The Kansas Minster Project proposes a collaborative way of organizing ourselves for God’s mission in the Diocese of Kansas in the 21st century — it is a vision of our “branching pattern” for the Jesus Movement, a way of structuring to bear the Way of Love with new vigor.
Each of the diocese’s 11 minsters is a group of churches designed for mutual support and sharing of resources, so they can reach out to serve their neighborhoods and communities. They also ensure that every congregation is sacramentally cared for by the priests and deacons within each minster.
Seven task forces currently lead the diocese’s efforts to support action within our congregations and outwardly toward those in our neighborhoods, communities and beyond.
In a message sent to the diocese on March 12, Bishop Cathleen Bascom reiterated some existing guidelines on how churches can gather while staying safe from the Covid-19 virus, and she also offered new options for feeding ministries and coffee hour, as well as for gatherings of fully vaccinated people.
Indoor activities, including worship, will continue to be guided by the level of virus in each county, as identified on a color-coded spreadsheet updated every Wednesday by the diocesan office. Use of the common cup at communion remains restricted, but bread can be distributed, preferably by communion ministers going to distanced worshipers with minimal direct contact.
Congregations may sing outdoors, while masked, but indoors singing is restricted to soloists or small groups, in masks and 30 feet way from worshipers.
Continuing the use of masks and distancing is encouraged, along with increased ventilation. Churches are urged to continue to livestream services, as well as to keep track of everyone who attends worship in person, in case contact tracing is required.
New guidance allows churches to resume serving food and beverages both during coffee hour and in ministries that offer food, which since last March have been restricted to take-out or pick-up packages of food. Space must be provided for those participating in these activities who want to avoid people not wearing masks.
Additionally, once parishioners have had a full series of Covid vaccinations and waited two weeks, small groups of up to 12 people can gather without wearing masks.
"Old Saints for New Days" Monday service
Every Monday at 12:10 p.m., Bishop Cathleen Bascom and clergy members of the diocesan staff offer a service from St. Mary’s Chapel in Grace Cathedral, Topeka.
Called “Old Saints for New Days,” it includes lessons for one of the people featured in Lesser Feasts and Fast during the coming week. Sermons tie themes from the lives of these saints in the past to current issues.
The service is livestreamed to the diocesan YouTube channel, and it also can be viewed later on demand.
The weekly sermon in video format and mauscript form can be downloaded for use in parish Sunday services from the diocesan Dropbox.
Justice and Racial Reconciliation Task Force
The Justice and Racial Reconciliation Task Force was created to help the diocese live into its role as the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in eastern Kansas, especially regarding issues of racial reconciliation, one of the three Jesus Movement areas of focus articulated by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
The task force supports the bishop and the Diocese of Kansas as we learn and grow in our awareness of the dynamics of racism and white supremacy in the church and our nation.
Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry
The mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry is to gather, equip, and send disciples of Jesus Christ to witness to God’s reconciling love.
We strive to accomplish this mission by providing quality programs and events that are biblically based for the entire diocese. Events and programs are designed for young people to experience opportunities in evangelism, spiritual formation, Christian leadership, mission, fellowship, Scripture, discernment and the Episcopal Church.
Bethany House and Garden
Bethany House and Garden is an innovative ministry of the diocese, centered in the historic building that has served over time as a laundry for a girl’s school, a private home, the bishop’s residence and the diocesan offices.
It offers garden space for prayer and meditation, spiritual direction, pastoral care and outdoor worship. Through community listening and engagement, it seeks to be a part of positive change. It also is in the planning stage of imagining what else it might be: demonstration gardens, prairie restoration or a patchwork quilt of ideas?