Here is one opportunity to participate in the trialogue, pursuing reunion as one Episcopal diocese in Wisconsin. The dioceses of Fond du Lac, Eau Claire and Milwaukee are exploring how reunification into one diocese can better equip us to be the church God is calling us to be in these times. A Steering Committee of representatives from each diocese is taking action to build connections and relationships exploring reunification. A first formal step is to form task forces to examine the possibilities.
Informal input began last Summer. Delegates to the diocesan convention last October participated in small discussion groups which generated great comments and questions about moving forward (read these here). Similar processes took place in the dioceses of Eau Claire and Milwaukee. An initial trialogue group, appointed by each diocesan governing board, reviewed this feedback and discovered a general desire to move towards a combined diocese. The potential to equip churches to be better in sharing the Gospel with one diocese was noted, but lack of clarity about how to do this was noted as well. A Steering Committee then developed a task force structure to begin work to address the questions related to reunification.
Task forces are being formed to examine various components of reunification including: Prayer; Parish and Regional Engagement; Culture and Mission; Location, Place, and Staffing; Finances; Constitution and Canons; and Communication. These will establish ways to involve more voices as ideas and proposals are developed (in-person or through technological means).
Those in the Diocese of Fond du Lac are invited to express their interest in serving on a task force. A description of each task force is provided on the interest page. After you share your interest, you can expect to be contacted to be involved by the end of February 2022.
The Diocese of Masvingo, companion diocese of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, is starting a dairy farm. Since Wisconsin is the "Dairy State", it would be udderly ridiculous for us not to help! In Epiphany we remember gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh - and in this spirit the Companion Diocese Task Force calls members of the Diocese of Fond du Lac to give.
The diocesan-wide fund raising effort from From January 6-March 5 is to fund dairy cows for the farm at Daramombe, Zimbabawe, and Anglican school campus in the middle of 1,200 acres of school owned farmland. Each heifer costs about $2,000 with at least 5 needed to start a good herd.
One cow isn't enough. The campaign kicks off with 2 cows funded by early givers! Can we build a herd? Our goal is to build the herd with every congregation providing support to the effort. How many cows in the herd is up to you! Every contribution - from as small as the price of a fast food meal to as large as the cost of a professional sporting event - can change the lives of entire communities in Zimbabwe.
Ready to give? Click here.
When the Diocese of Wisconsin was formed in 1847, Bishop Jackson Kemper lived out the missionary spirit of the Church. He did so while working in a field rife with possibility and being God’s witness “in the wilderness.”
There is a type of wilderness today, and not one of geography. The world has changed, but will the church in this place? Can we form ourselves to be relevant? Can we use the resources God has provided to support the work of the Episcopal Church through local congregations?
The three Episcopal dioceses determined to pursue reunion as one diocese in Wisconsin to come together with a blank slate to create a new culture. Leaders from the Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire met in December to continue talks about reunification – to dream about what God wants us to do and take the steps to do it. This second meeting looked at ways to best involve people in the trialogue so we can begin to crystallize a direction and some action.
Delegates from each diocesan convention had provided thoughts, comments, and responses to the idea of reunion. There were a lot of questions about things we don’t yet know. Many comments reflected a general desire to move towards a combined diocese. The responses noted the potential of one diocese to equip churches to better share the Gospel. But there is a lack of clarity evident as to what that means. The trialogue has just started, so this was to be expected. The need for information is great to generate specific ideas or proposals as well as to have more informed questions and discussion.
Reflecting on many responses, the leaders at this second meeting recognized the pursuit will not be easy and is to be undergirded by prayer. Seeking to come together and do things in a different way will be a challenge in a variety of ways.
The purpose of the trialogue is to enable members of the three Episcopal dioceses in Wisconsin to explore how reunification into one diocese can better equip us to be the church God is calling us to be in these times. Work is beginning to shape how we can get to know each other better. There will be opportunities to learn more about each diocese and its people. These will help in building relationships and informing the discussion. As with any change, there will be more questions than answers to start.
The leaders, who were selected by each diocesan governing body, serve as the trialogue Steering Committee going forward. Its purpose is to take collaborative action to build connections and relationships exploring reunification.
The Steering Committee will establish task forces to examine various components of trialogue. These are: Prayer; Parish and Regional Engagement; Culture; Location, Place, and Staffing; Finances; Constitution and Canons; and Communication. Members of each diocese with experience, knowledge, or passion in each area are being called to participate. These task forces will establish ways to involve more voices as ideas and proposals are developed. This may involve in-person connections as well as technological ones.
Communication will be essential. To involve over 10,000 persons is an immense task. An interactive website as centralized source of information is being designed. There will be ways to interact with others, provide answers to frequently asked questions, and share your thoughts and ideas with the task forces. Stay tuned to diocesan communication channels to learn ways to be a part to better equip us to be the church God is calling us to be in these times.
The trialogue Steering Committee members are the Rev. Canon Kathleen Charles, Tim Donahue, the Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter, the Rev. Canon Aaron Zook (Diocese of Eau Claire), the Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter, Matthew Payne, Pat Pfeifer, the Rev. Canon Wilson Roane (Diocese of Fond du Lac), The Rev. Canon Scott Leannah, the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee, the Rev. Jana Troutman-Miller, John Vogel (Diocese of Milwaukee).
The Diocese of Fond du Lac youth ministries have been wonderfully blessed by an unexpected gift of $50,000 through the generosity of an anonymous donor. The donor shared the contribution is made in thanksgiving for the commitment the diocese has shown to youth work, especially as shown through its summer camp. Youth work in the diocese has over a century of history, beginning with a diocesan school for girls in the 1880’s and over 90 years of an organized summer camp experience. The operating budget includes a significant to faith formation for young people from all congregations.
The donor determined to make the gift because of seeing children and youth being positively impacted and experiencing the love of God through the people and programs of the diocese. With the donors input, a majority of the gift has been placed with the Val Burg Memorial Youth Work Fund, essentially doubling its assets. Started in the early 1990’s through gifts from a number of supporters, the fund provides ongoing financial support to youth ministries of the diocese. Those interested in supporting the fund are invited to do so here.
The Anglican Diocese of Masvingo has been selected as a recipient from the 2021 Diocesan Outreach Fund by the Deacon Council of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. Each year, funds are set aside from the diocesan operating budget to give "beyond the diocese." The intent is giving beyond diocesan structures, though recipients may come from inside the geographical boundaries of the diocese.
The Council determined to provide $10,000 after being made aware of great need from the impact of the pandemic. The majority of funds were from assets on hand in the Outreach Fund. The remainder will come from a pending bequest to the diocese. The Executive Council determined 10% of that bequest, when received, will be added to the Outreach Fund.
Representatives of the Diocese of Masvingo visited the Diocese of Fond du Lac in 2019. Plans for a return visit are pending due to the pandemic. "The financial support our diocese has provided to our brothers and sisters in Masvingo over the past few years has been amazing," Bishop Matt Gunter commented. "We know our relationship is about more than money. We lift each other up in prayer daily, and in our congregations every Sunday. But the challenges in their situation has meant funds have greater impact and the support is an example that we can do more together as a diocese than we might be able to do as individual parishes."
Members of the diocese will have another opportunity to support the work of the Diocese of Masvingo during Epiphany. The Companion Diocese Task Force will be raising funds to purchase farms animals for the agricultural ministries in Masvingo. Learn more about their development projects here. Look for details on how you can provide a chicken, pig, cow or other animals on January 6, 2022.
December 9, 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
While we are grateful to God for the progress we have made in keeping people safe from COVID infection, we are writing today to remind Episcopalians in the State of Wisconsin that the pandemic is not over. Indeed, we now know that the most recently detected variant, Omicron, has been detected in our state. The data is still being collected, but it seems clear that this variant is significantly more transmissible than Delta and that current vaccines and boosters do not prevent transmission in all cases. We do know that vaccinations and boosters still provide important protection against developing the most serious illness and hospitalization.
This is a moment to ask all of our congregations to continue to take the pandemic with due seriousness and care. Let us recommit ourselves to the responsible, careful practices we have learned over the past months. In order to keep one another as safe as possible, we strongly encourage masking and social distancing when we gather. We urge every eligible member of the church to be fully vaccinated and to receive appropriate booster shots. We commend the continuation of virtual options for worship and other meetings. And we commend the guidelines adopted in most of our churches regarding masking, social distancing, and the reception of Holy Communion.
These are challenging times for us all, but we are members of the Body of Christ who is the light of the world. In these Advent days leading to the Christmas Feast, let us renew our trust in the God who is with us in every circumstance, in every challenge or time of uncertainty or fear. Let us commit ourselves to be bearers of God’s light and love to one another and to the world.
The Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter
Bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac
Bishop Provisional the Diocese of Eau Claire
The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee
Bishop Provisional of the Diocese of Milwaukee
An update to the Protocols and Best Practices document has been published by the Bishop and diocesan Covid Task Force. Changes were made considering information learned since the previous revision.
Masking and distancing continue to be encouraged as the best method to reduce the possibility of transmission of the Covid-19 virus. To further emphasize this, the protocols now include posting signage to remind participants that masking and distancing is encouraged. This is important to do regardless of vaccination status.
The primary modification made regards singing. Singing is an important part of our worship tradition. Congregational and choir singing is now allowed while distanced. Masking while singing is strongly encouraged. The Task Force recognizes singing increases the risk of transmission, but such risk is best mitigated by distance. The mitigation of risk by masking is likely, but not as significant as distancing is. Keeping appropriate space between households becomes more important when singing takes place.
Additional modifications made either clarify the language or attempt to make it consistent with current understandings regarding Covid-19.
The revised document is here.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac has announced the sale of the former St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Tomahawk. The property has been purchased by the non-denominational The Rock Church of Tomahawk. Their first service was held November 14, three days after the closing, with 40 people in attendance.
"It saddens me when we have an Episcopal community come to an end," Bishop Matthew Gunter noted. "But I am pleased that the space will continue to be filled with worshippers doing the work of the the Gospel."
After the dissolution of the congregation in 2019, the diocese took responsibility of the building. The decision was made to sell it in summer 2021. Sold through a land contract (the property is deeded to the buyer with the diocese acting as the "bank" holding a mortgage), revenue will be placed into a fund until the land contract is fulfilled. A portion of the proceeds is to be returned to the Roddis Loan Fund having been written off when the church closed. The Executive Council will then determine the use of the remaining proceeds. Typically they determine to tithe for outreach with the balance placed in diocesan endowments.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac has announced a new use for the church building in Green Bay formerly housing Blessed Sacrament Episcopal Church. After taking responsibility of the building, the diocese engaged a property management agency who was aware of a not-for-profit seeking space.
The Mandolin Foundation assists families in recovery from addiction, substance abuse and mental health disorders. The hall, kitchen, offices and apartment of the Webster Avenue building have been rented to Mandolin for "Amanda’s House" to provide transitional housing and programs focused on life skills training and connecting to community resources.
Bishop Matt Gunter noted in a letter to former parishioners that the "space where people experienced joy in life and sorrow in death is no longer a place of worship," but is becoming a place of good work that is "consistent with the work of Gospel." He invited them to consider volunteering at Amanda’s House. Opportunities include reading to children, cooking with residents, gardening, maintenance and office work. All volunteers must submit a completed application and agree to a background check.
Mandolin Foundation follows the high standards set by the Wisconsin Association for Sober Living Housing (W.A.S.H.). These are centered around the dignity, safety, and well-being of guests, reinforcing they are worthy and deserving of the love and care.
To support this important work, the diocesan Deacons Council recently approved a grant from the diocesan Outreach Fund.
For more information, including volunteering, visit mandolinfoundationllc.com.
Bishop Matt Gunter awarded the Bishop's Cross to Dr. Bradley Lauderdale and the Rev. Christopher Arnold. As a diocesan award, it was presented during the 2021 Convention of the Diocese of Fond du Lac on October 30th. The Bishop’s Cross is intended to honor individuals who have provided outstanding service to the Episcopal Church, especially on the diocesan and congregational levels. The Rt. Rev. Russell E. Jacobus established this award in 1997.
Dr. Brad is a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Menasha, Wisconsin. In his comments to the Convention, Bishop Matt noted his involvement in his parish and the diocese, especially in sharing his expertise as part of the diocesan Covid Task Force.
Fr. Chris is a priest canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. In his comments to the Convention, Bishop Matt noted his leadership to congregations with a focus in the prayerful life as well as to the diocese, especially in chairing the diocesan Covid Task Force.
You may read the Bishop's comments here.
Some may know Christi Cunningham or others from her family. family. Her dad, the Rev. Marcus Cunningham, served at St. Peter’s, Ripon and Trinity, Oshkosh. She was active in youth ministries of the diocese, and served on the national Episcopal Youth Event planning team in 2017.
A graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul this past August, Christi has decided to spend the next year serving in the Young Adult Service Corps. YASC is a ministry for young adults 21-30 in the Episcopal Church which sends young adults out into the Anglican Communion to work and become a part of the community. Challenge because of COVID, she has received news of her placement.
Cunningham will be serving in Liverpool, England and living in community with three others on the grounds of the Liverpool Cathedral. Tsedaqah Community house is a “missional community based at Liverpool Cathedral, made up of young people from around the Triangle of Hope living together in community for a year. Tsedaqah community members work in a variety of social justice projects across the Liverpool City Region, in conjunction with the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral.” The work will be be social justice oriented, and she couldn’t be more excited. She plans to keep everyone updated through a blog with lots of pictures and stories of this journey.
"What an invigorating opportunity for a young adult from our diocese in another country," Bishop Matt Gunter noted. "Living in community, in service to others, provides an occasion to experience God's presence like no other."
"In all this excitement, I must ask for help." Christi informed the delegates of the Diocesan Convention. "I ask you to pray for me and my housemates throughout this year. I ask your support financially, as you are able. I invite you take this journey with me."
There are two ways you are able to support Christi in her work with YASC.
Facebook Christi Cunningham
The Rev. Jerry Molitor has accepted a call to serve as Vicar of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Waupun, Wisconsin, on a part-time basis. Molitor received a B.A. from Lakeland College in Business Administration and Philosophy and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Cardinal Stritch University. As he neared retirement from a career in banking and information technology, he engaged in the diocesan Circles of Light discernment process. After receiving a Certificate of Anglican Studies from Nashotah House, Molitor was ordained deacon then priest by Bishop Matt Gunter in 2021.
The people of Holy Trinity, Waupun have been seeking a vicar following the call of their previous vicar to serve another congregation. His first Sunday is October 17, 2021. He is married to Linda.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is a mission church of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac in Waupun, Wisconsin. The congregation was organized in 1867 shortly after services had started and a visit from Bishop Jackson Kemper. It is a worship community of 43 baptized members with an average Sunday attendance of 14. Located in the heart of Waupun, its ministries focus on outreach to the community.
The Rev. Amy Heimerl has accepted a call and started service as Vicar of Ascension Episcopal Church, Merrill, Wisconsin on a part-time basis. Heimerl earned a B.A. in Education from St. Norbert College and M.A. in Education from Viterbo University. For over two decades as an educator she focused on working with students with emotional and behavioral struggles and who learn differently. On completing the diocesan Circles of Light discernment process she started "reading for orders," the historic practice of a guided program of studies individualized to the needs and goals of a candidate for ordination. She was ordained deacon then to the priesthood by Bishop Matt Gunter in 2021.
As a lay person, Heimerl served the church at the local, diocesan and national levels. She has been senior warden, treasurer, worship leader, camp counselor, and deputy to the Episcopal Church General Convention. She was one of the founders of a weekly youth ministry program at Ascension. Following many years of supply priests serving the congregation, Heimerl becomes the first resident Vicar in Merrill in many decades. She also works as Chaplain at a juvenile correctional facility in northern Wisconsin. She is married to Eric.
Ascension Episcopal Church is a mission church of the Diocese of Fond du Lac in Merrill, Wisconsin. First services were held in 1877, with a mission organized in 1882. It is a worship community of 54 baptized members with an average Sunday attendance of 20. Located in the heart of Merrill, it has a deep-rooted history in giving thanks for serving the poor and needy in the community.
Leaders from the Episcopal dioceses of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire have unanimously agreed to pursue reunion. This idea has been talked about since the 1970’s. It was agreed that now is the time to explore the option. A reunion would incorporate the three dioceses back to the one from which they were formed. Other paths could be followed, but pursuing reunion first provides clarity of purpose. It is understood doing so now is following opportunity rather than responding to necessity.
This agreement was made during the initial trialogue meeting on September 29, 2021. The trialogue explores how the three Wisconsin dioceses might work together to serve the mission of the Episcopal Church. Conversation focused on congregations, specifically how the diocese might better equip them to share the Gospel and serve Christ in their communities. There was enthusiastic discussion seeking new ideas and dreams of what could be developed for the 21st century and beyond. One participant noted “whether we want change or not, change is upon us.”
Pursuing reunion will involve a variety of voices to develop a common understanding. The focus is first on describing the ministry, then imagining how to form it in the shape of one diocese. The initial leadership group, selected by each diocesan Executive Council, is planning a second meeting with an outside advisor. Together they will seek the best way to engage lay and ordained members of each diocese in conversation.
The initial trialogue participants are the Rev. Canon Kathleen Charles, Tim Donahue, the Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter, the Rev. Canon Aaron Zook (Diocese of Eau Claire), the Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter, Matthew Payne, Pat Pfeifer, the Rev. Canon Wilson Roane (Diocese of Fond du Lac), The Rev. Canon Scott Leannah, the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee, the Rev. Jana Troutman-Miller, John Vogel (Diocese of Milwaukee).
The prayers of the Church and its members are asked to support this process.
"Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of the most direct and tangible ways that we embrace the invitation to become a Church that looks and acts like Jesus, by reaching out our hands in love to the dispossessed, displaced, exiled, and marginalized. For over four decades, in times of war, genocide, political persecution and upheaval, EMM has enabled the Church at all levels to welcome and care for God’s beloved children, supporting them on their journey as new Americans, our neighbors."
This is where EMM needs your help.
1. Prayer. Refugee resettlement ministry includes professional staff, but also tens of thousands of volunteers, congregations, and community partners and stakeholders, who all come together to welcome and support our new neighbors. Click here for a prayer list.
2. Volunteer support. To address the severe staffing shortages in the face of this crisis, we prayerfully ask for anyone willing and able to embed for a period of 1-3 months in an EMM affiliate office or within EMM’s churchwide headquarters staff. This may occur virtually/remotely, in some circumstances. At present, one of the top identified needs is for individuals with volunteer coordination, project management, and community organizing experience. Interested and skilled individuals should email AfghanAllies@episcopalchurch.org, attaching their CV and briefly explaining their relevant experience.
3. Financial support. In partnership with The Episcopal Church’s Office of Development, EMM has created the Neighbors Welcome: Afghan Allies Fund, recognizing that considerable funding is needed to support the housing, medical, legal, and other basic needs of the Afghan families we will welcome. We ask that you share this announcement and this bulletin insert with congregations, ministries, and affiliated organizations throughout your dioceses.
Diocesan UTO Coordinator Cheryl Dobrzynski is reminding congregations that the Fall UTO Ingathering in congregations is traditionally the Sunday closest to All Saints Day. So this year it is October 31st, the day after the Diocesan Convention. Not sure how to do an Ingathering, need materials, need a refresher? Contact Cheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 United Thank Offering grant application materials are now available. The focus of this year’s grants is Care of Creation: Turning love into action by caring for God’s creation to protect the most vulnerable—who will bear the largest burden of pollution and climate change—through justice, advocacy, environmental reparations, or the development of formation materials.
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 email@example.com. 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. The diocesan deadline (earlier than the national deadline) for submission is Friday, January 21, 2022 to allow the Bishop and Cheryl enough time to decide which application will be forwarded.
The Rev. Roberta "Bobbi" Kraft, Vicar of Saint Barnabas the Encourager Episcopal Church, Suamico, has announced acceptance of a call to serve as chaplain for the St. Francis House Episcopal Student Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will also serve as Missioner for Young Adults for the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee. This position begins mid-October 2021. Mthr. Bobbi has served at Suamico since June 2019. May God continue to bless Mthr. Bobbi in continuing to serve in ordained ministry. More here.
St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, is seeking its next Rector. The Vestry has posted the position on the Episcopal Church's OTM Portfolio database which matches congregations seeking clergy with clergy seeking congregations. Additional notice is made through social media, advertising in church publications and word of mouth. Church leaders work with the Rev. Meredyth Albright, Diocesan Transition Ministry Officer, in navigating the process. A Parish Profile has been developed to reflect the life of the congregation and help interested clergy learn more about the parish and the community. Read more here.
The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Wausau, Wisconsin, is seeking its next Rector. The Vestry has posted the position on the Episcopal Church's OTM Portfolio database which matches congregations seeking clergy with clergy seeking congregations. Additional notice is made through social media, advertising in church publications and word of mouth. Church leaders work with the Rev. Meredyth Albright, Diocesan Transition Ministry Officer, in navigating the process. A Parish Profile has been developed to reflect the life of the congregation and help interested clergy learn more about the parish and the community. Read more here.
Three Episcopal dioceses share a heritage of nearly 200 years after the Oneida brought the Episcopal Church to Wisconsin. Ministry and congregations were developed under the leadership of Bishop Jackson Kemper as missionary and diocesan bishop. More recently, the three dioceses worked cooperatively by co-hosting conferences, clergy gatherings and several other events.
The Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire dioceses have announced they are beginning to explore ways to deepen cooperation and coordination with each bishop and governing body providing their support. Each diocese is experiencing challenges of being the church in the 21st century while adapting to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
An initial leadership meeting will take place in September to discuss how congregations across Wisconsin might work more closely to best serve the witness and mission of the Episcopal Church. The focus will be how to be the body of Christ in this place and time. The meeting will consider how to best engage lay and ordained members of each diocese in future conversations.
The prayers of the Church and its members are asked to support this process.
Media Contact: Matthew P. Payne, firstname.lastname@example.org, (920) 830-8866.
Through an announcement and in a letter to the congregation, the Rev. Monica Burkert-Brist announced her resignation as Vicar of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Waupun. Mthr. Burkert-Brist has accepted a call to serve as Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Watertown, in the Diocese of Milwaukee. Having served as Holy Trinity’s Vicar since 2016, she noted “My time at Holy Trinity has been a true joy. They have formed me and made me a better priest.” Through mutual agreement of each diocese, she will continue to serve as Commission on Ministry Chair and maintain canonical residence in the Diocese of Fond du Lac. Her final Sunday at Holy Trinity will be September 5.
Prayers are asked for the repose of the soul of the Rev. Canon John A. Cell, SSC who died July 28, 2021. He was 78.
Born in Philadelphia, John Cell and was raised in the church. Graduating with a degree in education from Temple University he served three years in the Army and worked for a decade of secular employment before testing his vocation. With a Masters of Divinity from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky, John was ordered Deacon in May 1978 and Priest in December 1978.
From 1978 through 1982, he served as Curate at St. Paul’s, Muskegon, Michigan. Fr. Cell accepted the call to serve as Rector of Blessed Sacrament, Green Bay, arriving in March, 1982 and would extend over the next 28 years until his retirement in 2011. He served both congregation and diocese faithfully.
As Rector he was pastor to the people. As priest of the diocese he served in many ways: Summer Camp
Chaplain, Executive Council, Trustee, Commission on Ministry, Standing Committee, Rural Dean, Cursillo Spiritual Director, Vocare for Young Adults, Happening for Youth, Mission to Seamen Chaplain. He was a longtime member of the Society of the Holy Cross (SSC, Societas Sanctae Crucis). In recognition for his many years of service to diocese, congregation and community, he was awarded the Bishop’s Cross in 2009. Following retirement, Fr. Cell moved back to Philadelphia to be close to his family. A copy of the article in the diocesan paper on his retirement is posted below.
Father Cell is survived by his brother and sister, Paul J. Cell and his wife Dorothy “Dolly” and Beverly A. Gebeline and her husband Paul, and many nieces and nephews.
A Requiem Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday August 3, 2021 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church 105 W. Broad St. Burlington, NJ., where he was active in retirement. A Celebration of the Life and Ministry will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, De Pere. The Rt. Rev. Matt Gunter and the Rt. Rev. James Adams, Co-Officiants. The Ven. Ed Smith, Homilist.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Wounded Warrior Project or Tunnels to Towers Foundation, or to The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Give rest , O Christ, to your servant with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
Faithful Innovations, the process for congregations to learn together about how to engage the challenges and changes of the 21st century, resumes September 11. The process helps church members and leaders develop deeper connections with God, each other, and their neighbors through the introduction of practices of listening, discerning, experimenting, and reflecting. Its purpose is to encourage congregation members and leaders to behave their way into new thinking about what it means to be church in a changing world; to seek out where God is already at work in our midst and to join in God’s transforming work.
Through three Saturday trainings in a nine-month cycle, members of each congregation’s guiding team learn practices to listen to God in their local contexts through dwelling in scripture together, sharing faith stories, and noticing through fresh eyes where God might be at work in their neighborhoods. This deep listening invites discernment of the movement of God and the development of simple experiments to make connections. The final stage in the process is to reflect on what has been learned and to articulate new questions that begin the action reflection cycle again. As such, Faithful Innovations is not a program but spiritual practices that can affect all levels of congregational life and ministry.
If your congregation wants to join in Faithful Innovations during this cycle, contact the Diocesan Office (diofdl.@diofdl.org) to express your interest. More information at diofdl.org/faithfulinnovation.
Episcopal Campus Connection Wisconsin, a college student database, has been launched by the Diocese of Fond du Lac Campus Ministry Task Force. for church leaders to be able to make contact with Episcopal students. Episcopal Campus Connection Wisconsin is a Google form where students, parents of students, or clergy can share information about attending a Wisconsin postsecondary school.
Form managers will share this contact information with nearby congregational leaders. Only those managing the database have direct access to the detailed information. The congregation is then able to reach out to the student. They may want to just "Hello" or "Welcome" and offer an opportunity to get together. It is up to each congregation to determine what they want to do based on their gifts and resources.
"The goal is information sharing which is simple for reaching out with ease," explained Bishop Matt Gunter. "Ministry with young adults, especially college students, may be one of the most important ministries the church can undertake. Episcopal campus ministries are few and far between so local parishes are often where campus ministry needs to happen."
Each Episcopal congregation across the state will receive a letter about the Episcopal Campus Connection Wisconsin along with digital notices. It is hoped the creation of Episcopal Campus Connection Wisconsin can better equip our church leaders for expanding ministry.