The Record - Summer 2014

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VOL. 6, ISSUE 2 • SUMMER 2014

Keeper of the Archives Page 10


Bishop Gibbs Episcopal Diocese of Michigan Episcopal Church Center 4800 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201-1399 (313) 832-4400 • Toll Free (866) 545-6424 Submissions:

It was a joyous day at the newly-rebuilt St. Paul’s, Brighton. This is the sermon delivered by Bishop Gibbs. Page 3

Photostory: St. Paul’s, Brighton Page 4-5

Diocesan News Page 6

The Record is a quarterly magazine for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Vol. 6, Issue 2 Summer 2014

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

For five years, a group has been closely monitoring all aspects of bullying. Page 7

The Rt. Reverend Wendell N. Gibbs Jr. Bishop of the Diocese

The Reverend Michelle Meech Ministry Developer

Here, There, Everywhere

James Gettel Canon for Congregational Life

The Reverend Eric Williams Director of Whitaker Institute

Cover Story: The Archivist

Canon Jo Ann Hardy Diocesan Administrator Sue McCune Executive Assistant Office of the Bishop Beth Rowley Assistant for Program and Administration Rick Schulte Diocesan Communications Editor, The Record

Eric Travis Missioner for Youth and Young Adults Mark Miliotto Director of Finance Kara Chapman Accountant Knena Causey Whitaker Institute

Join us, as we follow the summer experienced by our intrepid missioner for youth and young adults. Page 8

The organized collection of information that comprises the diocesan archive at the Bentley Library in Ann Arbor is remarkable. Meet the man who oversaw the collection for many years. Page 10

Sign of the Times

The historic marker erected at Trinity Church, Monroe tells only part of a storied past dating back to 1831. Page 12

The Deal with Deacons

The Rev. Deacon Tim Spannaus gives a detailed explanation about the role of deacons in our church. Page 14

Diocesan Picnic

The fourth-annual Bishop’s Diocesan Picnic (hosted by Emrich Retreat Center, Brighton) was another fun gathering. Page 16

Whitaker Schedule Page 17

Book Review Page 18

The Final Word Page 19


The Record Summer 2014

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


A good church is one that is about ‘relationship’ This is the sermon delivered by Bishop Gibbs at the June 21 dedication and consecration of the rebuilt St. Paul’s, Brighton. I have to start with ‘wow!’ A dream long in coming. But you know, I have to tell you I was a little worried. Actually, I’m still worried. But it’s not about the money. That will come and is coming. You will pay your bills and you’re going to do what you need to do. And this building will be full. This is an amazing piece of faith that has come to pass. When I first visited St. Paul’s many, many years ago and saw the old building, I thought, ‘Oh, wow.’ I remember standing in that little corner trying to figure out what was the best way to preach. It was a difficult space, because our faith and our call to share that faith is about relationship. In that space, it was very was difficult, at least by eyesight, for everyone to be in relationship with each other. I suspect for me that’s one of the things I love most about this space. How we are sitting out there, worshiping together around God’s altar, we can be in relationship with each other, because we can see each other. And we can see each other across God’s table. And we can see each other with the light of the world around us, and we can be the witnesses we are called to be without wondering who’s on the side of that wall. But I think that’s where my worry comes from. My worry is that we will fall in love so much with this building that we will want to stay in the building. You know there’s a movie out there that had something to do with a baseball diamond. It was called ‘Field of Dreams.’ And the line Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Bishop Gibbs, speaking at St. Paul’s, Brighton.

that too many of our churches and church people seem to have adopted from that movie – which may have worked for the movie but doesn’t work for the church – is, ‘If we build it, they will come.’ Hogwash! We don’t build this for them to come. It is a sign, is a symbol, it is a place where we can gather to worship our God. To be fed by God’s sacraments, and then go out into the world and share what we know. Yes, I do hope many will come here, but we didn’t build it for that. I get in trouble all the time for saying our job is not about making Episcopalians, our job is about making Christians. If some of them become Episcopalians in the meantime, great. That’s gravy. But the point of what we do is to share the difference that Jesus is made in our hearts, in our lives,

explaining to people why it is we come here. Hopefully, from that story and from that sharing and from that witness, they will go and find Jesus, wherever it is they have to go to find him. And who knows. It might be here. But it could also be over at St. Mary Magdalen. You see, our faith is about relationship. None of this would have been possible if not for many, many, many relationships. I give amazing thanks to the people of St. Mary Magdalen, to Fr. Dave (Howell, pastor of St. Mary Magdalen), for welcoming this community for almost a year to worship in their space. In a time and in a place in our country where relationships between various churches and denominations are on rocky ground, this was a sign and sym-

The Record Summer 2014

bol, not just to Episcopalians and Roman Catholics in this area, but to Christians everywhere and to people seeking Christ that we can love one another in the midst of our differences. There is more that unites us than divides us. There has to be. Or we make our God too small. This is about relationship. This is a place that we have now that can help build relationships. We place a cornerstone to help build relationship. One of the cornerstones of this congregation is now the relationship with its neighbors, its friends at St. Mary Magdalen. For those of you who do not know, for those of you not from St. Paul’s, Brighton, there is a little room over in the old building that is now the chapel. You know the name of it? St. Mary Magdalen Chapel. Is that awesome? …You will (be around). St. Paul’s will. This beacon of light and hope will be here. Because of your faith, because of your dedication and because of your relationship with each other, with Jesus and with your community. When I first came to this diocese, I started asking two questions. I have to ask it again today because I think St. Paul’s knows the answer. The questions I’ve been asking for 14 years are ‘why are you here?’ and ‘who would miss you if you were gone?’ You answered it. You’re not here for yourselves. You’re here for them. Out there. And they would miss you if you weren’t here. Live into that. Live into it. Because God truly loves you. And so do I. God bless you.



No place like


Since its inception in 1880, St. Paul’s, Brighton has undergone several transformations. The third was a massive renovation beginning last fall. Rather than invest money in the many improvements that needed to be done to all aspects of the building, the best choice was to tear down to bare studs and rebuild. One of the keys to the project was creating a new worship space – eliminating an L-shaped space (created by an earlier renovation) and creating a flexible, open space. Last fall, demolition began on portions of the building, including office and classroom space. While much of the building was gutted, St. Paul’s was able to exist with nearby temporary office space and the use of a chapel at St. Mary Magdalen’s, a nearby Roman Catholic church. Construction funding came through several sources, including a grant from the Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. The Collaborative Inc. served as architects, with Rand Construction Engineering working as contractor. Studio Thornridge-Christine Reinhard assisted with liturgical design.


The Record Summer 2014

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Record Summer 2014


New director named for Whitaker Institute


The Rev. Eric Williams has been named director of Whitaker Institute. His first day on the job was Monday, July 7. He will continue to serve as interim rector at Trinity Church, Belleville while the church continues its search for a new rector. “This is the third diocese I’ve worked in as a priest,” Williams said. “I’ve really been impressed by the level of talent in the Diocese of Michigan, both lay leaders and clergy.” Williams replaces the Rev. Mi- The Rev. Eric Williams chelle Meech, who will continue her work as ministry developer for the diocese. She served as provisional director for Whitaker for more than a year. “I want to say how grateful I am to Michelle Meech for the phenomenal job she’s done,” he said. “Not only has she kept Whitaker going, but she has made some significant improvements.” Prior to coming to the Diocese of Michigan, was rector of St. Luke’s, Jamestown (located in the Diocese of Western New York). His wife is the Rev. Susan Anslow Williams, rector at St. Stephen’s, Troy. They have two daughters.

Diocesan Council recommends parish status for Holy Faith, Saline

The Rev. Ian Reed Twiss of Holy Faith, Saline

Diocesan Council voted unanimously in support of the recommendation that Holy Faith Church, Saline, be admitted and recognized as a parish of the diocese of Michigan. A vote for ratification will be called for at October’s annual Diocesan Convention. In 2004, Faith Lutheran (a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) and Holy Cross Episcopal formed a combined Episcopal-Lutheran congregation, Holy Faith. This took place after discussion of sharing pastors and combining congregations. Holy Faith is one of a handful of churches in the diocese (and nationwide) combining both faiths.

Ordinations The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit hosted the ordination of four deacons and one priest on June 14. Glenn Morrison (left) and Linda Shafer were ordained deacons, along with Nikki Seger and Kenneth Rasnick. Juan Perez (center, with Bishop Gibbs) was ordained as a priest. The Rev. Phil Dinwiddie (rector of St. James, Grosse Ile) delivered the sermon.

Diocesan Calendar Saturday, Sept. 6 Episcopalooza Trinity, Belleville 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 Diocesan Council St. Paul’s, Brighton 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.


Tuesday, Sept. 30 Deans Meeting Diocesan Center Saturday, Oct. 4 Deacons Day Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Oct. 10-12 New Beginnings #10

Times, dates and location subject to change.

The Record Summer 2014

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


Alliance to Abolish Bullying enters fifth year of addressing issues By the Rev. Chuck Swinehart Bullying has long been a problem for people with disabilities and people with various sexual orientations and gender identities. In June 2009, representatives of the diocesan Disability Awareness Committee and Oasis Ministries met to determine what issue we might work on together and what would be the best course of action. We were aware that various types of bullying pervade our society. We decided to do whatever we could to help all members of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan family and others become more aware of and responsive to the pervasive and detrimental effects of bullying. Through a resolution passed overwhelmingly at the 2010 Diocesan Convention, we encouraged support for legislation in Michigan, adopted in 2011, requiring school districts to adopt and implement anti-bullying policies. We’ve supported congregations in their efforts to engage their local school districts in this work. The Alliance to Abolish Bullying (AAB) is the name we’ve used since early 2011 for our bullying efforts. Much has been written about AAB in the Weekly Connection online newsletter and in The Record magazine. In 2011, Disability Awareness developed a bullying section for the web-

Along with the Alliance to Abolish Bullying, there are other resources available, such as this image from a campaign on texting and bullying.

site, and editor Rick Schulte’s columns have resulted in numerous hits on our website and in follow-up contacts. Eric Travis, Missioner for Youth and Young Adults, has been an important member of our group as a representative for Bishop Gibbs. Various types, ways and forms of bullying have snowballed during these last five years. As noted in the 2011 movie, Bully, “Thir-

teen million American kids will be bullied in various places, in various ways (at school, on the bus, on streets, online, via cell phones or computers, in homes, etc.), making it the most common form of violence young people face in this country.” During this time, the AAB has had exhibits at conventions and conducted pre-convention workshops. It has given presentations at ministry fairs, to deaneries,

to clergy and individual congregations and to miscellaneous contacts where we have sought to bring greater awareness of bullying and its harmful effects. Last year we sent a letter to each congregation, which included 10 sample publications and a “Blessing for Those Who Are Bullied.” This year, the Alliance plans to send two booklets – “What’s Up with Bullying” and “What’s Up with Cyberbullying”— to congregations with church schools. In 2012, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church adopted a church-wide Response to Bullying resolution. Several congregations, including St. George’s, Milford, have adopted this resolution for local action. St. George’s also sponsored a workshop on bullying in early 2014 and has scheduled another for this fall on cyberbullying. The AAB is open to all churches and any person wishing to join us in preventing bullying of any type. AAB has an e-mail list, which is used to send selected articles to anyone interested. We would be glad to add your name. We also make presentations to congregations, and we would be glad to make one for yours. Chuck Swinehart ( is co-chair for the Alliance to Abolish Bullying, along with Jim Toy (ayetfm@

This is an online forum geared toward preventing cyber-bullying through education, advice and counseling. It’s a good source for gathering bullying facts and statistics; it also touches on workplace bullying.

Bully Police is an all-volunteer organization that monitors various states’ bullying legislation efforts. Michigan moved from an ‘F’ grade for its lack of anti-bullying legislation to an ‘A++’ for its passage of “Matt’s Safe School Law” in 2011.

Share Your Story

A website in honor of Matt Epling, who committed suicide after being bullied relentlessly. This is a valuable aid for anyone in Michigan interested in anti-bullying legislation and how to achieve it. Other valuable, helpful information is included.

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Were you ever bullied? Are you still being bullied or do you witness bullying? Or do you admit to being a bully? We want to hear your story and help tell it, in the interest of helping others. Contact us at

The Record Summer 2014



Where in the world is

Eric Travis? A hectic July was worth the effort

It was a busy summer for Eric Travis,

missioner for youth and young adults. This year, he was busy with several activities that kept him on the road for practically the entire month of July. Here’s a look at where Eric visited, and some brief thoughts on each event. At the Episcopal Youth Event 2014 in Philadelphia.

Every three years, young people from the Episcopal Church gather for a national event. Although there was great worship (including a stirring sermon from Bishop Michael Currie and an opportunity to meet Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori), visiting the urban churches of Philadelphia – especially the historic Church of the Advocate – were enlightening experiences.

Episcopal Youth Event

Location: Philadelphia Dates: July 9-13

“Greetings from Philadelphia. Having a great time. How cool is it to be here with 1,100 high schoolers and adults, learning about mission, experiencing great music, wonderful workshops and meeting new friends?”


The Record Summer 2014

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


Camp MichiLuCa

Immediately following EYE14 was the annual week-long camp. Along with the usual camp activities were opportunities for worship and study.

Location: Fairview, Michigan Dates: July 6-11, July 13-18

“Having a great time at camp. Learning new songs, enjoying the smell of wet clothes and campfire. And watching young people experience God in new ways, and meeting people that may become their best friends.”

Bass Lake Music Festival

Location: Fairview, Michigan Dates: July 25-28

Around 125 young people attended the musical event, which included some uncooperative weather. So instead of outdoor cookouts, a grand party at the camp lodge led to lots of food and even more camaraderie.

“Music, rain, kids. I wonder if this was what Woodstock was like. The best thing about this, though, was God was definitely here.”

Twenty three young people and nine adults impacted the neighborhood in and around Pontiac, performing a wide-range of tasks. Painting and fixing-up homes, delivering items of need, staging an Mission: Possible Location: All Saints, Pontiac enormous food distribution event were among the efforts packed into a few days. Dates: July 28-Aug. 1

“They said we could change the world one week at a time. I think what was changed in this week of great service was me.” Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Record Summer 2014



The archivist

The careful preservation of the history of our diocese By Rick Schulte It began with a photo. A cool photo, I will admit. It was so distinctive – a group of well-dressed African-Americans, obviously wearing their Sunday best, standing in front of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in 1920s Detroit – it was chosen to be part of a photostory projected on the big screen at last year’s Diocesan Convention. So distinctive, that it possessed several people to comment on it afterward. “Where did that photo come from?” a convention delegate quipped. “I’ve never seen anything like it. We must have some kind of archive, right?” Some kind of archive, indeed. It’s an archive which, for many years, was overseen by Leonard Coombs. Serving as archivist for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, Coombs recently announced his retirement from the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, where he’s worked since 1981. That photo was a small sampling of some of the amazing items held at Bentley. He previously sent me several items upon request, taking the time to forward me a link to a sampling of various photos. I clicked on the first link, opening a photo file. It led to one amazing photo after another. It was an electronic treasure trove, a historical marvel. I was blown away. I had to meet Len Coombs. The Bentley Experience The Bentley Library has some pretty strict rules. You want to view an item? No problem. Be


Leonard Coombs looks through a record book from the diocesan archives in the Bentley Library.

ready to offer up your driver’s license and to fill out some paperwork. It’s not like browsing the shelves at your local public library. And make sure you use the white gloves they offer you; it maintains the integrity of the archive’s contents. I met Coombs, and he led me back to his office. It was tidy and well-organized, exactly what you would expect from an archivist.

Coombs explained how he was in charge of the Michigan historical collections in recent years, overseeing various other collections before that. Included in the Michigan collection was that of the Diocese of Michigan. “This library has had an interest in documenting religious history since the 1930s, so we have relationships with a lot of reli-

The Record Summer 2014

gious organizations.” It began collecting items of note from various church organizations, individual churches and individual people. The relationship with our diocese began in the 1940s, but wasn’t truly formalized until the 60s. The Episcopal collection came from the diocesan office, bishops, clergy, churches and lay people. “We really have great collections documenting the Episcopal Church in Michigan,” Coombs said. “The whole mentality of the church has a kind of historical view. The tradition, development and connection with the past, the ways bishops are connected with their predecessors, priests with their bishops and congregations, relationships with the churches that founded them – the Episcopal Church is easier than many other organizations.” Coombs offered to lead me to the collection. I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough, not really knowing what to expect. The door opened to a large, climate-controlled area. It was more like a small warehouse, with an endless row of shelves that stored all sorts of stuff. Organized, but definitely packed. “We don’t archive each parish or mission in the diocese. There’s just not enough room,” Coombs said. “We also have archives for the Diocese of Western Michigan. For individual parishes, we have some of the major parishes like the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.” Interested in convention journals? The Bentley has them. All 179 of them. Standing Committee reports go back to the 1830s. In the case of the Cathedral – Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

A faded image from St. Matthew’s, Detroit shows the congregation gathered for a photo with its Sunday school group.

which has always done a wonderful job of documenting its own history – you can go back and read over vestry reports and register information from the 1820s. Items are stored in various boxes, numbered to represent various items and topics. All in a rather organized fashion. Yes, the word ‘organized’ comes up quite often. It’s the DNA of an archive, especially one of this size. Organization comes with the territory. And just because something is old, faded by time or covered with dust, age alone does not automatically make it an archiveworthy item. “We have a lot of students working here. For some of them, the feel of the power of history comes with them. For others, it’s just a job. Getting them to understand the power of these things is important,” Coombs said. “You have to sort through 100 boxes of something, get rid of duplicates and find a way to make sense of it. But the people who are going to use it in the future will find it wondrous. So that’s why you have to take great care and time going through everything.” What Constitutes History? So yes, preserving history can be a daunting task. Collecting items and storing them? That’s Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

good. And the idea of someday getting around to doing something with all kinds of old stuff… Well, there’s a fine line between items of historical value and things that may get a good long look at a rummage sale. “Worrying about the history is something most people do when there’s a fire or flood, or someone is moving and is retiring and they have to deal with cleaning out an office,” Coombs said. “Someone has to deal with their collection. And it’s not part of the day-to-day work. Sometimes, it’s like swimming against the stream, getting people to think about their collection back there.” What do archivists look for when they gather items? With

our diocesan collection, for instance, items such as convention journals have real value. “It’s a good collection. Religious collections get used for a lot of different kinds of research. In a way, we’re doing a favor for organizations because we preserve their records, but we accept their collections because we think they will be use by historians and researchers.” In other words, a future researcher will have some items of real value. Some older items really don’t have that value. Future researchers will be pleased to discover all the work put in by Coombs. The organization and care taken with everything relating to the history of the

diocese has resulting in an amazing collection. So good is the collection that, obviously, it was never merely a job for Coombs. It was a labor of love. So now that it’s time to retire, now what? What will Coombs do with his free time? Fans of history in Arizona will be pleased to learn how he plans on spending his winter months. “I’m looking forward to finding a good volunteer job at a historical group in Tucson,” Coombs said.

About the Bentley Historical Library Interested in learning more about the history of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan? That, and thousands of other topics may be researched through the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library. Go online to to find the library’s search engine. You may also inquire about viewing the library’s archives by calling (734) 764-3482.

“In a way, we’re doing a favor for organizations because we preserve their records, but we accept their collections because we think they will be use by historians and researchers.”

The Record Summer 2014



New marker signifies history of Trinity, Monroe By Jim Johnson Trinity Episcopal Church, Monroe was founded in 1831. By 1832, funds had been raised to build a wooden frame church on Loranger Square in the center of town. In the early years, the congregation was small and saw a number of different rectors, at times conducting services with no rector at all. Only a few records exist from this early period, but they do give an insight to future success of the parish. In 1846, then-exiting Rector William Hunter wrote in describing Trinity: “Its condition is highly prosperous and there is ample material in Monroe for building up a large, strong church.” During the Civil War, various members were active in supporting the war effort; among them Mrs. Manning, Humphrey, Noble, Clark, Smith and Norman in the form of the Grey Sock Society. The group organized sockknitting drives, fundraisers and coordinated relief supply collections. The current building at the corner of W. Third and Monroe Streets literally rose from the ashes. The original church, built in 1832, stood a few blocks from the current site. In the early hours of March 18, 1868, a fire broke out in the back of the Strong Hotel and quickly spread to the surrounding buildings including, Trinity. Sadly, the fire destroyed the building that had just completed extensive improvements. As described in the church history first published in 1881, “The improvements were all made, a fine organ installed, a sweettoned bell hung and all was in readiness for resuming services


Members of the congregation unveil the new historical marker located just outside of Trinity, Monroe. The church has been in Monroe for more than 180 years.

in that temple, when on that fateful night, all of this property was destroyed by fire.” To add even more drama to an already drama-filled story, witnesses describe the amazing act of Herbert Stoddard, a member of the congregation, and a man of fairly slight build, who singlehandedly carried the marble baptismal font from the burning building as if it weighed nothing. Few other items were saved. The font and a few other surviving objects can be seen in the church today. While the church was burning, the tower in which the bell hung, became weakened, swayed and then tolled. Those standing nearby remarked upon the pathos of the bell’s tolling its own funeral dirge. Before the fire had died away, actions were being taken to make plans to erect another church building – but this time, of stone.

On the very night of the fire, even before the charred ruins had fully cooled, several young women of the congregation gathered ashes and placed them in little bags, sold at a profit of more than $100 to establish the rebuilding fund. Committees were formed – and starting with the $4,800 in insurance money, the current lot was secured. Architect Gordon Lloyd of Detroit was hired, and building began later that spring, the cornerstone being laid June 24, 1868. On a sad note, two sisters, Carolene and Mary Patchin who had been invited to Monroe from Cleveland to witness the laying of the cornerstone were lost aboard the “Morning Star” in a tragic shipwreck on Lake Erie. Their memorial windows can now be seen in the narthex of the church. By the fall of 1869, the building was nearing completion and

The Record Summer 2014

ready to begin hosting services. Articles published in the local Monroe papers that fall provided detailed descriptions of the interior of the new church, its decoration and its fine stained glass windows. In one article, the windows are so specifically described, it is easy to determine nearly all of the existing windows are original (1868-69). Many of them are directly attributed to George L. Burns of Buffalo. Burns was an early producer of stained glass and Trinity appears to be one of his last commissions, which represent the last surviving examples of his work. The Monroe Monitor described them as “beautiful and tasty.” Other described details of the interior include the beautifully groined ceiling colored in delicate shades of a night sky with hundreds of gilded stars by Monroe painters Kirchmaier & Schwingschlegel, plus a beautiful cross hanging above the altar from which gas lights are suspended to be used on important Church occasions. The painted ceiling and gas-lit cross are no longer present, but the original windows are. More than $13,000 was spent in the construction of the church. Once fully consecrated in 1871, the congregation thrived and steadily grew. Though always very active from the very beginning in church affairs, the women of the altar guild was not formally organized until 1882. They remain very active today, The Trinity Guild, along with the Episcopal Church Women, represent a continuous thread of parish and community service reaching back more than 180 years. Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

HISTORY In 1885, extensive repairs and improvements (with funds raised by the guild and the congregation) were made to the building; a new slate roof, bell (the one currently in the tower) and new coal furnace were installed, as was carpeting and new pew cushions. In 1898, ending a long process, the stone parish hall/chapel and rectory were added. The rectory located on W. Third Street, adjacent to the church, is one of the few remaining limestone residences in Monroe. Trinity’s rectory changed locations throughout the 19th century, starting first at the corner of Island and O’Brien Streets (the house still stands), a log house purchased from Francis Navarre that stood in front of the current Sawyer House and at 56 Scott Street. The turn of the 20th century saw continued prosperity despite challenges provided by Mother Nature. The great flood of March 1908 saw the Raisin River reach all the way to the steps of Trinity, and in July 1910, lightning struck the church tower and burned the roof of the steeple right down to the stone line, leaving only bits of charred roof framing and a few clinging shingles. Quick repairs must have taken place because on Sept. 18 that same year, the new Smith Memorial Windows (commissioned by Tiffany Studios) were dedicated. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Trinity Guild did a great deal of sewing and knitting, preparing boxes of clothing for relief in Europe. Beginning in 1918 with the U.S. entry into the war, Monroe Street became one of the direct routes of the Army supply trucks, soon becoming a very busy trucking route in support of the war effort. Trucks ran past the church day and night. Very quickly, the everresourceful women of the Trinity Guild opened an impromptu restaurant in the Parish Hall making use of their new kitchen. They Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The celebration at Trinity included a musical performance. You can still get a feel for the age of the church, which includes stained-glass windows recognizing a shipwreck on Lake Erie.

served hot meals, for a nominal fee, around the clock. The money raised allowed them to electrify the church and undertake another renovation in early 1920. Trinity remained strong throughout the Depression years, starting ideas for further expansion and improvements in 1941. Among the more radical ideas was the demolition of the stone rectory to gain the land needed for a new building. The start of WWII shelved all the plans and it would not be until the early 1950s that new plans for largescale improvements would resume. The fundraising campaign ended in mid-1955, and the new parish hall construction began in the spring of 1956. It was completed that fall. The building, with its slick mid-century modern design, complimenting the 19th century gothic church, today enjoys renewed favor as retro post-war style architecture has gained new appreciation.

Since then, Trinity has seen its ups and downs. Further extensive improvement and restoration projects have taken place over the years, among them the replacement of the slate roof in 1986, a testament to the dedication of the congregation. Our numbers are fewer now, but the present state of Trinity is a true testament to the dedication of the congregation to preserve this beautiful building. Trinity is not a preserved static museum, but rather a living entity where all parts of its long history, including the here and now, co-exist in harmony, each generation leaving their mark. This historical marker can now share with the entire community what we here at Trinity have known for generations, the important history preserved here. Jim Johnson is a member of Trinity Church, Monroe and chairman of the church’s Social Marker Committee.

The Record Summer 2014



So what exactly is a deacon?

By the Rev. Deacon Timothy Spannaus We read in the book of Acts as follows: And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:2-6) We understand this text as telling us about the first deacons. The phrase, “wait on tables” is one translation of the word diakonein, from which we get our English word, deacon. Another translation of the word, in this context, is to keep accounts. In other places the word is used to mean to serve as a representative or emissary in place of the apostles. Even though the Acts passage refers to selecting seven men, women were deacons in the early church as well. Phoebe in Romans is a deacon. As late as the 14th century there are records of women deacons, then reappearing in the 19th century as deaconesses So what exactly is a deacon? We have four orders of ministry in the church, the baptized, including all of us, and then those of us set aside in holy orders, deacons, priests and bishops. Historically, deacons are mentioned in Acts and the Epistles.


The Rev. Deacon Timothy Spannaus, at St. John’s, Royal Oak.

There was a bishop or overseer at each church, but there weren’t a lot of churches. Deacons assisted the bishop, by taking the consecrated bread and wine from the church to homes where Christians gathered. Later the order of priests emerged, with a priest at each church. Beginning in about the fourth century, the role of permanent or vocational deacons declined, in the western church, in favor of priests. That decline was over a long period of time, noting that there were a few vocational deacons as late as the 14th century. What survived was the transitional deacon – a step on the way to ordination as a priest. Vocational deacons, or permanent deacons, are called to be deacons, not priests. We didn’t drop out on the way to the priesthood. As deacons, we still assist bishops. While most of us serve in parishes, we report to the Bishop. When the Bishop visits, there isn’t much for the priest to do. The order of deacons was re-

stored, beginning in Germany in the 19th century and among Catholics and Episcopalians in the late 20th century. The visible role of deacons is in the liturgy. We read the Gospel, prepare the table for the Eucharist, and dismiss the people at the end of the service. In addition, deacons may begin the Creed and the Prayers of the People and the Confession. In the absence of a priest or bishop, we lead worship, including weddings and funerals, with some exceptions – we do not pronounce the Absolution, the Blessing, nor can we celebrate the Eucharist. So when we confess sins, as a deacon I do not forgive your sins, but I pray for our forgiveness. The less visible, but more important, ministry is our role in caring for the poor, the ill and the powerless. That’s a traditional role for deacons, serving in outreach ministries. We stand between the world and the church, with one foot in each, interpret-

The Record Summer 2014

ing the church to the world and the world to the church. Most deacons are bi-vocational, that is, we serve in the church as deacons and have a job in the world. I teach at Wayne State University as a full time job. By combining my calling to teach with the ministry as a deacon I find myself enabling others to carry out ministry, by teaching, discerning, and encouraging others as well as ministering to others myself. We take our direction from this passage from Luke: When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “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.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:16-21) Let those words echo in your ears: Bring good news to the poor; proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. All of us are charged with these directives. To a deacon, we hear these as a lifetime commitment. We willingly take on the responsibility and privilege of serving the world and the church. And it’s not just that we feed the poor and minister to the sick and the powerless. We do those things. We minister to those inEpiscopal Diocese of Michigan

dividuals who come to us. But we also have to bring about changes to the systems that bring so many to our doors seeking food and help. Why do we have more people every year coming to St. John’s Open Hands Food Pantry? We are grateful for the support of Christ Church Cranbrook and others for all the contributions that allow us to feed so many. It’s better to allow people the dignity and freedom to earn enough so they can provide for themselves, Something is wrong when people can work full time and still not earn enough to lift themselves out of poverty. A hundred years ago, Henry Ford understood that it was good for his auto business to pay people more than the prevailing wage. He instituted the $5 day, about double what his competitors paid. The result was reduced employee turnover and his employees could now afford to buy

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

DEACONS “The less visible, but more important, ministry is our role in caring for the poor, the ill and the powerless. That’s a traditional role for deacons, serving in outreach ministries. We stand between the world and the church, with one foot in each, interpreting the church to the world and the world to the church.”

what they made. Increasing pay was good for the company, the employees and the economy. What can we do to remove the causes of poverty and homelessness? That’s the question for all of us, and specifically for deacons. A couple of years ago, a Deacon’s Resolution came before General convention and many diocesan conventions. It was simple. Resolved, that the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church call upon its members to

begin every meeting in calendar year 2013, whether at the parish, diocesan or church-wide level and no matter what the purpose, with this agenda item: “How will what we are doing here affect or involve people living in poverty?” Many dioceses adopted it. Many parishes did as well. The idea was simple: To keep the poor before us, not just as people we care for, but as participants in our life as church. “How will what we are doing here affect or involve people living in poverty?”

The Record Summer 2014

The Deacon’s Resolution comes from the heart of the diaconate, but also for all of us as the baptized. If you find yourself wondering if you have a call to be a deacon, I urge you to talk with (your) rector or another priest or deacon, or with me. There is a need in the church for more deacons and it is a very fulfilling ministry. The path to the diaconate begins with Exploring Your Spiritual Journey, a one-year program to help people discern their call to ministry. You may find that you are called to be an active, committed lay minister, or called to be a priest or deacon. May God bless you on your journey of faith. The Rev. Deacon Timothy Spannaus of St. John’s, Royal Oak delivered this in a sermon recently at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills.



Fun in the sun

A perfect day greeted guests to the fourth-annual Bishop’s Diocesan Picnic, hosted by the Emrich Retreat Center, Brighton. Games and great food were enjoyed by all, as was the chance for friends from all ends of the diocese to meet.


The Record Summer 2014

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

WHAT CAN WHITAKER DO FOR YOU? View full descriptions of these courses from the 2014-15 program schedule at September

Exploring Your Spiritual Journey Emrich Retreat Center, 7380 Teahen Rd, Brighton Beginning retreat: September 5-6, 2014 Registration Deadline: September 1, 2014


Whitaker Saturday Series: The Persian Period Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Second Class: October 4, 2014 Registration Deadline: September 24, 2014

Academy for Vocational Leadership A formation program for vocational deacons and total ministry support teams Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston First Retreat: September 12-14, 2014

Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People St. Michael’s & All Angels, Cambridge Junction Class: October 18, 2014 Registration Deadline: October 15, 2014

Eliminating Racism Sept. 13, 2014 9:00 am –5:30 pm St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 Division Ave North, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Registration Deadline: September 10, 2014

Worship Leader Licensure Course St. Paul’s Church, Brighton First Class: November 1, 2014 Registration Deadline: October 22, 2014

Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People St. Patrick’s, 1434 E. 13 Mile Rd, Madison Heights Class: September 13, 2014 Registration Deadline: September 10, 2014 Whitaker Saturday Series: Year of the Bible Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston First Class: September 13, 2014 Registration Deadline: September 3, 2014 Register for each class separately, or for the whole series and save 33%. Small-size Church, Full-size Music! A workshop for choirs, musicians, liturgists and clergy in small-to-mid-size churches St. Stephen’s, 5500 N Adams Rd, Troy, MI 48098 (248) 641-8080 Workshop: September 20, 2014 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. Registration Deadline: September 17, 2014 Preaching Licensure Course St. Clare’s Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor First Class: September 30, 2014 Registration Deadline: September 24, 2014

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan



Whitaker Saturday Series: Pentateuch Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Sixth Class: February 14, 2015 Registration Deadline: February 4, 2015 Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People Christ Church, Dearborn Class: February 21, 2015 Registration Deadline: February 18, 2015


Whitaker Saturday Series: The Roman Period Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Seventh Class: March 21, 2015 Registration Deadline: March 11, 2015

Whitaker Saturday Series: Deuteronomic History Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Third Class: November 1, 2014 Registration Deadline: October 22, 2014

Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People St. Paul’s, Brighton Class: March 21, 2015 Registration Deadline: March 18

Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People St. Michael’s & All Angels, Cambridge Junction Class: November 15, 2014 Registration Deadline: November 12, 2014

Whitaker Saturday Series: Matthew and Luke/Acts Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Eighth Class: April 25, 2015 Registration Deadline: April 15, 2015


Whitaker Saturday Series: Prophetic Literature Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Fourth Class: December 6, 2014 Registration Deadline: November 26, 2014 You can register for each class separately, or for the whole series and save 33%!


Whitaker Saturday Series: Responses to Hellenism Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Fifth Class: January 24, 2015 Registration Deadline: January 14, 2015 Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People Cathedral of St. Paul, Detroit Class: January 24, 2015 Registration Deadline: January 21, 2015

The Record Summer 2014


Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People St. Michael’s & All Angels, Lincoln Park Class: April 25, 2015 Registration Deadline: April 22, 2015


Whitaker Saturday Series: John and Paul Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Ninth Class: May 16, 2015 Registration Deadline: May 6, 2015 Safeguarding God’s Children/God’s People All Saints, Pontiac Class: May 9, 2015 Registration Deadline: May 6, 2015


Whitaker Saturday Series: Paul and the Canon Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston Last Class: June 6, 2015 Registration Deadline: May 27, 2015



‘Take This Bread’ a reminder of the hunger we experience

Last winter, I had says of her restaurant the chance to attend work in New York, “As a presentation where with everything else four women spoke of I’d learned – as with their spiritual jourthe religion I would neys and of the books come to practice – I absorbed cooking they wrote as a result. through my body.” The All four were comDawn chapters on her years pelling speakers, but McDuffie of political reporting Sara Miles had a story in revolution-torn arthat forced me to buy eas of the world don’t her book as soon as I returned home. The book be- focus on the dangers she faced gins with her first communion, but on the kindness of the people not the scenario a reader would she met. Looking back after beanticipate. As a new resident of coming a Christian, Miles says, “I San Francisco, Miles wants to see had no idea then that I was hunSaint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal gry for communion.” Church. It was famous for conThe unexpected result of that temporary icons and a circular first communion is a deep hunger floor plan. However, since the to experience “supper with God” congregation flows around the again and again. A second unexcentral altar and gives commu- pected result is Miles’ conviction nion to each other, Miles finds that Saint Gregory’s should start herself taking the bread and wine a food pantry and supply grocerand discovering, “The mysterious ies to anyone willing to come to sacrament turned out to be not a the church. Miles believes feedsymbolic wafer at all but actual ing people as Jesus instructed his food – indeed, the bread of life.” disciples is another form of comOr, as she said in her presenta- munion, a liturgy of generosity tion, she knew Jesus was real and and sharing. alive. As the Food Pantry at Saint Miles’ earlier life had revolved Gregory’s becomes a reality and around food in many forms. She then becomes complicated with

various difficulties and demands, Miles becomes more determined to recognize the people who come for groceries and community are “…all people who, like me, had come to get fed and stayed to help out. Who, like me, took that bread and got changed.” I wonder how many readers cheer when Miles admits, “I was lousy at obedience.” Sometimes a person’s secret turns out to be an admission of bossiness or manipulative behavior. Miles owns up to both traits in this memoir. Sometimes the secret is more frightening. A pantry volunteer brings Sara a .357 Magnum revolver with the

firing pin removed. She gives it to Sara, because both of them believe the church is a safe place to get rid of sin. The volunteer has realized killing her abusive boyfriend isn’t the only option. In fact, it is a temptation to create more pain in an already painful life. I love Miles’ ability to look straight at truth. Some days her feet hurt and the volunteers are cranky. Many of the people who come for groceries will continue to be haunted by problems of addiction and broken relationships. And yet, in the sharing of food in the volunteers’ lunch and in the groceries shared around the altar, Miles sees boundaries dissolve. In the final paragraph, she looks around and sees current friends Homer, Martha, Paul and Steve. In her imagination she sees her brother, David, and her father and mother, some living, some not. “We’re eating together. The door opens. It is never over.” Freelance reviewer Dawn McDuffie is a member of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit.

Welcome The Rev. Beth Taylor is formally introduced as the new rector at St. John’s, Royal Oak, during a celebration in May. She previously served on the staff of Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills.


The Record Summer 2014

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


Issues of social justice will always need to be addressed Whew! What a busy couple of months this has been. Water shutoffs in Detroit. Unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in our country. I could go on forever. No matter where you stand on these issues, it’s hard to dispute this has been quite a stretch, when you speak on issues of social justice. (And that’s not even talking about global events. Gaza and the Middle East. An ebola outbreak in Africa. The Malaysia Airlines attack. But for sake of conversation, we will stay within our borders for now). Everyone can agree on the basic premise of most of these issues. Water? Yes, it is an essential part of life. It may seem like a given where we live; elsewhere in the world, gathering clean water is so vital, it’s a large part of the daily routine. Where the disagreement comes from is how entitled is everyone to water that is treated and made safe for human consumption. I attended a recent rally in Detroit, protesting the collection methods (water shutoffs) used by the city’s water department. In an ongoing effort to deal with Detroit’s bankruptcy, delinquent residential customers were getting their water cut. That’s one way to get your attention, I suppose. So I attended the rally to report on it for the Episcopal News Service. And I asked questions. Some of the answers I got surprised me. Why are you here? “Everyone has a right to water,” said Gloria, a protester who said she was a lifelong Detroit resident. “It’s a basic human right and even the United Nations says this Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

is wrong. I’m here to couldn’t answer the tell the city I demand questions, other than water is a “human water for everyone.” right.” Even those who It is. I agree with can’t pay? that. I do understand “Especially them.” Did you see the it’s a struggle to pristory that said more oritize bills for people Rick people are delinquent with limited resourcSchulte es. The issue is this: on their water bills Should the debate be than are delinquent “make water free to on cable TV service in Detroit? What do you say to that? all” (which isn’t the view of most, At this point, Gloria looked but trust me, there were enough confused, only saying, “But it’s angry people who expressed that water.” And her friend – I didn’t to me at the rally) or should it be bother getting his name, because about finding the reasons why he appeared to be less than cor- people are unable to pay all their bills? dial – jumped in. That’s simplifying the issue, “You people are just looking for the bad in everything. Why don’t but hopefully you get my point: you write about how this is a ba- Everything is not cut and dried. sic human right? Folks shouldn’t The same goes for the issue of unaccompanied minors. Most of have to pay for this.” At this point, I could see any these children are from Guateinsightful discourse was out of mala, Honduras and El Salvador. the question. I wasn’t there to de- Because they are from a country bate. However, I found it curious not bordering the United States, many of the others I spoke with these children are held for a

screening process for up to 72 hours, then either moved on for resettlement or returned to their home country. The reason for this? To prevent child trafficking and exploitation. This is another point that all can agree upon – obviously, no one is in favor of child trafficking. The arguments go back and forth – why do we open our borders to all people, why are they so desperate to leave their country, why should we pay for this, how can we not try to help, why help others when our own people are in need. You get the idea. So as these and other issues come up, it’s important to note there are layers of issues when it comes to social justice. Doing the right thing means different things to different people. That will never change, as will the need to address issues of social justice. Rick Schulte is editor for The Record and is director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

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