Official seal of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan
From the Bishop's Office

We congratulate St. Philip's Church, Beulah, for being awarded a Jubilee Grant of $750 for their Benzie County Baby Pantry, an outreach program of the congregation that provides for the needs - both material  and maternal - of the parents of newborn babies, infants, toddlers and children up to age 5 in the local community.


Last week, the Convention Secretary issued the Call to the 142nd EDWM Convention, November 4-5, 2016 at McCamly Plaza, Battle Creek. Click here for all information related to convention, including registration, convention business, keynote speaker and accommodations. 


Registration is now open for EDWM parishes to register candidates for confirmation, reception and reaffirmation at the Convention Eucharist on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Thomas Church, Battle Creek. There is a 9:30 a.m. rehearsal time. Click here for the registration form.


Examining Our Own Racism, a required training for parish leaders, will be held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The cost is $20 and lunch is included. Click here for more information.

  Check out more News and Events from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan.
Message from Young Adult Missioner
who's off to Seminary

I am leaving my position as the Young Adult Missioner in order to attend seminary at The School of Theology in Sewanee, TN. I will miss working with the young adult community and with college students but am eager to begin this next season of training and formation in seminary. The young adult community in Grand Rapids will continue on without my leadership. I am very confident that the project will continue to provide spiritual formation and community engagement for many young adults in the Grand Rapids area and am thankful for the leaders who have stepped up to help coordinate Concordia. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Thank you for letting me serve with you over the last year and a half - it has been one of my greatest joys.

-Kellan Day

Manifest: Young Adult Publication Printed and Ready

The young adult publication,  Manifest, is printed and ready for distribution. Kellan Day organized and produced this project through a UTO young adult grant. The copies are available to be picked up at EDWM offices. Your parish can pick up a bundle of the publications at the Diocesan Convention in early November. Thank you for your interest, and if you have any questions, please email Kellan Day at
Big World, Big Sing with John Bell
October 9, 2016    7:00-9:00 p.m.
Holy Family Chapel at Nazareth Center
Registration is $10 per person in advance; Children 12 and under are free.

You may not recognize his name, but John Bell's music is likely to be in a hymnal you've used. His titles include favorites such as "The Summons (Will You Come and Follow Me)" and "Take, Oh Take Me As I Am." In addition to his work as a noted Scottish composer, he is also a BBC radio commentator and a member of the Iona Community.

He writes fresh, new congregational song influenced by his work with people around the world. If you are hesitant to sing, no worries! Like so many others, as a child John was told he had a lousy singing voice, but he realized he had a voice that could enable others. As he says, "Sometimes my voice will crack or break, and people will think, 'Poor soul. We'll need to give him a hand,' and then they join in." People - often very large groups of people - love to sing with John. No singing or choral experience necessary, and all are welcome!

Click here for more information about this event offered through Transformations Spirituality Center.

Interested in a longer retreat? Click here for information on the two-day retreat with John Bell. $115 when received by September 5; $130 thereafter.
Childhood Obesity is September's National Health Observance

In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, the Health Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan encourages your family to make healthy changes together.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Get active. Move more. 
  • Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day.
  • Make a grocery list before you shop. Buy and try a new fruit or vegetable.
  • Make healthy meals. Serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.
  • Chew slowly.
  • Use smaller plates to watch portion sizes. Skip buffets.
  • Grill, bake or steam instead of frying.
Talk with your family doctor, health care provider, or dietician about a healthy diet for you.

The Reprobate

The Reprobate, the new book by Jay M. Bylsma, fictionalizes the aftermath of the actual heresy charges brought by a mainline evangelical denomination in 1997 against a pastor of one of its largest churches and a professor in its seminary.

This compelling novel's antagonist is accused by his fellow nursing homes residents and the home's staff of being a reprobate, as his theological views appear to be contrary to some of the doctrines of the orthodox Protestantism. Is he an agnostic? A mystic? The only thing certain he is an enigma.
The Reprobate brilliantly weaves a compelling tale in and out of serious theological questions, skillfully using the Bible to substantially bolster seemingly opposing sides of the theological debate, hence the book's subtitle, "Liberal Christians have Proof Texts, too."

Jay M. Bylsma is a writer, singer, inventor, corporate executive, college professor, and gourmet cook. He has been involved in serious theological studies with the real reprobate for over 30 years. He is a member of Grace Episcopal Church - Holland, MI.

Published by Green Ivy Publishing and available now, The Reprobate can be purchased at most online book retailers and through or at in hard copy and ebook.

150 Years of Ministry

St. Paul's Episcopal Church in beautiful downtown Muskegon, is celebrating its 150th Anniversary year of ministry! 
Friends past and present are invited to come home and celebrate with us!  On Sunday, Sept 11, 2016, we will have a 10:30 a.m. "Reunion Service" followed by a noon picnic. 

The Reunion Service will celebrate St. Paul's faithful ministry and history in Muskegon.  The  picnic will take place across the street in Hackley Park. Grilled hot dogs, and picnic foods will be provided,  along with music and children activities. It will be a time to see friends old and new! 

Fr. Pat Finn, Rector of St. Paul's writes, "We have been blessed by 150 years of faithfulness and determination to make St. Paul's a house of prayer for all people, a place where people can connect to the presence, power and compassion of Jesus. Our ministries offer many ways for parishioners of all ages, backgrounds and skills to participate in the mission of St. Paul's. We are an inclusive parish, welcoming all, without prejudice, to join our worship and ministry programs."

Please RSVP by calling the church office at (231) 722-2112. 
For more information, please contact Jamie Twesten O'Toole at (231) 740-8695 or email him at, or visit the church website.

Walk By Faith
2016 Daughters of the King Fall Assembly

The Diocese of Western Michigan chapter of Daughters of the King will hold its  2016 Fall Assembly and Retreat "Walk by Faith" on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, Belmont (click here for map) from 
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with coffee and tea available beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The assembly includes a healing Eucharist with laying on of hands by the Rev. Paula Durren, institution of the Rev. Paula Durren as diocesan chaplain for Daughters of the King. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Nurya Love-Parish, who will speak about her walk of faith "Treading Safely Into the Unknown. The 2016 Service Project will collect items for HOPE House, Sturgis Michigan. Items needd include toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, razors, and other basic hygiene products that do not include alcohol in them. Also, matching twin sheet sets, towels, kitchen items. Also, there will be a basket for freewill offerings to Plainsong Farm.

Please RSVP to no later than September 10th! Thank you.,

Reconciliation: Thanksgiving, Repentance, and Commitment
2016 LARC Retreat

The 2016 LARC Retreat will be October 4-6, 2016 at the Augustine Center of the Sacramentine Monastery (click here for map). This is the Lutheran year in the LARC cycle; they will welcome Dr. Kathryn Johnson, Director of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Click here for the flyer with all the details relating to the retreat.

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