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VOL. 4, ISSUE 3 • FALL 2013

g n i s i r p r The Su Sto r y of

Flat Jesus

THE 179TH CONVENTION OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF MICHIGAN Detroit Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Center TENTATIVE SCHEDULE: Please look for the latest updates at Friday, October 25 10:00 a.m. Workshop – “Ruach and the Five Marks of Mission” 12:00 p.m. Registration Opens 2:00 Q & A with the Presiding Bishop (Open to all) 4:00 Opening Business Session of Convention, Opening of the Polls; Exhibit Area Opens 5:15 Pre-banquet Reception & Meet the Candidates in Exhibit Area; Whitaker Silent Auction 6:15

Convention Banquet

7:45 Convention Eucharist (The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori Will Preach) 9:00 “Friends of Emrich” Reception and Raffle Saturday, October 26 6:30 a.m. Beverages and Pastries Available 7:00

Registration, Polls, Exhibit Areas Open; Committee on Reference Hearing


Business Session – Morning Prayer led by Youth and Young Adults


Presiding Bishop’s Time with Youth


Bishop’s Address to Diocesan Convention


Business Session


Polls Close


Presiding Bishop’s Address to Diocesan Convention

12:00 p.m.

Noonday Prayers


Lunch & Exhibit Time

1:45 (tentative) Convention Reconvenes - Business Session 3:00

Exhibit Area Closes

5:00 or at the Close of Business - Convention Adjourns; Closing Prayer


The Record/Fall 2013

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

TABLE OF CONTENTS The Record 4800 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48201-1399 Phone: (313) 833-4425

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 Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Diocesan News

Meet James Gettel, the new Canon for Congregational Life; also, view the upcoming diocesan calendar. Page 6

This new feature introduces the history and current doings at three churches. Page 7

Convention Preview

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

James Gettel Canon for Congregational Life

Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. Page 4

Three Churches

The Record is a quarterly magazine for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Vol. 4, Issue 3 Fall 2013

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

The Interview

The 179th Diocesan Convention comes to Detroit in late October and features an appearance from Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori. Page 8

The Reverend Michelle Meech Ministry Developer & Provisional Director of Whitaker Institute

Found on Facebook Page 9

Cover Story: Flat Jesus

What began as a way of keeping in touch over the summer months turned into a much bigger experience than Chris Gannon ever anticipated. Page 10

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

Raising funds and awareness

The Nicaragua Project needs money to help with a major construction project, among many other important needs. A recent gathering helped the cause. Page 12

Festival of Homiletics

Good sermons don’t just happen by accident. Page 14

Sermon: The Rev. Susan Bock

Read enlightening words from a same-sex wedding. Page 15

Whitaker Institute

Read the entire course directory for the current academic year, including an introduction from the Rev. Michelle Meech. Page 16

The Record/Fall 2013



Especially with change in the air, we must remember to respect Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. recently talked with Rick Schulte, editor for The Record, about a wide range of topics – including Detroit’s bankruptcy, the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict and how differing viewpoints are tolerated. QUESTION: The big talk around here in Detroit is the city’s bankruptcy. There are a lot of strong feelings on all sides. How does this affect the region and our churches? There’s going to be a lot of change, so do think there may be some good that comes from all this? ANSWER: You said the magic word. It’s about ‘change.’ My experience in the church at large is we don’t like change. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the larger society we don’t like change. Change is necessary. Change is the one constant in life. Things are always changing. The world is always changing. And we don’t like it. We like to be comfortable and keep things ‘the way they always were,’ whatever that is – because the way they were last week is not the way they are this week. I think I’ve talked a lot about the fact we in the church have false memories of the way the church was in the 1950s, how the buildings were always full. No, they weren’t all full. Not every Sunday. Maybe on major holy days, it was difficult for some to find a seat, but we don’t like to sit up front either, and if you look up front there are always lots of seats! But as someone who came to Southeast Michigan from outside the region and the state, it seems like we tend to fight change stronger. Take that for what it’s worth. I really don’t know any more, but if it feels different, we like to fight


try to find an answer. I certainly hope Christian people could do that. But I also hope religious people that have a faith in God… could approach this with a sense of faith, that we’re not completely abandoned. And if everyone treats everyone as a child of God, we’ll get through it.


: I’ve heard some clergy from other churches speak of this situation in a manner that doesn’t offer solution or comfort. You hear the complaints but not the solution. ; It sounds a lot like Congress, doesn’t it? I was floored to hear the Speaker of the House to say, regarding healthcare, ‘we’re just going to keep voting no to get rid of it.’ And if you succeed, then what? You go back to the way the health system was – too many people not insured, or underinsured and a health system run amok because it’s a system run by businessmen and not doctors? We don’t have another solution, but we don’t like it so we’re going to tear it down. I’m sick and tired of that nonsense. Unfortunately, at some places in the church, the same things happen…We have to stop attacking the other person, just because we don’t like what they say, and figure out a way we can hear each other. We hate what each other says, but we haven’t come up with a solution to satisfy both sides. And the only way to satisfy both sides is everyone has to give a little. I guess that would be change. And we don’t like that…


about it. I think the emergency financial manager situation, the brankruptcy situation, will be painful for us all because it’s going to mean change. But I don’t know that there will be such pain that wringing our hands will be a solution. : You see a lot of that? : Coming into the office this morning, I was listening to the news. They were talking about how there was going to be a protest at the Colemen A. Young building, about the bankruptcy. And simultaneously, at the main campus of Wayne County Community College campus downtown, there was going to be a forum on the bankruptcy and what it could mean. And I thought that was in-


teresting. On the one hand, there was a group standing outside of a group and protesting – which does what? And in another building not far away, there was going to be a group of people who are going to sit down, to talk about it and figure out what it means. Hmmm. I’d rather go to the college conversation and figure it out. I understand people who are on pensions are worried. But people also aren’t listening. And no one I’ve heard has said people aren’t going to have pensions because of this. Not all of the pension liability of the city is unsecured, just a portion. Okay, so folks want to sit down and figure out how to make the best of that. Let’s not wring our hands, call names and try to blame, let’s

The Record/Fall 2013


: It’s a ‘kill the messenger’ mentality? : You can dislike change – nobody says you have

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

to like it – but in disliking the change, we tend to dislike the people associated with the change as well. And that’s not respecting the dignity of every human being. As Christians and as Episcopalians, we have to respect the dignity of every human being, whether or not we agree with them. …When I write something to share with the diocese, and people choose to write back or respond, I love it if they respond and appreciate what you wrote, or even agree. It’s more difficult, not when people disagree but in their disagreement, they show their disrespect to me as an indiviudal. When I wrote the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman piece (see related story), one person only saw me as a holy man of God, not as an AfricanAmerican. Well, I’m sorry but that’s incredibly disrespectful. God made me as an AfricanAmerican male, first. And if you

can’t see that part of me, you’re not respecting the whole of me. I don’t say that Episcopalians are the only ones with that issue, but I’m not the bishop of those who aren’t Episcopalians. I think we all, if we truly embrace our Baptismal Covenant, should go back and read it. Now, I may not like what these individuals write and disagree with what I’m saying. I have to respect their right to say it. I have to respect who they are. I may dislike it, but in my response to them, I don’t want to dishonor their humanity.


: When you were elected bishop, it wasn’t because you were Wendell Gibbs. It’s because of who you are – who hap-

pens to be an African-American male with such and such religious and educational background and life experiences. Each piece individually doesn’t define who you are, but collectively, it does. : I certainly hope so. Because I did not leave the crib looking for a mitre and a crozier. I didn’t leave my house in Cincinnati looking for a mitre and crozier. But God’s way of being/thinking/doing, we’re called to discern with God and figure it out. I get very pensive and very sad when I get an angry letter. Sure, I get angry first. But when I read deeper and wonder why a person responds with this level of anger, vitriol or even evil, I get sad. My suspicion is it’s a surface-


“As Christians and as Episcopalians, we have to respect the dignity of every human being, whether or not we agree with them.”

level, immediate response not considered in light of being a child of God, responding to another child of God. And that disappoints me. It’s frustrating. And I pray, daily, that changes. Ah, there I go. Change again. Change is inevitable. I’ve probably said this ad nauseum…I remember hearing some scientist saying if we don’t believe in change, we’re dead. Because a set of cells and whatever made up our bodies is not the same today, because if it was, we’d be dead. The body changes constantly to live. I don’t think it’s at all coincidental that Scripture talks of church as ‘the Body of Christ.’ If our bodies have to change to live, doesn’t the church have to change to live? To be alive? Yes, I believe it does. And I believe it has a responsibility to encourage and foster change in society. Yes, respect everyone’s human dignity. But we have to change, or we will die.

Statement from Bishop Gibbs: A reminder of why we must pray, place our faith in God The past several days have provided an opportunity for a range of emotions. First, court watchers were informed of the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman and then the region, the nation and the world heard the news of the bankruptcy filing affecting the City of Detroit. With regard to the Zimmerman trial, for some the ‘not guilty’ verdict was a stunning disappointment, for some it was a matter of justice served; for many the verdict was confirmation of a less than equal justice system, for others it was a validation that the rule of law works. For me, as a man of African descent, the verdict was a major red flag that the struggle for racial equality in this country is far from over. As a person of color, the verdict is a warning sign that those who do not share my ebony heritage have yet to grasp the reality of privilege claimed by the majority culture in all levels of our society. As a black man, the verdict is an indication that the election of an African-American to the highest elected office in this nation does not signal a lessening of racial tensions in this country, and, that black families must still caution their kin to be watchful in certain neighborhoods and communities lest they be arrested, attacked or killed based solely on their skin color.

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The bankruptcy filing in Detroit has added a pall of uncertainty to a region and city that painfully continues to try to recover from race riots dating back to the 1960s. Some leaders suggest that bankruptcy marks the beginning of a new era of growth and reinvestment in the city; some leaders continue to advocate theories of doom and gloom. As a city resident, I suggest it is far too soon to tell what the outcome will be, but at least someone is doing something...different! Both of these situations call us as Christians to an attitude of prayer, placing our faith in our God rather than in the platitudes of legal experts or politicians. This is not a time to wring our hands and run away from the troubles around us, blaming the outcome on others. Rather, it is our time to remain strong, offering our gifts and talents to do whatever we can to bring reconciliation and renewal to both of these situations. “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it” (1 Cor. 12:26). In the days, weeks and months to come, let us put our efforts -our good works -- behind bringing honor to all members of the body of Christ.

The Record/Fall 2013



New Canon for Congregational Life gets acclimated to region, diocese The cycling club to which Jim Gettel belongs usually begins its circuitous journey in suburban Dearborn, winding its way in and around Detroit before finally arriving in the Grosse Pointe communities. “I couldn’t have a better experience of seeing a full view of Detroit,” he said. “We get curious looks sometimes, but a lot of people yelling encouragement as we go by, too. It’s a very friendly area.” After spending 30 years living in Milwaukee, Gettel is experiencing a new flavor of Midwest hospitality as he settles in with his new position as Canon for Congregational Life for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. After the Rev. Lisa TuckerGray was called to become priestin-charge at St. John’s, Plymouth, the diocese was left without a Canon to the Ordinary. Rather than search to fill that position, a new one was created. Thus, Gettel has three primary areas of focus with his position – transition ministries, congregational development and Whitaker Institute. “With the first part, I’ll be

helping parishes find their next priest,” Gettel said. “So I’m serving as a transition officer for the diocese.” He said he enjoys plenty about that role, which includes interacting with the interim priests and vestry members. The congregational development aspect is a little different, as each church “has a unique situation and a unique call to ministry,” he said. “There is not a set program of how to do this. It requires discernment.” Because no two churches and their needs or goals are the same, there are different sets of challenges with each church (which could include issues such as finances, membership or a wide range of other situations). Gettel’s involvement with Whitaker Institute will involve interacting with the Rev. Michelle Meech, provisional director for the educational arm of the diocese. He will assist Meech with the curate training program and will assist in planning for the 2014 Becoming the Household of God workshop (which will have a “Leading Change” theme). “I think there are some real opportunities here,” Gettel said. It’s

Jim Gettel moves to the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan after spending the past 30 years in Milwaukee.

one of the largest dioceses in the Midwest. It’s relatively geographically compressed. And I like the culture here. This is a diocese that will continue to be socially active.” With a continuous regional focus on outreach and social issues, “Those are the things that are important to me.” Gettel recently had some inter-

action with the area, consulting with Christ Church, Dearborn while he was working in Milwaukee. While he is still working on closing on a residence and settling in, Gettel likes what he has seen and experienced in the diocese already. “I don’t think everyone realizes how friendly people are around here,” he said.

Diocesan Calendar Sept. 14 Diocesan Council St. John’s, Plymouth 9 a.m. Oct. 8-10 AMEN Conference Mackinac Island Oct. 11-13 New Beginnings St. John’s, Royal Oak


Oct. 25-26 Diocesan Convention Renaissance Center, Detroit Nov. 8-10 Happening St. James, Birmingham

Dec. 3 Deans Meeting Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit Noon

Nov. 23 Diocesan Council St. John’s, Plymouth 9 a.m.

Times, dates and location subject to change.

The Record/Fall 2013

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Church: All Saints Location: Detroit Origination: Dedicated Sept. 1929 Information: A survey determined the need to create a church school was noted in the neighborhood near Livernois and Seven Mile roads (which was known at the time as a tony, a Roman Catholic neighborhood). Many families were intrigued by this new school, as 29 youngsters signed up for the first classes in 1927; within 10 years, enrollment reached over 400. The first two rectors at All Saints served over a period of more than 50 years. The Rev. Dr. Berton S. Levering served from 1929-58; the Rev. Ralph Parks followed, from 1958-84. Historical Tidbit: The church’s stained-glass windows represent many of the historical leaders and pioneers of the Detroit area. While the school has been closed for many years, the church still offers many opportunities for its members to be involved. Clergy: Supply clergy lead worship services.


Church: St. Paul’s Location: Jackson Origination: Consecrated Oct. 1840. Information: Twenty-two founders of The Parish of St. Paul’s Church signed the articles of organization Jan. 12, 1839. Vestry member Lemuel House completed the first small church frame structure for $2,500 by the fall; within 10 years, growth dictated the need to build a larger church. Located in what is now downtown Jackson, St. Paul’s offers Koinonia (pronounced Coin-oh-nee-ah) Fellowship Groups. These uniquely-named groups are small in size (six to 12 members each) but wide in reach, encouraging church members to meet monthly in each others’ homes for fellowship, sharing and prayer. These are designed to keep church members in touch with each other. New church members are encouraged to join these groups to speed the process of meeting other parishioners. Historical Tidbit: In 1853, a larger and more ornate Romanesque Revival church was opened. While it has been added to and altered somewhat over the years, the church is a registered Michigan Historic Site and is believed to be the first Romanesque Revival church in Michigan. Clergy: The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Walters serves as rector.

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Church: St. Thomas Location: Trenton Origination: March 1843 Information: The oldest church in this Downriver community grew in the years prior to and during the Civil War. It continued to grow until a 1944 fire destroyed the original church, located on Jefferson Ave. A ‘new’ church building was purchased; it was actually a chapel located in Macon, which was moved 82 miles to its current location on Nichols Road. This was purchased from the Ford Foundation and was one of six structures designated as a Martha-Mary Chapel (designated and built by Greenfield Village architects). The current worship space is an A-frame church, dedicated in 1968. Today, the church is known for many programs, including the St. Thomas Community Thrift Shop. Established in 1999, it offers gently-used clothing, toys and household goods to anyone who needs it for a reasonable price. Historical Tidbit: The consecration and first confirmations took place Jan. 29, 1844. It would have been one day sooner, but dangerous ice flows prevented Bishop Samuel Allen McCoskry (Michigan’s first bishop) from crossing the Trenton Channel after visiting the island of Grosse Ile. Clergy: The Rev. Shirley McWhorter has served as rector since 2007.

The Record/Fall 2013



179th Convention comes to Detroit Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will deliver the sermon at the Friday-night Eucharist at the 179th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. The Detroit Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Center hosts the event Oct. 25-26, themed “Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Embracing the Future.” The Presiding Bishop will also deliver an address to the Diocesan Convention mid-day Oct. 26. Information will be constantly updated leading up to the event. All are encouraged to go to and to look for additional information in Weekly Connections, the Tuesday-morning e-newsletter for the diocese. The tentative schedule for the Diocesan Convention begins with a workshop, “Ruach and the Five Marks of Mission,” at 10 a.m. Oct. 25 and concludes with the Friends of Emrich reception and raffle at 9 p.m. The full business session begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 26. ELECTION: NOMINEES Cathedral Chapter (1 clergy, 1 lay to be elected) Lay: Ms. Juanita Woods - All Saints’, Detroit Clergy: The Rev. Michael Carr - Retired Commission on Ministry (1 clergy, 1 lay to be elected) Lay: Ms. Jackie Womble - St. Paul’s, Lansing Dr. Edie Woods - Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills Clergy: The Rev. Bob Alltop - Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit The Rev. Dcn. Jenny Ritter - St. Stephen’s, Hamburg/St. John’s, Howell Deputy to General Convention (4 lay to be elected) Ms. Elizabeth M. Anderson - Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills/Lex Orandi, Bloomfield Hills Br. Paul Ciaran Castelli, AF - St. Michael’s, GPW/Lex Orandi, Bloomfield Hills Ms. Denise B. Crenshaw - Christ Church, Grosse Pointe Mr. Cedric A. Flounory - St. Clement’s, Inkster Ms. Tamika Hamilton - Church of the Messiah, Detroit Mr. James M. Holubka - St. James’, Grosse Ile Mr. Stephen J. Ott - Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit Ms. Amanda Phillips - St. James’, Grosse Ile Ms. Judith L. Schellhammer - St. Michael & All Angels, Cambridge Junction Dr. Peter Trumbore - St. Mary’s In-the-Hills, Lake Orion Ms. Margaret Wessel Walker - St. Clare of Assisi, Ann Arbor Deputy to General Convention (4 clergy to be elected) The Rev. Julia R. Huttar Bailey - St. Michael & All Angels, Lincoln Park The Rev. Ron C. Byrd, Sr. - St. Katherine’s, Williamston The Very Rev. Ellis Clifton - St. Clement’s, Inkster The Rev. Laurel Dahill - St. Mary’s In-the-Hills, Lake Orion


Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori The Rev. George Davinich - St. Stephen’s, Wyandotte/Grace, Southgate The Very Rev. Philip Matthew Dinwiddie - St. James’, Grosse Ile The Very Rev. Dr. W. Richard Hamlin - Retired The Rev. Dcn. Judith A. Marinco - St. Patrick’s, Madison Heights The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski - Christ Church, Dearborn The Rev. Dr. Lisa Anne Tucker-Gray - St. John’s, Plymouth The Rev. Susan Anslow Williams - St. Stephen’s, Troy Disciplinary Board (1 clergy, 1 lay to be elected) Lay: Ms. Maureen Mahar - St. David’s, Southfield Clergy: The Rev. Diane E. Morgan - Nativity, Bloomfield Twp. The Rev. Dcn. Maryjane Peck - Christ Church, Dearborn Standing Committee (1 clergy, 1 lay to be elected) Lay: To be determined. Clergy: The Rev. Dr. JoAnn Kennedy Slater - St. Luke’s, Ypsilanti

The Record/Fall 2013

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


About increasing fast food wages The issue: A push for fast food workers to make $15 per hour. Is this realistic? Well, we need entry-level jobs, but our economy is not working for everyone. New labor saving technologies are affecting the job market. So-called ‘just in time’ labor uses computer algorithms to schedule staff. These algorithms maximize profit at the expense of work’s quality of life, resulting in record profits, but low standards of living. Not sure a new round of progressive policies and raises in minimum wage are the complete answer (because that punishes business that are trying to be creative), but we do need to make sure the economy is working for everyone. Bernie Yeater Yes, provided we are willing to pay $10 for a value meal. The corporation’s job is to make money for their stockholders. The consumers ultimately will pay the price! Andrew Johnson First, you are wrong that consumers would inevitably pay a huge price. Fast food franchise and corporate owners could take less profit, and would – if consumers demanded both living wages for workers and continuing low prices for food as a condition of eating there at all. Second, studies show that, even at current rates of profit, raising wages to a living wage would cost about $0.18 to $0.65 more for a Big Mac. If I ate fast food, I would be willing to pay that tiny amount more so that the workers could live without needing public assistance. We as citizens - NOT consumers - need to stick together and we need to use our purchasing power mindfully. We are not powerless. Andrea Morrow Let’s say McDonald’s has to pay its workers $15 an hour. Does that mean Joe’s Family Burger Stand has to pay $15 to compete? Social change sounds nice, but why put it on the back of small business owners? And does that mean custodians (for instance) are stuck at minimum wage? Tell me that’s easier than fast food work... Anita Wesserling

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

If fast food jobs pay that much, higher skilled jobs should get the same bump. I work at a shipyard where people actually risk THEIR LIVES in an industrial environment repairing warships. They don’t make much more than $15/hour. Sorry if I don’t think a burger flipper has earned the right to grip that kind of loot. I worked at Burger King at age 16…(no way) did that work warrant $15/hour. Brian McNeal Where are we being a part of church today? St George’s, Milford. Usher duty today. Nice! Tom Herbst The Bishop’s Diocesan Picnic I’m glad I went. It was my first time there and I had a great time. Patricia Klaver Detroit files for bankruptcy. Now what? Hopefully this will help the city move into a better place, and eventually allow it to become the gem it once was. It’s sad that this has happened, but it demonstrates how important it is to study the politics of those we vote for. Charlotte Wall ‘Like’ us on Facebook, then join in the conversation with other members of the diocesan household and beyond.

The Record/Fall 2013



Flat Jesus It started as a way to stay connected during the summertime. Instead, Chris Gannon quickly concluded she ‘never would have thought it would get people engaged like this.’

By Rick Schulte As summer approached, Chris Gannon was simply looking for a way to stay connected with members of St. James, Birmingham who would be away from church while on vacation. Thus, the concept of ‘Flat Jesus’ was born. Flat Jesus was derived from the popular ‘Flat Stanley’ children’s book series, in which the character of Stanley Lambchop is flattened and eventually photographed in various exotic locales. This concept was copied over the years by schoolchildren, creating and getting photographs of their own traveling Flat Stanleys. A simple idea, yes. But sometimes, it’s the simplest ideas that get the most traction. Gannon, the minister for youth and young adults at St. James, originally hoped to create and laminate several ‘Flat Jesus’ figures, get them to whoever requested them, and share photographs of these figures from various locations both on Facebook and on a small bulletin board in the church basement. “I thought there would be an advantage to having a Flat Jesus Facebook page,” Gannon said. “I wanted our parishioners to keep connected throughout the summer. People could send pictures and we’d put them down on the bulletin board,” Simple enough. Except… “It was way too big for the bulletin board,” she said. “We quickly discovered we needed a whole lot more space.” Instead of a handful of pictures, a virtual army of Flat Jesus figures was deployed by hand, then through the mail. Less than two months after its origination, more than 250 Flat Jesus figures were created. The number continues to climb; a story by the Episcopal News Service helped spike interest, creating the need for more creations. The Facebook page quickly zoomed over 500 ‘likes,’ a sign the idea of Flat Jesus was intriguing to many outside of the St. James community. “I love hearing the comments of people,” Gannon said. “They love the conversation they’ve been having with their nieces and nephews, their children and their friends…It’s getting people talking.” The idea of anything creating discourse, either in a church setting or relating to religion, has to be examined, if not embraced. Not only did Flat Jesus affect members of St. James, but it went out throughout the Diocese of Michigan, through other parts of the country and even into members of different religions.


How could that be? “I wish I knew,” Gannon said. “If I did, our churches might be full.” She went on to explain that many subjects are easy to find on Facebook, in terms of discussion. People like to talk about their favorite sports team. Or share a photo of where they had a good meal. But getting people to take Flat Jesus on a journey, share a photograph and at some point explain the concept of it to someone is a process that involves opening doors. “It is beyond words,” Gannon said. “Jesus is always with us. That is what we believe, it’s what we teach. “With Flat Jesus, for some reason, the presence is more tangible. It’s exciting. I never would have thought it would get people engaged like this. Flat Jesus has exploded far beyond what I imagined.” The youth of St. James originally created about 50 figures as part of an activity to present Flat Jesus to older members of the congregation. “But when requests came in, I had to do some coloring myself,” she said. “The kids are gone for the summer, so it’s been me. But I enjoyed this. It’s been my prayer time.” According to Gannon, Flat Jesus has not been mailed to every state, but the number of states is piling up. Envelopes have gone to Scotland and England; mission trips have taken Flat Jesus to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Ireland. Other homemade versions of Flat Stanley have popped up, too, giving a nod to the original idea

The Record/Fall 2013

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Chris Gannon shows the map displaying many of the locations where Flat Jesus ‘visited’ over the summer. The project wound up making a much bigger splash than anyone, including Gannon, could have anticipated.

at St. James. “He’s a world traveler,” Gannon joked. “His passport has been stamped many times.” No two Flat Jesus figures look exactly alike, some customized for specific requests. And the resulting photos have shown Flat Jesus not just in church, but in places ranging from beaches to baseball games, from hospitals to supermarkets. In other words, in all the places you can find Jesus in day-to-day life. Gannon admits hearing the chatter from some who don’t embrace the Flat Jesus concept, calling it “disrespectful” and seeing it as an idea that is too simplified to have any substance. “I hear the arguments,” she said. “What is disrespectful about it. I’m not bowing down to Flat Jesus. That’s not what this is about, at all. But he’s there when I’m talking with my kids. “Look at it like this: How often are we able to have that immediate reminder, that Jesus is with us always? There are times he has been that reminder to folks, that Jesus is with us.” Gannon said she’s been told of instances where people have encountered frustrating moments during their day – driving down the road, shopping in a store which are defused, simply because the sight of Flat Stanley served as a reminder that Jesus is also present. “A woman from Ferndale, not from an Episcopal church, might I add, said ‘maybe this will be the thing to get people to believe.’ I don’t think it will be that big, but it is connecting people. “Why am I so surprised that people are so moved and so touched by Flat Jesus? I don’t know, but I’m absolutely thrilled.”

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Record/Fall 2013



A Night in Nicaragua

Fundraiser supports hotel, exchange center construction

A June gathering helped raise money and support for the Nicaragua Project. The fundraiser grew from a 2012 trip to Nicaragua.

By Mara Sullivan & Marshall Thomsen On June 23, youth in the Ann Arbor area hosted “A Night in Nicaragua,” a fundraiser to benefit the Nicaragua Project. The fundraiser grew from a trip to Nicaragua in 2012 organized by the Rev. Joe Summers from Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Ann Arbor. The Nicaragua Project is raising money to support the construction of a hotel and cultural exchange center in Catarina, Nicaragua. The effort was launched by Incarnation several years ago but has since grown into an independent organization involving volunteers throughout southeastern Michigan, plus others from


around the country. A companion organization, El Puente, has been formed in Catarina. The group will own and manage the facility once it has been constructed, ensuring profits are plowed back into that community. This project will provide much-needed jobs in Catarina. The Nicaragua Project has already developed a cultural exchange program, facilitating numerous visits of Michigan residents to Nicaragua, plus visits of Nicaraguans to Michigan. The project was instrumental in getting well-known Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal to stop in Michigan during his visit to this country in 2011. The June fundraiser began

with a simple, Nicaragua-themed dinner and was followed by performances and presentations by youth, many of whom were part of the 2012 delegation. The musical program included Sean Higgins playing Nicaragua Nicaraguita, a tribute to Nicaragua heard many times by the 2012 delegation on their trip. Clare Higgins followed by teaching the song to the gathering. “It has been a year since most of these teens went to Nicaragua and met and became friends with the teens there,” said Amy Higgins, one of the event’s organizers. “This event shows that their experience is still alive in them, and they have found a way to turn their desire for their Nicara-

The Record/Fall 2013

guan friends to have better educational and work opportunities into action.” In addition to hearing the traditional music, guests were treated to a Nicaraguan folk dance performed by Leslie Waldron and Paula Modifferi. Waldron was part of a delegation as a young child, back in 2004. She and Modifferi drew on their 10 years of experience in dance to teach themselves how to perform this piece. The audience at this fundraiser received more than just entertainment when powerful thoughts were also shared. Various speakers read poetry and reflected on their travels and lives in Nicaragua. Reflections came Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

from varied perspectives of the country, and of the small town of Catarina. Kate Summers, who has been there four times, explained how the visits influenced her life – particularly her high school experience, ultimately leading her back there this fall to teach English to community youth for several months. Summers will be the third in a series of young adults from the Ann Arbor end of the project to do this. “I think for all of us at the project it was so wonderful to share just a small piece of Nicaraguan culture with the Ann Arbor area,” she said. Mara Sullivan, who recently returned from three months of teaching in Catarina as part of a gap year between high school and college, spoke about the impact on her life – both in thoughts and in actions, especially through connections to other people, resulting in meaningful, lifelong friendships. “Every day I was surprised by my students in one way or another, which made each progressing day just as energizing as the last,” she said, referring to it as the best three months of her life. Danielle Gonzalez, a high school senior, said although she previously traveled in Central America, this was new for her, as she was not with family, and had a limited understanding of the Spanish language. The language barrier, however, did not interfere with her developing deep connections with the youth of Catarina. The poetry presented included a piece by Ernesto Cardenal: “Cuando Te Perdí (When I Lost You)” a lost-love poem with a twist, read by Kate Summers. Amy Higgins read a poem by Ruben Darío (one of the most influential poets

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


in the Spanish-speaking world): “A Roosevelt (To Roosevelt)” – a message to President Theodore Roosevelt. Sullivan presented Dario’s “Lo Fatal (Fatality)”, an honest look at the pain of life, first in its original Spanish and then translated into English. Themes of loss and death are prevalent in Latin American poetry, as these writers have had first-hand experience with such pains. Darío hits the nail on the head in “Lo Fatal” when he writes: “No hay dolor más grande que el dolor de ser vivo” (translated to “there is no greater pain than being”). Closing out the evening was a scene from “El Gueguense,” a folk play dating back to Colonial times when local residents would perform it in their own language, keeping their political and government protests secret from their conquistadores. This short comedic scene was well-executed by Sean Higgins, Nate Lucas, Collin Stroud and Ian Atwell. Said Sean Higgins: “Working with these guys on the skit reminded me of the skits and activities we did with the teens we met in Nicaragua; it was a fun way to get to know each other a little better.” On the strength of an intensive fund raising campaign anchored by two anonymous challenge grants, the Nicaragua Project is close to entering the construction phase in Catarina. Preliminary plans have been developed for an eight-room cluster of hotel style rooms, a large meeting room to facilitate language lessons and other forms of cultural exchange, and an outdoor amphitheater. Further information about the project is available at

Speakers, poetry and dance were among the ways guests to the fundraiser learned more about the importance of the work going on in Nicaragua.

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Festival of Homiletics teaches, inspires better sermons The Festival of Homiletics is an annual international weeklong conference sponsored by Luther Seminary of St. Paul, Minn. (By definition, homiletics is the art and theology of preaching sermons and homilies). This event brings together a wide variety of outstanding preachers and professors of homiletics to encourage conversations about preaching, worship and culture. Their goal is to view through theological lenses the practices of preaching and worship, as well as issues related to congregations in the 21st century. Individual preachers share various styles and methodologies of preaching in order to reenergize the participants. Throughout the five days, the aim is to inspire preachers in their roles of proclaiming the gospel through meaningful worship, inspiring sermons and engaging lectures. We joined 1,500 other eager participants at the 21st annual festival, held in Nashville, Tenn. from May 13-17. First Baptist Downtown Nashville warmly welcomed us and showed us what Christian fellowship is all about. We also experienced two other beautiful and unique venues: Downtown Presbyterian Church and Christ Church Cathedral, home of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. Over five beautiful spring days, we experienced the history, music and Southern hospitality of Nashville as we gathered to listen to inspiring sermons and lectures while sharing fellowship with our peers. We capped the week off with a rousing and energetic Theological/Variety Radio Show by The Tokens. The music had our toes tapping and Preacher Man had us doubled over with laughter!


The Festival of Homeletics, an annual conference, was held this spring in Nashville.

The next Festival of Homiletics will be in Minneapolis from May 19-24, 2014. “I’m really glad I went,” Deacon Winnie Cook said. “It was an eye-opening experience having an ecumenical gathering of preachers for the same purpose: to worship the same God, to hone our preaching skills, to spread the Good News to our congregants, and to gain insights on how others are doing their sermon preparation. “Finding what’s important in the story and learning how to relate it is critical because what we say matters and what we don’t say matters, as well. I hope to come up with my own style of telling the story and make it practical for us today.” Said Deacon Cindy Corner: “The worship services were varied and very meaningful. I valued the opportunity to put faces to names for Barbara Brown Taylor and Diana Butler Bass. The over-arching themes were the importance of good preaching and the need to make the stories

in the Bible our stories. Several speakers discussed how the needs of the people in our pews have changed in the last 20 years and how our preconceived ideas, our services, and our preaching need to change if we are to continue to feed them. “Hearing the Right Rev. Michael Curry (Bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina) preach and lecture was one of many highlights. I look forward to working with Winnie, Diana, and Judith to share the fruits of the conference with the people at St. Michael’s and others who may be interested. “ She also wished to thank the Rev. Michelle Meech (ministry developer for the Diocese of Michigan) “for bringing this opportunity to our attention and encouraging us to attend. Hopefully our excitement will inspire others in our diocese to attend the festival next year.” “Seeing and hearing our ‘heroes’ of preaching in person was certainly a highlight of the week for me, too,” Judith Schellham-

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mer said. “But I was also inspired by voices I hadn’t heard before.” One of those voices was from the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, an author and mission develoer for House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver. “Her openness and vulnerability spoke to me of my need to grow in these areas,” Schellhammer said. “She acknowledged that ‘preaching is hard’ as she strives to animate faith. Bolz-Weber describes her sermon preparation as a ‘wrestling match with the text’ in which she demands a blessing for her community before she’s done. “She reminded us that we need to preach from our scars, not our wounds. I found the time spent sitting at her feet to be truly motivating for me.” “The entire week was enlightening, inspiring and exhausting,” Diana Walworth said. “Experiencing worship services and lectures with 1,500 other preachers of so many different denominations was amazing. So often our focus is on our theological and liturgical differences. To listen to someone preach and see the entire multi-denominational congregation moved to tears or laughter was an awesome experience. We have so much in common. Events like the Festival of Homiletics reinforce that whatever our denomination, we share a common goal: to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.” Deacons Winnie Cook and Cindy Corner, Judith Schellhammer and Diana Walworth are members of St. Michael and All Angels, Cambridge Junction. They collectively submitted this as a reflection of the Homiletics experience. Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


Pam and Shirley get married What a joy and privilege it has been to walk this journey with Pam and Shirley, and to be here now, in this community, to celebrate this love. At every other wedding I’ve preached, I’ve gone on and on about the high calling of marriage…how each marriage is meant to heal the world - it is, you know – every covenant of love mends just a bit of the torn and tattered fabric of the cosmos. And I always preach that marriage is meant to show us how God loves each of us as though there were just one of us – God does, you know, taking each of us as beloved spouse and pledging to stay, no matter what, forever. And I always say how this new marriage is ours, now, to uphold and hold true to its promises – it is, you know – because a love like this hasn’t a chance without a community like this to help grow and protect it. And I always say how marriage asks all us to aim for this very same depth, loyalty, and truth in all our loving – it does, you know. Because it’s only when we’ve ceased to kill, hate, divorce, judge, or even just icily avoid each other, and instead to cherish each other…it’s only then that we’ll find ourselves in heaven. Yep, at a wedding, that’s what I always preach. Pretty lofty stuff, huh? But mostly in response I get blank stares from folks who are pretty uncomfortable to suddenly find themselves in church, with all the God-talk, and are hot and itchy in their new stiff and fancy duds, and just ready to get to the party. So it’s wonderful to be saying all this in a community of people who get it. Sort of. Because how could we, ever, fully understand the love of our God, so deep, so broad, so high, Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Same-sex couple Pam and Shirley recently celebrated their wedding ceremony in Massachusetts.

a torrential, unceasing, which nurse this adoring, witless love, wounded world, and of which this love is a each of us, towards gift. wholeness.  Their The marriage of Pagifts of leadership, mela Sherry and Shirwhich, for decades, ley Lappi is the gift of a have helped a fragile loving God to us all.  Church to stay faithThat part, we get, Rev. ful.  The gifts of their which is why we’ve Susan Bock brave, wide-open come, at considerable hearts that have led effort and cost, to acthem to first accept, cept this gift. To say, “Thank you, then embrace, then celebrate, God.  Through the gift of this and now sanctify their sexuality marriage, you have proven, again, – yet another of your gifts, God, your love for us all. So thank you. to them, to us, and to the world. “And thank you, God, for each “And thank you, God, for their of them – for Shirley’s joyful, courage to marry, a hugely brave chattery, energetic, highly-de- act for any two people, but espetailed self, and Pam’s calm, deep, cially these two, whose marriage patient, guileless self, that fit per- helps tilt the world just a bit tofectly together, hand-in-glove. ward the justice which all of its And thank you, God, for the gen- people are meant to enjoy. One erous hospitality of their love that of your best poets, God, Wenlets us all in – to their home, their dell Berry writes of marriage as laughter, their unshakeable faith its own country, and, indeed, and even their struggles. through this marriage, today, we “And thank you, God, for those step inside those borders, and it struggles, into which they’ve feels very much like the Counbravely plunged making their try of Heaven, where justice and love even stronger. And thank peace will be the air we breathe, you for their many spiritual so we’ll no longer even need gifts.  Their gifts of compassion, words for them. The Record/Fall 2013

“So thank you that today Pam and Shirley have let us peek into that place. Thank you, God, for the gift of this marriage, a gift whose richness and goodness we can barely find words for, though the preacher, of course, will always try.” In his poem, Berry says marriage is “like a dark forest in which there’s a graceful clearing, with a cottage, an orchard, a garden with flowers red and yellow in the sun, making a place of light for the light to return to. And, though the forest is mostly dark, the darkness is richer than the light, and more blessed, if we stay brave enough to keep on going in.” Pam and Shirley, today you have come to that graceful clearing, having followed the light of your love all the way home. The forest will, at times, seem mostly dark again, as love and life are bound to be.  But you are, we know, brave enough to keep on going in, and we ask of you today only more of what you have always done, so lovingly and well – to take us with you, that is – and together, with you and each other, by the power of this marriage and all our loves, we shall lead the world home to God’s heart until all are safely nestled there where each and every one belongs.  Thank you, God, for the gift of this marriage, and thank you, our dear sisters, for the wonderous gift of your love. The Rev. Susan Bock is rector at Grace Church, Mount Clemens. This is the sermon from a samesex wedding took place at Boston University’s Marsh Chapel.



A rundown of course offerings for the coming academic year By the Rev. Michelle Meech Whitaker Institute has offered Christian education programming in the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan for over 50 years – since 1957. The past half-century has seen much transformation in the Episcopal Church, most important among those is a renewed emphasis on the ministry of all the baptized – both lay and ordained – and the call we all have to lifelong Christian formation. Pursuant to that call, Whitaker Institute is offering a new series of five exciting workshops called the Whitaker Saturday Series. We kick off the series Oct. 12 in Farmington Hills with a special guest – the Reverend Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement (the publisher of Day by Day). The Whitaker Saturday Series seeks to offer engaging, informative topics about our Christian tradition to everyone in the Church. Join your brothers and sisters from across the diocese for a day of learning or buy a ticket for the whole series at a discounted price. Group rates are available, so bring your friends! The coming program year also offers shifts in our preaching and worship leader courses. Because both of these courses are vital to the development of capable lay leadership in our diocese, they require a deeper formation process. By extending the course over several months, students are given an opportunity to practice and reflect on what they are learning. We believe this new format will offer the kind of preparation necessary for roles that are extremely integral to our worship life as Episcopalians. Please note that our popular year-long Exploring Your Spiritual Journey (EYSJ) course is full for the coming year. If you would be interested in the possibility of joining a group beginning in January, please contact the Whitaker office. In addition to the changes above, please take note of our offerings in leadership development (including anti-racism training), our Lenten program, our new year-long course in Ministry Development, and our series of Safeguarding workshops. And be on the lookout for information on a renewed Deacon Formation Program – coming soon! To register for any of the programs listed here, visit the Whitaker Institute page at or call (313) 833-4423. The Enneagram The Enneagram has become a widely used device for discovering personality types. However, its true power lies in its ability to show us how God is calling us to grow in our spiritual lives. As a map that illustrates our strengths and weaknesses, our bright gifts and our deep shadows, the Enneagram is an invaluable tool for spiritual growth. But the Enneagram doesn’t put us in a box. Instead, it shows us the box we’ve already put ourselves in and how God is calling us into liberation. This day-long workshop is appropriate for people of any experience level with the Enneagram. Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 9:00-4:00. Please bring a bag lunch. Sponsored by St Michael’s in Cambridge Junction, this workshop is free. Location: St Paul’s in Jackson Michelle Meech is an Episcopal priest and has been teaching the Enneagram in workshop and discussion formats for 13 years. She was trained through the Enneagram Institute by Don Riso and Russ Hudson and is dedicated to the work of transformation through helping people bring more compassion to themselves and the people in their lives. Michelle currently works as the Ministry Developer for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan and as the Director of Whitaker Institute. Formation Programs These four programs are designed to be longer to enable deeper formation to take place over time. All of them are open to lay persons. The only course from this list open to clergy is The Practice of Ministry Development. Exploring Your Spiritual Journey Exploring Your Spiritual Journey (EYSJ) provides intentional time to slow down and listen to what God is calling you to do in the midst of every-day living. EYSJ is for both those wishing direction in lay ministry as well as anyone seeking ordination. You will walk with others as you explore your spiritual journey, identify your gifts, understand what God is calling you to do, identify the tools you will need for your ministry, and develop a plan to gain the skills you will need. Open to lay people, this course consists of 15 sessions and meets in various locations, starting with an overnight retreat. The course fee is $1,000. The fall EYSJ class has closed its registration. However, Whitaker is considering launching a second course in January if enough people are interested. Please contact the Whitaker office if you’re interested.


Preaching Licensure Course This seven-month course will give you the skill and connect you with the resources you need to be an inspiring lay preacher in your congregation. In addition to learning the art and practice of preaching, you will deepen your familiarity with scripture and become more aware the pastoral and spiritual implications of preaching from scripture. Upon completion of all sessions, you will be a licensed lay preacher in the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Register early because space is limited to 10 participants. Permission from your supervising clergy is required. Sessions begin on Oct. 1. All sessions must be attended to receive your license. Registration closes Sept. 25 or as soon as the course is full. Dates: 16 Sessions, Tuesday evenings from 6:30-9:00pm. Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov, 12, Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 18, March 11, March 25, April 1, April 8, April 29 Location: Church of the Incarnation in Ann Arbor Course fee: $500

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Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

WHITAKER INSTITUTE This year’s preaching faculty: Ian Reed Twiss is the pastor/priest-in-charge at Holy Faith Church, a federated Lutheran and Episcopal congregation in Saline. Before becoming a priest in 2007, Ian taught undergraduate creative writing at the University of Michigan, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing. He has a passion for words and for helping new preachers develop their unique voice in proclaiming the gospel. Deon Johnson is a native of Barbados in the West Indies and has served as Rector of St. Paul’s, Brighton since 2006. Deon currently serves on the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Michigan as the Chair of Vital Congregations and the RUACH Revitalization Project. He has a Masters of Divinity from General Theological Seminary as well as undergraduate degrees in English and History from Case Western Reserve University. His hobbies include rollerblading, biking, hiking, web design and growing monster tomatoes. Susie Shaefer serves as the vicar at St. John’s, Clinton and lives in Ann Arbor. When she isn’t preparing a sermon or tending to work, she often can be found playing imaginary zoo with her two young kids in the living room. Worship Leader Licensure Course Leading worship requires much more from us than an ability to read and understand the directions in the Book of Common Prayer. The Worship Leader class is designed to prepare you to craft and lead non-Eucharistic services of worship, especially Morning Prayer. Over the course of three, six-hour sessions, on a calendar set by the class at its first meeting, you will learn all the basics of careful planning for these services. More importantly, you will learn about the preparation, wisdom, and confidence needed to lovingly lead God’s people in prayer. You will be required to lead worship in the time between class sessions. Permission from your supervising clergy is required to attend. All three sessions are required. The first session is Saturday, Oct 19. The dates of other sessions will be determined by the group during the first meeting. Registration closes Oct. 15. Location: TBA Course fee: $150 This year’s worship leader faculty: Dick Hamlin currently serves as Dean of the Capitol Deanery, recently retiring from St Michael’s, Lansing. In addition to serving the diocese on many councils and committees, Dick has taught extensively for Whitaker Institute in areas such as church history, liturgy, stewardship, and scripture and is a mentor for Education for Ministry (EfM). Susan Bock is rector of Grace Church, Mt. Clemens and has a passion for crafting and leading great worship. It makes her heart sing to be amont the people of God when together at the joyful, playful, transforming re-creation that Spirit-drenched worship can be. She aims to lead worship of extreme hospitality to everyone in the room, especially strangers and guests, and the God whose grace gathers us. She says, “I think God loves those ‘liminal’ moments as much as we do.” Worship Leader Review Sessions If you are currently licensed as a Worship Leader in the Diocese of Michigan and your license is due to expire in the coming year, please contact the Whitaker Office about setting up a Review Session so you can renew your license. The Practice of Ministry Development

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

By virtue of our baptism, we are all ministers of the Church. Ministry Development is a term given to the multi-disciplinary practice of inspiring, empowering, and encouraging the baptismal ministry of everyone. Ministry Developers are found in all four orders of the church (laity, bishops, priests, and deacons) and are focused on the question, “Given that we are called to be in this place with these resources, how are we called to live into our common life as the Body of Christ?” Over the course of nine monthly sessions, you will learn about many different disciplines and develop an approach to utilizing them in your own congregation to cultivate the ministry of all the baptized. All orders of church leadership, lay or ordained, are encouraged to register. All sessions take place on Thursdays from 9 a.m.-noon at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit unless noted: Sept. 12 (1:30-4:30 p.m.), Oct. 3, Nov. 7, Dec. 19, Jan. 9, Feb. 6, March 13, May 8, June 12. Registration closes Sept. 5. This year’s faculty: The Rev. Michelle Meech, Ministry Developer and Director of Whitaker Institute, Diocese of Michigan; Canon Jim Gettel, Canon for Congregational Life, Diocese of Michigan. Other speakers from across the Church will join us via web conference. Course fee: $300 CEUs: 8 Trinity Institute @ Cranbrook: The Good News Now Join the folks at Christ Church Cranbrook as they host this year’s Theological Conference webcast given by Trinity Institute, New York entitled The Good News Now. Trinity Institute (a ministry of Trinity Church Wall Street) brings together some of the most brilliant theological minds for a three-day conference every year. The conference begins on Thursday evening and continues through the days on Friday and Saturday. In joining the conference via webcast at Christ Church Cranbrook, you will be able to participate fully – hearing and seeing amazing speakers and joining in the conversation over the internet. Dates: Nov. 21 from 6:45-9 p.m.; Nov. 22 from 8:45 a.m.-5:15 p.m.; Nov. 23 from 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m.: Join for one, two, or three days. CEU’s: Available for participating on Friday and Saturday. The webcast will be hosted by Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, which invites you to join them at no charge. Lunch is available on Friday and Saturday for a small fee, payable on the day of the event. Diocesan Lenten Program This year Whitaker is offering a two-session Lenten program designed to move you more deeply into intentional, balanced living. Faithful Living: Discerning a Rule of Life Why would anyone (except monastics) want to think about constructing such limitations? The truth is a Rule of Life can provide a wisdom guide for healthy and balanced living that also enlivens faith. When approached with freedom and playfulness, boundaries can give our lives new meaning. In this course, we will look at the trellis that already supports you and discover new ways of being attentive to our daily living. Traditional and creative resources will be used to help each person construct their own rule of life and a plan to live into it. The class will meet at St Katherine’s, Williamston with the Rev. Jannel Glennie March 8 and 22 (both day-long sessions are required to complete the course). Registration closes March 1. Course fee: $150 CEUs: 4 The Rev. Jannel Glennie is priest and teacher, mystic and artist. She has served within the roles of rector and chaplain and now devotes her time to writing and teaching at Sustaining Pastoral Excellence in DeWitt. She also offers spiritual direction at her place of work and prayer, Lumen House, near Lansing. She is author of Confessions of an Ordinary Mystic and now maintains a website that brings creativity and spirituality together:

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WHITAKER INSTITUTE Leadership Development Workshops All people in church leadership (whether clergy, vestry, teachers, or other ministry leaders) are called to attend to the common life of the Church. These one-day workshops are designed to give training and support for the work of being church together. CEUs are offered for those who need them. Stewardship For some reason, we don’t like to talk about money. And yet, money is a part of our common life as the Body of Christ. So, how can we approach stewardship in a way that inspires and renews our life together? This workshop is offered in February to give you plenty of time to develop an approach that looks less like a PBS fund drive and more like a deeper invitation to common life. Dates: Feb. 8 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. John’s, Howell. Registration closes Jan. 25. CEUs: 1 Course fee: $40 Dick Hamlin currently serves as Dean of the Capitol Deanery, recently retiring from St Michael’s, Lansing. In addition to serving the diocese on many councils and committees, Dick has taught extensively for Whitaker Institute in areas such as church history, liturgy, stewardship and scripture and is a mentor for Education for Ministry (EfM). Constitution and Canons Learning about the procedures and policies that govern our church is an integral part of becoming a leader – lay or ordained. This course gives an overview of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church with a particular focus on Title IV. Dates: March 1 from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Cathedral Church of St Paul, Detroit. Registration closes Feb. 25. CEUs: 1Course fee: $40 Scott Hunter has served congregations of all sizes, and he was previously Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Michigan. Economics and biology, business and banking are a part of the education and experience he brings to over twenty-five years of ordained ministry. He is in his seventh year as Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit. An avid baseball fan who enjoys golf and fly-fishing, Dean Hunter resides in Detroit with his wife and daughter. Steve Ott is a Senior Principal at the firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone. Since 2009, he has served as Chancellor for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, in which capacity he advises the Bishop and the Diocese on civil and canon law matters. He is also a member of the Episcopal Chancellors’ Network, a national organization of Episcopal Church Chancellors. Steve attends the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit. Eliminating Racism Whitaker has hired experts in the field of anti-racism to provide training to the diocese this year. Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training develops and offers training for a wide variety of groups – including various dioceses and synods across the Episcopal Church and the ELCA. We are excited to bring Crossroads to the Diocese of Michigan this coming year. Are you required to take Anti-Racism training? All clergy and lay leaders of the Episcopal Church are required to attend anti-racism training in fulfillment of Resolution B049 of the 73rd General Convention. This includes all candidates and postulants. Each training event is limited so register now to save your space. Dates: Nov. 23 in the Lansing area. Exact location and time to be announced. Registration closes Nov. 15; March 8 in the Detroit area. Exact location and time to be announced. Registration closes March 1. Workshop Fee (includes lunch): $80 CEUs: 2


If you cannot attend one of the above dates, contact the Whitaker office for information on other approved options. Whitaker’s Saturday Series Whitaker invites you to engage your call to lifelong Christian formation by joining us for one of these delightful Saturdays filled with learning and fellowship. Invite friends from your congregation and save money by registering together! Planning to attend the entire Saturday Series? Save 25% by purchasing a Series Ticket for $75. Oct. 12 at Trinity Farmington Hills Cut to the Heart: What the Modern Missionary Church Can Learn from the Book of Acts with The Rev. Scott Gunn The world in which our church dwells, in many ways, more closely resembles the year 150 than the 1950s. And yet our church continues to operate as if we were in the ascendancy of Christendom. What if we learned to think of ourselves as a missionary church? We will look at the Book of Acts to see what it can teach us about being disciples in our time, and we will see how the earliest followers of Jesus met many of the same challenges we face. The good news is that amidst struggles there is great hope. Scott Gunn is executive director of Forward Movement, based in Cincinnati. Known widely for the devotional, Forward Day by Day, Forward Movement exists to nurture disciples and empower people to share the Good News. He was educated at Luther College, Yale Divinity School, and Brown University. Scott is married to Sherilyn Pearce, who is also a priest, and they live in Cincinnati with their dog, George. You can read Scott’s blog at Dates: Registration closes Oct. 5. If space is still available after registration closes, you may pay at the workshop. Fee: $20 for one person, $35 for two people, $12 each for three or more people. Call the Whitaker Office to register groups of three or more. Plan to bring a brown bag lunch. Nov. 2 at Christ Church Dearborn Episcopal Pew Aerobics – Moving the Body and the Spirit with The Rev. Deon Johnson Sit. Stand. Kneel. Bow. Genuflect. Cross yourself. Worship in the Episcopal Church involves our body, mind, and spirit. During the service we move in ways that help us experience the Spirit present in our midst. Liturgical movement is about more than just getting our blood flowing (or trying to keep awake after the sermon). What we do with our body affects our connection to God and to each other. Explore the whats, whens, and wheres of spiritual calisthenics. Deon Johnson is a native of Barbados in the West Indies and has served as Rector of St. Paul’s, Brighton since 2006. Deon currently serves on the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Michigan as the Chair of Vital Congregations and the RUACH Revitalization Project. He has a Masters of Divinity from General Theological Seminary as well as undergraduate degrees in English and History from Case Western Reserve University. His hobbies include rollerblading, biking, hiking, web design and growing monster tomatoes. Dates: Registration closes Oct. 29. If space is still available after registration closes, you may pay at the workshop. Fee: $20 for one person, $35 for two people, $12 each for three or more people. Call the Whitaker Office to register groups of three or more. Plan to bring a brown bag lunch.

The Record/Fall 2013

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

WHITAKER INSTITUTE March 15 at St Andrew’s, Ann Arbor Lenten Meditation through Music with Donna Wessel Walker Lent offers opportunities for reflection, penitence, prayer, and worship; using music creatively can enrich and deepen our Lenten experience. Music written for this season, in chant and hymnody, is so moving that many church musicians and choir members are self-proclaimed “Lent geeks”! Come discover the riches of Lenten music by listening, singing, and sharing insights together in a warm, welcoming environment. No musical training or experience necessary, just a willingness to dig in and participate! Donna Wessel Walker has taught for the Whitaker School since 1987. She is particularly interested in intellectual history, worship and hymnody, and the environment. Educated at Miami University, Oxford University and the University of Michigan, Donna is an administrator at U of M in Ann Arbor. Donna is a member of St. Andrew’s, Ann Arbor, where she serves as lay preacher, sings n the choir and writes about hymns for the weekly bulletin. Dates: Registration closes March 3. If space is still available after registration closes, you may pay at the workshop. Fee: $20 for one person, $35 for two people, $12 each for three or more people. Call the Whitaker Office to register groups of three or more. Plan to bring a brown bag lunch. April 5 at All Saints, East Lansing The Unspeakable Faith: Christian Symbology with The Rev. Laurel Dahill “We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,” we read in the letter to the Hebrews, and they shout to us in silence. Have you ever noticed all the imagery we’re surrounded with in our sanctuaries? What do the images in our stained glass mean? What do all the little details in our statuary mean? There is an unspoken language in the art and architecture that surrounds us. The creators of these pieces have something to tell us about Christianity when we listen with our eyes. Join the conversation with the visual arts. The Rev. Laurel Dahill is the Rector at St. Mary’s In-The-Hills, Lake Orion. Prior to her ordination, Laurel worked as a designer and artisan for theatre, film and corporate events. Her work can be seen in independent films, the Children’s Museum in Cincinnati and in several Disney venues. Laurel is also an accomplished properties artisan and special effects technician. Her work with visual arts informs her appreciation of the visual elements of our faith heritage. Dates: Registration closes April 1 If space is still available after registration closes, you may pay at the workshop. Fee: $20 for one person, $35 for two people, $12 each for three or more people. Call the Whitaker Office to register groups of three or more. Plan to bring a brown bag lunch. May 10 at Trinity Farmington Hills What’s the Deal with Paul? with The Rev. Phil Dinwiddie This lively seminar will explore the life and perspective of Paul of Tarsus, the man who called himself an apostle “out of due season” (1 Corinthians 15:8), who “opposed Peter to his face” (Galatians 2:11), who was beaten with rods, stoned, and shipwrecked, who endured many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked (2 Corinthians 11:25, 26), and yet who persevered through it all for the sake of sharing his message about salvation in Christ Jesus. Though he was one of the most powerful pharisees of his day Paul counted all his worldly fame as “rubbish, in order that [he] might gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8). “It is no longer I who live,” he wrote in Galatians 2:20, “but Christ who lives in me.”

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Join us as we study and discuss Paul’s life as a Pharisee, his transformation in Christ, the deeper logic of his message, the mystery of why he never quotes Jesus’ teachings, his missionary journeys and letters, and the controversies that today surround some of Paul’s teachings on women and sexuality. Philip Dinwiddie enjoys looking below the surface of texts, traditions and typical explanations to find the living spirit of God at work. Early in his life he studied Mechanical Engineering and later received a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. His greatest delight is to use both sides of his brain at once in the studying and glorifying of God. Philip currently serves as rector of St. James, Grosse Ile and dean of the Downriver Deanery. Dates: Registration closes May 5. If space is still available after registration closes, you may pay at the workshop. Fee: $20 for one person, $35 for two people, $12 each for three or more people. Call the Whitaker Office to register groups of three or more. Plan to bring a brown bag lunch. Safeguarding Series Safeguarding God’s Children is a training program in sexual abuse awareness for clergy, Sunday school teachers, nursery workers, vestry members, and others who work with minors in our churches. This training covers prevention, detection and reporting guidelines, and was created in response to General Convention Resolution B008. Safeguarding God’s People is a diocesan requirement for anyone in a pastoral or one-on-one situation, such as Eucharistic Visitor or Pastoral Caregiver. This training includes guidelines for the prevention of misconduct in all pastoral relationships. It covers healthy boundaries; high risk situations; the abuse of power; accountability; ethical and theological concerns; and diocesan policies and procedures, to ensure safety in our congregations. Each date will contain both workshops listed above. There will be a short break for lunch. If attending both, please bring your lunch with you. Plan to arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to the start time listed below. Please pre-register to help the trainers in their preparation. SGChildren: 9 a.m.-noon. Workshop fee: $30 SGPeople: 1-4 p.m. Workshop fee: $30 Are you required to take either or both of the Safeguarding trainings? • Clergy: All Clergy and Total Ministry Support Teams are required to complete both of these workshops and attend a workshop every five years to renew their knowledge. This includes all candidates and postulants. • Lay leadership: SGChildren must be taken every five years by all those who regularly work with children and youth. SGPeople must be taken every five years by Eucharistic visitors and pastoral care providers. Dates: Sept. 28 at St. Luke’s, Shelby Township, pre-registration closes Sept. 25; Oct. 19 at St. John’s, Clinton, pre-registration closes Oct. 16; Nov. 23 at St. Michael’s, Lansing, pre-registration closes Nov. 20; Jan. 25 at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, pre-registration closes Jan. 22; Feb. 8 at St. John’s, Westland, pre-registration closes Feb. 5; March 22 at Church of the Holy Faith, Saline, pre-registration closes March 19; April 26 at St. James, Grosse Ile, preregistration closes April 23; May 17 at Trinity, Farmington Hills, pre-registration closes May 14 This year’s Safeguarding instructors are The Rev. Beth Scriven, The Rev. Fred Nestrock, The Very Rev. Mark Hastings, The Rev. Dcn. Tim Spannaus, Pamela Wagner and Brenda Philpot.

The Record/Fall 2013


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The Record/Fall 2013

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Record Fall 2013  

The Record is the official quarterly magazine for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.