The story of how the Calumet Episcopal Ministry Partnership (CEMP) came to be is really a story of how the Spirit of God can work through the People of God. In 2010, the three parishes (St. Barnabas, St. Paul, and St. Timothy’s) each had their own priest. At about the same time two of their priests took calls to other parishes and one decided to retire. Given the troubling economic times, it did not seem likely that any one of the parishes could call their own priest.

Bishop Little invited the three parishes to come together in dialogue and discernment to see if there was some way for them to move forward. After much discussion and numerous meetings a new vision began to emerge-one church in three locations. This is not a merging or yoking of parishes, this is a new way in our times of being Church. This vision is very much like the early Church that we hear about in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s Letters. Each town may have had several house Churches but together they formed one Church in various locations. With this vision in mind they began to search for a priest.

Not only did they find one full-time priest, but also three other part-time priests who would take part in the Partnership. CEMP came into being on March 3, 2012 at the Ordination of Fr. Michael Dwyer who would be the Priest-in-Charge.

The story of CEMP is just beginning, we are continually discovering new ways to become one Church in three Locations. In fact, we are pleased to share that in June of 2015 a fourth parish was added to our partnership, St. Christopher in Crown Point; in January of 2017, a fifth church was added, St. Stephen’s in Hobart; and in January of 2018 a sixth church was added, St. Augustine’s in Gary. Please explore the pages of this website to learn how we are now proclaiming the Gospel as One Church in Six Locations.

Peace and All Good,

The People of CEMP

Dear Sisters, Brothers, Siblings of the St. Augustine’s, St. Barnabas, St. Christopher’s, St. Paul’s, St. Stephen’s and St. Timothy’s,

Grace and peace be with you in Jesus, the Risen Christ!

I have wonderful news to share with you today. After a significant amount of time, prayer, discernment, and deliberation, based on a resolution from the Search Committee which has been adopted by all Six Wardens and Vestries, we have called Pastor Pamela Thiede to serve as our second priest/pastor for CEMP! She will assume the other 3/4 time position on 1 July 2020. I want to thank all those who served on the Search Committee as well as the Senior Wardens of our CEMP Communities for their good work. I also want to thank Canon Terri Bays for her good work in managing this challenging process of discernment and call.

Over the next two months, working with Canon Terri Bays and the Senior Wardens, Deacon Cynthia and Pastor Pamela will be developing Ministry Descriptions which will give some greater clarity to the particular areas of ministry each of them are gifted in, have a passion for and require attention for the growth of each of our communities.

This model of Partnership is a unique expression in the Episcopal Church and may well be one model among others that will be embraced by other areas in our diocese and the wider church. I look forward to ordaining Deacon Cynthia to the priesthood and then arranging for a Service of Installation for both of them as Co-Vicars for the Calumet Episcopal Ministry Partnership, who shall share leadership equally and collaboratively with the lay leaders of CEMP and me..

I remain committed to participating in the life of CEMP as we move into a new season and expression of ministry. The six faith communities which comprise CEMP have become woven into my life, serving as your pastor and bishop over the last three years, in ways I never would have imagined. Ministry among, with and for you has enriched my life. Let’s continue to uphold one another in prayer.

This comes with a brother’s love…

Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Sparks

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