The Bishop's Letters
Articles filed under "General"
We wanted to share with you an important statement signed by Archbishop Duncan and other religious leaders: “Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together.”
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
As we celebrate All Saints’ Day this week (it falls on November 1 but it is also observed this coming Sunday), we focus on the universal church and on what is called the Communion of Saints, the union we have with all those who have put their trust in Jesus from every people and language and tribe and nation—those still on earth, and those who have gone before us in ages past.
This will be my last newsletter introduction as Chairman of ADV. I have been blessed beyond words by the privilege of being a part of the birth and growth of this group, and it is an experience I will always remember. Perhaps one of the greatest feelings I have as I watch this transition is knowing that we are in such good hands with our new bishop, and with the outstanding candidates we have for the new diocesan standing committee. The future of our new diocese is bright!
Peggy and I just finished performing in “Fiddler on the Roof,” performed at Truro to wildly enthusiastic crowds and three sold out performances. It was a lot of fun! Peggy was Golda, Tevye’s wife, and I played Lazar Wolf. It was my first foray into acting since high school (which was a very long time ago!) and it proved to be a good experience, although a lot more work than I remembered. After this experience, I think I’ll hang up my acting shoes for a while.
A friend of mine stopped me as I was leaving church last week, and asked me, “So now we are part of a new diocese. So what?” Although I was a bit surprised by the question, I realized that it actually made sense. After all, most of us don’t spend all our waking hours thinking about our place in the worldwide Anglican Communion, so some of these issues can feel an awful lot like “inside baseball.” But it actually is worth knowing about.
An equally important reminder for us is that we are still called to speak to everyone “in their own language” when we talk about the good news of Christ’s love for us. Of course, that includes having an understanding that when we talk to others about all the exciting things we are doing with our new diocese – (and they are exciting!) that we remember to “keep the main thing the main thing”. While the formation of a new diocese is important, it is not likely in and of itself to motivate a single person to join one of our congregations. What will do that is helping them understand the value and beauty of the message we have to share.
It’s been a wonderful eight days since our electing Synod (at the time of this writing). My election won’t be confirmed by the ACNA College of Bishops until the end of June and I won’t actually start work until August 1, but it’s been a busy time nonetheless. The day after the election, Meg and I worshiped at our former parish, All Saints’ in Woodbridge, where my successor, the Rev. Dan Morgan welcomed us back warmly.
As I sit here on Saturday night, gazing at the large moon, I am aware of a cacophony of feelings: love for Jesus as I go through Lent with him; prayers for those suffering in Japan; concern for allied troops dealing with Libya and American troops in harm's way around the globe; excitement about the ADV Constitutional Convention coming up in May; deep regard for our eight parishes going to Court in April to defend properties. It's all swimming around in my head and heart as I speak to and listen to our Lord. Been there?
I love the anticipation that is a part of Lent as we all prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. It seems fitting to me that as we prepare to celebrate this tremendous event, we can also be praying about the birth of our new diocese. Please join me in that prayer!
At last year’s Synod meeting, representatives passed several resolutions that set us on a path to apply for status within ACNA as a diocese. A number of people have been working very hard ever since then to carry out the directives of the Synod, and their efforts are starting to bear visible fruit. It is incredibly exciting to watch! As Chloellen Miller, the Chair of the Constitution and Canons Committee said, “We serve an awesome God!”
This week in England, there are celebrations of the 400 years of the KJV, and the entire Bible, word for word, is being read aloud, in public, in Ye Old Towne of Bath, England. To read more, go to http://www.kingjamesbibletrust.org/
I love this time of year. The period from Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year’s seems to blur into one long celebration. But I particularly love the anticipation that builds in the weeks before Christmas.
The Anglican District of Virginia’s Bishops’ Summit on Church Growth and Church Planting was a great success. Nearly all of the 40 plus worship communities within ADV were represented by 120 congregational leaders.
Well, I’ve driven through my first snowstorm of the season up here in Northern New York. More to follow. We have a saying at this time of year, “The Iceman Cometh.”
I keep coming back to the amazing unity I sense when I walk into a meeting of ADV leaders. I know we are very different people, and our congregations are very different places. But we have found a unity in Christ that is truly amazing. I pray that it will always be so. And the people say, “Thanks be to God!”
Perhaps as significant for our future is that the Synod heard a report from the Task Force on Diocesan Status and approved the report, along with some specific steps for follow-on action. What does that mean to us?
Begun in a home, the church met for four years at “Rainbow Hill,” the former home of General Douglas MacArthur. In November 2009, the parish purchased a Methodist church on seven acres of land just north of Baltimore in Lutherville MD.
I was ministered to and discipled by several great clergymen and found myself asking the question since I was 14.... ‘God, are you calling me?’
Greetings! Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was a joy to be able to attend the prayer and praise service at The Falls Church yesterday evening, where we prayed, worshiped, and heard from John Yates, Martyn Minns, and 3 members of the congregation (a lead lawyer, the senior warden, and a leader of intercessory prayer) on their thoughts in the aftermath of the Va. Supreme Court decision on our case with the Episcopal Church.
The news headlines, photos and video depicting the aftermath of a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti's capital city clearly show a country and a city in great need.