I was at the Commission on Ministry’s Discernment Weekend on Friday and Saturday and am particularly grateful to Matt Phillips, our seminarian, for preaching this Sunday.
At Diocesan Convention we approved the 2023 Budget. One of the things I found most helpful was Caroline Senn’s charts which compare our income and spending to other dioceses of similar size. It was particularly good to learn that we spend a higher percentage of our budget on programs and mission than all but one diocese.
We heard an update on the Trialogue. As you know, the Episcopal dioceses of Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, and Milwaukee are exploring how reunification to one diocese may better equip us to be the church. Seven task force groups are commissioned to explore the opportunities and challenges of reunification. They include: Communications; Constitution and Canons (developing governing documents); Culture and Mission (assessing the culture of who we have been, who we are, and who we want to be); Finance (examining the fiscal assets and liabilities for doing mission work if there were one Wisconsin diocese); Parish and Regional Engagement (organizing conversation in and between congregations and dioceses); Prayer and Discernment (organizing prayer and resources for those praying for discernment about reunification); and Structure (looking at how one diocese may organize our structure).
We also hear from Canon Scott Leannah. When Father Scott began his work in 2021, we had 23 parishes that were searching for new rectors. As of October 5, 2022, we have no churches looking for new priests. Father Scott helped ten parishes call new priests in 2021 and 13 parishes call new priests in 2022. Wow!
The Rev. Jonathan Grieser reported on Land Sovereignty and Acknowledgement. At the Diocesan Convention in October 2021, the Convention passed a resolution to establish a task force to examine our history and build relationships with the Indigenous Peoples of Wisconsin. As part of the work of the task force, members have been exploring and curating resources. On the Diocesan website you can find: Federally Recognized Tribes of Wisconsin; the history of the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin; and other resources about the Doctrine of Discovery, Native Boarding Schools and more.
The Haitian non-profit organization Action Pour Sauver Haïtï (APSHA) has been our fiscal partner in Haiti since 2018. Their leadership team has deep personal connections and a long-standing history with the community in Jeannette. One of their co-founders and Executive Team Leaders, Rodolphe Eloi, served St. Marc’s for 30 years. Under APSHA’s direction, focus groups from all sectors of the wider Jeannette area have begun meeting regularly. The Diocese remains in conversation with APSHA and our Haiti Partnership supporters in the Diocese.
Prayers and Blessings,
For more information about Convention, click here:
2022 Convention Recap