Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

In Memoriam

In memoriam: Jon W. Nelson

Jon Nelson, photo from Kearney Hub

Former Diocesan Stewardship director Jon Nelson died recently in Estes Park where he and his wife Bev had lived for a number of years and where their son Tory owns and manages a restaurant.  In his shirt pocket in the days before he died, the prayer list he kept literally at his side.


Jon was a person of no few contradictions. He was buried from an Anglican church in a liturgy very reminiscent of the 1928 Prayer Book but highlighted by music Jon had chosen from Cursillo.


Jack Ford, former priest of this Diocese, preached the homily, and in it he noted that “Jon was a teacher . . . both in the classroom and in the way he endeavored to live his life.” He also noted that Jon learned across his life to “wisely channel” his energies into “helping others and growing things”—which is also a pretty good definition of a teacher.


Often in concert with his good friend and later Stewardship Director Ken Anderson, Jon directed his teaching/helping ministry to the betterment of his former parish, St. Luke’s, Kearney, and the Diocese of Nebraska. For the parish, this included founding Kearney’s Jubilee Center, first operating out of St. Luke’s basement and, as it outgrew that, becoming today’s flourishing center for assistance with food and clothing, a ministry in which the parish is still a strong partner.  For the Diocese, this included making the Sower Fund not only a hallmark of Diocesan stewardship but also a builder of our Diocesan fellowship.


Ken Anderson recalls being Senior Warden and receiving from Jon an envelope containing the Sower $2.00.  He had no idea what to do with it, so he stuck it in his billfold until he could ask around for ideas. The $2 remained forgotten until well after that year’s projects…but it still grew in a way—it grew in Ken’s conviction when he found it that we should all be “sowing”—he has been ever since and thinks somewhere he still has that two-dollar “reminder.”


Together Jon and Ken were stewardship directors for about 3 decades, and often offered weekend Stewardship Seminars in parishes.  One early function was to dream—dream of what you would like to see in your parish.  Then participants were to put a dollar figure on each dream.  They soon saw that most of their dreams didn’t so much require dollars as commitment, so the upshot was not only better stewardship but better ministry.


Fr. Ford also noted that Jon could on occasion be opinionated. This may be evident in an “editor’s note” in the May 1991 Nebraska Churchman (former name of the Nebraska Episcopalian): “We regret that composition errors mangled Jon’s column last month. Herewith we reprint it in it’s [sic] entirety.”  Wouldn’t it be great if someone had kept the letter that prompted that apology! We wonder if “mangled” was the editor’s word or Jon’s. In any event, the column went from a small corner of the April issue to a whole half page for May!


What Jon was insisting on in that article illustrates both Jon’s teaching and his caring.  He wrote,


If we remember what is really important about the Church we can begin to develop some new principles of stewardship in relationship to our church building . . . We are not being very good stewards of our church buildings when we allow access only at certain times (and in some cases seemingly only to certain persons) . . .  I am a realist . . . but  . . . there has to be some solution . . . available.


The solution at St. Luke’s, where Jon had no little influence, was an entryway open 24/7 from which the interior of the church was visible but inaccessible, an entry where anyone could enter and pray and transients could find a place of rest.  In the history of that entry, no one ever used it to break into the church and it was only once used as a toilet.


“Just who are we trying to keep out?” Jon challenged. “Sinners? But isn’t that who a church is for? . . . Would God object if a shivering transient slept in your church building . . . or would He rejoice?”


Jon’s legacy might be well-summed up in one Sower story…a parish received its two-dollar bill and someone found a basket with a handle at a garage sale selling for $2.00.  They bought it, went home, and filled the basket with cookies. The cookie-filled basket was delivered to someone with a note asking them to repeat the process, so the $2.00 grew each time and a new basket of cookies circulated as it did.  A good story of what goes around, comes around!


Jon’s affiliation may have changed but it remains a fact that one of his principal legacies was to the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and its congregations.  We suspect that legacy was simply the work of one sinner beloved by God and many of us and with whom God now rejoices.


Fr. Chuck Peek and Ken Anderson
Lent 2017

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Remembering September 11, 2001- Fr. Benedict Varnum

9/11 Memorial in New York City (photo from

9/11 Memorial in New York City (photo from

Every year, the Sunday after Labor Day, we celebrate our “Kickoff” Sunday at Saint Augustine’s. If a sacrament is an “outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual graces,” then our Kickoff Sunday, with its picnic and good cheer, is our outward celebration. The inward grace is our loving and welcoming community, gathering around Christ’s Table and then the picnic table to celebrate.

This year our Kickoff Sunday has a second identity: it will also be the fifteenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. It’s strange to prepare our memorial prayers and music in honor of those we mourn and remember on the same day that we usually celebrate, but it’s also very much a part of what we’re called to together: we are a church for the hard times as well as the easy ones; the sorrows of life as well as the joys.

For me, one of the most powerful signs in all of scripture is that after being raised from the dead, Jesus was so glorious that his disciples sometimes didn’t even recognize him … yet he still had the marks of the crucifixion on his body.

Why does this matter? It matters because of what it means. Jesus had healed others of all manner of terrible injury and affliction, and had even raised Lazarus from death. Yet when Jesus himself left the empty tomb behind on the third day, he did not choose to return to us with fully healed hands and feet and side. I take this as a sign that Jesus doesn’t dismiss or forget his human suffering: he tells us that he knows what it is, and yet still gives us love, forgiveness, and the hope of eternal life.

It was thousands of years ago that Jesus faced a false trial, a cross, and a tomb. But on September 11, 2001, Christ’s Body – the beloved people of God – was attacked again. This time the false trial was in the minds of the terrorists, twisted by sin to believe that they should hate their neighbors.

We need to realize that Jesus really did experience something truly as terrible as this act – this is the sign to us that God truly understands the worst violence of human sin when God forgives us and promises us eternal life. The victims of September 11 were not as perfectly innocent as Jesus, but they were given a cross they did not deserve by those who attacked them. And God has given us the hope that after the cross comes not death, but life eternal.

September 11 placed marks on Christ’s Body again. This attack, like the Passion itself, cannot kill the Gospel, and cannot end God’s love. More importantly, death cannot end the lives of those who are lost forever, because they belong to God, and not any human power.

That doesn’t mean it hurts any less. It doesn’t mean we don’t need to mourn. It doesn’t mean we don’t need to work for a world in which terror is no longer so easy a temptation. But it does mean that we must proclaim all the louder Jesus’s teachings of God’s love, God’s grace, and the gift of eternal life – for these are the very things that will teach all the world to leave off of sin and violence, and choose life and love instead.

So we will gather on Sunday as Christ’s Body around Christ’s Table. We will offer our prayers. We will hear God’s Word and pray that God help us to resist temptation and better love our neighbors. And we will remember that it is loving community that truly overcomes the temptations of sin and terror. We will remember that it is the very proclamation of God’s love that shows people of every nation a way of life better than the way of sin and death. We will remember that God’s healing is offered to us that we might be a force for healing in the world. We will remember our call to comfort those who mourn. And we will give thanks that God has made a choice to love us and bring us to eternal life – a choice that we can never undo by any human act.

So let us gather again on Sunday, rejoicing in God and our fellowship, praying for those we have lost, and looking to grow into the lives Jesus shows us, that we might be part of the healing and hope Jesus offers the world.

In Christ,


Fr Ben

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In Memoriam: Rev. Luis Uzeuta, Jr.

Rev. Luis Uzueta, Jr. (photo courtesy Bishop Stephen Charleston)

Rev. Luis Uzueta, Jr.
(photo courtesy Bishop Stephen Charleston)

The Rev. Luis Uzueta Jr., of North Pole, passed away unexpectedly Jan. 3, 2016. He was the priest-in-charge at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in North Pole. He was born Sep. 7, 1947, in Deming, New Mexico, to Luis Uzueta, Sr., and Anna Sandoval Uzueta.

In 1970 he married Lona Claire Coffey. Upon graduation with a journalism/history degree from New Mexico Highlands University that same year, the couple moved to Nebraska. Later that year he became the publisher and editor of two weekly Nebraska newspapers, the Arapahoe Public Mirror and the Holbrook Observer.

While in Arapahoe, they were blessed with the birth of their two children, AnnaLee and Marcos.
In 1974, Luis and Lona sold their business and the family moved to Wisconsin where Luis earned his master of divinity degree three years later from Nashotah House Episcopal Theological Seminary. The family then moved back to Nebraska. On Dec. 6, 1977, Luis was ordained as a priest. He served in several parishes and missions in the Diocese of Nebraska between 1977 and 1991. He was also the editor of the diocesan publication, The Nebraska Churchman, and was an award-winning photo-journalist.

In 1991, the family moved to North Pole, where Luis became Canon to the Ordinary to the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston. His special ministry in that capacity was providing and coordinating training for lay people and locally-ordained clergy. He became the priest-in-charge of St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, North Pole, in 2001.

In other endeavors, Luis trained himself to be a custom firearms engraver. He and Lona both enjoyed participating in Cowboy Action Shooting and were members of the Golden Heart Shootist Society, of which he was serving his second term as president.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Anna and Luis, Sr. He is survived by his wife, Lona Claire Uzueta; daughter AnnaLee Pauls and her husband, George; son Marcos Uzueta, siblings Mary White, Dolly Uzueta, and David Uzueta, nephews Evan Stubbs and Conan White, niece Gentry White, and a host of friends.

Luis will be remembered for his deep compassion and understanding, as well as his witty sense of humor. His genuine love of discovery was reflected in his constant pursuit of learning

The funeral will be held Saturday, Jan. 9, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Fairbanks. The viewing will be from noon to 1 p.m., with the service beginning at 1 p.m.. Officiating will be the Rt. Rev. Mark Lattime. Chapel of Chimes is in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions can be made to the Fairbanks Rescue Mission or Access Alaska.


Please visit to sign an online guest book.


Published in Daily News-Miner on Jan. 7, 2016 – See more at:



“I lost a friend today. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. His passing caught me off guard, stole my breath away, left me standing numb. We worked together in Alaska. He was Mexican. I was Indian. A perfect pair to skim the tundra in a single engine plane, chase the Northern Lights on cold winter nights, listen to stories told over cups of sweet hot tea. How strange to think he is not here. How wonderful to know he is still here. Death is life lived in a new way, a change in light as the sun sets behind the distant mountains. Death is love shared in a different way, a familiar voice heard on the evening breeze. One day soon he and I will see one another again. I know this is true.To the deepest part of my heart I know it. Breathe deep the memory. The ones we loved are watching. Breathe deep the mystery. The ones who loved us are waiting.” [posted by The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston]


Prior to serving in Akasla,  Fr. Uzeuta had served the Diocese of Nebraska from 1977 until 1991 at St. Matthew’s, Lincoln, St. Stephen’s, Ashland, Trinity Memorial, Crete, St. Mark’s, Gordon, and St. Mary’s, Rushville.  He was also Editor of the Nebraska Churchman.

The following tribute is from The Diocese of Alaska.  Many thanks to Phyllis Krotz for sharing it with us.

“With a heart spilling over with grief and shock, I share the news that our brother in Christ, (The Reverend) Luis Uzueta, died last night. He was at his home in N. Pole with his wife, Lona, when he collapsed. He was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. It is believed he suffered a heart attack.
Please pray for Lona, her children, the family of St. Jude’s, and all who are grieving the loss of our friend.”  [Excerpts from the Facebook page of the Diocese of Alaska]

He is survived by his wife, Lona, and her children. Cards or notes could be sent to Lona at 1392 Benshoof Dr., North Pole, AK 997015.


(Thanks to Kathy Graham for additional information.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In Memoriam: The Rev. Mary Lou Reynolds

The Rev. Mary Lou Reynolds

The Rev. Mary Lou Reynolds

Mother Mary Lou Reynolds was born in Torrington, WY 5/4/1936. Passed away on Sunday, 10/18/2015. She earned a BA from University of Wyoming in 1957, Masters of Education from University of Wyoming in 1966. She had a career in education in Wyoming that included being a principal (see below). Later, she received her Masters of Divinity from Episcopal Theological Seminary of the South West in 1995. She was ordained a deacon on 6/22, 1995 by Bishop Gordon Jones. She was ordained into the priesthood by The Rt. Rev. James Krotz on December 1st. 1995.  After her ordination she served at St. George’s, Oshkosh and St. Paul’s, Ogallala until 2008.


From the North Platte Telegraph: ( )


The Rev. Mary Lou Reynolds, 79, passed peacefully Oct. 19, 2015, in Denver, following a brief illness.

Mary Lou was born on May 4, 1936, in Torrington, Wyoming, to John K. “Jack” and Clarissa Corbett. Both of her parents were educators and instilled in Mary Lou a lifelong passion for learning and teaching. With her parents and older siblings, John and Regina, Mary Lou lived in Guernsey, Lingle and Powell before the family settled in Laramie in 1945. She graduated from Laramie High School in 1952. Mary Lou earned a degree in elementary education from the University of Wyoming in 1957.

She married photographer George Reynolds in 1955. Six years later, while living in Green River, Wyoming, she and George adopted a daughter, Dianna. In 1962, following her divorce, Mary Lou moved with Dianna to Casper, where she raised her daughter and taught elementary school, primarily at Southridge Elementary.

Determined to make the most of her talents as an educator, Mary Lou earned a master’s degree in education in 1967 at the University of Wyoming. She served as principal of Jefferson Elementary for many years and was a respected and admired member of the education community in Casper. Her family grew, too; Dianna married Paul Fritzler in 1986, and soon Mary Lou was blessed with grandchildren, Haley and Carsyn, of whom she was unfailingly proud.

While a principal, Mary Lou came to the realization that she was meant for other work. She was led to follow her truest passion: To be a messenger and teacher of God’s word as an Episcopal priest. Mary Lou entered the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, graduating in 1995. She served as priest for the Oregon Trail Trinity, a cluster of three churches in southwestern Nebraska. The parishioners at the churches Mary Lou served, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ogallala, St. George’s Episcopal Church in Oshkosh and the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Bridgeport, all benefited from her extreme devotion, sharp intellect, open heart and quick wit until her retirement in 2011.

While working as a priest in Ogallala, Mary Lou again embraced motherhood, becoming a foster parent to 15-year-old Angela. Later, Angela married Christopher Broeder, and the couple cared for Mary Lou after her retirement as her health became more fragile. Mary Lou could not have been more delighted when Chris and Angie added little Kaylie to their family in early 2015.

Mary Lou had many dear friends and was a member of the Eastern Star and PEO. She also loved animals and treated a long succession of very lucky dogs with much the same love and devotion all her family members received.

The Rev. Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Clarissa Corbett; brother, John J. Corbett; and sister, Regina Armstrong.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dianna (Paul) Fritzler, of Denver; granddaughters, Haley and Carsyn Fritzler; Angela (Christopher) Broeder, of Ogallala, and their daughter, Kaylie; and many nieces, nephews and extended family. All will miss her dearly.

Memorials are suggested to Episcopal Relief and Development at

Services will be in the spring, when her loved ones will see Mary Lou’s contagious smile in the blooming flowers.

Submitted by Kathy Graham

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

In Memoriam: Rev. William Joseph Barnds

Ref. William Joseph Barnds

Rev. William Joseph Barnds

Fr. Barnds, passed away on Oct. 5, 2015. Below are several articles (some slightly edited) about him. The first is his obituary. Second was a facebook note from Fr. Sam Bowman, and the third was shared by Kent Barnds (Fr. Barnds’ son) on Facebook.

Rev. William Joseph Barnds, 84 of Galesburg, Illinois, died peacefully at his home on October 5, 2015.

Fr. Barnds was born on August 20, 1931, to William Paul and Ida Lou (Sterrett) Barnds in Nevada, Missouri. Education was very important to him and he earned both a bachelor’s of arts and master’s of arts from the University of Nebraska and a master’s of divinity from General Episcopal Seminary in New York City. He was ordained as a deacon in 1956 and priest in 1957. Fr. Barnds served several churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, including St. Timothy’s in Gering, where he served from 1967 until 1993. From 1993 until 1998 he served Saint Mary’s in the Highlands, Cold Spring, New York. In 1998 he was called to serve Grace Episcopal in Galesburg, where he served until his retirement in 2003. In his retirement he continued to serve as a vicar of St. John’s Preemption, Illinois. During his career, Fr. Barnds never once missed celebrating the Eucharist on a Sunday morning; this is approximately 3,016 Sundays. He served in many roles as a priest and lived to serve the church and his brothers and sisters in Christ.

His involvement extended into the community as a board member for many service and civic organizations throughout his long life as an active member of each community in which he lived. He was instrumental in the establishment of The House of Transfiguration Diocesan Retreat Center in Bayard, Nebraska, and was an influential member in establishing Northfield Villa in Scottsbluff, Neb. As a member of the Galesburg community he was a member of the Lions Club and was a board member for the Galesburg Symphony and library. More recently in his retirement he took great pride in representing his alma mater, the University Nebraska, at the inauguration of the president of Knox College. Fr. Barnds was a voracious reader, loved history, enjoyed keeping apprised of news and politics, had a very dry sense of humor and enjoyed classical and vocal music.

Fr. Barnds leaves behind his wife, Deanna (Gustafson) Barnds, with whom he celebrated 51 years of marriage this past June; along with his two children, Glenda Harlan and husband Craig of Dunlap, Illinois, their two children, Christiana and Andrea; and William Kent Barnds and wife Jennie of Davenport, Iowa, their three children, Martha, Sophie and William Benjamin. Fr. Barnds is also survived by two sisters, Virginia Albanese of Englewood, Florida and Mary Ida Garrard of Sherman, Texas, and four nieces. Fr. Barnds enjoyed family gatherings and took great pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.

A funeral for Fr. Barnds was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 10, 2015, at Grace Anglican Church, Galesburg. The service included a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Fr. Barnds will be buried in Funk, Nebraska at a time yet to be determined.

Memorials may be given in Fr. Barnds’ honor to St. Francis Episcopal Church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska; the Lions Club of Galesburg, Illinois; or Grace Anglican Church, Galesburg. Online condolences may be made at

From Fr. Sam Bowman:
The Rev. William Joseph Barnds was a product of St. Matthew’s, Lincoln, where his father had been rector. He served St. Paul’s, Ogallala, St. Michael’s, Imperial, St. George’s, Oshkosh and St. Timothy’s, Gering, before leaving for the Diocese of New York. He then went to Galesburg, Illinois,their present residence. He served as Historian for the Diocese of Nebraska and published a history of the Diocese. I served with him on the board of the Boy Scouts council. He was a frequent travel companion when we were in North Platte. On more than one occasion shared congregations for summer vacations. R.I.P. good friend.

From Kent Barnds:
My father, the Good Reverend as I call him, lived 84 magnificent, fulfilling years. My dad was one of the most honorable men I’ve ever encountered. He took pride in his work and family. My dad was a force and worked harder than anyone I’ve ever known.

My father’s calling and vocation in life, to be a priest, enabled him to serve Christ in many ways including: participating in the funerals of both of his parents, officiating at both of his children’s weddings (as well as co-officiating at the weddings of two nieces), and baptizing all five of his grandchildren. My dad’s life revolved around the service of Christ and he lived to celebrate The Eucharist and did so every Sunday since he was ordained to the priesthood. He did this every Sunday since his ordination in1957 (more than 3,000 Sundays). His unbroken streak makes Cal Ripkin’s consecutive games played pale in comparison. The last two Sundays of his life involved him worshipping in a pew rather than celebrating or concelebrating the Eucharist and I can’t help but feel that my father had come to believe in recent weeks that he had been a good and faithful servant but that he had run his race and that it was simply “time to go.”

My father’s closet was solid black. His apparel consisted of a white clerical collar and black clerics. This is who he was and he was the “man in black” to me and to many others who saw him walking through the streets of Gering, Neb.

My father wrote letters on a manual typewriter; I am pretty sure he was one of only a dozen people left on Earth who did this. In his younger days his weekly letter, “The Dinosaur Report,” to his parents and sisters kept everyone apprised of the things in his life and on his mind. He was one of a kind.
It is reassuring to know that my dad was not afraid of death and he was ready to go. (Recently, he introduced me to his lawyer with his trademark smirk and the introduction of “you’ll get to know him when the time comes.”) In fact, my mother and father spoke about dying Sunday evening and Monday morning. He knew what was ahead and had no fear. As a dear friend wrote last night, my father “breathed Paul, naturally.” “If we live, we live to the Lord; And, if we die, we die to the Lord, so then whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” No verse captures my father’s life and life’s work better.

My dad loved family gatherings, including funerals, and always reminded us to take family photos while together. He will be missed at the many gatherings awaiting our family. But, my father was very practical about the inevitability of death for us all and I know in my heart his last moments in his home with my mother were peaceful ones. I would expect nothing less for one of God’s most obedient servants.

– Thanks to Kathy Graham

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In Memoriam: Ed Newbury

Ed Newbury

Ed Newbury

Memories of Ed Newbury by Bill Graham

My first contact with Ed was a phone call in the late 1980’s. Ed had been ministering for the Episcopal Church in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky when the funding from his Diocese that had supported his work disappeared. One of his job options was to take a pair of yoked congregations in the Nebraska Sandhills (Hyannis and Mullen). Finding my name in our Franciscan Directory, he called to get my take on the churches and communities in which they were located. It wasn’t long afterwards that Ed became my neighbor (anyone within a hundred plus mile radius is an neighbor in rural NE).

Along with the time he had spent in KY hills, Ed brought quite a variety of experiences. He had been a Presbyterian clergyman in northern New Jersey, followed by a year or two living in New York City and working as a cab driver. During that time, he was active in a small group that included Dan Berrigan and some other Roman Catholic activists. It as also during that time when Ed discovered both the Episcopal Church and the Third Order. Ed was professed in 1986, so next summer would have been his 30th anniversary.

Ed later served as interim at churches near Rushville, NE (where I’ve been rector the last seven or eight years), Gordon and Hyannis. He then moved to Kimball (on I-80 about sixty miles east of Cheyenne, WY), where he served a church until his retirement about two years ago. He also had a small church in Harrisburg at the same time.

Ed had a love of nature. He planted a tree sent from NJ and which still stands next to the church in Mullen. One of his parishioners also told me of how at the passing of his mother, some land which the family owned near Coney Island, NY was set up as a nature walk.

Perhaps Ed’s greatest love was bird watching. In recent years, much of his free time was devoted to birding. He kept an active log of all the varieties he was able to view and he travelled a fair amount to participate in events. The Prairie Wind Fellowship, which came into existence after the profession of Bett Wood in 1993, used to have an annual picnic each summer. I remember that at one of those, we spent an hour or two hiking and viewing the bird with the binoculars Ed and brought for each of us. Ed was always the first one to spot a bird and tell us what it was.

Before the forming of the Prairie Wind Fellowship, Ed had been active with the Lilies of the Field Fellowship whose members mostly lived in the Denver area. For a number of years our two groups would have a joint meeting for renewing our vows close to the Feast of our Patron. Those gatherings were usually in the home of Bett Wood, who especially remembers Ed as an artist; one of his paintings hangs in her living room.

Another of Ed’s hobbies was ham radio, something recalled by a couple of his former parishioners. They remembered how excited Ed would get when he was able to contact someone who literally lived halfway around the world.

Many of us remember Ed for his gifts as a story teller, something apparent to all those who listened to his sermons and to our fellowship members when we spent time sharing things that had happened in our lives. Ed put that talent to use in writing short stories. A couple of years before he retired, Ed published a book he titled “Old Spies Tales.” Some of the characters were based on folks he knew in Kentucky. One of his Gordon parishioners remembered Ed telling about becoming friends with a “really nice guy” who lived in a shack down the hill from him and later finding out the man was a convicted murder. I remember him reading a selection to our TSSF fellowship just after the book was published in which a woman was constantly coming by to “borrow” something. Afterwards, Ed filled us in with stories of the actual person.

Something almost everyone remembers about Ed is his unique sense of humor, often making use of puns. Some were actually quite clever and showed the nimbleness in Ed’s thinking. Another of his parishioners said she especially appreciated Ed’s willingness to make fun of himself, a trait which often endeared him to others. I remember the name Ed gave to one of his pets – Charlie Magnificat.

One of my lasting memories comes from a sharing of our spiritual practices at a fellowship meeting. The one Ed said had become most important to him was to end each day with a couple of “gratitudes”, things for which he needed to be grateful. As I write this, my gratitude is that Ed Newbury was a part of my life.


Memories of Ed Newbury by Bett Wood

On first meeting Ed, he seemed a rather nice person who had no pretenses, along with a few curmudgeonly moments. Later I came to recognize and value his kindness — his love for people for what they were, his acceptance of differences.

I thought his love for Appalachia defined his taste in music, and I couldn’t have been more wrong — he bought standing room tickets at the Metropolitan Opera — especially for Wagner. He didn’t brag about that, of course — he showed a strong Franciscan Humility — never putting himself forward or looking down on those who were different. Just knowing him has helped make me a better person and a better Franciscan.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

All Saints’ Day Reflection & DioNE Necrology

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God...

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God…

When we think of All Saints’ Day we often remember those who spread the Word of God, and died for their beliefs; those martyred saints for whom many of our churches are named. Sometimes we think about those whose goodness showed in all their lives, such as Mother Theresa. But I think of another group of people. When I was in college, our chapel choir often sang an anthem by R. Vaughan Williams, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”. It speaks of who “all the saints” are. Below are the words and my understanding of who they are.


“Let us now praise famous men and our fathers that begat us” refers to our parents, grandparents, and other ancestors. Those people who brought us into the world, raised us, and taught us how to act and care.


“Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms men renowned for their power, leaders of the people by their counsel and by their knowledge” reminds us of our leaders, elected or not, who led us through our times of trial. These leaders include such as John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill. But it also includes Hiram Kano, Corrie Ten Boom, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and William Wilberforce who helped bring about changes to improve the lives of those people society ignored.


“Such as found out musical tunes and recited verses in writing” includes all the poets, composers, writers, scientists, and inventors who gave us a new way to look at the world and helped us understand those with whom we share the planet.


“All these were honoured in their generation and for the glory of our times,” points out those who were noticed and publically acclaimed during their times or in our history.


“But some there be which have no memorial who have perished as though they have never been” reminds me of the unknown soldiers, forgotten heroes of 9/11, war victims, runaways, the homeless, and others in desperate situations. It also reminds me of those, like my father, who did not want any graven record of himself. We may never have the names of these people, but they also are saints.


“Their bodies are buried in peace but their name liveth for evermore.” These are all the saints, in any category.


And to this list of the Saints, let us not forget to add those present saints referred to in Hymn 293, “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.” Here we include those “who toiled and fought and lived and died for the Lord they loved and knew”; here we have as well doctors, queens, shepherdesses (farmers and ranchers), soldiers, priests (and deacons), martyrs, educators, and everyday folk.


When we stop to remember those who have passed away in the past year, let us also stop and remember all those who made our lives what they are and gave us the freedoms we enjoy.


– Kathy Graham




Diocese of Nebraska 2014 Necrology


ALLIANCE, St. Matthew’s

Eugene Kort Lewis

Robert Albon Hall

Berniece Bates

Madeline Jane Bowhay


BEATRICE, Christ Church

Verna Smith


BELLEVUE, Holy Spirit

Ralph “Bud” Oltman

Louise Hamilton

Amelia Westman

David Nutting

Shirley Commings


BROKEN BOW, St. John’s

Wanda Weatherly

George Ashenfelter

Lane Brabham


COLUMBUS, Grace Church

Roberta Lakey

David Forsberg


ELKHORN, St. Augustine

Sally Farnham


FREMONT, St. James

DeLoris McGee

Sarah “Sally” Wengert

Boyd Hammond


HYANNIS, Calvary Church

Maxine Applegarth

Frances Janet Davis


KEARNEY, St. Luke’s

Jean Sall

Roger Hanson

Priscilla Ring

Elizabeth King

Harold McClure


LEXINGTON, St. Peter’s

Audra Jean Sands


LINCOLN, St. Mark’s on the Campus

Ferd Anderson


LINCOLN, St. Matthew’s

Dawson Cox

Brad Loyd Braddeley

Patty Jo Hohenstein

Helen Rokeby

George Russell

Russell C. Inbody



Marialyse Knobel

Hideo Kamino

Bud Johnson

Ruth Matsutani

George Layton

Susie Kudlacek


OMAHA, All Saints

Patricia Ann Bauerle

Shirley J. Randall

Carroll E. Fredrickson

Barbara J. Harmon

Muriel K. Young “Miv”

Marilynn Adair Hetzler

Robert Emmett Scherrer

E. Newton Kelley “Newt”

Thomas Rudyard Kipling

Elizabeth Ann Finn

Maybelle E. McMaken

Drexel John Sibbernsen, Jr.

Larry Dean Rankin

Linda Buthman Bedwell


OMAHA, St. Andrew’s

Fr. Bill Smythe

Clayton Witherspoon

George Lee


OMAHA, Trinity Cathedral

Charlotte Egger

George “Woody” Thelin, II

Evelyn Reimer

Gloria Dunbar

Thelma Nelsen

Danforth Loving

Beatrice McLaughlin

Kara Shainholtz

Helen Weber


SIDNEY, Christ Church

Betty Andrews


WYMORE, St. Luke’s

Edna L. Closs

Margaret A. Thomas


Priests Deceased Since Last Council

The Rev. Skip Miles

The Rev. Scott Rathman

The Rev. Howard Schoech

The Rev. William Smythe


Deacons Deceased Since Last Council

The Rev. Betty Andrews

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In Memoriam: Fr. Skip Miles

Fr. Skip Miles

Fr. Skip Miles


At Annual Council in October 2014, it was brought to my attention that much of the Diocese of Nebraska missed hearing about the passing of Fr. Skip Miles in December 2013. Fr. Skip was still “resident” in Diocese of Nebraska while he served in Wyoming and Colorado. His father and brother were also priests in the Diocese of Nebraska.

Skip’s brother, Fr. Tom Miles (now in Colorado), says that Skip was enthusiastic about pursuing Total Ministry in Nebraska. When he retired he carried it on in the small mission he and Gloria attended in Wyoming. “Personally, some of the closest times I had with my brother were as we had opportunities to minister together at diocesan functions. One of my favorite memories was when we crashed the banquet at Annual Council in Mitchell. We sang “I see by your outfit that you are a clergy….if you get an outfit you can be a clergy too.” We were always at our best when we were clowning.” Fr. Skip was also instrumental is the Cursillo Movement in the Panhandle in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The official obituary follows:

Richard Frederick Miles, Jr.
(May 16, 1940 – December 5, 2013)

Richard Frederick Miles, Jr., known as “Skip” throughout his life, was born on May 16, 1940 in Omaha, NE. He passed away on December 5, 2013 at his home, surrounded by family & friends. Skip graduated from Kearney High School in 1958, the University of Nebraska in 1962, and entered Seabury-Western Seminary, graduating in 1965. He was ordained a Deacon at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kearney, NE on June 9, 1965, and ordained Priest at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Plattsmouth, NE on December 17, 1965, where he served five years. Fr. Miles served 18 years at Grace Church in Chadron, NE, and moved to Valentine, NE in 1988. He retired in 1998 from St. John’s, Valentine, where he also served St. John’s in Cody and St. Joseph’s, Mullen. Skip married Lorraine DeBrie in 1962, they were divorced in 1988. He married Gloria (Goodrich) Bockman Dec. 26, 1989. Skip was preceded in death by his parents, The Rev. Richard F. & Ruth Miles, Sr. He is survived by his wife, Gloria, daughters Mary & Barbara, brother Tom (Susan) Miles, sister Elizabeth (Paul) Peister, step-children Darin (Betty) Bockman & Lori (Karl) Schmidt, grandchildren, nieces & nephews. A Celebration of Skip’s life will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Ft. Collins, CO, on Saturday, December 14, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Paul’s Church or Pathways Hospice.

– Kathy Graham


Print Friendly, PDF & Email