Sharon Ely Pearson - My 2015 Lenten Practice: 2015 Episcopal Church in Vermont Diocesan Convention speaker Sharon Ely Pearson reflects on her 2015 Lenten practice
The Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE): "Stop, Pray, Work, Play & Love." So much of our stress and anxiety derives from our pollution of Time. God has given us the gift of time, and called it holy, yet we often experience time as a curse. In a series of short, daily videos over five weeks, the Brothers of SSJE invite us to recapture time as a gift. Join the Brothers as they wrestle with questions of time and discover how to experience the joy of the present moment.
Lent Madness 2015: Lent Madness began in 2010 as the brainchild of the Rev. Tim Schenck. In seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints, Tim came up with this unique Lenten devotion. Combining his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints, Lent Madness was born on his blog “Clergy Family Confidential” which has subsequently moved locations and become the more stream-lined “Clergy Confidential.”
It is with great joy and thanks to God that Holy Trinity Church, Swanton announces that it has called the Rev. J. Robert Spainhour as our next rector. Fr. Rob is a North Carolina boy by birth, having moved with his mother and two siblings when he was 7 to just south of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the eldest of five, two brothers and two sisters. He grew up in the Charleston area, attended the last two-room wooden schoolhouse in South Carolina, and later finished at the College of Charleston with a B.A. In History (American emphasis), and shortly thereafter an M. Ed. from the Citadel in Charleston. Rob received his M. Div. from Trinity Episcopal Seminary in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Those three years in Pennsylvania gave him some notion of northern cold, but he trusts we will show him how to attach snow shoes, tire chains and the like. He asks that we be patient while he learns. On the other hand, he can show us how to survive 90+ degree weather, which he’s been told comes our way periodically, with charm and aplomb.
Have you registered for Recalculating the Way II yet? Last year's event sold out and this year's event is filling up quickly! The day will feature a "blessing of all things that slide and glide." Bring everything you have that slides or glides for a joyful and fun blessing ... and don't forget to bring some bells to ring to make noise.
Yes, we can claim all of God’s gifts as sacred – even our toys, our physical abilities and our enjoyment of creation. Wherever people gather to enjoy God’s creation and the gift of recreation the Church can be present with joy, laughter, Scripture, fun, and blessing. Blessings happen out of the Church, too! Join us at Lake Morey Resort, March 14, 2015 for Recalculating the Way II. We will gather around the snow altar at 1:00 pm near the edge of the lake behind the lodge. There will be music, song, scripture, poetry, praise, a “snow” blessing of all who gather and all the sleds, skates, poles, skis, and other winter “stuff” that can be blessed. After the event, the liturgy will be posted on the website for all to adapt and use near your own place of worship. Come and See. Laugh, Praise, Sing, and Bless fun things outside the Church.
The Bosch Green Living Awards competition seeks the best installations of Bosch products that demonstrate energy efficiency and sustainability in service to the environment. The winners are chosen by a panel of Bosch Thermotechnology judges. This year,The Bishop Booth Conference Center at Rock Point was honored with Third Place in the Professional Category for a boiler replacement installed by Vermont Heating & Ventilating Co., Winooski, VT. Watch for future updates on the many ways Bishop Booth Conference Center is conserving energy.
On the last Saturday of January 2015, the Episcopal Anglican Church of El Salvador (Iglesia Episcopal Anglicana de El Salvador, IAES), a member of the Anglican Province of the Region of Central America, consecrated its second bishop diocesan, the Rt. Rev’d Juan David Alvarado Melgar. Bishop Alvarado was elected in a special convention last August. I was a candidate (first woman candidate for bishop in the entire province) in that election and felt it important to return to the consecration to support both Bishop Alvarado and retiring bishop, the Rt. Rev’d Martín Barahona. At the same time, I travelled as a member of this diocese’s Standing Committee and had the privilege of presenting greetings to Bishops Alvarado and Barahona from our bishop, Thomas Ely.
While the Episcopal Church in Vermont does not have a formal “companion relationship” with the IAES, we have had a long-standing connection with the bishop and people of that church. Since 2000, Foundation Cristosal, a foundation that works with the IAES and now focuses greatly on human rights, has been incorporated in the State of Vermont, and the Bishop of Vermont is a member of the board. (Stay tuned for information about a Global School trip to El Salvador that will focus on LGBTQ rights in El Salvador next July.) Many people in this diocese have travelled to this tiny, but populous, country in Central America. I have been its Canon Missioner since 2004, a ministry to which the new bishop re-appointed me.
Church of Our Saviour, Mission Farm, Killington:
Church of Our Saviour offered Ashes to Go at Killington Ski Resort. "I distributed ashes up top (a real mountain top experience!) for an hour in glorious sunshine and not quite-so frigid temperatures as Monday." The Rev. Canon Lee Crawford
REGISTRATION FOR SUMMER, 2015 IS NOW OPEN!
Rock Point Summer Camp, a ministry of the Diocese of Vermont, is held annually at the Bishop Booth Conference Center, located on the shores of Lake Champlain, Rock Point, Burlington. A typical camp day at Rock Point Summer Camp includes a holy rhythm of worship, community meal time, morning program, interest groups, and evening program. In addition, campers will participate in all the fun, traditional camp activities such as games, swimming, sports, singing, arts & crafts, s’mores by the fire, and much, much more... Each week new campers are greeted by enthusiastic, well trained camp counselors and volunteer leaders who help to plan programs geared especially to each camper age group. Campers stay in cabins with up to 10 campers and 2 counselors.
2015 Camp Dates
Grade ranges denote grades completed
Work Week (age 16 and older): June 21-26*
Senior High Camp (9-12): June 28-July 3, $410 per camper
Elementary Camp (1-4) July 5-10, $410 per camper
Intermediate Camp (5-7) July 12-17, $410 per camper
Junior High Camp (6-8) July 19-24, $410 per camper
Day Camp I (K-5) July 27-31, 9am-5pm, $150 per camper
Day Camp II (K-5) August 3-7, 9am-5pm, $150 per camper
*Work Week: lodging and meals will be provided if desired. More information will be sent upon receiving your registration.
And YOU are Invited!
As part of our year-long discovery and discernment process focused on the theme of Becoming More Missional (and in the spirit of the New England “Town Hall” meeting), Bishop Ely will host a series of 10 “Church Hall” meetings throughout Vermont to present and consider discoveries and ideas emerging from the various consultations and conversations underway throughout the Episcopal Church in Vermont since June, 2014.
EVERYONE is invited to gather at one (or more) of these regional “Church Hall” meetings to hear a presentation and engage in conversation focused on the question:
What is necessary in order to support and sustain a more missional Episcopal Church in Vermont over the course of the next 5-10 years?
Here is the schedule for the 10 “Church Hall” meetings. Mark your calendar NOW and plan to attend!
Date Time Location
Tuesday, March 3 6:00 PM Holy Trinity, Swanton
Wednesday, March 4 6:00 PM St. Paul’s Cathedral, Burlington
Thursday, March 5 6:00 PM St. Michael’s, Brattleboro
Friday, March 6 6:00 PM Zion Church, Manchester
Saturday, March 7 10:00 AM St. Paul’s, White River Junction
Saturday, March 7 2:00 PM St. Mark’s, Newport
Sunday, March 8 3:00 PM St. Paul’s, Vergennes
Saturday, March 21 3:00 PM Trinity Church, Rutland
Sunday, March 22 2:00 PM St. John’s in the Mountains, Stowe
Tuesday, March 24 6:00 PM St. John’s, Randolph
“Church Hall” meetings will last for 2 hours.
Please make plans to arrive early and stay for the full meeting.
Please check the Diocesan Web page www.diovermont.org in case of inclement weather on any of the scheduled dates.
Snow dates will be announced, as necessary.
The Stirrings of the Spirit leadership team invites your 2015 applications for two grant opportunities, Micro-grants or Mission Initiative Grants, available to congregations and groups within the Episcopal Church in Vermont. Funding is available for innovative start-up projects or for existing projects that demonstrate innovative new components that address the following:
Grants up to $10,000. will be awarded with a total of $50,000. available in 2015. Funding is made possible through the Alleluia Fund and other funds overseen by Diocesan Council.
2015 Application deadline is March 15, 2015. Download a PDF of the 2015 Grant Application
RPIC, as we call ourselves, is an ecumenical, dispersed community in partnership with the Rock Point board to carry out its mission and vision.
We will be conducting our second retreat at Rock Point, Burlington, Vermont on Friday and Saturday, June 5th and 6th, 2015. This retreat is called “A New Heaven and a New Earth: Jumpstarting Enduring Connections to Rock Point.” It is open to anyone who might be interested in exploring RPIC or thinking of becoming part of it, as a Member, Associate, or Friend. More information about the retreat will be available later on, but anyone who might want to come needs this advance notice that we are basing the retreat on the book “The Rebirthing of God: Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings” by John Philip Newell, and retreat attendees will be expected to have read the book!
I was going to offer "Warm Epiphany Greetings", but as I'm in southern California, I thought that might be somewhat unfair to those of you in other parts of the United States and Canada.
My rector, Ed Bacon, has turned the word, "Epiphany" into a verb. "To Epiph", is to see things anew, to discover new life or a new way to live. Given Epiphany honors the arrival of the three wise ones who bring wonderful gifts, perhaps, to epiph also means living a life of renewed generosity.
However we see the season of Epiphany, I'm epiphing with my new work as the Executive Director of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS). It is an honor to be the third Executive Director in the life of TENS. It will be a challenge to follow in the footsteps of my friend Laurel Johnston and TENS inspired founder, Tom Gossen.
My hope is that TENS will help the church in the United States and Canada (and beyond, someday) see the work of stewardship in new and life transforming ways. For stewardship is not about an annual campaign, it is about how we live and share in the abundance of God's generosity to each of us.
To that end, I also want to make sure you've put the dates of our next TENS Annual Conference on your calendar. The dates are May 28-30, 2015. And what better place to experience the abundance of creation than Camp Allen, outside of Houston, Texas!
Please know that I'm here to serve you as you and your congregation work to discover, anew, a life of abundance, generosity and the stewardship of God's creation.
Richard W. Felton
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