Keeping It Together When The World Seems To Be Coming Apart
Diocesan Convention delegates viewed the Way of Love video which outlines the Way of Love process of life. Each congregation is being encouraged by Bishop Matt to join in this part of the Jesus movement, as a way to help us center our lives on God's work. Presiding Bishop Curry has invited the whole church to take up The Way of Love, a “rule of life” focused on practices for Jesus-Centered Life. You can view the video here or watch below. Explore the Way of Love here.
Saturday also started in prayer at the Convention Eucharist held at the Cathedral. Bishop Matt Gunter gave his Pastoral Address “Abide in Jesus, the Way of Love.” The focus was that in a time of political, economic, social and religious upheaval and uncertainty, we can still experience the abiding love of God. After the service, worshippers moved four blocks to the Thelma Sadoff Center of the Arts for the business session.
Regular business was conducted with a constitutional amendment passing its second reading. Its effect is setting a more practical quorum for the convention of a majority of clergy and lay delegates duly registered. Stewardship of financial resources across the diocese was addressed by raising awareness of the need to complete financial reviews in a timely manner, some required by canon to ensure voting privileges for lay delegates.
Several presentations were made including these topics: the diocesan discernment process, youth ministry, Cursillo, the 2019 Way of Love revival, and a revitalized United Thank Offering under a new diocesan coordinator. Elections were held to fill diocesan positions and appointments were made and confirmed. Three new deans were installed to serve deaneries. A proposed budget was approved.
One of the exciting reports was from the team leading the Faithful Innovations Learning Community process. This process builds on last spring’s diocesan vital congregations conference and is a multi-denominational process facilitated by Luther Seminary. Faithful Innovation is not a program, but a process to assists congregations and their members to be more deeply involved in their faith and how to live it out in their community.
One delegate summarized the convention this way, “It dealt with the needed business of being the diocese without getting mired in peripheral issues.” Information on aspects of the diocesan convention, including the Pastoral Address, election results, video and images may be found at diofdl.org/convention.
In Unveiling Islam, Episcopal priest and former Muslim, the Rev’d Canon Ezgi Saribay Perkins, will present a series of talks intended to engage the Fond du Lac community in a meaningful dialogue about the beliefs practices of Islam, paying particular attention to its similarities with and differences from Christianity. The talks will be held on Wednesday nights from October 10-31 at 6 pm in Trakel Hall of the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul the Apostle, 51 West Division Street in Fond du Lac. Refreshments will be served.
The Rev’d Canon Ezgi Saribay Perkins was born in Western Turkey and raised as a Muslim. After coming to the United States for college education, she converted to Christianity. In 2008, she became an Episcopalian and continued her faith journey in the Episcopal seminary, where she met her husband, the Very Reverend C. Patrick Perkins. She currently serves the Canon Precentor to the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul the Apostle.
UTO is a ministry of the Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. Notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout the Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.
“We look forward to Cheryl’s working with congregations to raise awareness of UTO,” Bishop Matt Gunter shared. “Our goal is to have 100% of our congregations participating in UTO. How? Contact Cheryl, of course.” Dobrzynski follows Carol Feller-Gottard, who served in this volunteer position for over a decade.
Cheryl is a long-time member of St. Peter Episcopal Church, Sheboygan Falls, serving as Senior Warden, vestry member, Altar Guild and coordinator of a local monthly meal program. She is on the Cursillo Secretariat, enrolled in EfM (Education for Ministry), been a delegate to diocesan conventions, and was deputy to General Convention 2018.
For information on the United Thank Offering, visit diofdl.org/uto.
At its September 22, 2018 meeting, the Trustees approved adding Church Insurance's Direct Repair Program (DRP) to the diocesan master policy and so applies to all participating congregations. The DRP provides access to a third party administrator to help a congregation in managing an insurance claim, especially claims that are significant. The DRP will reduce the number of people involved in the claim while providing additional resources for complex claims. It also helps in finding qualified contractors by using a pre-screened network. Because of the anticipated savings from this program, participants received a 3% reduction in their premiums.
No action is necessary to implement the DRP. If (or when) a congregation makes a claim to Church Insurance, they will begin the process with the DRP provider, Alacrity Services, when it is needed. If you have questions, please contact the Diocesan Office.
If you might be interested in pledging an inch, contact the St. Paul office at 920-892-4894.
One question before General Convention this summer was whether it is time to revise our Book of Common Prayer. The bigger question was, if we revised it, how extensive or comprehensive should revision be? The answer coming out of convention was a cautious “yes” to a process for some revision, but “no” to comprehensive or substantive revision. Since there seems to be some confusion, I offer a few thoughts about what this means.
Prayer book revision is not unusual. The Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer, first ratified in 1789, has been revised may times – in 1892, 1928, and 1979. The 1892 and 1928 revisions were relatively minor. The 1979 revision was quite comprehensive and substantive. Each generation, it seems, takes a fresh look at whether the current version conveys the eternal truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and enables the church to articulate its worship of the one, holy, and undivided Trinity, as clearly and fully as possible in contemporary language.
The resolution passed at General Convention (A068 Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer) “memorialized” the current 1979 Book of Common Prayer which I take to mean that it is the standard prayer book going forward and we will not be replacing it soon. If at some point we produce a new prayer book, it will look and feel very much like the one we are using.
Even so, there is need to find ways in our common worship to be more inclusive. That means avoiding using “man” and masculine pronouns when we are referring to people - men and women. Though many of us grew up with this literary convention, that understanding is increasingly not the case. For many, the language has become jarring and distracting to worship.
What is theologically trickier is determining more “expansive” language for our common worship. That means finding ways to speak of and to God in language that does not always imply God is somehow “male”. “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” is a fundamental Christian name for God we will continue to use, and we will not do away with all masculine language for God we have received from the Bible. But both the Bible and the Christian tradition provides a rich variety of names and images for God - some inanimate, some feminine. There are theologically responsible ways to incorporate some of these names and images to enrich our common worship. We have already experienced this inclusivity in recent years without revising the prayer book. General Convention authorized resources like Enriching Our Worship, containing inclusive and expansive Eucharistic liturgies, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. Some diocesan congregations have been using these liturgies on occasion.
I share the sentiment of the first Bishop of Fond du Lac, John Henry Hobart Brown, who said this about revision of the Book of Common Prayer:
I am well aware that there may be a conservatism so stiff and rigorous in resisting change and growth as to lead to the grave. Surely, there is no reason why the Church should not be able to adapt herself to the requirements of the present age. But, it would be a rude shock if our people were to find their old Prayer Book practically useless.
Under the Mercy,
The Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter
Bishop of Fond du Lac
Marcus received a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and an M.Div. from The University of the South (Sewanee) School of Theology. After being ordained priest in 2006 he served congregations in Ohio and Kansas. He was Rector of Trinity, Oshkosh and then Rector of St. Peter, Ripon and St. Mary Chapel, Wautoma. He served as Chaplain for various police forces.
Marcus had a passion for woodworking, traveling, watching movies, grilling out, and had a gift of talking to people, including strangers, and making people laugh.
His funeral will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, September 1, 2018, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 217 Houston St., Ripon, WI, 54971. Bishop Matthew Gunter, assisted by Reverend Dr. Nicholas Myers, will preside. In lieu of flowers a memorial is being established in Father Marcus' name. Obituary here.
Give rest , O Christ, to your servant with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac, the Episcopal Church in northeast Wisconsin, is pleased to announce the addition of Lisa Baltes to its staff as Administrative Assistant. Baltes will support the administrative, information management and financial functions of the Diocesan Office which supports the work of the bishop and assists clergy and lay leaders of Episcopal congregations. This part-time position has regular office hours Monday through Wednesday.
“We are looking forward to Lisa coming on board,” Bishop Matt Gunter shared. “She has shown herself to be hospitable, resourceful, organized, and has a working knowledge of the church.” Baltes was hired after a search process following retirement of the former Diocesan Office Secretary. The position is designed to divide regular workflow more efficiently among the diocesan staff.
Baltes brings two decades of quality experience in customer service and project coordination in the health care industry to the position. A United States naval veteran, she holds a BLS from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. An active member in the Presbyterian Church, she has served as an elected Elder on the church board. She and her husband Rick live near Omro and have two adult children.
Thursday, September 20
The Wisconsin Faith Community Nurse Coalition is offering a one-day event to enhance knowledge and resources regarding violence both in the community and in the congregation. The conference will be held at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee. The morning will focus on bullying, domestic violence and physical violence including gun violence. The afternoon will concentrate on healing after events within the congregation. All will receive a certificate of participation and resources on these topics. Nurses will receive continuing nursing education credits. Multiple registrations from the same congregation will receive a $10 Visa card (per participant) after the conference.
Additional scholarships are available through Episcopal Health Ministries of $25 per participant for Episcopalians and those serving Episcopal congregations. Please contact Maryfran Crist FCN at firstname.lastname@example.org. Register here.
The guest speaker is the Rev. Josh Acton, North American Director for the Order of St. Luke International Healing Ministry. He has been a pastor for 27 years at Anglican, Episcopal and Vineyard churches and is the spiritual leader for OSL.
Cost for attendance is $30, includes presentation, lunch and breaks. For more information about the healing ministry or to register, contact Jan Peskie 920-716-5757 or email@example.com. Register here.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac is working with a number of other regional churches to develop a new concept of resource center called ‘EPIC Hub’ (Equipping People In Congregations). One type of offering possible is a virtual book study. The East Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is offering an online book study and you are invited to join in!
The book will be Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. It is a book that sheds light on why America’s racial divide continues to deepen. She unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race.
It's FREE! If interested in participating from the comforts of your home contact Darlene at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Book Study Times
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Need the Book?
Books may be ordered on Amazon for $17.99 or Kindle $8.69.
- Please bring a dish to share. We'll have plates and utensils (but feel free to bring your own as well).
- You may want to bring a chair and/or blanket with you. There are only so many places to sit at the picnic tables in the shelter.
- It's on the river and you can fish if you bring some fishing gear (make sure your license is up to date).
- Have some lawn games to share? Bring them along too!!!
- It would be great if you could RSVP on Facebook
I am thrilled to announce that I will be attending Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin beginning in late August. I will be living there for 3 years while I complete my Masters of Divinity program.
When I first visited Nashotah in November 2017, I felt a call to attend there – the classes, the worship, everything about it spoke to me. As many know, Nashotah House was founded in 1841 and is Wisconsin’s oldest school of higher learning. I will be one of 14 new residential students this year. Nashotah House currently has about 90 students total, both residential and online.
I am extremely grateful for my extensive church family – they have guided and supported me every step along this journey – I am beyond grateful for their continuous love: St. Thomas parish, my Bible study, Double Portion, my Circles of Light (both 1st and 2nd!), my wonderful friends from church camp (a long time ago!), Happening, and Cursillo. Each and every person has been a guidepost for me.
After graduation, God willing, I plan to return to the Diocese of Fond du Lac where I will continue this journey with this wonderful church community we have in our diocese. I ask for your continued prayers both for me and my family as we begin this new adventure.
Appleton - All Saints
Bishop Matt Gunter
Celebration Of New Ministry
De Pere - St. Anne
Diocese Of Masvingo
Episcopal Church Women
Episcopal Relief And Development
Fond Du Lac - Cathedral Of St. Paul
Good Friday Offering
Jacksonport - Holy Nativity
Lessons & Carols
Marinette - St. Paul
Marshfield - St. Alban
Menasha - St. Thomas
Minocqua St. Matthias
Minocqua - St. Matthias
Mosinee - St. James
New London St. John
New London - St. John
Oneida Holy Apostles
Oneida - Holy Apostles
Order Of Julian Of Norwich
Our Lady Of Guadalupe
Plymouth St. Paul
Plymouth - St. Paul
Presiding Bishop Visit
Provincial Youth Event
Rest In Peace
Rhinelander - St. Augustine
Ripon - St. Peter
Sheboygan - Grace
Sister Bay - St. Luke
Stevens Point - Intercession
Sturgeon Bay - Christ The King
Suamico - St. Paul
Tomahawk - St. Barnabas
United Thank Offering (UTO)
Washington Island Forum
Waupaca - St. Mark
Waupun - Holy Trinity
Wausau - St. John The Baptist
Wautoma - St. Mary Chapel
Way Of Love
Wisconsin Council Of Churches
Wisconsin Rapids - St. John The Evangelist
Worship And Prayer