Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ


2016 United Thank Offering Grant Applications Now Accepted



Applications are now accepted for the 2016 United Thank Offering grants.  The application forms are available here.

The focus for the 2016 United Thank Offering grants is Mark Five of the Anglican Marks of Mission: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. 

“The United Thank Offering is continuing its tradition of thankfulness by awarding grants for 2016,” commented Sandra K. Squires, Ed.D., United Thank Offering Board President.

Established by United Thank Offering, a ministry of The Episcopal Church to promote thankfulness and mission in the whole Church, the purpose of the grants is to provide start-up money for a new project that focuses on the Fifth Mark of Mission. The funds are not permitted for the continuation of ongoing ministries.

Detailed guidelines for applying for the grants are here.   The deadline is 5 pm Eastern on Friday, March 4.

The list of allowable and projects not eligible are listed here.

Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in The Episcopal Church.

Important notes
The United Thank Offering will accept:
• grant applications for start-up costs of a new ministry.
• one grant application per diocese within The Episcopal Church;
• one additional application for a companion grant from a diocese of The Episcopal Church may be submitted. This relationship may be formed with an aided diocese from The Episcopal Church or with a diocese from The Anglican Communion. The sponsoring bishop with jurisdiction will be responsible for the accounting of the grant.

For more information about guidelines and applications, contact the Rev. Heather Melton, missioner for United Thank Offering,

Spanish materials
United Thank Offering materials are available in Spanish and are available for download here. Included are both Blue Box designs which can be printed out on cardstock, cut and folded.

“The hope is that offering the materials for download will allow our dioceses that would have had to pay a high fee for shipping or import into their country to have access to United Thank Offering materials for just the cost of printing in their diocese or parish,” Melton added.

More information
For more information contact Melton at

The Five Marks of Mission are:
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“I Stand by the Door” – Rev. Sam Shoemaker

Nancy Brown and the Recovery Commission of the Diocese of Nebraska submitted this beautiful poem by the Rev. Sam Shoemaker as a reminder to keep our doors open and warmly welcome all our brothers and sisters into our lives and our churches in the Christmas season just ahead.


     By Rev. Sam Shoemaker
doorI stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world—
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There’s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside, and they, as much as I, Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be. They creep along the wall like blind men. With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door, Yet they never find it . . .
So I stay near the door.
“The  most  tremendous  thing  in  the  world Is for men to find that door—the door to God. The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands, And put it on the latch—the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.
Men die outside that door, as starving beggars die On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter— Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it—live because they have found it. Nothing  else  matters  compared  to  helping  them  find  it,   And open it, and walk in, and find Him . . .
So I stay near the door.
“Go in, great saints, go all the way in— Go way down into the cavernous cellars, And way up into the spacious attics—
In a vast, roomy house, this house where God is. Go   into  the  deepest  of  hidden   casements, Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms, And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is. Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening . . . So I stay near the door.
“The people too far in do not see how near these are To leaving—preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door, But would like to run away. So for them, too,
I stay near the door.
 “I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help The people who have not even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God. You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
And   forget   the   people   outside   the   door. As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there, But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too. Where? Outside the door— Thousands of them, millions of them. But—more important for me—
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch, So I shall stay by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
 ‘I had rather be a door-keeper . . .’ So I stay near the door.”


Note: Rev. Sam Shoemaker was a co-founder of A.A.
For more information on Rev. Shoemaker, see this link

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Voice of a Christian


The Voice of a Christian

One of the strange realities of our newly-dawned “Information Age” is that we can become acutely aware of every great and serious topic from every sphere of life. Our local community hears news from our town, our state, our region, our nation, and the world.

One challenge this creates within the life of faith – and especially faith lived out in community, including our own parish, is that we can get hold of full or partial information about many of the great topics of our age. I confess that this is one of my greatest satisfactions from technology: it means quite a bit to me to be aware of the movements of history and nations, and to feel secure in my sense of my own place within them. I love to take up serious topics in conversation. The challenge of this is that our opinions, formed by diverse experiences and the different aspects of a story that we come to hear or experience, can become sources of tension, anxiety, or even division within our friendships, families, and churches.

I offer two thoughts in response. One is that Scripture is as true for us today in our Information Age as it was for the early churches to which Paul wrote – and in particular the community of the church in Corinth. I encourage you all sometime to read Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (you can finish it in about 20 minutes). It’s a letter to a church divided: they’ve chosen different leaders, and they’re unclear about what public Christian behavior should be, what sexual morality should be, and whether they still have a need of the Jewish law or not (any of this sound familiar?). Paul writes wonderful things to them, including a reminder that no human vision is perfect (“now we see in a mirror, dimly” 1 Cor 13:12), and that we all have a need of one another (“For just as a body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. […] The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” 1 Cor 12:12, 21). Paul understood that those who seek to follow Jesus would disagree in good conscience, but that it’s Christ who gathers us all together again, in spite of the visions and expectations we have – as scattered today as they ever were after Babel way back in Genesis 11!

The other thought is this: Rowan Williams, the previous Archbishop of Canterbury and head of our sister church, the Church of England, wrote this in a Lenten book called Christ on Trial (one of my favorite spiritual reads): “In the late nineties, Britain and other countries took up arms against tyrannical regimes elsewhere in the world. These military adventures may or may not have been justified or helpful, but the underlying problem for the Christian is how to be truthful about them. Yes, there is a cost in civilian deaths. Yes, such and such a policy, at home or abroad, will cost resources that will not therefore be available for other things. Yes, politics is frequently about the choosing where the cost will come, not about finding a cost-free option. The Christian is certainly called on to take up the unpopular position of being the person who asks about specific costs, about the tragic element in public decisions – not to turn the screws of guilt, but to remind us that facing cost is the only adult way of understanding the full nature of freedom. The Christian may also be the person who has the still more unpopular task of saying that this particular cost is unacceptable in terms of social or international wellbeing or public integrity,” (p 115).

It strikes me that we are in a time where that is precisely the public conversation we are having. Christians, and others, are raising our voices to face costs: the cost of taking on risk in our own nation if we seek to shelter others and someone who would do us violence might slip in amongst those fleeing that same violence, and the cost of locking in the innocent with the terrible. Each of these comments is a matter of facing cost: each has at its core a hope that human lives will not remain in danger.

I have already valued at Saint Augustine that we are able to have these conversations and understand that our higher commitment is to remain a part of Christ’s Body the Church together. That whatever cost is paid, we will acknowledge it soberly with our prayer and, when possible, our relief. We have had Syrian refugees as visitors at our parish on several occasions, and they have been treated with respect and hospitality. Few of us have the ear of the powerful, to offer our voice directly to them, but I believe we take on fully the challenge of living out the faith that demands that we follow Jesus, and not our own simple pleasures, and I believe that we have the capacity for loving conversation even around the weightiest topics of our age.

May we never neglect to face the true costs of our choices, nor the actions of our nation, and may we always speak to one another what we could also offer to God in prayer,


Fr Benedict Varnum,
St. Augustine of Canterbury, Omaha

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Diocese of Nebraska 2015 Necrology List

Angel Sculpture Christian Stock Image-smallThe Communion of Saints

The communion of saints is the whole family of God, the living and the dead, those whom we love and those whom we hurt, bound together in Christ by sacrament, prayer, and praise (BCP 862).

This is how the Book of Common Prayer defines the “communion of saints,” one of the things we declare we believe in when we say the Apostles’ Creed. What an amazing way of describing the family that God has created in Jesus. Through baptism, we are knit together, connected to each other so completely that nothing—not distance, or death, or the ways we hurt each other—can break us apart.

Loved ones who have passed on, Christians throughout history who inspire us, and, yes, even that person who gets on our very last nerve: God has brought us all together, has made us profoundly, eternally one, in Jesus Christ.

This Sunday, All Saints’ Day, is when we celebrate that eternal communion.

– Deacon Sarah Miller, Bishop’s Society Curate


Eternal Lord God, you hold all souls in life: Give to your whole church in paradise and on earth your light and your peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served you here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into your unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


ALLIANCE, St. Matthew’s

Dale Val Jean Borg


ARAPAHOE, St. Paul’s

None Reported


BASSETT, St. Mary’s

Marvin Dorsey


BEATRICE, Christ Church

Verna Smith


BELLEVUE, Holy Spirit

Mary Cowles


BLAIR, St. Mary’s

None Reported


BROKEN BOW, St. John’s

Verla Ruth Scafer


CENTRAL CITY, Christ Church

Edward “Ed” L. Burke III

Clarence “Bud” A. Gaghagen, Jr.

Wesley Davis


CHARDON, Grace Church

None Reported


COLUMBUS, Grace Church

Phillip Hockenberger, Jr.

Gary Weber


COZAD, St. Christopher’s

None Reported


None Reported


CRETE, Trinity Memorial

None Reported


DE WITT, St. Augustine’s

None Reported


ELKHORN, St. Augustine

Patricia Morgan

Delores Mattson


FALLS CITY, St. Thomas

None Reported


FREMONT, St. James

None Reported


GORDON, St. Mark’s

Anna Mae Fitch


GRAND ISLAND, St. Stephen’s

Botros Eltahir Gabriel

Allene Bish

Joanne Rasmussen

Sumia Rabib


HARRISBURG, Good Shepherd

None Reported


HARVARD, St. John’s

None Reported


HASTINGS, St. Mark’s Pro Cathedral

None Reported


HOLDREGE, St. Elizabeth’s

David M. Hamilton

Mae Marie Lofton

Harley Griffith Lofton Jr.


HYANNIS, Calvary Church

Betty J. Dyer


KEARNEY, St. Luke’s

Gary E. Zaruba

John G. Haeberle

Bettie C. Godfrey

Thomas B. Murray

Grace F. Hause


KIMBALL, St. Hilda’s

None Reported


LEXINGTON, St. Peter’s

None Reported


LINCOLN, Holy Trinity

None Reported


LINCOLN, St. David’s

Harry Hieter


LINCOLN, St. Mark’s on the Campus

Barbara MacKnight

Andrew Thompson


LINCOLN, St. Matthew’s

Ahda Ellis

Ellen (Becky) R. Greenwald

Mollie Baldwin

David Patrick


McCOOK, St. Alban’s

Willard Hoyt

Flora Lundberg


MITCHELL, Holy Apostles

None Reported


MULLEN, St. Joseph’s

Jean Harding

Mary Elliot

Marlene Marshall



None Reported


NORFOLK, Trinity Church

Joan L. (Jody) Thoma

Kay Ann Putters

Burton E. Nixon



Harold Kay

Virgina Mapes

Harvey Lauer

Sam Kamino

Vernon Allen

Dudley Oltmans

Mary Helen Haythorn

Anne McCracken


OGALLALA, St. Paul’s

None Reported


OMAHA, All Saints

Coralie Strickland Dossel

Catherine Rauscher

James Foutch Pegram

Paulina Helen Carlos

Richard E. Gibson, Jr.

Fedrika R. Pirruccello

Clora Elizabeth Haviland

Lorenz Kellner Muller

Gunnar K. Mossblad

Leslie Lee Hadan

Imogene Lurvey

Mary Lou Keyser

Jim R. Kanago

Diane Young Hamsa


OMAHA, Church of the Resurrection

None Reported


OMAHA, St. Andrew’s

Rose Henry

Elinor Hansen

Les Sladek

Betty Clark

Ingrid Van Blerk

Bernice Johnson

Edwin “Ding” Daisley, Jr.

Elizabeth Burney


OMAHA, St. Martin of Tours

None Reported


OMAHA, Trinity Cathedral

Ryan Joneson

Georgia Heaton

Ellen Marie Scott

Timothy Dunning

Carl Woods

Sheila Emmannel

Cheryl Kerrigan

The Rev. Larry Jaynes

Margaret Darlington

Samuel Blanchard, Jr.

Colleen Kile

Helen Barger

Sylvia Witt

Phyllis Klein


OSHKOSH, St. George’s

None Reported


PAPILLION, St. Martha’s

John Barnett

Doug Henson

Jerry Hall

Jane Stackhouse



Mary Egenberger


RUSHVILLE, St. Mary’s Holly

Barbara Krotz

Flora Krotz

Alice Winter

Martha Krotz



The Rev. Kenneth “Cal” Henderson

Pauline Mae Brown

Teresa Josephine Lynn

Katherine (Masid) Connelly

The Rev. Dorothy “Dottie” Wolfe

Barbara (Hatch) Vernon

Jason Alan Krager


SEWARD, St. Andrew’s

Langdon “Paul” Green

Walter Stanley Waas


SIDNEY, Christ Church

None Reported


TECUMSEH, Grace Church

None Reported



None Reported


Priests Deceased Since Last Council

The Rev. Kenneth “Cal” Henderson

The Rev. Larry Jaynes

The Rev. Ed Newbury

The Rev. W. J. Barnds

The Rev. Mary Lou Reynolds


Deacons Deceased Since Last Council

The Rev. John Titus

The Rev. Dorothy “Dottie” Wolfe




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

North Omaha Summer Arts Crawl – Friday August 14th 6-9 PM



Omaha native, resident and artist Pamela Jo Berry saw a need for more art to be infused into her community. So she dreamed up something called North Omaha Summer Arts (NOSA) in order to bring art in all its forms into that underserved neighborhood. With the help of partners and collaborators she’s made it a reality. This free, family-friendly arts festival for the community, by the community wraps up Year 5 with the annual Arts Crawl on Friday, August 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Arts Crawl happens at venues up and down and around North 30th Street. Take a stroll or drive from Metropolitan College Fort Omaha campus north to various churches to Heartland Family Service/Solomon Girls Center to enjoy inspiring visual art and soothing live music by artists from the community.

Sample the work of artists in a wide variety of mediums and meet some of the artists sharing their work.

Free refreshments and homemade snacks available at each stop.

“I am very excited about the fifth annual North Omaha Summer Arts Arts Crawl.” Berry says. “From 6 to 9 p.m. we have five locations showing beautiful art and serving really good food. New this year, the Washington Branch Library is hosting a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and there will be food and art there as well.

“The Arts Crawl features established artists and newcomers, all of whom love to share their art and its story with audiences. The food is wonderful at each stop. The deserts at Parkside Baptist Church are another work of art.”





The Arts Crawl lineup:

  • Metropolitan Community College Fort Omaha campus, Mule Barn Building #21 New this year: Omaha Fashion Week at the Mule Barn
  • Church of the Resurrection, 3004 Belvedere Blvd. (just northwest of 30th and Kansas Ave.)
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, 6340 North 30th St. (30th and Redick) Featuring a Community Peace mural made by teens and seniors from the North Omaha Intergenerational Human Services Campus
  • Parkside Baptist Church, 3008 Newport Ave. (30th and Newport Ave.)


  • Washington Branch Library, 2868 Ames Ave. is hosting an Arts Crawl reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Enjoy art and refreshments at the library.

Berry describes the Community Peace mural that a group of teens and seniors from the North Omaha Intergenerational Human Services Campus made under the direction of artist Pamela Hinson:

Pam Berry

Pam Berry

“This year we wanted to make a mural about North Omaha,” Berry says. “It is a beautiful, vibrant place to live, yes. even with all the attention on the violence and the issue of poverty. There are sweet, peaceful neighborhoods, people of different hues, faiths and languages, families of all generations in the parks, community gardens and small forests. And there is art in all forms.

“Many people care about North Omaha’s redevelopment and the well-being of the people. Better things are on the horizon. There is much prayer for peace in exchange for the violence that seems to linger in the in-between spaces here.. Our mural is about peace in and for North Omaha. Maybe as we focus on the good that can be found here, better ideas for mastering poverty and violence will come forth.”

The mural will be displayed at Trinity Lutheran Church during the Crawl.

The North Omaha Summer Arts team invites the general public from all over the metro to come participate in this important milestone of 5 years bringing art to North Omaha. Discover art and artists in our midst whose work deserves wider appreciation and recognition.

Before, during or after the Crawl, enjoy some of North Omaha’s other resources, including the Loves Jazz & Arts Center, the Carver Bank, the Union for Contemporary Art, the Bryant Center, Miller Park and the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation.

Visit the NOSA Facebook page, and the NOSA Arts Crawl Facebook Event page.

For more information, email or call 402-502-4669/402-709-1359.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

BKSM Summer Mini-Classes

 The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry is offering this two classes this summer that, while open to clergy, they are particularly designed for lay leaders, whether paid or volunteer, who are responsible for children and youth ministry programs. The two courses are:


MINI 340: Christian Education Leadership Survey
Saturday, June 13 – Sunday, June 14
Upton Hall, on the Diocese of Kansas campus in Topeka

MINI 350: Christian Education Teaching Survey
Saturday, July 18 – Sunday, July 19
Upton Hall, on the Diocese of Kansas campus in Topeka


Each class costs $125, which includes overnight accommodations and meals.

Attached here you will find both a color and black & white flyer in PDF format. If you would be willing to share the flyer with your clergy list and ask them to print and post the flyer in their churches to help us get the word out about these wonderful classes, it would be most appreciated.

Also, I would gratefully ask your assistance in sharing this information with clergy and laity in your diocese via Facebook, at meetings or via any upcoming e-publications. This link has complete information about both classes as well as an online registration form.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lent with the ESC – On Doubt, by Fr. Jason Emerson

Fr. Jason Emerson

Fr. Jason Emerson


February 24th Lenten reflection on the Episcopal Service Corps site
“On Doubt,” by Fr. Jason Emerson, Resurrection House Program Director and Alum

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you; *

Growing up, I loved comic books. A common feature it seemed of every comic book was each super hero had an arch nemesis, an enemy that posed the the greatest threat to the hero because he or she knew the hero’s weakness. Our society does not value weakness. Somehow we are taught that admitting weakness will cause us to doubt ourselves. In our hyper-individualistic culture the cardinal sin is to doubt one’s self. To doubt that you alone by yourself can achieve whatever dream, task, or ambition…to doubt that by your actions you can satisfy whatever instant gratification you can imagine…to doubt these things is considered un-American at best and down right treasonous at worst….

Click here to read the full post on the ESC site.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

All Call Omaha Kiva Update: Next Event February 8th


Five of the seven All Call Omaha Kiva loans have now been paid back in full! Currently, Lalitibe in San Diego, California, Tuyen in Vietnam, and the Mariposas 1 Group in Santiago, DR are repaying their loans on schedule.

Click here for a pdf with details.

With the repayments we have received, there is over $600 in the All Call Kiva account to be re-loaned, and we’ll be having a Kiva party to do that at 5 PM on Sunday, February 8th at Church of the Resurrection.  Snacks will be provided, and we’ll also hear a presentation from Pamela Berry on the North Omaha Summer Arts Crawl, and close with a brief prayer service.

Berry created the North Omaha Summer Arts organization(NOSA) in 2011 to serve the area north of Ames Ave. along the 30th Street corridor. The free Arts Crawl public festival is held every summer and it includes visual and mixed-media artists, quilting classes, and musicians. Artists are stationed with their works at Metro College and various churches along North 30th Street, and attendees have a chance to talk with the artists about their work as they snack their way through the venues.

Berry sees NOSA as a much needed asset for an underserved community challenged by poverty, crime, scarce amenities and a perception problem. “In the area of North Omaha where we live we could find no art,” she says. “We knew it was there, we just had to uncover it. We knew art would bring hope and peace and most of all community to our neighborhood. We’ve seen it grow, we’ve noticed the interest and the benefits…and we want it to continue to flourish.”

Nebraska Arts Council Heritage Arts Manager Deborah Bunting says NOSA is part of the new energy and sense of community being built in North Omaha.

Below are some photos from the 2014 arts crawl.

butterfly abstract
crucifix cut-floral
daniel pam
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Stephen Kay Heritage Room Dedicated at Church of Our Savior

Lighted recessed glass covered display cases hold many artifacts of parish history in the new Stephen Kay Heritage Room at Church of Our Savior, North Platte.

Lighted recessed glass covered display cases hold many artifacts of parish history in the new Stephen Kay Heritage Room at Church of Our Savior, North Platte.

The culmination of four years of in depth research and digging into the rich history of the Church of Our Savior in North Platte was recognized recently when the Stephen Kay Heritage Room was dedicated by Bishop Scott Barker in early September,

The room, named in honor of COS historian, Steve Kay, features tall recessed and lighted display cases, a storage room with shelves for documents, a special picture hanging system for the west wall, and room for displays on the north and south walls as well.

The process which led to the new facility actually began four years ago when Steve began doing some research on COS history. “I started with finding pictures of all the priests that had served Church of Our Savior,” Steve said. “We had a list of names but not many pictures so I began researching all the places they had served after leaving COS and contacted those places as well as doing internet searches and found all the pictures except for one, Actually, I found it (the Rev John Gray), but it was of such poor quality it could not be reproduced.”

Steve worked with Don Milroy, a member of the parish and a photographer as well as owner of Brown Harano Studio in North Platte, and got all the images restored and framed. “I had found over 100 pictures of the 27 priests that have served COS over parts of three centuries and I worked with Don to pick the best one for each person.”

The priest pictures are now displayed in a gallery in the main hall at Church of Our Savior.

In addition to getting the pictures, Steve also made contacts with many people. “When getting pictures of the priests I made contact with many families of the priests and that has been most interesting,” Direct ancestors of the first priest to serve COS attended the dedication of the Heritage Room after driving down from Minneapolis, MN. Steve provided copies of all the pictures to the National Episcopal Archives in Austin, TX.

An old wooden Tabernacle is displayed above a hand carved Gradine that used to grace the main altar of the old church building at Church of Our Savior.  Altar flower vases dating from the late 1800's sit upon the Gradine.

An old wooden Tabernacle is displayed above a hand carved Gradine that used to grace the main altar of the old church building at Church of Our Savior. Altar flower vases dating from the late 1800’s sit upon the Gradine.

Once completing this project Steve then set his sights on researching the Japanese heritage of Church of Our Savior, especially the ministry of Hiram Hisanori Kano. In connection with Father Jeffrey Nelson, current priest at COS, Steve began to put together pictures and a history of the Japanese mission congregation in North Platte (St George’s.)

He was greatly aided in his research by photos placed in scrapbooks by the Rev Francis Pryor and his wife in the 1930’s and 1940’s. These pictures were scanned and restored by Don Milroy and displays were made and put out for people to view on display boards and tables in the main hallway at COS.

The pictures generated a great renewal of interest in the Japanese congregation and Father Nelson and Steve began discussions of ways to honor and recognize this important part of the heritage of Church of Our Savior. Steve then found an article about a sermon preached about Father Kano, organizer and priest of St George’s, by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Shori.. Working with Father Nelson and Brian Gardner, Senior Warden at the time, it was decided to invite the Presiding Bishop to come to North Platte and join in recognizing the ministry of Father Kano. Father Nelson extended the invitation to the Presiding Bishop and she came to North Platte the weekend of July 28-29. 2012 to join in the celebration of Father Kano’s ministry, not only in North Platte but in Mitchell as well.

The event was filmed and placed on the website of the national Episcopal Church and was noted in several national church publications.

Following this event, Steve began to concentrate more on the history of COS Itself and began to dig in closets. files, and drawers throughout the facility. Steve dug through closets not only in the church building itself but in the adjoining Educational Wing and also the Sacristies. He kept an eye out for historically significant artifacts, documents, and photos.

“One of the most interesting items I found were the brass items donated by the Foley family in 1889.,” Steve pointed out, “They were all used in the first church building built in 1872-73.” Steve also located the original documents of incorporation of the parish and the actual record of the order for the first bell for the church! “I was also able to find newspaper articles reporting on the Consecration of the second church building for COS in 1893.”

So that all of the information that Steve has found is not lost to future generations, Steve has authored a book entitled “Church of Our Savior – Our Second Century of Service”. The book reports on the time period from 1967 to the present and builds upon an earlier book telling of the earlier history of COS called “Travails and Triumphs” authored by Sharon Hollen, another member of Church of Our Savior. The new book is $20 and can be purchased through the church office at COS.

“What really amazes me is how much this parish has done for the city of North Platte,” Steve says. At one time or another we have sponsored a hospital, a school, a Sunday School for children on the north side of the city Many of the projects the parish undertakes today such as the Wednesday community meals, the free haircuts for students returning to school, and the like are in the spirit of these previous outreaches.”

The new Stephen Kay Heritage Room is currently featuring displays of original photographs taken of the damage to the previous church structure by a fire which destroyed that building in July. 1962. Some artifacts from that building are on display. Also photographs of the construction of the current COS facility and pictures of the corner stone laying and the consecration of the new building in September, 1964 are on display. Also being featured in the Heritage Room at this time are the artifacts placed in the cornerstone of the church in 1963 and removed recently to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the building.

Photos, posters, and other hangable items grace the west wall of the new Stephen Kay Heritage room at Church of Our Savior, North Platte.  One of the original processional crosses dating from the 1800's is shown.   Also visible is a table on which the wooden Tabernacle used to sit in the priest's study at the old Church of Our Savior.  On the table are items taken from the Cornerstone laid 50 years ago when the current COS building was constructed.

Photos, posters, and other hangable items grace the west wall of the new Stephen Kay Heritage room at Church of Our Savior, North Platte. One of the original processional crosses dating from the 1800’s is shown. Also visible is a table on which the wooden Tabernacle used to sit in the priest’s study at the old Church of Our Savior. On the table are items taken from the Cornerstone laid 50 years ago when the current COS building was constructed.

Displays in the room will be changed periodically to reflect different eras of parish history. Two large glass display cases sit outside the room and also feature elements and pictures of COS history. Those displays will be changed periodically as well.

The Stephen Kay Heritage Room is located to the south of the main hallway at COS and just opposite of the Fireside Room. The Heritage Room is open during regular business hours and on Sunday during worship services.

“I think Church of Our Savior has one of the most interesting histories among the parishes of the Diocese of Nebraska”, Steve reported. “It’s great to see this story on display in the new Heritage Room.”

“Church of Our Savior’s story is the story of service to others,” Steve said.

– Brian Gardner

Print Friendly, PDF & Email