News & Messages

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

The Rev. Kevin Stewart Given Excellence in Education Award

Congratulations to the Rev. Kevin Stewart, diocesan missioner for community engagement, who was awarded the Excellence in Education Award from the Milwaukee Public Schools last night.

Here is what they had to say about Deacon Kevin Stewart:

Each month, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors recognizes an outstanding school, student, staff member, parent, or community member for a display of excellence, achievement, and innovation that may serve as an example to our school district and the entire Milwaukee community.



This month, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors is pleased to present the “Excellence in Education Award” to:

The Reverend Kevin Stewart

At all times, Reverend Kevin Stewart strives for justice and peace for all people and for the dignity and respect of every human being. He stands for those without standing; the poor, weak, sick, and lonely. He especially stands with and serves all who are in danger, in sorrow or in any kind of trouble.

The Reverend Kevin Stewart was ordained in the Episcopal Church on June 2, 2007, and has an extensive professional background in the non-profit sector.

Pastor Stewart is an individual that the students and staff of MPS count on in a variety of areas. He regularly provides support and comfort to the district and schools in times of need, such as when members of the MPS family have passed on. He is a regular and enthusiastic supporter of the district’s yearly Health & Hygiene Drive. Pastor Stewart has helped plan and participated in team-building, solutions-based discussion, mindful moments, impromptu conversations and more at Central Services and the MPS School Support Center.

The following are some comments that MPS staff shared to describe Pastor Stewart’s impact on improving district and school culture:

  • Pastor Stewart is non-judgmental, which clearly shows in his solution-focused conversations.
  • He is genuinely kind and empathetic.
  • He listens instead of focusing on formulating a response.
  • The time he spends in our building either for a planned mindful moment or an impromptu conversation, are genuine and time he spends with us freely.
  • He is neutral and provides ideas and feedback that are thoughtful and child-centered.
  • Kevin has been very open to supporting staff and students by offering his time and resources.
  • He brings a calm that is needed in our building.
  • Reverend Stewart fits right in with us.
  • He has positively changed the climate at our building.

Ramon Evans, Principal of Lincoln Center of the Arts, shared the following about the support Pastor Stewart has provided at Lincoln Center:

Pastor Stewart, or Pastor Kevin as we affectionately refer to him, has made a huge impact at Lincoln Center of the Arts for all stakeholders. As he calls it, "Collar up!" When students and staff see him in the school, it brings a smile to our faces. He speaks to and inspires staff. Pastor Kevin has worked extremely hard to assist our school community with developing important partnerships, including one with several Episcopal churches in our area. We have had several meetings with the pastor of St. Paul's church to partner for our Spring concert to purchase fans for every classroom. As we know it gets very hot in schools in May, August and in some cases September. Pastor Kevin even serves on our School Engagement Council.

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors recognize and honor the Reverend Kevin Stewart, for his dedication, outstanding leadership, and commitment to excellence on behalf of the students of the Milwaukee Public Schools and the MPS community.

Congratulations to Deacon Kevin Stewart!

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