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More news of what's happening in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas is available from two diocesan publications.
St. Christopher's, Wichita, to close as an active parish on Sept. 13
Based on the consensus of the Vestry of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Wichita, and the unanimous consent of the Council of Trustees, Bishop Dean Wolfe announced on Aug. 21 that St. Christopher’s will close as an active parish on Sunday, Sept. 13. The final service will be held at the church at 10:30 a.m. that day.
Members and friends of the congregation are invited to celebrate the church’s 63-year history and ministry on Sept. 13 at a reception from 3 - 5 p.m. at the church, 2211 S. Bluff Street. At the end of that time, Bishop Wolfe will lead a liturgy of thanksgiving, and the building will be released from the jurisdiction of the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.
St. Christopher’s was founded in 1952, one of the first churches started in the post-World War II boom that expanded the number of parishes in the diocese. It began on five acres of land in southeast Wichita purchased by the diocese. The Rev. John Pruessner was called as its first vicar, even as the fledgling congregation met in the hospitality room of a local Coca-Cola bottling plant. The first building was completed on its land in 1954, and an expanded church facility and a rectory soon followed.
In the mid-1980s it reached a peak membership of more than 600 people but soon began a decline in membership in the 1990s that continued. Last year there were fewer than 50 active members in the congregation.
Bishop Wolfe said, “Faith communities are so much more than their buildings. St. Christopher’s has sustained a long and important ministry and produced a number of outstanding leaders, both lay and ordained, for service in the diocese and in the wider church. Now, the remaining active members no longer have the resources to maintain this extensive church property and continue this ministry. Therefore, the church is now ready to retire and to be honored with an appropriate celebration of all that has taken place there over the years, and all that this congregation has meant to so many lives. The legacy of St. Christopher’s lives on in its accomplishments and in the Christian faith it has nurtured in the lives of so many people.”
The bishop said many members of St. Christopher are making plans to become affiliated with other Episcopal churches in the Wichita area. The church is three miles from St. James’, five miles from St. Stephen’s and six miles from St. Bartholomew’s.
Canon to the Ordinary, the Reverend Torey Lightcap, said the congregation is seeking to place some of its liturgical vessels and objects, as well as additional items, in other Episcopal churches around the diocese so they can continue to be used in the service of Christ.
The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church took place in Salt Lake City June 24 - July 3.
Kansans who were there, including Bishop Dean Wolfe, deputies and others, posted thoughts to a special website >>HERE.
Click the other tabs at the top to read about the lay and clergy deputies, along with first alternates, who attended to vote on resolutions and, in the words of the Prayer Book, "take counsel for the renewal and mission" of the Episcopal Church.
A link to that special Kansas website, along with lots of other helpful information, is on the diocese's General Convention page >>HERE.
Two young Kansans head overseas for service in Anglican congregations
Tristan Holmberg (left), a member of St. James’, Wichita, and Naomi Cunningham, St. Paul’s, Manhattan, are among 27 young adults who will will spend the next year in ministry to Anglican Communion dioceses around the world, under the auspices of the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult Service Corps.
Cunningham will work at the American Cathedral in Paris, one of a group of Episcopal churches across Europe. Her job is to help get cathedral youth more involved in outreach. Holmberg will serve somewhere in the Philippines, but he doesn’t know yet exactly where or what he will be doing.
Both of them will begin their year of service in August.
The Episcopal Church pays the $24,000 it costs to send them overseas, but they each have to raise $10,000 of that amount. They are seeking people who will donate $20 to fund one day of their service, and the donor will be prayed for on that day.
An online form to help support Tristan Holmberg is available >>HERE.
An online form to help support Naomi Cunningham is available >>HERE.
The forms also include an address for those wanting to make donations by check.
More information about Tristan and Naomi’s journey to service is in the latest issue of The Harvest, >>HERE.