed for aspire. affection that I have nor the over many years. Many of you have sowed these seeds love that wells up in my heart These all comprise the leadership re- within my heart, and I am a better when I think of the wonderful sponsibilities of a bishop and are rela- person and Christian for your faithful- people God has deigned for me to know in Rhode Island. tively easy to measure. The more dif-

Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


Openings Openings

our ancient titles and traditions so continue to use these terms. But in the end, the Canon to the Ordinary serves as what we would today call the chief of staff or chief operating officer and assists the bishop with management, oversight, and operations of the diocese. The Canon oversees and administers a variety of canonical ministries (those defined by the canons or laws of the church) on the Bishop’s behalf as well as congregational and leadership development.

The Rev. Linda L. Grenz Canon to the Ordinary as of November 17th

I came to RI as the new Canon to the Ordinary designee which meant my official title wasn’t in place until after Dean Knisely had become Bishop Knisely on November 17th 2012. Lots of people have asked what this title means as it is one of our rather odd “churchy” titles. A canon in the church is either a law or a person. Canons are the rules, adopted by Diocesan or General Convention, that govern our common life. A person with the title of Canon originally was someone who lived with others (usually in or near the Cathedral Close) and ordered their life according to the rules of the church—which is why they came to be called canons. Today it is someone on the staff of a Cathedral or a diocesan bishop. Some bishops and dioceses also have the tradition of Honorary Can-


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ons who generally are senior clergy and sometimes laity who are given the title in recognition for their service to the church.

Since the bishop is just getting started my responsibilities are yet to be defined. That will emerge as Bishop Knisely organizes his staff, decides how he will administer the diocese and how he wants me to assist him. Fortunately, he and I have known each other for over 30 years and I’m very flexible, so whatever he and the diocese need me to do will be fine by me.

I bring experience in everything from administration to formation to leadership and congregational development The “Ordinary” part of the title comes and I share the Bishop’s passion for from the tradition of a diocesan bishop growing the church both in numbers being an “Ordinary,” meaning he or and in spirit. So I’m pleased to serve him and this dioshe exercises ordicese in helping nary jurisdiction I bring experience you build up the in a diocese—had in everything Kingdom of God the right and the from administration in this time and responsibility to to formation to leadership place. I’m just getgovern the dio& congregational development ting to know you cese according to and I share but have already the canons of the Bishop Knisely’s passion been impressed by church. A suborfor growing the church the many gifts and dinate bishop or both in numbers and in spirit. skills I see amongst staff person has you and the eagerdelegated jurisdicness of many who have offered themtion and thus only has the rights and responsibilities that are assigned to selves for service. Please don’t hesitate to call me if there is something I can him or her by the diocesan bishop. do to support your congregation’s misDespite all of that being slightly con- sion and ministry. fusing, we church folks love to keep

tism and confirmation. Experienced in the midst of a church community, these rituals are important steps to acknowledge one’s membership in the church – the Body of Christ - and to commit the church community to the nurture and care of those being baptized or confirmed.

BODY BUILDING By Betsy Fornal, Canon for Congregations and Clergy

Belonging. As humans, our need to be known and to know others is secondary only to our need for physical survival. While our ancestors had to band together to hunt and gather food and for safety, we have most of those basic needs met by our families or by our local communities. However, the need to belong to a group, to form relationships based on identity and common belief is psychologically important for us. It is a longing to be part of something greater than ourselves. As the church, we have rituals which are outward and visible signs of our belonging to God and God’s family – bap-

Because of our mobile society, however, people enter and leave individual church communities as their lives demand. A century ago, many people lived their entire lives within easy travel to their place of birth and their family of origin. Today, people often relocate many times in response to their career, education or family needs. How do we acknowledge those who wish to become part of our church community? For those whose baptism or confirmation have already occurred, how do we make them part of this particular church community? How do we signal the pathway of belonging for those who find their way into our churches through our activities or programs or by invitation from members to ‘try us out’? However they arrive and whatever they seek, our welcome and invitation to be part of our church should be clear. Several of our churches have deliberate programs of incorporation by which newcomers are invited to learn more

Transitions As of November 2012

Churches in Self Study • • • • •

All Saints’ Memorial, Providence Trinity Church, Cranston Christ Church, Lincoln St. Augustine’s, Kingston Redeemer, Providence

Receiving Names • •

St. David’s-on-the-Hill and Transfiguration in Cranston

The Rev. Judy Mitchell, called as Priest-in-Charge at St. John the Divine, Saunderstown, and began ministry with them on Sept 1st.

The Rev. Erik Larsen from Connecticut, called as Rector of St. Columba’s Chapel, Middletown, and began ministry there on Oct. 1st.

The Rev. Christine Purcell from Central Pennsylvania, called as Rector of Christ Church in Westerly and will begin with them in Jan.

Emmanuel Church, Cumberland St. Ann’s by-the-Sea, Block Island

Merger Conversations •

Recent Calls

Openings about the church, to talk with the leaders, to learn about what we believe and to engage in ministry according to their gifts or passions. These churches have found that by acknowledging a person’s presence at worship or another church event and by engaging in conversation, answering questions, etc., a newcomer feels invited to become part of the church family. Having a public moment of recognition at which newcomers are welcomed as members also helps the congregation know the new members as well. What experiences have you had joining a church? I know that many of you have been faithful churchgoers in other locations and in other denominations. What was your most meaningful experience of being made a member of a church? What was it that made you know that you belonged? I invite you to share these stories with me. Email or send a note to me at 275 North Main St., Providence, 02903. Thank you!

The Rev. Michael Tuck, called as Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lennox, MA

Retirements •

The Rev. Ashley Peckham retired from his ministry at St. Mary’s Church, East Providence, in Sept.

The Rev. Gardiner Shattuck will retire from Church of the Good Shepherd, Pawtucket, in January Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN



Episcopal Charities Update

Ways we can Feed the Hungry


May we share all God’s blessings in this season of thanksgiving and time of storm recovery Each year, as we get closer to Thanksgiving, we take time to reflect on our blessings and remember all the things that we should be grateful for. We are thankful for our health and the health of our families. We are thankful to have a safe place to live, to have enough to eat, money to pay the bills, and fill our cars with gas. We are fortunate to have time to relax, watch TV, read a book, or spend time with friends. Well, that’s the way it should be. Yet, with high unemployment, it will be difficult for many to be thankful. Many will not have a job. Many have or will lose their home or have no place to rent. Many cannot buy food, pay for heat or gas. Many will lose their health benefits or be unable to pay the pharmacist for medicines. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we want our volunteers and donors to know that you have been a gift to us. We wish to thank you for all the special gifts that have been given and the outstanding efforts that have made to fulfill the Episcopal Charities Mission. Because of you, social service agencies from Woonsocket to Westerly, Aquidneck to Apponaug will have food, heat, shelter healthcare, and other basic and special needs for people in fragile situations.

Now, Rhode Islanders are facing recovery from Hurricane Sandy For those who would like to help in this recovery effort, Episcopal Charities is ready to accept your donation which will be passed on to local Rhode Island agencies that will assist others with immediate and long-term relief. After Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami, Episcopalians were very generous to help in those areas and Episcopal Charities was able to pass on those funds to areas where they were most needed.


RISEN Fall/Winter 2012

2012 Campaign:

As of November 2, 2012, pledges total $314,000 just 74% of our $425,000 goal. If you have not participated yet, just think of all the good your gift will do for so many. Please join with others across our Diocese to help Christ in healing the gaps, hurts, and brokenness in thousands of lives.

Ways to Give: • Donate online at • Send your donation with your name, address, phone # and parish to 275 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 • Give a gift in memory of someone, in honor of a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or just because. We will notify them of your kindness!

children and youth to our camp program next summer.

ECC: Strangers But Once

By The Rev. Meaghan Kelly, Director


t would seem obvious that the summer months are the busiest for a camp director, but it turns out that the Episcopal Conference Center has a whole lot happening in the winter too! After our truly wonderful summer we did have a couple of weeks where we were able to take a big breath at ECC. We worked HARD all summer, and had hundreds of campers come and spend a week or more with us. Our numbers were up significantly this year, with more than 65 additional registrations over last summer. The word seems to be out that good things continue to happen at ECC, and we look forward to welcoming even more


In the meantime, there’s plenty hap- encing God through Music” and pening during the year. At the begin- many of the members of our ning of November we welcomed our summer staff were there along staff back to the property along with with conference leaders Kelley the campers who are interested in ap- Dwyer and Sue White to help plying for our Counselor-in-Training explore how we grow closer to program for next summer. The group God by listening to and perspent the weekend learning about the forming different kinds of muCIT program, taking part in fun games sic. and activities, and working, working, working! With 186 wooded acres in During February vacation from Pascoag there is always raking to be public schools we’ll be offering done at this time of year, and Hurri- a Winter Camp for students in cane Sandy gave us even more clean 7th-11th grade. Camp life is a up for the weekend. We had a very little different in the winter but large pine tree fall on top of Moonmen just as fun! We spend a little – a boy staff cabin – but within a day more time in the heated house, most of the branches had been cleared and our outdoor activities include sledding, ice skating, and so the cabin could other winter be accessed for repair. We swept Episcopal Conference Center fun. Reghas a whole lot happening i s t r a t i o n off roofs, cared forms for in the winter too! for gardens, stored this camp furniture for the will be winter, and more. available soon on the Diocesan It was a terrific weekend and showed me once again what hard workers we Website. have with our staff and campers. They We hope you’ll join us for some do what needs to be done with smiles of our winter programs. Please on their faces, and manage to always keep in mind that ECC is availhave fun in the process. able for retreats and events year The second weekend in December we offered a winter conference at ECC for Junior High School students. The theme of the conference was “Experi-

Moonmen Cabin before work weekend cleaned up the post-hurricane Sandy debris.

round and we’d love to welcome you or your parish family. 

Check out ECC's new website

Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


community will work, learn, live, and pray together as they discern God’s place and intent for them in today’s world. We will need office space, but perhaps not in the living configuration. At first, both of these sites will probably be rental property. In a win-win situation, The Jonathan Daniels House will provide work skills to a number of non-profit agencies in South Providence/Elmwood, will return the presence of the Episcopal Church to that area, and will be a place of discernment for young interns.

A Winning Program:

Updates from the Steering Committee By The Rev. Dcn. Ricky Brightman


he Jonathan Daniels House is a residential service community in the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island that is scheduled to welcome its first young adult interns by this time next year, in the fall of 2113. Participants will be engaged in a one-year program of learning, working, and discernment. Interns will live intentionally in Christian community, and work alongside service agencies embedded in local communities while engaging in vocational and spiritual discernment. As a member of the Episcopal Service Corps, the Providence community will be part of an expanding network of 20+ communities for young adults in cities across the country. After two years of “preparing the ground” the Steering Com-


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mittee if the Jonathan Daniels House is enthusiastic about sharing news about “seeding the ground” for further growth.

The house is named for Jonathan Daniels, a young seminarian who ministered in churches in South Providence before heading to the South where he was killed during the Civil Rights movement. His work was especially evident at Christ Church formerly located on Eddy Street near Rhode Island Hospital.

After two years of planning, the Steering Committee is The Steering ComIn a win-win situation, most enthusiastic mittee is now receivThe Jonathan Daniels House about our moving ing and reviewing will provide work skills forward. We will the names of candito a number need help and supdates for the Execuof non-profit agencies in port from everyone tive Director’s posiSouth Providence/Elmwood, in the diocese in tion. Next steps will return the presence terms of fund-raiswill come quickly of the Episcopal Church ing and developand probably simulto that area, and will be ment; locating aptaneously. a place of discernment propriate work sites First is to find and for young interns. in the Greater Proviseek commitment dence area; welcomfrom agencies that ing our interns and are willing and able to “employ” our becoming familiar with their hopes, interns. A second task will be to seek experiences, and stories of this special applicants for our first year of opera- journey they are taking here among us. tion starting in the Fall of 2113. We hope to have 4-6 interns enrolled in For more information you can visit us at the program for our first year. or contact the Steering Committee The third important task is to secure Chairperson, Rev. Emund Harris at a place where the Jonathan Daniels 


Scenes 1


1 Karen Knisely speaks to Clergy



spouses before Knisely’s Ordination 2 Kenny Knisely at the lectern for her dad’s Ordination 3 Choir music at Diocesan Convention Evensong 4 The Rev. Linda Grenz preaching at the Diocesan Convention Evensongfrom the Search & Transi-




tion Committees. 5 Bishop Wolf’s Beeple People Decorating the refreshments table at her retirement party 6 Presiding Bishop speaks to RI Clergy before Knisely’s Ordination 7 Bishop Wolf

and Bishop Knisely just before the Ordination began

Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN



New Diocesan Coordinator of Youth & Family


t the Diocesan Convention, Bishop Knisely announced the appointment of The Rev. Meaghan Kelly as the Coordinator of Youth and Family Ministry. This is an expansion of the position Meaghan already holds as the Director of the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center (a part-time position) and will enable her to serve fully as a member of the senior staff of the Diocese. In this role, she will help congregations support the faith formation of children, youth and young adults, their families and those who work with them. She will work with diocesan groups to offer diocesan events and leadership training, and to facilitate participation in provincial and


RISEN Fall/Winter 2012

national events and networks for youth and their families. This will include expanding the offerings at the ECC for both youth and adults.

Camp and Conference Center would be an appropriate use of the facility, and having it used rather than empty, would be good stewardship.

This position was made possible The decision on the use of the Grant through the use of funds and proper- House and the contribution of income ties owned by the diocese. The Grant from the Bishop’s discretionary fund House, which is made it poslocated on the sible to move The Rev. Meghan Kelly, grounds of the Meaghan to fullDirector of ECC, Episcopal Camp time position. has been appointed as and Conference The intention is the Diocesan Coordinator Center has been for the support of Youth and Family used as a retreat of this position Ministry house to clergy to be gradually and occasionincluded in the ally as a tempodiocesan budrary home. In the last couple of years, get over the next three years. So the there has essentially been no use of Director will live in Grant House for the house. The Bishop and Diocesan the time being to support the ministry Council decided that providing hous- during the transition. ing to the Director of the Episcopal This decision has been enthusiastically


Hurricane Recovery in the Diocese of RI

Ministry Named embraced by the Board of the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center and echoed by many past and present campers, counselors and friends of ECC. The appointment of a staff person to focus on youth and families enhances the diocese’s work in developing future leaders of the church and the world. Meaghan and her husband, Jonathan Brower, will take up residence in January. Meaghan will be in the diocesan house in Providence on Wednesdays and will continue to be available as a supply priest during the winter months. We encourage you to invite her to preach, celebrate, meet with your leaders in youth and family ministries and share new about the ECC and the diocese’s work with youth and families. .

In an emergency such as Hurricane Sandy, there is a lot for the diocesan office to keep track of. Together we have over 60 historic properties to check up on and100+ clergy to verify the safety of. The few days after the hurricane were a scramble of contacting each parish and clergy person to assess damage and make sure resources to file insurance claims were available, if needed. Within 24 hours we had heard from all but four parishes and while electricity was still scarce, it seemed there was no major damage to persons or property. The Episcopal Conference Center in Pascoag did have a tree fall on the male staff cabin dubbed “Moonmen” and the May House – which is the new home of (then) Bishop-Elect Knisely — has a damaged seawall with lots of debris on the lawn and landscaping issues. He weathered the storm up the street on higher ground, at The Rev. David Dobbin’s house. Rhode Island, with the exception of parts of Westerly, was largely spared

by Sandy. We should be thankful that on the whole, the major problems were just no phones and no power. Since most of our parishes are located in town centers near the fire station and police station, Episcopal Churches were one of the first buildings across the board to see the lights come back on. From St. Martin’s Church in Providence to St. Mark’s in Warwick and Trinity in Newport, our churches opened their doors to welcome their communities to come re-charge their phones and laptops and spirits. If you personally want to help you can donate to Episcopal Charities to help with relief here in RI, through RI agencies. To learn more contact Peggy Amatore 401-274-4500 x234 But the worst Damage has been in NY and NJ. To donate financial aid to those areas, Episcopal Relief and Development is a great option. Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


The Ordination

of the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island

the House of Bishops. In early September Knisely took up residence in the May House, a diocesan property in Wickford, and was joined by his wife Karen a few weeks later when she finished her work in Arizona. Their daughter Kenney remains in college at Arizona state.


n the crisp, sunny afternoon of November 17th, 2012, nearly 2,000 hopeful, excited Episcopalians gathered at St. George's School in Middletown, RI where by the grace of God and with the consent of the people, The Very Reverend William Nicholas Knisely, Jr was ordained a bishop, the 13th Bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island. The Chief Consecrator at the ceremony was The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church.


For the two and a half months prior to his Ordination, Knisely was in and out of our churches and the diocesan office, consulting with (now retired) Bishop Wolf, learning about the history, the ministries, the people, and the deep desires we RI Episcopalians have for the future of the Church and our communities.

At a clergy meeting the day before the Ordination, the presiding Bishop applauded Bishop Wolf as well as the RI Search and Transition Committees, thanking them for walking the diocese through such a healthy transition. She told clergy that where there is health there is where there is health promise, and this is a promising new there is promise, this is a promising new era era we all begin together.

we all begin together. At Diocesan Convention, two weeks The Ordination Sermon (see page 16) after Knisely’s Ordination, the new was given by The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, Bishop recognized committee memBishop of Arizona, where Knisely previously served as Dean of the Cathedral. Bishop Smith ap- bers with a gift, and awarded committee chair Lora Macplauded RI for electing a “digital Bishop” who knows how Fall, with the first annual “Anchor of Hope Award” for to speak the language of the 21st century and engage youth. outstanding service to further the Kingdom of God in RI, Over 25 media outlets, from the Boston Globe to Channel service that goes well beyond the regular call to duty. 12 TV, reported on the sermon and Bishop Knisely’s technical prowess, calling him the “Tweeting Bishop”. The service was followed by a festive reception, and the Ordination’s fall cornucopia decor of edible fruits, gourds, and vegetables, was donated to local Rhode Island food banks. The day’s weather was a blessing, considering the torrential rain storm that hit back on June 2nd when Rhode Island Episcopalians gathered to elect Knisely, definitively, on the first ballot out of a slate of 5 nominees. Even then, there was much hope and anticipation in the air. Then the wait began. In July at The Episcopal Church's General Convention in Indianapolis, the Bishop-Elect received his final consents from the House of Deputies and

Photo: Lora MacFall recieves the Bishop’s Anchor of Hope Award

Watch the Ordination online at click on “events” and then “Ordination of the 13th Bishop of RI”

Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


Digital Bishop By The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Arizona

Sermon given on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at the Ordination of Bishop Knisely, the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island. Bishop Smith was Bishop Knisely’s employer in his previous position as Dean of the Cathedral in Phoenix, AZ.


e have all been at meetings where the first thing the speaker does is to ask the audience to turn off their cell phones. This afternoon I am going to do just the opposite—I am going to ask you to take them out and to turn them on! Why? because you, my brothers and sisters, have a got yourselves a bishop for the 21st Century, a digital bishop, one who is going to help you communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ in a whole new and exciting way. So get those smart phones ready, because beginning today you are about to tweet, facebook, and so-


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cial media your way into the minds and hearts of a new generation--those who may text dozens of messages everyday, but have never heard the Message, who belong to virtual communities but not to a community of faith, who may be Linked-In, but are not yet raised up. Who follow their friends on Facebook but who are not yet followers of Christ. If you think that I am putting you on, that is because as Episcopalians we are seriously out of touch with a world where the average teenager sends over 3000 text messages a month, where the number one goal of nearly all Fortune 500 companies is to increase their social media presence, and where Facebook has over a billion users, making it the equivalent of the third largest country in the world. In the past, the church used the revolution caused by the printing

press to share the Gospel with the world. It has pretty much dropped the ball ever since, missing out on the opportunities given to it by film, radio and television. Is it too late? Here are some are two scary facts—80% of people looking for a church to attend for the first time, go to the internet, and yet only 20% of Episcopal churches have an active and up-to-date website. Here is another one. There are 110 active bishops in this country, only six are on Twitter, and yet at our General Convention this summer, when we were discussing the blessings of same sex unions, over 10 million people worldwide were following us on Twitter! File this under #majorfail.

all sang his favorite hymn, “They cast their nets in Galilee.” We sang it again just now. This was more appropriate than you may know. Years ago, I served in a parish in Old Lyme Connecticut, not too far from here, and so my family would often come over Rhode Island to take the ferry to Block Island. That ferry leaves from—Galilee, Rhode Island! (As I recall there used to be a pretty good seafood restaurant there). Galilee, Rhode Island is named of course after the place where Jesus did most of his ministry, and from whence he called his disciples. Why did Jesus base his ministry in Galilee? It was not his hometown. He had to make quite a trip to get there. The answer I think is that Galilee was the cultural crossroads of Jesus’ day. It was home to many different ethnic groups, and hosted many different religious tradiYour new bishop’s desire tions. Even though it was rural, it was to embrace technology a melting pot, a kind of first century motivated by far more than Times Square.

Your new bishop’s desire to embrace technology is motivated by far more than a desire to be cool, hip, or wired. It comes instead from a longing to connect, especially with those in our society who are often on the margins of the churches’ attention, especially young people. Bishop Thomas Marsh Clark, fifth Bishop of Rhode Island told his convention in 1898: “Innovation is not always improvement, but there can be no improvement without innovations. That which is more familiar to us was a novelty once, and that which is new to us will become familiar in the process of time.” Your new bishop embodies that tradition of Yankee innovation. Those of you who were at the electing convention will remember that when Nick’s election was announced, you Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


CBishop Kirk Smith holds up an iphone at Bishop Knisely’s Ordination

Of course your new bishop is one of those high tech bishops. In fact, he might be said, like Al Gore, to have invented the internet, at least for Episcopalians. You will probably hear is from him the story of how as a gradu- a desire to be cool, hip, or wired. ate student back in the 1980’s he realIt comes instead It is to that mix of culture and beliefs ized that the then clunky computers from a longing to connect, that Jesus preaches his message. His he was using would have tremendous especially with those audience is not the good, temple-gopotential, and he set out to learn all in our society ing, establishment type Jew of Jeruabout them and especially about how who are often on the margins salem. But the marginalized and the the church could use the Web. By now of the churches’ attention forgotten. Remember all the dismisyou all know that Nick is a smart guy, sive comments from the Jewish estabhow many bishops have an advanced lishment about Jesus “the Galilean”. degree in physics? What you may not know is how much he Hence someone for them not to be taken seriously. knows about technology. He taught our Arizona clergy how to blog, and as the cathedral Dean in Phoenix, so much of his time was spent consulting about IT, that I considered getting him a tee-shirt which read, “NO, I will not fix your computer.”

boat. Hmm, I wonder what that might mean? But there is no use in effectively communicating if we don’t have something to communicate. And your new bishop is clear as to what that is—the Good News of Jesus Christ. This might seem like a no-brainer, but sadly that is sometimes not the case in our church. I remember very well the meeting I had with the Arizona Cathedral Chapter just before they called Nick as their new Dean seven years ago. They were down to two candidates, and I was with them to help break the deadlock, I asked each member of the cathedral chapter to tell me what they liked most about the two finalists. One woman, said, “I really like that Nick Knisely, there is only one problem, in his interview he talked about Jesus an awful lot.” Another member of the chapter quickly chimed in. “Oh, don’t worry about that, he said, “It’s just a fad, they are all doing it these days!” Happily we have come a long way since then. The caA digital bishop cannot but be concerned about one group thedral in Phoenix has seen a nearly threefold increase in found in our own modern Galilee of high tech pop culture, attendance since six years ago, due mainly to Nick’s inand that is youth. Its is to youth that the church must “cast stance that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ its INTERnet.” Internet communication is not a toy for is to be proclaimed in that place with power, clarity and young people—it is a way of life. It is the language they conviction. Nationally too, we have learned the hard way speak, and if the church is going to grow, it will have to real- that merely resting on our laurels as genteel post-Victorian protestants is not going to bring new people in. We ize this. This fact is especially hard for need to be absolutely focused on our Episcopalians, a greying denominamission and unapologetic about our tion where the average age is 62, and There is no use where the average number of youth in effectively communicating church: Episcopalian and proud of it! involved in an Episcopal parish is 8. We all say we want to attract young people and children and families, and yet most church budgets allocate more for coffee hour than they do for children and youth.

if we don’t have something to communicate. And your new bishop is clear as to what that is—the Good News of Jesus Christ.

One of the few dioceses in this country that is growing in numbers has done so because of a concerted effort a decade ago to put a youth minister in every parish. Your new bishop will also make the needs of youth a priority. He talks to them, not down to them. And he speaks their language both online and offline. I have seen him do that at our Arizona diocesan camp and at the cathedral in Phoenix, which thanks to his efforts now does have a full time youth director. Nick knows that those fishermen in Galilee who followed Jesus were not the bearded figures we tend to imagine, but were all probably about 18-20 years old. When they followed the Savior, they left their old man, their father Zebedee in the


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We need to be clear in our theology: No more Unitarians in vestments. We must be compelling in our worship— (no more mumbling our way through the prayer book and droning hymns by 19th Century dead white guys.) We have to be demanding in our formation as disciples—no more confirmation classes in which a few weeks of instruction to bored eighth graders is the standard for joining the church. Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas (another digital bishop) has a new book called Unabashedly Episcopalian in which he rightly challenges us to fall in love once again with our Episcopal church. It’s not enough to just aspire to follow Jesus, we must live out our discipleship in a unique church community with a particularly rich theology and tradition which we can be proud of. In his words: “I am not challenging you to come up with your own really cool understanding of our church, but rather to choose to form

people of every age in the way of the Episcopal be unabashedly Episcopalian.” Nick, we are all called to be unabashedly Episcopalian, and today, we call you to be our bishop unabashedly! And so I would ask you to now stand.

he may be the chief pastor of the Diocese, but you are his most important flock.

your online blog. As you continue this Episcopal ministry, always be mindful the changing nature of the church you serve. Be to them a true digital bishop, using technology to strengthen relationships, to reach the unchurched, and to proclaim the Good News.

“The Episcopal Church in Rhode Island is a church for the 21st Century. You invited to join us in the name of Jesus.

And the rest of you, members of this great Diocese, would you all please stand. You have probably all noticed that you You stand facing the altar, but you also stand with with are not standing in church building today, but on an ath200 years of history and ministry of the Diocese of Rhode letic playing field. I hope this symbolism in not lost on you, Island, standing behind you. You stand on the shoulders for you are all called upon to be part of a team. Nick may of its previous twelve bishops, most importantly those of be your new captain, but he can’t play the game without Gerry Wolf, and the clergy and lay leadership who elected all of you, from those who are the starting players, to those you. They have chosen to consecrate you on the feast day of who spend most of their time on the bench, or carrying two great bishops of the medieval English Church, Hugh water. The team called the Diocese of Rhode Island needs of Lincoln and Robert Grosseteste. Hugh, because he was all of you. And it needs you to both treat your captain with known for his great personal piety, and his gentle pastoring respect and with care. No intentional fouls, no elbowing of his clergy and people. Legend has it that as he traveled on the court, no playing out of bounds, and make sure you around his diocese he was so humble all call for plenty of time-outs. Talk that he chose to walk rather than ride to your captain and not about him. It’s not enough his horse. Although this might in fact Make sure he takes his day off, and to just aspire to follow Jesus, be possible given the compact nature remember you are all wearing the of your diocese, I do understand they we must live out our discipleship same uniform--you know, the one have provided you with a Toyota. in a unique church community which has written on it, “the cross is Robert Grosseteste on the other hand with a particularly rich theology my anchor.” and tradition was noted for his intellect. He was Now sit down and get out your which we can be proud of. chancellor of Oxford University bephones. To paraphrase Jesus in our fore he was elected bishop of Lincoln, Gospel for today, “Be dressed for acwhere he wrote on physics and astronomy and pioneered the scientific method--sound familiar? His great learning tion and with your phones turned on!” Before you leave earned him his surname of Grosseteste which means liter- here today I want you to text, twitter, or post an important ally “swelled head,” or “egg head,” as we might say today--so message. Your message is going to reach more people than be careful! It is these two qualities of pastor and teacher that has ever happened before in the Diocese of Rhode Island. this diocese was looking for, and it is these two gifts that Here is the math--the average smartphone user has about you will bring them. Indeed, you have already began to care 100 friends or followers. There are about 2000 people here for them when you contacted every congregation after Hur- today. So that means nearly a quarter of million people are ricane Sandy, and you have already begun to teach them on going to receive this proclamation:

And Karen and Kenney, I would ask you to stand. For you have an important job too. Your task is to remind Nick that his ministry begins at home, and that his care for you is to be above all others. I once heard a wise old priest say that in ministry, the clergy person is required to keep many different balls in the air--some of them are made of rubber and some are made of glass. The rubber ones represent work, the glass ones, family. If you should happen to drop one of the rubber balls, it will bounce, but the glass ones will shatter. So Karen and Kenny, remind your husband and father that

For we have a great new bishop--thanks be to God!t

Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


Bishop Knisely’s

Convention Address

Photo taken by Richard Schori at Bishop Knisely’s Ordination After just two weeks as the 13th Bishop of RI, The Rt. Rev. Nicholas Knisely addresed the Diocese on December 2nd, 2012 at our annual Diocesan Convention.. Read on, to have (most of ) your questions answered about how he intends to lead this diocese, and what he intends to accomplish as our Bishop


s I stand here and address this 222nd Diocesan Convention I’m aware of the great march of history that these meetings have represented, and how little of that history I share with all of you. Just two weeks ago I was in an upper room at St. George’s school sitting with a host of bishops nervously waiting for call to start the procession into the main room. Walking into that space was an experience that I’m still processing, and one that I expect I’ll be reflecting on for a long time. It was the culmination of over a year’s discernment on both of our parts and the beginning of what I pray will be a long and happy shared ministry together. I’ve been here in the state for three months as of this morning. For most of that time I have been learning about you,

about the history and traditions of the diocese and about the amazing resources that you share and that you are. I wish I had the ability to tell you how extraordinary you all are, how inspiring your passion for God is and how much affection people have for all of you across the Episcopal Church. But I’ve gotten to know you all well enough in this short time to know that you’re already wondering who I’m talking about when I say this, and just what it is that I’d be going on about. While this year of search, discernment and transition is growing to a close, I don’t think that the processes that brought us all to this moment have ended, and I don’t imagine that they will any time soon. There’s much we need to learn about each other, and more importantly, there’s much

we need to learn about the world that is changing at an ever increasing pace all around us. I hope you’ll agree to keep walking with me on this journey, keep struggling to hear that still small voice of the creator that fills all of creation, and continue to have enough faith to believe in an exciting future in spite of the so many very real fears that confront us.

and on behalf of this entire convention to everyone who was a part of the search and transition process - as a member of the committees, as someone who helped out in a specific way or was willing to enter into the discernment process as a fellow participant. Thank you for all the late nights, the difficult decisions, the faithful actions and willingness to open yourselves up to God’s action in our community.

I do have one special request. I’ve been a bishop now for just I want to say thank you as well to all the people who particiunder two weeks. As you listen to what I say this morning, pated in the ordination service two weeks ago. I have heard and as you seek to tease out any hidden meanings, I’d ask again and again from people that it was a moving, beautiful that you keep in mind that short two week period. There and deeply prayerful experience. I know as a liturgist that are things that are still very new to me. Like being called such things don’t just happen. There were months of plan“bishop”… I keep looking around to see who’s come into ning that went into the event, there were thousands of volthe room when people say that. I know that I will make unteers and tens of thousands of hours of work that made mistakes in the first year, and that I will do things that will it possible for everything to seem to happen so effortlessly. be interpreted to mean someThank you! thing that I didn’t intend them to be. And I expect you might You should know that the I owe thanks do the same with me. That you Presiding Bishop remarked to the entire diocese. You all will say things and do things repeatedly on how well orhave welcomed me that I will misunderstand. We ganized the whole event was and my family warmly into yours. both bring a lifetime’s worth and how thoughtfully preI have been stunned by the warmth of experiences with the church pared the liturgy and particiand generosity of your welcome. and with other bishops, to this pants were. Thank you to the You have made it very hard new relationship or ours. Permany people who traveled haps if we can both keep in for me to believe in the myth from across the country to mind that we’re all new at this, of the taciturn yankees be a part of the day, and who we can try hard to see what is of Southern New England. made the event a memory happening and not read into a that I shall cherish the rest word or a moment more than of my life. Thank you to my is really present. This is a spiritual discipline I mean for both new colleagues in the house of bishops who made it here myself and all of you; and it’s something that I’ve learned on that holiday travel week. And thank you to many musiis an excellent for all groups of people entering into new cians, acolytes and clergy who participated by offering their relationships with each other - both in parochial ministry special gifts in service to our diocese. and in everyday life. The Presiding Bishop, in addition to praising the work of At any rate, I’ll try and I hope you will too. the Transition committee, was also clear that we all owe a I have so many thank you’s to share that if I tried to just debt of thanks to Bishop Wolf and her staff for the work mention every one by name, we wouldn’t be out of here they did to make this entire transition go as smoothly as until next week. It’s been an amazing year and it’s been filled it did. As one who was intimately involved in this process, to the bursting with amazing people. My first contact with I can testify that the 12th bishop was determined that the the Diocese of Rhode Island came when Lora MacFall con- 13th bishop would have full access to whatever he needed tacted me to say that my name had been nominated as part to get started in this new ministry as quickly and as effecof the bishop search and that if I was willing, she had some tively as possible. Likewise the diocesan staff has been wonquestions she’s like me to answer. Little did I expect where derfully helpful in making this transition work. From little that would lead. And little did I expect how much respect, things like making sure I knew how to find my way around gratitude and even awe I now hold in my heart toward her. the state to big things like helping to figure out how to get I suspect that the entire search and transition committee Linda Grenz on the staff as quickly as possible. would join me in all of that. But Lora would be very quick to point out that she was not alone in the task that you all undertook, and so I want to say thank you both personally

Just as I owe thanks to the diocesan staff, I owe thanks to the entire diocese. You all have welcomed me and my family warmly into yours. I have been stunned by the warmth and generosity of your welcome. You have made it very hard

for me to believe in the myth of the taciturn yankees of Southern New England. The people I have met have been hospitable, generous, kind, and funny. I’m grateful that I am going to get to spend a very long time in your company.

initial trip to seminary. Karen and Kenney have handled each of the transitions in a way that gives witness to their deep faith in God and their willingness to answer God’s call to them.

I want to take a moment to thank the people of Arizona I’m sure by now a number of you have wondered about my too. So many of you have asked me how vision for the Diocese of Rhode Island. the transition of moving from Arizona It’s a question that I expected to be explicto Rhode Island was going, worried that I believe it is important itly asked by the search and nomination I was going to be surprised by the cold committee and one that I recall coming for the leadership and the rain. The people of Arizona know up as part of the walk-about interviews of a community to learn that it was actually the other way around. last spring. My answer now is the same to listen Moving there six years ago, I had to learn as it was then. I’m not convinced that it to the diverse voices to manage with the heat, the dust and a is proper, much less effective, for the two within a community much spicier menu than my PA dutch palweek old bishop of a diocese to tell the and then to reflect back ate was used to eating. But they welcomed diocese where they are to aim themselves. to them me into their community and put up with I just don’t believe it is effective at the dimy very eastern ways. (Apparently most ocesan level because I’ve not found it to be what is being heard. people don’t wear blue oxfords and dockcompletely effective at the parish level as siders in the desert…) When I told them I’ve participated in early stages of transithat I had been elected to serve as the 13th bishop of Rhode tion. Island, they were as generous in saying good bye as they had been in saying hello. The cross I wear around my neck is a Rather I believe it is important for the leadership of a compresent from that congregation and some of the vestments munity to learn to listen to the diverse voices within a that I was presented with at my ordination were purchased community and then to reflect back to them what is being heard. Once the community recognizes their own voice - as for our use by their donations. their leader expresses their hopes and dreams as a people Finally, in this long list of thank you’s I want to thank my they are ready to do the work of planning how to achieve family, my daughter Kenney and my wife Karen. It’s no what they are describing. small thing to have to uproot your life because someone you love has been called by God to serve in new place and I do have some areas that I believe we must focus on within in a new way. But that has happened six times including the our diocesan life. As you’ve probably already noticed, I hold


RISEN Fall/Winter 2012

leadership development among the young people of the diocese to be a high priority. I also believe we need to be even more effective in communicating to the people of this state than we already are. But those are my personal goals and things that I will work to support during my time as your bishop. But the vision of the diocese is yours to determine.

do all that to be accessible to you. But I do it just as much because I want to hear your voices as much as I can. And I want to hear the voices of the other people in the state - the people who are not part of the Episcopal Church but who are searching to hear the Good News that God loves us and that God has been faithful to us even when we didn’t always reciprocate.

And then in the next couple of years, I’m going to start reSo in the coming year or so, I hope you flecting back to you what I’m hearing. And will see me doing a lot of listening. I probasking you to tell me if it seems genuine. ably won’t be doing all that much talking. And then together we are going to figure That can be unsettling if you’re not used out what we need to do to get to where we to it. I’ve seen communities become conbelieve God is calling us to be. the vision cerned that there’s a hidden agenda since of the diocese they don’t see one being revealed as quickly I admit that there’s one common thing is yours as they’d like. But I think it’s important to I’ve been hearing already - and which I’m to determine. remember that you and I have time. God already ready to reflect back to you. And willing I’ll be your bishop something like that is your concern about the future of the next 15 years, perhaps more. We don’t St. John’s Cathedral church in Providence. have to do everything overnight. We’re From the moment it was announced that I blessed to be in a place where we are, for had been nominated, I’ve been asked what the most part, not being dictated to by a was going to be done about the Cathedral. series of urgent crises demanding a response. We are in a When the services at St. John’s were suspended last spring, place where we can be strategic in our decision making, and the number of questions increased. And after I was electI think it’s important for us to appreciate what this means. ed, it’s been hard to have a conversation, an interview, or even just walk along Benefit Street in Providence, without So how will I listen? You have my having someone ask me about the email address: Cathedral. As I’ve started to spend - or Nicholas or bishop or whatever Sunday mornings with you, or meet there’s one else you can find on the web. They all clergy and leaders at deanery events, common thing work, and they all come directly to the same question is raised. I’ve been hearing already me. I do want to hear from you - parand which I’m already ready ticularly those of you in this room toSo, I get it. This is a big concern for to reflect back to you. day. You are the elected and ordained all of you. And that is your concern leadership of the diocese and in my And the most common concern I about the future servant ministry among you, I need to hear your voices. of St. John’s Cathedral church hear raised is that people don’t feel that they were given a chance to in Providence. But it’s not just email. I’ll be trying participate in the decision making to show up in your parishes over the process. For some the news that the next few years. Sometimes just to spend time with you. Cathedral was going to have its services suspended came Sometimes as part of a formal visitation. Sometimes be- as a complete surprise. For others it was a disappointing cause you’ve invited me and I want to make that a priority. but not surprising announcement even if it the timing was And I’ll try to hang out with you at coffee hour, and before unanticipated. And for some, who did participate in the and after the service. Talking directly with the people we decision making process, there’s surprise that any of this was serve is one of the best parts of being a member of clergy, a surprise. and I don’t intend to miss out on the good stuff. The upshot from where I stand, is that the process by which A number of you have contacted me on Facebook and on this particular decision was made did not have much buytwitter. I’ve already gotten a reputation as being the “digital in from the community. And that is why the community bishop” or the bishop of social media. (Remind me to say (both of the Cathedral itself but also of the diocese and the a special thanks to Bishop Kirk Smith for that… heh.) I neighborhood around St. John’s) is struggling to understand Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


what happened. The good news is that the way the decision was made has left us an opportunity to revisit it - though to be honest the challenges facing the Cathedral are in some ways greater now that it has stood vacant and unused for the past six months. But we can revisit the decision, and hopefully construct a different kind of process that will allow us to have a greater participation and buy-in once it comes to a conclusion. So, all that said, with your consent, I am calling for the creation of a special ad-hoc task force to look at the ministry and property of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Providence with the goal of reporting back to the 223rd Diocesan Convention a set of options for that convention to consider. I would hope that the committee to be made up of clergy and lay leaders of the diocese, of the former members of the Cathedral community and of the wider community of Providence would describe each option and list as much as possible what resources would be needed to act on any one of them. I envision a task force of something like a dozen people who would report regularly on their progress and process to Diocesan Council during the next year. I would like to present a list of names for the Task Force to the Diocesan Council for their consent at their January meeting. At the presentation of their report, the task force will be disbanded. This is a different group than the existing Chapter of the Cathedral - which was appointed to a two year term this past July by Bishop Wolf, but which to my knowledge has not subsequently met. It is different than the Cathedral Corporation, who held the endowments of the Cathedral prior to returning them to the Chapter. But I expect that

the task force will include members of the Chapter going forward. A relatively well know Chicago politician has been known to remark that it is a shame to ever waste a moment such as we have arrived at with the Cathedral. It seems to me that we are given the gift of an opportunity to learn a new way to make decisions as a community going forward. And that opportunity is too precious a thing to not be taken seriously. I hope that you will not object to this proposal, and that in about a year’s time you will be ready to make some hard decisions about how we are going to use the assets that have been given to us in our moment of leadership to continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus as we move forward into the three hundredth year of ministry at the corner of Church Street and North Main. There was another common question that I was repeatedly asked during the walk-abouts at St. Andrew’s last May. That was what I would do about allowing for a generous pastoral response to people in same-sex relationships who are active in the Episcopal Church, and who ask for the Episcopal Church’s blessing on their intention to live into a covenant of lifelong, monogamous, mutual loving relationships. I said then that I intended to vote for such legislation at General Convention this past summer, and given that it would be hypocritical for me, should I be elected bishop to block such blessings going forward. I was indeed elected, and I did intend to vote in favor. But the vote came to the House of Deputies days after I resigned my seat in that body and had been seated as bishop-elect in the House of Bishops. But both houses of General Conven-

tion did vote in the affirmative by significant majorities to approve the provisional use of blessing liturgies for, in case of Rhode Island, same-sex couples entering into civil partnerships here in Rhode Island or a marriage in one of our neighboring states. I am going to give permission, indeed I have already done so in one case for a couple desiring a ceremony later this month. But my giving of this permission represents a significant change in policy for the Diocese of Rhode Island. While Bishop Wolf did vote in favor of the blessing liturgies at General Convention, she did not allow such services to take place. That means that we don’t have the infrastructure that I believe we need to have moving forward. Because of that, I am going to create a small task force to work with me in December and January to quickly create guidelines for use by congregations in the diocese who wish to offer this pastoral office to their members.

are provided in the official materials approved at General Convention. In addition, the Diocese of Rhode Island is part of Province One of the Episcopal Church and many of our sibling dioceses have had long experience with answering these questions and have shared that experience with us already. So the time to create the guidelines shouldn’t be longer than a month or two I would imagine. And again, in keeping with the recognition that Diocesan Council is the Diocesan Convention meeting in recess, I would like to bring the guidelines that are created to Council for their approval. Having received that approval, I will authorize them to be used by any parish or mission that formally requests to do so.

For those who have waited so long, I apologize that you must wait just a little while longer. But I believe it is important that in a matter like this that we have a chance to have a broad a consultation as possible (albeit quickly). I’ve only been your bishop for two weeks now, and as I mentioned, There are a few questions that need to be decided. How do this represents a significant change in policy for our diocese. we make the decision that a parish But if there is a pastoral necessity would like to offer this ministry? I that arises here or there in the next would strongly urge, in fact I have General Convention did vote two months, I will be happy to talk already required, that the vestry or in the affirmative directly with the responsible clergy bishop’s committee pass a resolution by significant majorities directly. As I mentioned, I have alexpressing their support of the ofto approve the provisional use of ready done so. fering of blessings to be communiblessing liturgies for, cated, along with a letter from the On the topic of clergy… I have bein case of Rhode Island, rector or priest in charge, before the gun a conversation with the memsame-sex couples entering into bers of the Commission on MInisfirst blessing takes place. No priest civil partnerships here in RI, is required to perform a blessing sertry. There are, as you might expect or a marriage in one of vice, and the legislation enacted at by this point in my address, going to our neighboring states. General Convention was very clear be some changes in the process we I am going to give permission. that there must be no penalty for use to discern ordained ministry and a member of the clergy who’s conin the way it is expressed in the Dioscience will not allow them to do so. cese of Rhode Island. The first and Similarly, because the blessings take place in the context of a most immediate is that I will be talking with them about worshiping community, it seems important to me to know guidelines for the recruitment of more deacons to serve in that the community in who’s presence these blessings are our parishes and ministries around our state. We will be going to occur is committed to supporting the couple. talking about what the ministry of deacon might look like here in Rhode Island and what it is we as a people need to If a parish and priest decide to take up this ministry of bless- be able lift up women and men to serve as exemplars and ing, what expectations should we as a diocese place upon living icons of servant ministry in our midst. those coming seeking the blessing? What requirements should there be for pre-blessing counseling? What require- We (the COM and I) have already committed ourselves to ments are most helpful in the case of a prior divorce? What a conversation about the ministry of the priesthood in the resources shall we provide if there are children who will be 21st century as well. While the classic vision of parochial living with their parents in a civil partnership? What extra ministry will still be with us, and still be an important part legal resources must we be careful to discuss with the cou- of our common life, there is a need for new forms and new ple, given the present difference between civil partnerships sorts of preparation for priestly ministry in Rhode Island. and marriage here in Rhode Island, and in Federal law? And as we begin to share consensus on what that will be, we will need to begin to recruit new leaders who we believe Many of the questions have been anticipated, and resources have been uniquely gifted by God for that new sort of role. SUMMER 2012 / RISEN


I expect we will be issuing new guidelines about the schedule and structure of the process of discernment for ordained ministry as well. I believe the most effective discernment of ministry takes place in the person’s local community with their local clergy and fellow parishioners. I believe we will move toward a strengthening of that role going forward. You should expect to hear news from my office in the next months about the ministry of the existing deacons of the diocese. I believe the Episcopal Church, particularly in Rhode Island, is poised to enter a period of growth and expansion. Indeed I am already hearing from a number of you about new people expressing interest in your communities, in growing children’s formation programs and in crowded worship spaces. Hallelujah! We will need workers to go into the vineyard as quickly as we can find them. But it would be shame to miss opportunities because we didn’t believe we had the resources we needed. I am hoping that the deacons and I will come to a common mind on how to respond to this need in the short term. Like I said, stay tuned.

simply by virtue of their having been set apart for the service of the Gospel. But it is just as, if not more true for the laity of the diocese because their voices have a unique power to speak to their neighbors without the overlay of stuff that often drowns out the voice of the clergy. I know for me it was the witness of my close friends that brought me back into the church when I was a student in Delaware all those years ago. I’m hoping that in the coming years we will all build on the excellent foundation that has already been laid here in the Diocese of Rhode Island and continue to find new and compelling ways to share the Gospel with our neighbors. It’s not all social media you know. I’ve seen people use yard signs, use church socials, use beach cleanup events, use softball leagues, and even use coffee and donuts to effectively share the good news.

We are all called to be evangelists, and we all have exactly what we need to do what God asks of us. It’s going to be different for each one of us, but if we are faithful, we will be doing God’s will. We will share the vision of God’s dream for in the coming years ourselves and our neighbors. We will we will all build take our place as missionaries and on the excellent foundation emissary’s a new and glorious way of that has already been laid here living - and we will be doing this at in the Diocese of Rhode Island a particular moment in history that and continue to find I believe needs our voices as much new and compelling ways as any we have experienced in our to share the Gospel with our state’s history.

And finally, a common question I was asked prior and immediately following my consecration was “What do you want us to call you?” My response has been that I don’t have a particular title in mind, but that I’m fascinated to discover what the community will bestow upon me. Well that question seems to have been quickly answered. Bishop Smith called me the “Digital neighbors. Bishop” in his sermon at my ordinaThank you for calling me to labor tion, and local news and radio reportbeside you in this work. Thank you ers have picked up on that theme. I for gifting me and this community with all we will need to was titled the “tweeting bishop” by Channel 12 in their promo the other evening of a TV interview I did with them do what the tasks that God has set us to doing. Thank you for being courageous enough to live lives that witness to on my use of social media. the hope that is in all of us. Digital Bishop and Tweeting bishop were not exactly the titles I had expected, but he who opens his mouth… must abide by the decisions of the community. So if that’s how I’m to be known for the moment, then I intend to embrace the implications. I do think we as a people must learn to be able to share the gospel with people around us in a way that shows them the same dazzling richness of God’s love that brought each one of us to this particular place. As a few people have quipped, “your tweet today might be the only gospel someone will hear.” Or your Facebook status, or blog post, or newspaper article or… This is true for the clergy of the diocese in an obvious way


RISEN Fall/Winter 2012

2012 Convention

Resolutions as Passed

Focusing on Those Living in Poverty RESOLVED, That the 222nd Convention of the Diocese of Rhode Island calls upon each parish to designate one group within the parish to address how that parish can live into the Gospel mandate to serve the poor by creating concrete ways to serve those in need. And be it further resolved that these efforts be reported to the MTF for collection and distribution to the wider diocese.

Bishop’s Resolution: Create Cathedral Task Force RESOLVED, that the 222nd Convention of the Diocese of Rhode Island affirm the bishop’s call for the creation of a special ad hoc task force to look at the ministry and property of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Providence with the goal of reporting back to the 223rd Diocesan Convention a set of options for that convention to consider.

Bishop’s Resolution, Create Same Sex Blessing Task Force RESOLVED, that the 222nd Convention of the Diocese of Rhode Island affirm the bishop’s call for the creation of a special ad hoc task force to work with him to create guideline for use by congregations in the diocese who with to offer blessing liturgies for same-sex couples entering into civil partnerships here in Rhode Island or a marriage in one of our neighboring states.

Amendment to Canon 10:22 Parochial Reports RESOLVED, That Canon 10:22 be amended to read (underlining highlights changes): “Every cleric in charge of a parish or a mission, or if there is no cleric, then one of the wardens, shall prepare annually for the year ending December 31 proceeding, a report which shall be filed not later than March 1 with the Bishop of the Diocese or, where there is no Bishop, with the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese.”

Amendment to Canon 5:5 Chancellor RESOLVED, That Canon 5:5 be amended to read (underlining highlights changes) “5.5. Chancellor. At each Annual Convention the Bishop shall nominate subject to confirmation by Convention a chancellor, who shall be a person learned in the law and a communicant in good standing of The Episcopal Church registered in a congregation of the Diocese, to act as an advisor to the Bishop in legal affairs. The chancellor, with the approval of the Bishop, may appoint one or more assistant chancellors who will serve until the next Annual Convention. When not a member of the Convention, a chancellor shall ex officio, be entitled to a seat and a voice in the Convention, but not to a vote.” Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN


Journal Episcopal

Quarterly eDItIoN

Vol 2 No 3


Fall 2012

Calls for broad change Executive Council pledges a new budget process

By Episcopal News Service


Photo/Episcopal Church of the Redeemer/ENS

Nose to Nose

The Rev. Ray Buchanan, rector of Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Mobile, Ala., greets a parishioner’s canine companion during a pet blessing. It was the start of a weekend celebration to honor St. Francis of Assisi, whose love of animals is traditionally commemorated with pet blessings in early October. The blessing at Redeemer included a “Noah’s Park” pet carnival with a petting zoo, horse rides, a Spotted Dog Café and a no-bark silent auction. “We have a lot of people who love animals, and we started this about five years ago because we felt there was a need for our ministry,” said Carol George, of the parish’s St. Francis Guild.



Decisions on structure, same-gender blessings

lthough it was just the first meeting of executive Council’s new triennium, already its members had their eyes on the 2015 General Convention and the 2016–2018 budget. Diocese of ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth, chair of council’s Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission, said his committee discussed the church’s budget-building process at length, agreeing that the process needs to be changed. The standing committee created a smaller subcommittee to develop a new budget process, Hollingsworth said, but first will expand its membership to include the chief operating officer and the treasurer, as well as representatives from other General Convention committees. Council also approved a slightly revised version of next year’s budget. although General Convention passes the triennial budget, as it did last July for the years 2013–2015, council considers and approves the annual versions of that budget. It increased its contribution to the work of the anglican Communion office by $104,000 in 2013 after Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer, told council he had erred in his estimates during last year’s budgeting process. “It was simply a mistake, and I apologize for that,” he said. The presiding bishop said that to decrease significantly the church’s annual contribution to the anglican Communion’s work would “send a difficult message.” The episcopal Church contributed $1.1 million during the 2010-2012 triennium, leading council members to say they will also reconsider the amount the church has pledged for 2014 and 2015. In other action, council authorized a $785,000 line of credit to continued on page B the Diocese of San Joaquin



Can the next archbishop of Canterbury heal our divisions?


epISCopal JourNal Fall 2012

news n

episcopal agency leads disaster preparedness By Episcopal Journal


f you think that episcopal relief & Development works only in some of the world’s poorest countries in africa, asia and latin america, you need to think again. “When we say our mission is to heal a hurting world, we mean it — including when those who are hurting are right here in the united States,” says the agency’s president, robert W. radtke. all kinds of natural disasters — including hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires — affect this country every year, radtke points out. “and as in so many countries, our church has a community-based presence and infrastructure — as well as a commitment to people’s spiritual well-being — that makes it ideally suited to offer relief and comfort.” episcopal relief & Development has developed a u.S. Disaster preparedness Initiative to identify churches and dioceses in disaster-prone areas and to train and equip members to respond when needed. The agency also helps with building networks of volunteers and provides hands-on assistance and material support in the aftermath of disasters. radtke says that episcopal congregations bring unique assets to the table when disaster strikes: clergy and lay leaders who are already involved in community affairs, members with a wide range of skills and experience in helping those less fortunate, and facilities that can serve as meeting places or command centers in an emergency. another major advantage is that the church will still be there when the emer-

ExECUTIVE COUNCIL continued from page A

for 2013. Council has consistently supported the work of reorganizing that diocese since its former bishop and leadership announced in 2007 that they would leave the episcopal Church. Governance and administration Chair Steve Hutchinson told council, “There’s a special and very deep opportunity for mission and ministry and rebuilding of the church there.” Since it was council’s first meeting for many members, they spent one day

gency has passed. “long after . . . other relief organizations have moved on, we’re still there working on long-term efforts not just to alleviate the impact of disaster but to leave our communities even better off than they were before,” says radtke. Best of all, he adds, in going beyond the self to help others at their time of greatest need, “we put our faith into action every day, and that may be the greatest gift of all.”

How to Prepare for Disaster episcopal relief & Development encourages readers to contact their parish and diocese about how they can help with disaster preparation. But in addition to acting collectively through their congregations, readers should ensure that they and their families are prepared as well. These tips will ensure that you are ready to deal with potential disaster. Keep in Contact Make sure everyone in your family has memorized the phone number for someone outside of your immediate area to call in case of an emergency. Make a wallet card that includes important numbers and information. text messages may still work even when phone calls don’t go through, so at the episcopal Church Center in New york City and another in orientation sessions and committee work, familiarizing themselves with their responsibility as the major decision-making body between General Conventions. The visit to the church center was significant, in part, because General Convention in July resolved that it was its will “to move the church center headquarters away from the church center building.” That statement came after the House of Bishops rejected a call by the House of Deputies to sell the building at 815 Sec-

make sure your family knows how to text. stay Informed Find an easy way to access information, such as signing up for text alerts. to find a local agency providing alerts, go to Download the red Cross app on your iphone that will provide the latest information, including the location of emergency shelters in your area. listen to local area weather radio stations. Create a Go Kit Water, food and cash are the three most important things you’ll need. Store one gallon of water per person for three days, enough nonperishable food items for three days, and small denomination bills and change as part of your cash. put together a “go kit” that you can keep stashed in your house that includes a battery-powered or a hand-crank radio, a first-aid kit, extra keys for your home and vehicle, flashlights, batteries, a whistle, sanitation supplies, tools, a manual can opener, local maps, prescription medication, glasses, infant formula and diapers if you have a young child, and pet food if necessary. other items in your “go kit” should include your important documents, a change of clothing, a fire extinguisher, matches, paper and pencils, duct tape, rain gear, a two-way radio, medical information, and games and books. n This story is written with information provided by Episcopal Relief & Development’s publication, Seek and Serve. ond avenue in midtown Manhattan. a comprehensive study of real estate owned by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the episcopal Church by the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield involves both the episcopal Church Center and a city block in austin, texas, purchased with the intent of constructing a new building for the church’s archives, currently housed at the Seminary of the Southwest in austin. The study will also explore the cost of relocating the church center and its impact on the staff. n

Fall 2012 epISCopal JourNal

n news


re-envisioning the episcopal Church for the 21st century By Matthew Davies Episcopal News Service


eneral Convention has called on the church to reimagine its structure, taken historic steps toward full inclusion, endorsed positive investment in the palestinian territories, and reaffirmed its commitment to building anglican Communion relationships while saying it is unable to adopt the anglican Covenant. Based on the anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission, the budget for the episcopal Church in the 2013–2015 triennium was adopted unanimously by the 77th General Convention. The triennium budget is balanced at $111,516,032 and comes with a small surplus of $30,000. The current triennium’s budget is $111,808,350. presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the outgoing president of the House of Deputies Bonnie anderson summed up the convention at a closing news conference on July 12. “you have seen the episcopal Church not only of the future, but of today, in the presence of young adults, a more significant number than we’ve seen in a long time, people of many nations and tribes and language traditions,” said Jefferts Schori. “The episcopal Church is healthy, it’s becoming healthier, and it’s poised for an even more significant impact on the world around us. There’s no stopping us.” anderson, who stepped down as House of Deputies president after convention, said it had been a great convention and that the deputies, 44 percent of whom were new, were extremely well prepared. of the almost 400 resolutions submitted to General Convention, more than 90 related to structural reform. Most of those resolutions were similar in nature, and it was the work of the Structure Committee to consider the legislation and make its recommendations.

applause and cheers eruptThe budget for the 2013-15 triened on the day before ad- nium assumes $73.5 million in commitjournment as resolution ments from the church’s dioceses, nearly C095, which calls for $4 million less than that in the current creation of a task force to triennium. That total is based on keeping reimagine the workings the amount that the church asks dioceses of the episcopal Church to contribute annually to the churchwide in the 21st century, sailed budget at 19 percent. unanimously through the In a historic move, convention authoHouse of Bishops. a day ear- rized provisional use of a rite for blessing lier, deputies also had passed the same-gender unions. “The Witnessing resolution unanimously. and Blessing of a lifelong Covenant” rite The legislation creates a special task will be available for use starting Dec. 2 force of up to 24 people who will gather (the first Sunday of advent), but clergy ideas in the next two years from all levels will need the permission of their bishop of the church about possible reforms to under the terms of the resolution. continued on page D its structures, governance and administration. Its work will culminate in a special gathering of people from every diocese to hear what recommendations the task force plans to make to the 78th General Convention. Its final report is due by November 2014. Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer for the episcopal Church, praised the work of both the Structure Committee and convention. “My hope has always been that we would begin to have a conversation and the church embraced that. The conversation became a movement of hope for the future of the church.” people have realized — and the institutional church is getting it — “that we are standing on the brink Photo/Don Hill of an unprecedented moment [and] have An enterprising young photographer shoots a photo seen it as opportunity of retired bishop Otis Charles of San Francisco, while rather than threat,” the bishop of Taiwan, with phone camera, returns the compliment. Sauls said.


epISCopal JourNal Fall 2012

CONVENTION continued from page C

The resolution calls on the Standing Commission on liturgy and Music (SClM) “to conduct a review process over the next triennium, making clear that this is a work in progress,” the rev. ruth Meyers, deputy of the Diocese of Chicago, told the deputies. She chaired the prayer Book, liturgy and Church Music Committee’s subcommittee on blessings. The resolution directs the SClM to include “diverse theological perspectives in the further development of the theological resource” and to invite responses from throughout the church as well as from the anglican Communion and the church’s ecumenical partners.

General ConventIon n

prevent discrimination. one makes clear that the ordination discernment process is open to them, and another guarantees their equal place in the life, worship and governance of the church. Following action on same-gender blessings and transgender rights, the majority of the Diocese of South Carolina’s deputies left the General Convention July 11 because, in the words of its remaining clergy deputy, the gathering had passed resolutions that violate the doctrine, discipline and worship of the episcopal Church. However, that deputy, the Very rev. John B. Burwell, told episcopal News Service, “We are not leaving the episcopal Church.” Convention overwhelmingly sup-

Photo/Episcopal Journal/Larry Moore

The National Altar Guild Association hosted a collection of valuable ecclesiastical art at General Convention. More than 40 articles, including crosses and chalices, vestments and other artifacts, were on display, including articles from the archbishop of Canterbury’s collection. Left, Julia Kellman, from ChampaignUrbana, Ill., a retired professor from the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, puts the finishing touches to one display.

The resolution states that, under existing canons, clergy can decline to preside at a blessing liturgy and says that no one “should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities” for objecting to or supporting the 77th General Convention’s action on blessings. two resolutions passed by convention offer support for members of the transgender community by adding gender expression and identity to two canons that

ported a resolution on positive investment in the palestinian territories. But the bishops agreed to postpone indefinitely a conversation on corporate engagement. The resolution affirms positive investment “as a necessary means to create a sound economy and a sustainable infrastructure” in the palestinian territories. It also calls on the church to support “the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian study on peace with justice in the Middle east”

and produce an annotated bibliography of resources. a second resolution, which called on the church to engage “in corporate social responsibility by more vigorous and public corporate engagement with companies in the church’s investment portfolio that contribute to the infrastructure of the occupation,” was tabled after Bishop Sean rowe of Northwestern pennsylvania called for the conversation to be postponed indefinitely. The deputies had passed that resolution on July 9, but it would have required the bishops’ consent. Convention also affirmed its commitment to building relationships across the anglican Communion, especially through the Continuing Indaba program, but declined to take a position on the anglican Covenant. after considering eight resolutions, the General Convention’s Committee on World Mission recommended adoption of two resolutions on anglican Communion relationships and the anglican Covenant, a document that initially had been intended as a way to bind anglicans globally across cultural and theological differences. Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas, chair of the World Mission Committee, said following the vote that the resolutions are “a genuine pastoral response because we are not of one mind, and to push a decision at this time would cause hurt and alienation in our church on both sides, and instead we chose to stay in the conversation.” The rev. Gay Jennings of ohio was elected to serve as the next president of the House of Deputies, and Byron rushing of Massachusetts was elected as the next vice president. each will serve a three-year term beginning at the end of General Convention. other legislation that convention passed includes resolutions that: n reaffirm advocacy support for peace in Sudan. n call for the release of all who are in Cuban prisons because of their religious activities or peaceful advocacy of political change; and support for advocacy efforts for the humane treatment and pastoral care of four Cuban nationals convicted of spying for the government of the republic of Cuba, who are serving prison sentences in the united States. continued on page E

Fall 2012 epISCopal JourNal

n Feature


ment that they provide parity in health insurance cost-sharing between lay and n commend the 11-year relationship clergy employees. That deadline now is of full communion with the evangeliextended until Dec. 31, 2015. Dioceses cal lutheran Church in america and and parishes still must offer health insurask the lutheran-episcopal Coordinatance to employees through the Church ing Committee to address areas where Medical trust by the end of 2012. The episcopal and lutheran practices differ, resolution also calls the Medical trust especially around the matter of who can to continue to explore “more equitable preside at Holy Commusharing of health care prenion and the role of deamium costs.” n affirm the church’s cons. n authorize a 12-memteaching that baptism is ber task force to study marthe norm for those who riage, including the need wish to receive Holy Comfor pastoral responses by munion. n approve a move away clergy for same-sex couples from, but does not authoin states where civil marrize the sale of, the episcoriage is legal, as well as issues pal Church Center head“raised by changing societal quarters at 815 Second and cultural norms and leavenue in New york City. gal structures.” n revise the Holy Week n establish a Developreadings in the prayer Book ment office for the episto correspond with those in copal Church to solicit the revised Common lecmajor gifts and other rePhoto/Matthew Davies tionary; sources. Deputy Russ Randle from the Diocese of Virginia, chair of the n commit the church n call for creation of a national and international concerns legislative committee, speaks on over the next three years resolutions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. pilot student loan fund for to “teaching, preaching, seminarians who agree to organizing, advocating, and building al ahli Hospital in Gaza with fund- exercise three years of ministry in undermutually transformative relationships raising and advocacy after the united served areas of the episcopal Church. n direct the Standing Commission with those who are poor to focus our Nations relief and Works agency cut hearts and the mission of our congrega- its financial aid, slashing the hospital’s on ecumenical and Interreligious relations to initiate dialogue between the tions and dioceses on reducing poverty budget nearly in half. n amend the canons to provide a episcopal Church and the Mormon and increasing economic and racial justice.” every meeting that takes place in mechanism for addressing disagree- Church “for the interreligious purposes the church is called to include time for ments in the pastoral relationship be- of friendship, goodwill, mutual understanding” and in anticipation of the prayer and reflection “on how our work tween a diocese and its bishop. n give dioceses and parishes an ad78th General Convention to be held in engages issues of poverty and economic and racial justice networks” in order to ditional three years to meet the require- Salt lake City in 2015. n “cultivate mindfulness about poverty in our communities and world.” n require the tracking of the ratio of women to men in bishops’ election processes, as well as participation of racial and ethnic minorities, and encourage dioceses to strive for greater diversity in candidates. n support the Diocese of Jerusalem’s

CONVENTION continued from page D

We inform. Involve. Inspire. 12



That’s the new episcopal Journal.

June 2012

A cool experience on a spring day!

Journal Episcopal

By Jerry Hames Hausman Photos by Paul

describing nine year old,

exclaimed one as she took a ture workshops “Real cool,” Cheerios for eyes poetry and eco-sculp

her pottery, a cartoon face using for its other feacheese rice cake and fashioned veggies and cream with celebrity and pieces of fresh e and a “food art” session kids about the tures. It was lunchtim y Whitelaw, who told the having their of chef Melody McGinle s and the value of fresh vegetable PER CoPy health benefits stageN | $3.75 gardens. — dra. directed, EDITIo who hasHly s in the afternoon a pottery workshop own herb and vegetable a journalistMoNT introduced to more workshop Solange De Santis, plays, said her workshops “Theater Then it was on 13 from St. a play. and music. and developed ma, cartooning boys and girls aged 6 through n, managed drama skills such as how to analyze around us,” she ity of Morristow place all More than 55 children to commun the and but drama takes May 13. piscopall Church is in one location, Peter’s episcopa s Day of Art on , said many ed in a Children’ told them. poet and journalist N.J., participat day of a twothey lifelong a which activities our Sharon Sheridan, It was the final of let children self-select ity celebration I think the breadthmore. I arts programs week commun included an e longer classes. “But want and offer children to experienc of the arts that realize plus, allowing Show (named talents they didn’t offerings was a MG Kids Art ity’s website discovered new hope some of them after the commun om) in the months planning they had”. MorristownGreen.c a jazz cofcoordinator, spent rector, Melissa Sheridan, the festival’s Peter’s assistant church’s Great Hall, the help of St. poetry night. ing campaign. for the day with feehouse, and a er web-based fund-rais of the poetry the ghan featured more McCau and a Kickstart quality Pat Hall and By The art show depth Sheridan at the from public, in groups,” “I was amazed ls andThe than 300 works Episcopal News s schools, both as individua from trash and recyclable children wrote, sculpture parochial and private created s local op high steel artists, Archbish said. “I loved the wo of20-foot individual young the commudown Tijuana step lawn.” shelter. she said, the extent willchurch displayed on the churches and various correlates to fun, offered proof.walls between including a homeless said it was a seeAnd if messiness year end nity organizations,Broderick, rector of St. Peter’s, making a at pottery the Diego made room needed andSan and the Day of Art, has to do with The Rev. Janet cleanup that the n children leaving touching each Hatala. and the children. “Art ing today; the classrooms lisa and for er adults time ing “I saw said parishion spiritual shop owner t. So we’re worshipp faces said it all,” ble, but walls spiritual statemen Broderick, who was a pottery a priest, led smiles on their other all but impossialians and an” churches. becoming our are ast Village before east couldn’t stop Episcop of the border in New York City’s


May 2012

image Via Crucis pilgr aim at Eucharist takes Mexican border


es immigration issu




sides glicans on both the Eucharist tofrom celebrating april. in gether on a day unity aimed a The display of plight of undocu spotlight at the ants and on unjust mented immigr that separate and immigration laws Bishop Suffrasaid divide families, of the Diocese of gan Diane Bruce Bishop Jim Mathes and angeles los The Bible of San Diego. of the Diocese Challenge. Patrol heliWith U.S. Border d, the two Are you up overhea Photo/Janet Kawamoto at copters circling for it? bread and wine 80 Episcopalians bishops blessed U.S. side of the group of about xico were among a Angeles to the U.S.-Me a service on the hip Park in San Bruce of Los Angeles ur Park in Los held on the Diego and Diane ge from MacArth eous service was border at Friends away across the Mathes of San of the Cross pilgrimathe Eucharist as a simultan Bishops James ed Diego. a few yards from the angli- who took part in an April Stations bishops celebrat in where the two border wall, clergy at designated stops g did likewise. border in San Diego, English Mexico and of wall. reachin the Spanish can Church ful way to cel- other side of hur Park in in Clemente and Chula Vista before “What a wonder Holy Week,” San that began at Macart age border the in y pilgrim of the hoculminated with the border. ebrate this Monda rds. “at the end of the serChristians is one — and los angeles and 14 Stations of the Cross ob“Today for us as all said Bruce afterwa the Mexico side] were comyear — Holy Week Eucharist, with journey. liest times of our vice, people [from to the border wall and askoppression of our served along the the first three stations at the story of the , telling Muñoz are liz we ing up individually Rev. the after praying s. 40 pilgrims formedd lord Jesus Christ,” said los angeles, and a ing for blessing over the edge, in making me in hur Park, about followe that can Macart of cars. Their procession pickup rector of Trinity Church “It pushed me The cost of er. in a there are no walls a caravan 4 statue of Jesus pilgrimage organizbelieve modernizing understand that God’s loving grace. There is continued on page a 6-foot wooden miles south along Interstate “Many of us our once separate us from do that.” some 130 can s and praying stations final stop truck pilgrim common liturgy no border that and more fourth the 5, adding The border was of the Cross) Via Crucis (Way in a multi-city


14 RISEN Fall/Winter 2012 ColumN


Vol 2 No 5

drawskesire Schori for remarks Speechprie st rebu Jefferts Palestinian By Jerry Hames

ian priest and d n anglican Palestin publicly chastise peace activist has Katharine Jefferts Presiding Bishop at a los angeSchori for remarks in which she event in March les fundraising up urging digive should in favor of said Episcopalians boycotts of Israel West Bank vestment and ment in the investing in develop


Canon and Gaza. rebuke, the Rev. In a withering

than dly raised more Jen that reporte of that the luncheo0 for ministries in the Diocese in a public letter $50,00 Naim ateek wroteremarks “shocked and hurt Dawani rusalem. was Bishop Suheil m. los presiding bishop’s nails hammered into our In attendance Jerusale us. They felt like of our reality, as though n Diocese of of the anglica truth host, who also only imaginbodies and the Jon Bruno, the from angeles Bishop are living a lie — g, said the bishop had we Palestinians we only eat, talk and share gatherin the nts that if spoke to [sic].” with the comme ing things, and ing will be alright Jerusalem agreed angeles story, page 3). our stories, everyththe Sabeel Ecumenical lib(see los t, dim, an been madeletter ateek said that “boycot ateek, head of In his y Center in Jerusale and s [are seen as] nonvioeration Theolog 3 to justice, peace vestment and sanction continued on page organization devoted ed after the presiding action for the direct lent respond reconciliation, a Middle East Peacekeepers bishop addressed

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epISCopal JourNal Fall 2012

Column n

The Communion’s foundation Next in line at Canterbury may help to heal our divisions Aspects of Anglicanism: One in a series of columns describing the roots of our Anglican tradition and what the Episcopal Church has to offer to the Anglican Communion as Episcopalians witness to the world. By Gordon Graham Episcopal Journal


owan Williams, the current archbishop of Canterbury, has announced he will resign at the end of the year, after which he will return to the world of scholarship, a sphere to which he contributed brilliantly before his first bishopric in Wales. His announcement has led to much speculation about his successor, of course, and several periodicals have carried explanations of the arcane english process by which the choice is made. But this occasion also provides an opportunity to reflect on the special nature and contemporary significance of the position that he vacates. Williams’ successor will be the 105th archbishop of Canterbury, standing in a line that stretches back far beyond both the Church of england’s break with rome and the reformation. Its origins, in fact, lie in the sixth century when the pope sent augustine of Canterbury (not to be confused with the great theologian augustine of Hippo) to be an “apostle to the english.” His mission was so successful that after a time he was appointed archbishop, a new episcopal shepherd over a new Christian flock. Since then, the history of augustine’s successors has been both colorful and troubled. While some archbishops of Canterbury (like augustine himself) have been canonized as saints, others have been assassinated, deposed, beheaded and even burned at the stake as heretics. The line has included pastors, scholars, mystics, military heroes, political sycophants, po-

ets and ministers of state. For the most part, of course, the archbishops have been people of no very great historical significance, simply filling the position to the best of their abilities, sometimes to good and sometimes to ill effect. The role, it turns out, matters far more than those who have occupied it. a crucial aspect of the position’s importance lies simply in its age. uniquely, it straddles the protestant/Catholic divide. The fact that the new archbishop will be the 105th shows that the line did not start with Thomas Cranmer, the figure most clearly identified with an independent “english” church. Cranmer was appointed by the pope and subsequently burned to death as a heretic. Though a key figure in the emerging identity of the anglican Church, he was nevertheless just one more occupant of england’s oldest see. By contrast, the churches that luther and Calvin called into existence emphatically broke with Catholicism on theological grounds and drew up new “Confessions” that would make their differences plain. Nor is this just a matter of history. The 105th archbishop will take his episcopal seat in a place of worship that stands on the site where the first took his. Canterbury Cathedral today far outshines the humble building that augustine erected, but it has done so for over 1,000 years, and regardless of church politics, from Chaucer to the present day it has served continuously as a place of Christian pilgrimage. The archbishop’s role did develop, though, in a way that augustine could never have foreseen. Indeed, most of the first 100 occupants could not have seen that the archbishop of Canterbury would become the head of a worldwide anglican Communion. This function only emerged in the mid-19th century, as anglican missionaries extended the geographical spread of prayer Book worship wider and wider. The bishops who oversaw all this were eventually brought together by the archbishop of Canterbury for a conference at lambeth palace, his official london residence. as a result, both the lambeth Con-

ference, which meets every 10 years, and the archbishop who calls it became tangible “instruments of unity” for anglicans across the world. The “headship” of the Communion took on more substance during the tenure of Geoffrey Fisher, who served as the 99th archbishop from 1945 to 1961 and was the first to journey overseas. The position is not in any respect that of a pope, however, a fact that sometimes confuses ecumenical dialogue with rome. In something like the way that americans, whose differences may otherwise be great, express unity in their common acknowledgment and respect for the “stars and stripes,” the see of Canterbury is one of the symbols all anglicans are invited to acknowledge, as an expression of and commitment to unity. In the modern world, this new role has become ever more important, a fact reflected by a change in the electoral process. The election of the new archbishop will be less english and more anglican than ever before. under new procedures, the role of the British prime minister is substantially diminished. More significantly, the nominating committee includes a representative of the anglican primates elected by the Standing Committee of the anglican Communion, reflecting an interest in the appointment far wider than simply in the Church of england. Ironically, this change comes at a time when divisions in the worldwide Communion seem increasingly evident. yet, we can hope and pray that the election under this new procedure will be the first step in their resolution. n This is the tenth and last in a series of columns written by the Rev. Dr. Gordon Graham. A priest of the Scottish Episcopal Church who is licensed to officiate in the Diocese of New Jersey, he is Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary and associate priest at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Cranbury, N.J. Previous columns are available on his blog, http://rclnotes.blogspot. com/, along with a weekly reflection on each of the Sunday lections.

Fall/Winter 2012 / RISEN



Dear Readers So much has happened in the past few months! Things might not feel that different in your daily life at your parish, but here at the Diocesan house everything has been in a constant flux since this summer. Big changes in leadership mean lots of endings, but as we all know, every ending makes way for a new beginning. We here at the office are very excited about the particular new beginning our diocese has, with our newly ordained and consecrated Bishop, The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely. The transition has been remarkably smooth thanks to the wonderful work of the Bishop Search Committee, the Transition Committee, and the graciousness of Bishop Wolf. But over the next few months please do bear with us if there are any moments of confusion as we sort out our new office structure, responsibilities, workflow etc. In addition to Bishop Knisely, we have three other staff members who have arrived since summer. Ruthie Moulton, reception and Administration, started just before the election in June. The Rev. Linda L Grenz, who is now Canon to the Ordinary, arrived in September right around when Bishop Knisely arrived. Meaghan Kelly, Director of ECC has been in RI for some time, butas our new Coordinator for Youth and Family Ministy she will be in the office here with us part of the week as well. We are all still getting to know each other, shuffling office furniture around, and settling into new patterns of getting our work done. It is amazing to me how much has happened in the past few months at the office here. We bid farewell to our Bishop, Co-worker, Boss and friend of nearly 17 years (four of which I’ve been here for). We ordained our new Bishop, in front of nearly 2,000 Episcopalians. Then, just two weeks after being made Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Knisely lead us through an exciting, hopeful diocesan Convention. Now, the flurry of the past few months is over. It is time for us to get back to the nitty gritty of providing you with the support you need to run your parishes. Keep an eye out and your ears open, though. The transition may be at it’s end, but we have a bright, hopeful, exciting new Bishop and our future together is just beginning. Ruth Meteer, Editor in Chief

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2013 Camp Dates :

Music & Arts Camp July 7-13 , grades 7-12 Family Camp Older Children June 26-29, all ages July 14-19, grades 5-6 Teen Camp June 30-July 5, grades 7-9 Bridge Camp July 21-24, grades 6-8

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RISEN fall/winter 2012  

A quarterly magazine published by the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, to inform, enlighten and inspire.