The spring meeting of the Concord River Deanery is in the planning stages. We expect a meeting at the end of April 2017 or in early May.
The next meeting of the Concord River Deanery Assembly will be on Wednesday, April 6, at St. Elizabeth’s in Sudbury. A light supper will begin at 6, with the meeting itself beginning around 6:45 or so and ending by 8:30. Agenda details will be sent out ahead of time; if you have any suggestions for the agenda, please email co-convener Bill Carnes at email@example.com.
Parishes: please make sure your new assembly representatives know about the meeting and get themselves on the mailing list. They can add themselves to the mailing list by visiting our web site and clicking on the “Join the deanery email list” link on the right.
If you have finished your term as an assembly member, you are welcome to stay on the mailing list, or you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom.
We are looking for a new clerk and treasurer for the deanery executive committee, especially someone from one of the parishes not already represented in that group. It doesn’t take very much time, and it’s a great way to get to know Episcopalians from other parishes. If you are interested, would like to nominate someone, or have questions about what is involved, please contact Win Treese at firstname.lastname@example.org. The current executive committee hails from St. Andrew’s, St. Ann’s, St. Elizabeth’s, St. Luke’s, and St. Peter’s.
Young Adult (20s/30s) Habitat for Humanity Build Day: Join folks in their 20s and 30s from local Episcopal parishes to learn and serve while partnering with families in need of housing! Together, we’ll be practicing how to be God’s hands and elbows at a duplex construction site in Wayland on Saturday, May 7, 8am-4pm. No equipment or prior experience necessary. Organized by the 20s/30s Group at St. Andrew’s Framingham. If interested, sign up on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1SCFen9 or contact Seth Robinson, Life Together Fellow (508.471.8667 or email@example.com). A printable PDF flyer for you to post at your parish is available at http://wp.me/a3TzxX-1u
See you in April!
At our Diocesan Convention in November, Rev. Libby Berman announced the plan for developing a new mission strategy for our diocese. As described on the diocesan web site (diomass.org):
It’s time to create a new mission strategy for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. A mission strategy is a plan for our future. It identifies our priorities, so we know how to best use our financial, staff and other resources. Our mission strategy is a response to the particular gifts of our diocese and the changing needs of our communities in eastern Massachusetts. It identifies the ways that we hope to answer Jesus’ call to be disciples together.
Our canons require that the mission strategy be revised or renewed at Convention every three years. With Bishop Gates having been here a year now, this is an exciting opportunity for a deep, reflective consideration of the mission strategy.
And everyone in our diocese is invited to participate. As part of the process, open forums will be held around our diocese, and there will be online surveys and a call-in phone number for recording a message.
Please consider joining one of the forums or other options to share your thoughts about our diocese and what we are being called to do now.
The schedule for the open forums is:
Jan 10 2016 – 2:00pm – 3:30pm at St. Mary’s Church, Barnstable
Jan 12 2016 – 7:00pm – 8:30pm at St. Paul’s Church, Natick
Jan 20 2016 – 7:00pm – 8:30pm at Christ Church, Andover
Jan 26 2016 – 7:00pm – 8:30pm at Grace Church, New Bedford
Jan 28 2016 – 7:00pm – 8:30pm at St. Thomas’s Church, Taunton
Feb 27 2016 – 10:00am – 11:30am at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston
The current statement of mission and mission priorities are on the web at http://www.diomass.org/content/our-mission, and more information about the process for creating the new mission strategy is at http://www.diomass.org/creating-new-mission-strategy-2016.
Proposals for Deanery Grants, which include Sending/Serving grants and House of Mercy grants, must be approved by the deanery assembly before they will be acted upon by the Diocese. The assembly meeting on October 7 is the last opportunity for a vote for grants this year.
Please send any grant proposals for deanery vote to Win Treese (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be circulated in advance of the meeting.
More information about these grant opportunities can be found on the Diocese web site at http://www.diomass.org/deanery-grants.
The next meeting of the Concord River Deanery Assembly will be on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, at St. Elizabeth’s in Sudbury (address: 1 Morse Road), beginning with a light supper at 6 PM and finished no later than 9 PM.
The agenda will be distributed later this month. If you have any suggestions for the agenda, please send them to the co-conveners Rev. Lori Mills-Curran (email@example.com) and Cheryl Smith (Cheryl1098@aol.com) as soon as possible.
Michelle St. Francis is a senior at Concord-Carlisle High School and a parishioner at Trinity Church in Concord. She joined the Diocesan Youth Council (DYC) during her sophomore year and has been involved in church policy ever since. As a sophomore on DYC, she attended Diocesan Convention as a non-voting member and was fascinated by the legislative process. Michelle says, “I returned to Convention my junior year with a vote. When an offer to attend General Convention arose, I was excited by the opportunity to see our church politics on an international scale.”
This past week I was at The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church along with my good friend Megan Lightcap. Our trip was graciously sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) who recognize the need for young women to be a part of the legislative process of the church.
Megan and I first began by following the committee hearings of Committee 07: Social Justice and International Policy. Resolution A047: Address Moral and Spiritual Injury in Context of Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress, captured our attention because of the heartfelt testimony it received. A young woman asked the committee to add victims of sexual abuse, using her own experience to plead its significance. Her testimony moved the committee to amend the resolution. Later, two chaplains testified about their experience with how in the loving arms of Jesus, many trauma victims had felt welcomed and safe. For me, this was the moment that I realized the impact that each one of these resolutions could have on different people and groups. I realized what an amazing opportunity General Convention is to not just change ambiguous rules, but to affect serious and longstanding change in people’s everyday lives.
Another part of this Convention that I will never forget is the election of our new Presiding Bishop Elect: the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry. I will never forgot how inspired and transfixed I felt when he spoke. I will never forget the cries of joy from the floor of the House of Deputies when they confirmed his election. I will never forgot his speech to the crowds at the Bishop’s Walk Against Gun Violence telling us all that “Jesus loves the little children. All the little children.” Probably the most popular phrase coming out of Convention has been what Bishop Curry calls, the “Jesus Movement.” Young people have especially found Bishop Curry so inspiring because of his evangelistic ways as well as his powerful sermons. I believe that Bishop Curry is the man that will lead the Episcopal Church into a more modern and accepting light. I am looking forward to seeing how he will change better the church for the better.
The most talked about resolution that came to the floor of both Houses was about the changing of the Marriage Cannons to be more accepting of same-sex couples. During a 7am Committee Hearing, I remember one of the Bishops interrupting the conversation to tell us all about the SCTOUS ruling. Everyone cheered and then later on at worship, we danced and sang in celebration for our country’s new found equality. Later on in the week, the “Marriage Resolutions” came to the House of Deputies after the amended version was passed in the House of Bishops. The resolutions were passed in both houses, so that now same-sex marriage is officially allowed in the Episcopal Church. Through these resolutions, the Episcopal Church has designated itself as a group of people who are constantly making progress towards including, loving, and supporting all of God’s children.
My experience at General Convention has reinforced my belief in the Episcopal Church. Our church is making great strides to make “all” truly mean “all.” There is no doubt we still have a lot of work to do, but I’m looking forward to being apart of our future progress. My time at General Convention has inspired me to “Go,” as Bishop Curry said, and do the work He has given us to do.
The spring meeting Concord River Deanery Assembly will be held on Wednesday, May 13, at St. Elizabeth’s in Sudbury. We will meet at 6 PM for dinner, address program matters, then break into small interest groups until 9 PM.
The provisional agenda includes:
- Update on the Diocesan Youth Music Festival and “Bishop’s Ball” planned for May 14 in Framingham
- Update and (we hope a personal) introduction of Meghan Vesel, the new Executive Director of the Metrowest Mission Hub
- Update on the recent all-Deanery Leadership meeting hosted by Bishop Gates and diocesan staff.
- Election of a new deanery lay representative to Diocesan Council
If you have any suggestions for the agenda, or an idea for a small group you would like to host addressing a specific topic (e.g., youth, green, adult ed), please email Deacon Lori Mills-Curran.
Please forward this to any new deanery assembly representatives, since elections have taken place since our last meeting.
Directions to St. Elizabeth’s in Sudbury can be found at http://www.st-elizabeths.org/directions.shtml.