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Friday, June 15, 2012

June 2012 Newsletter

New! Mission to the West Indies.

As we mentioned last month, every day seems to be a new adventure for us. This past week was not an exception to that observation.

Background: Diocesan Convention 2012. Julie and I had a great time at the diocesan convention in the Diocese of Albany (June 8-10). We had the opportunity to meet with supporters, both financial supporters as well as prayer supporters. We met with lots of other people, as well. We answered questions.

Here are some of the answers to questions that were most frequently asked at Convention:

What we are doing is the only theological education for the entire Diocese of Belize at the moment (and Bishop Philip of Belize has opened it to any interested lay person in the diocese, not just people in the ordination process). Belize is a country where quite a lot of people only have an 8th grade education.

As far as I know, we are the only theological instructors for the entire Diocese of Belize. Belize had been facing a lot of graying clergy with no one in the diocesan ordination process.

We came along at the right moment, just as the Commission on Ministry was beginning to gear up again. In March, I believe that there were no actual candidates for the ordination process. Now, in part because our online opportunity has been given the green light, I think there are about 12 candidates.

The online program would be in English. But we may also be ground-breaking, by making materials available in Spanish as we can.

New! Province of the West Indies: The big news this week, as of Tuesday, June 12, is that Bishop Philip has asked Shaw to be part of a conversation about online theological education between the dioceses of Jamaica, Barbados, and Belize (all of the Province of the West Indies), during our visit to Belize in July. (Please pray for us: it will be typhoon season when we visit.)

Through our prayermails and newsletters, you have been watching the step by step progression of the online program, thus far. God's timing.

Bishop Philip of the Diocese of Belize, con permiso.

Our upcoming visits.
Our upcoming plans for July include:

July 1: Zion Church, Morris.
Early July: planning meetings in Belize.
July 22: St. Peter's, Albany.
July 29: Christ Church, Cooperstown.

Ways to support us.

After the July planning meeting, it may take us about 50 hours each week to develop and implement a good online program. Your prayers and financial support make this happen.

Please make checks out to: "SAMS", and put "Mudge" in the memo space. The mailing address is: SAMS, P. O. Box 399, Ambridge, PA 15003-0399.

God bless you,

Shaw+ and Julie+
Bishop Philip of Belize

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