Daily Archives: June 11, 2007

Nigeria: Fuel Price – Anglican Church Backs NLC Strike

Anglican Church Diocese of Enugu, at the weekend, said it was in support of the nationwide industrial action planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), adding that Nigerians have had hard times over the past eight years of the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Speaking to newsmen in Enugu, Bishop of the Church, Rt. Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma, said labour needs the support of Nigerians in the planned strike, explaining that this was the only way to be part of the condemnation of the bad policies of Obasanjo’s administration.

Chukwuman said protesting against bad policies was the only way to ensure that such policies do not continue, adding that “as far as I am concerned, Obasanjo’s administration made many bad policies in the past eight years. Time is coming when Nigerians will resist evil policies of our leaders. Whatever the NLC wants to do, the Anglican Church will support it as a Church to reduce the sufferings of our people. We cannot continue to suffer like this. Time has come for us to heave a sigh of relief. It is human to cry out.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Religion & Culture

Titusonenine Top Ten: Week of June 4, 2007

The posts from June 4 – June 10 which received the most comments.
Comment totals are as of June 11, 13:30 EDT / 17:30 GMT

Bishop Sergio Carranza: The Soul of Anglicanism (69)
Bishop Richard Randerson Profiled: A devil for the detail (55)
3 Democratic candidates talk of their faith (54)
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori speaks to Bill Moyers (52)
They Really Saw Him: A look at Richard Bauckham’s Most Recent New Testament Work (47)
Bishop Jack Iker on the March Meeting of the American House of Bishops (45)
Did you Know? (43)
The religious left lifts its voice in campaign 2008 (41)
Today’s Question from the Elves (38)
Today’s Quiz (38)

Hey, we elves made the top 10 list with one of our posts! Woohoo! 🙂

Posted in * Admin, * General Interest, Top Ten on T19

Sean Rowe's Journey to the House of Bishops

The Rev. Sean Rowe smiles often and exudes a boyish charm.

The first glimpse of him in clerical garb, of this young man cloaked in authority, is likely to prompt a second look, borne of mild surprise.

That subsequent glance, however, reveals a gravitas belied by appearances and gifts that transcend chronological age.

The Episcopal Church has been swift to recognize Rowe’s abilities.

When he joined St. John Episcopal Church in Franklin seven years ago at the age of 25, fresh out of college and seminary, the newspaper carried the headline, “Episcopal Church gets youngster in pulpit.”

When he was ordained Dec. 2, 2000, he was the youngest priest in the Episcopal Church.

Recently elected the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Rowe, at 32, will be the youngest Episcopal bishop in the world following his Sept. 8 consecration at Grove City College’s Harbison Chapel by the presiding bishop of the church, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori.

He will likewise be the youngest member of the church’s House of Bishops ”“ by about 13 years.

Rowe’s rocketing to positions of prominence leads one to wonder if he has always been on the fast track ”” or if he is an old soul in a young man’s body.

A look at his journey to the threshold of the House of Bishops would seem to indicate that both explanations apply.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Scott Gunn: Lord Carey then and now

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

Blog update from the elves: Handheld users please chime in

We expect it will be a much quieter week in terms of blog information from us elves. One important question remains: making sure the blog is readable for hand-held users. If you read T19 via handheld (Blackberry, etc.) please read the following and chime in with your comments.

This elf has a busy week ahead for her “real” job, and doesn’t expect to fiddle too much with TitusOneNine design or features for a few days. We’ve still got a number of things on our ToDo list, but nothing to our knowledge that urgently affects blog design and readability or features for most readers using laptops or desktops.

We have, however, received several comments from handheld users that the current design is not working well for handheld access. Before we make any major changes, it would help us to ask some questions of those who read the blog via handheld device:

1) Please describe whatever difficulties you are currently having. What we are hearing at the moment is that there is too much text and that perhaps we should reduce the number of entries on the main page. (Currently set to 50 entries. On the old blog it was usually set at 20).

2) Does using the calendar to view a day’s entries solve your problem? Usually there will be no more than 20 entries per day on a given date, so using the calendar would be similar to the amount of text that used to appear per page on the old blog.

Try viewing all the entries for June 10 and let us know how that works.
http://new.kendallharmon.net/wp-content/uploads/index.php/t19/2007/06/10/

3) We’ve also heard that the sidebar may be a problem for handheld users, since it displays first and it is a lot of info to scroll through. The “Print-Friendly” format we’ve set up may help as it will display articles without the sidebar. Please try the links below and let us know if they work for you.

To view all the articles on the main page in print-friendly format WITHOUT comments: http://new.kendallharmon.net/wp-content/uploads/index.php/t19/print/

(Currently the print-friendly WITH comments format does not work for viewing more than one article at a time. We can try to work on that.)

NOTE: You can also view a single day’s entries in print-friendly format without the sidebar by inserting the word “print” in the daily archive link between “t19” and the given date. Example:

The normal daily archive view for June 11 uses this link: http://new.kendallharmon.net/wp-content/uploads/index.php/t19/2007/06/11/
The link for the Print Friendly view for June 11:
kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/print/2007/06/11/

(note: we’ve removed the intial http://www. in the link above so it would display the rest of the link properly with bolding of the word “print”)

Please try out these options and let us know if they make reading the blog via handheld easier. If there are still problems, we’ll be glad to try something different.

Note: We’ve now added a link in the “printer-friendly” view that makes it easy to get to the comments for each article so those reading all entries in print-friendly mode can leave a comment on articles of interest. Let us know if this works ok. Obviously the print-friendly view was originally designed for printing, not for commenting, and so it doesn’t have a lot of blog-navigation links.

Posted in * Admin, Blog Tips & Features

T. W. Bartel–A response to ”˜The Report of the Covenant Design Group’

Amidst rising tensions in the Anglican Communion over the issue of homosexuality, the Windsor Report strongly advised its member churches to adopt a worldwide Anglican Covenant in order to restore the bonds of trust and affection within the Communion. The Report also presented a detailed draft covenant for discussion. That covenant proposed a sweeping transfer of authority from individual provinces to the four central structures of the Communion, the ”˜Instruments of Unity’, two of which are composed wholly of primates and three exclusively of bishops.

Despite these ominous first steps on the way to an Anglican Covenant, subsequent documents and public statements from the Instruments of Unity gave reason to hope that the Covenant process would be an inclusive exercise resulting in an inclusive agreement. These hopes were shattered, however, by the Report of the Covenant Design Group (CDG) and by the communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting at Dar es Salaam. The draft Covenant of the CDG report gives the Instruments of Unity veto power over change within the provinces on ”˜essential matters of common concern’, as well as exclusive authority to declare a member church in breach of the Covenant and therefore no longer in covenant relationship with other churches. Furthermore, instead of envisaging an unhurried, comprehensive process of consultation in provincial synods, the CDG report urges the immediate acceptance of this Anglican curia across the Communion, offering a patently question-begging argument for doing so. The primates’ communiqué from Dar es Salaam exceeded the presumptuousness even of the CDG, not only crediting the primates with the authority to issue ultimatums to member churches and impose sanctions for non-compliance, but also demanding that a member church violate its own canons and constitution. Far from restoring trust throughout the Communion, the Covenant process has thoroughly undermined it.

It might be replied that, while of course the process of agreeing a Covenant must be a collaborative dialogue with neither content nor purpose of the Covenant fixed at the outset, the only way forward is a more centralised Anglican Communion, with a central tribunal for vetting change in the Communion on controversial matters. But such a tribunal would only be reasonable if it could be more reliable at ”˜tracking the truth’ than the traditional polity of the Anglican Communion””and that is not the case. Moreover, at present and in the foreseeable future, no international Anglican tribunal could begin to approach the standard of reliability required, for it would be unduly vulnerable to pressure from hardliners on the issue of homosexuality. Hence the CDG draft Covenant’s proposals for concentrating power in the Instruments of Unity violate the Covenant’s own commitment to the open, communal pursuit of truth.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant

The Class-Consciousness Raiser

Despite Payne’s counsel, the reality is that in the nation’s bedrooms and churches, bridges across the class divide are increasingly rare: most Americans worship with and marry people who are just like them. In public schools, though, class divisions are a frequent part of daily existence, sometimes within the student body but also, and more significant, between teachers and students.

The passage of the No Child Left Behind law in 2002 brought a new urgency to the issue of poverty in the classroom. For the first time, schools were required not only to report their overall test results but also to calculate the scores for various “subgroups,” including racial minorities, students for whom English is a second language and students whose parents’ income is low enough to qualify them for a free or reduced-price lunch. It soon became impossible to ignore that there was a problem: poor students were scoring well behind their wealthier peers. And schools suddenly had a powerful incentive to try to address that disparity. Even otherwise well-performing schools could be labeled failures if their poor students weren’t catching up.

Payne believes that teachers can’t help their poor students unless they first understand them, and that means understanding the hidden rules of poverty. The second step, Payne says, is to teach poor students explicitly about the hidden rules of the middle class. She emphasizes that the goal should not be to change students’ behavior outside of school: you don’t teach your students never to fight if fighting is an important survival skill in the housing project where they live. But you do tell them that in order to succeed at school or later on in a white-collar job, they need to master certain skills: how to speak in “formal register,” how to restrain themselves from physical retaliation, how to keep a schedule, how to exist in what Payne calls the “abstract world of paper.”

At the Jekyll Island seminar, I met Steve Kipp, a science teacher at Brunswick High with a ponytail and a jumpy, eager energy. He looked as if he might be the kind of guy whom the other teachers would call when they couldn’t get their computers to work right. Kipp sat in the front row, dead center, and at the break he was the first person to come up and ask Payne for advice.

In 10th grade at Brunswick High, Kipp told me later, the advanced students usually take chemistry, and the other students, the ones who are more likely to wind up in technical college, take Kipp’s class, which is called General Physical Science. And each year it’s the same, Kipp said: the rich and middle-class kids are tracked into chemistry, and he gets the kids from poverty. Kipp grew up in the middle class, and in the past, he said, before he read Payne’s book, he would get frustrated by his poor students. They seemed unwilling or unable to learn; they laughed when he tried to mete out discipline. And so he found it hard to keep exerting himself. What was the point in teaching them, he thought, if they weren’t going to make an effort?

But after he immersed himself in Payne’s work, about five years ago, Kipp’s ideas changed. “I realized, these kids aren’t dumb,” he said. “They just haven’t had the enriching experiences that I had growing up.” So he pushes himself harder now to provide more experiments in the classroom, more hands-on learning to help his students develop the same kind of instinctive understanding of nature that he got running around in the woods as a boy.

Payne’s work in the schools has attracted a growing chorus of criticism, mostly from academia. Although Payne says that her only goal is to help poor students, her critics claim that her work is in fact an assault on those students. By teaching them middle-class practices, critics say, she is engaging in “classism” and racism. Her work is “riddled with factual inaccuracies and harmful stereotypes,” charges Anita Bohn, an assistant professor at Illinois State University, in a paper on Payne’s work. Paul Gorski, an assistant professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, writes that Payne’s central text “consists, at the crudest level, of a stream of stereotypes and a suggestion that we address poverty and education by ”˜fixing’ poor people instead of reforming classist policies and practices.”

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Education

Ministers spread their messages over Web

Local ministers are working to find new ways to spread their message not only within their local community, but the global community provided by the World Wide Web.

“We have to take the words and put it out for as many people as possible,” Chip Lee, minister at St. John’s and St. Matthew’s Episcopal churches in Deer Park and Oakland, said. “This is one more way in which to spread the good news.”

Lee, who had a background in marketing and broadcast before becoming a minister at three Garrett County churches, including the log church on state Route 135 in Altamont, helped to guide his churches into the age of the Internet, and now reaches more than 15,000 people with the church’s podcasts, weekly broadcasts done available for download on iTunes.

He said that it took some persuasion to convince the churches that this was a natural step toward a more technological age, but also a way to draw new members into the church, even if they technically didn’t set foot in any of the three. However, much of the technology necessary, he said, was awarded through various grants within the diocese.

“Churches have recognized that they should have a good Web site because it’s good at attracting new families to the area,” Lee said. “The Internet has become almost a staple of daily life.”

He still emphasizes the biggest way for a church to get members remains the traditional method of invitation by friends or family, but since the podcasts have begun, he has gotten e-mail from people all over the world, including soldiers in Iraq and people living in Europe.

He added that the Web site currently has live feeds of the churches services as well as streaming audio from each service.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

The wrath of 2007: America's great drought

America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still.

From the mountains and desert of the West, now into an eighth consecutive dry year, to the wheat farms of Alabama, where crops are failing because of rainfall levels 12 inches lower than usual, to the vast soupy expanse of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, which has become so dry it actually caught fire a couple of weeks ago, a continent is crying out for water.

In the south-east, usually a lush, humid region, it is the driest few months since records began in 1895. California and Nevada, where burgeoning population centres co-exist with an often harsh, barren landscape, have seen less rain over the past year than at any time since 1924. The Sierra Nevada range, which straddles the two states, received only 27 per cent of its usual snowfall in winter, with immediate knock-on effects on water supplies for the populations of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The human impact, for the moment, has been limited, certainly nothing compared to the great westward migration of Okies in the 1930 – the desperate march described by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath.

Big farmers are now well protected by government subsidies and emergency funds, and small farmers, some of whom are indeed struggling, have been slowly moving off the land for decades anyway. The most common inconvenience, for the moment, are restrictions on hosepipes and garden sprinklers in eastern cities.

But the long-term implications are escaping nobody. Climatologists see a growing volatility in the south-east’s weather – today’s drought coming close on the heels of devastating hurricanes two to three years ago.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources

Scottish Primus becomes co-patron of Inclusive Church

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Scottish Episcopal Church

Susan Buchanan: The Gospel Agenda

Can we similarly find God already at work, and choose not to hinder that within our own lives and our own faith communities? “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Can we see the full inclusion of blacks as not “the Black Agenda” but rather “the Gospel Agenda”? Can we see God at work in the lives and ministries of women, and support it, recognizing “the Gospel Agenda” rather than “the Feminist Agenda”? Can we recognize holiness of life and the working of the Spirit in the lives of gay and lesbian Christians, and welcome their presence and their ministries as part of “the Gospel Agenda” rather than “the Gay Agenda?”

It’s not an easy place to be, in many ways. Many still accuse women of having a “Feminist Agenda” when we exercise our equality in Christ. How fortunate I am that I have so many faithful Christian men speaking out on behalf of that equality for me. They help the world hear my ministry as “Gospel Agenda.” They allow me to strive to be known as a “good priest”, and not just a “female priest.” They allow me to be a minister of the Gospel. But, in doing so, they have been the target of scorn and rejection themselves, from those who cannot see my ministry as being of God.

Now it is time for me, as a straight person, to speak up. I can bear witness, like Peter, to seeing the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those whom the church has traditionally said were “unclean” and “unfit” for consideration as members of Christ’s body. I can bear witness to seeing and experiencing in my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters lives of repentance, forgiveness, and transformation through Jesus. (And “transformation” does not mean that Gentiles become Jews, blacks become whites, women become men, or gays/lesbians become straight!) I can speak out for “the Gospel Agenda” and in doing so, I hope that the gay and lesbian members of our church can be recognized as being a part of that Agenda as well. I pray that our bishop can focus on his Gospel ministry, being a “good bishop” rather than just a “gay bishop. ” It is up to you, and to me, to be like Peter and not hinder God but to welcome God’s grace in the lives of others. That, my friends, is the good news of the Gospel. That is the Gospel Agenda.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology

David Kuo: When it Comes to Faith, Partisan Lines are Blurring

It is a political world turned upside down. Republicans running away from religion and Democrats acting like evangelists.

Last night in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidates were long on conservatism and short on compassion. On immigration, on Iraq, on virtually every issue, the consensus was that America hasn’t been tough enough. No compassion for anyone ”” particularly those 12 million Americans who got here illegally.

When it came to the hungry ”” or, more precisely, those the Bush Administration has categorized as “food insecure” ”” there was silence. So, too, on issues like poverty and youth violence and the epidemic of the uninsured. There was, in short, no evidence of the compassionate conservatism George W. Bush once promised would be his governing philosophy.

And Jesus made only the briefest appearance ”” first from Wolf Blitzer’s lips in a question to Rudolph Giuliani and then from Mormon Gov. Mitt Romney, who declared his love for Jesus.

Romney doesn’t really want an in-depth examination of his Mormon faith. Ex-mayor Giuliani certainly doesn’t want to explain his penchant for marrying in a religious context. And Sen. John McCain, who once called religious right leaders “agents of intolerance”, isn’t leaping at the chance to play pastor, either.

How differently the Democrats are behaving. Monday night, the progressive religious organization Sojourners hosted the three leading Democratic presidential candidates at a forum on “faith, values, and poverty.” It was a Jesus fair.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

The Dean of Manchester, Rogers Morgan Govender, on the Controversial Sony Video Game

Listen to it all from the BBC Sunday Programme (starts about 34:20 in).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Religion & Culture

Bishop Steve Jecko Remembered

“Bishop Jecko was my friend and Bishop in the Diocese of Florida. I knew him for at least 20 years; then was privileged to chair the Search Committe of the diocese which called Steve to be our Bishop. He was a champion of the faith at all times. Later he became chaplain to the Daughters of the King in the Fourth province and then National Chaplain of the Daughters of the King. His teachings inspired and strengthen the Daughters in their lifelong vows of prayer, service and evangelism. God blessed hiim in shortening the agony of cancer. And God blessed each of us who knew Bishop Steve. Dear God, strengthen Joan and the family and all of us.”

–Jean Marani, Holy Cross Anglican Church, Tallahassee, FL

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal

The Bishop’s Address at the 139th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Albany

Turning now to a concern that is weighing heavily upon many of us, bringing with it great anxiety and confusion. As we all know, the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion is going through a very difficult time right now. It is easy to get caught up in the belief that this is unique to our generation. Unfortunately, as you study Church history, you will discover that the Church in every generation has had it trials and struggles. The issues might change, but the attack doesn’t.

My brothers and sisters, we are in the midst of a major spiritual war, one that has been raging ever since the fall. Knowing our vulnerability to SEX and MONEY, Satan is using these two areas of our lives to bring division and chaos into the Church, causing us to take our attention off the mission of the Church, and redirect it to attacking one another, dividing and weakening the Church. As Jesus himself said, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

If the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion are to survive, it is essential that we recognize what Satan is up to, and stop cooperating with his battle plan. I am all too aware of the great diversity in theological views concerning the appropriateness or inappropriateness of homosexual behavior in the Church today. Emotions are raging on both sides of the issue, and as a result, Satan is succeeding in turning what once were friends into enemies of one another. As a lifelong Episcopalian and Anglican, my heart is grieving over what I see happening to the Church.

Ultimately, each one of us will have to decide how we are to respond to Satan’s attack, and that is exactly what it is ”“ Satan’s Attack. We can cooperate with his battle plan and continue to rip ourselves apart, OR we can focus our attention on Christ, joining in His prayer, that We may be ONE, as He and the Father are ONE. In so doing, I am not suggesting that we compromise our faith, but rather that we keep Christ and the mission of the Church as our central focus, as we work through our differences, seeking God’s will in all that we do.

It is only in and through Christ that we can be one with one another and one with the Father. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father, but though me. It is for that reason, that we must keep our focus on Christ, and not be distracted by the storm that brews around us. When Peter stepped out of the boat, in response to our Lord’s call, he did the impossible ”“ he walked on water. It wasn’t until he took his eyes off of Christ and focused on the wind and the waves around him, that he began to sink. Focused on Christ, we can walk through the current storms threatening the Church, apart from Christ, we will sink.

As your Bishop and brother in Christ, I am asking each of you to join me as we move forward, and ask, “What would Jesus do?” in determining how best to address and deal with the issues before us and those who disagree with us. He will guide and direct us, if we humble ourselves and trust him and are obedient to his command ”“ “Love one another, as I have loved you.” I caution us not to become pharisaical in our dealings with one another. As we heard in this evenings passage from Luke, it is easy to fall into the trap of pointing out the sins of our neighbor, while conveniently ignoring our own sins. While we are busy condemning others, the Lord is reaching out in love to those very same people, inviting them into relationship with Him, ministering to them, healing them and giving them His peace.

We are Episcopalians and we are Anglicans, but first and foremost we are Christians. It is my hope and prayer, that by the grace of God, everyone of us will be able to continue to serve our Lord and His Church as Episcopalians and Anglicans. I pray that the Lord will cleanse and purify His Church of anything that is not of Him, and strengthen and bless that which is of Him.

As many of you know the House of Bishops will be meeting in September. High on the agenda will be the Bishops’ response to the Tanzania communiqué from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates concerning the Episcopal Church and the Windsor Report. The Archbishop has accepted the House Of Bishop’s invitation to join them in September. I will be at that meeting and will participate in all the discussions. The Diocese of Albany has been a strong conservative voice in the larger Church, upholding the traditional and orthodox teachings of the Church. We will continue to do so. At the same time, by God’s grace, I will work to ensure that every parish in our Diocese is welcoming and loving to ALL people, reaching out and ministering to everyone who seeks God’s love and a closer relationship with Christ.

I ask your prayers that the Holy Spirit will be present at the HOB meeting in a mighty and powerful way, and that He will guide and direct all conversation and all actions taken by the House of Bishops. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide and direct the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates as well, in their response to the Episcopal Church.

If the Episcopal Church or the Wider Anglican Communion takes any action that would threaten our continued relationship with either, then I will call for a Special Convention of the Diocese to come together as a Diocese to deal with whatever confronts us. It is my hope and prayer that there will never be a need to do so. This Diocese since its founding in 1868 has always been part of the Episcopal Church and as such has always been part of the Anglican Communion. We need one another and by the grace of God will always be part of one another. I hereby call upon the House of Bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the Primates of the Anglican Communion to heed the Lord’s call as revealed in II Chronicles 7:14 ”“ “”¦if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” God have mercy on us, if we choose any other path.

(The full text is below).

The 139th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Albany

Bishop’s Address By
The Rt. Rev. William H. Love, D.D.

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ ”“ Welcome! The 139th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Albany is now in session. Let us pray. (BCP pg 818).

By the end of this weekend, we will have approx. 900 faithful men, women and children join us for the Convention, workshops and Youth Rally, in addition to several hundred more for tomorrow’s ordination service, representing each of the 122 parishes and summer chapels, located throughout the 19 counties or 20,000 square miles that make up the Episcopal Diocese of Albany.

In addition, we are blessed to have several special guests with us from outside the Diocese. Please join me as we welcome:

n The Rt. Rev. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, President of Province VII and President of the Counsel of Advice to the Presiding Bishop. Bishop MacPherson will be the guest Preacher at Saturday’s Ordination Service.

n Ms. Christy Speer, Vice President North America Equipping for Crown Financial Ministries. Ms. Speer is one of our keynote speakers and will be addressing the Convention a little later this evening following my address.

n Also with us from Crown Financial Ministries, is Mr. John Harper, District Director of the Northeast Seaboard. Mr. Harper will be leading several workshops, sharing Crown Financial Ministries with us.

n A dear friend of mine, Mrs. Edwina Thomas, National Director of SOMA (Sharing of Ministry Abroad) will address the Convention tomorrow morning on the ministry of Mission. In addition, she will also be speaking to the kids.

n The Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand and his wife, Dr. Wendy LeMarquand, will be joining us. Fr. LeMarquand is the New Testament Professor and Acting Academic Dean of Trinity Episcopal School For Ministry. He will be leading two Bible Meditations this weekend during morning prayer, as well as teaching a Bible workshop with his wife.

n The guest speaker at this year’s Youth Rally is Pastor Adam McLane, Associate Pastor of Romeo Church, Romeo, Michigan, and President of Youth Ministry Exchange. He will be teaching and ministering to our middle and senior high kids this weekend and will be the guest preacher at Sunday’s Youth Rally.

n As most of you know, for the last several years we have been greatly blessed to have Bishop Harold and Liz Miller with us from our sister diocese, the Diocese of Down and Dromore, in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, Bishop Harold had another engagement that he was not able to change and is therefore not able to be here for the Convention, but will be visiting the Diocese later this summer. In the meantime however, we are most blessed to have a few of our friends here visiting from Down and Dromore: The Rev. Rodric West and his wife, Joan, The Rev. Simon Richardson, and Philip Holland, a lay person from Port ”“ A – Down.

n Last, but not least, it my honor to welcome back, the Rev. Cecil Wilson, the head of the Church Mission Society “CMS” Ireland, and his assistant, David Gough. This will be Cecil’s last time with us in his current capacity as head of CMSI due to retirement. Cecil on behalf of the Diocese of Albany, we want to thank you for your years of faithful ministry throughout the world and especially your helping us to reach out to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Sudan.

I would also like to extend a special welcome to Bishop Ball, retired Bishop of Albany, and to Mother Miriam and the Sisters of St. Mary. As always, we are blessed by your presence and your prayers. We also welcome our two Assistant Chancellors, Tom Bell and Raymond Dague. Thank you for your wise counsel.

In addition, I feel very blessed to have my wife Karen, and our daughter Catie with us this weekend. Unfortunately, our son Chris, is away on an Air Force ROTC commitment and can’t be here. As many of you know, Karen has served our nation proudly for 27 years in the Air Force and Air National Guard. As a result of all the changes in our life this past year, she has decided that it is now time to retire from the military and return to teaching. While not officially retiring until November, she will step down at the end of the summer as Mission Support Commander at the 109th ANG Base, in order to begin teaching high school math at Hadley Luzerne in September. Please join me in thanking Karen and all the brave men and women who have and continue to serve our Nation in the military, fighting to protect our freedom.

Canon Bob Haskell and Margaret, would you please stand. As most of you know, I have asked Fr. Haskell to serve as my Canon to the Ordinary. He has taken on most of the ministries previously carried out by Bishop Bena, minus those duties unique to the episcopate, and is doing a superb job. In addition to Fr. Haskell, Margaret is a also a real blessing to me and the Diocese. She is one of our chief volunteers, helping out a couple of days each week in the Diocesan office and with a variety of other things. Fr. Bob, and Margaret, we thank and appreciate you!

At the recent Sunday School and Religious Ed. Conference, Mother Laurie Garramone-Rohr, who did an excellent job by the way along with her dedicated team, stressed the importance of saying “Thank You,” something we often fail to do enough of. Inspired by her example, I would like to take a few moments this evening to say thank you to some extraordinary folks throughout the Diocese.

First, I would like to say a very special thank you to three highly gifted ladies, without whom this Convention Weekend would never have been possible. Carol Drumond, Convention Coordinator, and her assistants Micki Thomas and Sue Ellen Ruetsch Workshop Coordinator, have been instrumental in planning, organizing and carrying out hundreds of details involved in putting on this weekend. Fr. Shaw Mudge, Secretary of the Diocese, also played a key role in organizing the business aspects of the Convention. Stephen Hasslacher designed the Convention Logo. You did a great job. As hard as they all worked, they didn’t do it alone. Would everyone who has any part in organizing, planning or carrying out the various aspects and ministries of the Convention please stand. Thank You for all that you have done.

If I could ask all the Diocesan Staff, both South Swan Street and the Spiritual Life Center, (paid and volunteers), to please stand. We are blessed to have a very dedicated, hard working, committed and professional staff, working day in and day out, often behind the scenes carrying out and supporting the administration, business and ministry of the Diocese. Canon Jerry Carroll and all the folks at South Swan Street and Canon Matt Baker and his staff at The Spiritual Life Center are all doing an outstanding job. It is with great joy, that I report to you, that the Audit for 2006 is complete and without exception ”“ meaning everything was found to be in order with no mistakes. Loren, Kriss, Carol, and Joan, you are to be commended for an outstanding job. Thank you and all the staff for all your hard work, tireless dedication, and sacrificial giving of yourselves in so many ways. You are a blessing to all of us in the Diocese.

I would like to say a special thank you to Canon George Marshall for his valuable work as editor of The Albany Episcopalian and as Administrator of Episcopal Charities. Special thanks also goes to Maggie Hasslacher and Chris Copeland for their excellent work in the various other diocesan publications and communications, not to mention the multitude of other duties and responsibilities. Chris’ ministry and that of his staff, to the young people in our Diocese is such a blessing. Thank you.

Just a note concerning one of our modes of communication, the PDU or Priest and Deacon Update, while it started out as just that, it now reaches beyond the priests and deacons. As such, the PDU is going to be renamed the Diocesan Update. If you are not already receiving the PDU and would like to start getting the Diocesan Update, please contact Maggie at the Diocesan Office.

Would the ordinands please join me on the stage. It is my honor to introduce the soon to be newest transitional deacons in the Diocese of Albany: Jacqueline Jones, Teri Monica, Bruce Mason, Tom Ortung, and Beau Wagner. They will be ordained tomorrow afternoon, as transitional deacons. Thank you for all your hard work and obedience in answering God’s call to the ordained ministry. May God use you mightily in His service and always to His glory.

Please bear with me, for there are several other folks who need to be recognized and honored this evening.

Would all the priests of the Diocese and those licensed to serve in the Diocese, please stand. Thank you for joining me in serving as pastors, priests and teachers, loving and caring for the people of this Diocese, preaching the Gospel and administering the sacraments.

Would all the deacons of the Diocese please stand. Thank you for joining me as fellow servants of the Lord, sharing the Gospel and ministering to the needs of God’s people. I give thanks for your strong witness and example.

Would all the clergy spouses and children of the clergy please stand. I know all too well the demands placed upon you and your families. Thank you for your patience when family events get changed because of pastoral emergencies, and for all the sacrifices you make on behalf of the Church and for your strong witness in the community.

Would all the members of the Standing Committee, Trustees, Diocesan Council, Commission on Ministry, CTK Oversight Committee, DDF Committee, Great Chapter, and any other Diocesan Committees that I failed to mention, please stand. Thank you for giving of your time and talent, not only in your parishes, but at the diocesan level.

Would all the church wardens, vestry members, treasurers, clerks of the vestry, parish secretaries and parish administrators, please stand. Thank you for your faithful leadership.

Would all the Religious Education and Sunday School teachers, Bible Study leaders; Youth Group leaders, nursery and child care leaders, please stand. Thank you for your willingness to teach and care for God’s children, young and old alike.

Would all the kids and youth group members please stand up. Thank you for your faith and love for the Lord. May God give you the courage to share your faith with all your friends.

Would all the Altar Guild Members, Acolytes, Lay Readers, and Eucharistic Ministers please stand up. Thank you for your service to our Lord and His Church.

Would all the ushers, welcome team members, parish home visitors, hospitality and sunshine committee members, and parish sextons please stand. Thank you for your kindness and gift of hospitality.

Would all the Convention Music Team Leaders, parish organists, parish musicians, choir members, music and praise team members from all around the Diocese please stand. Thank you for sharing your incredible gift of music, adding to the beauty and majesty of the liturgy and our worship time.

Fr. Nigel, would you and Lynn and all your volunteer prayer team members and everyone else involved in the Christian healing ministry throughout the rest of the Diocese, as well as our parish nurses and all medical personnel, please stand. The healing power of Jesus Christ is real. Thank you for your faithfulness and offering of yourselves as instruments through which our Lord Jesus can and will work.

Peter Minucci and his dedicated staff at the Episcopal Counseling Service are also to be thanked for their dedicated and professional service, ministering to the emotional and psychological needs of those they are called to serve. Just a quick plug, Counseling Service Sunday is coming up on Father’s Day. That would be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your thanks by a financial gift in support of the Counseling Service.

Torre and Jean Bissell, would you and all your diocesan intercessors, and would all the Daughters of the King and parish intercessory prayer teams from around the Diocese please stand up. I can never thank you enough for all your many prayers for me and my family, for this Diocese, for the Church at large, and for all those countless individuals who request and are in need of our prayers. God bless you in this extremely important and invaluable ministry of prayer.

Would all the ECW members from around the Diocese please stand. You are the backbone of the Church. Thank you for all that you do in support of the life and ministry of the Church.

Would all the Brotherhood of St. Andrew members and other men’s ministries please stand. Thank you for your faithful witness and ministry to the men in the Church. May God bless your efforts mightily. It is my hope and prayer that every parish in this Diocese will soon have an active Men’s Ministry. We need to bring men back into the Church in greater numbers.

Would all the members of Cursillo and Happening, associate members of the Order of St. Francis, the Sisters of St. Mary, or any other religious order, please stand up. Thank you for your faith and for being a channel through which the Holy Spirit has come into the Church in an exciting and powerful way, touching and transforming lives.

Mother Eileen, would you and all the members of the Diocesan Mission Committee, and all those from around the Diocese who have gone on or supported mission trips domestically and overseas, please stand. Thank you for your faithful witness in answering the Great Commission, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all who will receive it.

Would all the Deputies to Diocesan and General Convention please stand. Thank you for faithfully representing our parishes and the Diocese of Albany.

Will all who faithfully say your prayers, attend Church regularly and give generously of your time, talent and treasure to God and His Church, please stand. Thank you for your faithfulness and your generosity. Without you, the Church would close its doors.

Will all sinners in need of God’s love and redeeming grace, please stand up. May the Lord give us the grace we need to humble ourselves and come before Him, confessing our sins and seeking His forgiveness.

Last, but most important of all, would all who love God and accept and proclaim His Son, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, please stand up. I thank you my brothers and sisters, for you are the Church, the Body of Christ. May God Bless You this night and always, using you mightily in His service and always to His glory and the benefit of His Church.

Is there anyone here who has not stood up or raised your hand at least once or twice this evening? If so, you are probably wondering what the heck you have gotten yourself into, but stick around, by the grace of God, you’ll be converted by the end of the weekend.

Do you know what we just witnessed? Besides for offering a well deserved thanks to some wonderful folks ”“ we just witnessed a sampling of the wide variety of ministries being carried out by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (clergy and laity, from all different theological and churchmanship perspectives) here in the Diocese of Albany. When we are obedient to God’s call, and keep our focus on Christ, there is no limit to what the Lord can and will do in and though us.

We are the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion in the 19 counties and 20,000 square miles that make up the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. The Holy Spirit is alive and present and doing wonderful and mighty things in and through us. Every individual, every parish family, every group just mentioned is vitally important to the life and ministry of our Diocese and to the wider Church. I give thanks to God for you, and I am humbled and honored to be your brother in Christ and your Bishop.

The other thing we just experienced — is tonight’s exercise class. Hopefully all that standing up and sitting down, and clapping and waving of hands helped work off dinner and get your circulation flowing, so you can stay awake for the rest of my address.

In all seriousness, I thank you for taking time out of your busy and demanding schedules to come and be a part of this diocesan family reunion and to carry out the business required of us at Convention. As you look at your schedules, you’ll see there is a lot planned. By the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, everything that is suppose to happen, will happen.

The most important thing we will do this weekend, is spend time together as the Body of Christ, worshipping and serving our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and being fed, nurtured and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to carry out the life and ministry our Lord calls us to.

The theme of this year’s Convention, is “Transformation” and is centered on Jesus’ promise found in Revelation 21:5 “Behold, I am making all things new.” Everything planned for this Convention is intended to help pave the way for the Lord to make us into that “new creation” that He is calling us to.

As I was preparing the sermon for my Installation Service as IX Bishop of Albany, back in February, I was particularly struck by a passage from the 47th Chapter of Ezekiel. In that passage, Ezekiel was given a vision of water flowing out from under the threshold of the Temple ”“ living waters, cleansing and blessing and bringing new life to everything it touched. As I read that passage, the Lord gave me a vision of His “Living Water” flowing forth from the doors of every parish in the Diocese of Albany, His Holy Spirit cleansing and purifying, comforting and strengthening, quenching the spiritual thirst of all those longing for His love and presence, bringing healing and peace into our communities and the broken and hurting world in which we live.

This is the vision the Lord has given me for the Diocese of Albany, a vision that I believe God wants to lay the ground work for this weekend. For it to happen, we must keep our eyes and focus on Christ. Everything we do, must be Christ-centered. The writer to the Hebrews states, “”¦Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Heb. 12:1-2).

To help us “run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” keeping our eyes on Christ, I believe the Lord is calling us to concentrate on four key areas this weekend. I have shared these with many of you, leading up to the convention.

First, recognizing that the Lord has already been working in and through us to varying degrees, there is much more that can and needs to be done, if only the obstacles that tend to limit us, are removed. It is important that we acknowledge and invite Christ into the wounded and brokenness that exists within our individual lives, our parishes and the Diocese, in order that we might be healed and set free of that which is not of God and that which gets in the way of our ability to serve God and carry out the ministry of His Church. Each parish has its own history, much of which glorifies and honors God, but some of which doesn’t. We are being called by our Lord to take an honest look and identify as best we can those things that are a detriment and hindrance to the life and ministry of our parishes and the Diocese and then offer them up to our Lord, asking Him to cleanse us and set us free. I want to thank those of you who have already begun this process in your parishes. If you haven’t, please give it serious thought and prayer tonight. During the offertory at tomorrows Ordination Service, a representative from each parish will be invited to come forward and nail the sins of the Church on a large cross that will be placed on the stage. Later tomorrow evening, during the Healing Service, we are going to pray for the healing and empowerment of each of our parishes throughout the Diocese. If your parish delegation has not yet had a chance to compile your list of the sins and impediments of the Parish, there is paper and envelopes available up front. Feel free to take what you need before leaving this evening.

Second, and related to the above, there seems to be a spirit of poverty and fear that has come over much of the Diocese, negatively impacting our ability to serve God and His people. Far too many parishes are in a survival or maintenance mode, due to limited finances and fear. That is not what God wants for us. Satan knows all too well our human vulnerability when it comes to money and material possessions, and he is using it against us, to limit our effectiveness in serving God and growing the Kingdom. What many regard as a financial issue is really a spiritual issue. With rare exception, most of the financial struggles in our individual lives and our parishes are self imposed, not because the expenses aren’t real, but because we have failed to trust God with our money, which in fact, is really His money on loan to us. Later this evening, Ms. Christy Speer, from Crown Financial Ministries, will help us to take a new and more Godly view of our finances. Crown Ministry workshops will also be offered tomorrow. Martin Luther once said, the last part of a person to be converted is their wallet. That is very true. For those who have come to trust God with their money and material possessions, they have been set free of the huge financial albatross that drags so many people down, wreaking havoc and misery in their lives. True financial freedom can only occur when God is in control of our finances. It is time to get out of the drivers seat and turn it over to the Lord. If you are not yet tithing, there is still work to be done. Even with the tithe, we still sometimes have trouble letting go. May the Lord give us the grace and faith to do so.

Third, as baptized Christians, we are all called by our Lord, through the Great Commission, to be missionaries, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all who will receive it. We have a growing and dedicated group of missionaries in the Diocese, but far too many in our parishes are fearful of venturing forth and sharing their faith. While overseas mission trips are extremely import, we must never forget that we live in one of the largest mission fields in the world. Everyone of us knows someone in our own backyard, who is un-churched and has not yet come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. There are more un-churched people in our communities, than there are churches enough to hold them all. Tomorrow, Edwina Thomas, national director of SOMA, a wonderful mission organization, will share her faith story and speak to us about the mission ministry. Countless unsaved souls are dying everyday. You may very well be the one chosen by God to introduce His Son, Jesus Christ, to someone who has not yet come to know Christ. We have no greater gift to share, than the love and Good News of Jesus..

The fourth area we will be focusing on is Holy Scripture. Unfortunately, this is one area the Church has far too often dropped the ball. If we are to grow in our relationship with God and knowledge and understanding of His Word, it is imperative that we get more serious about reading and studying the Bible. Fr. Grant LeMarquand, from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, is here to help us do just that. In addition, you should find in each of your bags a wonderful daily Bible meditation resource called “Discovery.” I encourage you to use it as part of your daily Bible study and prayer time. Taking time to pray and study God’s Word is absolutely essential for our spiritual health and well being. It is important that every parish have an active ongoing Bible Study. If your parish doesn’t have a Bible Study, I ask the clergy and lay leaders to start one. There are a variety of ways to go about this, and it will the subject of our upcoming Religious Ed. Conference later in August. It is in saying our prayers and studying God’s Word, that we are best able to come to know the Lord and discern His will for us and how we are to live our lives.

Moving forward in these four areas, I believe is vital to the life and ministry of each of our parishes and the Diocese, and in so doing will help to lay the foundation for the “Living Water” of Christ to flow forth, transforming our hearts and minds and those we are called to minister to.

Turning now to a concern that is weighing heavily upon many of us, bringing with it great anxiety and confusion. As we all know, the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion is going through a very difficult time right now. It is easy to get caught up in the belief that this is unique to our generation. Unfortunately, as you study Church history, you will discover that the Church in every generation has had it trials and struggles. The issues might change, but the attack doesn’t.

My brothers and sisters, we are in the midst of a major spiritual war, one that has been raging ever since the fall. Knowing our vulnerability to SEX and MONEY, Satan is using these two areas of our lives to bring division and chaos into the Church, causing us to take our attention off the mission of the Church, and redirect it to attacking one another, dividing and weakening the Church. As Jesus himself said, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

If the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion are to survive, it is essential that we recognize what Satan is up to, and stop cooperating with his battle plan. I am all too aware of the great diversity in theological views concerning the appropriateness or inappropriateness of homosexual behavior in the Church today. Emotions are raging on both sides of the issue, and as a result, Satan is succeeding in turning what once were friends into enemies of one another. As a lifelong Episcopalian and Anglican, my heart is grieving over what I see happening to the Church.

Ultimately, each one of us will have to decide how we are to respond to Satan’s attack, and that is exactly what it is ”“ Satan’s Attack. We can cooperate with his battle plan and continue to rip ourselves apart, OR we can focus our attention on Christ, joining in His prayer, that We may be ONE, as He and the Father are ONE. In so doing, I am not suggesting that we compromise our faith, but rather that we keep Christ and the mission of the Church as our central focus, as we work through our differences, seeking God’s will in all that we do.

It is only in and through Christ that we can be one with one another and one with the Father. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father, but though me. It is for that reason, that we must keep our focus on Christ, and not be distracted by the storm that brews around us. When Peter stepped out of the boat, in response to our Lord’s call, he did the impossible ”“ he walked on water. It wasn’t until he took his eyes off of Christ and focused on the wind and the waves around him, that he began to sink. Focused on Christ, we can walk through the current storms threatening the Church, apart from Christ, we will sink.

As your Bishop and brother in Christ, I am asking each of you to join me as we move forward, and ask, “What would Jesus do?” in determining how best to address and deal with the issues before us and those who disagree with us. He will guide and direct us, if we humble ourselves and trust him and are obedient to his command ”“ “Love one another, as I have loved you.” I caution us not to become pharisaical in our dealings with one another. As we heard in this evenings passage from Luke, it is easy to fall into the trap of pointing out the sins of our neighbor, while conveniently ignoring our own sins. While we are busy condemning others, the Lord is reaching out in love to those very same people, inviting them into relationship with Him, ministering to them, healing them and giving them His peace.

We are Episcopalians and we are Anglicans, but first and foremost we are Christians. It is my hope and prayer, that by the grace of God, everyone of us will be able to continue to serve our Lord and His Church as Episcopalians and Anglicans. I pray that the Lord will cleanse and purify His Church of anything that is not of Him, and strengthen and bless that which is of Him.

As many of you know the House of Bishops will be meeting in September. High on the agenda will be the Bishops’ response to the Tanzania communiqué from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates concerning the Episcopal Church and the Windsor Report. The Archbishop has accepted the House Of Bishop’s invitation to join them in September. I will be at that meeting and will participate in all the discussions. The Diocese of Albany has been a strong conservative voice in the larger Church, upholding the traditional and orthodox teachings of the Church. We will continue to do so. At the same time, by God’s grace, I will work to ensure that every parish in our Diocese is welcoming and loving to ALL people, reaching out and ministering to everyone who seeks God’s love and a closer relationship with Christ.

I ask your prayers that the Holy Spirit will be present at the HOB meeting in a mighty and powerful way, and that He will guide and direct all conversation and all actions taken by the House of Bishops. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide and direct the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates as well, in their response to the Episcopal Church.

If the Episcopal Church or the Wider Anglican Communion takes any action that would threaten our continued relationship with either, then I will call for a Special Convention of the Diocese to come together as a Diocese to deal with whatever confronts us. It is my hope and prayer that there will never be a need to do so. This Diocese since its founding in 1868 has always been part of the Episcopal Church and as such has always been part of the Anglican Communion. We need one another and by the grace of God will always be part of one another. I hereby call upon the House of Bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the Primates of the Anglican Communion to heed the Lord’s call as revealed in II Chronicles 7:14 ”“ “”¦if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” God have mercy on us, if we choose any other path.

I have gone on much too long, but there is one final thing I must touch upon. God has blessed our Diocese richly with and through Christ the King Spiritual Life Center. What has been accomplished there in the past couple of years is nothing short of miraculous. Canon Matt Baker and his highly dedicated staff and all of you who have given so generously and often times sacrificially of your time, energy and money are to be commended for helping to make the Spiritual Life Center the blessing that it is, not only to our Diocese, but to the larger Church. I have lost track of the number of brothers and sisters from other denominations who have come up to me and said thank you for the gift of the SLC.

In less than a month, the new retreat lodge, know as The King’s Inn will be open and ready for business. It will enable us to greatly expand our ministry at Christ the King, by providing added overnight accommodations, something we have desperately needed. Again, I thank everyone who has given so generously toward the building of The King’s Inn.

I realize that not everyone in our Diocese was thrilled with the creation of the Spiritual Life Center. For some it was seen as competition to the local parishes or other ministries in the Diocese; for others it was seen as too costly and a financial risk or drain; some were angered and upset by the selling of the original Beaver Cross and Barry House whose ministry by the way has not stopped, but was simply relocated to the SLC where it is growing and better able to meet the needs of the Diocese. I hope and pray that those who were not originally happy about the Spiritual Life Center, will now be able to see and appreciate it, for what it truly is ”“ a blessing and gift from God, entrusted to us for the building up of the Kingdom. If you have not yet been there, I encourage you to go at your earliest convenience. I realize it is a long and expensive trip for some of you, but I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

I will spare you the statistics of all the thousands of people (men, women and children) who have come to Christ the King. The bottom line is that the Lord is doing a mighty work at the Spiritual Life Center, not in competition with the local parishes, but in cooperation with them ”“ touching, healing, refreshing, educating, empowering, transforming thousands and thousands of lives, young and old, from all different parts of the Body of Christ, from all over the world, sending them back out into their parishes and communities, better able to live out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission ”“ Disciples making Disciples sharing the love and Good News of Jesus Christ with all who will receive it.

God Bless You! May this weekend be just the beginning of our transformation as the Lord makes all things new in our Diocese and throughout the Church. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils