Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Bishop's Writing / Enews April 2024


Dear Siblings in Christ,


This past Thursday, April 11, a small group of parishioners and several clergy from the Southwest and Southeast Districts gathered at Trinity Church, Canaseraga, for a service of deconsecration and secularization. It was a somber and dignified occasion and, in its own way, uplifting.



Trinity Church has been a very small community for many years, but the pandemic was a body blow from which it could not recover. No services have been held at Trinity since March of 2020. At our annual Convention last fall, we honored the life and ministry of Trinity Church with a video and with prayer and voted to conclude its life as a congregation of the Diocese.


Since that time the Trustees of the Diocese have been engaged in a process of securing the assets of the church and working with the local Historical Society to transfer the property to the Society. The Historical Society plans to use Trinity as an event center and to house its offices and collections. I am delighted that Trinity will continue to serve the Canaseraga community. Assets from Trinity will be used for ministry in the Southwest District.


The service of secularization is a solemn reminder that all of us serve God in our places for a time, which eventually comes to an end. During the service, I read a formal statement that Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe had consecrated Trinity Episcopal Church on December 14, 1865 and that it had continued as a sacred place until I deconsecrated it on April 11, 2024. Trinity Church is no longer under my jurisdiction.


What continues unbroken is all the faith and work offered to God over nearly two centuries, faith and work held in the heart of God, which continues to resonate through all the lives that have been touched. We celebrated that faithfulness in Holy Eucharist together.


The Holy Eucharist and Deconsecration of Trinity Episcopal Church



On another transitional note… We have received the necessary consents of the Bishops and Standing Committees of the church to the election of the Rev. Kara Wagner Scherer as the Ninth Bishop of Rochester. With that essential stage behind us, we can begin to move into the actual transition. The Bishop-elect and her family are seeking housing and thinking about schools. Planning is well underway for the Service of Ordination and Consecration. We anticipate Bishop Kara’s presence among us beginning June 1, and her Consecration will take place on July 13, 2024, at Asbury Methodist Church in Rochester.



Finally, we have received word about the disciplinary matter involving Bishop Singh. The complaints made by the family have been investigated, and the matter is being referred to a Conference Panel. Under Title IV, the purpose of the Conference Panel is to seek reconciliation through negotiation. The Conference Panel will meet with the parties sometime soon. This is a necessary step prior to any trial. Complaints by members of the Diocese are still being investigated. I am grateful to see movement in the disciplinary process after so many months.


Blessings to all of you in this season of resurrection. May there be new life for us all.