Leadership News February 17, 2021

Welcome to the Diocese of Chicago leadership email newsletter. Please forward this email to vestry members and other leaders in your congregations and ministries and invite them to sign up.
It Is God Who Holds Us Fast
A Lenten Message from Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows
The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of the Diocese of Indianapolis shared an Ash Wednesday message this morning:

"It is precisely because we are here to see this Lent that we are called to walk this way, which is all about remembering the ways that we are both creatures of God, wonderfully and marvelously made," says Bishop Jennifer. "And also, because we are God's created, we are prone to sin, prone to failure, prone to miss the mark, and are always in the need of remembering that it is God who holds us fast." 

Bishop Jennifer is one of the consulting bishops supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago during its bishop transition. Watch her video message.
Resources for Keeping a Holy Lent

Low- and no-cost Lenten devotions, reflections, calendars and curricula for individuals and congregations:

New: Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) daily Lenten devotional series, developed in partnership with the Episcopal Asylum Ministry Network. Subscribe to receive daily written reflections by email or visit the EMM blog.

Come, Pray - the Prayer I Need This Day from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent from The Episcopal Church

On January 25, the Rev. Anne Jolly, president of the Standing Committee, and the Rev. Courtney Reid, director of operations, wrote to clergy with Ash Wednesday Guidelines to ensure the safe distribution of ashes during COVID-19.
Ordination Gifts for Bishop-elect Clark
An invitation from the Transition Team

As the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago prepare to welcome our Bishop-elect, the Rev. Paula E. Clark, the Transition Committee invites people from across the diocese to offer gifts in support of her ministry.

It is the Episcopal Church's tradition to contribute towards a bishop-elect's vestments and other symbols of the Office of Bishop: stoles, cloaks, mitre, crosier, ring, pectoral cross and other liturgical items. Contributions may be made online and will be processed through the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

Questions may be directed to Beth Petti, a member of the Transition Committee, by email. Read more on the website.
Certified Church Treasurer Program
Applications due March 31

The application process is open for the 2021 Certified Church Treasurer Program. This free, online program is designed for treasurers, assistant treasurers, finance committee members, audit committee members, and clergy.

The program highlights valuable resources available from the Diocese of Chicago and The Episcopal Church, and participants undertake a process improvement project for their congregation. If you are interested in the program or have further questions, please email Keith Kampert.
Grant Opportunity: Care of Creation, Environmental Racism
Webinar on February 18, applications due March 26

The Episcopal Church’s Task Force on Creation Care and Environmental Racism is now accepting applications for its 2021 Grant Cycle, which will fund advocacy, civic engagement and developing climate resiliency. The Task Force is committed to supporting efforts that are supported and led by youth and young adults, communities of color and indigenous peoples. 

An informational webinar about the grants and application process is scheduled for February 18 at 2 pm CSTLearn more.
Becoming Beloved Community Grants
Applications due April 12

The Presiding Officers' Advisory Group on Beloved Community Implementation has launched its 2021 grant process, to catalyze the church’s work of racial healing, reconciliation and justice.

Allocated by the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, the intent for these grant funds build capacity and increase Episcopal engagement in four primary fields: telling the truth about our churches and race, proclaiming the dream of Beloved Community, practicing Jesus’ way of healing and reconciliation, and repairing the breach in institutions and society. Learn more about the grant application, criteria, and process online.
2020 Parochial Report Seeks to Track Pandemic Worship
Reports due by March 1

During the spring and summer of 2020, as the pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person worship across the Episcopal Church, the House of Deputies State of the Church Committee raced to create a new parochial report form, designed just to track the “’opportunities, innovations and challenges’ that congregations experienced while dealing with the pandemic,” according to Episcopal News Service. Louisa McKellaston, associate for ministries on the bishop's staff, is vice chair of the State of the Church committee.
The new report form, available on the General Convention Office website, was approved by Executive Council at its October meeting. It asks congregations to report traditional average Sunday attendance numbers only for in-person worship from January 1 to March 1. A new set of questions, titled “Worship During the Pandemic,” tracks online worship by platform and metrics. The report form, which is due by March 1, also asks questions that invite congregational leaders to discuss how they are planning for the future and working toward racial justice and reconciliation. Read the entire article.
For assistance with the 2020 Parochial Report please email Rebecca Elfring-Roberts, assistant treasurer.
Clergy News
In Memoriam
The Rev. Sheila Saward Ferguson

The Rev. Sheila Saward Ferguson died in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on January 5 from the effects of COVID-19 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Born in Windsor, Ontario, Ferguson graduated from Teacher's College in London, Ontario and earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Michigan. While raising her children she helped found a county-wide food pantry in Newark, Ohio, and discerned a call to ministry, attending Bexley Seabury at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio and Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

Ferguson served in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago as priest associate of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn; as director of congregational Development on Bishop Persell's staff; and as interim rector at St. Mark’s, Glen Ellyn and Calvary, Lombard. She retired from the priesthood in 2008 due to the early effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Read her obituary here.
The Rev. John Arthur Lawrence

The Rev. John Arthur Lawrence died on January 20 in Kerrville, Texas. Bornin Fort Worth, Texas, he attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and graduated in 1957. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and for two years worked in ordnance electronics and missile guidance in New Mexico. Following his military service, he specialized in data processing in the banking industry.

He attended the former Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston and was ordained into the priesthood on December 21, 1971. In the diocese of Chicago, he was called as 11th rector of Grace Church, Hinsdale, in 1989, and served there until his retirement in 1999. Read his obituary here.

Funeral services officiated by the Rt. Rev. David Deed, bishop of the Diocese of West Texas, were held for family on January 28 at St. Peter's in Kerrville.

May light perpetual shine upon them

February 27 service to be streamed online

By the grace of God and with the consent of the people of God, on February 27 the Rt. Reverend Douglas Sparks, bishop of Northern Indiana, will ordain George Arceneaux, IV to the Sacred Order of Priests, and Jo Ann Lagman, Terri Jo Morrissey, and Meghan Murphy-Gill to the Sacred Order of Deacons on behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the service at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn is limited to a small number of participants, but the service will be live streamed on St. Mark's Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Clergy of Color Caucus Lenten Quiet Day
Wednesday, February 24 by Zoom
On February 24 from 1 to 3 pm, clergy of color are invited to a virtual Lenten clergy day led by the Rev. Juan Reed on the theme “The Gospel of Mark and Social Trauma: A Lenten Journey.” Reed, a spiritual director, is the former vicar of St. Martin’s, Chicago. Use this link to register for the online retreat.
El 24 de febrero, el clero de color está invitado a un día virtual de Cuaresma del Clero de la 1 pm a las 3 pm, dirigido por el Rev. Juan Reed, sobre el tema: "El Evangelio de Marcos y el Trauma Social: Un viaje de Cuaresma". El P. Reed, ministerio de dirección espiritual, es el antiguo Vicario de San Martín, Chicago. Utilice este enlace para registrarse.
On Whose Shoulders Do We Stand?
March 2 CEEP Gathering for Women and
Non-Binary Clergy and Seminarians

The CEEP Network is hosting a Women’s Clergy Gathering as part of its pre-conference offering on March 2. A panel of newly elected bishops and bishops-elect will discuss their journey and the role of mentorship and mutual support played in their process. This session is available for no charge. Learn more and register online.
Learning Opportunities
Episcopal Youth Ministry Network Zoom Gatherings
"Third Thursdays" at noon central beginning February 18
All adult Episcopalians (or adults serving an Episcopal faith community) working at the parish, diocesan, provincial, or regional level of youth ministry are invited to participate in the Episcopal Youth Ministry Network Zoom "Third Thursdays." The gatherings are opportunities to share ideas, resources, and prayer support from youth ministry peers.

The Zoom room is open for 90 minutes each session, with program time or featured guests in the first 45 minutes of the meeting and hang-out time following. On February 18 the discussion will focus on EYE updates and spending some time in prayer.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 972 0062 2680
Passcode: 049865

For more information contact Chad Senuta.
Hearing the Sound of the Genuine
with Howard Thurman
Online workshop February 25

On February 25 from 6 to 7:30 pm, Contemplative Outreach Chicago will offer an online workshop to introduce participants to the contemplative wisdom of Howard Thurman. The workshop will be led by the Rev. Christophe D. Ringer, PhD, assistant professor of theological ethics and society at Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago. The cost is $10 and scholarships are available. Learn more and register.
A Pastor's Reflection and Renewal Strategies for 2021
Two-part series from North Park Academy of Church Leadership in March
The Academy of Church Leadership at North Park University welcomes pastors, church staff and lay leaders of all denominations to attend two free, virtual workshops to learn about how pastors continue to address the impact of COVID.

The March 18 session will be led by the Rev. Kat Banakis, rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston. The March 25 session will be led by the Rev. Dr. James E. Victor, Jr., who currently serves as the ninth pastor of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia. Learn more and register online.
Webinar Recordings: Making the Most of Social Media and Websites that Work

Earlier this month, members of the Diocese of Chicago took part in two communications webinars led by Kathleen Moore of Canticle Communications. Recordings of both events are available online, along with an export of information shared in the chat.

Please contact Jen Boyle Tucker with any questions.
New Worship Guidelines for Restore Illinois Mitigation Tiers
The bishop's staff has updated the diocesan reopening guidelines to incorporate guidelines for in-person worship and other gatherings when a region moves into any of the Restore Illinois Plan's three tiers of mitigation:

Tier 1: In-person worship or other gatherings limited to 25 people or 25% of capacity, whichever is LESS. 

Tier 2: In-person worship or other gatherings limited to 10 people.

Tier 3: Suspension of in-person worship and other gatherings. Live streaming or recording services in church buildings may continue, but may include a maximum of 10 people, and only those required to assist with essential tasks.

In all of these tiers, essential ministries such as food pantries, may continue to operate. Please contact Courtney Reid with questions.

Download the new version of the diocesan reopening guidelines.
Emergency Financial Relief Grants Extended for 2021
COVID-19 grants available for all congregations

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the state and country, diocesan leadership and staff are working together to respond to the needs of congregations at this challenging time.

Emergency Relief for Missions:
At its December meeting, the Bishop and Trustees voted to continue offering emergency operating fund grants to mission congregations experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. Mission congregations can request grants of up to $5,000, and those that received an emergency grant in 2020 may apply again in 2021. Mission congregations are encouraged to contact their trustee representative or Tom Camell for more information.

Emergency Relief for Parishes:
Using Bishop’s Funds in 2020, Bishop Lee created a $100,000 pool of emergency funding and appointed a small grant subcommittee to respond swiftly to emergency funding needs due to COVID-19. Grants of up to $5,000 may be requested, and parishes that received a diocesan grant in 2020 are eligible to reapply for 2021. Parishes wishing to apply for emergency assistance should email Courtney Reid.

Please contact any member of the Bishop's staff with questions.
Job Openings
Visit the website for a full list of clergy openings and lay employee openings
Winter Publication Schedule
We publish both a general email newsletter and Leadership News, a publication for lay leaders and clergy in the Diocese of Chicago, on alternate Wednesdays. The deadline to submit items to be included is Tuesday at noon. Please send news about your congregation's ministry, mission and events to Jen Boyle-Tucker