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An Afternoon Making Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Whenever I have a long meeting, I always need to be doing something with my hands. With work things, that usually means I’m taking minutes or notes, but with non-work meetings, I’m often knitting socks. I find when I’m just listening to a speaker that it’s tough to keep my attention on them. I also find it difficult to keep my attention going when I’m trying to meditate on something or when I’m praying. I end up making to-do lists. When I have a small task to do with my hands, my ability to concentrate on the speaker or prayer intention is much improved.

A couple of weeks ago, there was an article in the Episcopal News Service about a group of Episcopalians in Indiana learning the art of pysanky as a means of hands-on prayer for Ukrainians. This sparked my interest immediately. I have been holding the people of Ukraine in prayer and want to continue to do so. Also, I had tried creating Ukrainian Easter eggs before and still had the wax and special stylus (called a kitska) in my attic. I just needed some new dyes.

Last weekend I set everything up, mixed the new dyes, and invited a couple of my neighbors over to make them with me. The kit that I have shows you step-by-step how to do some of the designs. You put some beeswax in the stylus and heat it over a candle. Then you use the stylus to apply wax to the eggs. We learned quickly that it’s not easy to draw straight lines on an egg. We drew the first images on the eggs, then dipped them into a light-colored dye. Then we applied the next stage of the design and dipped the egg into a slightly darker dye. You keep repeating the process until you complete the design. It’s a craft that takes some practice to get the wax to go where you intend it to go. Most of the designs you put on the egg symbolize something different. For example, a deer means prosperity, a circle or continuous line around the egg symbolizes eternity, a triangle means the Trinity, and a fish symbolizes Christ.

When you finish dyeing the eggs, you heat them to melt the wax and then you wipe off the wax. The beeswax I have gets black from soot after holding the stylus over a candle, so the image is quite hard to see before you melt off the wax. That also means that it’s quite something to wipe away the wax and see the brightly colored symbols come to life.

After my neighbors left, I spent some time alone making a couple more pysanky while praying for peace in Ukraine, for the people who are fleeing Ukraine, and for those who are responding with help to the crisis. It might be a couple of weeks early to be making Easter eggs, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sara Bitner
Communications Officer

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Posted by Sara Bitner

Resources for Lent 2022

Resources for Lent 2022

  1. "In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). This Lent, the United Thank Offering is offering a 40-day Lenten gratitude journal. Each week we ’ll look at an area of your life and world and take time to notice all the ways that god shows up through the people or places you encounter.
  2. The United Thank Offering has also created a guide for at-home Lenten practices for children. While children clearly can grasp right from wrong, the idea of repentance can be challenging. One of the things that we can help children focus on is noticing the good things that happen and seeing God amid our daily lives. Lenten Gratitude Practices for Children and Families: UTO and Growing Gratefulness offers lessons about gratitude, discussion questions and crafts to do at home.
  3. This Lenten season Living Compass is offering a daily email devotional, Living Well Through Lent 2022: Letting Go With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind. "Lent is a time for introspection and self-reflection, a time to reflect on the core of what it means to live a Christian life in the midst of great change and uncertainty. When facing change and uncertainty, few practices are more central to that life than letting go so that we are freer to receive the gifts God has to offer us" (Scott Stoner). The emails will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022. You can sign up to receive the devotions on their website:
  4. Preparing to Become the Beloved Community: Organized around the four sections of the Becoming Beloved Community labyrinth (telling the truth, repairing the breach, practicing the way, proclaiming the dream), this Lent curriculum can help your small group or congregation to engage in racial reconciliation and reflect on Jesus’ coming among us. 
  5. For Creation Care: Climate Church, Climate World is a compelling book to engage people and congregations in the imperative of why churches need to lead on climate care. The Rev. Jim Antal has devoted his ministry to this challenge and opportunity to learn why, how, and where we can make a difference in caring for our earthly home. The book has nine chapters with discussion questions at the end of each. It’s an effective tool for getting people engaged in the movement of climate justice and climate care.
  6. From Episcopal Migration Ministries: Join us for the Lenten Virtual Borderlands Experience series, staring March 10 and continuing on Thursday evenings, at 6 pm CT. This is an opportunity to participate in a Lenten journey that brings you face to face with the injustices experienced by individuals and families who are seeking refuge as they attempt to enter the US with hope for a better life. Our presenters include individuals involved in immigration ministry and advocacy, as well as the immigrants themselves who have personally experienced the impact and trauma of our national immigration policies. Free registration here:
  7. Zion, Oconomowoc has two offerings available that are open to anyone in the diocese. The Anglican Rosary for Lent is offered Monday through Friday, at 8 a.m. To join the prayer: For prayer sheet handouts: Secondly, you are welcome to participate in the Online Stations of the Cross on Fridays at noon. To join online: For a copy of the handouts:


Posted by Sara Bitner

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:

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