Convention Reports

2023 Plan for Ministry

The Draft 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted by the 133rd Annual Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri on November 5, 2022.

Para leer las Plan para el Ministerio en español, por favor haga clic aquí.

2023-Plan-for-Ministry-Adopted-11-05-2022

You can also read and download the draft 2023 Plan for Ministry here.

Español

2023-Plan-for-Ministry-Spanish-Adopted-11-05-2022

Puede descargar e imprimir una copia de esta Plan para el Ministerio desde aquí

The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce’s address to the 2022 Annual Convention

Click on the image above to watch the video. You can also watch the video on YouTube.

Convention Address 2022 — the Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce

Recalling our roots to grow anew – that is the theme of this year’s convention and indeed this theme will continue into the coming year. Recalling our roots to grow anew. I thought and prayed about this as I visited every congregation – all 48 – yes, including Maryville — in my first few months here with you in the Diocese of West Missouri.

The Convention planning team, which started planning for this convention back in January, came up with the theme for this convention. Indeed, the planning team has been a great group of people from throughout the diocese to work with on this convention. I am grateful for their work and for their deep love and care for this Diocese.

I keep on thinking about this theme and the words of Bishop Tuttle which I have shared often with you –

“Yours is a glorious Missionary field. Talk Missions, work Missions, love Missions from the very start. All around the horizon, there is Missionary work for you, and that, too, of a most promising kind . … Kansas City, St. Joseph, Springfield, Sedalia, Carthage, ye that are strong, I beg you uphold the weak. I beseech you as for your life, stand by the Missionary work. … Here and now, you are to give tone to your Diocese. You are to start the making of its future history. Be prudent, prayerful, earnest, kindly, unselfish, generous.”

I thought often about Bishop’s Tuttle’s words as I traveled around the diocese – I heard, especially early on when I would visit a congregation during the week, “Bishop why are you here? Are you here to close us?” No, I’m not here to close any church, because if we close any more churches we lose the Episcopal foot print in that area – That would be a shame as our voices as Episcopalians are a much needed balm in the Western part of the State of Missouri.

I learned many things in my diocesan travels.

I learned that there are many silos that had been erected here in this diocese – silos that limited communication and stifled creative, collaborative mission and ministry.

I learned that there is distrust – not only between congregations and the bishop, but between the clergy and the bishop, and the clergy and each other.

I learned that there has been a lack of direct communication around issues and with people.

I learned that the diocese is too often reactive as opposed to being proactive.

These issues aren’t new, but they are issues which need to be addressed so that the diocese will be able to start a search process to discern and elect the best person to be your next bishop for this gem of a diocese. And it IS a gem of a diocese.

Some other areas that I discovered and turned my attention to were:

  • Doing away with ordinations at convention and confirmation at deanery services.
  • Inviting Diocesan Council to move to the use of the consent agenda which frees the council to have more robust conversations around issues that matter. We also moved to meeting monthly which provides more time to be proactive in the work coming before the council. This also has meant that, as there is time to discuss issues, items coming before council which may have been “rubber stamped” in the past are no longer treated that way. One good example was council going line by line through the budget, asking for more narrative, and questioning openly what is in there. This was our first step in a process to overhaul the budget which I will speak to in a bit.
  • We hired the Rev. Chas Marks as our quarter-time transitions missioner – we changed the focus there to start working with a congregation the moment the rector or priest in charge announces they are leaving – this is helping to speed up the transition process so that congregations don’t have long lapses between clergy leadership.
  • You will see in the budget that we’ve asked for Fr. Chas to be moved up to half-time on diocesan payroll to help me with congregational development – so much of the work of transitions overlaps with congregational development.
  • A subset of the work on transitions was the establishment of the diocesan leave taking policy which is a standard policy used across many dioceses in the Episcopal Church and in other denominations as well. This gives the clergy person who is leaving and the congregation a clear road map of duties and expectations and helps with the emotions around a clergy person leaving, and ensures, when it is followed, a smooth entry for the clergy person coming into the position. This was a natural outcome of revising how we work on transitions in the diocese.
  • Fr. Charles Everson joined the staff as quarter-time missioner for vocations. Again, we are trying to streamline the process of vocations and increase communication among candidates and seminarians and the diocese. We continue to work in this area as we move people “already in the pipeline” forward while moving to standardize the ordination process so that it is easy to understand all requirements, and dates and expectations are clear and published well in advance.
  • Just as planning for convention started much earlier for this convention than in years past, we are moving to do the same with the budgeting process. Indeed, in December we will be outlining a process by which we will strip the budget down to zero, and rebuild it based on the revised mission and vision statements. At the same time, subgroups will be formed to study compensation for clergy and laity as well as assessment calculations. Information will be brought to the people of the diocese through the New Spirit and From the Mission Field monthly so that you are all informed about this important work.
  • We came together to celebrate, learn or pray
    • Absalom Jones
    • Deanery Picnics
    • Diocesan Prayer Vigil Against Gun Violence
    • Diversity Workshops
    • Diocesan Council and Standing Committee Retreat
    • Joint Staff Retreat
    • Leadership Essentials
    • Renewal of Vows
    • Stewardship Workshop
    • Women’s Retreat
  • We started, revitalized or continued committees in the diocese:
    • Campus Ministry Committee
    • Differently Abled Committee
    • Formation Committee
    • LGBTQ+ Committee
    • Peace & Justice Committee
    • Property Committee
    • Stewardship Committee
    • The Union of Black Episcopalians
    • Worship & Liturgy Committee
    • Youth Committee
  • The diocesan staff, leaders of the diocese and I have spent much of our time together trying to move ourselves into looking at the diocese as whole – looking at it holistically. This is to break down the silos which have existed here. This is not always easy work. We will continue to work on open communication, transparency, and making all our work as proactive as possible.
  • My goal is to rebuild trust, restore effective, healthy communication styles, put guidelines in place where needed for our common life together, to visit all of you as often as I can, to be available to you as your Bishop Provisional, and to share the love of Christ with all of you.

I know many of you follow me on Facebook where you see every day where I am, what I am doing, and what I am praying for. This has been my daily habit for years. I also love taking photos of all of you, the beautiful churches here and posting them as well. And those of you who follow me very closely know I have a love/hate relationship with WORDLE, and that my beach balls at home in Irvine are a source of delight and sometimes frustration for me.

This is to all to say, while I have been working very hard and very fast this year to put you all on the right track to be able to elect your next bishop, I am also taking the needed time to relax and spend time with my family.

I have to share with you that I have been so charmed by visiting you all in every congregation and what I have encountered traveling through West Missouri –

My highlights:

  • The first time I saw a SHARE THE ROAD sign with an Amish buggy on it was so thrilled! I was even more thrilled when I saw my first Amish buggy on the highway!
  • My encounter with the outhouse at St. Oswald’s in the Fields has been my favorite story to share with family and friends. I can’t help but smile every time I think about it.
  • The genuine, warm hospitality of the people of The Diocese of West Missouri has been a balm for my own soul as I gather with you all.
  • A truth I love to tell – driving in Missouri is the best driving experience I have ever had. When I hear “oh, Bishop, Kansas City Rush Hour traffic” – I almost have to laugh. When I go home to Irvine and get on the freeway there – I miss traffic here.
  • I love Kansas City BBQ. Unfortunately, it is reflected in my latest cholesterol numbers.
  • I love experiencing the different food offerings this part of the country has – everything from Springfield Style Cashew Chicken to BBQ in MANY BBQ restaurants — I’m still waiting to taste the pork tenderloin sandwich up near St. Joseph.
  • Speaking of food, I am not a fan of deviled eggs, however whenever my husband is with me on a visitation, he is always very grateful for them.
  • I am still leery of driving at dusk or dawn when the deer are, well, active.

All this is to say that I have so enjoyed these last 11 months with all of you – and am so grateful that the Spirit brought us together.

You know, the roots that were planted here so long ago are still here – longing to be nurtured. We are getting there – but this will take time, and I think you can see we have made great progress in one year. Let us continue to come together, and work together in the months ahead, to strengthen this Diocese, focused on the words of Bishop Tuttle so that we may recall our roots to grow anew. I ask you to be prudent, prayerful, earnest, kindly, unselfish, generous – and let me add, patient.

Report — Diocesan Council/Secretary

Curtis D. Hamilton, Secretary of the Convention

It continues to be a privilege for me to serve you as the Secretary of the Diocese. I am grateful for the trust that the members of the Convention showed in electing me to this position.

In my role as Secretary of the Convention, I report that the greetings of the 2021 Convention were extended to those persons named in the Courtesy Resolutions passed by the Convention. I would also report that plans are in process for holding the Diocesan Convention. I wish to thank the members of the Diocesan Staff and the planning committee for their work in making this possible.

In my role as Secretary of the Diocesan Council, I have prepared the following summary of the actions taken by the Diocesan Council since the 2020 Convention. The minutes of Diocesan Council meetings are available at https://www.diowestmo.org/our-work/diocesan-council-minutes-and-audits.html after the Council has approved the minutes of the meeting. These summaries do not include routine items such as approving minutes of prior meetings and the receipt of reports.

In February, the Diocesan Council voted to change to a monthly meeting. Regularly scheduled meetings in even-numbered months (February, April, etc) are held in person with the ability of members to participate via Zoom. All other meetings are held with all members participating via Zoom;

Per Canon I/1/1/e of the Canons of the Episcopal Church, I report that the 80th General Convention proposed three resolutions with changes to the Consitution of the Episcopal Church. The text of the resolutions is reported below the summary of Diocesan Council resolutions below.

SUMMARY OF DIOCESAN COUNCIL ACTIONS

November 20, 2021

  • The Diocesan Council met in executive session to discuss legal and personnel matters.
  • A motion to authorize Fr. Galen Snodgrass (Diocesan Council Vice President) and Fr. Jonathan Frazier (President of the Standing Committee) to execute a Letter of Agreement with The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce and a to authorize the Chancellor’s Office to make clerical changes prior to signing was adopted.
  • A motion to make the following Changes to the 2022 Plan for Ministry was adopted:
    • Item A.1.a [Retired Bishop’s Health Insurance] decreased to $0.00
    • Item A.4.a [Bishop Travel] increased to $31,230.00
    • Item A.5.g [Covid] decreased to $112,174.00
    • Item D [Bishop Compensation (salary, benefits, and taxes)] increased to $257,742.00

December 11, 2021

  • A motion to create the position of Transition Minister was adopted.
  • An action taken by the Executive Committee to change the signature authority on diocesan accounts was ratified.
  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee to adopt a revised Diocesan Owned Policy was adopted.
  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee regarding review of the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund was adopted.
  • A motion to distribute the remaining monies in the 2021 Plan for Ministry was adopted.
  • A motion to increase the line item for Diocesan Convention expenses in the 2021 Plan for Ministry by $1,500 was adopted. (This vote was taken via email.)
  • A motion to adopt a Housing Allowance Resolution for Bp. Bruce was adopted. (This vote was taken by email.)
  • A motion to elect Fr. Jonathan Frazier to the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry Board to fill a vacancy was adopted. (This vote was taken via email.)
  • A motion to adopt Housing Allowances for diocesan staff was adopted.
  • Fr. Galen Snodgrass was elected at the Diocesan Council Vice President and Fr. Joe Pierjok was elected as at-large member of the Executive Committee.
  • The council met in executive session to discuss litigation and other matters.
  • A motion to authorize the Chancellor’s office to enter into a consent judgement in a case regarding a utility easement in Michigan state court was adotpted.

February 11-12, 2022

The Diocesan Council met in retreat with the Standing Committee. During a business session the Diocesan Council took the following actions.

  • A motion to sell the youth van owed by the diocese for the use of the Youth Ministry Department was approved.
  • A motion to authorize the sublease of the apartment leased by the diocese in Springfield to Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield, was adopted.
  • A recommendation from the Human Resources Committee to adopt the Church Pension Group (CPG) Lay Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (403(b)) for diocesan staff and to keep the current Lay Defined Benefit plan for current participations was adopted.

March 22, 2022

No non-routine actions taken.

April 9, 2022

  • A motion to increase the 2022 Plan for Ministry line item for Diocesan Convention to $12,350.00 was adopted.
  • A resolution congratulating the Rev. Jos Tharakan on his election as the 14th bishop of Idaho was adopted.

May 14, 2022

  • A motion to approve a loan from the COVID relief fund to St. Mary Magdalene’s, Belton, was approved.

June 11, 2022

  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee to approve $5,000.00 from the General Fund to cover the expenses of the three deaneries to host deanery picnics was adopted.
  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee to approve a five-year lease with SumnerOne for a copier of the diocesan office was adopted.

July—no meeting was held

August 13, 2022

  • A motion to change the signature authority on diocesan accounts was adopted.
  • A motion to provide a line of credit from the Expansion Fund to Shepherd of the Hills, Branson, for HVAC system and gutter repairs was approved.
  • A motion to direct the Finance Committee to create and propose a new assessment formula was adopted.
  • A draft of the 2023 Plan for Ministry was reviewed and adjustments were made.
  • A motion to adjust the interest rate on a current loan to Nourish KC to zero percent (0%) was adopted.
  • A motion to commit to providing $10,000 each year for three years in support of a grant request for the Vitality Improvement Program was adopted.
  • An Executive Committee action to authorize funds to repair air conditioning at St. Nicholas, Noel was ratified.

September 10, 2022

  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee that a grant from the Congregational Development fund for a sign to be installed outside of the church was adopted.
  • The motion to adopt the following Mission and Vision statements was adopted.
    • Mission: To be the hands and feet of Christ in West Missouri by proclaiming the Good News, serving others, and promoting justice, peace, and love.
    • Vision: To become a just, peaceful, & loving community built on our shared love of God and one another.
  • A motion to approve a document entitled Directive regarding Clergy leave-taking” was adopted.
  • A motion to adopt the Deanery Edition of the 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted

October 8. 2022

  • A recommendation from the Human Resources committee to update the Diocesan Minimum Clergy Compensation amounts for 2023 was not adopted
  • A motion to include a 5% cost of living increase for diocesan personnel in the 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted.
  • A motion to move monies saved during the COVID crisis to the Expansion Fund was approved.
  • A recommendation from the Human Resources committee to update available health plans for 2023 was adopted.
  • A motion to designate 100% of the Convention Eucharist offering to local ministries to be determined by the Bishop in consultation with the regional deans was approved.
  • A recommendation from the Assessment Review Committee to reduce the 2022 assessment of St. Mary Magdalene, Belton, by $15,355.00 and St. Anne’s, Lee’s Summit, by $4,827.00 was adopted.

October 17, 2022

  • A motion to adopt the Convention Edition of the 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted.
  • A request from St. Anne’s, Lee’s Summit for a line of credit from the expansion fund for solar panel installation was not adopted.

80TH GENERAL CONVENTION RESOLUTIONS PROPOSING CHANGES TO THE CONSITUTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Resolution A031– Amend the Constitution and Canons Relating to Mergers of Dioceses

ResolvedThat the 80th General Convention amend Article V, Section 4 of the Constitution to read as follows:

<Amended text as it would appear if adopted and concurred. Scroll below the line of asterisks (******) to see the version showing all deleted and added text.>

Art.V

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese is formed and erected out of an existing Diocese or out of two or more existing Dioceses or parts of them, the formation process of the newly formed Diocese, including the adoption of its Constitution and Canons, shall be as set forth in the Canons.

******

<Proposed amended resolution text showing exact changes being made:>

Resolved, That the 80th General Convention amend Article V, Section 4 of the Constitution to read as follows:

Art.V

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese is formed and erected out of an existing Diocese or out of two or more existing Dioceses or parts of themit shall be subject to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese out of which it was formed, except as local circumstances may prevent, until the same be altered in accordance with such Constitution and Canons by the Convention of the new Diocese the formation process of the newly formed Diocese, including the adoption of its Constitution and Canons, shall be as set forth in the Canons.

Whenever a Diocese is formed out of two or more existing Dioceses, it shall be subject to the Constitution and Canons of that one of the said existing Dioceses to which the greater number of Members of the Clergy shall have belonged prior to the erection of such new Diocese, except as local circumstances may prevent, until the same be altered in accordance with such Constitution and Canons by the Convention of the new Diocese.

And be it further

ResolvedThat Canon I.10 be amended to read as follows and voted on at the 81st General Convention:

<Amended text as it would appear if adopted and concurred. Scroll below the line of asterisks (******) to see the version showing all deleted and added text.>

Can.I.10

Sec. 1. Whenever a new Diocese is proposed to be formed within the limits of any Diocese, or by the junction of two or more Dioceses, or parts of two or more Dioceses, the Ecclesiastical Authorities and the Standing Committees of the Dioceses involved in the proposed new diocese shall submit for approval to the Conventions of each Diocese involved a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. Upon approval by the Conventions of each of the involved Dioceses, the joint agreement of union shall be submitted for ratification by the General Convention no less than ninety days prior to the first legislative day of the next meeting of the General Convention.

Sec. 2. Promptly after ratification by the General Convention, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the new Diocese, as set forth in the joint agreement of union, shall call the first Convention of the new Diocese, for the purpose of enabling it to organize, and shall fix the time and place of holding the same, such place being within the territorial limits of the new Diocese.

Sec. 3. Whenever one Diocese is about to be divided into two Dioceses, the Convention of such Diocese shall declare which portion or portions thereof are to be in the new Diocese, and shall make the same known to the General Convention before the ratification of such division.

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese shall have organized in first Convention in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Canons in such case made and provided, and in the manner prescribed in the previous Sections of this Canon, and shall have chosen a name and acceded to the Constitution of the General Convention in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, and shall have laid before the Executive Council certified copies of the Constitution adopted at its first Convention, and the proceedings preparatory to the formation of the proposed new Diocese, such new Diocese shall thereupon be admitted into union with the General Convention.

Sec. 5. In the event of the erection of an Area Mission into a Diocese of this Church, as provided in Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Convocation of the Area Mission shall be entitled to elect Deputies to the succeeding General Convention, and also to elect a Bishop. The jurisdiction previously assigned to the Bishop in the Area Mission shall be terminated upon the admission of the new Diocese.

Sec. 6. When a Diocese and one or more other Dioceses that were formed either by division therefrom or by erection into a Diocese or a Missionary Diocese formed by division therefrom, shall desire to be reunited into one Diocese, the proposed reunion must be initiated by the approval of the Conventions of the involved Dioceses of a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. If the agreement of the Dioceses is made and the consents of their Conventions are given more than three months before the next meeting of the General Convention, the fact of the agreement and consents shall be certified by the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Secretary of the Convention of each involved Diocese to all the Bishops of the Church having jurisdiction and to the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses; and when the consents of a majority of such Bishops and of a majority of the Standing Committees to the proposed reunion shall have been received, the facts shall be similarly certified to the Secretary of the House of Deputies of the General Convention, and thereupon the reunion shall be considered complete. But if the agreement is made and the consents given within three months of the next meeting of the General Convention, the facts shall be certified instead to the Secretary of the House of Deputies, who shall lay them before the two Houses; and the reunion shall be deemed to be complete when it shall have been approved by a majority vote in the House of Bishops, and in the House of Deputies.

Sec. 7. When the union of two or more Dioceses or portions of Dioceses or the reunion of the two or more Dioceses shall have been completed, the facts shall be certified to the Presiding Bishop and to the Secretary of the House of Deputies. Thereupon the Presiding Bishop shall notify the Secretary of the House of Bishops of any alteration in the status or style of the Bishop or Bishops concerned, and the Secretary of the House of Deputies shall strike the name of any Diocese that will cease to exist or is being renamed from the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention and, if appropriate, amend the name of the newly united Diocese on the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention.

******

<Proposed amended resolution text showing exact changes being made:>

Can.I.10

Sec. 1. Whenever a new Diocese is proposed to be formed within the limits of any Diocese, or by the junction of two or more Dioceses, or parts of two or more Dioceses, the Ecclesiastical Authorities and the Standing Committees of the Dioceses involved in the proposed new diocese shall submit for approval to the Conventions of each Diocese involved a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. Upon approval by the Conventions of each of the involved Dioceses, the joint agreement of union shall be submitted for ratification by the General Convention no less than ninety days prior to the first legislative day of the next meeting of the General Convention.

Sec. 2. Promptly after ratification by the General Convention, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the new Diocese, as set forth in the joint agreement of union, shall call the Primary first Convention of the new Diocese, for the purpose of enabling it to organize, and shall fix the time and place of holding the same, such place being within the territorial limits of the new Diocese.

Sec. 3. Whenever one Diocese is about to be divided into two Dioceses, the Convention of such Diocese shall declare which portion or portions thereof are is to be in the new Diocese, and shall make the same known to the General Convention before the ratification of such division.

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese shall have organized in first Primary Convention in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Canons in such case made and provided, and in the manner prescribed in the previous Sections of this Canon, and shall have chosen a name and acceded to the Constitution of the General Convention in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, and shall have laid before the Executive Council certified copies of the Constitution adopted at its first Primary Convention, and the proceedings preparatory to the formation of the proposed new Diocese, such new Diocese shall thereupon be admitted into union with the General Convention.

Sec. 5. In the event of the erection of an Area Mission into a Diocese of this Church, as provided in Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Convocation of the Area Mission shall be entitled to elect Deputies to the succeeding General Convention, and also to elect a Bishop. The jurisdiction previously assigned to the Bishop in the Area Mission shall be terminated upon the admission of the new Diocese.

Sec. 6. When a Diocese and one or more other Dioceses that were formed either by division therefrom or by erection into a Diocese or a Missionary Diocese formed by division therefrom, shall desire to be reunited into one Diocese, the proposed reunion must be initiated by the approval of the Conventions of the involved Dioceses of a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. If the agreement of the Dioceses is made and the consents of their Conventions are given more than three months before the next meeting of the General Convention, the fact of the agreement and consents shall be certified by the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Secretary of the Convention of each involved Diocese to all the Bishops of the Church having jurisdiction and to the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses; and when the consents of a majority of such Bishops and of a majority of the Standing Committees to the proposed reunion shall have been received, the facts shall be similarly certified to the Secretary of the House of Deputies of the General Convention, and thereupon the reunion shall be considered complete. But if the agreement is made and the consents given within three months of the next meeting of the General Convention, the facts shall be certified instead to the Secretary of the House of Deputies, who shall lay them before the two Houses; and the reunion shall be deemed to be complete when it shall have been approved by a majority vote in the House of Bishops, and in the House of Deputies.

Sec. 7. When the union of two or more Dioceses or portions of Dioceses or the reunion of the two or more Dioceses shall have been completed, the facts shall be certified to the Presiding Bishop and to the Secretary of the House of Deputies. Thereupon the Presiding Bishop shall notify the Secretary of the House of Bishops of any alteration in the status or style of the Bishop or Bishops concerned, and the Secretary of the House of Deputies shall strike the name of any Diocese that will cease to exist or is being renamed from the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention and, if appropriate, amend the name of the newly united Diocese on the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention.

Resolution A059– Amend Article X of the Constitution of The Episcopal Church (First Reading)

Resolved, That the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church repeal Article X in its entirety and replace it with the following:

Sec. 1. The Book of Common Prayer is understood to be those liturgical forms and other texts authorized by the General Convention in accordance with this article and the Canons of this Church.

The Book of Common Prayer in this Church is intended to be communal and devotional prayer enriched by our church’s cultural, geographical, and linguistic contexts. The Book of Common Prayer shall contain both public worship and private devotion.

The Book of Common Prayer, as now established or hereafter amended by the General Convention, shall be in use in all the Dioceses of this Church.

Sec. 2. No alteration thereof or addition thereto shall be made unless the General Convention approve the same on first reading in one regular meeting of the General Convention and, by resolve so directing, be sent by the Secretary of the General Convention to the Secretary of the Convention of every Diocese, to be made known to the Diocesan Convention at its next regular meeting, and be adopted on second reading without alteration by the General Convention at its next succeeding regular meeting by a majority of all Bishops, excluding retired Bishops not present, of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote in the House of Bishops, and by an affirmative vote by orders in the House of Deputies in accordance with Art. I, Sec. 5 of this Constitution, except that concurrence in the affirmative by the orders shall require the affirmative vote in each order by a majority of the Dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies.

Sec. 3. No alteration thereof or addition thereto shall be made unless it has previously been authorized for Trial Use in accordance with this Article and the Canons of this Church.

Sec. 4. The General Convention may at any one meeting, by a majority of the whole number of the Bishops entitled to vote in the House of Bishops, and by a majority of the Clerical and Lay Deputies of all the Dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies, voting by orders as previously set forth in this Article:

a. Amend the Table of Lessons and all Tables and Rubrics relating to the Psalms.

b. Authorize for Trial Use such alterations or additions in whole or in part to the established Book of Common Prayer as may be proposed in accord with the Canons of this Church and duly undertaken by and implemented according to the directives of the General Convention.

c. Authorize for use throughout this Church, as provided by Canon, alternative and additional liturgies to supplement those provided in the Book of Common Prayer.

Sec. 5. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as restricting the authority of the Bishops of this Church to take such order as may be permitted by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer or by the Canons of the General Convention for the use of special forms of worship.

And be it further

ResolvedThat the General Convention direct the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop to appoint a working groupof nine membersto include the Custodian of The Book of Common Prayer, some members of Committee 12 of the 80th General Convention, some members of a Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, and others as needed to review the Canons relevant to the implementation of this Article and propose revisions to the 81st General Convention. An initial framework is provided as a starting point for this work; and be it further

ResolvedThat an allocation of $30,000 be made to support the work of the working group.

A157– Amend Article I Sec. 7

Resolved, That Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution be amended to read as follows: 

 <Amended text as it would appear if adopted and concurred. Scroll below the line of asterisks (******) to see the version showing all deleted and added text.>

Sec. 7. The General Convention shall hold its regular meeting not less than once in each three years, at a time and place determined in accordance with the Canons. In the event of a change of circumstances indicating the necessity or advisability of changing the date of such regular meeting of The General Convention beyond three years, said meeting may be rescheduled as provided by Canon. Special Meetings may be held as provided for by Canon.    

******

<Proposed amended resolution text showing exact changes being made:>

Sec. 7. The General Convention shall meet hold its regular meeting not less than once in each three years, at a time and place determined in accordance with the Canons. In the event of a change of circumstances indicating the necessity or advisability of changing the date of such regular meeting of The General Convention beyond three years, said meeting may be rescheduled as provided by Canon. Special Meetings may be held as provided for by Canon.  

To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

Report — Diocesan Chancellor

Mark J. Galus, Chancellor and David T. M. Powell, Associate Chancellor

   In accordance with the custom of this Convention and Canon V of the Canons of this Diocese, it is my privilege to report on the following matters that were handled by and through the Chancellor’s Office since the 2021 Convention:

  1. Provided regular advice and counsel to the Bishop Provisional on various Diocesan matters.
  2. Attended Diocesan Council and Diocesan Council Executive Committee meetings and provided advice and counsel from time-to-time during their deliberations.
  3. Provided advice and counsel to Diocesan Officers in the course of their duties.
  4. Provided advice and counsel to Diocesan Staff in the course of their duties.
  5. Provided advice and counsel to the Diocese regarding interpretation and application of National and Diocesan Constitution & Canons.
  6. Provided advice and counsel to the Diocese regarding potential interests in litigation matters, including the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case and a Michigan state court condemnation lawsuit.
  7. Provided advice and counsel to Rectors, Wardens, Vestries, and Churches on various matters, including personnel matters, corporate organization and governance, bylaws revisions, property disputes, and the purchase and sale of property.
  8. Convened the Constitution & Canons Committee to consider wholesale revision of the Diocesan Constitution & Canons in 2023.
  9. Participated in national Chancellor’s Conference events to stay updated and informed on best practices for the Chancellor’s Office.

To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

Report — Communications

Gary Allman, Communications Director

I welcome all news and event submissions. I am available for consultation on any communications and technology-related matters and relish the opportunity to help churches promote their ministries and activities wherever I can. If you have any questions regarding communications, diocesan or church-led, please contact me.  Direct line: (816) 226-4887, email: communications@diowestmo.org    

 

Highlights & Impact

Regular Activities

  • Curating/editing/writing content for New Spirit and producing the twice-monthly New Spirit Update emailed newsletter.
  • Ongoing prayer cycle graphics production.
  • Daily Prayers are published each evening on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Instagram Story daily updates (weekdays/some weekends).
  • Ad-hoc social media monitoring and sharing.
  • Communicators/Administrators Facebook Group, ad hoc posting monitoring.

New Spirit

The New Spirit website has seen a significant growth in both views and visitors over the past twelve months.

  • 2021 (12 months): 36k views, 18k visitors, 341 Articles.
  • 2022 (9 months): 45K views, 23k visitors, 281 Articles.

Source: WordPress monthly views & visitor statistics

The twice-monthly New Spirit Update email publication schedule has been maintained throughout the past twelve months. Benchmark data provided by our bulk emailing provider, Constant Contact, shows that the performance of New Spirit Update in terms of readership and engagement is significantly higher than that achieved by other ‘Faith-Based Organizations’ mailings.

Rates:OpensClicksBounces
Faith-Based Organizations43%3%9%
New Spirit 9-04-202271%22%2%
New Spirit 09-16-202169%24%4%
Source: Constant Contacts September 2022.

Some New Spirit Update cover images from the past 12 months.

Past issues of New Spirit Update can be viewed here.

Social Media

Facebook

During 2022 Meta (Facebook) has been rolling out a series of changes to the platform that appear to have reduced the effectiveness and reach of Facebook pages. Despite this, the diocesan presence on the platform has continued to grow.

Instagram

In 2022 Meta (Facebook) made significant changes to the Instagram platform to compete with the video shorts platform TikTok. This has had an adverse effect on the reach of the diocesan Instagram account.

Note: A Facebook glitch put our reported number of followers down to zero on two days in July 2021 causing the stats graph to look a bit odd.

Twitter

Facebook, Instagram & Twitter statistics, source: Hootsuite analytics

YouTube

  • 2021 (12 months): 2.5k views. 461 hours watched.
  • 2022 (9 months): 1.4k views. 247 hours watched.

Source: YouTube analytics

Note: Actual YouTube viewing figures for 2022 are underreported due to:

  1. The reporting period being 25% shorter
  2. Several major diocesan events were streamed via church YouTube accounts and not the diocesan YouTube account.

Diocesan and church websites

Website Statistics

Main website https://diowestmo.org

  • 2021 (12 months): 39k page views.
  • 2022 (9 months): 29k page views.

New Spirit websitehttps://spirit.diowestmo.org

  • 2021 (12 Months): 36k views, 18k visitors, 341 posts.
  • 2022 (9 months): 45K views, 23k visitors, 281 posts.

Administration websitehttps://office.diowestmo.org

  • 2021 (12 months): 17K views, 5k visitors, 142 posts
  • 2022 (9 months): 15k views, 5k visitors, 106 posts

Church and ministry sites

In the past 12 months the following church and ministry websites have been moved to diocesan hosted WordPress sites.

  • Calvary – Sedalia
  • Good Shepherd – Kansas City
  • All Saint’s – West Plains (currently awaiting domain transfer)
  • St. Paul’s – Clinton
  • St. Paul’s – Lees Summit (transfer done by St. Paul’s volunteer)
  • WEMO Youth – brought online for the youth missioner job advertisement
  • Campus Ministry – Holding page.
  • St. Augustine’s – Kansas City

Ministry webpages

As planned, all the outstanding administrative content on the main website was moved to the admin site in 2022.

Administration Website

Over 40 updates and additions have been made to the Admin site. A full list of the changes can be found here.

As planned, all the outstanding administrative content on the main website was moved to the admin site in 2022. As a result, the main diocesan website menu has been simplified. This has also enabled the provision of a search function on the Admin site. The next step is to review the content of the Admin site, and see how the information can be organized to help churches find the data or documents they need.

Diocesan IT

In December 2021, diocesan IT support was contracted out to a third party. There were some initial problems with the support provided, but we have been assured by the contractor that these have been addressed. A review of the contract has been added to the Communications Director’s list of planned actions for 2023.

The new telephone system costs 50% less per month and has twice the number of lines.

Diocesan VOIP telephone system

It was hoped to contract out the work to set up a new diocesan telephone system, but a quotation of in excess of $10k to undertake this work encouraged the Communications Director to research the process and subsequently perform the work.

All diocesan staff roles, both full and part time, now have dedicated direct phone numbers, and extensions on the main diocesan switchboard number. The new telephone system integrates directly into the diocesan Microsoft Teams environment, removing the need for telephone handsets ((and the associated costs). The new direct numbers mean that staff members no longer have to use their personal mobile phone numbers for diocesan business, and provide improved integration for those members of staff who work remotely.

The new telephone system costs 50% less per month and has twice the number of lines.

Events Support & Coverage

Events Coordinator

From January through April, the Communications Director worked with Bishop’s Executive Assistant to cover the absence of the Events Coordinator (who resigned in December 2021).

May through August, the Communications Director provided training and support to the new Events Coordinator, Rachael Orth.

The Communications Director continues to provide support to the Events Coordinator as needed.

Event Coverage

Where possible volunteers are used to save time and expenses incurred by the Communications Director in traveling. On occasion additional assistance has been required to provide coverage and technical support for events.

I would like to take this opportunity to specifically thank the following people:

  • Adam James
  • Chris Morrison
  • Eric Rhodes
  • Mary Ann Teschan
Three of the volunteers helping to live-stream and document the ‘Celebration of Absalom Jones’ service at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. L-R Mary Ann Teschan (Still photography), Eric Rhodes (Camera Two), Adam James (Video & Audio mix). Not shown: Chris Morrision (Camera One), Emily Davenport (Social media monitoring). Image: Gary Allman
Chris Morrison on ‘Camera One.’ Absalom Jones Celebration at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City. Image: Gary Allman

Annual Convention

2021 saw our first full hybrid, online and in-person convention and our first annual convention with live interpretation. Running a hybrid convention is akin to running two concurrent conventions and requires a lot of additional resources, planning, and preparation.

The event passed with nary a technical hic-cough. Lots of lessons were learned and have been incorporated into the planning of the 2022 convention. In 2021 a team of 12, comprising diocesan and cathedral staff, volunteers, and two contracted interpreters, was needed to support the online attendees. In 2022, a team of 15 people will be required to support the online participants and provide technical support to those attending in person.

Plan for 2023

  1. Maintain the current New Spirit Update publication schedule, event and church support activities.
  2. Annual convention approving, recruit and train a Communications Assistant.
  3. Hold quarterly meetings of the communications committee.
  4. Review and if considered appropriate adjust the current social media strategy.
  5. Annual convention approving, build a new main diocesan website with the assistance of a yet to be formed working group which will produce the specification, manage the production and selection of new website content, and recommend and with the appropriate approval in place, commission a contractor to build the new site.
  6. Form a working party to inform the restructuring and reorganizing of the content on the Church Administration website and implement the changes.
  7. Review the diocesan IT support contract.
  8. Move 10 church Digital Faith websites to WordPress.

Success metrics

  1. Achievement of the New Spirit Update publication schedule.
  2. An active and effective Communications Assistant.
  3. Communications committee meetings held.
  4. Ongoing growth of followers and engagement on social media.
  5. A new main diocesan website.
  6. Improved accessibility of the information available on the admin website.
  7. IT support contract review.
  8. 10 church websites moved to WordPress.

Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Gary Allman
Communications Director, The Diocese of West Missouri.

To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

2023 Draft Plan for Ministry

The Draft 2023 Plan for Ministry was approved by the diocesan council on October 17, 2022.

Para leer las Plan para el Ministerio en español, por favor haga clic aquí.

2023-Plan-for-Ministry-Approved-by-Council-10-17-2022-web-1

You can also read and download the draft 2023 Plan for Ministry here.

Español

2023-Plan-for-Ministry-Council-Approved-Spanish-cover-and-intro

Puede descargar e imprimir una copia de esta Plan para el Ministerio desde aquí

Updates

  • 10-29-2022. Version with Spanish title and letters from the bishop and treasurer in Spanish added.
  • 10-27-2022. Document update. There was a page formatting issue that caused the page numbers referred to in the document to be incorrect. The formatting issue has been resolved and the in-text page numbers now refer to the correct pages.

Report — Deputation to the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church

The Rev. Anne Meredith Kyle, GC80 Deputation Lead

Since the last Annual Convention, the deputation prepared for and attended the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (GC80) in Baltimore, Maryland, July 8-11, 2022. The deputation in attendance included, in the lay order Ms. Amanda Perschall, Mr. Spencer Orr, Ms. Alexandra Connors, Mr. Curtis Hamilton, and alternate deputy Ms. Christine Morrison; and in the clergy order, Mtr. Anne Meredith Kyle, Fr. Jonathan Frazier, Fr. Chas Marks, Fr. Larry Ehren, and alternate deputy Fr. Sean Kim. Mr. Channing Horner, Mr. Bob Maynard, Fr. John Spicer, Mtr. Meg Rhodes, and Mtr. Cathy Cox participated in the preparation for the convention faithfully as alternate deputies. Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce participated in the House of Bishops, serving as the secretary to the HoB.

The Deputation worked diligently in preparation for, and participation in the GC80. The convention, which had already been delayed by one year, was shortened from eight days to four and changed in response to continuing concerns about the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The actions of the GC80 are too numerous to list here. Those interested in the actions of the General Convention may visit https://www.generalconvention.org/about-gc80 which includes general information and links to resolutions, elections, the budget, and video of the GC80.

This 133rd Convention will elect the deputation for the 81st General Convention (GC81), which will be held in Louisville, Kentucky in the summer of 2024. The GC81, among other actions, will elect the next presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

The next year will be spent in general organization and preliminary meetings of the GC81 deputation. Regular meetings to prepare for GC81 will begin in January 2024.

To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

Report — NourishKC

Sue Moore Fenske, Executive Director

There is no question that the past two years we all have struggled, but perhaps none more than the individuals and families that don’t know where their next meal will come from.

The mission of NourishKC is to rescue fresh local food, prepare nutritious meals, and serve as a community partner to address hunger’s core causes.

NourishKC bases the efforts of its programs – Kansas City Community Kitchen (KCCK), Food Rescue, and Culinary Training – on the belief that Food is a basic human right. We believe that it is not enough just to fill bellies; the meals served to our guests should be hot, fresh, and nutritious. Our goal is to feed anyone in need and change lives in the process by partnering with other organizations and helping our volunteers and guests to build community.

But NourishKC doesn’t just offer food – it offers hope.  Perhaps these guests said it best:

“While I was getting back on my feet, I discovered Kansas City Community Kitchen. Everyone always made me feel welcome and raised my spirits.”

“As a mother of two, it is convenient to just come to KC Community Kitchen.  [It] helps a whole lot when you don’t have a whole lot at home”. Although she receives food stamps, they aren’t always enough, especially with the recent increases in the cost of groceries and gas. With the kids out of school for the summer, she is visiting Kansas City Community Kitchen more often. “My family’s food needs double during the summer. Being able to come to the kitchen and get a hot meal for me and my kids right now is really beneficial to us”.

“I was homeless for nearly 10 years, and this place provided a safe haven for me.  The meals I received here kept my spirit nourished as I worked to turn my life around. This kitchen has been a benefit because it’s always provided a healthy meal that most places don’t give.”

“I thank y’all so much for the kindness and love showed to me and my kids.”

Thankfully, due to the generous support of so many, NourishKC has been a consistent source of healthy fresh fruit, vegetables, and other perishable foods distributed through our network of pantry partners as well as and hot, nutritious prepared meals for as many as 4,000 adults, children, seniors, and veterans weekly at Kansas City Community Kitchen.  In addition, older teens and young adults learn basic kitchen skills and important life and job skills in NourishKC’s Culinary Training Program.

In 2021, NourishKC lifted up the families of greater Kansas City through the following achievements:

  • Kansas City Community Kitchen
    • 17,000+ guests nourished each month
    • Increased meals served from 87,139 in 2020 to 147,349 in 2021
  • Food Rescue Program
    • 391,042 pounds of food rescued
    • Pantry partners increased from 4 to 7
  • Culinary Training Program
    • 10-week sessions offered in Spring, Summer, and Fall
    • 61% of culinary graduates are employed

For families that were struggling to make ends meet day-to-day, before the pandemic, the impacts on family income experienced during the past two years will be felt well into the future.  We appreciate the support of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri that helps to ensure that NourishKC can continue to be a resource for families and individuals struggling with food insecurity.

To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

Report — Episcopal Church Women

Shirley Bolden, Secretary

We are Episcopal Church Women of all ages, ethnic origins and socioeconomic backgrounds who hold a variety of views. However, the common denominator of our members is love of God and the wish to do His work. Centered in congregations, the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) empowers women to do Christ’s ministry in the world. Our vision for all women of the Episcopal Church is that we become a vibrant blend of all ages, coming together as a peacemaking, healing part of the Church. We aspire to be a God spark-shining and sharing the love of Christ.

Episcopal Church Women – Diocese of West Missouri

Continuing Education Scholarship Fund

For the year 2021-2022 five applicants received funding for continued education:

  • Krista Heuett, Postulant for Holy Orders, Seminary of the Southwest
  • Katherine Mansfield, Postulant for Priesthood, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN
  • JoAnn (Jody) Carroll, postulant for the Priesthood, Bishop Kemper School of Ministry
  • Barbara Wegener, candidate for the Diaconate, Bishop Kemper School of Ministry
  • Brittany Sparrow-Savage—candidate to Diaconate/Priesthood, Bishop Kemper School of Ministry

.

Church Periodical Club  (Sponsored by National ECW)

www.churchperiodical.com

The National Books Fund is the older of the two funds within the Church Periodical Club. NBF has limited itself primarily to books and related materials for adults since the advent of the Miles of Pennies Fund. Grant requests come from schools, libraries, individuals, agencies, and parishes throughout the Anglican Communion. Funds to cover the requests are donated by individuals, parishes, dioceses, and provinces. Receipts from ingathering’s conducted in parishes on CPC Sundays are designated for NBF as are returns from an NBF endowment fund. Friends of CPC are encouraged to contribute regularly to the fund or to sponsor specific requests for books.

How does the fund work?

The NATIONAL BOOKS FUND (NBF) holds all money donated specifically for the purchase of books. The money is donated by individuals, parishes, dioceses, and provinces. It is the one corporate effort of CPC, and all CPC organizations are urged to make regular contributions or to sponsor specific grant requests. There is a National Books Endowment Fund whose income is fed into the NBF.

What can be covered?

Grants are made for books, magazines, audio and video materials and computer software. The specific materials are determined and purchased by the recipients. Materials may be religious or secular but must be used within the mission of the Church.

One of the seminarian from our Diocese, Ryan Zavacky received $200.00 from the Church Periodical Funds.

What cannot be covered?

NBF Grants are not given for equipment, (such as projectors, computers, or shelves) operating expenses, (such as postage and stationery) or for the production of material (such as translations or printing).

 National Books Fund Guidelines

 NBF Application Form

United Thank Offering:  (Sponsored by National ECW)

April 25, 2022

Office of Public Affairs

More than $1 million in United Thank Offering grants—designated for 22 projects related to creation care within The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion—was approved by the church’s Executive Council during its April meeting.

The funds came from the United Thank Offering’s 2021 Ingathering, where monies collected in UTO “blue boxes” at Episcopal churches throughout the year are gathered as thank offerings.

This year’s focus for grant applications was “Care of Creation: Turning love into action by caring for God’s creation to protect the most vulnerable—who will bear the largest burden of pollution and climate change—through justice, advocacy, environmental reparations, or the development of fundamental materials.”

The UTO Board received about $1.8 million in requests from 42 applications. It was able to fund eight projects within The Episcopal Church and four projects from dioceses that receive block grants from General Convention; eight projects within the Anglican Communion; and two historical grants.

Please use this link https://www.episcopalchurch.org/united-thank-offering. We are happy to help you get started.

Thank you to everyone who, through their personal spiritual discipline of gratitude, contributed to the 2022 Ingathering. The Diocese of West Missouri contributed $2,997.51 to the UTO in 2022.

Please make all future checks out to the Diocese of West Missouri and in the Memo area on the check please put UTO.  You may mail the checks to the Diocesan Office to the Attention of Elaine Gilligan.

We continue to support the Province VII and National Episcopal Church Women with annual donations.

To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

Report — Diversity and Reconciliation Commission

Shirley Bolden, Chair

 “The fundamental truth undergirding this vision [of the Beloved Community] is that all are made in the image of God. It is in our diversity that we discover the fullness of that image….

Whenever individual or community behaviors work against God’s vision, we have promised to respond in ways that will serve to heal: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? I will with God’s help (Book of Common Prayer p305).” 

March 21, 2006, pastoral letter from the House of Bishops — “The Sin of Racism: A Call to Covenant”

Articles published in the New Spirit and other activities held virtually during the 2022 Pandemic.

Book Club discussions:

“Slaves in the Family” by Edward Ball

Edward Ball, the descendant of a seventeenth-century plantation owner in Charleston, South Carolina, chronicles the lives of the people who lived in his ancestors’ lands: the African slaves, mulatto children, and his own white landowning relatives. This is the story of black and white families living side by side through three hundred years. As Ball searches out descendants of the slaves his family-owned, he confronts his own fears and prejudices about slavery and his family.

The average attendance for the book study discussion groups was fourteen for the five sessions.

“Four Hundred Souls” Edited by Ibram X Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith—instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.

The story begins in 1619—a year before the Mayflower—when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history.

The average attendance for the book study discussion groups for the five sessions was sixteen.

Services held in 2022

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation: National Day of Racial Healing

Tuesday, 18 2022
A Day of Prayer and Fasting

The Diversity and Reconciliation Commission asked each church to open their doors or virtually have the opportunity for many to pray together.

Absalom Jones Celebration

February 6, 2022

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear: that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The diocese was invited to join the people of St. Augustine’s in a celebration of the Blessed Absalom Jones. The celebrant was Bishop Bruce, and the celebration included recorded messages from the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Union of Black Episcopalians. The St. Augustine’s liturgical dancers also took part.

For those who could not attend in person, the event was broadcasted live on Facebook and YouTube.

During Black History month, there were four video presentations on key African Americans in the Episcopal and beyond.  The Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis, The Rev. George F. Bragg, The Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, Mr.  Allen Crite.

Diversity Workshops

April 23, 30 and September 24, 2022

The purpose of these workshops is to assist the diocese in organizing to eliminate the sin of racism. There are three essential steps to be followed when a diocese makes this commitment to focus on the sin of racism, its elimination from the church, the community, and the world in which we live. First, there needs to be an organized and functioning anti-racism committee; secondly, the support of the diocesan bishop; and thirdly, a comprehensive plan for proceeding with this ministry.

This training fulfills the intent of several General Convention resolutions, which call for leaders at all levels of The Episcopal Church to receive training on the Church’s teaching about racial diversity as well as other forms of diversity present within the human family.

KC Pride Parade

June 11, 2022

Several Episcopal churches from West Missouri braved the sunshine and heat to participate in the Kansas City Pride 2022 parade. Among the churches represented were St. Paul’s – Kansas City, St. Mary’s – Kansas City, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral all from the Northwest-Metro deanery, and Grace Episcopal Church, Chillicothe from the Central Deanery.

Juneteenth

June 19, 2022

June 19 commemorates the date that Major General Gordon Granger read General Order 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas. It was at that time, two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed The Emancipation Proclamation, that every enslaved person in the United States was free and knew it. A celebration occurred and celebrations still occur to this day. It’s important to dress up and celebrate with barbeque and strawberry soda, pies, and tea cakes. It’s also important to share our ancestry as Black people in the United States.

Union of Black Episcopalians

The Diocese of West Missouri now has an official chapter of Union of Black Episcopalians.

The first meeting was held on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, via Zoom. The Midwest Regional Director joined the meeting to welcome the Diocese of West Missouri. The president of the Diocese of West Missouri’s Chapter is the Rev. Rita Kendagor.

Peace and Justice Commission

Another commission has been established as the Peace and Justice Commission. This commission will work with issues of gun violence, public education, insurance, and other unfair entities. Additionally, there is a large overlap with the Diversity and Reconciliation Commission.

The Diversity and Reconciliation Commission will work with individual congregations on during a book study, diversity training and other issues dealing with Peace and Justice.

Diversity & Reconciliation Recommended Resources:

To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

Scroll to Top