God's spirit is working among us every day in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan, from the quiet orchards of Berrien County to the sandy shores of Petoskey and everywhere in between. Our members are eager to share the Light of Christ. Parishes and ministry groups in EDWM are welcome to submit items for this page. (Read news submission guidelines.) You may call us at (269) 381-2710 or click here to send us an e-mail. Important: To visit our online Calendar page, please click here now.
Bishop Hougland's Visitation Schedule
Communicator – Dec. 8
How to Get On Our Calendar or Submit News to the EDWM Communicator:
|Anna Cushman "Cush" Memorial Fund|
Anna "Cush" Cushman, an active member of the diocese, Cursillo and Education for Ministry, died December 28, 2016 from complications of C.O.P.D.
Anna was born December 10, 1937 in Erie, Pennsylvania the daughter of the late Danford and Lillian (Cross) Cushman, and became permanently "Cush" in college. A leader and mentor all her life across a wide range of efforts toward greater justice and equality, Cush was deeply involved in the Episcopal Church, especially its peace and justice ministries, and also in the Education for Ministry program. On February 14, 2015, after 34 years together, she was united in marriage to Susan Fisher, who survives. Also surviving are her children, Anthony Fisher, Robert (Amy) Fisher, Paula York, Aszure (Matt) Isbell; 8 grandchildren, Teeya, Tamrah, Keegan, Alyssa, Shawnee, Adam, Olivia, and Evan; three surviving aunts, numerous cousins, and many close friends. A service to celebrate her life will be held at 11:00am Saturday, January 7 at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church (click here for map). Interment will be announced at a later date.
As an active member of Education for Ministry (Efm), a memorial fund has been started in Cush's honor for scholariships to EfM. EfM participants study the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, Christian History, and Modern Theology and Ethics, and learn how to think theologically by practicing theological reflection within their small group. To learn more about EfM, email the coordinator Marissa Lee a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to donate to the Anna Cushman Memorial fund.
|The Eve of Our Lord's Baptism – Confirmation Liturgy|
Confirmation, reception and reaffirmation will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Church of the Mediator, Harbert, MI (click here for map).
The service will begin at 11 a.m. with rehearsal for all participants an hour before at 10 a.m. A light luncheon reception will follow. If you have questions about the service, they may be directed to the Church of the Mediator office at 269-469-1441 or email email@example.com. Click here to register.
Additional 2017 Confirmation Dates
|Diocesan Congregational Development Institute (D-CDI) Accepting Applications|
The Diocesan Congregational Development Institute, DCDI, is a joint program of the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan. It is a leadership training program focused on developing the spiritual community and the organizational life of the congregation. The program is for both clergy and lay leaders who desire to transform their congregations by making them stronger, healthier, more rooted in the Anglican spiritual tradition, more responsive to God’s call for that community, and more effective in reaching out beyond their walls.
Click here for a video that will tell you more about the program in the words of the participants:
We look forward to having you join us when we gather in March.
|Examining Our Own Racism Training|
This workshop examines how and why racism persists in spite of the legal changes and integration that have happened in the last 50 years. Racism and other forms of discrimination have become less recognizable, embedded both in the structure of our society and in our unconscious biases. During the workshop we examine our own biases and role in the maintenance of a system of advantages and disadvantages based on racial and ethnic identities. Come prepared to engage in a dialogue with your fellow participants!
EDWM requires that all parish and diocesan leaders participate in anti-racism training.
Registration information coming soon.
Bishop Hougland's annual set of workshops are now scheduled for 2017, with topics to be announced at a later date.
All are welcome. Bishop's workshops begin at 9:30 a.m. and the Bishop's presentation starting at 10:00. The event is free and lunch is provided. We request at all parish leaders, including vestry members (and especially NEW vestry members) attend for the benefit of their role in the congregation.
Grand Rapids: Saturday, February 11, 2017, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids (click here for map)
Kalamazoo: Saturday, March 4, 2017, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Kalamazoo (click here for map)
Traverse City: Saturday, April 1, 2017, Grace Church, Traverse City (click here for map).
Sign-up information will be available in January.
|Manifest Young Adult Publication|
EDWM's former Young Adult Missioner in Grand Rapids, Kellan Day, has vacated her position to attend The School of Theology in Sewanee, TN.
Before leaving for seminary, Kellan managed the publication of the young adult magazine, Manifest.
Manifest is printed and ready for distribution. Kellan Day organized and produced this project through a UTO young adult grant. The copies are available to be picked up at EDWM offices, and parishes will also have the option to pick them up at the Diocesan Convention in early November.
If you have any questions for Kellan, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, you can read Manifest online by clicking here.
|ECW Outreach Booklet Now Online|
The ECW Outreach Booklet is now available online. It was the idea of the late Char Camfield, ECW president who died in September 2016, to update the booklet first published in 2008.
The book is a 48-page testimony of the outreach work of 36 participating EDWM parishes in the diocese. Complete with descriptions, anecdotes and full color pictures, the booklet is full of ideas about how to carry out outreach ministries in parishes big and small.
Click here to see the booklet online.
|From our Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer: The Rev. Mike Wernick|
Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy
Having grown up outside of Christianity (in a Jewish home and "framework"), I perceived what I later learned some therapists call "magical thinking." Televangelists would furrow their brows and shout prayers towards what they feared might be a disinterested God, and magical thinking said that if they prayed long enough, or hard enough, or with the right words, God would answer their prayers. But perhaps more importantly, perhaps what would improve the efficacy of their prayers more than anything, was an underlying orthodoxy––or right belief.
During the Avignon Papacy, for example, when there were three Popes (two in France and one in Rome), magical thinking pressured Catholics to figure out who the legitimate Pope was, because listening to the right one would ensure that you’d get into Heaven, and listening to the wrong one would send you straight to Hell. It was "right belief" that determined whether your teeth would gnash when you had no longer had any need of them. But even still, some denominations propose that not even right belief can ensure membership in the 144,000 elect who will be saved.
|Parishes in Transition|
Our diocese, like many dioceses, sees its share of "parishes in transition," i.e. congregations that are adapting to the departure of a priest, the absence of a priest or the arrival of a new priest.
At any given time, the Diocese of Western Michigan has positions open for seminary-educated Episcopal priests as well as ELCA pastors. The Rev. Canon William J. Spaid is the Transition Officer for the diocese, and assists parishes as they navigate transition. Openings are available in congregations large and small in a variety of communties across western Michigan.
To contact the Canon to the Ordinary, call (269) 381-2710 ext. 11 or click here now to send an e-mail.