Skip to comments.Taking Stock [ECUSA Bishop Robinson alert]
Posted on 05/31/2005 6:37:18 PM PDT by sionnsar
Two years ago this month, by your election you called me to serve you and the Church as bishop. Its been just over a year that I was invested as the ninth Bishop of New Hampshire. As the Standing Committee and I prepare for a Mutual Ministry Review this month, permit me to reflect briefly on the last couple of years.
Within the diocese, may I say what an honor and privilege it has been to begin my episcopal ministry with you. My visitations to the congregations of the diocese continue to be my greatest joy in this ministry, and so many of you have taken advantage of my desire to meet with your vestry/bishops committee, young people, confirmands and their families, and all manner of parishioners. The life and vitality of our congregations, the beauty of the worship, and the commitment to outreach in the community are signs that we are a people whose life is rooted in Christ.
Finances continue to be an issue in many congregations, dating back to before my election. The inability of congregations to pay their full fair share asking continues to be a problem for me and my ministry as your bishop (we are down one position at the diocesan level from years past), and recent crises have strained our ability to respond to needs and requests. On the other hand, I know that many of you are working faithfully to resume your full giving.
A good number of you have been in search processes during this past two years, and I am overwhelmed at the faithfulness of these processes and the extraordinary quality of the clergy called. Since my election, the number of clergy wanting to come to New Hampshire for any given position has nearly tripled and consequently, the pool of clergy from which to choose is both large and impressive. The assistance a congregation receives from the diocese in a search process is something that happens only occasionally, but when the time arises, it is of utmost importance. The calling of new clergy and their nurture in the Fresh Start program of support for new clergy continue to undergird our life together.
The Re-imagining the Diocese effort continues, albeit at a slower pace than we might have expected relating to the way in which we believe in doing things here in New Hampshire. Rather than a planning and restructuring process handed down from on high, ours is a ground-up process involving many voices and ideas from around the diocese, and such a grassroots approach always takes longer than a benevolent dictatorship but you and I would have it no other way!
While a good number of people within New Hampshire congregations have had difficulty understanding or agreeing with my election two years ago, most have chosen to remain in their congregations. Some who left are coming back. Every clergyperson and congregation I know of is committed to welcoming them home. At the same time, we are welcoming into our fellowship an extraordinary number of adult confirmands and converts from other denominations, who affirm that THIS is the kind of community of faith they want to raise their children in.
Outside the diocese, the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion continue to struggle with the decision made in New Hampshire and overwhelmingly confirmed by the laity, clergy and bishops of the Church meeting in General Convention. The question we are dealing with as a Church and as a Communion is, Can we disagree on some of the non-essentials, and still hang together as a Church which finds its unity, not in unanimity, but in our life in Christ?
I must tell you that I have been warmly and graciously welcomed into the House of Bishops including those who opposed, for whatever reasons, my election and consent. Most of the conservative bishops have decided that the mission of the Church is more important than any one contentious issue, and that it is time to move on with that mission. I have been welcomed into the collegium of bishops to work and pray and help oversee the Church with my brother and sister bishops in a way that has been most humbling and inspiring.
As for the Anglican Communion, time will tell whether or not the American and Canadian branches of the Communion will be welcomed as equal partners in our worldwide fellowship. I believe we will resist any and all efforts to institute a centralized curia which will dictate belief, doctrine and practice to its constituent and heretofore independent members. But short of that, I also believe we will do everything possible to heal and restore the bonds of affection which draw us together. That is certainly my wish. I am doing everything I can to play my appropriate role in that effort.
In short, I want you to know that I am having a wonderful time as your bishop. Not that it has always been easy, neither within nor beyond the diocese. But our Lord never promised us an easy time, only that he would be with us. I find Him very close indeed, supporting and nourishing me at every turn. What a privilege it has been to be your bishop and to seek to serve you and the Church according to the vows you heard me take some 18 months ago. As we look forward to many years together, let me thank you for this humbling, challenging and joyful journey.
Your brother in Christ,
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
It is all about Gene (extracted from above)
you called me
I was invested
I prepare for a Mutual Ministry Review
permit me to reflect
may I say
my episcopal ministry
my desire to meet
a problem for me and my ministry
I know that
I am overwhelmed
Since my election
I would have it
I know of
I must tell you
I have been
my election and consent.
I have been welcomed
I also believe
I am doing everything I can to play my appropriate role
I want you to know
I am having
I find Him very close
you heard me
let me thank you
Too bad he's going to be Presiding Bishop next year.
You missed: "... dating back to before my election."
A finance-related, telling, comment.
Blessings -- Brian
I don't call him "Selfish Gene" Robinson just to be cute!!!!
(Which is better word than what he is really noted for.)
"I must tell you that I have been warmly and graciously welcomed into the House of Bishops including those who opposed, for whatever reasons, my election and consent. Most of the conservative bishops have decided that the mission of the Church is more important than any one contentious issue, and that it is time to move on with that mission."
And the mission is abolishing the bible?
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