The first week of Bishop Andrew’s ministry as our second bishop was full of both episcopal duties and settling his family in to a new area. He, along with his wife, Elena, and youngest daughter, Olivia, were able to explore Newburyport and Plum Island and find out some of the local attractions and places to grab a bite to eat.
His first episcopal visit was to Christ the Redeemer, in Danvers. On Saturday evening, March 31, he gathered with the CTR Vestry and leadership to share stories of how they came to know Christ, with an introduction by Bishop Andrew, who was able to share his own story. Their testimonies of what God had done among them was powerful for their authenticity and the variety of ways people at CTR were working in and through the community. On Sunday, Bishop Andrew preached at the 7:45, 9, and 11 o’clock services, along with celebrating at the 9 o’clock service. In between, there was an informal interview in front of the congregation where he shared his testimony again and what God had been doing in his life. The Rev. Tim Clayton, Rector of CTR, commented on the visit: “Bishop Andrew touched many hearts and energized us with his gracious, self deprecating humility, his obvious passion for prayer, and his passionate challenge for us to love Boston’s north shore in Jesus name.”
On Monday, the next day, Bp Andrew was invited by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Boston Roman Catholic Archdiocese to a luncheon in Boston regarding the development of abortion laws that are moving towards legalization of infanticide. The lunch included representatives across the Christian faith community, as well as several from other faith communities who want to stand in unity with Christians against the onslaught of new abortion legislation. Bishop Andrew travelled with Canon Ross Kimball and Dean Nathan Baxter and were hosted by the Rev. Chuck Hall, Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and husband to Mrs. Mary Hall, All Saints Cathedral’s sacristan.
On Thursday, Bishop Andrew traveled to the Christian Business Men’s Breakfast, which meets at the Union Club every week on Park Street. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet friends of our diocese, like the Rev. Jurgen Lias, who was the speaker that day, along with members of Christ the Redeemer. Bishop was also able to meet other Christian leaders working in Boston and to create fresh new connections with them for partnering in future ministry. During the rest of the week, Bishop Williams was able to settle in at the Diocesan Office, and he began to meet with several of his clergy and his Council of Canons.
On Sunday, April 7, the Bishop visited All Nations Church, led by the Rev. Geoff Little and Blanca Little. It was an amazing display of Revelation 7:9 (“there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language”) as they worshipped in English and Spanish. Bishop Andrew commented, “A small miracle occurred today. I found myself worshipping God with all my heart in Spanish.” He doesn’t speak Spanish. He made sure to add that it was a good thing that the worship was so loud so that it disguised his bad pronunciation! The Bishop preached and co-celebrated with Pastor Geoff. After the service, the Littles went out to lunch with him to get acquainted and talk about the life of their church and ministry. One highlight of his visit was the tour he was given of All Nations Christian Academy. “They are modeling something profound for our children and the Christian children of many,” Bishop Andrew said, “and it has come from a lot of hard work and sacrifice.”