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Whether you are a visitor to our area, a long time member of one of our congregations or seeking a church home, we look forward to meeting you in person.
Diocesan News and Updates
Homily from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to the House of Bishops, September 21
A Narthex Moment
Now, in the name of our loving, liberating, and life-giving God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Nathanael said, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the Messiah.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these. Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man’” (John 1:49-51).
A few months ago, probably in June, I suspect, when the planning committee met to begin to think about our fall gathering in St. Louis, Brian Prior, who is the chair and convenor of that group, turned to me and said, “So, what are you thinking about?” And in years past, we’ve thought further down the road. But in pandemic time, we barely can think a month ahead of time. And, I think I just had an extrovert moment, which periodically happens, and I blurted out, “I don’t know, we just need to be together. All I know, is this just feels like a Narthex Moment…”
"Monarchs of Peninsula Point"
By Sue Jamison
September 8, 2021
Just as the Peninsula Point Lighthouse guided ships on Lake Michigan, the Stonington Peninsula guides Monarch butterflies as they begin their 1900-mile journey south to their wintering grounds in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico.
In the fall, thousands of Monarchs can be seen here waiting for favorable conditions to help them cross Lake Michigan. Peninsula Point is one of only a few places in North America where Monarchs can be viewed migrating in large numbers. Because our area is so unique, the Forest Service together with Wildlife Unlimited of Delta County and many volunteers have been conducting research since 1994, making it the oldest data set on the Monarch in North America.
Shorter days and cooling temperatures are signals to the Monarch that it is time to begin flying south. Many of the Monarchs in the Upper Peninsula begin funneling down the Stonington Peninsula, following the shoreline. They will roost on the cedar trees here at Peninsula Point until north winds help them to cross the water over to Door County. Monarchs do not like to fly over large bodies of water. At the tip of the peninsula, they have a short distance to cross the lake.
Pastoral Word from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on the 20th Anniversary of September 11
[Sept. 8, 2021] As followers of Jesus, and with our siblings in other faith traditions, we place great value on the act of remembrance. As we reflect on the solemn anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, we remember many loved ones lost and first responders who put their lives at risk, modeling the sacrificial love of Jesus, who said: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
While 20 years have passed, I also want us to pause and remember the days that followed these tragic events. There was a moment in the aftermath when people came together. We were praying, grieving, and also working together. Because in that moment, however fleeting it was, we knew with immediacy and vulnerability that we need God, and we need each other.
Memories of that tender cooperation—of love for each other as neighbors—serve as guiding lights for the present. Amidst the ongoing pandemic and natural disasters that have taken so many lives and pushed first responders to their limits, and amidst a worldwide reckoning with the sin of racism, we are called to become the Beloved Community whose way of life is the way of Jesus and his way of love.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will deliver a blessing and sermon Sept. 11 and 12 as part of A Time and Space of Remembrance and Healing at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York, which served as a relief mission for recovery workers at Ground Zero for nearly a year after the buildings fell. Tune in online at trinitywallstreet.org/september-11.
Protecting Our Water
Water is Life Festival in Mackinaw City Showcases the Need to Act Now
by Steve Pelto, September 8, 2021
As I passed the halfway point of the five-mile long Mackinac Bridge, my eyes scanned the water, looking for protesters. I was here to witness the Line 5 protest and experience the Water is Life Festival. As I came to the end of the bridge, I could canoes and kayaks pulled up on the narrow beach and crowd gathered around a speaker in the adjacent park.
It was Saturday, September 4, and members of several indigenous tribes and their allies had gathered in Mackinaw City, Michigan in a continuing effort to secure clean water for future generations. They were there for the Festival and to protest the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline that runs underneath the Straits of Mackinac.
I was part of a small group from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan who made the trip to support the Indigenous peoples and to help protect our water. Bishop Rayford Ray explained our role, “We are here to support and help the Indigenous water protectors.”
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry highlights ways to help
Afghan refugees through Episcopal Migration Ministries
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry released the following statement on Aug. 31:
As Episcopalians, as followers of Jesus, as people of faith, we mourn the recent loss of life in Afghanistan, the ongoing chaos and instability, and the risk that many Afghans face, in particular women and girls.
The situation in Afghanistan is changing quickly with many lives lost and thousands more at risk. The current crisis leaves over 5 million displaced Afghans in the country, in bordering nations and many more around the world who have been evacuated, who are trying to find long-term safe solutions.
As Afghans arrive to the U.S. with the hope of safety, The Episcopal Church, through the work of Episcopal Migration Ministries, is assisting our new neighbors through the Afghan Parolee Support Program.
This new U.S. program, dependent on private resources and community-led welcome and support, will provide security and foundation necessary for arriving Afghans to begin life in the U.S.
The ministry of offering welcome to those fleeing violence is nothing less than God’s work—one that calls us to walk the way of love as Jesus of Nazareth taught us, through compassion, through practical care, showing to our newest neighbors that we are neighbors…
Prayer for Haiti from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Eternal God, send forth your Sprit to encourage and strengthen the people of Haiti in these difficult times. We pray especially for those impacted by the recent earthquake. Encourage and strengthen those who help and support others. In your mercy, receive the souls of those who have died; comfort their families and loved ones. Surround with your presence the sick and suffering. Aid the work of those who still search and rescue. Empower the medical and aid workers and all who labor to heal.
Likewise, inspire and empower the resolve of the nations and peoples of the world to be your instruments of help and healing. Stir up the might of your love and compassion among the nations to rally resources and stay the course until the humanitarian job is accomplished.
Lastly, enfold and uphold the people of Haiti—from the youngest newly born to the oldest among us—in the arms of your love and the strength of your might. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.
The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
UP Wild Nature Prayer in Rapid River
A Place of Reflection, Revelation, and Prayer
For many, the word church brings up images of beautiful stained glass, the sound of hymns, and the smell of candles. But for the people who attended UP Wild’s Nature Prayer Service in Rapid River, church was the surrounding trees set against a UP sky, the murmur of wind in leaves, and the smell of grass and soil. It was the perfect place to seek a deeper connection with God, God’s people, and the world in which we live.
Sunday’s gathering at the Masonville Recreation Area was the most recent service put on by UP Wild, a non-profit collaboration with support from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan and the ELCA Northern Great Lakes Synod. It is part of an ongoing effort to respond to the spiritual needs of those outside of the traditional church structure who seek a deeper connection with nature…
Red Road to DC in Mackinaw City
Crossing the Straits on the Red Road to DC
On Tuesday, July 27, members of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan travelled to Mackinaw City to witness the last stop on the Red Road to D.C., a totem pole journey for the protection of sacred land and water. The giant totem, created by the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi people in the Pacific Northwest, travelled through ten sites, including the Straits of Mackinac, on its way to our nation’s capital, raising awareness for the need to protect these sacred spaces and the rights of Indigenous people...
Trinity Wall Street Grant Received for Beyond These Walls
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan has received a leadership development grant from Trinity Wall Street for an initiative entitled, Beyond These Walls: Theological Education for All. The purpose of the grant is to meet the growing need in communities of faith for well-formed leaders with practical skills for engaging a changing world.
The Rev. Canon Lydia Kelsey Bucklin, who serves as the diocesan liaison to this initiative said, “To be invited into a partnership with this emerging collective of prophetic theologians and church leaders is a blessing to our diocese, which has, in our DNA a commitment to recognizing …