Sunday, September 30, 2007

Invitation for CAT

You and your congregation will soon receive an invitation to participate in CAT – the Church Assessment Tool. Actually you’ll be asked to participate in the Kitten – a shortened version of the CAT. This survey instrument (available on-line or in hard copy) is designed to help leaders gain insights into the strength, vitality and inclinations of the congregation.
The Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota has been selected to be a pilot diocese for the use of this survey instrument through the sponsorship of the Church Deployment Office at our national Church Center. The instrument has not previously been used on a diocesan wide basis.
If you’re attending Diocesan Convention this weekend in Bismarck, you’ll hear more from Bishop Michael about this opportunity. If you’re not going to be at convention, you’ll hear more – after convention - in your own congregation. Be ready to listen to more about the Kitten and to participate – either on-line or on paper. The usefulness of these results for discussion and planning will depend on full participation. Watch for the Kitten!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Advent retreat

The Final Advent:
A Retreat on the Book of Revelation

WHO: All adults (18+) from across the diocese.

WHAT: Fun, Food, Prayer, Spiritual Growth, and More!

WHEN: Friday, November 30th, 7pm Begins
4pm Registration

Saturday, December 1st, 1:30pm

WHERE: Red Willow Bible Camp, Binford, North Dakota

HOW: Sponsored by the SE Region of the Diocese of North Dakota

Retreat Leader: The Rev. Canon Kevin Goodrich O.P.

Registration Forms and Fees Due by: November 18th
- Registration form attached to this e-mail

More items for sale

The Rev'd Bruce McDuffy, St. John's Dickinson, and Chair of the Diocesan Environmental Stewardship Committee, sends the following information about items for sale at Diocesan Convention.

- peace,


The Environmental Stewardship Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota will offer cloth bags imprinted with the Episcopal Church shield and the legend "Episcopalians Reuse, Reduce, Recycle". The bags cost $10.00. Any profit over expenses will be divided equally as follows:

The Sudanese Mission in Moorhead
The Guatemalan Medical Mission
and the Prairie Climate Stewardship Network (a tax exempt non profit).

Visit the display table at convention, and buy your bag to symbolize your commitments before they sell out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bishop Michael Smith's House of Bishops message

September 26, 2007

Dear Friends:

Grace and peace to you. I write this en route from an intense weeklong meeting of the House of Bishops in New Orleans. There we grappled with the requests of the Primates of the Anglican Communion contained in their Communiqué from Dar es salaam, Tanzania in February 2007.

The Primates had requested we clarify our 2006 General Convention’s response to the requests of the Windsor Report. You will remember that the Windsor Report contains the recommendations of a bipartisan commission appointed to find a way to mend the “tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion” resulting from the controversial actions of General Convention 2003.

Specifically, the Primates requested that we “make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorize any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention.” In response we pledged “not to authorize for use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same sex unions until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action.” We also noted that “the majority of bishops do not make allowance for the blessing of same-sex unions.”

The Primates also requested us to “confirm that the passing of Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention means that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent, unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion.” In response we acknowledged “that non-celibate gay and lesbian persons are included among those to whom B033 pertains.”

A third request from the Primates had been dealt with at the previous March meeting of the House of Bishops. There a call for a Pastoral Scheme for those dioceses and parishes requesting alternative primatial or episcopal oversight was rejected as incompatible with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. In its place we affirmed “the Presiding Bishop’s plan to appoint episcopal visitors for dioceses that request alternative oversight…We believe this plan is consistent with and analogous to Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) as affirmed in the Windsor Report.” (I am one of eight bishops the Presiding Bishop has invited to serve as an “episcopal visitor” to dioceses or parishes requesting such.)

It is my sense that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and Anglican Consultative Council will find these actions acceptable in terms of declaring us Windsor-compliant. Though not out of the question, I would be surprised if the invitations already issued to next summer’s Lambeth Conference were to be withdrawn.

The next step in the Windsor process is the proposed Anglican Covenant. It appears to be progressing in the following manner: A first draft is currently in circulation. A second draft will be written after the bishops of the Communion discuss it at the Lambeth Conference. A third and final draft will be approved by the Anglican Consultative Council in early 2009. From that point onwards the autonomous churches of the Anglican Communion must decide whether each is to remain a member of the Communion by agreeing to abide by the terms of the Anglican Covenant. The Episcopal Church is on track to make this decision at the 2009 General Convention.

I remain committed to finding a way for the Diocese of North Dakota to remain in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. I believe this is also the desire of the vast majority of Episcopalians in North Dakota. I continue to believe that the Windsor Report provides us with the best roadmap for success in this journey. In the meantime, while this process is working out and unfolding, there is important work in the Kingdom of God to which we are called as servants and laborers. Thank you for your prayers. I am,

Yours in Christ,

+Michael G. Smith
Episcopal Bishop of North Dakota

Monday, September 24, 2007

Elsie's Edibles

Elsie’s Edibles

o Dill
o Cinnamon Stix
o Beet

o Wild Chokecherry
o Wild Plum
o Raspberry
o Cherry
o Peach Marmalade

Proceeds donated to the Sudanese Mission Fund, Camp Gabriel, and St. Thomas Building Fund

Please return &/or donate wide mouth quarts and pints, regular ½ pints, and maraschino cherry and olive jars.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Convention items for sale

Donna Pettit of St. Paul's, Grand Forks, wanted to share some of the items that will be offered for sale at Diocesan Convention.


Have you hugged an Episcopalian today?

For sale at Diocesan Convention—

· Aprons in yellow, white, medium blue, green and red with “Have you hugged an Episcopalian today?” $12 each
· Aprons with Episcopal Shield and either “Join us” or “Welcomes you” $12 each
· Tote bags with Episcopal Shield and “Join us” $10 each
· Tote bags with Ichthus—red with white design $10 each
· Bibs with “Have you hugged a ’lil Episcopalian today?” $5 each

Does your Church kitchen have a supply of these aprons for dinners and public events? Now is the time to stock up. Aprons, totes and bibs make nice gifts.

We will also be selling Bishop’s Blend Coffee at $10/bag.

All profits go to the Diocesan Sudanese Ministry.

No jewelry for sale this year.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

St. John's, Dickinson, in 2008 Historic Calendar

St. John’s Church at Dickinson has been chosen for the 2008 Historic Episcopal Church Engagement Calendar. The calendar showcases 53 churches—“all new, none repeated”—representing every state.

The calendars cost $15.95 per copy. Add 10% ($2.00 minimum) for postage and handling. Payment by check or money order should accompany orders sent to:

509 Yale Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081

News about Bishop Smith from House of Bishops meeting

Bishop Michael Smith one of
Eight bishops who agree to serve as 'episcopal visitors'

by Bob Williams

[Episcopal News Service, New Orleans] Eight bishops have accepted PresidingBishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's invitation to serve as "episcopalvisitors" to dioceses that have requested this provision.

At her request, the Presiding Bishop's canon, the Rev. Dr. CharlesRobertson, advised Episcopal News Service of this measure the evening ofSeptember 19. The announcement preceded the opening plenary session of theHouse of Bishops' September 20-25 meeting in New Orleans. Robertson said Jefferts Schori expected to announce the names of the eight bishops duringthat session, which is devoted to the bishops' private conversation withArchbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and is closed to the public andmedia.

Jefferts Schori has conferred with Williams about the invitations, which sheextended after a process of consultation with bishops in the EpiscopalChurch, Robertson said.

"All eight are true bridge-builders who empathize with the concerns andneeds of dioceses that are struggling with the issues of the current time,"Robertson said, adding that "while all are sympathetic to to these concerns,each is clear that the Presiding Bishop's ultimate goal is reconciliation."

The eight are active diocesan bishops Frank Brookhart of Montana, DorseyHenderson of Upper South Carolina (based in Columbia, S.C.), John Howe ofCentral Florida (based in Orlando), Gary Lillibridge of West Texas (based inSan Antonio), Michael Smith of North Dakota, James Stanton of Dallas, andGeralyn Wolf of Rhode Island, together with retired Connecticut BishopClarence Coleridge.

Robertson said all have agreed to serve as official "episcopal visitors"(the lowercase adjective referring generally to bishops and their ministriesrather than the church's denomination), or to provide "Delegated EpiscopalPastoral Oversight" (DEPO), an option provided by the House of Bishops'March 2004 statement "Caring for All the Churches" and a concept affirmed bythe General Convention in 2006.

Jefferts Schori's invitation to the eight bishops seeks to delegate thefirst of three primary canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop, that ofvisiting each of the Episcopal Church's 110 dioceses during each PresidingBishop's nine-year term. The Presiding Bishop's other two principalcanonical roles are to "take order" for ordaining and consecrating bishops,and to oversee certain disciplinary actions as needed.

The Presiding Bishop's invitation to the eight bishops "offers opportunitiesfor dioceses to have an episcopal visitor other than herself," Robertsonsaid.

"This gives dioceses the pastoral guidance and care they need whileremaining faithful and loyal members of the Episcopal Church," he said. "Itis also the Presiding Bishop's hope that at some point in the future shewould be invited to visit these dioceses."

The action is "a significant effort at building a bridge while stillhonoring our uniquely American polity," Robertson said.

He added that Jefferts Schori is "comfortable letting the details be workedout by the bishops involved."

>From among the Episcopal Church's 110 total dioceses, six stand by requestsinitiated in 2006 for pastoral oversight other than that of the currentPresiding Bishop. Those dioceses are Central Florida, Fort Worth,Pittsburgh, Quincy (based in Peoria, Illinois), Springfield (Illinois), andSan Joaquin (based in Fresno, California). A similar request by the Dioceseof Dallas was later modified.

In all of these dioceses there has been expressed opposition to the 2003election and ordination as diocesan bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson,who is openly gay and lives in a long-standing committed relationship withhis male partner.

In three of these dioceses -- Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin -- thebishops have not ordained women despite the General Convention's 1976authorization to do so.

-- Canon Robert Williams is director of Episcopal Life Media, the newcommunication group that includes the Episcopal News Service.- - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prayers for the soul of Connie Demery

Prayers have also been requested for the family of Connie Demery.

Canon Jackie Bernacchi shares the following:

I ask for prayers for the family of Connie Demery of Dunseith. She recently passed as a result of cancer complications. Her funeral is at St. Sylvans on Friday at 10 am. Canon Jackie+

Prayers for Chandler Eagle Jr. and Family

Please keep in your prayers the soul of Chandler Eagle, Jr. Also please pray for his family

Canon John Floberg shares the following:

Dear Friends:

I have just been called by Chandler Eagle, Sr. and asked to do the Wake and Funeral for his son, Chandler, Jr. this Friday night and Saturday. This 26 year old man was killed early Sunday morning about 2 miles north of the Casino on Standing Rock. The car he was driving collided with the car he was passing, they both went in the ditch and his rolled and caught fire….


Sunday, September 16, 2007

St. Thomas Building Project

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Spirit Lake Nation

2007 Church Building Project

Weekend work dates:
Sept. 21-22 &
Oct. 12-13

Particpant registration:
$15.00 per session.
No experience necessary.

Contact: Canon John Floberg 701-222-0041

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Exploring Ministry" retreat

September 14, 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Grace and peace to you. On the weekend of October 26-28, the Diocese will be hosting a retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery in Richardton on the theme “Exploring Ministry.” This has been the site of the Deacon Formation retreats and clergy conferences over the past several years. We’ve become accustomed to prayerful, relaxed, informative and fun gatherings at Sacred Heart.

Now we’re inviting you to join us. If you’re interested in learning more about your call as a Christian disciple and the calls of some disciples to ordained ministry, we’d welcome your presence at this retreat. To register please contact Robin Kjos at 800.631.0337 or by Friday, October 5.

Below is a draft of the schedule to give a sense of the flow of the weekend. I am,

Yours in Christ,


Exploring Ministry Retreat
October 26-28, 2007
Sacred Heart Monastery, Richardton ND

Dinner on your own
6:30 p.m. (Mountain Time)/7:30 p.m. (Central Time):
Meet at Sacred Heart and caravan to Assumption Abbey for Evening Prayer
7:00 p.m. Evening Prayer with the Monks
8:00 p.m. Session 1: Discipleship & Baptismal Covenant (Kevin)

9:30 p.m. Compline followed by Social time (Jackie)


8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Session 2: Discerning Spiritual Gifts (Sloane & Zanne)

10:30 a.m. Session 3: Discerning II

Noon Lunch
2:00 p.m. Session 4: Deacons (Sharon: Terry & Elsie)

3:30 p.m. Session 5: Priests (Jim: John & Jackie)

5:00 p.m. Evening Prayer with the Sisters
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Session 6: General Discussion (Michael & Jackie)

8:00 p.m. Compline followed by Social time (Jackie)


8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m. Brunch & Depart

Please remember to bring Bible, Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal
Since cell phone coverage is not always adequate, messages may be left at 701.974.2121

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Benefit for Liz Powers+


Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007
4:30-7:30 PM

Messiah Lutheran Church
2010 Elm St N
Fargo, ND 58102

Liz, the priest at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Fargo, was diagnosed with West Nile Virus in June. For more information on the benefit or to help, contact
Laurie at 234-0449 or Nancy at 280-9545.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Run Across North Dakota for Operation Christmas Child

With Bishop Michael Smith’s permission, Deacon Mary Gokey of Gethsemane Cathedral, shares the following with the Diocese.

Mary writes:

Wade Mitzel is a friend I work with, and he is in ‘training’ to benefit the program called ‘Operation Christmas Child’ in which the group collects shoe boxes full of items for needy kids around the world. Wade is running across the state to raise awareness and to encourage people to participate in this project. Churches across the state are being invited to help (please read website) and I thought if any of the Episcopal churches in the state wanted to support Wade &/or the Christmas Child project, in any way (he's even looking for places to crash after each day of running), the opportunity is there. I know Wade is a good man, and is dedicated to this project (body, soul and spirit). I told him I'd help him try to get the word out.

Mary G./

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bishop's Sheaf Letter

August 29, 2007

Dear Friends:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you.

Today marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Some estimate that the recovery efforts will need to continue for at least a decade. The House of Bishops chose New Orleans as the site of their September meeting as a sign that the people of these areas are not forgotten and to encourage those who continue to rebuild. A goal has been set to raise $1,000,000 for the dioceses of Louisiana and Mississippi by each bishop bringing $10,000 from his or her diocese.

Our Diocesan Council appropriated $2,000 from the diocesan budget for this purpose last week. In addition, we are asking that each congregation take a special collection for Katrina Relief on Sunday, September 9. I will take these monies as the contribution of the Diocese of North Dakota to this effort. Checks should be made payable to the Diocese of North Dakota, noted as “Katrina Relief” and sent to the diocesan office by Friday, September 14. Bulletin inserts are available at

Diocese of Louisiana

Coincidentally, I will visit the Diocese of Louisiana another time in September and eight more times during this school year as an assisting bishop. This nine month arrangement as 1/4 time assistant to Bishop Charles Jenkins enables us to move forward in achieving our diocesan financial goals, to experiment with some creative approaches to ministry, and to draw us closer in mission with the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast.

Two Cathedral Events

Invitations have been sent out for the installation of the new dean for Gethsemane Cathedral, Steve Sellers, on Friday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. and for the next morning at 11:00 a.m. for an observance of the 400th Anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia colony and the Anglican/Episcopal encounter with Native America. These events were intentionally scheduled back-to-back in the hopes that clergy and people from around the diocese could attend both. We also expect guests from neighboring dioceses on Saturday.

Church Assessment Tool

In July, fifteen of us from around the diocese gathered in Bismarck to learn about the Church Assessment Tool (CAT). The CAT was presented to us by Rebecca McClain, the Director of the Church Deployment Office of the national church. This tool is designed to help congregations assess their general health and vitality so that the congregational leadership can focus on strengths and opportunities for mission and ministry. The plan is to launch its implementation at Diocesan Convention and gather data throughout October.

Participants included: Amy Juhala, Zanne Ness, Sharon Luntsford, Reuben Schnaidt, Sandy Holbrook, Bonnie McNaughton, John Floberg, Jim Shannon, Jeff Morgan, Frank Mayer, Maggie Mayer, Doyle Burkhardt, Chris Podoll and Daryl Podoll. They will serve as good resource people as we move forward in the implementation of this project.

Committee Assignments

I intend to appoint some new committees at the upcoming convention. Among them are “Capital Campaign,” “Evangelism & Church Planting,” and “Pre/K-12 Christian Formation.” If you would be willing to serve or recommend others to serve on these or other diocesan committees, I would be grateful to hear from you.

Youth Event

Please mark Oct. 20-21 on your calendars from the fall diocesan Youth Retreat. This will be a two-track event for Middle School and High School youth and held at Red Willow Camp in Binford. We will need 1 adult sponsor for every 5 youth. I am especially grateful to Kerryanne Leroux, Christina Bratton, Terry Overbo, Liz Overbo, Louie Abdilnour, Kevin Goodrich OP, Ann Anderson, Bonnie McNaughton, Gadi Edward and Jackie Bernacchi who are working to make this event a success.

Exploring Ministry Retreat

I also would like to invite you to a special retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery in Richardton the weekend of Oct. 26-28. This is especially designed for lay people who are interested in exploring the topic of ministry, both lay and ordained. Please contact Robin Kjos if you’d like to receive more information about this retreat.

Pre-convention Meetings

I look forward to meeting with diocesan convention delegates at one of two Pre-convention meetings on Sunday, September 16 at 3:30 p.m. in Jamestown and at 7:00 p.m. in Devils Lake.

Please keep in prayer the September House of Bishops meeting when we will welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury and discern next steps in the ongoing Windsor process for the healing, reconciliation and unity of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. May God continue to bless you, my brothers and sisters. I am,

Yours in Christ,