Save the Date: "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" Matthew 11:28-30
From the Office of Public Affairs Electing the 28th presiding bishop is a decisive moment for The Episcopal Church. Today we joyfully announce the release of our profile and invite you to join us in our journey to nominate individuals to stand for election. Help choose our next presiding bishop. https://bit.ly/3W1kaeN #JNCPB #episcopal
Check out the Diocesan Websites page for Niobrara Convocation. https://www.episcopalchurchsd.org/page/niobrara-convocation Here is where you will find hotel information, who their guest speaker is, and where to send your hospitality checks.
Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community Across our church and our society, we are having profound dialogues about race, truth, justice, and healing. We explore where this dialogue intersects with our faith. Join us and our invited guests as we share prophetic voices and explore the readings. You'll hear ancient texts interpreted in new ways, find fodder for preaching and teaching, and make present day connections to the prophetic voice of the Bible. This podcast will help us rethink
Hello ladies, the 2023 Nomination form for our Honored Women is ready and available now. Please go to the Diocesan Website at episcopalchurchsd.org and look 2/3 of the way down the page. Here you will see a block under PROGRAMS, Episcopal Church Woman. By clicking LEARN MORE you will be directed to the ECW page and there you will find the Nomination form. Don't forget the deadline is April 15. Clergy we hope you will share this with your congregation members.
Some of our leaders at St. Michaels, Bastesland, Pine Ridge Episcopal Mission were interviewed on NBC's Today Show, which will air on Earth Day April, 22. The creativity and innovation of their greenhouses and the distribution of fresh vegetables and microgreens in their community are being highlighted. Please watch the broadcast on April 22, Earth Day.
Rev. Zephier’s Funeral arrangements. 3/12 3:00 – 5:00 PM Visitation at St. Mark’s Church 5:00 PM Prayer Service/Wake 3/13 11:00 AM Burial of the Dead & HE Clergy White or beaded Stoles Lunch to follow
Mission companionship with Christians in Sudan and South Sudan will be the theme of the Mission Thursday on Feb. 16, sponsored by the Global Episcopal Mission Network. Congregations, dioceses and organizations with connections to the Sudans are welcome, as are all others interested in learning about ministry with Christians there. This Mission Thursday, hosted by the American Friends of the Episcopal Churches of the Sudans (AFRECS), will be held on Zoom at 1 p.m. Free registration is accessible here at Eventbrite for this opportunity in mission networking. AFRECS executive director Dr. Dane Smith, a former US ambassador and envoy in Africa, will host the webinar, assisted by Dr. Richard Jones, retired mission professor at Virginia Seminary. A Sudanese church leader opening the session will be followed by brief presentations by Episcopalians pursuing mission companionship with Sudanese Christians. Q&A will close out the one-hour session. The Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) is a rapidly growing faith community in a country characterized by communal violence and a dysfunctional government. ECSS is bringing Jesus' message of good news to the poor at the local level through literacy, livelihood generation and trauma healing with help from AFRECS. It is also building the newly accredited Episcopal University of South Sudan. The Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) operates in a country where more than 90 percent of the population are Muslims. It has enjoyed greater autonomy since the overthrow of Islamist President Omar Bashir in 2019, though the transition to democracy was halted by the military in 2021. The ECS has been growing quickly in the Nuba Mountains area to the south. A consultant and lecturer on international peacebuilding, with a recent focus on faith-inspired peacebuilding, Dane Smith , Jr., was US ambassador to Guinea and Senegal, and special presidential envoy to Liberia, and senior advisor to the US Government on Darfur. He was deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. He and his wife Judy were Peace Corps volunteers in Eritrea.
'Common Ground, Shared Roots' restores prairies, 'keeps the soul alive' “One thing that we believe is of concern to all in South Dakota is the importance of our land, our reliance upon it, and the necessity for us to take care of it as God’s gift to us and to all of creation,” says Bishop Jonathan. "We are all about ‘risking something big, for something good,’ as William Sloane Coffin states in his benediction. And this was a risk that we all felt was very important to take.” See the news story at https://www.episcopalchurchsd.org/page/common-ground-shared-roots.
The Rev. Abbott Warren Shoberg, OSBCn, born May 28, 1941, died December 20, 2022. Vigil prayers will be held at 6:00 pm, Monday, January 9, 2023 at Calvary Episcopal Cathedral, Sioux Falls. Abbott Warren's Requiem Mass will begin at 10:00 am, Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at Calvary. Clergy and religious are encouraged to vest and process: choir dress (cassock and surplice or cassock-alb or the equivalent monastic vesture) and white or beaded stole. Inurnment will follow at the newly completed St. Augusta's Columbarium at Calvary Cathedral. Following the service there will be a time of fellowship in the Lewis Commons at Calvary Cathedral. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Fr. Abbot Warren's full obituary may be found here.
Birth, AdventWord, December 24, 2022 Talking about the #birth of my children, I mostly shared “positive” feelings—hope, excitement, anticipation, joy. Only with close friends and family did I share my fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. In this week’s gospel, we see Joseph wrestle with these same feelings. With only the comfort of an angel’s promise and faith in an unseen God, Joseph answers the call to become Christ’s foster father. Joseph and Mary will celebrate birth at the foot of the manger soon, but for now we wait with them in disquiet. Are we prepared for Christ’s arrival? What do we fear? Lindsay Barrett-Adler serves as development associate at Forward Movement and delights in sharing the story of its mission and impact, made possible by generous donors. In her free time, Lindsay is an often-disappointed Philadelphia sports fan, curious chef, and mom of three, always in need of more coffee.
Restore, AdventWord, December 23, 2022 Restore is a spiritual reality perfect for Advent. God comes to restore us—every moment of our life. In Advent, we are reminded that Jesus restores us by being God with us, God for us, and God in us. Without shaming or blaming us, Advent invites us to the important task of paying attention to the ways in which God seeks to restore us. Advent reminds us that God comes to us and to our world. Advent reminds us that we need to come to God to be restored spiritually, psychologically, culturally, politically. May we deepen our desire to be restored in God. Will you let God restore you? The Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones is the priest and director for Spiritual Formation at Trinity Retreat Center in Cornwall, Connecticut.
The Northeast Deanery Festival of Lessons and Carols at Abbey of the Hills has been rescheduled to Friday Dec. 30 at 4:00 PM.
Choose, AdventWord, December 22, 2022 I lived with this word for several days. I began to see the freedom and the responsibility of being able to choose. I can turn away from evil and turn toward good. Turn away from large evils—violence, war —and small evils—hatred, unkind thoughts. Turn toward good, keeping a soft heart for the whole globe. God walks with me. God thunders, “Choose the good!” God pleads, “Choose the good.” God whispers, “Choose the good.” God stands with the poor, the suffering, the hungry, those in pain and weeps, “Choose the good.” With God’s help, I can choose. Ann Case is an 82-year-old retired librarian who became an Episcopalian because of the liturgy and the Book of Common Prayer.
Obedience, AdventWord, December 21, 2022 As the eldest child of an eldest child, I find that obedience has always been at the forefront of my life. Over the years, I have enjoyed its sweet freedom. This word might be fraught for some, but for me, it’s a measure of love, devotion, and commitment. It’s doing something that someone asks of you, not because of obligation but out of love. We are called as Christians to be obedient to God. The command can seem heavy, but in it, there is freedom to be who we are as God’s children. God’s expectations of our lives, our love, and our passions give us boundaries that provide a safe and constant place to be formed, nurtured, and cherished. The Venerable Jeffrey Queen serves as rector of St. Andrew’s, Fort Thomas, Kentucky, and archdeacon of the Ohio Valley of the Diocese of Lexington. He and his wife have two adult children and too many pets.
Hear, AdventWord, December 20, 2022 We are surrounded by loud noises and voices, by ringtones and notifications. How many of these are merely “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1)? What messages do we choose to hear? Luke’s story of Advent is marked by some remarkable voices: Zacharias and Mary see and hear angels. Elizabeth hears two poems of praise and prophecy—one from her cousin Mary and one from her husband Zacharias. Later in the story, shepherds hear angels sing. Whose voices are you hoping to hear this Advent? How can you create the quiet in which they can be heard? A native of Argentina, Hugo Olaiz is an associate editor for Latino/Hispanic resources in Forward Movement.
Sign, AdventWord, December 19, 2022 When I worked at a library, I helped design and update the wayfinding signs around the building. That job taught me that a thoughtful sign is an act of welcome. The best signs point the way for longtime community members and new visitors alike. Signs can show you how to find what you need before you ask. They may even show you something you didn’t know you needed. God’s signs are rarely so color-coded and clear. But if we pay attention, they still point us to a kingdom coming near—a kingdom where our needs are met in God’s abundant love. Margaret Ellsworth serves as marketing coordinator for Forward Movement; she lives with her family in Boise, Idaho.
Purify, AdventWord, December 18, 2022 “Purify our conscience almighty God, by your daily visitation….”. So begins the collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent 2022. We are exhorted to open up space in our hearts, minds, and souls for God’s grace, that we may find the strength and courage to become cleansed crystal clear in God’s sight. How can we manage to do this? Through self-control, prayer, repentance, wholehearted devotion to the ways of Jesus in our daily lives. In return, God sees our potential, continually renewing us with the living water of the Spirit, continually freeing us from guilt and shame. In the imitation of the purity of Mary and Jesus, we are purified so we can nurture our gifts to grow in the Christian life. Elizabeth T. Massey (Liz) is a retired licensed clinical social worker in the geriatric field who enjoys museums, opera, cooking, and talking about US. and world affairs with friends.
Fire, AdventWord, December 9, 2022 A traditional Cherokee story recounts how water spider brought back fire to the People after other, larger, animals had failed. Fire kept the People alive. Important symbol across religions, fire is a primal necessity. My Cherokee teacher shared that when whites first saw Indians dancing around the fire, they assumed the “heathens” were worshipping the fire itself. Instead, they were worshipping Creator, who set the fire of the sun in the sky and the fire of love in our hearts. Advent offers time to rekindle the fire in our own hearts if it has dimmed due to cynicism or despair. The Rev. Kim Becker, a poet and priest of Cherokee descent, serves in North Dakota.
Breathe, AdventWord, December 8, 2022 Breathe on us, O BREATH. At our beginning and our end, you are with us and within. In the beginning…the BREATH of God hovered above the waters…calling creation into being. From the dust of the ground, God formed the human and b-r-e-a-t-h-e-d… I will put my breath in you…and you will live. And it was so. Life is in the breath, the BREATH of God. Breathe on us. The dust returns to the earth that gave it, and the breath returns to God who breathed it. At our beginning and our end, you are with us and within. Breathe Your breath on us, O BREATH. Kathy Culmer, D. Min., is an author, Christian educator, professional storyteller, speaker, teacher, retreat leader, and author of the story series, Moving Forward in Truth: The African American Experience of Episcopalians in the Diocese of Texas.