Congratulations to St. James, Albion!

This grant will be used for the Albion Community Gardens Project. The $20,744 grant funds the purchase of a tractor and attachments for preparing and maintaining multiple garden lots located throughout the city. 

Bishop Hougland challenged us to be a part of "the Jesus Movement" - to go out, develop, foster, and maintain relationships. The members and Vestry of St. James accepted that challenge and have been instrumental in establishing Albion Community Gardens.

In response to many in the Albion community's lack of access to fresh produce, the congregation has helped spearhead a diverse group of people from all walks of life - local businesses, organizations, and individuals - to develop community gardens and teach participants how to grow, prepare, and eat healthy food. The work began last year with the planting of berries. Vegetable and flower-planting began this spring.  The tractor will be helpful in preparing the land for additional planting of this summer's crops.

This grant is just one example of how our daily prayers of thanksgiving for blessings - large and small - and the offerings of coins we put in our United Thank Offering box become a blessing for our neighbors, people throughout the Episcopal Church, and Provinces of the Anglican Communion in the developing world.  

If you or your congregation have questions about participating in UTO or how the granting process works, please contact  Gail Donovan, Diocesan UTO Coordinator at

Reimagining Stewardship with Pastor Charles Lane

Christ Episcopal Church-Charlevoix  is planning a special event around the concept of Stewardship called "Re-imagining Stewardship with Pastor Charles Lane" on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the church (click here for map).

The event is open to all and there is no charge. Dinner will be served after the presentation, and reservations are required. Make reservations at 231.547.6322 or

Pastor Charles (Chick) Lane is Pastor for Stewardship and Generosity at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, MN, and a consultant with Kairos and Associates.

Pastor Lane will explore several important Biblical ideas and scripture passages to help participants come to a new understanding of how their faith can enhance their life with money. "Believe it or not, the Bible claims that your life with money can positively impact your faith and can bring added joy to your life."
During social time before dinner, Bill Wilson, acoustic guitarist, will play. Bill has been playing guitar for over 40 years, focusing mainly on finger-style acoustic music for the last 20 years. In addition to composing original tunes, he enjoys playing instrumental arrangements of folk and popular songs as well as a few classical pieces. He has performed at a variety of events and venues.

Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
Are you experiencing conflict in your congregation?  If not currently, have you experienced congregational conflict in the past?  Join us and learn hands-on skills to transform conflict and prevent it from becoming destructive.

The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center  is again hosting its Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders. The next installment will be August 7-11, 2017 St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn, IL (West of Chicago). Click here for map.

Conflict is normal and inevitable whether in the home, school, community, church or workplace. Leaders in all walks of life often have a responsibility to help others work through their conflicts.

The Mediation Skills Training Institute is designed to equip church leaders with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. The five-day institute also includes a component on congregational mediation and consultation, placed within the context of family systems theory.

Although focused primarily on the church setting, the skills learned are directly transferable to other settings. Thus, managers in business, attorneys, experienced mediators, and others in leadership will be enriched by the training as well. Learn more.
Staff Availability in Northern Michigan

The Rev. Canon William Spaid and Tammy Mazure, CPA, Bishop's Assistant for Finance and Benefit Administration, will make themselves available to meet with parish leaders in the northern portion of the diocese August 15-16, 2017 at Grace Episcopal Church, Traverse City ( see map).

Canon Spaid can meet with leaders regarding parish transitions and congregational development. Tammy Mazure can address questions of financial concern, as well as insurance and benefit questions. Both are available to talk to vestry members about a variety of topics.

Meetings are available by appointment. Evening appointments on August 15th are also a possibility. To make an appointment, e-mail Canon Spaid at or Tammy Mazure at

Bishop Hougland will spend most of the month of August working and staying in the Traverse Deanery. If you wish to direct any questions to the bishop, please do so through his executive assistant, Molly Ettwein, at

St. Martin of Tours will share bumper sticker template.

St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church, Kalamazoo has recently produced a bumper sticker that has been shared among parishioners to promote their parish.

They are willing to share the artwork for the sticker so that churches may customize it with their names, and print locally.

If interested in obtaining the artwork, email
Events and Updates

Plainsong Farm had originally planned to begin its Summer 2017 Sabbath at the Farm Series in June, but has changed the start date to July 9th. Click here for more information on Sabbath at the Farm.

The Rev. Deacon Lily Esther Marx will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church ( see map). A luncheon reception will follow at
Verdoni's Event Center.

Episcopal Youth Camp is seeking male cabin counselors for Middle and Junior Camps in August. The need is for one male cabin counselor for August 5-12 (Middle Camp) and four male cabin counselors August 12-19 (grades 3-5 - Junior Camp). Without these four counselors, the camp will be unable to run the Leaders in Training portion of the camp.  Learn more about serving on the staff. To volunteer for these positions, contact Gennie Callard, Bishop's Assistant for Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries at (269) 381-2710, ext. 13 or

Diocesan Office Closure

The diocesan office in Kalamazoo will be closed Monday, July 3rd and Tuesday, July 4th in observance of the Independence Day holiday. The office will re-open on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.