Convention Reports

2023 Plan for Ministry

The 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted by the 2022 Annual Convention.

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: 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:       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: Opens Clicks Bounces Faith-Based Organizations 43% 3% 9% New Spirit 9-04-2022 71% 22% 2% New Spirit 09-16-2021 69% 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: The reporting period being 25% shorter Several major diocesan events were streamed via church YouTube accounts and not the diocesan YouTube account. Diocesan and church websites Website Statistics Main website 2021 (12 months): 39k page views. 2022 (9 months): 29k page views. New Spirit website — 2021 (12 Months): 36k views, 18k visitors, 341 posts. 2022 (9 months): 45K views, 23k visitors, 281 posts. Administration website — 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 A new stewardship resources page has been added. A new Committees, commissions, ministries, etc. page has been added. 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 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 Maintain the current New Spirit Update publication schedule, event and church support activities. Annual convention approving, recruit and train a Communications Assistant. Hold quarterly meetings of the communications committee. Review and if considered appropriate adjust the current social media strategy. 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. Form a working party to inform the restructuring and reorganizing of the content on the Church Administration website and implement the changes. Review the diocesan IT support contract. Move 10 church Digital Faith websites to WordPress. Success metrics Achievement of the New Spirit Update publication schedule. An active and effective Communications Assistant. Communications committee meetings held. Ongoing growth of followers and engagement on social media. A new main diocesan website. Improved accessibility of the information available on the admin website. IT support contract review. 10 church websites moved to WordPress. Respectfully submitted,/s/ Gary AllmanCommunications Director, The Diocese of West Missouri. To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

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 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) 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 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 2022A 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: Center for Racial Healing List of Historically Black Parishes Responding to Racist Violence as the People of God Resources for Adult Formation with an Emphasis on Race and Diversity   by Katherine Malloy, on Building Faith: A ministry of the Virginia Theological Seminary, The Episcopal Church – Becoming a beloved community – Plan The Episcopal Church – Racial Justice Audit of Episcopal Leadership The Episcopal Church Office of Black Ministries The Episcopal Church – Racial Reconciliation To print a copy of the above report, please use your browser’s print facility.

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