News & Messages

Message on the Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict from Bishop Jeff Lee

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Dear Friends,

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.

In Christ,

+Jeff

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)

Posted by Bishop Jeff Lee

Ten Resources for Advent 2021

  1. TryTank and the monks of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist are producing a new resource aimed particularly at smaller congregations. That said, any congregation can use it and we have also paired it with an adult forum curriculum. From Christ the King Sunday to Christmas Day, they have six sermons each about 12 minutes long. They are based on the Sunday lectionary. The sermons will be available on the web and can be played as a sermon during the service. Find more information here
  2. This Advent season Living Compass is offering a daily email devotional, Living Well Through Advent 2021: Practicing Patience With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind. The devotional includes reflections from Robbin Brent, Steven Charleston, Jan Kwiatkowski, Jason Lavann, Amy Sander Montanez, Lisa Senuta, and Scott Stoner. The emails will begin on Sunday, November 28, 2021. You can sign up to receive the devotions on their website: Living Well Through Advent — Living Compass (scroll down to where it says “enroll to receive each day’s reading via a daily email”).
  3. Advent Unbound: A Companion to Pádraig Ó Tuama’s “Poetry Unbound” | In this Advent devotional, we let scripture and “Poetry Unbound” (a podcast from the Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama) be our guides, together pointing us toward weekly practices that can help deepen and enrich our experience of the season – a perfect way to prepare for the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christmas day.
  4. Close to Home from A Sanctified Art | This daily devotional follows the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C) through Epiphany. Each day offers something new: commentary, poetry, visual art, hymns, journaling, and Sabbath prompts. As you walk through these prompts and readings day by day, may you be comforted by the One who dwells intimately with us.  
  5. Advent Calendar Templates 2021 | Praying in Color Using an Advent calendar is my favorite way to pay attention and pray during the four weeks of Advent. Unlike the store-bought versions, my calendars have no doors, just blank spaces for the days of Advent. Each day I fill one space with a prayer or meditation– in words, doodles, and color. The daily practice of drawing on the calendar gives me a creative and simple way to immerse myself in the Advent experience and to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The accumulation of daily doodlings forms a colorful tapestry and a record of my spiritual journey for the weeks leading up to Christmas. This practice feels prayerful and playful. No artistic skill is necessary! 
  6. Journeying the Way of Love Advent Calendar 2021 is free from The Episcopal Church via download. It is particularly good for older children, teens, and adults. There are prompts for reflection and potentially discussion together. Examples include setting a timer for three minutes and repeating the prayer “Here I am, God” until the time is up; taking a different route to work, school, or play and noticing what you encounter differently; and considering what part of gathering for worship fills your heart with hope. This pairs well with other Way of Love resources like the Advent Curriculum here and is available in English, Spanish, and French.
  7. Family activity: How to make and use an Advent wreath!
  8. In the Advent Toolkit from Episcopal Relief and Development, there are DIY projects for families and communities that will take you from Advent to Christmas and through Epiphany. You will find DIY wreath ideas with prayers and reflections, DIY creche ideas, and information about St. Nicholas.
  9. For the eighth year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online advent calendar. Forward Movement, the new home of AdventWord, will offer 28 daily meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday, November 28. Gathering a worldwide community, #AdventWord provides a daily meditation, visual image, and invites your personal reflections via social media to share your own Advent journey. 
  10. Advent Music | From the Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary, “Waiting with Expectation and Hope: A Spotify Advent Playlist.”

Episcopal Dioceses Hold Initial Trialogue

Leaders from the Episcopal dioceses of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire have unanimously agreed to pursue reunion. This idea has been talked about since the 1970s. It was agreed that now is the time to explore the option. A reunion would incorporate the three dioceses back to the one from which they were formed. Other paths could be followed, but pursuing reunion first provides clarity of purpose. It is understood doing so now is following opportunity rather than responding to necessity.

This agreement was made during the initial trialogue meeting on September 29, 2021. The trialogue explores how the three Wisconsin dioceses might work together to serve the mission of the Episcopal Church. Conversation focused on congregations, specifically how the diocese might better equip them to share the Gospel and serve Christ in their communities. There was enthusiastic discussion seeking new ideas and dreams of what could be developed for the 21st century and beyond. One participant noted, “whether we want change or not, change is upon us.”

Pursuing reunion will involve a variety of voices to develop a common understanding. The focus is first on describing the ministry, then imagining how to form it in the shape of one diocese. The initial leadership group, selected by each diocesan Executive Council, is planning a second meeting with an outside advisor. Together they will seek the best way to engage lay and ordained members of each diocese in conversation.

The initial trialogue participants are the Rev. Canon Kathleen Charles, Tim Donahue, the Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter, the Rev. Canon Aaron Zook (Diocese of Eau Claire), the Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter, Matthew Payne, Pat Pfeifer, the Rev. Canon Wilson Roane (Diocese of Fond du Lac), The Rev. Canon Scott Leannah, the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee, the Rev. Jana Troutman-Miller, John Vogel (Diocese of Milwaukee).

The prayers of the Church and its members are asked to support this process.

Media Contact: Matthew P. Payne, , (920) 830-8866.

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