DDG Companion News | June 7, 2016

DDG Executive Director Bill Kunkle speaking about fundraising for DDG-sponsored construction projects in the Dominican Republic during the GEMN conference in Puerto Rico.

 The DDG at the GEMN Conference in Puerto Rico

In  addition  to the Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín, Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, several missioners and missionaries active in the Dominican Republic attended the annual conference of the Global Episcopal Mission Network in Ponce, Puerto Rico, from May 18-20, 2016. These attendees included DDG Executive Director Bill Kunkle; missionaries Karen Carroll, Charlie Nakash, and Bob Stevens; and missioners Julia and Julius Ariail (Diocese of Georgia), the Rev. Tar Drazdowski (Diocese of Nebraska), the Rev. Deacon Kathy Gilpin (Diocese of Southwest Florida), Tom McGowan (Diocese of Nebraska), and the Rev. Anne Reed (Diocese of Southern Ohio). The DDG is one of the partner organizations with GEMN, and Executive Director Kunkle is an elected member of GEMN's board of directors.

During the conference, Bishop Holguín participated in a panel discussion about ministry to migrating populations, and Executive Director Kunkle presented a one-hour workshop on fundraising for mission teams and their projects. David Searby, the founder of BeachCorps, presented another workshop on a developing partnership with the DDG to offer one-day work projects at a Dominican Episcopal church, school, or day care center for vacationers staying in one of the resorts in the Dominican Republic. A video of Searby's presentation is available here.

Highlights and photographs from the GEMN conference, including a video of the keynote address by the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and several articles on the conference written by reporter/editor Lynette Wilson of the Episcopal News Service, are available here

GEMN's next conference will be in Nauvoo, Alabama, from May 10-12, 2017. To join the GEMN email list, fill out the online form available here

New Guide to Zika Virus

Episcopal Relief and Development has published a comprehensive guide to learn more about the Zika virus in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Kreyol. Links to separate documents in those languages are in the article linked below:

In addition to this information resource, the CDC maintains an extensive collection of Zika information webpages linked below:

Province IX Bishops Use DDG Model to Establish New Development Group 

Prior to the GEMN conference, the bishops of the Province IX dioceses met in San Juan to form a new provincial development group using the Dominican Development Group as a model. Bob Stevens, the retired Executive Director of the DDG, is volunteering his services to work with the new development group as its Executive Director. ENS reporter/editor Lynette Wilson wrote this article for ENS about this new development group on May 23, 2016: 

[Episcopal News Service - San Juan, Puerto Rico] The bishops of Province IX last week approved the formation of a province-wide development group aimed at moving each of the province's seven dioceses toward self-sustainability.

Since 2013, the Episcopal Church has been working with all Province IX dioceses - the Dominican Republic, Ecuador Central, Ecuador Litoral, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras and Puerto Rico - to develop a plan for financial self-sustainability and to further secure their ministries.

"It's a dream realized," said Dominican Republic Bishop Julio Cesar Holguín, whose diocese the Episcopal Church recently awarded a  one-time focus grant  totaling $950,000. "It's a platform to help each of the dioceses of Province IX to reach self-sufficiency and to fund their own missionary work. We're very optimistic in this regard that we can make this work."

The Province IX bishops created the development group on May 17 during a synod meeting.

The Province IX dioceses have been leading the effort to move toward self-sustainability since a 2011 Church Pension Group-sponsored  conference in Tela, Honduras, that brought together the Province IX dioceses to explore a secure path. The dioceses themselves adopted sustainability as a focus for 2012; three of the seven dioceses - the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Honduras now have development groups.

According to the Province IX Development Group's bylaws, its purpose is to assist with the development and self-sustainability of the diocese through the promotion of sustainable development, the solicitation of resources and the strengthening of companion relationships.

To read this complete ENS article, click  here.  
Links to online copies of recent issues of the DDG Companion News:
For older issues on the Publications page of the DDG website, click here.

Contact the DDG:
Office: (813) 400-2722 | Fax: (813) 983-5082
Executive Director: Bill Kunkle | bkunkle@dominicandevelopmentgroup.org
PO Box 272261 | Tampa Florida 33688-2261

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