Walkabout Booklet Now Available

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus in the Diocese of Northern Indiana,

The booklet that details our upcoming Walkabouts is now available for download and is posted at www.edninbishopsearch.org.

Included in the booklet are biographies for each of the nominees, which may also be accessed below:

The Rev. Canon Lynn Carter-Edmands
The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns
The Rev. Susan B. Haynes
The Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Sparks
The Very Rev. Raymond J. Waldon

Please review these materials prayerfully in the days ahead.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

The Transition Committee

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry: “our ultimate security comes from God in Christ”

In an address a few days ago entitled, “Be Not Afraid!” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry responds to last week’s terror attacks in Paris and Beirut by urging us not to lose sight of our long commitment “to resettling refugees in our own communities fleeing violence and persecution.” He reminds us that God commands us to welcome the foreigner into our midst. As Christians, we are called to seek our ultimate security from God in Christ, not from border patrol.

This has been a distressing week, as we deal not only with the terror and grief of those attacks but also with the shame of hearing our politicians turn refugees away from our doorsteps. A couple and their five year-old son, who fled Syria in 2011, were scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis on Wednesday, only to be turned away by fear. They were taken in by the state of Connecticut, where the governor made excuses for us, saying “that people in the United States were generous and good people, but sometimes things happen elsewhere that cause people to forget about their generosity.” Is Hoosier Hospitality dead?

Maybe it is in the wider population, but I know that hospitality is not dead at Holy Trinity. For now, in this case, hospitality is a bit more complicated than simply bringing a dish to share. We can still participate financially in efforts by the Episcopal Migration Ministries to resettle refugees in other parts of the country. We can support Exodus Refugee, our local EMM Affiliate in Indianapolis. We can communicate our frustration and dismay to our political representatives.  Above all, we can, in the words of our presiding bishop, remember that:

The fear is real.  So we pray.  We go to church.  We remember who we are in Jesus.   Our resurrection hope is larger than fear.   Let nothing keep us from that hope, that faith, that security in Gods dream for all of humanity.


Five Candidates for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana

November 15, 2015

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus in the Diocese of Northern Indiana,

Last week the Search Committee concluded its work and presented a list of five candidates for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana to the Standing Committee. On behalf of the Standing Committee, I am grateful to co-chairs Fr. Mike Dwyer and Mrs. Linda Buskirk and to all members of the Search Committee who labored tirelessly in this ministry. Their thorough, faithful, and prayerful discernment and diligence over the last six months has richly blessed us to reach this stage in our process.

With great prayer we present to you the five candidates for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana:

The Rev. Canon Lynn Carter-Edmands
The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns
The Rev. Susan B. Haynes
The Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Sparks
The Very Rev. Raymond J. Waldon

Please look for their initial biographies on the search website. Fuller biographies will be released in the coming days.

Even as we celebrate the conclusion of the Search Committee’s work the ministry of the Transition Committee now begins in earnest. Under the leadership of the Fr. Jim Warnock of Gethsemane, Marion, they will be guiding the diocese through the introduction of our candidates as well as the election and transition process of our new bishop.

The candidates will come to the diocese for the Walk-Abouts on January 15-17. The locations for getting to know our candidates are:

January 16th – Session 1 – St. John of the Cross, Bristol
January 16th – Session 2 – St. Timothy’s, Griffith
January 17th – Gethsemane, Marion

Please look for the publication of the Walk-About informational booklet very soon.

Everyone is welcome to attend these sessions. We expect delegates who will vote for our new bishop to attend a session near them to better acquaint themselves with our candidates. Please remember that if your parish is expecting to certify new delegates other than those who were registered at last month’s Diocesan Convention their names must be registered with the diocesan office by February 1, 2016.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we labor together for our beloved diocese and for the kingdom of God in our midst.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

The Rev. Matthew D. Cowden, President of the Standing Committee
The Search Committee for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana

South Bend Department of Community Investment Neighborhood Quality of Life Survey

Have you filled out your Quality of Life survey yet?

Only a couple weeks left, so make sure you participate! The Department of Community Investment invites residents to participate in the Neighborhood Quality of Life Survey intended to measure the opinions of residents living throughout South Bend.

The survey contains 22 questions, and takes roughly 10 minutes to complete. A hardcopy of the survey has also been mailed to a sample of South Bend residents in areas with limited access to the internet. To take the survey, visit southbendin.gov/NeighborhoodSurvey. Responses will be collected until Friday, November 20

Does Our Charity Impoverish Our Neighbors?

Someone forwarded me an article from Christianity Today by Robert Lupton on the topic of “toxic charity.” Charity turns toxic where those who serve end up doing for people what they are quite capable of doing for themselves. Those being served are shamed by the very public suggestion that they cannot take care of themselves and their families and they are discouraged from making investments in their own futures. Toxic charity deepens poverty rather than alleviating it.

The difficulty (at least one of the difficulties) is that when a person comes to you in crisis, you first want to help that person find some stability, even if only in the form of a warm, dry place in which to talk the problem over. I don’t know how many times someone has called or come to me in crisis, and instead of asking for money, just wanted me to help them sort through their issues and options. Part of what we are trying to do with Soup After School is offer that kind of place, where neighbors can gather for a hot meal and talk about their lives. Often it’s not the church folk who provide the answers, but rather the neighbor sitting near them. We’ve just provided the chair to sit in.

The next stage is to start offering micro training as part of the programming for both kids and adults. Last week we had a mini workshop on a Christian approach to self defense. The trainer was interpreting some basic jiu jitsu moves in Christian terms. Last spring we taught the kids how to plant seeds that would end up in our Community Garden. Maybe this year we can send them home with some of those seedlings to plant in their own yards.

Breaking the “School to Prison Pipeline”

I just got the following information from our friend Cheryl Ashe at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church. Looks like something we would want to be a part of!

The Community for Peace and Nonviolence & St. Augustine Catholic Church
‘November Black Catholic History Month’ event:

“Breaking the ‘School to Prison Pipeline’: What Faith-Based Organizations and People Can Do”

Saturday, November 14, 2015
St. Augustine Church, 1501 W. Washington St.

Community for Peace and Non-Violence (CPNV), which hosts each 2nd Saturday an event at one of its member churches, will use this event to continue the dialogue recently begun at Indiana University – South Bend on the “School to Prison Pipeline.”

We hope to delve into the cause and effect of U.S. hyper-incarceration, which not only affects dignity, respect and opportunities within marginalized communities (especially African Americans) — it harms the dignity of society itself.  We’ll also explore how faith-based organizations
can develop solutions to breaking the pipeline.

In particular, this particular session will explore the front end of the pipeline – youth and schools.  Who are our youth today?  What is their environment?  What challenges do they face?  What opportunities exist for them in South Bend?   How can faith-based organizations and people do to better their outcomes in life?

This ecumenical event will include a brunch, a speaker, and youth presenters, and is open to all.

Cheryl Ashe