Bishop’s Epistle

Volume XIX No. 4                                                                                            Sept.-Oct. 2013

The Most Rev. Walter H. Grundorf, D.D., Presiding Bishop
3348 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, Florida 32765
Telephone: 407.657.0880 Fax: 407.657.4410 Email:apadeus@cfl.rr.com
Website: www.anglicanprovince.org

Anglican Province of America

Anglican Province of America

We are in what has been described historically as the “dog-days of summer.” I think that term originated well before the 21st or even the last 25 years of the 20th century when life seemed to move at a slower pace. In this fast-paced, high-tech world of today, very little seems to slow down even in the month of August. The summer months, as far as church attendance goes, seems to take a hit during July and August because of vacations but more and more with the earlier start of the school year, many children are back in class by the middle of August. The days of the parish priest taking the month of August off are gone with August now being the preparation and planning time to get up and running by September.

Diocese of the East (DEUS) Synod July 8-12

The DEUS Synod was a grand success for which we are most appreciative to St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Crownsville, Maryland. The slide show of pictures is now posted on the APA website at www.anglicanprovince.org. On behalf of all who were able to attend, our love and appreciation goes to Bishop Bob and Emily Loiselle and Synod Coordinator Jack Wyatt and his entire Committee for the wonderful accommodations and logistical support. We were blessed for having been there.

 

The Theme of the 2013 Synod was “Discovering our Spiritual Gifts” and our Developmental Sessions were directed in specific areas of personal and parish expression of gifts. Our presenters at the Session One were Canon Michael Ward and Fr. Mark Meness entitled ‘Senior Adult Ministry: Today’s seniors are not the same as yesterday’s seniors.’ It was a fascinating study from two men who have experience in this ministry. They described how unlike years gone by, the 50, 60, 70 and even 80-year-olds of today are extremely active and generally skeptical (many being from the ‘baby boomer’ generation). Following that Session, Bishop Arthur Rushlow did a PowerPoint presentation of a project under development at St. George’s Anglican Church, Ocala, Florida, where he is Rector. On the five-acre-tract of land where the Church is, a private company will be building a retirement home for parishioners and others to live. This has been a dream of Bishop Rushlow’s for a number of years. He has seen congregants aging and unable to care for themselves as they once did, often needing to move away to live with family although preferring to remain near their church family. We wish them well in this project and perhaps this will be a model for others. Session Two was conducted by Fr. David Sokol, who is a Hospice Director in Central Florida. Fr. Sokol’s presentation was inspirational and practical based upon the experience of man who has served in this ministry and truly loves the people he serves. Those who had never heard Fr. David before were so appreciative of the practical and helpful resources including his book that he provided entitled Compassionate Care (to be published soon). Many thanks to each of these men of God for the work they do and the exercise of the wonderful gifts they have been given.

 

Diocese of Mid-America Synod-August 8-9

 

St. Mary of the Angel’s Church, LaPorte, Indiana hosted the 4th annual Synod of the DMA. The Venerable Frank Endres is the Rector. The attendance was the largest thus far with 39 attending and all churches represented. I was able to attend along with Mary and preached at the Synod Eucharist on Friday morning. In addition to the usual business with budgeting and electing of officers, there was a lengthy discussion on the relationship with the Anglican Church in America (ACA) and how and when the reconciliation would be ultimately realized. There were areas of concern and misunderstandings on certain issues leading me to believe that a joint Pastoral Letter would be in order from both Bishop Brian Marsh and me to help clarify some of the information. It is critical that the process toward bringing Anglicans together be done in an open, forthright and transparent way. But, pursuit of this goal must be continued based upon our Lord’s directive in his High Priestly prayer in John 17:20-21 “…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” The process of reconciliation is hard work and will have bumps along the way. May we not “grow weary in well doing…” remembering it is the Lord’s “directive” not His “suggestion!”

 

Diocese of the West Synod-Oct. 15-17, 2013

 

The APA/DOW will hold a joint Synod with the ACA/DOW at All Saints’ Church, Fountain Valley, California. I have plans to do an Episcopal visit the weekend prior to the Synod at All Saints’ Prescott, Arizona and on the weekend following at St. Andrew’s Church, Jacksonville, Oregon, for an Episcopal visitation with Confirmations and two possible Diaconate Ordinations. As Episcopal Visitor to our DOW, I will be at the Synod on October 15-17. We ask your prayers for the success of these two Synods.

 

Reconciliation begins in the heart

 

Our Prayer Book is replete with prayers and admonitions concerning the unity of the Church. I often feel a pang of guilt when I say I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church while reciting the Creed and yet know I am content in my day to day reality of being in a world separated and isolated from so much of Catholic Christianity. Finding unity among fellow Anglican Christians really is hard work and is not just about common faith, practice, and Constitution and Canons. There seems to be very little difference with fellow traditional Anglicans on these subjects. Even when agreement is found in these areas there remains the reconciliation with others whom we believe perhaps have offended us personally or seem somehow different. It is difficult to learn to trust others and perhaps give up some authority if necessary. We sometimes adopt the attitude, when all else fails- pray. Actually, the first thing we should do is pray and ask the Lord to give us a willing heart to follow his example to love one another as he has loved us. Reconciliation of any kind, whether it be husband and wife or alienated children or leaders in the church, without asking God to give us the will to follow his example will never happen. We have a wonderful opportunity before us to be a part of uniting rather than dividing which has been all too common. May we make it a part of our daily prayer, that unity in the Continuing Anglican Church become a reality and let it begin in each of our hearts. There will be a Pastoral Letter on this subject issued by Bishop Marsh and me to be read at the Sunday Eucharists in churches in our respective Provinces on September 1, 2013 and then posted for all to read.

 

The Lenten Appeal—Fruits Seen

 

The building for the Clergy Training Center and Church has been purchased and the initial services have started in the Northern Province of the Anglican Church in the Philippines (ACP) under the direction of Bishop Belmonte. The ACP is reaching into areas where there is no Christian witness and Bishop Belmonte is training and raising up other men to assist him in his work. The men he is training for ordination are being assisted in their training through Logos House for which we give great thanks. Thank you all for your prayers and financial generosity for this important work.
God bless and keep each of you,

+Walter