Parish Letter – Feast of St. Francis 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Today as we celebrate the feast of the great and blessed Francis of Assisi, let us remember his example of simple living and dedication to honoring all of creation.  Let us consider the collect appointed for today: “Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”


On this very special feast day, I wanted to take a few moments to share some thoughts and news.  First, I wanted to make sure that all of you know that this coming weekend (October 6 to 8) is the 114th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Montana and it will be held in Helena.  Emmanuel, Miles City will be represented by Sharon Hatley and Gloria Archdale and Church of the Ascension, Forsyth by Wanda Dowlin and Sue Adams.  I will also be at convention and because of that, there will be some changes in services for Sunday, October 8 – Miles City will not have a service and Forsyth will have Morning Prayer at 11:30 AM.


Second, I wanted to share some exciting news about a new ministry at both of our congregations.  Both Emmanuel and Church of the Ascension are starting “Little Free Pantries” an outreach ministry that is part of a nationwide movement (  These pantries will provide emergency food and supplies to those in need without questions or obligations.  Church of the Ascension’s pantry is out now and look out for a newspaper article about it.  Emmanuel’s pantry will be out soon.  To learn more about this worthwhile ministry, check out the included article about an Episcopal Church in Wyoming that has their own pantry program.


Finally, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their support over the past couple of months during my mother’s illness and after her passing.  I cannot begin to adequately thank you for your support, kindness and prayers during this time.  It has been a difficult time for me, but I really have appreciated how kind and understanding all of you have been.  During this time, I have relied a lot on my faith and the support of my colleagues and my church family.  I would appreciate your continued prayers for myself and my family as we go forward.


I will update everyone on the events of diocesan convention afterward.  Please keep all those attending in your prayers.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Yours in Christ,

Father Stephen

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