200 people gathered on Saturday, October 21, 2017 to celebrate the diocesan family of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. The 143rd Convention was held on the Oneida Reservation just outside of Green Bay. Wondering if “we aren’t being called to cast into the deep,” the Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter established a focus during the Eucharist held at Church of the Holy Apostles, the oldest Episcopal congregation in the diocese and the State of Wisconsin.
The day started with fellowship and a delightful continental breakfast provided at the Holy Apostles Parish Hall. Attendees then came together for worship in the stone church building, where they heard Bishop Matt preach about the challenges the Church faces today, and encouraging each of us to go deeper, so “we are more likely to experience the awesome, beautiful, goodness of God that transforms” as he reminded the congregation of the original diocesan motto [Duc] In Altum. (Read the Address here . . . )
Following a short drive from Holy Apostles to the Radisson Conference Center, the business of the day was hearing reports from a variety of ministries, electing those to serve on diocesan committees, discuss and adopt resolutions modifying the constitution and canons of the diocese, and approving the budget for 2018. The Seventh Sunday after Easter (May 13 in 2018) was designated as Companion Diocese Sunday. Last year’s convention established a relationship with the Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe and Bishop Matt announced an invitation has been extended for its representatives to attend the 2018 Convention.
Greetings were received from the Rev. Dr. Brad Hauff, who serves as the Episcopal Church Indigenous Missioner. Attendees browsed over a dozen display tables from diocesan ministries and vendors of liturgical vestments and maple syrup! Giving was encouraged to support the United Thank Offering and the Church Periodical Club. A deficit budget was approved, but with plans in place for funding the deficit.
As one delegate noted in their evaluation “the convention was not what I expected. It was efficiently run, informative and helped me to see how my congregation fits into the work of the church at the diocesan level.” While the purpose of the day was taking care of business, the effect of the day was one that left many with the question “What will you do to go into the deep?”
For more details of the convention, visit diofdl.org/convention.
Rates for health care plans (medical and dental) for active clergy and lay employees serving in the Diocese of Fond du Lac have been announced. Episcopal Health Plans are offered through the Episcopal Church Medical Trust (part of the Church Pension Group) and sponsored by the diocese.
Those eligible are clergy, lay employees scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week, and dependents. Two plan types are offered, the PPO (Preferred Provider Option) and the CDHP (Consumer Driven Health Plan) which is partnered with an HSA (Health Savings Account). A webinar will be offered to review the CDHP/HSA plan on November 6 at 6:30 p.m. (visit diofdl.org/oe for details). Premium rates increase 5-7% over 2017, but are below the expected national increase of 8.8%.
Those already enrolled in an Episcopal Health Plan will be receiving open enrollment information from CPG soon. The Open Enrollment Period will be from November 8 through November 22. The previous 75/50 PPO will no longer be offered, with the PPO80 being comparable.
For complete information and other details about plans and costs, visit diofdl.org/oe.
The Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle, Fond du Lac, has released the profile for the search for its next Dean. The profile is available at diofdl.org/deansearch where it may be downloaded as a PDF or read directly on the page. Additional information about Fond du Lac is also available. The search will remain open through the end of November 2017.
The Executive Council of the Diocese of Fond du Lac has approved the 2018 Clergy Minimum Compensation and Benefits Schedule. The Minimum Compensation Scale includes a 1.0% increase to the 2017 base. The purpose of the schedule is to provide a minimal consistency for clergy who are working on a full-time basis. Clergy working on a part-time basis are expected to be compensated in proportion to the minimum scale. However, because of the variety of types and opportunities of ordained on a part-time basis, compensation and benefits are negotiated to the mutual benefit of the cleric and congregation and need approval of the Bishop.
Included with the document is an analysis of current clergy compensation compared against a variety of metrics used by the Finance Committee in consideration of its recommendation to the Executive Council. The conclusion is that based on these comparisons, clergy in the diocese receive adequate compensation near the median of overall national compensation for Episcopal clergy. Because of Wisconsin’s lower cost of living compared to most of the United States, current levels of compensation do not appear to be a barrier to calling clergy from outside the diocese.
You can download the document at diofdl.org/clergy (diofdl.org > Diocese > Clergy).
Grace and peace: After prayerful discernment and conversation with Bishop Matt Gunter, the Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator, and adult leadership concerning Happening and New Beginnings, a few new changes will be put into place starting in the 2017-2018 school year. At this time, Happening will become an annual FALL event for high school students (grades 9-12), and New Beginnings will become an annual SPRING event for Middle School students (grades 6-8).
There has been growing interest in both building up the New Beginnings program for middle school students as well as providing continued leadership opportunities for high school students. A large part of the New Beginnings program is designed to be run by those in grades 9-12 with both lay & ordained adults supervising and supporting. It is the hope of youth leaders within the diocese that this adjustment in the calendar will help build up and strengthen both programs.
If anyone has any questions regarding these changes to the youth ministry calendar, you may contact our Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator, Erin Wolf, at email@example.com. Please continue to keep these ministries and all who minister within in prayer as they begin this new school year together.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac, the Episcopal Church in northeast Wisconsin, recently donated almost $15,000 to four agencies that address the opioid epidemic, refugee crisis, and natural disasters domestically and internationally. Recipients are recommended by the Deacon Council and approved by the Executive Council who release funds from its Outreach Reserve.
Episcopal Relief and Development received support to respond to recent U.S. disasters and to meet global needs (episcopalrelief.org). World Relief was selected to assist their efforts in addressing the refugee crisis (worldrelief.org). A local gift to Marathon County (Wisconsin) AOD Partnership Council provides support for a November summit to address the Opioid Crisis (aodpartnership.org). Another local gift has been made to Koinonia Residential Treatment Center in Rhinelander (koinoniaocs.net) that will assist them in providing substance abuse treatment.
Since 2004, the Diocese has donated $120,000 to a number of agencies, programs and opportunities, locally and around the world, that are beyond diocesan structures with the intent to give outside of ourselves to the greater glory of God. Past recipients have included disaster relief in the United States and around the world, medical needs in underdeveloped countries, program support for struggling ministries, just to name a few.