Anglican Church in America
Diocese of the Northeast
Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh, Bishop
Diocese of the Northeast


Bishop's Fall Newsletter


September 1, 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Blessings to you on this, the first day of September. It is also the Feast Day of St. Giles, a man of God who died in the early eighth century, A.D. Born in Athens, he is buried in the Abbey Giles, which is located on the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Campostela. Ljuba and I visited Santiago de Campostela this past Summer and became familiar with the "way of St. James", as well as the various saints commemorated on that often arduous route.


Although Ljuba and I only traveled the final three kilometers of the pilgrims path to Santiago de Campostela, we were deeply moved by the dedication of the many pilgrims we met on the way, as well as by the spiritual depth of that very holy place in Christendom.


This Fall will be a very busy one for our diocese, as well as for the national and international branches of our jurisdiction.


Here is the latest news:


Diocese of the Northeast


St. Peter's Mission is holding weekly services at Loomis Chapel in Deep River, Connecticut. Plans are being made to offer one or two services during our upcoming synod. An early bird Eucharist is planned for Wednesday evening, October 19. Additionally, a Morning Prayer service is planned for Saturday morning, October 22. We thank Father Merrill Perkins and the congregation for offering these worship opportunities to the people of the diocese.


A mission is being planned for the Lewiston, Maine area. Representatives of the parish planting committee recently attended services at St. Augustine of Canterbury in Scarborough, Maine. They were suitably impressed with the quality of worship and have been in regular communication with Father Jeff Monroe, who is coordinating the mission development program. A first service is planned for the First Sunday in Advent. We do hope to welcome representatives of this mission start-up at our upcoming synod. We pray that we may admit this new mission officially into the diocese at our 2017 synod.


Anglican Church in America
The House of Bishops and Executive Council will meet at Trinity Anglican Parish in Overland Park, Kansas. The House of Bishops will meet on September 20. The Executive Council will meet September 21-22. All meetings will take place in the parish hall of Trinity Church.


Both the House of Bishops and the Executive Council will likely spend considerable time discussing possible adjustments and/or expansion of the Marriage Canon. A committee chaired by Bishop Stephen Strawn and including our own Wally Jones and James Audiffred has spent considerable time and energy exploring the need for changes to our present marriage canon. We pray that our discussions lead us to a decision that is pleasing to God. In any case, the Executive Council will study the canons and after a time of prayer and discernment, make a recommendation to the 2017 General Synod regarding any canonical changes.


2017 Joint Anglican Synod
The Anglican Church in America, the Anglican Catholic Church, the Anglican Province of America and the Diocese of the Holy Cross are, as most of you know, planning a major ecumenical event in October, 2017. The tentative dates are: October 2-6, 2017. Concurrent synods of the four jurisdictions will be held in the Atlanta area. The official title, adopted by the four bodies is: 2017 Joint Anglican Synod. While business meetings will be held separately, worship, fellowship and a festive banquet will be held in common. This promises to be a historic event and I encourage all to attend. Coincidentally, the synod will be held exactly forty years after the Congress of St. Louis. The Anglican Continuum came into being at that meeting.


Traditional Anglican Communion
The College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion will meet in Lincoln, England October 13-16. The last official meeting of the College of Bishops was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in February, 2012. At that time, Archbishop Samuel Prakash, by right of seniority, was named Acting Primate. The agenda for the College of Bishops, which is still being developed includes: a report on the ratification of the Concordat; the election of a new Primate; Inter-church relations; marriage licenses and clergy serving as agents of the state; TAC finance committee; IAF; goals for the TAC and education. Other items will likely be added to this agenda. We ask your prayers as the College of Bishops meets to transact the important business of the communion.


Diocese of the Northeast
The synod of the Diocese of the Northeast will be held in Groton, Connecticut on October 20-22. The host parishes will be St. Matthias in Mystic, Connecticut and St. Peter in Deep River, connecticut. Many thanks to Father Merrill Perkins and Canon Linnea Shaver for their administrative work. Planning for synod takes considerable time and effort. Both Linnea and Father Merrill are blessed with exceptional planning and administrative skills. We offer our thanks to them both. One of the features of this synod will be an episcopal election. Such elections are always filled with great anticipation. We pray that synod may discern God's will in this matter and the right clergyman will be elected to become bishop.


Calling for an episcopal election has made many people wonder if I am planning to retire. I have no immediate plans in that regard. I am still four years away from the date on which I must submit my resignation to the Standing Committee. As long as I believe myself able to fulfill my responsibilities as your bishop, I will continue to labor for the kingdom of God.


I am, however, mindful of the fact that the House of Bishops needs able and well qualified bishops to serve the Church. When I first joined the House of Bishops some ten years ago, there were eleven men serving as active bishops in the Church. Now, there are five. Recently, only four active bishops have been present for meetings. Only with qualified bishops to serve as chief ministers of the Church are we able to do the work of God as Anglican Christians. It is my fervent prayer that Almighty God will help us to call the right man to serve this diocese and, by extension, the Anglican Church in America and the Traditional Anglican Communion.


As noted earlier, we do expect to welcome St. Peter's Church in Deep River, Connecticut as a new mission of our diocese. We will also welcome representatives of the mission-in-formation in the Lewiston, Maine area.


Synod guests will include Archbishop Mark Haverland of the Anglican Catholic Church and Pastor James Hogan, who will present a Scriptural meditation. There will likely be others as well.


I encourage all delegates, clergy and guests to make their reservations as early as possible. This helps with the planning process.


St Luke's Camp
St. Luke's camp was, once again, a rousing success. Many thanks to Father Matt Mirabile and his staff for shepherding the campers in the the best spirit of Christian camping. See the NEA for more articles and photos.


Fall Schedule
September 18. Episcopal Visit. St. Paul's, Portland, Maine. Bishop Hiles.
September 20. House of Bishops meeting, Trinity Anglican Parish, Overland Park, Kansas.
September 21-22. Executive Council, Trinity Anglican Parish, Overland Park, Kansas.
October 9. St. Luke's, Amherst, New Hampshire. Episcopal Visit. Bishop Marsh
October October 14-16. College of Bishops. Lincoln, England.
October 20-22. Groton/Mystic, Connecticut. Diocesan Synod.
November 13. Concord, New Hampshire. All Saints. Episcopal Visit. Bishop Marsh


Please know of my prayers for you all!
Your Brother in Christ,


Anglican Church in America