News & Messages

Christmas Message from Bishop Lee

Christmas 2021

"The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." John 1:5
In our part of the world, Christmas is celebrated at the darkest, coldest time of the year. We celebrate the Light of Christ coming into this world — Emmanuel, God With Us — just when our physical surroundings are bleakest. This year, like last year, the bleakness might seem even more acute. Although there has been progress, the pandemic we thought, hoped, and prayed might be over is decidedly not. The unrest of the world seems as intractable as ever. Injustices flourish, violence plagues us, the earth itself is in turmoil. And still, we proclaim:
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it!
I ask you to join me in making this proclamation our way of life. Let us make it real. The darkness of the world is our opportunity to shine brighter than ever. Every act of hope and love, every decision to care for one another, every kindness and act of generosity, every work of justice, every prayer of thanksgiving — they are all proclamations of the truth at the heart of the Christian life:
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it!
In particular, I encourage every congregation in this diocese to refresh its commitment to the most careful practices we have adopted to keep one another safe. I have been informed by some congregations about their decision to suspend in-person worship at this time in the face of the Omicron surge, a decision I wholeheartedly support. For all of us, let us recommit ourselves to being fully vaccinated as appropriate, to wear masks and practice social distancing if and whenever we gather, to pay very close attention to matters of ventilation and spacing, and to provide virtual worship opportunities whenever possible.
Psalm 139 addresses God like this, "Darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day." This Christmas, let us rejoice that the Light of Christ shines in every darkness and that we live and move have our being in such a light. God is with us.
A holy Christmas to you all.

The Rt. Rev. Jeff Lee
Bishop Provisional of Milwaukee

Livestream Options for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Looking for options to watch Christmas Services remotely? A number of our diocesan parishes are offering worship opportunities via livestream. Here are a few of the choices: 

St. Christopher’s, River Hills will be streaming services on Christmas Eve. The 4 pm service will be a Children’s Pageant and Eucharist featuring brass, cantor, the Sunday School kids, along with a live donkey and sheep. You may watch the livestream on its YouTube channel: or

St. Simon the Fisherman, Port Washington will live stream two Christmas services from its Facebook page (, one at 4:30 pm on Christmas Eve and the second at 9 am on Christmas morning. 

Christ Church, Whitefish Bay will livestream services at 4 pm and 9:30 pm from its YouTube channel:

St. Andrew’s, Madison will livestream a Choral Eucharist on Christmas Eve at 9 pm (Christmas carol singing begins at 8:40 pm) and a Eucharist on Christmas Day at 9 am on its YouTube channel:

Grace, Madison will livestream two services on Christmas Eve to its YouTube channel:, You may view the 4 pm Children’s service and the 10 pm Eucharist (Candlelight Carols starts at 9:30 pm).

St. Boniface, Mequon will offer its 4 pm Christmas Eve service via livestream on its YouTube channel:

Good Shepherd, Sun Prairie
Por favor venga! Servicio de Nochebuena
Please come! Christmas Eve Service
4 pm 24 de diciembre/December 24
Iglesia Episcopal El Buen Pastor/Good Shepherd 
Servicio bilingue/Bilingual Service
Facebook Live:

Trialogue Plans for Participation

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When the Diocese of Wisconsin was formed in 1847, Bishop Jackson Kemper lived out the missionary spirit of the Church. He did so while working in a field rife with possibility and being God’s witness “in the wilderness.”

There is a type of wilderness today, and not one of geography. The world has changed, but will the church in this place? Can we form ourselves to be relevant? Can we use the resources God has provided to support the work of the Episcopal Church through local congregations?

The three Episcopal dioceses determined to pursue reunion as one diocese in Wisconsin to come together with a blank slate to create a new culture. Leaders from the Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire met in December to continue talks about reunification – to dream about what God wants us to do and take the steps to do it. This second meeting looked at ways to best involve people in the trialogue so we can begin to crystallize a direction and some action.

Delegates from each diocesan convention had provided thoughts, comments, and responses to the idea of reunion. There were a lot of questions about things we don’t yet know. Many comments reflected a general desire to move towards a combined diocese. The responses noted the potential of one diocese to equip churches to better share the Gospel. But there is a lack of clarity evident as to what that means. The trialogue has just started, so this was to be expected. The need for information is great to generate specific ideas or proposals as well as to have more informed questions and discussion.

Reflecting on many responses, the leaders at this second meeting recognized the pursuit will not be easy and is to be undergirded by prayer. Seeking to come together and do things in a different way will be a challenge in a variety of ways.

The purpose of the trialogue is to enable members of the three Episcopal dioceses in Wisconsin to explore how reunification into one diocese can better equip us to be the church God is calling us to be in these times. Work is beginning to shape how we can get to know each other better. There will be opportunities to learn more about each diocese and its people. These will help in building relationships and informing the discussion. As with any change, there will be more questions than answers to start.

The leaders, who were selected by each diocesan governing body, serve as the trialogue Steering Committee going forward. Its purpose is to take collaborative action to build connections and relationships exploring reunification.

The Steering Committee will establish task forces to examine various components of trialogue. These are Prayer; Parish and Regional Engagement; Culture; Location, Place, and Staffing; Finances; Constitution and Canons; and Communication. Members of each diocese with experience, knowledge, or passion in each area are being called to participate. These task forces will establish ways to involve more voices as ideas and proposals are developed. This may involve in-person connections as well as technological ones.

Communication will be essential. To involve over 10,000 persons is an immense task. An interactive website as centralized source of information is being designed. There will be ways to interact with others, provide answers to frequently asked questions, and share your thoughts and ideas with the task forces. Stay tuned to diocesan communication channels to learn ways to be a part to better equip us to be the church God is calling us to be in these times.

The trialogue Steering Committee members 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).

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