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VOL. 1, ISSUE. 4 • WINTER 2010

Building Leadership

Belleville youngsters learn through experience ALSO: Stations of the Cross built in Lake Orion

Total Ministry: Opportunity for All

For more information, contact Whitaker Institute at (313)833-4412 or email 2

Th Thee Record/Spring 2011

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan



The Record 4800 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48201-1399 Phone: (313) 833-4425 The Record is a quarterly magazine for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

The Reverend Canon Lisa A. Gray Canon to the Ordinary Jo Ann Hardy Diocesan Administrator Sue McCune Executive Assistant Office of the Bishop Beth Rowley Assistant for Program and Administration

The topic is Total Ministry, as Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Jr. checks in with his thoughts in a sit-down conversation. Page 4

Diocesan news Healing Racism, an update on RSVP and a look back at the recent Ministry Retreat. Page 6

Stations of the Cross It wasn’t as if Alex Kelly, a 15-year-old from Lake Orion, wasn’t already busy as a high school freshman. Page 8

Many local congregations have taken advantage of the opportunities presented by the Total Ministry model. As a result, it’s helped these churches thrive in many ways. Page 10

Youth and Young Adults

Rick Schulte Diocesan Communications Editor, The Record Karen Robinson Executive Director Whitaker Institute

Creating with Lego blocks is not just a game for kids; it’s an opportunity for Belleveille youngsters to learn how to work together as a team. Page 14

Making a difference The donation of an old train set to a rummage sale in Grosse Ile poses an interesting dilemma and an impressive solution. Page 18

The Last Word Editor Rick Schulte notes the length of the RSVP development process is a positive sign. Page 19

Eric Travis Missioner for Youth and Young Adults Maria Franklin Director of Finance Kara Chapman Accountant

The Editorial Board: Bruce Donigan (chair), Rachid Hatim, Susan Larsen, the Rev. Jim Maxwell, Lisa Nielsen, Jenny Ogline, Vic Rauch, the Rev. Chris Yaw Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Interview: Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Jr.

Total Ministry: Ministry for all

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

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


On the cover Members of Trinity Church, Belleville compete in a Lego building competition. Page 14

The Record/Spring 2011



The great potential of Total Ministry fits with every type of congregation Several churches throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan are engaged in Total Ministry, which allows teams of active church members to become commissioned or ordained to serve their congregations in various roles. Total Ministry, however, is perceived in many different ways – for many different reasons. Some see it as something intended for small, rural churches, or for financiallystrapped churches. Not completely true, said Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Jr. “It’s about the ministry of the baptized, empowering people to live their baptismal covenant,” he said. Bishop Gibbs gave his thoughts on the subject during a recent sit-down interview with Rick Schulte, editor for The Record.


Total Ministry is viewed in many different ways. Why is that? It has different expressions, depending on where the church is and what the congregation is able or not able to do. Total Ministry is something that Christ Church Cranbrook (a strong suburban church located in Bloomfield Hills), for example, could be involved in. Should be involved in. Because it’s about the baptized and them doing their ministry, period.

In the past, it really was more of raising up local people to be ordained without sending them to seminary. It really challenged those who went to


“The priest who is ordained as a Total Ministry priest is the same as one who ordained coming out a seminary,” said Bishop Gibbs.

seminary, that they were being displaced. And if you could read a book at home and be ordained, why didn’t I do that? The thing is, you could always do that. It was called Reading for Orders. And there were people in the church that did that, most notably was Bishop Barbara Harris (the first woman ordained as a bishop in the Anglican Communion). That was one of the big brouhahas when she became a bishop; that she read for orders. And? So? She did what the canons said she could do, passed the exams, showed proficiency and was ordained… Unfortunately, across the Total Ministry world, we battled over what to call it. Then we battled over style, and you had

to do it the way it was prescribed in one or two dioceses, which were like the birth parents of Total Ministry. We realized you can’t do it that way because not every place is set up that way. So, for instance, while Northern Michigan and Nevada have long had Total Ministry experience, is Total Ministry (locally) like that? Kind of yes, and kind of no.


But it has taken hold in different types of churches? In 10 years, it’s evolved to a place where we can have Church of the Messiah (Detroit) and St. Barnabas Church (Chelsea) and all the other places that are doing Total Ministry. We can look at the possibility and probability

The Record/Spring 2011

that we can put some of this to work in other congregations, with the blessing of local clergy in the congregation to help them help their congregation to be empowered to do their ministry, without displacing anybody. Seminaries are not going to go away. Seminaries training clergy are not going to go away. But we’re going to have to live with a new reality within the church. If anything…Total Ministry, ministry of all the baptized, whatever you call it, is a way to do that, and it’s going to help us as the reality of being church changes.


Sometimes, people look at the clergy as being more learned and betEpiscopal Diocese of Michigan

ter than we are, when in reality they are people, too, and everything is attainable. Maybe some people look at Total Ministry differently, like they see it as a ‘dummying down’ process, which isn’t the case… It’s a different way of approaching it. That’s what was causing fear and trepidation in some of our seminary-trained clergy. That somehow, we were making the process of becoming a priest in the church a sort of a dummying down, that people were not appropriately formed for it. It’s not that we’ve dumbed it down; we’ve made it a little more accessible because of life situation, congregation situation, etc. People who wouldn’t be able to access it in the traditional way can now be able to access it in another way…The reality is, and the church, in its wisdom has already seen this, is the priest who is ordained as a Total Ministry priest is the same as one who is ordained coming out of a seminary. There is one canon of the church that governs it. A priest is a priest is a priest… I remember one time, when we sat down with the Total Ministry congregations on their annual day with the bishop and I had one of the Total Ministry priests, who had his collar on that day, stand next to me with Joyce Matthews (associate priest at Christ Church Cranbrook), who was also wearing a collar. And I said, ‘Now, you all know nothing about Total Ministry or the church or how people get to this station in life. Right now, you see two people in a collar. Tell me, which one is Total Ministry and which one is traditional and went to seminary. You can’t.’ The reality is, if


Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

“That’s a peace I see in the eyes of those who are discerned by their congregations for the various ministries. It’s not that people are imposing something on them; they’re just recognizing something that’s always been there and saying we see it and we want to support you.” - Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Jr.

you’re going to wear this collar, the world is going to see an ordained minister. They’re not going to care if you went to seminary, if you sat in your living room reading a thousand books, went through Whittaker classes for five or six years along with the peers in your group. They don’t care how you got there. They just care that the church has given you license to function as a priest. That’s all they care about. In that case, the church has to make sure you are prepared for it, regardless of which avenue you took to get there. I want both of these people to represent the church equally. And if we ordain and put a collar on someone, that’s what we’re saying. That’s where we need the whole church community to work with us in Total Ministry.


I know of a few people, in particular, who were asked to be involved with Total Ministry, and their response was, ‘why me?’ But it’s a little bit like planting the seed… It’s more like watering the seed that is there already. How many people have said to me, ‘Yeah, I thought about that when I was 12 or 13, but it will never happen.’ And I’ve had a career, as a judge, as a schoolteach-


er, a principal, a tow truck driver. I’m happy with that. But this congregation said they recognized, in me, the qualities of a deacon, or a priest, or educator, or musician, whatever.

Now, I’m doing something else I really love, but never thought I’d have the opportunity to do. I could be a tow truck driver and a priest, wow! That’s a peace I see in the eyes of those who are discerned by their congregations for the various ministries. It’s not that people are imposing something on them; they’re just recognizing something that’s always been there and saying we see it and we want to support you.


You can come out of this in different roles in the church. You might not have the time or desire for one thing or another, but there are so many roles in the church, if you think about it. It’s nice to have someone trained for it, isn’t it? Yes, and, it’s nice to ask people to be a part of it. When I was in parish ministry, the age-old problem in every vestry was, ‘Who are we going to get to do that?’


It wasn’t that there wasn’t someone in the congregation who could do that. It was, who do we ask. Have you asked Mrs. Smith to teach Sunday school? Have you asked Mr. Jones to be

The Record/Spring 2011

the treasurer? These are people with talent, time and energy who want to work with the church. And not everybody is simply going to walk up to you and volunteer his or her time. Some people just like to be asked, and they like to be discerned, recognized, and embraced as the person in that community who has that talent. Some of what goes on in preparing a congregation for Total Ministry is getting a community to look at itself and one another and say, ‘We see you as a communicator.’ And that may be how you see yourself. But isn’t it great if the community sees that, and says we want you to be even more trained to do that work, and to help us be better communicators? It’s not raising up one person to do it all, and then have everyone sit back. But in congregations that have Total Ministry teams, part of that task is to empower ministry in others. You’re not there to be their communicator..but you can be the one who puts out the newsletter. Now, look at all the reporters you have helping you out, because you’ve empowered their ministry. I think that’s a huge piece of it people miss.



Healing Racism: There’s much more to it than workshop’s name implies

Attending a Healing Racism workshop is not like admitting you have a problem with being a racist. Far from it. In fact, attendance at the workshop is actually an affirmation of acting in a sensitive manner towards others. The workshop, which is organized through the diocesan Whitaker Institute, is billed as a means for recognition, repentance, reconciliation and resistance. However, it also goes beyond the walls of racism, touching upon other elements of behavior that could be recognized and improved upon, too. And, it’s something that could benefit all people. “My ideal world is that everyone would participate in it. Not as a requirement, but as a reminder that we’re all human,” said Karen Robinson, executive director for the Whitaker Institute. “We all have the best intentions to not be sexist, ageist, homophobic or a bully, but sometimes we slip. We’re human beings.” Currently, canonical law states members of the clergy must take part in anti-racism training in established increments of time, usually within a five-year window. However, the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan also requires the clergy must be joined by anyone in the process of becoming ordained (including postulants and Total Ministry team members). All others involved in church activities, such as members of a church vestry or diocesan council, are encour-


aged to take part in it, too. Members of the diocesan Healing Racism committee, a group consisting of both lay and clergy, facilitate the courses “who embrace the anti-racism, anti-ism training, as part of their ministry,” Robinson said. “They are deeply committed to providing this ministry as expression of justice in the world.” The program actually covers more than the topic of racism. Although racism is something that creeps into our everyday life, the learning opportunity actually focuses on the generalizations and insensitivities that exist within that subject. It also shows that racial prejudice is not the only form of prejudice, as the topics of age and gender discrimination, issues with sexual orientation and bullying are all are woven into the course discussion. “Recognition, repentance, reconciliation and resistance – to understand any ‘ism’, you have to go through these four steps,” Robinson said. “Repent the action, reconcile that it has happened, work to see it disappear. Resistance – it has

happened; now, what can I do to make sure it won’t happen again.” Through this process, she explained, people can do more than just say they won’t make the same mistake twice. Rather, it gives people the tools to understand why they were insensitive or discriminatory, and how they can take steps to chance the way of thinking that established that behavior. The root of racism is prejudice plus power. Getting people to understand the power differential (which, in essence, covers the idea of bullying) and hate factor of prejudice is key. “Once you eliminate those two, you can go a long way to eliminate any of the other ‘isms’,” Robinson said. She estimated at least 250 people have gone through the Healing Racism course over the years, with a large number of clergy and other members of the diocese due to take part.

“My ideal world is that everyone would participate in it. Not as a requirement, but as a reminder that we’re all human,”

Course Subject: Healing Racism What It Is: A day-long workshop pointing out the examples of racism in our country and church, giving a positive vision of the unity that can be achieved through Christ. Who Should Attend: Although it is open to all, it is mandatory for all priests, deacons, candidates, Total Ministry teams and members of diocesan committees, task forces, commission and agencies. Vestry members should also attend. Locations/Dates: St. Katherine’s, Williamston, April 9; St. Michael’s, Cambridge Junction, May 14. Credits: The program is worth two credits of continuing education. Cost: $60. Registration & Info: Contact Karen Robinson at (313) 833-4412 or

Karen Robinson

The Record/Spring 2011

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Visitors to a December town hall meeting in Detroit provide some input during a small-group session at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s Barth Hall.

RSVP efforts continue with diocesan town hall meetings, brainstorming

As part of the ongoing desire to listen to needs of its members, the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan and its RSVP (Revitalization and Strategic Visioning Project) committee hosted a pair of December town hall-style meetings at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit and St. Paul, Jackson. Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Jr. also particiapted in the presentation, which included ground discussion covering myriad topics. In addition, a January brainstorming session was held at St. Paul, Brighton.

The Rev. Deon Johnson, guiding coalition co-chair, was pleased with the input. “We, as the Diocesan Household in Michigan, have extremely talented leadership throughout the Diocese and that we have much of the expertise and skill needed to transform not just our churches but the Episcopal Church as a whole,” he said. “Our challenge remains trusting ourselves and each other enough to share our experiences of Christ in ways that transform. A tremendous amount of thought went into the suggestions of ways to live into new ways of being the church, but the reality is that many of those suggestions are already being lived or can come to life immediately in the Diocese, provided we move past a sense of scarcity and mistrust.” Rev. Johnson also noted RSVP is not a “silver bullet” inteded to fix any and all perceived ills within the Diocese. “At this time I think we are realizing that RSVP is a lot about looking at who we are, taking stock of our gifts and mobilizing our gifts in a way that continues the transformation outside of our localities. RSVP is not a ‘cure-all’, but rather, a chance to hold up the mirror to ourselves and ask ‘how have I been hiding my light under a basket?’ “It means that we have to learn how to evangelize to ourselves before we can effectively evangelize to others. RSVP continues to reveal that we are blessed in many ways.”

Annual Clergy Retreat: A positive time of ‘energy’ Jenny Ritter, a nominee in the Deacon Formation Program, attended the 2011 Ministry Retreat, held at Adrian’s Weber Center in January. She relates her thoughts on the annual event. “It was a time of gathering, for persons in the process of ordination, the Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, Bishop Gibbs and staff. It was a time of worship, prayer, fellowship, love, insightfulness, and community. The Weber Center provides great space for coming together... “The Chapel was beautiful, as was worship. This is my favorite time at Ministry Retreat! The energy which comes from the intensity of our prayers, our hearts, our Bishop’s words of love and guidance, and in our sharing of one cup, stays with me still.”

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Janis Stevenson (left), Nikki Seger and Glenn Morrison enjoy some fellowship during the recent Clergy Retreat, hosted by the Weber Center in Adrian.

The Record/Spring 2011



The sign invites visitors to view the Stations of the Cross by Alex Kelly, who sponsored the project. (Photo by Peter F. Trumbore)

By Rick Schulte Staying occupied has never been a problem for Alex Kelly. A 15-year-old at Lake Orion High School, Kelly has his freshman year filled. In the fall, he ran on the cross country team and performed with the marching band. That sort of double-duty is already a busy load. But there’s one more activity has kept Kelly busy. The community at St. Mary’s-In-TheHills Church can vouch for that. Kelly embarked on an ambitious project, erecting Stations of the Cross on the property of St. Mary’s. Kelly needed an Eagle service project to earn a badge for the Boy Scouts. His local Troup 128 consists of mainly


A very Visible sign of faith in Lake Orion youngsters in grades 6-8 and he’s one of three high schoolers involved. The planning for the project began more than a year ago, but real sweat work commenced in the late summer. “It was hard, doing marching band and crossing country at the same time as doing this,” Kelly said. “But we managed to find a way to make it work out. “It was a lot of spread-out work done on Sundays. My

parents, volunteers and everybody wound up spending a lot of time making this come together.” The bulk of the work took place outside the back of the church. Sunday afternoons (and evenings) were filled plenty of hands pitching in to get the 15 crosses constructed and sunk into the ground. “We got scouts and adults from the church to work on it for quite a while,” Kelly said.

The Record/Spring 2011

In all, there were around 14 people involved with the stations project. While the project proved to be an obviously large undertaking, the decision to do something to benefit the congregation at St. Mary’s was an easy one for Kelly to make. “I really felt like doing something for my church,” he said. “I’ve been raised there my whole life. “I wanted to build someEpiscopal Diocese of Michigan

thing that would benefit the entire community.” And the reason Kelly likes St. Mary’s so much? “I think here, everyone treats everyone as a friend,” he said. “They ask, how are you doing this week? “They don’t ignore you and they’re all friendly. You have friends here. It’s a great church.” The sturdy crosses line the perimeter of the property. It’s a rather awe-inspiring sight, with crosses telling the story of Jesus Christ’s prayers and meditations on His way to crucifixion. The crosses ring the outside Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

of the property in such a manner than allows the large grassy area room for activities like picnics and football games. Just because this project is done doesn’t mean Kelly is done with service projects. “I will be helping with other peoples’ Eagle projects, and that will be fine,” Kelly said.

The result of Alex Kelly’s hard work can be found around the perimter of the property near St. Mary’s -in-the Hills, Lake Orion. (Photos by Rick Schulte)

The Record/Spring 2011



...And ministry for all A way for baptized members to serve (and bolster) their congregations

John Kelvin used a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro as an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for his church, St. Gabriel’s, Eastpointe.

By Rick Schulte

In many circles, priests and deacons are seen as people who are different, in a special way. They are the spiritual leaders of the congregation. They are seen by some as “better than us.” And while these leaders are exceptional, devoted people, they do share something with everyone in their congregations. They are baptized. It’s that common thread that ties together everyone in the Episcopal Church. And the commonality that comes from Baptism is the basis for Total Ministry, “the ministry of the baptized.” The concept of Total Ministry allows baptized church members the opportunity to contribute to their congregation


through a number of roles, leading right up to that as a priest or deacon, but including other important roles, too, ranging from administrators to program directors. There are more than 50 alumni of the Total Ministry process currently serving several congregations throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Over the years, the churches served by Total Ministry – city, suburban, rural, large, small – show how the model wasn’t developed to serve just one type of congregation, but can be applied to all congregations. As baptized Christians, we are called to ministry in the church, the world, our communities and families. So the

Mike Marinco comforts a woman through St. Patrick’s healing ministry.

concept of becoming a church leader – right up to becoming a priest – is attainable for those who are serious about making an impact on their church. Maybe it’s because there is a perception of how a church should operate – with a priest with a traditional background – or how church should be

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settled in its traditional ways that the idea of Total Ministry is seen as a red flag for some people. It is not a ministry of last resort. Far from it. Although Total Ministry is a viable option for congregations in need of new leadership, it’s not restricted to that scenario. Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

“It’s certainly not a quick and easy fix or what a congregation thinks is their salvation,” said the Rev. Sandy Benes, retired rector for St. Michael and All Angels, Cambridge Junction and a ministry developer for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. “It’s work, as any good thing has to be. It certainly requires a commitment from the whole congregation.” What Total Ministry does is present opportunities for churches in need of adding personnel, from clergy to other roles within the church. Such was the case of the Rev. Deacon Susan Vandercook. More than seven years ago, her church – Christ Church, Pleasant Lake – had declining numbers and faced issues that were similar to other nearby rural churches. None of the churches could afford a full-time priest. But the more Vandercook learned about Total Ministry, the more she believed it could help. “I became the chief cheerleader for Total Ministry in our congregation and we made the decision as a parish about seven years ago to become involved,” she said. “There was no question in my mind that I would be a member of the Covenant group, although I hadn’t discerned that I would eventually fulfill the role of a priest. Ross (her husband) says he joined the Covenant group because I did and he knew he’d be curious as to what was happening and so he joined in. “In the process, the Spirit of God changed us both.  In the process of studying, I found my relationship with God growing and developing. A class that made a big and lasting impression on both Ross and me was the study of Marcus Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Rev. Deacon Judy Marinco and the Rev. Linda Ferguson are members of St. Patrick’s worship team.

The Rev. Paul LeClair has many roles in his church, including music ministry.

Borg’s book, Heart of Christianity. Since then, we have read many more books by Marcus Borg and others that have

helped shape our relationship with God.” The Rev. Deacon Ross Vandercook agreed his experi-

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ence with Total Ministry has also been a positive one. The Vandercooks alternate each week at Christ Church as transitional deacons. “Total Ministry has made a great difference in my life as a Christian,” he said. “While I was very involved with our congregation as a vestry member, treasurer and regular service attender, I was a very passive Christian. ‘Total Ministry has helped me become a very active Christian in using the gifts God has given me. I am much more intentional about my faith when not at church.” He admits the process has not been easy, but the effort has been more than worth it. Years of training take candidates through a wide range of issues and topics. They were also encouraged to explore everything on their own to get a


greater overall understanding. “The list of books I have read in the past seven years could fill several pages,” he said. “We also studied the old and new testaments as well as the Book of Common Prayer. Church history and liturgy were also covered.” But Total Ministry is not designed solely for personal spiritual fulfillment (although it is a healthy result of it). Ultimately, it can create strong congregations. “Another positive aspect has been our relationships with our respective spiritual directors,” Susan Vandercook said. “We have both been meeting monthly with a spiritual director since June of 2009. My director has given me many resources to help me become more mindful about my relationship with God.” She admitted her congregation was “a little pessimistic about how Total Ministry would ultimately work” as the process of going through the training was a bit longer than the three-year timetable they originally thought it would take. However, there was a point where the tide turned. “An amazing thing happened at our Transitional Ordination as Deacons,” Susan Vandercook said. “The ceremony was so filled with the Spirit and the congregation was truly moved and uplifted. “We see a transformation in our congregation and our average Sunday attendance has gone up since the ordination. We think the congregation is excited and hopeful about our future under Total Ministry, now that they see us ordained.” “Total Ministry is for any


The Rev. Susan Vandercook (left) and her husband, the Rev. Ross Vandercook, flank Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Jr. during their ordination at Christ Church, Pleasant Lake.

Christian who wants to move closer to God and discover how our gifts can be used enhance that process in ourselves and others,” Ross Vandercook said. Total Ministry has also done more than ever imagined with St. Patrick Church, Madison Heights. “A lot of parishes, maybe their motive is survival. Should we close, or should we do something to make things better?” noted the Rev. Paul LeClair, who serves as a priest. “When you get involved, something great comes out of this. The process began around 2004 in Madison Heights, when a group of people active in that church made a commitment to study and learn through the Total Min-

istry model. Most everyone in that original group pressed on through the entire process. The others remained active in the church. “We saw it as a great opportunity to get a great education, if nothing else,” Rev. LeClair said. Three decided to pursue the priesthood. One wished to serve as a deacon. Others looked toward a wide range of important work with the church – education coordinator, mission and outreach, pastoral care, evangelism and hospitality. At St. Patrick, there are three people ordained as priests – Rev. LeClair, plus the Rev. Linda Ferguson and the Rev. Mike Marinco. When one serves as

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celebrant for Sunday worship, the other two take on different roles, such as healing ministry, visitation ministry or music. As it works out, St. Patrick has a healthy number of people from within its congregation who are able to take on important roles in the church. This has allowed the church to continue to serve its congregation. “We were losing our previous priest, and we didn’t know which way we were going to go from here,” Rev. Marinco said. “Should we get a quarter-time priest? Should we close? There were so many decisions we could make.” So a survey was put to the congregation: What was going to be the best route for St. Patrick to take? The options of Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

TERM: Total Ministry EXPLANATION: Total Ministry is a model where those who are baptized in Christ are able to take on various ministries within a church. It uses a ‘non-traditional’ method of education (outside of a strictly seminary setting) to train people for various church duties. Every member of the team receives an education that fulfills all of the canonical requirements for ordained ministry. Generally, Total Ministry teams are enabled to meet the needs of their congregations efficiently and effectively. ROLES: After completing extensive training, the most common commissioned ministries are that of parish administrator, minister of music, outreach, pastoral care, preacher, Christian formation, and liturgical/worship minister. The ordained ministries are that of priest and vocational deacon. TIME PERIOD: The process takes between five and seven years to complete. In the opening year, congregations assess the expectations and commitment involved with Total Ministry, in addition to having the formation of a covenant team. In following years, various steps are taken through classes, training and formation through Whitaker Institute. Along with ongoing continuing education, participants reach ordination and commissioning after at least five years. WHO IS INVOLVED: At least 50 participants have gone through the process as part of several congregational teams in the diocese. UPDATES: Prior to the 2006 TEC Canons, which provided for “ordination of local priests and deacons,” the major points included no specific time period to finish studies and modifications of training and education requirements. In 2006, the TEC Canons changed to provide “univocal guidelines for all priests and deacons.” This included uniform requirements for training and education – one set of guidelines, regardless of the context of ministry and uniform/specific rights and responsibilities for all ordained persons. ETC: To learn more about Total Ministry, contact Roger Walker at

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

a part-time priest and closing the doors were not as popular as the response asking if Total Ministry involvement – support for the church coming from within the church. “The congregation has been really supportive from the very beginning, and that has been a big help,” Rev. Marinco said. Rev. Ferguson admitted that while the support for the church came from within the framework of Total Ministry, it was still “a big part of what we had already been doing,” only with a specific description attached to it. The involvement from within has created an interesting ministry dynamic (and is not restricted to the new clergy, but to all the members of the

Total Ministry team). “Whether you are a priest, a deacon or anyone involved in the Total Ministry, you understand everyone,” Rev. Ferguson said. “You have similar backgrounds, you know each other, you know what people are going through and they know you understand where they’re coming from.” Rev. LeClair has also found there’s much more to Total Ministry than improving the future of a congregation. He has grown, personally, as a result of the training. “Once you get involved in the church, or the whole process, there’s something of a higher value than you ever intended.”

A second generation begins in Chelsea Indeed, it’s important for any church to have a plan for how to not only exist, but to continue going forward. That’s something that the congregation at St. Barnabas, Chelsea, has been experiencing – creating a new ‘generation’ of leaders. The first generation of Total Ministry at St. Barnabas included Myra Colvin, who settled in Chelsea in 1971 after her husband retired from the Navy. She became active in her church, leaning toward her love of music. But when St. Barnabas was in need of a new priest, Colvin stepped in and was ordained in 2006. In her two years as priest at St. Barnabas, she also officiated the weddings of three of her grandchildren. She served the congregation well until her retirement in 2008. She passed away on Dec. 14, 2010 at the age of 89. It’s interesting to note that less than a month earlier, the second-generation ministry team was ordained and commissioned. David Glaser and E. William Stech were ordained as priests, having completed a five-year Total Ministry training through the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

The Record/Spring 2011



The problem solvers

Belleville youngsters battle in Lego competition Who knew that working with Lego blocks could be an example of youth ministry? The folks at Trinity, Belleville did. For the past five years, Trinity sponsored a team in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League. The FIRST Lego League (FLL) is a program introducing 9- to 14-year-old students to realworld engineering challenges. Teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and learn to make positive contributions to society. Through the process, they follow the core values of the FLL, which are: • We are a team. • We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors. • We share our experiences with others. • We display gracious professionalism in everything we do. • We have fun. Each year, the teams are given a challenge that they must research, and then solve a problem related to that year’s theme. They must design and build a Lego robot to accomplish various missions on a theme-based playing field. They also work together to create a presentation for the judges, explaining the “problem” they chose and how they worked towards solving it. The Trinity team’s project was Mini-Med-Kits, sold in vending machines to provide readily available, low-cost, first


Youngsters from Trinity, Belleville were excited to compete.

aid supplies (for minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, small burns and bug bites). More than 100 Mini-Med-Kits and were created and handed out at Detroit soup kitchens and a tent city in Ann Arbor. The Trinity FLL team is a wonderful example of “thinking outside the box” youth

ministry. This is a group of young people (being shepherded by caring adults and older teens) that learns the lessons of working together, grace and problem solving. They are not ashamed of being sponsored by a church while competing in a mostly secular arena. They are having fun while doing it.

The Record/Spring 2011

This year, they won a firstplace regional trophy for robot programming, earning an invitation to the state tournament.

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

Camp Compassion

Changing the world. One week at a time. EpiscopalDiocese Diocese ofofMichigan’s TheThe Episcopal Michigan’s

Annual Youth&&Young Young Adult Trip Trip Annual Youth AdultMission Mission

Grace House on the Mountain

WHEn: July 3-10, 2011 THE TAsk: spending a week in the Appalachians doing home rehabilitation and other construction work ST. PAUL, For: students who will be in 9th VIRGINIA grade in Fall, 2011 and older. Adults are also needed. CosT: $400. (scholarships and fundraising assistance available; contact YAYA office). rEGisTrATion: Due by June 1, 2011 (no exceptions) sponsorED BY: The Youth and Young Adult Ministry office.

registration Forms: Go to the Youth Ministries page on or contact Eric Travis at or 313-833-4418 Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Record/Spring 2011


What’s happening? This event, for sure Happening retreat set for Grosse Pointe Woods

Happening is a retreat weekend “for youth, by youth” allowing young people in grades 9-12 to explore their relationships with Jesus, each other and the world. The event takes place April 29 through May 1 at St. Michael, Grosse Pointe Woods. The Dioceses of Michigan and Eastern Michigan are co-sponsoring the event. Concentrating closely on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, Happening gives those who attend the desire to understand and serve the church. What’s more, it provides a means to continue the Christian formation process. And, it is lots of fun. Here are two ways we use to describe Happening: “Happening is more than a Youth Event. It’s an experience. You’ll find yourself telling your friends, family and complete strangers of the things that happened at Happening! Happening is a retreat program for high school youth used throughout the Episcopal Church. We do everything from praying to playing, and from singing to sleeping. There are talks, small groups, free time and fun. We come together to praise God in an amazing environment, and hope you will join us this year, too!” “Happening is an Episcopal retreat for high school teens that goes on in over 70 dioceses in the Episcopal Church, and in various other provinces of the Anglican Communion. At Happening, teens experience the love of Christ as shown through the sacraments and ministry and friendship of teenagers, clergy, and lay adults. For many teens at Happening, the Christian faith becomes powerfully real. The Happening program is designed to train and lift up youth as leaders for Christ in the Church. Happening is part of diocesan youth ministry to and with youth, overseen by

bishops of the diocese in which it occurs.” Scholarships are available. Ideally, the participant’s church, the participant and the diocese would all pay one-third of the $45 tuition. If this is not possible, please contact the Young Adults and Youth Ministry office at (313) 833-4418. The goal is to have no one miss any event due for financial reasons. Adult sponsors who have completed Safeguarding training are encouraged to attend. - Eric Travis

The Happening retreat is an opportunity for high school-aged students to explore their faith in various ways, including music (above) and fellowship.


The Record/Spring 2011

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

New Beginnings comes to Plymouth

New Beginnings, a weekend retreat geared toward young people in grades 6-8, takes place March 11-13 at St. John Church, Plymouth. The retreat is based on relationships with friends, family, and God for middle schoolers, run by high schoolers and adult leaders. The event is designed especially to respond to the unique issues and needs of the young attendees. The program was created by adults and young people to help participants grow in their love of themselves, others and our Lord Jesus Christ. It begins on a Friday evening and continues until Sunday afternoon. During the weekend, participants meet peers from across the diocese, enjoy skits, listen to talks and participate in small group activities and discussions. These activities focus on self, friends, parents, siblings, school, God’s love, prayer and the church. Free time is built in for youth and

Young people in grades 6-8 are invited to participate in the New Beginnings event at St. John Church, Plymouth.

sponsors to have an opportunity for fellowship with their newfound friends. Participants of New Beginnings may attend as many weekends as they choose throughout their middle school years.

Participants do not have to be Episcopalian, but must be recommended through an Episcopal Church and have the backing of an adult sponsor from that church (who must attend the entire weekend). It is

mandatory that sponsors have current Safeguarding God’s Children training. Scholarships are available, as organizers hope no one misses the event for financial reasons.

Nightwatch: Detroit overnight youth retreat set for April 9-10 Nightwatch: Detroit events are unabashedly Episcopal in their theology and practice yet presented in ways that welcome, embrace and challenge people of all backgrounds. The event is organized by the Nightwatch Design Team and the Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry staff and takes place April 9-10 at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit. Nightwatch: Detroit is about adventure, community, worship and mystery – and much Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

more. It’s a chance for you and 30 of your closest friends (most of whom you have not met yet) to grow closer to God. Nightwatch: Detroit is a chance to experience the mystery. It was conceived to show participants just a tiny bit of the grand and awesome nature of the God who loves us constantly, completely and unconditionally. Each event begins when the Nightwatch: Detroit bus picks up participants from through-

out the diocese. Once the bus is filled, all are taken to the Cathedral where a safe, Christcentered atmosphere of joy, contemplation and fun awaits them. Nightwatch: Detroit is a place where God happens. This is a weekend, overnight program. Young people gather around themes designed to fit in with the Journey to Adulthood curriculum and many other Christian formation programs. Nightwatch: Detroit is open

The Record/Spring 2011

to youngsters (in grades 6-12) and their friends in the diocese. Participants are provided meals, snacks, beverages and a sack lunch for the bus ride home. Vegetarians will find plenty to eat (but if you have other special dietary needs we ask that you bring your own food). The cost for this event is $25. Contact Eric Travis (313-8334418) for scholarship information.



A bit of know-how helps Grosse Ile church By Kristina Calvird

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Last spring, a Lionel train set was donated to the spring rummage sale at St. James Church, Grosse Ile, and was later sold for $525. Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it sounds. A little work was needed. The head conductor on this repair was 73-yearold church member Dennis Bracey. The train set, along with extra track and freight cars, were individually bubble-wrapped. The pieces looked to be in good condition, but had been played with according to Bracey. When the box was donated originally, members didn’t know how to price the set, so they gave it to Bracey because of his knowledge and love of trains. After weeks of research, hours of repair, and six months of tinkering around, it was determined the set was originally issued in 1959 and was sold online to a collector for $325. At first, the whistle (which is housed in the tender) did not work. The aquarium car, which simulates fish swimming around in it, also would not work. Bracey found that the power wires had rotted and replaced them. He also took the tender apart and cleaned the motor. Both items then worked like new. “The engine also would not run, and after taking it apart and cleaning the motor, it still would not run, but did buzz a lot louder,” said Bracey. All conditions were made known to the purchaser. A Lionel ZW 275-watt transformer was also part of the original donation. Bracey purchased this item for his own collection for $200. He has not only been a member of the church for many years, but he has also been a collector since the 1970s. His current remodel project has been ongoing over the last five years. He describes the hobby as a “labor of love that’s never complete.” Bracey’s purchase of the transformer, along with the online sale of the train set, netted $525 for the church. The total profit for the entire rummage sale was more than $11,000, with proceeds aiding various program at the church.

When St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile received a train set at its rummage sale, it was restored by Dennis Bracey, with proceeds used to benefit the church.

The Bishop’s Diocesan Family Picnic

Saturday, July 9 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Emrich Retreat Center 7380 Teahan Road Brighton, MI

Food. Fun. Games. Fellowship. Suggested Donation: $5, $20 maximum per family

RSVP: 313.833.4435 18

The Record/Spring 2011

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan


RSVP is a part of the big picture It hasn’t taken me a long time on the job to realize there’s a common misconception that people have about the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Contrary to popular belief, there is no ‘magic solution’ that can fix every ill. That’s nothing unique to any large institution, be it a government body or religious institution. So it is with our church. We are a reflection of the world we live in. Sure, everyone wants everything to be right. But upon further review, I have been unable to find any magic wand to wave at the issues facing us all. And so it is with the process in our diocese known as RSVP (Revitalization and Strategic Visioning Project). In essence, RSVP is a project meant to clarify the core values of the diocese. Now, this is a very important point to realize: A lot of folks in the pews may have heard of the term RSVP, but do they really understand it? I honestly don’t know if they do. For those who are active in their church and in the diocese, sure, RSVP holds a lot of meaning behind it. But for many who come to church each Sunday, the concept of it may be a little bit fuzzy. And that’s totally understandable, with two issues to note. First, people who are involved with running anything of substance in any size organization have to understand what is common knowledge to one group of people comes off as shop talk to another. Second, those who feel like they aren’t “in the loop” have Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

concerns. Just benot limited to our cause they don’t undiocese, but rather derstand all the acto any organization) ronyms and terms that has always bothbeing tossed about, ered me. it doesn’t mean they It’s the idea that don’t care. makes me think, Everyone ultimate“Oh, you mean you Rick ly wants the same didn’t intend to do Schulte thing: A strong (maythings to the best of be even, a stronger) your ability and to “Everyone Episcopal Diocese of use your resources ultimately Michigan. wisely and to be open A lot of good peoto things that will wants the ple have put countless benefit the common same thing: hours of work into good?” That’s why A strong structuring RSVP. statements like that (maybe Vision workshops. have always made me even, a Online surveys. cringe a little bit, sort stronger) Town hall meetings. of like an affirmation Episcopal Brainstorming sesof “we never thought sions. Rewrites. And to do a better job beDiocese of of course, prayer. All fore now…” Michigan” these things have Which, of course, is gone into crafting a bunch of hogwash! RSVP’s vision stateThe fact is, resources ment of who we are have always been and what we stand used accordingly. for. Tough decisions have Now, I have to say there is had to be made. Statements of something about visions, mis- where we stand have always sion statements and other been in place. similar proclamations (again, Something like RSVP –

which is indeed very valuable because it practically begged for input from every corner of the diocese – simply is a means of maintaining transparency, encouraging two-way communications and letting everyone know they have a vested interest in the diocese, one which respects the rights of all. The process began in late 2009. In early 2011, RSVP is still breathing, evolving, getting tweaked into a document which “will be used as the stewardship plan for the diocese over the next five years as a guide and transparent tool for accountability and shared ministry throughout the household,” according to the guiding coalition. And what does it all mean? It means all good things take time to develop. Rick Schulte is editor for The Record. He can be reached at or by writing to The Record, 4800 Woodward Ave., Detroit MI 48201-1399.

Much discussion has gone into how to have the RSVP document best represent the direction of this diocese.

The Record/Spring 2011


The Record Episcopal Diocese of Michigan 4800 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48201-1399




Youth Calendar March 11-13 New Beginnings

Learn More!

April 9 - 10 Nightwatch, Detroit April 29-May 1 Happening, St. Michael, Grosse Pointe Woods

Diocesan Calendar April 9 Diocesan Council Meeting, St. John’s, Plymouth April 13-15 Spring Clergy Conference, Washington, MI. May 7 Ministry Fair, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit   May 14 Diocesan Council Meeting, St. John’s, Plymouth


y r t s i n 1 1 Mi 0 2 r Saturday, May 7 i a F

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul

ur Bring a team from yo 30 church...catch nearly ! special presentations

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

4800 Woodward, Detroit

New ideas, skills and knowledge for people of faith:

* Effective parenting skills * Enhancing youth and young adult ministry * Discerning a call to ministry * Spirituality through movement * Church-growing strategies * Improving building accessability * Budget fair (new event) * And so much more! Registration: $15 (or $23 with lunch included) More Information: 313.833.4421 or The Record/Spring 2011

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Record - Spring 2011  

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

The Record - Spring 2011  

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