Dear friends in Christ:
We are in an exciting moment as Episcopalians in Wisconsin. We hope you have heard something about the Trialogue, conversations taking place among Episcopalians across the state about the future shape of the Episcopal Church here. These conversations are broad and open-ended as we explore how we might collaborate throughout the state in ministry and mission, witnessing to the Good News of Jesus Christ. We hope to envision and embody new ways of being together as Wisconsin Episcopalians. In the book of Acts, the disciples found themselves moved and inspired by the Holy Spirit to cross boundaries between Jew and Gentile, to carry the gospel into all the world. So too are we being challenged by the Holy Spirit to embark on a new journey.
Gracious God, in whom we put our trust, give us open hearts to listen prayerfully for your word and direction. We submit our desires and will to you, in humility, openness and patience, as we discern the right course of action for the Episcopal Church in Wisconsin. Guide us to proceed with graciousness toward unity in spirit and in truth. Help us to accept joyfully those tasks that accomplish Your will. We ask these things under the mercy of the Risen Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, we come before you asking grace and wisdom for all who are called to discern your mission for the church in Wisconsin. May we listen to one another in humility and always seek your will. We pray in the name of Jesus, the head of the church. Amen.
The Communications Task Force issued the following letter on May 23, 2022:
Greetings from the Trialogue Communications Task Force. The Trialogue is composed of the three Episcopal dioceses of Wisconsin that are exploring how reunification to one diocese may better equip us to be the church God is calling us to be.
Recognizing a need for coordination between the people of each diocese, the Steering Committee and the Task Forces of the trialogue, the Steering Committee is considering engaging a Project Manager who will keep things moving forward logistically and allowing those doing the work to use their resources on the content of the discussions.
To the Members of the Dioceses of Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, and Milwaukee
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. We hope most of you have heard by now that the three Episcopal dioceses of Wisconsin have entered conversation about the possibility of returning to our roots and reuniting back into one diocese. In the 21st century, the church faces a changing landscape; our society is becoming increasingly secular and commitment to the church is no longer a given.
The Trialogue Steering Committee met January 26 via Zoom. There was much discussion about the forming of Task Forces. Each diocese had identified folks who would be able to service on the Task Forces. Steering Committee members will act as liaisons to the Task Forces as they begin to work within their specific areas.
When the Diocese of Wisconsin was formed in 1847, Bishop Jackson Kemper lived out the missionary spirit of the Church. He did so while working in a field rife with possibility and being God’s witness “in the wilderness.”
Three Episcopal dioceses share a heritage of nearly 200 years after the Oneida brought the Episcopal Church to Wisconsin. Ministry and congregations were developed under the leadership of Bishop Jackson Kemper as missionary and diocesan bishop. More recently, the three dioceses worked cooperatively by co-hosting conferences, clergy gatherings and several other events.
The Living Church's Kirk Peterson has written about the work of the Trialogue:
The dioceses in the state of Wisconsin have taken another step toward a three-way merger, as an ad hoc leadership group created to discuss the possibility has unanimously endorsed reunification.
The purpose of the “trialogue” among the dioceses “wasn’t necessarily about reunion, but deeper kinds of cooperation and collaboration,” said the Rt. Rev. Matthew A. Gunter, Bishop of Fond du Lac, who organized the meeting with representatives of the Dioceses of Milwaukee and Eau Claire. When the group met in person on September 29, “it seemed pretty clear to those gathered that if we were going to look at cooperation and collaboration, pursuing reunion as a starting point would make more sense” than a more general assessment of options, he said
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