Church News: Winter 2017

By Mother Margaret Watson

It started in 2012 with a simple phone call—an offer to help with Christmas services. It was a ray of hope when only general chaos ruled my mind, trying to figure out a schedule to get to as many churches as possible as close to Christmas Day on the Cheyenne River Reservation. Not an easy thing to do with ten eager congregations and many rivers to cross.

The generous call came from Mother Mercy and Father David at Trinity, Pierre. So, I chose the congregation closest to them, St. Andrew’s, Cherry Creek. St. Andrew’s is a young and lively congregation, where adults are usually outnumbered by children three-to-one and a crowd of fifty or more gather around a wood stove in a 15’x30’ cement block building. The old Victorian-era frame church burned down long ago, and yet the congregation has continued to meet in the 1940s cook house/guild hall that continues to serve not only as a church, but as a community meeting place, despite the lack of water and an easy source of heat.

The day after Christmas, I received another phone call from Mercy and David, full of gratitude—one of the best Christmas’s ever, they said. Please ask us to go back there!

And I know what they mean. So I did! The energy and enthusiasm of the people of St. Andrews, to gather and pray and celebrate our life in Christ, is an on-going gift and blessing to all who have ever been there. And in the next year and the years since then, the good people of Trinity, Pierre have responded to the call by Mother Mercy to share in that joy by sending Christmas gifts across the Missouri and the Cheyenne to the confluence at Cherry Creek—to the folks who gather at St. Andrew’s to celebrate and pray. (This year, there were so many gifts, I could not carry them all in my little wanna-be-car… not even by putting my husband and dogs all in one seat! I am grateful to Marlys and the Diocese for bringing the remainder up in that busy time just before Christmas!)

And it is a good thing. A holy thing. An act full of tinsel and wrapping paper and light and generosity and joy.

(And who knows—maybe one dark and cold Christmas night, all the good people of Trinity will turn off their lights, leave maps at the door, and make the journey to celebrate the Incarnation of Our Lord face to face (incarnationally!) with those who are gathering around the wood stove alongside the small frozen creek in a now-not-so-forgotten place. I have heard the old stories of folks traveling by horse and cart to that same place, camping out in the snow, eating, laughing, celebrating for days on end, sharing in the true gifts of the Spirit.) So, come! Come, taste and see! The Lord is good! All are welcome to the Supper of Our Lord!

To the good people of God in Trinity, Pierre—from the good people of God in St. Andrew’s, Cherry Creek… THANK YOU! God bless you!

From the Bishop

By the Right Rev. John T. Tarrant

A s I was preparing to celebrate the 150 anniversary of Our Most Merciful Savior Church in Santee Nebraska this past December, I reread parts of Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve’s book, That They May Have Life.

In the telling about the conflict between Samuel Hitman and “other white protestant missionaries at Santee” she quotes from Roy Meyer, History of the Santee Sioux who writes, “a difficulty seems to have arisen between them and it is notorious in the tribe that the missionaries themselves, have of late years, not been upon terms of ordinary civility and courtesy with each other.”

It struck me that this could be a description of the church in recent years. It is expected that at times we will find ourselves in disagreement or conflict, but there is no excuse for not showing “ordinary civility and courtesy” toward each other. In fact, when we allow our disagreements to become rude and disrespectful, at times even vile, we reject Jesus’ commandment to us, “to love one another.” We show ourselves to be no different from the world to which we are called to witness.

Jesus told his disciples, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” If we think we are honoring God by our angry and disrespectful comments, letters, emails, FaceBook posts, etc then we ought to reintroduce ourselves to the one we claim to follow who from the cross prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Jesus understood that our greatest witness to the world would be how we loved one another. He tells us, “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you… If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” Do we hold ourselves to a higher standard than much of the world seems to embrace?

St. Paul tells us that ‘love’ is not the way you feel, but the way you behave. In his letter to the church in Corinth he would write, “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

To be a Jesus follower and live the Christian ‘way’ is not an easy road. We will regularly fall short, but I believe it is a path worth following and so I do. I miss the mark far more than I wish I did, but I have learned that the first step toward following Jesus is to understand that there is a ‘mark’ to aim for…

Peter came and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” Repentance and forgiveness goes hand in hand. Peter well knew that there were times when he was the member of the church that had sinned against another. If we want our faith communities to stand as a light in the midst of the darkness of the principalities and powers of this world then we might follow advice of the 18 century Anglican priest and one of the founders of Methodism John Wesley, who wrote in a sermon, “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all God’s children may unite, not withstanding these smaller differences.

Forgiveness, repentance, patience, kindness, loving friend and enemy alike and even praying for those who persecute us is all part of the ‘way’, the ‘path’ of following Jesus. And this path certainly includes offering ‘ordinary civility and courtesy’ toward each other. Conflicts and disagreement within our world, country, and church are not new. From Peter to John Wesley to our present age we have struggled as people to live in harmony with each other and God. As followers of Jesus we see that struggle worth engaging. The opportunity for the church is to witness to a way of life that moves from being self centered to being God centered; that moves from self righteousness to surrender to God’s love. In short, our opportunity is to live as if we believe what we say.



The Rev. Cordelia Red Owl has officially retired after serving the Diocese and Pine Ridge Mission faithfully the past 16 years. Thank you Mother Cordelia for your dedication, for loving us and teaching us.

Clergy: New Additions and changes to our Diocesan family:

The Rev. Christina O’Hara is now the full time rector at Church of the Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls.

The Rev. Hal Weidman and his wife Michelle from Atlanta, Georgia are now at St. Andrew’s, Rapid City.

The Rev. Tim Fountain started as our Missioner of Support. Tim has developed the Diocese Facebook page and will maintain that site besides coordinating the Safeguarding God’s Children program. If you have something you would like posted on the Facebook page or have questions regarding Safeguarding God’s Children, please email

Pat LeBeau began January 1, 2017 as the Diocesan Missioner for Property. If you have any questions regarding improvements or repairs needed at your church please email

Does your Parish or Mission need new prayer books?

It is probably a rare thing to be told that your parish might be eligible for a gift – a gift that is actually useful and which is backed up by a promise that has been kept since 1833.

It was in that year Bishop William White founded the Prayer Book Society which today bears
his name.

Through the years the Bishop White Prayer Book Society has made possible the provision of Prayer Books and Hymnals (and their supplements) to parishes and missions that could
not afford them.

Our website has more information about the application process.

Can we be of help to your parish?
The Rev. Mark Ainsworth,
Corresponding Secretary


Happenings Around the Diocese

Augustus ‘Gus’ Kruskamp, a youth member of the Church of All Angels Episcopal Church, Spearfish, SD became a Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout on December 22, 2016.
Only 4% of all Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts. Gus is a member of troop 15, Spearfish.
Part of his work included building 10 benches for Thunderhead Episcopal Camp.
They are built out of wood pallets. On Sunday December 22, 2017 Bishop Tarrant and Father Riley posed with Gus as he presented the benches.


Pictured left to right are Bishop Tarrant, the Rev. Pat White Horse-Cardaand Sam Kitto.

Pictured left to right are Bishop Tarrant, the Rev. Pat White Horse-Cardaand Sam Kitto.

December 11, 2016 Most Merciful Savior, Santee, Nebraska Celebrated their 150th Anniversary.

Men's Bible Study meets weekly at Bagel Boy in Sioux Falls

By Dean Ward Simpson

In the spring of 2016 Tony Taylor and Dean Ward Simpson gathered over a cup of coffee to talk about what they wanted in their spiritual lives. Recently retired from full time work, Tony expressed a strong interest in gathering a men's bible study group. Together they decided to start out small and work by personal invitation. About a month later a group of five or six came together at a local restaurant over breakfast and thus began Calvary's Men's Bible Study.

Since then the group has slowly increased in size. They gather at 7:30 every Thursday morning
at Bagel Boy on Minnesota Ave. in Sioux Falls. Each week they spend the first 20 to 30 minutes in social conversation, catching up with one another and solving the world's problems. They then begin their time in Scripture with the Gathering Prayer used at Tiospaye
Wakan. They then have one person read a passage of scripture aloud. Typically this will be a
half chapter to a chapter in length. They then wrestle through the text together, sharing what
they see, what strikes them, or what questions they have of the text. Somewhere around 8:20
they close that conversation and share their prayer concerns with one another.

One member of the group will then sum up the prayer concerns and give thanks to God for the gathering and the time closes with the Lord's Prayer.

"I was surprised by how easy it was to get this started, though I probably shouldn't have been,"
said Father Simpson. "Literally all it took was inviting a few people and encouraging them to
invite others." The group continues to grow. 

Today there are a dozen who attend regularly including members from Good Shepherd Episcopal Church as well as Calvary Cathedral. It requires almost no organization other then the group agreeing which book of the bible they are going to work through next.

Tony provides the group with copies of that week's scripture and some bring their own Bibles.
Tony also sends out an email reminder each week. After covering a number of the shorter Epistles, the group has now started to work their way through the Gospel According to

If you are in Sioux Falls on a Thursday morning, join us at Bagel Boy on Minnesota Ave.
near 33rd Street around 7:30. Everyone is welcome. Or, better yet, invite a couple of your
friends to join you and start a Bible Study Group in your community.

GLORY at the Capitol

Loaded down with three boxes of handmade Christmas decorations, two 100-foot lengths of Christmas tree lights (white, not colored, thank you), and lengths and lengths of gold and silver glitter ropes, 30 children and adults from the Rosebud Episcopal Mission GLORY program descended on the State Capitol in November to decorate one of the 100-plus Christmas trees on display there.

GLORY (God Loves Our Rosebud Youth) almost didn't get to decorate a tree this year. The application for decorating one of the trees was sent in August, but when Mother Lauren Stanley called the Governor's office to inquire, she was told the Governor's office never received it.

"The GLORY kids decorated a tree in 2014, which was one of the highlights of the year for them," Mother Lauren said. "I was afraid to tell the kids our application got lost somewhere, because I didn't want them to be disappointed."

The Governor's office offered to put GLORY on the waiting list, in case anyone who had won the tree decorating lottery decided not to do so. In early November, that's exactly what happened. "We got the call asking us if we would still be willing to decorate," Mother Lauren said. "We spent two GLORY nights making paper tipis, using Paul Goble's book, Tipi: Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters, as our template. The kids learned how tipis came to be, and used
some of the designs in that book."

The rest of the designs, Mother Lauren said, were designed to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline. "The children pray for the water protectors every week, so they made tipis with #NoDAPL, and Mni Wiconi and medicine wheels on them. We ended up with more than 200 tipis as decorations."

It only took an hour to decorate the tree; when it was finished, the children and adults with them cheered, and chanted Mni Wiconi in the Capitol hallway before touring the rest of the trees.

Two days later, the Governor's office informed Mother Lauren that the #NoDAPL and Mni Wiconi decorations had been removed. "They told us that if they allowed a political statement against the pipeline, they would have to allow one for the pipeline, which they didn't want to do," Mother Lauren said. "I hadn't given it any thought, to be honest, because I was so proud of the kids for deciding - on their own - to make that statement. But we all understood."

The tree, which was decorated for four weeks, did display all of the other tipis the children had decorated, including ones with designs for Red Cloud and Black Elk.

"We intend to apply again next year, so that we can continue to share Lakota culture and heritage with all South Dakotans," Mother Lauren said.

The BCU (Brotherhood of Christian Unity) and TEC (Thunderhead Episcopal Center) can use your help.

This year marks 25years that BCU has been going to camp for the work weekend. The Rosebud branch started going in 1992 with 20 plus workers, mostly our women and even our priest. Fr. Spruhan, accompanied us and helped paint tables and benches.

This group of dedicated workers has dwindled to about a half dozen, due to loss of loved ones who are now in heaven. The group from Rosebud donated not only time, labor, mileage and food for the weekend. They also have given star quilts for the rooms in Super tent, and AC units for the cabins all while enjoying our beautiful camp and fellowship with other BCU members from across the state, who came to help.

The interiors now all have been insulated and OSB installed on the walls, which will allow use of the cabins later in the fall. Now the heaters can keep the temperature comfortable in these cabins.

We still have the exteriors to repair. This includes replacing broken, curled lumber, staining and installing eaves and vents. We need people to donate money to purchase stain, screws and lumber. We also need younger, healthier bodies to help with this manual labor. Three of our core work group are in their 70’s while 3 are in their 60’s.

The weekend of June 2-4, we will be painting the church, working the exterior of the cabins, anderecting a shed to house the backhoe along with other equipment.

This is a time when you can give back to the children of our Diocese. They come from all over the state to experience God and the beauty of the Black Hills. Please don’t just talk about helping the youth– put your money where our kids pray and play. This is tax deductible, we are a 501c3.

Respectfully Pat LeBeau

The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff named Episcopal Church Indigenous Missioner

[January 26, 2017] The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff has been named the Episcopal Church Missioner for Indigenous Ministries, a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff. 

As Missioner for Indigenous Ministries, Hauff will be responsible for enabling and empowering Indigenous peoples and their respective communities within the Episcopal Church. His primary focus will be leadership development, education and ministry development opportunities by and for Indigenous peoples by recognizing and empowering leaders from within the community.

As member of the Episcopal Church Ethnic Ministries Office, Hauff will be based in Minneapolis, MN. Haifa will begin his new position on February 21. At that time he will be available at

Hauff has been rector of All Saints’ Torresdale Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, PA, (Diocese of Pennsylvania) since 2012. He previously served in congregations in the dioceses of Florida, Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas. Hauff is enrolled with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, headquartered in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He is a speaker, presenter and author on various Native American topics and issues.

For the church, he served on The Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC); Board of Examining Chaplains in the Dioceses of Florida and Pennsylvania;
and the Board of Trustees and adjunct faculty member at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. In Minneapolis, he was the Director of the Adolescent
Program for the Domestic Abuse Project. He holds a Master of Divinity from Seabury-Western
Theological Seminary; a Doctor of Clinical Psychology from Minnesota School of Professional Psychology of Argosy University; a Master of Education from South Dakota State University; and a Bachelor of Arts, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

On the web:
The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff named Episcopal Church
Indigenous Missioner

Convention Wraps Up

By Marlys Fratzke

Another Diocesan Convention is wrapped up and put away. And I can say, I survived my first solo Convention, greatly in part to the support

of those of you that have been down this path many more times than I. Convention could not be accomplished with out the work of many people helping to make it run smoothly. This is not a one-man show by any means and I would like to say Thank you to everyone that continues to help me learn the ropes.


We had 140 Eligible Laity of which 92 registered.

We had 69 eligible Clergy of which 40 registered.


Rosebud East hosted the Clergy Conference. The Conference started Thursday evening with a wonderful Indian Taco supper and concluded Friday noon with the “It’s Great to be an Episcopalian Picnic.


On Saturday, we elected The Rev. Dr. Lauren Stanley of the Rosebud West Mission to fill the clergy position on Standing Committee. Joan Sutton of Rapid City was elected to fill the lay position. We also elected our representatives to the 2018 General Convention in Austin, TX. Our representatives will be The Rev. Kim Fonder, The Very Rev. Ward Simpson, The Rev. Chris Roussell and The Rev. Dr. Lauren Stanley. Our clergy alternate is The Rev. Annie Henninger. The Lay Delegates are Donald Metcalf, Twilla Two Bulls, Tamara Fonder, Richard Thompson Jr. Our Lay Alternate is John Red Bear.


We had two this year. You may read them in detail on page 6 and page 7. The Rev. Margaret Watson from the Cheyenne River Mission constructed a resolution regarding Bullying. The Rev. Dr. Lauren Stanley from the Rosebud Mission West constructed a resolution supporting the protestors on the Standing Rock Reservation protecting our Missouri River clean water rights.


The room echoed with hymns and Amens during the Convention Eucharist, our guest preacher, The Rev. Chris Roussell of Emmanuel Rapid City, sermon had us asking ourselves, Have you ever wanted MORE? More of anything? More money? More time? More coffee and dessert? More parishioners? More volunteers…sorry Deacon Virginia, ‘more disciples’ to run our programs? More space?


This year we had four interesting workshops. Gladys Hawk held a workshop on Dakota Prayers & Hymns Translations. Another workshop was presented by Fr. Larry Ort continuing our work with Creation Care. Please contact Chuck Berry from St. Paul’s, Brookings if you do not already receive the Creation Care newsletter this will give you ideas on how to continue this project throughout year. This year The Rev. Christina O’Hara presented a workshop on an Adult Study group entitled “Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey.” And rounding out our workshop leaders our very own Archdeacon Paul Sneve led a group regarding ABCD, which stands for Asset, Based, Community, Development.

Quilt Auction for Thunderhead:

Our quilt raffle this year was to help support Thunderhead Camp.

Bishop’s Address:

The Bishop’s Address to Convention, given Saturday and is found beginning on page 2. Lunch and workshops followed, and then everyone was sent off in peace and with prayers for safe travel.


 The Rev. Charlie Chan passed along the thanks of the Sisseton Mission to all who purchased honey and salt. There is still honey left, so if anyone wants some, send a request to him at: 

716  7th Ave W, Sisseton, SD 57262-1248.

From the Bishop


By the Rt. Rev. John T. Tarrant

This Fall I’ll begin my eighth year as bishop of the Diocese of South Dakota. There have been several staff changes this year and into next. The Rev. Mikayla Dunfee joined the staff of mission clergy in June, thanks to a grant from the Diocese of Long Island. She is serving as curate on the Cheyenne River Mission with emphasis on children, youth and young adult ministry.

Through a grant from the General Convention budget we have hired Chris Corbin, part-time, to serve as Missioner for Leadership Development. He is helping us re-develop the ordination process and Niobrara School for Ministry as our training program. We have established a “discernment weekend” to be the entry point for anyone considering a call to ordination. This is similar to the Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Aspirants to the Ministry (BACAM), which many dioceses have used in the past and some are still using. All of those interested in exploring ordination will need to attend a discernment weekend. We will schedule one each year. Chris has also redesigned our website which will be launched shortly after convention.

Fr. Tim Fountain will begin a part-time position as Support Missioner. He will be the diocesan liaison with the Sudanese Congregation and offer hands on support as this congregation continues to develop at Holy Apostles’ Church in Sioux Falls. He will also be the Safeguarding God’s Children training coordinator, as well as being involved in several other projects, some ongoing, and some short term. Fr. Tim’s position will begin October 1, 2016.

Randy Barnhardt will retire at the end of March 2017. His position will be eliminated. We are creating three new part-time positions. I all ready mentioned Fr. Tim Fountain’s position.  Pat LeBeau will be hired as the Missioner for Property. He will deal with all questions or issues on property maintenance, repairs or improvements, property damages covered by insurance, and property surveys. He comes with a vast amount of experience in property management and maintenance. His position will begin January 1, 2017.

We will also be creating the part-time position of Financial Officer. Randy Barnhardt will be hired to fill this position. He will come to Pierre two days a week, using the Deloria Center as his “home base” literally, as we will convert the second bedroom into a living space. Barney will have a formal office in the office wing at Trinity Church. This area was set-aside for this purpose when we moved Diocesan offices to Pierre last summer.

We are moving from a full-time position to three part-time positions so we can take advantage of a broader skill set and use the talents of some of our “young” retirees.

Last year the Diocese purchased a Bishop’s Residence in Pierre. The purchase was made to make it easier to house the bishop in Pierre in the future, which has a small housing market. We initially received about $40,000.00 in gifts to offset the purchase. We have since received a few other gifts. The goal will be to pay off this debt within the next three to five years. The diocese is currently making payments toward it (almost $27,000 a year), but we are going to solicit gifts, so that we can pay back our endowment and free more funds for ministry. This strategy will not only lower the cost of the Episcopacy, but it will also increase our assets and enable the diocese to have more resources for our ongoing mission and ministry. Opportunities to support this effort will be forthcoming.

Six years ago we established a goal to provide a youth minister on each of the eight mission areas in the diocese. We raised funds and developed a prototype program for the Standing Rock Mission. We spent the next two-years working the prototype before the program was put on hold. This is what we learned: 1) there is a definite need and strong support for youth ministry on the missions; 2) there needs to be a structure beyond the mission structure to give the necessary programmatical and funding support; 3) there are already existing frameworks that are proven to be successful in the development, continuity and sustainability of effective youth ministry.

As a result of these learnings and with the financial support of a grant through the General Convention budget the Diocese of South Dakota is partnering with the Diocese of North Dakota and Young Life to establish two sights for youth ministry. We will hire a youth worker for Standing Rock Mission, South Dakota and a second mission yet to be determined.  We have the funding to establish two full-time positions for a three-year period. This will enable us to fully establish and raise money to maintain this ministry in the future. The Rev. John Floberg of North Dakota deserves much of the credit for our securing this funding.

A Resolution will be presented at the diocesan Convention in North Dakota October 14/15 to appoint a committee to seek areas of co-operation and collaboration with the Diocese of South Dakota and to explore the possibilities of the juncture of the two Dioceses making a report of their findings to the 2017 conventions. I will be attending their October convention in Bismarck. If this resolution passes I will be appointing representatives from South Dakota to join this committee with the approval of the Diocesan Council. This is an exciting opportunity for both dioceses to explore ways we can move deeper in our relationship with each other as we witness to God’s love for the world and the people we have been called to serve. This will be a formalization to the work begun about a year and a half ago. 

My sabbatical seems like a lifetime ago. Much of the work I did was in relationship building. I also reviewed and made recommendations for changes in our Constitution and Canons for our chancellor’s further review. The results of the changes in the Constitution have been brought before this convention. In all honesty, Steve did the hard work, but I would like to think I offered the motivation. Next year we hope to present revision of our canons or at least some of them.

Grace abounds!! Last Sunday the congregation at Grace Church Madison had a drawing for a raffle of a quilt made by a parishioner to raise money for the Madison ministerial fund to help those in need. They raised over $1,200.00 and turned it into an ecumenical effort reminding the community that we are one in Christ.

Three weeks ago Emmanuel Church in Rapid City held a ‘gumbo’ dinner and raised over $14,000 to help victims of the flooding in Louisiana. These are just two examples of congregations, small and large, in our diocese witnessing to God’s love for those in need through their selfless generosity. Both congregations see themselves as blessed and have found ways to be a blessing to others.

There is much angst in our world. The pointing a fingers and blaming others seems to be our first step to problem solving. In the public sphere we seem to have lost the ability for critical thinking that is not rude and accusatory. We have lost the ability to respectfully disagree.  And we justify this lack of civility by saying; we are just being honest and not being enslaved by “political correctness.” In fact, much of the public discourse is just plain rude, disrespectful and often dishonest. Much of the public discourse is counter to God’s will for those created in God’s image.

We need points of light in our world.

I have experienced one of those points of light. A few weeks ago I issued a letter of support for the pipeline protest going on in North Dakota by the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others. I don’t offer these kinds of statements often, but I felt compelled to do so, on this issue. I received some affirmation for my statement. I also received a very critical letter from one of our diocesan church members who strongly disagreed with my statement and he told me why, in no uncertain terms.

At first I was taken back, but as I continued to read this thoughtful and respectful letter I began to hear his concern. His letter was written with such grace that by the end of it I felt honored. He did not agree with me, and I did not agree with him, but I knew that through our exchange I was experiencing something holy.

We don’t need to be rude; we don’t need to be disrespectful; and we don’t always even need to be right. God calls us to be faithful and faith filled. Jesus invited us to follow, to follow his example of humility, of love, and of sacrifice.

Through our baptism we have been invited into a new way of life. The old is dying and a new life is continually being born. The way we treat others is not about being politically correct, but it is about being baptized; about being followers of Jesus.

Our covenant with God through our baptism begins with a statement of belief: “I believe in….” and then it moves to how we will live out that belief.

We say:

We will continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers. We will support each other through our faith communities; we will experience the real presence, the healing and transforming power of Jesus through the Eucharist; and we will pray; pray for friend and enemy alike.

We promise that we will persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord. We are going to resist giving into the cynicism of the world. We are going to resist the idea that some how by tearing down other we are building the kingdom of God. And when we do fall, when we fail to live God’s dream we are going to own our failures and turn back to God’s desire for us and others.

We commit to proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ. Everything we say or do, whether at home, in the store, on Facebook or in some other forum, we are going to do with the understanding that it is to be a proclamation of God’s love for this sinful and broken world. There is enough judgment! God, through Jesus, has called us to proclaim forgiveness, mercy and hope. Leave the judgment to God.

 We have agreed to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourself. All persons; means all persons. Not just those who agree with us, or look like us, or act like us, but everyone. We all have been created in the image of God, not just Episcopalians, or Americans or Christians, but we all have been created in the image of God. We agree to treat everyone as if they are Jesus himself.

And finally we pledge to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.  ‘Among’, not ‘for’ all people. It is only when justice and peace (well-being) is among people that there is harmony in a society and genuine care and love can flourish. This striving begins by respecting the dignity of each person, of everyone. Do the letters you write, the posts you make, the words you speak respect the dignity of those you communicate to or about? I know they can, I received a communication like that two weeks ago.

You see to follow Jesus is to live into our baptismal covenant. Being faithful to this agreement will not happen through resolutions or legislation, but it happens as we surrender more and more of ourselves to the living God in Christ Jesus. As we empty ourselves and become filled by the very Spirit of God.

We are being called as individuals and as a Diocese to follow Jesus, to break open our hearts…. We are being call to pour out our lives on the altar of God, which is the world; so that we can be restored to newness of life as the Kingdom of God draws near.

Around the Diocese

 Fr. George Parmeter led the workshop at St. John the Baptist, Browns Valley, while Sisseton Mission celebrated St. Bozo the Clown Festival on 7/23.

All Saints Episcopal Church of rural Herrick was pleased to have Bishop John Tarrant and family at our church on July 24th. The Bishop was so kind as to consecrate a parcel of land to be included in our cemetery. This came about as the result of the Native American Advocacy Program (NAAP) youth doing some research and talking to community elders about the unmarked grave outside of the cemetery belonging to George Bear who died in 1902. After visiting with Bishop John it was decided to move the fence and include Mr. Bear’s grave. A small grant was received by the NAAP and their camp youth, with supervision, did the fencing. The story was told about the demise of George Bear, consecration services were held and the NAAP camp drum group sang some songs and had prayer for Mr. Bear.

The Native American Advocacy Program, with Director Marla Bull Bear organized this event and hosted the dinner following the services. The weather was beautiful for the service and we thank Bishop John for coming and the NAAP for hosting. The weather was very cooperative and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer morning for the service


2016 Resolutions

The first resolution before the Diocese was that of supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Passed October 1, 2016

RESOLVED, that the One Hundred Thirty-second Convention of the Diocese of South Dakota stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their peaceful and prayerful efforts to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) because of DAPL’s degradation of sacred sites and potential for catastrophic contamination of drinking water and irrigation projects, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the One Hundred Thirty-second Convention of the Diocese of South Dakota calls upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse its decision allowing construction of the DAPL, especially in light of the disregarded recommendations of the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for further study and investigation of environmental impacts and be it further

RESOLVED, that the One Hundred Thirty-second Convention of the Diocese of South Dakota supports all government-to-government (sovereign tribal nations, states, and federal government) conversations seeking to resolve the DAPL crisis in a peaceful, expedient manner that is beneficial to all and be it further

RESOLVED, that the One Hundred Thirty-second Convention of the Diocese of South Dakota calls on the agencies of the federal government to provide for meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and to ensure the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights, and if necessary, to propose new legislation to Congress to alter the statutory framework so that these goals are met and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Secretary of the One Hundred Thirty-second Convention of the Diocese of South Dakota is directed to forward copies of this resolution to the Chairperson of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the CEO of Energy Transfer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Governors, Senators, and Representatives of the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, the president of the United States, the President of the House of Deputies, and the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.



The second resolution before the Diocese was that of

 A Proposal to Address and Mediate Bullying in Our Worshiping Communities and Councils

Passed October 1, 2016

RESOLVED that the One Hundred Thirty-second Convention of the Diocese of South Dakota acknowledges that:

  • Bullying exists in our diocese, our structures, and our congregations.
  • Bullying can arise from all Orders of the Church (laity and clergy alike).
  • The current disciplinary structures of the church are inadequate to the task of addressing bullying and ending this behavior, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the One Hundred Thirty-second Convention of the Diocese of South Dakota create a working group composed of eight members who shall be appointed by the Bishop before All Saints’ Day 2016, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the working group is directed to undertake the following tasks:

  • Study the laws, policies, and practices that address bullying and harassment in our schools, work places, governmental institutions, and other institutions within the state in order to discover the best practices of addressing and mediating bullying in our own worshiping communities.
  • Define bullying and suggest means and methods to address and mediate bullying in our worshiping communities, committees, vestries and councils.
  • Inform and educate our worshiping communities, committees, vestries, and councils of the causes of bullying, its effects on the bullied, and the by-stander effect as the result of bullying and provide assistance to these same groups to adopt appropriate policies and change the culture so that bullying is no longer tolerated within our church, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the working group make an interim report to the One Hundred Thirty-third convention of the Diocese of South Dakota and a final report to the One Hundred Thirty-fourth convention of the Diocese of South Dakota.

Bullying Prevention


There are a number of steps that we can take to create a culture that is free from bullying. Psychologist Dr. Philip Lazarus suggests the following 10 policies and practices to help stomp out the problem of bullying:

1. Establish a clear anti-bullying policy with enforceable rules and sanctions and consistently intervene when bullying takes place.

2. Develop an anti-bullying committee.

3. Conduct an anonymous survey to find out whether folks are being bullied and where, when and how often it takes place to better address specific needs.

4. Institute an anti-bullying pledge that requires all persons to make a commitment to help stop bullying from taking place.

5. Provide comprehensive training to all to help them understand, identify and intervene in bullying cases.

6. Create safer environments.

7. Offer multiple methods of reporting bullying, both in person and anonymously.

8. Work with folks who are vulnerable to bullying to offer support and advice on how to protect themselves.

9. Reach out to those who may become bullies to help them find other ways to address the issues or needs that lead them to bullying.

10. Adopt a structured bullying prevention program, such as the Virtus program, to provide knowledge and resources.

Niobrara School for Ministry

Upcoming Ministry Weekend:

Dakota Experience East or West

Though technically not a part of the Niobrara School for Ministry, Dakota Experience is an educational course open to anyone interested in the culture, history, spirituality, and theology of the Dakota/Lakota people. We hold one class in the Fall on the Eastern side of the state. And again in the Spring on the Western side of the state. It is required for people in the ordination process and for clergy new to the diocese to attend one of these classes.

Cost is $30 which covers 2 meals.

The session begins at 5:30 pm on Friday with supper, and ends about 2:00 pm on Saturday, after lunch.

  • November 11-12, 2016 Dakota Experience, East Calvary Cathedral, Sioux Falls Fall 2016
  • March 17-18, 2017 Dakota Experience West, Emmanuel, Rapid City Spring 2017

A full list of upcoming ministry weekends can be found on the Niobrara School for Ministry page by clicking here or by downloading this form.

To register for any of these courses, please sign up by clicking here, contacting the Diocesan Office 605-494-2020, emailing

If you have Questions please contact:

Chris Corbin Missioner/Leadership Development
(605) 881-8153


Archdeacon Paul Sneve
(605) 381-2018

ECW Scholarship Report

Episcopal Church Women
Scholarship Committee
Fall 2016 Report.

Vicki Sweet presenting the 2016 ECW Honored Woman of the Year Award to Elizabeth Campbell

Vicki Sweet presenting the 2016 ECW Honored Woman of the Year Award to Elizabeth Campbell

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) met Friday during our Diocesan Convention.

We had very good attendance. If you were not there, we missed you. We have made corrections to our webpage. 

Go to Diocese of SD and click on Church News-Other Ministries and it will bring up ECW which will give you all of the dates and information you will need.

Our annual project for 2016 is Thunderhead Episcopal Center. Our goal to raise $3500 is going well. We have nearly reached the two thirds mark to help finish up the basketball court. How can your parish help?

Sandy Magnavito did not receive any applications for a scholarship for the 2016 school year. If you are an Episcopal women attending an instate university or college, please go to our webpage or your priest for an application.

Brenda Uses Arrow is our new Church Periodical Club (CPC) chairperson. A jar, to collect pennies, set out at coffee hour will help Sunday school classes with materials and students with books to further their education. Collections should be sent to Cora Koss. Information is on our webpage.

Our newly appointed United Thank Offering (UTO) chairperson is Lisa Kautz . Collections need to be sent to Cora Koss by November 15 to be counted for this year's tally.

Our chosen Honored Woman was Elizabeth Campbell. Elizabeth is such a deserving representative of the Episcopal Church locally, state and nationally. We thank her so much for all of the time and effort she puts forth for her Church and especially ECW.

Nomination for the next year's Honored woman have to be submitted by April 15 to Vicky Sweet. Her information is on the webpage.

Goodbye Barney

The following are the remarks Randy Barnhardt offered during the Diocesan Convention in Pierre on October 1st in regards to his pending retirement, March 31, 2017.

I began serving you and the people of this place we call The Diocese of South Dakota on March 16, 1987.

I stand before you with a humble and grateful heart, and ask you to bear with me today. At the risk of offending my wife, who is a Minnesota Twins fan, if I may plagiarize and quote a New York Yankee great, Lou Gehrig, – “ I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth”.

I am lucky that God has given me 30 years to serve you. There have been many times I felt inadequate for the tasks placed before me, and I am sure there have been times I fell short and for my shortcomings, I sincerely apologize.

If I have wronged anybody by things I have done or left undone, said or left unsaid, I am truly sorry and humbly ask your forgiveness.

I am lucky to have been able to drive many thousands of miles across this great state and visited every holy church in this diocese. I have seen eagles fly over me, all sorts of wildlife, sunrises, sunsets, the black hills, the prairies, the badlands, and the lakes. I have said many times there is beauty in this state.

I am lucky to call you my friends, brothers and sisters.

I am lucky that Bishop Robertson placed his trust in me in 1996 when he appointed me administrator for this Diocese.

I am lucky that Bishop Tarrant allowed me to continue in that position. And so lucky that he is my biggest supporter. For that I will be forever grateful.

I am lucky to have worked with great treasurers from E.B Morrison, Jim Black, Chuck Bahnson, Gary Conradi and Chris Clem.

I am lucky to have had great chancellors to support me with Bob Maule and Steve Sanford. I am lucky to have worked with super staff members, Mary Armin, David Hussey, Rita Winters, Rita Powell, Portia Corbin, Marlys Fratzke, Karen Hall and Paul Sneve.

I am lucky to have worked with many mission clergy. In my humble opinion, these men and women who serve on the missions are the most dedicated and hard working people that I have ever had the privilege to know. Father Chan, Father Fonder, Mother Henninger, Mother Red Owl, Mother Stanley, Mother Watson, Father West, and Mother White Horse-Carda, and those who have left us.

I am lucky that God blessed us with two beautiful, wonderful children. My son Zac and daughter Rachel, with Zac’s fiancée, Sarah and Rachel’s significant other, Pat.

I am so lucky that God blessed me, with my wife Linda. She keeps me humble, is not afraid to point out my when I am wrong, and has been my support and the love of my life for almost 35 years.

But maybe it isn’t luck, I think that it is perhaps God’s Amazing Grace and his unfailing love that has given me this wonderful life, and I will be forever thankful.

So now, I move into retirement and the next stage of my life in the diocese, doing the thing I really love to do, working with the numbers.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for making my life so much better than I could havehoped or imagined.

Randy (AKA Barney)

House of Bishops 2016 Statement

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church has issued the following:

A Word to the Church for the World.

Greetings from Detroit, a city determined to be revived. Greetings also from the city of Flint, where we are reminded that the gift of water has for many of our brothers and sisters become contaminated.

Here we have been exhorted to set our sights beyond ourselves and to minister to the several nations where we serve and the wider world.

We lament the stark joylessness that marks our present time. We decry angry political rhetoric which rages while fissures widen within society along racial, economic, educational, religious, cultural and generational lines. We refuse to look away as poverty, cruelty and war force families to become migrants enduring statelessness and demonization. We renounce the gun violence and drug addiction that steal lives  and crush souls while others succumb to fear and cynicism, abandoning any sense of neighborliness.

Yet, in all this, “we do not despair” (2 Cor. 4:8.). We remember that God in Christ entered our earthly neighborhood during a time of political volatility and economic inequality. To this current crisis we bring our faith in Jesus. By God’s grace, we choose to see in this moment an urgent opportunity to follow Jesus into our fractured neighborhoods, the nation and the world.

Every member of the church has been “called for a time such as this.” (Esther 4:14) Let prophets tell the truth in love. Let reconcilers move boldly into places of division and disagreement. Let evangelists inspire us to tell the story of Jesus in new and compelling ways. Let leaders lead with courage and joy.

In the hope of the Resurrection let us all pray for God to work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.

Writing Committee:

  • Bishop Tom Breidenthal of Southern Ohio
  • Bishop Mariann Budde of Washington
  • Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Los Angeles
  • Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Ecuador Central
  • Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real
  • Bishop Alan Gates of Massachusetts
  • Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. of Michigan
  • Dr. Scott Bader-Saye
  • Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester
  • Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta
  • Bishop Rob Hirschfield of New Hampshire

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops met September 15 to September 20 in Detroit MI (Diocese of Michigan).

Thunderhead Episcopal Center Updates


“My favorite part of camp is just being able to come and see people I care about.”

“I like to go to TEC because I always meet new people. I like how peaceful I feel when I go. It’s nice to go far out, with no cell phones, and not have to worry about anything but yourself and God!”

“The reason I like TEC is because I like meeting new people and getting to know them.”

“My favorite part of camp was going to chapel for morning prayer and compline.”


“That we’re all family.”

“How to live with different people and love one another.”

“Even though everyone has a bad day, we can all make those days better.”

“It’s better to make friends rather than enemies.”

“That God is everything. Love is powerful.”

“TEC is important to me because it’s an escape from everyday life. The best parts are getting way from technology, worshipping, and gaining a greater relationship with God, other campers, and forming life-long friendships.”



Online registrations and schedule for the 2017 camping season can be found by clicking here. Paper registration forms will be available in the January/February 2017 copy of the Church News.

REMEMBER: You must register by May 15th if you would like the Diocese to provide you with a ride to camp.



  • Donations toward camper scholarships
  • Donations to the TEC endowment to help
  • make Thunderhead Camp sustainable
  • Participate in a Work Weekend
  • Adopt a Cabin
  • Offer to drive campers to and from TEC
  • (or to a van pickup site)
  • Encourage kids to register & attend camp
  • Donate Items from the TEC wish list.

Mail donations to the address below:

Thunderhead Episcopal Camp
Diocese of South Dakota
408 N. Jefferson Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501-2626



Contact the Rev. Portia Corbin at 605-280-4927 or