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Dear Diocesan Family,

It is with a grateful heart and thankful spirit that I write to inform the diocesan family of plans for the continuation of my sabbatical leave, which was terminated last August 2023 due to unanticipated reasons – Lynn Anstatt, the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant, was facing a health crisis and there were additional administrative developments that required my attention. Thanks be to God, in less than one year’s time, Lynn is progressing toward a full recovery. I sincerely wish to thank the diocesan family for their prayers, care and support as she continues her recuperation.

The principle of sabbatical (“of the Sabbath”) is a biblical practice that is designed as a seventh-year opportunity to take time away to re-invigorate the pilgrim’s relationship with God and help them reconnect with their call to serve.

This third component of my sabbatical will include a spiritual pilgrimage to Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, United Kingdom. Canterbury is the historic/spiritual center of Anglicanism. Historically, St. Augustine of Canterbury began his missionary work there in 597. He was commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to England to Christianize the King and his Kingdom of Kent in the south of England.

My desire is to reinforce my personal awareness of the uniqueness of my own global Anglican presence and formation as missionary for Jesus, a firm advocate of transformation and messenger of the Gospel of God’s inclusive love for all humanity. To remind myself that God is bigger and more powerful than the problems and challenges faced by the Church. God protects, sustains, guides, and covers the oppressed and persecuted that are faithful to the will of God. We only need to ‘show up’ and give God the space to do God’s healing and reconciliation.

I proceed to Rome from Canterbury to spend time in prayer and holy pilgrimage in the footsteps of the early apostles and saints. To witness, immerse myself in and be inspired by the spiritual interpretation that the City of Rome, the center of Western Christianity, holds for the global Christian world. My focus in Rome will be to thank God for my beloved Diocese of Easton, to pray for transformed hearts and minds and for the New Narrative of renewal and resurrection that is currently being manifested. That this new way of being diocese will permeate throughout the very fabric of our diocesan ‘soul’. That all Christians whom God has called me to serve as ‘Shepherd and Servant’ will find comfort in listening, hearing, communing and believing, and in doing so, continue to grow in their individual ‘personal faith journey.’ As I pilgrimage with you on my heart, I ask you to pray for Lynn and I in this journey, that God will continue to transform us for the good of God’s kingdom.

The Canon to the Ordinary, John Dragone and the staff of the Office of the Bishop will be responsible for the administrative work and ensuring all matters of faith and order are attended to in a timely manner. The Right Rev. Robert “Bob’ Ihloff, Bishop of Maryland, Resigned, will serve as Visiting Bishop. Bishop Bob will attend to clergy care and be available for visits with clergy, counselling and advice to the Office of the Bishop and if needed be available to the Standing Committee and Diocesan Council. The Letter of Understanding that was agreed to last year remains in effect until June 10, 2024.

My absence from the diocese will be from May 8 through to June 8, 2024. As bishop, I remain the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese. I wish to thank the good and faithful work of the Standing Committee, Bishop Bob Ihloff and the Staff of the Office of the Bishop for their remarkable support and their determination to see me complete my sabbatical that had to be interrupted in 2023.

Every blessing,
Bishop San