Thursday, August 30, 2007
I received the following e-mail today. It of course illuminates the challenges small churches face when it comes to sacramental leadership. I am hoping that someone will share some of the other options and creative ideas that St. Peter's could consider, or that perhaps this will find its way to a priest that might be called to this community.
I am writing to hopefully get some help with a big problem that we, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Jackson, Alabama, are having. We are without a Priest and we can't find one. We are a small church with 30-50 members in attendance each Sunday. We have been very fortunate to have been able to secure Priests from nearby Mobile, AL. for several years. Our latest Priest was wonderful, but he left for Houston, TX (bigger church - more money). We are not able to pay big bucks (about $20-25,000) so we really need a retired person or someone with another occupation. Jackson (6,000 population) is a great place to live and raise a family. We have contacted our Diocese and there are no available Priests. Maybe you could post our plea on your website or maybe you could put us on to someone that knows more. Thanks so much!
For more information contact Lawrence Garrett, Senior Warden at email@example.com
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – Held at Kanuga Conferences, the upcoming Transformation and Renewal Conference will prepare historically black Episcopal congregations to throw open their church doors and do the holy work of evangelism, bringing new faces to those doors.
T&R V, to be held Nov. 11-16, will explore the theme People Get Ready: A Fresh Start in Proclaiming Christ. Since 1999 Kanuga has co-sponsored this biennial program along with the Episcopal Church’s Office of Black Ministries and the Union of Black Episcopalians.
It attracts clergy and laity from throughout the United States and beyond, who take home information and inspiration to strengthen their parish or mission, regardless of its size or situation.
Returning as conference coordinator will be the Rev. Lynne Washington, executive director of the Peter Paul Development Center, Richmond, Va.
The opening speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Susan Newman, who directs the Washington, D.C. office of The Balm in Gilead. This organization seeks to improve the health of people of the African Diaspora by helping faith communities address diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Another plenary session, “Evangelism 101,” will be led by the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Watts, director of the Black Ministries Program at Hartford Seminary.
The Rev. Canon Angela Ifill, the Episcopal Church’s canon missioner for Black Ministries, will speak on “Highlights and the State of the Black Church” and “Evangelism and Congregational Development.”
Other workshops and their leaders include “Tell Me Something Good,” conference design team; “Radical Welcome,” Stephanie Spellers; “Liturgical Evangelism,” Martini Shaw; “Stewardship and Evangelism,” Anne Ditzler; “Let’s Get Moving,” Vincent Harris; and music workshops, Carl MaultsBy. Horace Clarence Boyer will be the featured musician for one day and the St. Ambrose Jazz Quartet will perform throughout the week.
For information visit www.kanuga.org or telephone 828-692-9136.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Utilizing a small two bedroom cottage owned by and adjacent to the church, the congregation formed Haven of Hope for Kids that now provides up to 6 day vacation retreats to urban lower income families caring for critically ill children. The program opened in June of 2005. Over twenty five seriously ill children and their families have now had a vacation in the country and a respite from the constant stress and worry that illness and hospital treatment bring. The children are selected by the social workers from seven participating hospitals. Over forty five volunteers from both inside and outside the parish actively participate in the program.
For the surrounding community and for the existing congregation, this program has transformed the identity of St. Luke's Church. The Rector of St. Luke's now also serves as the Director of Haven of Hope for Kids and receives approximately 1/2 of his compensation through this 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. For its ministry Haven of Hope for Kids has attracted wide financial and volunteer support well beyond the existing parish.
St. Luke's/Haven of Hope applied for a 2007 Roanridge Grant to recruit a seminarian intern who has a passion for rural ministry beyond the traditional parish model. The intern, Jon Owens (pictured above), began in June, 2007 and will complete his 10-week training in September.
Congratulations Jon, St. Luke's and Haven of Hope for Kids. May God's blessings of abundance be with you...
Friday, August 03, 2007
I have recently accepted a call to a parish that split a couple of years ago over the current unpleasantness. While fairly small, the congregation is well motivated and energetic. I am wondering if there is a network of such parishes--those rebuilding and developing a new identity after a divisive split. If you know of such a network, please let me know--and if you are interested in starting such a network, also let me know. I'll start officially in about a month, but would welcome any stories or ideas that might help. There is no need to re-invent the flat tire.
Father Liggett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org