Companion News | May 14, 2015

From left: The Rev. Dr. Lisa Tucker-Gray, Rector, St. John's Episcopal Church, Plymouth MI; The Rev. Juan F. Perez, Jr., Curate Missioner, La Iglesia Detroit (MI), Sta. Teresa Y San Juan; Ven. P. Jesús Mosquea, Vicario Iglesia San Jorge, Azua, República Dominicana.  April 26, 2015. 
Priest Lisa's Blog from the April 23-29 Exploration Trip
During the DDG-sponsored exploration trip from April 23-29, 2015, the Rev. Lisa Dr. Lisa Tucker-Gray sent daily blog entries that were posted on the Facebook page of her home church, St. John's in Plymouth, MI. All six days of her blog entries plus a link to her photographs have been re-posted on the DDG website at this link:

After the trip ended, she summed up her thoughts on the trip in the statement below: 

This past week visiting the Dominican Republic for the first time as a participant in the DDG Spring Exploratory Trip has planted a seed of hope and possibility deep within my soul. God is indeed doing a new thing here among the people and it is palpable. I came here primarily as an Episcopal priest wanting to explore mission opportunities for my congregation. And while that need was met and we will take the next step together to discern our call, I am also leaving as a child of God reignited in purpose and passion for living out the gospel. Every aspect of our time here was an opportunity to see God at work - in each priest, church member, school teacher, administrator and staff. With visits to over 20 churches and nearly as many schools, we heard again and again about dreams for doing more, giving more, reaching more, and we saw the amazing work and witness of each and every faith-filled person who so generously welcomed and made time for us. 

Of all the many wonderful experiences we shared this week, what touched me most were the small, unexpected, spontaneous ways God showered me with pure joy and love. I will remember sitting on the floor at Iglesia Santísima Trinidad with the preschoolers helping them open their little packets of crayons; throwing the tennis ball so high and far on the playground for the boys during recess at Todos los Santos that they cheered and then later that morning jumping in to play kickball at Encarnación; and never will I forget Romani - the little 7 year old girl who came up to me on the playground, hugged me and then handed me her half eaten candy bar and said she wanted me to have it. Perhaps Jesus knew what that felt like for me in that moment, and maybe that is why he calls us to be like children - open and free, always ready to welcome someone new into the circle. I have felt welcome here in this place that I cannot wait to come back to soon.

Thank you Bishop Holguín, the DDG, and especially Bill, Karen, Julius, Emily and Charlie - you are amazing angels in our midst and I am so very grateful that God called each of you here and that through that love you are extending that call to us and so many more everyday.

A deep bow of gratitude,

The Rev. Dr. Lisa Anne Tucker-Gray
Rector, St. John's Episcopal Church
Plymouth, Michigan

The next exploration trip is planned for November 12-18, 2015, and will follow generally the same east-to-west southern coastal route as this April trip. For more information on this November trip, contact DDG Executive Director Bill Kunkle (contact information below).
Six Dominican Episcopal Churches To Be Dedicated

The Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic, will be dedicating these six new church buildings in 2015:


1. June 4, 10:30 a.m., Iglesia Espíritu Consolador in Dajabón.
2. July 18, 10:00 a.m., Iglesia San Simón Apóstol in San Marcos, Puerto Plata.
3. September 26, 10:00 a.m., Iglesia San Jorge in Azua.
4. October 10, 10:00 a.m., Iglesia Santa Ana in Mendoza.
5. November 7, 10:00 a.m., Iglesia San Bernabé in Pizarrete.

6. December 12, 10:00 a.m., Iglesia Santa Cruz in Santa Fe (shown above).

Photographs of these six church buildings are in this article on the DDG website. 

New Conference Center in Santana Baní
The construction of the new conference center located on the grounds of Iglesia and Colegio San Matías in Santana Baní is almost completed, and Bishop Holguín has plans for it to be open in the late summer months of 2015. Once completed, it will be able to house mission teams working in the south central coastal area of the Dominican Republic as well as people attending conferences and retreats. It is constructed using the same floor plans as the Kellogg Center in San Pedro de Macorís, and should offer the same type of facilities and accommodations. 

The Michigan/Dominican Companion Relationship

The Spring 2015 issue of The Record, the quarterly magazine of the Diocese of Michigan, has a four-page article featuring the companion relationship between the Diocese of Michigan and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Several members of the board of directors of the Dominican Development Group attended the Diocese of Michigan's October 2014 convention in Lansing, and later preached or made presentations about the work of the DDG in Detroit-area churches. In this photograph, Bishop Holguín is shown greeting parishioners at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills on Sunday, October 26, 2014.
To read this article (pages 8-11 of The Record), click  here.

Four Candidates for Coadjutor
Rvdo. P. Salvador Ros, the rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Rahway, NJ, has been added by petition to the list of candidates for election as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. All four candidates recently met for a retreat led by the Rt. Rev. William J. Skilton, Assistant Bishop of the Dominican Republic (retired). At the conclusion of the retreat, they issued a joint statement, pledging to support whomever is elected as Bishop Coadjutor on July 25, 2015, and  urging continued prayer for the unity of the church. For a copy of this joint statement, click here. For more information on the candidates and the election process, click here.
Contact the DDG:
Office: (813) 400-2722 | Fax: (813) 983-5082
Executive Director: Bill Kunkle |
PO Box 272261 | Tampa Florida 33688-2261

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