Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana Archives

Diocesan Newsletters

Newsletters were historically an important way for bishops to communicate with the diocese. During the time of the Diocese of Indiana, Bishop Talbot and later Bishop Knickerbacker produced the Church Worker, many issues of which have been digitized by the Indiana State Library's Indiana Memory. This publication contains many news items about churches and clergy prior to the splitting of the Diocese of Indiana. 

Bishop White was slow to provide a newsletter to the Diocese of Michigan City at the time of its inception, probably due to a shortage of funds. However, he came to realize that he needed a vehicle for imparting news to all of the church's membership. About 1906, he decided to launch The Guardian, printed under the auspices of the Parish Press at Trinity Fort Wayne and its rector, the Rev. Edward Wilson Averill. The publication was spartan in appearance and included Episcopal news items from across the northern part of the state, though seldom any national church content. 
Its greatest value came with news items about parishes and missions in the diocese that heightened awareness of the diocese's work. Unfortunately, only a handful of issues survive between 1909 and 1911.

After The Guardian ceased just before World War I, the diocese produced no such publication until 1924, when Bishop White, now close to death, attempted to relaunch it. This publication proved successful for a number of years under White's successor, Bishop Campbell Gray, until the onset of the Great Depression and was known variously as The Guardian  and the Diocese of Northern Indiana.

In 1936, with finances beginning to improve only slightly, Gray began publishing Forward in the Diocese of Northern Indiana. The opening issue contained the headline, "Crisis!" to highlight funding shortages with the National Church Council. The newsletter was renamed The Pastoral Staff in 1938, and it became increasingly sophisticated in appearance with photographs of clergy and parishes and improved layouts. Under Bishop Mallett, it was re-titled as The Beacon, and it became the stalwart communication tool for more than a generation. During the Klein and Sheridan episcopates, news items became increasingly elaborate. Professional photographers were hired to cover diocesan events, and many national news items were included. It remained in print until the cost of production forced it to cease publication in 1997 near the end of Bishop Francis C. Gray’s episcopate. The numbering of these issues is inconsistent and problematic. Bishop Little offered Around the Diocese in 2001, a news sheet that could be inserted monthly into Sunday bulletins.

The launch of a diocesan website and eventually a monthly e-zine or newsletter has become the latest form of communication under Little’s successor, Bishop Sparks. Sparks has produced videos on Youtube and regularly communicates via email to the diocese about pending matters.

The Church Worker (Diocese of Indiana), 1886-1896

The Guardian, 1909-1911

Guardian/Diocese of Northern Indiana, 1925-1926 (complete)

Guardian/Diocese of Northern Indiana, 1924-1927

Diocese of Northern Indiana, 1928-1929

Diocese of Northern Indiana, 1930-1931

Forward in the Diocese of Northern Indiana, 1936-1938

The Church News, 1938

Pastoral Staff, 1938-1941

Pastoral Staff, 1942-1945

Bishop's Letter, 1945

The Beacon, 1945-1947

The Beacon, 1947-1951

The Beacon, 1952-1954

The Beacon, 1954-1956

The Beacon, 1957-1958

The Beacon, 1959-1960

The Beacon, 1961-1962

The Beacon, 1963-1965

The Beacon, 1966-1970

The Beacon, 1971-1987

The Beacon, 1988-1998

The Beacon Supplement, 1987-1988