Bishop Smith’s E-Pistle December 6, 2015

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December 4, 2015

Sadly, I need to write to you again about gun violence in light of the killings in San Bernardino this week. Such awful events have been almost routine. In fact, there has been on average a mass shooting every day this year, not to mention the roughly 80 individuals killed by guns every day!


Build a Healthy Vestry

[EVP] Whether your Vestry (or Bishop’s Committee) is composed of six or sixteen, the members are vital faith leaders for your church. Yet, when it comes to recruiting new candidates, outgoing members sometimes default to criteria that should raise a red flag. The key to this process working well is intentional planning and communicating by congregational leaders, especially the senior warden, keeping the focus on ministry. Read more.

UTO Granting Cycle
The UTO Young Adult/Seminarian Grant Application and Criteria are now available through the United Thank Offering website. The deadline is the end of December. The Young Adult grants awarded earlier this year were showcased at General Convention in Salt Lake City and were extremely inspiring. Beginning January 4, 2016, the 2016 Grant Application will be available online. The criteria are currently available. Kerry Jo Hanstein, Diocesan UTO Coordinator, encourages everyone to look at their ministries and the criteria and see if there is a fit. She says, “It would be wonderful to have a ministry in the Diocese of Arizona funded by a UTO Grant.” If you have any questions, contact Kerry Jo Hanstein.



Trinity Cathedral Hosts Guest Preacher
The Rev. Tommy Dillon is Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island, WA. A native of Baton Rouge, LA, Tommy honors and values his conservative Anglo-Catholic Episcopal roots, but has moved well beyond them in ministry, theology, and liturgical style. He has a passion for helping faithful church people discover how to take ministry and spirit beyond the church walls, and embrace new ways of being the church in a changing world. On December 13, Rev. Dillon will be the guest preacher at both the 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. services.

Integrity Arizona Potluck Meeting

Integrity is the national Episcopal LGBTQ support and advocacy group. The local chapter’s next meeting is Saturday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s (Litchfield Park). Everyone is welcome if they are in need of support or are supportive of our mission to share God’s love with the LGBTQ/ally community. Please bring an entree or side dish to share. Dessert and beverages will be provided. For questions, contact Claudine Pease-Wingenter.

Spiritual Direction Training

Christian Formation and Direction Ministries (CFDM) is once again offering a two-year spiritual direction training program at St. Barnabas (Scottsdale). Applications are being accepted for the fourth Arizona Cohort beginning in January. Spiritual directors do not actually “direct” anyone; they are trained to help individuals find the direction the Holy Spirit has for their lives. If interested in learning more, access the application or contact Joyce Vidal-Thornburg for additional information at or 602-750-9970.





Please go to the Diocesan Calendar for more detailed information about these events and others including services such as Taizé and Compline. Use our Find a Church feature to locate a church listed below.

Saturday, December 5

  • Advent Quiet Day @ St. Mary’s, Phoenix
  • Contemplative Group Prayer
    @ St. Michael & All Angels, Tucson
  • Deacons’ Assembly @ Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix
  • Dance Mixability @ St. Stephen’s, Phoenix
  • 22nd International Holiday Bazaar
    @ St. Michael & All Angels, Tucson
  • Advent Movie Night: Elf @ St. Peter’s, Litchfield Park
  • Taizé @ St. Andrew’s, Sedona

Sunday, December 6

  • 22nd International Holiday Bazaar
    @ St. Michael & All Angels, Tucson
  • 2nd Annual Daughters of the King Advent Meditation
    @ Christ Church of the Ascension, Paradise Valley
  • Ordination to the Priesthood of The Rev. Sandy Chilese
    @ SS Philip & James, Morenci
  • Taizé @ St. Stephen’s, Phoenix

Wednesday, December 9

  • Intercessory Prayers @ St. Stephen’s, Sierra Vista
  • Healing Service & Eucharist @ St. Matthew’s, Chandler
Thursday, December 10
  • Lessons and Carols @ Church of the Advent, Oro Valley
Friday, December 11
  • Taizé Service @ St. Luke’s, Prescott


[click on the link above for the complete calendar]

6  St. Paul’s, Payson
13  All Saints’ Church & Day School, Phoenix
20  Iglesia Episcopal de San Pablo, Phoenix
27  Santa Maria Episcopal Church, Phoenix

Remember in your Prayers of the People:

Our companion Diocese:

And those who have asked for our prayers:

  • John Bloxham, husband of The Rev. Sheila Hagan-Bloxham,
    who is recovering from surgery
  • The Rev. Robin Hollis,
    who is recovering at home
  • The Rev. Robert Williams,
    who is suffering from chronic lumbar muscle spasms
  • The Rev. Jeffrey Reed,
    who is undergoing treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Pat Thompson, Lay Vicar,
    who is recovering from a serious car accident
  • The Rev. Channing Johnson,
    who is receiving treatment for melanoma
  • Nancy Dugan, wife of The Rev. Ray Dugan,
    who is recovering at home
  • All members of the Armed Forces,
    especially those who are serving overseas
  • Those affected by recent weather, natural disasters, and
    civil unrest

The above names will stay on this list for up to four weeks. If someone needs to remain on this list for a longer period, or to have others added to this list, please contact Nicole Krug at



Contact Information

Phone: 602-254-0976



The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona | 114 W. Roosevelt Street | Phoenix | AZ | 85003-1406