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Book of Occasional Services 2018 Available

New liturgical resource: The Book of Occasional Services 2018

Download available in English & Spanish

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) is pleased to announce the release of The Book of Occasional Services 2018. The availability of this liturgical resource is the result of action taken at last summer’s 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church.

The Book of Occasional Services 2018, a companion volume to The Book of Common Prayer, is a collection of liturgical resources related to occasions which do not occur with sufficient frequency to warrant their inclusion in The Book of Common Prayer. Designed to give congregations resources that form our members in the Episcopal faith, the rites and ceremonies contained in this book are to be understood, interpreted, and used in light of the theology, structure, and directions of The Book of Common Prayer.

The material included in this collection comes from a variety of sources, generally arising out of the specific use of worshipping communities engaged in the process of creating liturgical responses to particular occasions in the life of the church. Included are St. Francis Day animal blessings and rites for December 12, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. 

Where it seems appropriate, instead of complete rites, the Book of Occasional Services 2018 includes paragraphs of stated principles and guidelines for crafting liturgies in particular contexts. For instance, the resources for Día de Muertos are offered in outline form. A part of the outline format is an expressed desire that those congregations wishing to develop and use the rite will do so in collaboration with communities for whom the celebration is already a culturally significant event, creating opportunities for deeper appreciation and love in congregations. 

This material included in Book of Occasional Services 2018 is authorized by the General Convention for use throughout The Episcopal Church.

The Book of Occasional Services 2018, offered in both English and Spanish, is available as a free download from the publications page of the General Convention website, at https://www.generalconvention.org/publications#liturgy


Additional Liturgical Resources available on the General Convention website include:

 

Expansive Language Liturgies

Text of Expansive Language Liturgies from resolution 2018-D078--docx
Text of Expansive Language Liturgies from resolution 2018-D078--pdf

Marriage Liturgy / liturgia matrimonial

Share the Way of Love at Easter

Share the Way of Love at Easter

Continuing the invitation to connect The Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life more deeply to the Liturgical Year, The Episcopal Church offers free, downloadable resources for congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith this Easter.

Resources include: A poster with space on the bottom portion for congregations to add their own logo, service information, and web address; a postcard to send to recent visitors or local neighbors; a social media ready graphic; a Facebook Cover image; and the Presiding Bishop’s Easter Message video (available April 15). All evangelism resources are available here.

“We hope that these digital resources will help congregations easily share information about their Easter services,” said Jerusalem Greer, staff officer for evangelism for The Episcopal Church, “Services that celebrate the greatest love of all – the love of Jesus. A love we are called to share and celebrate that love with friends and neighbors.”

More than a program or curriculum, The Way of Love is an intentional commitment to a set of practices –Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest – that form us into the likeness of Jesus. Congregations have engaged with Way of Love practices by organizing ministry fairs around the seven practices, setting up semi-public prayer stations with one station per practice, and organizing inquirer’s classes around each topic.

“As Episcopalians we value life-long learning – something that the Liturgical Calendar helps us to do – guiding us through lessons of our faith, connecting our story to God’s story, year after year. The Way of Love is made up of practices that help us move through those lessons with greater intention and understanding, which in turn helps us grow in love and service.”  says Greer. “As an example, during the season of Easter, people are invited to dig deeper into the practice of Go through the Life Transformed: 50-day Eastertide Test Kitchen group on Facebook .”

Digital Invitation Kits similar to the Easter resources are planned for the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Back-to-School.  They will be offered Spanish, French, and English. 

If your ministry has developed a seasonal Way of Love offering, please share at  . We’d love to feature it on the website and pray for our shared journey into new life. 

Lisa Webb  ASSOCIATE OFFICER, PUBLIC AFFAIRS  Office of Communication | The Episcopal Church | 212-716-6138

Becoming a Foster Parent

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Bishop Miller would like you to consider learning about becoming a foster parent. The Rev. Scott Leannah and his wife, Gina Kuemmel, felt the call to be foster parents several years ago. Read a bit about their journey.


My wife Gina and I became foster parents because it intrigued us, we were invited to consider it, and we met someone, Daniel, who had grown up in "the system" from the time he was two. We met him at age 17.  When we got licensed and he came to live with us, it was not easy!  However, today at age 25, we still hear from him and he comes over for dinner on a regular basis, and, when he does, he usually brings his laundry! After Daniel left our home, we felt another divine nudge, inviting us again to open our hearts and lives to another foster kid. The social worker threw a curve ball at us, however, and said, "If this little girl comes to stay with you, she isn't leaving; she needs a forever home." And so it happened. Mia, age 5, arrived for a visit, came for another one, and then shortly after that, she moved in. Six months later we adopted her. Today she's 13, in seventh grade and doing well.

Gina and I know that being a foster parent or adoptive parent isn't for everyone. It's challenging, rewarding, and, for us, something we feel we've been called to do. We don't advise parents to engage in fostering or adoption of a traumatized kiddo to fill an empty place in their own lives.

Meeting one's needs to be a parent is wonderful, but, in our experience, the love, dedication and work of fostering or adopting a traumatized young person requires one to be fairly whole, balanced and realistic at the "get-go." I do not mean to be negative — it's an amazing, life-giving journey of love, growth and discovery. It is essential to respect and reverence the story of children who, through no fault of their own, are caught up in a system that, try as individuals within it may, is not perfect or even ideal.

What is ideal? Every child should be loved, cared for, fed, and offered a place to belong. If you feel open to doing that, it may be the most impactful thing you ever do in the life of another person. The need is great. There are folks who say to Gina and me, "Oh, I admire what you're doing so much — I could never do that!" Actually, you can.  Please, pray about it, consider it, and learn more.

 ~The Rev. Scott Leannah and Ms. Gina Kuemmel


The need for foster parents in Milwaukee County is significant. If you or your congregation members are interested in learning more about fostering, please consider inviting one of the Recruitment Specialists from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services to host an informational meeting at your church, present to your congregation, or consider posting flyers within your organization to promote the need for loving foster parents in our community. 

Please contact Sarah Sergeant via phone (414-231-4867) or , if you believe you may be able to help in one of these ways, or if you have any additional ideas of how we can continue to find safe and loving foster families for our children in foster care!

You can also learn more about becoming a foster parent or ways to support foster parents by reading some current foster parents’ stories about their experiences at the Kid Hero Blog.

 

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