The Episcopal Church Welcomes You
» Site Map   » Questions    

« Return
Diocesan Digest - June 1

[Episcopal News Service]   
  • ALBANY: Fire levels Christ Church Episcopal in Pottersville
  • ARIZONA: Two congregations among top 100 ERD donors
  • EAST TENNESSEE: Diocesan camp offers 'tree house' dorm
  • IOWA: Bishop leading cathedral-to-cathedral run

ALBANY: Fire levels Christ Church Episcopal in Pottersville

[SOURCE: Glen Fall Post-Star] Christ Church Episcopal on Route 9 in Pottersville, New York, was destroyed by fire late May 30, and investigators remained at the scene into mid-morning May 31 looking for a cause.

The fire was spotted by a passerby around 11 p.m., said Pottersville Fire Chief Guy Swartwout. When firefighters arrived, the blaze had engulfed much of the building.

"There was a lot of fire and it had gotten way ahead of us," Swartwout said.

Investigators from the New York Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Warren County Office of Fire Prevention and Warren County Sheriff's Department were on the scene sifting through the charred remnants.

Swartwout said a cause had not been determined, but the area of origin appeared to be in the southeast corner of the building. Electrical problems, a lightning strike and appliances in the area were all being looked at as potential causes, he said.

He said arson was also being explored, but investigators "were not looking that way at this point," he said.

Pottersville is a resort town in the southern Adirondack Mountains.

ARIZONA: Two congregations among top 100 ERD donors

[SOURCE: Diocese of Arizona] Among all the congregations in the Episcopal Church, two Arizona congregations place in the top 100 in contributions to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). With contributions of $19,647.91, All Saints of the Desert, Sun City, was number 74. St. Francis, Green Valley, was number 94 with $17,530.00. The contributions were in large part in response to the South Asia tsunami and for Hurricane Katrina relief.

The top 10 parish contributions in Arizona include: All Saints, Sun City; St. Francis, Green Valley; St. Luke's, Prescott; Grace-St. Paul's, Tucson; All Saints, Phoenix; St. Philip's, Tucson; Epiphany, Tempe; St. Michael and All Angels, Tucson; St. Matthew's, Chandler; and Christ Church of the Ascension, Paradise Valley.

EAST TENNESSEE: Diocesan camp offers 'tree house' dorm

[SOURCE: Diocese of East Tennessee] This year's summer campers will be the first to experience a new "tree house" dormitory tucked beneath the oaks and pines at the diocese's Grace Point Camp and Retreat Center near Kingston, Tennessee.
The tree house has two wings, and each has a covered deck at its end. Each wing accommodates a counselor and 10 campers, and has shower and restroom facilities. Every built-in bunk bed has its own window that opens.

The tree house was sited and built with its environmental impact as a primary consideration. Grace Point holds a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED provides a rating system that awards points for environmentally friendly building practices in the areas of sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process.

Locating the first dormitory to minimize the environmental impact was primary with the camp's board even before it learned of the LEED program. "We moved the tree house on the site chosen to where we could leave as many trees as possible. We cut only what we had to cut to get the tree house in," said former board member Ginny Tolbert who supervised the project.
Guided by the LEED point system, the contractor used rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo flooring, materials that were manufactured and shipped within a radius of 500 miles and materials that emitted low amounts of toxic fumes. The design called for low-volume shower heads and toilets and low-energy lights, and it takes advantage of natural heating and cooling in the placement of windows and doors for good air flow throughout the building.

Waste-material management was important to the project as well. Scrap wood was gathered and burned in camp bonfires and the Retreat House fireplace. Two truckloads of scrap wood were made into surveyor stakes by participants in the Michael Dunn Center in Roane County, a nonprofit organization that provides employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. More scrap wood was given away for small building projects, which reduced the amount of refuse for disposal to "a pile four feet high and 10 feet long," said the Rev. Bo Lewis, the camp and retreat center's vicar. "We did a really good job of recycling."

The center's environmental stewardship also involves following suggestions of four University of Tennessee forestry students who recently visited Grace Point and evaluated its forest recreation and wildlife management practices. Programming that emphasizes stewardship of the earth is another way the board has addressed the mission it has defined for the diocesan camp and retreat center.

More information is available at

IOWA: Bishop leading cathedral-to-cathedral run

[SOURCE: Diocese of Iowa] Bishop Alan Scarfe and the rest of the diocese are in the midst of the Cathedral-to-Cathedral Run – An Iowa Pilgrimage.

The 180-mile run left Trinity Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa, on May 25 and is set to finished June 3 at St. Paul's Cathedral in Des Moines. The run and walk begins with Morning Prayer each day and concludes with worship at a nearby Episcopal church each evening. The longest day's distance is 21 miles; the shortest is 17 miles. Other runners and walkers have been joining the bishop on the pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage's aim is to set aside a time for intentional prayer for the mission of the diocese, to experience and celebrate the diocese's unity in Christ, to remember that faith is a journey undertaken together and to raise money for the diocese's Mission Venture Fund. The fund will support young adult global mission immersion experiences, new church starts internships for seminary graduates in congregations committed to redevelopment. The goal is to raise $1,000 per mile, or $180,000.

The diocese's website invited the people of the diocese to make contributions and to join in prayer for the pilgrimage.