VOL. 3, ISSUE 3 • FALL 2012
Preserving & Building St. Paul’s, Brighton community - creativity - design - worship
The Rev. Deon Johnson, rector at St. Paul’s, understands the importance of remaining in downtown Brighton.
Summary: General Convention page 6 Celebrate: Renewal of Ministry page 8 Fireproof: 175 Years in Pontiac page 12
The Rev. Kenneth Erickson page 8
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Interview: Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. The Record 4800 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48201-1399 email@example.com www.theRecordOnline.org Phone: (313) 833-4425
Canon Jo Ann Hardy Diocesan Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org Sue McCune Executive Assistant Office of the Bishop email@example.com Beth Rowley Assistant for Program and Administration firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebration and Renewal
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
St. James, Birmingham and St. Stephen’s, Troy both welcome new rectors. Page 8
The Rev. Michelle Meech Ministry Developer email@example.com Karen Robinson Executive Director Whitaker Institute firstname.lastname@example.org Eric Travis Missioner for Youth and Young Adults email@example.com Mark Miliotto Director of Finance firstname.lastname@example.org Kara Chapman Accountant email@example.com
Rick Schulte Diocesan Communications Editor, The Record firstname.lastname@example.org
A balanced budget, a look to the future and around 140 resolutions: Welcome to the 77th General Convention, which gave people plenty about which to talk during a week in Indianapolis. Page 6
We take closer look at several resolutions to be voted upon during the upcoming Convention in Lansing. Page 7
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan Episcopal Church Center 4800 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201-1399 (313) 832-4400 • Toll Free (866) 545-6424
The Reverend Canon Lisa A. Gray Canon to the Ordinary email@example.com
The Record is a quarterly magazine for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Vol. 3, Issue 3 Fall 2012
The Rt. Reverend Wendell N. Gibbs Jr. Bishop of the Diocese firstname.lastname@example.org
The discussion over what is required for receiving Communion should include Baptism. A little bit of education might not hurt, either. Page 4
If you stumble across something good to use in your church – music, images, videos – be sure you have the right to use copyrighted material. Page 9
Cover Story: St. Paul’s, Brighton
Growth in the community and in the congregation leads a longtime parish to a decision: Staying put, but with some much-needed improvements. Page 10
Against all odds – fires, social change and other issues – All Saints, Pontiac survives and thrives after 175 years. Page 12
A journey to a remote island in Lake Michigan gives six women an opportunity to discover more about faith and themselves. Page 14
Sending Out an SOS
Many local churches allow the South Oakland Shelter program to serve countless numbers of people in need. Page 16
A Painful Reminder
The Penn State football tragedy shows why programs such as Safeguarding training are so important. Page 17
Dawn McDuffie notes how happenstance may alter day-to-day life in “How It All Began.” Page 18
The Final Word
Rick Schulte is all for prayer, but is troubled with how often prayer is only invoked in times of need. Page 19
The Record/Fall 2012
THE INTERVIEW: BISHOP WENDELL GIBBS JR.
No ID required, but some guidelines needed over receiving Communion Much was made about the idea of open Communion at the 77th General Convention for the Episcopal Church. In a discussion with Rick Schulte, editor of The Record, Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. elaborates on this and other related issues.
Clearly, that happens to me every Sunday when I go to different congregations. There are thousands of Episcopalians and I don’t know every one of them. I’m giving Communion to whoever puts their hand out. I think we have a responsibility to put this out there, in our bulletins or announcements or however we make it clear; we shouldn’t say if you are not Baptized or you are not an Episcopalian and you are not a believer, don’t come to Communion. We’ve got a group that already does that, and I don’t believe in that. What I do think we should say is ‘all Baptized Christians, regardless of denomination, who believes Jesus Christ is the lord and savior...may receive Communion in our church. Now, there are some churches who have added, ‘this is not my table, this is the table of the lord, and if you feel called to come…” I think it’s going a little far, a little too close to ‘y’all come.’
: At General Convention this July, there were many topics covered. And there was much discussion about open Communion – namely, who is allowed to receive Communion and what restrictions there are, if any. : We went into this General Convention with the same concerns about open Communion vs. open table. The problem is, most people thought they’re both one in the same. And they’re not. What seemed to transpire before convention was a movement of simply throwing open the doors, standing at the altar rail and saying, ‘Y’all come.’ There’s a part of me that was thinking the House of Bishops was going to be standing at the center aisle, the middle of the church, and saying, ‘No, we’re not going there.’ I don’t think that’s what happened. The whole convention said, ‘No, Baptism is still normative before communion.’ Post-convention, everyone is reading into what ‘normative’ means. On one hand, people are saying normative means you should go to Baptism first, but if it’s not available, well, who cares? And there are people saying, ‘No, Baptism comes before Communion.’
: So where do you stand? : I still fall on the side of…that there should be Baptism before Com-
“I still fall on the side of…that there should be Baptism before Communion. My concern about all this desire to not push Baptism is to me, kind of turning our backs on the opportunity to teach. I’ve been saying since I’ve been in the Diocese that we don’t teach enough.” - Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. munion. My concern about all this desire to not push Baptism is to me, kind of turning our backs on the opportunity to teach. I’ve been saying since I’ve been in the Diocese that we don’t teach enough. I don’t think we do enough Baptism. And the reason is we don’t teach. The only way to do an adult Baptism is to sit people down and teach them about
the church, teach them about Jesus. If you don’t, why would they go to Baptism? They’ll be sitting in the pews thinking they’ll be held back from Communion. I’m also not saying we should be issuing membership cards, and if you want Communion, you have to show your card before you are handed the bread or wine. No, that’s nonsense.
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: Doesn’t that water down who we are? : Yes, and what does that say to those of us who did go through Baptism and the full instruction necessary to become full members of the body of Christ? It wasn’t that long ago that our normative stance was that you have to be Confirmed to receive Communion. I personally think that came from the old Rites of Initiation, where folks were Baptized, confirmed and then received communion, and that came from the old system where the bishop was at the cathedral and everyone came to the cathedral on Easter Eve. That’s when the Rite of Initiation was administered. It might be nice if we went back to that, but that’s Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
another story… The whole notion of how we invite people to Communion somehow became tangled up with radical welcome. I think that’s more about being how we are, what we are and how we share that with other people. That means teaching them about who we are, what we believe and why. If they’re willing to embrace that, they can take that next step in association with us, and that’s Communion.
: Is it like there’s a rush to be liked so much, come to our table and fill in the blanks later? : Yeah. It’s a matter of come and like us, and notice we have no barriers to you being here. To me, that’s standing for nothing. If you don’t stand for something you won’t stand for anything. In this day and age, as I look at what’s going on in the emerging church, they’re not looking for an easy way in. If people are going to associate with a religious group, they want it to stand for something. What does it mean to be Christian? What does it mean to be Jewish? What does it mean to be Muslim? It’s not just the trappings of it. In many senses, the rites of what we do are the trappings, but they have meaning behind them. I remember taking what they called ‘play church’ in the seminary, where they practiced presiding over the Eucharist. Some people were so careful to only move their hands a certain way and only do things that were written in the prayer book. Lee Mitchell, who was my liturgic professor, said it really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it means something. What does it mean to you to do that? Because, otherwise, it’s going to look funky. So even if it’s ‘the right thing to do,’ even if it’s what everyone else does, if it’s not right to you, it’s going to look stilted and fake and phony.
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
I think if you participate in rites that mean nothing, then it’s going to be stilted and phony. What’s it going to mean? So radical welcome means, yes, stand at the door and welcome people to church; let them know where everything is, including where to sit, where to go to the bathroom, where the coffee hour is and so on…But also where the classroom is to learn more about who we are. Some of that classroom is in the pew, if the preacher is doing his or her job. Some of that classroom is in a true classroom, where the priest or deacon or whomever is doing the adult education, teaching people what it is to be a person of faith and what it is to be in a Christian family. : Do you think we could learn a lot – both good and bad – from the growing non-denominational churches? I’ve spoken to some who have started these churches, and much of it is based on demographics and where there is a need. The churches are so programmed to every detail and it gives a warm, fuzzy feeling. But they work… : There was a time where we did that. In my time here, we had all sorts of information…in terms of data gathering, demographics, etc. Those who paid any attention to it understood the demographics did lend
itself to growing the Episcopal church. But a lot of people ignored it as well. This morning, it was interesting, I was on Facebook. A lot of people were sharing information from this one blog, where the guy says a growing church is a dying church. What he was suggesting was it wasn’t a new priest or minister was going to come in and do all these wonderful, perfect things and was going to start drawing people through the front door in droves. What tends to happen is this: A new priest comes through and starts to do things like Bible study and adult education, encouraging people to do more outreach, and challenging people on their faith, which is going to be a pain to some of the old-timers – not through age, mind you, but those who have been around for a while in the congregation – and yes, some new people will show up, but they won’t know the way we’ve always done it. It will annoy some of the long-timers, and the new people won’t yet feel incorporated. Many of them won’t stay unless the whole congregation adopts this notion that they really won’t start to grow until some of the old dies away. So this writer’s point was, a growing church is a dying church because in order to get to Easter Sunday, you have
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to go through Good Friday. Much of what we consider church today has to die in order for us to get to where we need to be. A lot of people say ‘growing church’ because they think it means getting the church back to the way it was in the 1950s and 60s. I say the church is not going to do that again. It won’t be like it was in the 50s and 60s, ever again…It’s not going back there, it has to go someplace new. Some of this stuff has to die. And some of what we do, if we’re not teaching people, then we’re not going to grow. And we’re not going to die, so we can rise. If all this other stuff annoys people and brings an end to the church…then that church should have done that in the first place. That was the point of this article. It makes a lot of sense, but we don’t want to do that, because we want to do things the way we’ve always done them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Baptizing, giving Communion, Confirming…but the point is, we have to teach. We have to teach longtime Episcopalians and we have to teach new Christians. We have to teach all of them. That’s radical welcome. Teach them about what they’re seeking. And they’ll come and they’ll stay and they’ll work for God’s kingdom. But if the kingdom is about how we’ve always done it, they are not going to come and work for it and they’re not going to care how we’ve always done it. That’s going to scare some people. But teaching about who we are and why that’s important and why that means anything in your life or my life or anyone else’s life, that’s radical welcome. Not throwing open the doors and saying we don’t care anything about Communion, we just let anyone have it. That’s not what General Convention said. I’ll be saying more about that at our Diocesan Convention and in the coming year. That’s where we are as a church.
Highlights from one week of action in Indianapolis
After one week, 3,000 participants and over 140 resolutions, what did the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Indianapolis accomplish? Enough to run the gamut and cover every issue pertinent to the Church. A $111 million triennial budget – based on the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission – was adopted unanimously. But there was much more which was presented at the Indiana Convention Center. A re-imagination of Church structure and various methods of inclusion were among the highlights of the event. Here’s the rundown: Budget The $111,516,032 budget, set to run from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015, is slightly smaller than the current triennial budget. In all, it afforded Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori an opportunity to trumpet what she feels is a good future for the Church. “The Episcopal Church is healthy, it’s becoming healthier, and it’s poised for an even more significant impact on the world around us,” she said at the end of General Convention. “There’s no stopping us. Watch out world. We’re coming.” Unanimous Reform Nearly one-fourth of the resolutions submitted at General Convention were rather similar and related to the same general item – structural reform. In essence, these agents for change were folded into Resolution C095. Called to ‘re-imagine” the workings of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century, it sailed unanimously through the House of Bishops. A day earlier, deputies also had passed the res-
The exhibition hall was home to many fascinating booths. The General Theological Seminary was one of the busier venues, as convention-goers stopped by to learn more about the use of social media through the church’s Digital Formation program.
olution unanimously. The legislation creates a special task force of up to 24 people who will gather ideas in the next two years from all levels of the church about possible reforms to its structures, governance and administration. Its work will culminate in a special gathering of people from every diocese to hear what recommendations the task force plans to make to the 78th General Convention. The group’s final report is due by November 2014. Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer for the Episcopal Church, praised the work of both the structure committee and convention. “My hope has always been that we would begin to have a conversation and the church embraced that,” he said. “The conversation became a movement of hope for the future of the church.” This budget relies upon $73.5 million in commitments from
the church’s dioceses – a drop in commitments of almost $4 million from the current triennium. The number was reached by holding the line at what the church mandates diocesan contributions at 19 percent. Same-Gender Blessings Beginning Dec. 2 – the first Sunday of Advent – “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” rite will be available for use, with one provision: Clergy must do so only with the permission of their bishop. The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music is charged with conducting “a review process over the next triennium, making clear that this is a work in progress.” It also presents individual clergy an option: They can choose to preside over a liturgy, but are not required, as no one “should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities” for objecting to or supporting the 77th General
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Convention’s action on blessings. Farewell to Bonnie Canon Bonnie Anderson stepped down from her position as president of the House of Deputies, effective at the end of the event. Elected to replace her was the Rev. Gay Jennings of Ohio. Also, Byron Rushing (Massachusetts) will serve as the new vice president. Each is serving a three-year term. Goin’ (Back) to Carolina The July 11 walkout of the majority of deputies from the Diocese of South Carolina raised more than a few eyebrows. The reason for the walkout? A pair of resolutions offering support for the transgender community in terms of the ordination discernment process and providing equality in life, worship and church governance. According to those who remained at Convention,these resolutions went against the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Church. Baptism and Holy Communion Resolution C029 stated the Episcopal Church wants those wishing to receive Holy Communion to also have been Baptized. Utah, Here We Come With the 78th General Convention slated for Salt Lake City in 2015, the Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations was requested (“for the interreligious purposes of friendship, goodwill, mutual understanding”) to open dialogue between the Episcopal Church and the Mormon Church. Information on these and many other General Convention items may be found at www.theRecordOnline.org.
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
Several resolutions to be presented at the upcoming Convention in Lansing
As of press time, these resolutions have been submitted to the Committee on Reference for consideration at the 178th Diocese of Michigan Convention, according to the Rev. Susan Carter, chair for the Committee on Reference. The event takes place Oct. 26-27 in Lansing. Under Diocesan Canon 184.108.40.206.3, the Committee “shall review resolutions proposed for action at the Convention and shall provide an opportunity for discussion of them before each meeting of the Convention…” offering qualified persons the opportunity to speak to the resolutions. The Committee has five options for disposition of the resolutions. The following resolutions have been presented to the Committee as of Sept. 21, with the originators of each resolution noted. (Two resolutions addressing justice and peace ministries are pending and have not yet been received, but will be available for review online, along with the full wording of each resolution, at theRecordOnline.org). Substance Abuse – Annual Recovery Sunday (Diocesan Council) RESOLVED: That the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan declares the last Sunday in January Annual Recovery Sunday throughout the Diocese and encourage all congregations to recognize and publicize it and avail themselves of resources such as The Diocese of Connecticut’s material at http://www.ctepiscopal.org/Content/Recovery_Sunday.asp..
HIV/AIDS Education and Awareness (Diocesan Council) RESOLVED: That the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan encourages all congregations in the Diocese, particularly those with large populations of adolescents and young adults, to include a unit on HIV/AIDS in their church school/adult education curricula; be it further RESOLVED: That the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan declares May 18th HIV/AIDS Awareness Day throughout the Diocese and encourage all congregations to recognize and publicize it; be it further Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
RESOLVED: That the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan directs the editor of the Record and The Weekly Connection to announce this action and publicize resources for more information such as (but not limited to) http://www.aids.gov/awareness-days/, http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/, http:// www.neac.org/, http://www.episcopalhealthministries.org/ and http://kidshealth.org/ teen/sexual_health/stds/std_hiv.html; and be it further RESOLVED: That the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan urges all Diocesan staff and the clergy and staffs of all congregations to take the web-based, self-directed tutorial on HIV/AIDS prepared by the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition, available on the website of the Nation Episcopal Aids Coalition (http://www.neac.org/).
tionale) for information about The Affordable Care Act: What you and your family need to know to learn how the new provisions may impact our neighbors, ourselves and our families http://yourhealthsecurity.org/the_new_ law#section2d and the website of Michigan Consumers for Health Care, a not-for-profit, non-partisan, foundation-supported group whose website has many resources on the ACA, http://consumersforhealthcare.org and who provide informative presentations, and be it further RESOLVED that the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan strongly encourage Episcopalians to arrange for and host a presentation on the ACA by Michigan Consumers for Health Care, in their parish, deanery or in the diocese as a whole for their members and their communities.
Human Trafficking Awareness Day (Diocesan Council) RESOLVED: That the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan declares January 11th Human Trafficking Awareness Day throughout the Diocese and encourage all congregations to recognize and publicize it and avail themselves of resources such as http://freedomcenter.org/freedom-forum/ index.php/2012/01/national-human-trafficking-awareness-day/.
Take a Stand for Workers and their Families (Covenant 5) RESOLVED, that the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan in the interest of good public policy and support for democracy and our republic, urge Episcopalians in the Diocese of Michigan when casting their votes in the 2012 elections to prayerfully consider the rights, working conditions and basic needs of workers and their families, and to vote in support of fairness in the workplace in accordance with our baptismal covenant that calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.
Support Affordable Health Care for All (Covenant 5) RESOLVED, that in the interest of good public policy and support for the least among us, the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan by recorded vote at this convention, by asking delegations to report this action to their respective parishes and constituencies, and in the Weekly Connection urge Episcopalians in the Diocese of Michigan when casting their votes in the 2012 national, state and local elections to prayerfully consider health care considerations that impact young people, children, women, minorities, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, and be it further RESOLVED that the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan urge people to visit the websites of the Consumers Union founded in 1936, (see note in raThe Record/Fall 2012
Repeal Public Act 4: Michigan’s Emergency Financial Manager Law (Covenant 5) RESOLVED, that in the interest of good public policy and support for our democratic republic, the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, by recorded vote at this convention, by asking delegations to report this action to their respective parishes and constituencies, and by reporting it in the Weekly Connection, urge Episcopalians in the Diocese of Michigan to vote in the 2012 election to repeal Michigan Public Act 4. See CONVENTION, Page 19
Two churches celebrate Renewal of Ministry St. James, Birmingham weltended seminary in New York comed the Rev. Kenneth Erickson City, graduating from the Generas its new rector on July 1. His al Theological Seminary in 1992. Renewal of Ministry celebration She was ordained at the Catheoccurred Sept. 12. dral Church of St. Paul, Detroit. Raised in the Chicago area, Williams joined the staff of Erickson is a graduate of Wheathe Episcopal Cathedral in Bufton College and the Duke Unifalo, serving as canon for famversity Divinity School, he has ily ministries from 1992-98. She been a priest serving the Episcomarried the Rev. Eric Williams pal Church since 2002. He began in 1994. Later, the couple moved his ministry with the Diocese of to Jamestown, N.Y., where they Oregon and most recently served served together at St. Luke’s. She the Diocese of Chicago in Winalso was named regional dean for netka, Illinois. Episcopal churches in ChautauWhile in Chicago, he also qua and Cattaraugus counties of served as headmaster of St. The Rev. Kenneth Erickson is joined by the Rt. Rev. Wendell Gibbs upstate New York. For the past Gregory Episcopal School with Jr. during a Renewal of Ministry celebration Sept. 12 at St. James, three years she also served as executive responsibilities for Birmingham. vicar of the small Episcopal chaeducational administrapel on the grounds of the “One part of being appearance from the tion and development in Chautauqua Institution, a priest that I love the Rev. Susan Anslow Wiladdition to his work as near Jamestown. most is being a pastor. liams was on Sept. 16. chaplain. He helped the They have two daughEverything I do as a Her Renewal of Minschool merge with Holy ters, Margaret and Emily, priest has something to istry celebration takes Family Lutheran School who are looking forward do with pastoral care,” place at 7 p.m. Oct. 11. as a model of ecumenical to becoming active memWilliams is a Michihe said. “Whether it is partnerships for sustainbers of the church and Rev. Kenneth preaching or presiding, gan native, returning Rev. Susan Anslow able faith-based educaschools, and to being close Erickson Williams teaching a class, writ- home after 20 years of tion. to their grandmother and ing a newsletter article, sitting at parish ministry in western New Erickson and his wife, Katheraunt who live in Grosse Pointe. a hospital bedside, praying with York. She grew up in Grosse ine, met while attending WheaThe mission statement at St. the men’s group or showing up at Pointe and attended Yale Uniton College. They have a teen-age Stephen’s helped, in part, draw the volleyball game of one of your versity. After spending a year of son, Emil. who shares the famWilliams to her new church. youth, I am always bringing the volunteer service in West Africa, ily interest in sports, hiking, and “It’s just what a church should presence of Christ into that situa- working at a mission station of music. With Swedish ancestry, do and be together,” she said. She tion. I look forward to nurturing the Episcopal Church of Liberia, Erickson has the reputation of was also impressed by the long she entered into discernment for the spiritual life of St. James.” making “the world’s best Swedish tenure of her predecessors. “No At St. Stephen’s, Troy, the first ordained ministry. Williams atpancakes.” one was in a hurry to leave you.”
Diocesan Calendar Oct. 12-14 New Beginnings Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills Oct. 26-27 Diocesan Convention Lansing Center, Lansing
Nov. 9-11 Happening St. John’s, Royal Oak Nov. 17, 9 a.m. Diocesan Council St. John’s, Plymouth
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Dec. 8, 11 a.m. Diocesan Ordinations Cathedral Church of St. Paul
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
‘Mission from God’ is no excuse for copyright infringement By Rick Schulte “We’re on a mission from God.” – Elwood Blues Remember the movie ‘The Blues Brothers’? That statement was Elwood’s answer to doing any number of crazy things, all in the name of raising money to prevent an orphanage from being closed. It made for some funny cinematic moments. Elwood (played by Dan Aykroyd) and his brother, Jake (played by John Belushi) were able to raise the money, but were thrown in jail in the process. Not that anyone watched The Blues Brothers to debate the merits of cutting a few legal corners in order to do something for the greater good. But you get the idea: No matter how noble the intentions, if you do the crime, you do the time. In that spirit, the concept of copyright infringement comes into play. Many organizations (not just churches, but non-profit agencies and schools, to name a few) have been guilty of this. While a large number technically have been in violation of copyright laws unknowingly, there are others who are aware of restrictions to what can and cannot be copied, referenced and disseminated, but don’t feel the law applies to them. The Rev. Linda Grenz, the publisher and CEO of LeaderResources (a publishing and consulting organization which has worked with the Episcopal Church), recently wrote an interesting article on this topic. “Churches often fail to observe copyright laws, or even the basics of courtesy. We have this unfortunate habit of thinking that just because it is ‘for the church’ it is (okay) if I make a few copEpiscopal Diocese of Michigan
ies of this or that,” Grenz wrote. She gave many examples of how churches are in violation of copyright laws, ranging from Sunday school teachers who “photocopy lesson plans and download photographs or craft designs from the web” to youth leaders who “play a movie they rented for the youth group. “The choir director makes photocopies of the anthem. The church’s website…has a music piece playing in the background. The newsletter features photographs from the Internet or scanned in and used without the photographer’s permission.
And I cannot tell you how often I visit a church that has all of the hymns printed in the bulletin (sometimes even with music) and nothing about a license that gives them permission to do so.” Grenz estimated a publishing violation like that could run the risk of getting fines in the neighborhood of $400,000. There’s also another factor to consider, such the creative energy and talent needed to produce such items (yes, that includes a cute – albeit copyrighted – cartoon figure to run with some sort of reminder in your church bulletin). There are reasons creators
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are usually compensated for their work. In essence, poaching from others for personal gain is legally frowned upon. That, in part, was why the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Michigan presented a simple message to be shared with all congregations: “Congregations are reminded to be careful not to reprint copyrighted material in service bulletins, parish newsletters or on a parish website without appropriate permission. Some copyright holders are very aggressive in enforcing their rights, and can become a nuisance even in situations where there is no obvious harm.” If you think no one will hear about or see what you’re doing when you are cutting the corners, think again. Do you publish a church newsletter, but run a copy of it online? Do you have a fundraising ‘movie night’? Even small-scale activities like this may seem harmless, but they do open the door wide enough for legal challenges to come busting through. Any information like this can be stumbled upon quite easily, thanks to something as simple as a few clicks of a mouse. In other words, don’t hesitate to be creative. Conversely, don’t hesitate to make sure the images, illustrations, music and videos you use are properly licensed for public use. Remember, being ‘on a mission from God’ is not a defense that will hold up in the court of law. While this isn’t a legal document, you can go online to LeaderResources.org/general-resources to get an idea of how to use (and not use) various copyrighted materials.
Planning for the future
St. Paul’s, Brighton develops means to deal with growth of community
The Rev. Deon Johnson, rector of St. Paul’s, Brighton, shows how the new church structure will look in comparison to the current church, parish hall and office space.
By Rick Schulte There was a time when the small, one-room church provided more than enough room for the congregation at St. Paul’s, Brighton. In fact, from 1881 – when the current church building opened – and through the next century, the building itself really did not change much. But the world around it did. Brighton is no longer a sleepy rural town. It’s growing. Booming, in fact, for quite some time. The need to adapt to local growth has been addressed over the years. In 1952, a parish hall was erected. Almost 30 years later, it was renovated. But that still didn’t fully get the job done. Another renovation took place in 1992, which increased the size of the worship space by adding a wing to the church structure. It sort of fixed the problem, but eventually created other issues. The renovation created an
L-shaped worship space. Calling such an arrangement challenging would be an understatement. “The space makes you have to be creative liturgically,” said the Rev. Deon Johnson, rector at St. Paul’s. “The things most Episcopal churches can do, we can’t. Most churches will do the Great Litany during Lent and have a procession in the church. “But we don’t even have a place to process. There are a lot of things we simply can’t do.” While it’s required a great deal of liturgical creativity during Johnson’s six years at St. Paul’s, an even larger problem exists with the growth of Brighton and Livingston County as a whole. According to the 2010 Census, Brighton’s population sits at just over 8,300. That’s an increase of 24 percent since 2000 and a whopping 81 percent over a 20year period. By contrast, population in the state of Michigan has
increased by less than 1 percent in 10 years and only 7.1 percent over 20 years. Also entering into the equation are two more elements – the outlying communities (which are also growing, but not included in Brighton’s census numbers) and the fact Brighton is an ever-increasing business hub in Livingston County So it’s little wonder that some churches have a hard time growing, let along maintaining the status quo, with little to no population growth. This put St. Paul in a unique quandary that hasn’t been seen in many churches for decades – how do you deal with growth? The answer came in the form of a campaign designed to create a new worship space, a new parish hall and business offices while maintaining St. Paul’s ties to the past and its commitment to being an integral part of the city’s vibrant downtown area.
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“It’s almost a catch-22. We can’t afford to do it, and we can’t afford not to do it,” Johnson said. “Considering the weirdness of our current building, it doesn’t lend itself to what the congregation says it has to be.” The congregation’s strong feelings about what the building should provide were taken into consideration as a plan to renovate the church was mapped out. At an estimated cost of $2.1 million, the goal is to move out of the current building in February or March of 2013 to allow for construction to take place without interruption. This will be contingent on many variables, including reaching funding goals, falling into place. Moving out of the existing building is a key element to the plan. A full-blown expansion with the current worship space remaining in use simply isn’t practical. Instead, St. Paul’s will move into the chapel at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, which seats up to 175 congregants. “We have the wonderful luxury of not having to rent space in a school building, or moving into a
The cornerstone at St. Paul’s remains intact near the front entrance of the church.
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
vacant storefront, for temporary services,” Johnson said. It should take at least one year to demolish most of the existing parish hall and offices and replace them with the new building. There’s also the possibility a great deal of foundation work must be done to the original church building. With excavating equipment, cement mixers and drywall dust taking up what has been St. Paul’s little corner of the world for an extended period of time, making an effort to maintain normalcy is crucial. Already, some adjustments to the current church program are in play. “Anticipating we’ll be out of our building for at least a year, and the reality of kids program, we moved Sunday School to be entirely take-home,” Johnson said. The concept behind this is relatively simple. Parents can pick up a packet once or twice a month to bring home to their children. Each packet has various exercises and suggested activities, accompanied by prayer. “In a sense, we’re doing Godly Play, but we’re doing it at home,” Johnson said. In order to maintain the sense of community among both the adults and young people, a monthly community meal or event will take place. Whether the choice would be to remodel or rebuild, there was no escaping the fact the church would be seriously impacted by the need for change in the immediate future. “This has been a two- or threeyear project,” Johnson said. “It started with the simple question of, who are we? We defined who we are. Through that whole process, we asked what the biggest obstacle was to doing more? It kept coming back to this building.” Indeed, an assessment of the condition of the building determined it was going to take $900,000 to remodel. Foundation, roof and HVAC issues Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
The Collaborative, an architecture firm based in Toledo, designed the new church. Construction will be handled by Rand Construction, Brighton.
needed to be addressed, the cost of which took the church halfway toward the cost of not only a new construction, but an effective, long-term solution. A large portion of the funds is being raised through a capital campaign. The rest will come through a series of loans from three different Diocesan funds (which are not part of the operating budget). This was approved in a June meeting of Diocesan Council. While maintaining a presence on the longtime site of St. Paul’s was a priority, there were other options available. They included moving to a site away from the downtown area, a prospect the city of Brighton didn’t relish. “They leaned pretty hard on us to stay,” said Johnson, noting the options included moving into a different existing space and to renovate. “The city didn’t like those options.” What the city liked most of all was a vibrant, growing St. Paul’s as an anchor in what is a vibrant, growing downtown area. “Churches are essential to successful downtowns,” said Matthew Modrack, Brighton’s Downtown Development Authority and Community Development director. “That is a historic building and church. It’s nestled right next to our primary downtown feature, which is our mill pond. They’re very much in the center
of things. “Far too many downtowns have lost their churches to expansion, so they can have a larger greenfield site. I think many regret they left the nice confines of a downtown. St. Paul’s…is a real community-oriented church.” However, everyone seemed to like the concept of a hybrid plan of “keeping the original church, and adding a new worship space,” he said. What makes the plan so appealing is its visibility in the downtown area. With plenty of nearby businesses and a close proximity to an attractive waterfront area, it’s easy to understand that St. Paul’s is accessible to a great deal of foot traffic. That was evident during the church’s parish picnic in early September. Coinciding with the town’s jazz and barbecue festival, it was decided this would be a good opportunity to prove it’s a welcoming, inclusive church. So instead of the usual – holding the picnic away from the downtown area for a quieter, more secluded parish gathering – the picnic was held while there were people downtown for the event. Of course, the result was that many people noticed the happenings at St. Paul’s. Currently, the church has a solid membership base. “Normally, we have about 200 and some odd people officially on
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the books,” Johnson said. “This is a transition community. People are always moving in and moving out. We’re constantly getting new families, but we’re always getting people who are moving out. “Brighton is like that. People come in, stay for a while, and some move on. But there are always new faces.” But somehow, even now, the familiar faces get a chance to connect with the new ones. “Part of what I realized is what we did to overcome the awkwardness of this building,” Johnson said. “The Peace goes on for a long time. So everyone gets a chance to move around and see each other.” Imagine what will happen when those building barriers come down.
Did You Know? The St. Paul’s building was actually patterned after an existing church in England. Although the church cornerstone was laid in May 1880, the construction of the new church was not completed until the following year. The first service was held in June 1881. Although there were two periods of inactivity in the early- and mid-20th century, St. Paul’s moved from mission status to parish status on Jan. 25, 1964 (which is also the Feast of St. Paul).
Fires, social change and other challenges not enough to keep All Saints from reaching 175th anniversary As the longest-running Episcopal community in Oakland County (and fourth-oldest in Michigan), All Saints, Pontiac managed to endure challenging beginnings, several devastating fires, the Great Depression and Pontiac’s tumultuous social rights issues of the 1950s and 60s. And 175 years after opening as Zion Church, the church is still a big part of the community – even though Pontiac has changed greatly over the years. Organized on Sept. 23, 1837 by the Rev. Algernon Hollister and the 16 people who received Communion, the congregation was able to build a church at 128 W. Pike Street; a few years later, a new stone church was erected on its permanent site just down the street. Through a large part of the 1860s, however, membership and involvement in the church was a bit wobbly. In fact, over a stretch of eight months the church was temporarily closed. Eventually, the Rev. L.R. Stevens came on the scene in 1881, ushering a revival of sorts. That preceded the renaming of the church to All Saints in 1904 – one year before a fire destroyed the structure. Undetered, the congregation removed the debris, cleaned the basement, put a roof over what remained and celebrated there until a new building was completed in 1908. The early 20th century proved to be a progressive time at All Saints, as the Rev. Bates Burt helped spur growth, including the construction of Stevens Hall.
The idea behind the hall was simple – create a true community center, complete with a gymnasium and classrooms. The foresight to create such a gathering place
paid dividends during the Great Depression of the 1930s, as this was where food was distributed to many families and individuals. It also provided a much-needed
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escape for times of enjoyment, too. Stevens Hall also would serve as a worship space, as yet another fire destroyed the church in 1948 Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
All Saints was ravaged by a fire in 1948, but following a common scenario, it wasn’t enough to kill off the church. A few years later, the Pontiac church was rebuilt.
Did You Know? Three of All Saints’ previous rectors were elected bishops in other dioceses. They are: The Rev. Herbert Fox: Montana, 1920-1939 (suffragan, coadjutor and bishop) The Rev. Ivol Curtis: Olympia, 1964-1976 (bishop) The Rev. Cate Waynick: Indianapolis, 1997-present (bishop)
during the time where the Rev. Ivol Curtis was rector. All that remained of the former church were the stone walls – the inside of the church was rebuilt and reopened two years later. Later, the Rev. George Widdifield served as rector through the 1950s and into the early 70s. In that time, the greater world experienced a tremendous amount of social change. That was reflected at All Saints, too, as the first woman was elected to the church vestry in 1958. All Saints’ presence in Pontiac was crucial during this time, as many mainline denominations relocated. As a living sign of the church’s commitment to social justice, the church remained a part of the community. The Rev. Roger Derby (who became rector in 1974) continued that commitment, undeterred by the racial polarization rising within the city. Next to serve as rector of All Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
A visit to All Saints would not be complete without a careful inspection of the various stained glass windows, along with the classic architecture.
Saints was the Rev. Catherine Waynick (1993-97). During her short time in Pontiac, a successful capital campaign was held, with additional community outreach bolstered (including the Bound Together program). Shortly after her departure, the Rev. Robert Hart took over as rector in 1999. A new capital campaign (made
possible in large part with a gift from the Furlong family estate) not only made all levels of the church accessable by elevator, but restored much of the church to its original 1920s design. Among the many programs and activities currently in place at All Saints (with the Rev. Karen Johanns serving as rector begin-
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ning in 2008) is Bound Together. After-school tutoring for elementary school-aged children, hot meals, social activities and an arts program are part of the program, which endures through a combination of grants and volunteer assistance.
Just for women PERSPECTIVE
Trip to North Manitou Island offers opportunity to spiritually reconnect
Debbie Wollard (left), Wanda Fedorowicz, Betsy Perry, Priscilla Hardy, Amanda Sutherland and Pam Ortner have their backpacks filled as they experience several days of hiking, camping and reflecting on North Manitou Island.
On a remote island in Lake Michigan, six courageous women spent seven days in a small community, living simply and regaining perspective in their lives. For the past eight years, the Women’s Spirituality Project has offered the Women’s Wilderness Trips – backpacking trips intentionally designed to incorporate a spiritual thread throughout a week of simple living, woven with large segments of sacred silence, play, reflection and hiking. The Wilderness Trip is mod-
eled after a Women’s Wilderness Trip that Debbie Wollard, one of the guides, took on her sabbatical in 2004 with an Oregon-basked organization called Journey Into Freedom. After years of women’s adventure travel, this trip brought together all of the pieces for which Wollard had been longing – nature, women’s travel and spirituality. It was one of the best trips that she has ever taken and it opened her heart to the healing that can happen when we reconnect with all of creation.
When Wollard asked the founders of Journey Into Freedom (Dale Stith and Esther Armstrong) to bring a Women’s Wilderness Trip to Michigan, they responded by saying, “You are absolutely qualified to lead your own Wilderness Trip and we will help you with whatever you need!” That was the launching point for the Michigan Wilderness Trips, and the model after which Wollard and her co-guides (Miranda Spates and Amanda
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Sutherland) continue to guide and companion other women into the woods and into their own inner wildernesses. “Women who’ve come on these trips use words like transformational, healing, reconnecting, opening, releasing and so many more expressions to describe their time on North Manitou Island – a place that Native Americans call a ‘power spot’,” Wollard said. “Each woman comes with her own hope for the trip and leaves with her own revelation Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
The Holy Spirit moves in and among this small band of women, who create and keep their own “Manitou Moments.”
Happening #11 Nov 9-11, 2012 @ St. John’s, Royal Oak Happening is a retreat weekend for high school students. 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!
and rediscovery. “The joy of these trips is hard to convey in words – the irony is that much of the time we spend together on the island is in quiet – and the space is filled with the sounds of nature and the inner sound of God’s voice reminding us ‘who we are, and why we’ve come’.” On their first trip, many women feel drawn to participate, with little knowledge of the island, little or no connection to the other participants and a deep yearning in their hearts to reconnect with the Creator. Other women have returned more than once because the experience has been so meaningful and profound. The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
Holy Spirit moves in and among this small band of women, who create and keep their own “Manitou Moments” (a phrase coined by one of the past participants). These moments mark and capture the essence of each woman’s sacred experience, giving them touchstones for reconnecting with this time of community and perspective to use once back on the mainland. The next Wilderness Trip is set for Aug. 10-16, 2013. To learn more, go to the Women’s Spirituality Project website at www. womensspiritualityproject.com or call Debbie Wollard at (586) 2428270.
Happening is open to all youth in grades 9-12. Adult sponsors from parishes are also encouraged to attend. Adults must have attended Safeguarding training.
Scholarship assistance is available. 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!
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Registration forms available at your church or online at: WWW.EDOMI.ORG/YAYA
Co-sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan and the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan For more information, contact Eric Travis at email@example.com or (313) 833-4418
Several churches continue involvement with South Oakland Shelter program One night a week, when staff from the lence of homelessness.” There are tained housing. A Board of Directors (consistfrom 6 p.m. to 8 Michigan Department at least 30 people at any one time o’clock the following of Social Services and who are part of the SOS program. ing of 20 community residents) morning, St. Stephen’s, United Communities SOS works with a diverse range of oversees the work of SOS. A staff Troy has continuof Southeast Michigan people struggling with homeless- of approximately 15 is led by Exously housed up to called together pastors ness, to assist them in mitigating ecutive Director Ryan Hurtz. SOS is always looking for new 30 homeless people and lay workers from the challenges that they face and who are clients of the local congregations to to equip them with the tools nec- congregations to join in this efSouth Oakland Shelter talk about the growing essary to regain independence fort to break the cycle of homeThe Rev. lessness. In addition to more (SOS). The guests are homeless population and stability. Jim Maxwell part of the program in the south Oakland Since its inception, SOS has Christian and Jewish congregafor up to 90 days. St. community. cared for over 10,800 adults and tions, members of Mosques, temples and other religious and secuStephen’s has been inWhen seven con- 1,400 children. volved as a host since 1986. gregations said they would each Each year, approximately 8,000 lar institutions are encouraged to Other Episcopal churches in provide a week of shelter and volunteers provide 42,000 hours join in this community effort. The Rev. Jim Maxwell (retired the Diocese of Michigan that are food, SOS began in December of in-kind support. The quality of currently part of this program are 1985. Within four months, 17 service has been recognized. In priest in residence at St. Stephen’s), St. David’s, Southfield; St. Phil- congregations had each taken a 2009, SOS was named the “Most along with the late Mike O’Neill lip’s, Rochester; St. John’s, Royal week. Within five years, SOS was Outstanding Volunteer Program” and the late Daisy Eldon, were Oak; St. James, Birmingham; able to be open 52 weeks a year. by the Michigan Governor’s Ser- founding members of SOS and and Christ Church Cranbrook, SOS currently partners with vice Commission. In 2011, SOS members of St. Stephen’s, Troy. Bloomfield Hills. Seven addition- about 60 congregations to pro- received a significant grant from SOS’s annual fundraising event, al Episcopal congregations have vide year-round service to the Charter One Bank when it gave “Dancing with the Stars,” will also been part of this ministry in homeless of our community. Its SOS its “Champions in Action” be held Nov. 17 at the Townsend past years. mission (with its partner con- award. Last year, 78% of sheltered Hotel in Birmingham. Call (248) Eight other congregations in gregations) is to “provide tran- households successfully exited 809-3773 for tickets or more inforTroy also take one week a year to sitional services and programs into housing and 95% of clients serve those who are homeless – to reduce the impact and preva- in “follow-up care” have susKensington Community Church, St. Anastasia, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Troy Church of Christ, Congregation Shir Tikvah, Central Woodward Christian, First United Methodist and Big Beaver United Methodist. Congregations sponsoring a week typically have between 100 and 250 volunteers who give of their time to stay overnight as hosts. They fix and serve breakfast and dinner (with a bag lunch to go), pick up the guests at the SOS office near 12 Mile and Southfield roads, in Lathrup Village, drive them to work or appointments in the morning. They share fellowship and play games with the children (who sometimes make up one-third of the guests), talk with guests and offer Canon William Logan, who served the Diocese for many years, was honored with a special retirement other talents (giving haircuts or gathering in September. He also took part in a service at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit. massages, for example). SOS was conceived in 1984
Thanks for the memories
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Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
The Penn State football tragedy: A reminder of why Safeguarding training is so crucial I’m sure I’m not alone in reflecting on the disturbing news from Penn State – about failure to care for children who have been entrusted to the care of respected people. We are reminded in the Baptismal Covenant to serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves. Surely in our ministries with children, we see and serve Christ in these vulnerable, trusting people. We want them to feel and be safe at church. I am thankful that we have Safeguarding God’s Children, a church-wide program for parents, congregations and leaders of ministries. This program helps us to be aware of the risks to children, to establish and implement policies for recruiting and monitoring those who deal with children – and, importantly, how to react when violations are known or suspected. Our first concern is always to protect the children, not to protect the abuser or the The tremendous damage caused by the actions of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky (left) was made even more reputation of the institution. troubling by the revelation that head coach Joe Paterno and other officials at Penn State did little to ensure These type of policies, if in the police were made aware of Sandusky’s actions. place and implemented at Penn Protecting the reputation of a institutions. I pray that, if any of State, would have prevented the no doubt that the Safeguardbeloved church is every bit as val- us are in similar situations, we ing programs are very beneficial abuse that occurred. Consider ued as protecting a football pro- would act to safeguard the child. and have protected that the model poligram. Both are a betrayal of trust We have the policies, the knowlchildren, they are cies require that at when the welfare of a child is at edge and the support of our but part of what we least two adults to stake. bishop, clergy and lay leaders to need to do to be a be present with chilWith that in mind, perhaps safeguard the children entrusted safe church. Discussdren at all times. If we most disheartening about the reto us in our ministries. ing policies and cases monitor interactions For further information on the of abuse in the safety cent abuse scandals is the utter between adults and Safeguarding God’s Children and lack of concern for the children of a workshop is easy. children, we would Safeguarding God’s People workinvolved. Officials, we learn from Rev. Deacon Implementing policies be aware that roughshops, go to the Whitaker Instiemails and notes, chose to protect Tim Spanaus that require screening housing with children, tute page at www.edomi.org/ the institution and the powerful. for those applying for sleepovers with only positions of responsi- They did not even ask who the whitaker. one adult present and The Rev. Deacon Timothy Spanshowering with children are out bility for children, locking doors victims were or whether anyone naus, PhD. is deacon at St. John’s, was caring for them. We can, and of bounds behaviors. They place of unused rooms and actually Royal Oak and a facilitator for the both the children and the adult reporting suspicious behavior is must, do better. Safeguarding programs. He is also With hindsight, we can see difficult and too easy to rationalat risk. coordinator of the Instructional I am tempted to say that we’ve ize away. “He’s trustworthy. I’ve all the bad decisions made that Technology program at Wayne nailed it and have no problem known him and his parents for- failed to protect children, while State University. protecting the powerful and the with child abuse. While I have ever. Don’t worry.” Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
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Pondering the question of happenstance’s effect on life with Penelope Lively’s “How It All Began” The protagonist of clares at one point, The Uncommon Reader “This happens, and would have loved this triggers that, which book for its thoughtful leads to something progression of characunexpected. But ters and consequences. what, indeed, can be Charlotte, a retired litexpected at all?” erature teacher in her Although CharDawn seventies, is mugged lotte tries very hard McDuffie on the first page and to take up as little she falls and breaks her space as possible in hip. She lives alone in a her daughter’s house, house with many stairways, and she makes one critical change. there is no alternative. She must Since she cannot travel to the move in with her daughter, Rose, literacy center where she does and Rose’s rather dull husband, volunteer work with adults who Jerry, until she can walk indepen- cannot read English, she asks dently. But this all-too-common the director of the program to incident is the beginning of a refer one student to work with chain of causality. Charlotte’s life her at Rose’s house until he is a is changed less than the lives of proficient reader or until Charher family, acquaintances, and of lotte has recovered. The chosen people she will never know. student is Anton, an accountant A thoughtful reader can’t help from Eastern Europe who has but ask if this is the way life hap- immigrated to Great Britain for pens. Can I buy a latte or change better economic opportunities. my regular bank and affect the Although he’s very intelligent and lives of endless numbers of people has learned to speak English, he by that one small action? Henry, can’t read as much as a newspaa pompous retired historian, de- per until Charlotte ditches the of-
ficial curriculum and, instead, gives him a copy of Where the Wild Things Are. As Anton’s reading becomes more sophisticated, he tries to explain why stories were successful when nothing else worked for him. “Story go always forward – this happen, then this. That is what we want. We want to know how it happen, what comes next. How one thing make happen another.” He loves the transparent chain of incidents in a narrative, although when asked by Charlotte’s daughter, Rose, he admits he doesn’t believe fate or destiny affects human life. This book has multiple story lines, each a result of Charlotte’s accident. Anton knows his teacher’s invitation to study at Rose’s house has affected his own life profoundly, but he has no way to know how the accident has changed the lives of other people
that Charlotte herself has never met: Jeremy and Stella Dalton, Marion, Nigel, Henry, Mark, and even the evil George Harrington. If a reader feels like relaxing into the novel’s hints of a chaotic world, a world controlled by “happenstance,” the author has one more surprise. Rose, Marion, Jeremy are all pushed around by the original controlling event, but personal choice and character make a difference in the end. Anton may fall in love because Charlotte’s accident put him into the right context, but what happens next is controlled by the personality and ethics of the two people involved. Do accidents outweigh character? It’s a question that will never wear out. Book reviewer Dawn McDuffie is a member of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit.
Caitlin Pahl, interim executive director for Bound Together, gratefully accepts the gift of school supplies for youngsters in the program (hosted by All Saints, Pontiac). A wide variety of items were collected during a Back-pack-palooza drive, held in late July at the Diocesan Picnic.
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Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
THE FINAL WORD
Prayer shouldn’t be predictable, but it should include both give and take
Prayer has always been a conundrum for me. Maybe it began in Catholic school, when prayer was more about memorization than it was with actually speaking from the heart to God. Yes, I remember getting quizzed in third grade just as much as I remember getting called upon to deal with multiplication tables. Oh, and I do recall a nun getting rather annoyed when I asked why do we recite the same prayers over and over; doesn’t God stop listening if we don’t try to be original? Or maybe it began in sports. Before our basketball games, we would either run through the Lord’s Prayer as quickly as possible, or we simply would pray for victory…like God really cared if Christ the Good Shepherd would be able to beat Holy Redeemer (thus, giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘holy wars’). Questioning the how and why of things is not so unusual when you’re young. It comes with the territory. And as you get older and more set in your ways, it can
be annoying to have some young her colon cancer, only to take Turk come along and challenge it away when a mystical prayer your reasoning. Even now, having quota was hit. Knowing the supkids (sophomores in high school port was there, however, made and college) who question, it a huge difference in making it takes some patience to remember through every painful day. I used to be that age and I used to It also made a huge differchallenge the norm more than I ence to understand the concept do these days. of ‘putting it in God’s But I still challenge hands.’ My own diffithe norm when it culties in dealing with comes to prayer. the whole idea of canI understand, peocer striking a woman ple are free to pray in her mid-40s were in whatever manner made slightly better they so choose. As with the awareness an adult, a few things that it wasn’t my fault. Rick have made me look at It wasn’t her fault. It Schulte prayer in a different wasn’t the fault of the light. doctors who missed When my wife was the early warning being treated for cancer less than signs. It wasn’t God’s fault. It just two years ago, we were stunned happened. There was no need to and touched to learn that many waste energy seeking blame. And friends from the Diocese prayed whatever would happen, well, all for her, our family and for me. It we could do is trust God to get really did help to know people us through, no matter where this were concerned. Does it mean frightening journey would take that is what made her cancer us. We just had to accept it and treatment effective? I don’t be- deal with it. lieve so. I don’t think God gave Today, in a phenomenon made
easy to see through social media such as Facebook, I notice people asking for prayers whenever a health or life issue comes up. I don’t have a huge problem with this, but it’s the ensuing response that bothers me – the concept of praying for a miracle, praying for God to alter the course of destiny. So many times, it’s not a matter of offering support as much as it is asking God to do all the heavy lifting. With experience to back me, I do understand the idea of asking for help during the darkest of hours. But prayer should be more than a one-way street to Help. Perhaps veering off toward Appreciation, Humility and Love on a regular basis might be a good idea. Rick Schulte is the director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan and is also editor for The Record.
CONVENTIONS continued from page 7
Educate Ourselves and Others to Work to Protect God’s Creation and Water in Michigan (Covenant 5) RESOLVED, that in the interest of good public policy and support for the fresh waters and surrounding environment of this beautiful Great Lakes state, the 178th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan is on record supporting a moratorium on the “fracking” of water in the state of Michigan until proper protections are adopted, in particular, protecting Michigan’s water supply by eliminating a special interest exemption from state water use laws so that natural gas
ing proper disposal of chemical waste and other byproducts of fracking requiring public participation in the permitting process so all of the facts are known before a permit is issued and all stakeholders – including citizens who own wells, fish streams and use drinking water—have the right to be heard and be it further RESOLVED that this 178th Diocesan Convention urges Episcopalians in the Diocese to study the urgent need for the protection of the fresh water resources in the state of Michigan.
Support of the University of Michigan’s “Understanding Race Project” Exhibit (Covenant 5) RESOLUTION: Be it resolved that the Diocese of Michigan facilitate parishes’ and other Diocesan bodies’ attendance at the Understanding Race Project exhibit at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History from February 9 to March 27, 2013 by bringing this exhibit to parishes’ attention and encouraging the organization of trips to the exhibit. Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
companies are treated the same as all other large water users in Michigan. Standards for fracking must be adopted that ensure there are no adverse impacts on our water resources as a result of water withdrawals. Protecting water quality by requiring public disclosure of specific fracking chemicals used by natural gas companies when they apply for a permit to extract. The public’s right to know what is in our water outweighs any corporate claims of confidentiality involving the use of chemicals; the Michigan Legislature must regulate fracking operations to ensure they are safe, includ-
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Published on Nov 1, 2012