Dear Friend in Christ,
We are a group of Christians currently meeting under the auspices of the Vermont Ecumenical Council, thinking about the future of Christian cooperation in Vermont. We seek to include other Christians who would like to expand the conversation.
Please join us for this event:
What: Who Cares? The Future of Christian Cooperation in Vermont
When: Sunday, April 26, 2015; 3:00 - 5:30 pm
Where: Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State Street, Montpelier, VT
With your help, we will reflect on past ecumenical cooperation throughout Vermont, explore current manifestations, and look to the future (People perish without vision – Proverbs 29:18). We hope for a meeting inclusive of all interested Christians from among our state's 620,000 people.
Please extend this invitation to people you know who are interested in Christian cooperation specifically, and in God's family generally, as well as to people you sense may be interested, but may have never received a similar invitation about ecumenical caring and sharing.
This historic meeting is also another reminder that we are chosen to represent Christ, can do more things working together, and God promises to always be with us (Matthew 28).
Grace and peace,
The Right Reverend Thomas C. Ely
Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Vermont
for The Vermont Ecumenical Council Board of Trustees
The wardens, vestry and people of St. Paul’s, White River Junction are excited to share the news that the Rev. Scott B. Neal has agreed to become our new rector. He will join us for his first service on July 12. The St. Paul’s community will have a chance to meet the Neals at the St. Paul’s Bargain Bin taking place Saturday, May 30.
We feel that God has answered our call for the kind of rector we want. Last October, we were asked as a community to write down the qualities we value in a rector:
• We wanted someone who can partner with us on our journey. Scott is at a point in his ministry where he also is ready to “let go of the safety of holding on to the banks,” and is ready to trust the currents.
• We value relationships with each other and wanted someone with whom we can enter into a personal relationship and who will be collegial. Scott is attractive, warm, present, personable, gentle and fun.
John Miller and Melanie Combs, far left, engage with other New England church leaders at Art of Hosting. Photo credit: J. Lytle, Province 1
The Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter is a testing ground for organizing, innovating, and interacting to create new kinds of conversations which serve us better in the complexity of this time in the life of the church. “Art of Hosting was really excellent. Perhaps the best training I have ever participated in for our church,” said Rick Taylor, Diocesan Council member and Province One Representative. “I can see how these methods would really help a group determine how to transform ministry and how you discuss mission.”
Deborah Aldrich explains, "Last year our bishop challenged us to think of how we could use our voices and our assets to relieve the suffering and the inequity that surround us ... and one idea that kept rising to the surface was the idea of having a community meal." Christ Church, Bethel has developed a wonderful meal program for the community. Click here to watch the video.
Stirrings of the Spirit awarded grants to nine creative and innovative ministry projects ranging from a contemplative prayer intensive for young adults to a “just in time” food rescue start-up. Awards totaled $40,920. The grant proposals were reviewed by members of the Stirrings of the Spirit leadership team and weighed on the strengths of these innovative or start-up projects to address the following criteria:
The second Recalculating the Way conference took place at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont on Saturday, March 14th. This year's focus was on "Recalculating Worship."
Recalculating Worship and Stewardship: An Adaptation
Click here to watch video of Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen of United Church of Underhill presenting his TED Talk
The Church Has Left the Building
Click here to watch video of Rev. V. Mitchell Hay of Essex Center United Methodist Church presenting his TED Talk
Creating a Culture of Generosity
May 29, 30, 2015
May 28, 2015
Camp Allen, Texas
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral will present two keynote addresses at the annual TENS conference on May 29 and 30, 2015. He will be speaking on, "Creating a Culture of Generosity". Dean Hall brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the area of stewardship. He has lead congregations from the West to the East. He also served as President and Dean of Seabury Theological Seminary.
In addition to Dean Hall's presentations, the conference is offering nine workshops on the following topics: Annual Campaign, Multi-Generational Generosity, Story Telling, Planned Giving, Vestry Generosity, Living Generously, Using TENS Resources, Year Round Generosity, and Fostering a Generous Community in a Digital World.
The conference will kick off with the Eucharist. Bishop Andy Doyle will preach.
What is a Seder? A Seder is a ceremonial dinner that commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read from the Haggadah, a narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, to say special blessings, perform rituals, and sing Passover songs. The Seder obeys a command from Exodus, “You shall tell your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.”
What relevance does the Seder have for us? The lack of freedom for some people, the need for greater interfaith understanding, and the social justice work done by VIA and Ohavi Zedek (‘lovers of justice’), inspired Rabbi Joshua Chasan to create a Passover Seder that includes leaders of Protestant, Catholic and Unitarian VIA congregations, refugees, and spiritual leaders of other faith traditions. This Seder celebrates the freedom of all peoples of all faiths.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn the basic form of a Passover Seder that includes both Jewish traditions and the spirituality of other traditions. This is a unique opportunity to learn from one another and to share in the celebration of this "festival of freedom”. This year it will also be a chance to honor and say good-bye to Rabbi Chasan, who is retiring after many years of service to both Ohavi Zedek and VIA.
Please join us on Monday, April 27 at 6PM at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, 188 North Prospect St.
MCCLURE IV Funds continue to be available. Grants may not exceed $2,000 and require a parish match. This match may be in cash or in underwriting expenses. For example, parishioners who give food to a food pantry or community dinner may count the value of this towards the $2,000. Last year McClure IV made seven grants. Food ministries topped the list. Others included summer camp for children of incarcerated parents and a health clinic. May 1st is our spring grant deadline. The next deadline is in October.
The Domestic Outreach Committee of the Alleluia Fund has the responsibility for the oversight and approval of grant applications for domestic outreach projects. Available funds are dependent on the success of the Alleluia Fundraiser during Eastertide.
Congregations, as well as outside organizations are invited to request funds for projects they feel called to sponsor. Habitat for Humanity, food banks, shelters, thrift stores and fuel assistance and social justice initiatives are only a small sample of the ways diocesan funds have been used to extend our mission to our communities. Priority for Alleluia Fund support will be given to projects that deepen the connection between the church and the community through the involvement of Episcopalians.
The Alleluia Fund for Domestic Outreach is similar to the McCLure IV Initiative with three exceptions: 1) the Alleluia Fund does not require matching funds from a parish; 2) application can be made by a non-parish organization; and 3) ultimate responsibility for McClure IV grants rests with the Domestic and Social Justice Committee.
Members of the McClure IV Committee: Nancy Bower, Laura Chase,Ron Corkins, Catherine Cool, Lee Crawford, Peter Galbraith, Bob Halverson, Stew Pierson, Margie Zabriskie
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