Monday, July 28

The ‘New’ Church in Little Compton Turns 100

Celebrating 100 years of worship
A visit to Little Compton’s Commons is like stepping back into history. From the white-steepled church founded by the Pilgrims’ offspring to the Civil War-era General Store to the ancient slate gravestones in the picturesque burial ground, time seems to have stood still.

Set against this venerable background, the “new” church in Little Compton – St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church – is turning 100 this year, and the parish is gearing up to celebrate its centennial in grand style. A newly-renovated parish hall will be dedicated by Bishop Knisely, and a 21st century stylized logo has just been unveiled that symbolizes the parish’s focus on the future while hearkening back to its historical roots as “the fisherman’s church.”

St. Andrew's by-the-Sea (1914)
It was August of 1914 when Laura Lloyd Wainwright drove her “touring automobile” to nearby Tiverton to persuade the Rev. John A. Gardner of Holy Trinity Church to hold a service for the summer visitors. The pair quickly organized an evening prayer service for 125 worshipers at the “Casino” or Clam House at Sakonnet Point where, just hours earlier, day-trippers enjoyed a bountiful shore dinner before returning back to Providence via steamship.
In the following weeks, Mrs. Wainwright convinced her husband to donate an oceanfront garage that was soon transformed into a summer chapel. In 1918, the chapel was moved to a 4-acre pasture near the Sakonnet Golf Club. From this idyllic setting, St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea served residents and summer guests alike as an unorganized mission of the Diocese of Rhode Island for the next eight decades.

In 1998, a new building for St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea was created from the bones of the historic Guild Hall on the north end of the Little Compton Commons. This central location could better serve the townspeople, as well as worshippers from South Tiverton and nearby Westport, Mass. In 2001, the now year-round St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea achieved parish status in the Diocese.
On Saturday, August 23rd, St. Andrew’s will host a centennial gala on the church grounds to commemorate its first 100 years. Bishop Knisely will celebrate Holy Eucharist the following morning to ask God’s blessings on the parish, and on its ministry for the next century, in what will undoubtedly be a joyous commemoration.

In a town where institutions are measured in centuries, not years, St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea has now joined the revered “Century Club.” Its best years are still to come!

Wednesday, July 23

Ben Sibielski appointed as new Communications Director for the Diocese of Rhode Island

Bishop Knisely is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Sibielski as the new Director of Communications for the Diocese of Rhode Island.

Ben comes to us from a position at Providence College where he worked in marketing communications for the Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Development. His prior experience included several years as the Integrated Media Manager at the Roger Williams Zoo where he was responsible for publicity, implementing advertising campaigns, and managing digital communications efforts such as website and social media campaigns. He is also experienced in event planning and fundraising.

Many of you might have already met Ben, as he grew up in this diocese attending St. David's on the Hill in Cranston. He is currently a member of Church of the Ascension in Cranston where he has served on the vestry, taught Sunday school, and led the church's youth group.

Ben is a local graduate of Rhode Island College where he majored in Communications and Public Relations. This combination has served him well in his previous positions and brings a breadth of experience to our diocese. As Bishop Knisely said:

“We were impressed with his experience and reputation for using a wide range of media and methods to communicate with all ages, his ability to think strategically, and to develop and implement a plan...We also believe that his development experience will be a real benefit to us. Plus, Ben knows Rhode Island and the Episcopal Church, which is an added bonus.”

Ben begins his work with the Diocese on July 28, 2014. He is looking forward to meeting people in the congregations, diocesan groups and organizations around the state, and "sharing the stories of our parishes with the community at large". You can reach him at the diocesan office at 401-274-4500 x226 or email him at Ben@episcopalri.org.

Monday, July 14

Help Support & Celebrate the Opening of Jonathan Daniels House

It is early July and right now nobody wants to think about the fall, but bear with us for a moment as there is some exciting news. Jonathan Daniels House is all set to open this fall with a fantastic group of interns living communally in an apartment on the west side of Providence.

Between now and then there are a few ways you
can get involved in supporting and celebrating this amazing new diocesan ministry. Here they are, please spread the word to any who may want to be involved:
  • JDH needs to furnish a 3BR apt with good-quality used furniture--everything from tables to towels to teaspoons. Contact Ann Rheault if you have an item you can donate annrheault@verizon.net. Dropoffs will be accepted August 2-9th.
  • JDH is still accepting applications, so if you or someone you know is an interested college grad in their 20s or early 30s, apply ASAP! Think what it would mean to give a year to explore the connection between faith and social change, to live among other young adults who are also committed to community and simplicity, and grow in capacity for compassionate, courageous, and imaginative leadership.  Interested persons should email JDH Director Gillian Barr at gillian@episcopalri.org and fill out the official application at https://esc.hiretouch.com/. Be sure to list Jonathan Daniels House as your program of interest. More info is available at jonathandanielshouse.org and episcopalservicecorps.org.
  • Lastly, save the date to come celebrate the opening of JDH with an Evensong on Jonathan Daniels Day! The date is Thursday, August 14, at 6:30 p.m and the Evensong will be held at Church of the Transfiguration in Cranston. Light refreshments will be served after the service.

Monday, June 9

3 RI Churches Stream TENS Conference

The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) is offering a great opportunity to treasurers and stewardship committees this year: They are recording a webcast of their June conference called "Walking the Way" and several R.I. congregations are hosting webcast events so that clergy, treasurers, and stewardship committees can benefit from the resources.

The keynote addresses and one of each of the four workshop sessions will be available for streaming so come get inspired! Please check with church to RSVP and verify which workshops they will webcast. More info on the sessions is included below!

  • June 10th (workshops A&B) at Trinity Church in Newport 6:30 - 8:30 pm 401-846-0660
  • June 11th (workshops C&D) at Trinity Church in Newport 6:30 - 8:30 pm 401-846-0660 
  • June 14th at St. Peter's by-the-Sea in Narragansett 9 am to noon 401-783-4623 
  • June 24th (Workshops A, B & Plenary) at St. Martin's in Providence 6:30 - 9 pm 401-751-2141
  • June 25th (Workshops C&D) at St. Martin's in Providence 6:30 - 9 pm 401-751-2141
Here's what the webcast options are:

Plenary One Webcast: The Rt. Rev. Robert Wright
Penary Two Webcast: Plenary two: Sister Joan Chittister, OSB
Plenary Three Webcast: The Rev. Charles Lafond
Read more about plenary speakers

Webcast Workshop Sessions:
from A: Walking the Way Annual Giving Campaign: A Path Ahead
from B: Launching a Legacy Society
from C: Faith & Possessions: Stewardship in the New Testament
from D: Communicating Stewardship Year Round

Please check with church to RSVP and verify which workshops they will webcast:


  • June 10th (workshops A&B) at Trinity Church in Newport 6:30 - 8:30 pm 401-846-0660
  • June 11th (workshops C&D) at Trinity Church in Newport 6:30 - 8:30 pm 401-846-0660 
  • June 14th at St. Peter's by-the-Sea in Narragansett 9 am to noon 401-783-4623 
  • June 24th & 25th at St. Martin's in Providence 6:30 - 9 pm 401-751-2141

Friday, May 30

Wednesday, May 28

Don't know what to do after graduation? JDH is still looking for residential interns!

Wondering what to do next?
Do Justice. Love Kindness. Walk Humbly with God.

You’re invited to apply to live and serve for 10 months in Providence, RI with Jonathan Daniels House (JDH), an Episcopal Service Corps community.

As a JDH Fellow you will live together with 3 other Fellows in a house in south Providence and spend 5 days a week serving in a social service organization. House residents also commit to regular prayer and worship and study, and you will learn leadership skills and spiritual practices that you can use for the rest of your life. 

JDH is a program of the nationwide Episcopal Service Corps and is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.  It is open to anyone who has completed college, is in their 20s or early 30s, and is willing to live in Christian-based community.  Fellows receive a stipend to cover basic living expenses, and health insurance if needed.  

Applications are still being accepted for August 2014.

For more information and to apply to any Episcopal Service Corps program around the country, see http://episcopalservicecorps.org    

For more information about JDH in particular,go to http://jonathandanielshouse.org or contact the Rev. Gillian Barr, Director, at Gillian@episcopalri.org or 401-285-1219 . 



Tuesday, May 13

VIDEO: Bishop Knisely's "Pursuing the Mystery of Science and Faith" Homily at ERT2014



Bishop Knisely gave the homily "Pursuing the Mystery of Science and Faith" at the 2014 Ecumenical Roundtable on Science, Technology & the Church, which was held at the Episcopal Church Center of Utah in Salt Lake City.  The event included representatives from many different denominations, and was hosted by the Episcopal Network for Science, Technology and Faith.

Looking for more on this topic? Follow ENSTF on facebook or follow the roundtable twitter conversation at  #ERT2014.  You can also check out Bishop Knisely's blog or read his new full-length book on science and religion titled "Entangled States".

Friday, May 2

Entangled States; Bishop Knisely's new full-length book on science and faith

Bishop Knisely's new full-length book on science and faith, titled Entangled States, has been published and is now available in print and ebook versions at http://www.nowboundbooks.com.

This is exciting news! Many of you got a taste of Bishop Knisely's thoughts on this topic in his sold-out book of Lenten meditations titled Lent is not Rocket Science. Now that we have entered the Easter season, if you're looking for a more in-depth discussion of science and faith snap up a copy of Entangled States, and do it quick if you want to get your hands on a first edition.

Here's a taste of what this new book discusses, taken from the back cover:

"By telling a kind of story that got under the skin of the people who heard it, Jesus began a revolution that was to change the world. His audience couldn't get the stories out of their heads because they altered the way they saw the world.

Now, science is telling us a new story that transforms how we see ourselves. One of the fundamental insights of quantum physics is that our reality isn’t limited to our physical boundary but extends throughout time and space. This is not poetry, but the revelation of modern mathematics. It means we are all interrelated, and the things we think keep us apart are in reality illusory. We are completely entangled in each other’s lives.

The gift of being human is the recognition that just out of our grasp, there is a harmonious connectedness, so that we are all part of a piece and therefore sisters and brothers under the skin.

No matter how adamantly we insist on being divided, every now and then we can’t help but catch a glimpse of the fact we are bound together. Such a glimpse may come in the form of a spiritual experience, a sense that the universe is suffused with a divine Presence. Or it may occur in a laboratory, as a scientist discovers a connection no one has ever seen before and realizes there is a unity to reality.

Both a scientist and Episcopal bishop, Nicholas Knisely invites us to open up to the possibility that this unity might really be here, and that all of us might be able to experience it. This is why the book is called Entangled States. For we are all entangled one in another, and the human in the divine.

You can also visit Bishop Knisely's blog http://entangledstates.org for his real-time thoughts on science and faith.

Rhythms of Grace at Advent, Worship for the Autistic & their Families

With creative thinking, an open ear to the Holy Spirit,  an under utilized church building, and a diocesan desire to serve the under served, a great opportunity has been presented for us to use our diocesan resources to reach out to the Autistic community and their families in RI.

Rhythms of Grace at Advent is a new worship offering using the "Rhythms of Grace" liturgical program, which was developed by the Rev. Dr. Audrey Scanlan and Linda L. Snyder to serve the autistic community and their families.  The program seeks to provide an alternative way to meet their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs.  While the Autistic community is the focus, the liturgy is appropriate for all people who wish to experience another expression of how we can worship God and serve God’s people.

Advent, Coventry (formerly St. Matthias) is centrally located in Rhode Island.  The property has been vacant for several years but the church’s location, ample sanctuary space, and flexible redesign potential made it an obvious place to begin this new offering.  Currently, the sanctuary is being reconfigured to host this unique and interactive worship experience.  Before and after photos will be posted on our Facebook page “Rhythms of Grace at Advent Coventry” as well as new updates as they happen. A new floor installation is planned for April 26, 2014.

The church building needs some cleaning, landscaping, painting and TLC. Several work Saturdays are being planned between now and June. Do you have skills in any of those areas? We could use your help. While much work is still required, a soft start is planned for June with a number of families, professionals, and clergy. Together this group will work through the program to ensure it has the correct balance to best serve those who God brings together to form this new community, and then a large scale opening service will be planned for September.

If you are interested in volunteering for a work Saturday or have any questions you may email the Rev. Dennis Bucco or the Rev. Deacon Mary Ann Mello. To find out more about the Liturgy “Rhythms of Grace" you can check out the website at http://www.rhythms-of-grace.org. We have been greatly inspired by the support and enthusiastic encouragement by so many people in the diocese that we are glad to be able to provide you with this update. Thank you for all you interest and prayers.
Making room for movement & installing new flooring




Wednesday, April 23

Transition in the Communications Ministry of Diocese

Our Communications Director, Ruth Meteer, has been accepted into Yale Divinity School to do a Master of Arts in Religion and Literature. After much prayerful discernment she has decided that the time is right to enroll for this fall, which means that after nearly 6 years with the Diocese of Rhode Island Ruth will be moving on to the next step in her career.
Our quarterly RISEN Magazine is an award winning publication. All but two of our churches now have websites, and most of our churches are active on social media as well. The story of all the great things happening in the Episcopal Church in RI is gaining traction church wide, and local RI media has been running near-weekly stories about our churches and programs. In a few more months we will launch our new mobile responsive website, and begin to put into action some of the work Ruth and the Digital Giving task force have done to explore mobile giving options. Ruth's role in the process that has gotten us to this point can not be overstated. We owe her a great deal of thanks.
Ruth has said
“I have never worked in an office as supportive, fun, and full of integrity as the Diocese of RI and will be very lucky ever to find such a place again. I will deeply miss every member of this staff and all of you, the wonderful people I have worked with in our churches. I want to tell you though, that I am confident your next Communications Director will be inheriting a position with all the tools they need to succeed.
This is the perfect time for a fresh set of eyes to come in and strategically maximize all that we’ve put into place over the past 6 years. The Episcopal Church in RI has an exciting future ahead, and everything necessary to share that future with the world. I know God is working in this place. Have you felt the excitement building in this diocese lately? I have! I am blessed to have been a part of it, and can’t wait to see how the Holy Spirit works here in RI the future, and in my own life as I enter this new stage.”
Our job description for Ruth’s replacement can be found on our website here. Anyone interested in the position could begin by contacting The Rev. Canon Linda Grenz. We are hoping to hire our next Communications Director over the summer months so that we can have as smooth as possible a transition in this important ministry.
While Ruth and I have only worked together for the past two years, I am grateful for her presence on my senior staff and for the creativity and wide knowledge of this evolving field that she brought to the position.
Pray with us as my office begins to discern who may be the next hire for Rhode Island!

+Nicholas Knisely
XIII Bishop of Rhode Island