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

September is Here!

September 13, 2016

Dear saints,

September is here and one of the driest summers—hottest August ever—is behind us! Keep praying for rain!

I can sense the energy around getting back to the rhythm of work, school, and other such gifts alongside the consciousness of our larger world and our common future — especially with a Presidential election looming over us. Welcome back to Church as we begin yet another program year after, hopefully, some rich experiences of summer despite the heat. We welcome our new Canon Johnnie Ross, who has moved north from Lexington, KY.  His wife and family will join him and us next year. I am delighted to say that Johnnie comes to us with a lot of experience in and outside the Church and is fun to be with. He joins a dedicated team of leaders as we forge into the future as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement.  Please make the effort to reach out and engage with him in the coming months.

Next week I will join the bishops of our Church when we gather for the fall House of Bishops in Detroit, Michigan. Kindly keep us in your prayers. This fall, we are gearing up for a significant visitation from our beloved Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in November. It will be a good and substantive visit because he will be with us for a good four days! Between now and then we’ll have an educational forum engaging our Native American sisters and brother (October 8), as part of the “seeing the face of God in each other” formation series. We just recently engaged neighbors who are migrant workers (September 11).

Our 85th convention on November 5 will provide an opportunity to be witnesses as saints who are on a journey of discovery in seeing and serving God in each other. Over the past year of pilgrimage, we have, as small groups within our Diocese, studied, listened, reflected, and acted around this theme. We will gather at Hobart & William Smith Colleges to open our Convention and a little after that process to Trinity Episcopal Church for our Convention liturgy of Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing for the sin of not seeing the face of God in each other. This will be a march of witness to the hopes and challenges we experience and feel for the sin of racism in our country and our world.  It will be a public ritual and so I invite as many of you who can to participate—when you register, you can ask for a shuttle if you wish to ride instead. I invite you to bring at least one visible placard (you will receive suggested proportions) and or banner from your Church to express your congregation’s acts of affirmation from your engagement, especially over this year’s pilgrimage. It can be something as simple as the completion of a sentence such as: AT ST. ALBAN’S IN PENNVILLE WHEN WE SHARE A MEAL WITH THOSE WHO ARE FORGOTTEN WE SEE THE FACE OF GOD, or AT ST. ALBAN’S IN PENNVILLE WHEN WE SERVE THOSE IN PRISION WE SERVE GOD.

This Convention will present us with the opportunity to affirm a few significant moves in this part of the Jesus movement. The Standing Committee and I have approved the request from Good Shepherd Mission in Savona to be received as a Parish in the Diocese. Diocesan Council is looking to adopt the vision to develop a College for Congregational Development for our region. We will affirm and engage a long-time mission partner, Rural and Migrant Ministry, in developing a new mission at Grace Lyons. We will also resolve to partner with our Lutheran brothers and sisters in what will be the first Mission/Church plant in over fifty years! These and other initiatives will make this 85th Convention an exciting and hope-filled one.

We remember victims of every form of violence as we pause on September 11. May this program year be rich in spiritual and missional ways for you and yours!

Peace be with you!