December 17, 2021
A summary of news and events,
for the people of the
Episcopal Churches of West Missouri
Welcome to the last New Spirit Update of 2021. Clearing up has begun following the severe weather and tornados of December 10-11. Recent reports say more than 80 people have died, with more than one hundred others still missing. The devastation is spread over hundreds of miles.

One of the best ways to help is to donate money to organizations leading relief efforts such as Episcopal Relief & Development's US Disaster Fund.

Scroll down for a link to Episcopal Relief & Development's initial response. 

We end our New Spirit year in Advent, the period of waiting and anticipation of the coming of the Christ child. This is also a period of planning, preparation, and intense activity for many. My email inbox has been pinging incessantly as church administrators and communicators across the country share, and in that process of sharing, ease the burden of the last-minute changes to the Christmas bulletin, missed typos, and overworked printers and copiers on the verge of breaking down.

For everyone caught up in all the hustle and bustle, Kim Snodgrass (Christian Formation) has a short piece on meditation, and as for waiting, there's a prayer for that too. Scroll down to find the links.

It's also the time of Christmas messages, and in this issue, we feature two. The first is from Bishop Bruce, our Bishop Provisional, the second is from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Scroll down for the links.

Bishop Bruce is also featured in two other articles. There are pictures of her first Sunday visitation to Christ Church, Lexington, on December 5, and the celebration of the Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe and a baptism at Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage on December 12.

And finally. The next issue of New Spirit Update will be issued on January 13, a week later than scheduled, to allow us to share pictures and details of Bishop Bruce's Welcome and Seating at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral on Thursday, January 6. I'd love to share your Christmas pictures and stories. Please send them to me at

Gary Allman
Communications Director
Christmas Messages
Bishop Bruce's Christmas Letter
One-minute read.
Bishop Bruce’s 2021 Christmas letter to the people of The Diocese of West Missouri.

Seven-minute video.
The Christmas stories are reminders that Jesus came to show us how to love as God loves. And one of the ways we love as God loves is to help those who are refugees, those who seek asylum from political tyranny, poverty, famine, or other hardship.
Bishop Bruce’s first Sunday visitation
Two-minute read.
Four days after starting her Episcopate with the diocese on December 1, Bishop Bruce was at her first Sunday pastoral visit at Christ Church, Lexington, Missouri.
Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe and a baptism at Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage
Two-minute read.
 On Sunday, December 12 the Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe was held at Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage. Bishop Bruce was the celebrant, assisted by Fr. Jose Palma, Missioner, Hispanic Ministry, and Fr. Joe Pierjok, Assistant Rector at Grace Episcopal Church.
Carta de Navidad de la Obispa Bruce en español
One-minute read.
Bishop Bruce’s Christmas letter to the people of The Diocese of West Missouri.

Aviso: La siguiente información se presenta en español.
Mensaje de Navidad del Obispo Presidente Michael Curry en 2021: “Ayudemos a todos los refugiados, en nombre de estos refugiados”
Seven-minute video.
Las historias de Navidad sirven para recordarnos que Jesús vino para mostrarnos cómo amar como Dios ama. Una de las formas en que amamos como Dios ama es ayudar a los refugiados, a los que buscan asilo de la tiranía política, la pobreza, el hambre u otras dificultades.
Meditation: rejoicing in your day
Two-minute read.
Especially now, in the bustle of building up to Christmas, this calming practice may be especially beneficial at the end of your day.
A Waiting Prayer
One-minute read.
 It can be hard to wait … but this prayer can be helpful in reminding us how important it is to be on God’s time.
15-minute read.
It's not too late to read the daily meditations from the people of West Missouri through Advent to Christmas Day.
Supporting partners after tornadoes in the Central US
One-minute read.
Episcopal Relief & Development is in contact with Episcopal dioceses in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee in response to the devastating tornadoes that struck this past weekend.
Staff Update
One-minute read.
Jamillah Duckett, the diocesan Events Coordinator will be leaving the diocesan staff on December 22. Jamillah, who joined the diocesan staff in May 2020 as the half-time Events Coordinator, is moving on to take up a full-time role.
The Cross – December 2021
One-minute read.
The December edition of The Cross, the magazine of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, a worldwide ministry to men and youth in the Episcopal and Anglican communion is available to read online.
What's happening
Save the Date
Featured Events
On Thursday, January 6, 2022, at 6 p.m., the Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce, bishop provisional of West Missouri, will be seated at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City.
Church Events
December 24, 27
Diocesan Office closed for Christmas.
December 31
Diocesan Office closed for New Year’s Eve.
January 3
Diocesan Office closed in observance of New Year’s Day.
January 6
The Welcoming and Seating of the Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce, bishop provisional of West Missouri in Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. 6 p.m. With a reception in Fellows’ Hall following. Online and In-person. A registration link will be provided shortly. Vaccination and mask required for in-person attendance.
External Events
None at present
Education and Training
October 13 – December 10
Bishop Kemper School for Ministry November 2021 Courses. Contemporary Mission, History of the Episcopal Church, and Theology of Education Ministry. Online classes begin October 13. The in-person focus weekend meets November 13-14. Online classes end December 10.
December 13 – February 11
Bishop Kemper School for Ministry January 2022 Courses. Christian Ethics (D), Christian History I, and Polity & Canons. Classes begin December 13. The in-person Focus Weekend meets January 8-9. Classes end February 11.
Clergy Events and Services
Every Wednesday
Compline. Online. 9 p.m.
Every 2nd Thursday
2nd Thursday’s Clergy Conversation. Online. 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. If you have not received the login credentials for this meeting, please contact your Dean.
December 19
Standing Committee. Online. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
January 4
Episcopal Ministry Support Team. In-person. Bishop’s Office, Diocesan Center. 10 a.m. – Noon.
December 27
Deadline to register for Welcome & Seating Reception honoring Bishop Bruce
March 1
Lay Eucharistic Minister, Lay Eucharistic Visitor, and Lay Evangelist licenses expire March 1, 2022.
Bishop Bruce's Church Visits

A complete list of Bishop Bruce's church visits can be found here.
Many churches in the diocese are offering daily prayers, reflections, and Sunday worship online.
Seen an error or omission? Let us know:
Clergy, Administrators, and Church Leaders
Church Connect Schedule

The Church Connect Monday-Thursday daily online drop-in sessions will be suspended from December 27 through January 3, inclusive. Schedule changes are posted on the Church Connect Page.

Lay Licenses Expire March 1, 2022

Changing the times of your online services?

Don't forget to let us know so we can keep the list of online services up to date.

Email any changes to
Bulletin Inserts
We've created a new resource on the church administration site to hold bulletins and flyers. It has all the regular items and also, new this issue:

Second chance - In case you missed it
West Missouri’s Episcopal churches join together to help refugees and ask others to join them
Four-minute read.
Episcopal Relief & Development Launches Year-End Match Campaign to Support Transformative Work in Priority Areas of Women, Children, and Climate
Two-minute read.
Episcopal Service Corps seeks applicants for 2022-23 service year
Two-minute read.
Spread The Word