The theme of the 87th Diocesan Convention of Rochester is becoming “Beloved Community.”
The Most Rev. Michael Curry said: “We who follow Jesus have made a choice to walk a different way: the way of disciplined, intentional, passionate, compassionate, mobilized, organized love intent on creating God’s Beloved Community on earth.”
Priest and Author Henri Nouwen said: “Community grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. The question, therefore, is ‘How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?’”
Beloved Community means just that – developing and nurturing our relationships within our community. This year, we are excited to continue to grow our interfaith relationship with our Abrahamic faith partners as they graciously host our Convention at the Islamic Center of Rochester (ICR). A key objective at the Islamic Center is to promote friendly relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in this community. It is their belief to nourish physical and spiritual needs, to care and love, and to forgive and respect others.
Islamic Center Trustee Mohammad Rumi, M.D. said of our interfaith relationship, “The Muslims and Episcopalians are a fraternity in the service of the same God of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac.”
Bishop Prince Singh added, “What we do and where we do it matters. I am excited about the graciousness of the Islamic community of friends hosting the 87th Diocesan Convention, our annual and most significant gathering as a Diocese, in the gym of the Islamic Center. I see this as a sign of the hospitality and friendship that we cherish as people of faith and will hopefully move us further along in our work of serving God together as we address existing and emerging needs of our community and world. All praise be to God!”
Another exciting announcement is that our Preacher at the Eucharist service will be the Bishop of Alaska, The Rt. Rev.Mark A. Lattime. Bishop Lattime was elected the eight Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska in 2010. A child of the Finger Lakes in Western New York, he grew up in a small-town East of Ithaca, NY before moving with his family right here in Fairport, NY, where he graduated high school. He attended Dickinson College, and after earning his bachelor’s degree, he returned to Rochester, NY and worked for Heritage Christian Homes and Continuing Developmental Services: agencies that provide residential and vocational services for developmentally disabled adults.
As a member of St. Mark’s and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Rochester, he began his vocational journey to ordained ministry. He earned his M.Div. from Bexley Hall in May 1997 and was ordained a Deacon. He became the Associate Rector and Chaplain to the Canterbury Fellowship at Grace Memorial Church in Lexington, VA where he served for three years before returning to Western NY to become the Rector of St. Michael’s, Geneseo.
Bishop Lattime loved serving and living in Geneseo, where he started a Canterbury Fellowship at St. Michael’s; volunteered with the Fire Department as an ambulance driver; was a board member of the Wadsworth Library; and raised his three children: Allison, David, and Jack. He also fulfilled a life-long dream and earned his pilot’s license at the Geneseo Airport.
As Bishop of the geographically largest Diocese in Episcopal Church, Mark spends much of his time traveling. He serves among a diverse population of Episcopalians from many cultures. Over 10 different language dialects are spoken in the Diocese of Alaska. Additionally, Alaska is on the forefront of climate and culture change. One of Bishop Lattime’s ministry passions is to support the voices of Alaska’s indigenous communities as they struggle to maintain their traditional subsistence lifestyle and economy. He is also committed to “walking the land” with the people of Alaska as a living expression of stewardship. As a Diocese of small, rural, and isolated congregations, Bishop Lattime also focuses on the formation and support of local non-ordained leadership.