“Fifty Flourishing” in Five Years: Announcing the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan
On Sabbath Rest and Re-Creation
Looking Ahead: Reflections on GAFCON IV and our Strategic Planning Process
The Lord is Risen!
Bishop’s Epiphany Letter: A Season of Revelation
The Lord has Made His Home Among Us (Christmas 2022)
Dear Gulf Atlantic Diocese,
I pray that you and your parish are experiencing an Epiphany season where Jesus’ glory is being revealed in many new and wonder ways. I remind you of our Synod theme verse from last November, in which the Apostle Paul tells us that we too are called to reveal the Lord’s glory through our manner of life. He writes:
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27)
My prayer is that more and more we are learning to stand together, in spirit and mind, proclaiming to North America the transforming Good News of Jesus Christ. Please take seriously the work of praying for your sister congregations and their leaders, and avail yourself of opportunities to fellowship with one another. I was extremely blessed to see members of other congregations in attendance for Father Jon Hall’s institution as the new Rector of Incarnation Tallahassee.
Epiphany season is marked by two special Sundays marked out and widely celebrated throughout the Province: Sanctity of Life Sunday which we just celebrated, and World Mission Sunday which comes on the last Sunday of the season. Both give opportunity to stand united with one another and with Anglicans around the country. Great resources are available for both of these emphases and are needed in our churches.
As I continue to make my way around the Diocese visiting congregations, I see the fruit of ministry in every place. These visits are very encouraging to me and Jody as we get to know you and see the strength of this Diocese. What a privilege to connect you together through our shared ministry! I am pleased to tell you that I was privileged to ordain one priest and one deacon last fall (Scott Perry and Curtis Froisland). Additionally, I will ordain two priests this winter (Gabe Holloway and Jack McNeil). God is raising up leaders for this new season of growth in our Diocese!
Finally, I ask your prayers for a busy Spring marked by three important meetings:
- First will be our clergy conference March 7-9th at St. Simons Island, Georgia. This clergy conference will be facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Bryan D. Sims, who will speak on cultivating shared leadership in the local church. This will benefit all our deacons and priests. Laity, please support your clergy to get to this conference!
- In April, I will lead a delegation from this Diocese to attend the fourth Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Kigali, Rwanda. As many leaders in the Western church continue with unrepentant hearts, our Global South brothers and sisters are looking to the the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans movement behind GAFCON to reshape the future of Anglicanism. This meeting in Rwanda could be a time for seismic changes in our global church family. Please pray for me, our delegates, and all those gathered in Kigali. I also bid your prayers and support for some Global South leaders who desire to come, but lack the funds to do so. I have already committed funds for two global leaders to be there but more is needed. Click here if you can help.
- Third, plans are underway for our Diocesan Strategic Planning Event in May. When I was elected bishop I made clear that this first year would be a time of discerning God’s vision for the Diocese. After months of visits and listening, we are ready to come together to build a strategic plan.
Pray, pray, pray for these events and also for the leadership of this Diocese, and may we all stand together for the Faith of the Gospel.
God bless you all,