DDG Companion News | February 28, 2017

From left: Bishops Moisés Quezada and Julio Holguín at the 59th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic held in Boca Chica on February 10-11, 2017.

Bishop Holguín Announces Retirement Date

The Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín, Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic since 1991, announced during the recent Dominican diocesan convention that he plans to retire on November 1, 2017. Subject to approval by the Episcopal House of Bishops, the Rt. Rev. Moisés Quezada, currently serving as Bishop Coadjutor, will replace Bishop Holguín on that date. Bishop Quezada's seating as Bishop Diocesan is tentatively scheduled to be held at Epiphany Cathedral in Santo Domingo on November 4, 2017.

Next DDG Board Meeting in Santo Domingo on November 6, 2017

DDG Board members and visitors at the meeting in Santo Domingo on February 13, 2017. From left, front row: Missionary Karen Carroll, Diocese of the Dominican Republic; Julia Ariail, Georgia, Secretary; Bill Kunkle, Southwest Florida, Executive Director; The Rt. Rev. Moisés Quezada, Dominican Republic; The Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín, Dominican Republic, First Vice-President; The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., Michigan, Second Vice-President; The Rev. Deacon Beth Drew, President, Western Michigan; Patricia Martin, Dominican Republic. Back row: Missionary Charlie Nakash, Dominican Republic; John Gruetzmacher, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina; The Rev. Marshall Huey, South Carolina; Sally Thompson, Southwest Florida; David Morrow, Northwest Texas, Treasurer; The Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Nebraska; The Rev. Ed Miller, Virginia; The Rev. Sandy Key, New York; Katie Forsyth, Eastern Michigan; The Rev. Deacon Alexander Romero, Dominican Republic; The Rev. Hilario Albert, New York; Julius Ariail, Georgia.

The Board of Directors of the Dominican Development Group met in Santo Domingo on February 13, 2017, to hear reports from the officers, executive director, and chairpersons of several activity areas, and to approve the 2017 budget. A full report on the meeting will be included in the April 2017 issue of the DDG's newsmagazine, Compañeros Dominicanos. For a copy of some of the reports presented at this meeting, click here. Other reports will be added to this location soon.

In a break from tradition, the Board scheduled the next meeting for Santo Domingo on November 6, 2017, so that members might represent the DDG and their home dioceses at the seating of the Rt. Rev. Moisés Quezada as Bishop Diocesan on November 4. Normally the DDG's fall meeting is scheduled for a location in the United States to coincide with the annual convention or another event in one of the dioceses with companion relationships with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, but in this case the board decided to meet for a second time in Santo Domingo in 2017 so the members who arrive early would be able to take part in the retirement celebration for Bishop Holguín and the start of Bishop Quezada's service as diocesan.

New Playground Equipment at DR Episcopal Schools

Members of the DDG playground assembly team and staff from the school in Santana, Baní, test a new swing set that has been installed for use by the children enrolled in this Episcopal school. Click this image to read a complete article on this topic posted on the DDG's website.

Sally Thompson, a veteran member of the mission teams from the Tampa Deanery of the Diocese of Southwest Florida and a member of the DDG Board of Directors from that diocese, recently participated in a team to install new playground equipment at the Episcopal school in Santana, Baní, the first of three such projects supported by the DDG in 2017. She wrote an article about her experience in Santana, Baní, that is posted on the DDG's website and excerpted below:

The first and largest project is at San Matías School in Santana, Baní. The original primary school was built in partnership with the Tampa Deanery of the Diocese of Southwest Florida in 2002-2003 and expanded to include an upper school in 2009 with the support of several groups including Grace Church, Charleston, SC, assisted by Tampa Deanery members. Playground equipment consisting of a wooden playset, geodome climber, monkey bar swing set and teeter totter was assembled by four volunteers (Sally Thompson, Bill Kunkle, Josh Lowy, and David Morrow) with additional assistance by Missionary Charlie Nakash, just prior to the Dominican Diocesan Convention that took place in Boca Chica on February 10-11, 2017. Padre Luis Garcia and other helpers from the San Matías Church and School mowed the grass, cleared the property of debris, and assisted in numerous ways. Upon completion, the entire school honored the missioners with songs, posters, marching band and presentations.

The second and third playground projects are at Colegio Episcopal Santísima Trinidad in Santo Domingo Este, and Colegio Episcopal La Redención in Barahona. Donations from Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC, funded the second project in Santo Domingo. Included are a teeter totter and wooden play set which were assembled by a mission team of students from the Porter-Gaud School with assistance from Charlie Nakash during the week of February 16-21. All Saints Episcopal Church in Hilton Head, SC, has donated a wooden play set and geodome for the third project in Barahona to be assembled by team members from this parish in March.

To read this complete article and see several photographs of the new playgrounds in San Matías and Santísima Trinidad, click here.

Exploratory Trip April 27 - May 3, 2017
A map of the Episcopal churches in the Dominican Republic. For an interactive map of these locations, click this image.

In a continuation of one of its most popular programs, the DDG will sponsor another exploration trip from April 27 to May 3, 2017, for potential mission team leaders and others interested in an overview of many of the facilities of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic. The participants on this trip will travel a mostly east - west route along the southern coast, but will also venture inland to see the three Episcopal locations in and around Jimaní, a town on the border with Haiti. This is a fast-moving trip, with members visiting several Episcopal sites each day and staying overnight in local hotels or other Episcopal facilities. The DDG usually conducts two of these exploration trips each year. On the odd-numbered years, the route goes east - west. On even-numbered years, the route goes south-north from the southern coast to the northern coast. 

The trip will be led by DDG Executive Director Bill Kunkle and Missionary Karen Carroll, the head of the diocesan mission team support office in Santo Domingo. The cost is US$800 (excluding airfare), and the sign-up deadline is April 1. For an information flyer with detailed itinerary, click here. For more information or to sign up, contact Bill Kunkle at the DDG office in Tampa, FL: call (813) 400-2722; or email <bkunkle@dominicandevelopmentgroup.org>.

Online Album of DR Mission Team Photographs

Photographs of the mission teams in January and February, 2017. Click this image to see the online album where new images will be added throughout the year.

The project to gather at least one photograph of every mission team in 2017 has a perfect record so far -- every team in January and February has an image in this  online album. Many of these photographs have also been featured on the DDG's Facebook page, where they have the hashtag #episcopaldr17.  Teams are encouraged to use this hashtag while posting their own photographs on local social media (see the Porter-Gaud School post below) so that their local images can easily be available to other mission teams. 

For a separate information sheet about this new project, click here.

These photographs of the students from Porter-Gaud School (Charleston, SC) with children and staff members at Colegio Episcopal Santísima Trinidad were posted on the school's Facebook page complete with the recommended hashtag #episcopaldr17. Thanks, P-G!

Links to online copies of recent issues of the DDG Companion News:
For earlier issues on the Publications page of the DDG website, click here.

Contact the DDG:
Office: (813) 400-2722 | Fax: (813) 983-5082
Executive Director: Bill Kunkle | bkunkle@dominicandevelopmentgroup.org
PO Box 272261 | Tampa Florida 33688-2261

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