In this week's issue: St. John's, Ithaca blesses handmade dresses, two parishes welcome new clergy, lay preaching program has new leader, and more. March 16, 2017. 
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image description: the masthead of The Messenger. The words "The Messenger Newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York" and the square diocesan cross logo are overlaid on an image of one of the finger lakes in autumn

Help Create Our Online Directory of Holy Week and Easter Services!

Please use this online form to submit a listing of your parish's Holy Week and Easter services. You can submit up to 10 services per form. Submitted services will be listed on the diocesan website and promoted through a diocesan social media advertising campaign (similar to our Christmas and Ash Wednesday campaigns). The submission deadline is March 31, 2017

Around the Diocese

150 Colorful Hand-Made Dresses Are Blessed at St. John's, Ithaca

image description: a priest smiles while holding up two handmade colorful girls' dresses
The Rev. Barb Schmitz, Interim Rector of St. John’s Church in Ithaca, holds up two of the colorful handmade dresses. Photo by Susie Backstrom.
image description: two women smile in front of a rack of handmade colorful girls' dresses
Parishioners Mindy Oakes (l) and Connie Stirling Engman (r) with completed dresses in the church sanctuary. Photo by Susie Backstrom.
On March 5, 2017, the Rev. Barb Schmitz, Interim Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ithaca, blessed nearly 150 dresses created by members of St. John’s and other enthusiastic crafters and sewers throughout the Ithaca area over the preceding 12 weeks... Read more on the diocesan website.

St. Ann's Church in Afton hosts Girl Scout Sunday

image description: girl scouts and their adult leaders smile in the chancel of St. Ann's Church
St. Ann's Church in Afton hosted a Girl Scout Sunday on March 12th; participating Girl Scouts and their leaders are pictured. 

Transition Ministry Updates

The Diocese of Central New York welcomes new clergy to our parishes this spring: 
image description: The Rev. Gary Cyr preaching
The Rev. Gary Cyr has been called to serve as the Rector of St. James’ Church in Clinton beginning April 1st.  He will be moving to Central New York from Tucson, Arizona, and previously served as Assistant Priest at Christ Church in Alberta in the Diocese of Calgary. Ordained ministry is a second career for the Rev. Cyr, who previously owned and operated a hair salon. He is a native of Northern Maine.
image description: The Rev. Jon White blessing a small dog
The Rev. Jon White has been called to serve as the Rector of St. Luke’s Church in Camillus beginning May 1st. He will be moving to Central New York from the Diocese of West Virginia where he served as the Rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Beckley and St. Andrew’s Church in Mullens. Jon is also the editor of the Episcopal Cafe, an online church news blog.
More information about recent clergy calls and transitions is posted on the diocesan website.  

McManus Called to Lead Lay Preaching Program

The Rev. Canon Carrie Schofield-Broadbent, Canon for Transition and Church Development, recently announced that the diocesan Lay Preaching Program will continue under the leadership of the Rev. Bridget McManus. She will be assisted by the Rev. Jeanne Hansknecht. Canon Schofield-Broadbent, who is stepping down as the program's director, will continue to provide support and serve as a program facilitator.

"I love preaching, and I treasure the opportunity to be moved, challenged, and consoled by good preaching," says the Rev. McManus. "I’ve already been thrilled to have the chance to help with a program that brings more good preaching to our diocese, and I’m looking forward to working more with the prayerful and courageous group who’ve committed themselves to the journey of becoming preachers." 

Now in its fourth year, the diocesan Lay Preaching Program is a two-year course of study designed to form laypeople as preachers through a curriculum that includes training in biblical exegesis, sermon preparation and public speaking.

Lay preachers are currently available to preach at your congregation's upcoming worship services. To learn more about joining the next class this fall, or to contact a local lay preacher, please visit the diocesan website

Supporting Refugee Resettlement

Donate: Support a strong, viable ministry network to welcome those fleeing war, violence and persecution by making a donation to Episcopal Migration Ministries' Stand To Support Refugees campaign. 

Advocate: InterFaith Works of Central New York (a local partner of Episcopal Migration Ministries) offers three steps faith partners can take this month to support refugee resettlement.

More resources are available on the diocesan website (last updated in February 2017). 

The Episcopal Church

Episcopal bishops make three-day journey into diversity and inclusion

image description: two bishops wearing dark suits examine a board covered with sticky notes
Diocese of Western New York Bishop William Franklin and Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas reflect on notes from small-group discussions during the most recent House of Bishops meeting. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service.
Editor's note: This past week, Bishop DeDe and other Bishops of the Episcopal Church have been at Kanuga Camp & Conference Center for the spring meeting of the House of Bishops.

[Via Episcopal News Service] In March 2015 in the aftermath of the August 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops decided it was time to write a new letter to Episcopalians about racism. Then, some of the bishops had a realization.

“The first thing that we said was: ‘We don’t need to write a letter. We need to deal with these issues ourselves: power, privilege and race,’” said Diocese of Newark Bishop Mark Beckwith...

The goals set out for [the most recent meeting of the House of Bishops] were to build a case for the church to engage in racial justice and reconciliation; establish common language for discussing that work, especially as part of spiritual formation; deepen the investment the house and the church have already made in such work; grow as a house in trust, vulnerability and community; and develop the capacity and skill for leading dioceses in such work... Read the full article from Episcopal News Service

Announcements & Events

Diocesan-Wide Announcements & Events

EfM (Education for Ministry) Mentor Training

Train to become an EfM (Education for Ministry) mentor in the Diocese of Central New York. Mentors lead small EfM seminar groups.

This training weekend is an opportunity to become an accredited mentor or for current mentors to fulfill continuing training requirements. 

More information and a registration form are available on the diocesan website. Registration deadline is Sunday, Mar. 19th

When: Thursday, Apr. 6th at 12:00 p.m. through Saturday, Apr. 8th at 2:00 p.m.
Where: St. Margaret's House & Ecumenical Center, 47 Jordan Road, New Hartford.
Cost: A fee of $230 covers the training, overnight lodging, and meals. Financial assistance is available, please see the diocesan website for details. 
Holy Week Renewal of Vows and Blessing of the Oils

Bishop DeDe invites the entire diocesan community, clergy and laypeople, to a special Holy Week observance. The Episcopal Church raises up our leaders in community, therefore we will gather as a diocesan community to share Holy Eucharist and to support our ordained clergy leaders as they renew their vows and receive the bishop's blessing on their year's supply of sacramental oil.

In order to allow as many community members as possible to attend, three identical services will take place in three different locations in the Diocese: Each service will be led by Bishop DeDe and includes a celebration of Holy Eucharist, clergy renewal of vows, and a blessing of holy oils.

Please join us for this time of worship and spiritual renewal during Holy Week. There is no need to RSVP. 
Spring Clergy Day

Bishop DeDe invites all diocesan clergy to a time of worship, centering prayer, and thoughtful conversation about God's ongoing work in Central New York. Clergy will also hear from Martha Gardner of the Church Pension Fund regarding revisions to the Clergy Pension Plan and other pension programs.

When: Tuesday, May 2nd, 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Where: The Craftsman Inn, 7300 East Genesee Street, Fayetteville.
Save the Date! Spring Vestry Day

A resource day for vestry members and parish clergy. Agenda and location will be announced. 

When: Saturday, Jun. 3rd, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Habitat for Humanity Mission Trip to El Salvador

Mr. Kip Coerper of St. James' Church in Skaneateles will be leading a Habitat for Humanity Mission Trip to El Salvador (our Companion Diocese) from May 27 to June 4, 2017. Learn more about the trip, and how to volunteer.
Quick Event Links: 

Youth & Young Adults

View a complete list of upcoming youth events and related deadlines.
Informational Meeting re: July 2017 Youth Pilgrimage to El Salvador

In July 2017, Deacon Chuck Stewart, Companion Diocese Committee Chair, will lead the ninth Youth Pilgrimage to our Companion Diocese of El Salvador. The signup deadline for the pilgrimage is May 15th. 

Parents, youth and other interested individuals are invited to an informational meeting about the pilgrimage. 

When: Saturday, Mar. 25th, 10:00 a.m.
Where: St. James' Church, 96 East Genesee Street, Skaneateles. 
Happening Weekend (grades 9–12)

Details available at

When: Friday, Mar. 31st to Sunday, Apr. 2nd.
RESCHEDULED: New Beginnings Weekend (grades 6–8)

Details available at

When: Due to inclement weather this past week, the Spring New Beginnings Weekend has been RESCHEDULED from Mar. 17th-19th to Friday, Apr. 28th through Sunday, Apr. 30th. 
Save the Date! Bishop's Ball

Join Bishop DeDe at the Bishop's Ball for youth in grades 6–12. Optional overnight at St. David's Church includes Sunday morning worship. 

When: Saturday, May 20th, 6:00–10:00 p.m.; overnight option through Sunday morning worship on May 21st. 
Where: St. David's Church, 14 Jamar Drive, DeWitt. 

Funding for Ministry: Grants and Loans

See upcoming grants and loans below; an expanded list of diocesan and churchwide funding opportunities is available at

Friday, March 31st: Five Marks of Mission Block Grants
Funding for projects and ministries related to one of the Five Marks of Mission.

Friday, March 31st: Stewardship of Creation Grants
Grants of up to $10,000 for creation care initiatives.

Monday, April 10th: Young Adult & Campus Ministry Grants
Grants of $3,000–$5,000 for young adult and campus ministries; one leadership grant of $20,000-$30,000 grants for a campus ministry. 

In Our Parishes

Grace, Carthage: Lenten Luncheon Series

The Village Ecumenical Ministries of Carthage invites you to its annual Lenten Luncheon series. Each Wednesday, join us for a short prayer service and lunch coordinated by a Carthage church. All events will be held at Carthage Mennonite Church. 

When: Wednesdays in Lent at 12:00 p.m.
Where: Carthage Mennonite Church, 20295 County Route 45, Carthage. 
St. Matthew's, Liverpool: Lenten Friday Fish Dinners

Join us every Friday in Lent for Friday Fish Dinners. Meals include an entrée, french fries, coleslaw, dessert and a beverage. À la carte items also available. 

When: Fridays in Lent (Mar. 3rd through Apr. 7th), 4:30–6:30 p.m.
Where: St. Matthew's Church, 900 Vine Street, Liverpool. 
Cost: Adult meal price is $11; $10 for seniors and children 6–12, $6 for children age 5 and under. 
Trinity, Lowville: Free In Christ Recovery Program

Trinity Church invites anyone dealing with addictions of any kind to a new recovery program launching this coming Tuesday. We are praying that this Christ-centered program will help with the rash of recent deaths and the pain addiction causes families and communities.

When: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. beginning Mar. 21st. 
Where: Parish House of Trinity Church, 5411 Trinity Avenue, Lowville. The parish house is the building directly behind the church.
Trinity, Lowville: Lenten Luncheon Series

Lowville-area churches invite you to their annual Lenten Luncheon series. Each Wednesday, join us for a short prayer service and lunch coordinated at the week's host church.

When: Wednesdays in Lent at 12:00 p.m.
     Mar. 22nd: Lowville Mennonite Church, 7705 Ridge Road, Lowville.
     Mar. 29th: Lowville United Methodist Church, 7618 North State Street, Lowville.
     Apr. 5th: Trinity Episcopal Church, 5411 Trinity Avenue, Lowville.
St. Matthew's, Horseheads: Community Dinner

St. Matthew's welcomes all to a free community meal of chili and macaroni and cheese. 

When: Saturday, Mar. 18, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Where: St. Matthew's Church, 408 South Main Street, Horseheads.
Grace, Carthage: Chatterbox Gathering

Featuring musical guest "Friends of God."

When: Sunday, Mar. 19th, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Chatterbox Diner, 266 State Street, Carthage.
St. John's, Marcellus: Spring Series of Taizé Worship Services

Simple worship services with chanted prayers in the style of the Taizé ecumenical Christian community

When: Sundays, Mar. 26th, April 23rd and May 21st at 7:00 p.m.
Where: St. John's Church, 15 Orange Street, Marcellus. 


Missional Voices Conference & Genesis Gathering 

Missional Voices will be a weekend of thinking, planning, and dreaming about the future of missional communities and innovative ministries in The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. This will be a place where dynamic incubation of new ideas is the norm—not the exception—and where people doing uncommon ministry find support and encouragement.

When: Friday and Saturday, Apr. 21st & 22nd.
Where: Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA.
To Register: Please register online by April 17th. Registration is $99 (enter promo code GENESIS at checkout to register for $70) and does not include transportation or lodging. 

Genesis Gathering, a pre-conference event, will provide additional practical opportunities for those engaged with or exporing missional ministries. 

When: Thursday, Apr. 20th.
Where: Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA.
To Register: Please register online by April 7th. Registration is $50 and does not include transportation or lodging; registration is free for current recipients of a New Church Start, Mission Enterprise Zone, Hybrid, or Discernment Grant from the Episcopal Church. 


Register now to participate in the 2017 Sacred Sites Open House Weekend
Stained Glass: Windows on this World and the Next

The New York Landmarks Conservancy's has announced that its statewide annual Sacred Sites Open House will take place on May 20th-21st this year. Early registration for churches wishing to participate in the Open House has begun.

Register your site online today. Churches registered by March 20th will be included in NYLC's press releases about the event, and those registered by April 17th will be included in the website guide. 

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