Episcopal Diocese of Western New York

Educational Programs

One Diocese, One Season, One Book returns for Lent 2018

The Diocese of Western New York is joining with Dioceses and congregations throughout the Episcopal Church to read the Gospel of Luke during Lent.  This is part of the Good Book Club event.  For more information about the Good Book Club visit goodbookclub.org

We are using the book A Journey with Luke by Marek Zabriskie.  The book includes a passage of the Gospel, a reflection and a prayer for each day.

If you choose not to use the book, you can download a reading schedule to use with your own Bible here.

Congregations can order the book for $10/copy.  Email Vicki Zust (vzust@episcopalwny.org) to place your congregation’s order.

There will be a gathering at the Diocesan Ministry Center on Thursday March 22 at 6:30 pm to discuss what we’ve read and what we think about what we’ve read.  Refreshments will be provided.


Safe Church Training

cathy-teachingIt is the charge of every Christian to respect the dignity of every human being, to that end we offer Safe Church Training.

Safe Church Training protects not only volunteers and employees, but also those under their charge. By raising the awareness of leaders, everyone is safer.

Safe Church consists of two courses: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention and Adult Sexual Harassment & Exploitation Prevention. Volunteers such as Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, and youth camp staff are required to take “A Safe Place for Children.” All clergy and employees of the diocese and its congregations are required to take both courses.

The courses are offered at least twice yearly, usually in the late spring and in the early fall.  The next class is scheduled for:

  • The next in-person session has not yet been scheduled.  When a date/location have been determined, they will be announced here, and in Postings.

Safe church is now easy to do online. Register with the diocesan office, and then finish the short modules assigned to you on your own time, in your pajamas. Each module, shorter and more specific than our current face-to-face classes, is intensely interactive in nature, has study guides to print out that will enable you to really cement your learning, and has a quiz at the end to ensure that you’ve absorbed the main points. Once you’ve registered the first time, you don’t need to do so to refresh your learning in future years, or take new or different modules. The diocese can see which modules you’ve done and when, and so it is more convenient than ever. And it’s free!


Seeing the Face of God in Each Other: Anti-Racism and Diversity Training

As this training is scheduled, it will be announced here.  At this time, the next training dates have not been set.


Prepared to Serve: Licensed Ministries in the Diocese of Western New York

Do you feel called to serve the Church in a broader way?
Does your worshiping community affirm that call?

mona-chaliceAs a lay person there are many ways you can serve God and the Church. Prepared to Serve deals with lay ministries that require special training, education and licensing.

You must seek special training within your parish or deanery to become licensed as a Eucharistic Minister, (a lay person authorized to administer the consecrated elements at a Celebration of the Holy Eucharist) or a Eucharistic Visitor (a lay person authorized to take the consecrated elements to members of the congregation who were unable to be present at the celebration of the Eucharist because of illness or infirmity.  Both of these ministries are recognized within the canons of the Episcopal Church.

Several additional licensed ministries are recognized in the canons.  They require substantial standardized training and preparation that is best handled at the diocesan level.  These are:

  • Pastoral Leader – Parish Administrator
  • Pastoral Leader – Pastoral Care Minister
  • Worship Leader
  • Preacher
  • Catechist
  • Evangelist

The training for these ministries requires a commitment of personal time as well as financial commitment.  Congregations are encouraged to share in this financial commitment.

Download a booklet outlining all of the courses offered and more information regarding licensed ministries.

As classes are scheduled, they will be announced here.  At this time, the next class dates have not been set.

Lay License Application Form
This form may be used by clergy and wardens to request the appropriate license for any layperson completing a course of study through Prepared to Serve.  In addition, it may be used to request local licenses, such as Lay Eucharistic Minister.