ECC REPORT Special Edition #6

2020 Virtual Holy Synod
October 12,13,14

Wednesday's FORUMS 
Daily Keynote Presentations

Illustration by Rev. Michael Nicosia, CO

Greetings Sisters and Brothers 
in Communion!

In this special edition of the 
ECC Report, check out the Forums 
for Wednesday, October 14th PLUS the daily Keynote Presentations at our
VIRTUAL ECC 2020 Holy Synod! 
Interested in more than one during the same time
frame? No worries ... recordings will be made available to all registrants! All sessions will be on the Zoom platform and meeting links provided in the final schedule emailed to registrants.

WEDNESDAY 10/14/2020 

What is social justice and what about it excites your spirit to draw you into work in this area? How does social justice look like in your ECC parish/community and what challenges, if any, have you encountered in conducting social justice work in your neighborhoods?  How do you see social justice efforts continuing to unfold in your ECC parish, community, region and Communion as a whole in the future? Let's share our stories and vision together!

Forum Co-facilitator Alice Bradley, soon to be ordained to the transitional diaconate, is a member of Church of the Beloved ECC community in Colorado. Alice retired earlier this year from a career in which the last 27 years were spent working in public health raising awareness and addressing health disparities experienced in Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Americans and mentoring college students. She is member of a multi-racial family and proud mother of a beautiful 33-year old Black woman scientist.

Forum Co-facilitator Rev. Carol-Ann Blow is an ordained deacon and member of San Damiano ECC in Little Rock, AK. Carol-Ann co-administered a homeless $10 million housing program for ten years in Little Rock through AIDS Outreach of Arkansas and continues to work with the homeless as well as local social justice issues. She has four adopted children and is a grandmother of six.  Carol-Ann is a graduate of Loyola University - New Orleans, earning a Masters in Pastoral Ministry.

Music Ministers, while we have all had to make adjustments as we have moved through the months of Covid 19, more are to be expected as we come back together in our worship space. How will music be used safely while still giving joyful praise to God?  Let's share our plans with each other, as well as, resources and ideas and explore the question, how can we tap into the resource of our composers?  Come celebrate our gifts together! 

Forum facilitator Rev. Denise A. Roberts is the pastor and music minister of Church of the Healing Shepherd in Chester Springs, PA.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in Music from Immaculata University and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Theology from La Salle University.  After 25 years of liturgical and music ministry, she has served as a hospice chaplain for the past 10 years.  Denise is a singer, composer, and pianist.

The Divine Feminine is known by many names.  In Christianity, She Who Is can be traced to the very Spirit that inhabited Jesus Christ and through our baptism, each of us-- Sophia, Wisdom, Ruah, or Shekinah.  Is She alive in our tradition, theology and spirituality today?  How has the living Tradition of Christianity honored Her and forgotten Her?  Where is She needed, and where is She coming to be?  Join us for a rich conversation.  

Forum facilitator Erin Duffy-Burke is a contemporary catholic priestess, a trained minister and theAlogian in the Catholic Christian tradition.  Her particular call is in service to the Divine Feminine, and all the ways the Holy She, Sophia Christ, is returning and renewing our world and life.  You can find her presiding on dance floors, at weddings and births, on retreats, and in moments of personal transformation.  She is an embodied soul coach, a doula, a facilitator or embodied transformation, a yoga therapist, and holds masters degrees in Education, Multicultural Ministry and Christian Spirituality.

KEYNOTE 10/12/2020 

Ecclesiology, ecclesiastical polity, and ecclesial life: all three are essential to being and doing church. Ecclesiology guides and informs ecclesiastical polity and ecclesiastical polity shapes ecclesial life. What is  ecclesiology? What is the ECC's ecclesiology?

Bishop Raphael Adams OFR was ordained to the priesthood of the ORCC Diocese of Michigan and the Central States in 1973, elected auxiliary bishop in the fall of 1988, and consecrated in February 1989. Upon retiring from the ORCC, he was received into the ECC in 2010. In the course of his forty-seven years of ministry, Bishop Rafe has served as a pastor, institutional chaplain, mental health recovery programming consultant to Lutheran social Services of Illinois, and Assistant Professor in the College of Allied Health Professions of Rush University. He currently serves as bishop of the Ecumenical Catholic
Diocese of Mid-America and vicar for ECC religious orders.

KEYNOTE 10/13/2020

The roots of the Ecumenical Catholic Community include our grounding in the expansive vision of Vatican II - a Church that is alive with the spirit, fully conscious and active in its faith, and looking outward to the needs of the modern world. Our wings include the freedom to live creatively into this vision - pouring new wine into new wineskins. Our keynote presenter, whose work has focused on operationalizing new structures for being Church, will unpack these themes to empower us as we gaze with hope on the next chapter of our lives together in the ECC.

Rev. Trish Sullivan Vanni, PhD is a presbyter of the ECC and the Pastoral Director of Charis Ecumenical Catholic Community in Minnesota. She is a consultant and theologian who works with congregations and ministerial organizations in the areas of formation, vision casting and mission development. Her academic expertise is in Catholic ecclesiology and liturgical theology, with a particular focus on operationalizing dialogical leadership approaches among laity and ordained leaders in the churches. She has written books on the Mass, 12 Step Spirituality, and Baptism. Trish lives in Eden Prairie, MN with her sculptor husband Peter with whom she has three remarkable young adult children, two old but adorable calico cats and a needy (if irresistible), mostly-husky rescue dog.

KEYNOTE 10/14/2020


So much is occurring in our churches, as we learn to adjust to on-line ministry. How can we develop deep and meaningful communities in the time of so much change? How will this crisis affect our churches in the long run? Our keynote presenter will look back on some of the developments that have occurred in the last 20 years, as we explore what might lie ahead.

Rev. Carol Howard Merritt is the Senior Pastor of Bedford Presbyterian (USA) in New York. Carol is an award-winning author of several books, including Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church (HarperOne). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Salon, Spirituality and Health, America Magazine, Religion News Service, Rewire News, Presbyterians Today, among other publications. 

Carol has been a regular columnist at the Christian Century, Huffington Post, and Leadership Education at Duke Divinity and a frequent contributor to books, websites, magazines, and journals. Carol is also an Affiliate Professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, where she concentrates on practical theology, forming communities, and preaching. 

Click here to print full schedule of Synod!

Two registration options are available, the Individual fee of $50.00 or the Parish/Community fee of $250.00 
for unlimited parishioners.

The Parish/Community registration fee is intended to provide the opportunity for large numbers of parish members to attend and experience Synod who might not otherwise have been able to attend in person because of finances, travel, work & other time commitments, etc. 

And although we feel the the cost of registration is reasonable in covering our expenses, please contact ECC Administrator Erin Outson at if you anticipate the fee being a challenge for you or your community and would like to apply for a scholarship. 

After you complete the online registration by clicking below, you will receive an email with your payment instructions. 

All are welcome to attend our ECC Virtual 2020 Holy Synod. If you know someone who might be interested, please feel free to forward 
this news flash to them!