Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ


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.)

Diocese-on-the-Road Report #1

The food pantry feeds 30 families in the community each week.

Maryann Perrett shows Bishop Baker the food pantry, which feeds 30 families in the community each week.

Friday September 6th
We had a GREAT first stop at St. John’s in Valentine! Lovely visit! During our time of sharing, some comments made by the parishioners were so moving we wanted to share them with all of you. One member stated, “this is like my family…I love this church!” Another shared, “We are a very special group of people. We are all connected to each other.” This parish has a food pantry that helps feed the community, participates in community outreach, and loves to see our youth each summer! Come visit St. John’s in Valentine and see how Christ is truly alive in their parish!

And Jesus said, 'Bring the little children to me.'  Multi-tasking at its finest!

And Jesus said, ‘Bring the little children to me.’ Jeannine Metzger displays multi-tasking at its finest!

Saturday September 7th
We had a GREAT visit at St. Mark’s in Gordon! Such a lovely group of prayerful people who share joy with one another! They have a wonderful Head Start program in their parish during the week and gather weekly for prayer as they only have a supply priest.  You can tell by the photos of the service and the fellowship that followed, that these parishioners know how to pray, eat and laugh together!

Bishop Barker walks in the morning fog

Bishop Barker walks in the morning fog

Sunday September 8th (part 1)
We celebrated the Eucharist at St. Mary’s Holly in Rushville this morning. We enjoyed a peaceful drive and arrived at the church early enough to capture some beautiful photographs of early morning fog, which is rare in this part of Nebraska. You might recognize our own photographer in one of the shots as he walks back from taking “the perfect picture” of the morning. As you can see by the pictures, we were fed very well by St. Mary’s Holly! They are a joyful congregation and we greatly enjoyed our time together!

Bishop Barker with Pastor Russ and the acolytes

Bishop Barker with Pastor Russ Seeger, and Harlie & Henry Kennell, acolytes

Sunday September 8th (part 2)
We ended Day 3 of our Road Trip at Grace Church in Chadron. Bishop Barker celebrated the Eucharist with Pastor Russ who serves and cares for this parish part-time. We had lots of kids and youth in the service and tons of food at the fellowship afterward! Parents are interested in getting their youth involved in other events throughout the diocese! Wonderful hospitality and welcoming spirit to all! We will be working at Grace Church in Chadron tomorrow and they left us leftovers from dinner tonight for lunch tomorrow so we are all set!

– by Kate Baxley

Be sure to see all of the photos on the Diocesan facebook page (click here).

Bible Challenge Week 36 September 9th-15th

12ba4fb9-5a18-4263-b078-33c47ce543e3Weekly Word from Bishop Barker for Week 36
September 9th-15th

In the Old Testament this week we continue reading from the Book of Jeremiah and we’ll read Psalms 51 through 56.  In the New Testament we will continue reading from Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews.


I wonder…


– Many Bible scholars see Jeremiah chapter 23 as a key to interpreting the larger text.  There we learn that false prophets will tell of their own dreams and visions, while true prophets will speak faithfully the word of God.  By what means do you decide in your life which voices belong to the true prophets of God?


– Would you like some musical accompaniment to Monday’s reading of the beautiful Psalm 51?  I hope you like this classical treatment by Gregorio Allegri:  Link to Psalm 51


– “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11.)  These words have been comfort and inspiration to countless faithful people through the ages when rocked by the challenge of integrating intellect with faith.  What part of our Bible challenge has been toughest for you in terms of balancing the demands of your brain against the hopes  of your heart?

  Please consider inviting a friend to join us in our read.

May each and everyone one of us be blessed by the Word this week!


In love and Faith –

+ Bishop Barker


This week’s readings:

Day 246  – Monday, September 9, 2013
– Jeremiah 13-15, Psalm 51, Hebrews 7
Day 247  – Tuesday, September 10, 2013
– Jeremiah 16-18, Psalm 52, Hebrews 8
Day 248  – Wednesday, September 11, 2013
– Jeremiah 19-21, Psalm 53, Hebrews 9
Day 249  – Thursday, September 12, 2013
– Jeremiah 22-24, Psalm 54, Hebrews 10
Day 250  – Friday, September 13, 2013
– Jeremiah 25-27, Psalm 55, Hebrews 11
Day 251  – Saturday, September 14, 2013
– Jeremiah 28-30, Psalm 56, Hebrews 12
Day 252  – Sunday, September 15, 2013 – Enjoy hearing the Scriptures read aloud in church

Welcome Resurrection House 2013-2014 Interns

interns at diocesan office 90413

Reagan Grabbe, Alyse Viggiano and Jeremy Vogt, interns for 2013-2014, with Fr. Jason Emerson, current program director, and Canon Judi Yeats and Bishop Scott Barker, both former program directors.


Welcome to our new Resurrection House Interns for 2013-2014! Resurrection House is an urban Christian community for recent college graduates between the age of 21 and 30 interested in discerning a call to any form of ministry. Participants live together for nine months in a home located adjacent to a culturally diverse and direct-action outreach oriented Episcopal parish. Please keep this program in your prayers.


Here is an introduction from each of the interns:

Jeremy Vogt
I am originally from Minnesota and more recently from New York state. At Binghamton University I studied chemistry, though I feel called to ordained ministry and I hope that through the discernment process at Resurrection House I can enter Seminary. I am a self-proclaimed nerd, and love most board games. In my past church work I have served as an acolyte and lay minister. I am very passionate about preaching and working with youth in the church. I look forward to a great year!

Reagan Grabbe
I’m very excited to be a 2013-14 Resurrection House Intern. I’m from Bozeman, Montana, a college town nestled in the Rocky Mountains. I’m a 2012 graduate of Montana State University, with a B.S. in microbiology. Some of my hobbies include snowboarding, canoeing, crocheting, reading, photography, and playing with my Corgi, Maggie. I served in a myriad of ways at my home parish including as Godly Play Co-Director, Youth Director, Choir member, and Acolyte. I’ve been discerning a call to ordained ministry for some time, so when I found out about Resurrection House, it sounded like just the program for me. I’m looking forward to this year of discernment and growth, and happy I get to meet so many wonderful people in the process.

Alyse Viggiano
Greetings! I hail from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Interesting fact, I am a triplet. I attended college at John Carroll University, in Cleveland Ohio, and graduated with a degree in Marketing and minors in Philosophy and Entrepreneurship. Prior to college, I was raised at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. I was active member of the youth group, which involved going on several mission trips to Charleston, South Carolina. Anyone looking for me, could find me serving as an acolyte regularly on Sundays. I was encouraged to consider the priesthood from mentors at St. Paul’s, but wasn’t ready to consider the call in high school. Now is the time to start discerning that call. My passion is to cultivate community through food, conversation, and spirituality, and I look forward to how Resurrection House will guide me to achieve that goal.



Deacons Bidding Prayers Sept 6th 2013

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (wikimedia commons)

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (wikimedia commons)

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 the people of Syria, for refugees from war and violence, and for those who provide humanitarian aid.

For the leaders of the world, especially the Congress and President of the United States, as they make difficult decisions affecting the peace and welfare of people at home and abroad.

For people in our country who are unemployed or underemployed. For those who are fully employed to find compassion and understanding for those who need help.

For those who have lost loved ones, homes, and crops to flooding in the Sahel region of Africa.

For all those known and unknown who have been killed in wars around the world, especially Staff Sgt. Octavio Herrera, 26, of Caldwell, Idaho, Sgt. Jamar A. Hicks, 22, of Little Rock, Ark., and Spc. Keith E. Grace Jr., 26, of Baytown, Texas, all killed the week of August 12.

Diocesan Office on the Road

dio-ne-westThe Diocesan office has taken to the road to work in the western part of the state.  We are again excited to spend time with our parishioners and clergy who are the furthest distance from our office. We look forward to offering support and services, as well as fellowship and friendship.


Traveling with Bishop Barker this year will be Kate Baxley, Director of Administration and Communications, and Beth Byrne, Director of Finance.   We are happy to offer training, guidance and/or workshops to your Vestry or parishioners as needed.


We have listed our schedule below.  We hope that if you are in the area, you will come by and visit. Feel free to drop by during our office hours during a visitation or contact us and we will be happy to make an appointment with you personally.


We hope to see you during our visit!



Friday, September 6:

Visit and all parish meeting at St. John’s, Valentine – 7:00 p.m.


Saturday, September 7:

Bishop Visitation and Eucharist at St. Mark’s, Gordon – 5:00 p.m.


Sunday, September 8:

Bishop Visitation and Eucharist at St. Mary’s Holly, Rushville – 8:30 a.m.

Bishop Visitation and Eucharist at Grace Church, Chadron – 5:00 p.m.

Dinner and all parish meeting following service.


Monday, September 9:

Office Hours at Grace Church, Chadron -10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Tuesday, September 10:

Mini Clergy Retreat at Grace Church, Chadron – 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Community Workshop Offering –  Worshipful Work: Lay Leadership in
Our Episcopal Church
  – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 11:

Office Hours at St. Matthew’s, Alliance – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Bishop Visitation and Eucharist at St. Matthew’s, Alliance – 5:30 p.m.

Dinner – 6:30 p.m.

Community Workshop Offering – Worshipful Work: Lay Leadership in
Our Episcopal Church
  – 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


Thursday, September 12:  

Office Hours at St. Matthew’s, Alliance – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

Community Workshop Offering – Worshipful Work: Lay Leadership in

Our Episcopal Church  – 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bishop Visitation and Eucharist at Calvary, Hyannis – 5:00 p.m.
Fellowship and all parish meeting – 6:00 p.m.


Friday, September 13:  

Bishop Visitation and Eucharist at St. George’s, Oshkosh – 5:30 p.m.
Fellowship and all parish meeting – 6:30 p.m.

**Please remember, all are invited to these events and visitations!  You do not have to be a member of these parishes to attend.   See you soon!