Blessings and Peace to you all!
Synod 2016 Highlights
This is a follow-up to my Summary of the DEUS Synod in July 2016. You can read highlights on the APA webpage. There will be a slide show of pictures of the various activities during the Synod week on the webpage before long. The 48th Synod of the DEUS was well-planned and well-executed by the host parish St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Riverview (Tampa) Florida. Anyone who has been involved in hosting a Synod knows how much effort is required and attention to detail needed to achieve success. Additionally, this Synod was one of the best attended in our DEUS history. Each year more and more people realize how important it is for the Diocese to come together to strengthen bonds. Likewise, meeting old friends and welcoming new clergy, seminarians and lay members is a part of the great fellowship of love we have always shared as a Diocese. It was such a pleasure to see the number of our men and particularly the young men who are in Seminary preparing for the ministry of our Church. It gives us great hope for the future of traditional Anglicanism!
One of the features of our DEUS Synods has been the special attention we pay to our clergy wives. This year was no exception with arrangements made by Debra Middleton, co-chairman of the Synod for a guided boat tour through the Hillsborough River viewing the beautiful homes and historic buildings along the way. The tour ended with a luncheon at the Columbia Restaurant on the Riverwalk. On Tuesday evening, July 12, the clergy, wives and other early arrivals to Synod were taken from the Sheraton Hotel by bus to St. Matthew’s Church for Evening Prayer followed by refreshments including heavy hors d’oeuvres in the parish hall.
Wednesday’s Opening Session was taken up with Diocesan business: elections, appointments, various reports along with financial reports and the adoption of a budget for 2017. The evening of the first day was completed with Evensong followed by a barbecue and entertainment by the “Boogalizers,” a blues band with St. Matthew’s own Greg Clark. To complete the Tampa Cuban tradition, there was an authentic cigar roller for all to see and enjoy.
Thursday was devoted to Developmental Sessions, with guest speaker, Bishop Kenneth N. Myers of Sherman, Texas. Bishop Myers spoke on his book Salvation (and how we got it wrong). Although the subject matter included a theological discussion of the ‘Atonement,’ which can be controversial because of its many faceted concepts, the Bishop kept the sessions interesting and engaging for all in attendance. The Sessions both morning and evening were to a full house. Bishop Myers’ books can be purchased on line from Amazon or from his website www.kennethmyers.net. All of the books he brought with him were sold as soon as they hit the table.
The Synod Eucharist was celebrated on Thursday evening in commemoration of the Feast of St. Bonaventure. The Banquet followed Happy Hour with entertainment by the Ladies of the Southern Company Chorus. The Synod concluded on Friday morning with a ‘Travelers Mass’ and the final session.
The concluding report was from the Domestic Mission Board led by board member Fr. Brad Cunningham along with Fr. Wade Miller reporting on the progress of our first ‘Domestic Mission Project’ St. Philip’s Church in Blacksburg, VA. The work at St. Philip’s Church has gone extremely well with the congregation excited about their prospects for the future. New people have come to the Church over the year, longtime members are energized by the good things happening and the physical building is being re-vitalized. We pray that our next Lenten project with also meet with such success. Bishop Bill Perkins is the Chairman of this Board.
Elections at the DEUS Synod
Standing Committee: Elected to serve a three- year term were: Fr. Brad Cunningham by the House of Clergy and Debra Middleton by the House of Laity. Elected to serve as President was the Very Rev. Gordon Anderson and as Secretary: Mrs. Karen Cozad. Rotating off the Standing Committee following their three-year term with our thanks were the President, Fr. Kevin Sweeney and Mr. Alex Constant. Mr. D.J. Fulton was re-elected as our Diocesan Treasurer.
Always a highlight at the Synod is to hear the Parish Reports and the good things that are happening. We are especially pleased to see the number of seminarians and congratulate the parishes who are involved in inspiring and sending men to seminary, particularly All Saints’ Church, Charlottesville, VA; St. Matthew’s Church, Weaverville, NC; and St. Alban’s Church, Joppa, MD. The Diocese is also involved in assisting those in seminary financially and I encourage all of you to be generous the Second Sunday in Advent for the Seminarian Sunday Collection.
Finally, great thanks goes to Fr. Kenneth Bailey, Rector of St. Matthew’s Church, Riverview, FL, as well as Tom and Debra Middleton, Co-chairmen of the Synod. Thank you to Nancy Bailey our official photographer and Fr. Greg Miller of St. Matthew’s Church, Weaverville, NC, our Synod organist.
If you wish to read the rest of the Bishop’s Epistle, please click on the following link which will take you to the Anglican Province of America Website;