#poweroflove

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In celebration of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s new book, The Power of Love, the Episcopal Church is asking this question.

What moment will you always remember as one where you saw the power of love firsthand?

Many have likely happened with the people you sit next to each week, or perhaps it was the birth of a child, or witnessing a first responder or volunteer offer relief after a natural disaster. Whatever it is, we would like you to share it on social media. It can be a text post, a photo, a video, anything, just be sure to include #poweroflove. Post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, or any platform that you use and love.

By spreading this message of love, inclusiveness, and togetherness, we can, in the words of Bishop Curry, “change lives, and change this world.” I can’t wait to see your power of love moments and share mine with you as well.

Submitted by Nancy Davidge, Public Affairs Officer for the The Episcopal Church

Uprooting Racial Injustice

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Gethsemane Episcopal Church hosted Uprooting Racial Injustice: A Racial Reconciliation Workshop on Saturday, October 14. Fifty to sixty people attended the event which addressed events in Marion, Ind. These included the 1930 lynching of two young black men, a police video in which four white police officers were taped holding down a young black man, and racist statements issued by a local official. The event focused on table discussions following three presentations on these issues. Those attending were invited to share their reactions, and to consider ways to move forward to deal with racism in our community. The day concluded with a prayer of reconciliation prepared by the international Community of the Cross of Nails, of which Gethsemane is a member.

Andrew Morrell, pastor of the REAL Community Covenant Church, a largely African-American group with whom Gethsemene partnered has this to say.

"I'm grateful for a couple of reasons: 1.) Torri Williams-Doehla did a phenomenal job of explaining American history and racism during [the] racial reconciliation workshop. Great work sister! 2.) White Christians who are seeking to understand the construction of racism/whiteness, it’s demonic impact on humanity, and tangible ways to proactively stand against racial injustice. Thank you Father Jim & Gethsemane Episcopal Church for rejecting complicity and silent spirituality for the sake of what’s right for all of humanity created in God’s image. You are bearing a credible witness of a Righteous Messiah named Jesus Christ. The more that Christians seek racial righteousness, the closer we’ll get to God’s beautifully just kingdom."

The workshop was featured on the front page of the Marion newspaper, the Chronicle Tribune. Read the article here.

Article submitted by Fr. Jim Warnock, Rector of Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Marion.

Saint David's Unity Garden

It all began with a vision. While attending seminary at The School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee, Fr Joshua Nelson’s class planned and planted the first Seminary Community Garden based on a concept learned in Old Testament studies. In Leviticus 19:9-10, God commands the people of Israel, “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.” (NRSV). Based on this principle, the seminary garden became known as a Corners & Edges Garden, serving the seminary and Sewanee community.

 First planting of the Unity Garden at Saint David’s, Elkhart.

First planting of the Unity Garden at Saint David’s, Elkhart.

When Father Joshua made his first visit to St David’s in December 2016, he looked out the west windows of the nave. Through the snow, he could see the outline of a sidewalk in basilica form with a bell on the east end and a wooden cross at the west. He enquired what was beneath the snow. Upon hearing that it was a grass lot he received a vision of the space converted into a garden. After arriving to take up the position of priest-in-charge, it became clear through conversations and off-sided comments with various parishioners, that God had been quietly planting such a vision with this community of St David’s for quite some time. Fr Joshua drew out plans for seven raised beds to surround the close. When presented to the vestry, the vision was met with great excitement and one family offered to cover the cost of construction. 

In the fall of 2017, seven large raised beds (four 25’ x 5’ rectangles and three 6’ x 6’ square boxes) were made. All the boxes are 3’ high, constructed of cedar planks with a 6” cap for seating. It was our hope that this design would make planting and harvesting accessible to all. In August of that year, one of the sons of the parish was married and the father of the bride constructed a large oak cross for the ceremony. Upon hearing of the garden project he donated the new cross to the parish in thanksgiving for the marriage. It would replace the old oak cross which stood in the close. The old cross was handmade of century-old oak salvaged from the barn of one of the charter families of St David’s parish and for nearly three decades had hung on the wall behind the altar before being replaced by a brass and rod iron crucifix which hangs there today. The verticle beam of this old cross was cut to size and incorporated into the walls of one of the square boxes of the garden, ensuring this blessed symbol would remain a part of St David’s for years to come.

Over the winter the boxes filled with snow and stood for the community to hope for what might be. With the thaw of late April, the boxes were filled with a combination of rich soil and mushroom compost. On the Spring Rogation Day, members of the congregation gathered for a litany procession around the bounds of this new garden as the boxes and cross were blessed by words, songs, and the sprinkling of Holy Water. That evening was doubly special as we then gathered inside for the Mass and the internment of one of our dear member's cremains to the Calibarium of the Holy Cross, which stands near a window overlooking the newly blessed garden. We buried our Sister in the hope of resurrection, we blessed the dead earth and dried seed in the hope of new life to come. As the mass continued the clouds opened to a brief but full spring shower as the Spirit of God too descended upon this new project. The work was done yet just beginning. It was decided early on that the Garden would be a Unity Garden,as well as fully organic so it would be safe for anyone at any time to harvest.Unlike a Community Garden which rents or hold allotments for various members of a co-op-like organization to plant, tend, and harvest of their own space, a unity garden functions fully for others. Our faith community would plant and tend the space, harvesting as was necessary, but leaving the bulk of the blessings for any and all who wished to partake. Not only would this be a place to be fed in body but also in spirit. The close now serves as a Creation Chapel, where all may come to sit, listen, pray, play, and pick of all that God has to offer. At the entrance to the garden stand two plastics cases; one with bags to carry produce and the other with fliers of information. They tell about the garden, what is planted, how to harvest and keep it, as well as health benefits and some recipes. 

The first year of this new ministry has been a great success. God has blessed us with a bumper crop. Although we had a few lessons to learn about pruning and cabbage worms, the growth began to overspread their allotments. It became a regular practice for parishioners to arrive at the parish hall early on Sunday to spend some time in the garden before Mass, and then return to the garden to take home some herbs and vegetables for Sunday supper. Members of the community would stop by after work to either pick of the bounty or simply play in the dirt and spend a few moments communing with God in the midst of creation. A few times the days picking was very full and we were blessed with great abundance. Sacks of freshly picked produce were given to our neighbors at North Pointe Apartments and Mary Feeser Elementary School free of charge and with an invitation to join us in reaping the fruits of the harvest. Families began coming together. Parents were introducing their children to the lessons of the garden and made use of a seat in the shade or the parish playground. One day Father Joshua decided to set up a donation Farmers Market in front of St David’s. This provided even more opportunity for conversation, evangelism, and getting to know our neighbors. All the produce was free for the taken, we simply asked for a donation to promote the work of the Unity Garden. 

As the summer ends and the winds change their direction, the garden teaches us to observe the seasons of life. Herbs are cut and hung to dry, later to be placed in jars and used through the coming months. The last of the fruits are pickled or frozen as dead plants are removed and the ground is prepared for winter. The parables continue as we cover the perennials with leaves and straw, entombing them until they break forth next spring to once again sing the glory of God, inviting us to the alter of creation and building the bridges of grace into our community.

Written by: The Reverend Joshua Nelson, Priest-in-Charge at St. David’s, Elkhart

#VoteFaithfully

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We are blessed as a nation to vote. As citizens of this country, this is a right, an obligation, and a duty. Go vote. Vote your conscience. Your conscience inspired by what it means to love your neighbor, to participate in the process of seeking the common good, to participate in the process of making this a better world. However you vote, go and vote. And do that as followers of Jesus.”

-Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations and Diocese of Northern Indiana ask you to get involved in the 2018 elections. We encourage you to:

  1. REGISTER yourself and others to vote

  2. MOBILIZE your community to the polls

  3. COMMUNICATE your commitment to #VoteFaithfully

  4. ADVOCATE with @TheEPPN for fair voting rights for all

  5. VOTE on Election Day - November 6

Cool Your conversation down with civil discourse. Engage in conversation intended to enhance understanding. Keep in mind:

  • Consider the merits and faults of positions including your own

  • Seek to make the best decisions possible when participating in the democratic process

  • Tenets include: respect, listening deeply, mutuality, openness, honesty, humility, and careful speech

  • All issues do not have to be fully discussed in one sitting

  • Stay focused on one topic at a time

  • Conversations can stop if your physical or emotional safety is in jeopardy

  • Start with values, see that we share more in common than differing political opinions may reveal

  • Hold the space for disagreement as a sacred, creative space

  • Policy is messy in development and outcome

  • Be courageous

  • You can engage in civil discourse starting today

Daughters of the King "Sing a New Song"

 Daughters of the King Executive Board L-R: Cynthia Guzzo (Treas.) Toy Stick (Coresponding Sec.), Julie Chandler (Pres.), Elaine Fazzaro (VP), Barb Schramm (Sec.)

Daughters of the King Executive Board L-R: Cynthia Guzzo (Treas.) Toy Stick (Coresponding Sec.), Julie Chandler (Pres.), Elaine Fazzaro (VP), Barb Schramm (Sec.)

The Diocesan Daughters of the King Fall Assembly was held at Holy Family, Angola, on Saturday October 6.

Julie Chandler, President of the Daughters of the King, had the following reflections on the Fall Assembly. “What a blessed day we had Oct.6, 2018 at the fall assembly at Holy Family in Angola. We had 29 lovely ladies who attended the Fall Assembly, one special guest being our Provincial President Kathy Schultz. We started the day with the service of remembrance for our dear sister Emily Hostetter from Mary and Martha Trinity Episcopal in Ft. Wayne. We then went to "singing school" with Father Tom. We had the parade of banners as we processed in for Holy Eucharist. It was so beautiful it was breathtaking! The luncheon was simply delicious. President Julie led the Kairos Outside Prison Ministry workshop on Agape love. The entire day was a blessing from God.” 

Fr. Tom Adamson shared the following reflection. “Our theme was "Sing a New Song!" We had two workshops, one led by Fr. Tom Adamson on learning to appreciate and use the "S" section of the Hymnal 1982; a second workshop was led by Julie Chandler, Diocesan president, a craft making session in support of "Kairos Inside," a Cursilo-like weekend for women loved-ones of prison inmates. We were also graced by the presence of Kathy Schultz, Province V DoK coordinator.”

St. Thomas, Plymouth, will host the Spring Assembly.