Category Archives: Featured

Diocesan Executive Council Holds First Meeting With Bishop

Members of diocesan Executive Council arrived at Waycross June 17 with excitement, anticipation, and bags of canned goods for a local food pantry as they held their first meeting with Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows. Bishop Jennifer asked members of the council to help shape the agenda for the meeting, offering a statement called “The Work Set Forth” as a framework for balancing time, money, direction, and ways the council can be supportive in their work diocesan-wide.

She followed that initiative by leading an enthusiastic discussion around the three points on a triangle grounded in Benedictine spirituality. Those included

  • Stability, a life of prayer, worship, and relationship with God and others;
  • Obedience, listening to God and one another, observing what’s out there in the world and what God may be saying to us; and
  • Conversion, ongoing transformation around how God is informing us, possibly leading us to new and life-giving spaces.

This time of visioning generated a long list of ideas and direction to consider as the council moves forward, looking at two questions in particular. “What is it that we think we need to be doing?” and “How do we organize to do that?” In addition to their organizational and visioning time, Executive Council:

In addition to their organizational and visioning time, Executive Council:

The next meeting of Executive Council is September 18 at Waycross. For a current list of Executive Council members, 2017-2019 MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE COUNCIL UPDATED.

Making a Witness: Bishop Endorses CIC Statement

The Right Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows signed on to a joint statement by the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, condemning an anti-Muslim billboard posted earlier this month along I-465 in Indianapolis.


Statement Regarding the Anti-Muslim Billboard from CIC and the Indianapolis Community

The Center for Interfaith Cooperation condemns incivility in all its forms

The Center for Interfaith Cooperation (CIC) condemns the billboard posted along I-465. Its message is hateful, inaccurate, and incites anti-Muslim sentiments. This billboard is a symptom of the increasing incivility toward Muslims and many other groups. These actions degrade our society, negatively affecting the possibility of open dialogue and genuine understanding among people of all different beliefs and traditions.

As proud Americans, and as members of Central Indiana’s diverse faith communities, we embrace a heritage that honors diversity and respects pluralism. We, therefore, call upon all Hoosiers to denounce mean-spirited discourse that foments fear, suspicion, and hate. Moreover, we implore our neighbors to invest their religious passions in building bridges of understanding by taking the time to meet and know people from other faith communities.

In a statement, CIC Executive Director Charlie Wiles said:

“There are so many ways for Hoosiers to increase their own religious literacy by pursuing a deeper understanding of our religious landscape. I encourage people to visit our website, www.CenterForIinterfaithCooperation.org, to learn about dozens of local events that promote interfaith dialogue, service, engagement and celebration. Participation in any one of these opportunities helps strengthen the fabric of our rich and diverse religious community.”

* Signed by Jane Gehlhausen, CIC Board Chair, Charlie Wiles, CIC Executive Director, and supported by the CIC Board of Directors, who are members of faith communities in Central Indiana, including: Baha’i, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Episcopal, Evangelical, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Methodist, Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Presbyterian (USA), Sikh, Unitarian, and United Church of Christ.

See their website for more statements.

Presiding Bishop Responds to Trump’s Decision to Pull U.S. Out of Worldwide Climate Accord

[June 1, 2017, Episcopal News Service]

President Donald Trump announced June 1 that he would pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a 2015 pledge to limit climate change signed by 196 nations.

The agreement includes a plan to decrease carbon emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, and a commitment from wealthier nations to provide $100 billion in aid to developing countries. The agreement is the first-ever binding, international treaty in 20 years of United Nations climate talks.

The presiding bishop’s statement follows.


With the announcement by President Donald Trump of his decision to withdraw the commitment made by the United States to the Paris Climate Accord, I am reminded of the words of the old spiritual which speaks of God and God’s creation in these words, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” The whole world belongs to God, as Psalm 24 teaches us. God’s eye is ever on even the tiny sparrow, as Jesus taught and the song says (Luke 12:6). And we human beings have been charged with being trustees, caretakers, stewards of God’s creation (Genesis 1:26-31).

The United States has been a global leader in caring for God’s creation through efforts over the years on climate change. President Trump’s announcement changes the U.S.’s leadership role in the international sphere. Despite this announcement, many U.S. businesses, states, cities, regions, nongovernmental organizations and faith bodies like the Episcopal Church can continue to take bold action to address the climate crisis.  The phrase, “Were still in,” became a statement of commitment for many of us who regardless of this decision by our President are still committed to the principles of the Paris Agreement.

Faith bodies like the Episcopal Church occupy a unique space in the worldwide climate movement. In the context of the United Nations, the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, we are an international body representing 17 countries in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia and the Pacific. We also are a provisionally admitted observer organization to the UNFCCC process, empowered to bring accredited observers to the UN climate change meetings. Furthermore, the Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third-largest Christian tradition, and we remain committed to ensuring that Anglicans everywhere are empowered to undertake bold action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

We know that caring for God’s creation by engaging climate change is not only good for the environment but also good for the health and welfare of our people. The U.S. is currently creating more clean jobs faster than job creation in nearly every other sector of the economy, and unprecedented acceleration in the clean energy sector is also evident in many other major economies.

My prayer is that we in the Episcopal Church will, in this and all things, follow the way, the teachings and the Spirit of Jesus by cultivating a loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, all others in the human family, and with all of God’s good creation.

In spite of hardships and setbacks, the work goes on. This is God’s world.  And we are all his children. And, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Welcome to Now We Gather!

Now we gather in this place
To feel your strong embrace
Defend us Lord from all assaults of the enemy
Give us the will to walk the Road
And strength enough to share the load
With the friends that you give as your earthly family…

This is the beginning of “Now We Gather,” one of the songs found in the Waycross songbook. I think that the title of this song is fitting as the title of this blog because it is a prayer that we will gather together to support each other in our Christian walk together.

Ministry, especially ministry to young people and their families, can have its challenges. “Now We Gather” is a blog for youth leaders in the Diocese of Indianapolis (and beyond!) that seeks to provide resources for leaders who work with youth. This blog will have a wide variety of content: devotions, reflections, resource highlights and diocesan youth ministry news, among other things. Our hope is that this page will become a place where youth leaders can come to discover and share best practices, reflect on their experiences, and become connected to youth ministry at the diocesan level.

You can also “Like” our new Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis Youth Ministries Facebook page for more resources and other news!

What are some things that you would like to see on this blog? Share your thoughts in the comments below! You can also email them to Victoria Hoppes, Diocesan Coordinator of Ministries With and For Youth, at victoria@waycrosscenter.org.

Pathways to Vitality: The Tarantula In My Checkbook

pathways to vitalityA new blog post has been published.

The Tarantula in my Checkbook

Balancing a checkbook and other financial tasks can feel like opening a box of spiders, doing them well and with proper knowledge frees us to better understand how our lives function, how day to day living happens through our finances. And then, we are freed by this understanding to better be able to share with others what God has given us, so that they too may be freed to love God and our neighbor all the more deeply.


Past Posts

Webinar & Resources for ‘Becoming Beloved Community’

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Following a year of listening, consulting and reflection, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and officers of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies are inviting Episcopalians to study and commit to using “Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation, and Justice.”

The full document is available here. 

“You’re not looking at a set of programs,” Presiding Bishop Curry explained. “You’re looking at a path for how we, as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, can more fully and prayerfully embody the loving, liberating, life-giving way of Jesus in our relationships with each other. Look at the scriptures, at Christian history. There is no doubt that Beloved Community, healing, justice, and reconciliation are at the heart of Jesus’ movement in this world.”

 The “Becoming Beloved Community” vision emerges as a direct response to General Convention Resolution C019 (“Establish Response to Systemic Injustice”). The comprehensive commitment – which the Church’s top leaders crafted in partnership with the Presiding Bishop’s staff, key leaders, networks and organizations dedicated to racial reconciliation – links new initiatives with existing, ongoing work and seeks to support and amplify local, regional, provincial and churchwide network efforts. 

Leaders say “Becoming Beloved Community” is designed as a strategic path through distinct phases that lead to personal and structural transformation:

  1. Telling the Truth about the Church and Race, via a census to determine church demographics and a Racial Justice Audit to study the impact of racism on the Church’s leadership, organizations and bodies.
  2. Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community, via a series of regional public listening and learning engagements, starting with a partnership at Washington National Cathedral.
  3. Practicing the Way of Love, via a churchwide Beloved Community story-sharing campaign, multilingual and multigenerational formation and training, pilgrimages and liturgical resources.
  4. Repairing the Breach in Institutions and Society, via advocacy for criminal justice reform, re-entry collaboratives shaped by people moving from prison back to community, and partnership with Saint Augustine’s University and Voorhees College (the historically black university and college associated with the Episcopal Church).

May 16 webinar to discuss Becoming Beloved Community

Presiding Bishop Curry and President Jennings will host a free webinar to discuss the Church’s long-term commitment on May 16 from 3 to 3:45 p.m. ET (or at 2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. MT/noon PT/11 a.m. in Alaska/10 a.m. in Hawaii). 

Additional webinars and conversations with specific constituencies will be held in the coming months. Several working groups will be formed to identify and make use of gifts and expertise across the Church. 

No registration is necessary. Additional discussions with different constituencies, including Spanish-speakers, will be held on later dates.

To join the webinar

There is no registration required in order to attend and view the webinar.

Setup for Use of Zoom

Unless you have used Zoom before, it is suggested that you prepare for the webinar beforehand by executing a first-time setup of Zoom software on the device that you will be using, as explained below.

Zoom will require you to enter an email address and to have the Zoom browser plug-in (on a computer) or the Zoom application (on a mobile device) installed.   If you do not have the plug-in/application already installed, please do one of the following at any time before the webinar begins:

  • Click on the link above, and follow the sequence of prompts.
  • In your browser, access  https://zoom.us/, click on Join a Meeting, enter the Meeting ID 956 329 163, and follow the sequence of prompts.
  • When you click on the link above to join the webinar on Tuesday, you will be connected without any further preparation.

Submitting Questions

When the webinar is running, the panelists will endeavor to respond to questions.  In the Zoom view that you will have as an Attendee, please refrain from using the Chat and Raise Hand functions, as neither can be monitored effectively. Instead, use the Q&A window to submit your questions, or send them via Email to webinar@episcopalchurch.org.

The webinar will be available on-demand shortly after the webinar.

Resources

More Info

For more information contact

PEACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, ROCKPORT, HAS MOVED

The new home for Peace Episcopal Church.

The first service in the new building on May 7, 2017.

Peace Episcopal Church, Rockport, has moved. Their new address is 223 County Road 350W, Rockport IN 47635. All other information remains the same. If you plan to visit, they advise you rely upon MapQuest for now. Some GPS systems, including Garmin, seem to be leading visitors astray. (We’re working on helping resolve that issue now!)