My beloved in Christ,
This note to my beloved family of this immensely supportive, vibrant, vital, exciting and mission focused diocese comes to you with all my love and gratitude for making the 151st Annual Diocesan Convention a remarkably fruitful and forwarding moving convention. It is obvious from what I have observed over the three days, we are a diocese with a determination and purpose to live into the Way of Love becoming the Beloved Community of God on the Eastern shore of Maryland. The challenges we have before us are enormous so also are the opportunities and possibilities emboldened by our determination and fortitude for spiritual growth, discipleship and evangelism. We are on a missional momentum with Jesus leading the way guided by the Holy Spirit as our source of strength and inspiration.
By way of personal confession, you surprised your bishop by the massive attendance at the Celebratory Eucharist on Sunday, March 3. The Presiding Bishop, the Most Revered Michael B. Curry, was as usual at his dynamic, energetic and oratorical zenith. We thank God for giving us this spiritual leader at this time in our church’s history.
I wish to extend my special gratitude to all the clergy for your leadership in advertising, promoting and encouraging your congregations to attend, and your personal involvement in the entire weekend. Equally, I extend my sincere appreciation to our dedicated and devoted laity for showing up in such large numbers for the Eucharist, delegates to the Business Session of convention and attendees to the Ignite Conference. It was a weekend to remember and be extremely proud. Words are insufficient to articulate the deep gratitude I have for the volunteers whose labor of love and commitment help considerably to create a weekend to be cherished. Together, we give God the glory, praise and thanksgiving!!
God has offered us a vision in Parousia, and I sincerely encourage everyone in the diocese to contribute in shaping and forming it by your input and wisdom. I highly respect your knowledge of the local context and parish sensibilities and capacities. As I begin my pilgrimage to discern the wisdom of our community of faith, it is my sincere hope and prayer that everyone will acknowledge their unique and special call, as the baptized of God’s Church, to fully engage this process in 2019 and beyond. Your bishop is counting on you and wishes you to know that every idea, suggestion, recommendation and/or contribution will be honored.
It is my intention to commence forums on Parousia beginning with my first episcopal visitation in the month of May, 2019, after Easter. If parishes choose to invite me at a different time and date to reflect with them on Parousia, I am open to that idea. Lynn Anstatt will be contacting parishes during the next weeks to ascertain their choices.
We have much follow up work to engage in obedience to God’s will for us, and we shall do so under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the meantime, I wish to inform you that I am away all next week (March 11-16) attending the Spring meeting of the House of Bishops at Kanuga Camp and Conference, Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Let me wish everyone in the family a spiritually fulfilling Lent!
Every blessing in Christ service,
Your friend and servant in the Lord’s ministry,