Read Bishop Matt Gunter's Pastoral Address to the Diocesan Convention assembled in Appleton, Wisconsin on Friday, October 25, 2019.
“Lightning on the horizon.” That’s what the man said.
In 2005 I traveled to the Diocese of Renk of the Episcopal Church in South Sudan leading a delegation from the Diocese of Chicago. We had a companion relationship like the we have with the Diocese of Masvingo. There, we heard a story told by one of the pastors. During the civil war, this pastor was talking to a man who was not a Christian. When the man learned that the pastor belonged to the Episcopal Church, he said, “I know your church. Your church is like lightning on the horizon in a time of drought signaling the promise of rain.”
Prayers are asked for the repose of the soul of the Rev. Canon John T. Splinter who died October 25, 2019. He was 78. He is survived by his wife Barbara.
John was a Wisconsin native who lived, worked and volunteered here his entire life. He graduated from UW-Madison and Nashotah House Seminary. He was ordained a priest on September 13, 1966, He served congregations in Racine, Greendale, Tomahawk, Antigo, Marshfield, Wausau and Oneida. After retirement in 1998 he served congregations in the Dioceses of Fond du Lac, Eau Claire and Milwaukee. In addition to being a parish priest, Fr. John was active at the diocesan level in a variety of capacities such as the Ecumenical Commission and Commission on Ministry. He was involved with Cursillo and served on its national board. He was installed as an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral June 7, 2003. He is noted as a life-long lover of nature, the arts and education.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 409 E. Court St., Janesville with the Rt. Rev. Matthew A. Gunter and the Rev. Kathy Monson Lutes officiating. Visitation will be on Saturday from 1:00 PM until the time of the service at the church.
Memorials would be greatly appreciated if made to Friends of Aztalan State Park near John’s childhood home and where he volunteered in later years. Friends of Aztalan State Park Visitor Center Fund P.O. Box 855 Lake Mills, WI 53551 or www.AztalanFriends.org.
An obituary is available here.
St. Anne's Episcopal Church in De Pere, Wisconsin has released the profile in the search for for its next Rector. The profile is available at diofdl.org/deperesearch where it may be downloaded as a PDF or read directly on the page. Additional information about De Pere is also available.
Province V of the Episcopal Church (dioceses in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and eastern Missouri) is hosting an open discussion on Dismantling Racism on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, at 10 am central. The discussion is led by the Rev. Susie Shafer, Province V representative to ECCAR (Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism). It is hoped this becomes a regular, ongoing conversation, quarterly or monthly.
The purpose of this conversation
Everyone is invited! Please share this invitation with your friends!
Phone: 669 900 6833, Meeting ID: 729 144 241
The Rev. Christopher T. Wilkerson has accepted a call to serve as Rector at All Saints Episcopal Church, Appleton. Fr. Christopher has served as Assistant to the Rector and Campus Minister at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Clemson, SC since 2017. He completed a Masters of Divinity at the School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee in 2017.
Prior to discernment of a call to the priesthood, Wilkerson was an Instructor of English at Spartanburg Community College for over a decade. A lifelong Episcopalian, he is a guitarist and songwriter who loves science fiction, poetry, theater and pop-culture. Fr. Christopher and his wife Anne have two elementary-aged daughters and are looking with interest at experiencing their first winter outside of the South.
All Saints Episcopal Church has served the Appleton area since 1856. It is a worshiping community of over 600 baptized members with an average Sunday attendance of 100. Located on the east side of downtown Appleton and next to Lawrence University, it is an altar-focused worshiping people involved in its community.
“All Saints is a vibrant and active congregation of the diocese," Bishop Matthew Gunter shared. "Adding the gifts that Fr. Christopher brings to share with strengthen the parish in spreading the Gospel and sharing God's love."
The Wilkersons will move to Appleton and Fr. Christopher's first Sunday is expected to be the First Sunday of Advent, December 1, 2019.
The United Thank Offering (UTO) 2020 Annual Grants process is now open. Grants are awarded for projects in The Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion, each year with a different focus. For 2020, the focus is Bless: Share faith, practice generosity and compassion, and proclaim the Good News of God in Christ with hope and humility.
Details about writing the grant are available here. If you are considering submitting a grant, please contact Diocesan UTO Coordinator Cheryl Dobrzynski as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will call you to discuss your thoughts and provide direction of how to proceed. Applications will not be accepted if Cheryl has not been consulted.
Each diocese is allowed to submit one application. The deadline to submit applications to the Diocesan Office for consideration is Thursday, February 6th. This allows the Bishop and Cheryl enough time to decide which application will be forwarded.
Lakeshore CAP’s Door County Food Pantry is a non-sectarian, not-for-profit program that provides on-going and emergency healthy food assistance to low and limited income residents. Mary Koski, representing the Outreach Committee of the Episcopal Church of Christ the King Holy Nativity, Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport, Wisconsin gave a $1,000 check to Sandi Soik, representing Lakeshore CAP’s Door County Food Pantry. The Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport church congregations have pledged one thousand dollars each quarter to support local non-profit organizations.
I was on Facebook one day and saw a picture and explanation of a "Blessing Box." It was similar to the little libraries we see all over, but the focus of the Blessing Box was to put items (food, personal items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.) in there that people could just take as needed. Donations could be put in the Blessing Box as well. I just loved this idea and thought it might be something St. Peter's could do.
Next I went to Fr. Marcus Cunningham with the idea, and he took it to the Vestry to discuss. The Vestry approved it! I am a member of Thrivent Financial, and as a member we are allowed and encouraged to do two Action Teams a year. An Action Team is planning some type of event that helps others in your community. Thrivent encourages each member to think of the ideas for events to help others in the community. The Action Team, if approved, is given a $250.00 Visa card to use for the planned event plus Live Generously t-shirts and other items to advertise the Action Team. The initial Action Team I applied for was to purchase the materials to make the Blessing Box and purchase food items if there was any leftover money. And my Action Team was approved!
God will make a way, when there seems to be no way. I began this journey toward Ordination when I was just a teenager. God told me that someday I would be a Priest. I politely told Him that there was just no way—at least not yet. That was my answer for a long time, until just a few years ago.
When we began the Circles of Light in the Diocese of Fond du Lac, God told me to join a Circle. I told Him the only way I could possibly do that considering my family dynamics and obligations, my church commitments, my job commitments, my garden, my life, my everything...was if we met in Merrill. Well, God brought it to Merrill. Long story short, we didn’t continue to meet in Merrill because our Circle included five women as far north as Merrill and as far south as Sheboygan. But I was already hooked. God orchestrated the first step and I followed.
After completing the second Circle of Light and meeting with the Commission on Ministry, others heard God’s call for me too. Again, having the same life circumstances as before, going away to Seminary is just not an option for me. I often wish I could have that experience, but I know it’s simply not my path.
I began a guided study toward Ordination, which I’ve been told is an ancient way of preparing for ministry. So far I have completed courses in Old Testament and New Testament and am mid-way through Church History. I have worked with our Bishop and with Father McAlpine as well as read a number of texts and other books, watched countless videos and sought out information relevant to my studies. I recently took a Chaplaincy Training through the IFOC and although I’m choosing not to seek licensing through them, the information was invaluable and the relationships I formed are an absolute gift.
Ascension in Merrill is the main focus of my ministry. I lead our Youth Ministry program, I serve as Senior Warden, I’m a Worship Leader and preach every few weeks. I’m excited to see what God is up to at our little church and I feel humbled and blessed that I get to be a part of it.
Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I juggle a full house, a full time job, and an active ministry as I attempt to learn all I need to learn in order to become the Priest God called me to be. I rest in the knowledge that God will make a way, when there seems to be no way.
Blessed Beyond Measure,
Intercession Episcopal Church, Stevens Point, a part of the Beloved Community with Redeemer Lutheran Church, will hold their annual Steak Dinner fundraiser on Saturday, September 28th from 4-8p.m. Tickets are $20 per person costs and gets a ribeye steak, grilled as you like it, baked potato with toppings, salad, roll and dessert. Soda/coffee is available for small offering. There will be hot dogs and chips available free of charge. There are also raffle baskets and several great silent auction items. This is Intercession's only fundraiser and proceeds will go to support the various traditional and non-traditional Outreach and Mission Action Team programs. . You may go home with some great gifts as well!
RSVP: In order to get a correct number of rib eye steaks, we need an exact count by Sept. 18. Call the office if you will be attending (715) 341-3233.
Beloved Community is located at 900 Brilowski Road, on the eastside of Stevens Point behind Fleet Farm.
When the Monk Gardens in Wausau was vandalized this past summer, some younger parishioners of St. John the Baptist, Wausau took action. Together with friends, they organized an art and bake sale in the parish courtyard and raised over $1,000 for Monk Gardens. St. John's courtyard is near downtown, and hosts many events so is well known in the community.
This outreach event sparked an idea for Fr. Copeland Johnston, Rector of St. John's He has announced a plan to continue to support goodwill efforts with a “Noisy Bucket." On the first Sunday of each month, loose change will be collected in buckets by the children of the church. Reminders will ask folks to bring change from dressers, car cup holders, pockets, and sofa cushions on that Sunday. After a reasonable amount has been collected, the children will direct where the money will go in the community.
Perhaps your congregation might want to start your own "Noisy Bucket"?
Erik Evenson is a Seminarian from the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. His sponsoring congregation is St. John the Baptist, Wausau. He recently sent this letter to update the diocese about his seminarian experience. Please keep Erik and our other seminarians in your prayers.
Dear Diocese of Fond du Lac,
It’s the start of my middler year here at Seminary of the Southwest. We miss being with all of you back in the Diocese of Fond du Lac but are happy the process is moving forward. We are just getting out of the hot summer temperatures here is Austin. During August we had a string of 20 days that the temperatures were over 100 degrees. The positive of that is that I am loosing weight. I have almost 80 pounds lost since I left for Seminary last year. Amy is doing well with her job she works as the marketing and creative manager for Diamondback branding. And our wonder pup Gus is a positive member of the community (our cook saves scraps for Gus, and he is officially allowed in the buildings on campus.
This semester my study load is very big, the positive of that is that I am very interested in my course work so it is not a burden. I am taking the following classes:
My field parish work officially began. I will be robed and serving at the altar each Sunday. My supervisor said this is the best way to get comfortable behind the altar. I am really looking forward to this part of my formation. The school aspect is of course important, but the field parish (and participating in CPE) is where the rubber meets the road. My work study this year is in the Library I try and pick up as many shifts as they let me to help make ends meet.
I look forward to getting to see you at the Diocesan Convention in October. I will be flying back to attend convention and preach at St John's.
Thank you all so much for all your help guidance and prayers. I/we could not do this without you and you mean the world to us.
Take Care and God Bless from Austin
Yours in Christ
If you would like to provide financial support for Erik, you may send a check payable to Seminary of the Southwest, 501 East 32nd, Austin, TX 78705 with "Erik Evenson" in the memo and a note to add it to his educational expenses account.
Julie Hendrix is a Seminarian from the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. Her sponsoring congregation is St. Thomas, Menasha. She recently sent this letter to update the diocese about her seminarian experience. Please keep Julie and our other seminarians in your prayers.
Dear Diocese of Fond du Lac:
As I am starting my second year of seminary at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, I thought it might be a good time to give an update as to how I’m doing.
Nashotah is located about 35 miles west of Milwaukee, close to Oconomowoc, Delafield and Waukesha. Nashotah House is a wonderful community -- it has been super supportive of me and my family -- I am very blessed to be a part of such wonderful people!
So, last May, I completed my first year of seminary -- I took a variety of courses ranging from Ascetical Theology, Church History, Old Testament, Hebrew, Church Music, Homiletics, among others. My favorite course has been Church Music because it spoke to the integration of the liturgy and music -- something that everyone is interested in! I also enjoyed my Homiletics class very much -- preaching is such an awesome responsibility, so to do it well and to get good feedback both from my professor and my peers was invaluable.
This coming term, I am going to be taking Greek, New Testament I, Historical Theology, Church History II, Liturgy II, and Student Pastoral Ministry.
As part of our time here at Nashotah, we are required to attend a local church -- hopefully one in which we will serve as a seminarian. I attend St. Matthias in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Fr. David Simmons is the rector. Fr. Simmons is a Virginia Theological Seminary graduate and an oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich. The congregation is lovely and very welcoming. They have been very supportive of me and my family.
This past summer, I spent most of my time in Clinical Pastoral Education. This course was probably the toughest, yet most beneficial course I have taken yet. I served as a chaplain in Bethel Homes in Oshkosh. While there, I made daily pastoral visits to people who were in the independent living apartments, the assisted nursing apartments, and the full care nursing home. I led worship services twice a week, Wednesday and Sundays. I got very attached to “my people” and miss them terribly already.
Last year, I was a Choral Scholar member -- the Nashotah House choir, a 4 part choir, sings every day, and travels to various churches and cathedrals to perform. I was an alto and very much enjoyed my time learning how to sing Anglican chants.
This year, I will be a sacristan. A sacristans are students who facilitate twice daily offices and daily Mass which is the core of our community life at Nashotah House. We help train those who are serving in various functions of the chapel life, whether they be a lector, thurifer, torch bearer, eucharistic minister or other functions.
Finally, my family is doing great -- in fact, I recently became a grandmother for the first time! I’m thrilled because he is a very happy, calm baby. My kids, Daniel, Susana, and John are doing wonderfully -- and my husband, Steve, is happy and continuing his good work in Ghana, Africa.
Thank you all for your prayers and support -- I know that without them, I could not do the work I am doing and want to do.
If you would like to provide financial support for Julie, you may send a check payable to Nashotah House, 2777 Mission Road, Nashotah, WI 53058 with "Julie Hendrix" in the memo and a note to add it to her educational expenses account.
St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Wausau will host the Celebration of New Ministry with its new Rector, the Rev. Copeland Johnston at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, 2019. All are welcome and invited to attend. The service marks the transition of ministry for the congregation and the priest as they live into a new relationship in serving the Gospel.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Suamico will host the Celebration of New Ministry with its new Vicar, the Rev. Bobbi Kraft at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, 2019. All are welcome and invited to attend. The service marks the transition of ministry for the congregation and the priest as they live into a new relationship in serving the Gospel.
In preparation for the The Way of Love Revival October 26 in Appleton, All Saints Episcopal Church is hosting a two-evening study program of The Power of Love, a collection of sermons of the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry who is featured speaker. Discussion Leader is Larry Danielson, retired Professor of Ethnology.
Sessions are open to the public and take place at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24 and October 1 at All Saints Episcopal Church on the east side of downtown Appleton, next to Lawrence University on the northeast corner of College Avenue and Drew Street (100 N Drew Street). Parking is available in the lot behind the church building and across Drew Street from the church.
We invite you to participate in an open discussion about Camp for the Future. Discussions will inform those making decisions to make our summer camp program meet its goals in the best way possible. Camp goals can be described as three C’s.
We have been experiencing growing challenges in doing camp. We know how important our camp program has been in the diocese since 1926, so are being proactive in planning for the future. We are looking at ways we can change our path to avoid ending up in a dead end. We invite you to help us look at ways we can change. We know you care about our diocesan camp. We hope you are invested in its continuation in the best way possible. You can show a visible sign of that commitment by attending one or both discussion sessions.
These discussion sessions will be led by a trained and experienced facilitator who will help us share our thoughts openly. Please do join us. Snacks and drinks will be served. Please RSVP at diofdl.org/camp.
Camp for the Future Discussion Sessions
Excellent opportunities to share information about your ministries, missionaries, congregations, organizations and businesses are available October 25th & October 26th. Exhibitors pay a fee for use of an 8-foot table with a tablecloth, chair and wastebasket. There are a number of breaks allowing participants to browse during, before and after the event.
Diocesan Convention: Over 150 people will attend from across the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. Tables are $25 each. To reserve a table for the Diocesan Convention on Friday, October 25th, visit diofdl.org/convention and scroll down to Display Tables.
Way of Love Revival: Over 500 people are expected to attend from across the state of Wisconsin. Tables are priced for businesses, not-for-profits and a special discounted rate for outreach and missionaries. To reserve a table for the Way of Love Revival on Saturday, October 26th, visit diofdl.org/wolr and click the Reserve Display Table button.
One of the most important vocations of a cathedral, historically, is to serve as a community's center of civic moral consciousness. St. Paul's Cathedral, Fond du Lac is laboring to serve Fond du Lac as its "community cathedral," a place where the city gathers to learn, to pray, and to serve together for the good of the whole community.
To this end, the Cathedral will be presenting a "Blue Evensong" on Sunday, September 29, at 4:00 p.m. A Blue Evensong is a service designed to honor and pray for the public safety personnel of the community. It is held on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, because Michael is the patron saint of police officers and firefighters. All the public safety personnel of Fond du Lac - police officers, deputies, and firefighters - will be cordially invited to attend. The service is open to the public.
Over $20,000 raised as part of the diocesan Annual Bishop's Appeal has been entrusted to a companion diocese. The Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac in northeast Wisconsin and the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe started a companion diocese relationship in 2016. This relationship expands understanding of one another, nurtures friendships, and proclaims the Good News of the Gospel in local communities and cultural contexts. Each diocese prays regularly for the other since the relationship began. In June this year, three members of Masvingo visited the Diocese of Fond du Lac.
The Annual Bishop’s Appeal offers opportunity to support the work the diocese by providing resources for leadership, vitality, and through initiatives that transform lives. The 2019 missionary church portion of the appeal was designated for the Diocese of Masvingo. To date $20,334.12 has been raised, more than doubling a $10,000 goal.
"Let me make special mention of two of our congregations," Bishop Matthew Gunter shared. "St. John the Baptist in Wausau, sent a gift collected from members of the congregation of over $10,000. The women of St. John's sent an additional donation for the work of the Mother's Union in Zimbabwe."
"St. Luke's in Sister Bay," Bishop Gunter continued, "sent a donation for the Mother's Union as well. Nearly 100 individual gifts have been received toward this goal of the appeal. What a blessing it is to share what God has provided."
The funds will support Masvingo's Transfiguration Skills Training Center and aid Cyclone Idai recovery efforts. The center is a diocesan project that impacts the community. It imparts skills to youth to start projects and improve their livelihoods through chicken rearing, piggery, market gardening and maize production.
The Annual Bishop's Appeal continues to receive contributions. To give, visit diofdl.org/appeal.
The Outreach Committee of the Episcopal Church of Christ the King and Holy Nativity, Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport, selected “Cradle to Career” as the recipient of its second-quarter 2019 outreach grant. The church has pledged one thousand dollars per quarter to local community service programs, in addition to its continuous support of the Lakeshore CAP food pantry.
Door County Cradle to Career is a program of the Lakeshore CAP (Community Action Program). It serves Door County residents who are pregnant or are parenting at least one child under the age of five years. Case manager Kris Miller connects families with resources that help meet basic needs and supports parents as they work toward educational, career and financial goals.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Waupaca, hosts "Vespers in the Garden" on both July 28 and August 25 at 5:00 p.m. Music for both dates is provided by the Matt Buchman Jazz Quartet. The service is held in St. Mark's Garden of Blessings (weather permitting), 413 S Main Street, Waupaca, adjacent to the church building. A potluck follows the service. Lawn chairs are recommended.