Diocesan Profile Now Available

The Diocesan Profile is now complete and available for viewing on the bishop search website. The Search Committee has also provided an updated set of guidelines for recommending nominations and applying directly to be a nominee for the position of the Bishop of Northern Indiana:

  • A required Nomination Form and a required Application Form are both provided at:  www.edninbishopsearch.org.
  • Nomination Forms will be accepted September 1 – 18, 2015.
  • Application Forms will be accepted September 1 – 24, 2015.
  • All recommended nominees and all applicants will be reviewed by the search committee.
  • All those recommended for nomination, upon giving their approval to be nominated, must:
    • Complete an Application Form and submit it as soon as possible, and no later than September 24, 2015.
    • Update your Transitional Ministry Portfolio filed with the Office of Transition Ministry, as a copy of your OTM Portfolio will be forwarded to the Search Committee on September 24, 2015.

Background checks (including credit history) will be conducted for all nominees.  Credit history reports will also be required of all spouses/partners of nominees.

Applicants chosen for further consideration will be required to attend a Discernment Retreat with the Search Committee October 19 – 22, 2015, in Chicago.

The Search Committee will submit no fewer than four (4) names as Candidates to the Standing Committee by mid-November, 2015.

Holy Smoke! Pictures are Up!

I’ve just finished posting pictures from Holy Smoke! (or at least those that have been shared with me) to our photo gallery. This is a good time to pause and say thank you to all those whose hard work made our day of celebration a success. To those who cooked—both BBQ and sides—and those who cleaned, to those who made music and those who came to listen, to members of our sister parishes who drove across town and even across the state line to worship with us, to the SBFD and the SBPD who sent out representatives to show our children how to play it safe, to those who stuffed dollars in a bucket and those who mailed us a check, to all these and more, we give our heartfelt thanks!

Blessings on you all,


Prayers and Procession for the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin

Below is the bulletin text from last Saturday’s Holy Smoke! celebration. We are already talking about how to improve it for next year!

A Service of Procession and Prayer

For the Feast of

St. Mary the Virgin


August 15, 6:00pm

Church of the Holy Trinity

[The service begins in front of the church, with the procession circling first the outside of the church/parish hall and then circling the inside of the church before gathering at the Mary alter to crown the virgin with flowers.]

Sorrows of Mary

An Ode to Our Lady of the Blues

(The Rev. Drs.) Hugh R. Page, Jr. & Terri L. Bays

[Chord progression is that of “Villanova Junction Blues,” by Jimi Hendrix, with slight modification.]

People said your son was no one Am

Sadness would not let you be.

Said he really didn’t matter,Dm7

They were blind, and could not see.Am

Felt your life was bound for heartache,Am

Loneliness and misery,

But that wasn’t in the planDm7

Because the Lord had set you freeAm


Set you free, set you free,Am

The Lord has set you free.

Let your lives proclaim the GospelF9

F69Because, the Lord has set you free.Am

Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all our neighbors whom the world treats as no one, that they might come to know the value in which your Son, our Lord, holds them, that he would give His life for their sake; pray too that our eyes might be opened to seek and serve Christ in them, through that same Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all our neighbors who struggle with loneliness and depression, that they might feel themselves wrapped in the loving arms of our Lord; pray too that our arms might be opened to embrace those that the Lord puts in our paths, through Him who opened His arms to us on the cross, Amen.


Escaped down to Egypt land, Am

Left before the break of day.

Lived in exile as a stranger, Dm7

There was just no other way. Am

Underground and hiding out, Am

Trying to get back on your feet.

Guess that’s what life’s all about, Dm7

When it’s hard to make ends meet. Am


Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all our neighbors who live in exile—those distanced from their loved ones through violence and addiction, those sent away into imprisonment, and those isolated by illness or infirmity—that their hearts might be moved by the Holy Spirit from whose presence none can flee; pray that our hearts might be likewise moved, that we might welcome the exile into our midst, by that same Spirit who lives and reigns with the Father and the Son, now and forever. Amen.

Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all our neighbors who struggle to make ends meet, whose lives are hidden from us, with injustice, terror, disease, and death as constant companions; pray too that the God of Justice might strengthen us to fight for equal protection and opportunity under the law so that each and every one of us might enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Wandered off to town without you, Am

Couldn’t find him anywhere.

Met him standing by the Temple, Dm7

Did some teaching over there. Am

Crowds listening to the message, Am

News that’s Good for one and all.

The Lord cares for those in anguish, Dm7

With their backs against the wall. Am


Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all our neighbors who suffer anxiety over the safety of their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins—young people growing up in an unsteady and confusing world; pray that the Holy Spirit inspire us to teach them how the ways of the Lord give life and how failure can give us a chance for a new start, though your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all the schools where our children study, that they may be lively centers for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; pray too that those who teach and those who learn may hear good news, finding the One Eternal God to be the source of all truth; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Made that lonely trek toward Zion, Am

Headed on to Calvary.

In the crowd, she hid her sadness, Dm7

Bitter tears no one could see. Am

Stood there watching from a distance, Am

Trembling as they pierced his side.

Held his broken lifeless body, Dm7

Felt that all his dreams had died. Am


Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all our neighbors who have lost loved ones through violence, that Your Son might lead us all into His kingdom, where no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love, no hands raised but the hands of praise; pray too with us that the Spirit might so mightily spread abroad as to gather us all together under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Holy Mother Mary, pray with us for all our neighbors who mourn, that our merciful Father, who does not willingly afflict or grieve His children might look with pity upon the sorrows of His servants, remembering us in mercy, nourishing our souls with patience, comforting us with a sense of His goodness, lifting up His countenance upon us, and giving us His peace, which passes all understanding, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


But the story isn’t over, Am

No, it couldn’t end that way.

He lives on inside our hearts, Dm7

So sing Mary’s Blues today. Am

From pulpits and on street corners, Am

Prison cells and on death row

Let the Gospel break down walls Dm7

Let her faith and love be known Am


Set you free, set you free,Am

The Lord has set you free.

Let your lives proclaim the GospelF9

F69Because, the Lord has set you free.Am ~ Amadd9

Words of Welcome                           

Rev. Dr. Terri L. Bays

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Word of God

Old Testament                                                                Isaiah 61:10-11

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,

my whole being shall exult in my God;

for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,

he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,

as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,

and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots,

and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,

so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise

to spring up before all the nations.

The Psalm                                                                              Psalm 34

1   I will bless the LORD at all times; *

his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

2   I will glory in the LORD; *

let the humble hear and rejoice.

3   Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD; *

let us exalt his Name together.

4   I sought the LORD, and he answered me *

and delivered me out of all my terror.

5   Look upon him and be radiant, *

and let not your faces be ashamed.

6   I called in my affliction and the LORD heard me *

and saved me from all my troubles.

7   The angel of the LORD encompasses those who fear him, *

and he will deliver them.

8   Taste and see that the LORD is good; *

happy are they who trust in him!

9   Fear the LORD, you that are his saints, *

for those who fear him lack nothing.

The Epistle                                                                Galatians 4:4-7

When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

The Gospel                                                                   Luke 1:46-55


Mary said,


“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Prayers of Self-Dedication

Almighty and eternal God, teach us, like Mary, to magnify your name: so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may join with the Blessed Virgin Mary and all your saints to serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O God of justice and compassion, you put down the proud and mighty from their place, and lift up the poor and the afflicted: we give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

   hallowed be thy Name,

   thy kingdom come,

   thy will be done,

     on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

   as we forgive those

     who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

   but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

   and the power, and the glory,

   for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal                                          

Those wishing to pray the Angelus follow the procession to the Mary Altar


All say the Hail Mary together, with the People saying the words in bold type.

The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.

And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with Thee;

Blessed art thou among women,

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners,

Now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary, etc.

And the Word was made Flesh.

And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, etc.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Rev. Laurie Brock Shares 10 Things We Wish Everyone Knew About the Episcopal Church

In a recent post, Episcopal Priest Laurie Brock shares

10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About the Episcopal Church.

Laurie serves as the rector of St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and from that context she has her own reasons for choosing the items in this list. Are these the same 10 things you would list, or are there different things on your mind?

Of course, what you wish folks knew depends on who those folks are. Do your friends and family know that you’re an Episcopalian. Do they even know what the word “Episcopalian” means?  What are you doing to share the news or to let others know that you’re a person they might come to with questions about the Episcopal Church?

Living Core Values—Holy Trinity Featured in “By Word and Example” Article

Linda Buskirk interviewed me the other day for an article on our diocesan blog, By Word and Example. The article is part of a series joyfully exploring the legacy of leadership of Bishop Ed Little and Canon SuzeAnne Silla” by looking at the way different parishes have been living out the core values of the diocese. You might be pleased to know that Linda says:

Holy Trinity reflects all of our Diocese’s Core Values.   The people are passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they have a heart for the lost, a willingness to do whatever it takes, and a commitment to one another.  May each of our congregations find inspiration in their story.

I would tell you more, but you should read the article itself, especially because it ends with a lovely poem by Kelly Renz, a parishioner at Trinity, Fort Wayne!

Are We Ready for Some Holy Smoke! at Holy Trinity?

Can you believe that Holy Smoke! is coming up tomorrow? HolySmokeKettleWord is getting out—pray that the number of BBQ Cookoff Entries is enough to meet the appetites of our guests! Hmmm. . . maybe I should have included roast quail among the categories. . . and then again, maybe not!

Continue to post about Holy Smoke! in your social networks and to talk about it to your family and friends. Now is the time to strike up a conversation with that neighbor whose BBQ fills your street with mouth-watering aromas! Now is the time to let your music-loving friends know that the Oblates of Blues will be playing from 1-3! Now is the acceptable time for showing folks that Holy Trinity knows how to welcome and nourish the body of Christ!

Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

Feast of St. Mary the Virgin

If you’ve seen one of the flyers for Holy Smoke! you may have noticed that our celebration includes “An Ecumenical Service of Prayer and Procession for the Feast of the Virgin Mary.” In case you’re wondering what that might look like, here are a few remarks about what we have in mind!

Coronation of the Virgin Mary by Diego Velasquez, 1645

Coronation of the Virgin Mary by Diego Velasquez, 1645

To begin with, the Episcopal Church holds that scripture contains “all things necessary to salvation.” What we mean by that is a refusal to consider any belief necessary that is not contained in scripture. While teachings from traditions other than scripture may be true, good and helpful, they are not necessary to salvation. With regard to Mary, we celebrate what we know of her from scripture. Although individuals among us may draw various conclusions about other aspects of Mary’s life, we don’t require anyone to share those conclusions.

August 15th is the day when we celebrate the end of Mary’s earthly ministry. Traditionally, we celebrate a saint on the day of the saint’s death. We do this to mark the day on which the saint entered into the fuller presence of God. We don’t know from scripture exactly how Mary did this, so the Episcopal Church does not require its members to hold any particular belief about it. What we know is that her ministry on Earth did end, and we presume that her Son was glad to receive her.

We share the date of our celebration with the rest of Christianity. Eastern Orthodox Christians call this day the Feast of the Dormition (sleeping), believing that Mary died a natural death, and that her body rested in the tomb for three days before being resurrected and taken up into heaven. Roman Catholics call this day the Feast of the Assumption, believing that Mary did not die a natural death but was taken bodily into heaven without dying. We all believe that Mary is in heaven and that she prays with us for the poor, the sick and the suffering.

Our focus will be on celebrating Mary’s release from the suffering she experienced in her life and on asking for her sympathy with those who likewise suffer. We will start our worship in front of the church. First we will go in procession around the outside of the church and then we will go around the inside. As we go, we will be singing a blues anthem, pausing after each verse to asking Mary to pray with us for the people of our neighborhood. Once we have gone inside, we will crown a statue of the Virgin Mary with flowers in celebration of the joy with which we presume she was received in heaven. After crowning the statue we with pray the Angelus. This prayer greets Mary with the words used by the Angel Gabriel in scripture when he announced that she was to bear the Son of God.

Our hope is that any Christian might be able to rejoice with us in this celebration of the faithful role Mary played in our salvation.

Does the Church need to Act Poor?

While I was away on vacation, my brother sent me a link to the following article:

Why churches are poor—By Rebekah Simon-Peter

Simon-Peter makes a number of interesting points around the question of whether it is “theologically necessary” for churches to  “act poor,” by which she means allowing money to be the limiting factor in our ministries.  For example, she asks:

What if we were to pray that God direct the riches of the world to us and through us to bring about healing, reconciliation, justice and wholeness in our communities and world? I wonder what might happen then?

We need a new consciousness around money — one that allows us to be honest about our needs and the unlimited God we serve. Money is not in short supply. But if we believe it is, we will act, and ask, accordingly.

. . . .

Money makes the world go ’round. And churches need it as much if not more than other organizations. We have holy business to attend to: acts of justice, works of mercy, support of denominational initiatives, paying the salary and benefits of leaders, mortgages, heat, light, etc.

So why these mixed messages about money? Why awkward silences and the lack of clear direction or invitation? The truth is, many people want to express their gratitude to God, yet they don’t participate in the offering.

These are the kinds of questions we have been working to ask at Holy Trinity, not only with regard to money but also with regard to people and other types of resources.

Now at Holy Trinity we have no need to “act poor” in the sense of pretending. We are genuinely having trouble paying our bills. In recent months, however, we have abandoned some of the following behaviors where we found ourselves “acting poor”:

  • hiding our real financial needs from ourselves by refusing to look at the budget
  • hiding our real ministry needs from ourselves by allowing a few people to do most of the work, regardless of whether they are called to or suited for that ministry
  • spending whatever money happens to be in the checking account “because it’s there to be spent” rather than looking ahead to what our needs might be over the coming months
  • refusing to ask for pledges from the congregation or to teach about what a faithful pledge might look like

In the meantime, we have been adopting behaviors along the lines that Simon-Peter suggests, as we consider the work to which God is calling us on the West Side of South Bend. For example, we have been:

  • asking God to supply our needs, not simply naming those needs as a matter of honesty but also trusting God to meet them as a matter of faith
  • assessing the gifts that we do have—such as really amazing hospitality—and praying that God will direct us in using those gifts for the benefit of our neighbors
  • forming relationships with our neighbors as a first step towards bringing about healing, reconciliation, justice and wholeness in our community

Instead of responding to our financial crisis by cutting back on outreach, we have decided to expand our outreach ministries. For example, we have decided to to invite the other Episcopal Churches in the area, nearby churches from other denominations, and other civic groups to join us in Soup After School so that we can offer it every week instead of just one week a month. When we do a fundraiser like Holy Smoke! we make sure that our neighbors are welcome and fed, regardless of their ability to contribute financially.

We are, slowly but surely, dealing with our financial crisis. Thanks be to God, who is turning a shortage of funds into an abundance of blessing!