Dec. 19, 2019
Presiding Bishopâs Christmas message
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers a video message for Christmas, focusing on the opening of the gospel of John: âThe light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.â
The video is available at https://episcopalchurch.org/library/video/2019-christmas-message
The text of his message is available at https://episcopalchurch.org/posts/publicaffairs/presiding-bishop-currys-christmas-message-2019?fbclid=IwAR26fozISdthEpJEdK58faQv-qnksxEqm8223zRg4QcRz_vKHE2rfCGijBw.
Dec. 21 simulcast will features churches in Washington and Bethlehem
On Saturday, Dec. 21, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Central, the congregations of Washington National Cathedral and the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine, come together in celebration of the birth of Christ.
The live simulcast will include prayers, readings and hymns in both Arabic and English, bringing together those of different lands, languages and backgrounds.
The event will be broadcast live on the cathedralâs YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITXmb3AN9uw&feature=emb_title
The Episcopal Church offers three Christmas Eve services online
The Episcopal Church this year is broadcasting three Christmas Eve programs on Dec. 24, available on both the Episcopal Church website (https://episcopalchurch.org/celebrate-christmas-eve), and the Episcopal Churchâs Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/episcopalian):
Â· 11 a.m. Central: Christmas Eve liturgy from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Seattle, Wash.
Â· 3 p.m. Central: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from St. Thomas Fifth Avenue in New York City
Â· 5 p.m. Central: Christmas Eve liturgy from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Seattle, Wash.
End-of-the-year financial deadline
Churches or others submitting checks to the diocese to be credited during 2019 need to make sure they are received in the diocesan office no later than Friday, Dec. 27.
Those with questions should contact Comptroller Jay Currie at email@example.com, (800) 473-3563 or (785) 235-9255.
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer for 2020 now is available
The diocesan cycle of prayer for 2020 now is available on the diocesan website at http://www.episcopal-ks.org/resources/cycle-of-prayer.php.
Entries for the remaining Sundays of 2019 are listed, as well as for all Sundays of 2020. There also are links to a Word document version of the list for both years.
The cycle of prayer includes special intentions for the churches of the diocese, members of the Anglican Communion and nations of the world.
Reminder: ordinations will take place on Saturday, Jan. 11
The Rev. John Bullock and the Rev. Ashley Mather will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Grace Cathedral, 701 SW 8th Ave. in Topeka. Bishop Cathleen Bascom will preside and preach.
Bullock, a spring 2019 graduate of the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry, is serving an intern year at St. Aidanâs, Olathe. Mather graduated in May 2019 from Virginia Theological Seminary and is curate at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. Both were ordained as transitional deacons on June 1.
A reception will follow the service.
Clergy who attend are invited to walk in procession and vest in red stoles, and should arrive no later than 10 a.m.
Scholarship aid requests from clergy children are due by Friday, Jan. 3
Jan. 3 is the deadline for clergy children to apply for a Father Young Fund grant for the spring semester. All students interested in receiving an award from the Father Young Fund should send a letter addressed to Bishop Cathleen Bascom, in care of Jeanne Atha (by postal mail: 835 SW Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612; by email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The letter should state who they are (their relationship to a clergy person active in the diocese), where they are attending school, their year in school and what they plan to study. Assistance will be provided for eight semesters of undergraduate work only.
Application for the spring academic term is to be made no later than Jan. 3; for the fall semester term no later than Aug. 3.
As soon as all applications have been received from students, the amount of financial assistance will be determined, and a check will be sent to the student at their home.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeanne Atha email@example.com, (785) 235-9255 or (800) 473-3563.
Upcoming youth events
>> Miqra registration now is open. MIQRA (meek-rah) is a weekend retreat that focuses on the Bible and allows teens to discover whatâs in it, why they should care and how to read it. We read the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation in 72 hours. The reading is voluntary, and participants take turns reading in shifts around the clock.
So many fun things happen at MIQRA. We play wacky games like Church Commandos and Nave Olympics. We have a movie night. We worship with the Mustard Seeds, our diocesan youth band. Participants attend engaging workshops on various biblical topics and hear clergy speak about the Bible.
Those who attend also meet with a small group several times to make friends and talk about what theyâre discovering about the Bible through the event.
Â· When and where: Jan. 18-20, Grace Cathedral, 701 SW 8th Ave., Topeka
Â· Ages: Grades 6 â 12
Â· Cost: $55 ($70 after Jan. 5) includes meals and t-shirt
Â· Register: https://tinyurl.com/EDOKMiqra20
>> Mini-Miqra retreat for young adults has opened registration. All college-aged Episcopalians and others interested in exploring the Episcopal faith are invited to a one-night retreat to kick-off the Miqra weekend. We will read the Bible, learn more about it and how to read it, worship, and enjoy yummy food together. Pre-registration is required.
Miqra continues as a youth event for the rest of the weekend. If youâd like to volunteer as an adult for Miqra, register for that, too.
Â· When and where: Jan. 17-18, Grace Cathedral, 701 SW 8th Ave., Topeka
Â· Time: It will officially start at 10 a.m., but please come whenever you can
Â· Ages: Ages 18 â 25ish
Â· Cost: $15 includes meals and t-shirt
Â· Register: https://tinyurl.com/EDOKmini-miqra20
Episcopal Youth Event registration is now open
The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) involves 1,500 people (high school students, their adult mentors and bishops from around the church) who all stay on a college campus and learn, laugh and serve.
EYE20 programs focus on helping develop leadership skills, spiritual practices and early stages of vocational discernment. The theme for EYE20 is âUnite! Â¡UnÃ¡monos!â
EYE20 will take place at the University of Maryland in College Park, July 7-11, 2020. Those attending from this diocese will be flying as a group from Kansas City to Washington, D.C. Scholarships are available to cover airfare if you need it. We ask participants to pay the $400 registration fee, which includes lodging, most meals and a t-shirt. Payment plans are available when you sign-up, but you must be paid in full by the start of the event.
Participants must have turned 15 and be no older than 19 by the start of the event. Current freshman who are 14 will have an opportunity to attend EYE2023, since the Episcopal Youth Event is on a three-year cycle.
Clergy housing allowance resolutions are required soon
The Church Pension Group reminds parishes of the need to have clergy housing allowances for 2020 finalized by Vestry resolution before a January paycheck is issued. This action must be recorded in the minutes. The priest needs to declare either a dollar amount or a percentage of compensation as the housing allowance for 2020.
Portion of the value of clergy life insurance may be taxable
The value of clergy group term life insurance provided by employers is considered taxable income in the current year to the extent the coverage exceeds $50,000.
The Church Pension Fund provides coverage to all eligible clergy in the Clergy Pension Fund. For active clergy, that is four times the total compensation, up to a maximum of $100,000. For retired clergy, it is four times the highest average compensation, to a maximum of $50,000.
Any clergyperson, active or retired, who receives additional group term life insurance from any employer, may have additional income tax liability.
To calculate the value of your insurance benefit for income tax purposes, the IRS uses the following numbers for the cost per $1,000 of all group life insurance coverage per month exceeding the $50,000 exclusion:
Â· Under 25, monthly cost is 5 cents
Â· 25-29, monthly cost is 6 cents
Â· 30-34, monthly cost is 8 cents
Â· 35-39, monthly cost is 9 cents
Â· 40-44, monthly cost is 10 cents
Â· 45-49, monthly cost is 15 cents
Â· 50-54, monthly cost is 23 cents
Â· 55-59, monthly cost is 43 cents
Â· 60-64, monthly cost is 66 cents
Â· 65-69, monthly cost is $1.27
Â· Over 70, monthly cost is $2.06
Anyone with questions about this may contact diocesan Comptroller Jay Currie firstname.lastname@example.org, (785) 235-9255 or (800) 473-3563
Vestry Papers for December focuses on change
The latest edition of Vestry Papers from the Episcopal Church Foundation looks at the issue of change and how to embrace necessary change and all that it can offer a community of faith.
First-person articles describe how change has brought new life in places across the Episcopal Church.
Itâs available online at https://www.ecfvp.org/vestry-papers
Episcopal Relief & Development offers year-end match up to $1 million
Episcopal Relief & Development again is offering supporters and donors the opportunity to double their impact with a donation. For a second year, contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development until the end of the year will be doubled, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $1 million.
The Million Dollar Match will benefit the organizationâs Global Needs Fund, enabling work around the world with local partners, helping communities overcome poverty, hunger, disaster and disease.
Contributions that are eligible for the match include those made online, by mail or over-the-phone. Donations through the popular âGifts for Lifeâ alternative giving catalog also are included.
Contributions can be made securely online at https://support.episcopalrelief.org/2019match/?ID=191200RWMHC0100&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=fy19holiday&utm_source=191200RWMHC0100.
>> For that hard-to-buy-for person: The Gifts for Life catalog is available at https://support.episcopalrelief.org/gifts?ID=180000GX0000400&utm_medium=Undefined&utm_campaign=Undefined&utm_source=180000GX0000400.
United Thank Offering grant applications are due Feb. 6
The focus for the 2020 United Thank Offering grants is âBless: Share faith, practice generosity and compassion, and proclaim the Good News of God in Christ with hope and humility.â
The deadline for UTO grant applications to be submitted to the diocesan office is Feb. 6. The completed grant application form and a proposed project budget are required.
From among applications submitted, the diocese will select one to forward to the United Thank Offering board for possible funding.
Information, including a link to the application form, is on the UTO grant website, https://www.episcopalchurch.org/uto-grants
Minutes of Council of Trustees meeting now are online
Minutes from the Nov. 20 meeting of the Council of Trustees have been approved and now are posted on the diocesan website: http://www.episcopal-ks.org/news/Council-of-Trustees-minutes.php.
Anniversaries of ordinations
Congratulations go to these people as they celebrate the anniversaries of their ordination in the next two weeks:
Dec. 21: The Rev. George Spratt, retired (64 years); the Rev. Robert Terrill, retired (58 years); the Rev. Richard McCandless, retired (57 years); the Rev. James Mitchell, retired (56 years); the Rev. Gary Gooch, retired (45 years); the Rev. Frederick Robertson, retired (45 years); the Rev. Tom Miles, retired (43 years); the Rev. Randall McQuin, non-parochial (40 years); the Rev. Larry Steadman, non-parochial, Diocese of Western Kansas (17 years)
Dec. 22: Deacon Deborah Burns, Trinity, Lawrence (18 years)
Diocesan office will be closed for Christmas
The diocesan office in Topeka will be closed in observance of Christmas and New Yearâs from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.
The office will reopen on Jan. 2 with regular office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
We wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Stay in touch with the diocese on social media
You can find news, features and updates from the diocese on social media. Weâre on Facebook â EpiscopalDioceseofKansas (https://www.facebook.com/EpiscopalDioceseofKansas), Twitter â @EpiscoKs and Instagram â @EpiscoKs.
You can find diocesan youth and campus ministries on Instagram, too:
Canterbury House of Lawrence: @canterburylfk
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