Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ


Kiva Micro-loans: A Personal Perspective


Rosemery, Marjorie, Maria and Magdalena at their daycare

From our friend Pat: I’ve been doing Kiva since last fall… And so far every one of my loans is in the process of being repaid. I gave my daughter some Kiva dollars on a Gift Card for her birthday, and now she looks forward to the notifications of repayment so she can continue to “pay if forward”. I think with her leaving for college this fall, Kiva was a good way to help her take a moment to reflect on how fortunate she is in life, and how many people around the world live in poverty and all that this entails. My nephew and his partner are going to South America next week, and plan to eat at a little restaurant they made a Kiva loan to over a year ago – How cool is that?

Who will we help at the All Call Omaha Kiva kickoff party this Tuesday th 17th at Trinity Cathedral at 7 PM?  How about Rosemery, Marjorie, Maria and Magdalena, in Washington DC?

Four Latina women (Rosemery, Marjorie, Maria, Magdalena) worked together for two years to establish their own daycare cooperative, Semillitas, in Washington D.C. The daycare first opened its doors in January 2013 and currently serves 16 children. Rosemery is applying for a $8,475 loan on behalf of the cooperative to purchase and install four smoke detectors at the daycare. In the future, the women would like to open a second daycare.

Diocese-on-the-Road Report #3



Day 7 – Calvary, Hyannis
Day 7 of our Road Trip brought us to Calvary Church in Hyannis. This small parish was filled with family and youth who were all connected in ways that many larger churches do not always get to see. The families who established these communities and work hard to maintain the schools and other community activities are certain that parish life is the center of the family for their youth. Learning about foreign exchange students who love to experience the ranching life and help add to the student population, and the upcoming football games played before dark due to stadiums with no lights, are a real part of the lives of these parish communities. They are the everyday joys and struggles that make up their community. We thank the parish and youth of Calvary Church for hosting us and sharing so much of their lives with us last evening.
Heres the link to the full set of photos
St. George's Oshkosh

St. George’s Oshkosh

Day 8 – St. George’s, Oshkosh
The last visit on our Road Trip 2013 was spent at St. George’s Oshkosh. This tiny church is warm with love and kindness. We were welcomed with smiles and warm wishes. We celebrated the Eucharist and enjoyed a wonderful meal followed by great fellowship! Included in our pictures (click here) at the parish are those taken on the journey earlier in the day. We hope you enjoy!
Bishop Barker at Carhenge

Bishop Barker at Carhenge

Bishop Barker at Stonehenge!
Nebraska kitsch at its finest!
Morning sunrise on the road

Morning sunrise on the road

Beginning the drive home
The morning sunrise as we began our drive home from our 8-day Road Trip across the Panhandle. Thank you to everyone for hosting us and the wonderful hospitality we received!

– Kate Baxley

Kiva Awarded Charity Navigator’s Highest Rating


The Kiva micro-loan organization has been awarded the highest rating by Charity Navigator.
Charity Navigator is based in San Francisco, and it works to guide intelligent giving, helping people give to charity with confidence. At the same time, it aims to help charities by shining lights on truly effective organizations. It scores charities based on financial health, accountability and transparency, management, and overhead costs.

Click here to see Kiva’s score.

Who can we help? Come to the All Call Omaha Kiva kickoff party at Trinity Cathedral, 7:00 PM on Sept 17th, and help decide. Here’s a link to the Facebook Event. Maybe it will be Evangelina:

1424709 Evangelina is a very hardworking woman, and has been carrying out both domestic and farming chores since she was young. Her parents were the ones who taught her to work the land. She could only study until the third grade because her parents were unable to support her economically.

She is the mother of five children. She fights, along with her husband, every day in order to dress them, give them shoes, feed them, and provide them with everything they need that she and her husband, as their parents, are able to give them. Four of her children are studying in school and are in different grades; her youngest son is too small and is still at home.

She dreams of her children’s futures, and of seeing them become adults and professionals. She also hopes to be able to grow more crops on her land, and to grow a greater variety of crops, which is more attractive to her customers. This would allow her to generate more income so that she can achieve her goals and dreams.

For these reasons, she is requesting financing today from Comixmul. She will buy four quintals of organic coffee, six quintals of 18-46-0 fertilizer, three quintals of urea, four quintals of foliar fertilizer, two liters of fungicide, three quintals of 12-24-12 fertilizer, and four quintals of a special fertilizer specifically for coffee plants. These supplies will help her crops and will ensure a good harvest.

Who can we help via a Kiva micro-loan: How about Letecia?

Come to the All Call Omaha Kiva Kickoff party and find out!

KIVA is an established micro-loan agency.  It provides very small loans to men and women around the world who have demonstrated clear and workable plans to support themselves, their families and their communities.  Individuals or groups (like our group at the KIVA evening) can contribute whatever they want toward a person’s business, by means of a loan.  Kiva has gathered together a pool of men and women who can use our loan.  For example:



Leticia is a hard-working entrepreneur who has a cassava production business in the Philippines.

She is borrowing 29,500 PHP through NWTF in order to purchase empty sacks and to repair machinery for her cassava production business.

Leticia successfully paid back her previous loan, and now she is getting a new loan in order to build her business. NWTF is re-listing Leticia’s business profile again in support of her efforts to secure the future of her family.


During our KIVA evening, we as a group will make a loan (or loans)—to someone like Letecia, Edwin or Eteli.  Come with your pennies (nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars will be accepted too).  As a group, we will find the man/men or woman/women whom we will make our loan/s to.   In addition, you will learn more about micro-lending in general—and, if you choose, you will take home information about ways you can continue to help make loans on your own.

Deacon’s Bidding Prayers Sept 13th

Holy Spirit Worship Template-medium

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7)


We Bid Your Prayers…

Each week, the deacons of the Diocese of Nebraska invite everyone to join us in praying for the needs, hopes, concerns, and joys of the world beyond our immediate circles of family, friends, and parish. Deacons are invited to send biddings for prayers for the world to by Thursday noon for each week’s gathering of biddings.


The deacons of our diocese bid your prayers:

For people dealing with the effects of heavy rains and flooding in Colorado. For those who mourn loved ones who died in the floods and for those risking their own safety to help others.

For seasonable weather, for an abundant harvest, and for safekeeping for workers as our harvest begins.

For all who work for justice and peace in the world, especially those involved in the negotiations intended to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

For all who live in places of war and terror, especially the people of Syria and Afghanistan.

For all those known and unknown who have been killed in wars around the world. We offer thanks that there were no reported United States military deaths in the Middle East the week of August 11th.

For refreshing rains and a return to more seasonable weather in our state, we bid prayers of thanksgiving.

Diocese-on-the-Road Report #2


Dirty Creek Saloon

Dirty Creek Saloon

Monday September 9th
The end of Day 4 of our Road Trip was dinner out with the Vestry of Grace Church in Chadron. Pastor Russ and the Vestry took us to a great place near Toadstool State Park. They also have a great Bunkhouse with nice clean rooms that are affordable and perfect for anyone looking to visit this part of the state!

Be sure to see all the pictures (click here).


Clergy retreat at Grace Church, Chadron

Tuesday September 10th
Day 5 of the Diocese Road Trip included the Clergy Mini-Retreat. We have a few pictures to share. Do you recognize any of your clergy?

Here’s the complete set of pictures (click here).

Backpack Filling Room

Backpack Filling Room

Wednesday September 11th
Our Day 6 evening was spent at St. Matthew’s in Alliance with a celebration of the Eucharist and a workshop. We were greeted, just like last year, with smiles and warm hugs from a congregation who has recently welcomed their new rector Coke McClure. As people arrived, they were heading to fill backpacks for the Backpack Program, to the kitchen to prepare the parish hall or to see the Bishop and just say hello. A young boy was baptized, and the parish family celebrated with great welcome and love, as they always do! Our fellowship was fun and relaxing, and the workshop was useful and meaningful to all who attended. Great things are continuing to happen at St. Matthew’s in Alliance, so be sure to stop by on your next trip out west!

Click here for the full set of photos.

– by Kate Baxley


Resurrection House Placements Announced


Fr. Ton Jones, Alyse Viggiano, Fr. John Schaefer, Reagan Grabbe, Jeremy Vogt, Mthr. Liz Easton

The parish and non-profit placements for the 2013-2014 Resurrection House interns have just been announced:

Reagan Grabbe: St. Andrew’s and Midland Mentor/Building Healthy Futures

Alyse Viggiano: Church of the Holy Spirit and Habitat Re-Store

Jeremy Vogt: All Saints and Miller Park After School Program

Congratulations and blessings for the start of an exciting year!

All Call Omaha Kiva Kickoff Sept 17th


aco-heart4 All Call Omaha, a service project of the Episcopal Church in Omaha, is having a kickoff event on Tuesday September 17th at 7 PM at Trinity Cathedral. The kickoff will be a Kiva micro-loan party, where everyone will pool an offering and select one or more Kiva borrowers to make a loan to that night. Kiva (at is one of the leading charitable micro-loan organizations, and we’ll discover together how easy it is to empower people around the world with just a $25 loan! The part is BYOWine and a snack to share, with coffee, tea and lemonade provided. kickoff-postcard-front

Here is a link to the Kickoff Event on Facebook.

About All Call Omaha

All Call Omaha is a multi-faceted and multi-generational service project sponsored by the Episcopal Church in Omaha. The goal of All Call Omaha is to raise awareness of the needs of others in our community, providing simple and clearly defined opportunities to serve. We foster meaningful conversation and community at times other than Sunday mornings and frequently at places other than church buildings. All Call Omaha has three components:

First Call: Service projects and fellowship held at various churches during the weekday. Target audience is current church members. Mostly this will be existing groups, now lightly bound together by a common overall vision/goal.

Second Call: Service projects and fellowship held at various business or community locations in the early evening after work. Target audience is younger professionals. Each month targets a specific group of professionals and a related service project (e.g. teachers and an education project).

Last Call: Service projects/discussions and fellowship held at various coffee houses and bars. (Service projects would be done at “normal” hours, but will be organized during these after-hours meetings.) Target audience is 20’s and 30’s, most probably unchurched. The goal is to welcome spiritual questions and to give something back to those in need.


Why All Call Omaha?

Fulfilling Three Needs:

  • Awareness
  • Service
  • Community

In Three Ways

  • For those in need
  • For those who serve
  • For the Episcopal Church

The fundamental vision of All Call Omaha is to build a city-wide, visible service/outreach community we as Episcopalians can claim as our own. Each of the components (First, Second, and Last Call) targets a very different demographic, and each parish can be involved in as many ways as best fits it, but each can still take pride in and leverage the visibility of the whole. We will build camaraderie, energy and synergy among local parishes as we work together without having to worry about cannibalizing each other’s members. Work will be done a few times each year to combine all the components into one big community event.

Click here for a pdf version of the All Call Omaha flyer.



Rosebud & Pine Ridge Update – International Taize Gathering

The Pine Ridge volunteer team

The Pine Ridge volunteer team

A Resurrection House Alumni and former St. Andrews member Kieran Conroy is entering his 2nd year serving with the Young Adult Intentional Community on Rosebud Reservation, a ministry of the ELCA Lutheran and Episcopal churches in South Dakota. Similar to Resurrection House in some ways, yet also breaking new ground, it welcomes young adults to commitments ranging from a summer to a year or more, centering its values on monastic patterns and a Rule of Prayer, Listening and Hospitality to shape relationships to each other and Lakota neighbors. The Community seeks a new vision of long-term, culturally sensitive ministry putting relationship before “grand plans.”

In its first year the Community has been blessed with growing partnerships with local Lakota Episcopal communities and a wide range of non-profit and denominational partners serving youth and families. Participants also study Lakota language and culture. In the first year they also helped organize an international Taize Gathering at Red Shirt, Pine Ridge hosting 600-1000 people for 4 days of camping, prayer and cultural dialog between young people. They encourage readers to follow their work at the following links:

A Lakota language class

A Lakota language class

Kieran, Pastor Daryl Schubert (Rosebud Interum Minister) and  new Priest in Charge Rev. Lauren Stanley at  St. Thomas Corn Creek

Kieran, Pastor Daryl Schubert (Rosebud Interum Minister), new Priest in Charge Rev. Lauren Stanley, Fr. Paul Sneve and Caroline Quick Bear at St. Thomas Corn Creek

Evening prayer service at the international Taize gathering

Evening prayer service at the international Taize gathering

Preparing for the international Taize gathering

Preparing for the international Taize gathering

Praying with Brother Emile of Taize and families at one of many reservation parishes across the region.

Praying with Brother Emile of Taize and families at one of many reservation parishes across the region.

A Quiet Privilege…

pray-without-ceasing-with-url-squareThe request came in an email,  brief and to the point: “We’ve started a new thing in the Diocese of Nebraska, would you be willing to be an active participant and support the new Nebraska Common Prayer Facebook page?”

Without fully knowing what this was all about I reply back, “Of course. I’d be happy to.”  (For heaven’s sake, it was one of the easiest things the church has ever asked of me).  For one day each week, watch your Facebook feed, pray for requests as they are posted and then like them to show you’ve offered up prayers.

So I begin, and there sandwiched between a friend’s political rant and a thousand calorie recipe post was a request for traveling mercies. I spent a few moments thinking about this person, offered prayer for safe and smooth travel, and clicked like. It maybe took two or three minutes. Such a small and easy thing. I give a mental nod to the page creator: Goodness whoever thought this up, had a really good idea.  I patted myself on the back and scrolled on.

But soon I wasn’t just watching on my “assigned” day, but checking on the page every time I checked my Facebook, Read. Pray. Like. Repeat.  The more I did this the more I could feel a connection begin to form, my laptop serving as a conduit for prayer and meditation. Something about praying “in common” with and for friends, with and for people I’ve never met, moved my heart. I stopped patting myself on the back and started acknowledging that God was the moving force. And that’s when this volunteer gig became a quiet privilege for me. That’s when I knew this wasn’t just another Facebook page to like.

The Nebraska Common Prayer page is still in its infancy. No one knows where this will lead, how this will transform, but I have faith that it will do just that.

We live in a broken and hurting world, the connections that bind us together can seem tenuous and fragile. Perhaps they are as weak or as strong as wireless connection.

Someone once told me that prayer is the one thing you can do for someone that you can be absolutely sure will not cause them harm. We live in a messy world with real problems.

Keep praying.

Noelle Ptomey



(Editor’s note:  Thanks for the ministry of  Rt. Rev. Stephen Charleston, whose Saturday prayer requests were the pattern for our prayer site.)