A publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
Faith in Action
The Power of Public Liturgy to Raise Awareness
From Bishop Fisher
I felt like my feet were praying. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel after marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion ‘your God reigns!’ Isaiah 52:7
You can tell me all day long your heart is with the poor, but where are your feet? Sister Chrissy Mulready, CSJ (Betsy’s maid of honor at our wedding and our son, Geoff’s, godmother).
No, this is not a ®Nike commercial. It is a physical metaphor of how I see “faith in action.” (Which might be a redundant phrase because faith IS action. Without action, faith is just an opinion.) One of many ways we can get our feet moving in WMA is “public liturgy.” That is liturgy outside of our church buildings as a way to proclaim our faith to the society around us. Here are a few examples. In June, 2015 Bishops United Against Gun Violence led a procession of 1700 people through the streets of Salt Lake City to pray publicly for an end to the public health crisis that is gun violence. We will do it again next year in Chicago, prayerfully drawing witness to the Unholy Trinity of Racism, Guns and Poverty. On Good Friday at least five churches that I know of, prayed the Stations of the Cross on the streets - going to places where people still experience the Cross. As I prayed through the streets of Worcester and talked with those who processed, I realized this was a community in motion - a community of very dedicated, faithful churchgoers and people experiencing homelessness (I loved the fact that the Worcester Telegram quoted the people experiencing homelessness). Again in Worcester, at the blessing of the new office/community center on South Main Street for the Walking Together ministry of Meredyth Ward, the gathering included Congressman Jim McGovern, faithful Episcopalians from the nearby churches, representatives from other faith communities and college students. As I blessed the space, people experiencing poverty started gathering outside the door, looking in at the table of food laid out for after the ceremony. They were all invited in and at that moment the room looked like the Reign of God. A couple of weeks ago, I participated in an “Ashes to Ashes” event. It was a funeral for the 4000 African Americans who were lynched between 1866 and 1968. We processed behind a horse drawn caisson through the streets of Springfield until 2
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PHOTO: Bishop Fisher sprinkles the assembly and the new space for Walking Together in the South Main neighborhood of Worcester. At center, State Senator Harriette L. Chandler. Far right, Congressman Jim McGovern.
we came to Old St. John’s Church - once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Some walked and some rode wheelchairs. We prayed and we asked forgiveness for America’s Original Sin of slavery and racism. At our recent clergy conference I asked my brother and sister priests to gather in groups and discuss how they might lead public liturgy as a witness to Gospel values. They came back with outstanding ideas (We have such creative church leaders in WMA). I invite readers of Abundant Times to go to your clergy and ask them when and how they are going to do this. Episcopalians are good at liturgy! And 80 per cent of New Englanders do attend any church at all, so we must meet them where they are. But most importantly, because the world needs prayer and the Gospel and inclusive communities more than ever before. Good people of God, this is our moment. This is the acceptable time. We are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, that wants to turn this world from the nightmare it is for so many, into the Dream God has for it. So let’s keep moving WMA! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.
+Doug The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher IX Bishop of Western Massachusetts
PHOTO: The Bishops in choir vestments praying with hundreds of people in Salt Lake Ciry, UT. Public liturgy has the power to move hearts, spark important conversations and bring peace where violence has reigned.
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Faith in Action is Always Contextual The Rev. Dr. Richard Simpson
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory…” (John 1:14a) In the second century a dangerous heresy threatened the Church. The Gnostics taught that the material world didn’t matter much – that Christian faith ought to be focused solely on spiritual matters. It was rightly understood then that if God really did love the world enough to send a fully human not to condemn the world but to save it by living among us, dying on a cross, and being raised on the third day, that this false teaching was wrong. We believe that the Word really did become flesh. This has huge implications for what faith-in-action means. It has huge implications for how we who preach the gospel share it. Pious platitudes rarely further the Reign of God. But when we get specific, there will always be conflict. Let me offer an example. Everyone is for peace on earth, right? Good will toward all? This is what Christian faith is about – peace and good will and love and unicorns. But if the Word has become flesh, to live among us, and if we have seen his glory, then we who follow the person Jesus need to listen to him. Time and again he moved from preaching to meddling. So he didn’t say “all lives matter.” He found the crux of the matter by talking with a Samaritan woman at the well (see John 4) and making a Samaritan the hero of one of his parables (see Luke 11.) Everybody knew that “all lives matter.” But Jesus said, “Samaritan lives matter.” And when he did that, some accused him of being political. Everyone is for peace on earth, yes? And good will toward all? But when Jesus looked at the economic systems in place at the outer edges of first-century imperial Roman power, he looked to the prophets for insight. In his very first sermon in his hometown he walks up and unrolls the scroll to the prophet Isaiah (see Luke 4) which says: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He makes it clear that he is no gnostic when it comes to the economic realities of life. He does not come to speak platitudes to souls, but to engage in class warfare by proclaiming good news to the poor, release to captives, recovery of sight, letting the oppressed go free. Why? Because it’s the Jubilee. (See Leviticus 25.) Faith-in-action is always contextual. To say this another way, because the Word has become flesh and because we follow Jesus of Nazareth, and because we believe the Word of God to be contained in both the Old and New Testaments, then when Christians speak about gun violence or take a stand against war, we do so because we are part of the Jesus Movement that remembers the words of the prophets: He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Micah 4:3) 4
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Christians do and will probably always disagree on political matters. But the solution is not for us to avoid political questions, but to wade in more deeply. Our work is not to respond with knee-jerk ideological responses, but to engage each other and our neighbors who see things differently. We don’t have some direct line to God, we cannot claim to have it all right. Always we see through a glass darkly. But these “worldly” concerns matter a great deal to people of faith. If you don’t know yet of the excellent work of the Social Justice Commission in our Diocese, I commend it to you, a group effort called Not Only With Our Lips. I commend that entire document to you, but offer these words here: The Church can be a sign to the world of unity in the midst of difference. Although Christians share a commitment to justice, we may disagree regarding the best way to implement it and may hold quite different political views. Nevertheless, we seek to explore the common values that we share and to create a space in which to understand our differences. We know that all of us are equally welcome at God’s Table and equally beloved by God. We don’t witness to our unity by avoiding challenging questions. We witness to our unity by speaking out, in love, as followers of Jesus. We care about issues such as healthcare, and the dignity of every human being. When we disagree about how best to implement these values, we need to go deeper, and listen to one another more intently. But we must never go silent.
Episcopal Bishops Issue “A Word to the Church”
The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church, meeting in retreat, unanimously approved the following Word To The Church. Holy Week 2016 “We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others.” On Good Friday the ruling political forces of the day tortured and executed an innocent man. They sacrificed the weak and the blameless to protect their own status and power. On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead, revealing not only their injustice but also unmasking the lie that might makes right. In a country still living under the shadow of the lynching tree, we are troubled by the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric. Americans are turning against their neighbors, particularly those on the margins of society. They seek to secure their own safety and security at the expense of others. There is legitimate reason to fear where this rhetoric and the actions arising from it might take us. In this moment, we resemble God’s children wandering in the wilderness. We, like they, are struggling to find our way. They turned from following God and worshiped a golden calf constructed from their own wealth. The current rhetoric is leading us to construct a modern false idol out of power and privilege. We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others. No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, we must respect the dignity of every human being and we must seek the common good above all else. We call for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail and we will not betray our true selves.” The Episcopal Church House of Bishops met in retreat March 11 – 15 at Camp Allen Conference Center in Navasota, TX. ABUN DANT TIMES
Tips from the Trenches: Momentum Sunday “What if we anticipated that our Easter Sunday visitors would dare to come back?” Bishop Doug Fisher
“The Bible in 1 Hour”
© Hriana | Dreamstime.com
St. David’s, Agawam From the parish bulletin: “Our Bishop encourages us to offer something special on Momentum Sunday that gives us all a good reason to be back in Church on the second Sunday of Easter (4/3). This year, we have a special formation offering: The Bible Story. Normally we study the Bible in little increments: one passage or chapter at a time. But the Bible tells an epic story from creation to final consummation and the establishment of God’s kingdom. In between are four major turning points. This session will briefly review each one in sequence as a way of telling “The Bible Story” in not more than one hour. Please join us. And bring a friend!”
St. Stephen’s, Westboro “At St. Stephen’s, Westborough, we do an annual Easter pageant, derived from the work of Gretchen Wolff Pritchard, on Momentum Sunday. Through music, readings, acting, and dancing, the children and youth tell the congregation the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The pageant culminates in a congregation-wide dance of joy. (And most of the congregation, like all of the children and youth, wear their special made, children-designed People of God T-shirts to the service.)”
St. James’, Greenfield “Instead of doing Momentum Sunday, we will have a Momentum Easter Season and offered extra things during [the Great 50 Days] - a Bible Study of the upcoming Sunday’s lesson and spoken Compline during all the Monday evenings in Easter.” The Rev. Heather Blais 6
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Atonement, Westfield “We celebrated our Relay for Life Team, which will walk this coming Friday/ Saturday at Westfield State. The walkers were commissioned for their service; the worship space was decorated with luminaria honoring loved ones who have battled cancer; we had special music; and our prayers of the people highlighted the work and needs of all those affected by cancer. After the 10 am service, our adult formation focused on Relay for Life. Our congregation has raised over $4000 so far--more donations are still coming in.” Grace, Oxford
The Rev. Nancy Webb Stroud
“We offered the “Remember love is stronger than death and to that love you shall return” with anointing to the entire parish at Masses on Saturday and Sunday with strongly positive responses - what a wonderful balance to the Ash Wednesday rite! “ Franklin County Clergy
“Remember that love is stronger than death and to that love you are returned.”
“On Momentum Sunday afternoon, five clergy associated with Episcopal congregations of Franklin County joined together to consider what it means to be the Church, the Body of Christ, in 2016 Franklin County. The Reverends Heather Blais (St. James/ Greenfield), Eliot Moss (St. John’s/Ashfield), Jill Rierdan (St. John’s/ Ashfield & Trinity/Shelburne Falls), Molly Scherm (St. Andrew’s/ Turner’s Falls), and Marguerite Sheehan (Trinity/Shelburne Falls) agreed (as Molly Scherm wrote) ‘We find ourselves in a changing landscape of religious practice, while the needs of neighbors in our region and in the larger world seem increasingly urgent.’ There was a consensus that present and future-day church means church without (as well as within) walls, a church which draws on the strength and inspiration of all denominations, of clergy and lay leaders, and of churched and unchurched neighbors. This sense of a more inclusive church dedicated to loving its neighbors led to an invitation from the Momentum Day group to other Franklin County ordained and lay leaders to join together in a more inclusive meeting on Sunday, April 24th, 1 pm at Trinity Church/Shelburne Falls. The goal is to explore what new mission and ministry opportunities may become possible if congregations and communities are inspired to share resources so as to expand activities and increase effectiveness.” The Rev. Marguerite Sheehan
And what did Bishop Fisher do on Momentum Sunday? Visitation at St. Mark’s, East Longmeadow included a special blessing of the renovated Chapel.
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The Power of Public Liturgy
The Rev. Harvey Hill and the Rev. Lauren Holm
Family Photo and Photo:WWLP News
Bishop Fisher regularly encourages us to take the gospel to the streets. The Interfaith Council of Western MA is doing just that in Springfield with a new “Interfaith Ritual to Reclaim a Place of Violence.” As the name implies, the ritual is designed for use at sites where violence has occurred. It provides a broad framework into which appropriate readings and prayers from any faith tradition can be inserted. The goal of the ritual is to serve as a kind of “container” in which to hold all that has happened. The ritual was used for the first time in November 2015 in Indian Orchard following the death of Mr. Fan Cheung Li while he was delivering food from a family-owned restaurant. He was the sole breadwinner for a wife and three young children. Mr. Li died late Saturday. The vigil was held the following Thursday at 6pm. Mr. Li’s family had no faith community or clergy to take the lead, so the Reverend Nancy Ebner of Orchard Covenant Church in Indian Orchard initiated the vigil. She first proposed a vigil to the neighborhood police and citizens’ council, who encouraged her to go forward. Rev. Ebner developed a flyer and placed copies in the restaurant where Mr. Li worked. Neighborhood police officers printed more flyers, and a member of the local Neighborhood Watch delivered them to homes in the vicinity of the murder. Social media also helped spread the word. Organizers of the vigil had no idea what to expect, particularly given a forecast of rain. They were stunned when a diverse group of nearly 100 people showed up: neighbors; patrons of the restaurant where Mr. Li worked; members of the Chinese community, including some from a local Chinese church. People went to Mrs. Li’s house to bring her, and others stayed with her children. Chinese leaders translated everything, so everyone could understand what was said. The most powerful healing occurred when people were invited to share their thoughts. The young man who found the victim expressed his anguish at not being able to save Mr. Li. He and the widow embraced and cried together. She was comforted that her husband did not die alone. One of the Chinese leaders was asked to pray for Mrs. Li. The young man’s mother commented that her son had not slept since he found Mr. Li, so the group prayed for him too. The deceased man’s nephew testified to his uncle’s kindness and good character, as did several others. The nephew then turned to the crowd and declared that they were his witnesses, that he committed to watching over his uncle’s family. The invitation was repeated: “Anyone else?” Prayers in other traditions were volunteered by neighbors. Some neighbors admitted that they felt guilty about not calling the police when they heard the gunshot. They promised to respond in the future. Others agreed to walk the neighborhood together to keep it safer. People were encouraged to eat at the restaurant to help the family. The Chinese Church pledged 8
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to coordinate help for the widow and her family, including babysitting, job assistance, education, and financial help. Many people lingered to chat long after the vigil ended. The police, grateful to see neighbors outside together, visited with the neighbors. Two TV stations sent cameras, and the reporters stayed for the whole time so they could interview community members. Both stations had reports with interviews on the evening news. The healing that took place was truly astounding. The police, neighbors, Mr. Li’s family, the Chinese community, and others all expressed their gratitude for the vigil. As a follow-up to the vigil, a few days later the Chinese Church hosted a translated informational event for the Chinese community with the Springfield police, including the police chief and the mayor. About 200 people attended, including many immigrant restaurant workers. Money was collected and brought to the family later. Based on this experience, The Interfaith Council plans to hold a vigil after all violent deaths in greater Springfield, ideally with the assistance of local clergy as well as of the police. If you would like to be notified of future vigils, please contact Harvey Hill at email@example.com or Lauren Holm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLESSING OF THE SITE (optional) Leaders may bless the site of violence by inviting participants to lift their hands and extend them toward/over the spot as they feel comfortable. Having a bowl or pitcher of water available is an option– lead a blessing over the water. If appropriate, offer the people to come touch the water, be sprinkled with it or cross themselves with it as they are comfortable. Leader #1: Good and gracious God, let us forever be witnesses to the power of your saving grace. We thank you for the time we have spent at this place in safety and comfort. Source of all life, you created us to be one with each other and with you. May the legacy of this terrible act of violence against our (sister/brother) mean a new resolve within each of us. Help us to be truly family to one another, treating all whom we meet with the respect and dignity deserving of the children of God. As partners with you, we are co-creators of life. This is our world, our earth, our sacred home. We reclaim this space tonight from the grip of darkness and terror, and affirm our commitment to live together in peace. May this be a place of safety, kindness, harmony and freedom for all. Together, we bless this place now. We claim it again for life and laughter. We consecrate it to you.
This service is adapted from a “Blessing Ritual: Reclaiming A Place of Violence” by Marguerite H. Sexton in Journeys of the Heart 1993; Speaking to Silence: New Rites for Christian Worship and Healing, by Janet S. Peterman; and Living Without Enemies by Samuel Wells and Marcia A. Owen, 2011.
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Here’s What You’ve Agreed To Staying Well Spiritually By Robin Carlo Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Robin Carlo and, like you, I am one of the more than 10,000 Missioners for Spiritual Formation in the Episcopal Diocese of Western MA. Yes, you read that correctly, I said “like you,” and I did mean you. At least I meant you if you’ve ever attended a baptism, a confirmation, or the Easter Vigil, and recited the words of our Baptismal Covenant. Because each time you’ve recited those words from pages 304-305 of the Book of Common Prayer, you’ve agreed to encourage and support the spiritual formation of every member of the body of Christ. In case you don’t have a BCP handy, here’s what you’ve agreed to do: 1. You’ve agreed to continue in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers. 2. You’ve agreed to persevere in resisting evil, and whenever you fall into sin, to repent and return to the Lord. 3. You’ve agreed to proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ. 4. You’ve agreed to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself. 5. You’ve agreed to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being. 6. And, in compliance with Resolution #11 from the 2015 General Convention, you will soon have the opportunity to agree (on a trial basis for the triennium of 2016-2018) to cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect the beauty and integrity of all creation. The good news is that you only agreed to do all these things with God’s help. But, you did agree to do them, and that’s good news too, because we need you.
“As is so frequently demonstrated in today’s poisonous political climate, a lack of biblical literacy can be dangerous and destructive. It can distort the message of Christ’s love into one of intolerance, exclusion and judgment.” Robin Carlo
Many years ago, I worked for an organization run by the Sisters of Mercy. The building housed both a residential school for boys and the Sisters’ convent. My path frequently crossed that of Sister Gertrude, a long retired and much adored nun who spoke very little but always with wisdom and grace. Her greeting was fixed; she would look you straight in the eye, smile from the inside out, and say, “Stay well, (insert name), we need you.” I’m not sure I ever heard Sister Gertrude say anything else, 10
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but her words have stayed with me for over 35 years. Stay well, Robin, we need you. So stay well, (insert your name), we need you. The Episcopal Diocese of Western MA needs you, the Jesus Movement needs you, the body of Christ needs you, and our troubled world needs you to pay attention to and live out the promises you made and continue to make in our Baptismal Covenant. Open your prayer book and take a good look at those promises again, noting especially how well they are ordered. I like to believe that the order is intentional; beginning with those that will help to keep you well. I believe it is not possible to keep numbers 3-6 without solid formation and on-going practice with numbers 1 and 2. Numbers 1 and 2 are how we stay well spiritually. Continuing in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and the prayers means more than showing up at church. It means regular study and reading of Scripture and tradition and connecting that study to our daily lives and ministries. That’s how we get from numbers 1 and 2 to the work God has called us to do in numbers 3-6. Regular study, intentional prayer, and sharing our experiences of God’s work in our lives prepares and equips us to discern and discover our role in God’s evolving and ongoing story of creation.
“Adult biblical education is a necessity, not a luxury. Most of us As is so frequently demonstrated in today’s poisonous political climate, a lack of require ongoing biblical literacy can be dangerous and destructive. It can distort the message of Christ’s love into one of intolerance, exclusion and judgment. In our Baptismal communication Covenant we agree to proclaim the Good News of Christ, the good news of unending love and hope. However, it is impossible to proclaim that which you do not know. and nurture to carry In We Are Theologians, Fredrica Harris Thompsett writes, “Adult biblical education is out our Christian a necessity, not a luxury. Most of us require ongoing communication and nurture to identity in the carry out our Christian identity in the world.” world.”
We also need this education to pass down and nurture the Christian identity of our Fredrica Harris Thompsett children. Children cannot and will not internalize the good news of our faith by attending an hour-long church school class a few dozen times a year. Church school, done well, can provide children with information about their faith tradition, but for true learning to happen, opportunities to “hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” this information are necessary, and that happens best at home where it can be connected and examined in the context of their lives. Christian formation is best done inter-generationally so that stories can be passed down and fresh ideas offered. This does not mean we all need to apply to seminary or begin memorizing Bible passages. It simply requires that we bring the stories of our faith home with us. In order to do so, however, we need to “continue in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship”, increasing our own knowledge and understanding of Scripture and faith. This happens not only by reading and hearing Scripture, but engaging in prayerful discussion and study with others. Hearing how others have interpreted and experienced Scripture and God’s work in their lives can open our hearts and minds to new ways of keeping numbers 3-6 of the covenant. Now there is even more good news; the Episcopal Diocese of Western MA provides a myriad of opportunities to help you stay well spiritually. Check your parish bulletin, read Mission Matters faithfully, log on to Facebook and look for the Spiritual Formation in the Diocese of Western MA page, or simply email me at email@example.com to suggest or learn of opportunities. Starting small is starting, and like physical exercise, making it a habit yields lifelong benefits for you, for our diocese, for the Jesus movement and for our world. Stay well, (insert your name), we need you. ABUN DANT TIMES
Faith in Action Through the Lens For Victims of Gun Violence Members of St. James, Greenfield hold an annual vigil for victims of gun violence. This year it was outside the church during commuter time. (PHOTOS: Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts)
For Victims of Ebola Members of St. Matthewâ€™s, Worcester, planned a midday prayer for victims of Ebola and their families. Bishop Fisher joined the service as part of his pilgrimage through the diocese in the fall of 2014. (PHOTOS: Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts)
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Hallowing Suffering & Hope The Rev. Warren Hicks leads the Worcester Way of the Cross on Good Friday, 2016. Participants praying at Union Station. PHOTOS: (left) Ellie Keohane Sand (right) Canon Rich Simpson
For Racial Justice A prayerful procession in Hayneville, AL. (Photo: www.al.com)
Pilgrims kneel to pray where Episcopal seminarian and Civil Rights martyr, Jonathan Daniels, was murdered. Over 1500 people joined this prayerful procession to sites connected to Daniels martyrdom in 1965. Bishop Fisher took part in this pilgrimage with several WMA companions with the assistance of Episcopal Divinity School: Canon Rich Simpson, the Rev. Libby Wade and her husband, Jim Wade, Alexizendria Link, Julia Stroud, the Rev. Betsy Fisher, the Rev. Nancy Stroud and her husband, Bill Stroud. PHOTO: Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser
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For Victims of Gun Violence
St. Peter’s, Springfield Won’t Let Them Be Forgotten
By Victoria Ix At Clergy Conference - the annual three-day gathering for clergy serving in the diocese - Bishop Fisher asked our priests and deacons to consider how they might witness against the health epidemic of gun violence in America. The people of St. Peter’s erected this sign and three crosses - one for each gun death in the city of Spirngfield in 2016. The banner reminds passers by on Buckingham Street that the Church will not remain silent nor will it allow these tragic deaths to slip away in the next news cycle. This symbolic cemetary is right out front near the entrance to the church. It stands as a witness to three lives lost here and to all the lives lost to gun violence. It is a prayer that confronts the eyes and touches the heart.
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â€œRegretfully we will have to erect another cross for the latest victim last Sunday... right in our neighborhood.â€? The Rev. Michael DeVine
The immensity of loss can overwhelm us - keep us from taking action. Bishops Against Gun Violence urges every Episcopal community of faith - with or without walls - to find a way to witness against gun violence in America. Visit the site to find ideas, liturgical resources and facts that cannot be ignored. http://bishopsagainstgunviolence.org/
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Faith in Action Today for the Needs of the Church Tomorrow By Bruce A. Rockwell
On Sunday, May 1st, members of the Bishops’ Legacy Fellowship gathered at Christ Church Cathedral for the eleventh annual Bishops’ Legacy Fellowship Appreciation Dinner. Before the dinner, members of the Legacy Fellowship were treated to a concert by the Bishop’s Choir and the Cathedral Adult Choir under the direction of H. David Pulliam, the Diocesan Director of Music and the Organist/Choirmaster at the Cathedral. The Bishops’ Legacy Fellowship consists of 271 people from all around the Diocese who have made legacy gifts to support their own parish, the diocese, or some other part of the Episcopal Church after their death. Members come from 44 different congregations. And about 95% of the gifts are intended for their local congregation. Specifically for the concert, Director Pulliam created a program which featured music written and/or arranged by New England composers such as William Billings, Alice Parker and Arthur Foote. One piece, “Christ, whose glory fills the skies,” was written by T. Frederick H. Candlyn who, although born in Great Britain, became a U.S. citizen at Fort Devens in Massachusetts and served for many years as organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s Church in nearby Albany, NY. The Rev. Tom Callard, Priest-in-Charge at the Cathedral, welcomed those in attendance prior to the concert. Following the concert, the audience gathered for a reception and dinner to meet and speak with Mr. Pulliam and to listen to remarks by Bishop Fisher, who thanked the Legacy Members for their optimistic outlook on the church: an optimism, he said, that was demonstrated by the fact that, through their estate plans, they have made legacy gifts which will support the mission of the church for years to come. As Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship and Interim Missioner for Legacy Stewardship, I also made some brief remarks, noting the history of these concerts and the growth of the Bishops’ Legacy Fellowship. I recently assumed the duties of John White, who served as Missioner for Legacy Stewardship for over twelve years until retiring at the time of Diocesan Convention last November. Under Mr. White’s leadership, eleven congregations have formed their own legacy societies, and the membership of the Bishops’ Legacy Fellowship has grown steadily. Mr. Rockwell noted that at the first Appreciation Evening, the members of the fellowship were so few in number that they sat in the choir stalls and watched Peter Beardsley, who was then organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral, play recital pieces. Since that first event, musicians from all around the diocese have showcased their musical gifts much to the pleasure and appreciation of those who have attended. For information about making a legacy gift, contact Bruce Rockwell, Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship and Interim Missioner for Legacy Stewardship. He can be reached by calling him at (413) 575-7342 or by sending him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Members of the Bishop’s Legacy Fellowship Jesse & Allison Abell Hannah Abbott Steve and Sue Abdow Douglas W. Adler William B. Allen, II Mrs. R. Bruce Andrews The Rev. Noel A. Bailey Karen Banta Sue and David Barnard Ruth M. Barton* Robert H. Bascom* Janice Beetle Rene and Laurie Beauchemin The Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith & Marilyn Olson Elizabeth & John Bednarski Marcia D. Bellermann* Pia G. Bellinger
St. Stephen’s,Westborough Grace, Amherst Grace, Amherst Grace, Amherst St. James’, Greenfield St. Paul’s, Stockbridge Warwick, RI St. John’s, Northampton St. Michael’s, Worcester St. John’s, Northampton St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield St. Philip’s, Easthampton All Saints’, South Hadley
Newark, NJ St. James’, Greenfield Christ Church, Fitchburg Christ Church/Trinity Lutheran, Sheffield The Rev. Richard and Mrs. Danielle Bellows Atonement, Westfield Marilyn Berthelette St. John’s, Ashfield The Rev. Alden Besse Vineyard Haven, MA The Rev. Heather and Jason Blais St. James’, Greenfield Grant Bond Southwick Community Church The Rev. Canon Stephen P. Booth Chester, NS CAN Carl* & Mary Breyer St. Andrew’s, Longmeadow The Revs. Barbara & Paul Briggs Pennington, NJ David W. Brown St. Philip’s, Easthampton Robert K. Brown St. James’, Greenfield Elliott and Doris Buell All Saints’, Worcester Madeline N. Buerger St. Stephen’s, Westborough Constance G. Bullard St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Paula & Jim Buonomo St. Matthew’s, Worcester ABUN DANT TIMES
M/M Stephen H. Burrall, Jr. St. Andrew’s, Longmeadow Glen Campbell Nativity, Northborough Mary Louise S. Carey* Epiphany, Wilbraham Alice S. Carr* St. Francis’, Holden John & Lee Cheek Grace, Great Barrington Thomas & Donna Chiacchia Trinity, Whitinsville The Rev. Ted & Nancy* Cobden Grace, Great Barrington Jessie M. Cole St. Philip’s, Easthampton Reggie & Linda Cooper Trinity, Lenox The Rev. Peter Courtney Athens, GA The Rev. Leonard & Mrs. Hallie Cowan Nativity, Northborough Claire Cox St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield The Rev. Susan & Mr. Stuart Crampton St. John’s, Williamstown Susan Duncan Dana Trinity, Lenox Inga Dean* Trinity, Lenox The Rev. Dallas & Mrs. Cynthia Decker Bridger, MT Joyce D. Desorcy St. Paul’s, Holyoke Anne & Bob Deysher St. Stephen’s, Westborough Mr. & Mrs. Charles* W. Dolby Grace, Great Barrington Janith F. Dorsey* St. Francis’, Holden Thomas K. Doyle, Sr. Grace, Great Barrington Andrea Driscoll All Saints’, Worcester The Rev. J. Bruce & Ruth K. Duncan All Saints’, N Adams Paul & Linda Dupont St. Paul’s, Holyoke The Rev. William D. Dwyer* St. Peter’s, Springfield Prudence Dyer St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Cathleen C. Eslecck St. James’, Greenfield Kent W. Faerber Grace, Amherst John H. & Priscilla H. Farquharson St. Mark’s, E Longmeadow Mary G. Fern St. Paul’s, Gardner David C. Debbie Matthews Finch Naples, FL The Rt. Rev. Douglas & Rev. Betsy Fisher Christ Church Cathedral 17
Eve Forbes St. John’s, Northampton Dr. Betty L. Forest St. Michael’s, Worcester Diane Forsyth St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield William Frazier St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Jean Frost Holy Trinity, Sturbridge Ruth C. Giard* All Saints’, Worcester James & Virginia Giddens Trinity, Lenox Alison & Gene Giuliano St. Paul’s, Holyoke Dr. Chris & Cherry Goodwin St. James’, Greenfield Todd & The Rev. Laura Goodwin St. Andrew’s, N. Grafton Richard & Susan Gore Grace, Gt. Barrington Patricia D. Gulachenski St. John’s, Worcester Allan & Jean Hallett St. Mark’s, Leominster Robert Harris & Thomas Kreek St. John’s, Ashfield Gary & Elizabeth Hart Christ Church Cathedral Mrs. Sinclair D. Hart St. John’s, Williamstown Matthew & Heather Heim Trinity, Lenox The Revs. Frances Ann Hills & Marc Britt St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Achsah E. Hinckley* Holy Trinity, Southbridge Arthur Hines St. Paul’s, Gardner The Rt. Rev. Rob Hirschfield & Polly Ingraham Concord, NH Joyce Hokans All Saints’, Worcester The Rev. Raymond & Mrs. Beverly Ann Howe Cary, NC Wallace H. Janes* Christ Church Cathedral Richard S. Jackson Trinity, Lenox Arthur* & Janet Jones All Saints’, Worcester Mick & Barbara Kalber Holy Trinity, Southbridge Alice M. Kells S t. James’, Greenfield Karolyn A. Kemp* St. James’, Greenfield Jeff & Emily Kitross Trinity, Lenox Gladys King* All Saints’, N. Adams The Revs. Perry & Donna Kingman All Saints’, Worcester Shirley Kolby Grace, Chicopee Joan F. Kurber St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield The Rev. Donna J. Larson Grace, Chicopee Beverly Lavallee Holy Trinity, Southbridge Mary Lou Lavallee Brunswick, ME Susan LeBourdais St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Mark & Deborah Leonas Grace, Amherst Stephen & Joyce Lewis Epiphany, Wilbraham Crawford & Ann Lincoln Christ Church Cathedral Patricia Linscott All Saints’, N. Adams Mrs. Richard Marcure St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Joan M. McFalls St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Bob & Daphne McGill St. John’s, Williamstown Joan Miller McKelvey St. James’, Greenfield Margo E. McMahon Grace, Amherst David C. Melrose Springfield, MA The Rev. Canon A. Pierce Middleton* Sykesville, MD John Arthur & Trudy Miller Christ Church/Trinity Lutheran, Sheffield Marnie Miller Trinity, Lenox 18
Bill & Paula Morey St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield The Rev. Eliot Moss St. John’s, Ashfield The Rev. Canon Pam Mott W. Springfield Patricia B. Moynahan St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield The Very Rev. James Munroe Christ Church Cathedral The Rev. William M. Murray Trinity, Milford Ben R.* & Dolores Neely All Saints’, Worcester Lois Lyon Neuman St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield The Rev. Charles & Elvy* O’Brien St. John’s, Williamstown Ed & Susan Olbon Christ Church Cathedral James & Caitlin Normington St. Mark’s, Leominster Kathleen O’Conner & Thomas Ritacco St. Francis’, Holden Dennis & Kathy O’Rourke St. James’, Greenfield Frank* and Jean* C. Palano All Saints’, N. Adams Peter J. and Catherine M. Pappas Christ Church Cathedral The Rev. John H. & Mrs. Eleanor A. Parke Christ Church Cathedral Elizabeth Jennings Pekkala Trinity, Milford Ronald C. Perera St. John’s, Northampton Frederick Peters Trinity, Lenox Stephen Peters Trinity, Lenox Wendy Philbrick Trinity, Lenox Samuel C. Pickens All Saints’, Worcester Robert J. Pollard* St. Philip’s, Easthampton Karis Post Christ Church, Rochdale Larry & Jean Rankin Grace, Amherst E. John* and Dorothy Reinke St. John’s, Williamstown Don & Molly Robinson St. John’s, Northampton The Rev. Cristine & Mr. Bruce Rockwell St. Mark’s, E Longmeadow Dean & Mary Rogeness St. Andrew’s, Longmeadow Jeanette S. Roosevelt St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Jon & Gayle Ruscitti Trinity, Milford The Rev. Anne E. Ryder Christ Church/Trinity Lutheran, Sheffield Robert K. Sawyer, Jr. Christ Church Cathedral William M. Scaife St. John’s, Northampton Elise Schlaikjer St. James, Greenfield The Rt. Rev. Gordon & Mrs. Rebecca Scruton Wethersfield, CT The Rev. Gwen Sears St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield Bob & Marjorie Shaw St. Mark’s, E Longmeadow The Rev. Canon Sarah Shofstall Bay Village, OH Richard T. Shotwell & Mary Lovvorn St. John’s, Williamstown The Rev. Canon Rich & Hathy Simpson Worcester Laurel Stewart Christ Church Cathedral Richard Storrs* All Saints’, Leominster Douglas & Frances Stotz St. James’, Greenfield Gail Street Trinity, Lenox The Rev. Nancy Baillie Strong St. Matthew’s, Worcester Sharon Strzalkowski St. Luke’s, Worcester Diana Sullivan All Saints’, Worcester The Rev. Noreen Suriner Middlefield, MA The Rev. Peter Swarr St. Mark’s, E. Longmeadow Maggie & Kevin Sweeney St. James’, Greenfield Linda Taupier St. Mark’s, E Longmeadow ABU ND ANT TIMES
Henry & Catherine Terwedow Olaf J. Thorp The Rev. Barbara Thrall & Mr. Ed Farrell Thomas Tomasian & Carolyn J. Smith Mary E. Tuttle John & JoAnne Tyndall John Veague The Rev. Mary Vidmar Robert & Marion B. Waleryszak Susanne Walker The Rev. Meredyth Ward Beth Washburn Robert* & Claudia Wells The Rev. Kathryn & Mr. John White Steve & Clare White Russell S. Williams Tom* & Ann Williams Reynolds Winslow Barclay Wood
Nativity, Northborough St. John’s, Ashfield St. Paul’s, Holyoke St. Francis’, Holden All Saints’, South Hadley Trinity, Shrewsbury Trinity, Lenox Lake Milton, OH Christ Church Cathedral All Saints’, N Adams St. Matthew’s, Worcester Trinity, Milford Trinity, Lenox St. John’s, Sutton St. Francis’, Holden St. John’s, Ashfield St. Mark’s, E Longmeadow SGrace, Amherst All Saints’, Worcester
Eleven additional donors who wish to remain anonymous are from:
Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield St. David’s, Agawam Epiphany, Wilbraham St. Francis, Holden Good Shepherd, Clinton St. John’s, Northampton Grace, Amherst St. Paul’s, Stockbridge St. Andrew’s, Longmeadow Trinity, Lenox
The parishes to which people belonged at the time they became members of the “Bishops’ Legacy Fellowship” are listed unless otherwise requested. Please feel free to request changes any time. A legacy gift to any Episcopal entity, your congregation, the Diocese, an Episcopal seminary, Episcopal Relief and Development, etc., qualifies you for membership, no matter the amount.
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2015 “Change the Babies” Funds Wired to Ghana Dear Archbishop Daniel, Greetings to you from the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. I hope you are doing well. We have collected $9,859.14 from our congregations to donate to the Mampong Babies Home for general operating support. We are so pleased to be able to support the amazing work of Maggie and the Diocese. Wishing you a blessed Holy Week.
In Christ, Steve Abdow Steven P. Abdow Canon for Mission Resources Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
Bishop Sarfo’s Reply Dear All, What a Good Friday and Easter Gift to an Orphanage!!! On behalf of Mampong Babies Home (Orphanage) accept our hearty thanks for this wonderful support from the Faithful Friend of the Home, Diocese of Western Massachusetts. For the past eight years the Government of Ghana has stopped sending subvention for the upkeep of the Home. The Home actually survives through the support of people like you. God richly bless you and replenish you a billion fold (Heb 6:10). With all the Holy Week blessings. ++Daniel The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo Primate of West Africa
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The Rev. Dcn. Jane Griesbach and the Rev. Betsy Fowle volunteering at the Mampong Babies Home in the summer of 2013.
2015 “Change the Babies” Contributors - Revised *CCE & TLC, Sheffield *Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst St. John’s, Williamstown *St. Stephen’s, Westborough Holy Trinity, Southbridge *Grace Church in the Southern Berkshires St. Mark’s, Worcester *Episcopal Church of the Atonement, Westfield Church of the Good Shepherd, West Springfield St. Luke’s, Worcester St. Christopher’s, Chicopee Christ Memorial Episcopal Church, N. Brookfield **Grace Episcopal Church, Chicopee
Christ the King & Epiphany, Wilbraham St. David’s, Agawam All Saints’, South Hadley Christ Episcopal Church, Rochdale All Saints’, Worcester St. Peter’s, Springfield St. Thomas, Auburn St. John’s, Sutton Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield Southwick Community Episcopal Church *Trinity Episcopal Church, Milford *Church of the Reconciliation, Webster St. Paul’s, Gardner
* 5 year commitment to Change the Babies with an annual goal of $1500 **Omitted previously due to error
ABUN DANT TIMES
Abundant Times is the official quarterly news publication of The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. The diocesan offices are located at: 37 Chestnut Street Springfield, MA, 01103-1787 Call us: (413) 737-4786 Visit us: www.diocesewma.org Follow us: @EpiscopalWMA We welcome the submission of articles via email to the editor, Victoria Ix, Communications Director/Missioner. email@example.com.
At Diocesan House The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, IX Bishop of Western Massachusetts The Rev. Pamela J. Mott, Canon to the Ordinary The Rev. Dr. Richard M. Simpson, Canon to the Ordinary Steven P. Abdow, Canon for Mission Resources
Missioners Bruce A. Rockwell, Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship & Interim Missioner for Legacy Stewardship The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care The Rev. Hilary Bogert-Winkler, Youth Missioner The Rev. Jennifer Gregg, Missioner for Servant leadership The Rev. Meredyth Ward, Urban Missioner for Worcester Robin Carlo, Missioner for Spiritual Formation The Rev. Christopher Carlisle Director, “Building Bridges” Veterans Initiative
From the Editor Just so you know...
Abundant Times I want to thank the readers of Abundant Times for supporting this magazine - especially during the last two years. It has had several incarnations (among them, “Pastoral Staff”) and we hope the changes have made a positive difference. Most recently, we changed printers. There were several factors involved in the decision, but the main motivator was to support a local business that uses sustainable printing practices. Our new partner allows us to use this label which indicates we are using recycled materials. Our time from upload to mailboxes is faster because it’s all local. The quality of the paper is better and it’s better for the earth. The best news of all is we are saving money on each issue.
Mission Matters As much as I love what our quarterly magazine can communicate, the most important communication from Diocesan House comes every other Thursday via email. Mission Matters, our digital communication tool, contains the most current information lay leaders and clergy need for the work of mission. You don’t have to be on the vestry to receive it. Anyone can subscribe to MM on the homepage of the diocesan website: www. diocesewma.org. You’ll see a subscription icon under the newsfeed. All you have to do is click on it and add your email. Constant Contact, our email marketing partner, requires subscribers to opt-in. That means we can’t just add you in. That said, we believe digital communications are only going to increase as traditional platforms become less effective. We want you on board with us for ministry in the 21st century. So, please consider subscribing now to receive Mission Matters every two weeks and the most important communications from Diocesan House.
Facebook Our diocesan Facebook page continues to be our day-to-day newsfeed. Nearly 850 “likes” and we’re on track to hit 1,000 by 2017 with your support. Don’t forget you can “share” an page with your friends to help us reach out.
On the Cover: Members of St. James’, Greenfield holding vigil for victims of gun violence. 22
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The Episcopal Asset Map What is it? The Episcopal Asset Map is a joint project of the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief and Development. The map can hold every church, every ministry and every resource of the Church in one place. Anyone looking for an Episcopal church, for a particular ministry - like “Laundry Love” - or for property-based resources in the event of an emergency will find it on the Asset Map. Everything in one responsive platform - that’s the idea and the goal of the Episcopal Asset Map. Why has our diocese committed to the project? Bishop Fisher has approved the use of the Asset Map for our diocese. This is a new tool for evangelization, for allocating resources for mission and for assisting God’s people in event of a natural disaster or human tragedy. Imagine wanting to start a soup kitchen and then searching for soup kitchens on our diocesan map. Perhaps, you’ll find that there are none in the area or you might discover that there are three in the immediate area. The possibilities for use of the data available are endless. How does the map get information about my parish? The Episcopal Asset Map is an open-source platform. Anyone can click on your parish and submit a survey. To safeguard the integrity of our churches, all submitted surveys will come through three diocesan map administrators to fact-check what has been added to your parish map. The best way for each congregation to assure that the information is current and accurate is to have the rector or priest-in-charge take the initial parish survey. Can members of the congregation take the parish survey? The answer is a resounding “yes!” In fact, the more people who take the parish survey the better. What you have experienced in you congregation is invaluable to seekers who are looking for a spiritual home. What about photos, video clips or links to articles about the parish? Again, “yes!” The platform is still new and the folks from Episcopal Relief and Development and TEC are working to make it more user-friendly, but you can upload photos, video clips and any press your mission work has received. All these things give prospective members a sense of who you are as a community and what you want to be about. Visit the Episcopal Asset Map http://episcopalassetmap.org/ Abundant Times, Mission Matters, and the Episcopal Assest Map are three very important tools for communicating the mission of the Episcopal Church in Western Massachusetts. If you are missing one in your toolbox, we hope you’ll sign up or sign on. It’s our charge to take the Good News to the ends of the earth. Communications is a shared ministry. Just so you know... Vicki ABUN DANT TIMES
The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID TIGERPRESS
37 Chestnut St. Springfield, MA 01103-1787
Faith in Action Through the Lens
The Power of Public Liturgy
Victims of Gun Violence Remembered
Pages 12 -13
Pages 8 - 9
Pages 14 -15
Donations for the cost of Abundant Times are being accepted this year. The cost per household per year is $10. Gifts can be mailed to Diocesan House at 37 Chestnut St., Springfield, MA 01103-1787. Address corrections or deletions may be sent to the same address attention: Carol LaPlante.