Bishop Bill Murdoch went to his final episcopal visit at All Saints Anglican Church in Attleboro, MA. The night before the service, he met with the Rev. Craig and Anna Vickerman over dinner to discuss the life of the parish and to provide pastoral care. At the service, he preached and celebrated. His sermon was on the reading from Jeremiah, when the Lord said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” The foundation of our ability to enter into conversation with those around us is the knowledge that God knows each and every person, even though they may not know him. Our message is that God knows and loves people, and that he made a way for them to know him by sending Jesus Christ into the world. As ministers of the Gospel, we are known by God and sent by God to people God knows. It is a simple but profound idea.
The All Saints community blessed Bishop Bill with a lovely painting as a gift for his service, along with cake and coffee afterwards to celebrate his final visit and thank him for assisting them over the years. They were especially grateful for his assistance in bringing Fr. Craig to them as their new priest. Fr. Craig and Anna have been working on a potluck dinner for people in their neighborhood – an average of 24 guests who are not All Saints members meet together in this missional moment with the help of church members like Lori Taylor, who are instrumental at making this happen. Bishop Bill was very encouraged by the unity of the parish, the presence of young people there, and the report of outreach to their neighborhood.