Greetings to you in the name of the Christ child, whose birth we joyfully anticipate in the coming season of Advent. I write this letter to you on behalf of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Milwaukee.
We want to take this opportunity to give you an update on the Haiti Project from our diocesan side of things. In January of 2020, the Standing Committee became the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese after the retirement of Bishop Miller. In the six months that we held that position, we took a close look at many of the ministries in our diocese in order to have a better understanding of how we could support the good work that each was doing. In our review of the Haiti Project, we found that this was an opportune time to evaluate how the Haiti Project functions, and in so doing we discerned that we would pause the work of the Haiti Project Steering Committee and employ the help of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, which is an organization that offers consultation and resources for groups who are looking toward change and spiritual growth. We have asked them to come alongside of us and help with some intentional decision-making as we discern what the missional outreach work of the Haiti Project should look like going forward into the future. That work continues and we hope to have some clear plans in the new year.
Though we paused the work of the Steering Committee, rest assured that we have not paused our commitment and support of our brothers and sisters in Jeannette. The Standing Committee has been in close contact with parish priest, Pere Moise and the school, and with Gregory Leger, our liaison at APSHA, a trusted third-party organization that serves as our financial agent in Haiti. The Health Committee continues to communicate closely with the clinic and their physician, Dr. Elie to address the health care needs of those they serve.
And throughout it all, the diocese has continued to send its committed financial support to those partners in Jeannette on a monthly basis. That financial support includes $9000 to the grades 4K-13 school and clinic support staff to be allocated at the discretion of the Priest in Charge, $1240 for Dr. Elie’s salary, and $500 for medical supplies. We also send additional funds that have been authorized or requested when needed.
We know how important the mission of the Haiti Project is to so many here in our dioceses of Milwaukee, Eau Claire and North Dakota, as well as other dioceses across the country, and we especially know how very important this mission is to the people of Jeannette who worship, teach, learn, and seek comfort and healing through the church, school and health clinic that we support.
As we once again enter into this season of giving, we ask that you continue to pray for all of the people of Haiti, especially those whose lives are touched by the work of the Haiti Project, and we hope that you will consider continuing your financial support of the good work of the Haiti Project which began 36 years ago and that we hope will continue far into the future.
Donations can be given online at the diocesan website. Once at the site, click on the red “Giving” button and you will be directed to a page where you will select the Haiti Project as the fund you are donating to. You may also send checks made out to the Haiti Project to the diocesan office address: Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, 804 E Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
The benefit to the people of Jeannette through the Haiti Project would not be what it is without all the hard work of its volunteers and the financial supporters who have given so much of themselves over the years. It is our prayer and our intention that that support continues on for years to come in ways that will continue the good work of the Kingdom of God with the dear people in Jeannette.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Jana Troutman-Miller
President, Standing Committee of the Diocese of Milwaukee
This week Bishop Jeff Lee encourages us to put our thanksgiving into practice by supporting the work of our diocesan, community, and Episcopal charitable organizations. Throughout the week, we will be highlighting some charities that are doing good work in the world.
By giving to others, we demonstrate that "we are participants in God's project in loving the world back to its truest self."
Episcopal Relief & Development
Why I give... Episcopal Relief & Development touches people's lives in so many different ways. Two programs I've worked with or supported are the U.S. Disaster Program and Gifts for Life. The U.S. Disaster Program provides on-scene relief and preparedness training for natural and manmade disasters in the United States. Gifts for Life can be buying a farm animal for a needy family, providing prenatal care for a woman who would otherwise go without, and many other gifts that are detailed in the Gifts for Life catalog. Buying in someone else's name can make a great Christmas gift for a person who is hard to buy for. I'm happy to support these programs because they make a real difference in people's lives and help them to help themselves. ~Bob Heindl, member of St. Luke's, Milwaukee (Bay View)
To donate to Episcopal Relief & Development: https://www.episcopalrelief.org/
(Note: gifts given through the end of the year will be matched up to $650,000!)
Hospitality Center in Racine, Wisconsin
Why I give ... My first encounter with the Hospitality Center was through my friend, Bert Mendoza, who was a dedicated volunteer at the center and brought the mission information to our congregation at St. John the Divine. I rode with him a couple of times to bring items to the church and found welcoming volunteers and staff who happily gave us a tour and talked about their vision. Before the pandemic, Fr. Seth Raymond visited our church a couple of times to talk about the mission and need.
When Pat Hoffman and I deliver our church members' items we don't get far from the car, struggling to carry heavy cartons when a young client or two would greet us, take the heavy items and help us get into the church. The smiles, warm greetings and thanks from all of the clients are in my heart and to know I can help by sharing what I have makes ME happy. ~ Connie Herrick, member of St. John the Divine, Burlington
Why I give ... A number of years ago, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Burlington became involved with supporting the Hospitality Center in Racine. We were really led there by Bert Mendoza, a parishioner who volunteered at the center. Bert shared the need and the gratitude that met our gifts and invited many of us to visit the Hospitality Center. Those visits along with the visits to St John’s by Kevin Stuart led me to a commitment to the mission of the center. The Hospitality Center is a place where everyone is treated with dignity and where the needs are deep and personal and often at the level of survival. Having said that, when I go there I meet regular people who are caught in a broken season of their lives but who still share generously of their humanity with a grace that does passeth all understanding. My connection is limited and my visits usually involve delivering donations from our church, but the spirit of the work being done and the people served is strong. ~Pat Hoffman, member of St. John the Divine, Burlington
To donate to the Hospitality Center: https://www.hospitality-center.org/
Companion Diocese of newala
Why I give... There are some topics that come to mind as to why I continue to be involved with Masasi/Newala...
Education: Many children now get a primary education; more are getting to secondary school. In the Rural Medical Aids School I taught in, one lad stole his position. When discovered he drew a two-year prison sentence. Education is valued!
Medical needs: Malnourished kids, handicapped individuals with thick callouses from “walking” on hands and knees, the blind being schooled, and a host of medical patients getting help.
And of course the strength and courage of the average citizen.
How could I do less when more is needed?
You can learn more about the projects in the Diocese of Newala here.
To give to Newala: Donations can be given online on our website (diomil.org). Once at the site, click on the red “Giving” button and you will be directed to a page where you will select Newala as the fund you are donating to.
Why I give ... I give to the Haiti Project because I understand it. Most people I know want to help people in severe distress in poor countries we don’t really know much about. Usually that means writing a check to a large international charity and hoping for the best. I do that, too. But the Haiti Project is small and supports an actual Episcopal school that has been up and running for decades. People in our diocese know people in their diocese, and we can trust we are helping children get sone education which gives them a chance to navigate the difficult circumstances of Haiti. ~ Lucy Cooper, member of St. Mark's, Milwaukee
To donate to the Haiti Project:
Donations may be given through our website (https://www.diomil.org/). Once at the site, click on the red “Giving” button and you will be directed to a page where you will select the Haiti Project as the fund you are donating to.
In the wake of the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse and the verdict rendered, I ask for the prayers of the people of this diocese. I ask your prayers for the souls of those who died in that violence, for their grieving families and friends. I ask your prayers for the people of Kenosha and our sisters and brothers at St. Matthew’s. I ask your prayers for an end to the epidemic of gun violence in this country. I ask your prayers for those who are troubled or outraged or grieved by the outcome of this trial. I ask your prayers for those who are not. I ask your prayers for Kyle Rittenhouse and his family. And I ask your prayers for an end to the inequalities of our society. I ask for your prayers, and I ask all of us to put our prayers into practice. In whatever ways are given to each of us, let us work for a more just and peaceful society — in the name of God.
O Lord our Governor … teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-bent of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 822)