News & Messages

Clergy Canoe Adventure!

Our first-ever clergy Boundary Waters canoe trip is in the history books. It was a great experience.
On Monday, June 13, six of us drove to Tofte, Minnesota, on the shores of Lake Superior. When we reached Highway 2, we went inland for about 30 minutes on a road that was mostly gravel until we reached Sawbill Outfitters. The good folks at Sawbill provided the gear, canoes and food we would need for the week. Early on Tuesday morning, we were driven, with all our gear, to an entry point into the Boundary Waters at Homer Lake. For the next four days and nights, we would paddle around 27 miles and do 14 portages as we made our way south back to the outfitters on the Sawbill Lake. We came out of the wilderness on Saturday morning, June 18, and were back home that evening.

The intrepid canoers paddled along the highlighted route.

What we came home with: awe and deep appreciation for the rugged beauty of the Boundary Waters, a sense of having done something challenging together, memories of shared prayer (Morning Prayer and Eucharist), gratitude for having gotten to know one another more deeply, several insect bites (Fr. Kevin Carroll noted, "[we] battled mosquitoes of biblical proportions!") and a few bruises, a bit of soreness from the hard work of outdoor living, portaging and paddling, an appreciation for wildlife (highlights include three moose, many loons and bald eagles and much more), a renewed sense of gratitude for much in our lives that we can take for granted, and a deep appreciation for the people God has put into our lives.
As I reflect on this shared journey, the word that sums it up for me is gratitude. Of course, there were challenges; there were several, but that's part of the beauty of this kind of wilderness experience. I am grateful for my companions on the journey: Dave Mowers, Don Fleischman, Kevin Carroll, George Arceneaux, and Geoff Ward.
God's peace to you!
The Rev. Canon Scott Leannah
Canon for Ministries

Good Shepherd, Sun Prairie Community Garden Opens Its Fifth Season

The Community Garden on the property of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Sun Prairie consists of eighteen tall, raised wooden beds that provide space for community members to grow vegetables and flowers for personal and family use. The church also maintains a “donation bed” designed to produce food for the Sunshine Place Emergency Food Pantry. The donation bed and individual gardeners’ donations provided over 141 pounds of produce to the pantry this past year.

The first phase of the community garden was started in 2017 using a diocesan Ministry Grant with a goal of “strengthening the congregation’s identity and purpose” by helping Good Shepherd to turn outward and place a focus on how the church could be of be of benefit to the neighborhood and community”. The gardens were expanded in 2019, were listed in a local and national community garden registry in 2020, and the vestry approved joining The Episcopal Church’s “Good News Gardens” Evangelism and Creation Care Ministry in 2021. The Gardens are currently also listed on The Episcopal Church Good News Gardens website.

At a time when there is a nationwide resurgence of interest in food gardening and a local movement toward teaching and learning more about growing food as a way of addressing social disparities and inclusion, the garden now has a waiting list! The raised beds with wide mulched paths between allow accessibility for individuals with mobility issues.

More gardeners have expressed a desire for social gatherings and gardening, cooking, and food preservation classes. Initially, attendance at such events was limited as we learned our community gardeners were too busy working, or reluctant to attend for fear of being evangelized. Our recent Blessing of the Gardens was held between Sunday church services. Our social activities are planned to accommodate work schedules and evening hours when the gardens are most welcoming.

For information, contact:
 Amy Dunlop GSEC CG coordinator at   
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Community Garden

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