ANGLICAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
Diocese of the Northeast
Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh, Bishop

May Newsletter

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

This affirmation of the Resurrection is sweet music to our ears and an affirmation of God's presence with us now and always. May the blessings of Eastertide be with us all the year.

 

There is a good deal of news to report this month and I hope to report as much of it as space at time permits.

 

BISHOPS RETREAT

 

Bishops Marsh and Langberg of the ACA and Bishops Grundorf and Loiselle of the APA, along with their wives, will take part in a bishops retreat to Greece between May 6 and May 17. The group will return on May 18. This is the first time that bishops from each jurisdiction will come together for prayer and planning since our reconciliation agreement was ratified at our national synod last September. This trip will afford us an opportunity for worship, collegiality and long-range planning. We also plan to visit holy sites in the Mediterranean area. We plan to visit the island of Patmos, where the Revelation was written, as well as Ephesus in modern Turkey. The bishops have decided to pay their own way for this trip.

 

While I expect to be available by cell phone and e-mail, I think it wise to establish protocols during my absence. These may seem logical enough, but it is always good to review the "chain of command."

 

Diocese of the Northeast.
During our time away, protocol suggests that the rural deans should be the ecclesiastical authorities in their separate deaneries. Please contact Fathers Williams, Tutor or Ley should any supply needs arise or any pastoral emergencies involving clergy need to be tended to. Archdeacon Koller will be available for administrative support. The Standing Committee, under the leadership of Kirby Wood, will serve as advice and counsel as necessary.

 

Diocese of the Eastern United States.
Bishop John Vaughan and the Standing Committee, will serve as ecclesiastical and temporal authorities respectively.

 

CHURCH GROWTH

 

Our recent meeting of the College of Bishop has emphasized the need for evangelism and mission as an integral part of our work. Indeed, evangelism and mission IS our work. I have been very gratified by the enthusiasm with which this emphasis has been received by the clergy and laity of our churches.

 

Perhaps as an indication of our increased attention to the Great Commission, God is building our church, both nationally and internationally. Over the past three months, for example, I have received at least one communication each week from clergy seeking admission to our jurisdiction. While I welcome this contact as an affirmation of our mission, I would like to point out some requirements for clergy seeking entry into our jurisdiction.

 

  • First, clergy must have valid orders. This can be readily ascertained.
  • Second, clergy must meet with the bishop of the diocese within which they are resident.
  • Third, they must meet with the Board of Examining Chaplains in the diocese.
  • Fourth, they may be required to write a paper expressing their understanding of Anglican ecclesiology, tradition and practice (this is particularly important for those clergy entering from other jurisdictions).
  • Finally, they will be required to enter a period of discernment. The time line may differ from diocese to diocese and person to person, but it will also require that the clergyman join a parish and work closely with an experienced ACA priest.

 

While we welcome inquiries from all clergy, we must also be respectful of the jurisdictional of all churches. The Continuum has often been accused of "sheep stealing" in the past. In this new era of mutual cooperation, we do need to respect and observe jurisdictional boundaries.

 

INTER-COMMUNION UPDATE

 

Bishop Council Nedd, of the Episcopal Missionary Church, has expressed an interest in entering into an inter-communion agreement with the ACA/APA. This will be discussed over the next several months. The EMC was, at one time, part of the ACA. Clergy orders are, therefore, valid, as are the sacraments. Accordingly, we look forward in the hope that we may enter into an inter-communion bond with our brothers and sisters of the EMC.

 

DIOCESE OF THE NORTHEAST NEWS

 

Standing Committee
The Standing Committee will meet in the diocesan offices in Belchertown, Massachusetts on Saturday, May 26. Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. We will have several important items of business on the agenda, including the anticipated issuance of a writ of election for suffragan bishops. I expect that our business will be concluded by 3:00 p.m.

 

Trinity Pro Cathedral
Bishop Marsh will make his annual episcopal visit to Trinity Pro Cathedral on June 10.

 

Clericus/Clergy Training
Clericus will meet from June 27-29 at Notre Dame Spiritual Life Center in Alfred, Maine. A brief Clergy Training Program will be offered. Topics will include: "diaconal training in liturgy" and "priestly formation before and after ordination." Please contact Deacon David Moody for more information and registration.

 

St. Luke's Camp
St. Luke's Camp will be held during the week of August 19 at a new facility in Hinsdale, Massachusetts. This camp site, nestled in the Berkshire Hills, should provide a good setting for our long-standing and successful camp program. This camp, which can accommodate up to sixty campers, is available to youth aged 9-16. The camp is available to children from all dioceses in the ACA. Please contact Father Rich Dibble, camp director, for further information and registration.

 

Northeast Anglican
Ed Pacht, editor of our excellent diocesan publication, has announced May 15 as the deadline for parish news and other reports. Our newsletter is a superb record of all diocesan activities and I encourage you all to submit articles.

 

DIOCESE OF THE EASTERN UNITED STATES NEWS

 

Bishop Vaughan Consecration
Bishop John Vaughan was consecrated bishop on April 18 at St Stephens Pro Cathedral in Timonium, Maryland. Bishops from the APA and the ACA laid hands on Father Vaughan in a moving ceremony. Photos, along with Father Hawtin's excellent sermon, may be seen by visiting the DEUS website.

 

St. Paul's, Allentown Consecrated
St. Paul's Anglican Church was consecrated by Bishop Marsh on Sunday, April 29. This excellent facility was purchased by the parish last October. It is a superb church building and will serve the parish well into the future. Photos of the building may be seen by visiting the parish website. Father Joe Falzone and the board of trustees of this parish have provided strong leadership as God has built this wonderful church community.

 

Standing Committee
The Standing Committee will meet by teleconference on June 2.

 

NATIONAL CHURCH
Please keep Tiffany Strawn, daughter of Bishop Stephen and Annette Strawn, in your prayers. Tiffany was in a serious boating accident on April 29. Her recovery, though positive, has been very slow. Bishop Stephen reports that it will be 6-12 months before she has fully recovered.

 

The House of Bishops met in Timonium on April 17. Minutes of that meeting are currently available through Archdeacon Alan Koller.

 

The Executive Council met in a "speed session" on April 18. Much business was transacted in less than three hours. While this was certainly a very productive session, more time for discussion will be provided in the future.

 

IAF
The International Anglican Fellowship held its first Board of Directors meeting by teleconference on April 24. The IAF is committed to fulfilling its mission of providing financial aid to churches in developing countries. A major project has just been undertaken by the IAF, and under the leadership of Peter Thomas, to provide bottled water to countries in Africa that currently lack access to potable water. This outreach program, along with all others funded by the IAF, is a necessary part of our Christian mission. All individuals and parishes are encouraged to support the IAF.

 

As always, there is much to report in each monthly newsletter. Inevitably, something is left out or under-reported. Please let me know of any news that may have been missed.

 

Your Brother in Christ,

 

+Brian