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A New Hope and Day in the Diocese
A Letter to the People of the Diocese of Pennsylvania from
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutierrez, Bishop Diocesan, and the Standing Committee
August 10, 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
This past weekend, August 5-6, the Standing Committee and Bishop Gutierrez shared a time of retreat that included breaking bread together at meals and Holy Eucharist, praying for the Diocese of Pennsylvania and that our work might best reflect God's intentions for mission and ministry, sharing our stories that have prepared and called us to serve in the Episcopal Church, and identifying our priorities for the upcoming months. It was a time of blessing, hope, and renewal.
We wish to share with you a number of issues that we discussed and agreed upon. As you will see, most of these things are in their nascent stages and will be subject to expanded conversations with others in the Diocese and the creative input of the Holy Spirit! However, we wish to begin this new work together with transparency, openness to broad and differing points of view, and an invitation for all members of the Diocese to participate in new and renewed ministries. In this spirit, we commit to:
- Proclaim the Gospel, love God, and love one another as we embody a "theology of hope and abundance" in terms of ministries, congregational development, service to others, deepening relationships, and spiritual formation.
- Deepen relationships with and between the various committees, commissions, leadership groups, staff, and affiliates of the Diocese.
- Work in collaboration with Diocesan leadership and staff to develop a "Congregational Life and Development Team" that will help us to build up parish ministries, pursue lively outreach and programs, and seek creative, hope-filled action in parishes where there are struggles and need.
- Encourage the creation of serious and committed partnership relationships between parishes and missions in the Diocese.
- Model healthy, authentic, transparent, and respectful interactions and communications.
- Strive in all ways to be servant leaders and to uplift this model of mutual ministry in all aspects of diocesan life.
- Focus on solutions to vexing problems as opposed to dwelling on obstacles.
- Invite our whole diocesan family to join us in living out a shared "theology of hope and abundance".
We are honored to be part of the new work that is beginning in our diocese-it is a holy endeavor that will embrace the richness of our history and traditions while, at the same time, set our eyes and feet firmly on the new path to which Jesus Christ calls us.
Faithfully yours in Christ:
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutierrez, Bishop Diocesan
The Standing Committee
The Rev. Kathryn Andonian, President
Mr. Mac McCausland, Vice President
The Rev. Hillary Raining, Secretary
Ms. Deborah Brown
The Rev. Elizabeth Colton
Ms. Jane Cosby
The Rev. Sean Mullen
Ms. Patricia Smith
Mr. George Vosburgh
The Rev. Deidre Whitfield
Bishop Gutierrez Meets with the ARC at St. Asaph's
Relational Covenant for the Staff of the Diocese of Pennsylvania
Diocesan Staff have now all signed the covenant below, it is our commitment to you that our service in the name of Christ will reflect his will in all of our work and relations with our faith community.
WE PROMISE to the following:
- To value our ministry of servant leadership to the Diocese of To offer our prayers to this ministry and those we work with daily.
- That if we have a problem with someone, we will go to them privately and in We will speak to them lovingly.
- If someone comes to us with a problem or issue with someone else, we will encourage them to talk with that We will not engage in the conversation regarding that person until the person addresses the person with whom she/he has a complaint.
- If someone consistently does not approach the person with whom they have a problem, we offer to go with them to help.
- To express criticism and negative feelings first to the person, not to We will not express derogatory remarks, comments or exhibit negative behavior toward fellow staff members. We will address conflicts openly and honestly.
- To maintain confidentiality in staff conversations and We will not gossip, or spend time in idle discussions regarding others while serving the Diocese.
- To assume the best motivations of one another and don't try to guess each other's intentions and When in doubt we will ask, "Why are you saying that?" or "Why are you doing that?" or "Why is this important to you?"
- To explain clearly to people who bring staff complaints that we will be sharing the conversation with staff.
- That if someone tells you something in confidence, we will not The only exceptions are if a person is going to harm her/himself or someone else, if a child has been physically or sexually abused, or it is gossip, complaining (issues described above) or detrimental to another staff member.
- That we will not read or write unsigned letters or notes.
- To speak your truth for Do not say "lots of people think . . ." or, "The Bishop said..." to try to add weight to your point. Speak your truth and let other people do the same.
- When in doubt, just say it-as lovingly as Own it up front if we think we might not say something correctly. We will be graceful to one another when we or another has trouble expressing something. The only dumb questions are those that don't get asked. We are a Christian family, and we care about one another. If you have a concern, pray, and then (if led) speak up.
- Any conversation that involves conflict is best had in person and is worst had using the The only email that should be sent when you're in conflict with someone is "When can we get together and talk?"
- To commit to processing information about personality differences among staff and to give feedback to one another to support strengths and to balance weaknesses.
- To openly discuss our personal strategies and investments in diocesan proposals.
- To accept the fact that disagreements are expected and are to take place behind closed staff doors; in public, we present ourselves as a team.
- To pray for one another. That's not just a throwaway line. Lifting one another to God in prayer is how we learn, slowly and sometimes painfully, but ultimately joyfully, to see each other and treat each other as God's beloved.
Let the Church Say Amen: Reconciling Justice and Peace in Our World
by Canon Jill Mathis
The Union of Black Episcopalians Annual Meeting and Conference was held in New Orleans, LA from July 31 to August 4, 2016. The Conference theme, "
Let the Church Say Amen: Reconciling
Justice and Peace in our World Today
", represents the work of this annual gathering. For me, it was a rich experience beginning with the Opening Eucharist at the Cathedral where more than 800 people of faith gathered to witness our Presiding Bishop seated in the Bishop's Chair built by slaves. The Bishop of Louisiana, the Rt. Rev. Morris Thompson led us through a service of repentence and forgiveness.
To quote our Honorary Chair, the Rt. Rev. Nathan Baxter:
"The UBE gathers in a season when our unity is a critical factor in combating a new face of political and economic racism, empowered by a course and violent political discourse. The fruit of this discourse is encouraging and empowering those who seek to reassert "white supremacy "and affirm "white privilege" as the ordained state in American society. This is evident in the increased "authorized" violence again black persons and other marginalized communities; the violent nature of economic and spiritual despair; and the political dismantling of hard won Constitutional and civil rights.
All our ancestral bodies were strongest in times of blatant aggressive institutional racism and when we collaborated ecumenically and with other persons of goodwill. As in past times, we must give urgent priority to strengthen our congregations and institutions, take a larger role in the mission of our Episcopal Church and partner with Christians of color and others who demonstrate a commitment to racial justice."
The Diocese of Pennsylvania was well represented at the Conference. Our local chapter president, the Rev. Dr. Renee McKenzie Hayward, the Rev. Dr. Martini Shaw, the Rev. Jordan Casson, parishioners from Church of the Advocate and St. Luke's, Germantown were present.
There were 60 youth and young adults actively participating in the conference. The big "take away" for me was the Annual Youth Service. Our young people, with only three days of preparation, planned, rehearsed, served as lectors, acolytes, formed a choir and led us through a spirit filled worship service.
My presence allowed me to meet the young adults, clergy and lay, who represent the future of the Episcopal Church. Building relationships and making connections are two of the necessary components in my work that help build the Kingdom of God in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Application Process Now Open for Episcopal Church Constable Fund Grants
Deadline is November 1
The application process is now open for the Constable Fund Grants for the 2016-2017 cycle.
The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the
as approved by General Convention 2015.
The Rev. Tanya Wallace, Executive Council member from the Diocese of Western Massachusetts and chair of the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, noted recent Constable Grants have ranged from $5,000 to $200,000
Applications can be submitted by: (1) a program office of the Episcopal Church; (2) one of the interim bodies of
or (3) one of the Provinces of the Episcopal Church.
Specific guidelines, suggestions, application form and timetable are available
Deadline for applications is November 1.
Grants will be reviewed by the Executive Council Constable Fund Grant Review Committee and recommendations will be presented to the Executive Council for action at its February 2017 meeting. Recipients will be notified at the close of that meeting.
Named for Miss Constable
The Constable Grants were named for Miss Mary Louise Constable, who was a visionary philanthropist. In 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, Miss Constable made a monetary gift to the Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund. Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951. The language of Miss Constable's will states that the fund exists "in perpetuity ... to apply the net income for the purposes of the Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society's budget."
St. Luke's Germantown History Event
Signs of the Times: Discovering the Present in What Remains of the Past at
St. Luke's Germantown
October 22, 2016
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
9:00- 9:30 a.m. - Registration and Refreshments
9:30 - 9:45 - Welcome: Fr. David Morris and Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutierrez
Ongoing: Mike Krasulski -
"Stations of the Archives" - select items from the parish archives will be placed around the chancel and nave whereby the archival items would correspond with an object or place in the church
9:45-10:15 - Keynote Speaker: Erika Kitzmiller, Post-doctoral fellow, Hutchins Center, W. E. B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University. Introduction by Dr. William Cutler
"Germantown in the Twentieth Century"
10:15-10:45 Architectural and Campus History of St. Luke's
Joshua T. Castano, Senior Program Manager, Partners for Sacred Places. Introduction by Michael Krasulski
10:45 - 11:00 Break: Coffee and Conversation
11:00-12:30 Parish History Panel - speakers to cover the following topics
- Mark Frazier Lloyd, Director of the University Archives and Records Center of the University of Pennsylvania - 19th Century Germantown
- Jane Cosby (Most Likely) - 20th Century St. Barnabas and Post Merger St. Luke's
- Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold
The objective is not to single out St. Luke's as exceptional but to use its history as a case study of an historic Episcopal church in Philadelphia. Like many Episcopal churches, St. Luke's and St. Barnabas' had to adapt to changing circumstances. How they did so and what this might mean for other congregations in the Diocese of Pennsylvania today will be among the topics covered.
Anti-Racism Training September 17, 2016
The Anti-Racism Commission of the Diocese of Pennsylvania invites you to join us for a day-long training on September 17, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Grace Epiphany Church, Gowen and Ardleigh Avenues. This is phase two (from April 9) but anyone can come. Cost is $25 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Come prepared to learn more about racism and its impact on the institutions in our society, including the church. For more information or to register, contact Jane Cosby at 215.848.1760.
Education for Ministry
Have you ever considered a formal study of the things which inform your baptismal covenant? Many EfM seminar groups will be reforming or starting in the fall and now is the time for you to consider if this program is for you. The current texts are portrayed in the attached link.