Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all who serve, worship, and grow in Christ's love in (sm)all congregations...

Suz +

Thursday, December 20, 2007



Episcopal Relief and Development Announces the Arrival of the 2008 Lenten Devotional

Episcopal Relief and Development is pleased to announce the publication of the 2008 Lenten Devotional, entitled “Seeking to Serve: A Lenten Exploration of the Millennium Development Goals,” by the Rev. Jay Sidebotham, Rector of Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois.

The devotional features illustrations and meditations on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and offers ways for parishioners to help achieve these life-saving goals.

Serving as a complement to the Daily Office Lectionary, the devotional invites Episcopalians to reflect on the role of God’s grace in our lives and how we may act as instruments of God's healing in a hurting world. The 2008 Lenten Season will be a special one thanks to the Presiding Bishop’s declaration of Sunday, February 10th as Episcopal Relief and Development Sunday.
“We are extremely proud of this year’s publication and its focus on raising awareness of the Millennium Development Goals,” said Robert W. Radtke, ERD President. “We hope that congregations nationwide will support our efforts worldwide to help our neighbors in need by participating in Episcopal Relief and Development Sunday,” said Radtke.

Devotionals are now available. Please order an adequate supply of devotionals and other resources for your congregation as soon as possible.

To order, please call Episcopal Books and Resources at 1.800.903.5544 or visit CONGREGATIONS PAY ONLY FOR SHIPPING AND HANDLING.

To ensure delivery by Ash Wednesday, February 6th, orders for 2008 Lenten Devotionals must be placed by January 14th.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Standing Commission for Small Congregations

Standing Commission for Small Congregation

This past week I had the pleasure of serving as the staff liaison to the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission charged with "concerning itself with new directions for small congregations" in Kansas City.

An agenda was created upon arrival by participants, and included the following:


Building resources of Best Practice (Music, Stewardship, Ethnic Ministry, Small church handbook, Style of worship)

Summit on Small Church

General Convention and Resolutions

Relief for Small Church Professionals (Pension Fund, Health Insurance, Debt)

Seminaries role in formation (Lay and Ordered)

The conversation was good and I look forward to seeing more fine work from this committee (especially the possibility of an event to be held just prior to General Convention 2009 which I will share more about as plans progress.)

What I would be interested in right now is learning (and sharing) from you, small church enthusiasts, what other issues you would like to see this committee address? If you were at the table last week, what else would you have added to the agenda? What "new directions for small congregations" would you hope that we, collectively, will articulate and possibly legislate?