Monday, July 27

Diocese of Southwest Florida Bi-weekly Newsletter

DaySpring Counselors Gather, Lead Services Online

PARRISH - This week, staff from DaySpring Summer Camp gathered in person, to prepare care packages for campers at home, as in person sessions had been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus.

On Wednesday night, the counselors came together for their first Diocesan Youth Zoom. Led by camp staff, the Zoom included Compline. Over 30 DaySpring campers, former summer camp staff members, youth workers, clergy and youth spent time worshiping together online. Upcoming Diocesan Youth Zoom events are set for July 29 and August 5, both at 7 p.m.

Above: Counselors are pictured in front of the Mark cabin. For additional photos, follow the Instagram of our diocesan youth HERE.

Pentecost Summer Southern Cross Available

PARRISH - The Pentecost/Summer edition of Southern Cross is out, mailed to households across the Diocese of Southwest Florida.

The edition includes the diocesan response to COVID-19, a look at the reinvention of church in the wake of the coronavirus and Southwest Florida food pantries. It also features the St. Mary's, Bonita Springs deacon the Rev. Bill Gilmore, summer Episcopal church cookbook recipes, a profile of St. Bede of St. Petersburg and a look at our spring Diocesan Vestry Retreat. 

First person pieces include testimonials of Donald Scott, of Naples, and Ayana Grady, of St. John's, Tampa. MORE

Convention News

Aug. 1 Deadline for Nominations

PARRISH - A reminder. The Diocese of Southwest Florida seeks nominees for diocesan elections at the 52nd Annual Convention, on Saturday, October 16-17, 2020. Elections are at the Saturday business session, which will be offered by teleconference. Nominations are being sought for:
  • Standing Committee, Lay: Elect two (2). Elect one (1) lay person to a three-year term, one (1) lay person to a one-year unexpired term. 
  • Standing Committee, Presbyters: Elect three (3). Elect two (2) presbyters to a three-year term and one (1) presbyter to a two-year unexpired term.
  • Diocesan Council, At large, Clergy: Elect one (1) to a two-year term. 
  • Ecclesiastical Disciplinary Board, Lay: Elect one (1) lay person to a three-year term. 
  • Ecclesiastical Disciplinary Board, Clergy: Elect two (2) clergy to a three-year term. 
The deadline for submitting nominations to appear in the convention guidebook is August 1, 2020. You can fill in an entry form HERE or visit our convention page HERE.

Other Convention Reminders

PARRISH - The 52nd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Southwest Florida on October 16 & 17, 2020 will be a virtual convention, conducted via Zoom with delegates around the diocese. The business meeting on Saturday will be live-streamed to delegates (and the entire diocese) from DaySpring Episcopal Center. Delegations will be able to attend from their local church or in deanery gatherings via videoconference. For more information, including convention rosters, visit our convention page HERE.

Visits on the Farm in Parrish

- The Rev. Carol S. Fleming is making farm and house calls, safely of course, as part of the diocesan Parrish Episcopal Church plant. Follow their progress HERE.


Aug. 22: Still Time for Stewardship Training

PARRISH - The yearly diocesan Stewardship Workshop, this year set for Aug. 22, 2020, helps prepare congregation leadership in the Diocese of Southwest Florida for their upcoming stewardship campaigns. Offered online, and facilitated by the Rev. Canon Chris Gray, the Stewardship Workshop includes training from three staff experts at Horizons. Partners Scott McKenzie and Kristine Miller, and Senior Vice President Terry Goolsby will share a proven framework for engaging the parish and elevating your capacity to meet the needs of ministry. MORE

Event Cancelations

PARRISH - Please consult our Event page for the latest on diocesan events and updates:
  • Fall Clergy Retreat: The upcoming Fall Clergy Retreat with The V. Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, dean and president of Seminary of the Southwest, has been canceled.
  • Wednesday Eucharist & Lunch: The fall season of First Wednesday Eucharist and Lunch, which were to begin in September, have been canceled through the fall.

Upcoming Events at the Diocese

Our Event page has the latest on what's happening, including online events:

Parish News

Good Samaritan Calls New Priest-in-Charge

CLEARWATER - Good Samaritan has called a new priest-in-charge. The Rev. Jamie S. Samilio, who has previously served as associate rector of The Church of the Holy Cross in Dunn Loring, VA for the last five years, will begin Sept. 1, 2020. She is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in Christian education and a post-graduate certificate in Anglican Studies. She holds an undergraduate degree in Art from Mercyhurst University, in her hometown of Erie, PA. She has a passion for Christian formation and outreach, and has a love for engaging in the creative process, through art and worship. Prior to being ordained, Jamie worked for the American Airlines Group as a corporate trainer, with an emphasis on safety.

Naples Congregation Offers Extra Altar

NAPLES - St Monica’s has an additional altar that they would like to find a home for in the diocese. The altar, one of three, was used as their main altar, but is now in their main hall. An older inventory listed the purchase at around $4,000. It is made of solid wood with dimensions of 8’x 3’ x 40” and is quite heavy. Email Ray LaPierre at

Other Parish News and Briefs

Other news from our congregations:
  • Bilingual Prayer Service - Servicio de Oración Bilingüe: St. George's, Bradenton will offer their next monthly Bilingual Prayer Service on Wednesday August 5 at 5 p.m. They hope to continue these each month as way to reach out to Spanish-speaking neighbors.
  • For Rahab's Daughters: In Tampa, the St. Mark's ECW board has decided to do a clothing and gift card drive for an organization called Rahab’s Daughters. Rahab's Daughters specializes in rescue, rehabilitation & reintegration of survivors of human trafficking.

Sacred Ground Groups Form in Diocese

The Episcopal Church has developed a curriculum called Sacred Ground to help us gain a better understanding of race. An introduction is HERE. Our diocese currently has a half-dozen groups either meeting or forming. If you would like to talk to someone about starting a group, please email the Rev. Paige Hanks at

Education for Ministry Classes Set for Fall

SARASOTA - Across the diocese, there are many Education for Ministry classes and groups offered by parishes that are forming this summer. Education for Ministry, or EfM, is a four-year certificate program for laity under the direction of The School of Theology at Sewanee, The University of the South. The EfM program is preparation for the ministry to which we all are called. The Diocese of Southwest Florida supports this important ministry to laity, through our various parishes. Groups begin meeting in September and run for 36 weeks. Registration starts each summer. If you are interested in finding out more about EfM or in registering for a group, please call Deacon Martha Goodwill at (941) 556-0315 or email at

In the News

Congregations in the news this week. Email your links to

Making Port Royal, Historic Naples Neighborhood

NAPLES - Architect Howard Major, who had made a name for himself in Palm Beach, was brought in to design the master plan, as well as Sample’s Cutlass Cove home and the Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church. The duo decreed every home would have waterfront access and the serpentine streets would be lushly landscaped. “A standard has been set for the appearance of the houses to be built. Without such protection, it would be in the power of the individual lot owner to mar the excellence of the whole undertaking,” a Collier County News ad read. MORE from Gulfshore Life

St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral Names New Dean

OKLAHOMA CITY - St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, one of the more prominent houses of worship in Oklahoma City, has chosen a woman as its new leader for the first time in the cathedral's history. Canon Katie Churchwell from the Cathedral Church of St. Peter in St. Petersburg, Florida, will become the new dean of St. Paul's. MORE from Daily Oklahoman

Paycheck Protection Crucial to Saving Jobs, Ministries

ST. PETERSBURG - In the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, 55 of its congregations, which provide 485 jobs, received a total of $2.7 million. In addition, the diocesan office and its DaySpring Conference Center in Parrish got $347,000, said chief financial officer Anne Vickers. The funding does not include money received by Episcopal schools, she said.

“When this all happened in April, it was the beginning of the uncertainty of the pandemic,” she said. “Nobody knew, or do we know, when the end will be and how it would impact giving. And many of our churches are also landlords for schools and other mission organizations. Our food distribution ministries are critical to the resiliency of our community.” MORE from Tampa Bay Times

Key Web Links

A roundup of useful links from the diocese, wider church, government:

Resilience & Training

  • Resilience & Wellness: During this time of COVID-19, Church Pension Group offers a new, free, training series to help clergy, and their parishioners. The webinar and training tools offer ideas to help with stress, separation anxiety, depression and illness. MORE

New CPG Annual Report

Episcopal Church

Federal & Florida Resources

United Nations Commission on Status of Women

NEW YORK - The Presiding Bishop’s delegation to the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women invites all to join the online study group Beijing +25: Celebrating the Blessing, Realizing the Dream, which will offer a series of webinars, blogs and conversations facilitated by the delegates from July through November 2020. MORE

Other Online Diocesan Links

  • Giving Pages: All of our congregations should have a GIVING page that details how to donate to your parish, from mail to ACH to online giving. MORE
  • Food Pantries: Please keep us advised about your food pantries HERE.
  • Parish Nurses: We maintain a public list of parish nurse programs HERE.
  • Thrift Shops: Our network of Thrift Stores is slowly reopening. Help us make sure that your retail store is listed properly HERE.
  • Streaming: Update the diocese on your web streams HERE. And email Garland Pollard if you need our information sheet on upgrading your systems.
Other news? Submit it HERE.

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

Above, State College of Florida Campus Ministry Building

July 26:  Holy Innocents Church, Valrico; Holy Trinity, Clearwater; Iona-Hope, Fort Myers; Lamb of God, Fort Myers; Episcopal College Chaplaincies including State College of Florida Chaplaincy, Bradenton

Aug 2: St. Alban's, St. Pete Beach; St. Alfred's, Palm Harbor; St. Andrew's, Boca Grande; St. Andrew's, Spring Hill; St. Andrew's, Tampa; St. Anne of Grace, Seminole; St. Anselm's, Lehigh Acres  MORE

Links, Publications and Resources

Parishes By Deanery

Other Resources

Useful Links

Copyright © 2020, Diocese of Southwest Florida.

Questions, additions, comments? Email

Our mailing address is:
Diocese of Southwest Florida
DaySpring Episcopal Center
8005 25th St. East
Parrish, FL 34219


Bridges is published bi-weekly for the leadership of the Diocese of Southwest Florida.
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