Five Things You Should Know About the
Diocesan Council Meetings on February 18 and March 18, 2017

Official seal of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan
  1. The Diocesan Council has carefully updated our emerging vision, which has been developed throughout the diocese by participants in Town Hall meetings and other events. The emerging vision now includes "caring for creation, our place in it, and our neighbors, by supporting programs addressing the needs for food, water, shelter, and racial reconciliation and justice."
  2. The Diocesan Council has decided to utilize the Episcopal Relief and Development tool for parishes to use as we all engage in a Spiritual Gifts Inventory. This process will assist us in sharing our gifts and talents with one another as needs arise, and more information will be forthcoming.
  3. In line with the emerging vision regarding the importance of clean water, the council passed a resolution along with the three other dioceses in Michigan regarding Pipeline #5. The council also approved a memo of understanding for Plainsong Farm, a source of healthy food for people in the Grand Rapids area.
  4. The Diocesan Council had a presentation from Canticle Communications and has formed a Communications Task Force, exploring how to move forward with a diocesan plan for better communication. This will include our messages, our audience, and our tactics, and the task force will continue to meet to develop the plan to help us improve all forms of communication across the diocese.
  5. The council has decided not to post information on Diocesan Grants this year until after Convention 2017.
Respectfully submitted,
Joan H. Smith
Episcopal Veterans Fellowship

The Episcopal Veterans Fellowship  equips Christians for missional ministry to veterans through prayer, hospitality, and reconciliation. They offer educational workshops, consulting, and coaching so churches can reach out with God's love to veterans who live in the community. 

Each EVF group is led by The Hospitallers of St. Martin, a New Monastic Christian Community for veterans ministry. Please contact David Peters at or visit their website if you need additional information. Click here for their brochure and mission statement.
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Celebration of New Ministry at St. Mark's, Grand Rapids

St. Mark's Church, Grand Rapids has recently called a new rector - the Rev. Dr. Christian Brocato, Ph.D. He comes to our diocese from St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Cambridge, MA.

The Celebration of New Ministry will be held Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at St. Mark's ( click here for map) at 7:00 p.m. A formal reception will follow the service.

Questions? Contact Pam Stevenson at St. Mark's at
Episcopal Youth Camp - Early Bird Special for 2017

Register your camper by Easter Monday, April 17th, and receive $50 off the cost of camp.

Camp Dates and Locations
Senior Camp: June 18-24 a t Cran-Hill Ranch (near Big Rapids) for those entering high school - grades 9-12.
Middle Camp:  August 6-12 at Camp Newaygo for those entering 6th-8th grades in middle school.
Junior Camp:  August 13-19 at Camp Newaygo for those entering 3rd-5th grades.

Weekend Camp:  July 21-23 at Cran-Hill Ranch (near Big Rapids). For all ages. Also known as "Family Camp." Minors must be accompanied by an adult family member.

Leadership Camp  ages 13-18
Counselors in Training  open to ages 16-18 (not out of high school) during Middle Camp Aug. 6-12 at Camp Newaygo.
Leaders in Training  ages 13-16 during Junior Camp Aug. 13-19 at Camp Newaygo

The Cost of Camp

Youth Camp  (senior, middle, junior): $395 - or $345 with the $50 "Early Bird" deduction
Weekend Camp: $50 per person
Leadership Camp: $335.

All supplies and activities are included with the registration cost. We encourage parishes, organizations within parishes and family members to help offset the amount the individual has to pay. We are committed to keep camper fees as low as possible.  About half of the cost of camp is underwritten by the Diocese of Western Michigan's yearly budget and we receive grants from individuals and institutions around the diocese. We are also grateful to the Bishop Whittemore Foundation for partnering with us and helping to support and sustain EYC.  Click here to learn more about financial assistance.

Registration and Events 

The Domestic Missions Team is accepting registrations for the mission trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation July 7-15, 2017. Click here to register.

The Great Vigil of Easter will be held Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church, Grand Rapids. Parish administrators and clergy may register candidates here.

"Examining Our Own Racism," the diocesan anti-racism required curriculum will be held in Traverse City on Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church. Lunch is provided and cost is $20. Click here to register.

Registration for the Bishop's Workshop in Traverse City will be closed Tuesday, March 28, but there's still time to register for this last workshop, to be held at Grace Church, Travese City on Saturday, April 1st from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Click here to register.
Michigan Episcopal Churches Share Perspectives In Statewide Survey On Emergency Food, Nutrition Education & Gardening 

Since many of our EDWM congregations offer food pantries to their communities - and since  supporting programs addressing the needs for food, water, and shelter is part of our diocesan vision - we thought we would share this report from the Michigan Nutrition Network, which surveyed 260 organizations in Michigan that offer food pantries. Their findings, among other things, included that most emergency food pantries are faith-based and have provided similar services for decades; only recently have some pantries begun to garden. Those organizations that run food pantries are interested in gardening, providing nutrition education and become a voice in public policy as it relates to food access.

LANSING, Michigan -The Michigan Fitness Foundation (MFF) has released a new report sharing the perspectives of 260 Michigan food pantries - including four Episcopal and nine ELCA churches.

The report, on emergency food distribution, gardening, and nutrition education, is a preliminary study of opportunities and barriers to improving the diets, health and well-being of emergency food recipients at Michigan's 3,100 pantries - over 80% of them operated by communities of faith. The study was commissioned by MFF and 
conducted by Barna Research of Ventura, CA.

The perspectives of 260 organizations with food pantries are represented in the final report. At least fifty-three of these organizations are Mainline Protestant, including four Episcopal and nine ELCA organizations.

Recommendations for stakeholders in the faith, sustainable-food-systems, and hunger relief communities include public health- and development-based approaches to "satisfying the hungry with good things." Recommendations will also inform MFF programming and project collaboration.

To download the report and sign up for future updates related to this work, click here.