Southeast Region Annual Report for 2017

Episcopal Church in Connecticut

Southeast Region report, 2017

The Rev. Rachel Thomas, Region Missionary


Wow, what a year!
Two different groups were hard at work early in the year:  a group planning our Convocation in April; and a group interviewing candidates for Region Missionary.  The strength of the SE Region meant that there were several completely qualified candidates, and I am honored to have been selected after interviewing with the Bishops and ECCT staff.

Before that selection, we had our Convocation on April 29th at Grace Church, Old Saybrook.  Their hospitality provided a wonderful setting for work in different groups including:  Youth; the writings of Roland Allen; Neighborhood Exploration; Pastoral Care; Facilities Use (and Music use); Refugee/Immigrant concerns; and Poverty relief.  At that gathering, we selected and commissioned groups to work on

Communications ( The Rev. Adam Thomas; The Rev. Ron Steed; Eileen Perron; Ernest Adams; Dorothy Seiburg);

Social Gatherings (Sandra Eddy; Lisa Carr; Gray Sawyer; Sue Chojnacki; Susan Ayers; The Rev. Ellen Adams; Lori Sarkett; Hilda Zeigler; Grace Barnum)

Planning for future Convocations (The Rev. Ron Steed; David Kirpas; Lisa Carr; Grace Barnum and Beverly Olsen)


This latter group became, with the addition of Kim Robey and Bob Zdon, the Region Leadership Team.  As such, their role has extended beyond planning to meeting with me as the Region Missionary and beginning to develop an overview of all of the many great works of faith in action in this Region.  They have also met with the other Region Leadership Teams in ECCT.


I began in early June, and since that time have made both informal and now, more formal visits to each parish.  I have come to think of these as listening tours, and as occasions to learn a bit more about each parish.  I have been collecting names for different Ministry Networks (“two or more Episcopalians from 2 or more parishes collaborating together to serve God’s mission.”).  There is much potential here: gardens, prisons, international relationships, refugee resettlement, healing, pastoral care.  God has given us many resources in this Region life together.

The clergy of the region have begun to meet together, moving from parish to parish each month to get a glimpse of a unique facet of God’s mission in each place.  At this time, there are 5 of 16 parishes in our Region in transition.   I hope to build supportive relationships among us as colleagues; I also hope to provide a way to support wardens and vestries in transition.  What is God’s Spirit inviting us into through these times of search?  


Another of my great hopes is that we will gather in a way that makes for meaningful relationships with each other: through prayer, reflection on scripture and life experience, fun, and thoughtful action.  I long to see us be life-giving to each other, and provide a community of support as we work together in this patch of God’s earth.   


The Communications group has set up a Facebook page (@SoutheastRegionECCT), and is working on a monthly e-publication called the Southeast Region Bridge.  Did you know there are 40 rivers in our region?  That means lots of bridges to cross, and we hope the Bridge will provide a platform for getting information out.


In addition to planning the “Breakout” session at our ECCT Annual Convention, the Region Leadership team is now at work planning for our Convocation on April 21st.  Bishop Douglas and Bishop Ahrens will both be there, and we hope you will, too!  


Please be sure to be in touch with me with thoughts, concerns, questions, desires.  This is very much a work in progress.   We may stumble and fall; by God’s grace, we will learn and grow and be the light of Christ in the SE Region of CT.




The Rev. Rachel Thomas



Office at St. Ann’s Old Lyme:  please call me if you would like to meet me there!

Last Published: January 22, 2018 4:35 PM