Latest from the Bishop

The Joyful Journey: Autumn reverie


We miss something deeply important if we neglect opportunities to slow down, watch the leaves change colors, and let a cool autumn breeze kiss our cheeks.

A change of pace


Why do we keep doing what is not working hoping for different results? LeeAnne Watkins, rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, reports that her church canceled all of its adult education opportunities and midweek services (“This just isn’t working,” Christian Century, June 14). They tried everything: Bible studies, book studies, video studies, morning and evening groups, ...

Pray for Duluth-area flood victims


After more than seven inches of rain fell on the Duluth area in just a few days, that region is now faced with flood-damaged roads, homes, and businesses. You have seen the distressing images of cars swallowed by sinkholes in streets, blocks of homes and businesses isolated like islands, buildings ruined by flooding, even seals that swam lost and adrift from their zoo habitat. The good ...

Let’s ‘like’ growth!


What would we do differently if we believed our communities were our congregations? Where would we allocate resources if believed that the world is our parish? When will we reclaim our denominational DNA of starting one new faith community per day in the U.S.? How can we learn from and encourage the many newly planted churches in our central (overseas) conferences? In a letter to our ...

We can’t afford to lose life-changing camping ministry


We have some difficult decisions to make as a church about our camp and retreat ministry. Many of us had significant experiences, perhaps even life-changing ones, at church camp. We discovered the power of Christian community. We may have heard a call to full-time Christian vocation. Perhaps we have been going to the same family camp year after year and its location is sacred ground to ...

What’s the recommended 2013 budget?


The 2013 annual conference recommended budget is just over $6.2 million, $130,000 lower than the 2012 budget. The 2013 budget continues a trend of declining budgets. The 2013 budget, if approved as recommended, will be at our ceiling (maximum allowed by conference rules) and at the same level as our 2003 budget. Ten of the last fourteen budgets have been below ceiling; three have been at...

Do we believe we are an Easter church?


I heard a respected church consultant say that every church could potentially have in weekly worship the number of people who attend on Easter Sunday. He was consulting with a church of about 1,100 people who attend on Easter; on a “normal” week, they have about 500 in worship. It was intriguing to consider what this church would be doing differently, what the staffing would look like, ...

How does Imagine No Malaria generosity compare to apportionments?


You may have read about the Minnesota Conference apportionment receipt rate for 2011. For several years, we held steady at receiving 86 percent of the amount we apportioned, but dropped to 84.2 percent in 2011. You probably also know that the Minnesota Conference is leading the denomination with our pledges and gifts for Imagine No Malaria. You have pledged or given over $2,397,445, more...

Fly fishing or ice fishing?


For me, fishing is more than recreation; it’s a time of re-creation of body, mind, and spirit. It takes me away from the normal scenes and routines of life. The activity redirects thoughts from roles and responsibilities to the pursuit of different game. The environment stirs the soul as all five senses are stimulated by ocean, river, lake and stream. I enjoy all forms of fishing, but a ...

How do we calculate the budget ceiling? Why do we apportion for uncollectibles?


I often hear questions about the annual conference apportioned budget, such as, “How do we calculate this?” or “Why do we do that?” Here’s some information about one of the “hows” (our ceiling rule) and one of the “whys” (a separate line item as a contingency for uncollectible apportionments). The Minnesota Conference has a budget “ceiling” rule that prevents the annual conference budget...

Noticed, known, and cared for


Most every Tuesday and Thursday morning I drag myself out of bed at 5:10 a.m. so I can torture myself for an hour on a spin bike. I do it for one really good reason: I need the exercise. But mostly what helps me get there is I have a friend who attends the same class. I know she will be there, and I tell myself that if she can make it, I can too. And I like starting my day seeing and ...

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