Rogation Sunday Worship and Potluck at Plainsong Farm

Rogation Days are a custom  associated with the blessing of the fields at planting. Plainsong Farm is a community supported agricultural farm in the Grand Rapids area that provides fresh, local, healthy food while also being part of the Christian Food Movement.

They are inviting the diocese for Rogation Sunday Worship and Potluck on Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the farm (click here for map). All are welcome to pray for the health of the land and community. They suggest you wear walking shoes and dress for the weather as the Rogation Procession will circle the property. Please bring a dish to pass, a portable chair and a plate setting for the potluck.

Additionally, Plainsong Farm will launch its Summer 2017 Sabbath at the Farm Series, which includes a simple Eucharist and potluck on June 18, July 9, July 23, August 6, August 20. Details are available by clicking here.

Learn more about Plainsong Farm.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. A stroke (brain attack) is a medical emergency. During a stroke, blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or greatly diminished. One cause of stroke is blockage of blood flow. A second cause is hemorrhage (bleeding) in the brain. Then brain cells die in minutes. The good news is that with early action stroke can be treated and prevented. Brain damage and complications can be kept to a minimum. Many risk factors increase risk of stroke. Medical risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and heart disease. Some other factors related to lifestyle are being overweight or obese, physically inactive, heavy or binge drinking, cigarette smoking, and using illicit drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Use F-A-S-T. Identify warning signs of stroke:
  • Face - Ask the person to smile. Is there any weakness or numbness, or droop on one side of the face?
  • Arms - Ask the person to hold both arms up. After raising the arms, does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech - Have the person repeat a simple phrase like "The sky is blue." Does the person's speech sound slurred or strange or different than the phrase?
  • Time - Don't waste any time in calling 911 for assistance. Time will make the difference in outcome and possibly reverse a stroke.
  • Immediately report these to your doctor or healthcare provider.

Some other symptoms of stroke are
  • Confusion or trouble understanding.
  • Paralysis, weakness or numbness of the leg
  • Trouble seeing, such as blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes or seeing double.
  • Sudden, severe headache accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness.
  • Trouble with walking such as stumbling, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
Even if symptoms seem to clear up, get emergency care. You may have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) where a brain artery has been partially blocked or narrowed.

Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider if you think you have a risk for DVT.

Exploring 'One Baptism': Our Role in the Reunion of Spirituality and Mission
2017 LARC Retreat

The 2017 LARC Retreat will be held September 26-28 at the Augustine Center of the Sacramentine Monastery in Conway, MI (near Petoskey). The Rev. Martin L. Smith will serve as the retreat leader. Rev. Smith is well-known throughout the Episcopal Church and beyond as a teacher and retreat leader, and for
his exploration of contemporary spirituality in widely read books, including Reconciliation, The Word is Very Near You, A Season for the Spirit, Love Set Free, Compass and Stars, and Go in Peace.

The retreat is $200. Click here for the registration form. Questions? Contact Dave Penniman at
Pilgrimage with the Bishop

In cooperation with EO Travel and Dr. Douglas Mohrmann, Bishop Hougland and his wife Dana are planning a pilgrimage to Israel/Palestine April 10-19, 2018, with an optional extension ( April 19-22), with room for 45 pilgrims on the journey.

The pilgrimage starts at a cost of $2,598.00. Airfare is additional, but airfare for all pilgrims will be arranged by Dr. Mohrmann. 

Interested persons can register via the web by clicking here.  There you enter the Tour Number HL18, Date 041018, Code E, and ID 57441. Any registration questions can be made directly to EO Tours at (800) 247-0017, referencing our tour ID number 57441. They will handle all registrations and issue billing statements.

Register by May 10, 2017 and get $150 off the price of the pilgrimage. Register by June 10, 2017 and receive $125 off!
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.

Bishop Whittemore Sunday will be an event happening across the diocese this  Sunday, May 7th. A special collection will be taking place  to help the Whittemore Foundation continue to support the diocese in ways that traditional sources of funding are unable to. The Bishop Whittemore Foundation is a foundation independent of the diocese that has supported every parish of the diocese in funding new and creative ministries, building restoration and accessibility, youth camps and with the placement of newly-ordained clergy.

Episcopal Church Women of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan will hold its 136th annual meeting at t he Church of the Mediator in Harbert (click here for mapon Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The speaker is Susan O'Brien, National President of the Order of the Daughters of the King, and the cost is $35. Questions can be directed to Marilee Roth at 269-313-1025 or email at mroth@lakelandhealth.orgClick here to upload the registration form and flyer. The theme is "Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart."

Grace Episcopal Church, Traverse City is hosting Godly Play training June 9-11 at their church.  You can get details about times and locations for the training by clicking hereOr contact Grace Youth Director Donna Olendorf at (231-947-2330, ex. 309) 
Children and Youth Information

Summer camp and Vacation Bible School are featured in this issue of Episcopal Teacher. Camp leaders tell us about the importance of "attentively nurturing" these summer experiences, while former campers describe the impact of camp on their lives.

Reviews of our four VBS Top Picks are available, along with a new way of providing VBS mission experiences that continue throughout the year.  Click here to download your free copy.

Wisdom from the Field is a webinar series from the Virginia Thelogical Seminary. The next webinar "Holy Communion: Teaching and Learning" will be May 17th at 3 p.m. with panelists Rev. Anne Kitch and Rev. Furman Buchanan.

eFormation is Coming! June 5-6. The Center for the Ministry of Teaching hosts the flagship eFormation event at Virginia Theological Seminary on June 5-6. You are invited to join ministry leaders from around the country to learn and share about digital media for ministry. Register today!

red cross for invite
Phares and Wood Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate

Your prayers and presence are requested when  the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.,  Bishop of Western Michigan,   ordains
Nicholas Phares and Michael Wood
 to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Thursday, June 8th in the year of our Lord Twenty Seventeen at seven o'clock in the evening at  St. Thomas Episcopal Church

Reception to follow.
Clergy: Cassock, Surplice, Red Stole
Confirmation, Reception, Reaffirmation - Vigil of Pentecost

Confirmation, reception and reaffirmation will be held on June 3, 2017 - The Eve of Pentecost,  St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Beulah ( click here for map).

Rehearsal for the service will begin at 10:00 a.m. There will be a reception following the service.
Those interested in booking accommodations in the Beulah/Crystal Lake area may email the Rev. Christian Baron at, as lodging can be difficult to find in the summer months.

If someone from your parish desires to be baptized on this day, please e-mail Bishop Hougland's assistant, Molly Ettwein, at or call the diocesan office at (269) 381-2710, ext. 14, so arrangements can be made.  Click here to register .

Help EDWM Reading Camp in Beulah

Reading Camps will be held in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan in Albion and Beulah in Summer 2017.

Reading Camp Coordinators are asking again for individuals and  churches in the diocese help by purchasing a few of the books they need for the Benzie County Reading Camp. 

The titles requested are by Sandra Markle: 

Send to St. Phillip's Episcopal Church, 785 Beulah Hwy, Beulah, Michigan 49617. The books can be purchased at any bookstore or online.
Becoming Beloved Community: Introducing the Episcopal Church's Long-Term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice

Following a year of listening, consulting and reflection, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and officers of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies are inviting Episcopalians to study and commit to using Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church's Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice.convention  deanery meetings in the fall.
Join the webinar
Presiding Bishop Curry and President Jennings will host a webinar to discuss the Church's long-term commitment on May 16 at 3 pm - 3:45 pm Eastern (2 pm Central/1 pm Mountain/noon Pacific/11 am Alaska/10 am Hawaii). Link information will be available soon here.