Northeast Anglican Advent 2022
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
A Blessed Advent to you all! At this holy time of the year, we prepare ourselves for the most miraculous of events, the coming of Emmanuel, God among us, the Word made flesh: Jesus. The wonder of this birth, that of a child perfectly human and perfectly divine, is as incomprehensible to human minds as it is fully understandable to the heart of the God who has created us. This birth is understood in its true glory only when we begin to comprehend that it is the result of an infinite and eternal love; that is the love of God, the God who gives of Himself fully, completely and for all time.
A holy Advent to you all! Just as Advent signals a major change in our liturgical year, this month signals a change in our episcopal leadership. As you all know, the Diocese of the Northeast is in the midst of transition. On January 1, 2023, Bishop Alexander Henderson Webb will become the Fourth Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Northeast. We celebrate the ease and generosity of spirit with which this transition has been accomplished. Over the past several months, I have transferred the many files and other necessary items that Bishop Webb will need for his work as Ordinary. For example, he has received the signet ring and the diocesan stamp. These are used to create seals for ordination certificates and other official documents. In addition, he has received the pectoral cross that was originally created for Bishop Chamberlain. This beautiful work of art is the property of the diocese and is entrusted to the care of each diocesan bishop. It has been worn by Bishop Langberg and myself. I am honored to pass this on to my successor. This is also a time of reflection. Just as Advent requires us to look to our own lives and prepare ourselves for new beginnings, I find myself reflecting upon the past fourteen years. During this time, the work of the church has been accomplished in many large and small ways.
The Ordinariate and the Joint Synods were certainly two very important international events. A proper discernment of the Ordinariate prompted us to see that our true ecumenical goal has been to join with other Continuing Anglican jurisdictions. The success of the 2017 Joint Synods meeting in Atlanta has resulted in the ongoing dialogue with other traditional jurisdictions. It has been my privilege to have played a part in this great coming together. But in many ways, the work of the church expresses itself even more powerfully in the regular activities of worship, baptism, confirmation, ordination, marriage, burial and all the many pastoral offices that we find in The Book of Common Prayer. It is in the celebration of these sacramental acts that I have found my greatest joy as your bishop. And I thank God for this great privilege.
Recently, we celebrated a wonderful diocesan synod. There will be reports and photographs in other pages of this edition of The Northeast Anglican. Special thanks must be given to The Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd and its vestry for hosting such a successful synod. The planning committee, chaired by Carol Clark, did a magnificent job. She and Barbara Kasper arranged for all the food and hospitality. Phil Turner did an outstanding job preparing Saint Luke's Mission and the rectory for our worship. The season of Advent also teaches us to look forward. This year, we look forward to new leadership in our diocese. We pray especially for the episcopal ministry of Bishop Webb. He is an exceptional man of God; well trained, a loving pastor and a thoroughly Anglican theologian, +Hendy will be a superb diocesan bishop. The episcopate demands much of a man. But he is ready for this task. I pray that his burdens will be light and that he will find great joy and happiness in the exercise of this episcopal office.
Blessings to you all. -----Your Brother in Christ,
For the rest of this edition of the NEA, download the PDF file attached.