This year's Episcopal Communicators' Conference was held at Camp Allen, TX. The Key Note speakers, The Rev. Charles Graves IV and The Rev. Callie Swanlund, were both outstanding, as were all of the workshops.
Episcopal Communicators is a self-supporting organization of communication professionals working in the Episcopal Church for dioceses, congregations and organizations. Its mission is to foster community that inspires and supports excellence in church communications. If you are engaged in a ministry of communications with a full-communion partner of the Episcopal Church (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or the Moravian Church), you are also eligible for membership in Episcopal Communicators. More information on membership is available on the website at https://episcopal-communicators.wildapricot.org/
This year, as always, a highlight of the conference was the Polly Bond Awards ceremony. The Polly Bond Awards recognize excellence in church communications, across a variety of categories. Independently judged by well-respected and experienced communications professionals outside of the membership, the best submissions on each category receive awards. A number of communcators from Province II won awards.
Award of Merit: Episcopal Ministries of Long Island's Website | Episcopal Ministries of Long Island/Episcopal Diocese of Long Island | Mary Grace Puszka, Denise Fillion, DNL OmniMedia
Award of Excellence: Episcopal Ministries of Long Island's 2022 "Celebration of Ministry" | Episcopal Ministries of Long Island/Episcopal Diocese of Long Island | Mary Grace Puszka
Honorable Mention: Deeply Rooted, Branching Out - Celebrating 140 Years of Christ Church in Short Hills | Christ Church, Short Hills, NJ | Chris Whitaker, Libby Clarke
Writing - News
Award of Excellence: Want More Pandemic Money? It’s Complicated | The Living Church | Kirk Petersen
Writing - Feature
Award of Merit: "A string of miracles" - Second house renovated to host Afghan refugees | Diocese of Newark | Nina Nicholson
Honorable Mention: Rally Day Rack Card Series | St. Paul's, Rochester, NY | Sonja Slother
Honorable Mention: The True Light - Christmas Card 2022 | St. Paul's, Rochester, NY | Sonja Slother
Layout (poster, one-page spread, etc.)
Honorable Mention: Episcopal Ministries of Long Island Ministry Focus Area Sticker | Episcopal Ministries of Long Island/Episcopal Diocese of Long Island | Mary Grace Puszka
Honorable Mention: Christ Church in Short Hills: A 140th Anniversary Commemorative Guide | Christ Church, Short Hills, NJ | Chris Whitaker, Libby Clarke, Cathy Fernandez
A celebration message from the Friends of the Episcopal Church in Cuba
jeremy cage, Mar 23
Today marks an important date in the history of the Episcopal Church in Cuba – with the retirement of Bishop Griselda after 12 transformative years as the Bishop of Cuba.
Born in 1955 in La Paz, Bolivia, Bishop Griselda graduated from the Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz in 1981 with a degree in sociology. In 1982, she moved to Cuba to enter the Evangelical Seminary of Theology in Matanzas, Cuba.
Bishop Griselda remained in Cuba after seminary and was ordained as a Deacon in 1986. Shortly thereafter, she arrived in Itabo, Cuba, a small town with little knowledge of Jesus Christ, to serve at a church property with crumbling walls and no roof, known as Santa Maria Virgen. She served as Rector there for the next 20 years, was consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor for the Diocese of Cuba in 2010 and installed later that year as Diocesan Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Cuba at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Havana.
She was the first woman to serve in the role of Diocesan Bishop both in Cuba and in Latin America.
As Bishop, Griselda launched a 'radical' agenda—transforming the Church from a focus within its four walls to a community-based approach for the benefit of all, regardless of religion. Over the years, Bishop Griselda has led the cultivation of lands around the churches to provide supplies of crops and animals to feed communities and provide them seeds to plant at each harvest. She began the installation of water purification systems and today, there are 38 churches that have these systems - providing safe water for hundreds of thousands of Cubans each year. During her tenure, and through the work of her Missionary Development Program, she has also led the transformation of churches into vibrant community centers for everyone in the village – especially the weak and vulnerable.
In 2018, Bishop Griselda successfully led the reunification and reconciliation of The Episcopal Church in Cuba with the US Episcopal Church – after almost 60 years of isolation. The reunification ceremonies held in March of 2020 will forever be remembered as a pivotal event in the history of both the Cuban and US churches.
Bishop Griselda has been a tireless leader, traveling many miles across Cuba, managing a team of 20 or more clergy, 51 communities, and continuing to serve as parish priest whenever the need arose. In addition, she has been a strong voice for the Cuban church in the US, seeking out new partners and supporters.
Following the process established by the Episcopal Church, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church in Cuba will oversee the Diocese of Cuba until an Interim Bishop is appointed in the coming months. The Interim Bishop will lead the Diocese through the election of a permanent Bishop – who will clearly have very big shoes to fill!!
There aren't any newspapers or newsletters coming in the snail-mail anymore. All that comes are requests for donations. So how are you going to keep up with what is going on in the church? Subscribe to the e-news that comes out!
The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE 2023) will take place July 4-8, 2023 at the University of Maryland. Lauren Alleyne, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, is the Province II representative to the planning team.
The National Episcopal Church Women has a new website at https://ecwnational.org/. Our Province II representatives are Carolyn Belvin, Diocese of NJ and the Rev. Jennifer Kenna.. The national board is planning to meet sometime in the summer of 2023 and Syracuse, NY is being considered for the meeting site.
A Synod meeting will be planned for sometime in April, 2024. It is likey to be a hybrid meeting.
Applications are now accepted for the Constable Fund grants, which focus on religious education. Constable grants need to be submitted to the Province for approval, and then onto the DFMS.
All Constable grant applications should be submitted to Province II Coordinator Neva Rae Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Tuesday, November 1 at noon Eastern.
Constable Fund grants support mission initiatives outside the Episcopal Church budget, with a stated preference for religious education work. The grants are named for visionary philanthropist Marie Louise Constable, who established the fund through a gift made to the Episcopal Church in 1935.
Application requirements and an application form can be found online in English, Spanish, and French.
More info available here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/publicaffairs/grant-applications-open-for-episcopal-church-constable-fund-roanridge-trust-2/
Province II had a strong presence at the 80th General Convention in Baltimore.
Thanks to Province II bishops, clergy and lay deputies who tirelessly attended to the work of General Convention. During the four days, many of our Province II folks addressed the House of Bishops and House of Deputies making key points, presenting innovative concepts, and discussing the work of General Convention and the church.
Of prominence at GC was the adoption of Resolution C021, calling for the Diocese of Puerto Rico moving to Province II from Province IX. Welcome! Province II dioceses are: Albany, Central New York, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, Cuba, Haiti, Long Island, New Jersey, New York, Newark, Puerto Rico, Rochester, the Virgin Islands, and Western New York.
Province II representatives were elected to many offices. Congratulations to all! Elected were:
Interested in learning more about the 80th General Convention? Check out
The Living Church https://livingchurch.org/
Episcopal News Service https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/
The Constable Grant and Roanridge Trust Grant awards have just been announced.
Congratulations in Province II:
2022 Constable Fund grants
Formation, Christian Education and Discipleship, $36,500: Support for the Episcopal Church in Cuba, Province II, to strengthen Christian education for leaders and communities, including formation and discipleship.
Office of the Presiding Bishop/Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe – Adult Education, $20,000: Support for a weeklong “Anglican Summer Session in Europe” to facilitate collaboration among the Anglican Communion provinces on the European continent.
2022 Roanridge Trust grants
Episcopal Diocese of New York: Episcopal Futures: Rural Faith Project, $45,725
The annual conference of Episcopal Communicators was held in person for the first time in two years at the DeSoto Hotel in Savannah, Georgia on May 3-6, 2022. It was a wonderful gathering with opportunities for fellowship and sharing. Episcopal Communicators is a self-supporting organization of communication professionals working in the Episcopal Church for dioceses, congregations and organizations. Its mission is to foster community that inspires and supports excellence in church communications.
The keynote speakers were Ryan Casey Waller,a licensed psychotherapist, writer, speaker, lawyer, and Episcopal priest, and sociologist, best-selling author, lecturer, humorist, and storyteller, Bertice Berry, PhD. Dr. Waller spoke about resiliance and Dr. Berry spoke about fulfilling our baptismal covenant to “Strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” Both were excellent!
There were many workshops, of course. I was able to attend three:
Digital evangelism through content creation was presented by Aida Milien, a lifelong Episcopalian originally from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. She is communications associate for the Episcopal Diocese of California, working from her home in Miami. Her emphasis was on the call to tell our stories as the most effective, authentic way of letting others know who Jesus is and what he means in our lives. She shared examples of short videos that can be produced and shared with no budget at all.
Updating a brand: a case study and some tips for success was presented by the Rev. Scott Gunn, the executive director of Forward Movement. He shared the process that Forward Movement has just completed of re-branding and re-freshing that brand. We heard about some best practices, more about the Forward Movement process and some tips for those of us who might contemplate updating a brand.
Graphic design for non-designers was presented by Jason Franklin, the director of communications at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, N.C, and before that the manager of communications for All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. We learned some fundamentals of graphic design as well as some tips and tricks in Adobe Creative Suite to improve our designs.
The highlight of the conference is always the Polly Bond Awards. They are awarded at the closing banquet in a number of categories. Only Episcopal Communicators members may submit an entry.
Province II communicators managed to come away with a few rewards.
Please remember to save the date and enable all your communicators to attend next year. If your communications person is not a member, it's not too late to join. Find out more about membership here.
Save the date:
Camp Allen, Navasota Texas
April 25 - 27, 2023
Report of the Clerical Representative to Executive Council