2020 Vestry/BAC & Treasurers Workshop (St. Luke’s, Grants Pass)

2020 Vestry/BAC & Treasurers Workshop (St. Luke’s, Grants Pass)

This workshop is cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions and will be rescheduled.

This workshop for congregational leaders such as vestry/BAC members, wardens, clergy and treasurers will be offered four times at different locations in 2020. There will be breakout sessions that focus on resources of interest to each group. There will be discussions on roles and responsibilities for church governance, Parochial Report preparation, audit program/procedures, and liability insurance questions, contact information for assistance, as well as information on the many online and cost-free resources.

The 2020 workshop dates are:

  • February 8, St. Thomas, Eugene
  • March 7, St. James, Tigard
  • March 28, St. Luke’s, Grants Pass
  • April 18, St. Catherine’s, Manzanita

The workshop will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There is no charge for attendance and lunch and beverages will be provided. Please indicate any dietary needs on the registration form. Registration will open in January 2020.

We are very excited about this opportunity to share information with our churches and their hard-working treasurers, finance people, wardens and BACs/vestries!

Questions? Contact the Rev. Canon Carol W. Sedlacek, Canon for Christian & Leadership Formation, carols@diocese-oregon.org.

Foundry Village Concert and Silent Auction

The people of St. Luke’s, Grants Pass invite you to join them for a concert with Lasana Kanneh and silent auction and raffle to raise funds for Foundry Village, a transitional housing project.

Lasana Kanneh is a nationally recognized gospel artist.  He has been blind since birth in his native Liberia.  He found a powerful tool in music.  His songs of faith, hope and restoration are deeply moving and uplifting.

The evening will include a silent auction and a raffle of a handmade quilt representing tiny homes.  One hundred percent of the money from the auction and raffle will be used for the development of the Foundry Village. Foundry Village is designed to provide short-term housing for the area’s homeless with case management assistant, job and educational training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and connecting with aid organizations.

The concert will be on Saturday, March 7 at 6:30 pm (doors open at 5:30) at Bethany Presbyterian Church.  Tickets are available at Grants Pass Daily Courier.  $15 presale and $18 at the door.

We Have to Make a Change

By Shaun Hall of the Grants Pass Daily Courier


The Rev. Ernestein Flemister of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church said America has a ways to go to attain Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of justice and freedom.

She and others spoke to a crowd of about 200 people gathered Monday for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Grants Pass. She said there’s work left to do, nearly 57 years after King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech during the 1963 March on Washington.

“If we truly want to see the United States of America become the dream, we have to make change, and the change starts in our hearts,” said Flemister, one of the few people of color in the room. “I am the same as you, and I am as worthy of love and care as you are.”

Despite King’s hopes, inequality persists, she said. Barriers exist.

“Our dilemma is a dilemma of the heart,” she said. “What we need is a change of heart. A heart to love … all of God’s people.”

She got a standing ovation.

Flemister, marking her second King holiday since coming to Grants Pass in 2018, urged people to stop being uninformed, misinformed and deliberately ignorant. White supremacy is a fallacy, she said. Those people on the border – referring to detained immigrants and their families at the U.S.-Mexico border – are no different from you or me, she said.

“We have no business putting children in cages,” she said. “We are all one people, no matter what part of the globe you are from.”

Flemister pointed to police brutality and pervasive discrimination, saying that Europeans seem to have a “sense of ownership” over Africans.

The audience burst out in applause when she said, “It’s not OK for somebody to be sleeping outside in the freezing cold.” A warming center is expected to open soon for people on the streets in Grants Pass.

Monday’s gathering was the second year in a row for the King Holiday celebration in Grants Pass, after a decade of quiet.

“We would love to see this grow and grow and grow,” said the Rev. Tom Berry, of Bethany Presbyterian.

Berry wore a shirt bearing the colors of the rainbow and the words “Love wins.”

Rabbi Russell McAlmond took the stage, greeted the audience by saying, “Shalom,” or peace, and said God “wanted all of us to be brothers and sisters.”

Jewish people know the harm done by discrimination, McAlmond said. Jews to this day are murdered “only because they are Jews,” he said.

Quoting King, he said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Jeni Foster of the Songbird Trio, one of three groups that performed during the event, told the audience that “peace and justice begins with the work in our own community.” The audience stood for the final song of the night, “Lift Every Voice.”

The Rev. Ryan Scott of Newman United Methodist Church also quoted King: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

He said King fought for the value and dignity of others.

“Today, the same fight is before us,” Scott said. “There are forces of evil at work in this nation that are dictating the value of our neighbors. We cannot let this continue.”

Scott spoke about his own part in a fight with the Boy Scouts of America over its discriminatory practices. He is an Eagle Scout and remains a volunteer in the organization, which recently lifted its ban on gay scouts and LGBTQ leaders, and made accommodations for transgender youth, in addition to including girls in all its programs.

“We kept pushing and change happened,” he said.

Scott urged people to listen, learn and act.

“Those of us who enjoy a certain level of privilege have a moral obligation to use our power lift others up,” he said. “The promise of inclusion lives within you.”

Opposing discrimination across the nation, in Oregon

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was much more than one speech about having a dream, says the Rev. Ernestein Flemister of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Grants Pass.

“He made many, many more you never hear about,” Flemister said at Monday’s King Holiday celebration at Bethany Presbyterian Church.

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta and died at the age of 39 from an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

For the 11 years after he became the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, until the day he was shot on a balcony at a Memphis motel, the preacher spoke at more than 2,500 events, wrote five books and traveled more than 6 million miles, according to the Nobel Foundation, which awarded King the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

King preached and practiced nonviolence, but was arrested 20 times and was assaulted four times, according to the foundation. In 1963, when 250,000 peaceful demonstrators marched to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Flemister spoke about the nation’s “original sin” of slavery. In Oregon, despite entering the Union as a “free state,” that legacy translated into discrimination.

According to the Oregon Historical Society, blacks in Oregon were barred from participation in the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, which swelled white migration to the state. According to the Oregon Constitution of 1857, blacks were barred from living here, a provision made moot by passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, after the Civil War, although the law wasn’t taken off the books until 1926.

Blacks were barred from marrying whites in Oregon, a law not taken off the books until the 1950s. As late as the 1920s, Oregon was home to the largest Ku Klux Klan chapter west of the Mississippi.

In Josephine County, the Daily Courier printed a picture of a KKK march through Grants Pass in 1919. However, open KKK activities withered before the 1930s arrived, according to the Josephine County Historical Society.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has had a chapter in Oregon since 1913. King was on the organization’s executive committee starting in 1954.

In Josephine County, the number of blacks rose from 0.1% of the population in 1990 to an estimated 0.6% in 2018 – 524 people out of the county’s 87,393 residents, according to the U.S. Census.

According to the latest crime statistics compiled by Oregon State Police, two hate crimes based on race or ethnicity were reported in Josephine County in 2018.

This article originally appeared on the front page of the January 21, 2020 edition of the Grants Pass Daily Courier and is republished with permission.

Ultreya (Fall 2019)


A gathering of Cursillistas and all those interested in attending a Cursillo Weekend.

Come join us for a time of joy-filled singing, fellowship, group reunion, and Holy Eucharist.

Sunday, November 3, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
St. Luke’s, Grants Pas
224 NW “D” Street
Grants Pass, OR 97536

RSVP Contact: the Rev. Anne Abdy, 541-294-0019

September 2019 Ultreya

the word "ultreya" in rainbow colors

A gathering of Cursillistas and all those interested in attending a Cursillo Weekend.

Come join us for a time of joy-filled singing, fellowship, group reunion, and Holy Eucharist.

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
224 NW “D” Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526

2:00 – 4:00 pm

RSVP or questions Contact: Rev. Anne Abdy (541-294-0019)

The People Speak: Grants Pass Listening Session Summary

Small group conversation with the Search Committee

October 1, 2019 Update: our Diocesan Profile is live! Visit the 11th Bishop of Oregon Search and Transition website to read it and view information on how to apply or nominate a prospective candidate.

By Martin Loring, Chair, 11th Bishop of Oregon Search Committee

An enjoyable, informative time was had by everyone participating in the first Diocesan Listening Session, Saturday, August 10 at St. Luke’s, Grants Pass. Heidi Pitts, diocesan Director of Communications, and the Ven. Canon Carter Hawley, Archdeacon and Canon for Administration, did a good job organizing the session. The Rev. Ernestein Flemister and the parishioners of St. Luke’s provided a lovely facility as well as exceptional hospitality. Thanks to all for a good opportunity to hear what people think about three important diocesan issues.

Twenty people from at least six Southern Oregon and South Coast congregations came to hear about the Vision Committee, the Relocation Committee, and the 11th Bishop of Oregon Search Committee.

Heidi led off with an introduction on the history and findings of the Vision Committee. She was joined in this presentation by the Rev. Roberto Arciniega, Canon for Latino Ministries. Heidi also asked for input on alternatives to the current diocesan logo.

Carter followed with an update the work of the Relocation Committee and the process of developing criteria for the relocation of the diocesan office. She was followed by Ernestein+, who provided a summary of what is happening with the Search Committee to call the 11th Bishop of Oregon, and a timeline for this process.

Ernestein+ presenting on the Search and Transition Timeline

Ernestein+ began by introducing her fellow members of the Search Committee present. These included: the Rev. Deacon Allan Miles, St. Martin’s, Shady Cove; the Rev. Timothy Hannon, St. James, Coquille; the Rev. Brandon Filbert, St. Timothy’s, Salem; and the Committee Chair, Martin Loring, St. Paul’s, Salem.  

After the introductory overviews, the most exciting part of the session took place. Areas were assigned to each of the three committees, and the twenty people attending from local congregations circulated among them for 90 minutes asking questions, discussing issues, and offering insights on what should be done.

I sat in on the Search Committee discussions and attempted to capture the high points of as many contributions as I could (in chronological order). A summary follows:

There are two more opportunities to participate in Diocesan Listening Sessions next Saturday, August 17, 2019:  9:30 – 11:30 am at St. Barnabas, Portland, and 2:30 – 4:30 pm at Church of the Good Samaritan, Corvallis.  Please participate. We need to hear from as many of you as possible in order to get these three important activities right.

Diocesan Listening Session: Grants Pass

We want to hear from you!

The Diocesan Vision and Relocation Committee and the 11th Bishop of Oregon Search Committee invite you to a diocesan-wide listening session at St. Luke’s, Grants Pass on August 10 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Each group will provide a short presentation on their work:

  • The Vision Subcommittee will share a new mission statement, core values, proposed vision statement, and draft diocesan logos
  • The Relocation Subcommittee will provide an update on the sale of The Bishop’s Close and relocation of the diocesan office
  • The Search Committee will cover the timeline and a number of FAQs regarding the 11th Bishop of Oregon Search and Transition

These presentations will be followed by an opportunity for you, the people of the Diocese of Oregon, to ask questions and provide feedback in a variety of interactive activities and discussions.

Carpooling is encouraged.

For those unable to attend, the listening session will be filmed and shared online along with digital opportunities to provide input and commentary.

Congregation Close-up: St. Luke’s, Grants Pass

By the Rev. Ernestein Flemister, rector

St. Luke’s is excited about becoming more active in our outreach. We are a part of the Grants Pass community and we want to show up in and for our community. A part of our call as disciples of Jesus is to live in witness to the “Good News” that Jesus Christ shared with us. That Good News is not just for us within the four walls of our church, we want to be nurturing of all of God’s people. We don’t want to show up in a way that says we will do this for you but in and through partnerships that listens and finds out how we fit in and how we can help.

We had our vestry retreat in January and we began to discuss things that we thought would interest the congregation in getting more involved with the community of Grants Pass. In our efforts to get moving, the vestry establish three committees: Outreach, Social Justice and Fund Raising. We talked to the congregation and asked them to volunteer for the committee that interested them.  The Outreach Committee received a good number of volunteers and have suggested ideas to get us up and running. The approach is to build more relationships in the community where we ask what their needs are and determine ways in which we can become an active and committed part of helping to make Grants Pass a home for everyone.

Pillowcases sewn by members of St. Luke’s Quilting Group for children in the foster care system.

Two ideas in particular have gathered steam: in conjunction with partners in the area we are finding out if a monthly breakfast for the community is needed.  The other idea is to renovate our basement, install washing machines and dryers to allow the homeless to have a place to wash and dry their clothes without cost to them.

We are forming partnerships with other churches and community organizations to maximize resources so they can reach the most people. We are excited about the possibilities of our outreach efforts and we pray that God will bless our efforts so that we can be a blessing to our community. As we make efforts to contribute to Grants Pass, I believe that we will grow in God’s spirit and show generosity to those who need our love and support.

May God prosper the works of our hands.

Visit the St. Luke’s website.