From the Bishop: Summer 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –
We’re now in the days of high summer here in our Diocese of Nebraska. The hard work of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church is completed, youth camp is upon us, and in many of our parish churches Sunday mornings are just a little quieter than usual as friends travel to see loved ones and the sites of the wider world on family vacations.
We have much to celebrate coming out of General Convention, including the election of a great new Presiding Bishop, the passage of a forward looking and truly missional Church budget, and some meaningful work at beginning to restructure our larger church governance. Of additional note, your Archdeacon Betsy Bennett lead a successful effort to get the Episcopal Church to work towards divesting from investments in fossil fuel companies (well done Betsy!) and the convention embraced gay and lesbian Episcopalians, who beginning on Advent One of this year, will be able to join in the sacrament of marriage in our denomination by the use of trial rites for same–sex marriages. I’m looking forward with real enthusiasm to supporting that work here in Nebraska.
I am exceedingly grateful to the deputation who served as representatives of our diocese at General Convention. That team included: Ernesto Medina, Ellie Thober, Woody Bradford, Betsy Bennett, Leslie Dean, Charles Plantz, Noelle Ptomey, Judi Stribley, Tom Jones, and Canon Liz Easton. They worked, prayed (and occasionally played) with real gusto on your behalf.
Coincident with General Convention was the tri-ennial gathering of Episcopal Church Women. From Nebraska, Christine Grosh, Kathy Graham, Sharon Bartlett, Lynn Fitzgibbon, Pat Wellnitz and Pat Sheldon all attended, and reported back especially on inspirational speakers, rich worship offerings and on the amazing charitable work of the United Thank Offering both here in the U.S. and abroad in our larger Church. Special congratulations to Sandra Squires who was elected President of the national UTO board!
Summer Murray of Saint Augustine’s in Elkhorn also attended General Convention as a member of the convention’s official youth presence. That great honor is awarded to only a couple of youth from each of the church’s nine provinces. Well done Summer.
With convention behind us a short season of rest and recreation will be available to many of you. I pray you can enjoy these long, hot days July and August. It will be “back to school” and “back to church” before you know it!
Faithfully Yours in Christ –
+ Bishop Barker