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All over our region, congregations are embracing new ways of working on behalf of the Gospel. If you have a story to tell about work your community is doing, please email us.

Partnership to Offer Holy Week, Easter Services Online

The diocesan partnership will offer several online worship services for Holy Week and Easter: Palm Sunday Service, March 28 at 10 a.m. Palm Sunday worship will include a narrative reading of Mark’s Passion Gospel. Join the service on Zoom. If you are asked for a password, use lakeerie. To join by phone instead of video, dial…

Updated Reopening Guidelines Released

Dear People of God in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania: Across our region, COVID-19 cases have begun to decline from the precipitous rates we saw this winter. The vaccine rollout, while still slow, has gained some momentum in both New York and Pennsylvania, and it seems as if the worst of the winter weather…

We Cannot Stay Where We Are: A Sermon by the Rev. Jason Shank

“Like Nicodemus, we cannot stay where we are,” said the Rev. Jason Shank in his sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent. “Through the season of Lent we are given space to think about our own response to the cross and what it means for us to walk in the light of God’s Love. Most…

Jesus Is Flipping Tables: A Sermon by Canon Vanessa Butler

In today’s gospel, “Jesus is flipping tables, ya’ll,” Canon Vanessa Butler says. The story of Jesus turning over the tables of moneylenders in the temple is well-known, but the Ten Commandments offer us a deeper way to read it. This Lent, she suggests we take up the commandments “not as an obligation, but as a…

A New Way of Worshipping at St. Philip’s, Buffalo

Early in the pandemic, St. Philip’s, Buffalo began holding services online as a way to gather while COVID-19 made it unsafe to be together in person. Now, what began as a short-term solution has become a long-term commitment to a new way of worshipping. The congregation has transformed its space, installing technology that will allow…

2020 Parochial Report, Due March 1, Tracks Challenges of COVID-19

During the spring and summer of 2020, as the pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person worship across the Episcopal Church, the House of Deputies State of the Church Committee raced to create a new parochial report form, designed just to track the “opportunities, innovations and challenges” that congregations experienced while dealing with the pandemic,” according…

A Future Transformed by Love: A Sermon by Canon Twila Smith

Like Jesus in the wilderness, our own season of being tested can be “a time to be transformed as only God’s love can do,” says Canon Twila Smith in her sermon on Mark 1:9-15. “In this wilderness, however long, we are being prepared, as Jesus was, for the ministry ahead. Recognizing as Jesus proclaimed, that…