January 18, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ was the opening feast day of our 2019 College of Bishops in Melbourne, Florida. I have had the privilege of attending and serving at all of the gatherings of the College since the very formation of the ACNA. This one was different for me, because our diocese presented the bishop to succeed me as the second Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in New England.
Transitions are vitally important in the life of any organization. In new ones they can be life or death moments. Does the system work? Will we be united in our decision of a successor? Will there be party politics that muddy the waters? Will our discernment as part of the larger whole be approved by those with whom we partner?
The outcome could not have been better in its almost unanimous affirmation of the Holy Spirit’s leading and the quality of work we did in presenting the Rev Andrew Williams to the ACNA College of Bishops for their confirmation and consent. The joy and applause at his entrance after the vote and the unity of the College is something we all need to receive as affirmation of our work. The process began in selecting a Committee on Nominations for Bishop (CnB) at the ADNE 2017 Synod, followed by the excellent work of the Rev. Dr. Canon Susan Skillen and the CnB through many hours of research, interviews, writing, and reading documents, which finished with the presentation of the final candidates to Standing Committee in June, 2018. The Walk About and Clergy meetings all stayed on task in the process of prayerful discernment, and it all ended with the moment of recording our discernment at the Synod 2018 Eucharist. Our work will now serve as one of the processes that will lead our new Province in the many episcopal elections over the next few years.
The Manifestation of Christ to the Nations is a great feast day of mission expansion and marks a new beginning in the harvest of souls. The day will forever be imprinted on my heart and mind as the beginning of our official transition to the next bishop, my new future Bishop, Andrew Williams.
Blessings to you all from the March for Life in Washington D.C.
Yours in Christ,