Sept 22 - Northeast Anglican
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Blessings to you all during this very special Michaelmas season. As you are all certainly aware, our diocesan synod will be held in Charlestown, New Hampshire on October 20-22. Delegates will have received all necessary registration materials by now. I encourage you all to make reservations as soon as possible, as we expect that this synod will be very well attended. We will welcome guests from far and wide, especially Archbishop Shane Janzen, Primate of the Traditional Anglican Church and Archbishop Juan Garcia, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America.
The week will begin with a reception for members of The House of Bishops. Phil Turner, President of the House of Laity in the Diocese of the Northeast, has refurbished St. Luke's historic Rectory and offered that as the location for the bishops' reception. The rectory will be open for tours during synod week. This house, a classic of eighteenth century Connecticut River architecture, is a must see for those who are interested in New England history. During synod week, there will be a variety of tours and activities. Visiting the Fort at Number Four should be on everyone's list of activities, as well as a trip to the Vermont Country Store. The original play and oratorio, both of which have been written by members of Good Shepherd, should be seen at least once. We plan professional productions for both outstanding venues. Of course, the most important activity of synod is the work of the church and the joy of seeing our dear friends in Christ. As you will note from the schedule, several national and diocesan meetings will take place during this historic week. The House of Bishops will meet on Tuesday, October 18. The Executive Council will meet on Wednesday, October 19. The DNE Clericus will meet on Thursday, October 20. Archbishops Garcia and Janzen will join us for the Clericus meeting, following which, Archbishop Janzen will celebrate Mass at Saint Luke's Mission. Saint Luke's Mission, a former Episcopal Church building, will be consecrated for Anglican worship on Thursday afternoon, October 20. As Primate of the Traditional Anglican Church, Archbishop Janzen will preside at this historic event. Our diocese is blessed to have several outstanding administrators. The synod would not have been possible without their dedicated service. Three are deserving of special thanks. Carol Clark chaired the Good Shepherd planning committee. Canon Merrill Perkins developed the Executive Council and Clericus schedule, as well as the service rota. Canon Linnea Shaver coordinated all elements of the synod program and sent all necessary information to our delegates. Transition will be a major these of this year's diocesan synod. As most of you know, I will retire as diocesan bishop on December 31, 2022. Bishop Alexander “Hendy” Webb will assume ecclesiastical responsibilities for the Diocese of the Northeast on January 1, 2023. I fully expect that the transition between episcopal leadership will be smooth and seamless. Indeed, the transition has already begun. Bishop Webb and I have met regularly to discuss diocesan issues and to transfer necessary documents and other items necessary to the effective management of the Diocese of the Northeast.
Bishop Webb is an outstanding clergyman. He is a gifted pastor and has served his church with distinction. I know he will be and excellent Diocesan Bishop. We owe him a great debt of thanks for assuming a position of great responsibility. He will inherit a strong and spiritually vital diocese. The Diocese of the Northeast is one of the strongest dioceses in the entire Traditional Anglican Church. We give thanks to God for all the riches He has given to us, just as we thank Him for sending Bishop Hendy to serve us as our bishop. That will all happen on January 1, 2023. Bishop Webb will be enthroned formally later in the Spring. But first, we must say goodbye to the “old” bishop. One of the most important tasks in any transition is to bid farewell to the outgoing leader. I confess that this task is very bittersweet – at least for me. I have dearly loved my work in this diocese. Serving as bishop has been both a high honor and a great joy. It has been a great gift to serve with such dedicated Christians. My thanks goes out to you all. You have given more to this bishop than you will ever know. But my retirement as diocesan does not mean that I will be going away. I expect to continue to serve Good Shepherd and Saint Luke's Mission, helping to grow the congregation and offer a series of Christian programs. I believe that God is calling me to use my particular gifts to build His church in this corner of New Hampshire. At the request of both Archbishop Janzen and Archbishop Garcia, I will continue to serve as Ecumenical Officer on the Anglican Church in America and The Traditional Anglican Church. I am very grateful for this opportunity, as ecumenical work among Continuing Anglicans and other traditional jurisdictions has been a rewarding part of my journey. As part of our transition, we should also reflect upon what we, with God's help, have accomplished over the past fourteen years. As a historical faith, we place great importance on remembrance; remembrance of past achievements and remembrance of those with whom we have shared this marvelous journey. I will have more to say about this in my remarks to synod. In the meantime, I remain... Your Servant in Christ,