Bulletin Insert – February 25, 2018

Invitation to the Good Friday Offering

Presiding Bishop Curry wrote in the annual Good Friday letter to all bishops and congregations asking them to consider providing assistance for the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Information, including bulletin covers and bulletin inserts on the Good Friday Offering, is available at episcopalchurch.org/good-friday-offering.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I greet you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you in preparation for Holy Week and the focus of that week on our Lord’s sacrificial offering of love on the cross.

The Good Friday Offering is one way we in the Episcopal Church help to support the ongoing ministry of love and compassion carried out by our Anglican sisters and brothers throughout the Province of Jerusalem and Middle East.

Whether funding an eye clinic in Aden or women’s programs, schools and medical services in the West Bank, the Good Friday Offering is making a difference in the lives of so many. I believe our partnership with those who keep the faith of Jesus alive in the region where our Lord walked and began his movement is a significant aspect of our work as part of the church catholic.

I hope you will participate in this effort. Information is available at episcopalchurch.org/good-friday-offering which offers bulletin covers, bulletin inserts, and other helpful information. Any questions about this program may be directed to the Rev. Canon Robert Edmunds, our Middle East Partnership Officer. He can be reached at redmunds@episcopalchurch.org.

Thank you for considering this important witness to the love of Jesus across our Church and in the Holy Land. May God bless you and keep you always. I remain

Your brother in Christ,

The Most Rev. Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

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Bulletin Insert – February 18, 2018

For Such a Time As This: Protect and Support Indigenous People

As Episcopalians, we are taught that it is our duty to not only follow and worship Christ, but also to “work, pray, and give for the spread of the kingdom of God.” Approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives, whose ancestors had taken from them millions of acres of land that makes the United States what it is today, have been and still are subjected to various forms of physical and social injustices.

As Christians and Americans, we have an obligation to work, pray, and give to respond to and end those injustices. Let us lift our voices and ask our members of Congress to protect funding for programs that provide relief, promote public safety, and support a meaningful livelihood for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

On February 21, join the Episcopal Public Policy Network and the Presiding Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as we pray, fast, and act.

Pray for our nation’s elected leaders and for all who struggle with hunger and poverty.

Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.                    from the Book of Common Prayer, pg. 826

Fast to call attention in our own minds and actions the needs and circumstances of the poorest among us.

Join us on social media using #PrayFastAct and @TheEPPN. On the 21st, post a picture of a dinner place setting with the reason you are fasting this month.

Act: Prepare for action…

  • by reading this one-pager on protecting Indigenous People: bit.ly/FSATindigenous
  • by asking Congress to support programs aimed at reducing poverty and protecting American Indians and Alaska Natives.
  • by reading the testimony of the National Congress of American Indians before the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies expressing, on behalf of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, expressing the need for public safety and business support: bit.ly/FSATtestimony

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Bulletin Insert – February 11, 2018

World Mission Sunday

On February 11, 2018, the Episcopal Church will celebrate World Mission Sunday.

Traditionally, World Mission Sunday falls on the last Sunday in Epiphany each year and is a time when the church comes together to focus on the global impact of our baptismal call to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 305).

The theme of World Mission Sunday this year is Building Bridges Beyond Ourselves.

The Episcopal Church is a member of the Anglican Communion, a family of churches consisting of 39 provinces with millions of members in over 165 countries. We are connected by our shared faith and tradition. Today is a day to pray for those with whom we are in relationship, and to reflect upon the global context of our Church. We are called to live in community, and our community stretches far beyond the walls of any building or the borders of any country. The Office of Global Partnerships supports and nurtures relationships between individuals, congregations, dioceses, and our brothers and sisters across the Anglican Communion.

In his sermon written for today, the Rev. David Copley, Director of Global Partnerships and Mission Personnel for the Episcopal Church, tells us, “On World Mission Sunday, we are reminded that we are all called by God to live a life of reconciliation—reconciliation with God and with one another—and there has been no more urgent a time to participate in God’s mission than today.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminds us, “World Mission Sunday is about how we, as followers of Jesus, work together with people across the globe to help to make this world something closer to God’s dream for all of God’s children.”

Resources for World Mission Sunday, including sermons and ideas for encouraging global mission, are available at episcopalchurch.org/worldmissionsunday. For more information about World Mission Sunday or the Office of Global Partnerships, please contact Jenny Grant, Officer for Global Relations and Networking, at jgrant@episcopalchurch.org.

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Bulletin Insert – January 28, 2018

The Good Book Club

Episcopalians around the world will read the Gospel according to Luke during Lent and the Book of Acts during Eastertide in 2018.

Join us as we explore the entire story of Jesus’ life as told by Saint Luke and to read about the earliest Christians, their encounters with the Holy Spirit, and their passion for sharing the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Follow the reading list on the back of this page beginning February 11, 2018.

The Good Book Club has brought together organizations from around the Episcopal Church, all producing helpful and engaging resources to help you get the most out of reading Luke and Acts.

Resources include printable bible studies, podcasts, blogs, reflections and daily meditations, suggestions for children and youth engagement, a video series, and more.

Visit www.GoodBookClub.org to learn more about these resources and activities.

Please note: these bulletin inserts reference and include a set of readings for the Lenten and Easter seasons. The PDFs below include those readings.

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Bulletin Insert – January 21, 2018

United Thank Offering Grants

Applications are now accepted for the 2018 United Thank Offering grants. The application forms and more information are available at bit.ly/2018UTO.

The focus for the 2018 United Thank Offering grants is Becoming the Beloved Community: Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice. Information on Becoming the Beloved Community is available here: bit.ly/becomingbeloved.

“UTO is inviting our entire church to embrace the JESUS movement and to work toward “Becoming Beloved Communities,” commented Sandra K. Squires, Ed.D., United Thank Offering Board President. “UTO looks forward to funding bold efforts to heal racial divisions within parishes and dioceses.”

Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. United Thank Offering was founded to support innovative mission and ministry that the Episcopal Church budget has not yet expanded to fund and to promote thankfulness and mission in the whole Church.

The deadline is March 2, 2018 at 5 pm Eastern/4 pm Central/3 pm Mountain/2 pm Pacific/1 pm Alaska/ 11 am Hawaii.

IMPORTANT NOTES

The United Thank Offering will accept:

  • grant applications for start-up costs of a new ministry.
  • grant applications for seed money for start-up positions.
  • one grant application per diocese within the Episcopal Church and one per province of the Anglican Communion.
  • one additional application for a companion/partnership grant from a diocese of the Episcopal Church.

Full details, including applications that will not be funded, are located at bit.ly/2018UTO.  United Thank Offering will not fund the continuation of ongoing ministries.

For more information about guidelines and applications, contact the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, Staff Officer for United Thank Offering, at hmelton@episcopalchurch.org.

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Bulletin Insert – January 14, 2018

Young Adult and Campus Ministries Grants

The application process is now open for the 2018 Young Adult and Campus Ministry Grants, which provide funding for dioceses, congregations, and community college/tribal college/university campuses for an Episcopal ministry (or ecumenical ministry with an Episcopal presence). The grants are for the 2018-19 academic year. A total of $138,000 is available for the 2018-2019 cycle, with a total of $400,000 available for the triennium.

Categories

There are four categories of grants:

  • Leadership Grants: to establish a new, restore a dormant, or reenergize a current campus ministry. Grants will range from $20,000-$30,000 and can be used over a two-year period.
  • Campus Ministry Grants:to provide seed money to assist in the start-up of new, innovative campus ministries or to enhance a current ministry. Grants will range from $3,000-$5,000.
  • Young Adult Ministry Grants:to provide seed money to assist in the start-up of new, innovative young adult ministries or to enhance a current ministry. Grants range from $3,000-$5,000.
  • Project Grants:to provide money for a one-time project that will enhance and impact the campus or young adult ministry. Grants $100-$1,000.

Process

The three-step process is:

  • Grant Discernment and Planning (link will start download: bit.ly/yacmgrantplanning)
  • Completing the Grant Application (link will start download: bit.ly/yacmgrantapplication)
  • Completing and submitting the application bit.ly/yacmgrantsubmissionThe application must be completed in full and submitted online.

Background info and grant application are linked here: bit.ly/yacmgrantbackground.

The applications will be reviewed by a team that will include Provincial Campus Ministry Coordinators, leaders in ministry with young adults, an Executive Council member, and Episcopal Church staff members.

Deadline to submit applications is February 2 at 10 pm Eastern/9 pm Central/8 pm Mountain/7 pm Pacific. Grants will be announced April 30.

For more information contact Valerie Harris, Formation Associate, at vharris@episcopalchurch.org.

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Bulletin Insert – January 7, 2018

Georgia Revival and Deaconess Alexander

On January 20th, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will host Fearless Faith, Boundless Love, a revival in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. The revival, which includes a recognition of the life and ministry of Deaconess Anna Alexander, will be a day of celebration, joy, and renewal, as the Church goes out to do the work God has given us to do. Please note that this revival was rescheduled following Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Anna Ellison Butler Alexander was born in 1865 to recently emancipated slaves on Butler Plantation in McIntosh County, Georgia. She would become the first black deaconess in the Episcopal Church. In a calling of more than 60 years, her indomitable spirit and fierce devotion to God still illuminates our understanding of ministry.

Deaconess Alexander’s call was to serve the people of Pennick and Darien, Georgia. She founded Good Shepherd Church in rural Glynn County’s Pennick community, where she taught children to read – by tradition, from the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible—in a one-room schoolhouse. The school was later expanded to two rooms with a loft where she lived. In addition to her ministry at Good Shepherd, she traveled on foot for 15 miles and rowed a small boat on the Altamaha River to serve St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Darien. Her tireless work was to teach her pupils about the world and Christian responsibility to all peoples.

This is not to say that Deaconess Alexander served in easy times. The diocese segregated her congregations in 1907 and African American congregations were not invited to another diocesan convention until 1947. Similarly, it was only in the 1950s, after her death, that a woman set aside as a deaconess was recognized as being in deacon’s orders. However, her witness – wearing the distinctive dress of a deaconess, traveling by foot from Brunswick through Darien to Pennick, showing care and love for all she met—represents the best in Christian witness.

Please keep the Georgia Revival, its participants and planners, and the people of Georgia in your prayers. Selected portions of Fearless Faith, Boundless Love, including Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry’s sermon, will be live-streamed on the Episcopal Church’s Facebook page. For more information on Episcopal revivals, including future locations and events, please visit http://bit.ly/episcopalrevivals.

A Collect for Deaconess Alexander

O God, you called Anna Alexander as a deaconess in your Church, and sent her as teacher and evangelist to the people of Georgia: Grant us the humility to go wherever you send us, and the wisdom to teach the word of Christ to whoever we meet, that all may come to the enlightenment which you intend for your people; through Jesus Christ, our Teacher and Savior. Amen.

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Bulletin Insert – December 31, 2017

The Feast of the Epiphany

This coming Saturday, the Church will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, which marks the end of the twelve days of Christmas each year on January 6.

Epiphany is a Greek word meaning “manifestation” or “appearing.” At the Feast of the Epiphany we celebrate Jesus being made manifest or appearing as Christ. Traditionally, there are three manifestations celebrated on this feast day.

The most widely celebrated manifestation of Christ on this feast day, and the one that has been historically celebrated by Christian churches in the West, is Jesus revealed as Christ to the three wise men, or Magi, from the East, who followed the Star of Bethlehem at Jesus’ birth.

The second manifestation celebrated today is the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Although this was part of the original Epiphany celebrations in second-century Christian churches in the East, by the fourth century Western churches had largely stopped observing the Holy Baptism in Epiphany celebrations. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer began to reintroduce Jesus’ baptism into this celebration by revising the lectionary readings for the First Sunday After the Epiphany to include gospel passages each year about Christ’s baptism. The First Sunday After the Epiphany is now also known as the Baptism of Our Lord.

The third manifestation of Jesus as Christ that is traditionally celebrated on this day is the miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana in Galilee, Christ’s first recorded miracle.

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Bulletin Insert – December 17, 2017

For Such a Time as This: December

#PrayFastAct for Sustainable Development Goals

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminds us to pray, fast and act this Advent and Christmas, in support of good policies that provide opportunities for and respect the dignity of people struggling with poverty.

This month, we focus on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end poverty and hunger, reduce inequalities, ensure quality education, create opportunities for decent work, care for creation, and promote a peaceful and just global community.

SDG Episcopal Bulletin UN

On December 21, join the Episcopal Public Policy Network and the Presiding Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as we pray, fast and act.

During this Advent and Christmas, we focus on the praying aspect of this campaign, and encourage all to pray for the Sustainable Development Goals. Share on social media using #PrayFastAct and @TheEPPN. On the 21st, share which SDG matters most to you.

Pray for each of the goals using these prayers from the World Council of Churches: http://bit.ly/SDGprayers

 

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Bulletin Insert – December 10, 2017

Episcopal Evangelism Grants

The application process is now open for the new Episcopal Evangelism Grants Program, designed to fund local and regional evangelism efforts in the Episcopal Church.

“This program will encourage our whole Church to share resources, catalyze imagination, and ultimately cultivate a network of evangelists who can learn from each other and connect with each other,” explained the Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook, Chair of both the Episcopal Evangelism Grants Committee and the Executive Council Committee on Local Mission and Ministry. The Episcopal Evangelism Grants program is coordinated by the Local Mission and Ministry Committee in collaboration with the Episcopal Church’s Evangelism Initiatives Team.

“Evangelism isn’t some scary practice only ‘other’ Christians do,” said the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care, and a member of the Grants Committee. “Evangelism is the heart of Christian life, and we hope this program will light a fire and connect Episcopalians who are creating unique, authentically Episcopal ways of seeking, naming and celebrating Jesus’ loving presence everywhere.”

The Committee seeks proposals focused on several goals:

  • Create and spread resources that equip Episcopalians and churches to become evangelists and to share and receive faith stories in daily life
  • To create opportunities for people who are not part of a faith community to build their own loving, liberating, life-giving relationships with God in Christ.
  • To aim for lasting, broad impact.
  • To employ innovation and creativity.
  • To promote churchwide learning, understanding and practical application.

Episcopal institutions (congregations, dioceses, provinces, schools, monastic communities, Episcopal organizations and other Episcopal affiliated entities) are eligible to receive these funds. Regional collaborative partnerships with non-Episcopal entities are welcome, but an Episcopal entity must serve as the project leader, active manager, and reporting agent. Those associated with a seminary or formation program are encouraged to explore funding through the Episcopal Evangelism Society at www.ees1862.org.

Grants are available for up to $2,000 for an individual congregation and up to $8,000 for multi-church, diocesan and regional collaborations.  Groups receiving funding are expected to make a significant financial contribution toward the project, as well. The Grants Committee will review proposals and make recommendations to Executive Council at its January 2018 meeting. Distribution will occur within four weeks of notification and completion of requisite forms.

 Application, criteria, and additional information are available here www.episcopalchurch.org/evangelism. Application deadline is December 15 at 8 pm Eastern. For more information, contact Kayla Massey at kmassey@episcopalchurch.org or (212) 716-6022.

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