Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

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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.

 

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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 deaconbetsy@windstream.net 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! 

Tri-Faith Initiative on the Road

DSCN8660-medium
Meet with Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders of the Tri-faith Initiative in Omaha for an update on this exciting project and a workshop on how your church can engage in interfaith and ecumenical work to build bridges of respect and understanding among people of different faith traditions.

These workshops are open to all, but especially clergy, lay leaders and religious educators of Episcopal and ELCA Lutheran Churches across Nebraska.   If this time and location are not convenient, there will be additional workshops in Norfolk and Omaha in the coming months and video resources as well.

 

 

 

 

Our next presentation of Tri-Faith on the Road will be held Saturday, September 28th from 10:00am – 1:30pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kearney.  Lunch is provided.

 

Please register for this event by going to either the Episcopal Tri-Faith website:  www.episcopaltrifaith.org or the Tri-Faith Initiative site: www.trifaith.org.  Or click on the following link: Tri-Faith on the Road Registration 

Bring a friend and join us!

Saturday, September 28th

10:00 am – 1:30 pm

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

2304 2nd Ave

 Kearney NE

Bible Challenge Week 35 September 2nd-8th

12ba4fb9-5a18-4263-b078-33c47ce543e3Weekly Word from Bishop Barker for Week 35
September 2nd – 8th

In the Old Testament this week we finish the Book of Isaiah and begin reading the Book of Jeremiah. We will also read Psalms 45 through 50. In the New Testament we will read the first half of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews.

 

I wonder…

– There seems to be a flow from Psalm 46 to Psalm 47, as the psalmist moves from affirming God is distant but caring, to celebrating God as omnipresent and utterly triumphant. Does that movement reflect your own faith journey in any way? Why or why not?

– The Book of Jeremiah opens with God scolding the young and reluctant prophet Jeremiah. “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy.’ For you shall go to all whom I send you.” Indeed, Jeremiah is remembered as one of the greatest prophets known to humankind. In what ways are you reluctant to follow God calls? If God could tell you to “stop saying” one thing, what would God tell you to stop saying?

– “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Heb 4:12.) Where do you experience “the word of God” as evidently and sharply active in your life? Has the Bible Challenge contributed in any way to your experience of God’s word as active?

 

  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 239  – Monday, September 2, 2013
– Isaiah 61-63, Psalm 45, Hebrews 1
Day 240  – Tuesday, September 3, 2013
– Isaiah 64-66, Psalm 46, Hebrews 2
Day 241  – Wednesday, September 4, 2013
– Jeremiah 1-3, Psalm 47, Hebrews 3
Day 242  – Thursday, September 5, 2013
– Jeremiah 4-6, Psalm 48, Hebrews 4
Day 243  – Friday, September 6, 2013
– Jeremiah 7-9, Psalm 49, Hebrews 5
Day 244  – Saturday, September 7, 2013
– Jeremiah 10-12, Psalm 50, Hebrews 6
Day 245  – Sunday, September 8, 2013 – Enjoy hearing the Scriptures read aloud in church

We Bid Your Prayers…

A deacon wearing a stole (deacons wear the stole across one shoulder, priests around both)

We bid your prayers…

The deacons who gathered at St. Luke’s, Kearney, two weeks ago decided that the new format of The Nebraska Episcopalian gives us a way to do something we first discussed at a deacons’ retreat a few years ago: bid the prayers of people throughout the diocese for needs beyond our parishes. We invite everyone to join us in praying for the needs, hopes, concerns, and joys of the world. As deacons get used to gathering and sending these biddings, our intention is to publish them toward the end of the week in time for them to be a resource for deacons and others preparing the Prayers of the People for Sunday worship. Deacons are invited to send biddings for prayers for the world to deaconbetsy@windstream.net by Thursday noon for each week’s gathering of biddings.

 

The deacons of our diocese bid your prayers:

 

For all those affected by the wildfires burning in the western United States; for people whose lives, homes, or businesses have been lost or are threatened now by fires, for the firefighters, rangers, and first responders working to contain the fires and help people, and for wisdom to understand and address the underlying causes of this year’s wildfires.

 

For the people of Syria and for the leaders of the world as they decide how to respond to the situation in Syria.

 

For seasonable weather, and for relief for people suffering from the heat.

 

For victims of flooding in Mali, in Russia, in China, and elsewhere, and for those preparing for floods expected in the days ahead.

 

For all those known and unknown who have been killed in wars around the world, especially Spc. Nicholas Welch of Mill City, Oregon killed the week of August 4.

pray-without-ceasing-with-url-400

Atlantic Monthly: Meaning Is More Important than Happiness

For discussion, from the Atlantic Monthly
By putting aside our selfish interests to serve someone or something larger than ourselves — by devoting our lives to “giving” rather than “taking” — we are not only expressing our fundamental humanity, but are also acknowledging that that there is more to the good life than the pursuit of simple happiness.
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/