Bishop Ely is posting updates via Twitter during his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. For those who do not use Twitter, you can scroll through his updates below.
Saturday August 2nd, 2014 from 1pm - 5pm
Do you like swimming? Do you like wiffleball? Do you like Pie? Do you enjoy spending time outside with friends? If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions, join us at Rock Point for the Episcopal Fun Day.
The afternoon starts with a barbecue and ends with the 2nd Annual Great Pie Bake Off. It's a great opportunity to explore historic and beautiful Rock Point in the middle of the best season.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS - Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 11am. Don't miss the 2014 Alleluia Golf Open at The Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes Vermont, with a Celebration BBQ at 3:00pm.
"The Alleluia Open is a wonderful day of golf, and it all goes to support important ministries in Vermont and beyond. It is a few dollars well spent for fun and to help make a difference in our world." Bishop Ely
In the course of final preparations for my pilgrimage to Jerusalem, my heart, mind and prayers are very much with the people of Palestine and Israel as they live in the midst of the terrible conflict that has been so much a part of our news and their lives these past two weeks. I visited Gaza in 2005 and so I have some personal visual images of that small, heavily populated and troubled region. I especially recall our visit to Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza and so, because I wanted to do something to help relieve some of the suffering, I have sent $1,000 from funds available to the Bishop in response to the appeal for aid to the hospital from Bishop Suheil Dawani. I have asked the Global Reconciliation Committee to consider a donation as well. Here is a link to the appeal should any of you wish to make a contribution: http://www.j-diocese.org/resources/file/news/Al%20Ahli%20Gaza%20Appeal%20July%202014.pdf
I am certainly no expert on the Middle East and the seemingly intractable conflict between Israel and Palestine over this land that is home to many people and many faiths, Jews, Muslims and Christians in particular. You have been reading, watching and listening to the same news reports as I have. There is no lack of “spin” or “blame” in the various reports and accounts. Tragic is the word that most often is on my lips. Complexity is the other word. Perhaps by being there in person I will gain some deeper understanding, but mostly I am going to be in solidarity with individuals and families connected with Kids4Peace (http://www.k4p.org) and with others who I know from previous visits or to whom I have been introduced by colleagues. This is a relationship pilgrimage.
I arrive in Tel Aviv Tuesday (tomorrow) July 22nd. I am staying at the Tantur Ecumenical Center in Jerusalem (http://tantur.org/) from July 22-31 and then spending the last three nights of my pilgrimage in Bethlehem with a friend and colleague. I am told that at Tantur there will be guests from all over the world taking part in one of their study programs and so I look forward to meeting some of them at meals and at other times. I have many wonderful opportunities in these next two weeks to break bread and share conversation with individuals and families. I especially look forward to several Itfars (meals ending the day’s fasting) with Muslim colleagues during these holy days of Ramadan. There will be time to visit some sacred sites and meet with representatives of programs and projects in the region that are working for peace. I am not visiting Gaza on this pilgrimage, although my heart will surely be there with the people of Gaza.
I can only imagine how the current circumstances are affecting the people with whom I will be in contact. My hope and prayer is that my being there will offer some small sign of solidarity. I pray that my own heart and mind will remain open to experience what lies in store for me these next two weeks and I ask for your prayers as I journey with hope in my heart.
Jr. High Camp is up and running at Rock Point Summer Camp! Click here to read about all the fun from the first part of the camp season. Click here to see photos and updates from the second part of the camp season, including the Jr. High camp going on right now. You can also follow RPSC on Facebook to keep up-to-date.
On Saturday, June 28th a gathering was held at Trinity Church Rutland to kick off the year-long journey of assessment, consultation and discernment now underway to help The Episcopal Church in Vermont explore and respond to the question: What do we need in order to support and sustain a more missional Episcopal Church in Vermont for the next 5 to 10 years?
Participants in the gathering watched short clips of interviews with three important consultants in this process: Christine Graham, Craig Smith, and Delbert C. Glover (Del).
Watch the full interviews below, and if you have not already done so, FILL OUT THE SURVEY , "Spirit and Energy: 3 Years On." As Christine Graham explains below, this survey is an important element of this year-long process.
INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINE GRAHAM
If you are on an Apple (or other) device that is not loading the below embed, click here to watch.
Date: October 31st - November 1st, 2014
Location: Jay Peak Resort - Jay, VT
How to Register for Convention: To register for Convention please CLICK HERE to use our online registration system. Up to four (4) individuals may be registered using the online system, so we encourage you to coordinate the registration process among your parish's delegation. PLEASE NOTE THAT HOTEL RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE DIRECTLY WITH THE HOTEL JAY. CLICK HERE FOR BOOKING INSTRUCTIONS.
The journey we are on as the Episcopal Church in Vermont is a journey toward full and faithful participation in the reconciling Mission of God in the world of the 21st century. We are mindful that this journey challenges us with new realities about what it means to be and to become the Church, the faithful community of the Body of Christ, called out by God to give voice and substance to the Good News of God in Christ in our day and time.
As with many journeys we read about in the Bible, this journey is taking us to a destination where much is uncertain. What is certain is the promise of Emmanuel - God is with us. God promises that we will have company on this journey and invites us to trust, even as we travel without a clear roadmap.
The purpose of this survey is to measure concerns expressed by people of our diocese. You can take the survey here.
On June 4, 2011, the Episcopal Church in Vermont gathered for a Special Convention to receive and discuss a report from the Capital Campaign Discernment Committee and act on their recommendations. The action approved by that Convention included, "That attention be given and actions be taken at both the local and diocesan level to address the concerns raised in the 2011 Capital Campaign Feasibility Study report (found here) and summarized in 'Analysis and Recommendations,'..." The recommendations presented in the June 2011 report specifically included the areas of communications, fundraising collaboration with congregations, education, and reaching youth. This survey will address these areas specifically as well as additional areas of our common life, including the Rock Point property.
June 24, 2014
My Sabbatical Plans
July 1 to October 30, 2014
Dear friends and colleagues:
It is with a grateful heart that I prepare to begin my second sabbatical since becoming Bishop of Vermont in 2001. My last sabbatical was December 2006 to March 2007. I am grateful that our diocese makes provision for sabbatical time for its bishop, other clergy and some lay employees. During this sabbatical I will be away from my day to day responsibilities as bishop from July 1st to October 30th.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines sabbatical (in part) as a period of time during which someone does not work at his or her regular job and is able to rest, travel, do research, etc. A break or change from a normal routine (as of employment). I plan to do some of all the above!
During this sabbatical my attention will focus on the subject of dignity, a subject of ongoing interest to me, especially as I continue to be influenced by the work of Donna Hicks and her book, Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict in Our Lives and Relationships, which I commend to your own reading and study. You can learn more about the work of Donna Hicks at her website http://declaredignity.com/ . My focus will be on the way dignity contributes to the Church’s primary ministry of participation in God’s reconciliation mission in the world. I will be privileged to look at this through the lens of two very different cultures in other parts of the world.
On June 20th, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) held a news conference with Vermont religious leaders to discuss the moral implications of extreme wealth and income inequality. Bishop Thomas Ely, Rabbi Joshua Chasan, the Rev. Lynn Bujnak, and Monsignor Roland Rivard were present, as well as several other Episcopal clergy and faith leaders.
Bishop Ely’s participation in this news conference is in keeping with the resolution on the subject of economic justice and income inequality passed at The Episcopal Church in Vermont’s 2013 Diocesan Convention.
Full Video of the Press Conference (if the embed below does not work for you, click here to watch on YouTube)
Below is the transcript of Bishop Ely's statement:
Thank you Senator Sanders.
Thank you for your advocacy on so many important issues and especially your leadership in the area of economic justice and income inequality. I am glad to add my voice to yours and these distinguished colleagues who provide important leadership and direction in our Vermont faith communities.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We have launched the 2014 Alleluia Fund and already we have over $50,100 in gifts and pledges! Alleluia! During these great fifty days of Easter I ask you to make your commitment to the ministries that are supported by the Alleluia Fund. Our goal this year is $75,000. I know the generosity of our people and I am confident that we can exceed this goal. There are so many reasons to express our gratitude, and so I hope you will make the Alleluia Fund one way in which you do just that! Please continue to read the rest of this letter that describes our approach to the Alleluia Fund this year. Thank you. Alleluia! +Thomas
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