Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

Youth Events

Rosebud Mission Team Update and Photos

Rosebud Mission Team

Rosebud Mission Team


Two dozen youth and adults from DioNeb parish churches are serving and learning this week on the Rosebud Reservation in southern South Dakota.  The youth are staying overnight at Saint John’s Church in Valentine, NE, and spending their days leading Vacation Bible school and re-habbing the Episcopal Church of Jesus, which is located in the town of Rosebud, SD.  Bishop Barker visited on Wednesday, and snapped a few photos of our hardworking team and their joyful young companions.  Special thanks to Father Tom Jones and Mother Karen Watson who are serving as clergy leaders of the team, and to all those youth and adults willing to give a week of the summer and their lives to seek and serve Christ in our neighbors to the north!





team-crafts team-fun1
team-fun2 team-fun3
team-pickup team-worship1
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Camp Comeca – Anchored in Christ

This year's theme:  Anchored in Christ

This year’s theme: Anchored in Christ

Thank you to the parishes that celebrated Camp Sunday with us on May 4th! We appreciate your help spreading the word about camp!

I’ve received several texts and phone calls communicating the generosity of parishioners around the diocese contributing to camp scholarship funds. We never want to see a child miss camp for financial reasons and every year we have dig deep into those scholarship funds to send kids to camp. We are forever grateful for those gifts.

Our Diocesan camp program has a lot to offer your child, from quality spiritual programming to annual favorites like the bonfires and the talent show, we strive to give kids a solid spiritual experience while also taking time to get out and play.

Camp Comcea has a beautiful campus, and offers a variety of outdoor activities including: the zip line, archery range, canoeing & paddle boating, a challenge course, an Olympic size swimming pool, and a gymnasium with a rock wall feature. All cabins have bunk-style beds and are air conditioned. The bathhouse is a short hike from the cabins.

We hope to see many parishes represented at Camp this summer. Registration is open now! Visit the camp website at for more information or to register for camp! Registration will be open until JUNE 29th and camp costs $275/camper.

– Noelle Ptomey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Camp Sunday is This Sunday, May 4th !






See this TNE link for downloadable resources to use on Camp Sunday to promote Camp Comeca in your parish.

Any one who registers on May 4th will get double entries in the drawing for THE ULTIMATE CAMPER PRIZE PACKAGE.

Ultimate Camper Prize Package

Ultimate Camper Prize Package

The winner will be announce via the Diocesan Facebook page on June 30th.

Camp Registration is open until June 29th.  Click here for the online registration page.


Here’s a camp poem from new transitional deacon John Adams:


Last Evening at Camp Comeca, 2013

when I was their age
(let Simeon now say)
when I was their age
bugs were evil, hated, feared
an adversary by day
and a terror by night
when I was their age
even successfully avoiding
their nets and snares outdoors
or perfectly ending them
treading within
gave me no peace
left me with dreams of crawlers
prowling in the shadows


now twice their age
(more let Joel now observe)
now more than twice their age
I stand beneath the cross
above the plain
my limbs at tired peace
my mouth full of praise
my weary spirit aloft
borne on charged wings of light
my hand waving around my head
returns giving rest
to the circling moth


now at my age
(let Simeon say)
at my age I bless
the tiny legs dancing
along my knuckles
commend the little soul
in its twilight toil
at their age
the fidgety find fascination
at least more than in silent staring
and are impressed
that I rejoice in stillness
for a bug’s sake

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Camp Sunday is May 4th!

Sunset over Camp Comeca

Sunset over Camp Comeca

Our Diocese has a strong camp tradition.

We think that’s worth celebrating!

We are asking all parishes across DioNeb to join us on May 4th as we celebrate & promote Camp!

Click here to view Noelle’s promo video for 2014!

Below are some ideas and downloadable examples you can use or modify for observing Camp Sunday at your Parish:





In April, begin promoting Camp Sunday in your bulletins, newsletters and social media sources. Here are some sample promotional items you can use at your parish.

Sample Blurb for Bulletin (word)  and (pdf)

Camp Promo Poster (pdf)


Ask your youth that have been to camp be present that Sunday and to wear a camp tee shirt, perhaps allow them a few minutes to speak about why they love camp or about a meaningful camp experience at announcements or even give them sermon time. Schedule them to serve as Acolytes, Ushers, and Lectors on May 4. Incorporate Camp Songs into your worship service.

Suggested Song list (word) and (pdf)


Hold an On-Site Registration. If you have the technical capabilities at your parish, have a laptop handy and get kids registered on Camp Sunday. Camp Registration is open April 29th – June 30th. Any camper that registers on May 4th will automatically be entered (twice) to win the Ultimate Camper Prize Package: which will include a pool caddy/tote, a beach towel, sunscreen, bug spray, water bottle, flashlight, sleeping bag, PLUS $25 off the price of their registration.


Serve s’mores at coffee hour, Have the camp kids serve and clean up. For a quick & easy fundraiser, ask the camp kids to host coffee hour, make the coffee, provide the treats, serve and clean up. Use the coffee hour donations as scholarship money.


Designate an adult in your parish that will see to it that camp information is distributed and communicated to all youth entering 4th – 12th grades. Any camp questions can be directed to Noelle Ptomey at

Camp Postcard Sample (word) and (pdf)


Establish a Camp Scholarship Fund at your parish or support fundraisers to help kids pay for camp. Camp costs $275. That can really add up if you have more than one kid going to camp. We encourage parishes to be the first line of scholarship. We NEVER want a child to miss camp for financial reasons. For further assistance contact Noelle Ptomey at


If Camp Sunday isn’t feasible at your parish, perhaps you could designate a Sunday school or Youth Group session to promote camp and use the provided resources.


Look for additional TNE and Ministry Memo posts over the next few weeks.  You can also find more camp information found at the diocesan website

– Noelle Ptomey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2nd Annual Whitney Scholarship Applications


On-line applications are now being taken for the Clyde E. and Rae E Whitney scholarship fund administered through the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska.


This $1,000 annual scholarship was established from a fund created by British-born, Rae. E. Whitney (1927- ), a hymn-poet, teacher & ecumenist, and by her husband, Father Clyde E. Whitney (1901-1992). Clyde was born & raised in McCook. After college he became part of the “Big Band”era, playing tuba and singing scat songs, (at one time with Glen Miller). In 1939 he went to Nashotah House (seminary), and was the last deacon /priest to be ordained by Bishop Beecher. He served in Valentine for one year, and then the next 25 years in Scottsbluff. After his retirement in 1969, the Whitneys went to Guatemala City CA to work with the church there. On their return, they did interim work in Mitchell, McCook, Kimball and Harrisburg (Nebraska), as well as in Torrington & Lusk (Wyoming).



This fund is intended to provide support for female members in good standing of the Episcopal Church throughout Province VI currently pursuing or desiring to pursue studies in theology, Christian education, or sacred music.


Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be a female resident of Nebraska or Episcopal province VI. Applicants must be a member of the Episcopal Church in good standing as defined in the Canons of the Episcopal Church. Applicants must be currently pursuing or desire to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited college or university in one of the following fields of study: Theology, Christian Education or Sacred Music.  Applicants must have an academic standing of a Sophomore or above.


Provisions for Funding:

The fund will provide on scholarship annually to assist with educational expenses. The scholarship may be awarded to the same recipient for not more than three consecutive years, the recipient must apply annually. The money will be paid directly to the student at the time of the award.


Review Process:

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of 3-5 members consisting of clergy and lay members of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska.


Scholarship Application can be found at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Camp Comeca July 21st-25th – Save the Date!


Plans and Preparations Underway for Camp 2014

It may be snowing outside this morning, but my mind is already thinking about our Diocesan summer camp! I know some parents are already lining up summer activities for their children and I also know you won’t want your kids to miss out on church camp!

Be sure to save the date!

Camp will be

July 21-25

Camp Comeca, Cozad, Ne.

Click here for the online registration form.

Camp is open to all youth entering 4th -12th grade.

If you feel like your child is stressed and over scheduled, camp just might be the key to helping them unwind and find a spiritual center this summer. Our daily schedule include a strong spiritual component balanced with outdoor and indoor activities. We also strive to find ways to provide down time where kids (and adults) can refresh and recharge.

Our Diocesan Camp strives to be a safe, spirit-filled event. We are blessed to have a strong blend of Lay and Clergy volunteers at camp. All our adult counselors are Safeguard trained and we will have an RN on staff. Noelle Ptomey and Kourtney Lewis will be directing camp again this summer. We take care in the planning preparation of camp to ensure that camp is a positive experience for all youth.

Camp Comeca offers great outdoor amenities (hiking, canoes, zip lining, paddle boats, archery, and a challenge course) as well as an indoor pool and gym facilities. Cabins have bunk style beds with carpet and AC and the bath house is a short jaunt from the cabins.

More concrete information will be coming out in March, but please promote this save the date information within your parish now.

Remember, now is the time to be thinking about parish fundraisers to help scholarship kids to camp. We never want a child to miss out on camp for financial reasons!

Feel free to contact Noelle Ptomey at  if you have any further questions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Registration for Episcopal Youth Event 2014


The registration is deadline for the popular Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) is February 28, 2014. Please contact Beth Byrne at the diocesan office ( or 402-341-5373) for information regarding the Nebraska delegation and registration.

Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) is scheduled for July 9-13, 2014 at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia, PA. Drawing hundreds of youth from throughout the Episcopal Church, EYE14 is being planned in partnership with the Diocese of Pennsylvania. The 2014 event marks the twelfth EYE and remains a popular and well-attended event. EYE 2014 is geared for youth in grades 9-12 during the 2013-2014 academic year and their adult leaders.

Joe Prickett, of Saint Stephen’s in Grand Island is one of the members of the event’s national planning team.
Bronwyn Clark Skov, Episcopal Church Youth Ministries Officer, explained: “EYE is an opportunity for the youth of the church to meet their peers and church leaders in a richly diverse environment, actively engaging the Five Marks of Mission while in Philadelphia.”

Registration is $325 per participant (youth and adult) which includes meals and lodging (transportation is extra).

Additional information about the event can be found here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“We Need A Little Advent”

Family Advent Activities

One of the best gifts we Episcopalians can offer the world this time of year is the gift of Advent: We don’t skip from Halloween right over Thanksgiving straight to Christmas. As Black Friday sales expand each year, it can seem like the materialistic side of Christmas begins to start sooner and last longer, and the focus on the newest and best toys (for kids and adults!) overshadows the “true meaning of Advent”.



TNE suggests we all bring a little extra prayer and quiet expectation to Advent, for your family and friends. Most of of know a little about wreaths and calendars, but below are other easy and fun ways to use Advent as a way of teaching children, youth, and adults not about about this wonderful liturgical season, but also ways to help us see Christ in others.

King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia has several great family advent suggestions here

The Jesuit’s Loyola Press has some of the best family devotions and activities around:

St. Nicholas Day is December 6th, and the St. Nicholas Center has lots of fun information and activities here

For easy ways to make a difference in the lives of others, try any of these resources

By using these ideas and others, we can teach our children and each other not only about the season of Advent, but also what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.  (Collect for Advent 1)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

NOVO Youth Event Report

NOVO Participants

NOVO Participants

Novo, an event for high-schoolers from across the state, was held from September 6-8 at Timberlake Ranch Camp. While the weekend was not without its struggles, it is considered to have been a success by all.

As the 18 new participants arrived on Friday evening, there was a predictable amount of awkward tension; however, by the time they went to bed that night, the team could hardly get them to go to bed. As the weekend progressed, everyone became more and more comfortable with each other, and each participant and team member opened their heart to each other and to God.

Novo participants and team members took part in a number of activities throughout the weekend, including crafts, journaling exercises, singing sessions, and games – we even got to use Timberlake’s obstacle course, Armageddon Island! Every activity was centered on the Stations of the Cross, which we moved through sequentially. Each night, we concluded with s’mores around a bonfire, singing, and compline, and on Saturday night, we watched a movie!

Although we got off schedule, crafts went awry, and we almost didn’t have a sanctuary for the closing Eucharist, the weekend was absolutely fulfilling. The lives of so many were changed, and so many began a relationship with God. It was a beautifully humbling experience for all of the team members, who had labored though the summer to make Novo happen; an incredible adult team in the diocesan offices and at Timberlake also worked hard to guide the teenage team and make Novo a success. We are very fortunate to have a diocese full of such fun, loving, and Christ-filled youth that will continue to lead Novo in a brilliant direction in the years to come.

– Abbey Kotlarz

Cody Castleberry, from St. Stephen's in Grand Island, and Heath Hovendick, from Christ Church in Beatrice, smile before the Daisy Wakeup on Sunday morning

Cody Castleberry, from St. Stephen’s in Grand Island, and Heath Hovendick, from Christ Church in Beatrice, smile before the Daisy Wakeup on Sunday morning

Team members and participants sing together on Sunday morning, led by Fr. Robert Lewis, Kirsten Warren-Carrell, and Tony Anderson

Team members and participants sing together on Sunday morning, led by Fr. Robert Lewis, Kirsten Warren-Carrell, and Tony Anderson

Closing Eucharist

Closing Eucharist

from St. Stephen's in Grand Island, helps a participant clear an obstacle during the Trust Walk

from St. Stephen’s in Grand Island, helps a participant clear an obstacle during the Trust Walk

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

NOVO Fall 2013 Youth Event


NOVO (a Latin word for renew, refresh) is a youth-led faith event. This is a weekend filled with creative worship, games and fun!
NOVO is a spiritual renewal event for some and a spiritual discovery for others. The focus is around the Stations of the Cross and a connection with the Holy Spirit.

High school youth will share their faith through talks, small groups and music. Youth from all over Nebraska are invited to join in this weekend. We encourage you to invite your friends!

Please join us at Camp Timberlake on Friday, September 6th to Sunday, September 8th to experience this renewing journey with Jesus.
Please click on the link below to learn more and to get registered:

NOVO Registration

Print Friendly, PDF & Email