VOLUME XXI No. 5 September—October 2015
One of the wonderful things about vacations is the time away in a completely different venue to reflect upon one’s life and ministry. Without the day to day interruptions, being away from the usual events of life, it becomes more likely that the fog can lift and there is the real opportunity for spiritual and physical retreat. I have mentioned this before to our clergy that it is vital for every priest take time away from the ordinary routine of Church life and take a vacation with the family. A Sunday off now and then is not sufficient to allow time to re-group from the stress and rigors of parish life and you are not only helping yourself by being away, you are helping your congregation as well. Burn out in the ministry is running at an all time high in most jurisdictions and much of it is due to the intense pressures that are placed upon us. I had one priest protest that it was easy for me to say this, but he had a second job and that made it impossible to take time away. I too remember the days that I had to work a second job to make ends meet and it was not easy. I do not pretend to have all the answers on how to do this, but I encourage each of our clergy to find a way to take some time away for refreshment and relaxation.
As most of you are now aware, we had a busy and productive DEUS Synod at the end of July. I am most appreciative of the confidence shown in my leadership as your Bishop reflected in the resolution to allow me to serve for five more years. I will seek to do my best before the Lord and all of you to deserve the confidence you have shown. Also, I want congratulate the Very Rev. William (Bill) Perkins on his election as a Suffragan Bishop in the DEUS. Plans are now being made by securing ‘Consents and Testimonials’ from the House of Bishops and the Diocesan Standing Committees. Once these are secured, the Order for Consecration of the new Bishop-elect will be made and the venue and date will be formally announced. Tentatively, St. Alban’s Cathedral in Oviedo, Florida on Saturday, November 14, 2015 is the proposed place and date. I encourage your prayers for Bishop-elect Perkins as he prepares to assume the duties and responsibilities in this Office in Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The DEUS Synod this past July in Charlottesville, VA, was well attended, much business was accomplished, and the usual and wonderful relationships were made in some cases and renewed in others! Please refer to the Synod Overview on the APA web page for more detailed information.
I want to mention that one of our priests of longstanding in the DEUS has retired as of Au-gust 31, 2015. The Very Rev. Richard Bakley, longtime Rector of St. Michael the Archangel Anglican Church, Matthews (Charlotte), N.C. has stepped down as Rector to retire both as Rector and Dean of the Central and Eastern Deanery of N.C. The Parish had a retirement celebration for Fr. Rich and his wife Pat’s years of ministry at the Church on Sunday August 22, 2015. We join with the Parish to wish Fr. Rich and Pat a healthy and happy retirement and that the fish will be biting whenever he throws his hook in the water. I have appointed Rev. Canon David Haines, Rector of All Saints Anglican Church, Wilmington, N.C., to replace Father Bakley as the Dean of the Central and Eastern Deanery of N.C.
Since the DEUS Synod, I have Instituted as Rec-tor of Christ the Redeemer Church, Warner Rob-bins, GA, the Rev. Matthew Harlow as the second rector of this parish. Joining in the day of celebration was Suffragan Bishop Chad Jones under whom Fr. Harlow served as Curate at St. Barnabas’ Church, Atlanta, GA, along with a number of the St. Barnabas parishioners.
On Sunday August 30th, at St. Paul’s Parish, Melbourne, FL, Margaret Clare Burgess was Set Apart as a Deaconess during the Sunday Morning Mass. Deaconess Clare Burgess will continue serving at St. Paul’s Church under the leadership of Canon Ray Unterburger in her teaching role and assisting in caring for the sick and shut-ins. God Bless Deaconess Clare on her work for God’s Kingdom.
God willing on Sunday September 20, 2015, the Rev. O. Michael Cawthon, Rector-elect of St. Michael the Archangel Church, Charlotte, N.C. will be Instituted as the second rector of the Parish at the 10:30am Mass. Fr. Cawthon is anxious to begin a number of new programs at the Church and to continue in the tradition of Fr. Rich Bakley of a strong family atmosphere of the congregation. We pray God’s blessing upon Fr. Mike and his wife Debbie in their work to build God’s Kingdom in their community.
September of the year brings a feeling in the Church of a new day with new challenges. A number of parishes in the APA are reporting new programs for Sunday School which are bringing excitement and optimism. Fr. David Conway as Editor of Ecclesia Anglicana is doing a great job of bringing parish news from around the Province of what is happening in various parishes and missions. He is more than happy to print news items submitted to him to keep all of us informed as to what is happening which benefits us all. I pray that in spite of the negativity in our world concerning Christianity being overtly and covertly undermined, that we remind ourselves and others that Christ is still on the throne. Remember to pray for all the persecuted Christians in the world many of whom are destitute and homeless. Pray that God will touch the hearts of Christian rulers in our world to take a leadership role in combating the evil that seems to be growing unabated.
God bless and keep us all,