Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) Report for June 2020

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Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) held our final meeting via Zoom a week after the end of the semester. Students voted on the decision to extend our meeting to complete Into the Desert. Our final meeting was well attended, and we had the honor of meeting with Susan our outgoing graduating ECM treasurer before she left Newark to return home to New Jersey.

We have convened a new executive board of ECM with official announcements to be made at the beginning of next semester.

Blue Hen Bounty (BHB) food pantry has continued serving the community during the shutdown with a great deal of support from Cana, our parish administrator, who continues to be an incredible support. BHB has been patronized by several students during this difficult time. As mentioned in the previous report, we completed an inventory of our supplies and created a shopping list. The list was needed as we wanted to be able to ask for the items we needed and because during the last Vestry meeting, members of the Vestry requested an itemized list be made available to the church in order to provide targeted support. With God’s usual extravagant grace, a member of St .Thomas’s who has requested anonymity privately requested the list and has provided many of the items we need. An updated list will be completed after the items have been received and shelved. God continues to bless

University of Religious Leaders Organization (URLO) meetings and coordinated projects have continued via Zoom. ECM—through Cana—printed the labels for the URLO Insomnia Cookie drop, I delivered them to St. Thomas More and we have submitted our forty-dollar share of the cost to Lumos. The delivery of the cookies should take place sometime this month. Each packet will have a message from the URLO and the list of religious organizations on the label.

Please continue to keep our ECM students, all UD students, our Blue Hen Bounty food pantry and our UD community clients in your prayers during these challenging times.

With heartfelt appreciation for every member of the St. Thomas’s family who makes ECM, BHB and the though those mediums the love God tangible, thank you for your ongoing support and love.


Denise Burgher
ECM Convening Graduate Advisor

Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) Report for May 2020

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O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succor. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (1928 BCP, 45).

This prayer aptly captures much of what Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) continues to try to do during this Covid-19 season. As grace would have it, the students who are members of ECM are largely unaffected by some of the struggles other students have had to confront. As a result, we are not trying to support our students as they confront difficulties with food, housing or other challenges occasioned by the pandemic. Instead, we are supporting our students as they deal with the stresses of completing classes that rapidly went online, develop their own spiritual practices all while trying to navigate a rapidly changing environment from the familiarity of their childhood bedrooms.

To that end, we have continued to meet via, zoom where we check-in with each student and discuss what is going on in their lives and with their studies, the ways they are coping with the pandemic and working with Father Howie’s, St Thomas’s Virtual Lent Retreat text, Into the Desert.

Blue Hen Bounty (BHB) food pantry continues to serve the community and Cana, our Parish Administrator, (again!) helped BHB and the University of Religious Leaders Organization (URLO) by printing the labels for the organized Insomnia cookie drop to the International House.

We have one graduation coming up, Susan Zaccaria, who has served in leadership and on the E-board with ECM and is a key team member of BHB. Susan will be graduating from the UD School of Nursing (yea!!!). Susan will be sorely missed during weekly meetings and in indefatigable service with BHB.

Please do keep the members of ECM in your prayers as students move into Finals week with exams, papers and projects. This is an unsettled time for students and the necessity to continue to produce and meet expectations during this period of global instability is challenging.

God’s peace,

Denise Burgher
ECM Graduate Convening Adviser

Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) Report for April 2020

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Due to the exigencies of COVID-19, Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) has been meeting via Zoom since we resumed our meetings after Spring Break. Shannon—our president sends out the Zoom link; reminders are issued over email and GroupMe and everyone joins.

Our meetings have been well attended with usually five to six college-age students in attendance and Sally Price and Father Howie joining regularly. We have started a weekly devotional series based on Father Howie’s Into the Desert. We are using the text as way to explore life during the relatively desert-like conditions of COVID-19.  Everyone has been participating and the study has been going well.

Blue Hen Bounty (BHB) food pantry has continued serving the community during the shutdown with a great deal of support from Cana—who is wonderful. BHB has been patronized by several students during this difficult time. At this rate, we shall need to take inventory of our supply and seek more contributions to reup our inventory.

Sally Price completed a cookie run for the International House on behalf of ECM. Sally purchased 30 individually wrapped sleeves of Oreo cookies and delivered them to the front desk of the building. The International House houses students who could not return home after the campus was closed. Information regarding our online meeting Zoom meetings and BHB was distributed to the residents through the University of Religious Leaders Organization (URLO). URLO meetings have also continued via Zoom.

Denise asks that we hold our students in prayer as they maintain schedules and academic expectations during this time. 

Denise Burgher, Convening Graduate ECM Advisor

Hungry and grateful college students

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Hello everyone,

The signup sheet for providing meals for our Episcopal Campus Ministry is posted next to the name tag table in the Great Hall.

Please prayerfully consider signing up to bring the meal for them on a Wednesday between now and December 5.

Thank you,
Sally Price

Blue Hen Bounty needs re-stocking

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Blue Hen BountyBlue Hen Bounty, ECM’s and St. Thomas’ food pantry for U of D students, is in need of food for the fall semester-especially instant food like Easy Mac, canned tuna, and other instant one-serve meals, snacks such as crackers and granola bars, and non-perishable breakfast foods. Please bring your contributions to the stage in the Great Hall.

Welcome University Students!

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The Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM), based at St. Thomas’s, Newark, would like to reach out to fellow Episcopalians who will be attending the University of Delaware this fall. Continuing ECM students, student advisors, and members of St. Thomas’s would like to invite them to Wednesday worship and meals, welcome them to prayer and reflection, and introduce them to a ministry of learning and service at the very edge of the university campus.

Come for a free supper, stay for the community!

Please send student names, contact information, and school-year addresses you may have to Ms. Denise Burgher, St. Thomas’s ECM Convening Advisor and to the Rev. Ed Godden, Interim Rector.

Episcopal Campus Ministry and Blue Hen Bounty

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Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) is a place where our college-age students explore and live spirituality in community with other students, faculty, staff and parishioners. Through service projects, regional and national events, and weekly gatherings, they connect to the world and to one another. There is always food and fun, time to worship and time to just hang out. ECM students meet on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. for Evening Prayer and then enjoy dinner prepared by parishioners at 6:00 p.m.

The Reverend Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon became the chaplain for Episcopal Campus Ministry in 2009, the same year she became a deacon in the Episcopal Church.

One of ECM’s service projects is called “Blue Hen Bounty,” which is a food pantry for food insecure UD students. ECM wants to share their Blue Hen Bounty web site and a recent article published in UDaily, the UD newsletter.

ECM thanks parishioners who donated food items recently. Blue Hen Bounty food pantry is well stocked and ready to serve students in the Spring term.

If you see ECM students on Sunday, please introduce yourself and extend a warm welcome as St. Thomas’s church family is their family away from home.

Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) is requesting food donations

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Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) is requesting food donations for our Blue Hen Bounty food pantry for food insecure University of Delaware students who cannot provide ample nutrition for themselves. Food donations of cereal, peanut butter, jelly, and instant soups are most in need right now. Other non-perishable food and personal hygiene item donations are also welcome.

Blue Hen Bounty donations may be left in the clear bin labeled ECM food closet located near the windows in the great hall. ECM thanks you for your support!

Hungry College Students

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The sign up sheet is posted on the Great Hall Door. There’s room for you to sign up to fix a meal for our Episcopal Campus Ministry students on a Wednesday evening in October (the 25th) and several in November.

They like to have dinner about 5:50 and would love to have you dine with them. A home cooked meal is so much more delicious than any dining hall food. An individual can fix the meal or a group of people can get together and share the dishes.

Call the office (302-368-4644) or sign up personally.

The kids will love you forever!

Deacon Cecily, Episcopal Campus Minister
Sally Price