Friday, July 19, 2013

Bishop's Round-Up

An occasional newsletter from Bishop Brookhart
Mid-summer, 2013

The Wood Bank ministry of St. James’, Dillon, has once again been awarded a United Thank Offering grant.  Congratulations to the workers and to the Rev. Harry Neeley for this important ministry.

The Rev. Valerie Webster, priest associate at All Saints’, BigSky, has been named as Ecumenical Officer for the diocese.  Thanks go to the Rev. Robyn Barnes, who previously held that position.

St. Luke’s Church, Libby, is taking part in a back pack ministry (back packs are stuffed with food and other necessaries) and a hot meal program on weekends for the children of Libby.

St. James’ Church, Lewistown, has been given a Serve Montana award by the state for their recycling ministry. 

The Revs. Joan Yetter and Dori Zubizurretta  have received training in disasterpreparedness programs.  You will be hearing more about a possible diocesan-wide effort from them at the diocesan convention.  St. Stephen’s Church, Stevensville, has already developed a disaster preparedness procedure.

Last year churches in the diocese distributed $36,000 in scholarships for Camp Marshall!  Thank you to all involved, but also remember that we will need to continue to make it possible for young people to go to camp in the future, when the needs will be even greater.

Deaths:  Mrs. Pat Wallace, wife of the Rt. Rev. Leigh Wallace, passed away on March 17.  Mr. George Grice, long-time member of St.Paul’s, Virginia City, and member of many diocesan committees, died on March 19.  May they rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Eight youth from St. Mark’s Church, Big Timber, went on a mission trip to Haiti during the first week of June.

The Rev. David Gunderson continues therapy after major shoulder surgery.

The annual diocesan convention will be Oct. 11-13, and will be hosted by Christ Church, Kalispell.  Registration and other important data are on the diocesan web-site.

NOTE: we have a new and improved diocesan web-site:  Check it out.

The Congregational Development Committee will be arranging autumn training events from vestries and clergy regarding membership drives and congregational growth.  The Rev. PaulBresnahan, a proven expert on church development and social outreach, will be the leader.  Watch for future details.

Priests and deacons, mark it on your calendar: clergy conference at Camp Marshall, April 29-May 1, 2014.  All clergy are expected to attend.

The Rev. Canon Gary Waddingham has retired as Rector of St.Luke’s Church, Billings, after many years of service there.  The congregation celebrated his ministry with a special reception on May 25, at which he was given gifts of appreciation.  He will continue as a regional canon and also has been appointed historiographer of the diocese.

The Rev. Dr. John Toles has become the long-term interim Rector of St. Luke’s, Billings.  He will hold that position for three years with the possibility that he may be called by the Vestry and Bishop as the permanent incumbent.

The Pintler/St. Joan of Arc Cluster, composed of the churches in Anaconda, Butte, Deer Lodge and Philipsburg, has begun the search process for a new rector.

The Bishop has begun exploring the possibility of further ministry among urban Native Americans in Helena and Great Falls.  The Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher from Alaska, herself a native person, visited those two cities at the end of May for the purpose of assessing the needs and possibilities of this sort of ministry.  Additionally, Bishop Brookhart has been in contact with other bishops about funding sources for the future.

Bishop Brookhart was is Washington, DC, in June to meet with Senator Tester and Congressman Daines regarding health insurance, mental health care and gun control as they effect the life of the diocese.

A possible candidate for the position of Youth Minister/Camp Director will be visiting the diocese later this month.  This person will be meeting with a variety of people from around the diocese, as well as visiting Diocesan House and CampMarshall.

The Bishop has been in contact with the Episcopal Church Foundation about a possible planned giving and capital campaign.  He and the diocesan staff met with Sue Fornabai about general information, and in September members of the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council and Foundation Board members will meet with Terri Mathes to talk about details for this possibility.  The purpose of this would be to insure the financial durability of the diocese with special focus on Camp Marshall and on endowments for congregations and the diocese.

The Church of the Nativity, Helena, celebrated its last Eucharist on Pentecost Sunday.  After more than a year of prayer and discussion the vestry asked that the congregation be closed.

Bishop Brookhart will be on vacation much of August, although he will be in and out of the office periodically.  He will be attending the House of Bishops meeting in Nashville, Sept. 18-25.

Recommended reading:

The Challenge of Easter by N.T. Wright.  An accessible and short study of Easter texts by the foremost, active New Testament scholar and former Bishop of Durham in England.

Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality by Richard Rohr.  An accessible look at the nexus of scripture, psychology and spiritual practice by a highly regarded Franciscan priest.

And God Spoke: The Authority of the Bible forthe Church Today by Christopher Bryan, the Benedict Professor of New Testament at Sewanee Seminary in Tennessee.  An extremely important and fascinating work.