August 9, 2023

Ministry Gathering at St. John's, Franklin on August 19

Registration deadline August 12

On August 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., lay and clergy leaders are invited to a Congregational Life & Vitality Ministry Day at St. John's, Franklin. Doors will open at 9:30 and lunch will be provided.

Register for this event by August 12.

The day will include a panel discussion "on being the church in our new reality" moderated by the Rev. Shawn Clerkin.

Workshop topics will include healthy vestry functioning, parochial report completion, pastoral care, communications, and the work of the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination. Visit the diocesan website for a schedule and workshop descriptions.

Attendees are also invited to tour the parish's complete set of Tiffany stained glass windows and worship at its 5-5:30 p.m. outdoor Taizé/Celtic service.

For those interested in overnight accommodations, the partnership dioceses can assist with hotel costs at the Holiday Inn Express in Oil City. Please contact Shawn Slother for more information.

Learn more on the diocesan website, download a flyer to share with your congregation, and contact Vanessa Butler with questions. Register by August 12.

Ministry Gathering at St. Luke's, Jamestown

September 16

On September 16, lay and clergy leaders are invited to Community and Neighborhood Connections Ministry Day at St. Luke's, Jamestown. The day will include a morning and afternoon session. An optional third session will be offered the evening of September 15.

Morning Panel Discussion

10 a.m. to noon

Nationally known food system organizer, speaker and writer Mark Winne will facilitate a panel discussion about how churches can participate in community-based food movements. Participants will include Linnea Carlson of St. Luke’s Jamestown Public and Mobile Market; the Rev. Chantal McKinney of Root Thrive Soar consulting; and Gerry Fisher of Gakwi:yo:h Farms of the Seneca Nation.

The discussion will inspire and provide insight and ideas to leaders who want to foster community connections for ministries of all descriptions.

Afternoon Workshop: Bread for the Journey for Missional Engagement in Your Community

1 to 3 p.m.

The Rev. Chantal McKinney, founder of Root Thrive Soar and former church planter, will join us via Zoom to share how the shift from doing church activities in the building to being the church in her community allowed her church planting team to cultivate community and mutual ministry with her neighbors, and grow a thriving church in Southside Winston-Salem, an area known for food insecurity.

This workshop will include a live group coaching session. A few churches will be coached in missional community engagement and neighborhood connections. Group coaching allows everyone present to benefit from the coaching of a few churches. Contact the Rev. Abbott Bailey by Friday, September 1 to be considered for coaching.

Register for Community and Neighborhood Connections Ministry Day.

In addition to the two Saturday workshops, St. Luke's, Jamestown will host an additional program on community food systems and food policy on the evening of Friday, September 15. Watch future newsletters for more information on this program.

For those who wish to attend the evening program but do not have overnight accommodation in the area, please contact Shawn Slother for information on hotels and assistance with costs.

photo: (l-r) Winne and McKinney

2023 Diocesan Conventions: October 20 and 21

The 2023 Diocesan Conventions of the Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie on October 20 and 21.

Hotel reservations are available at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront. The group rate is $138/night and reservations must be made by October 5 to guarantee the rate.  Make a reservation.

The following positions will be elected:

In Western New York:

  • Standing Committee - 1 clergy, 1 lay
  • Diocesan Council - 1 clergy, 2 lay to 3 year terms, 1 lay to a 2-year term
  • Trustees - 2 lay

In Northwestern Pennsylvania:

  • General Convention Alternates - 4 clergy, 4 lay
  • Standing Committee - 1 priest, 1 lay
  • Diocesan Council - 1 priest, 1 lay
  • Constitution and Canons Committee - 1 clergy, 1 lay

Every Child Matters on September 30

Good Shepherd, Irving

On September 30 at 2 p.m., Good Shepherd, Irving will host Every Child Matters, an event honoring the Indigenous children who lost their lives and culture at residential schools across the United States and Canada. Prayers of thanksgiving and the Great Litany will be offered in both the Seneca language and English, and Bishop Sean and Seneca artist G. Peter Jemison will speak.

Those who attend are asked to wear the color orange in observance of Orange Shirt Day, an annual commemoration of the residential school experience and the healing journey of its survivors and their families.

Save the Date: Ministry Gathering November 11

St. Matthias, East Aurora

On November 11, the partnership will host the final ministry gathering of 2023, Ministry Models & Formation for the Post-Pandemic Church, at St. Matthias', East Aurora. Watch future newsletters for more information.

Save the Date: Partnership Pilgrimage to Montgomery January 16-20

Join Bishop Sean and members of the Episcopal Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania from January 16 to 20 for a pilgrimage to Montgomery, Alabama.

As part of the partnership dioceses's work to dismantle racism and discrimination, pilgrims will work together in spiritual formation prior to the trip. The pilgrimage will include visits to The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice among other locations. The projected cost is $1100-$1300.

Watch future newsletters or email Sara Nesbitt of the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination for more information.

photo: the Memorial Corridor at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Soniakapadia via Wikimedia Commons)

August 20 Tour of Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

Another group tour of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center will take place August 20 at 1 p.m. To register for the tour, contact the Rev. Helen Harper via email, call her at 808.840.3021 or call the St. Peter's, Niagara Falls church office at 716.282.1717.

Since January, more than 50 members of the partnership dioceses have visited the center. Learn more about their experiences.

photo: On July 30, 11 members of our diocesan partnership visited the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. Diocesan staff members the Rev. Abbott Bailey and Shawn Slother joined the tour.

Congregational News

Niagara County Churches Hold Joint Picnic

St. Andrew's, Burt; St. John's, Youngstown; St. Paul's, Lewiston; and Christ Church, Lockport held their second joint parish picnic on July 29.

Love Rising at St. Andrew's, Burt and St. Philip's, Buffalo

On July 15, St. Andrew's, Burt and St. Philip's, Buffalo took part in the fourth annual Love Rising Community Day of Prayer and Meditation. See more photos on Facebook.

Congregational Events

BBQ Rib Dinner Fundraiser August 25

St. David's, West Seneca

St. David's, West Seneca is hosting their next BBQ Rib Dinner fundraiser on Friday, August 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. or until sold out. Dinner includes a quarter rack of ribs, cole slaw, potato salad, and roll for just $13. Dinner is takeout and cash only.

St. Peter's, Niagara Falls Lunch Program

St. Peter's, Niagara Falls hosts a free lunch every Tuesday from 12 to 2 p.m. in the downstairs community room. The program is sponsored by Missionary Yvonne and Matt Davis, who are responsible for the annual "Lord’s Day Dinner" held in Niagara Falls on Thanksgiving.

Resources and Programs

Godly Play Workshop and Lending Library

Trinity, New Castle will host a Godly Play workshop on August 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., led by Wendy Schumacher, partnership missioner for youth and children. Lunch and snacks will be provided. RSVP via email.

St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo is launching a lending library of Godly Play materials, which churches may check out for extended use. The materials available for lending include the new series People of Color Who InspireChurches may also bring groups to learn more about Godly Play and plan for the program year ahead. For more information, email the Rev. Twila Smith.

Education for Ministry Enrollment Open for September

Education for Ministry (EfM) is an adult learning program that offers the basics of a theological education in Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, church history, liturgy and theology, with a strong emphasis on theological reflection. 

EFM participants commit to one year at a time, and the full curriculum is covered over four years. For more information, email Certified Mentor Karl Costello or Partnership Coordinator for Education for Ministry Linda Makson.

Project Resource Online Training

Begins September 10

Project Resource, a stewardship training program, is offering an online course from September 10 to October 8 for congregations interested in revitalizing their stewardship campaigns.

After completing the training, participants will have a detailed roadmap for launching their campaigns as well as a comprehensive year-round stewardship calendar, training on personal invitations, and insight into differences in generational giving.

To learn more, download a flyer or visit the Project Resource website. To register, visit the Project Resource website

Save the Dates: UBE Book Discussions

This fall, the Bishop Holly Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians will hold three facilitated book discussions about Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet by Luther E. Smith.

  • Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m: Chapters 1 and 2 with the Rev. Dr. Sarah Rieth

  • Wednesday, October 18 at 6:30 p.m.: Chapters 3 and 4 with Creola Atchison

  • Wednesday, November 15 at 6:30 p.m.: Chapters 5 and 6 with the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wickwire Lundquist

Watch future newsletters for more information.

Clergy News

In Memoriam: Charlotte Crittenden

Charlotte Crittenden, wife of the Rev. William Crittenden, passed away on July 25 at the age of 81. A service will be scheduled at a later date. 

Condolences can be sent to:

The Rev. William Crittenden

P.O. Box 93

Chautauqua, NY 14722

King to Serve as Chaplain to Retired Clergy and Spouses

Following the recent retirement of the Rev. Terry Bull and Candi Bull, the Rev. Earle King will join the Rev. Patricia Guinn as a chaplain to retired clergy and spouses for the Diocese of Western New York. In this role, King will support retired clergy and their spouses as well as clergy widows and widowers. Guinn will continue as chaplain to the retired clergy in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Email the Rev. Earle King or the Rev. Patricia Guinn.

Ordination Anniversaries

Congratulations to the following clergy who are celebrating ordination anniversaries:

The Rev. Randi Hicks Rowe, August 16

The Rev. Ellen Brauza, August 19

Job Openings

Parish Administrator

St. Peter's, Niagara Falls

St. Peter's, Niagara Falls, seeks a parish administrator. For more information, call the Rev. Helen Harper at 808-840-3021 or via email.


Partnership Office Hours

The partnership diocese's Tonawanda and Erie office are open at the following times:

Tonawanda: Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

1064 Brighton Road

Tonawanda, NY 14150


Erie: Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

145 West 6th Street

Erie, PA 16501


Members of the Bishop's staff are available via phone or email during times when the offices are closed. Find staff contact information on the website.

Faith in Action Funding Now Available

The Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination is offering grants to congregations with initiatives inspired by the commission's Pledge of Faith and Action Against Racial Injustice: LEARN―PRAY―ACT.

Congregations holding a book study related to dismantling racism or other forms of discrimination, hosting guest speakers, or visiting a historic site or museum like the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, can apply for funding from $25 to $500. Find more information and the application on the website.

Partnership in Prayer on Facebook Live

The bishop's staff invites people across the partnership dioceses to join them online Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon. for virtual prayer on the Partnership in Prayer Facebook page.

Make Gifts and Pledges to Congregations Online

The bishop's office continues to maintain an online giving platform that accepts gifts and pledge payments for any congregation. The partnership dioceses will absorb payment processing fees so contributions will go entirely to local mission.

Support your congregation online.

Publication Schedule
In the summer we publish a combined newsletter on alternate Wednesdays. Updates are also available on the partnership Facebook page and the partnership website.

Please send news about your congregation's ministry, mission and events to To contribute photos, stories, or event announcements to the newsletter, please see our submission guidelines.
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