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The Episcopal Diocese of

North Dakota

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The Prairie

March 8, 2023

Welcome to our email Newsletter!

A few highlights from this issue:

  • Youth and Youth Adult Minister Search
  • February Diocesan Council Update
  • United Thank Offering
  • School for Ministry - April 2023 Registration Form Available

Read on for other announcements and the calendar!

Did you miss a copy of the Prairie? The past four editions of the bi-monthly Prairie are now online! Click the button below to be taken to the webpage!

Online Prairie

Youth and Young Adults

Ministry Developer


The Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota seeks an innovative, inclusive, resourceful person of faith to teach, guide, and support clergy and lay leaders in creating ministry that develops middle-school and high-school youth and young adult spirituality and community within congregations and in wider communities, including college campuses, throughout North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota. Gifts and skills needed include strong communication skills; social media; blogging; podcasts; emerging media; high motivation; and a “try-on” personality. Must be able to work with and nurture different age groups in various cultural contexts, including Native American and New American, and to offer adult and youth leaders support, encouragement, and resources. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required. This position is for an initial term through December 31, 2025, with longer-term potential. Location of residence is flexible; frequent travel throughout the diocese is expected. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected].

Click Here for the Job Description

Diocesan Council Update

February 28, 2023

Submitted by: Donna Pettit


Diocesan Council met on Zoom on February 28, 2023. Given the unpredictable weather we have been having, it was a time we appreciated the ability to meet from the warmth of our homes and without traveling. Rev. Bob Hoekstra was Chaplain for the meeting. After prayers, we each checked in and shared “What we like (or not) about winter” and “What helps us get through the end of winter”. Unsurprisingly, most either do not enjoy winter or at least feel it lasts too long. But there are several Council members who are moving along enjoying our invigorating winter. For all of us the coming spring with rebirth and Easter themes was a welcome sign.

We began with a budget update which was approved through January. The bookkeeping firm has sent suggestions for some changes to improve the way we keep and report records. The audit for 2020-2021 was accepted.  Next business was reports of committees. As you know each committee chair submits a report before the meeting bringing everyone up to date on that group.  Our committees are active and quite a bit is happening on many different fronts. So even with a written report, we spend considerable time asking questions and discussing activities. I can say almost every group has been working, planning and trying to complete the tasks assigned to them. Some, but by no means all, highlights include:

  • The Reconciliation Committee plans on their first in person meeting in April
  • Congregational Development will have the next in person sessions in May or June
  • Personnel Policy has updated the safe church policy to be appropriate for North Dakota. There are two parts –one is Vulnerable Adults and the other is Children and Youth. We will all hear more about these as they become ready for implementing in the diocese 
  • Commission on Ministry will meet in person on March 4. They are updating the handbook for the ordination process. They are also working on the educational programs that will enhance the ordination process and continuing education for those in the process and those already ordained. Folks who are interested in learning are always welcome at the ministry programs even if they are not intending to be ordained
  • Standing Committee announced that Deacon Elsie Magnus has been appointed to Standing Committee until the next Diocesan Convention to fill the unfinished term of Rev Hal Weidman
  • United Thank Offering—we have enjoyed hearing regular reminders and information about UTO and thank Vanessa Strobel and Mary Massad for doing this ministry which has been so important to our diocese

Take a breath- there are only two more bullet points:

  • Youth/Young Adult Minister search is almost ready to begin. Much effort has gone into clarifying just what we want this ministry to include and what we would like it to look like and what we are looking for in a leader
  • WoDakota Annual Appeal—a new idea for increasing our options for supporting the Diocese. We will hear more about this in the coming months

There you have it—lots happening and lots to talk about. Many people are working hard on their assignments. I encourage you to take advantage of what the Diocese is offering--you just can’t lose!


Greetings all,


I am writing to you today as we move closer to Lent. if you have someone designated to head up UTO, Wonderful! If not, please participate as part of our diocesan church family. I will also send you this month’s UTO newsletter for your use.


United Thank Offering or UTO has a special offering for Lent for giving and receiving. We are to be more aware of our blessings and thankful on a daily basis. More information is available through the national church website.


Here is a link for UTO and a Grateful Lent. There are resources for yourself and your family and your church family. 


Something new this year is being grateful each and every day throughout Lent. There will be a daily text message for which you can sign up. I have signed up and am looking forward to it!


Below is a link to the 40 Days of Gratitude Challenge with United Thank Offering. It includes information about the UTO challenge and a calendar for Lent with something to be grateful for each day.


So please be grateful, say a prayer of thanksgiving (such as the one below) and drop your coins, dollars or thanksgivings in your UTO Blue Box. This becomes an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. They would call that a sacrament!


Almighty God, I give you praise for blessing me in many ways. Create in me a grateful heart and with this gift a blessing start.




Mary Massad

Co-Chair for United Thank Offering 

UTO: 40 Days of Gratitude
Email Mary Massad
Email Vanesssa Strobel
UTO Website

New Season of Ministry Survey

Greetings from the members of the New Season of Ministry Task Force! After recommendations from the Diocesan Discernment Task Force, our diocese has made some changes in the last few years including increasing cohesive communication, rebuilding relationships, addressing racial healing and reconciliation, youth and young adult ministries, diocesan leadership and administration, and looking to new models of congregational leadership and ministry. As we are now discerning options for our long-term future, the New Season of Ministry Task Force (NSMTF) wants to hear from you about how things are currently going in the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota. Please share your thoughts on the following questions. Members of the Task Force will be visiting congregations in the Diocese to follow up on this survey. To find the survey, please click here.


If you have any questions please email the Task Force co-chairs, John Baird and Carmine Goodhouse.

New Season of Ministry Survey

School for Ministry

Lay and ordained ministry leaders and potential leaders (we are all leaders!) of all experience levels are encouraged to participate in the School for Ministry, a diocesan learning community for shared leadership. All are welcome to join these Zoom sessions. Contact Jessica Thielke for the Zoom link

Each session is intended to last about an hour, perhaps a bit longer for questions and conversation. It is not expected that everyone will attend every session. Feel free to pick and choose, though you may want to commit to all of the sessions of any one of the topics. For more information, contact the Rev. Harvey Henderson or the Rev. Steve Godfrey.


Tuesdays, 7:00 pm Central Time:

March 14: Ministry (The Rev. Kim Becker)

April 11: Ministry (The Rev. Steve Godfrey)


Thursdays, 7:00 pm Central Time:

March 16: History (The Rev. Dn. John Anderson)

April 20: Scripture (The Rev. Harvey Henderson)

The next gathering will be April 28-30, 2023, at Maryvale, near Valley City. Courses will be offered in sacramental theology, Hebrew Bible, Anglican/Episcopal history, and pastoral ministry. There will also be conversation about discernment for those exploring ministry possibilities. All are welcome to attend! Mark your calendar and watch for a registration form soon!

School for Ministry Registration Form
Click Here for More Information

Cycle of Prayer

The Anglican and Diocesan Cycle of Prayer for October through December, is available on the diocesan website, in both PDF and Word versions, so you can include these prayers in your weekly worship. 2023 Quarter 1 is also available on the diocesan website.

If there is an edit needed to the Cycle of Prayer, please email the Diocesan office.

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All times are Central Time

Bishop Tom in Alabama for the House of Bishops - March 7-14

Bishop Tom in North Dakota - March 23-29

Diocesan Minister on pilgrimage in Holy Land - March 10-26

  • March 9: dMST & Finance Meeting; Zoom @ 8:30am
  • March 9: Reconciliation Committee; Zoom @ 6:30pm
  • March 14: School for Ministry - Ministry Track; Zoom @ 7pm
  • March 16: School for Ministry - History Track; Zoom @ 7pm
  • March 22: dMST & Finance Meeting; Zoom @ 8:30am
  • March 24-25: New Season of Ministry Task Force Retreat; Bismarck
  • March 26: Bishop's Visitation - St. John's, Dickinson
  • March 27: Sheaf Deadline!
  • March 28: dMST Meeting; Bismarck @ 11am


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Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota


[email protected]