Monday, August 28, 2017

North Dakota School for Ministry

Dear Friends in Christ:

The Episcopal Church teaches that every baptized person is a minister of the Church: “The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church” (BCP 855).

Most lay ministers carry out their ministries primarily “in the world” where they work, study, play, and live. Some serve in the church, officially licensed by the bishop as Pastoral Leaders, Worship Leaders (Lay Readers), Preachers, Eucharistic Visitors, Eucharistic Ministers, Catechists, and Evangelists.

In an effort to encourage and equip lay ministers in the Diocese, as well as to form Deacons, the North Dakota School for Ministry is offering three courses during the next school year: “Christian Ethics & Moral Theology,” and two quarters of “Practice of Ministry.” Some may wish to take these courses simply to learn more about our faith and our church; others may pursue these studies for eligibility to serve as a licensed Evangelist or Pastoral Leader in their congregations.

These three-month long courses will be facilitated by clergy in regional study groups across the Diocese: Mark Strobel — Red River Valley; Christian Senyoni – East Central; Zanne Ness & John Floberg – South Central; Mary Johnson – North Central; Ellery Dykeman – Southwest; Michael Paul – Northwest. Specifics about where and how often study groups meet will be determined by the facilitator and students of a region, based on their circumstances. In addition, two (or three) weekends per course will be shared at Assumption Abbey in Richardton. Please see the course listings below for specific dates.

Costs per course, including books and Richardton weekends, are $200. However, scholarships are available and lack of financial resources should not keep anyone from participating.  Register for courses by filling out the form here.  Please contact me at bpnodak@aol.com if you are interested or have questions.

This letter comes with hopes and prayers for a renewing and rejuvenating summer season for you. Peace,

+Michael G. Smith

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dallas Mission Grants

As part of the partnership with the Diocese of Dallas and Bishop Michael working as their assisting bishop one quarter time, they are making available to us $25,000 for mission grants. Congregations/organizations within the Diocese of North Dakota will be able to apply for grants of up to $5,000. Areas of ministry and mission available for funding are: Bakken Mission, Buildings & Grounds, Campus Ministry, Evangelism, Mission outside the Diocese (including East Africa Scholarship and Haiti), Native American Ministry, Sudanese Ministry, Theological Education, and Youth Ministry.
 
Guidelines and application are available here.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thy Kingdom Come

 
"Thy Kingdom Come" is a global prayer movement, which invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension (May 25th) and Pentecost (June 4th) for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. What started out as an invitation from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York in 2016 to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.

The hope is that:
  • people will commit to pray with God’s world-wide family - as a church, individually or as a family;
  • churches will hold prayer events, such as 24-7 prayer, prayer stations and prayer walks, across the UK and in other parts of the world;
  • people will be empowered through prayer by the Holy Spirit, finding new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses …to the ends of the earth. When he had said this…he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight…Then they returned to Jerusalem … and were constantly devoting themselves to prayer…When the day of Pentecost had come they were all together in one place... All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit... and that day about three thousand persons were added"

In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities." ~Archbishop Justin Welby
 
To learn more about "Thy Kingdom Come" for Individuals, Families and Churches go to https://www.thykingdomcome.global/