Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exciting day for diocesan acolytes at Trinity Cathedral

More than 400 people—nearly 250 of them children and youth—spent Saturday, Apr. 17, at Trinity Cathedral, participating in the annual Diocesan Acolyte Festival.

Keynote speakers Diana Frade, founder and director of Our Little Roses Ministries in Honduras; the Rev. Donna Dambrot, president of Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida; and Deacon Anita Thorstad of St. Gregory’s, Boca Raton, who recently returned from seven weeks in Haiti, challenged the young people to be missionaries, serving others and taking God’s love out into the world.

Workshops throughout the morning offered opportunities to practice using incense; to experience meditation techniques; to pray with icons; to learn about peer ministry; and even to climb up into Trinity’s belltower and discover that the art of ringing bells is not as simple as it might seem.

After lunch the acolytes, vested and carrying their banners, crosses and torches, assembled in the parking lot between the cathedral and the Diocesan Office for the procession--led by a Junkanoo Band--out onto NE 15th street and around the corner into the doors of the cathedral.

At the Eucharist, Bishop Leo Frade commissioned the acolytes for their ministry and urged them to listen for God’s call--perhaps to ordained ministry.

“If God is calling you,” the bishop said, “please listen—and say yes!”

Each congregation had been asked to name one acolyte to be recognized for outstanding service; the bishop presented a certificate and a pin to each of these honored acolytes.

After the service all participants were invited to stay for a concert by the Christian idie rock group “Between the Trees.”

Click here for Acolyte Festival photos.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bishop’s Spring Conference—Learning a new visual language

“I’m Matthew Moretz, and I have things to show you.”

The Bishop’s Spring Conference, Mar. 12-13 at the Duncan Center, was all about “showing.” What Moretz, whose “Father Matthew Presents” videos have become a YouTube favorite, and television producer Bill Shomo offered participants was nothing less than the opportunity to begin learn a new visual language for communicating the Good News to the new communities that exist online.

On the second day of the conference, participants had an opportunity to tell—and show—how they’d make a video, starting with a script. Both presenters were adamant about the need for writing a script, planning both the shots and the words.

Divided into small groups, participants drafted a “creative treatment” for a video with a Gospel message—based on a satiric country song, “You Never Called Me by My Name,” by Steve Goodman.

After the small groups had presented their “videos” as skits, to enthusiastic laughter and applause, Shomo commented, “I don’t think either Matthew or I realized what great creative talent we have here!”

Young people had been especially invited to participate in the conference. Members of the Youth Commission led ice-breakers for the whole group on Saturday morning; Good Shepherd, Tequesta, brought 15 of its middle school youth; and three groups of youth presented their video ideas.

There was also a small group for Spanish-speakers. In their presentation, the Rev. Christina Encinosa pointed out that their first task had been to translate the words of the song into Spanish.

Not everyone will be making video, Moretz concluded, but he urged the group to make it a priority to learn this new language, and to create ways for people around the church who have these skills to come together and to pass them on.

Photo gallery from Bishop’s Spring Conference.

Click here to view a recent presentation by “Fr. Matthew” at a conference on church communications in the Diocese of Western New York.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Christian rock band at Trinity Cathedral

The Diocesan Acolyte Festival on Saturday, Apr. 17, at Trinity Cathedral, Miami, will conclude with a concert by the Christian rock band Between the Trees, which is featured on the soundtrack of the current film Letters to God.

The concert will begin around 5 p.m. Concert tickets are included for all participants in the Acolyte Festival—but tickets are also available for $20 at www.ticketleap.com.

Profits from the concert will go toward diocesan relief efforts for Haiti, and to help acolytes from our diocese participate in the National Acolytes Festival in Washington, DC, in October.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Canon Richard Miller featured on new House of Deputies page

Newly updated web pages of Episcopal Church House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson debuted on the Episcopal Church website, http://www.episocpalchurch.org/, on April 7.

In addition to Anderson’s views, sermons and statements and her travel throughout the Church; voices from the 800+ members of the House of Deputies; and updates of activities of Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards (CCABs), the site includes a section called “Featured Voice.” This section offers the words of people, Anderson says, “whose work and experience I consider especially compelling.”

One of the first to be featured is our own Canon Richard Miller, member of Holy Family, Miami Gardens, secretary of Diocesan Convention, eight-time deputy from our diocese to General Convention and president of Province IV. Click here to read his faith story.