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Diocese of Montana Newsletter, February 2021

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By Bishop Marty Stebbins

The Scream

For Epiphany 4 in Imaging the Word one piece of artwork shown is Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream”.  The caption notes that the painting has become “an icon of the terrors and isolation of modern-day life.”  One reason for this is stresses and despair brought on by the heresy of individualism. 
This is hard to say as an American.  We are in love with the rugged individual.  Jubal Sackett’s character by Louis L’Amour is a fine example.  In the mid-1950’s to the end of the century, it was our very own Philip-Morris’ Marlboro Man, Herf Ingersoll and other men, who helped portray the rugged individualism so prized now in our American culture.  In the early 2000’s, the U.S. Army tapped into this with their ad campaign of “Army of One”.  But they dropped this one because it was contrary to the teamwork and interchangeability of personnel that is core to the functioning of the military. 
As 21st century Americans, we have been steeped in the mythology of individualism, where it is each person for themselves, and altruism and selflessness are not always considered virtues to be emulated.  But this is contrary to Biblical teachings where Christ emptied himself to save all of us from our sins. Elisha healed Naaman, a military general of Israel’s opponent.  Even the story of Jonah from Epiphany 3 reminds us that God sends individuals to communities to preach salvation for the community, not individuals within the community.  (Click here to continue reading.)

Click here to read the complete newsletter, including the following:

  • The Scream, by Bishop Marty Stebbins
  • Diocesan Calendar
  • Summer News: Camp Marshall
  • News of your Community of Deacons
  • Prayer for our Country, Book of Common Prayer
  • Striving for Justice and Peace Among All People, by Rev. Valerie Webster
  • Statewide Civic Engagement
  • National Civic Engagement with Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • E-mail Fraud Attempts
  • 2021 UTO Annual Grant Applications - submit early!
  • Save the dates: Treasurers' Training, Parochial Report, Financial Training, Vestry and Audit Team Training
  • Episcopal Relief & Development: "Four Steps of Lament" and ERD Sunday
  • Episcopal Church Young Adult Service Corps
  • Tell Me Something Good, a web series from The Episcopal Church
  • United Thank Offering
  • Wanted: Montana Writers for the Diocesan Newsletter
  • Presiding Bishop Curry's Word to the Church: Who shall we be?
  • Formation Meeting Invitation, Feb. 27 via Zoom
  • Save the Dates: Zoom meetings
  • Camp Marshall: Plan a personal or family retreat now
  • Covid-19 Emergency Grant Program
  • Updated Newsletter Deadline: February 16 for the March 2021 newsletter
  • The UK Blessing